BSD #55- April wrap-up
Hi guys, April is over and it’s time to get everyone up to date on the latest happenings in the woodworking world. So, let’s get started!
(Sponsor- Rockler Woodworking & Hardware)
Popular Woodworking has released a third edition of their popular “I Can Do That” book series, with ten new projects which they say are great for anyone looking for weekend woodworking projects. To celebrate, they offered to give a copy away to anyone who left a comment on the blog post. Of course, this generated a lot of the usual “Oh-oh-oh-me-me” responses. But a few were more creative including “well shucks, I’m a woodworker, and I have weekends.” “Maybe I CAN do that.” “I can use the inspiration and a reason to hide in the basement.” And “If I discover I CAN’T do something in this book, do I get a refund or do I need a lawyer for that?”
Speaking of snarky comments, Popular Woodworking has hired a new guy to take the abuse. David Lyell learned woodworking while pastoring a church in Kentucky, and he says his passion was stoked by the personalities he discovered on YouTube, a clear reference to Stumpy Nubs Woodworking, as our projects have stoked fires in workshops all over the world for years. As online content director, David is responsible for the magazine’s entire digital footprint, including their website, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube, where as anyone who deals with a lot of internet comments knows, he’ll be spending a fair amount of his day deleting vulgarities, fending off insults and declining invitations to stick various objects in unspeakable places. Enjoy the new job, David!
Speaking of changes, one of woodworking’s most prolific bloggers is retiring. After 22 years. Graham McCulloch has published the 817th and final article of his popular Short-Cuts blog. Graham also contributed articles to several woodworking magazines and wrote several books, some of which are among my favorites. In announcing his retirement, Graham revealed that he is battling cancer, but the outlook is very positive, and we wish him many years of rest, relaxation and general retirement bliss. Of course, just because the writing has ended doesn’t mean the massive database of woodworking knowledge he created is going away any time soon, so if you’ve never checked out his website, you’ll find a link in the notes below the video.
Speaking of woodworkers overcoming health issues, WBTV News out of Charlotte, NC reported on the inspiring story of Billy Milburn, who lost most of his vision to macular degeneration beginning at age 43. Undeterred, he went to a special school for those with vision challenges, where he learned wood turning. Now he works with many common shop machines, including a table saw and a planer. His message for others with disabilities is “If you think you can do something, just be careful and do it.” Being careful is the key, as Mr. Milburn recently severely injured his thumbs in a planer accident. If you’d like to watch the full news report, you’ll find a link in the notes below.
Speaking of challenged craftsman, The Craftsman tool brand has seen its share of challenges recently. The former powerhouse brand sold to us by the likes of Bob Villa has been sold itself! That’s right, Sears has sold Craftsman to none other than Stanley-Black & Decker. The $900 million-dollar deal is just the latest in $3.4 billion of acquisitions made since Stanley and Black & Decker merged in 2010. Sears will continue to sell Craftsman tools in their stores, as well as K-Mart. But expect to see the Craftsman logo popping up in other retailers all over the world.
Speaking of tools, there are some new ones on the market that are worth mentioning. For more information on these tools, check out the links in the notes below the video.
First up, Rockler has introduced a new member of their DustRight line of tools. It’s a shop vacuum hose reel, which mounts to a wall and holds up to 40’ of hose and features a tensioning knob that allows the user to control the rate of unwinding. While it uses the smaller 1-1/2” hose, it is designed for a vacuum with the larger 2-1/2” hose port, which attaches to the side of the reel so you can unspool only as much hose as you need. The reel itself retails at $150 and the hose is about $2.50/foot.
Also new in tools, Festool has released a set of clever connectors designed to fit into mortises cut by its popular Domino machine to create furniture that can be assembled and disassembled with a hex wrench. The convenience of such a product can’t be denied, but the price is something to consider. The new Festool connectors will set you back about $5 per joint. And they don’t even have that fancy green paint on them!
No, this isn’t a band saw. This is Grizzly’s new 15” open-end belt sander. They claim it provides the feature of an industrial machine into a small 24X29-inch footprint. It’s 5HP motor can sand a 30” wide panel in two passes at up to 32 feet per minute. Its features include pneumatic bent tensioning and tracking and disc brakes for emergency stopping power. This beast doesn’t come cheap though. It retails for nearly $5,000.
Speaking of tools, let’s talk about weathermen for a minute. We used to have a little rant segment at the end of the old Blue Collar Woodworking videos, and a lot of folks liked it. And since I have a lot to complain about, let’s bring it back before we wrap this video up. I think there are two types of people in this world. Those that are competent, and those that are weathermen. Wait, we aren’t supposed to call them weathermen anymore, that’s not gender neutral. We’re supposed to call them weatheristas or meteorologizers. I think we should just call them weather guessers, because they’re always wrong. Seriously, I can go down to the weather station, stick my head out their window, and give a more accurate report. At what other job in the world can you be wrong 90 percent of the time, and still keep it? What other science is there that is so random they hedge their bets with vague statements like weather people do? You never hear a chemist say there’s a 60% chance that this skin cream will melt your face, or we expect this shampoo to be partly burny with a chance of toxicity this afternoon. And who comes up with these percentages, anyway? There’s a 40% chance of rain six days from now, really? They can’t predict if a thousand mile-wide hurricane barreling toward the east coast will actually hit somewhere on the continent, and they want us to believe they know how many clouds will be in the sky a week from now? It’s all nonsense! Our local weather moron brags that the station has a million dollar doppler radar system on the roof, and then he says it’s sunny out when it’s pouring rain. No, no, don’t believe the lightning and thunder out there, his computer screen says it’s a beautiful day! It’s always been bad, but it got worse when weather became breaking news. We can’t get a dusting of snow without wall-to-wall coverage of the impending storm of the century! News anchors point at giant maps and tell us glaciers will take over times square and the people believe it! Yes, I blame the public too, because they enable these idiots. When they hear they may get an inch of snow they rush the grocery stores like it’s the zombie apocalypse. You can’t survive a snow flurry without fifty loaves of Wonder Bread? It’s worse in the south. If they so much as see a snowflake half of them drive their cars into the ditch and the rest strap on snowshoes and walk to work. We’ve become a society of lemmings marching toward the precipice, and it’s the weatherman who’s leading us. Why do we give them so much power over our lives? Why do we turn the television on every morning and let some pimply faced nineteen-year-old tell us how to dress? The weatherman has more control over what I’ll do this weekend than I do, and it’s time to say enough is enough. From now on I’m going to get up in the morning, walk out on my front porch, and get a weather report the old fashioned way. If I can see my nipples through my t-shirt, it’s cold outside. If I get struck by lightning, I know it’ll be rainy. And the swampiness of my crack is the only barometer I need. Then I can go back inside, have my morning cold one, and instead of watching the weatherman, I can turn on something worthwhile, like YouTube woodworking videos.
That’s it for this month’s woodworking news with snarky comments. The new issue of Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal will be out shortly, so head over to stumpy nubs.com and check it out. It’s a great place to sit back and have a cold one, because you’ve earned it my friend!
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LINKS REFERENCED IN VIDEO►
ShortCuts Woodworking Blog: http://www.shortcuts.ns.ca/column/column817/
Rockler hose reel: http://shrsl.com/?hpkk
Festool joining System: https://www.festoolusa.com/accessory?mainchapter=DOMINO+jointing+system
Grizzly drum sander: http://www.grizzly.com/products/15-Open-End-Wide-Belt-Sander/G0819
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