Neglecting Table Saws

Don't think I haven't noticed. I used to be your star, your favorite, your only love. But now...well you know. I've been pushed off to the side by that shiny young greeny. Now I hardly get used at all, unless it's to prep some project for you new special tool. Seriously, did you notice that nice clean end grain cut of mine before you hauled it over to the lathe and started slobbering all over it. Trust me the other tools have noticed. The router seems especially pissed off, I wouldn't change his collet anytime soon.

It's no joke. There is some serious venom in the shop. It presence can be felt hovering just over the piles of walnut shavings on the floor in front of my lathe. The table saw is jealous. And with that sort of destructive power at her fingertips it's not the tool to piss off. Why couldn't it be something more benign? Why not the dovetail jig? What retaliation could it take anyway?

"Watch out pal, or you'll have a 60lb jig bouncing off your toe!"

The thing is simply this. The lathe is a blast. I keep telling myself to get back into flat work. I built the world map frame. But I sort of disliked it. I love the way it looks in the office, but the project was a little shy on woodworking and little long on paint and extremely tedious for final assembly. As such the table saw's only duties recently is cutting small pieces for bottle stopper glue ups. It's worlds away from furniture assemblies. And I haven't dusted off the dado stack in months.

All this just to say, I'm getting worried that a serious retaliation might befall me, if I don't put her to some serious work. Sigh... I suppose there are some shop cabinets to be built...

Paint Hater

I hate painting. Period. End of story. Painting sucks.

I completed the woodworking on a large picture frame (50"x 32") in about 2 1/2 hours, glued it up and walked away happy. It was a pretty simple project and I was ready to move on to the next one. That was about 2 weeks ago. Since then I've been fighting my mortal enemy for countless hours of wasted shop time.

Paint. Black paint no less. Why did we ever choose black for the counter tops in the office? Didn't I know sooner or later I would have to accessories that spot?! The wife is vehemently against anything but black in the bastion of computing that is our modern office. As a homeowner, I agree. It looks cool. As a woodworker I think it sucks!

Woodworkers like wood, and working with it. Paint as a finish is fine, but it doesn't call to us the same way another more complementing finish would. Something that shows off grain of the piece and all the awesome joinery that we absolutely perfected! Paint covers and hides. Unless you touch the frame it looks almost like plastic. Ah well. I am stuck in dust chasing hell.
Paint. Wait. Sand. Paint. Wait. Sand. Paint. Wait. Weep.

It's mostly done. I just have place the acrylic and mounting hardware. It looks good, but I just know what's going to happen next...

"Very nice! How about some shelves?"

The CA Finish

When I first heard of a CA finish for pens I was mystified. Cyanoacrylate Glue (see why we call it CA) is basically what we are familiar with calling Super Glue. CA is a woodturner staple. No wonder the constant friend of fixing turning mistakes also became a popular finish.

It's strong, resisting wear and scratching and when applied correctly looks like glass! I found a lot of folks work really hard at making it difficult. Maybe it's just their way. I need a finish that's simple.

I've yet to sell a pen for over $50. Which means that I cannot spend hours or days on the finish. I can do a CA finish in about 10 minutes. Sometimes less. My results are awesome. Sometimes I get the tiniest swirl marks on the surface. I don't care. The first time the pen is put in the pocket or purse, it will likely be marred worse so why should I kill myself to remove them?


(Lathe running @ 1800ish)

1. Sand to 320 grit. Usually that means starting at 220 and ending at 320. Every once in a while 150 comes out, if my skew work sucks.

2. Wipe of blank with clean shop towel. Paper towel works fine too

2. Add a few drops of medium CA (like seriously 2-3 drops) to a shop/paper towel

3. Rub it across the blank once or twice briskly.

4. Stop. Either you wait for 2 minutes or spray some accelerator.

5. I do this 3 times. Thats it. With the accelerator your at about 3 minutes total time invested

6. Last step is the polish. I keep my mico mesh in a tupperware with water. This helps with heat, and keeping dust off the pads. I polish through the levels 1500 to 12000, wiping the blank with a clean shop/paper towel each time.

This is what you get. The two on the far left are friction polish to show the contrast. The rest are this simple CA method.

Add some wax if you like, or not. It absolutely amazing results for a small investment of your time.