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Member postings for Keith Smith

Here is a list of all the postings Keith Smith has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Best timber for gates
30/01/2016 09:03:37

Iroko is a difficult timber to use for the hobbyist as the dust it creates is very bad for your health as it can cause cancer. For a very durable and easy to use timber I would choose Accoya, this is a specially treated softwood but it doesn't contain any harmful chemicals. This is the best option but the downside is that it is expensive. Other than that oak is a good option as long as you make sure you don't have any sapwood as this is not durable at all. Larch is variable in its durability and is often pressure treated, however pressure treatment today is not anything like as toxic as it used to be. For a tropical hardwood I would choose Sapele, it's relatively easy to work and reasonably durable.

Good luck with your project.

Thread: Two piece spindle query
07/02/2015 09:26:42

I would have thought epoxy would have been the best option but especially when you use it on end grain you need to use a filler such as colloidal silica. You use unfilled epoxy to coat both faces of the joint, let that soak in then mix colloidal silica into the mixed epoxy until you get a thick creamy consistency, apply that to the joint cramp up and leave to set. A simpler, but less strong, alternative is Titebond 3 which is not too bad at gluing end grain, Gorilla glue is pretty poor as a general adhesive and particularly so on end grain so I would avoid that.

Thread: Ash doors
08/09/2013 09:23:43

The first thing to check is to see if the doors are veneered, if so you will find it very difficult to sand off the finish without breaking through to the core material. Oil based finishes will make ash gain a yellow tinge over time. If you can remove the existing finish I would recommend you use a water based acrylic varnish as this will help to keep ash lighter.

30/07/2013 13:28:47

I think you might be jumping the gun a bit there John, it says latest not last. Unless you know something I don't!

Thread: Routing letters in pine box
14/06/2013 07:59:55

The easiest font I have found to hand rout is called "Andy" . If you produce an A4 sheet on the computer with the lettering you want you can use a spray mount adhesive ( you can get this from an art shop or stationers) to fix the paper to the timber. You can't just tape it down or it tears itself to shreds. Then ideally you need a very pointed Vee groove bit (an engraving bit) they are not very expensive and allow you to cut a narrow but reasonably deep slot for the lettering. There is no need to try to pre-score this bit cuts relatively cleanly and I find it best give the finished surface a good sand down when I've finished.

If you want to colour the letters to make them stand out give the whole board a coat of shellac or varnish and let it dry before painting the letters. Once that has completely dried sand the face again to remove the excess paint. If you don't do this the paint will track along the grain and ruin the job.

I hope that helps.


Thread: Mortise and Tenon jig
20/05/2013 08:36:52

Although these jigs do make very accurate joints as Al says they are more suited for furniture. The big problem trying to use them for windows is cutting joints around all the rebates you inevitably have to create where this sort of jig would be useless. There is no easy option but to cut them by hand I'm afraid unless you know someone with an industrial sized spindle moulder and the tooling to suit your window design.

However there is a way you can make windows and frames without cutting complicated joints and that is to laminate them.

Thread: timber distortion
17/02/2013 13:51:08

You could plane the board to half it's thickness and then glue an equal thickness piece to it making sure it is completely flat as it dries. I can't guarantee this will work by the way but it is the only thing I can think may work.

17/02/2013 08:38:02

When you planed the wood to thickness did you plane off just the one face? If so that is likely to be the reason the wood warped. Timber can have stresses in it and just planing one face can release those and bend the wood very quickly. The answer is to always take equal amounts off each face. I hope that helps.

Thread: bs400
13/02/2013 09:06:10

As far as I know this model does not have a blade tensioning guide, nor does it have a lower right hand blade guard. It has to make one wonder if  this is a genuine post.

Edited By Keith Smith on 13/02/2013 09:17:03

Thread: Materials for a sandbox
21/01/2013 19:27:42

You could use tanalised timber for this, it used to be treated with noxious chemicals but now it is treated with boron and copper so can be used for garden furniture that children play on. I would suggest though that you buy the timber and store it somewhere until it is completely dry before using it.

If money truly is no object then you could use a tropical hardwood like sapele but that would be less durable than tanalised softwood. Accoya would also be a good choice but it is very expensive. I would not suggest using oak unless it has been weathered for at least a year as tannins will run out of it and stain everything dark brown.

