Q&A LogoQ&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 236 Records
Garrett Hack, Chris Kovacs, Jon Siegel
February, 2009

I have a few chisels that developed small spots of rust after sitting unused for a year. I removed the surface rust with fine sandpaper but tiny pits remain. Are these a problem? What is the best way to remove rust? — Monica Raymond

  • Tools
  • Rust
Ted Blachly
November, 2008

Are there any particular techniques to ensure a flat surface when jointing boards for a table top? David Frechette

  • Techniques
Ted Blachly
November, 2008

What type of shellac does not have wax in it? If the shellac has wax, how do you remove it? What if any problems does the wax cause? John Watson

  • Finishing
Bill Thomas
November, 2008

What is the benefit of the blade angle in wooden spokeshaves compared to metal spokeshaves? Joe Barry

  • Tools
Bob LaCivita, Bill Thomas
November, 2008

When sizing the parts for a furniture project from rough sawn planks, how do you deal with the movement that can occur shortly after the plank is divided? Do you allow the plank to sit for a period after being planed? Do you size them slightly over sized and allow them to find balance before a final shape is given? — Caleb Dietrich

  • Wood
Marty Milkovits
September, 2008

What glue would one use to laminate two layers of 1/2" baltic birch approximately 2' x 3'. – Bill Newbold

  • Glue
Guy Senneville
September, 2008

When should you use oil base vs water base finish? – Syd Lorandeau

  • Finishing
Marty Milkovits
September, 2008

Mixed shellac has a shelf life. Do shellac flakes have a shelf life? – Anon

  • Finishing
Al Breed
September, 2008

What are the essential steps to tune up an old handplane? Are there any good articles on tuning from Fine Woodworking? – Jim Bradley

  • Tools
Joe Barry
September, 2008

What are the different methods to remove rust spots from power tools? – Andy Young

  • Tools
  • Rust
Bruce Hamilton
September, 2008

Is it possible to get good results with a water based clear finish? If so, how? The quick drying and low oder benefits sound good, but how can you get smooth results? – Peter James

  • Finishing
John McAlevey, Dave Emerson, Joe Barry
September, 2008

Where can second hand machinery be purchased? – Roger Bradley

  • Tools
Bob LaCivita, Brooks Tanner
September, 2008

When making kitchen cabinets, should I use standard plywood or baltic birch? – Roger Bradley

  • Wood
  • Furniture
Mike Cyros
September, 2008

If an arborist offers you free wood, under what conditions is it worth doing? And, what is the process of turning it into usable lumber? – Andy Young

  • Wood
Brooks Tanner
September, 2008

How important is grounding of 4” and 5” ducting of dust collection systems in our shop? We all read about explosion hazards, but we hear conflicting issues on whether this concern is warranted. – Don Larnard

  • Dust Collection
Joe Barry
June, 2008

I have a three HP shaper and plan on making raised panel doors. Would I be better served to use router bits or raised panel cutters that are dedicated for a shaper? At present I do not have any bits or cutters? Roger Bradley

  • Techniques
Al Breed, Ted Blachly
June, 2008

Can anyone explain or demonstrate how to cut cabriole legs with a bandsaw? Ned Gelinas

  • Techniques
  • Furniture
Joe Barry
June, 2008

How do I keep tools in an unheated shop from rusting? Dave Hopkins

  • Tools
  • Rust
Joe Barry, Al Breed, Bruce Hamilton
June, 2008

What is the best finish for a traditional wood top workbench? Stuart Blanchard

  • Finishing
Marty Milkovits
April, 2008

Can fish glue be used in furnituremaking? Its long set time makes clamping easy, but will it hold up under high humidity? John Whiteside

  • Glue
Marty Milkovits
April, 2008

Mixed shellac has a shelf life. Do shellac flakes have a shelf life? Roger Myers

  • Finishing
Guy Senneville, Marty Milkovits
April, 2008

If you stain the pieces of your project prior to glue up, do you have to protect the joint surfaces to allow glue to stick? I know protection is needed for varnish, shellac, etc. David Frechette

  • Glue
  • Finishing
Al Breed
April, 2008

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

  • Tools
  • Sharpening
Dave Emerson, Marty Milkovits
April, 2008

I want to glue two pieces of rock maple, 1-3/4" x 24" x 72" to form a 3-1/2" bench top. Would I be better off using epoxy than titebond? Bill Newbold

  • Glue
Dave Emerson, Guy Senneville, Marty Milkovits
April, 2008

What is the best way to keep your machine tops from rusting while in use or in storage? John Faro

