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
Bruce Wedlock
May, 2020

When I use paraffin to wax screws, most of it just flakes off. Is there a better lube?—Anon

Joe Barry
May, 2020

What is the most stable species of wood to be used in a humid environment?— Mike DiMaggio

Richard Oedel, Jon Siegel
May, 2020

Does the long-time use of heavy chucks and large heavy blanks cause damage to a lathe head stock? How does a turner prevent this?—Annamarie Pennucci

Bob Couch
May, 2020

Is there an advantage to using wet-dry sandpaper to rub in Waterlox before it dries?—Bob Wyatt

Bruce Wedlock
May, 2020

How does A1, O2 & other cryogenically treated steel compare with respect to hardness & sharpening characteristics?—Mike DiMaggio

Tony Immorlica, Bob Couch
May, 2020

How do you know if shellac flakes are no good?— Burt Ouelette

Bruce Wedlock
May, 2020

How does hide glue & yellow aliphatic glue compare with respect to strength and reversibility?—Mike DiMaggio

Jon Siegel
May, 2019

How long must a Danish oil finish dry before top coating with a lacquer?—Peter Breu

Owain Harris, Bruce Wedlock, Richard Oedel
May, 2019

More often than not, when I remove a piece from a vacuum press, I get bleed-through of the glue (Titebond III) through figured cherry veneer (MDF substrate). It takes a lot of scaping to remove the glue. Any ideas on how to prevent or minimize this?— Steve Colello

Bruce Wedlock
May, 2019

Does adding thickeners such as silica or glass microballons to epoxy reduce the strength of the final cured bond?— Stan Paras

Richard Oedel, Bruce Wedlock
May, 2019

What bandsaw blade brand & tooth space is best to resaw lumber. Is there an optimum speed for resawing?—Claude Dupuis

Richard Oedel
May, 2019

What is the difference between a catalyzed and a non-catalyzed finish?— Mike DiMaggio

Bob Oswald
May, 2019

Is dust actually a problem on a lathe. I seem to see only chips when I turn, and I am only assuming dust accompanies them.—Anon

Tony Immorlica, Owain Harris, Bruce Wedlock
May, 2019

If I can have only one sanding machine, which is more useful, a 20˝+ disc sander or a 6˝ to 8˝ edge belt sander?— Philip Glover

Claude Dupuis
May, 2019

What is the best finish to use on a sanded turned bowl? Would you use a sanding sealer before finishing?— Bob DeAngelis

Claude Dupuis, Bob Couch, Owain Harris, Richard Oedel
May, 2019

What is the preferred method to apply Waterlox?—Bob Wyatt

Jeff Roberts
May, 2019

My spalted maple bowl blanks come from the firewood pile. This leads to soft spots ruining an otherwise nice bowl. Is there a product I can use to stabilize an occasional soft spot before completing the turning?— Wayne Cardoza

Jon Siegel
May, 2019

I do not seem to have enough suction from my 1.5 hp unit. Perhaps a 2 hp would work better? I am upgrading my entire collection system, so this would be the time to make changes. The only location that would not work in my shop is a drop down from the ceiling.— Anon

Jon Siegel
May, 2019

Some turners use mineral oil on bowls and develop a near glass or glossy finish. How is this done with a penetrating oil like mineral oil?—Annamarie Pennucci

Jeff Lind, Burt Ouellette, Garrett Hack
May, 2018

What are the ways to use Super Glue in the shop? I’m interested in different viscosities and results with accelerators, etc. for various applications.—William Taylor

Garrett Hack, Jon Siegel, Jeff Roberts
May, 2018

Why do the manufacturing companies always recommend using a chuck in compression rather than expansion? What is the difference and why is expansion considered more dangerous?—Annamarie Pennucci

Donna Banfield
May, 2018

When using Easy Wood or similar lathe tools on the inside of bowls, horrible and severe catches can occur when the tool handle is rotated from flat to any angle. Why does this happen when the actual cutting surface will be at the identical angle of cut?—Annamarie Pennucci

Steve Costain, Jon Siegel
May, 2018

What is the best way to add dust collection for a lathe? The chips seem to go everywhere but land mostly in front of the lathe.—Joyce Hanna

Garrett Hack
May, 2018

How can a plane blade be re-ground to develop a York Pitch (50°)—Mike DiMaggio?

