WT123 – Colonial Turkey Legs

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On today’s show, we’re talking about fixing a bent handsaw, deciding what scrap to keep, working with pine, and should woodworking be sexy?

Around the Web

Making a Jarvi Bench
Software for making template from photos
Sending 15,000 volts through plywood
Greta De Parry does woodworking, the sexy way.

Poll of the Week

Are you a wood hoarder?
31% – I could build a project or two with what I have on hand.
29% – I buy as I go. I have nothing but scraps.
18% – I can go for a long time without a visit to the hardwood dealer.
17% – Just some choice boards for special projects.
4% – I can embarrass most saw mills.


Darth Rust wants advice on how to fix his bent Bad Axe saw. Mark Harrell of Bad Axe Toolworks replied:

What has happened is that when the user torqued the plate, rather than kink in a static scenario, it shifted out of tension where the folded sawback clamps along the spine. Here’s the procedure on how to retension the saw plate. Conceptually, what you’re going to do is LIGHTLY tap the toe end of the back, followed by another light tap on the heel end of the back with a dead-blow mallet. Follow this procedure:

– Hold the saw upright on a jointed flat surface (a jointed board that won’t rock on your workbench).
– With your left hand, tightly pinch the bottom edge of the back where the plate meets it about 3” behind the toe (forward) end of the saw. You want to feel both the bottom edge of the back and the plate with your thumb and forefinger, so you can feel the assembly move when you tap it.
– Using a dead-blow mallet, LIGHTLY tap the toe ahead of your hand. You should feel the back shift minutely where it meets the sawplate (hence, the reason you’re pinching it with thumb and forefinger).
– Reverse the saw and pinch the sawback where it meets the plate about 3” ahead of the handle.
– Lightly tap the heel end of the back. Again, you should feel the back/plate assembly very slightly shift where you’re pinching.
– Upend the saw, and site down the toothline; determine whether the S-curve you’re describing still exists. If not, then you’ve just equalized the tension of the back/plate assembly.
– If much of the S-curve has straightened out, but now you have a slight wiggle toward the heel end of the toothline, then that means you probably tapped the heel too hard; what has happened is that the back has torque pressure in the area where the fasteners bind the handle to the plate, and that pressure can be relived with one final, very light tap on the toe end—again, with just enough force to feel the back/plate assembly shift ever so slightly.

What I’ve just described here is how folded backs offer an advantage over backs that have had a slot milled in a brass bar and epoxied in. It’s 400-year-old technology that’s been around that long for the express reason of being able to readjust the tension of the back/plate assembly whenever a saw has been dropped or kinked. This is why one finds so many saws on eBay with a bow in the plate, usually accompanied with a chipped horn. Though the back clamps quite tightly onto the plate as a mechanical attachment, it is intended to slip as a dynamic advantage that allows one to easily straighten out kinks or bows as they develop over time through accidents or abuse.

Mark D. Harrell

Check out the blade before and after adjustment. Success!

bent-blade-after bent-blade-before

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11 replies on “WT123 – Colonial Turkey Legs”

Hey guys, another great show on wood talk.
I just want to make a comment on Gretta De Parry. It almost seems that the segment was more about her marketing herself rather than her art and style. Sure, she is certainly eye candy, but look more at what she’s making. I can only wish that more women are involved in woodworking and if some are as good looking as her that’s great too. There is nothing wrong with looking your best when on camera. Take for example Tommy Mac. The guy is an athletic body builder with good looks too, who can do very nice work. I’m sure when PBS hired him they considered he would bring in a female audience a lot better than Norm ever did. As far as looking good, don’t you sweep and organize your shop before a client comes over? ( Or do you just put on the blond wig)
The Rosie the riveter pick in her web site is iconic. I remember the Rosie properganda footage from the war era. They were all beautiful. I think Kari Hultman pegged it with her comment.
Lets not worry about how she markets herself. We all do it.
I love the wit and humor in this show, but the reason I listen to it regularly is for the craft and inspiration.

I’m not going to judge Ms De Parry, but as far as building a brand goes.. I want my brand built around what I make and not anything else. I want people to see something I made and fall in love with it. Getting the right eyeballs in front of it is the tricky part, of course. But I want someone to see something cool I made and tell someone else you’ve got to see this such-and-such, not for any other reason.

Selling stuff online myself, it’s always a challenge to write the blurb to go with the listing. So I have to tip my hat to this particular bit of bullshit from her website:

“Symbolic in astronomy, religion & mathematics, the Crescent is one of the oldest, most dynamic emblems known to humanity. The revolution of the Moon around the Earth makes the Moon appear to be changing shape in the sky, due to the different angles from which we see the bright part of it’s surface (moon “phases”). Following suit, the Crescent Table wanes in phase as it’s approached & circled; giving the illusion of movement while casting an ever-adjusting shadow. The rich, ebony patina glows with ribbons of chocolate-russet, dancing like the swirling clouds around Jupiter’s Great Red Spot. “

AHHHH Not flooring installation!!! I did that a couple of years ago and still have nightmares. Glad to help get you through it!

Sorry guys if this was brought up in the talk as i am at work and not able to download the MP3 but i checked out all the links including Mike Jarvi and De Parry. The bench making is super cool. Hey; did anyone realize that the pictures in her “about me” section are from the same shop where Mike makes his benches at? Note the sawmill and the items hanging above the sawmill. Note 14:45 of the video and they are the same? Also there are two jarvi benches in the back ground of her first photo but don’t see them in her furniture section as something she has made. Staged photos not in her shop? Look forward to listening to the show as soon as i get home.
Thanks guys

Interesting!!! I thought it was interesting to see a Jarvi Bench in the background…I think I even exclaimed that in the show…I’ll have to listen back.

For every Norm or Scott Phillips (regular people), there are dozens of people with a “look” on TV. Just watch DIY or HGTV. Greta has a great look and from the looks of her work a lot more skill than what you see on the “how can we destroy a room for $1000 using only MDF, an air nailer, and paint?”. She certainly has more skill than I do. She is setting herself up for a TV show deal. I would watch – and not just because she is attractive. I thoroughly enjoy shows like David Marks and Tommy Mac because they are as much designers as craftsmen (er craftspeople).

Greta’s design and building skills are obvious. Her attractiveness should not take away from that. She was lucky enough to be born with one, and smart enough to hone the other. I remember the same conversation going on in the 70’s about Peter Frampton. Skills or a pretty face? How about both!

To answer the question guys…Williamsburg and Smithfield Ham go together hand in hand. Instead of meat on a stick, picture it sold in cups with plastic spoons like Dippin’ Dots.

Also, about Greta, if she’s good at what she does then woodworking has just found another medium. I’d hope that if she’s serious she wouldn’t sell herself out, but at the same time I don’t blame her for using her assets (looks, brain, age, et cetera) to her advantage.

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