7.1 HOW DO I CUT DOVETAILS?
Don't bother. Nails and glue are just as good, even just nails.
Nobody sees them, and people shouldn't be looking into your
drawers. Anyway, people who look into your drawers aren't
looking for dovetails. For the price of a good dovetail jig, you
can get yourself a compressor and a nailer, just like Norm's,
which have many more uses than just making drawer joints. If
you're thinking of cutting them by hand, forget it. Think of all
the money you'll spend on wasted wood in the four or five years
it'll take you to learn. Like I said, get a compressor and a
Besides just try using a dovetail jig or a dovetail saw to nail a
burglar to the floor.
7.2 I THINK NORM COULD HAVE DONE SOMETHING IN A BETTER WAY ...
NORM RULES!! Norm bashing is not countenanced in this newsgroup
under any circumstances. Norm is perfect and he has the best
workshop with all the best tools. He is the greatest woodworker
in the whole wide world and in all of history. HE IS NOT TOM
SILVA'S WATER BOY!!!
Norm does not make mistakes and does the finest woodworking that
is humanly possible. Norm always does everything in the best
possible way. He is better than Tage Frid, Frank Klausz, James
Krenov, Sam Maloof, Tom Plamann, Ian Kirby and all those other
phoneys and rip-off artists who claim they can hand-plane a
bench-top to within 1/1000 of an inch, all put together. If
enough people built things the way Norm does and bought the same
tools he has, the world would be a much better place. Nailers
and bisquick joiners make the best joints for attaching wood and
cross grain construction is perfect if you use enough brads and
biscuits and glue. No need for expensive clamps if you've got a
brad nailer. Schlepping glue all over your project with a wet
rag saves on finishing. Minwax stain and poly is unquestionably
the best finish for any project using any kind of wood. Anybody
who thinks different or who dares criticize Norm is just jealous.
If you hate him so much, why do you keep watching his show?
As the Pope has infallibility in matters of faith, so has the
Plaid One in matters of sawdust. If you don't believe me, you
will get flamed and get tons of hate email for your blasphemy.
You will be tarred, feathered and run out of town on a rail.
Just ask Tom Perigrin. Ignore that JOAT pagan. There is but one
woodworking god. Norm is Jewish and a carpenter and his mother
was a virgin. 'Nuff said!
7.3 HOW DO I MAKE A PUSH STICK?
Using a dead cat. There are many different methods, but the
consensus of this newsgroup is that dead cats work best.
Only Keith goes for pukey ducks. No comment on what Groggy uses,
but then he’s Strine.
7.4 WHAT SIZE DRILL BIT DO I USE FOR A WOOD SCREW?
Real men screw in their screws without drilling. Drilling's a
waste of time. Better yet, use nails. Even better, use an air
7.5 SHOULD I USE A HOT MELT GLUE GUN FOR MY NEXT PROJECT?
Sure. Hot melt is great, 'cause you can fix your mistakes
easily. Only Lew uses epoxy.
7.6 WHAT IS THE CORRECT WAY TO HANDLE THE GLUE SQUEEZE OUT
Try hot melt instead. Or you could slather the glue all over
your work with a sopping wet rag. Saves on finishing.
7.7 WHAT IS SNIPE AND HOW DO I ELIMINATE IT?
Snipe is a bird living in Florida among the ash trees. Very hard
to find so it must be an endangered species. Why would you want
to eliminate them? Don't you have any respect for wildlife?
Doug will lecture you for desecrating the environment.
7.8 WHICH ARE BETTER: ENGLISH/IMPERIAL/SAE MEASUREMENTS OR
Here are the main arguments for both sides of the debate:
There is absolutely no question; traditional imperial
measurements are far superior for woodworking. Most wreckers use
it for very good reasons:
There is absolutely no question; metric measurements are far
superior for woodworking. Most woodworkers in the world use it
for very good reasons:
1. Imperial is much more intuitive and natural. Feet and inches
(thumbs) have been used throughout human history as they are
related to human body parts (fingers and feet). As
Michelangelo said: man is the measure of all things.
1. Metric is much more intuitive and natural. Humans always use
a base 10 system as it is related to human body parts (number
of fingers & toes). As Michelangelo said: man is the measure
of all things.
2. Imperial is easier to hear and leads to less confusion.
Someone calls out a measurement for a piece of wood, & before
you notice it, you cut 10mm instead of 10cm.
