Pictures, Plans, Chucks and Alcohol

Pop-up Pictures 

A new feature that lets you enlarge the pictures in our articles delighted many of the newly formed Matt Becker fan club. – Editor

“Please thank Matt Becker for the larger pictures. They are much appreciated.” – Wayne Cheek

We couldn’t agree more. – Editor

“The larger pictures for the visually challenged is another great idea. You guys keep coming to the aid and rescue of us fellow woodworkers. Thanks for all the hard work.” – Charles Buster

“I don’t understand how to make the pictures bigger. How do you do that?” – Bill Vedder

Click on the pictures themselves to make them bigger. – Editor

“Kudos to your new Content Coordinator, Matt Becker. The ‘bigger picture’ thing is a hit with me as well, I’m sure, with many other readers. Could you so the same thing with the exploded view diagrams that are sometimes featured in your online magazine? Keep up the good work, and I hope your position at Woodworker’s Journal is long and prosperous.” – JT Turner

Old Plans, New Plans

“I really enjoy receiving the Woodworker’s Journal eZine, but was very disappointed with the plans for the Valentine Box. Neat box, but receiving the plans two days before Valentine’s Day don’t give me much time to make the project. It would really have been nice if you had included it in last month’s eZine. I have saved the plans so at least now I will have a year to get one made.” – Tom Day

Some readers had a lot more lead time to make it. – Editor

“The Valentine Box and Wall Cabinet go back in time. I still have the original magazines in which those plans appeared. Some of my first projects were made from the plans.” – Mike Hennigan

Whither Unaxol?

“A couple of years ago you ran a piece about a finish that seemed almost too good to be true: Unaxol. Since then, I have never seen a review or even another mention of it anywhere. No one seems aware of it, even in chat rooms. Anything you can report?” – Bill Keenan

We’d guess the reason for the paucity of discussion is that they sell direct. Because they are not in any stores, most chat room denizens have probably not heard of them or tried it. You seem curious enough, though. Why not try some and report back your opinions to us, along with any other readers out there who’ve made the plunge. – Editor

Drill Press Chucks 

Our Q&A group suggested some simple ways to remove most drill press chucks, but it’s tough to cover all the bases. This reader covered a couple more. – Editor

“There are a lot of drill presses that don’t have a Morse taper chuck arbor. Some are held onto the drill press quill by means of a non-removable tapered arbor that fits directly into the chuck body. These will need to be tapped sharply with a brass hammer to loosen them. Some older drill presses may also have a socket head screw holding the chuck on the tapered arbor. Open the chuck all the way and look inside the chuck for a screw. Remove the screw and then tap the chuck off.” – Paul A. Otto

Denatured Alcohol

“A sincere thank you for your comments on alcohol in woodwork. We see ‘Denatured Alcohol’ mentioned often in woodworking and model magazines, but the expression is not used here in New Zealand.” – Lou A Hocken

“The can of denatured alcohol in my shop is 45-50 percent methanol. Methanol is extremely hazardous, especially for wood finishing by amateurs with no ventilation systems, insufficient protective gear, lots of skin contact and inhalation.” – Richard Stein

While most denatured alcohol formulations contain single digit percentages of methanol, your letter sparked us to investigate. Though you did not mention the brand, we were able to find one whose MSDS indicated that high a methanol level, much to our surprise. It is W. M. Barr, makers of the Klean Strip line of solvents. Sure enough, their denatured alcohol is about 50 percent methanol, and when we called to ask them about the wisdom of that, they stated their formula has been the same since 1946.

Times have changed, and others have a very different attitude. Parks, for example, another large solvent purveyor, told us they reformulated their denatured alcohol several years ago and eliminated methanol entirely, though it still does show up on the MSDS, something that is both legal and rather common.

Thanks for bringing that to our attention, Richard. Now, at least, we all have the option of buying Parks, or some other low-methanol brand, if we choose. – Editor

Typo Corner

Sometimes it is not the letters we mix up, but the way we structure our sentences. We know what this chap meant, but his question sure did come out sounding odd. – Editor

“Is it possible to put laminated flooring on a stair that goes upstairs?”

Is it possible to put laminated flooring on a stair that does NOT go upstairs? – Editor

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