Donna Banfield, Claude Dupuis
November, 2017

I turn mostly bowls at a relatively high speed and I keep my tools sharp. Even so, I get too much end grain tear out. What can I do about this?—Tom Donnelly

Garrett Hack, Bruce Wedlock
November, 2017

What is the difference between O1 and A2 steel?—Mike DiMaggio

Steve Costain, Bruce Hamilton
November, 2017

What is the best way to finish turning projects while still on the lathe?—Ed Bartlett

Garrett Hack
November, 2017

Can you provide some suggestions for homemade finishes utilizing oil and wax?—Mike DiMaggio

Donna Banfield, Dave Emerson
November, 2017

Please outline the process to season green wood for turning or furniture making.—David Witham

Joe Barry
January, 2017

What is the most stable species of wood to be used in a humid environment?—Mike DiMaggio

Bruce Wedlock, Claude Dupuis, Donna Banfield
January, 2017

In making large diameter lidded boxes, I try to keep the kerf as narrow as possible. However I frequently get burning on the sides of the narrow blade cutoff tool. How can this be avoided?—Jim Forbes

Donna Banfield, Claude Dupuis
January, 2017

What is the best way to add dust collection for a lathe? The chips seem to go everywhere, but land mostly in front of the lathe.—Joyce Hanna

Bruce Wedlock, Donna Banfield
January, 2017

When I color a piece with aniline dye and finish with lacquer, the Beall buffing system attacks the color and removes it. How can I prevent this?—Gary Bashian

Donna Banfield, Claude Dupuis, Peter Breu
January, 2017

What is a good (reliable) method to prepare green wood for turning? I’ve had limited success with just painting the end grain of logs.—Tony Immorlica

Bruce Wedlock, Jon Siegel, Donna Banfield, Claude Dupuis
January, 2017

Should a burr be left on when sharpening a bowl gouge?—Norman Miner

Bob Couch, Bruce Wedlock, Peter Breu, Joe Barry, Tom McLaughlin
January, 2017

What is the recommended method to apply a finish on a cherry table?—Jorge Torres

Claude Dupuis
January, 2017

What is the best way to finish turning projects while still on the lathe?—Ed Bartlett

Jon Siegel, Peter Breu
January, 2017

How do you square up and maintain the accuracy of a power jointer?—Kit Gurwell

Jon Siegel, Peter James, Garrett Hack
January, 2017

I don’t have any wall space left in my shop to hang my bandsaw blades, which are 150" long (for 18" wheels). The manufacturers do not advise any more than three loops, and anything other than a nice round shape for storing. They would prefer you open the blade fully up and hang it on the wall. I am looking for some innovative ways of storing… read more

Garrett Hack
January, 2017

How long can I store shellac flakes in an air tight container before they go bad?—Sal Morgani

Bruce Hamilton, Richard Oedel
June, 2016

I hear that the color in lilac will not last long. What type of finish do you use to protect highly colored wood?—Syd Lorandeau

Garrett Hack
June, 2016

Christopher Schwartz says that the iron of the Stanley (fore plane I think) should take a thick shaving when hogging off waste with an 8" radius iron. I think that both the Stanley and the Bedrock 605, which I have should adjust the same. The mouth should be adjusted for a large opening. Even with the frog all the way back in my plane I can’t… read more

Bob LaCivita
June, 2016

I do not have a garage, so I would like to build a spray booth in my basement large enough to accommodate pieces of furniture that I build. Does anyone have experience building a basement spray booth and do you know of construction plans? Also, can you recommend a source for the explosion proof fan I will need?—Gregg Pollack

Terry Moore
June, 2016

Can you sharpen a bandsaw blade by hand and if so, how?—Anon

Richard Oedel, Bruce Wedlock, Bob Oswald, Bob LaCivita, Bruce Hamilton
June, 2016

When I apply a polyurethane top coat to a project, I always get brush streaks even when I use a foam brush and when I thin the material. It helps when I rag the wet finish but I’m just wiping off material I just put on. The only solution I have found is to wet sand after dry. What am I doing wrong?—Jim Seroskie

Claude Dupuis, Peter James
June, 2016

Bowls can be turned from a round log cut to length or from a log split down the middle. What are the advantages or issues with each approach.—Anon

Bruce Hamilton, Bob Oswald, Donna Banfield
June, 2016

Turners on the Seacoast are turning cane shafts for disabled veterans in coordination with local carvers. What would you recommend for finishes? The canes, and cane shafts in particular, need to be weather resistant and likely exposed to a full range of precipitation?—Annamarie Pennucci

Jon Siegel, Dave Emerson, Peter James, Claude Dupuis
June, 2016

What features should I look for in purchasing a quality mid-sized lathe? The lathe is to be used for both spindle and bowl turning.—Anon

Dave Emerson, Owain Harris
June, 2016

What woods are best for bending?—Anon

Donna Banfield
June, 2016

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