Welcoming Woodworkers

Southern Hospitality

Rob’s announcement that his family would be traveling to Alabama over the holidays in last issue’s eZine brought plenty of words of welcome. – Editor

“If you miss your woodworking too much, I guess I could fire up my Shopsmith for you!” – Larry Williams

“Welcome to Alabama, the beautiful. Since you will be at Gulf Shores and Dauphin Island, you will be able to enjoy the SNOW white sands of our gulf shore. Be safe, Rob, have a great time!” – George Knight

“Leave those dreams of a riding tractor with a snow auger behind!” – Lee F. Howland

“I would suggest that you all bring extra clothes because you will most likely want to extend your stay here. I have lived here all my life and find it to be a very friendly and likeable place. Like you, I am a wood worker of sorts. I am not a slow wood worker and I am not a fast wood worker. I guess you could call me a ‘half-fast’ woodworker.” – James Dewrell

And a warning.

“You might remind your wife you can dress for the cold, but regardless of how much you take off, you can’t dress for that Southern summer heat.” – Rick Corbitt

Plus, a different perspective on the weather. 

“Interesting to read your blurb about the weather there – here I am in Darwin, Australia with temperatures in the mid 30’s Celsius (about 95 Fahrenheit). The humidity even without clouds is usually around 90 percent at this time of the year. When it rains, the falls are heavy – about 12 inches of rain and winds of 80 mph in a thunderstorm over last weekend. An entirely different set of circumstances for working with wood!! Instead of arranging for heating, as I see discussed in your magazine, the issue here is air-conditioning to stop the sweat dripping down onto your work. Even in June/July in what you call the southern winter and we in the tropics call the dry season (we say we only have 2 seasons – the “wet” and the “dry”) the daytime temperature is usually 85-92 F. At least then the humidity is low 25- 40 percent. Lots of potential for wood movement.” – Hugh Bradley

Undoing Glue

Other readers had suggestions for our questioners with their glue problems, whether it was undoing a glued joint:

“Thanks for all of the useful information that appears in Woodworker’s Journal eZine. I believe that ordinary household ammonia will soften and even dissolve both white and yellow glue. I regularly clean the clogged tops of my glue dispenser bottle by soaking them in household ammonia overnight. Works great.” – Mel

Or stopping the “fight” between glue and stain. – Editor

“Try a painting trick. Mask off the surfaces next to the glue joint. Assemble the joint and press on a strip of masking tape centered along the joint. With a sharp knife, cut the tape along the joint line. Separate the joint and glue it up as usual. After the glue sets up some, wipe as much glue as possible from the tape, then peel off the tape. Some joints – not straight, or on curved surfaces – may not be as easy, but it can be done.” – Tom Poe

“Use painter’s tape ( the blue tape) to line the edges of the joint. After the piece is clamped up and any squeeze-out is still soft, you can peel the tape off and most, if not all, of the excess glue will come off with the tape.” – Tommy Shows

Learn Something Every Day

Sometimes, we do manage to insert a little learning into this eZine. – Editor

“Just a question about one of the clues on the crossword puzzle. Clue # 29 down was ‘Specification for the number and spacing of threads on screws and bolts.’ The answer was BSW. I’ve been a toolmaker for over 21 years and a machinist for 32 years and have never heard of BSW. What does it stand for and where did it come from?” – Dewey Armstrong

It stands for “British Standard Whitworth,” a reference to British engineer Sir Joseph Whitworth, who first proposed a set of standards for screw, nut and bolt heads in 1841. That’s mentioned in the book The Collins Complete Woodworker, a joint effort of the Smithsonian Institute and Woodworker’s Journal. – Editor

“Rob, here is a great opportunity for you to teach this old dog something new. In the recent WebSurfer’s Review ‘Contractor’s vs. Cabinet Saw,’ could you look at the picture of the saw and tell me what is the purpose of what appears to be a green garden hose connected to the saw splitter? Does it supply compressed air, coffee or what?” – Fred

While many things around our offices – including some editors – do seem to run on coffee, so far, table saws are not one of them. They do, however, produce sawdust. You can learn more about the setup of that particular saw in Chris Marshall’s review of cabinet saws in the February 2010 issue of Woodworker’s Journal – on your newsstands now.- Editor

Plans for our Plans

We also heard back from readers on the Free Plans offered in eZine 238, with a question on supply sourcing, and kangaroo commentary. – Editor

Do you have a source for the glass panels featured in the plans for the Arts and Crafts Wall Lamp that is in Issue 238 of the eZine? I enjoy making this style of lamp but haven’t been able to locate a source for this type of glass.” – Jock Cameron

We generally get our art glass from Gaytee Stained Glass in Minneapolis. – Editor

“With respect, there is a better pull-along kangaroo toy, and it’s not difficult to make, and really presses the right buttons for kids. I write from Australia, where we have the real live ones in the yard. The toy I speak of is to be found in How to Make Animated Toys by David Wakefield, in a chapter entitled ‘The carefree Kanga and Roo.’ (it has a joey (baby kangaroo) in the pouch, and is full of action as it is pulled along, legs moving, body hopping up and down. I’ve made quite a few, for nephews, nieces, grandkids, and children’s ward at the local hospital.” -Keith McCarthy

“I’ve always enjoyed your magazine, and was pleased to see the plan for the kangaroo. (How about dimensions in milimetres? Australia changed to the metric system in 1964; however, we older guys still don’t have a problem with inches.)

“I belong to a ‘Mens’ Shed,’ a growing organisation of men (we have a few women members) who meet weekly or two or three times a week to ‘do’ things with wood. Some clubs have metalworking facilities in addition to woodworking equipment. Most members of clubs are retired, but we also meet three Sundays of the month to cater for members who are still working.

“A great number of the clubs are in small country towns where it is quite important for retirees to be able to meet and ‘do’ things together with other people. In our club, we have had widowers and men who have suffered depression. It has been great to see how these men have changed, and now have a positive outlook on life.

“This Christmas we gave away 300 toys to a couple of charities, to distribute to children who might not otherwise receive a toy at this special time. Next year, I’m sure there will be a number of ‘your’ kangaroos in the heap of toys. Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.” – Robert Evans

Joy and Laughter of Woodworking

And, as we get ready to ring in the new year, we’re glad you’ve enjoyed the eZine and look forward to bringing you more in 2010. Thanks! – Editor

“I would just like to take a minute to tell you how much I appreciate the eZine. I get a lot of woodworking related email, and by far this is the one I look forward to more than any other. It is always informative, and Rob rarely fails in bringing a laugh into the mix.” – Herb Fellows

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