WT150 – Matt’s Banana Hammock

Special thanks to our show sponsors: Festool and Arbortech.

On today’s show, we’re talking about boiled linseed oil shelf life, being too picky about calibration, taming bowl scraper tearout, and lapping the sole of a hand plane.



– Wood Talk is now moving to Mondays!
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– Don’t miss the Woodworking in America Wood Talk Meetup! Join us at the Keystone Bar & Grill in Covington, KY on Saturday October 19th, 2013.

What’s on the Bench

Marc finished up the rustic outdoor table. Matt’s designing his next project, a platform bed. Shannon is having trouble with hardware.

What’s New

Free SketchUp Tutorials
Bob Lang’s new SketchUp project
Scott Meek producing Highland Woodworking’s 30th Anniversary hand plane.


– A few folks sent in comments about comments in the Canadian iTunes store.


– Chet has a question about the shelf life of boiled linseed oil.


– Chris wants our thoughts on the Incra Saw Gauge.

– Brian is having trouble with tearout from his bowl scraper.
– Terry has questions about flattening the sole of a handplane. Matt recalls his past adventures with sole flattening.

Reviews and Thanks!

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Special thanks to Andrew Allen for creating our music. Check him out at KeysWithSoul.com.

11 replies on “WT150 – Matt’s Banana Hammock”

Great show guys. The section on the planes was of interest. I needed a jointer/try plane to flatten my bench top and both the #7 & #8 I own are bananas and I could not face the work involved to flatten them. It was much simpler to flatten the sole of an old wooden plane, it took only moments to do so. It would of been cool to invest in a premium plane but as they are quite expensive it was not an option right now

Hi Guys
Just wanted to drop a note about getting a plane sole dead flat. Make friends with a local machine shop and let them surface grind it for you. If you go in with the right props e.g., coffee and doughnuts, or some home made cookies you can usually get something like this done either free of for about $30.00. They can even square up the sole to the side if you want. Sure beats the heck out of doing it yourself.

Thanks for the great show!
“Sassafras” Doug

Didn’t Fine Woodworking publish an article by Tommy MacDonald, suggesting that all planes need to have their soles flattened, and pictured a high quality plane, and then later published a clarification saying that it did not apply to high quality planes.

Hey guys awesome show. I do have some the follow-ups on the accuracy dillema portion of the show. I am wondering if people are getting lost because the verbal representation does not match the numerical. For instance, Marc mentions that he feels that his tools don’t have to be accurate with in a thousandth but with in five to ten thousandths. I am fairly certain that he meant .005 – .01; this is verbally = five thousandths to one hundredth. I am not trying to pick on Marc, but I have noticed this error on some YouTube videos as well. Maybe I am falling into a related semantics trap; but I think this type of discussion could be helped by some video, I look forward to seeing what becomes of it.
On the same topic, you guys mention that .005 is fine, but I was curious if you have a general limit when it comes to how much variance you allow would over a certain distance. Obviously to me that a variance of .01 over the span of 1 inch means that over 24 inches the variance possibly adds up to nearly 1/4 inch. Do you guys have a general guideline that you go buy over a certain span? Say .01-.02 over 24 inches? I don’t want to get lost in numbers, but I have a hard time knowing “what fits” when I am looking at a dial gauge…
Thanks, and keep up the good work,

Hey Josh. Thanks for the feedback. I guess I don’t see my wording as an “error.” Ten thousandths is the same thing as one hundredth if you simply reduce the fraction. It’s really no different than saying 2/32″ = 1/16″. I’m not sure why that would create any confusion.

Concerning limits, it varies from tool to tool for me. And honestly, it also depends on my level of patience at the time I’m doing the calibration. Sometimes, after calibrating something all day, I get to a point where I say “good enough” and just move on and get to work. Part of this process of woodworking is working with the tools enough to know how much variance in the calibration still allows for acceptable results. No reason to chase your tail if it doesn’t actually affect the work in a predictable way. This is easier said than done but it’s something I feel I get better at over time.

I think it just may be a difference in the way folks speak and understand numbers. And I can see how it might be ambiguous for some. Just remember that in woodworking, we will never discuss anything less than .001″. That might be why when I say “ten thousandths” I assume people know i don’t mean “one ten thousandth.”

To me, when I’m measuring in a particular unit such as “thousandths” it’s much easier to express a quantity or a difference in quantity by staying in that same unit of reference. I’ll use common measurements in fractions as an example. In my mind’s eye, I can picture the difference between 1/32″ and 2/32″ better than if expressed as the difference between 1/32″ and 1/16″. So in the same way, when I’m discussing the world of “thousandths,” I find it far easier to understand the reality of the measurments when I stay within the world of thousandths. It just alleviates the need to do the mental math from thousandths to hundredths.

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