Holes, Rockwell, Batteries, Victorians and Rust

Holes, Rockwell, Batteries, Victorians and Rust

Sanding Holes

“For me, one of the obvious solutions was overlooked: rubberized abrasive wheels. They are available in a variety of shapes and sizes and work far better than loose abrasive without the tendency to stain the exposed end grain. I use them for cleaning up the carved areas of soft woods like pine and fir on hobbyhorses I make for kids. Maybe some people will find this helpful.” – James Battee

We’re sure they will. Thanks for sharing. – Editor

Rockwell’s Back

While many were delighted with the direction Rockwell is going with their new lines of handheld saws, drills and sanders with lifetime batteries, not everyone felt that way. – Editor

“Thanks for your coverage of the IBS [International Builder’s Show] in Vegas. Looks like you guys had a good time, but as you are probably aware, this is definitely not the Rockwell Delta of yesteryear. In fact, they aren’t even affiliated. Delta simply let the name go into the public domain, and the new Rockwell is keying off the value of the brand. I was intrigued by their SoniCrafter, as I’ve wanted the Fein model for quite a while. However, the Rockwell version is, in my opinion, inferior and the accessories are not compatible with the Fein accessories. Either way, it’s a bit misleading to say Rockwell is back. This is just a 10-year-old company getting leftover glory from the old name” – Stephen Bigelow

“Upon spending an hour or so checking individual blogs on a well-known tool website, Rockwell would not like what folks are saying about the Rockwell name being resurrected in China. The gist of almost all of those buyer-user comments was unfavorable.” – Urban Hess

To be fair, Rockwell has two lines of tools, and we suspect some of the dissatisfaction comes from what may be an unfair comparison of their lighter duty line. As their website says, “Rockwell ShopSeries™ is a sub-brand that focuses on lighter duty home and workshop applications.” It clarifies that this is a price point product, meant for those whose requirements and pocket have parallel limitations. – Editor

Victorian Thinking

“This question has barely anything to do with woodwork except that your free plan for a Victorian Sledge was the prompt. I am puzzled why, on your side of the pond, you and other woodworkers in the US refer to items and furniture as being Victorian when, by the time the dear old queen came to the throne, you were happily onto your eighth president and thus had few ties to the UK.” -Bernard J Greatrix

No doubt the name came from the first ones to label that design style, and frankly, we are rather grateful that the terms are somewhat universal. Can you imagine the confusion if each furniture style were called by dozens of different eponymous designations depending on where the builder was located? Besides, in spite of our separation in 1776, we are still quite fond of the UK and feel rather close to this day, thank you very much. We can even understand each others’ words, to a point. As George Bernard Shaw put it, “England and America are two countries separated by a common language.” – Editor


Will local stores accept dead batteries, and if not, what do you do with them? This question, and a variety of answers, has kept the subject alive for yet another issue. – Editor

“The EPA site tells more than you possibly want to know about recycling batteries.” – Albert Hinton

“To fix a Milwaukee 18 v cordless drill, I bought alligator clips, found some old speaker wire and used a good Milwaukee battery to jumpstart the old one. I wore gloves, goggles and an apron just in case. The batteries were joined for perhaps five seconds. Upon disconnecting the batteries, the once defective battery successfully recharged and has been used extensively without trouble. Batteries are too expensive to replace every couple of years and they inevitably fail at the worst possible moment, so more reliable batteries are particularly important. As for dead ones, if you live near a Batteries Plus store, they accept unusable batteries at no charge; at least there’s no charge where I live.” – Chris Steele

Finally, someone offered a very simple and effective way to find a place to deal with recycling batteries. – Editor

“Relating to the comments about battery recycling, The RBRC (Rechargable Battery Recycling Corporation) is a nonprofit recycling organization and has participating dealers all over. If you go to their website you can find a participating location by inserting your zip code.” – John Rowe

Thanks, John. We tried it and found four places within one mile of us, and eleven within three miles. This is a great locating resource for this troublesome problem. – Editor


This reader offered yet another way to deal with rust on tools. – Editor

“As a gunsmith, I deal with rust removal often while refurbishing old guns. If the rust is really bad I use a burnisher, like the type used on scrapers, and oil. Wet the rust, then rub hard with the burnisher. The crusted rust will break down and the piece can then be rubbed with 0000 steel wool and lubricant. The burnisher must be very hard and well polished. This will work on hand tools very well.” – Tom Poe

Where Have You Been All Our Life?

“I have to tell you, I just stumbled on this Woodworkers Journal eZine site last Christmas, but I’m sure glad I did. This is good stuff! It is one of the few things I am glad to see in my email. Thank you very much.” – Craig Martin

Better late than never, Craig, and thank you for the compliment. – Editor

Typo Corner

“I just came upon your sight while trying to find some answers.”

Apparently, this writer shares our website’s vision. – Editor

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