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).
support for ripped bevels on long boards
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.
is it best to fell trees for lumber...Summer or Winter?
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)