Everyday Woodworking Podcast Ep 14
Woodworking Myths Debunked #1
Hey everyone. I’m Ricky Fitzpatrick with Everyday Woodworking, your Podcast Home for tips, tricks and information on how to make the most of your woodworking time and money, every day.
Well welcome back to another week of Everyday Woodworking.
Let me say, first off, I apologize for missing last week. If you’re a regular listener then you know we post new podcast episodes every week. Well last week, I missed.
Our woodworking business, which is our livelihood, is just booming right now. So I’ve been in the weeds in the shop, just trying to stay caught up. And I just hadn’t had time to put a new show together.
Then the other night I got an email from one of our listeners (noal727) asking me what happened. Wow…talk about a surprise!
Just getting that message was a wake up to me that we actually have folks who follow our podcast and expect to hear something every week. That’s awesome! And it’s an awesome responsibility for me.
So hey guys, I’m sorry for not making the show more of a priority. But you can be sure that from now on, I’m seeing it in a whole new light. We’ll be here.
OK…so if you’ve been involved in woodworking for a while…or even just for a short time, then you know there are certain things that everybody says. Or that have been passed down or shared at the hardware store. The world of woodworking is just full of tips and “rules” that may or may not be factual.
Well that’s where we are today. I want to have a little fun, but also seriously look at a few woodworking myths and let’s set them straight, once and for all. (Or at least as well as I can. LOL!)
We’re going to start out this week with, I don’t know, my goal is to tackle 3 or 4. If we can do three, I’ll be happy. Four, then I’ll feel like William Wallace. Let’s see how many of these babies we can dig into. And if we have a ball with it, then we might make this a regular spot,
Before we do though, let’s take a quick break…
Alright, let’s get this going. I’m looking forward to it. I really am. You know, researching this was such a great learning experience for me. Just digging in and seeing what was real and what was folklore, it was just a great way to help me learn. Great learning time for me. And hopefully, for you too, here.
But let’s start with some common things that I’ve heard, and I’m sure you have too.
Don’t shake a can of polyurethane because it will cause bubbles on the surface of your project.
I’ve always heard this. The finish manufacturers even put it on the cans of their products. So it has to be right. Right?
Well this is what makes sense to me. Let me ask you…
Assuming you always gently stir your poly before applying it, have you ever used polyurethane (water or oil based) and had bubble appear on your work piece?
If you said “no”, then you’re lying. (LOL) It happens. It happens to all of us. Even if you stir. So my logic is, if you’re going to get bubbles anyway, then stop thinking that shaking your poly is going to prevent them from happening.
And when you do, they’ll rise and pop. And if they don’t pop quickly enough, you can always help them along with a little heat.
Does it matter if you’re using oil or water-based? Yes. The oil based poly will dry much more slowly, so bubbles have longer to rise and pop. Water-based will dry much faster, so bubbles are an issue.
The only product that everyone seems to agree on is Wipe On Poly. Shake it all you want, then wipe it on. The fact that you’re not using a brush to apply it, reduces the introduction of air into the process.
So IMO, I think shaking a can of poly is perfectly acceptable.
Now let me say, as we move on, if you disagree with me on any of these, then let me know. If you make sense, I don’t have a problem correcting myself in the next show. So definitely weigh in if you feel the urge.
OK, Number Two:
Cedar Wood is rot resistant.
Well, everybody knows that’s true. Right? Cedar fencing, for example, lasts forever. So do cedar birdhouses and feeders. Outdoor swings or chairs. On and one… So one can safely assume that all cedar should resist natural rot and decay.
Not exactly. Yes, cedar is rot and insect resistant. The heart wood is, absolutely. But the sap wood, not so much.
In case you aren’t aware of the difference between heart and sap wood…
The heartwood is the inner “heart” of the tree. It’s usually darker in color. The sap wood is the outer, usually lighter part of the tree. This is where the tree can store food and where water passes from the roots to the leaves. It’s generally softer than the heart.
Because of all these things, the sap wood is just not as durable. It has a higher moisture content. And it’s just more susceptible to rot and insect infestation.
The heart wood of all trees is more resistant to rot and damage than the sap wood. But cedar has a natural, notable quality that makes it specifically better than the average wood species.
