No One Right Answer

The One Right Answer

“I would kindly suggest that in your responses to readers’ questions on woodworking that you gather responses from your experts as before, but then combine them, edit as appropriate, then present a unified answer. You might then mention the contributing individuals. Your current format for answering questions presents the appearance of disparity between your experts, which you might not wish to show to your readers.” – Brad Blevins

That, Brad, is precisely what we wish to show our readers; that when it comes to woodworking, there is more than one right way to do it. We also respect our experts, and would not compromise them by attributing others’ opinions to them, nor by crediting others with their wisdom. For that reason, each expert’s response appears below his or her name. – Editor

One Reader Disagrees

In response to your online tool review, I have a Milwaukee right angle attachment, and am quite disappointed with it. The handle is a press fitting on the body, but it is much too easy to dislodge. It is also quite difficult to put a screw in to a joist. It feels like one needs three hands to effectively use this attachment: one on the drill handle and trigger, one on the right angle handle, and one to guide the screw at the start.” – Harry Hersh

It just goes to show you that one man’s meat is another man’s poison, and that the right tool is the one that fits your needs and hands. – Editor

Getting Friendly

“The article ‘Tracking the elusive crown guard’ was very informative. Could you make those articles printer-friendly?” – Guy Barbe

Thanks for the suggestion. You can cut and paste the articles into a word processor program file, and print it out from there. – Editor

Not Quite as Friendly

“I was wondering if these crown guards are good enough to satisfy OSHA safety rules for the state of Oregon. How would one find out?” – Thomas Wood

Call OSHA and ask them, but I’d bet good money that the answer is no. When you get your answer, please write back and let us all know. – Editor

Norm Gets Personal

In the last issue, we printed a letter from someone who was irked by Norm saying “my table saw” instead of “the table saw,” and we asked our readers for comments. Here are a few. – Editor

“I’m guessing this is a regional speech thing. Remember, he’s a Yankee; they don’t talk like the rest of us. To us in the Southwest, y’all, that is one of the charms of the show.” – Phil Gilstrap

“He does get very personal with his tools. It does drive me nuts.” – Larry Manion

“Maybe Norm distinguishes his table saw from someone else’s. Sometimes old married couples automatically do this – her sewing machine, my router, her craft table, my cement mixer, OUR car.” – Myron Cheney

“It could be worse. Imagine, for a moment, Bob Dole doing a woodworking program. Now Bob Dole’s going to go over to Bob Dole’s table saw to rip this piece of red oak that Bob Dole bought down at the lumber yard. Notice the fine cut. That’s because Bob Dole put a nice, carbide- tipped 80 tooth blade on Bob Dole’s saw just this morning.” – Lyell Chapman

“I personally hit nails with MY hammer. You might hit nails with THE or A hammer.” – Brian O’Neill

“In my shop, I use the table saw, the lathe, etc. I guess the tools belong to my workshop.” – Rod Schrivener

“I tend to refer to hand tools as ‘my’ and machines as ‘the.’ For example, I finish the surface of a board with MY #3 plane after sizing it on THE tablesaw. Perhaps the personal effort required to sharpen the planes, saws and chisels is the deciding factor. Thanks for a great eZine!” – Jim Dalen

“To tell you the truth, I had never taken the time to think about this until now, curiously enough!” – Louise Smith

“For years I’ve faithfully watched Norm Abram. I never noticed that he said MY this or MY that until one day someone pointed it out to me.” – John Rowe

“This might sound strange, but I love my shop equipment too much to ‘own’ it. I scrimp and save to afford it. I read every review I can find before I buy it. When it arrives, I am ecstatic. Legally, I own it, but clearly, we are partners. It is the lathe, the table saw, the radial arm saw, etc. Then again, it is the wife, the boy, the girl, and the dog as well.” – Jack N. Donato

Less strange than you might think, Jack. My tools are my partners, too, but only when they cut accurately. When they make a mistake, they are strangers, and it’s all their fault. – Editor

But isn’t Sumac Poisonous?

One of our questions in the last issue regarded turning sumac. The following letter came in response. – Editor

“Hey, I don’t know about you, but here in Indiana, a lot of people are allergic to sumac trees.” – Cheryl Dreiman

This deserves more clarification. While there is a shrub commonly called poison sumac, it is not what the woodturner was using. Poison sumac, formerly classified as Rhus vernix, but more recently classified as Toxicodendron vernix, is quite different from the other harmless sumacs, such as Rhus glabra, Rhus typhina, and Rhus punjabensis. In fact, the berries of at least one sumac, Rhus coriaria, are widely used as a cooking spice in Turkey and other areas of the Mediterranean, and there is evidence that berries from glabra and typhina were once used by Native Americans as a spice. These plants all belong to the Anacardiaceae family, which also includes cashew, pistachio, and mango trees. – Editor

The Typo Corner

We continue our quest for entertaining typos, and yes, they are genuine. – Editor

“Recently, a very large cherry tree was blown down. I had it cut into blanks. My intention was to have the blanks line my voyeur and walls.”

Your voyeur won’t be able to watch you anymore if you line him with blanks, or even planks. Perhaps you should use them to line the foyer instead. – Editor

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