Jon A

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About Jon A

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    Apprentice Poster

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Western MA
  • Woodworking Interests
    Cedar Strip-built kayak building, furniture, turning, Adirondack chairs, etc.

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  1. I would like to sincerely thank Marc, Matt V., Shannon and Matt C. for providing years of entertainment, education, and inspiration. I have really enjoyed listening to the podcast during my commute each day. Woodworking used to be a weekend activity only for me. I loved that this podcast could bring woodworking into my work week. I have been woodworking on and off since I was about 8 years old banging around my father's shop. I took shop classes in high school but was otherwise either self-taught or learned through readings books and magazines. I loved that I could learn more about woodworking during a time of my day that would have otherwise been devoted to listening to music or news podcasts. You have spread the gospel of woodworking to thousands and thousands of people around the world and have created a great community of people with a shared love of the hobby. That said, I suppose all good things must come to an end. I would like to wish each of you the best of luck in future endeavors. Something tells me that we haven't heard the last of you. Thank you. Best, Jon A.
  2. I don't know where I first heard it but I am a believer in "you never regret buying a quality tool". I have certainly bought my fair share of crappy tools that I have had (or will have) to replace. If you can, buy quality from the start and spend your money once. In the long-run it's cheaper. I am a hobbyist/weekend warrior like yourself. I have a 3HP cabinet table saw, a crappy 6" jointer, a crappy 12" Delta planer, a really crappy (i.e. $39) import benchtop drill press and a 14" Ridgid band saw and I get by. I am sure I will eventually upgrade everything except the table saw. Most of the other stuff was acquired when I was younger and no money to spend (I guess I still don't have money to spend because I still have the junky tools). It all comes down to your budget. Of the tools you listed, I would consider saving a little on the drill press (my tiny/junky one works for what I use it for) but I would try not to cut corners on the other tools. If you don't plan to re-saw, you might consider getting a good 14" bandsaw. Small jointers and planers can be very limiting. I wouldn't skimp there. The table saw, for many of us, is the center of the shop, I would skimp there either. HTH Jon A.
  3. I have the Galvanized Shelving System shown in the last photo in the original post but I got it at Woodcraft. I used lag screws and was careful to hit the middle of the wall studs. I use it for lumber storage and to hold an 8' long miter station (using the long bracket shown as "F" in the photo above). I was nervous that it would be too much weight but, knock on wood, it has been fine for about three years. I have four wall standards/rails but only two of them are holding up the miter station. I had planned to add some "L" brackets from below for added insurance but haven't gotten around to it. Instead, I may just make the miter station longer (it is just 2x4's on the flat with some CDX plywood screwed to it) so I can add a couple more "F" brackets to help carry the load. I like the idea that you can move the shelving/bracket heights around as your needs change. They are very sturdy brackets and rails. -Jon A.
  4. You are right. As I review my original post I realize how petty and trivial it must seem. If I spent half as much time building projects as I do researching tools and techniques, I'd have a lot less Ikea junk in my house!! I am sure these chisels will be just fine. Thanks for all of the replies. Happy New Year! -Jon A.
  5. If you use your "beater" chisels daily, when do you use your good ones??? By that standard, I must feel very "free"... I have a lot of non-Cadillac tools. I am slowly upgrading the junk I acquired in my 20's with higher quality stuff. I was planning to use the Harbor Freight el-cheapos as my "beater" chisels for scraping glue or rough carpentry. The new chisels were intended to by my good ones. If they hold an edge as well as Narex as indicated above by RichardA, I think I will be satisfied. I have a vintage 3/8" socket chisel that holds an edge very well. I will keep an eye out for other vintage chisels in 1/4" and 1/2" (I like finding good/old stuff).
