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Volume 46/Issue 5

Project Articles
Queen Anne Living Room Tables
Covered Wagon Toy Box
Tilting Shelf Sewing Thread Holder

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Owner’s Gallery
Letters from Owners
Academy Notes
Clean Cuts - Pt. 2 - Lathe Tool Sharpening
Service Pointers
MARK V Miter Gauge
Safety Tips
Safety First!

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42" Filter Hood for DC3300

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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

Making Butcher Blocks
From Susie Smith Phillips (Plano, TX):
I'd like to build an old-fashioned butcher block but have no idea what kind of wood to use. Where can I find instructions on how to build it?

I've made a number of cutting boards...as a rule, by laminating a bunch of boards together face-to-face, with their edge grain exposed on the top and bottom of the assembled board. Some folks prefer to make them with the end grain of the boards forming the cutting surface.

Typically, these are made using closed-grain hard woods such as cherry, maple or walnut. I don't think open grained woods such as oak are as good for these. Try alternating the boards for a striped look. Glue everything together using waterproof epoxy, polyurethane glue or two-part resorcinol glue.

For added protection against everything coming apart, I often run a 1/4" diameter, 20-pitch threaded rod through the laminated boards at both ends of the cutting board, then make a wood “cap” with counterbored holes on the insides that slip over the nuts on the exposed ends of the threaded rods...then glue the “caps” into position, covering-up the rod nuts.

Just be sure to allow everything to dry thoroughly before applying a non-toxic finish such as Salad Bowl Finish or Preserve Oil Finish.

Hope this info helps.


Repairing Blotchy Cherry Finish
From Cindy Jacoby, (Mequon, WI):
My husband built a fireplace mantel out of cherry wood. He sanded it and I pre-stained it before applying Minwax Early American stain. In some areas the staining is beautiful and the grain looks so nice and in other areas I have dark blotches that ruin the entire look of the cherry wood - it looks almost like stain applied to plywood. What can I do to get rid of the blotches and end up with the beautiful look that cherry wood is known for? I have applied mineral spirits to the dark areas with little results. HELP!

Unfortunately, you're going to have a difficult time. Depending on the way the wood has been cut from the log, Cherry is “notorious” for this problem.

And, since you've used a penetrating stain such as Minwax, it's going to be very difficult to resolve the problem. Before staining a tight-grained wood such as cherry or maple, you should ALWAYS first apply a stain blocker such as “PreStain” (available from Woodworker's Supply --- www.woodworker.com) or a wash coat of shellac. Most readily available shellacs are of a “two-pound cut” variety. With a shellac such as this, you would mix it one-to-one with denatured alcohol and apply a thin coat of this mixture, then allow it to dry thoroughly prior to staining. My suggestion is that you “practice” with some scrap before applying it to the “real” mantlepiece.

The best answers I've found to this problem are in the June, 1998 issue of “Fine Woodworking” magazine (Issue # 130)...page 46...an article by Jeff Jewitt. Just go the Fine Woodworking website (www.finewoodworking.com), log in and access this article through the Archives area.

However, now that you have the problem, you have one of three possible solutions:

1) Plane the wood down until you're past the stain and start over. Depending on how much stain you've applied, and how long it's been on the wood, you may have to remove from 1/8" to 1/4" of the wood to get past the stained area. That's a lot, I know.

2) Apply a commercial “wood bleach” and start over. Unfortunately, this will remove the wonderful color and patina of the natural cherry...which you'll have to replace with some sort of stain.

3) Cover your mantlepiece with Cherry veneer

Wish I had better news for you. This is an often-encountered problem that has ruined many a project.

Continue . . .

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