Customer Communications

P.O. Box 7591 Red Oak. IA51S91 (800) 666-3111

AMrmc AN »(¥)i«t*u* (ISSN H-*M>MK) b published six tunc* a voir in January. March. May. July. ScjMcmbcr. and November by Rodale Pfe>s Inc.. 55 E Minor St.. Emnuuv PA IHttW. (>IS)<XT M-| f 1992 by R«xiaJe Pre«. Inc J I Rodale, Founder. Ardath Rodale. Ouirxnan of the Board; Robert fcuid. PrcMdent uf Kodak: Pre» SUBSCRIPTION RATKS: I N one-yejf. $25 ~<>. two-year. »47.40 Single Copy. $5.95. (.ana da. one-yrar. $_5U. two year, KiO(<.an*di an funds) C.ST * R12298H6II. foreign, one-year. $55. two year. S"D (I s fund») I! s newsstand distribution by Cur-ti> Circulation Co.. Hackeniack. NJ IT6I0. SECOND CI ASS POSTAGE paid at Emmaus. PA and additKnul mailing office* PtXSTMANTER Send addrem c hange» to Ahiii <-»s WiKmvoRKC«. P.O. Box -591. Red Oak. IA 51591. CONTRIBl TOR C.IIDFIJNFS: Available upon request. <215) 96T- «5 IS

Don't Destroy History

I have concerns with an article entitled "Drawboring" that appeared in aw, »25. While the technical aspects of making offset holes for the pegs in a mortise and tenon joint are well explained, the author's tale of discovering the phenomena (while dismantling an 18th century drop-leaf table) is upsetting.

The very information this author discovered was obliterated in the process of "wrenching apart old joints." An undisturbed, glueless, pegged mortise and tenon joint from the 18th century is indeed a rare tiling. Such workmanship should at least be given serious consideration before a heavy-handed reworking of the structure is carried out.

Too many times we don't stop to think about what we are doing to a surviving example of someone else's craftsmanship. Our furniture heritage is to be preserved and respected in our work and in the pages of publications such as American Woodworker.

Gregory LanJrey Furniture Consenxitor Wintcrilmr Museum

Winterthur, DE

What's Safest Way to Saw?

Re: Tablesaw Safety (aw, *27). Although Ellis Walentine discusses blade speed, there is no mention of the old argument that raising the blade to its highest level will decrease kickback forces, as the blade will have a greater downward force on the wood.

As a teacher of woodworking for more than 20 years, I have heard that a raised blade is more likely to cause injury, but basic physics tells me that the higher the blade, the greater the downward force, and the less force directed toward the operator. What do you think?

Joseph KlciJ Warwick, NY

Most experts say you should keep tlye blade l.wight % in. to 'A in. above the work to minimize your exposure to the teeth. The exception is hollow-ground planer blades, which you should extend fully for clearance. Kickback is more dependent on blade sharpness and set, fence alignment and wood condition. For more on tablesaw safety, call the National Safety Council at 1-800-621-7619 and request publication 1-605.

Bandsaw Reprint

In your August "Letters" column, two readers commented on your article, "Tuning A Bandsaw," (aw, *25) and one indicated that this article "was worth more than a year's subscription." It may be of interest to your readers to know that we have purchased reprints of that article from your magazine and we would be pleased to send one at no charge to anyone who requests it. Our address is Carter Products Co., 437 Spring St. N.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49503 (616-451-2928).

fhter ihrv2 PresiJeni Carter FVoJuci* Co.

Grand Rapids, Ml

Mallet Modification

Your article on making a cabinetmaker's mallet (aw *26) really caught my fancy, and I made four with one minor change. My handles are drive-fit with a Vurin. birch cross pin halfway up the width of the head.

Incidentally, the wood I used was all more than 40 years old and "reclaimed," so to speak. Three mallets are cherry reclaimed from a nightstand I made in high school in 1946.

James T. Ritclccr

Houston, TX

Plane-making Book

Your May-June issue was wonderful, especially the sm<x)thing plane article by Mario Rodriguez. The only thing missing was an adjustable throat. Cecil Pierce of Southport, Maine, lias a new plane-making book out (Monmouth Press. RR2, Box 7140, Monnmouth, ME

04259) and he shows the adjustable throat, though he docs not go into detail on its creation.

Ike Ihy Portland, OR

Trouble Brewing in Texas

In your editor's note to B. Jack McDaniel (aw, »27) you said, "But hey, who can blame them for trying to postpone a visit to Texas as long as possible?" What the hell do you mean by that? If it is intended as humor, it ain't funny.

