Tidewater Woodworking President: Fran Foster, Vice President: Greg Guertin, Treasurer: Chris Zuchristian, Secretary: Larry Larue
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Presidents Report ...
We made it through the holidays and now for the down time that comes with them colder weather. What better time would it be than not hone your skills if you have a shop that has an acceptable temperature. We cannot do much outside so this is the best time to let your creative juices flow. To help you, the guild will continue to offer exciting programs, free expert advice and a lot of camaraderie that happens at our monthly meetings. You can always find someone that can answer your questions or provide possible solutions to whatever you might bring up. Our January meeting always deals with safety and is a great refresher for all of us and helps keep us doing what we should when working in our shops. The February meeting will be a fun one since the topic will be dealing with what you can do with scraps. Show and tell will provide a wealth of ideas that might be right up your alley. More to come about this in next month’s newsletter. Take care and we hope to see you at our next meeting, Monday, January 24 at 7:00.
As the guild members come back to the normal monthly meeting from the holiday break, we usually make January our safety meeting along with collecting our yearly dues and catching up with items you built since November. In this article I thought it would be a nice refresher to look at our safety in terms of sight, hearing and the air we breathe and what has changed is safety over the last year.
What Has Changed?
The safety issues we had this last year and the year before have not changed much but what has changed is the availability of these products. During 2020 you would be hard pressed to find Clorox wipes, Nytril gloves, N95 masks, face respirators and replaceable filters for them, face shields and PPE equipment.
In 2021 things started to change in terms of availability of these items. I remember looking for replacement filters for my half mask respirator back in May of 2021. None to be found. I finally had to go to a web site out on the west coast and pre-purchase and pay up front money to get the filters when they got their supplies. Took a few months of them hanging onto my money but I finally got the new filters. I also considered buying a new respirator from Woodcraft back in this time frame but when I looked at the delivery dates of September or October I gave up on this idea also. Now you can walk into the store and pick up these items off of the shelf.
Remember the N95 or KN95 masks? They were impossible to find. As I walked through my local Home Depot store the other day, just as you entered the store, they had a big display of N95 masks, Clorox wipes and bleach! Nytril gloves were almost impossible to get because all of the supplies went to health care facilities. Now they are readily available but their cost has more than doubled and some stores limit how many boxes you can purchase.
I imagine that we all have safety glasses in our shop. Do we always use the safety glasses? I won’t answer that question myself. Remember you only have one set of eyes and you should do everything possible to protect them!
For our eye protection we can break it down to basically 3 types of eye protection for the shop: safety glasses, safety glasses with magnifiers and face shields. Another thing to consider when purchasing safety glasses is the use of a respirator to keep out the dust. Sometimes they do not work together.
In terms of safety glasses your selection depends upon whether or not you wear prescription glasses. If you do wear prescription glasses you might want to consider either the “NoCry Over Safety Glasses" with clear anti-scratch wraparound lenses, adjustable arms, side shields and UV400 protection. They sell for around $13 to $15 each and have been top rated by woodworkers for the last couple of years. Another choice for the prescription glass wearer is the Gateway Safety 6980. There not as robust as the "NoCry" glasses but they are under $10 so it might be a good choice if you are tough on glasses or do not wear them that often.
If you do not wear prescription glasses then you have lots of choices to choose from. Dewalt, from one of our tool manufacturers, has a couple of safety glasses to look at. The DPG55-11C sells for about $6 to $7 while the DPG82-11CTR lists for around $10. "NoCry" also has a highly rated safety glass that sells for about $11 for those who do not wear prescription glasses.
Safety Glass With Bifocal Lens Full View Safety Glass
Now we get into safety glasses with magnifiers or for the older group in the guild, safety glasses with readers built into them. I have these safety glasses in my shop in two different versions, the bifocal version and the full magnifier type. I need the magnification factor (and lots of light!) but these are my cons of both types. I don’t like the bifocal version when working on the table saw as I am also looking over the magnifier section to see the table saw blade and then having to look down into the magnification area to see the details of my line or where my fingers are in relation to the blade. I also own a pair of safety glasses that are full magnification throughout the whole lens. The two big draw backs to this safety glass is that things outside of its magnification area tend to be out of focus and it also gives the impression of some sort of parallax which makes my square piece of wood look trapezoid in appearance. My selection of which type of safety glass I will use depends upon what I am going to be doing.
Full Face Shield Face Shield With Respirator
Another eye protection option for the woodworker is the full face shield. I have seen these available on the web from as low as $4 to over $400! Face shields are great for protecting your whole face, not just your eyes. Things to look for in a full face shield are plastic lenses that do not scratch or fog up. Some are also available, but more expensive, and include full respirator protection.
