In the last eZine, Rob wrote in his editorial about his conflicting desires to have a comfortably heated shop and to save on the heating bill. Several readers sympathized. – Editor
“Speaking about keeping the heating bills down, here is my story: Just moved to Hagerstown, Maryland and insulated my 8 x 12 x 12 shed from top to bottom. A big thank you to my son Jonathan who actually did all the work and is now on a four-month vacation to Hawaii. I am very cramped, with a galley-like work area with a bench on one side and a lathe across the end; a table saw, band saw and a router table on the other side. I’m planning on a patio out the front entrance so I can drag my contractor table saw outside for cutting larger stock. A simple little ceramic heater may keep it warm enough. Fortunately, the shed is just a few steps from the house, so if I get cold I’ll get back to the warmth of the house. Previously, my shop was in a heated basement and breaking out in a sweat was no problem. I have a Rockler air handler to keep the dust down. Just about to start my Christmas projects. God bless. Happy Thanksgiving.” – John Shambarger
“I live in Memphis. I lived in northwest Pennsylvania until the late ’70s and then moved to mid Mississippi. I am cheap, also. I built my own hot water systems from old leftover wood and an old hot water tank and some glass. Only used the electric water heater one week that winter. I heated my home with 55 gallon drums full of water and some plastic sheeting. Lots of insulation in the home and one tank of LPS gas lasted all winter long. I designed everything myself and still can tell you how if you want. I am a long-time woodworker so I had a head start with all the tools I needed.” – Carl Moore
“I live in Omaha, Nebraska in a 4,500 sq. ft. house also built in 1906. It was built by a mayor of Omaha who was lynched in a race riot in 1919 – but that is another story. My wife has always resisted turning on the heat until I could see my breath in the house. We are lucky in that our house was built with ductwork — it must have had a gravity furnace originally. When we bought this house in 1989, it had a 25-year-old, 250,000 BTU low-boy. We replaced that with a 100,000 BYU Lenox Pulse in 1990. Our gas bills at first were reasonable, but in recent years they have gone up dramatically. And our electric bill in the summer was horrible.
“I took down all the plaster and lath and installed 6” of fiberglass insulation with a vapor barrier and sheetrock. While the walls were open, we had most of the house re-plumbed and rewired. But we sill had the original leaky windows. In May of this year, we broke ground to enlarge our kitchen – it became a much larger project than we had originally conceived and, with the new basement areas and second floor, we added 1,200 sq. f t. to the house to make it 5,700 sq. ft. The thought of our heating and air conditioning bills scared us both, so as part of the reconstruction project we installed two Bosch Geo Thermal heat pumps that required seven 200′ wells.
“It is a better and more even heat than provided by our furnace, and we are told the air conditioning will be virtually free next summer. And we were told that the old windows wouldn’t make much difference in our bills – although we plan on replacing them because we really like our new Thermal Marvin double-hung windows. But for me, the nicest thing about it is that the HVAC contractor told us to turn the system on early and then leave it alone for the best efficiency.” – Tom Williams
Gluing Ipe Wood
A reader in the last issue of the eZine wondered if anyone else had found a reliable way to glue ipe wood. This woodworker shared his experience. – Editor
“I obtained some ipe wood that was deck boards. I cut into strips and edge glued and then planed it smooth. I then cut rings that I glued to make a bowl. I just used yellow wood glue and have not had a problem. I was having a problem finishing but ended up using spray Deft which worked good.” – Robert Newton
Method to Set a Lock Miter Bit
Rather than relying on “trial and error,” this reader says that setting a lock miter bit, as another woodworker asked about in last issue’s Q&A, is a process that has a specific method – one he’s written about. – Editor
The answer to setting a lock miter bit is not a trial and error process. Here is my method I wrote up for the Guild of New Hampshire Woodworkers Journal, which had claimed trial and error was necessary in the previous issue.” – Bruce Wedlock
And, in response to last issue’s Feedback section on a common expression many that there are many ways to accomplish the same thing, this reader had a language comment. – Editor
“OMG – now it is not PC [politically correct] even to use a common metaphor that refers to animals of the feline persuasion! Oh, please, give me a break? What will they be protesting next – or am I beating a dead horse?” – Gordon Patnude