WT323 – Hard is Not Hard

On today’s show, we’re talking about practicing dovetails, differences between gravity and syphon HVLP guns, keeping our shops organized, and period furniture resources. Want to check out the video version of the show (recorded live)? Go here! 

What’s On the Bench

  • Marc is finalizing the Grandfather clock project
  • Matt finished the Farm House Table and assembled the saw carriage on his new band mill.
  • Shannon attached the bracket feet to his blanket chest and is gearing up for making bandings

What’s New


  • Jim used to work in a butcher shop and has thoughts on bandsaw accidents
  • Rory warned us that using wet, pressure treated wood on a SawStop will inadvertently fire the off the blade
  • Joe researched the WoodShop widget and discovered that it is both absolute humidity and temperature that effects the wood movement numbers.
  • Joel and Stan are both excited about the Shaper Origins handheld CNC router.
  • Chris called Shannon out on his distaste of Walnut and Maple together


James wants to know how much time we spend organizing and building things for our shops.


  • Chris is interested in our opinions on gravity fed vs siphon fed HVLP systems
  • Michael wants to practice his dovetails and wants to know if he should use Pine or Hardwoods.
  • Somebody (cause Matt forgot to put in the name) wants to know of some good resources to find out about period furniture construction.

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10 replies on “WT323 – Hard is Not Hard”

You keep saying Moerlein Lager House for the WIA meetup – Dyami has Christian Moerlein Brewing Co. as the location for the meetup. (1621 Moore St, Cincinnati, OH 45202) which is about a mile away from the Lager House. Just FYI.

I’ve used vacuume chambers filled with alcohol and transtint to successfully dye wood up to 3/4″ thick for segmented turning. Obviously the thicker it is the longer it takes but I imagine veneer can be done really quickly. My chamber is a 4′ long PVC pipe sealed tight. Hope this helps.

I use a vacuum chamber I built out of PVC to infuse dyes into small pieces of veneer. Plans available on joewoodworker.com.

Take the plunge and start vacuum work. It opens up a whole new world.

Hey Guys,

You mentioned Pine, Alder, Poplar and Doug Fir as being hard to dovetail. Further you mentioned that unless tools such as chisels are really sharp, it will be difficult to cut cleanly on these species. As a newer woodworker I agree with your position on practicing by building projects instead of practice joints, and that is the route I follow. However, this all leaves me in an awkward position. I have learned that one has to step up to decent materials in order to get any sort of decent results, but I really don’t like using high quality wood for experimentation and “first time” techniques. I have been using Poplar specifically, because it is readily available, less expensive, yields acceptable results, and doesn’t make me cry when it ends up in the fire pit. Now you have me wondering if some of my frustrations are due to a combination of tool sharpness, and wood choice, in addition to my lack of skills. So as a test, I want to rule somethings out, and the easiest things are to resharpen all my tools, and to change wood species and see if things improve. Can you recommend a good wood species, that might be a bit less problematic, and perhaps more forgiving for the less than perfect sharpening skills of a beginner?

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