Hands On

Volume 46/Issue 4

Project Articles
Knock-Down & Store-Away Table
Home Shop Workbench
Rolling Pin & Dried Flower Vase

Ask Smitty
Owner’s Gallery
Letters from Owners
Academy Notes
Clean Cuts - Pt. 1
Service Pointers
Bandsaw Service Pointers
Safety Tips
Horizontal Boring Safety

What's New
Shopsmith and Lowe's Team Up

Find A Shopsmith Woodworking Academy Near You

National Woodworking Academy in Dayton, OH

Online Accessory Catalog
Request Printed Accessory Catalog
Online Replacement Parts Catalog

Find A Shopsmith
MARK V Demo Near You

Request MARK V Information Package

Links Worth Visiting
Free Woodworking Tips

Contacting Shopsmith

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Shopsmith, Inc.
All Rights Reserved


Ask Smitty No woodworker (except SMITTY, of course) has ALL the answers. From time-to-time, everyone hits a snag, trying to figure out some sort of in-shop problem.
Don't worry, SMITTY can help. Just use the
special e-mail link to send your questions to SMITTY. He’ll do his best to get back to you soon, with the answers to those questions.

Here are the questions . . . and SMITTY’S answers for this issue!

If you're having a problem setting-up, aligning or maintaining your Shopsmith equipment, you should contact Shopsmith's Technical Support Staff (NOT Smitty).
Call TOLL-FREE, 1-800-543-7586 during normal business hours to speak directly with a Shopsmith Technical Support Representative.

Printer friendly PDF copy of article

Temporary finish for cake stand
From Paul Paine (Waltham, MA):
I am completing a cake stand for my daughter's wedding. (Like an old coat stand with a column of 2x2 red oak with 8 "arms" each supporting a platform for a cake.) I'd like to give it a light coat of "something" that would not hide the grain yet would give it some uniformity of finish. I'd rather not coat it with a poly or a shellac because my daughter intends to use it as a plant stand later on and we want to be able to finish it to match the decor of her house later on. I was thinking of something like a Tung Oil. What do you think?

Two choices:
The best choice would be a light coat of clear shellac. Why? Because once you're done with the cake stand, you can remove the shellac easily with denatured alcohol....which will dissolve it instantly. If you need to get into the wood grain, use a toothbrush with the alcohol. Then, you can refinish as you desire.

The other choice would be Natural Watco Danish Oil. Then, later, you should be able to go over it with one of the Watco Danish Oils that also contains a stain, such as oak, cherry, etc.


Figuring out material needs
From Derek Hunter, via e-mail:
Since I don't build a lot of projects, I have a problem figuring out the most economical way to buy the materials for my projects. Some plans include a cutting diagram to help with those decisions, but others don't. Is there some sort of “formula” for figuring this out ?

No, there's no formula. If there's not a cutting diagram, here's an idea:

1. Buy some graph paper with 1/4" squares.

2: Go to your hardware store, home center or lumber yard and find out what sizes of wood are available in your market area (for example, 8" wide oak may be available in 6-foot lengths and 10" wide oak may not be available at all).

3: Draw the board sizes that ARE available in your town onto the 1/4" square graph paper. For example, if 8" x 6-foot boards are available, assume that each 1/4" square equals 2" and draw a board on your graph paper that's 36 squares by 4 squares.

4: Finally, draw as many pieces as you can onto this 36 square by 4 square area to see what you can get out of each board.

5: Repeat the process until you have drawn all of your project pieces onto graph paper drawings of as many boards as you may need to contain all the pieces you'll need to make your projects.

6: Remember that you'll have an average 1/8" saw kerf every place you make a cut, so don't forget to deduct this saw kerf from your board length everywhere you make a cut.

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