Hinges, Purpleheart, GIs and Typos


Our plans for a plate holder caused one reader to  come unhinged, so to speak. — Editor

“In regards to the plate holder a few pages back, having no hinges on hand, and being too cheap to buy any, instead I drilled three holes in the back of each piece and glued in insulated copper wires to act as the hinges. Worked fine.” — Virgil Welch


A question on whether there was a finish that would prevent purpleheart from changing color prompted this letter. — Editor

“I had freshly cut purpleheart go from brown to purple while sitting in a garage with no windows. This led me to believe that the color change is from oxidation and not UV, as most people suggest.” — Karl Sumwalt

There are two different reactions afoot here. Freshly cut or sanded purpleheart tends to have a rather grayish hue. When unfinished boards are allowed to oxidize by being exposed to air, they turn a darker purple. Many people wait a day or so before finishing purpleheart to allow this color to develop. However, if purpleheart is exposed to UV light, even if finished, it will then fade to brown. While the first darkening reaction is caused by oxidation, this second is light-induced. Once finish is on the wood, the oxidation reaction ceases, but the UV reaction continues. The question was referring to preventing this second type of reaction. — Editor

GI Woodshop

“Concerning the GI Woodshop article, it was fun seeing the projects that the guys built. While stationed in Saudi Arabia during Desert Storm, it wasn’t long before it became clear that living out of duffle bags was not the way to go. I designed a small wardrobe that would fit next to each person’s cot. It took a sheet and a half of plywood to make each wardrobe. It had a place to hang a few uniforms, and three cubbyholes to put stuff. They worked well, and went up in a beautiful bonfire when we eventually closed the ‘tent city’ down.” — Mike Madsen

Jewel in the Rough 

“In the last issue, there was a jewelry chest plan. It called for ripping a board to seven and three quarter inches on an eight-inch jointer from a rough eight-inch width. Why use a jointer? I don’t ever recall seeing a jointer used for ripping to a specific width. What am I missing here?” — Rickey Reynolds

Not a thing. In fact, you caught a typo of sorts. As you have correctly surmised, it should have suggested jointing one edge, then ripping to width on the table saw and cleaning up that edge, if needed, with a fine pass on the jointer. — Editor

“The jewelry box plans talked about using Watco Oil. What is this?” — Ronald Buchanan

Watco is actually a brand of finish, and one of their products, Watco Danish Oil, is a very popular wipe-on finish. So popular, in fact, that many people use the term Watco oil as shorthand for Danish oil, the correct name for that category of finish. Watco Danish Oil is sold in clear version and in a variety of colors. — Editor

Typo Corner 

Here’s where interesting typos make for creative commentary. — Editor

“I get bubbles in my finish with both oil and water bass finish.”

Water bass? That sounds fishy. — Editor

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