WT113 – Chuck Norris Ruins The Poll

Special thanks to our show sponsors: Bad Axe Tool Works and Benchcrafted!

On today’s show, we’re looking at the year in review. We’ll also discuss the wide world of hand planes, wood movement after milling, digital vs print magazines, the Domino vs the Multi-Router, and oil finishes causing blotching in cherry.

What’s on the bench?

Shannon’s doing pretty much the same thing as last week. So is Matt. And guess what? So is Marc. Although Marc did mention he is having a virtual Holiday Party on the live page on Dec. 13th at 9pm Eastern.

Year in Review

Shannon exceeded his goal of taking a 5-day class by taking a 7-day class. Overachiever! Matt made good on his promise to himself that he would reorganize his shop space and he’s really enjoying the new layout. Marc achieved his goal of doing more client work and more projects that are “personally satisfying.” But Marc and Shannon’s plan to do a joint sculpted rocker project didn’t quite pan out.

The mention of the sculpted rocker sends the guys into a discussion about intellectual property and the ethics involved in making pieces heavily inspired by others.

Around the Web

Gary Rogowski shows you how to level legs at the tablesaw.
Chris Schwarz sets the record straight after a flub in a recent Fine Woodworking article.
Cool commercial showing amazing wooden musical instrument.
Wooden Turntables
Turn in to Woodworking for Mere Mortals on Friday for a special holiday treat!

Poll of the Week

How Do You Cushion Your Feet in the Shop?


Ben wants to know whether he should buy the Domino XL or the Multi-Router. Marc recommends the Domino for the sake of portability and being able to take the tool to the wood. The Multi-Router is an amazing tool but is really a stationary tool, and is better suited for studio furniture.

Chris wants to know how to clean up epoxy squeezeout. Shannon usually scrapes it away. Marc typically uses acetone but recently heard that vinegar works fairly well.

Morgan sent in some feedback about last week’s tool purchasing discussion.


Nathan is confused by all the different options in planes. He wants to know what the various planes do. He also wants to know if we have any recommendations for building planes.

Shannon gives a quick rundown of the various planes on the market. Marc recommends Nathan check out Schwarz’s Coarse, Medium, Fine. Matt recommends Patrick’s Blood and Gore and the Hand Plane Book by Garret Hack.

Eric asked for advice on wood movement after milling. He’s perplexed because he follows all the typical rules. Marc recommends he start investigating deeper to determine if the source of the issue is the tool calibration, the user, or the wood itself.

With more and more Woodworking Magazine companies going to Apps and/or DVD releases, do you guys prefer the DVD’s or actual magazines? Do you think they will stop making the physical magazines any time soon? —– Tom Gentry

I’m making a jewlery box for xmas and it’s all solid cherry. I want to use Semi-Gloss Arm-R-Seal but after listening to WTO episode 72 you mentioned that an oil finish can cause blotchiness. Should i seal with shellac first or did i hear wrong? —– Greg DiMarzio

iTunes Reviews

Special thanks to Nathan in CBus and Disgruntled YouTuber for their awesome reviews! Want to have your review read on the show? Leave us a kick-butt review in the iTunes Store!

15 replies on “WT113 – Chuck Norris Ruins The Poll”

“that little burning streak” re: drum sanding.
had never heard of that, until I experienced it.
a couple of times semi-recently
both times with Bubinga
assume it has to do with oils in the material, though first time I thought maybe it was that sanding strip was too loose.

re: future of print versions
I would not assume too much on the future of print versions. A lot depends on what the advertisers want to pay for and how they perceive the market. Newsweek will become all digital at the end of this year. Sort of surprised me, but…the latest shake up there reduced the writing/presentation more to pop culture and sound bites (bytes), so they may as well change over….but not with me as a subscriber (due to content, not necessarily the online decision).

I like digital for looking up past info. For instance I’ll use (as a online subscriber) FWW’s the online search for older article I want to read again even though I have the print version. Besides saving time sorting through stacks, it allows me to make a printout to take in the shop…or for bedtime reading.

