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Put this versatile power-feed tool to work in your own shop. Sec how fast it pays for itself! Quickly converts low-cost rough lumber into valuable finished slock, quarter-round, casing. base mold, tongue & groove... all popular patterns... even custom designs!

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Finish for Shop Jigs

0Wbat is tbc best finish for wooden, shop-made jigs and fixtures?

Randy Hillenbrand Lynn wood, WA

A There arc only two major considerations when choosing a finish for wooden shop fixtures. First, the finish should afford moisture protection so the jig won't warp or change dimension. Second, the finish should be very durable to resist the heavy wear of repeated use.

My favorite is catalyzed lacquer. It's easy to spray, dries and cures quickly, and is extremely durable. If you don't own spray equipment, brushable polyurethane. either oil-based or water-based, will work as well.

Incidentally. I often line the sliding or bearing surfaces of jigs with plastic laminate because it wears better than plywood or fibcrboard and it's easy to replace if you apply it with contact cement. Remember to account for its thickness when you design the jig.

Michael Dresdner Finishing consultant Nazareth, PA

Adjusting "Heel" on a Radial Arm Saw

01 haiv a radial arm saw that bums and splinters the wood when crosscutting and binds when ripping. I think the problem is the "heel" of the blade, but so far I've been unable to eliminate it. What's tl.fe best way to correct this problem?

Martin Wale Pointe Claire, Quebec, Canada

A "Heel" is a misadjustmcnt of the saw causing the back teeth on the blade (the teeth exiting the cut) to follow a different line from the front teeth (the teeth entering the cut). Heel usually produces pronounced sawtooth marks on the cut edge as well as burning and binding.

Your owners' manual should explain how to adjust the heel of your saw. The problem many saw owners have is determining when they have it adjusted properly. I use a little homemade jig that makes the saw blade ring and allows me to adjust the heel by-ear. (See drawing.)

The jig consists of a short dowel with a rounded tip extending from the side of a block of wood that you clamp to the saw fence. The dowel should be 3 to in. above the table. To use it. first unplug the saw and remove the blade guard. Push the carriage back and clamp the jig to the fence with a spring clamp so the dowel just grazes the side of one or more of the front check the horizontal heel and toe of the blade by turning the block so the dowel is vertical.

Jon Cahe> Wood working writer Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Drawer Finishing

0\Vbat, if anything, should / use to finish the ins ides of drawers where clothing will be stored?

Joe Reeves Zanesville, OII

Spin blade backwards by hand.

Tooth barely touches dowel.

Pull blade forward and spin again.

teeth. If you give the blade a backward spin by hand, you'll hear a distinct ringing sound when the teeth graze the dowel.

Now without moving the jig, pull the carriage forward until the rear teeth are in line with the dowel and spin the blade again. If it produces a different sound (or no sound) the heel is out of adjustment. Adjust the locking position of the saw yoke until the ring is the siimc in both saw positions. If you find that the heel quickly goes out of adjustment again, a-move the yoke from the carriage and lightly sand the mating surfaces so they will not slip under the normal pressure of the yoke clamp.

You can also use this method to

A I generally finish drawers with shellac, because it's simple to apply, it seals the wood adequately, and it's natural-looking. Shellac will give you a smooth finish with just light sanding, and unlike oils and varnishes, it won't smell bad when trapped in an enclosed space.

You can make your own shellac by dissolving shellac flakes, available in orange or blond colors, in denatured alcohol. For scaling wood, I recommend a "one-pound cut," one pound of shellac flakes to a gallon of alcohol. Most canned shellac is prepared as a three-pound cut. so you'll have to dilute it with two parts denatured alcohol to one part shellac to make a one-pound cut.

Brush two coats of litis mixture on all the drawers' interior surfaces, sanding lightly with 22(>-grit stearated paper after each coat dries. Rub the final surface with a soft cloth to remove any dust and produce a satiny luster. If you like, you can apply a coat of paste wax for more protection against smudges and dirt.

A note about shelf life: Most canned shellac has a shelf life of 18 months to two years from the manufacture date stamped on the can. When shellac is initially dissolved in alcohol, it begins a process of "esterification" that makes it dry slower and softer the more it ages. If you plan to apply a topcoat, your shellac should lx* as fresh as possible, preferably less than six months old. A

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Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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