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  1. #1
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    Couple Questions

    Good afternoon folks!

    I hope everybody's had a good weekend and got some shop time. I'm dealing with a fairly large infestation of wasps, so I haven't had as much as I'd like.

    So, the questions.

    My dad is a big fan of the Kreg pocket hole jig, but I just feel like the quality of the joints is cheap and weak. I've read a couple of articles that show pocket holes just aren't nearly as strong.

    That being said, the simplicity of pocket holes is intriguing.

    Should I use this short cut as I'm learning to build furniture, or should I continue to struggle through true joinery? It's been an extremely time consuming process learning the different joints, practicing MAKING them, screwing up and retrying, and in some cases giving up until my skills improve.

    Also, I'm highly in need of a bandsaw upgrade and I'm eyeing the Wen 14" from Home Depot. Everything I've read about it has been fantastic. I need the upgrade (from my 8" Delta) so I can resaw and for shapes. A lot of the projects I'm doing rely on the bandsaw.

    However, I don't have $800+. The $550 price tag is much easier to sell the wife. And I feel I can easily recup that cost within a couple of months. Anyone have experience with the Wen?

    Any spoon makers out there use mahogany, sapele, or padauk for kitchenware? I'm reading a lot of contradictory posts online and would like a reliable source as to yea or nay. I have a significant source of free cut offs so I'm curious.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Breakyr; 06-11-2018 at 01:54 PM.
    I don't know about you guys, but for me it's all about that feeling of, "Wow, I made that."

  2. #2
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    Re: Couple Questions

    http://thepestmanagement.com/best-wasp-killer/

    Get some help learning traditional joinery, then you will know for sure when you can get by with something less.

    We have workshops from time to time that are very inexpensive for a one day learning experience.

    Look for a used bandsaw, plenty of old Deltas around and even a few Rikon first generation starting to show up.

    I make spoons, look in my gallery.

    Mahogany and Sepele are great, padauk I'm not sure about, but would avoid it.

    http://www.wood-database.com/wood-ar...-and-toxicity/

    A common question: is this wood safe to use as a plate/bowl/cutting board/etc.? Despite the very long list of woods below, very few woods are actually toxic in and of themselves. But what a great number of woods do have the potential to do is cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. This risk for finished wood projects is greatly lessened (but not eliminated) with the application of a food-safe finish. In the end, using almost any wood is a calculated risk, and the question boils down to this: how much of a potential risk am I comfortable with? 1 in 10? 1 in 1,000? 1 in 1,000,000?



    One machine can do the work of 50 ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man." -Elbert Hubbard

    WWFD

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  4. #3
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    Re: Couple Questions

    I'll comment on pocket screws. In spite of what you've read, they are actually fairly strong if you use enough of them and do them properly. The issue with pocket screws is that wood is joined with butt joints (which isn't even a joint at all ;-). Even if you glue them, it doesn't add as much strength. Alignment can be an issue.

    I use them in just a few specific applications like attaching face frames, and attaching bottoms & shelves to a frame and panel cabinet.

    Some people use them for other applications including cabinetmaking and drawer making.

    Furniture building, however, is probably the poorest application. There simply is no substitute for traditional joinery especially for things like tables.

    It really boils down to you as a ww'er and whether you want to develop the skills to make traditional joints or get something put together as easily as possible.

    Of course all this is my opinion, but you asked for it ;-)
    Last edited by Rwe2156; 06-11-2018 at 02:22 PM.

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    Re: Couple Questions

    Mike brings up some great points.

    I've used pocket hole joinery on some projects, and traditional joinery on others. Just depends on the project, and the time I want to invest in it. For the strength, pocket joinery is usually strong enough. I don't need every joint to support 500lbs. The pocket hole joints that are weak are usually ones that haven't been done correctly. You should also plan out where to put your pocket holes are so they are hidden in the final product. Steve Ramsey, well known for his love of pocket holes, has a great video on pocket hole joinery: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvO6zaIUO18

    That said, learn some traditional joinery as well! The more techniques you learn, the more you'll trust yourself to pick the best one for the job.

