I think it can be said that most people in woodworking like to save time and money when they can and not suffer any of the consequences that can often come with doing these, and often we can, but sometimes, taking a bit more time and doing things correctly can save not only time and money, but also personal safety, and then, of course, there is always the unknown ... "I didn't know it could do that" ... and I have been there on myself occasion and learned from doing things the wrong way. 

Watch it on Youtube: https://youtu.be/89LlcJ7fQAI

It's always easy in hindsight to look back at mistakes and learn from them, it's even better if someone shares them with us so we can all learn these things before we attempt them.

Transfer Balls
These are a cool invention. Basically, all they consist of is a Top-exposed ball bearing and when the housing is fastened to a base, it allows anything on top the bearing to travel in any direction. Where these are used the most are in large shipping warehouses where goods are packaged into boxes, then the boxes are transferred down a line to shipping where they get a shipping label are sent off. These neat little transfer balls allow things the travel over them, around corners up and down ramps all with amazing ease,
When I was making extensions for my sliding miter saw table, someone suggested these would be a good thing to add to the top of each extension because the wood I would be cutting can be moved back and forth on them. Which is true ... sort of. Unfortunately, if the wood is narrow and a bit long, it will often drop off between balls or partly on one then not on the one beside, all of which defeats the whole purpose of having a nice flat extension. I fought with these units for many months before finally taking them off going with an extension that is flat and wide and works just fine. Transfer balls, great for shipping warehouses, not so much for workshops.

Transfer balls

Changing Electrical Panel Breaker Switches
Such was the case when I read someone suggesting to change a breaker switch in an electrical panel to help solve their problem of the breaker switch going off every time they turned their dust collector on. What I happened to read was quite an old post so hopefully, it didn't cause any problems. For anyone who has this problem, the fact that a breaker switch is tripped in your electrical panel should be a warning that something on that particular circuit is overloading the circuit, it could be simple as too many electrical devices running at the same time, or as complicated as one of the devices on that circuit that has its own electrical problem that is tripping the breaker. In any case, the problem needs to be resolved by determining what the problem is, not trying to solve it by adding a larger circuit breaker. All this will do is subject your circuit and wiring to possible overload which can result in an electrical fire. If you are unsure of what the problem is, it is always wise to hire a qualified professional to help protect you and your property. 

Changing Electrical Panel Breaker Switches

Ripping Logs
Not that long ago I had a couple of short logs to rip and I made a Ripping Jig for my bandsaw, but that project reminded me of a time many years ago with my first ever bandsaw and ripping short piece of apple-wood log someone had given me. I had used the bandsaw a few times and I was familiar with using it and knew about, and practiced safety. I installed ripping blade in the saw, set it up and began to take a slice of one side and that's when things went wrong ... and with machinery, when things go wrong, everything can happen in the blink of an eye. 

The bandsaw blade gabbed my log out of my hands and twisted it under while the machine made a loud 'bang' then almost instantly stopped working while the motor continued to try and drive while. All of this startled me but I had enough wits to hit the off switch and everything came to halt - then silence.

It took me a few moments to stop and take a look at exactly what had happened, it was only then that I realized that the downward pressure of the blade, with nothing below the blade but air and the arch and roundness of the log, had allowed the blade to twist the log under, jamming the blade and instantly stopping it. This was another of those lessons that I learned that sometimes trying to hand hold wood while cutting, trimming, planing ... whatever, with a machine, is not a good idea. Wood should always be firmly held with secure clamps, jigs, or other holders because we often don't realize just how powerful even a small electrical motor can be.

Ripping Logs on a Bandsaw

The Elongated Fence Myth
I see pictures of situations similar to this on the Internet from time to time, where people 'apparently' have adapted some long piece of material, like angle iron, to their table saw, in order to make their fence longer, so when they are ripping a long piece of wood that is arched, it won't jam of kick back on their table saw. I have never tried this, even just setting it up for the camera clip it's clear it is such a bad idea. I have seen some fence extensions, but they are often part of a solid, fixed, outfeed table and are installed in a commercial woodworking shop.
For those of us in smaller shops, and home workshops there is a much better and much safer and arguably  more accurate way of cutting long pieces of wood, plywood or natural wood by using a common jig adapted for use with a circular saw like this one I showed how to make a short time ago - Circular Saw Guide

Here is a picture of the saw on that circular saw jig  

Circular Saw Ripping Fence

There is no substitute for working safely, for some reason when we do this the jobs seem to come together more easily and with more satisfaction. For me there is nothing more frustrating then injury, even small cuts, and scraps, so I work hard not to let these happen and change how I work, and stop for a moment to think about what I am about to do. I have learned over the years to have great respect for my machinery and that it is stronger than I am and that often taking a tiny bit more time to set things up can often lead to better results.

Copyright Colin Knecht



Bad Ideas in Woodworking Episode 3 / Workshop Fails


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