As mentioned earlier, you only have one set of ears and you should do everything possible to protect them! The other thing to remember about hearing loss is that is cumulative! If you can remember back to your college days, sitting in a car with your friends and drinking beer (before drunk driving was an issue) with Led Zeppelin cranking on the car stereo as loud as the 8-Track tape player could muster then this was the start of your hearing loss!
It is hard for most people to get their head wrapped around sound levels because scientists measure sound on a logarithmic scale rather than a linear scale. For sound measurements they use the decibel or dB scale. The scale starts out at 0 dB which is the quietest sound perceived by the human ear. From there every increase of 3 dB represents a doubling of sound intensity, or acoustic power. The threshold of pain is somewhere around 120 dB.
Another way of looking at sound levels is to do a quick comparison of some of our shop tool to each other. Most of us perceive one sound to be twice as loud as another one when they are about 10 dB apart; so take our shop vac at 85 dB and compare it with the router at 95 dB. The router will sound twice as loud to you as the shop vac but this 10 dB difference represents a 10 fold increase in intensity! A chop saw at 106 dB will sound about four times as loud as the shop vac but in terms of acoustic intensity, the sound it makes is 100 times as powerful.
A couple of more things about sound levels before getting onto hearing protection. You may also see dB’s referred to as dBA and dBC. These are weighted dB readings based upon the human ear. dBA are decibel scale readings that have been adjusted to attempt to take into account the varying sensitivity of the human ear to different frequencies of sound. dBC is sometimes used for specifying peak or impact noise levels, such as gunfire our your air compressor suddenly starting up. OSHA allows 8 hours of exposure to 90 dBA but only 2 hours of exposure to 100 dBA sound levels. NIOSH would recommend limiting the 8 hour exposure to less than 85 dBA. At 100 dBA, NIOSH recommends less than 15 minutes of exposure per day.
Your choice of hearing protection can basically be reduced to 3 different types of protectors. These include the basic ear plug, the ear muff, with or without radio or Bluetooth, and noise cancelling headsets.
Ear Protection On Head Band Ear Muff Protection With Radio
When hearing protection is worn, your level of exposure to noise is based on the NRR (Noise Reduction Rating) rating of the protection device being used. Keep in mind, however, that while the NRR is measured in decibels, the hearing protector being used does not reduce the surrounding decibel level by the exact number of decibels associated with that protector’s NRR. For example, if you are at a rock concert where the level of noise exposure is 100 dB and you are wearing earplugs with an NRR 33dB, your level of exposure would not be reduced to 67 dB. Instead, to determine the actual amount of decibel deduction applied (when decibels are measured dBA which is the most common), you take the NRR number (in dB), subtract seven, and then divide by two. Given the previous example, your noise reduction equation would look like the following: (33-7)/2 = 13. This means that if you are at a rock concert with a level of noise exposure at 100 dB and you are wearing a hearing protector with an NRR 33 dB, your new level of noise exposure is 87 dB. If you are wearing a product with an NRR of 27 it would deduct 10 decibels (27-7/2=10).
How does wearing dual hearing protectors change NRR?
When hearing protectors are worn in combination (i.e. earplugs AND earmuffs), rather than adding the two NRR numbers together, you simply add five more decibels of protection to the device with the higher NRR. For example, if you were using earplugs with a NRR 29 rating and earmuffs with a NRR 27 rating it would provide a Noise Reduction Rating of approximately 34 decibels.
The most cost effective and most efficient ear protection is the basic ear plug. It fits right over my neck when I am not wearing it and its light weight. It is also easy to find (unlike my safety glasses) when I am ready to use it as it is tight around my neck. Ear plugs typically give you a NRR of about 32 dB and are very cheap, around $0.20 per pair. The banded hearing protector gives me a NRR of 28 dB.
The other ear protection I utilize is the 3M ear muff with AM/FM radio built in. Newer models also include MP3 and Bluetooth capability. These ear muffs only provide about 24 dB of NRR but they are my go to hearing protection when the shop vac, air filtration system and random orbital sander are all going at once while watching the grass grow (sanding a piece of wood!). They tend to be heavy after a while and my ears get very sweaty.
