This week I had to spend two hours in the dentist’s chair. And if that wasn’t bad enough, I was “Clockwork Orange-d” into watching two hours of a TV program about creative storage solutions for the home.
Some of the examples I remember over the whirring of the dental Dremel:
Hinge your steps and create trap doors on the landings of your stairs to make small bins in the wasted space between your stringers.
Find stud walls that are used for utilities and turn them into built-in chests of drawers.
In attic spaces, create sliding racks on the interior of a high-pitched roof. You slide giant plastic bins into the racks – it’s a bit like a top-hanging drawer.
Through the entire program I wanted to throw up – but that was mostly because I have a sensitive gag reflex. But it was also because these “storage solution” programs neglect to mention the easiest way to control clutter: Get rid of it.
Take your excess clothes, books and nicknacks to a worthy charity so the items can plague the homes of others. Give your excess tools away to Habitat for Humanity’s Re-Store or a local tool-sharing co-op. Burn your scraps for heat. List your excess machinery on Craigslist. It can all be done in a day, which is easier and better than building some lame hidey-hole in your house that will require three trips to the home center, four screaming fits and five bad words to complete.
Possessions are like fingernails – they need to be constantly trimmed (or else this).
A reader has sent us a sketch of the teeth of a saw he wishes to sharpen. These are the farmer’s American or lightning type, and are intended for cross-cutting. He enquires the correct bevel and set to give the teeth. We give the reply here as it will probably interest other readers.
The sharpening is rather different from that of the ordinary cross-cut handsaw. In the latter the file is held at an angle varying from 45 to 60 degrees with the line of the blade and is kept perfectly horizontal. The back of one tooth and the front of the next are sharpened in one operation. In the lightning tooth one side of one tooth only is sharpened at a time. There are three distinct operations, of which the first is gulleting (A, Fig. 1), in which a special file with rounded edge is used. In this the file is held at right angles with the blade and perfectly horizontal. The filing of the long edge of the end teeth follows and for this the near end of the file is dropped so that it points upwards at an angle somewhere in the region of 45 degrees and at about 80 degrees with the line of the teeth. The exact angles cannot be given because it is largely a matter of individual handling. However, the bevel at which to aim is one in which the teeth are in alignment with an ordinary three-cornered file when rested horizontally across them at 60 degrees, as in Fig. 2.
The professional sharpener does not need to do this, but it is a handy test for the inexperienced man. Fig. 1 at B shows how the long edge is sharpened. The short edges of the end teeth and the middle teeth follow, and for these an exactly similar process is followed (see C). If, after several sharpenings, the teeth tend to get out of shape, they should be corrected by running the file straight across at right angles and horizontal. When true the sharpening as already described follows.
With regard to setting (this of course precedes sharpening), since lightning tooth saws are generally used for green wood which is liable to cling, a full set is desirable. If an impression of the points of the teeth is taken on paper it will generally be found that they will register about twice the thickness of the blade. D shows about the right amount of set. As in all other saws, the set should never extend more than halfway down the depth of the tooth (E).
The deluxe edition of “Roubo on Furniture” is currently at the bindery in New Mexico. There, in addition to binding the pages, employees are making the custom slipcases for the books.
The latest word we have from the bindery is that the job will be complete in early or middle August. When we get more exact information, including a shipping date, we will post it here.
We are as excited and anxious about this book as you are. While we love the standard edition of “Roubo on Furniture” (shipping now for $57) and enjoy the ability to search the pdf version, we want the deluxe version. We want its huge 11” x 17” pages (the same size as the original l’Art du menuisier”). We want the incredibly crisp printing. Heck, we just want a book that is worthy of all the years of labor that have gone into this project from everyone from the translators to the designer to the indexer.