Inspiration, Retrofits and a New Use for Your RAS

Inspiration, Retrofits and a New Use for Your RAS

Holiday Project

“I have a comment about the eZine Holiday Project. I made a similar project more than 15 years ago but used a different type of mallet. I used bouncy balls; the sort you can buy from gumball type machines for a quarter. I especially like them because they let you hear the sound of the bars and not so much the wood on metal sound from the wood balls. Their quietness helped to keep sanity in our house.” – Jim Gerrety


When Rob asked you to share what inspired some of your projects, a wealth of stories emerged. – Editor

“I have always been inspired by Sam Maloof’s beautiful furniture, especially his rockers and the joinery he uses. Everything flows together: the seat, legs, rockers and headrest. I bought some plans from Hal Taylor and built a couple of them.” – Dave Havercamp

“My inspiration usually comes from wanting things to look neat and tidy, so I invent a new unit for a corner that will store what needs storing. My husband is very disorganized, and I am the one thinking of ways to tidy up!” – Regine Maligne-Lynch

What a surprise. Family influence was, in fact, the most common source cited for both inspiration and inducement. – Editor

“One of my inspirations for projects is the addition of grandkids. There are all sorts of scaled- down items that can be built especially for them. I was recently walking through a local mall and spied some kid size rocking chairs but was amazed at the poor quality of the product for the price. I drew up some plans and proceeded to build a couple for my two grandsons. While in the process of building them, I had several people that came by, saw the finished product and had to have some for their family. Right now I am up to having to build 12 chairs for family and friends.” – James Head

“My father, when he was alive, built and gave to me and my brothers a thing he called a bean box. It is hard to describe. Anyway, my brother called and had ruined his by trying to refinish it and wanted me to try to make him one. I did, and this inspired me to make one for each of my two boys.” – Scott Trevathan

“At the moment, I am making small treasure chests because my daughter asked me if I could make her one.” – John Payne

“Currently, we are building a 26- by 15-foot dining room off the back of the house because my wife would not let me buy a thin screen TV, but I do not think you would believe the details behind that story.” – Paul Sutton

You’d be surprised. We editors hear some pretty strange tales, and some lovely compliments, like this one. – Editor

“I have found your magazine has been a big influence on what my next projects will be. I will be reading an article or looking at some of your free plans and my wife will come in and want whatever I am looking at. My latest is to try and make the wind chimes you sent out. Thanks a lot; you are costing me a fortune. If you weren’t so good and made things so easy to learn I probably would have a lot more free time.” – Mike Urton

JET Retrofit

“Did JET say if their helical head was available as a retrofit for their existing jointers?” – John Hanlon

Yes, they are, for six- and eight-inch jointers and for 15- and 20-inch planers. However, you’d be wise to check with JET if your model is one of the older ones. In case you are ready to make the plunge, here are the relevant part numbers. JET 6″ Jointer – JJ6HH-CA; JET  8″ Jointer – JJ8HH-CA JET 15″ Planer – 1791223; JET 20″ Planer – 1791224 – Editor


A rather long online discussion of the merits of radial arm saws, or the lack thereof, inspired this reader to share his solution for making sure his RAS continued to be useful. – Editor

“I found another use for my trusty but no longer useful RAS. After a halfhearted attempt at selling it, I happily came up with this solution, which fits my idea of recycling. It’s still for sale, by the way, and could include the similarly trusty nine-year-old system it now supports.” – Joe Scott


We can’t wait to start bidding on this prize. – Editor

Typo Corner

This time, we make it into our own typo corner with something more “strange” than funny. – Editor

“May I please ask which is the correct spelling of the name – Strangeland or Stangeland?” – Alison Ince

It’s Stangeland, without the ‘r’ though both spellings, correct and incorrect, managed to show up in our piece about Tom. Incidentally, in spite of the ‘e’ on the end, Tom pronounces his name ‘stang…’ with a hard ‘g’ as opposed to ‘stainj…’ with a ‘j’ sound. – Editor

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