Questions & Answers
Jan 27 – Feb 9¸ 2004 – A Piercing Question
As a doctor, Sean Rosenbaum knows about infections. And as a woodworker he has crafted sets of plugs for friends with large holes in their ears. Mineral oil is his finish of choice with an occasional recoating & depending on how many times they’re worn in the shower. And Sean also uses mineral oil for any wooden toys that might get chewed upon.
Jan 27 – Feb 9¸ 2004 – His Next Step Hinges on Our Answer
Believing the questioner was describing a jewelry box with sloped sides, with drawers on either the left or right side of center and a door on the other, Don Bates thinks mounting hinges on the door will require pins to be in the same plane and in a straight line with each other. As an illustration, he compares the task to putting a door on the front of a pyramid.
George Guidas took another look at the jewelry box question and thinks the door will tend to bind on the top if there’s any overhang to the doorway. His solution is to make the top rail wide enough to allow the door to swing freely.
Nov 18 – Dec 1¸ 2003 – Plastic Tube Time Bombs
After reading our answers, Dale Sherman wrote that he had indeed heard about an explosion in an overloaded PVC dust collection system at Catskill Craftsman [in New York]. The blast was enough to blow one employee out the door. While he admits that there’s no proof that the static caused the dust explosion, employees reported seeing static sparking on the PVC before the explosion. Dale’s source for this information is Oneida Air Systems and a phone call to the Catskill Craftsman factory where he spoke with a supervisor. Still, citing an article by Dr. Rod Cole entitled “PVC Pipe Dangers Debunked” in Fine Woodworking #153, Dale admits there is a higher risk of an explosion in a collection barrel than in the dust collection pipes in a home shop.
Web Surfer’s Review
Jan 27 – Feb 9¸ 2004 – Band Saw Won’t Cut Straight
Dave Browne wrote to explain there were a couple of factors that can cause a band saw to not cut straight:
- Ripping or re-sawing lumber against a straight fence can be a factor in blade drift. Unless the operator uses a re-saw attachment, the blade wants to drift toward the fence. The re-saw attachment is a convex fence segment that attaches to the existing fence and allows the operator to steer the lumber slightly to maintain a straight line.
- Guide bearings or cool blocks, depending on which he has, may require adjustment. Cool blocks — usually a graphite composition — perform the same function as guide bearings, controlling the sideways movement of the blade and preventing twisting to some degree. To adjust them, insert a piece of regular notepaper between the blade and the blocks or bearings, loosen the set screws, apply just enough pressure with thumb and finger to hold the paper with the bearings or blocks. Tighten the set screws, remove the paper, and you’re done.
- If blade tension is too loose, it can cause blade wander. Without a tension gauge and the proper tension specs for the specific blade, adjustment can be a bit of a trial and error process. If the band saw is to sit idle for a few days or longer, loosen the blade to prevent flat spots on the tires and avoid snapping the blade.
Jan 13 – Jan 26¸ 2004 – Long-term Tool Storage
According to Charles Stopczynski, LPS-3 [Liquified Petrolium Spray from LPS Labs, Inc. in Tucker, GA] keeps metal surfaces just like they went into storage. He’s used it on chain saw bars and described it as a thick, waxy grease after it sets up. And it comes off easy with a putty knife and a little mineral spirits or other solvent.
David Dollar agrees that WD-40 is great for a quick fix, but for a long-term solution, he suggests using Break-Free [a CLP that included highly refined synthetic oils, polyetrafluoroethylene, solvents, rust inhibitors, and extreme pressure additives]. He used it on the pivot end of the float in a flush box [in a toilet water tank] as a temporary fix, and it’s still working fine 13 years later & most of it spent under water.
Jan 27 – Feb 9¸ 2004 – Free Plans Punctuation
More opinions on our grammar: William Jackson writes that if the sign means “the Smiths will be here or “the Smiths are coming”, the apostrophe is not needed, but if it indicates the house is owned by people named Smith (and therefore is possessive), the apostrophe is appropriate. While he agrees that “The Smith’s” would be the wrong way to refer to the family, Joe Kesselman thinks it’s a perfectly fine way to label something that belongs to a Smith … even a house. He also agrees with Chris Kindschi [the original Reader who responded] that the confusion of possessive and plural is shamefully common and should probably have been avoided in our example. And in the final analysis, David Dollar thinks you have to be able to determine the INTENT of the sign (ownership vs. identification) to decide the correct form.