Questions on an Answer

Post-Answer Questions on Pre-Cat Lacquer

In our last eZine, we answered a reader question about the U.S. name for pre-cat lacquer and where it can be found. It seems that readers wanted more information on the subject. – Editor

“For some of us that don’t know, what is ‘pre-cat lacquer,’ and what is it used for?” – Ed Miller

“It would have been useful to teach the reader how pre-cat lacquer differs chemically (and ultimately, structurally) from nitrocellulose and other similar lacquer formulations, how it bonds, solvent action, etc.; it could have been a real “teachable moment.” – Rob Wallace

While a complete examination of its chemical makeup is beyond the scope of this space, pre-cat (short for “pre-catalyzed”) lacquer is lacquer that already has the catalyst – the thing that causes something to happen, in this case a chemical curing – added when you buy it. The process by which this finish cures chemically gives it more abrasion resistance than lacquers that cure by solvent evaporation. Because of its limited life span, pre-cat lacquer is most popularly used in production runs, where several items using the same finish are being made at one time. – Editor

15 Minutes of Fame

One of our readers appreciated the opportunity to show off a bit in the “show and tell” that is our Reader’s Project Gallery. – Editor

“Thanks for including one of my pieces in the readers project gallery # 228.  It was a hoot to see it in there.  I have offered to autograph boards for the family, but they aren’t impressed!  Thanks  again. “ – Joe Gannon

While another had some concerns about a cradle (which was not of the “hood” style) featured in the RPG. – Editor

“Shouldn’t there be some concern about the ‘box’ filling with carbon monoxide from the baby’s exhaling? I would think there should be some vent holes somewhere around the bottom edge, where they would not be covered up by blankets, etc, but below the baby’s mouth / nose.” – James L. Weaver

Woodworker’s Journal is not a parenting publication, of course, but we thought we’d take the opportunity to pass on this public service announcement: pediatricians now recommend that all babies are put “Back to Sleep” – meaning, put to sleep on their backs, and dressed in warm pajamas rather than covered with blankets. By the time they are able to roll over, they’ll have outgrown the cradle. (And maybe grandpas will get a chance to make them a new bed!) – Editor

Captain’s Clock Corrections

Reader Ken Ramm kindly did some figuring for us on the Captain’s Clock that appeared as one of the Free Plans in eZine 231. If you’re having problems with that plan, check Ken’s calculations in his letter below. – Editor

“I wish to advise that I have found some errors in the “Free Plans” Captains Clock Instructions. I refer to page 2 where there is a six-section shown: this is correct. I now refer to page 3: ‘step by step Instructions’ 9, 11 and 15 have eight sides instead of six sides and also Figure 3 and Figure 6 [page 4], show eight sides.

“For an eight-sided section, the overall dimension is 246mm (9-5/8”) with internal dimension of 182mm (7-3/16”) for 102mm (4”) piece of timber.

For 6 sides a 30 deg cut angle is correct

For 8 sides a 22.5 deg cut angle is correct

For 12 sides a 15 deg cut angle is correct

I make jewelry boxes in 6 sides, 8 sides and 12 sides, so the above angle/s are correct. I enjoy reading all of the articles in woodworkers journal eZine, and have often made projects that appear in the “free plans.” – Ken Ramm

Price of a Blade

One correspondent thought the DeWalt Precision Trim Saw Blades included in the What’s In Store section of eZine 231 were….

“Cool, but it seems kinda strange that a 12″ blade would only be $1 more than an 8-1/2″ blade.” – Rob Retter

Pricing for the blades, as with most woodworking tools, varies among sellers. You’ll find both the 8-1/2” and the 12-inch selling for both more and less than the range cited in the article. – Editor

Compressor Comparisons

Another reader did not think the compressor featured in eZine 231’s Tool Preview would meet his woodworking needs. — Editor

“Love to see Woodworker’s Journal eZiNE in my inbox –.great tips and articles. I read with interest the small article in the recent issue on the Campbell Hausefeld WL6750 air compressor, and the 150 psi sounds impressive, but I think one should be more concerned with the continuous cubic feet pre minute (cfm), especially if you intend to use air-powered sanders which require 6-10 CFM @ 90PSI, or even the lowly spray gun needs 2-4 CFM @ 90 PSI of dry air. If the flow isn’t strong enough, the air tool simply won’t perform properly. Just my 2 cents worth. Keep the info coming.” – Bob Champion

The Campbell Hausfeld WL6750 has a scfm of 3.8 at 90 psi, and a 5.6 scfm at 40 psi. – Editor

Loss of I.A. is N.C.: No Class

A few more readers weighed in on the decline in opportunities for young people to learn woodworking skills – and other valuable lessons – in school. – Editor

“Contrary to the outlook of many educators, shop work needs mathematics, geometry, and science.  A perusal of the pages of WJ or any other woodworking magazine is a quick education in how mathematics can be used steadily and practically in the production of both useful and beautiful objects.  Similarly, it is easy to learn why geometry is useful knowledge, or how physics can help with understanding design, and chemistry when a glue-up or finish is needed.  One of the commonest failures of education is the inability (or prevention through required curricula) of teachers to make these skills and knowledge meaningful and useful.” – John Dougherty

“A recurring theme in your chosen submissions is the sacrifice of Industrial Arts classes for technology classes. I am a technology professional. I run one of the data centers for a billion dollar nonprofit hospital system. I have used every single so-called ‘Industrial Arts’ class I ever took in my high technology roles.” – Scott Stahl

“One thing I noticed in all of the comments that no one mentioned that a wood working instructor also teaches mathematics, science, chemistry, usually English, physics, and any number of other items that we use every day in our woodworking.  Along with this these folks teach business management, budgeting, procurement of goods, supplies, and tools. I am sure that many of you teachers work right along with Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4H and other groups, just as I do. I encourage all of you to think outside of the box, as seems to be a modern saying: when you department disappears, look for alternative methods to pass your fine teaching skills on to the next generation, and don’t let your knowledge and skill with wood, tools and the other industrial arts classes go to waste.” – Bill Watson

Football Fantasies

This came in response to Rob’s recent editorial about woodworking and other fall pastimes. — Editor

“Your football heartbreak will come early this year – Game 1 – when you find yourself up against the Cleveland Browns. You’re going to lose because the Vikes are going to go into that game complacent and certain they’re going to run away w/ the game. Oh, well! Next time, maybe you’ll take an underdog seriously. They can bite, too, you know.” – Larry H.

Final score: Minnesota Vikings, 34; Cleveland Browns, 20. Looks like that underdog’s bark was worse than the bite. – Rob Johnstone

Some Kind Words

“Thank you once again for presenting a wonderful entry to the latest E-Zine. Your humor intertwined with your woodworking wisdom is a wonderful addition to the product. I always appreciate the way the staff handles the sometimes nitpicking criticism, with helpful and humorous words. You guys (and gals) have more class than I’ve encountered in any other publications.   Have a great day, and keep laughing and teaching!!!!” – Sid Ackler

Thanks, Sid. We love you, too, man – and that goes for all our readers. – Editor

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