  6. My wife bought me a 6 piece set of Wood River Bench Chisels for Christmas. I had been planning to get Narex chisels or Stanley Sweathearts. I have researched the issue and the general consensus seems to be that they are decent chisels but not great. Understand, I am stepping up from a set of $7.99 Harbor Freight bench chisels that "work".... they don't hold an edge but they will get sharp enough to do some work in softer woods. I certainly do not need to spend several hundred dollars on Japanese chisels or LV/LN level quality. Given what I am used to and the fact that I don't get into the shop as much as I'd like (23 month old twins), I am sure the Wood Rivers will be a night and day improvement. That said, I agree with the old adage that "you never regret buying a good tool." I'd like this to be the last set I have to buy. I am looking for feedback especially from those who have owned the Wood River Chisels for a while. Any regrets? Thanks in advance. Happy New Year! Jon A.
  7. Thank you for the compliments on the car. It is a Factory Five Racing Roadster that I built between 2006 and 2010. It was my first automotive project and was an absolute blast. It was as fun to build it as it is to drive. I really appreciate the generous offers to "store" the car for me but I've got it under control ;-) I think the point about using the machinists benches as a base for a milkman's bench or bench on bench for joinery makes sense. I may still make the Paulk style bench but I'll focus on it being used for outfeed and assembly. I doubt it will work well for hand tools. Thanks for the replies. Jon A
  8. Hello, I am hoping you folks can help me decide which type of workbench/outfeed table/assembly table might work best for my situation. I have a two car garage shop that has to store one car most of the time. I know that is blasphemous but the car is a cobra replica I built a few years ago so I am more than happy to live with this concession. My wife is awesome and we keep our daily drivers and most non-shop related stuff out of the garage. I usually store the cobra off-site during the winter, when I do most of my woodworking (though, when serious snow is predicted, I put one of our other cars in the shop). Since I generally have to move the cobra replica in and out of the shop to do an y work, I have to be able to set up and dismantle my shop relatively quickly. I have a 3HP Steel City Cabinet saw on wheels. When not set up, it is tucked away by the wall. When in use it is in the center of the garage. I really need a decent outfeed table that either folds down or can be stored on top of the saw when not in use. I also roll the lunchbox planer (in a cart), jointer, and dust collector to the center of the shop while I am working. I have two very heavy-duty workbenches against the walls. These were built for a machine shop that was set up during WWII at my grandparent's house. I have a woodworking vice on one and a big "regular" vice on the other. These benches aren't flat or clean enough for woodworking but they are very handy. I am leaning towards a modified Ron Paulk workbench on sawhorses. I already purchased his well thought out plans. I would make the top (at least) out of 3/4 high quality ply and the rest out of 1/2" to save weight. One thought is to make it reversible with have one side having dog holes and the other more "clean" for assembly. I would make it one piece ~3' x 6' to roughly match the size of the table saw top where it will be stored when not in use. My only hesitation is that I do not know how well it will work for hand-tool work. I, like most here I suppose, am primarily a power-tool guy but I am getting more and more interested in hand-tools and the "hybrid" approach. I would be interested to hear from anyone who has used a Paulk bench thinks about this plan. Other ideas are: a more traditional torsion box assembly/outfeed table and a separate milkman's bench clamped to the top of one of my existing benches for handtool work. I aslo considered a knock-down bench with a more solid top but that would be pretty heavy to move around and set up on my own. I have seen some nice folding outfeed tables but worry that they would not provide enough support for assembly or to use as a workbench (fold-down legs would help but are they enough?) Here are some pictures of the shop so you can get an idea of what I am working with. Thanks in advance. -Jon A.
  9. I think you are right about the temperatures... it was in the upper 70's yesterday and that seems to have done the trick. The varnish has cured. It is still a bit soft (you can leave a mark with a finger nail). I think I put it on too thick. I was trying to fill a couple of knots... I think I will use some SystemThree epoxy instead then sand everything down and either put some varnish thinned with mineral spirits or wiping poly on. Good to know that varnish doesn't really go bad... that provides some reassurance! Thanks! -Jon A.
