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Re: "Black Marks on Oak" (aw #35). George Frank's advice to remove black stains on oak with oxalic acid is correct, but the oxalic acid should not be neutralized with vinegar. Vinegar is a very weak acetic acid solution, and this will do nothing to restore a normal pH to the wood. The best and easiest way to neutralize oxalic acid is with an alkaline solution. I use approximately 1 ounce of either borax or baking soda dissolved in a quart of distilled water.
(After treating the wood), I wash it down with distilled water to completely remove the oxalic acid crystals. If the crystals are allowed to remain in the surface or in trapped pores they will absorb moisture during humid weather, causing the finish to blush or Mbkx>m.~
Furniture conservator and restorer
Nortli Royal ton, OH
Oxalic acid is a highly toxic material and even small amounts ingested could cause severe gastrointestinal distress. Further, it is caustic to skin and could cause severe chemical burns, similar to sulfuric acid. Protective gloves and a particle mask should be worn when working with this material.
William R. HollingsKad Bratlfordwixxls, PA
Editor Wanted aw is looking for a full-time editor with excellent journalistic skills and a strong knowledge of woodworking. Mast be willing to relocate. Send resume to:
Personnel Department AW-LTE Rodale Press Inc. 33 E. Minor St. Emmaus, PA 18098
One ounce of oxalic acid per pint of water yields a 6 percent solution—more than strong enough for removing stains. Unsafe Sawing Anything stronger will simply deposit more residue on the wood when it dries.
The easiest and quickest way to mix oxalic acid Ls to stir the crystals into warm water. They'll dissolve almost immediately, so you can use the mixture as soon as it is cool enough to handle comfortably.
Re: "Quiet Blades" (aw »34). I am appalled that you would publish a picture that shows no regard for proper personal safety procedures. Where is the guard on the saw? How about eye protection for the operator? Additionally, don't safety guidelines call for removal of watches and
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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.