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Profile: Champlainbuilder
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User Name: Champlainbuilder
Forum Rank: Newbie
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Location Middlebury, Vermont
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Joined: Wednesday, March 07, 2012
Last Visit: Monday, June 08, 2015 10:46:42 AM
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Last 10 Posts
Topic: Outdoor Finish for a camper
Posted: Friday, February 28, 2014 7:33:02 AM
I'm not too familiar with elasticized paints. I'd be cautious of using anything that is difficult to repair or recoat later on. Keep in mind that it will be sunlight and UV's that will have the biggest impact on paint.

I'd look to marine paints for this. Interlux is one brand that I'm sure you'd find fairly easily. I'm also aware of a number of wooden boat owners who've used ordinary latex housepaints on boats above the waterline. They are of such high quality nowadays (at least the name brands) and they'd surely hold up for a number of years, are easily recoated and are readily available.
Topic: Help Teaching Surface Planer
Posted: Monday, September 30, 2013 12:47:12 PM
I've got a newer Powermatic with a difficult scale to read. I have them lower the table a lot, place the board in and raise the table ever so slowly until they can barely hear it cut. Then run the whole board back again at that setting. Proceed by making quarter turns with the handwheel for each cut.
Topic: Sawstop
Posted: Monday, May 13, 2013 3:11:51 PM
Sounds a little weird to me. I'd call Sawstop and describe the problem. I had lots of problems/misfires with mine for a while and found their customer service to be tops. 1-866-729-7867, just ask for tech help, really great people and glad to discuss any issues.

I explain the safety features of the saw to my kids, tell them how much it costs to buy a blade and cartridge etc. I like that their parents know about it. I find the kids forget about it so long as I make sure they follow normal safety protocol. I tell them it is supposed to go off when needed, but who knows?
Topic: Projects
Posted: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 1:31:43 PM
The carry box is on the sketchup/Popular Woodworking I can do that site. It might be a good use of your half inch fir. I'd really have a hard time with middle school projects. I'd probably be thinking skateboards, boomerangs, paddles etc. Anything they could hit with/throw/ ride

Thanks for your reply, can't believe no one else has listed their projects, seems it would help us all.
Topic: Projects
Posted: Monday, April 15, 2013 1:15:13 PM
been a little boring around here lately, so its a good time to ask this.

I'm a little bored with my beginning woodshop projects. I teach HS, class is 80 minutes long for half a year. Its hard to come up with projects that keep students interest, are useable, look good and teach worthy skills. Here's this years projects and some info:

A small desktop carry box done with handtools
A toolbox. Can't get away from this as it a great intro to the power tools as well as the lathe to make a handle
A wall shelf with pegs, uses a router and lots of bandsawing
3 step stool, just a measuring exercise, pocket screwed
A small shaker style bench, a couple of miter and bevel cuts
Bookshelf, dadoes, rabbets, face frame and pocket screws.
End table, tapered legs, drawer construction, gluing a 20 x 23 top, double biscuit assembly
A small cupboard with face frame a door and shelf.
2 weeks or so for independent work, can't give them much more and keep my sanity. Adirondack chairs are popular with students during this time. Also, those that finish projects early have time to putter on the lathe or make cutting boards etc.

What projects do you do for Wood 1?
Topic: Best worktable finish
Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 11:47:39 AM
I'm a little sheepish about saying this because I know that a butcher block top looks great and is traditional. But, I just got tired of the refinishing and dealing with broken screws etc. I've put 3/4 " melamine over my butcher block for years now. I've had to get 5 x 8 ft. sheets as the tops are 5 x 5 ft. and they run almost $60 although the lumber yard gave me a great deal once on some that were kicking around for a few years unsold. Glues and finishes scrape off of melamine easily with a chisel or glue scraper. I've gotten 3 years from my last order, and will flip them over for another 2-3. Even when I try to throw them away, some kid will tell his dad and they're gone the next day (hard to believe but true). They are a must for my 2 gluing tables. Just another approach.
Topic: table saw ASAP
Posted: Monday, January 21, 2013 2:22:05 PM
I wouldn't get anything other than a sawstop. Do a google search on the lawsuit from a few years past that set a legal precedent that if anyone gets cut on a saw, regardless of how careless they may have been, it is the saw owners fault because they should have bought a sawstop. Seriously, I'd sooner use a jigsaw or bandsaw than a tablesaw that is not a sawstop.

If you want cheap, buy the contractors version of a sawstop. I have one as second saw that I use for dadoing. I think they're in the $800 range but I forget, could be more. Its nowhere near the cabinet saw they make but it will do if needed.

Or, buy a cheaper saw and don't allow students to use it. You do all the cutting. The liability is huge.......

Good luck with your decision.
Topic: Final Exams
Posted: Friday, January 18, 2013 11:31:06 AM
Funny you should ask as I just sat down after giving my Wood 2 final. We're on block scheduling so they do 80 minutes a day for half a year. Anyway, a few years back I started doing practical exams as the written ones were just too painful and there was no learning tied to the exams at all. The logistics of practical finals are hard in that you need to start them during normal class time before the actual exam schedule. Students just work slower and they need to wait on line for saws and machines. What we do in an hour takes them 3 days even if they are good. If a student is absent it throws a whammy into the process. You have to have a written exam as a backup should a student miss time.

My exams for this semester were:

Wood 2: In this Februaries edition of Fine Woodworking, Christian Becksvoort shows how to build a small shaker stool with handtools only. Thats a real challenge even for me so I decided to let them use any tools in the shop they wished. I printed out the article for them well beforehand and I built one myself as a sample. They were allowed to rough out pieces beforehand. The exam lasted for two 80 minute classes and for an hour and 45 minute exam period. About half of them finished and the rest will have to come in Monday during my inservice day between semesters. The ones that did not finish were screwing off during the first two days thinking it was a piece of cake. Not many of the stools are much good, but it was a great experience for them. Just having to really think on their own without any help from me was valuable. I do allow them to help themselves though. They were flat out today and it was cool to watch. I'll grade on a generous curve. No failing so long as its done.

Wood 1: Similar idea, 3 day project with a sample and a set of plans. They did a simple 3 step Shaker Stool. Really an exercise in measuring and gluing, all assembled with pocket screws. First group finished yesterday and did fairly well, next group coming this afternoon.

Hope this helps
Topic: Need a Miter saw recommendation ASAP
Posted: Wednesday, December 12, 2012 11:45:27 AM

What happened to it? I've got one of those and like it a lot, even more then the Bosch that I have. My Dewalt has stopped working a few times and it has always been the brushes. You can buy some time by taking the brushes out and rubbing them over some sandpaper. Can't say if this is your problem though......

Good luck.
Topic: mortise machine chisels
Posted: Tuesday, October 02, 2012 8:11:06 AM
Hi all,

I bought a Powermatic mortising machine a few years back and am still struggling to get it to perform well. Machine setup aside, and all of the issues surrounding its lack of positive feel and overall sloppiness, the real issues are about the chisels. I think I'm doing ok on sharpening them, I have one of those diamond cones to hone the insides, the outsides are honed on my sharpening stones. The drill bits seem to be the achilles heel of the problem though. Other than in pine, they smoke and burn and just are worthless after a few cuts in something like oak. Sharpening the actual bits is difficult, I just use a file and/or sandpaper and getting the inside is tough. Have repositioned the bits to try other positions to no avail. Are the bits that come with these chisels just junk? Can you buy just the bits? Should I buy whole new chisels and bits from a reputable place? I'm having to go back to the old way of mortising with drill bits and plunge routers for an advanced class that has lots of mortising to do.

Suggestions?

Thanks

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