Popular Woodworking 2007-12 № 166, страница 8

Popular Woodworking 2007-12 № 166, страница 8

if I put a table saw or router in that room, but with hand tools, is this still a issue?

— Brad Nunn, Medina, Ohio

We have a sun room, and that is exactly where I would put my bench if I could. You are thinking along the right lines.

As to dust and shavings: If you are going to work with hand tools, I don't think you'll have much (if anything) to worry about. The dust that damages your lungs is the extremely fine particulate — stuff that's less than a micron in size. Hand tools make little (if any) of this stuff. It's the sanding tools that are responsible for a good deal of the really fine, choking stuff.

You might want to consider doingyour finishing elsewhere, however. It can be stinky —unless you use water-based finishes or shellac.

Good luck with your new shop.

— ChristopherSchwarz, editor

Pre-civil War Disston saw: ok to Use it, or should it be Preserved?

My father-in-law knew of my interest in hand tools and gave me an old saw he had in his garage. It turns out it is a pre-1865 Disston.

My best guess from the Disstonian Institute (disstonianinstitute.com) is that it is a No. 7 and probably an 1840s or 1850s model based on the medallion. It has an 18" blade filed with 10 ppi crosscut with the nib intact. The idea of using a saw made when or before Abe Lincoln was president kind of appeals to me, but I don't want to be an idiot. What's the best way to take care of it? Can I clean it? It's dirty but has no rust. Can I use brass cleaner on the medallion to make it more visible?

— Tom Kelley, via e-mail

I use saws that are that old. They are not terribly common, but not terribly valuable either. Only a few saws fetch more than $200 in the collector market. So I'd use it, if you are so inclined.

As to cleaning it, Pete Taran of Vintage Saws has an excellent tutorial on his web site "library" page at vintagesaws.com, which should get you going on cleaning and filing the saw.

— Christopher Schwarz, editor

Benchtop Planer cutterheads

I am looking into purchasing a benchtop planer, but I am curious - can I upgrade any of the existing brands' blades later with a heli-

-Letters -


cal cutterhead? I have not been able to find any aftermarket kits on the web, and it seems that only the large planers are available with them, and at a substantial cost.

— Gordon Corlette, via e-mail

In the tool world the lunchbox (benchtop) planers are considered disposable, as are the knives (you get two edges to use before buying another set — no sharpening). I know it's a terrible way to think of these tools because they work great in home and small shops, but that's the way it is. As a result, you'll not find any helical heads to replace the existing cutterhead.

Another reason for no replacements is that the design or diameter of the head on the benchtop tool is small, and the engineering of the helical head requires a larger diameter for installation of the inserts.

— Glen D. Huey, senior editor

Fighting hand-tool Rust in Florida

I have a question about tool storage and humidity. I live in Florida and have no way to control humidity in my garage shop, so I'm constantly fighting rust on my hand tools. I want to build a wall-hung tool rack, but I was wondering if I would gain any protection for the tools and from humidity if I built an enclosed storage cabinet instead of an open rack.

—Jerry E. Flowers, Lynn Haven, Florida

As to tool storage, Cincinnati is quite humid as well. My basement is even worse. My tools stay out in the open and rust-free because of good working habits. I wipe down every tool after use and before it gets put away with a rag soaked in lubricant. I keep dust off of the tools (dust attracts salt and moisture). I clear all shavings from the mouths and escapements of my tools.

The kind of lubricant isn't terribly important. WD-40 will work. I use Camellia oil or Boeshield T9. There are lots of alternatives available as well. The real trick is not in your cabinet or rack, but in establishing good habits before you store your tools.

— Christopher Schwarz, editor

clock movement options

I'm a woodworking teacher in Factoryville, Penn. I just started the new school year, and I have two students who are interested in making the tall Shaker clock from the August 2007 issue of Popular Woodworking (#163), but the price tag of the movement ($375) might hold them back.

Are there any suitable replacements that do not have such a high cost? My students tend to have part-time jobs after school, and I think $100-$150 will be their limit. —John Brander, Factoryville, Pennsylvania

My suggestion would be to build the clock as shown, but install a simple quartz movement such as the "standard quartz movement" (without the pendulum) that Woodcraft offers for $8.99 (woodcraft.com).

If you do find a less expensive bell-strike movement, pay attention to the case size (and, let me know whereyoufound it!). The movement needs to be able to work within the confines presented by the case (this won't be pose a challenge with the much smaller quartz movements).

— Glen D. Huey, senior editor

Please stop Perpetuating Fear of Grade-school mathematics

I am a mathematician and a woodworker. While I enjoy Popular Woodworking immensely, there is something that you do that drives me crazy. In the October 2007 issue (#164), I saw the word "Caution" in one of the picture captions. What could it be cautioning against? Could there be an important safety issue? Would constructing the panel-cutting sled require putting one's hand closer to the blade

14 ■ Popular Woodworking December 2007

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