Woodworking has such a tactile element that I feel the print version plays to that satisfaction. Of course, being from a generation (or two) older than these podcasters, my expectations are different. Once I am gone, I give the ww magazines permission to drop printed versions.

Thanks guys, good show(s)

Oh Tom….. If I don’t assume then I can’t make an “ass out of u and me!” And then we have no show. πŸ™‚

Frankly, I too have a certain love for print whether it be newspapers, magazines, comic books, or just a good novel. But I am starting to get more and more comfortable being 100% digital. What I can’t wait to see is how Mateo develops. He will likely never have that same nostalgic pull towards print and might think nothing of cuddling up in bed and reading a good book on his iPad. That said, the boy really loves his paper books and will drop whatever he’s doing if you invite him over to flip through a book. Of course he’s just flipping pages to look at the pictures of Elmo but it definitely makes me feel good. πŸ™‚

Remember to consider the “disposable” factor. If you leave a $5-$10 magazine or book behind after reading it at the park/friends house/school/wherever it’s no big deal. Leaving the spendy electronic gadget behind is a little painful. When it’s your child it’s increasingly painful because it *will* happen more than once.
I find the electronic “reader” devices a PITA. They don’t fit in a pocket and those that so are too small to comfortably read. So while out and about there always comes a time when they are as welcome as a carrying around a coat in a shopping mall!

I forgot to mention that the magazine/newspaper business IS in deep trouble. In my opinion the woodworking magazine WILL stop producing their print publications.
It’s inevitable. Just ask Newsweek.

I have a question regarding your response about the multi-router vs the domino. I have never used either tool, but I thought the multi-router allowed you to set it up for repeatable cuts. If this is the case I would believe the multi-router would be a better solution for the callers storm window job (250 storm windows). If you use the domino you would have to at least mark and potentially measure for each domino, which would suck up a large amount of production time. The repeatable cut feature would be it’s worth its weight in time saved. This is a moot point if you can’t set it up for repeatable cuts, but I’m pretty sure that’s the case. The caller also mentions his preference to building studio furniture which alleviates the need for a portable device. I know there are cases where having the portability in the shop has advantages but in general having a stationary machine doesn’t cause restrictions.


The Domino also does repetitive indexed cuts and would do the same job faster than the multi-router. You could probably make three mortises with the Domino in the same time it would take you to setup and do one on the Multi-Router. Not to mention, the tenons are already made for you.

Overall, it’s definitely a toss-up especially since he mentions the studio furniture in the future. So in the long run, I think he might be happier with the Multi-Router. But right now, I think the Domino is definitely the better choice. Fortunately, I don’t think he can go wrong either way. But if he gets more jobs like the one he’s working on now, I would still have to say the Domino is the “money-maker.”

Marc and Shannon were talking about doing a joint project and the leagal thing is in the way … why dont you just make your own design end of discussion. if you change a angel on something in the product you are clear of any legal stuff. off course thats not the best way of doing this. an idea would be to have a competiton for new desingners to make a new and inproved version of the chair.

If designing or re-designing a sculpted rocker were that easy, everyone would be doing it, lol. Honestly, I doubt neither I nor Shannon have the time to re-design one of the chairs sufficiently to call it our own. Shoot, we clearly don’t even have enough time just to build one directly from a plan. πŸ™‚


That’s a common misconception to get around someone’s design rights and product design. Just changing one or two items is still an infringement and can and will get you in trouble if the owner decides to take action. Also, there is no such thing as being safe if there is a 10% difference in design either. You could change every joint aspect on a chair but if it is still a reproduction of someone’s design that will get you in trouble.

PS I worked for a mfg that ran into trouble for those same reasons.

I’m stoked to start using digital versions of magazines because I believe that they will be able to fit more information in each issue and the supplementry online content will be integrated much better.


