Here’s a sampling of the comments we received:
JDM uses the internet to buy tools, hardware, and other items online. Also to research information, plans, history, hardware, and materials. In spite of that, he still feels there’s no substitute for a hard copy of Woodworker’s Journal … especially in a dust filled shop.
The web has been great for JC’s woodworking hobby. In addition to getting lots of ideas from other woodworkers, his online purchases – including hard-to-find supplies, tools, and plans — have saved him between 30-40% compared to local dealers.
One woodworker’s recent online purchases included tools (both for himself and for gifts), wood (fantastic burls for turning), books, supplies, and accessories (lots of these!). Roger, who’s been woodworking for 50 years, even admitted to buying tools on eBay!
As many of you had made purchases online, quite a few more mentioned what an important source of information the internet has become. Sam mentioned checking manufacturer’s web sites, making product and pricing comparisons, finding plans and “how to” articles, sharing with others through email and forums. For many of you all these activities have become normal, even vital activities for woodworkers. One correspondent declared that the information he got on the internet was indispensable to his hobby, another mentioned how it helped “us amateurs” avoid big time mistakes and save money.
Michael, who runs a small furniture/cabinet shop, uses the web to purchase supplies, research finishing, and machining tips and look at others’ work. He feels that the internet has really opened up the world to small business operators and thinks a savvy business could use it to run his business and never leave home. He also mentioned — as did several others of you — that he wishes we’d include suggested prices in our Tool Previews.
Along similar lines, another woodworker who lives in a small town, mentioned how shopping online gave him a chance to see everything available without driving from store to store.
We also got a lot of compliments on the eZine. People mentioned especially enjoying the reader feedback (on this page). One mentioned never having time for reading print magazines, but always finding time for the eZine! With the exception of our use of black type on a dark blue background, response to the new email format was also very positive. Thank you!
Rewiring a Motor?
Vernon Mohler wrote in with his solution: To reverse the rotation on a single-phase motor, switch leads 3 and 5.
Trimming an Un-square Corner
There’s a better way to cope accurately than by tracing the profile onto the back of the molding. According to Roy Hellinga: cut a 45-degree miter into the molding & so the face is shorter than the back. This cut leaves the profile on the face of the molding, which you can then use as a guide for your coping saw cut. Roy also suggested that using a 5-degree back angle on coping cuts makes it easier to make any adjustments (with sandpaper, file, or rotary tool) for out-of-square corners … or sloppy coping.
Polyurethane Finish Turns Yellow
Finishes containing aliphatic polyurethane are less likely to yellow over time … according to an email from Ruby. This kind of polyurethane — more expensive than the more common aromatic polyurethane — is much more resistant to the UV rays that cause yellowing. Products containing this kind of polyurethane will probably have the word “aliphatic” listed on the label.
Made in the USA?
This emotional topic continued to draw reader response. Though he acknowledged that sometimes there are no choices, Michael Paulson wrote to encourage all woodworkers to consider the origin of tools and not just the price before they buy. Though sticking to a Buy American credo has left Michael with fewer tools and accessories than he’d like, he believes it’s still the right thing to do!
Dan Walter challenged another reader’s comment that all Porter-Cable tools were made in the USA. Dan stated that, in fact, many are now being made in Taiwan.
What Brand Is Your Tablesaw?
They don’t make ’em like they used to! That’s Auggie Waldron’s conclusion, based on his experience with a 49- year-old 8″ Atlas contractor’s saw. Ten years ago, he took a chance and invested fifty bucks in a new motor. He’s used it every day since and says it cuts smoother than any of the newer saws his friends own.
Green Wood Turnings
Three rules for working green wood were provided by William V. Sanders:
1. Work green, but sand and finish dry
2. “Dry” should be measured with a moisture meter, not a clock (between a day and a year may be required)
3. Dry SLOWLY, since stresses in the wood that are introduced by drying must have time to equalize.
He also advised that green wood projects should be kept dry enough to stop mold and mildew, but not too dry. And though it’s easy to work green, applewood becomes a rock when thoroughly dry.
It’s Spring and There’s a Smell of Varnish in the Air
Ric took time to send in his endorsement of Minwax stains and clear urethane finishes. He’d been using them for years and had gotten lots of compliments for the finish they provided on work he’d done for his church. To freshen up the finish — after years of abuse by Sunday school students – all it needed was a light cleaning, sanding with 320 grit sand paper (tacked off) and one or two light coats. Ric added that his favorite Minwax finish for oak, maple or pine is the Ipswich Pine stain.
Customer support plays a big role in Minwax’s success … that’s been Rich Flynn’s experience. He wanted to put a clear finish over a white painted cabinet. When all other sources indicated that this should not be done, Rich emailed Minwax technical support. The reply – after officially reiterating “Minwax Polycrylic isn’t intended to be applied over paint” – gave him good instructions on accomplishing his goal.
A RIDGID” Fliptop Support
Less is more, according to Michael Moldenhauer. He wrote that he likes the concept of the fliptop support, but three points of contact would be better (more forgiving) for uneven basements than a four-point contact stand.
Dave Garriott thinks a better solution would be an outfeed table. He loves his bolt on/off table from Rockler!
Other Reader Comments
Clark Gary recently visited a toy museum in Seiffen, Germany. Being a turner, he was drawn to a lathe exhibit and was at first baffled by what turned bowls had to do with toys. Then he noticed that slices of the bowls create animal shapes that could be easily carved into wooden toys. Pretty clever! He’d never seen anything like this and wondered if there was ever a practice of this in the USA. Any ideas out there?