General Woodworking Videos

Woodworking Hacks for People with Disabilities like Arthritis

I am surprised how many emails and notes I get from people who have had or arm disabilities, asking me for suggestions on how they can hold their tools easier. The people I hear from have everything possible you can imagine from arthritis and joint pain in hands and arms, others like me have carpal tunnel conditions in their wrist, some have injuries from work or home incidents that may be temporary or permanent, sports injuries ... the list goes on. Some of these I can help, others I cannot, but it always amazes me what innovative ideas others come up with to help them hold their tools more comfortably and safely.

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Of course, there are many, many solutions, often easy ones like raising or lowering work surfaces like work benches, or even having small portable platforms to give yourself some extra height, sometimes something as small as 2 or 3 inches can make a huge difference.

Combating Rust in the Workshop

One of the challenges for most of us is keeping out tools in nice shape, and among other things, that means rust free. Where I live in the more temperate climates there are seasonal and daily fluctuations in temperature and both of these, combined with the moisture in the air, are big contributors to making our tools rusting.

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Just knowing, and understanding the elements that come together to create rust are a big first step in helping us preventing rust from happening. The cause, of course, is moisture that comes in contact with bare steel and the reaction of the 2 elements is what we call rust, which is basically a corrosion that happens when the 2 come in contact with one another, but what are causes of those contacts?

Table Saw Riving Knife / Splitter Set-up and Alignment. Prevent Table Saw Kickback.

From time to time, I like to stop all jobs in the workshop to fine tune. This could mean sharpening tools or it could be repair or re-adjusting things to make them work better. Recently I had a good look at the where the Riving Knife and the Splitter are attached to my table saw. What I noticed is that in the lower part of the attachment block there appeared to be some bolts that looked like, if they were taken off, I might be able to fix the positioning and alignment of my riving knife and splitter.

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I don't use my Riving Knife very often but I DO use my splitter a lot because it helps with the dust extraction and keeps the shop cleaner and more dust free. Every time I have to take the splitter off, it annoys me that the block it sits in is out of alignment and I have to use shims in order for it to work. I paid a lot for this saw and that one thing should have worked better than it does. I should not have to use shims that fall off into the base of the saw every time I have to take the splitter off to use a table saw jig or cut vertical wood, so it's time to fix this ...