If you arc hand planing effortlessly, and if you arc having fun, that is all that really counts.
Frank Klaus/. AW contributing editor Pluckemin, NJ
The lead picture of the shop assembly table (AW #61, p. 75) shows a carpenter's square hanging just above the electrical outlet boxes on the side of the assembly table. This could be dangerous. Removing the square from its holder could result in its contacting the prongs of a partially exposed plug. I would suggest installing a piece of 2x3 or a short piece of dowel above each outlet to preclude an accident.
Richard Altaffcr Kent, WA
Having sacrificed part of a fingertip to the tablesaw gods some years ago, I was disturbed by the photo (AW #61, p. 48) of an expert woodworker holding his fingers within an inch of a spinning blade, to say nothing of a partially rollcd-up sleeve ready to snag the edge of the table. I would suggest he keep an ample supply of bandages plus a phone set to dial 911 automatically.
Molly's dad is going to have a serious accident someday if he isn't more careful where he puts his hands when using the tablesaw. In the photos on pages 45 and 48, the author's fingers arc getting dangerously close to the blade. "Ouch, I should have used a clamp."
I don't doubt that the author has cut pins this way—without using a clamp— hundreds of times, and perhaps he will even survive to a ripe old age possessing all ten digits, but I am concerned that readers of American Woodworker will accept these photos as gospel.
John McAlevey Tenants Harbor, MF.
Regarding MichacI Drcsdncr's "Slip-Proof Floor Finish" (Q&A, AW #61): Beware!
proof. 1 am a professor at a university with a large number of dance students. One year, because of high enrollment, ballet classes were scheduled in a gymnasium with a slip-proof floor finish. The first day of class, the teacher attempted to demonstrate a turn. Her body turned, but her foot did not, and she broke her ankle.
Perhaps the best finish for a dance floor is no finish. The bare sanded wood provides about the right combination of slip and friction. Professional dance studios often have floors that are ugly as sin because of the dirt in the wood pores, but they work Fine for dance. Mr. Decker was on the right track with the gym seal, but he should have stopped with only one thin coat—just enough to fill the pores and keep out dirt, but not enough to create a glossy finish.
Verne Collins, Ph.D.
Michael Dresdner replies: 1 heartily agree that leaving the wood with just a water-shedding sealer would be my first choice, too. But the questioner's dilemma was that two coats of non-slip gym seal were too slipper)' for kids in ballet slippers.
The photos in Mark Duginske's article on rcsawing (AW #61) show the veneer coming off to his right, on the side away from the fence. The cover photo shows the veneer coming off between the blade and the fence. What gives? Does it matter which way you do it?
Mark Duginske replies: If you're rcsawing only one piece, it doesn't make any difference which side of the blade it's on, but if you're sawing multiple pieces, it makes sense to set the fence for the thickness of the picccs you want to duplicate. The technique will work either way.
Don't Convert, Transform
Regarding "Running American Tools in Europe" (Q&A, AW #61), I have a small woodshop set up in Germany, and I have had bad luck with voltage converters for running American-made equipment. I lost a computer when the converter put out 184V instead of 110V.
Instead, I use several 220/110V transformers that I took with me from the U.S. On the primary side of the transformer, I installed a cord with a 220V DIN plug to march European outlets, and on the secondary side I hooked up a 110V outlet strip. I unplug the transformer when it's not in use.
Hasso Jauch Huntington Beach, CA
In AW #61, Michael LeMire jf^asked for advice on starting his own business. The response—to get experience in an established business—was technically correct, but I'd caution that craft experience docs not make a good businessman. In fact, the owner of a great woodshop might not even be a craftsman himself.
I'd advise Mr. LeMire to contact the Small Business Administration, his local community college, the Chamber of Commerce and others who can help people learn to run a business—overhead, profit and loss, bottom-line decisions and similar non-craft issues. A
• In our 1998 Tool Buyer's Guide, we listed three incorrect telephone numbers in "Sources." page 144. The correct numbers are:
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