WT136 – The One Without Matt

Special thanks to our show sponsors: Festool and Arbortech.

On today’s show, we’re talking about wiping varnish, building with something other than 3/4″ stock, disposing of sawdust, and restoring some old Stanley planes.

What’s on the Bench

Shannon’s enjoying a break between projects. Marc finished up his tilt-top tables and had some quality time with his low angle jack plane.

Around the Web

What to do with your old hockey sticks!
Bob Lang’s fancy hand tool project.
– A crazy Canadian using a chainsaw to cut dovetails (not a recommended method!)

Poll of the Week

Is Woodworking Art?


– Dustin is having trouble applying wiping varnish.
– Rick wants to know if he can deviate from the 3/4″ thick stock that most seem to use to build their furniture.
– Michael is curious to know if Arm-R-Seal is worth the additional cost?
– Jason is looking for advice on tuning up a few old planes.
– Brian wants to know where he can get rid of his sawdust.

Reviews and Thanks!

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8 replies on “WT136 – The One Without Matt”

A great kick back to Jason and anybody who has a stanley plane and needs to replace the tote. Lee Valley has free PDF templates and instructions you can download from there web site. Just go to Leevalley.com and in their search box type “handle templates”.
Templates are available for all stanley planes #3 thru 8 and their Veritas style totes.
The included instructions are simple and precise. They also have a Variable round over router bit that is far superior than using a standard round over or bullnose bit. (item # 16J40.10) It is a patern bit with a bearing, and if you make a patern template it greatly speeds up and simplifies shaping the tote. I have used it to replace plane and saw totes not to mention how handy it is in easing the edges on furniture. A bit pricy at $70, but a genius design and worth every penny.

I believe the guy Shannon was talking about who makes replacement knobs and totes is Bill Rittner. I had him make a pair of totes out of zebrawood for me that turned out really nice. He makes them slightly thicker than the original totes and they feel really nice. Highly recommended. I at least made the knobs so hopefully I can keep my woodworker card. I think he has some info on his blog about shaping totes and reworking the original totes to make them more comfortable if you dig around.

In regards to Rick’s question about stock thickness, I would recommend listening to episode 7 of Shop Talk Live (Fine Woodworking’s podcast) – especially up through the 13:50 mark. They have a pretty good discussion on this topic that I found really helpful.

I looked up the bloxygen and it is high dollar for a little bit of argon. Look at any welding supply. They use Argon in mig welding. If you are going to use a lot of it, this would be more efficient. The reason bloxygen works is that argon is heavier than air so it replaces the air next to the surface of the finish in the storage container.

The vacuum storage will reduce the amount of oxygen available, but it still leaves some available. No vacuum pump removes ALL the air/oxygen from a container. It is still better than leaving open to free air.

Even helium would work, but unlike argon, it floats in air, but both are chemically inert for this purpose. Nitrogen would be OK, but is the same density as air, so it will just push the air with oxygen out of the way, and you would need to close the container quickly before the oxygen in the air migrates back in.

I hope this helps a little.

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