Shop Talk Live - Fine Woodworking

Question 1:

From Tony:

We hear so much talk about  Lie Nielsen, Veritas, and Stanley hand planes but, I have a Millers Falls No. 8 that i picked up from an Antique store, that works really well. I don't think I’ve ever heard the Millers Falls Name be mentioned on the Podcast, so I am wondering if they’re any good? They seem to have been in contention with Stanley and they are American made from New England no less, since 1868!

Question 2:

From Matt:

I have been wanting to do a project using drawbore mortise and tenon joints. Is it a bad idea to attempt this type of joint in a softer woods like cherry or walnut, rather than oak.

Segment: Smooth Move

  • Mike - Forgetting that someone commissioned something from him, not those he looks up to
  • Barry - Making a mistake on a piece, remaking the piece, then accidentally using the mistake on the final piece
  • Ben - Trying to get away with not making a proper sled and accidentally dropping a piece on the tablesaw blade

Question 3:

From Bob: Can someone explain the difference between a scrub plane and a smooth plane? They seem similar in size and construction.

Question 4:

From Phillip:

I am looking to build a dining room table to a friend of mine, and am wondering what type of wood would be best to use. I have narrowed it down to White Oak, Cherry, and Walnut. The friend that I am making this for is a military man, and so gets stationed at different bases around the country every few years. My main concern is the table warping or splitting due to the drastic location and environmental changes that he will come across. Obviously, being a dining room table it also must be sturdy and not be too prone to scratches, dings, etc. White Oak is very wear resistant, but has a medium-high shrinkage value. Cherry is pretty stable once dried, but is softer and may get more dings. Walnut seems to be the middle road, being harder and less susceptible to scratches than Cherry but less likely to shrink/warp than White Oak.

What type of wood would you suggest that is going to be resistant to scratches and dings, yet won't warp or split in drastic climate changes? 


Barry - Dedicated Shop Shoes
Ben - Chris Thile's Thank You, New York"
Mike - Tom Waits' album Swordfish Trombones

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-179.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:58am EDT