  • Tools
  • Rust
DJ Delorie, Marty Milkovits, Dave Emerson, Guy Senneville
April, 2008

When I buy lumber that is surfaced two sides, why is it warped or twisted? Anon

  • Wood
Marty Milkovits
April, 2008

Any thoughts on HVLP spraying. Conversion gun or turbine. Water based or lacquer. Steve Colello

  • Tools
  • Finishing
Marty Milkovits, Jon Siegel
February, 2008

What is the easiest way to set jointer or planer knives? – Roger Bradley

  • Tools
Terry Moore
February, 2008

What angles work best with a scraper plane? Where do I start? – Joe Barry

  • Tools
Marty Milkovits
February, 2008

With specific allergies aside, are there species of wood that are known to cause more serious acute and/or long term health issues? – Caleb Dietrich

  • Wood
  • Health
Graham Oakes
February, 2008

How should I divide a burl into sections for bowls. I want to maximize the burl especially the large circumferential burls. – Ed Orecchio

  • Turning
Terry Moore, Jon Siegel, Marty Milkovits
February, 2008

I understand that mahogany is considered an oily wood. What is the best glue to use for joints in mahogany and is special cleaning needed before gluing? – Bob Jarrett

  • Wood
  • Glue
  • Techniques
Terry Moore
February, 2008

Is there a simple, cost effective vacuum bag process for gluing and clamping? – Harvey Best

  • Tools
  • Techniques
  • Glue
Terry Moore, Marty Milkovits
February, 2008

How do I get an acetone (nail polish remover) stain off of a cabinet? – David Belser

  • Finishing
Terry Moore, Marty Milkovits
February, 2008

Please explain NGR stain. – Bob St. Laurent

  • Finishing
DJ Delorie
February, 2008

I have a rotating head stock. How do I ensure alignment when I rotate it back to align with the bed? – David Belser

  • Turning
  • Tools
Al Breed
November, 2007

What is the best way to deal with glue spots after the finish is applied? – Gretchen Gordon

  • Techniques
  • Glue
  • Finishing
Graham Oakes
November, 2007

Nearly all bowls are turned cross grain. Aside from the issues with pith, what is different about turning end grain? What wood species are good for end grain bowls? – Tony Immorlica

  • Turning
Al Breed, Guy Senneville
November, 2007

For inlay work involving light and dark woods such as maple and ebony, after planing and scraping, how do you sand the work without the sanding dust bleeding into each other? – Paul Miller

  • Techniques
  • Finishing
Guy Senneville
November, 2007

How do you set up a resaw on a bandsaw for very thin (less than 1/16") pieces? Or should it be, can you? – John Pitrone

  • Techniques
Al Breed
November, 2007

When smoothing figured wood, when should I use a scraper vs a scraper plane or a hand plane? – Steven Marcq

  • Techniques
Marty Milkovits
November, 2007

I’m building a book case 14' wide and 7'4' tall. How do I figure what size molding to put on the top to make it look in proportion? – Wyman Ordway

  • Furniture
Marty Milkovits
September, 2007

In making kitchen cabinets, I use both soft and hard maple as the situation calls for. I’m interested to know how they can be distinguished before being milled, and which types of figure are typically found in hard and which, if any, can only be found in soft. – Caleb Dietrich

  • Wood
  • Furniture
Ted Blachly
September, 2007

In the process of finishing cherry, what grit sandpaper should you sand to – 150, 180, 220? How about walnut? – Steve Colello

  • Finishing
Al Breed, Marty Milkovits
September, 2007

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

  • Tools
Joe Barry, Roy Noyes
September, 2007

Is it a good idea to “raise the grain” with water even if the finish is an oil finish? I’ve observed that some cherry items which initially have a very smooth finish can lose some smoothness and feel “grainy” after a couple seasons of high humidity. Is the humidity slowly raising the grain? – Stuart Blanchard

  • Finishing
Jon Siegel
September, 2007

What is the process of turning found tree parts into usable bowl blanks? – Anon

  • Turning
  • Green Wood
Will Neptune
June, 2007

What is the best method of jointing and gluing a 3” bench top? – Roger Bradley

  • Techniques
  • Glue
Harvey Best, Marty Milkovits
June, 2007

I am building several heavily figured maple tables. What would you recommend for the surface finish to highlight the figuring and not significantly change the color? Also what type of fill (epoxy or other) would you recommend for the knot holes and other features? – Anon

  • Finishing
Al Breed
June, 2007

When using haunched tenons to join table rails to legs, should there be a shoulder at the top and bottom or just on the sides? – Dave Frechette

  • Techniques
  • Furniture