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by Steven D. Johnson
Racine, Wisconsin

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Some Things I Want (And Can't Find Anywhere)

Click on any picture to see a larger version.

Figure 5 - Goopy rubbery coating protects me
and the sharp edge.

If you have bought a better router bit or table saw blade in the past few years you have undoubtedly spent a few seconds pulling off the rubbery material coating that protects you and the sharp edges. I want a jar of that stuff!

I have at least two, and sometimes several, plane blades for each hand plane. I tend to sharpen all my blades at one time, in a big "sharpening session." I would love to dip each finished chisel or plane blade into that rubbery goop and know that it was protected from dings and rust until the next time I need it.

Figure 6 - The coating comes off easily, often all
in one continuous piece.

Imagine being able to throw a fine, and finely sharpened, chisel into your tool bag for a field trip and not having to worry about dulling or nicking the edge. Better, imagine storing your best saw blades without the worry of damaging a tooth! Think about reaching into drawer or box and not worrying about slicing a finger on a sharpened tool. Someone sell me this stuff!

Lately I have been cutting a lot of curvy pieces and I always save the offcuts to use as sanding blocks for the work pieces. But using spray-on adhesive and trying to attach sandpaper is messy, I always have to do a bit of trimming, and the sandpaper invariably folds, rips, or otherwise mutilates itself in short order.

Figure 7 - A spray-on coating of
abrasive would be an awesome
addition to my shop arsenal.

There are spray-on paints that mimic stone, metal, and clay pottery. There is even paint that contains bits of metal. Why can't someone make a quick drying spray-on abrasive? Make it in three grits, please.

Wouldn't it be cool to shape a sanding block that fits a work piece exactly then just spray on a coat of coarse, medium, or fine grit abrasive, let it dry, and get to work? And what about fences, jigs, and clamp pads that could be made "anti-slip" in seconds? There would be countless uses around the woodshop and the market would be huge.

Please, someone, sell me this stuff!

Waxed paper is my go-to product for keeping work surfaces clean when doing glue-ups. For the most part it works pretty well, but what I wouldn't give for a roll about double the normal puny 12-inch wide grocery store size and slightly heavier in weight. Package it as "woodworker's quick-release finish-compatible magic waxed paper" and I will buy many, many rolls. Someone please sell me this stuff!


Be sure to check out this month's Down To Earth Woodworker video. The outfeed table for the SawStop table saw is quickly taking shape with the construction of the pedestal leg assemblies. The next video, to be released mid-month, will complete the base and trim the torsion box top.


Next month Steve will be responding to some feedback from the past few months, share some readers' suggestions for new woodworking acronyms and more, and show you his biggest woodworking mistake of the year… it's a doozy!

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Steven Johnson is retired from an almost 30-year career selling medical equipment and supplies, and now enjoys improving his shop, his skills, and his designs on a full time basis (although he says home improvement projects and furniture building have been hobbies for most of his adult life).

Steven can be reached directly via email at downtoearthwoodworks@me.com.

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