  10. Hello, I made some coasters out of some western red cedar I had in the cut-off bin with a curved stripe of 1/16" mahogany veneer left over from a strip-built kayak project. Since they are coasters and will see a lot of water, I thought I would use some old Helmsman Spar Varnish I had in the cabinet. Seemed like a good idea anyway... I strained the finish and put it on with a brush. It was much thicker than I would have liked and it picked up a ton of debris. In retrospect, I probably should have thinned it with some mineral spirits or just used a wipe-on poly. Of course I waited until after I began experiencing problems to do a search on this site. It sounds like HSV doesn't harden as much as poly so that it can expand and contract with the wood in exterior applications. It was around 55 degrees when I applied the finish and probably dropped down to the 40's at night (unheated garage shop in Massachusetts). It sands but gums up the paper a bit. Am I better off scraping it mostly off with a card scraper or razor and starting over with wipe-on poly? I am really annoyed at myself for using this old stuff. I had some Interlux varnish in the same cabinet as well as some different oil-based polyurethanes. Thanks in advance for any suggestions! -Jon A.
  11. I talked to Steel City today (I wanted to personally thank them for standing behind their product). Apparently they stopped using the switch I had on my saw almost 2 years ago. They now use the same switch on both the 110v and 220v machines (just wired differently). The new switch is being mailed today. I am confident that it will solve the issue. The saw really has been great for the money and it is nice to know that they have good customer service. Tom - The switch was clean when I took it apart and had been pretty well sealed so I don't think there was any dust in there. Funny you should mention the Shop Vac... I have the same issue with mine. My work-around was to use it as a dedicated vac for my 14" bandsaw. I have it plugged into a power strip. When I turn on the switch, the vac and task light for the saw go on. Now I might have to cut the red cover off and see if that fixes it. Thanks!! -Jon A.
  12. I emailed Steel City this morning and received a very prompt response indicating that they would send me out a new switch, free of charge under my warranty. All I had to do was send them a copy of my sales receipt. Can't ask for anything more than that! I was adjusting an F-clamp on a box-joint jig and probably shut off the saw for safety reasons (I am not a big fan of a loose metal clamp and my hands near a spinning blade!!) I don't recall "short cycling" it but I could have. Now that I am aware of the issue, I will certainly be more careful about turning it on and off. Thanks for the help! -Jon A.
  13. a. 35905 b. 240 only c. Magnetic I believe d. Didn't smell anything until it tripped the circuit and I walked back to the saw. The cabinet was cleaned out earlier in the day but it wasn't bad to begin with (it is attached to a dust collector). e. Yes f. Purchased Feb. 25, 2012... I didn't get it out of the crate for at least 2 months so I am hoping they will honor the warranty. I will call them in the morning. I did a little research online and it sounds like this saw has had this problem. I don't think I was "short-cycling" the saw but I was sneaking up on the depth of cut with a box-joint jig so it is possible. I do have a digital multimeter. I will probably just get a new switch from SC (assuming that is what their customer service dept recommends) and go from there. I certainly will not be turning on or plugging in the saw until this is fixed. Thanks for the replies. Jon A
  14. Hi guys, This is my first post (been lurking for a while). Love the site and hope you can help me... I have a Steel City 3HP cabinet saw. It is running on 220 on a dedicated 30 amp circuit. I tripped the circuit today while using a 6" wobble dado blade. I shut off the switch (or at least I thought I did) and then flipped the circuit back on. The saw immediately turned on. I tried shutting it off by the paddle switch but it wouldn't stay off. I held it in the off position for a moment but then noticed a little smoke and a spark. I immediately unplugged the saw. The circuit had tripped again. I unscrewed the switch cover and there was a bit of smoke and the switch was warm. The saw has worked fine for two years. Today was the first day using the 6" dado... I am wondering if that could be the cause. Should you only use an 8" dado/stacked dado blades on a 3HP saw? (I had bought the blade for an old contractor saw but never used it). I am not sure where to go from here. Did I blow the switch? Any thought would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance. Jon A