Welcome to another edition of Behind the Sawdust where we give you the latest in woodworking news, tips and tools. This episode is sponsored by M-Powertools.com, My Woodcutters.com, ClearVue Cyclones, and Sjobergs workbenches. Please visit their websites at the links in the notes below the video. They pay the bills you can get free woodworking infotainment. Now let’s get started with the woodworking news…
The May issue a Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal will be available in the coming days, and includes several new project videos including a cabinet mounted knife block, a candle lantern, a Mustache Mike scroll saw video, a complete guide to hand cutting dovetails and a whole lot more. Subscriptions to the digital magazine are free at stumpynubs.com.
Woodworking can keep you young! That’s what Marvin Wortell of Wilmette, Illinois says. And who can argue with a 97-year-old man that still spends up to seven hours in a day in his garage workshop? Marvin was recently featured on his local news broadcast, where he shared what he believes to be the secrets of longevity. Here’s a hint: get off your butt and do something, preferably in a wood shop.
Registration is now open for Woodworking in America 2016. The much anticipated annual conference is best known for its world class panel of instructors, which has become even more world classy since the addition of one James Hamilton, aka Stumpy Nubs to the lineup last year. If you attended the 2015 show, you were treated to some of the best woodworking info-tainment to hit WIA in its long storied history. Even Roy Underhill was heard to say “That stupey nips fella is moderately tolerable”. This year promises to be even better as the show returns to Cincinnati on September 16-18. I be there again, this time teaching a series of classes on table saws and router tables full of tips, tricks and of course, innovative jigs. Chris Schwarz will be there teaching whatever it is he teaches, I’m sure something about benches or tool chests. Roy Underhill promises not to swear into the microphone this year. It’ll be a blast! For registration information, visit the link below the video.
Festool is hitting the road! The high end tool company will be touring the US in a modified semi-truck trailer that costs five times as much as any other trailer, but reportedly has excellent dust collection. A company spokesman says that the Festool Roadshow is their way of taking their professional tool solutions into the marketplace where craftsman can experience, blah, blah, blah… What I’m really interested in is seeing their new vacuum clamping system, which promises to solve any number of work holding challenges for the bargain price of $1300. For more information on the Festool Roadshow, visit the link in the show notes. For more Festool jokes from a clearly envious woodworker who would buy two of every product they made if he could, but can’t so he makes wisecracks instead, well, you’ve already come to the right place for that.
This chair is a can of worms. So says Craftsman era expert, Robert Lang. He was recently asked if he knew of any available plans or shop drawings for this inlaid chair attributed to early 20th century craftsman, Harvey Ellis. But, having written extensively on the Arts and Crafts era, including a book of Shop Drawings for Craftsman Furniture, Lang knows that things aren’t always as they seem. For one thing, there is no definitive proof that Ellis even made the iconic chair, which appeared in a 1904 issue of Gustav Stickley’s “The Craftsman” magazine. It’s even less likely that the chair ever went into production, as inlaid pieces were very difficult to mass produce back then. Lang goes on to comment about the muddy waters that often obscure history and offers some insights that will interest anyone looking to duplicate period furniture. Check out the article at the link in the show notes.
Have you ever done something dumb? Me neither. But Megan Fitzpatrick has, and she recently shared a list of the sixteen dumbest woodworking mistakes. They include forgetting to compensate for a saw kerf, cutting on the wrong side of a line, and allowing her parts to slip out of place during glue-up. These and other gentle reminders can save you a lot of palm plants to the forehead. The list originally appeared in a 2003 Popular Woodworking article, but you can download it for free at the link in the show notes.
Want to make a paper hat? Who doesn’t? Well The Lost Art Press Blog has you covered with an interesting write-up on head coverings. You see, in the old-timey days paper hats were far more common than baths. Why wash your hair when you can keep it sparkling clean beneath your origami. Woodworkers in particular favored a square hat which could be removed after work, taken to the theater and for a nickel filled with popcorn for the moving picture show. Of course, none of that is in the blog because I just made It up. But there is a nice folding diagram so you can make your own hat, and that’s just good old-timey fun!
Looking for a way to cut a curve by hand without the frustration that can sometimes result from steering a coping saw? Yoav Liberman has been experimenting with a flexible Japanese saw. By bending the blade around a template he finds it fast and easy to cut perfect curves including arched slots that would otherwise require a router. It’s a handy technique that you may want to keep in mind.
Don Williams recently found himself with the job of repairing a delicate wood carving that someone had unsuccessfully attempted to fix with globs of yellow glue. Since it was a historic piece, preserving every original fiber of the wood was imperative. So he covered the hardened glue with a 3M product called Safest Stripper, wrapped it in foil and let it set for a month. That’s right, a month. Things run a little slower over at the big white barn. Anyway, the glue became soft like taffy and he was able to safely remove it, leaving a clean, undamaged surface to repair properly. Don is a big fan of Safest Stripper and will be writing more about it’s uses in the shop in the near future, so you’ll want to bookmark his blog at the link in the show notes.
Should you wipe away wet glue squeeze-out immediately or let it dry enough to scrape it away? Many experts say it’s a mistake to wipe it up with a wet cloth because you may will dilute it, making a bigger mess; or worse yet, water could seep into and compromise the joint. Chris Schwarz isn’t one of those experts, and he’s calling bologna. He’s recently written an eleven-point memo that seeks to wipe away this myth. The bottom line is, wipe away. It’s faster and a lot less work. You can read his reasoning at the link below.
In the march issue of Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal, you’ll find a video about the M-Power Precision Sharpening System. We made that video because I thought it was a really innovative little jig. It uses diamond plates to quickly sharpen straight edged tools with almost no setup. It’s really unique. And it seems that a lot of you folks agree, because the response to that video was huge. So, I talked to the company that makes them, and they sent me four to give away to you guys. The way this works is pretty simple. For the next four weeks I am going to randomly choose a subscriber to Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal and send them one. That’s all there is too it. You just have to be subscribed to our email list, which you can do at stumpynubs.com. If you live in the USA, I’ll ship it to you at my own expense. If you live outside the USA, you will be given the option to get the tool free, but you have to pay for the shipping. I know, that stinks. But at least we’re including you. You can get the full details at the link below in the show notes, including a link to the video we made. If you haven’t seen it yet, you need to check this thing out.
Well, that wraps things up for this edition of Behind the Sawdust. Be sure to check out the latest issue of Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal, full of videos, articles, homemade tools, woodworking tips and more. You can subscribe for free at stumpynubs.com. And don’t forget to support our sponsors M-Powertools.com, My Woodcutters.com, ClearVue Cyclones, and Sjobergs workbenches. Because without them, we couldn’t do all that we do. By supporting them you are supporting us, and I can’t tell you how much we appreciate that. You should sit back and have a cold one, because you’ve earned it, my friend!
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