Finding Time (and More)

Finding Time (and More)

In our last issue, editor Rob Johnstone asked “how do you find time for woodworking?” and several people responded more or less the same way: retire. Somehow, we don’t think that was one of his options. – Editor

“It is easy to find time. Do what I did. Retire.” – James Carp

“You say you can’t find much time for your woodworking. Retire.” – David Craig Dillon

“Dividing your time between a family, a job, a house and a hobby, in that priority, means the hobby comes out short. That’s why many of us never find enough time until we retire. But, it’s important to nurture a hobby through the years so that when retirement comes, we have interests to fill our minds and days.” – John Cusimano

Kind Words

“I just wanted to let you know that I have enjoyed all of the issues of your magazine that I have received. Please keep up the good work.” – Mark Davis

Thank you. We will certainly try. – Editor

Reviving Batteries

A question about whether or not rechargeable batteries could be revived or have their “memory” erased sparked a healthy discussion, and we asked you to add your experiences to the fray. Here are some of your responses. – Editor

“I’ve tried the freezer method of recharging several times. I’ve never had it work for me.” – Brian Walker

“I have used the freezer method many times for my battery-powered drills, and it seems to work very well. Just remind everyone to make sure the battery is completely up to room temperature before recharging.” – Earl

“I tried the method of placing a battery in the freezer for approximately 12 hours, and then allow it to defrost fully before re-charging, and it did accept a full charge. Thanks for the great ideas.” – Kevin Elswick

Clearly, there seems to be some disagreement as to whether freezing works, but several folks wrote in to tell of some different methods. – Editor

“In the Air Force, we would periodically pull the battery and discharge each cell individually to a totally discharged state, then recharge the battery as a whole. As a safety note, a NiCad cell can generate upwards of 50 amps for a very short period of time if shorted.” – Rick Gibson

“Small shorts can appear inside a battery, causing recharge problems. I have hooked the negative terminal of a 9.6-volt battery to the negative terminal of a 12-volt car battery, and the positive terminal to one end of an old metal file. Take a lead from the positive of the 9.6-volt battery and ‘stroke’ it down the file. The teeth on the file cause the lead to make and break the connection to the car battery, which clears the short in the 9.6-volt battery. You can then place the battery back in the charger and fully charge it again. I have used the method numerous times with good success.” – Harvey Leckie

“I have revived NiCads by zapping them with an electrolytic capacitor charged to about 12 volts or so, and zapping a single cell a few times in both directions. It seems to give it extended life, depending on the cell.” – Ajmal Rahman

“I don’t bother reviving batteries. I rebuild them. The cells inside the packs may look like standard size AA or C cells, but the dimensions are slightly different. However, an electronic components shop near me sells these odd size NiCad and NiMh cells. A little care in disassembling the case, some soldering and duct tape, and you have a cheap new battery pack.” – Anthony Kerstens

One of the more unusual responses directed us to a web site of a company that sells what it claims is a “Battery Resurrection Guide.” Their web site describes it as “an online, password secured, step by step guide that will enable anyone who can use a few common tools to resurrect rechargeable Ni-Cad batteries to their full potential so they will hold a charge. You will need access to individual cells within the battery, therefore some disassembly will be required for most power tool batteries.” Here’s what one reader said about his experience with this company. – Editor

“My scam alert was on high, but I took a chance on the $12.95 and was promptly e-mailed a manual describing the process of resurrection. There are no special tools. Most required items can be found around any household. The resurrection did not work on my DeWalt batteries, but it has worked on several Craftsman batteries. As an extra benefit, my knowledge of rechargeable batteries is greatly improved. I ended up rebuilding the DeWalt batteries with higher quality battery cells and saved more than the $12.95 investment.” – Gary Powers

One final note for owners of Ryobi tools: Ryobi has recently cut its battery price to $25 ($20 when bought in pairs) to make replacement more enticing. For more on that, and on Ryobi, check out the Industry Interview section of this issue. – Editor

Sealing Cans

Our Web Surfer’s Review section shares interesting threads that have appeared on various woodworking message boards. We shared one in the last issue on methods folks use to prevent finish from curing in the can, and several of you responded with your own ideas. – Editor

“I have tried CO2 with very limited success. The person who suggested Saran™ Wrap was onto something. Saran is a Dow Chemical Co. trademarked plastic wrap. It is a much better oxygen and moisture barrier than other brands of food wrap, so I can believe his trick would help.” – Craig Erickson

Craig is right. Most food wraps are polyethylene, while Saran Wrap is polyvinylidene chloride (PVDC), which was discovered by a Dow Chemical lab worker named Ralph Wiley in 1933, reputedly by accident. He named it after an indestructible material from the Little Orphan Annie comic strip called “eonite,” but Dow called it Saran. It was first used to protect fighter planes and cars as a spray-on protective coating, but was offered as a food wrap for household use in 1953. Today, Saran Wrap is marketed by S C Johnson company. – Editor

“For the past 35 years I have been sealing partly used cans of finish and paint with a layer of two mil plastic put directly onto the surface of the finish and pushed into the side of the can. Just a few weeks ago, I found a can of varnish that had been sealed this way for at least 20 years. It was just fine.” – Forrest C. Shields

Several folks wrote in to suggest that the simplest method is to store the container upside down. – Editor

“Simple. Turn the can upside down.” – G J Clark

“Store it by turning the container upside down.” – Rusty Furtaw

” Store it upside down.” – Maurice Adams

“I’ve had good success by just storing the tin upside down.” – Ron Gibson

One word of warning; make certain the lid is tight, or you’ll be storing your finish in a large puddle all over your shelf. How do we know this? Don’t ask. – Editor

Typo Corner

The typo corner celebrates the amusing results of missing a key. Now and then, we get a whole string of missed keys in one sentence. – Editor

“I repaired dents, scrapes, and mares with instant wook puddy.”

Good choice. We hear Chewbacca uses wook puddy on stallions as well as mares. – Editor

Wooden Computers

“I thought of Woodworker’s Journal when a friend emailed me this.” – Lyle Hardin

That’s a nice batch of wooden eye candy for computer users. Thanks for sharing. – Editor

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