Shop Talk Live - Fine Woodworking

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Question 1:

From Tom:
I’m now semi-retired and finally have the time to create a decent wood shop. I’ve moved to the Florida panhandle, where there are few hardwood dealers. In late May, I’ll be in Tennessee so I intend to stop in at a hardwood dealer/mill near Nashville. Given the projects on my to do list I’ll be picking up walnut, cherry, and ash. I also have my eye on black locust (for a picnic table), popular, box elder (table legs and aprons), and catalpa (ditto). Given the list of woods on the dealer's inventory list, I feel like a kid in a candy store. Perhaps too much like a kid in a candy store. I’d be interested in your collective wisdom about how one might go about stocking a new shop with wood, especially given the fact that the nearest hardwood dealer for a hobbyist is 5-6 hours away (Atlanta) and I don’t drive through Tennessee regularly enough to stop in at a dealer or mill whenever I need something (they are about 11 hours away). Y’all are fortunate to live where you do from a woodworking perspective, but I’ll take our weather over yours … I have lemons and tangerines on the trees in my front yard. :-)

Question 2:

From Richard:
Have you ever heard of hollowing the backs of western chisels? To speed the process of flattening the back of a chisel, my buddy first hollows the center to a depth of about 1 or 2 thousands of an inch with a dremel sanding flap attachment . The edges and toe are not touched by the sander. My buddy says that because the hollow is so slight, it is as easy to re-flatten the back and establish a new flat spot as it is to re-establish the cutting edge of a worn Japanese chisel.

  • Here is the video that Anissa mentions, which she now admits he obviously had running in the dremel

Segment: Smooth Move

Ben: Drilling a depth-indication hole on the wrong side.
Barry: Trimming the horns of a frame and panel too soon.
Anissa: Forgetting that two years ago she grain matched the tops of three cabinets, then ignoring the grain match while fitting the cabinets with drawers.

Question 3:

From Jesse:
I’ve recently started the journey into furniture making.  I have a sliding miter saw and a very old table saw that is only good for rough cutting. I’m looking to purchase a band saw or jointer/planer combo. I only have room for one and only 110v availability. I am using hand saws and hand planes to do most of the dimensioning of my lumber. For a beginner, who has limited space and time in the shop, would a band saw or jointer/planer be more advantageous? I’d appreciate any guidance you can offer to ensure my next big purchase is a wise choice and will be the most practical.


Ben - Prismacolor Premier Pencil Sharpener
Barry - Kettlebells for holding panel glue ups flat
Anissa -  A rock 

Every two weeks, a team of Fine Woodworking staffers answers questions from readers on Shop Talk Live, Fine Woodworking‘s biweekly podcast. Send your woodworking questions to for consideration in the regular broadcast! Our continued existence relies upon listener support. So if you enjoy the show, be sure to leave us a five-star rating and maybe even a nice comment on our iTunes page.

Direct download: shop-talk-live-episode-190.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:52am EST