Oeorqe lloqan 111

The Woodlands, TX

This is in response to the editor's note (about Texas) in your August edition. It is obvious that you are unaware of sometliing called The Texas Pride. Our slogan for those who litter fits this answrer of \-ours: Don't Mess With Texas. #

I enjoyed American Woodworker until you made that uncalled-for comment. Please cancel my subscription.

Jan ¡raylor

Bay City, TX

Guys. It may have been a bad joke, but it was just a joke. Please don't circle the wagons; we're friendlies up here in PA.

To Our Subscribers

In order to serve you better and to

keep subscription costs down, we've moved our subscription service from Emmaus, Pennsylvania, to an independent company in Iowa.

If you have any questions or problems with your subscription, call (800) 666-3111. Our operators will do their best to help you. Address any letters about your subscription to: American Woodworker, P.O. Box 7591, Red Oak. IA51591.

Please send all other mail to: American Woodworker. 33 E. Minor St., Emmaus, PA 1809K. The phone number for our editorial office is (215)967-5171.

Forest Issue Revisited

In his letter on old growth forests (aw, *27) Tracy W. Buhler suggests "courts, politicians and lawyers should decide how much old growth forest should be protected." Forests and the timber industry are too important to be left solely to the lawyers, politicians and courts. Too often they are interested only in a settlement and not in the issues themselves. Lawyers in particular are usually experts only in the law and in very little else. I can think of no group less likely to protect the interests of the timber industry or the conserv ationists.

The decisions on old growth forests are of interest to all and should be made as a result of sincere and extensive dialogue among all parties— including editors and woodworkers.

James Boum


True Grit

Re: "Sanding by Hand," (aw, *25). The article states, "Sandpaper is rated by grit — the number of abrasive particles per square inch of the paper's surface." Anyone who has ever looked at sandpaper knows that this is not the case. The grit number refers to the size of the particles, and reflects the number of holes per square inch in the screen used to sort the particles.

Saunders Dixon

West Chester, PA Planer Review Reviewed

Your article "Portable Planers—A Buyer's Guide" (aw, *25) has missed the mark by some, and quite some again. In no way can I agree with your choice of Makita as the best buy.

The Makita by your own statistics was not as well provided for in motor size as some of the other brands, and in my experience will never match the production of a machine with a larger motor. Makita also features throwaway knives. This may facilitate

Makita Corp.'s income, but for those of us who sharpen our own. or have cost-effective knife grinding available, this is a ridiculous concept.

The major lacking of all these planers, however, is that thickness adjustments are made by raising or lowering the bed. This means you constantly have to readjust the bed extensions or independent outfecd rollers you need with longer boards.

fhul Nuzman

Sacramento. CA

Editor Wanted

We're looking for a full-time editor to join the an* staff. The candidate must be energetic and enthusiastic, have excellent writing, editing and journalistic skills and a knowledge of woodworking. Drawing and photography skills are a plus. Pleasant location one hour from Philadelphia and two hours from New York City.

Send resume with writing samples to:

Personnel Department AW-LTE Rodale Press Inc. 33 E. Minor St. Em maus, PA 1809K

Gristmill Gears

The article on the Wight Sawmill (aw, *27) was most interesting and the photos were great. I'm wondering whether you have ever run an article featuring gristmills. If so, have you ever described the early method of making wooden gearing, the precise techniques for making gears that mesh properly and the methods of caning them exactly so thev don't clash.

Murray M. Brown Warwick, MA

We've never written about gristmills or wooden gears here. Can any of you readers help?

Leave Toys to Other Mags

In the past, some of your readers have written letters saying they would like to see more toys and puzzle plans. The market is already flooded with this type of magazine and it docs not need more.

I look forward to reading articles by Mike Dunbar, Craig Bent/ley, Roger Holmes and Jonathan Clarke, just to name a few. And 1 never get tired of seeing old tools, museum picccs and any kind of reproductions. My hopes are that aw continues to produce quality articles bv true craftsmen.

Dale J. Ilorst

Litilz, PA Practice What You Preach

Re: "Workshop Noise: Listen Up! Machines Can Damage Your Hearing," (aw, «26). The impact of your well-researched and well-written feature is somewhat diminished by your failure to consistently stress the importance of hearing protection in your pages. The most obvious example follows this article, where the user of a disc sander has chosen to forgo the use of hearing protection.

aw should practice what it preaches by ensuring that all photographs and drawings adequately and consistently portray the use of hearing protection.

I am a 35-year-old hearing-impaired woodworker and I never work without hearing protection since I am devoted to preserving the hearing which remains.

Glenn Stem Forked River, NJ

What's on your mind? We value your comments, complaints and corrections. Send your letters to: '•Editor." American Woodworker, 33 E. Minor St., Hmmaus, PA 18098.

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