Stones River Woodworkers Club Murfreesboro, TN

Previous Jay’s Ramblings


Jay’s Ramblings

October 2015


For those who were interested in the sample of offset turning that my cousin sent me from Colorado and I brought to last months meeting, I ran across an article in Wood Magazine October 2013, page 64, called Cantilevered Candlesticks, a quick lesson in offset turning.

They (whoever they are) say bad things come in three’s and I got number three today. I think I mentioned last month that I received three 4-in-one screwdriver kits from Craft Supply and all came with no instructions -- NA-DA. I have been buying letter opener kits from Penn State but since the postage/shipping on small orders can be quite excessive and I was putting together my order from Craft Supply I went ahead and ordered three of their letter opener kits. Now the Penn State kits have too short of a handle and I’ve been re-engineering them with a longer one, I was amazed at how cheap and flimsy the kits I got from Craft Supply were and of a design that really made it difficult to lengthen the handle. A few days ago, I received three ice cream scoop kits from Craft Supply (ordered by the same part number from past orders but it wasn’t the same kit and they had been redesigned. I feel like they’ve been “improved” to a poorer quality kit. Penn State and Craft supply are both guilty of not issuing a new part number when they change a product and they don’t bother to inform you that what they ship may or may not be what you had in mind when you placed the order. Again no instructions, no ferules and rather than a shank to insert into the handle they’ve added a threaded rod that after it is glued into the handle, the scoop screws onto the rod. Remember the garlic presses that WoodCraft had to recall when the threaded rod would break in use? I also ordered two mini salt-pepper grinder kits and again no instructions. Since I save things like the instructions I got from Penn State with their kits, maybe I won’t have to re-engineer what Craft Supply sent me but I know I will have to double-check all of the dimensions. Am I pissed? You bet I am. I called Craft Supply and asked to be removed from their catalog mailing list. The customer Service Rep I talked to cheerfully assured me that she could handle that but I felt that she could have cared less about the reason that I made the request. As well as no instructions when I measured the components I found that everything was an odd size so none of my drills would work and all components were sized different from the Penn State kits I found in my cabinet. The ad in the catalog does not mention that special drill bits will be required so they aren’t trying to get you to buy a bunch of special tools to complete their kit like Penn State does. When the sizes come out to be in 16 ths and 32 nds you know they intentionally tried to screw you. Again this emphases the fact that America has gone nonstandard. Measured any sheet goods lately? Its all undersized so they can sell you new tooling and they can save money by giving you less product for the same cost. This really pisses me off!!! I’ll never understand why the building trade lets them get away with it. I think I’ll give up on kits from now on. I thought about completing the Artisan Crank Top Mills just because I can engineer the holder but decided to just give them away.


I’m nearing completion of a nice sized box for my daughter to safe-keep an afghan Nancy made for her. I modeled the box after an article in Fine Woodworking where Mike Dunbar makes a replica of a miniature blanket chest and he altered the design to suit his needs. I made more modifications as I built mine such as enlarging the overall size to fit the afghan, adapting some hinges I found at Home Depot by purchasing shorter screws and painting the heads black to match the hinges. I bought a “friction” lid restrainer at the hardware store, and eliminated the breadboard ends on the lid and changed the feet design. I did have some 12” wide by 3/4” thick walnut to make the box out of, so it has a nice look about it. Rather than dovetail sides, I used box or finger joints made with a jig on my router table. I used Titebond III and walnut sawdust to make my wood filler and Varathane oil based polyurethane mixed 50-50 with mineral spirits for a wiping poly. The final coating of bees wax melted into mineral oil gives walnut a nice feel. I’m also completing two jewelry boxes and still lack the trays and partitions. At 76, I’m getting much slower so I have to start this year for next year’s projects.


Jay