Popular Woodworking 2000-04 № 114, страница 8

Popular Woodworking 2000-04 № 114, страница 8

Letters

Continued from page 9

stumped. I'm building a kitchen table from maple for my daughter. At the lumberyard I was warned about this material's tendency to take stain unevenly. I cut a sample of the wood I brought home, and tried a half dozen different stains from partially empty leftovers I had in the shop, and sure enough, the stain left a very uneven appearance. It was speckled. I tried using a wood conditioner before staining, but it didn't help.

Any advice to help me get a good, uniform appearance? Or am I going to end up just oiling the wood and letting age take care of darkening it? It's a country farm table with turned legs. The whole project will be maple, with no painted surfaces.

Glenn Martin Ontario, New York

Editor's note: Maple, as you have learned, is tough to stain. Because your project includes turned legs, which are hard to sand well and will expose a certain amount of end grain, you are guaranteed staining problems. The makers of wood conditioners don't tell you that you need to apply coat after coat of the stuff to get it to work right, and it will still be a problem for legs. If you can live with the oil finish, you'll save yourself a lot of work. If you want to add color, I suggest you use an aniline dye instead of a stain. But before applying the dye, sand the wood to at least 180grit, then raise the grain with a damp cloth, resand with 180 or whatever your last grit was, then apply the dye. Of course, experiment with sample pieces first. You can read more about this in a book I'd highly recommend called "Understanding Wood Finishes" by Bob Flexner.

— Steve Shanesy, editor and publisher

One Cautionary Note on the 'Little Shop' Miter Sled

I have just been reading the article on the shop-built miter sled and felt that I should

point out that, as shown, this device actually can be dangerous. You have created a false bed with a plywood base, which means the offcut is no longer supported.

As you approach the end of the cut, the waste is still attached to the workpiece, but its weight can cause it to droop and bind on the saw blade — causing it to be thrown back at the saw operator.

This problem can be overcome by temporarily attaching another piece of ply of the same thickness as the sled's base to the saw table on the other side of the blade so the level on both sides of the blade is equal.

Michael Simmonds Southampton, England

Editor's note:Thanks for the suggestion. We actually use a similar cutoff board when cross-cutting pieces with long falloff.We should have mentioned it and stand corrected.

—Jim Stuard, associate editor

Hooray for Nick Engler

What a coup for your magazine to present Nick Engler as a contributing editor. He is a genius at designing jigs to assist woodworking power tools.

His books have enabled me to advance from a "fair to middling" woodworker to a "better than average one." They are clear and concise and full of numerous photos and repetition of important points.

I encourage all less than average woodworkers to take a look at The Woodworkers Companion series of books produced by him and his staff and published by Ro-dale Press. Most libraries have the series or can assist with the information to order it.

Congratulations for bringing Nick on board. Your readers will be enriched by his efforts. PW

Paul Scupholm Redford Township, Michigan

COMING IN THE JUNE 2000 ISSUE

Shop of the Crafters Morris Chair • We build an exact replica of an Arts & Crafts Morris chair that isn't as chunky as many of the Stickley chairs,and it's within the reach of most beginning woodworkers in small shops.

The Way Wood Works • Contributing Editor Nick Engler explains how to use the grain and structure of the wood so your projects are sturdy and stable.

CORRECTIONS & CLARIFICATIONS

In the February 2000 issue (#113), we listed the Delta Unisaw model 34-783 in our tool report.That machine is not available for sale.Also,since the publication of the tool report, Black & Decker has increased the voltage on its line of Firestorm cordless drills. PW

www.popwood.com 11

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