Wood Talk No. 124

March 13, 2013

On today’s show, we’re talking about finishing Ebony, finish options for game pieces, shop space for a first house, joinery for a plywood tool cabinet, dry lube on a table saw, using metal pipe as dowel stock, and chair joints with no metal fasteners.

Wood Talk

Around the Web

  • David sent in a link to an ALL wooden bike “Master wooden ship builder Sueshiro Sano…created a number of wooden bicycles, including this one…Using an old stockpile of hard to find (and mostly illegal to harvest nowadays) mahogany”. “Sano build everything..from the laminate construction frame and fork to the saddle, stem and bars. Even the aero front wheel is handmade from mahogany…”
  • David also sent a link to an Illustrated Grading Guide for lumber from the American Hardwood Export Council full of pretty pictures Illustrated Grading Guide PDF
  • Ty sent a link to a video where the whole woodshop is run off water power.


  • Roberto’s mother-in-law asked him to build an oversized Jenga game. But he’s wondering about what finish to put on it to last after all the playing their planning to do?
  • Anonymous asks about finishing Gaboon Ebony.


  • Lawrance has a response to last week’s hardware price discussion.
  • Ryan is stumped about shop space “I’m newly married and there’s a good chance we’ll be looking to buy our first house in the next few months. Our budget is pretty modest, and while a garage is at the top of my list, if we find something with the rest of our must-have’s for a low price, I might have to concede. I know there are other options for a workshop, but I’m a little lost at what the best options might be. I’ve seen everything from a separate building addition to just the large steel sheds. Do you guys have any advice on what I should look at, or better yet – what to stay away from? I’m a weekend/evening hobbyist, so I don’t need anything super spacious or nice – just a place I can organize my tools (power and hand), set up a workbench and ample light. And again, it has to be affordable.”
  • Andy asks “I’m designing a tool cabinet for hand tools out of 3/4 cherry Appleply…. What would be the best, strongest and most visually pleasing way to join the carcase? How about a lock mitre joint? Is there something else that I’m not thinking of?”
  • Everett is wondering “I’ve been using Dry Lube (PB blaster brand to be specific) on my cast iron tables. It seems to work pretty well, and I like the fact that it’s waaaay cheaper than boeshield. Every now and then, i give the tables a thorough cleaning with WD-40, 3m scrub pad, then Simple Green to get rid of the grease. You guys think this is an ok method?”
  • Is Rob overthinking his rebuild? “Joanna and I purchased what we thought was an antique pedestal table of some value. And we were right, the top of the pedestal was replaced with a newer piece. So some value was probably a third what we paid – sigh. We bought a bundt foot that I will use to make the table about 2″ taller as currently it is only 27 .5″. So my thought is to drill out the old dowel, glue in some new wood, then drill down through the pedestal (piece by piece) with a forstner bit to insert a new dowel. I am seriously contemplating epoxying in a 1″ diameter piece of black iron pipe. So, is the pipe overkill?”
  • Scott is concerned and is asking “I’m currently working on a prototype for an adirondack chair and table set of my own design. I want to avoid any kind of metal fastener when I put together the project. I’ve tentatively decided to do full through dowels to connect the joinery, and intend to use walnut dowels for accent with a mainly ceder or cyprus construction.

    The last factor to add is that I’m planning on using the first set myself, and I’m a pretty big guy. I’m wondering if dowels will be sufficient, not just for the sake of weight support, but because the chairs will be exposed to weather, and will use adhesive instead of a mechanical joint.

    Do you think using Gorilla Glue or Titebond III with the dowels provide joints that are strong enough both in function and adhesion in a chair holding a 250+ pound person?”

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