Popular Woodworking 2005-04 № 147, страница 12

Popular Woodworking 2005-04 № 147, страница 12



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Dept. 05PW04B

Show the Original Design You Altered

Showing a Photograph of the Source Of Your Design Would Assist Readers

Thank you for the December 2004 issue - I enjoyed it all, and the "Shaker-inspired Bench" is just beautiful. I'm sorry to write you one letter on two issues but here goes:

When an article's writer modifies a classic design such as the Shaker bench, could you also publish the photograph of the original item ? I would like to make a bench the original 94" long. I also would like to see the unmodified corbel detail for myself.

Also, I read with interest of your enthusiasm for spiral cutterheads with carbide inserts. I have read elsewhere that carbide cutters will harden the surface of wood as they cut, while high-speed steel cutters tend to leave the surface of the wood more amenable to sanding. Is there any truth in this?

Dick Marlow Huntsville, Texas

The original bench is shown in Christian Becks-voort's "The Shaker Legacy" (The Taunton Press) on pages 130 and 131. He refers to it as courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (metmuseum.org). We couldn't publish the photo because of space and copyright issues.

As to carbide cutterheads, I don't see how they could harden the surface of the wood. High-speed steel can theoretically be ground to a sharper edge, leaving a smoother cut, but once you have run a few boards over the knives the edges would be about the same. I haven't noticed any difference in "sandability" of pieces surfaced by our jointer, and cant think of any good reason to go back to a standard three-knife head. The spiral head gives a much better surface, especially on figured wood, and it is much quieter and easier to use.

— Robert W. Lang, senior editor

Avoiding the Phantoms of Shop Class

In 1944, I was a very excited boy of 11 when I reached grade six and learned that I was to

take a woodworking class for a whole afternoon once a week. Each boy was assigned a junior-sized workbench beautifully made of maple and fully equipped with hand tools.

During the war, there were no men available, so women taught woodworking courses. Our teacher was very strict. I guess she had to be strict in order to keep control of 15 boys who were 11 years old. We were told right off that there would be no horseplay in her class.

Woodworking was my favorite course. It was not boring like geography or history lessons. We were given the wood we needed for the simple projects we would build in the class. I loved the aroma of the room where the beautiful wood was kept.

One day as I finished planing a piece of wood, I placed the plane on my bench. As I let go of the plane, a 3'-long pointer came down swiftly across my hand. I recoiled in pain and horror. As I backed away, the teacher poked the pointer into my body repeatedly to emphasize each of the following words: "Never lay your plane down on its blade!"

I really do owe that teacher a great deal for introducing me to the joys of woodworking. I think of her every time I place my plane on its side on my bench.

continued on page 12


Popular Woodworking welcomes letters from readers with comments about the magazine or woodworking in general. We try to respond to all correspondence. Published letters may be edited for length or style. All letters become the property of Popular Woodworking. How to send your letter:

• E-mail: popwood@fwpubs.com

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Popular Woodworking April 2005

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