But that only applies to the heart wood. Not the sap wood.
So there. Bam. Mind blown! Right?
OK, Number three:
Sawdust can give you cancer.
When I first heard this I thought “that’s crazy”. I mean sawdust is wood, which is natural. We’re around it every day. I even joke about loving the smell of sawdust in the morning.
How can it possibly be cancer causing?
Nevertheless, it is. The fine particles of sawdust, the kind that you breathe in and that get trapped in your lungs or in the back of your throat, these are known carcinogens. And no, a gator will not protect you.
I don’t want to get into a “mask debate” here, but the best protection for you in the shop is to install a good air filtration system in your workspace, and get yourself a proven, comfortable respirator. Or at least a dust mask.
You can get a decent respirator with replaceable filter cartridges for less than $30 in a dozen different places online. I’ll leave a link in the notes to a few less expensive ones. My pick is the 3M 6500 with Quick Release. It’s the same mask that Marc Spagnuolo, the Wood Whisperer wears and recommends. That’s good enough for me.
But yes, that dust is bad stuff. Get yourself a dust mask. I might even do a whole episode on dust in the shop. Actually, I think we will. It’s pretty important. So yes…sawdust. Cancer. It’s real.
Good tools are expensive.
If you know me or if you’ve been listening to us for any length of time, then you know my position on this one.
I don’t believe this. And I don’t believe that expensive tool are always good.
We have, and we continue to make a comfortable living, using inexpensive tools. Do they always last? No. Do they sometimes save my bacon? Yes.
But good tools are not expensive.
CAN they be expensive? Yes. CAN an expensive tool be a great investment? Yes. But not always.
There’s no doubt that a quality, respected tool may likely carry a hefty price tag. That’s without debate. But never, never let the cost of a tool be the reason you buy it.
Men have been quoted for generations as saying “ A cheap tool will wind up costing you more in the long run.” And I get it. But honestly, guys, that just ain’t true. I love my manly nuggets of wisdom, but this one is a falsehood.
My advice about tools is, and will always be…Buy the best tool you can afford at the time, then take care of it.
If you do that, you’ll rarely be disappointed. And that’s one thing I can guarantee.
We did it! That was four woodworking myths, either explained or debunked!
I’m going to do this again. That was fun.
But let’s end this today with a bonus. And I don’t have an answer for this myth, or you might call it an urban legend. But I’m curious if any of you might know. Let me know what you find out.
The government has buried hundreds of table saws out in the desert in case of an apocalypse.
Honestly, I don’t even know where I heard this, but it just intrigues the heck out of me. And I can’t find anything online about it…which makes me even more curious!
Find out what you can and pass it along. I’ll share it on the next episode. And maybe we can find out if this is true.
That’s all we have time for today, but again, thank you guys for being here. I totally enjoyed preparing for this one. Anytime I can learn new info on cool or quirky things…I’m all over it. I love it. And this was right up my alley.
I hope y’all enjoyed it too!
One last thing…if you enjoyed this episode, please take a second and leave us a great review. It makes such a difference for us…especially if listen on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.
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And finally, if you’d like to learn even more about us, you can check out the show notes and head over to www.applevalleyfarmga.com for things like our store, our woodworking projects and lots, lots more.
That’s it. Have a great day. Thanks again. And I’ll see you next time…right here, on Everyday Woodworking.
Apple Valley Farm – http://applevalleyfarmga.com/
Apple Valley Farm Carpenter Bee Traps - http://applevalleyfarmga.com/product/556860
Apple Valley Farm YouTube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/c/AppleValleyFarmGA
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Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/AppleValleyFarmGA
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FeedSpot - https://blog.feedspot.com/woodworking_podcasts/
Jaemor Farms - https://www.jaemorfarms.com/
North 7700 Half Face Respirator – On Uline - https://tinyurl.com/k64uxrzz
3M 5000 Series Half Face Respirator – On Amazon - https://tinyurl.com/27mdbecp
3M 6503QL Respirator with Quick Release Mechanism. Used and recommended by The Wood Whisperer, Marc Spagnuolo. – On Amazon - https://tinyurl.com/yfmb3zhy
The Wood Whisperer, Marc Spagnuolo - https://thewoodwhisperer.com/
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