WT411 – Matt with Feathers and Essential Oils

On today’s show we’re talking about: rabbets and knickers, the trouble with buying your last tool first, grain direction on a chair seat

What’s On the Bench

  • Marc is gearing up for Woodworkers Fighting Cancer
  • Matt went to England and built a chair
  • Shannon is contemplating a veneer press

What’s New

Preston shared this story about a Lacey Act violation with illegal Rosewood


  • Gord, William, and Doug all gave us nice feedback on the cutback new schedule for the show.
  • Tommasso hates crickets
  • William shared a good point about warranties being a major difference between Grizzly and Powermatic


  • Bowyer Boy asked a question about staining a newly made bow…and did it in verse
  • Chris wonders about how furniture holds up over time
  • Maren experiences a lot of fatigue with tool use and wonders about a lefty workbench


  • Mike has 2K to spend on a router table and has questions about the way forward
  • Rud wants to know if grain direction matters when making a chair seat
  • Travis needs a replacement blade for his rabbet plane and needs to know how to source it.

How You Can Support Us

Help us out over at Patreon and kick it up a notch by wearing a Wood Talk T-Shirt, or leave us an iTunes Review

8 replies on “WT411 – Matt with Feathers and Essential Oils”

To Bowyer Boy,

I would recommend against outdoor finishes like Thompson’s and against a heavy film finish for a top coat. A bow is used outdoors but not left outdoors and will receive little uv exposure. Those products are for decks, fences, gates and outdoor furniture that will see sun and rain and wind. A bow will only see the elements a small fraction of its lifetime.
Heavy film finishes can crack from the energy in the limbs when doing the bow. It’s even worse if there is a dry fire situation.

I have several handmade and custom fit longbows and recurves. Any coloration of the wood has been done with dye, like Transtint and finished with shellac. Using waxed shellac gives a bit of water resistance too. They have held up well over the last 20 years or so I’ve had them.

Maren, I built my left handed Roubo along with Marc’s Guild project and switching the vises is very straight forward. Don’t conform to the right-handed oppression. Build the bench you want!

For Marin’s issue with fatigued hands….try a pair of snug fitting utility gloves that have a non-slip coating on the fingers and palms. These are available at all the big-box stores. Peter Galbert kindly shared this tip with us students at last summer’s chair making class. Because of the “grippyness” it avoids having to applying a death-grip to the tool handles, minimizing hand and arm fatigue. Especially good for tennis elbow too.

As a fellow hero, more adaptable and generally better person, I say ‘ please find a way to interview Maren and get her on the show’.

I can’t believe you skipped the most important part of a workbench with your advice for Maren. Yes, left vs right and large hand vs small hand are important but you forgot to mention the workbench height. For planes especially you need proper ergonomics. If the bench is too high you won’t be able to use your leg power and will be using your arms and shoulders too much. If the bench is too low you’ll be hunched over and have back issues and again lack the power of your legs. Please talk about setting the bench height relative to your hips as that is very important.

The first question was about fatigue and muscle pain which could be because of ergonomics instead of or in addition to her hand size and therefore could be because her work platform is too high.

Right, but we assumed ergonomics of power tools. She hasn’t made her bench yet and is just starting to get into hand tool use. So I agree that bench height is, and will be, something for her to be concerned about. But I’m not sure that was her specific issue at this point. Either way, it’s kind of semantics at this point, lol

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