On this episode of the ShopNotes Podcast, Phil, John, and Logan discuss woodworking fads: Tools, techniques, and even furniture styles that have come and gone. Plus, a bonus topic... shop clean-up and organization philosophies.
Phil shares his "grandma hypothesis" to the appeal of bygone furniture stlyes. And makes a case (again -- eyeroll) for edge gluing plywood.
Logan isn't a fan of the river table phenomenon.
And John remembers the golden oak of the 90s ... Logan was too young.
Other fads mentioned: Shapers, large horsepower routers, biscuits, live edge furniture, Shaker furniture.
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Jim: I had to laugh listening to the show this morning. I have two power saws in my shop, a radial arm and a bandsaw. My mitre saw is a Nobex handsaw unit. I use the radial arm for dadoes, mitres, bevels and beveled mitres. Most of the ripping is done on the bandsaw and most cross cutting is done with a Disston handsaw. Your description of the sound of the radial arm firing up was pretty accurate though.
Graeme: Congratulations to Logan! Power saw opinions ... Background: high school wood shop in the mid-1960s. Radial arm saws, shaper tables, jointer (one shop teacher sacrificed a thumb to that) and only a single table saw that student could use under very close supervision. Refresher course in the mid-1970s via continuing education. Occasional refreshers since. Over the years I have subscribed to every woodworking & home improvement magazine, now pared down to Woodsmith. Many books & articles on file, both paper and digital, dating back to the 1960s. Bought a Sears radial arm saw in the mid-1970s. It has been and still is my primary stationary saw. Replaced the motor once, zero injuries. I WILL NOT own a table saw, simply because I have always regarded it as the most unsafe power tool ever made - and because of the number of injuries I have witnessed or know of. As for the chop saw (yes I still use that early name for the miter saw) it is a crude replacement for doing only one of the very many things that can be done using a Radial Arm Saw. If I was 30 years younger I would be leaping at a chance to work for the magazine. Many decades ago I spent a year working in Cedar Rapids, and much of my wife's extended family is in Iowa, Nebraska & Missouri. But in my early 70s, I still have the energy & desire to get to my workshop, but not much else. We're planning a big road trip that direction for next year (originally last year!) so I might like to drop in.
Don: A lot of discussion about miter saws, table saws, and even radial arm saws, but what about track saws?
Rick: Nice to hear more from John this week! And to see Logan after his announcement last week.
Carl: For me, the pleasure in making jigs is coming up with an elegant design - one that solves the problem at hand, does it well, and is simple and easy to use. Too many people conflate complexity and flexibility with quality or elegance. I prefer the one tool that does the job well - the traditional Unix approach if you are into computers. BTW, I made a router table based on Woodsmith plans back in the late '80s. Still use it.