Bad Advice, or Was It?

Bad Advice, or Was It?

In the Q&A section, Sandor Nagyszalanczy identified a bad capacitor as the most likely culprit in a grinder that would not start unless spun by hand, and suggested that any motor repair shop could easily replace it. This rather curious comment followed. – Editor

“While this should correct the problem, it could be pretty expensive to have a motor repair shop do the work. I believe that many, if not most, readers, being pretty handy men and women, could easily replace it themselves for a lot less money. I found a new starter capacitor for $3.60 at a local electrical supplier and it took about 20 minutes to replace. It took considerably longer to find the local supplier that had the right component. Oh yeah, forgot to mention, I do have several degrees in electrical engineering, but it really isn’t rocket science.” – Jim Jones

Got that, readers? Electrical work is simple – provided you have several degrees in electrical engineering, of course. It may not be rocket science, Jim, but it is still science, and to those of us who have not studied electrical engineering, it can seem as baffling as magic. – Editor

Goodbye, Mr. Chips

“Thanks for publishing the article about Mr. Bennetts. I was a former student of his in the early 1980s, and I still have my wall sconce. I really enjoyed his class and am a woodworker today because of the training I received in his class. Mr. Bennetts stressed safety and made you ‘own’ your project by thinking of every detail during the drafting stage. A finished piece brought with it much pride. I am sad to hear he is retiring because he is such a positive influence for kids. If you talk to him, tell him Dan Wenning says thanks for everything, and I wish him the best in his retirement years.” – Daniel Wenning

“What a wonderful person he must be, and how lucky his students are.” – Tom Mooty

“Excellent article. We had one when I was in high school. His name was Mr. Broadbent. My dad went to some evening classes that he taught, and I believe that is where I caught the woodworking bug.” – Gordon P. Patnude

“That school will surely miss Doug. It’s a shame more schools don’t have devoted teachers like him. So many kids will never have the opportunity to work with wood and find out how satisfying it is to build projects like those. Hats off to this man and his community for what they accomplished. Maybe this story will influence more schools to do what they did.” – Terry Roark

“What an outstanding teacher. A big thumbs-up to people of Buena Vista for recognizing the value in the ‘Dusty Arts.’ I had a shop teacher in my youth who also encouraged his students to go one step beyond. After many years of floating around hobbies and professions I returned to woodworking and the skills I learned in school. It is so satisfying to create a design, plan it out and create the finished project. It is a sad day for his students when Mr. Chips hangs up his apron, but they can look back on how many of life’s important lessons they have learned.” – Bob Clark

Is There an Acronym for That?

“I hate to be picky, but I can’t resist commenting on your commentary about acronyms. You are in error when you say MDF and other unpronounceable letter combination are acronyms. To be called an acronym, a set of letters must form a word, such as ‘radar.’ As a retired journalist now having more fun in my shop, I just couldn’t keep silent any longer. Love your eZine. Keep it up.” – Bob Joslyn

Fair enough. Let’s call them LGTDMW – Letter Groups That Don’t Make Words – which, as you can see, is also not an acronym. On second thought, we think we’ll ask acronym to do double-duty on terms like MDF, at least until someone comes up with a legitimate and pronounceable acronym for such categories. – Editor

Kickback Feedback

A previous issue covered an online thread that talked about kickback, surely one of the most common and dangerous sources of injury on table saws. These kind readers were willing to share their stories with us, and we are passing them on to you in the hopes that they might save someone else from what they went through. – Editor

