A Love of Woodworking

When I was a small boy I was fascinated by the woodworking my grandfather did. He made and repaired intricate clock cases, window sashes, door frames and furniture and he used old-time tools like a froe. adz, wooden planes, scorps and breast drill. He had the patience to explain tools to me and how to use them. The two points he instilled in me were quality of work and appreciation of tools. My father repaired and replaced ornate woodwork in railway passenger cars in the days when most all travel was by rail. He taught me all the woodworking basics, and like my grandfather, he emphasized quality and care of tools. I now have a son and two grandsons who are avid woodworkers. When we are together, wood is our main topic of conversation.

Dust-Collection Advice

If our article on designing a dust collection system (aw »37) just piqued your interest, you can get more in-depth information in the booklets. Wood Dust Control and Collection Systems, available from Delta International Machinery Corp., Marketing Dept., 246 Alpha Dr., Pittsburgh, PA 15238, (412) 963-2400, and Dust Collection Basics, available from Grizzly Imports, 1821 Valencia St., BeUingham, WA 98226, (800) 541-5537.

Woodwork has been most rewarding to me and I know I will never live long enough to do all the projects I have dreamed up. But, I look forward to even- day as another opportunity to work with my tools and wood.

Devore O. Burch Fort Worth, TX

Easy-Lift Collector

Your article about dust collectors (aw *37) says one of the cons of two-stage blower-and-bag collectors is you have to lift off the heavy blower housing to empty the waste drum. I devised a simple, cheap and easily-used hoist system to separate my blower housing from the waste drum. This system uses a block-and-tackle scheme with one end connected to the blower housing and the other to a strong ceiling mount. This lifter lets me shake debris free by making short jerks on the rope before raising the blower, and it is a cinch to realign the blower lid gasket with the debris barrel.

H. Kent Hep worth Flagstaff, AZ

Tung Oil Nontoxic?

Re: "Food-Safe Finishes" (aw »37). Michael Dresdner recommends using tung oil "for items that will routinely come into direct contact with food." But in the Great All-American Wooden Toy Book, Norm Marshall claims that tung oils are never nontoxic. Who's right?

David Sparks Martinsville, VA

Michael Dresdner responds: Pure tung oil comes from an edible nut and in its pure form is not considered toxic. Tung oil varnishes that contain metallic driers may be more dangerous, but even here the amount of driers is very small. If you're worried about toxicity, amid using tung oils with metal driers.

Tablesaw Safety

Re: "A Saw Guard Is Essential" ("Letters," aw #37). We often forget a machine will grab us the first time we let down our guard. It pays to review the basic safety rules for each machine, even to the point of posting them near the machine on a 5x7 card. Also, Mr. Prusik can avail himself of shop-made safety guards, such as a feather board, which may prove better than the commercially made guard that comes with the machine. If you make the featherboard a little thicker than necessary and clamp it vertically to a fence, it can completely cover the blade and function as a guard.

Donald F. Kinnaman

Cleanliness Is Next To...?

Congratulations on your April issue, which included photographs of shops with real sawdust and wood shavings. I've always envied the shop that has a place for even-thing and everything in its place. After 50-plus years of enjoyable woodworking I find myself owning a home workshop with a place for everything and very little in its place—including sawdust.

Marcus F. Fechcnback Richardson, TX

Sounds like our shop, Marcus. We've still got an ~all points bulletin" out on a low-angle block plane that got swallowed up by the shavings.

Quality Craftsmanship

Re: "Finding a Future in the Past" (aw »37). I was pleased to see that there is at least one other person in the world who shares my feelings for quality


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The Now Yankee Workshop hosted by Norm Abram

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The Complete Guide To Wood Finishing

The Complete Guide To Wood Finishing

Wood finishing can be tricky and after spending hours on building your project you want to be sure that you get the best outcome possible. In The Complete Guide To Wood Finishing you will learn how to get beautiful, professional results no matter what your project is, even if you have never tried your hand at wood finishing before. You will learn about every step in the wood finishing process from a professional wood finisher with years of experience.

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