Tension Release

Radius of a Curve

“Maybe it’s just me, but the formula for figuring the radius in your current online issue doesn’t make sense.” – Carl F Schaller

“In Michael Dresdner’s formula for calculating the radius of a curve he has r = (c2+4h2)/8h. Is it a typo?” – A. Novak

Dresdner responds: “It certainly is a typo. Here’s what I originally wrote, in words this time, so that there is no mistake: C squared, plus four times H squared, over eight times H, equals R. Somehow, during coding, the squares went from superscript twos, which indicate “squared,” to regular twos, which indicate “times two.” I sent the original in a Word file, which allows superscripts.” Several readers guessed exactly what happened. – Editor

“Michael’s equation is correct (as we would all expect), but the presentation of it is very confusing. ‘c2’ is ‘c squared’ and ‘4h2’ is ‘four times h squared.’ It would have been better to create the equation in a graphic and then show the graphic since you really can’t dictate what character set your reader is going to use.” – Dwight Casteel

“It is difficult to know ahead of time how formulas with exponents will appear in print. Michael Dresdner’s formula for the radius of a chord is an example. Here is another way to represent Michael’s formula that is less corruptible. r = (cc + 4hh) / (8h)” – Dennis Skelton

Radial Arm Saw Safety

“I have a very good book on RAS’s titled Radial Arm Saw Techniques by Roger W. Cliffe and published by Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., New York. It was published in 1986 so it may not still be in print. It is quite complete with a great emphasis on safety.” – Tom Helmick

You guessed right about it not being in print, Tom, but we were able to find quite a few used copies for sale from several online booksellers. They ranged in price from 10 dollars to 45 dollars. The original cover price was eighteen dollars. – Editor

Desperately Seeking MDO

“Perhaps you should have mentioned that the MDO stands for Medium
Density Overlay” – John Orvis

“I have no trouble finding MDO at Menard’s.” Jerry Blice

“I found MDO at my local Menard’s in 1/2 and 3/4 inch.” – Linda Schubot

Questions and Answers

“How does one answer the questions posted in the question section?” – Buddy Boudreau

The questions are sent to 20 men and women with established expertise in one or more facets of woodworking. All but one were asked to donate their services by the Q&A editor, Michael Dresdner. One person volunteered, and was gratefully accepted after being evaluated by said editor. – Editor

“Another possible reply to last issue’s Hey, Where’s My Question?

is to join a local woodworking club. Our club in Houston, Texas meets once a month, and a very popular portion of the program is ‘Problems and Solutions.’ Anyone can bring up ideas, ask questions, or recommend procedures or equipment. The replies from the other club members result in a sharing of knowledge and experience.” – Don Ruby

Thanks for bringing up that outstanding suggestion. We, too, belong to a local woodworking club, and like yours, ours also has a “Got a question?” segment at every meeting. It’s a great way to get not only good answers, but offers of free help as well. Editor

Sio and Pallets

“Thank you for your article on Carter Sio. He sounds like the kind of teacher I would wish for; dedicated and truly interested in the kids. One thing jumped out at me when reading the article. He mentioned that he used pallets for a project. I would be interested in seeing a story on that project.” – Jon Rufenacht

That letter brought another story to mind for us. In 1995, Bob Taylor of Taylor Guitars made a very high quality guitar out of pallet wood to prove the point that excellent guitars come from good design and execution, not expensive exotic wood. We have seen and played the guitar, and can vouch for the fact that it is exceptional in every way. Taylor has been offered tens of thousands of dollars for it, and has consistently turned down every offer. – Editor

Do You or Don’t You?

Our last issue raised the question “Do you de-tension your band saw when it is not in use?” and we promised to share the results of this highly informal survey in this issue. Of the people who wrote in, only 21% claim to regularly reduce the tension, and the remainder, a staggering 79%, do not, though some admitted to feeling guilty about it. Below are a few of the comments that came in along with the votes. – Editor

“If I’m working on a project that will require its use periodically, I do not release tension. Between projects, I do release the tension a little, but not completely.” – Robert Fiegel

“I’m almost ashamed to admit it, but I never remember to release the tension until I have to change blades!” – Jackie

We’ve always wondered if you get a “tension detention” when you forget to release the tension on the band saw at a woodworking school. – Editor

“I have had my Craftsman 12 inch band saw for 45 years and only release the blade tension when changing blades.” – Salvatore Pontecorvo

“I don’t release the tension from my band saw. First of all, how will I know if I’m going to use it again tomorrow, next week, or next month? I’m just not that organized. That’s not to say that I don’t feel bad about it.” – Patrick Callanan

“My experience is that it is necessary to release tension or suffer dire consequences. I left the tension on my 14 in. Delta for a few weeks. When I used it after this idle period I got a very loud periodic thump. The upper wheel was actually hitting the upper wheel cover. Apparently, despite the fairly thick sheet metal that the tensioning device and upper wheel bearing are mounted on, it distorted enough under load to cause the problem. I now release the tension.” – Tom Cory

Typo Corner

Our own misprint of the radius formula from the top of this segment certainly deserves to be here, but instead, we’ll share one of our more amusing typos in this popular ongoing feature. This item came from people refinishing their floors. – Editor

“Also, we have 5 children and want to have them as scratch resistant as possible.”

Perhaps you should have them wear armor. – Editor

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