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Ken asks…

What kind of tool is this?

It has two pieces, is made of cast iron, is painted black, and has spots of rust. I do not know if it is missing parts or not. It came in a toolbox from a garage sale from a man who used to make keys, although his abundance of woodworking tools tells me he worked in other areas as well. Provided below is a link to some pictures of the tool on Flickr:

Unknown Tool

I have added two pictures to Flickr that show the length of the tool, and opposite it is a handle for a metal file. The tool (or handle, I am unsure), is roughly 7 inches in length. I originally thought it was a frame in which to hold files and raps; however, the tool is loose and can be split into two parts, and the opening mouth is not adjustable. Again, I do not know if there are parts missing.

Dusty answers:

In the UK we know it as a Fisherman’s Creel or iron basket.

Michael asks…

Woodworking question: Using a jointer. I know I would be better served with a planer, but….?

Here is my situation:

I have about 300sqft of oak flooring. It was pulled up from an existing home (victim of imminent domain). Therefore, it has a varnish or urethane coating. I am trying to shave off a 1/16″ or so to get rid of the existing finish.

The planks of hardwood flooring are the standard 2″ wide and vary in length from 2 ft up to 14 ft.

I know a planer would be a perfect tool to shave the wood. However, I don’t have one, nor do I want to spend $300+ on one for this one project. I am able to borrow a jointer from someone to help me along.

Any tips, advice, pointers?

Anyone have experience using a jointer?

Dusty answers:

If you are planning on reinstalling the timber as a floor, then leave the varnish on, reinstall the floor (maybe a rebating plane – hand or power can remove the varnish from the tongues and grooves) then have it sanded and polished after it is installed.
If you machine it now then install it, you are still going to need to sand it to take out any proud edges and you don’t want to take off too much timber.
If you just want to have some nice timber to use ‘some day’ then maybe a coarse grit belt sander across the grain then a fine one along it will work (you also need time with this option), although this could cause rounding on the edges…
Or maybe bite the bullet and buy a thicknesser/bench planer… Or look into hiring one? A thicknesser would be a better option if you are going to reuse it as a floor, this will give you a precise thickness across your pack of timber, a power planer may leave little grooves (as a result of only having 2 blades) and will need to be sanded after.

Linda asks…

Cabinet refinishing book recomendation?

I want to refinish my cabinets my self. I have little to no woodworking experience. I am an experienced electrician though, so i have no problems with basic hand tools or tasks.

What is a good book series to use. One with diagrams and step-by-step instructions is appreciated.

Dusty answers:

If you have a Lowe’s or Home Depot near by…they have hundreds of How To Books.

Daniel asks…

cabinet refinishing book recomendation?

I want to refinish my cabinets my self. I have little to no woodworking experience. I am an experienced electrician though, so i have no problems with basic hand tools or tasks.

What is a good book series to use. One with diagrams and step-by-step instructions is appreciated.

Dusty answers:

I agree with the contractor above about the process and that there are literally thousands of books to choose from. But, I really think the Sunset books are about the most useful because they provide materials lists, diagrams and photographs, troubleshooting when problems ocurr and are very detail oriented. You find them near the front of the store in both Lowes and Home Depot.

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