WT185 – Robot Balls

Special thanks to our show sponsor Brusso Hardware.

On today’s show, we’re talking about matching stain, rough vs smooth glue surfaces, tips for beating the summer heat, framing mirrors, and unique joints for a bed frame.

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What’s on the Bench

Marc – Making forms for bent lamination.
Shannon – Lumber shed and tool cabinet changes.
Matt – Recovering from allergies.

What’s New

Wooden art that is a nice intersection between wood nerd and sci-fi nerd.
A classic British newsreel showing how a briar pipe is made.
13 of the Coolest Things Made from Wood
Programming with Hand Tools
– Robots transform furniture:

– The insane Hannah Cabinet:

– Horse-powered saw mill in Belize:

Poll of the Week

How Clean is Your Shop Right Now?


– Brian has some thoughts on our discussion about the effects of too much online woodworking content.


– A scary WARNING!
– Jason is trying to match stain to commercial furniture.
– Bob wants to know if it’s best to glue rough or smooth surfaces.


– John is looking for some tips to beat the heat in Phoenix.
– Darth Rust has concerns about framing mirrors. Matt recommended these hinges.
– Joe is contemplating a new joint for his bed frame.

Reviews and Thanks!

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Don’t forget to leave us a kick-butt review in the iTunes Store just like dancigarman and Jasoncg1 did.

9 replies on “WT185 – Robot Balls”

Fellas – that was my (long) voicemail on the kickback. Sorry about that! What’s funny is that as I was leaving it I was thinking to myself “crap, this is really long, I gotta wrap this up,” and then I just kept talking. Once I got going I couldn’t stop. Guess I was just excited. Anyway, thanks for playing it and I’ll keep any future voicemails short ๐Ÿ™‚

haha no worries Brian. We know it happens to just about everyone so that’s why try not to be too “mean” about it. We are so thankful that people leave voicemails at all that we aren’t about to criticize them for it. ๐Ÿ™‚

I am sitting in my office laughing at Matt and Shannon about their humid sticky summers. You guys need to come see me in Houston during August. Daily temps are at if not over 100 and humidity is somewhere near 80-100% range. Down here our toenails sweet.
As for keeping cool Mark is right, get an AC unit. I work out of a one car garage. I picked up a window unit with both AC and heat. I did not have a window to spare so I cut an hole in the wall and put it in there. I keep it running all the time. Helps keep the humidity down in the shop and my tools no longer rust. I figure the electric is far less than replacing a rusty tools, and I can just step out there any time I want and go to work.
Check out the big box stores in the fall when the put the AC units on clearance. Get one and donโ€™t look back. It changed my woodworking completely. I now do 12 months of enjoyable woodworking. Not just a few comfortable months and the rest either sweeting or shivering. Yes it does occasionally get cold here in Houston. Ok not Matt or Shannon cold but cold to use southern boys. Plus I can keep the doors closed and not fight off the airplane sized mosquitoes we have round here.

Programming with Hand Tools was a nest video. I didn’t understand any of the details toward the end about the different ink of programming but I did get the general concept. I suspect that Shannon will like his hand tool analogies. Just for Marc. Relative humidity can be a little misleading. Dew point is what you want to know. When the dew point and the air temp are the same you have 100% humidity and fog. That will certainly do a number on any tool. The opposite of wind chill is heat index. For example, if your air temp is 90 F and your dew point temp is 75 F it will feel like it is 101.Dew points less than 60 F are reasonably comfortable. At 65 F you begin to really feel it and at 70 or higher it is oppressive.

Work Shop environmental control
John, first things first, air seal your shop before you insulate. The less air infiltration the less often you have to recondition the air. This is the rule for any thermal envelope. Marc mentioned that insulation can be pumped into existing wall cavities, the best choice for that is cellulose. If you have bare stud walls the only real option for a DIY is fiberglass or better high density mineral fiber. In any case take your time fitting the insulation, no gaps no compression..In cooling climates (AZ) radiant barriers can be effective in reducing the amount of heat build up in the attic space. Radiant barriers require an air gap in order to function so keep that in mind. Evaporatetive (swamp) coolers work in hot dry climates as well. As the water evaporates it cools the air but also adds humidity (not so great in TX). If you can swing it check out a mini split. You get cooling and heating from one unit. They are small and can be mounted on a wall with the compressor remote from the unit.

Hi Marc,
This is a good reference (I think) for Joe and the joint to which he was referring in his question about bed joinery. I found it in a video workshop from Finewoodworking contributor John Tetreault for his Hybrid Roubo Workbench. He calls it exactly what you might think it is called: a dovetailed tenon. Much like the stretchers or rails of a bed, he uses it on the ends of the rails to knock-down-join the two trestle ends of his super heavy duty workbench. I think, for this reason, it should suffice for a bed. I don’t know if this content is viewable? without a membership but I think there is a quick shot of it during the introduction which is free. i hope this is similar to what you imagined in your cranium. Hope this helps!

Repeat comment posting–I botched the links on the first try.

On cooling in a dry climate–you can have your cake and eat it too with an “indirect evaporative cooler”. You get the same “free” cooling of an evaporative cooler without the humidity increase. Unfortunately, the ones I know of are whole-house sized not shop sized, unless you have a much bigger shop than I do.

One indirect evaporative cooler on ebay

Another brand of indirect evaporative cooler–Coolerado.

One the mystery joint, there is a “dovetail mortise and tenon” on this page of timber framing joints which might be it, or might work.

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