Isotunes LINK Ear Muff ScanDisk Clip Sport
I now own a Isotunes LINK Bluetooth hearing protector head set. This ear muff set gives me 25 Db NRR protection. I really like the Bluetooth operation of the head set along with my San Disk Sport Clip player. It has 16 GB of storage which translates to over 83 music CD's that I can listen to. It also has a upper limiting volume setting to keep you from blowing out your ears with loud music. The ear muffs fit tightly and tend to be heavy after a few hours of operation. They sell for about $90.
The final and ultimate hearing protection are ear muffs with noise cancelling circuitry. They are battery driven and usually incorporate some type of differential amplifier circuitry in them to cancel out the noise. The big ones I see a lot are made by BOSE and you see people wearing them on airplanes but there are many available for woodworkers. Good ones are pricy, will north of $100 but you get what you paid for it.
The final thing that we need to look at in terms of safety in our shop is the air we breathe. It’s not the saw dust we see on the floor that is harming us but the invisible saw dust floating around that shop. The stuff on the floor will be filtered out by the hairs in your nose. The invisible stuff is what gets past the nose and gets into the lungs and causes the problems. In this safety article we will deal with dust masks and respirators with a smaller emphasis on air filtration systems.
When you are looking at dust masks or respirators be on the lookout for the following labels: N95, N100, P99 and NIOSH. NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) is the organization in charge of reviewing, inspecting and testing respirators for approvals. Filters on the NIOSH approved respirators will have a number (usually a letter followed by a number) to indicate their efficiency. A N95 respirator will trap 95% of the airborne particles passing through it while the N100 will capture around 99.97% of the airborne particles or it has an efficiency level of 99.97%. The letter N means that the respirator will be useful in trapping particulate aerosols that do not have oil. For the P100 filters, it symbolizes that the respirator is 99.97% effective against all particulate aerosols including the oil-based one. 95% is also the minimal level of filtration that NIOSH will approve.
Please note that dust masks do not come with a NIOSH approval! They are disposable filtering face pieces that you should wear when dealing with non-toxic dust nuisances such as when mowing, sweeping or dusting. It is important for woodworkers to note that even the best dust mask for woodworking will not be ideal for filtering out toxic dust and vapors because they are not respirators. A respirator, on the other hand, must have NIOSH approval and a number to indicate the efficiency. And although in their basic form they will look like dust masks you can always tell the two apart since respirators will have a NIOSH label and most will also have two straps. Half Mask Respirator
In my shop I have been using the MSA 817664 respirator that I got from Woodcraft about 6 or 7 years ago. It cost about $30 and is OSHA & NIOSH P100 compliant. It is recommended for scraping lead paint, working with asbestos, toxic dust and mold. The things I like about it are that it is comfortable to wear, it will not fog up your glasses and even works with a mustache! The only thing you have to be aware of when putting the mask on and off is where the glasses are. The mask goes on first then the safety glasses. When finished the glasses come of first then the mask. If you take the mask off first, the glasses fall to the ground.
The best thing you can do for your lungs if you have a large enough shop is an air filtration system. These hang on the ceiling like you see in the Woodcraft shop and they do an excellent job of filtering out the dust particles down to the micron level which is you want. They range in price from around $170 to over $800 depending upon the capacity you require. You can also make your own air filtration system and there are lots of ways to do this on YouTube. For my shop I originally considered making one of these units myself but after checking on the pricing all of the parts I found it cheaper to just purchase a unit.
For the smaller shop you might want to look at the Axiom PORTABLE air filtration system called Stratus. It makes a lot of sense if you do not have a lot of space to work with and when you are done with it, just move it out of the way. This unit starts at about $500.
Jim Francis Workshop
This months first featured workshop comes from Jim Francis.
Greetings! Welcome to my shop. Following are some details:
• 20ft x 28ft
• Major equipment (bandsaw, tablesaw, jointer/planer, lathe, drum sander, mortising machine and router table are located in the west half; hand-tool, assembly work in the east half.
• Lots of windows (5), plus a windowed door. No more windowless office work!
• Dehumidifier and small electric heater provide climate control.
• Lighting: Overhead LED with local light at the workbench
• Just like a kitchen; everything is just a couple steps away from where it's used
• Most tools in drawers, on shelves in boxes, and in cabinets to make cleanup easier.
• Room for shop art (i.e. Fred the eagle and cowboy Joe) as well as kid's/grandkids art.
• Plate shear - great for modifying hardware and cutting plate (i.e. old handsaw blades) to create scrapers.
• Hand powered grinder - It's amazing how this simple piece of equipment can quickly remove metal, and yet minimize the potential for burning the tool. Note that the grinder and metal vise are mounted on boards so that they can be clamped where desired; even on a pickup truck tailgate!
