WT208 – The OCD Woodworker

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On today’s show, we’re talking about fine-tuning tapered plugs, avoiding slippery surfaces on step stools, and attaching a table top to its base

What’s on the Bench?

  • Marc – Editing and designing a new build
  • Shannon – working on his console table and gearing up the lathe for quick Christmas stuff
  • Matt – Feeding the turning addiction

What’s New

Chris Stahl: The Robotic Workbench

Nick Offerman’s “My Tales of Whisky Music Video”

Poll of the Week

Results from last week’s poll

29% – Yes, happy with the experience
2% – Yes, but I won’t do it again!
28% – No, I go to local suppliers.
4% – No, go to home center
2% – Saw their own wood from trees.

This week’s pollDo You Batch Out?


  • Rudy clarified the article format for the Fine Woodworking Archive: each issue is stored as a PDF. Also if you already own the FW Archive I believe you can update it for $20 per year.
  • Rudy also called back in and left a concise voicemail with his Rules for Ebay buying


  • Brian – Why do we have to hone brand new blades from premium companies.
  • Jason – Mortise and tenon joints and struggles with his own OCD


  • Steve – I have a set of Veritas Tapered Snug-Plug Cutters. The idea of using a tapered plug and trimming with a flush-cut saw makes for a great fit, but I’m having difficulty getting the grain to line up. I take the time to cut plugs from an area of scrap where the grain will match, but when gluing the plug in place, I always seem to be a bit off and it’s a real eye sore. I think the glue swells the plug a bit too, making small adjustments rotating the plug in the hole difficult to impossible. Maybe I’d be better off using epoxy instead of glue for this? Any tips, tricks or hints would be most welcome.
  • Nick –  I am currently finishing up a project: a step stool for my two-year-old daughter.  A discussion from one of the recent episodes got me to thinking. Matt mentioned that he made some sort of stool for his mother that was so smooth on the top that it landed her in the ED.  The top of my stool is hardwood with an inlay, and the temptation is to plane and sand it to a high gloss.  Obviously, this would not be a smart idea unless I wanted a head injury for my toddler.  Is there a textured finish I could use without obscuring all the work I have done on the top with the wedged through tenons and marquetry inlay?
  • Jeremy – I am making a huge harvest style table, made of 8/4 vertical grain dug fir.  This is the first time that I am making a table without an apron.  The top is made of seven 6″ boards glued up.  I am using 4 battens underneath the slab to help keep things in line and give extra support to the legs which are an X brace.  Do you think 4 battens, with 5 screws each be enough?  So far this thing has been pretty stable and I don’t see it cupping much at all if any.  The second question, how would you elongate the holes in the battens?  I was planning on using some 2 1/2 pan head screws with maybe a washer for extra support, but I am not sure the best way to elongate the holes.  There is still about an inch of wood to be drilled through, and I don’t feel that wiggling a drill bit is going to be enough.

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10 replies on “WT208 – The OCD Woodworker”

I feel so much better now.

My wife always gives me grief about my passion for formal balance; but, after this episode, I don’t even think that qualifies as OCD.

Keep up the great work, guys.


Concerning your comment about not being able to search the Fine Woodworking archive from a tablet or mobile device. I agree, mobile apps are needed for these magazine archives. A work-around would be to use a remote desktop application, such as Chrome Remote Desktop on your mobile device (which is linked to your desktop computer). You can then access the full capabilities of the archive app on your computer, from your mobile device.

I’m so crazy about my tools matching I painted them all black so far all the stationary toolsare painted. There is a method to the madness , if everything is one color then the work will stand out. Am I loony or so smart I just blue your mind. About robot workbenches mine is made out of a twin size craft magic adjustable bed with a solid core door. If you can find one I highly recommend try it. Bob o

I have been thinking of doing what Shannon wanted in the PDF for FWW to access it from other devices. I did try to do this by determining the format of the index, and put it on a local web server. So far I haven’t gotten it to work… yet.

Another thought is putting a virtual system on your desktop that runs a server that would allow you to log in via a desktop, but that can be dicey unless you are used to doing it.

I also have the Shopnotes and Woodsmith magazine indexes that have a similar interface like FWW has.

Jason & Marc:

I have a ‘Federal Toxic Clamp, Plane, and Tool Disposal Unit’, with appropriate permits.

PM for my shipping address if you need me to dispose of your un-matched tools for you!

The solution for searching the archive outside of the software, having it in the cloud, and on a tablet ( or phone ) is Evernote. Drag the entire folder full of the PDFs from the CD to Evernote and it will create a note for each article. Indexing in Evernote is far better than the CD. It will even OCR any of the words on the photographs. You will initially need to spend $5 to get a premium account for a month so that you can put that much data on the service, but you can then cancel. If you keep the premium service, you can store them in an “offline notebook” on your phone or tablet, otherwise, it will be accessible on those devices as long as you have an internet connection.

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