Letters

rubbing with a dean rag clcarcd up the problem—and not a moment too soon. As I returned the bottle of alcohol to the mcdicinc cabinet, my wife walked through the door. Yes, american Woodworker saved my marriage. And for that, I thank you.

Dwight Gibbs

Sliding Compound Correction

In your Buyer s Guide to Sliding Compound Miter Saws (AW #53) you mention Hitachi's model as the first to be introduced, in 1986. Delta introduced the first SCM saw in 1982. The Sawbuck Frame and Trim Saw was introduced at the National Association of Homebuilders Show in Las Vegas in November of that same year. It was an immediate success, and it dominated the market through the mid- to late eighties. Sawbuck II has sincc replaced the original Sawbuck and still serves the market with not only highly accurate crosscut capabilities, but the largest crosscut capacity (16 in.) available.

Mark Strahlcr Vice President, Marketing & Sales Delta International Machinery Corp.

Pittsburgh, PA

More on the Mortising Jig

Your self-centering mortising jig (AW #54) is a good design. To make it even better, I suggest using hex-head shoulder screws at all pivoting points, instead of the machine bolts specified in the article. I've used these screws in tool and die work for over 30 years. The (^¿.^m smooth, unthreaded shank P* J on a shoulder screw will J work more smoothly than a machine screw in pivoting applications. Only the tip of the screw is threaded, and it has a reduced diameter. (See drawing.) Use washers beneath the screw head and nut, just as you would with a machine bolt. Shoulder screws are axle bolts" in most hardware stores. But you can order them in a wide variety of sizes from Reid Tool Supply Co. (800-253-0421).

Kenneth Peterson Payncsville, MN

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Easy Chairs

I'm fairly new to woodworking, and I was interested in making an Adirondack chair. Your June issue (AW #52) was very timely. The first chair took me the better part of a week to complete. Then I took your advice and made pattern jigs for routing the curved parts. The second chair was done in about eight hours. I guess that I learned a few things in the process. As you can see, my 3-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, likes to steal Daddy's seat. Thanks for the inspiration.

Sam Rieder Decatur, GA

I built an Adirondack chair based on your article. It's a great design, and your instructions were thorough enough that even I (a rank amateur) turned out a chair to be proud of. Thanks.

Bob Hanson

Thanks, Dad. Rieder's chair was built from plans in AW #52.

Humidor Hubris

Unbelievable riming! 1 just spent the last week and a half going through every woodworking magazine I own, looking for information on cigar humidors. You can imagine my delight when I found your August issue in my mailbox. I certainly appreciate your clairvoyance, as well as vour excellent articles.

L.es Needham Pittsburgh, PA

New Esherick Web Site

I enjoyed the write-up on Wharton Esherick in your August issue (AW #53). Esherick fans will be interested in the extensive new web site devoted to the life and works of this woodworker. The address is:

http://www.lcvins.com/eshcrick.html The site includes a room-by-room photo tour of Esherick's home and studio.

Hoag Levins Haddonfield, NJ

More on Minimizing Lathe Vibration

I d like to add some advice to your response on Jerry Richards' lathe vibration problems. (See AW #54, page

20.) Check the pulleys to sec if they run true. If tightening the sctscrcw doesn't help, replace the wobbly ones. If your lathe has a Reeves drive, check for machining burrs in the pulley fingers. Filing at about 45* to the pulley surface—just enough to remove these burrs—will help to smooth the belt's ride.

And speaking of belts, check yours for lumps on the sides of the belt where the joint was made. Even a small lump has to ride through tightly machined spaces in the pulleys. I removed a couple of lumps on my belts using some sandpaper wrapped around a firm sanding block—and it made a big difference.

John Eickstadt Union, IL

Woodworkers with Wandering Eyes

I didn't realize that my husband was a bigamist until I read the piece by Celeste pcrrino Walker ("Final Pass," AW #54). We are obviously married to the same man.

Susan A.M. Blenk Scquim, WA

Straight-Cutting Jig For Irregular Stock

I've built a wall cabinct with an irregular door opening that resembles a "D." The curved edge fits the opening exactly, and now I have to make a straight cut for the hinges along the left edge. There's no true edge to run against my tablesaw's rip fence and after all this work. I hesitate to make the cut freehand. Any ideas?

Frank Hurst Vernon, NH

OI once saw a boatbuilder solve an even trickier problem with an "instant" saw fixture like the one shown here. Simply rip a piece of plywood larger than your door, and place the door on the plywood with your intended cut-line directly above the edge. Clamp the door to the plywood with tabs and stop blocks as shown, and make the cut.

You could also clamp the door to the plywood with toggle clamps or simply lay a few long scraps over the door and screw them to the plywood.

Jim Cummins AW contributing editor Woodstock, NY

An Amber-Free Finish

I just completed an art deco entertainment center. I want to bring out the beauty of the grain on the quilted maple doors and still keep it as natural-looking as possible. I'd really like to avoid the yellow-brown color that oil finishes impart. Any suggestions?

Jerry Reed Staflford, TX

OSad to say, there is a real catch-22 with finishes: The finishes that best bring out the depth of the figured maple will also impart some amount of color. You must decide where you arc willing to make the trade-off.

If you want to keep quilted maple at its whitest, your best choice is a water-borne finish. However, watcrborncs are the least effective when it comes to making the grain stand out. Oils (tung, linseed, etc.) are the best materials for bringing out the figure but they will also impart an amber color.

Your best middle-of-the-road choice is a water-white lacquer. It will enhance the figure nicely (though not as well as oil) and will keep the maple white (though not as well as a waterborne). If you're willing to sacrifice a small amount of clarity for depth, I suggest applying one thin coat of boiled linseed oil, allowing the oil three to five weeks to cure, then following with several coats of water-white lacquer. The oil will "pop" the grain nicely, without adding much amber. Successive coats of lacquer won't substantially affect the color.

Michael Drcsdncr AW contributing editor Tacoma, WA

Peel-and-Stick Veneer: Keeping It Stuck

Last March, I used pccl-and-stick veneer and 3/4-in. veneer-core birch plywood to build a set of kitchen cabinets. I finished the cabinets with three coats of Minwax antique oil. By the middle of July, the veneer started bubbling, and it now overlaps two edges by about V32 in. What should I do differently to ensure that this problem doesn't happen again?

Frank Iselin Westfield, NJ

©Your finish may have penetrated through the paper backing of the veneer and kept the adhesive from bonding properly to the substrate. The pressure-sensitive adhesive that's used on pccl-and-stick is susceptible to any type of penetrating finish. The veneer may show no signs of lifting or creeping initially, but once there's a change in humidity, the veneer will start to expand and lift off the substrate. I have found this to be true with burls and some flat-sawn veneer, but I rarely sec this problem in quartered veneer—probably because it is more stable.

I have run many tests with pcel-and-stick veneer over the years and have found that it works best on small pieces and on pieces that are not exposed to great changes in humidity. It's also best

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