• The cabinet maker's bench (from Wooster, Ohio) with tail and face vises is the primary workstation. The large center drawer contains the small tools most frequently used (i.e. rules, small saws, chisels, wood files). Note that behind the bench is a spindle sander and stool with fan. The spindle sander is infrequently used, so putting a little stool over it makes a nice platform for the fan. Essentially, an efficient use of space.
So why the mess?
UFOs (Unfinished objects). Last year ended with a sleigh style bed still under construction which involves vacuum molded slats; a tall case clock case needing repair work also involving vacuum pressing veneer (picture P7); and new construction frame saws. With the new year, chair work (new construction corner chair, and three chairs requiring rebuilding) will add to the mess.
So...that's a big part of my life. My how the days pass quickly! Now the quiz: How many frame saws did you see in the pictures?
What's In Your Tree?
To para phrase a slogan by Capital One, “What’s In Your Wallet?” there was a very interesting article in the January 2, 2022 Washington Post newspaper titled “It stood for five centuries. Will it be sold for $17,500?”
The article pits environmental groups against politics and the logging industry in the Tongass National Forest of Alaska. This Sitka spruce tree is over 17 stories tall and even when the top and branches are cut off it should yield about 6,000 board feet of lumber valued at about $17,500 in today’s open market. That is why the loggers want to cut down this old growth tree.
On the environment side the carbon dioxide locked inside its fibers, in its roots, in the soil and in the vegetation that clings to it from its branches to its base, where berry bushes proliferate is a reservoir for the greenhouse gases that now threaten humanity. This spruce would hold an estimated 12 metric tons of CO2. The roots and soil below the tree are estimated to hold another 1.4 tons of CO2.
This mammoth tree plays an outsize role in the Tongass National Forest, which holds the equivalent of 9.9 billion tons of CO2 — nearly twice what the United States emits from burning fossil fuels each year.
This tree and others in the Tongass National Forest were marked for cutting but got a reprieve with the current political administration. Will the rules change with the next administration? Is this tree worth more to us alive? Or dead?.
To read the article in its entirety, and it is a very lengthy article, click on the link https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/interactive/2021/tongass-national-forest-old-growth-tree-climate/
The Woodworking Show 2022 Update
Due to the current rise in COVID cases here and abroad we have made the difficult decision to postpone our winter shows for 2022. Our top priority is the safety of all customers and we are unwilling to put anyone (employees, exhibitors, educators, attendees) at risk. We will continue to monitor this situation and will return to in person shows as soon as it is safe. All tickets purchased for our winter events will receive a full refund.
These next projects come from our president, Fran Foster.
Cribbage is becoming more popular and I decided to make a board for two of my daughters’ families. I used walnut and mahogany for the different parts and as you can see, they were made with what could be considered “scraps” if there is any such thing when you talk about those two woods. The holes were drilled on a drill press following a pattern that was downloaded from the Internet. A much slower process than using a CNC machine, but only took an hour per board!
The Carpetball Table was made for one of the families. This is a Midwest game in which you try to knock the opponent’s pool balls into the pocket at the opposite end. The table is 12’ long and 2’ wide with carpet on the base and sides. It is made in two 6’ sections for easy transporting. I made this as a Christmas present and you can imagine how difficult it was to what's this guy! A funny’s sport and anyone that is interested can find more information and plans at carpetball.org.
Fran's Grinch kick he got over Christmas and made these for yard art!
Our next projects come from Karl Bogott.
Project 17 for the year is a natural edge spalted oak charcuterie board. This one has a name: Wormwood. The 16 x 8 x 1 board is made from scrap left over from the milling of a large branch. It is pocked with boring holes from insects, each reamed and cleaned before being filled with clear resin/epoxy and then soaked in mineral oil and polished with beeswax/oil 'board butter. This would be an eye-catching addition to the kitchen of anyone who appreciates the endless beauty of wood.
Project 18. This is a 12 x 5 x 3/4" cheese slicer made from a twisted scrap of quarter-sawn red oak. It had a number of large intrusions that I filled with resin/epoxy and polished to a transparent view.
A woodworkers Christmas tree!
No More Free Lunch!
The guild did not charge any dues for 2021 but for 2022 dues are now payable. No more free lunch. Dues are $20 and will be collected at the January and February meetings. Exact change is always appreciated by the treasurer. He will also take checks.
Per Section 1 of the By-Laws:
The annual dues shall be established by the Executive Board and shall be due and
payable not later than the 4th Monday of February each year. Membership dues will be
prorated to one-half the annual dues for applications made after 1 July.