Good discussion on intellectual property, but like so much of thhe discussion on this topic on woodworking sites, there’s alot of misinformation. Despite the assertion that there’s alot of “gray area”, and people need to constantly worry about being sued, that’s not the case: hundreds of billions on dollars of goods are sold in this country every year, and the markeplace and legal system has largely worked out what is and is not legal and ethical:

–#1 big misconception: YOU CAN’T COPYRIGHT A FURNITURE DESIGN. Anyone telling you this is trying to deceive you. A patricular decorative picture or pattern on a piece of furniture imay have copyright, but the design itself (or the design of any “useful article”), nope.

— Plans acquire copyright as soon as they are created. Someone selling plans can prohibit you from making copies of that plans, and most do. But you can do whatever you want with the one plan copy you buy. Want to make a million pieces of furniture and sell them? Have at it Or you could build one piece, burn the original plan, and hand off the piece to someone whose never seen the original plan and ask them to draw up a new set of plans. These new plans would be entirely yours, and you could then sell copies of it, if you wish. This is the so-called “cleanroom” technique that is often used in the Technology industry to get around software copyright. It works because copright only protects how an idea is affixed to paper (i.e., the plan), but not the idea itself (the furniture design).

–In general the system is biased toward providing consumers with as much choices as possible. Producers are expected to compete vigorously with each other. The quaint world of woodworking doesn’t get a special exemption from this. In most cases, it’s perfectly permissable to market copies of some other producer’s product. Examples I often cite are when Chrysler came out with the idea of the minivan, it was soon copied by GM, Toyota, Ford, etc. Was Chrysler able to say, “wait minute, that’s our idea and you guys are ‘stealing’ it”? Nope. Same thing with those Razor scooters a few years ago: copies started appearing as soon as they hit the market. Competition is a good thing.

–Producers have a conscience choice to make when releasing a new product to market. They can decide to put the design into the public domain, and just start selling examples of the design. Or, they can decide to protect it first, which would prevent competitors from making copies. This is done by patenting the idea first; for furniture designs this usually means a Design Patent. Design Patents are cheaper and quicker to obtain than Utility Patents.

Some producers such as Stickley do obtain Design Patents on their work before selling them, as is their right. They can prevent other from making copies. But it’s a pet peeve of mine to hear those producers who make the decision to take the quick and lazy route to bring something to market right away and get revenue as quickly as possible, and then somewhat disengenuously complain that competitors are taking advantage of a situation that they themselves created.

–It seems to me that alot of this complaining about copying is self-serving. Woodworkers have no problem making up some “ethics” rules in attempt to pull some guilt trip on competitors (on designs they themselves put into th public domain by their actions) when they are on the producing end of the market. But when they’re consumers? When was the last time you heard one of them villify Thomas Nie-Nielson for marketing blantant copies of Stanley tool designs? Never; in that case they’re perfectly happy to refer to “expired patents” and some such legal crtieria. Even when Stanley started selling those designs again, no woodworker complained about L-N’s “knockoffs”. Because in this instance, it’s something that benefits the woodworker.

Hey Barry. Thanks for the extra information concerning copyright. Just to clarify, I don’t think any of us made any assertions about the ability to copyright furniture designs. In fact I’m not sure we even used the word copyright. We did raise the question about there possibly being some “legalities” but our primary focus here was on ethics, relationships, and public perception. For instance, even if there is NO legal issue with me building a sculpted rocker from Charles Brock’s set of plans and then selling those plans on my website, is that really something I want to do as a respected member of our woodworking community? Probably not. I don’t fear legal action. I just want to be able to shake the man’s hand when I inevitably meet him at a woodworking event someday.

sorry i just back to listening to this episode and you were talking about naming the rocker Brock and Maloof inspired, then Matt said to abbreviate it, i think you might upset more people if you call it a BM inspired chair, (sorry i think that’s a common abbreviation but i work in a hospital, if your confused just search BM medical abbreviation then laugh)

also kicking back a little, I heard in class once (and I do no know if this is completely accurate just repeating what i heard) but a Stanley #1 was a novelty item that the Stanley company would hand out to vendors and VIP’s and they really don’t have any purpose in the work force, I know you mentioned that it might of been for interment makers but I’m not sure that’s accurate, but it might be. This is why there are very few of them and if you have one, keep it, a collector will pay $2-3k for one, very collectable and rare.

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