We publishing folks live and die by the “master calendar,” and according to ours here at Woodworker’s Journal, the August print issue is off the press and in the mail. You should be receiving your copy any day now. So, in between cutting the grass, angling for bass or getting those summer woodworking projects going, be sure to give your new magazine a close look. It’s chock-full of summer sizzlers you won’t want to miss:
There has been copious amounts of virtual ink (and probably more than a little actual ink) used to discuss the recent settlement awarding $1.5 million to a Massachusetts woodworker who injured his fingers using a table saw.
I’m left thinking that Chris Marshall’s post, A Darker Side to Loaning Tools, was eerily prescient considering it was written almost three months before the court decision was rendered, and (as far as I know) completely unaware of the lawsuit. It almost begs the question, does this decision mean that there’s a darker side to SELLING tools?
So what do you think? Was this decision a good one for woodworking? Was justice done? Bad decision? Good decision? And more importantly, where could this decision lead us?
Editor in Chief
Normally, I’m not one for chain emails. I generally delete them about as fast as they hit my inbox. But recently one of our readers forwarded the following email about tools that just caught my attention. It sure gave me a good laugh, because, well, truth is pretty funny sometimes. See if you agree:
BAND SAW: A large stationary power saw primarily used to cut good wood into smaller pieces that more easily fit into the trash can after you cut on the inside of the line instead of the outside.
DRILL PRESS: A tall machine useful for suddenly snatching flat metal bar stock out of your hands so that it smacks you in the chest and flings your beverage across the room, denting the freshly-painted project that you had carefully set in the corner where nothing could get to it.
WIRE WHEEL: Cleans paint off of bolts and then throws them somewhere under the workbench with the speed of light. Also removes fingerprints and hard-earned calluses from fingers in about the time it takes you to say, “Oh, crap!”
CIRCULAR SAW: A portable cutting tool used to make studs too short.
PLIERS: Used to round off bolt heads. Sometimes used in the creation of blood-blisters.
BELT SANDER: An electric sanding tool commonly used to convert minor touch-ups into major refinishing jobs.
HACKSAW: One of a family of cutting tools built on the Ouija board principle… It transforms human energy into a crooked, unpredictable motion, and the more you attempt to influence its course, the more dismal your future becomes.
LOCKING PLIERS: Generally used after regular pliers to completely round off bolt heads. If nothing else is available, they can also be used to transfer intense welding heat to the palm of your hand.
TABLE SAW: A large stationary power tool that can launch wood projectiles for testing wall integrity.
HYDRAULIC FLOOR JACK: Used for lowering an automobile to the ground after you have installed your new brake shoes, trapping the jack handle firmly under the bumper.
PHILLIPS SCREWDRIVER: Normally used to stab the vacuum seals under lids; can also be used, as the name implies, to strip out Phillips screw heads.
STRAIGHT SCREWDRIVER: A tool for opening paint cans. Sometimes used to convert common slotted screws into non-removable screws and butchering your palms.
PRY BAR: A tool used to crumple the metal surrounding that clip or bracket you needed to remove in order to replace a 50 cent part.
UTILITY KNIFE: Used to open and slice through the contents of cardboard cartons delivered to your front door; works particularly well on contents such as seats, vinyl records, liquids in plastic bottles, collector magazines, refund checks, and rubber or plastic parts. Especially useful for slicing work clothes, but only while in use. Also cuts fingers.
There you have it—life with tools. We sure can’t live without them … and sometimes not even with them!
Catch you in the shop,
Chris Marshall, Field Editor
No matter how many years I’ve used a table saw, my blood still runs cold when I think about the potential for a kickback that leads to injury. Thank goodness it hasn’t happened to me. But, others in our community haven’t been so fortunate. You don’t have to search woodworking forums for too long before you’ll find direct proof. The scary photos and war stories are definitely out there. There’s no debating the fact that kickback is one of the leading causes of table saw accidents. We all know it, but what are we doing in our shops to prevent it?
Well, this week I’ll be pulling out my dado blade and cutting some shelf dadoes for a big case goods project that will run in our June 2010 issue. Of course I’ll want to set it up accurately to cut nice, tight dadoes on my undersized plywood. It’s a job that reminds me of a post I wrote last September. In case you didn’t see it then, I’d like to offer up a couple of tricks to make the set-up process faster and easier. They’ve come in awful handy for me.
Those of you who’ve submitted captions to our cabinet saw photo have proven this: woodworkers can take a goofy photo and made something good of it. At well over 100 captions submitted—and counting—it’s clear we’ve got a collective funnybone!
I’ve been wanting to pick a “Top Ten” list, but between the captions posted to our Facebook page and here on the blog, there are too many good ones for just ten fingers. (And despite all those cabinet saws, I still have ten to count with.) So, with Matt Becker’s help—he’s got all ten digits, too—we’ve picked 20 of the funniest ones. If yours didn’t make the cut (yeah, couldn’t help that one), it’s nothing personal. These just made us laugh out loud…but there were plenty of chuckles and smiles for the rest.
See if you agree:
Who knew that a bunch of shop rats could be so darn funny?
Your response to Matt Becker’s request for Cabinet Saw Captions has been OFF THE CHARTS! And we couldn’t be happier about it. The numbers keep clicking higher as your rapier wit unleashes itself. Do you think we can top 150 captions before the comedy runs cold?
When Field Editor Chris Marshall sent us this photo of the collection of Cabinet Saws in his shop preparing for the review you’ll find in our February issue, the completely ridiculous image just begged for a fun caption.
My entry? “A cabinet saw bomb went off in my shop!”
Got a better one? Leave it in the Comments section and let’s see what our clever readers can come up with!
In case you’re taking the week off between Christmas and New Year’s, you’re in luck! The February print issue of Woodworker’s Journal is on its way and should arrive while you’re enjoying the holiday respite. We’ll help fill that free time with some fresh woodworking goodness! Here’s the inside scoop on what we think is a great new issue.
Four Solid Projects: Ian Kirby presents a stylish Dinette Set that should fit neatly into a smaller kitchen or breakfast nook. He’s keeping the lumber budget affordable here, using longleaf pine instead of more costly hardwood alternatives. Butt joints, glue and screws will keep this project straightforward to build, as well. Or, you can work off some of those holiday calories building Frank Grant’s Sharpening Cart—a clever unit for sharpening all of your turning tools. It features a three-drawer cabinet, metal worksurface and two tip-out racks for keeping those gouges and chisels within easy reach. And, Kenneth Minnaert builds a handsome Weekend Tambour Gift Box from contrasting wood scraps. It presents itself as well as any gift you’ll hide inside it! All three projects include measured drawings and step-by-steps to help you along.
The other day I was out in the shop blowing a summer’s worth of dust off of my furnace filter. Call it the Minnesotan in me, but I’m already hunkering down and getting ready for much colder days to come. I guess it’s one of those instinctive things you do when you’re used to winters that last from sometime in October to past the fishing opener. You make sure the heat is ready to go.
I take my furnace for granted. Although I leave the heat off when I’m not working, my little forced air furnace can bring the temps up from the mid 30s to a balmy 62 in about 15 minutes flat. It’s a wonderful luxury, and it isn’t much bigger than an air conditioner.