Mar 272015
 

It’s a PVC kind of month.  And, because PVC has three letters in it, we’re having three tips this month instead of the usual two.  The French call it “lagniappe.”

Did you know that the University of Southern Mississippi has one of the world’s leading programs in Polymer Science and Engineering?  Just up the road from us in Hattiesburg, MS.  Yes, I am digressing, yet where would we be today without PVC and the other polymer plastics we use in every aspect of everything we do all day, every day?

The University of Southern Mississippi School of Polymer Science and Engineering has world-class research facilities.  The program even includes studying ways polymers can be used in pharmaceutical delivery in vivo.  Yes, U.S.M. also has three letters.

The University of Southern Mississippi School of Polymer Science and Engineering has world-class research facilities. The program even includes studying ways polymers can be used in pharmaceutical delivery in vivo. Yes, U.S.M. also has three letters.

Short lengths of PVC pipe are inexpensive to purchase, and even cheaper if you ask a building site for their scraps.  If you keep a variety of diameters in two foot lengths, they make great storage for your projects’ drawer slides while you are sanding and finishing.  Because most related hardware comes pre-lubricated, any dust in the environment will be attracted to it and gum up the moving parts.  Get a couple of PVC caps at about a dollar each and your hardware is protected.  Let the caps sit in place with a friction fit (no glue) and you can work from either or both ends.

Free pipe and $2 worth of caps and your pre-lubricated drawer slides are protected from dust and trauma.  OK, so it’s an ugly piece of pipe!  Who cares?  It’s free!

Free pipe and $2 worth of caps and your pre-lubricated drawer slides are protected from dust and trauma. OK, so it’s an ugly piece of pipe! Who cares? It’s free!

 


Jim Randolph is a veterinarian in Long Beach, Mississippi. His earlier careers as lawn mower, dairy farmer, automobile mechanic, microwave communications electronics instructor and journeyman carpenter all influence his approach to woodworking. His favorite projects are furniture built for his wife, Brenda, and for their children and grandchildren. His and Brenda’s home, nicknamed Sticks-In-The-Mud, is built on pilings (sticks) near the wetlands (mud) on a bayou off Jourdan River. His shop is in the lower level of their home. Questions and comments on woodworking may be sent to DrRandolph@MyPetsDoctor.com. Questions about pet care should be directed to his blog on pet care, www.MyPetsDoctor.com. We regret that, because of high volume, not all inquiries can be answered personally.

Print Friendly
Mar 262015
 

“Set In Place” is the second “S” in 5S implementation. It encompasses the arrangement of tools and supplies in logical ways. But woodworkers who have taken a class with me and are utilizing the principles of 5S to make their shop time more efficient and fun know that we don’t just “Set In Place,” but we also learn to “Set Back In Place Clean & Ready To Go.” Putting a tool away when we are finished using it keeps our workspaces clear and uncluttered and allows us to work safely and concentrate more fully. Taking a few seconds to clean the tool before storing it keeps our storage areas clean and we save time because the tool is ready to use the next time we need it.

Thus when someone asks how my shop stays so neat and clean I repeat my 5S mantra, “Put tools and supplies away when you are through using them!” But there is allowance for one occasional exception to this rule.

When making cope and stick cabinet doors, I always start with the coping cut. Fiddling around with shaped backer boards to curb the blowout on a cope cut always seemed like a waste of time, so for me “rails/copes first” makes sense. When all the rails are made (and a few just‐in‐case extras) I change over to the sticking bit and make all the long grain cuts in rails and stiles at one time.

A shortage of clamps (who really has enough?) means I have to glue‐up doors in batches. Recently I was gluing up the fourth large batch of a large door order and came to one where I had failed to rout the sticking cut on the stiles. How did that happen? Trust me, I checked everything twice (or thought I did) before I unplugged my router table, disconnected the dust collection, and rolled it out of the way. Fortunately, though, I had left the sticking bit in the router, all set up and ready to go. Whew!

If a project includes a complicated or “finicky” setup, it is okay to leave the setup in place until you are sure… very sure… you have all the parts you need. This should be relatively rare though, and 99% of the time, putting things back where they belong when you are through using them is a good “5S” work habit.

Want to learn more about 5S and how you can gain more space, have more time, and enjoy your workshop even more? Check out my 5S class at Popular Woodworking University.

5sclass

Print Friendly
Mar 192015
 
Magswitch Workholding Systems

Magswitch has come up with new saw guides, feather boards and hold down jigs.  I picked up a set at Highland and gave them a try. The system is designed in a series of pieces beginning with a Universal Base.  The Base holds two very strong magnets which can be switched on and off by [...]

Print Friendly
Mar 172015
 
The March 2015 issue of The Highland Woodturner

If you’ve just started woodturning or you’ve been turning for most of your life, our March 2015 issue of The Highland Woodturner has a variety of projects, tips, and stories to motivate your craft. This month’s issue includes: My Favorite Tools and Accessories: Curtis Turner has been contributing to The Highland Woodturner for several years [...]

Print Friendly
Mar 062015
 
A New Issue of Wood News Online- March 2015

Our March 2015 issue of Wood News Online is now available for reading and it is chock full of some great woodworking project ideas, safety tips, and advice. This month’s articles include: My Tell Tale Pyrography- Professor Nsir Malik discusses his passion for pyrography – the art of decorating wood with burn marks. He discusses [...]

Print Friendly
Feb 252015
 
Tips from Sticks in the Mud – March Tip #2- Wood Storage Solutions

No Southern-fried Southern boy wants to be called a Yankee, but we share the characteristics of shrewdness and thrift.  Thus, each month we include a money-saving tip.  It’s OK if you call me “cheap.” Search the Web for “wood storage” and you will be inundated with more articles and videos than you can digest in [...]

Print Friendly