An Ounce of Prevention, a Pound of Cure

About Ryobi

“I am a retired furniture manufacturer, and when I retired, I disposed of all my equipment. Later, when I decided I couldn’t just quit, I bought some “cheap” tooling to putter with. I have to say my Ryobi stuff, both cordless and stationary, turned out to be very good for light workshop use. My first impression of a name like Ryobi was that it was Oriental junk, but it isn’t and I am very happy. I have lots of equipment and I would put my Ryobi stuff up against any of it.” – Bob Thomas

“Thanks to your latest eZine, I can find Ryobi tools again. Some years ago, I heard that they were going through some type of reorganization, then they disappeared. Now I learn that they are being sold through Home Depot stores. Thanks.” – Marlene Elias

You’re welcome. Glad we could help. – Editor

An Ounce of Prevention, a Pound of Cure

An answer in the Q&A section suggested making a 10 percent solution of oxalic acid, and a followup explained where to buy it. That led to a bit of confusion on the part of this reader. – Editor

“The size of oxalic acid containers is about a pound. A 10 percent solution should be about five quarts of water to dissolve one pound of oxalic acid. That’s not a very realistic ratio for the home shop user. Could you offer a more practical combination of oxalic acid and water?” – Rich Flynn

Sure. Oxalic acid is sold as a granulated powder, and yes, it usually comes in one pound containers. For that matter, so does coffee, but most folks don’t mix the whole pound of coffee with water all at once. For a 10 percent solution, simply mix one part oxalic acid with nine parts water. That works whether “parts” are ounces, teaspoons, pounds or tanker cars. – Editor

Budget HVLP, eZine Version

The current issue of the print version of Woodworker’s Journal has a review of commercial quality HVLP spray rigs that cost under a thousand dollars. Apparently that review prompted this letter. – Editor

“How about a review of HVLP sprayers that the home woodworker can afford?” – Don Orlowski

No sooner said than done, Don. While we don’t do the sort of large scale comparison tool shootouts that our printed sister magazine does, we are happy to introduce you to a company that makes a very nice, very affordable HVLP unit aimed squarely at the DIY market. Take a look at the Tool Maker Insider section of this issue, and we think you will be pleased. – Editor

Jeeves and Worcester?

Several readers pointed out that we referenced the wrong Worcester in an article about Beth Ireland. – Editor

“Your article on Beth Ireland mentioned the Wooster Center for Crafts. It’s Worcester Center for Crafts, named for the City of Worcester, Ma.” – Frank Washburn

“I believe she was referring to the Worcester Center for Crafts in Worcester, Massachusetts. Wooster is pronounced the same but is located in Ohio.” – Russell Kay

“It’s the Worcester Center for Crafts in Worcester Mass, not Wooster, Ohio. Gee whiz, Worcester can’t get no respect.” – Vic Hamburger

As you can see, we are not above such errors, and that brings us right around to our beloved typo corner. – Editor

Luthiers Anonymous

“Michael Dresdner had me reaching for the dictionary when he referred to luthiers in his response to the question about softening glue. According to Webster, it is someone who makes stringed instruments.” – Jim Rimmer

Exactly. Dresdner is a former luthier himself, though he insists, somewhat jocularly, that he “took the cure” and should now be regarded with appropriate forbearance as a “recovered luthier.” – Editor

Manual Dexterity

Last issue’s Web Surfer’s Review had a thread about the relative value of machinery reviews, which in turn inspired more commentary. – Editor

“For those of us who actually do read manuals and directions, I would like a review to include the usefulness of the manual, especially the set-up manual if the purchaser must assemble the machine. I received a manual recently with missing lines, figures from some other model, a reference to a part with a different name in the parts list and no number reference for the parts diagram, and parts diagrams that were reduced so much they are nearly useless. When I talked with a company representative, he knew they had problems and said they would soon have a new one done. He also helped me with the problems I had.” – Dave Siegler

“Another aspect of machinery that reviewers don’t address is parts availability. I saw one blogger’s comments that after several months of waiting for a part from the manufacturer, he gave up and bought the part from another manufacturer because the machines were essentially the same.” – Richard Leister

“When I buy anything I want it for the long haul so I want to know how well it is going to last. Almost all tools work fine out of the box, but their weaknesses show up with hard, continued use. Since it is true that the manufacturer’s propensity to model-manipulate and tweak can make long-term testing of doubtful value, I would suggest an accelerated wear testing procedure that would telescope 10 years use into a month or so. The real cost and ease of repairs could also be ascertained after you actually got the tool to break under use.” – Dick Graber

We’d guess that some manufacturers do run wear and repair tests on their own equipment, but that would be a rather expensive procedure for a humble woodworking magazine. – Editor

Typo Corner

Once again, our gentle celebration of comic language foibles. – Editor

“I have some new dug fir.”

We’ve heard of folks extracting Douglas fir roots for the wood, but wouldn’t “newly dug fir” be more grammatically correct? – Editor

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