Copyright 2019
Tidewater Woodworking GuildSite by President:Jim Francis Vice President: Scott Fell Treasurer:Greg Guertin

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February 2019
Winter woodworking is almost over
Web Links At the Meeting Last Meeting Notes Tip of the Month Editors Notes
Product Reviews

What's In The Newsletter

  • President' Comments
  • Dues
  • The Woodworking Show - Chantilly, VA
  • Product Review - Woodsmith Shop DVD Collection
  • Industry News

Your input is greatly appreciated. If you have some ideas that you would like to see in your newsletter I am open to suggestions. These may include format, pictures, industry news, local happenings, etc. Your suggestions or thoughts can be sent to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Gary Stephens

From the President

February greetings!

This month's program is looking to be a good one.  Ray Nations is going to give us a brief about the tax side of a woodworking business, and Bob Smith is going to share his craft fair experiences.  Also, bring in your projects for show/tell as well as shop treasures for our raffle.

Don't forget about the gift box challenge (see the Tips section on our website for the plans).  The due date is our March meeting; and as you know, finishing takes some time.

Speaking of finishing, following is a note from Bob Flexner's book Understanding Wood Finishing.  Wood conditioners are thinned finishes that are used on woods subject to blotching when stained (i.e. cherry and pine).  Despite vendor instructions (i.e. apply stain within 20 minutes of applying conditioner), Bob recommends that the wood conditioner be allowed to dry completely before applying stain.  Otherwise, the stain will simply mix with the conditioner.  This mixing will reduce blotching, but not eliminate it.

Finishing humor:  Catastrophe:  unplanned learning event.  120 grit sandpaper:  your best friend recovering from an unplanned learning event.

Thanks.  See you soon,

Jim Francis

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2019 Dues

The annual dues fee of $20.00 is due and must be paid by the 4th Monday of February to keep your status marked as “Active”.

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The Woodworking Shows – Chantilly, VA

The upcoming Woodworking Show will be held at the Dulles Convention Center on March 22 – 24, 2019.  Having attended several of their shows over the years I found them worthwhile my time but passed on them the last two years because I felt the educational seminars were repeats of previous shows.  This year looks to be different.

There are 9 different speakers providing FREE educational seminars along with a few PAID seminars.  The speakers are well known in the woodworking community and the content of their programs covers a lot of categories.

As of press time I was not able to get a complete list of all of the exhibitors at the show as it was still being pieced together but expect around 40 to 50 exhibitors at the show.  This is a great time to pick up some of the tools that you may want for your workshop but were unwilling to pay the shipping costs for some of the bulkier items.  Years ago I purchased a Pro Grip 105” wide body straight edge clamp at the show.  It was the same price at the show as the vendor but if you purchased the clamp from the vendor and not at the show the shipping cost was almost as much as the clamp in itself!  It’s also a nice place to look around for one of a kind items and to drool over items you wished you had in your shop. 

At the February meeting we can see if there is interest in carpooling up to the show on Saturday.

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Product Review – Woodsmith Shop DVD Collector’s Edition

For Christmas 2017 my wife gave the Woodsmith Shop DVD Collection of 11 DVD’s.  These 11 DVD’s represented 11 years of the Woodsmith Show TV Show.  They also contain plans for the projects featured in each episode of the TV series.  There is a lot to watch on 11 years’ worth of TV shows and I probably would not have gotten through the first 10 years of them if I had not been holed up in medical rehabilitation center getting round the clock IV’s.  I had my choice, the cable TV selection in the rehab center or watching the DVD’s on my laptop.  After a few weeks the cable TV grew old and I started watching the DVD’s one by one.  They are well done!  While I consider myself fairly knowledgeable with my woodworking skills I learned a lot!  One of the big things I learned was how they break down a big project into basic sub sets.  They also present you with a lot of unique tricks on how to do many of the unique joints used in the project.  There is a great wealth of information on how to make many of the joints using either the table saw, router table or even the drill press.  At the conclusion of each episode they have a short segment on tips and tricks.  As an example here is what is on Episode 713 which is Season 7, Episode 13:

Episode 713 - Small Shop Solutions

●  Fold Up Finishing Station Plans

●  Outfeed Table Plans

●  Sliding Door Cabinet Plans

●  Stowaway Router Table Plans

●  Tool Caddy Plans

●  Small-Space Workshop Secrets Article

●  Season 7 Tips Article

I will publish a document on the web site in the next few days that lists the contents of each episode for your review including my personal notes that describe my interest in that particular episode.

