Tommy Bar, Laser and Words, Both Prose and Poetry

Tommy Bar, the Word That Just Won’t Die

It seems harmless to us, but the use of the term Tommy bar has generated more angst over the past three issues than many more serious issues we’ve touched upon, and it still is not over. — Editor 

“What you refer to as a Tommy bar is more commonly called a cheater and is used to extend leverage in more ways than just a box wrench.” — Ed Sapp

“There has been a fair bit of discussion regarding the origin of Tommy bars and from this side of the pond, I think the most likely source is the description of a British soldier being called a Tommy, the way American soldiers were called Yanks. The bar was probably used in the war as a solution when other tools were not available.” — John Chaloner

Of course, our British readers were not the only ones to respond. — Editor 

“In South Africa, a bar to pull out nails is called Tommy bar, though elsewhere it is called a pry bar.•bCrLf — Gideon Basson

In an interesting turn, the person who started it all weighed in. — Editor 

“For heaven’s sake put all the arguments to bed. Tell the debating masses that I was the person who set off the controversy about the term Tommy bar. I answered the question about loosening an arbor nut on a table saw in the Q&A section and used those words. I’m British, live in Britain, use British English, and a Tommy bar in British English is a piece of pipe slipped over something like a socket wrench or perhaps an ‘open-ended spanner’ or ring spanner to increase leverage. Your American readers may find some other words used on the eastern side of the Atlantic similarly unfamiliar, like ‘rebate’ and ‘housing’, essential parts of a tongue and housing joint.” — Richard Jones

Epilog Laser

“Nowhere on their website does Epilog Laser so much as mention an actual price for any of their products. They do implicitly admit it’s not cheap, but say nothing about prices. Why would you produce an article for a company with such an approach? Let me guess: they pay you.” — Rob Retter

No, they most certainly do not and did not pay us even a penny. We write such articles to keep you informed of your options. As for why Epilog does not include prices on their website, you will have to ask them, but if you prowl the tool websites, you will find that, for a variety of reasons, many companies do not post prices on their websites. — Editor 

“I just read the article in the eZine about lasers for hobby woodworkers. Give me a break. Tools in the price range from $8,000 to $50,000 are not practical for hobby woodworkers.” — James.Rimmer

Perhaps not for all, but remember, we have readers whose hobbies cover all sorts of ground and many professional readers as well. Read the next letter, and you will see what we mean. — Editor 

“This issue of the eZine was fine, as expected, but the interview with Epilog opened my eyes. I have had an interest in using a laser for some projects but hesitated because I thought I had to learn a new program. The revelation that Microsoft based programs will work opened new opportunities. I think it is time to review this fine system.” —  Carl F. Bublak

Mark, My Words 

“Mark Laub’s work blew me away. It’s phenomenal. Not only is the man a true artist, he has great courage. Having said all of that, and I mean it sincerely, I wish to take issue with one thing in the article. He’s quoted saying ‘The world does not need another middle-of-the-road kitchen cabinet maker.’ I crave to be the kind of woodworker he is, but in the meantime I am a “middle-of-the-road” sort of woodworker, making not only kitchen cabinets, but repairing chairs, tables and whatever. I think the world does need more of us, if we do good work and prove to be dependable. My world really needs that. I don’t mean to pick an argument with Mr. Laub, but the remark seems to demean those of us who haven’t arrived at such an elevated position in woodworking.” — Don Butler

Having spoken with Mark at length, we can assure you that he in no way meant to demean those that do such work, but rather was implying that he did not see himself fitting that role. You are right in pointing out that the way he said it, and it was a direct quote, could easily be construed as an insult, but he certainly did not come off with that attitude in his interview. Sometimes what we say comes out very differently than it sounds in our head. — Editor 

Haiku from you.

Rob challenged you all
To write woodworking haiku.
Here are some entries. — Editor 

“Woodworker’s Journal
You have thrown down the challenge
Rats, that’s all my time.” — Ted Newman

“Sometimes an heirloom
But often all I’ve got is
Attractive kindling.” — Fred Woodward

“Wispy ribbons fall
From the throat of my jack plane
Mr. Bailey smiles.” — James B. Reid

“If you have to ask
what’s the point of woodworking
you won’t understand.” — Mike Yost

“Sharpening is Zen
Revealing the soul of wood
Makes the carver smile” — Andy Barnhart

“One man’s scrap pieces
Another man’s treasured wood
Two projects are made.” — Mike Grawvunder

“Push wood through the blade,
Oh my goodness, is that blood?
Sawstop, here I come.” — Jamie Munn

“Splinters in my hand
Titebond® glue everywhere,
OH NO! Out of square.” — Anthony Marzella

“If I can make things
from a pile of wood that sings,
What a joy this brings.” — Kent Hathaway

“Trees are Nature’s gift;
They grow as visions of God.
Can I master wood?” — Randy Goodhew

“Look at that figure!
Beautiful natural curves;
a woodworker’s dream.”— Mark Foley

“A release A love
Experience woodworking
And you will know it•bCrLf — James Caro

“I love power tools
They help me make wood type things
I love fine woods, You?” — Ted Newman

“Working wood is fine,
Tho through vital proboscis
Use thy mask to breathe.” — Peter Arenskov

“Carve, turn, sand and hue,
Measure, mark, cut, screw and glue,
Fun for me and you.” — Lynda Kelley

“To assure long life
work wood so clean straight and true
trees beautified so.” — Tim Smith

“Just five by seven
By five says the haiku guy;
Odd but ancient size.” — Peter Matson

“Woodworking is best!
Do you want to relieve stress?
Shape some wood, it’s good!” — Genaro Pipitone

“Honey-do list waits
Our souls are distracted
The wood is calling” — Drake, Andrew

“Woodworking gives me:
Monetary advantage,
And relaxation” — Ted Saari

“From trees in the woods,
To lumberyards in the states,
Come woodworking crafts.” — Linda Whalen

“The saw spins so fast,
the dust is like solid fog,
why am I smiling?” — Mike Parkhurst

“See, smell, taste the wood
Hear the saw, feel the curves
Senses overwhelmed!” — Glen Cravens

“Tremendous trees
Woods of wonderful grade
Fine furniture be.”— Vince Parisi

“This spring, garage full
Two cars linger in driveway
Sawdust rules parking.” — Catherine Rusk

“As a wood tool fool,
my wife keeps asking me when
I’ll have all the tools.” —  Robert A. Chagnon

Typo Corner 

After such a bumper crop of outstanding haiku, our brains need the respite of a bit of humor from the typo corner. — Editor 

“I use a pressed wood cabinet to hide my cat’s liter box.”

It must be a European cat. American cats use quart boxes.  — Editor

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