Talking It Out: Readers and Editors Share Info

We get so many interesting responses and reactions to recent articles, we thought we’d share some of them with you.

Timbermate Error

In a piece on Timbermate, a combination putty, trowel filler and pore filler, we described the material as odor-free. General manager Barry Gork wrote in to correct our error. – Editor

“Maybe I miscommunicated about Timbermate being odor-free. It has a very distinct odor that that smells like Band-Aid®s because of the antiseptic we use to keep it from going moldy.” – Barry Gork, General Manger, Timbermate

I guess we should have said “free of any offensive odor.” – Editor

Trimming Veneer Edge Banding

One of our readers added his own suggestion to a question our experts answered about trimming edge banding. – Editor

“A cabinetmaker showed me how he quickly trims ironed-on veneer edges using a farmer’s file. Start anywhere except at the very end. Hold the file at about a 20° angle and stroke in one direction only to avoid lifting the veneer. Works like a charm and saves a lot of time, with or against the veneer grain.” – Keith Booth.

Potassium Dichromate

A reader, who insisted he was already aware of the safety issues, wrote to ask us for formulation guidelines when using potassium dichromate to color woods high in tannin. We included a safety warning anyway, but some of our readers felt we did not go far enough. – Editor

“Potassium dichromate is an extremely toxic material. Disposing of it presents its own special problems in that it is considered to be a toxic waste material. I really don’t think suggesting its use to anyone but a trained professional is a good idea. The average person may not fully understand how to protect themselves from personal exposure. Being a chromium material, disposing of it is not easy.” – Vince Brytus

“I am deeply concerned with the casual reply regarding using potassium dichromate for staining. Your casual warnings of ‘Be concerned about the hazards of using the chemical, and wear eye, respiratory and skin protection when using it’ do not convey the facts that this chemical is toxic by ingestion and inhalation, is a dangerous fire risk in contact with organic materials and is a strong oxidizing agent. You further ignore the regulatory facts regarding disposal and that this chemical is considered hazardous material across the United States. You do your readership a disservice by not fully informing them of the health, safety and regulatory implications of using chemicals in woodworking. That being said, the quality of the online eZine is very good, and I will continue to read it as issues come along.” – Stan Watson

We certainly did not mean our safety warning to be casual, and are sorry if you read it that way. We’re strong believers in safety, not just with chemicals, but with every step you take in the shop. The stark reality is that almost everything about woodworking brings safety hazards with it. One could probably fault us for not adding warnings every time we mention any power tool, and on some level, there’s some truth to that. Instead, we hope and trust that all our readers learn the related risks before they touch any machine or chemical, and treat all of woodworking and finishing with the respect it deserves. – Editor

“A Saw By Any Other Word”

In the WebSurfer’s Review, we chanced upon a spirited discussion about the correct nomenclature regarding saber saws, jigsaws and scroll saws, and came away with the conclusion that there was no conclusion. Several names are used variously and interchangeably for the same tools. – Editor

“Wow! What an eye-opener! I always thought that a sabre saw was another name for a reciprocating saw!” – Jim Campbell

“When I was 13, I bought a jigsaw. This was 1953; I am now 65 and still refer to the tool as a jigsaw.” – Larry Wolfe

“Loved your comments, Michael! The thread became even funnier.” – Johanna Johanson

By “Michael,” Johanna means me, Michael Dresdner, and since she is a dear friend, she knows that I’m usually the one who writes the sometimes pithy comments signed “Editor” that appear in bold type in amongst the WebSurfer’s Review, and here in the Reader’s Response department. In fact, I just wrote this. Normally, though, I use the editorial “we” instead of the word “I ” – as there are a couple of other editors involved with this as well. – Editor

ANSI Tests of Titebond

A web thread about Titebond mentioned that different versions pass different ANSI tests. That generated the following question:

“So what’s the difference between ANSI test I and ANSI test II? Inquiring minds want to know.” – Johanna Johanson

Let’s start by clarifying the terminology. That particular glue test is actually called the ‘ANSI/HPVA Type I Specification.’ In case you ever wondered, ANSI stands for American National Standards Institute, and HPVA stands for Hardwood Plywood Veneer Association.

Briefly, ANSI/HPVA Type I means the glue is waterproof, as in immersible, where ANSI/HPVA Type II is merely water resistant. Titebond II passes only ANSI type II and is only water resistant; Titebond III passes ANSI type I and is fully waterproof. – Editor

“Type I testing involves cutting 6″ by 6″ assemblies into 1″ by 3″ specimens, boiling them for 4 hours, then baking the specimens in a 145°F oven for 20 hours. They are boiled for an additional 4 hours, then immediately cooled using running water. The specimens are sheared while wet, and the bonds must pass certain strength and wood failure requirements to pass the Type I specification.

Type II testing involves cutting the 6″ by 6″ assemblies into 2″ by 5″ specimens, soaking them for 4 hours, then baking the specimens in a 120°F oven for 19 hours. This is repeated for a total of three cycles, and the bonds must not delaminate to pass the Type II specification.”

The Typo Corner

We continue our quest for genuine, entertaining typos. This one looked like it was inspired by a heartfelt desire for self-improvement. Editor

“I’d like to stain and finish myself, but I don’t have a shop.”

We’ve heard of finishing school, but we always thought they applied etiquette rather than stain, though we suppose a henna tattoo would be considered staining oneself. -Editor

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