Mark Reuten

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About Mark Reuten

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    Apprentice Poster

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  • Gender
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  • Location
    Victoria BC
  • Woodworking Interests
    Wooden boats, stringed instruments, Pacific Northwest carving, simple antique furnishings, bushcraft.
  1. I use a simple method of graph paper on clipboards. One for each project underway. I use date, task, material value and hours columns. Hours are tracked in 1/4 hour minimums. If there are lot of email communications pertinent to project details and commitments, I print them out and keep them with the time sheet. I track all paying projects and some personal so that I can refer to them later. If I were more organized I would break the time sheets into major processes but I'm rarely that on the ball and I tend to not have clear boundaries between processes in many cases. Sometimes i go back t
  2. If time is not an issue but food safe is, I would use pure tung oil. Citrus oils in my opinion are primarily intended to have a temporary olfactory effect. Pure tung oil is intended for food contact products as they contain no chemical dryers or solvents. Relative to polymerized tung oil, you can however save a bit of money by using the pure tung oil and adding sovents and dryers yourself as polymerized tung oil is much pricier. Linseed oil is much cheaper and just as food safe if the "raw" variety is chosen. If you are concerned about the hardwarestore variety, you can get flaxseed oil from
  3. I use a 600/1200 DMT for all my primary sharpening but switch to waterstones for the finer grits not because they are any better but because I haven't worn mine out yet. I have burned through many diamond stones however. I get about two or three years out of one before I feel that they start to lose their bite. I feel they are well worth the extra expense and also work very well for sharpening things like plug cutters and countersinks.
  4. My first lesson is always how to sharpen a pencil. I then like to teach students some basic sharpening techniques emphasizing hand control rather than using jigs. Beyond that, take your time and play safe. Lastly impressing upon them that fixing mistakes takes more time than avoiding them but that making mistakes is part of learning.
  5. I use both extensively. I would go with the TB3 unless you are counting on gap filling or cannot provide proper clamping pressure. I've used TB2 for outdoor furniture with no failure over the long term as well. One word of warning about using TB3 in general- it does not take stains. That came back to haunt me when I used it in a furniture project once. I was lucky to have a good spray finishing guy who came to the rescue.
  6. This answer might depend on the finish that you are dealing with but my first thought is to use TSP but it may etch your finish if is a film finish like varnish. My second thought is a trick I learned from an antique dealer. He cleaned all his finds with an oil based mechanics hand cleaner like Lustersheen. It worked wonders on waxed furniture without damaging the patina.
  7. The tung oil your Grandmother used is still an excellent choice. I would start with that. Now kids and water are the next challenge so to maintain it you either stick with the tung oil or you use a finish that will not trap water underneath it. Mineral oil would be okay but you might as well use the tung oil. You could consider a wax but most will cause water stains, however Clapham's Salad Bowl finish will not. It is a bees wax based product. His other furniture waxes will allow the water stains to occur. The nice thing about the salad bowl finish is that it is non-toxic and you can use the t
  8. I recommend an oil finish of any type followed by regular waxings. Every varnished bench I've used has been awful. I use a shop made wax which is a little stickier than typical furniture wax. My recipe is simple. Shave a pile of bees wax into a can and add enough turpentine to cover. Stir it up once in a while and in a few days it will have dissolved into a paste. Adjust consistency by adding more turps or by evaporation. Good for waxing screws too. Crap for waxing furniture (other than workbenches). Consider yourself warned.
  9. The linseed oil will not help your cause and it may just make matters worse. I would either keep trying to get the stain right or tint some poly down to the colour you want and apply as many coats as you require to get the colour right. The pale colour of the pine will keep fighting you on this one. You mention the pine being "harder" and I wonder if it isn't something in the fir family which can be very difficult to take stain well. I'll bet you keep getting winter growth rings coming up pale, right? Try this solution. Mix some of that cherry stain in with some poly. Test a dab on some scra
  10. Sikkens Cetol is your best choice. It is easy to apply and requires very few coats to achieve a high level of protection. Just follow the manufacturers directions and apply maintenance coats before the finish breaks down. There isn't any sort of conditioner that will help matters but you can apply a thinned coat of linseed, tung oil or similar product to penetrate into the cracks. Wipe off the surface about half an hour after applying the oil and allow a couple of days of drying time before applying the Cetol.
  11. Endgrain on MDF is a pain to seal up for paint so miters are worth using. If you use butt joints, it helps to use a spot putty to skim the end grain before paint. Glue and brad nailer is the way to go. I think the birch ply would work just fine as well.
  12. Also, I love Christmas Donkey but they are so tough you really need to start cooking them at Thanksgiving.
  13. I would file some random sized half rounds into a paint scraper and run it against a fence. Shift fence. Repeat.
  14. I would suggest you get a decent quality japanese ryoba saw (rip pattern and cross cut pattern on opposite sides of the same blade) with about an 18-20 tpi on the cross cut pattern to use for your basic cross cut and joinery needs and then, as Bob suggests, look at acquiring and refurbishing some older western saws. Sharpening them is quite easy and most sharpening companies will punch you a new set of teeth on one for about ten to twenty bucks. From there you just need to keep them in tune.
  15. A light sanding could help eliminate any minor chatter that the planer may leave behind but Don is right about the open grain not needing much prep. I would dust off with a water dampened cloth or alcohol myself before applying adhesive. You'll need large clamp pads to help spread the pressure over that wide a surface. A notched trowel will help prevent you from applying too mush adhesive.