Old Hat, Tight Nuts, Free Plans, Safety and Errata

Old Hat, Tight Nuts, Free Plans, Safety and Errata

Nothing New Under the Sun

“The set of bound Popular Mechanics books published years ago contains an article on a gauge which looks similar to the Galbert Caliper and does exactly the same thing. There are also instructions on how to make one. Maybe Peter Galbert modified his model somewhat, but he is definitely not the inventor of the concept.” – Eric Prinsloo

Tight Nuts

One of the answers regarding loosening excessively tight arbor nuts on table saws referred to a Tommy bar, puzzling one reader.

“What is a ‘Tommy bar?’ I have been in the mechanic’s trade for over 40 years and never have heard of it. Thanks, just curious.” – Gary Storme

It’s an extension slipped over a handle to give one greater leverage. It may well be one of those regional terms which seem to abound in our craft. – Editor

“The answers to the question about removing an arbor nut contradicted one another. Does anyone check the advice section answers for consistency and unexplained contradiction before it’s published?” – Rob Retter

Yes, we certainly do. The point we were making by running both is that there is more than one way to skin a cat, and even experts don’t always agree on which course of action is best in any given situation. It’s one of the things that makes woodworking so interesting. – Editor

Plans Ahead

Here’s still more commentary on the value of our free plans. – Editor

“Many of the free plans are good projects for a beginner, and I have downloaded them all. As a Woodworking Boy Scout Merit Badge Counselor,  Scouts often can find a worthy project to make.” – Jeff Mathewson

“I really like the free plans, and I have been pretty satisfied with the Premium ones too. I joined the Premium site as soon as it started up and have saved every plan I have seen. I’ve got a ton of them in my computer, and one of these days I’m going to be making a hell of a pile of sawdust.” – Mark Cooper

“What you are offering to us gratis is far and away superior to all the spam freebies that we all get. Not being a woodworker who knows everything, any plan, to me, is a challenge to do, whether I have an idea in my head or hard copy in hand.” – Ron Cox

Safety First

The Web Surfer’s Review segment that highlighted a discussion on a table saw injury and the fear of same elicited a couple of interesting responses. – Editor

“I am bewildered that in this forum, discussing the fear of losing fingers or of going back to woodworking after an injury, no one mentioned SawStop saws.” – Craig McKinney

Everyone responded with sympathy and encouragement to the injured party, and many told their own stories by way of support. Since he made it clear he had learned from his mistake, they probably felt there was little point in telling him what he should have done or bought. This next letter, though, reminds us that cuts are not the only danger with a table saw. – Editor

“Having an accident with the table saw certainly does unnerve a person. I was working with oak, fine tuning an insert for a drawer pull, when the piece hit me in the eye, shattering my tempered safety glasses. Fortunately, I have not lost the use of the eye. Needless to say, I was very apprehensive about using the saw again. I now have new safety glasses, plus I use goggles whenever working with the table saw.” – Ray Herbrick

Clearly, though, we do learn from the mishaps of others as well. – Editor

“Before buying my table saw, I took a woodworking class offered through my local vocational high school. Afterwards, I went to a local lumberyard to purchase some wood. If the class was not enough to impress upon me how dangerous woodworking could be, the man who helped me certainly drove home the point. He was missing more fingers and parts of fingers than he had whole fingers left on both his hands. When I asked him, he let me know that it was the result of several accidents over the years.” – David Goodman

Whither Typos?

In our last issue, the typo corner was omitted, and some readers wondered where it went. – Editor

“What? Nobody found any typos?” – Rich Meyer

Don’t worry. It’s back, but first we need to correct a couple of non-humorous errors that appeared in our last issue, and which were pointed out by several alert readers. – Editor


In the Calendar section under Ohio, the information block of the Spray Finishing Training classes entry lists the course dates as Sept. 10-12, but the description block says May 14-16. It’s both. They run several classes, but obviously, the May date has passed.

In the Industry Interview, Silicon Valley became Silicone Valley, which may well be a Freudian slip.

Typo Corner

This, on the other hand, is where the humorous typos live. – Editor

“I’m considering using dung oil as the finish on my dining table….”

We prefer tung oil, but only because it smells a bit better. – Editor

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