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Life in a Basement Shop

I've still got to rake leaves, do a little final painting on the garage, and a few other outdoor chores, but already I'm starting to think about getting down into the shop. And I do mean down.

For more than 20 years my shops have been in basements. And I've developed a love/hate relationship with subterranean woodworking. I've had water pouring in the windows, and dampness seeping through the walls. I've struggled with how to assemble tall cabinets when the ceiling is only 7-ft. tall. My first basement shop was the worst; the ceilings were so low, I had to dig a hole in the floor so I could stand my bandsaw up! I've struggled with every sheet of plywood that's had to come down the stairs, to say nothing of the 600-lb. planer. I've had to share space with washing machines, furnaces and cats, complete with litter boxes.

There have been good things, too. My shops have always been warm in winter and cool in summer. And with some work, I've always been able to get the moisture levels to match the upstairs of the house. It's handy to be able to just run downstairs for a tool or a piece of wood to fix something in the house. I've even learned a lesson from the cats. I religiously sweep up my sawdust every night; otherwise any little pile becomes a nice, fresh litter box!

Best of all, though, is that my basement shops always seem to be close to the heart of our home. When I'm down in the shop, I'm only a holler away from Nancy and the boys. My oldest son, Cyrus, now a gigantic teenager, had a crib above the shop when he was a baby, and he slept to the relaxing music of the router and tablesaw. Once during a tornado alert our whole family was down in the shop, having dinner around my workbench by the light of a camping lantern. When winter comes and the snow is deep, I'll be down in my basement shop, happily working away. And every once in a while someone in my family will wander down there, too.

Enjoy your woodworking.

P.S. Do you work in a basement shop, too? Drop me a line, or send a photo of your shop. I'd love to hear from you (see How to Reach Us, page 7).

EDITOR Ken Collier SENIOR EDITOR Tom Caspar ASSOCIATE EDITORS Randy Johnson, Tim Johnson, Dave Munklttrlck

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READER SERVICE SPECIALIST Roxie Filipkowski ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANTS Lori Callister, Shelly Jacobsen

EDITOR Ken Collier SENIOR EDITOR Tom Caspar ASSOCIATE EDITORS Randy Johnson, Tim Johnson, Dave Munklttrlck

CONTRIBUTING EDITOR George Vondriska ART DIRECTORS Patrick Hunter, Vern Johnson, Barbara Pederson COPY EDITOR Mary Flanagan FACT CHECKING SPECIALIST Nina Childs Johnson PRODUCTION MANAGER Judy Rodriguez SHOP ASSISTANTS Nick Danner, Jeff Larson, Al McGregor

READER SERVICE SPECIALIST Roxie Filipkowski ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANTS Lori Callister, Shelly Jacobsen

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Problems

Solutions

Persistent Convex Edge

Sometimes an edge remains curved every time you joint it.

This is a problem of technique, not an incorrectly adjusted machine. Jointing a long, convex board is difficult because rocking it is so easy.Try this: Joint the center of the board first.Take a few passes to make a solid and true reference surface.Then make longer and longer cuts until you joint the full length of the board.

A Sniped End

Sometimes a jointer takes a heavy bite at the tail end of a board.

^^^^^ - ' : ■ _________1

Raise the Outfeed Table

Although you did your best to set the knives level, it doesn't always work. You'll see the dreaded snipe if the outfeed table is even a tiny bit below the tallest knife. Loosen the gib screws on the back side of your jointer, raise the outfeed table a hair and try jointing again. Keep raising the table by very small amounts until the snipe disappears, then lock down the gib screws.

A Tapered Cut

Sometimes a cut mysteriously trails off to nothing.

Lower the Outfeed Table

Rule out the possibility that you're dealing with a s1;g~: • convex edge before changing any settings. Start fresh with a 2- to 3-~ -long board that's been ripped straight on the tablesaw. Drav% a pe_: ne down the sawn edge and joint the board. If the tail end of the ne remains visible, you've got an outfeed table that's too high. Lov.er the table until you get a sniped cut, then raise the table until the sn ce goes away.

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