    I also agree on getting a used bandsaw. I picked up my 12" Delta on craigslist for $100. Even a 12" will be a huge upgrade over your 8" benchtop. You can certainly get a quality 14" bandsaw that will last you a long time for under the price of the WEN new. (just a quick search turned up a 14" Delta with a Kreg fence in great condition for $450: https://hickory.craigslist.org/for/d...598320630.html ). Be patient and you get get some deals.
    "Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."
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    Re: Couple Questions

    I use them mainly for shop stuff like cabinets. Mainly as a clamp so I don't have to wait for glue to dry before continuing on.

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    Re: Couple Questions

    I use a variety of joints depending on what I am making. I have shop drawers with half blind dovetails and other shop drawers with pocket screw joints. Both work fine.

    I am finishing a cabinet for our bathroom. It is 27.5 inches wide, 15 inches deep, and just short of 8 feet tall. The crown molding takes it to the ceiling. It has three horizontal pieces which are jointed to the verticals with 2 #20 biscuits and three pocket screws in each joint (and Titebond II). It is screwed to the wall with no back. I carried it into the room with just these joints. As a free standing piece it would have to have a back but it is plenty strong enough. The pocket screws on the top and bottom piece are not visible. On the middle shelf, they are on the underside and I filled the light weight spackle before spraying on the water borne lacquer (white Resisthane). For a painted cabinet, I see no reason for fancy joinery. Screws and glue, whether through or pocket, is plenty good enough. I've used through screws on clear finished oak cabinet boxes too. But I plugged the screw holes with matching wood plugs sanded flush.

    It sound to me like you need to pick out something you want and then figure out a way to make it. I think you need a success, in other words. You want to think in terms of gradually adding skills, not learning everything all at once.

    My first bedroom cabinet was glued and screwed together. It made it through 4 moves and was still functional when I gave it away. It was pine shelving boards. Drawers were glued and screwed too. It was so unsquare I had to cut the drawers in half on the back, take a bit out, and glue them back together. My wife at the time never complained. The front looked OK and it held clothes. Later I made much nicer cabinets with dovetailed drawers and square carcases for them to reside in. But my early stuff was functional and met our needs at the time.

  8. #7
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    Re: Couple Questions

    Pocket hole joints are appropriate in some circumstances where there's not a lot of twisting, turning, or racking regularly. They're not as strong as a mortise/tenon or dowel joints, but they're not too shabby either so don't discount them and be an elitist (it it's not traditional it's cheap junk).

    https://www.thewoodwhisperer.com/art...pocket-screws/
    Last edited by Jeff; 06-11-2018 at 03:17 PM.

  9. #8
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    Re: Couple Questions

    Several good points have been made about here. Pocket hole technology dates back further than most people think, but it's not appropriate for all your needs. Mike is right you can keep and eye out for workshops, they come in handy and are very informative. Have you checked the classifieds on this site, just so happens there is a real nice Delta band saw for sale for $600.00, it has some nice features that you would have to buy extra elsewhere.
    Nothing beats a try but a failure, failure is an opportunity to learn.
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  10. #9
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    Re: Couple Questions

    Jonathan,
    since you've already got a great bunch of answers about joints, I'll reflect on how I solved a wasp infestation. I had a huge deck with a full story under it. Those beggars used to nest everywhere under that deck. They drove us crazy because whenever we went out onto the deck, they hated it. Anyway, after much research, I discovered WD40 kills them a prevents them from nesting there again. In the spring before they nest, if they have a favorite place to nest, spray that area with WD40 and they won't nest there. I bought a gallon jug and a small garden sprayer just for the WD. It worked fantastic! Matter of fact, I application in the spring kept the away for several seasons. Also, the spray will knock them out of the air then they'll crawl for a few minutes then die. Good luck!

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