The Collectors Edition discussed above has now been repackaged.  Woodsmith sells them in bundles of Season 1-4, Season 5-8 and Season 9-12.  Each bundle is priced at $49.00. 

Gary Stephens

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Industry News

Last month the Craftsman brand was discussed in the newsletter and what has transpired with the Craftsman name under Sears.  While Sears is still in bankruptcy, the total liquidation of Sears did not happen.

In 1927 Sears hires Arthur Barrows to launch the tool brand.  The Craftsman name that he wanted to use was already owned by the Marion-Craftsman Tool Company so he ended up buying the name for $500.00 (about $7,000 in today’s dollars).  He created three tiers of tools branded good, better and best.  These brands were cheaply made, ugly and made out of cast iron that bent and deformed easily. But these tools fit the budgets of the farmers who made up the majority of Sears’ hand tool customers at the time.

Sears eventually promoted Barrows to become the West Coast Manager and hired Tom Dunlap to take over the hardware department. America was in the middle of transitioning into the age of automobiles and Dunlap recognized that Sears needed a line of tools that would meet the demands of the automotive industry. Dunlap set his sights on upgrading the quality of Sears’ tools.

To improve the look of CRAFTSMAN tools, Dunlap added chrome plating on wrenches and sockets and high impact plastic handles on screwdrivers. This improved the finish, color, trim and overall look of the tool. He faced great skepticism about his idea but it proved ingenious when the company saw sales increase six times the following year.  Mechanics and woodworkers are proud of what their tools look like.  The Sears CRAFTSMAN line promoted good quality tools at affordable prices.


●  1927           Sears hires Arthur Barrows to launch their tool line.  They pay $500 for the

                       rights to the name CRAFTSMAN.

●  1928           Arthur Barrows is promoted to West Coast Manager of Sears.  Arthur

                       Barrows hires Tom Dunlap to run the tool department.

●  1929           CRAFTSMAN introduces the electric drill.

●  1932           First wrench made of vanadium steel is introduced.

●  1934           CRAFTSMAN introduces their own lawn mower (more on this later on)

●  1940           CRAFTSMAN power tools sales increase 1,500% since their introduction.

●  1950           Salesman Ed Faulk rolls out a mobile truck and sets out on a 10,000 mile

   journey across America.  This was so successful that Sears launched a       second CRAFTSMAN truck the next year.


●  1953           CRAFTSMAN riding lawn mowers hit the road.

●  1959           CRAFTSMAN introduces the 5 in 1 tool that is a combination of a tilting

   arbor bench saw, jointer-planer, jig saw, saber saw and disk sander (sounds like the       Shopsmith all in one tool).


●  1965           CRAFTSMAN rolls out a fleet of tool trucks to call on mechanics shops.

●  1966           CRAFTSMAN introduces the quick release ratchet wrench.

●  1974           CRAFTSMAN introduces the cordless electric rotary and riding lawn



●  1976           100th million CRAFTSMAN screwdriver rolls off the assembly line.

●  1977           50th anniversary of the CRAFTSMAN brand.

●  1978           2 millionth Craftsman radial arm saw and 1 millionth Weed Wacker are


●  1984           CRAFTSMAN introduces the 1st battery powered portable and bench


                        More than a million CRAFTSMAN lawn mowers are sold in a single


 ●  1977           New CRAFTSMAN logo is introduced.

●  2000           CRAFTSMAN tools are available at more than 150 Army and Air Force

                       Base Exchanges worldwide.


●  2001           CRAFTSMAN introduces the laser miter saw.

   Consumers rank CRAFTSMAN number one in quality among all American brands     according to a Harris Poll.

●  2002           CRAFTSMAN celebrates 75 years with a catalog featuring more than

                        4,000 items including 739 new products.

 ●  2011           CRAFTSMAN products become available through Ace Hardware and


 ●  2017           Stanley Black & Decker purchase the CRAFTSMAN brand.

Not a bad history for a company that never manufactured any products!

So what was the real reason that Stanley Black & Decker purchased the CRAFTSMAN brand?  The real reason was not for the hand tools but it moved them into a retail area to sell lawn mowers, batteries, chargers and hundreds of other lawn and garden products.  According to industry sources the lawn and garden products under the CRAFTSMAN name account for about 75% of the sales.

It will be interesting to see what Stanley Black & Decker does with the CRAFTSMAN line of hand tools.  They already own Black & Decker, Porter Cable and Dewalt.  Where will the CRAFTSMAN line of hand tools fall under this umbrella.

Next month the history of Stanley Corporation.



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