Michael Wallace has left 60 Minutes to peruse woodworking. It seems the veteran news anchor is now part of the Popular Woodworking team. Recently he wrote an expose on Mike Siemsen ahead of the upcoming Woodworking in America event Kansas City this September. He asks the traditional woodworker tough questions about his father and how his early experiences affect his work today. It’s a classic Wallace interview in the same vein as his sit down with the likes of Richard Nixon and Nelson Mandela…. Wait, I’m being told that this may be a different Michael Wallace. But the interview is still worth a read, so check it out.
Marc Spagnuolo is pledging to return to detailed videography in his bathroom. The Wood Whisperer has always taken his time to show every detail of a project in his subscription based guild videos. But he says that lately he’s been editing the content a bit too aggressively on the free side of his website. He pledges to return to his high quality instructional video format no matter how many people complain on YouTube, and he’ll begin with a new bathroom mirror project. He says he doesn’t want to make videos for the lowest common denominator as many YouTube woodworkers do and notes that he won’t be reading the comments if you care to complain.
This just in, Marc Spagnuolo has issued an apology to anyone he may have offended by his comments about short format videos. He says he didn’t mean to imply that there is anything wrong with them, he simply prefers a more detailed format. Of course whenever you use a phrase like “lowest common denominator” you are bound to create a misunderstanding or two about what you are saying. Well, we knew what you meant, Marc. I for one can relate. If you make a detailed video people complain that you talk too much, if you trim it down to the essentials they complain that there aren’t enough details. You can’t win. My advice is to make what you want to make, and avoid calling your viewers the “lowest common denominator”.
Mortise and tenon joints are the bread and butter of furniture making because they are very strong and slide together easily if you coat them in butter. But drawboring and pegging makes them darn near indestructible. Paul Sellers has created a pair of videos demonstrating the technique, including how to make your own pegs, both round and square. It doesn’t matter if you’re a hand tool or power tool woodworker, this technique is something every one of us should know. I’ve linked to the videos in the show notes.
Frame saw, bow saw- potato, potato. Is there really a difference? When Paul Sellers isn’t drawboring mortises, he’s teaching us the difference between the two terms, and why we should care. The bottom line is frame saws are capable of a lot of tasks, but they excel at joinery. Bow saws often have the added feature of being able to rotate the blade, so they’re sometimes called turning saws. They also excel at joinery tasks. If that doesn’t clear it all up for you, then I suggest following his blog as he has a whole series of articles and videos planned to make you an expert.
Chris Schwarz has a skewed take on woodworking and many of his students have struggled with it. He says that skewing the body of a hand plane can be a useful technique if you know how and when to employ it. Here’s what he says you should keep in mind. For one thing, skewing at the beginning of the stroke can help you get a good start and take a complete shaving, but straightening it out after the first few inches can reduce ripples. Skewing can also improve the surface when you’re working across the grain, and in some situations it can reduce tear out. There are several more tips on when and how to skew your plane at the link in the show notes below.
New in Tools 1
Our senior tool correspondent, Mustache Mike is here to tell us what’s new in tools.
As if CNC machines weren’t enough, the computer has taken over another part of our workshop- the router table. A company called Next Wave Automation has created a computer controlled router fence and lift that promises to change the way we look at precision woodworking. Woodsmith Magazine recently took a close look at the Ready 2 Rout system and they say it excels at cutting box and finger joints, as well as precise width dados no matter what size router bit you have. It comes in two parts, a fence and a lift, both of which are controlled by built in microprocessors via a touch screen attachment. I have to say… this is awesome! It doesn’t come cheap, around a thousand dollars if you want both the fence and lift, but the possibilities of this type of equipment are compelling. Fortunately, Stumpy got one for the shop, and we’ll be trying it out over the next several weeks. I’ll report back on the results so you’ll know if it’s worth the investment.
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