We all know that old adage about imitation being the sincerest form of flattery. But it’s a notion that’s always struck me as a hollow compliment at best. In my experience, it’s much, much harder to create than it is to duplicate.
I was reminded of this just two weeks ago while attending IWF — a biannual woodworking trade show and one of the largest in the country. Here’s a textbook example from that trip of how quickly certain companies will jump onto the bandwagon of a good idea.
Practicality is a good way to sum up the theme of our projects in our new September/October 2012 issue, which is available on newsstands September 4th. If you’re looking for a sensible, yet challenging piece of furniture to build for your home this fall, this issue has you covered.
Here’s a sneak peek at what you’ll find in the issue.
One international extravaganza may have ended earlier this month, but the International Woodworking Fair is going strong in Atlanta. And you know, of course, who brings you the gold medal quality woodworking news: the Woodworker’s Journal team is on the ground, sending dispatches on new tools, industry news and more.
You can watch the tools in action on our blog specially dedicated to the IWF show. We’re now in our fourth year of blogging from the floor of the year’s big tool event, with videos for your tool-viewing pleasure. Find all of our coverage of IWF at the Woodworker’s Journal IWF 2012 Blog here.
We’ve previously brought you other news of pending table saw legislation; in recent news, a Chicago jury decided earlier this month in favor of table saw manufacturer Ryobi Tools, against a plaintiff who claimed he was injured by a defective saw.
The plaintiff, Brandon Stollings, a carpenter who purchased a Ryobi BTS 20R1 a few days before the accident, claimed in the suit that the saw was defective because it did not include a SawStop sensing device or a European style riving knife. Additional lawsuits have been filed across the country with similar allegations, including a 2010 case decided in Boston in which the jury ruled in favor of the plaintiff, awarding over $1 million in damages.
When most people hear about San Diego Comic-Con, their thoughts immediately go to the halcyon days of buying Superman and Spider-Man’s latest adventures for a quarter at the corner store. And while there’s still a piece of that history alive on the floor of the San Diego Convention Center, Comic-Con has expanded far past that.
From Hollywood features to the latest games and gadgets to, yes, woodworking, there’s a little bit of something for everyone at this yearly event. It has become an all encompassing event for hobbyists of all interests and backgrounds, and the company Geek Chic is taking the forefront at bringing quality woodworking to the geek audience.
This spring I moved into a new shop, and I’m finally getting around to doing the finish carpentry to wrap up the interior work. I decided to save some money and run the base molding, door and window trim myself. Every now and again, I really like this sort of trim work, and the contractor’s budget is long since spent.
To keep things moving forward on a Saturday afternoon, I decided to purchase my window and door trim from the local home center. It’s simply off-the-shelf 1x radiata pine — nice, clean and straight material that I could pretty much sand, cut and install. Now I wouldn’t think of pine as a home center species that would come from great distances — especially another hemisphere for gosh sakes — but this batch sure did. The SKU tag says it’s from, of all places, New Zealand.
I am an expert woodworker … I just am. I have a natural talent for the craft, and I have dedicated myself to it for over 40 years. It is exacting work about which I am serious, and while I do get satisfaction from a well-made project, I would not describe making furniture as a good time. On the other hand, I do woodturning for fun. I am decidedly not an expert turner, as the letters I get from real turning experts demonstrate every time there is a picture of me at the lathe in the print magazine. (“Rob, your form is really terrible!” “Rob, it just hurt to see you using that scraper when you should be using a so-and-so gouge.” All of those comments are appreciated, have come to be expected and are taken to heart.)
I remember the halcyon days when M2 high speed steel (HSS) turning tools hit the market. No longer did we have to worry about burning at the grinder, and HSS tools held an edge forever — compared to plain carbon steel, anyway.
The last decade has seen a proliferation of turning tools made from exotic powdered steels. Powdered refers to the manufacturing process where iron, with the necessary alloying elements, is mechanically mixed in powder form, then sprayed into a furnace where the powders become plastic but do not melt. The resulting blob is cold worked to form bars for machining. Powdered metal technology allows much higher amounts of alloying metals such as vanadium (which increases edge holding) than conventional blast furnace manufacture. The price of such special handling is significantly higher, but PM steels give extraordinarily longer tool life for metal cutting.
Summer may bring dog days and busy vacation schedules, but it’s still a great time for woodworking. Our July/August 2012 issue, on sale at newsstands July 3rd, will bring you a full order of projects and tool news to keep your warm-weather woodworking fresh.
Here’s a sneak peek at what you’ll find in the issue.