WT437 – What is Your Favorite Glue?

On today’s show we’re talking about: a case of the dropsies, what’s the deal with slabs, and flooring for the shop.


  • Ben needs a transitional jointer plane iron
  • Frank wants to know what’s the deal with slabs
  • Joe has questions about wood shop flooring


  • Jon keeps dropping stuff in his shop
  • Scot wonders how to keep up with potential meet ups as he missed us at FWW Live
  • James ask why doors are necessary on a tool cabinet

Stuff We Hate

Marc vents about useless Instagram posts.

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10 replies on “WT437 – What is Your Favorite Glue?”

You guys! Your shops are so big that you’re worrying about the curvature of the earth INSIDE THE SHOP!

Serious note … I have found that some POWER tools create massive hand fatigue (random orbital sander, oscillating trim saw), that I combat with a pair of cotton work gloves (the Harbor Freight 12 for $7.00 type). This is enough padding to reduce (if not eliminate) the carpal tunnel irritation, numb hands and fingers, and makes me pay more attention to where my hands are in relationship to the “angry end” of the tool in use.

Keep on not quitting guys!

Three points define a plane, most tools have four legs. So if you don’t level your tool it will either rock or conform to an imperfect floor. The reason for leveling your tool or table across the ends, along its length and on the diagonals is to make sure that it is in fact flat. You can make sure it’s flat and not horizontal but then things roll off and it’s a lot more work to guarantee it’s flat. Plus, if it is level it becomes a reference plane so anything on it can be checked for level in any direction to ensure it is parallel and square to your reference plane. Moreover, if your tool or table is not level it is likely not flat, which means it has some twist in it and therefore it can’t be used to take parallel, straight and square cuts. This Old Tony shows how you can only turn a taper when trying to turn a cylinder because his lathe isn’t level:

I still maintain that a work surface can be flat even when not level. As long as all legs are touching and the out of level plane isn’t severe, a flat surface will generally stay flat. Or at least flat enough for a woodworker’s purposes. I won’t fault anyone for pursuing level surfaces if that’s what they want, but I can’t say they’re really buying themselves any great advantages for their efforts.

Being level is only relative to the gravity of earth. It has nothing to do with anything else. In fact being level isn’t even being co-planar. While it is true that 3 points define a plane a plane also has an infinite amount points. At any given time you could have any where from 3 to infinitely many points that are co-planar.

Now if you want to get pedantic about it we’d have to talk coordinate systems and figure out which centroid of the earth we’re using. Then we’d need a survey instrument capable of the accuracy you require. A good standard is the Trimble S6 Robotic total station. Which is only accurate to .001 feet over 1,000 feet.

Also the video your using is improperly using the term level. He uses it to simplify explaining that the lathe ways need to be free of twist and co planer. The easiest way to accurately do that on a small scale is to compare it to earths gravity. It’s not the only way to set up the lathe but it’s the easiest. Woodworking tools aren’t metal working tools and i can’t think of a single tool that i’d have to set up like that machinist lathe. Also his tolerances are absurd compared to woodworkign standards. .002″ is beyond what woodworkers need.

It can be said that 2 mils is reasonable because wood movement is so much larger but at the same time I see and hear people talking about just one mil plus there are plenty of people that flatten their planes to a few tenths because 1 mil is not good enough for them (I don’t agree). Also, when it comes to sharpening planes, chisels, or whatever people are going beyond 2000 grit and getting to surface roughness in tenths or less. I use my machinist level to set up everything because I then know whatever is reasonably flat because the level is graduated in 0.005″ per foot increments.

Machinist tolerances are now commonplace with woodworking. For example look at micromachining, that is bits less than 1/8″, with CNC router tables. Since they care about chip loads of no more than 2 mils, your runout should be much less than 1 mil or you will break your bit.
Your first two paragraphs aren’t relavant and Tony is correct in using “level” as lathe ways that are level in all directions are by definition coplanar and therefore are free of twist.

I hear a lot of talk on how-to glue, but rarely do I hear anyone talk about WHY. Most talk about gluing as basic to woodworking as cutting & nailing. Short story, I don’t. Why should I?

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