Rethinking the Simple 2×4

Outfeed TableOne of the luxuries of being a woodworking magazine editor is that I get my hands on “good” wood on a pretty regular basis. Clear, straight cherry and maple are often “on deck” for projects in our magazine. Recently, I built a couple of Arts & Crafts bookcases from some nice quartersawn white oak for our first “Small Shop Journal” project (February 2013 print issue). And, without spilling the beans prematurely, I just finished a project that I built from some extraordinary ribbon stripe mahogany for our June issue. It was too wide to fit my jointer … what a problem to have, right?!

Last fall, when I needed a few 2x4s for a home improvement project I was working on, I went to Lowe’s to pick them up. There, at the top of the pile, were a few of the clearest, straightest 2x4s I’ve ever seen. Some were even quartersawn — and for a woodworker that’s pretty mind-blowing when you consider how absolutely green, checked and awful so much of the construction lumber seems to be these days. It’s a wonder it even passes inspection on the way to market. Continue reading

Grizzly Adds New Tool Comparison Feature to Website

Grizzly ChartIf 2013 is your year to buy a new stationary tool, and Grizzly is one of the companies you’re considering for that purchase, they’ve just added a slick new search feature that could make the process quite easy. It’s a machinery comparison chart widget that generates an instant side-by-side cross-reference for up to four Grizzly machines at once.

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Ryobi Wins Table Saw Safety Litigation

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.

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Table Saw Legislation Moves to State Level

A while back, we brought you news of proposed federal rulemaking that would influence table saws. This week, a committee in the California legislature approved a similar bill at the state level. The “AB 2218 Table Saw Safety Act,” originally introduced by Assemblyman Das Williams (D), “Prohibits the sale of any new table saw on or after January 1, 2015, unless that table saw is equipped with active injury mitigation technology.”

“Active injury mitigation technology” is defined in the bill as “technology to detect contact with, or dangerous proximity between, a hand or finger and the teeth of the blade above the table top of a table saw, and to prevent the blade from cutting the hand or finger deeper than one-eighth of an inch when the hand or finger approaches any portion of the blade above the table top at a speed of one foot per second from any direction and along any path.”

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More Time to Talk Table Saws

As they ponder whether new safety standards are needed for table saws, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has extended the time frame available for public comments on the issue. You now have until March 16, 2012 to share your opinion with the CPSC on “the risk of injury associated with table saw blade contact, regulatory alternatives, other possible means to address this risk, and other topics or issues.” (The extension of the public comments period comes at the request of the Power Tool Institute, Inc.)

If you have something to say to the CPSC, you can send them an email through this site http://www.regulations.gov (they’re no longer accepting emails that don’t come through this site), or submit written comments by following these instructions:
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New Table Saw Safety Regulations Proposed


Listening to the radio on my way to work this morning, I overheard this story:

http://www.npr.org/2011/06/15/137192588/product-safety-commission-to-draft-table-saw-regs

Should you decide not to listen to the 5 minute segment linked above (although it’s definitely worth it), a brief synopsis from the NPR site:

NPR has learned that federal regulators are taking steps toward new safety requirements for table saws. These saws have open spinning blades and can cause severe injuries. But the industry is resisting additional requirements.

table sawThere’s quite a bit of information discussed in the story that our readers are likely already familiar with, as there has been quite a bit of real and virtual ink spent on this topic (including related to Rob’s editorial from our most recent April Fool’s Day eZine – once again, IT WAS A JOKE … at the time … ).

However, it would appear that there continues to be wind in the sails of this movement.  What are your reactions to this latest information?

Matt Becker
Internet Production Coordinator

PS - If you have opinions that you’d like to share with the Consumer Products Safety Commission, below is a link to send them your feedback:

http://www.cpsc.gov/cgibin/info.aspx

Fresh February Content Coming Soon!

Even though we’re just days away from Christmas, our staff has propelled “full speed ahead” into 2011 to bring you lots of fine content for the February print issue. It’s due to arrive in your mailbox very soon. But Matt Becker, our Internet Coordinator, says I can share some details about the articles you’ll be reading at your leisure shortly. And so I will…let’s get a jump on the new year straight away!

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Liquid Pinstripes

Traditional inlaying is a fine skill to learn, but sometimes there’s more than one way to skin the same cat.

Here’s a little technique to try if you’d like to embellish a project with a narrow band of solid-colored inlay. Could be a neat way to add a “racing stripe” or a little border detail to a project that befits it. All you need is some aniline dye powder and ordinary five minute, two-part epoxy. I’ve used several different brands of epoxy with equally good results. Any dye color you like will work fine. Heck, you can mix and match different dry colors if you like to get just the shade you want.

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Bigger Isn’t Always Better

Last week, while making some parts for our September issue’s Jigs & Fixtures project, I needed to drill some holes through a stack of plywood. I was using a little benchtop drill press to do the job. While it chomped quietly through those holes, it reminded me of how handy a little benchtop drill press is.

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