Rob’s Buzz Off: New Hope for Outdoor Woodworkers

Rob’s Buzz Off: The New Hope for Outdoor Woodworkers Tool Preview in the last issue brought responses from several others who have battled bugs in order to do their woodworking.

Bill Anderson writes from Denmark to claim for that country’s dubious honor “the biggest, meanest mosquitoes known to humankind.” He tells Rob, “The ones we have here would be trying on the clothes you are recommending and giving your bird dog a rough time, too, as well as a few rude gesticulations.”

Hoan Nguyen doesn’t claim that Southern mosquitoes beat Minnesota’s in terms of size, but he does go for the quantity argument: “down here in Florida we can grasp a hundred with one palm!” He does, however, provide his own shop tip for controlling them: Hoan pours white vinegar on a couple of five gallon bucket lids, which he claims keeps the mosquitoes away&”but you do not want to wander too far from your vinegar!”

And Matt Iunghuhn of Brookston, Indiana, has another shop pest that’s pestering him: spiders. He works in his shop on weekends, holidays and vacations, and during the week “the little varmints build webs allover the place.” Matt says he’s tried “spider pesticide,” but it doesn’t seem to last very long, and he’d appreciate more tips.

Rich in Phoenix has a shop tip to share, on Squaring Mortise and Tenon Bits: “I just eyeball the fence and then, using a square between the fence and chisel, rotate the chisel until it’s square to the fence. Works like a charm&no more ‘saw teeth.'”

On this same topic, Donald Bilicki of Marietta, Georgia, says he used to use Rob’s method of squaring up the table on a drill press, until he came up with what he thinks is a better one. “Take a piece of straight, stiff wire equal in length to the distance between the center and an outside corner on the table. About one inch from each end, bend a right angle in opposite directions. This will result in the wire taking the shape of the letter ‘Z.’ Install one end of this wire into the chuck and clamp it as if it were a drill bit. Raise the table to a level that just clears the outer end of the wire. Using only your hand, rotate the chuck and observe the distance between the table and the wire. The side of the table where the wire clears the table the greatest is low and should be adjusted accordingly.

Finally, writing in response to Bad Birch or Bad Bits: Bad Results, Bob Smith of Fresno, California, says that even though the idea of using a zero clearance sacrificial fence on a profile bit to avoid tearout hadn’t occurred to him before, “it seems so elementary, my dear Watson, that I’m kind of embarrassed.”

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