Wood Talk No. 138

June 27, 2013

On today’s show, we’re talking about our must-have books, breaking bits, a saw to do it all, our choice in clamps, a shop vac that sucks too hard, tool maintenance frequency, and turning a cyclone on too many times.

Wood Talk

Around the Web

  • Stan sent a link to Norm Abrams talking at a 2013 Festool Event.
  • Ross sent this absolutely CRAZY example of Japanese cabinet making, “I kid you not, a karate chop is involved. And watch the effect of air pressure in the first segment.”
  • Marilyn sent a link to a robot bartender…while the drinks maybe cool, the table they’re served on is pretty hot!
  • Damon sent a link to a no-nonsense board foot calculator. “It’s just a board foot calculator; I know there are tons out there, but they’re ugly and boring. You can do things tweak waste amount and get a price, too. Check it out on your mobile device (or resize your browser) too!”
  • Ken sent a link to an article that’s more about design “While it’s not strictly woodworking related, I wanted to hear your thoughts about this article regarding the relationship of wood to technology.”.


  • Dane – In response to Wood Talk No. 133…storing plane blades under pressure. You guys answered that you don’t loosen the blades because it doesn’t matter. Correct, but you didn’t give a real reason why. Boiled down to: metal has elastic characteristics and the deformation is reversible.
  • Dave – During Woodtalk #136, Shannon mentioned the scary a circular saw-based table saw at a Hearne Hardwood event. That must have been “Mr Jeffry’s Third World Machine Shop”

    You guys need to give a shout out to fellow professional woodworker and woodworking instructor Jeffry Lohr. He and his wife Linda founded Moringa Community in 2008.

    (Please note that we DID discuss and promote this effort way back in Wood Talk episode 47)

  • In response to Wood Talk #137 where we discussed areas you can save money:
      Tony – Try to find used cabinets and buy sandpaper in bulk.
      Tom – Baltic Birch ply: don’t scrimp, I bought some shop grade material once by mistake. It sort of can work, but yuckk! Save on lumber. I get the impression that cost and availability of domestic lumber varies significantly by region. So know what is good value and plentiful in your area.

      Avoid: jigs, fixtures, gizmos that solve a non-problem or that provide a benefit which is readily shop made or even accomplished with a bit of skill. Things like bench cookies, dovetail jigs, tapering jigs, self-clamping straight edges.

      Mike – If you get creative with how to use the tools you already have, you may be surprised with what they can do. A few quality tools, a creative mind, and a lot of attention to detail will generate some amazing results.

      If you just want wood to practice with, use pallets. You do need to make sure that you get all of the nails out.


  • Allen – Our choice in clamps
  • George – Shop Vac sucking too hard.
  • Mike from LA – Tool maintenance frequency, and starting up big tools


  • AndrewI broke my 1/4″ spiral router bit cutting mortises in hard maple. It was the Freud carbide bit shown here. I was careful to take shallow passes and move slowly. The bit wasn’t all that old, and cut quality was still quite good, so I don’t think it was getting dull yet. I am willing to lay down the cash for a better bit, but not if it is just as likely to break. Do you have any suggestions other than ‘be more careful next time’?
  • FredThree books we can’t live without.
  • AndreasI would like to start building a joinery hand saw “set”. Actually I’d really like to buy just one stinking saw that I could cut joinery with but that doesn’t seem possible! So if I want to work on my joinery skills: dovetails, small case work and boxes, using a bench hook for small pieces, cutting tenons etc. do I need 2 saws because of grain direction? Or can I get away with one, at least to start? If so, which one?

Comments, questions or topic suggestions?

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Special thanks to our show sponsor: Festool at FestoolUSA.com and Arbortech at www.blog.arbortechusa.com

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