Wyze Words

I wonder how many of us have felt this way. – Editor

“This morning I intended to put some Watco Danish Oil on a picnic table. I had an older can, which I finished up, and a new can with a lid that said “Push down and turn.” Neither I nor my husband could get the lid off. Finally, in desperation, I poked a hole in the can, and poured it into the dirty old can that I had. You have a good product, but it is ridiculous to make a lid so ‘childproof’ that adults can’t open it either. Make one that is possible to open, and have consumers take responsibility for storing it away from children. Sincerely, Beverly P. DeWyze”

As you certainly know, safety lids are one of the outgrowths of our very litigious society, coupled with a genuine concern for safety over convenience. For what it is worth, I passed your letter on to Watco. They are aware of the problem, very concerned, and also frustrated by the lack of available options that are both safe and simple. However, they are working on it, and they say you should see some changes in the near future. – Editor

Kreg K3

“Just when I shelled out $125 for the K2000, Kreg comes out with the K3. I love my K2000, but maybe would have waited to get the K3 if I had only known about it. By the way, Kreg is a class act company. I had a defective part in my K2000 kit, and they replaced it, no questions asked. I bought their Kreg Band Saw Fence for my Delta 14″. It fit without drilling any holes and it works great. I love it! Thanks for letting me bark a little.” – Kevin Evjen

Todd Sommerfeld of Kreg replies: “I can only say that we understand this situation will occur and have tried to take steps to minimize it. Therefore, we began running full page ads as well as promoting the upcoming product on our web site in the beginning of June”

“What did our grandfathers do without these time-saving tools?” – Richard Boll

Perhaps they took more time to get things done. – Editor

“I think $149 is a lot money for a tool without a motor.” – Milly Spence

Potassium Dichromate

A reader, who insisted he already knew procedures and did not need safety warnings, asked our expert panel only for advice on mixing ratios for potassium dichromate. He got his answer, and a safety warning to boot in spite of his waiver, but other readers did not feel that was enough. – Editor

“I think a simple caution to “Please read and follow the warnings and instructions for each of your power tools” ought to be sufficient most of the time. However, when it comes to use of chemicals and organics, I would suggest much stronger warnings, including possibly a caution not to use it at all.” – Chuck Googooian

“In reference to the discussion pertaining to dichromate, the inclusion of an MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) with any potential hazardous compound or solution referred to in the magazine should be included in the article. Manufacturesr are required, by law, to make available MSDS for all materials.” – Rio Frio

Let’s lay this to rest. The original answer was in response to a very specific question, and was not a general article advocating the use of chemical stains. In addition, it still carried the requisite safety warning, in spite of the fact that the reader who asked the question said he did not need or want that.

It never ceases to amaze us that people who routinely accept information about very dangerous power tools suddenly get gripped with fear when it comes to chemistry. There have been far more shop accidents from table saws than from woodworkers using potassium dichromate, or any other finishing material, for that matter.

Yes, you should handle chemicals (and tools) safely and, yes, when you buy a new chemical, it comes accompanied by an MSDS and, yes, you should both read and understand what it says before touching that chemical. However, it is no more appropriate for us to print material safety data sheets with every comment on every chemical mentioned than it is to print an entire safety manual every time we mention someone using a power tool.

We want you to be safe, and encourage you to both know and follow all safety rules before you touch any tool or material. However, we do not want to turn this magazine into something that is so heavy with boilerplate that it resembles the IRS tax code. We are your friends and fellow woodworkers, and we cherish you, but we are not your mother. Now, eat your vegetables, dress warmly, and go play safely in your shop. – Editor

Accurate Miters

Our experts answered a query about tools to cut accurate miters, but a couple of readers pointed out they’d missed half the story. – Editor

“Cutting four perfect 45 degree miters will not ensure a square picture frame with well-fitted miters. The miters must certainly be accurate, but the frame will still not be square and the corners won’t fit well if the opposing sides of the frame aren’t exactly the same length.” – Jim Seelye

“Yes, you do need to make accurate 45 degree cuts, but you also must be sure you have cut opposing sides to precisely the same length.” – Kerry Libberton

Frugal Woodworkers

In a recent issue, we asked our readers to tell us if, as we suspected, woodworkers are unusually frugal. We were delighted to hear from many of you. Here are just a few of the responses. – Editor

“My entire shop has been collected from yard sales, abandoned and thrown-out tools, and self-made things. With my $900 ‘shop’, I am happy to hack wood for fun and pleasure.” – C. Christensen

“Cheap is cheap. If your time is worth little or nothing, then spend hours fixing damaged tools. You get what you pay for. If you get a tool free or for a lower price, that’s usually what it’s worth. I’m of Scottish heritage, but cheap is cheap. Don’t confuse it with thrifty. I’d rather spend my time woodworking than fixing others’ discards.” – Jim Russell

“Frugality is my essence when it comes to wood. Once, one of my brothers was going to tear down an outhouse, a pigpen and a chicken coop. We worked for hours taking down the facilities, removing nails and such. I carried a few of the boards down to the truck. It was wormy chestnut! I was incredibly ecstatic. The payoff was huge: several hundred board feet of a rare wood.” – Tom Keener

“I replaced the stairs in my house, but couldn’t bear to throw out the red oak treads. The stair builder and my wife thought I was nuts. The old stair treads are now the TV stand in my den.” – Barry

“I am of the opinion that cheap is different from frugal or thrifty. I think of myself as thrifty, but I am also charitable and giving. That, to me, is the difference between the two.” – Ron

“I hate to dispose of even small scraps of nice wood. They could be made into toothpicks, you know.” – F. Jerry Grant

The Typo Corner

We continue our quest for genuine, entertaining typos. This one came from our own previous issue. – Editor

“Barry Gork, General Manger, Timbermate”

“I saw this in the current eZine, and wondered if Barry is part of a Christmas diorama.” – Craig Erickson

Thanks for a chuckle, Craig. Your comment about our printing “manger” instead of “manager” was so well crafted, it had me laughing out loud. – Editor

Posted in: