Q&AQ&A first ran in The Old Saw newsletter in late 2004 and has continued in The Journal. Questions from members are sent to a panel of experienced woodworkers. The "experts" do not always agree but you will find this collection to be a wonderful resource.

Use the archive lists below to help find what you are looking for or to just explore.

Displaying 255 Records
Peter James, Steve Costain
April, 2013

What are the most productive sources for used equipment?—Len Rochette

Bob Oswald, Dave Emerson
November, 2012

When buying wood, what do you look for so when you rip it that it does not bind your saw?—Syd Lorandeau

Garrett Hack
November, 2012

Does seasonality affect the machinery in my shop enough for the need to go through a setup process again?—Mike Noel

Garrett Hack, Joe Barry, Steve Branam
November, 2012

What causes a hand plane blade to suddenly dig in deeper than it is set for?—Bob Couch

Dave Emerson
November, 2012

Where can I find a steam box design?—Joe Barry

Peter James
November, 2012

In turning green wood, what is the best way to dry after turning?—John Kerr

Bob Oswald
November, 2012

Please de-mystify “sanding sealers.” When is it appropriate to use them or not to use them?—Tony Immorlica

Peter Breu
November, 2012

Is there a method to sharpen a wood rasp or file? Any comments on caring for and cleaning files?—Jeff Neil

Steve Costain, Bruce Wedlock, Garrett Hack
November, 2012

What tool steel and heat treatment is recommended for planes and chisels?—Lou Yelgin

Terry Moore
March, 2012

To build a planter, what is the best most weather/water resistant wood besides cedar?—Hugh Gardner

Peter Breu
March, 2012

Can you rub out or polish a non-poly long-oil varnish?—Ken Zahn

Garrett Hack, Joe Barry, Myrl Phelps
March, 2012

What is the best brand of chisel?—Brooks Tanner

Dave Frechette, Bob Oswald, Bob LaCivita, Brooks Tanner, Myrl Phelps
March, 2012

I am building a desk and want to sandwich glass between two wooden ends. Should I use tempered or non-tempered glass? What thickness? How to attach glass in wood sandwich (glass panel in frame)?—Anon

Peter Breu
March, 2012

How does one cold mold a windsor style chair seat? How thick could the veneers be?—Anon

Bob Oswald
March, 2012

I use a lot of reclaimed lumber which does have hidden nails. Is there a good way to find them?— John Davey

Bob Oswald
November, 2011

What is the best way to use 100% raw tung oil? Does it need to be mixed with other liquids such as Japan Dryer?—Myrl Phelps

David Lamb, Jon Siegel
November, 2011

I noticed at David Lamb’s shop all the old bandsaws have the column on the right as do the old European ones (Inca). Is there a good reason why most new models have the column on the left?­—Allen Everett

Ken Keoughan
November, 2011

What benefit if any is there in using hook or ring tools on the lathe?—Joe Barry

Bruce Hamilton, Guy Senneville, John Whiteside, BJ Tanner
November, 2011

What is the fastest and/or easiest method of grain filling open-grained wood?—Dave Anderson

Ted Blachly, Jere Osgood
April, 2011

Is there a general set of rules for creating laminations such as deciding on epoxy vs glue (waterbase?), thickness of strips and types of wood, and vertical grain vs flat grain?—Harvey Best

Bob Oswald, BJ Tanner
April, 2011

I need suggestions on surface prep and staining techniques for use on soft maple.—Paul Wilson

Jon Siegel
April, 2011

What are the considerations when carving and preparing wood for cooking utensils–non-poisonous sealing? How to prevent cracking and de-formation given that they live in heat and moisture?—Christopher Briggs

Bob Oswald
April, 2011

I have a splitter on my tablesaw that is bent. It is made of spring steel. Recommendations on how to straighten.—John Watson

Dave Emerson, David Lamb, Jon Siegel
April, 2011

What is the best source for used industrial quality woodworking machines? What is the best way to evaluate the functionality of used machines?—Peter Breu