“After over 30 years of woodworking, a kickback nearly killed me. I was cutting some scrap last April to make stickers from the leftovers. As I ripped a piece, I noticed the far end begin to drop off the table saw because a knot had given way. The near end at the knot failure began to rise up into the blade. I froze, ready for the kickback. Next thing I knew, I took a hard hit in the chest and another in the neck. Two pieces of the cutoff had hit me and one had penetrated my neck, ricocheted off my spinal column and lodged in my right lung. All it felt like was a blunt trauma to my neck. But I knew I was in trouble when I could not swallow and when I touched my neck, only to find it all very slimy. I could blow bubbles out my neck. It was only at the hospital that they discovered my collapsed lung and a 3″ piece of hickory in my trachea and pleural sack of my right lung. Somehow I survived. And, miraculously, I did so without any major damage. No carotid artery, no vagus nerve, no esophagus hits. I was not standing behind the saw, but was at about a 15 degree angle off to the side. I was wearing a shop apron, safety glasses and ear protection. Still, I took the hits. Had I been wearing a full face shield I would not have taken the neck hit. Today I wear a full face shield as well as safety glasses for all power tools. And like one of your other readers said: ‘Before each cut I ask myself: What’s the worst that can happen with this cut?’ Keeps me on my toes now.” – Dr Joe B. Drane III

“I had the misfortune of having my push stick come into contact with the saw blade. It became a missile that penetrated my wrist for a near catastrophe. Now, all of my push sticks are made of balsa wood. Strong enough, but they turn to powder if blade contact is made.” – Joe Tomei


“Just wanted to pass a word of encouragement and thanks back to you. I very much appreciate receiving the eZine and enjoyed today’s woodshop winter metric system (WWMS) gauge for winter’s cycle. It gave me quite the chuckle as the snow and sleet fell outside the window here in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Thanks.” – Rick Sergi

“As usual, you have produced another interesting and informative eZine
issue. Keep up the good work.” – Bob Lane

“Congratulations on another fine eZine. You do an excellent job capturing the passion most of us feel about our woodworking hobby or occupation. I enjoy your in-depth reviews of manufacturers and new products as well as the thoughts, ideas and opinions other readers and writers contribute. I look forward to reading the entire newsletter, whenever it shows up in my e-mail in-basket. Even as the temperature dips below freezing and the snow piles up here in Cleveland, I know I can take refuge in my basement shop. Thanks for helping to keep the fire burning.” – Steven Reiss

Typo Corner: An Alcoholic Din?

As is so often the case, we once again managed to make it into our own typo corner. This time we did it by spelling dining incorrectly, but our loyal readers were quick to point out our gaffe. Oddly enough, these first two surmised that the Beam might have something to do with the din. – Editor
“In the Feb 13 edition of the eZine, you managed to successfully connect Jacob and Jim Beam on their family tree , but you missed providing an explanation for a ‘dinning room set.’ Perhaps it has something to do with the din that often occurs during Beam family gatherings.” – Paul Mahood

“Could someone tell me what a ‘dinning’ room is? Is it the room of a teenager that plays loud music, thus causing an unbearable din? Perhaps someone was a bit too far into the Jim Beam.” – Charles Cottingham

No matter how you slice it, that typo certainly generated a lot of noise. – Editor

“Is that a furniture set used for making a lot of noise?” – Jim Rimmer

“Seems as though a ‘dinning room’ would be a place to make lots of noise.” – Joe Savard

“Is the dinning room the noisiest room in the house?” – Lester Clark

“I’d like to know what was going on in that room.” – Charles Hotchkiss

“The typo jumped out loudly at me.” – Steve Dunkerley

“We usually eat in the dining room. It is too damn loud in the dinning room.” – Ronald D. Drynan Sr.

“Here on the Left Coast we call our dinning room our woodshop.” – Rick Snyder

“In the typo corner no less. Love it.” – Stephen Walker

There were many more, but you get the idea. It is clear that our readers are both astute and sardonic, and we love them for it. We’ve noticed that we make it into our own typo corner surprisingly often; today, for example. – Editor

“In the last issue you wrote ‘we ascribe to the Japanese adage.’Ascribe is a good word, but the wrong word. I’m going to ascribe this error to an editing glitch, perhaps due to difficulty deciding whether you subscribe to or aspire to the quoted philosophy.” – Joe Kesselman

Good catch, Joe. That should have read “an adage ascribed to the Japanese.” Thanks for keeping us honest. – Editor

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