Hands On

Volume 45/Issue 5

Project Articles
The Toy Train
The Cold Frame
The Toy Puzzles & Kitchen Helpers

Ask Smitty
Owner’s Gallery
Letters from Owners
Academy Notes
Using the Shopsmith Mortising Attachment to Drill Square Holes
Service Pointers
MARK V Wedge Locks & Way Tubes
Safety Tips
Using the Shopsmith Safety Kit

What's New
Incra Miter Gauge 2000

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

Copyright 2002.
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, 1-800-762-7555 during normal business hours to speak directly with a Shopsmith Technical Support Representative.

Printer friendly PDF copy of article

Added support for ripped bevels on long boards
From Thomas Gump, via e-mail:
What is your best suggestion for an outfeed table for the MARK V Table Saw that will tilt at the same angle as the saw table when making angled cuts along the ripped edge of a long board?

The MARK V Support Table will do exactly what you want, tilting with the Worktable to the precise same angle when making bevel cuts along ripped edges.


When is it best to fell trees for lumber...Summer or Winter?
Curt George, via e-mail:
Is wood that is cut during the Winter months (when the tree is dormant) better for woodworking than wood that was cut during he Summer when the weather is hot? I am referring to moisture content. I'm asking this because I need more wood but don't have the time to dry it. Would cutting a tree in the colder months be better/quicker for drying purposes?

No, not really. The sapwood will have less “free moisture”, but the “bound moisture” in the heartwood will be about the same Winter and Summer. Since us woodworkers are looking for that perfect heartwood, harvesting in the Winter only makes you cold and doesn't save any curing time.

What will save time is to stack the lumber properly under a great deal of weight (1,000 pounds of 20 - 50lb concrete blocks will do nicely. Be sure to seal the ends completely (and I do mean completely) 2" back from the end by painting them or covering them with melted paraffin or candle wax.

Move air through the stack of lumber at a slow rate. This is called forced air drying and will cut the drying time by one third. A 24" box fan on low setting (running continuously -- 24 hours, 7 days a week) will probably do the trick. Draw the intake air from the loft of a garage or shop or shed where it is relatively dry. Check the wood weekly.

Look for surface or end cracks or severe warping of the lumber. If you see any of these signs, the wood is drying too fast. Turn off the fan and let it dry naturally.

After eight months of drying like this (assuming 1" thick lumber), pull a clear, knot-free board from the center of the stack. Cross cut it in the center of it's length and remove a 1" wide chunk the full width of the board. This piece should stay straight and not feel or look wet in the center. Weigh it as accurately as possible and record the weight. Put it in the oven overnight at 200 degrees to remove any remaining moisture. Weigh it again the next day when it will be completely dry. The ratio between the weight of the piece before and after oven drying is the moisture content. It should be less than 10 percent.

While the board is baking, joint and rip the remaining pieces of the test board. It also should not feel wet inside and should not twist or bind on the blade during any of the cuts. If, during either of the cutting steps the board feels wet on the inside and/or twists or binds on the blade, turn off the fan and wait an other four to six months for the wood to season naturally. You are drying it too fast and will ruin it if you continue to force-air dry the wood.

Good luck (Thanks to Jim McCann - our resident "wood technologist", among other things -- for his input)

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