Ron Pouliot, Jon Siegel, Ken Keoughan
November, 2010

I’ve read that one should never use a roughing gouge on faceplate turning. While I can understand that turning the inside of a bowl might result in ugly catches, what is wrong with turning convex surfaces on faceplate turnings with a roughing gouge?—Tony Imorllica

Marty Milkovits
November, 2010

What is the best brush or brushes for applying shellac?—Mike Noel

Al Breed
November, 2010

How do you sharpen a veneer saw?—Joe Barry

Al Breed, Guy Senneville
November, 2010

What is the simplest way to rive wood?—Bill Newbold

John Whiteside, Bruce Wedlock, Guy Senneville
November, 2010

What are the important differences in performance between yellow glue, liquid hide glue and traditional flake hide glue for furnituremaking?—Jim Bradley

Bob Oswald
November, 2010

How do I find the right fittings for dust collections systems to fit different power tools?—Claude Dupuis

Bob Oswald, Marty Milkovits
March, 2010

If a bandsaw blade has a bend in it, can it be straightened to run true?—Claude Dupuis

Al Breed
March, 2010

How do I get wax from shellac flakes? How can I determine if shellac has wax and how important is it to get out wax from shellac?— John Watson

Jeffery Cooper
March, 2010

Is the glue on veneer tape hide glue and if so, can one make large pieces of veneer tape at home?— George Lang

John Whiteside, Al Breed
March, 2010

What is the open time for genuine hide glue?—Bob StLaurent

Jim Morris
March, 2010

Are water-based finishes such as water-based polyurethane as UV resistant as the corresponding oil-based finishes?—Bob Jarratt

Bob Oswald, Marty Milkovits
March, 2010

With the price of teak so high, what are some alternative woods for outdoor furniture? How long will some of these last outdoors?—Kent Michaelsen

Terry Moore
March, 2010

To build a planter, what is the best most weather/water resistant wood besides cedar?—Hugh Gardner

Marty Milkovits
March, 2010

Is it safe to cut off pines edges with post hole beetle traces until the wood is clear and burn the scraps?—Allen Everett

Mike Cyros, Marty Milkovits, Bob Oswald
March, 2010

Where do you get quality wood for building furniture?—Guy Senneville

Dave Emerson
March, 2010

How do you repair a finish where sapwood (from cherry) appears later?—Steve Colello

Al Breed
March, 2010

What should the working edge of a veneer hammer look like?—Joe Barry

Bob LaCivita
March, 2010

I am careful with my planes and chisels. I hone them often, but I do not grind new bevels. Should I change my sharpening practice?—Alan Saffron

Chris Kovacs, Marty Milkovits, Bob Oswald, Jon Siegel
November, 2009

Can a combination blade on your tablesaw really do it all or is it worth having rip and crosscut blades? What about for composites and laminated panels? — Greg Benulis

Mike Cyros, Marty Milkovits
November, 2009

What is the best method to re-attach bark to a natural edge bowl when it has come off? — Dick Davis

Al Breed, Marty Milkovits, Bob Oswald
November, 2009

What is the best method of surfacing (planing or scraping) of highly figured maple? — Jim Bradley

Bob Oswald
November, 2009

A couple of years ago I made up a batch of polyurethane, turps, and boiled linseed oil, one third each in the mixture. It did an excellent job. Some months later I tried it again, but this time it took forever to dry. Do driers lose their effectiveness over time? Does one need to buy fresh materials regularly to have satisfactory results? —… read more

Marty Milkovits, Al Breed
November, 2009

What is the best way to flatten veneer with burl or other irregular grain? — Peter Breu

Al Breed, Marty Milkovits, Chris Kovacs
November, 2009

What is the best method to cut or rip very thin (~1/16") strips safely on the tablesaw. — Roger Myers

Gary Wood
November, 2009

What is the difference between finishes used for furniture and finishes for turnings? — Alan Saffron

John Whiteside, Bob LaCivita
August, 2009

What planes would you suggest as a minimum for basic woodworking? — Allen Everett