John McAlevey Tenants Harbor, ME
We agree with you, John. Hut Ian Kirby s statements that have fueled this debate ("Top Drawer. "A W #56; "Better Bench, " A W #58) were intended to illustrate the precision possible with a sharp, well-tuned hand plane, not to suggest that we mike all our shavings. As you suggest. the important thing is to take an appropriate shaving—one suited to the task at hand, h's a skill, not a science.—Eds.
Dedicated Follower of Fashion
#Vm always pleased to get my issue of American Woodworker;
April 1997 was no exception. I can t help commenting on Ian Kirby's attire. He very well may replace Michael Jordan as Nike's newest spokesperson. I
have to know whether those shoes are "Air Kirbys," or what?? It might establish a new woodworking technique: "Don't chop that mortise, slam dunk the darn thing!" I know I'm going to review my woodworking wardrobe first chance I get. With great respect for Ian and AW...
Here's to You, Mr. Robertson
You have a fine magazine, but I must point out a recurrent annoyancc—your use of the term "square-drive" screws instead of "Robertson" screws. The Robertson screw was invented by P.I.. Robertson in 1908 in Milton, Ontario. The handles of the screwdrivers are color-coded to match the screw selected.
Screws fall into three main categories: slotted, Phillips and Robertson. You already know the first one was invented by the devil himself and should never be allowed in any workshop. The Phillips is a slight improvement with its cruciform slot, but the cam-out problem [the tendency of the bit to ramp itself out of the screw head] can still occur. The Robertson's four efficient mating surfaces allow the screwdriver to seize and hold the screw, nearly eliminating cam-out.
With a Robertson screwdriver, you can slip the screw on the end and hold it out-of-parallcl to the planet, or even straight down—and the screw won't fall off".
Try them; you'll wonder why any other screw exists. But please, they're Robertson screws.
I was disappointed to note that my firm was not listed in the sources section of your recent grinding jig article. We carry both the Veritas and Wolverine systems, and demonstrate the proper use of these tools at woodworking shows from coast to coast.
Also. I think any discussion of power sharpening using jigs should at least mention the Tormek water-cooled sharpening system as an option. I know
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