2. Metric is easier to hear and leads to less confusion. Quickly
now, is 19/32” bigger or smaller than 5/8”? On the other
hand, it is immediately obvious that 15mm is smaller than
Ease of learning
3. Imperial measurements are easier to learn. You don’t have to
memorize all those crazy prefixes: femto, nano, micro, milli,
centi, deci, deka, hecto, kilo, mega, myria, giga, etc.
3. Metric measurements are easier to learn. You don’t have to
remember all those crazy measures like inches, hands, feet,
cubits, yards, fathoms, rods, cones, chains, furlongs, cables,
4. Imperial uses simple fractional arithmetic which we all
learned in grade school. Not like metric where you need to
know all those prefixes and can easily make a mistake on your
calculator & cut something 10 times too big or 10 times too
4. Metric uses simple decimal arithmetic where you can use your
calculator directly without springing big bucks for one that
calculates inches and fractions.
5. It’s a lot easier to divide stuff in imperial measurements.
What do you call half a millimeter? Ever try to divide
304.8mm by four? A foot is real easy – 12” divided by four is
5. It’s a lot easier to divide stuff in metric measurements.
Ever try to divide 39 9/16 inches by four? While 1000mm
divided by four readily gives 250mm.
6. Imperial is more accurate. You can easily go to 1/32 which is
more precise than 1mm.
6. Metric is more accurate. You can easily go to 0.5mm which is
more precise than 1/32”
The REAL Reason
7. Metric is a stupid cowardly French system. You don’t want to
support those smelly unwashed arrogant ingrates, do you? GOD
7. Inches and feet are a stupid warmongering American imperialist
system. The rest of the world and all scientists use the much
more rational metric system. It’s about time the US gets into
the 19th century, never mind the 21st! VIVE LA FRANCE!
7.9 WHY ARE SCREW COUNTERSINKS AT 82 DEGREES?
This was contributed by Frank Shapiro who is a Canadian engineer
from Ottawa, so he should know everything.
The reason for this is quite neat, screws are 82 degrees, because
they were meant to replace the nail. The old square nails once
used as well were not 90 degrees but were indeed on average 82
degrees, and the manufacturer of screws wanted to fill the same
hole and as such maintained the angle. Now why were nails 82
well that comes from how they were made, they were cut pieces of
metal cut with a chisel and placed in an anvil (for making nails)
and the top was hammered to give us the flat nail, and mushroom
head. The Anvil had an 82 degree impression for this, although
not all nails followed this convention, just the majority. Now
why did the anvil have that angle, this goes back to the ancient
Greeks, who when making chariots and eventually banding the
wheels, were avid smokers, at that time, there were no ashtrays,
so the original blacksmiths in those days drilled their anvil and
placed an angle on to it to hold there cigarette. In shops where
many blacksmiths worked many holes had to be drilled with and
angle to keep the cigarette tilted, so they made a neat little
drill bit which we call a counter sink. Eventually they the tool
wore with time and the hole got smaller. In time the hole no
longer held a cigarette, and was then used to drill anvils for
making nails. So there you have it, the screw angle is based on
the angle required to hold a cigarette.
7.10 WHAT IS RESAWING?
To saw again, as in re-saw, like when you cut something too
short. Jees, newbies ask dumb questions.
7.11 SHOULD I USE ROUND OR SQUARE DOGS IN MY WORKBENCH?
Apparently there is a secret reason to use round (or was it
square? I forget which.). As the other Randy said, octagonal is
best for Canadians, as it is a compromise, eh?
7.12 SHOULD I JOIN THE HANDYMAN CLUB OF AMERICA?
Definitely! This is unquestionably the best deal going anywhere!
You get this neat card to put in your wallet, and nifty stickers
to put on your tools that identify you as a master carpenter just
like Norm. You get to test and review all sorts of tools and
keep them after the testing, and you get a subscription for their
magazine. By the first year you will have an entire shop full of
tools (!!) including a genuine drill index gauge made from
indestructible plastic and a 14-in-1 multi-tool constructed out
of genuine carbon steel.
Once the magazine arrives you won't need any other reference and
not need any more advice from this group (after all I bet most of
you are non-members).
7.13 WHY WON'T SWMBO LET ME BUILD THAT PIECE OF FURNITURE INSTEAD
OF BUYING A TERMITE PUKE POS?
The reason is quite simple. It has nothing to do with female pop
psychology or all the BS you hear about Mars & Venus. Face the
facts: men are from earth, women are from earth - deal with it.
As Max's sister said:
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