Don’t Be Afraid to Ask!

Woodworking is anything but a simple craft. Every technique, finish option, tool choice or species of wood has innumerable issues related to it. “Can I cut a rabbet with a spiral bit?” “Should I try waterbased poly over rosewood?” “What’s the best size of air compressor for both fastening and spraying finish? “How do I keep end grain on a walnut blank from tearing out when I turn it?

You get the picture. Start a project or try something new and the questions surface, no matter what.

But here’s the upside: you are by no means alone as you stand there at the bench, pondering a situation. No woodworker is an island. We here at the Journal are happy to help answer your questions — both in the print magazine and in our Q & A section of the eZine. And our community of readers is a congenial bunch; a fellow woodworker who reads your question may have traveled down that same brain-frazzling path before and found the perfect fix. Why not let that experience work for you, too?

So here’s a request: What woodworking questions are bogging you and your projects down these days? We’d love to hear from you … and we’ll definitely give your questions consideration for upcoming print issues of the magazine or our bi-weekly Q&A section of the eZine.

Don’t be shy. Post your questions right here on the blog, and you can be sure they’ll get seen both by our staff here at the magazine and everyone who reads this post. A reader might be able to provide an answer in a quick reply post. You can also email your questions in to, fax them to us at 763/478-8396 or mail them to Q&A, Woodworker’s Journal, 4365 Willow Drive, Medina, MN 55340.

Why not give it a try? You may get an answer faster than you think.

We hope to hear from you!

Chris Marshall, Field Editor

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  • Jim

    I am new at this but eager to learn. If I were going to buy a hand plan thiis would be my first. Which one should I buy and what brand is recommended. I do not own any at this time.

  • Steve Metsch

    Buy or borrow a used #4. Tune it up (instructions are on the web).
    Use it to flatten a board and joint an edge. Let your blisters heal and then youu will be able to try any one you want to buy.
    If you think you are going to use it for chamfering and end grain, buy a low angle block plane. (smaller, cheaper and “handier”)

  • Thanks for keeping the dialogue open… This is what I love about this blog more than most others… I’ll keep you posted on any thoughts I have.

  • Gary

    Hello people…I read somewhere within these pages that ”no wood worker is an island.”
    But that seems to be the case with me. I have’nt found many in my country who enjoy woodworking as a hobby, hence not a lot of help available locally when I have a question.
    I hope there is someone among you who can help.
    I’m searching for a dealer in India, who sells or can help me procure a JET 1014 Mini Lathe machine…Any comments, tips, are most welcome.

  • Robert

    Just wondering what saw and blade to use and how you would cut small pieces of eucalyptus from ties used in a gypsum mine. They are about as hard as steel.

    thank you

  • Gary Anderson

    Can we submit a picture? I’m trying to find a source for a particular type of clamp that I know others would want as well. But it’s hard to describe…

  • Jim Harsha

    I have a Delta band saw BS100 which has graphite blade guides, poor design. Where would I get get a replacement, say ball bearnings?

  • Chris Marshall


    There are a number of aftermarket sources for ball-bearing band saw blade guides. The first company that comes to mind is Carter Products ( They make a broad range of quality replacements, and I suspect they probably have a set that would fit your Delta BS100. You can email them on their website or call them toll-free at 888-622-7837. Good luck! Chris Marshall, Field Editor

  • Brett

    I am considering building new cabinets in my work shop. During the discussion with friends and family about the project, I have realized I need some opinions on what would be the best way in constructing drawers. Some say I should dovetail every joint and others are telling me to use the Kreg system. Can anyone give me some pointers or a direction I should go in before spending the cash on one way versus the other? Thanks.

  • bj2063

    I have a old Butchers work counter and an going to use it as a workbench, but as you can guess it is in rough shape , the edger are worn over from cutting meat for years and I would like to know if you have a idea on how to flatten it out, and any tips to make this easier. Thanks for your help.