I greatly enjoyed the plans for Molly's Cradle in AW #61. It is a beautifully craftcd piece. I have only one negative comment. I was very concerned that the pointed ends of the through tenon and the pivot block could end up causing serious damage to a small child. If Robbi Staples' baby daughter were to fall forward near this cradle, she could take her eye out. I would suggest cutting the pointed ends off and softening the look of these pieces.
Mark F. Tomlinson Racine, WI
In "Tech Tips" (AW #61), Edwin Borgeson recommended filing down the screw threads and hacksawing off the square part of the shank of old auger bits. Please don't do this. There is a whole community of woodworkers who enjoy using these and other hand tools the way they were meant to be used. Either give your auger bits to some galoot who enjoys using old tools or get a brace and learn how to drill holes by hand. You'll be surprised at how easy (and quiet) it can be. What's next, grinding your chisels down to make handy paint-can openers?
Good point, Joe. Antique hand tools are a diminishing resource and deserve better treatment. —Eds.
"All About Varnish," by Michael Dresdner (AW #61), is one of the best picccs IVc ever read on brush-handling techniques. Michael obviously knows his brush work.
Here's another technique I learned from my father in the forties—called cross-brushing—that worked well with
Robbi Staples replies: I share your concern and, rest assured, the safety of my daughter is paramount to me. When designing the cradle, I knew that Molly would be in it for only about six months. When she began to crawl, we moved her to a crib, keeping the cradle in our living room as a showpiece, not as children's play furniture. Shaping the pointed ends of the tenons and the pivot blocks to a gentler profile would be pleasing to the eye and reduce the risk of injury.
thinner varnishes and enamels.
First, we'd empty the brush on the surface by making two quick strokes—one in cach direction—following the grain on horizontal surfaces or vertically on a wall or door. We'd repeat this process until we had applied as much material as we thought we could spread out. Then we'd vigorously cross-brush the surface until the surface was totally wetted and the liquid evenly distributed.
We'd complete the brushing by again stroking lightly with the grain. I've used this method to put a glass-smooth finish on large tabletops.
Bob Keers Albuquerque, NM
I read with interest—and fear— the letters by Peter Scott, Everett Cool and J.T. Curtis defending the use of the radial-arm saw for ripping. As a hand and upper-extremity surgeon, I treat people with hand injuries every day. A significant number of my patients have injured themselves on woodworking machinery, and it seems a disproportionate number have had accidents while rip
ping with a radial-arm saw.
If I were to offer advice gained from using woodworking tools and observing woodworkers' injuries over nine years of hand surgery, it would be, always respect power tools; never take your eyes off the cutting surface; always consider the way that a board might get stuck in a power tool and try to avoid it; and avoid all distractions while working with power tools. And don't rip with a radial-arm saw!
Steve I-cibovic, M.D.
Frank's Last Word
I'd like to answer ail who arc concerned about shaving thickness and the precision of Ian Kirby's drawer making: Stop worrying about shaving thickness! Working wood is supposed to be fun.
When it comes to hand planing, Ian Kirby is the master of the masters. American Woodworker is a "how-to" magazine—we're trying to teach techniques and skills. When you teach, you aim for the highest standards.
As an apprentice, I asked my father, MHow can you do this so fast and so precisely?" He replied, "Don't worry about it; in ten years, you will be a good beginner yourself."
If you have comments, corrections or news to share, we want to hear from you. To write us, address letters to: Editor, American Woodworker, 33 E. Minor St., Emmaus, PA 18098. You can fax us at (610) 967-7692. Too busy to write? Call our Letterline: (610) 967-7776.
For e-mail correspondence, send letters to: [email protected] = Electronic Mail
Was this article helpful?
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.