Feb 122019
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On Saturday, February 9th, we held a small demonstration of the SawStop brake system, which is responsible for the technology behind the quick shutdown of the SawStop Table Saw when it senses flesh. These demos are often done with hot dogs as they are the most similar to a human finger, though Roy Underhill once did one with a fried chicken drumstick.

Highland employee, Jeff Dillon, performed the demo by first explaining the technology behind the brake system followed by the hot dog demonstration. He then pulled out the blade and brake cartridge to further show how the brake stops the blade when it comes into contact with flesh.

While the blade still nicks the hot dog, it is much less damage then going straight through it

The blade and brake cartridge. You will need to replace the brake cartridge and evaluate the condition of the blade for future use.

To find out more information about SawStop or to purchase your own saw, you can visit Highland Woodworking online or in-person.

Feb 052019
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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.”

You want something free? Well, almost free.

If you eat whipped butter, margarine, Cool Whip, or other foodstuffs that come in plastic tubs, you can make use of those tubs in the shop and they won’t cost you an additional dime.

Now, if you, like me, don’t eat any of those above items, you, like me, probably know someone who does. It’s not hard to talk them into saving some containers.

What are they good for? A kazillion uses! (Sorry, Steve.)

Probably the thing I use them for most is parts washing.

Over the utility sink turned out to be the best place for some shelves to store my “butter containers.” If I need to wash something, there is one close by. If I need the lid, I know right where it is.

From cleaning paint brushes to wheel bearings, they’re impervious to every solvent I’ve ever used, which means if you’re cleaning parts in batches you can use the same cleaner repeatedly until it’s dirty.

They’re neither air-tight nor water-tight, so you shouldn’t store liquids for the long term.

Speaking of liquids, they’re great for decanting from a large container of finish into one you can work from. If you need to go to the door to sign for a UPS package, and you’re coming right back, you can pop on the top to slow drying and evaporation. However, don’t plan to store finishes in these containers; the lids don’t fit securely. Over a short amount of time oxygen will enter and ruin the finish, and, if it falls from a height, finish is going everywhere.

Component storage is a good use for the long and short term. If you’ve taken a piece apart for restoration and you want to save
all the screws, bolts, nuts, washers and hardware, an old butter container will keep them together with your project until you’re ready to reassemble. Most aren’t see-through, but, with a proper label, or even a temporary Post It Note, you can store any sort of small hardware. Personally, I prefer organizers with drawers, but these still beat my Uncle Sam’s old system of “throw everything into a coffee can.”

These organizers with plastic, see-through drawers won’t break the bank, either. I have screws in one, nails in another, nuts and bolts in the third.

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 written below in the comments section. 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.

Feb 042019
Clamp Cleaning – Tips from Sticks in the Mud – February 2019 – Tip #1
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Welcome to “Tips From Sticks-In-The-Mud Woodshop.” I am a hobbyist who loves woodworking and writing for those who also love the craft. I have found some ways to accomplish tasks in the workshop that might be helpful to you, and I enjoy hearing your own problem-solving ideas. Please share them in the COMMENTS section of each […]

Feb 012019
February Poll: Do You Wear a Nail/Carpenter's Apron Inside the Shop?
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  There are web sites and YouTube channels that run down Festool. There are channels that run down your favorite YouTuber. I get that. Not everybody likes the same thing, and not everyone can keep their opinion to themselves, or follow Mama’s advice: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” I’ve […]

Jan 282019
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We’ve got another episode of The Highland Woodworker premiering shortly, but in the meantime you can watch a preview of the upcoming episode now! If you ever want to catch up on any past episodes, check out The Highland Woodworker Archive offering hours of past episodes and woodworking fun!  

Jan 242019
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You can get so much done in a shop with a quality router table, and the Kreg Router Table System can help woodworkers of all levels finish their projects faster, more easily and with greater precision than before. Mike Morton offers a thorough tour of the Kreg Router Table System in the video below, helping […]

Jan 232019
Sharpen This, Part 1 - by Christopher Schwarz
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At Highland Woodworking, we are pretty fanatical about sharpening, and we know Chris Schwarz shares our feelings about this. When Chris was updating his Sharpen Up or Shut Up keynote address for us to publish in Wood News last month, he suggested to us that our readers might be interested in his entire ‘Sharpen This’ […]