Woodworking Editor Wanted

We're looking for a full-time editor to join the AW staff. Challenging position requires energetic, detail-oriented individual with in-depth knowledge of woodworking techniques, job experience as an editor or writer, and strong visual skills. Some travel required.

Pleasant location one hour from Philadelphia and two hours from New York City.

Send resume, writing samples, and photographs of recent work in wood lo:

Personnel Department AW-LTE Rodale Press, Inc. 33 E. Minor Street Emmaus, PA 18098

Mammoth Mixup

Four dimensions on the Elephant Puzzle drawing on pp. 48-49 of the July/August. 1989 AW uvre incorrect. We'll send a drawing of the entire Elephant Puzzle, with corrections, to any reader that requests one. Write to: Elephant, do AMERICAN WOODWORKER, v? /:. Minor St.. Emmaus, PA 18098.

Sir:

Your magazine is very good, but most of us woodeaters would like more weekend or long-evening projects. Games, puzzles, toys, folk art —short projects.

A. Marino North Babylon, NY

Sir:

While I realize that you cannot mention every individual or organization concerned in a short editorial such as "Pass It On" (July/August, 1989 AW), I was still surprised that no mention was made of Early American Industries Association. The EAIA has probably done as much, if not more, than any organization to try to accomplish what you advocate.

peter m. coope North Stonington, ct

EDITOR REPLIES: Good point. The Early American Industries Associa-tion is dew ted to promoting a better understanding and appreciation of Early-American trades. Their quarterly magazine, The Chronicle, is worth investigating. The EAIA's address is: P.O. Box 2128, Empire State Plaza Station, Albany, AT 12220.

Sir:

First, a tip. To keep your saw blades clean, just dissolve '/¿-cup common baking soda in hot water in a glass pie plate big enough to hold your saw blade. Immerse and soak for a few minutes, then brush off with a stiff-plastic or brass-bristle brush. Voila! No pitch, gum, or debris. Better, or as good as any other commercial product, including oven cleaner and much safer for the envi-ronment—vour own shop and the larger ecology. Plus, you help the drain when you pour it down after the cleaning is over. I can do two or three blades before the solution becomes less effective.

Next, kudos for the reader service card. It makes it so much easier to ask for new product info.

I'm glad Rodale took over AW. I returned as a subscriber because of that. I enjoy each issue and look forward to its arrival.

Paul Smith-Valley Charleston. WV

Sir:

I am a recent subscriber to AW and I have been an amateur woodworker for several years. I find your articles very helpful.

L.A. Luton Memphis, TN

Sir:

In reading your editorial in the May/ June, AW, I share your concern for the ecological impact of trees on the health of the earth and its populations. I was surprised, however, at the short-sightedness of your last paragraph. It should read, "Please plant at least one tree for every tree that you use. whether it be in the wood shop, construction or remodeling, or use of paper products. If personally planting a tree is not feasible, then give money generously to support your favorite reforestation effort, domestic as well as foreign."

Joan Bengtson Rochester, MN

Send your comments, compliments, complaints and corrections to: Editor, AMERICAN WOODWORKER, 33 E. Minor St., Emmaus, PA 18098.

Workbench Woods

QI'm making a workbench and

• uvuld like to know which are the best \\x>ods to use.

Bernard hershkowitz Commack, NY

A I've seen fine benches made

• of every thing from a salvaged bowling alley to black walnut and Hawaiian eucalyptus. I'm willing to bet that at one time or another everv North American wood —hard w and soft—has been used to build a workbench.

The top is the main ingredient of anv workbench. The wood for it w must be close-grained and hard, to resist dents and gouges. It must be heavy, to absorb shock and to keep the bench from moving. It should also be stable, so that it stays flat.

Hard maple has become the standard for North American benchtops because it is relatively inexpensive and meets all of the above requirements. Oak, ash or even moderately hard softwoods like Douglas fir or Southern yellow pine would make a reasonable second choice. Beech has been the preferred European benchtop wood for centuries.

Vises are generally made of the same wood as the top. They should be hardwood, or faced with a harder material like tempered Masonite so the jaws will stay smooth.

The material for the base is less critical. The base, like the top, should be heavy and hard, but warping is less of a problem because the pieces are narrower. For the base, open grain or non-structural defects won't matter. I've seen plenty of strong bases made from standard-dimension lumber, and even from heavy-duty aluminum angle bolted together.

Scott Landis Writer and former bcnchmaker

Newtown, CT

Double-Tenon Quandaty

QIW always been told that when

• making doors with wide rails, it s best to make two tenons, one above the other, instead of making just one wide tenon. This is supposed to keep the door from breaking apart by keeping the expansion and contraction of the tenons to a minimum. But sittce the expansion and contraction is across the entire rail instead of just across the tenons, I don't see what good a double tenon does. Is there another reason? Does the theory behind this practice make atiy sense?

Mitch Mandel Allentown, PA

A The old-timers used to teach • that joinery is not just a matter of the wood you put in, it's also a matter of the wood you remove. When vou cut a mortise-and-tenon w joint, you must find the balancing point—you don't want to strengthen one member at the expense of another. You want both members to be equallv strong.

Wood Working for Amateur Craftsman

Wood Working for Amateur Craftsman

THIS book is one of the series of Handbooks on industrial subjects being published by the Popular Mechanics Company. Like Popular Mechanics Magazine, and like the other books in this series, it is written so you can understand it. The purpose of Popular Mechanics Handbooks is to supply a growing demand for high-class, up-to-date and accurate text-books, suitable for home study as well as for class use, on all mechanical subjects. The textand illustrations, in each instance, have been prepared expressly for this series by well known experts, and revised by the editor of Popular Mechanics.

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