Letters

Ming Legacy on Shaky Ground

In reading "Chinese Chair Joints" (AW #47) I learned (hat most examples of Ming Dynasty furniture in China have been Most forever to fires, floods, earthquakes and civil strife." Given this, is California the best place to be keeping the small remainder of this legacy?

Robert Thayer Brewster, MA

Keep Those

Tool Reviews Coming!

As an owner of a custom woodworking shop, I especially appreciate your product and tool reviews. 1 have followed your advice on tool selection, and have been extremely pleased with the tools that you recommended. Thanks.

Kevin Gent Gentry Custom Woodworking Tacoma, WA

Delta Unisaw Pricing

In fablesaw Showdown" (AW #49), we failed to mention that the Delta Unisaw is available in eight standard models, including several with the premium-quality Unifcncc we recommend. A 3-HP model with a 30-in. Unifcncc sells for as low as $1,499.95 and a model with a 52-in. Unifence for as low as $1,599.95. Dealer prices may vary.—Eds.

Revisiting Bench Chisels

The article on bench chisels (AW #47) was interesting and helpful. I was pleased to see that the hardening and tempering aspects of steel manufacturing were described correctly. I have read a number of articles and books by authors who were confused about these processes and their terminology. The one correction Td offer is that the steels discussed in Rae's article contain "alloying elements," not "alloys." An alloy is a mix ture of metals and other elements.

1 would also like to comment on Rae s contention that the Japanese chisels in the bench chisel article might be "too light for heavy chopping." I've found this not to be the case. The sockct-and-tang construction of this type of chisel, combined with the steel hoop that encircles the top of the handle, enables this type of chisel to withstand considerable force. Makoto Imai, who was trained as a traditional Japanese temple carpenter and later came to the U.S. to teach this type of timber construction, regularly uses a hammer to strikes his Japanese chisels.

Because of the brittlencss of its hard edge, a Japanese chisel should not be used like a mortising chisel, to lever or pry chips free against partially cut wood. This practice could fracture the hard steel at the tip of the chisel. The chisel can, however, be used for heavy chopping in most other situations.

Milford S. Brown El Cerrito, CA

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