Popular Woodworking 2008-08 № 170, страница 8

Popular Woodworking 2008-08 № 170, страница 8

—Letters •-

tently spread across that surface. Or il won't point out when you have a few errant deep scratches left by grinding. Or some loose, coarse abrasive that has sneaked onto yourfiner stone. (A few deep scratches in a polished edge can reduce your edge life.)

So a marker is a good way to get yourself in the ballpark. Keen eyesight and experience will take you the rest of the way.

—Christopher Schwarz, editor

Mortise Chisels: The Rationale For Selecting Specific Sizes

Thanks for consistently producing such thorough and valuable tool reviews. T read your various blog entries each week and enjoy the bits of candid humor and honesty in your writing.

I currently do woodworking purely for hobby/relaxation and take a "no electricity" approach by using quality hand tools only. I'm looking at getting my first real mortise chisel(s) and was hoping you could clarify something for me on widths.

Generally, people say to select a mortise chisel equal to the width of the mortise you are culling, and from your editor's recent tool inventory post on ihe Popular Woodworking blog, you listed owning sizes of V4", V16" and 3/8". I am interested to know if there's any rhyme or reason behind owning those three sizes?

Based on your glowing review, my current thought is to buy two Ray lies English Mortise Chisels, one in '/2" and the other in either 3/t6" or Vi6", because the V4" is out of stock. Any thoughts?

—Jesse Flachsbart, Portland, Oregon

The rule of thumb with hand-cut mortises (and their tenons) is that they should measure one-third of your stock's thickness. So a mortise and a tenon in 3A"-thick stock should be 'A". Hence the lA" mortise chisel, which is what I use when I buy 3A" surfaced stock from the lumberyard.

The Vi6" chisel is for slightly thicker stock, which is more commonly encountered in a hand-tool shop - why thin down those stiles to 3A" if you don't have to?So the Vi6" chisel is my choice when doing that style of work in stock that I have prepared by hand and purposely left over-thick to save time and effort.

And the %" chisel is for 1 "-thick stock, which is a common thickness for tabletops, for example. The 3/s" chisel is just right for mortising the breadboard ends for a tabletop by hand.

You can use these guidelines to pick out the tools you need. If you work with l'/2"-thick stock, then a V2" chisel is a good idea. Otherwise, it will sit idle.

—Christopher Schwarz, editor

Beginner Column Doesn't Build Commitment to Woodworking

I am a young woodworker - one of those guys who grew up in his dad's workshop in the garage. During my art degree program, I decided that I wanted woodworking to be my career. I started my shop with a router, an orbital sander, a chop saw and a circular saw, all battery powered and in the storage unit of my apartment. I subscribed to four woodworking magazines and read them like textbooks, cover to cover. It was my goal to learn as many different methods from as many of the greatest woodworkers as possible, so that I could someday simply look at a design and know how to build it.

Five years later, I run my own shop and have read hundreds of publications. I still subscribe to three of my original four publications. The one I don't get anymore reached a point were it failed to challenge me. Its articles started targeting less-than-beginner hobbyists, and stopped showing how great craftsmen did things.

I was dismayed to find two articles in the June 2008 issue of Popular Woodworking (#169) on your "1 Can Do That" column. These projects are not teaching your readers to have a commitment to studying and perfecting the art you and I love. It is sending the message that anybody can be a woodworker and you don't even have to understand tools

and joinery and how they are used in real furniture work.

Much of my education in woodworking has come from figuring out how to do the amazing projects in Popular Woodworking and other publications, with a limited shop. This practice made me build creativity using tools, but it also made learning hand-tool craftsmanship a necessity. Bottom line: If 1 had to learn woodworking with these articles I would not have been able to accomplish what 1 have.

Popular Woodworking is one of my favorite magazines and I hate to see it become one of those texts that fails to challenge by trying to make woodworking accessible for everyone.

—Jasen Hansen, La Grande, Oregon

'I Can Do That' Philosophy Feels Right for One New to the Craft

As a new subscriber to Popular Woodworking, I want to say how much I appreciate the "1 Can Do That" stories and especially Editor Christopher Schwarz's article "Build Furniture Without a Shop" (June 2008, Issue #169). After doing some simple woodworking, I want to learn more and do more but still stay with a modest set of tools. It just feels like the right path. So, thanks fordevotingasection of your magazine to working this way. PW

— Rob White, Sandia Park, New Mexico

Question? Comment? We want to hear from you.

Popular Woodworking welcomes comments from readers about the magazine or woodworking in general, as well as questions on all areas of woodworking. We are more than happy to share our woodworking experience with you by answering your questions or adding some clarity to whatever aspect of the craft you are unsure about, and if you have a complaint, we want to address it whenever possible.

Though we receive a good deal of mail, we try to respond to all correspondence in a prompt manner. Published correspondence may be edited lor length or style. All correspondence becomes the property of Popular Woodworking. Send your questions and comments via e-mail to popwood@fwpubs.com, via fax to 513-891-7196, or by mail to:

Popular Woodworking

4700 E. Galbraith Road

Cincinnati, OH 45236

14 ■ Popular Woodworking August 2008

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