Thread: help with bookmatched table
07/01/2013 23:39:32

The main problem of making wide mitres is that the joint will almost certainly open up at the front edge as the wood dries out. You could do with finding out its moisture content which should be about 10% for this job but I would expect it to be about 16% if it has been stored outside. There is no easy cure and other than getting it kiln dried I would think that you would be better off if you store the timber in the house for six months at least. Sorry to put a dampener on things but this type of joint is always a problem even with kiln dried timber.

Thread: Mortice & Tenon Jigs head to head test
29/12/2012 18:21:30

You're welcome but bear in mind once you get one Festool it may lead to buying more! It has done for me anyhowsmiley

29/12/2012 18:04:04

In an exactly like for like (size wise) joint I don't think there would be any appreciable difference in strength but the Dominos have a limited width. The biggest 10mm domino has a width of just about 24mm whereas the FMT will cut them up about 120mm. Of course you can use more than one domino to give it more strength but the FMT has the added advantage that the tenons can be longer than the biggest domino. festool do make a bigger domino machine, but I think they are trying to aim this at the joinery end of the market.

if I needed a machine to speed up the construction of furniture for interior use I would get a domino. The FMT creates perfect joints with little marking out but it is not as quick or versatile as the domino but if you have the time it probably does a better job.

Of course you could always cut them by hand or use a bandsaw to cut the tenons and then get a small bench-top mortiser for the mortises.

27/12/2012 23:28:03

I haven't used the Trend but have an FMT and a Domino. The Domino is most flexible as you can use it to join sheet material as well as timber, plus timber to sheet material for face frames for instance. The biggest dominos (for the original smaller Domino machine) are limited to 10mm thickness and this does limit the maximum strength of a joint you can make with it. the FMT is less flexible in where you can use it but you can make, in my opinion, stronger joints with it.. The Domino beats the FMT for speed and I use it far more than the FMT but if I have finer furniture to make I tend to use the FMT which may just be a snobby thing.

Don't forget you will need a decent router to use with the FMT which may add considerably to the cost.

I hope that helps, it very much depends on how much you want to spend and what you intend to make with it.

Thread: Wood suppliers in Shropshire
26/10/2009 17:16:03
Border Hardwood at Wem are good for oak, as for softwood ask a local merchant for unsorted redwood or, if you want a knot free paint grade, you could try using Tulipwood.
Hope that helps
Thread: That saw cabinet/unit in this months magazine
13/06/2009 14:53:25
Good luck with the stand, I've been using it for a couple of months now and it has worked out really well. I put locking castors on "just in case" but you really need them as the stands runs away from you as you cut if it isn't braked.
The sliding drawers give a surprising amount of support, altough not as much as the DeWalt stand, but then it takes up a lot less room
Things I would change? Mine gets a lot of use and the paint on the top has worn, laminate would have been nice if you have some scrap. Plus I am going to make a catch for the drawers (to keep them open when I'm sawing) as they will sometimes close as I slide timber across them.
If you use the same sort of drawer runners the difference between the size of the drawer and the internal measurement of the cabinet is critical; that is if the drawer is to run smoothly. Other than that it is pretty straighforward.
30/03/2009 08:20:55
Hi Smithy,
Looks like you are reading too much and making the job more complicated than it is!
With Novotech, do not use any wood conditioners, if you are treating softwood give it too good coats of clear preservative and let that dry for at least 24 hours, more at this time of year before treating with Novatech.
Give it two coats of Novotech, which should be enough, I would not advise you to varnish on top. If you want further protection give it a coat of Novatop.
For a shed it is not vital to batten first, although it is a better job as it allows air to move all round the cladding helping to keep the moisture down. Even better is to fit a breathable membrane over the boards, batten over that with roofing laths, then fit the cladding.
Hope this helps
Keith Smithy
Thread: exotic wood hunt
10/01/2009 09:40:00

Ockenden timber have a good selection.

Thread: wax on, cant wax off.
10/01/2009 09:37:00

Phil, the first thing to try is a cloth impregnated with turps, real turpentine if you can get it, and has been stated lots of elbow grease. Keep the cloth fresh (keep a clean face) and keep it wet at first and as you get most of the wax off use a drier cloth.

 I've just had a french polished table to refinish, full of marks and streaks they could not get out. It had been overwaxed for years so I just spent an hour with a turps cloth and it was as good as new.

Good luck.


Thread: Dealing with condensation
08/01/2009 11:04:00
Thanks Mike and Baz, sounds good, I could do with one for my very dust house.
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