Beware False Hope

Around here, the temperature is going to be in the 50-degree Fahrenheit range this week. That brings to mind that here, in the frozen North, we transition from winter to summer in a series of steps.

There can be some variation, but the process goes something like this:

• False Spring (the warmish days coming this week)
• Second Winter (a soul-crushing series of bitterly cold days)
• Slush Puddle Week (often involving shoveling frozen dog poop)
• Winter’s Hateful Homecoming (sometimes called “Crap, I need a new car battery!”)
• Shorts-and-Parka Days (just what it says)
• True Spring (which brings a nervous fear of more potential frozen doom)
• Summer Begins (also known as “The Road Construction Continuum”)

This is why us Northern folks can seem exceedingly dour or a bit distrustful. But with that said, let False Spring begin!

Rob Johnstone, Woodworker’s Journal

Fixing Ammonia Fuming Effects on Sapwood

Ammonia fuming is a traditional way to stain Arts & Crafts furniture made of oak. In a nutshell, you expose the raw wood to highly concentrated ammonia fumes, and the fumes react with the tannins in the oak to darken it. That’s how I stained this Roycroft-style taboret project in the April 2022 issue of Woodworker’s Journal Magazine. The effect of this chemical reaction is that it turns the raw wood to this greenish/gray color in about 24 to 48 hours. One potential problem is that White oak sapwood doesn’t contain much tannin. So, the ammonia won’t react with it and color the wood, as it does with the heartwood. In this video, we’ll demonstrate a few ways to match the color of the sapwood.

Non-slip Fences with Gaffer’s Tape

Gaffer tape on a table saw miter fence

Looking to keep your work from slipping against smooth surfaces? This reader’s tip will offer some help from a different industry.

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