More Noise about Noise

More Noise about Noise

We’ve been talking about shop noise control, so when this letter arrived in our mailbox, we thought it would be a great jumping-off point for our readers to voice their opinions on this subject. We’ll collect your comments and print some in the next issue. – Editor

“I am not a woodworker, but my new neighbor is. He has extended his house towards my property with the addition of a new workshop. He’s running table saws, routers and air compressors with double doors wide open about 30 feet from the property line. I have a backyard that’s a garden sanctuary in which birds and natural sounds are now interrupted by the persistent whine and scream of woodworking tools. This neighbor is giving me a really bad impression of woodworkers since he has made no effort to mitigate the noise coming from his property, nor did he attempt to discuss his plans with us when he moved into the neighborhood. Is there some kind of code of ethics regarding noise impact on neighbors that woodworkers adhere to? I’d like some input from woodworkers before I face this neighbor with my complaints.”

– Russell Sparkman

There’s certainly no formal code of ethics we all agree on, but we’ll bet you’ll hear some solid opinions on the subject, Russell. Stay tuned. We’ll report back soon. – Editor

Giles Gilson

“I am inspired by your article on Giles Gilson. Thanks. I sculpt things out of found stone, choosing materials based on what they look like and making as few changes as possible.” – James Monette

Obscure Woods

A message board thread in the last issue about the availability of some arcane South American woods prompted this advice. – Editor

“There is an International Wood Collectors Society, and I’ve found it to be an outstanding resource for everything from scientific names to the more common ones, to characteristics of the wood to availability, and woodworking properties. In short, if any information is to be had, they probably have it.” – Chuck Kubin

You are right, Chuck. Founded in 1947, this non-profit society can be found at – Editor

Steel City Tools

Our preview of Steel City Tools seems to have spawned more questions than it delivered answers. – Editor

“Who actually makes the Steel City Tools?” – Dan Smith

“I’m just curious where their machines will be manufactured. Overseas? They don’t appear to have a website up yet.” – Roger Davies

“Does Steel City Tools have a web site to review their line? Will the Woodworker’s Journal be reviewing their equipment?” – Gregory P. Schaub

As of last Friday and possibly, in that order. – Editor

Check them out at:

“In browsing the Internet, I found only one ‘Steel City Tools,’ which is a tool distributor.” – John Beveridge III

“It would have been nice to have included where and who manufactures and assembles the components and items.” – Richard Wernecke

“Where are these new tools being made?” – Bill Neal

“I was wondering if there’s more info. on this company. A quick search on the web had no results. Where are they located, is it a private or public company, and when will the tools be on the market?” – Ron Nielsen

“I hope you are planning a follow-up on this article for future issues. Any company building tools of better quality will surely get my interest too.” – Joe Paterson

“You mentioned that Steel City Tools is staffed with alumni from other companies. Information about who they are and what companies they come from would be interesting and would help us understand the potential mindset of the new company.” – Larry Dorsch

“Steel City makes me think of Pittsburgh, but that’s just me. I would have been interested to know where this outfit is located, who are the prime movers and where they come from.” – Bill Larsen


“Thanks for the article on Stewart-MacDonald. In my living room right now is the banjo kit I purchased from them way back in 1973—a nice little banjo. My only regret is that after 33 years, I still don’t play the banjo as well as Stewart-MacDonald manufactures them.” – John Connell

“Thanks so much for getting us online in the Woodworkers Journal. The article looks great, but I’m the vice president, not the president. We’ve recently had some reshuffling due to the fact that I want to take more time away from the day-to-day stuff.” – Jay Hostetler, Vice President, Stewart-MacDonald

Sorry, Jay. We thought you were such a great guy that you deserved a promotion. – Editor

TiN Coating Correction

Our one letter typo prompted the chemists in the crowd to quickly point out our error, and rightly so. – Editor

“TiN is titanium nitride, not nitrite.” – Jeff James

“Sorry guys, but as a chemist, calling that hard yellowish-gold coating on the beautiful new Steel City cabinet saw ‘titanium nitrite’ was like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. It’s actually ‘titanium nitride.’ I know it’s only one little letter off, but it makes all the difference in the world.” – Craig Erickson

We stand corrected. As you can see, even we are not immune to creating typos, which segues nicely into our ever-popular Typo Corner. – Editor

Typo Corner

We fought with our conscience before finding fault with this tool description, clearly the victim of an overly ambitious spell check program. – Editor

“I found only one thing wrong with that jig, and it is not the ‘fought’ of the tool.”

It reminds us of that old pop song, “I fought the spell checker and the spell checker won.” – Editor

You say Ryobi, I say…

“I found it interesting that you stated in your article on Ryobi tools: ‘I’ll admit it. For years I have been mispronouncing their name.’ “Turns out it’s pronounced ‘ree-oh-bee,’ not ‘rye-oh-bee.’ “I had to call Ryobi a couple of days ago. Each of the Ryobi staff I talked to pronounced it ‘rye-oh-bee.’ It seems that even their employees aren’t sure of the pronunciation.” – Pastor Paul Goddard

Perhaps they care about us so much that they want to make their customers feel comfortable, even if it extends to intentionally mispronouncing their own name the way most of us do. – Editor

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