WT167 – Nobody Likes an Ash Hole

On today’s show, we’re talking about pre-finishing your projects, skill-building strategies, sharpening exclusively with diamond stones, a fence for a small bandsaw, dealing with an infestation, and techniques for smoothing dovetail pins.


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What’s on the Bench

Marc – More thoughts on his bluetooth headphone setup and putting finish on the sitting bench.
Matt – Celebrating a Matt’s Basement Workshop anniversary and cutting himself with wood.
Shannon – Whittlin’ both in the real and virtual worlds.

What’s New

– Amazing Japanese woodworking – slicing end-grain:

– A 1965 video about an axe factory:

– Crazy xmas tree thingie:

Poll of the Week

Do you fill out your warranty cards?


– Adam is pondering his block plane options.


– Josh has some questions about pre-finishing.
– Dan is wondering if it’s ok to use diamond stones as his only sharpening medium.
– Robert is trying to strategize his projects as learning opportunities.
– Joey wants to outfit his old Craftsman bandsaw with a nice resaw fence. Matt suggested this article from Glen Huey.
– Luis has an infestation!
– J Greasy is contemplating how to flush up is proud pins.

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19 replies on “WT167 – Nobody Likes an Ash Hole”

Hello Marc. I have interest in which bluetooth receiver you played with over the weekend for your setup. I didn’t catch which one you were using from the podcast (unless that was intentional). Care to share?


Here’s the stuff I’m using:


It would be nice to see how you set it up. I’m looking at the links and trying to put it together but am failing. I own those exact headphones, now how does the other 2 components fit together?

It’s really pretty straight forward. They can only go together one way. You have a female port on the headphones and a female port on the bluetooth adapter. You connect them together with the male adapter.

Hey guys i just wanted to fallow up with the video you posted. I don’t think this is end grain. If you notice at the start of the video he is cutting the end grain and stacking it so the side grain is exposed but still a very cool video!

Thanks Sean,

Wilbur Pan sent us a link shortly after the show posted mentioning the same thing. Apparently he even wrote a post about it ttp://giantcypress.net/post/49766771917/they-say-that-planing-end-grain-is-one-of-the

Some day I should subscribe to his blog, I hear he uses pretty words to say things CHORTLE!

I must comment to clear up a serious misstatement about EAB and ash wood.

The EAB is an insect that exclusively lives and dines on the moist cambium layer of an ash tree while it is still alive. The adult lays its eggs in deep crevices of the bark, and when the eggs hatch the larvae dig into the cambium layer by the thousands and munch S-shaped galleries in the cambium layer. This inevitably girdles the cambium layer and the tree strangles to death.

It metamorphoses into an adult within the cambium layer and then chews distinctive D-shaped holes to escape through the bark and then they leave the tree to become flying insects and then they start their life cycle again.

It is monogamous to ash trees, only preferring what the tree’s cambium layer does. It will not spread to other species of wood.

EAB infested wood is absolutely useful per USDA-APHIS, once a particular abatement protocol is followd. The lg must have the bark and an additional one inch below the cambium layer removed. Then send the bark flitches into the maw of a tub grinder which is set to grind 1″ or less and it will pummel and pulverize any existing larvae which may still be in the cambium. And after the bark flitches have been removed the remaining saw log may be processed just like any other log and the wood is completely useful.

Lastly, the EAB is absolutely not a boring insect. If you have evidence of through holes and sawdust piles then by definition this is another boring insect, and is not the EAB.

Check with USDA-APHIS for more information on this, or consult websites such as bugwood.com for photos, case studies and further reading. And finally, Risingfromashes.org will showcase the first furniture show held in the USA which highlighted what is possible with urban reclaimed EAB ash.

Good info Matt, thanks for sharing. I think we can both agree that Luis does have a bug problem and is may be Powder Post or something similar. Regardless of what the bug is I still stand by my original statement that Luis should return the lumber to the yard and notify them of the bugs. He also should closely check the rest of his stock for tell tale signs.

Oh, absolutely! Boring insects come by the thousands. This is some sort of decomposer at work. The lumber yard must be notified – and if the owner/manager doesn’t take that seriously then it’s time to seek out an alternative lumber yard!

Out where I live (Central California) we get boring bees. They will bore into any wood left outside. Usually leaving a 3/8″ hole straight into the wood. For the most part they are not harmful, besides the hole they leave behind.

Regarding diamond stones…

They’re very, very good. No flattening required, and barely any mess. Paul Sellers uses them exclusively, which is where I got the habit from. He’s got a load of sharpening videos on his YouTube channel where you can see them in use.

I’ve got the EZE-Lap 8×3″ stones, in course, fine and extra fine grits. The extra fine is only 1200 grit so I strop afterwards to get a really fine edge. The stones do lose a bit of abrasiveness over time but still cut really well. They’re not cheap but will last a long time.


Someone should let Luis know that its not cool to post his question to multiple shows – finewoodworking and woodtalk both discussed his woodbugs this week.

We’ve talked about that on the show in the past and it is a bit annoying. But the problem is that we get far more emails than we can possibly answer on the show. I’m sure Shop Talk Live has the same issue. So I can see why someone would send in an email to both shows hoping at least one will answer. The problem is we are a very small online community, relatively speaking. So many folks will hear the question asked and answered twice. I don’t like it, but I understand it.

I have to admit that I too have posed questions to both Woodtalk and Shoptalk; mine was about Air Filter placement on the wall and if that was OK… Sorry to all the folks who had to listen to the same question twice. I did it for the same reason Marc mentioned… I was hoping that one of the two shows would be able to answer my question (and I thought others may have the same issue with in a small shop). Both shows happen to answer. Funny thing was that Asa at Shoptalk went off on a tangent about some controversy on whether or not to use Air Filters at all. Shannon mentioned he placed his wall and that it functioned fine there. So thanks Shannon!! Mine is not mounted on my wall. …and a belated sorry to everyone else!


FYI: The LG Bluetooth headphone buds are small enough that they don’t stick out far enough to put any pressure on your ears. Very comfortable. I have been using them in my shop for months.

I had bought the DMT extra extra fine all the way through course and let me tell you that they were garbage. I had better results (more polished) with my 3000 stone than I did with the extra extra fine plate. I had since sold them and bought the ohishi stones from lie nielsen and I have had great results from using them. My two cents

Matt, thanks for the link on the bandsaw fence. As soon as I finish my current project I’ll be building one and resawing some walnut and sassafras to make some small boxes.

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