Woodworking Network: Most Commented Articles October 2014
October 30, 2014 | 9:47 am CDT
Woodworking Network: Most Commented Articles October 2014

This month, Woodworking Network readers commented on walnut furniture, recent court cases and a new HBO miniseries starring Tom Hanks.

Live Edge Walnut Furniture

Greg Klaussen’s Live Edge, River Collection walnut table (pictured) in the Project Gallery drew raves from readers.

Woodworking Network: Most Commented Articles October 2014

I very much liked the Walnut River Hall Table by Greg Klaussen. I’m sure that great thinkers and furniture designers think alike. A number of years ago, after completing several cabinet projects, I found that I had a load of 3/4-inch maple plywood in varying sizes left over. Then I had the idea of making a tabletop out of them. I had just purchased the newest Porter-Cable jigsaw. I set the fence at 45 degrees and went to work. A couple of hours later I had enough pieces to make a tabletop. I sanded all the edges, filled in the voids in the plywood and started the more or less free form assembly. If I must say, the project came out much better than I expected. I made the base out of 3/4-inch mahogany plywood, which I cut into slabs and then assembled them in a more or less random pattern, followed by about a dozen coats of gloss poly. I gave the table to a friend of my son who had just opened a beauty salon. She uses the table to display hair care products. Should you desire to see photographs, I will gladly send a couple of them. 

- Dan Levin, Old Saybrook, CT

Dan - That sounds like a great design! We would love to see it. Please send your photos to: Woodworking Network, 400 Knightsbridge Parkway, Lincolnshire, IL 60069, or upload them in the Project Gallery at WoodworkingNetwork.com.


Court Tosses Saw Conspiracy Case 

Judge Claude Hilton ruling that SawStop parent SD3’s claims of a conspiracy by other saw makers to boycott its technology were unfounded continues to draw comments:


I have had employees suffer from the loss of fingers And it goes much deeper than $$$. I have two of the SawStops in my shop and would never think of going back to a regular table saw. Why not have them mandatory on all table saws? The outcome could be lower work comp. rates because your safety rating could be increased. I’m sorry for all the fingers and hands that could have been saved! 

- Jeff, Tennessee

If consumers wanted this SawStop device in any quantity you wouldn’t see SawStop suing everyone, you would see them laughing all the way to the bank as the orders rolled in and as the other saw companies’ sales plummeted. 

- Woodworker based in the U.S.


Factory Man: HBO/Tom Hanks Special

Factory Man, the bestseller based on Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Chairman John Bassett III’s fight to take on China and save U.S. furniture jobs, will be made into a mini-series for HBO.


I’m looking forward to seeing this. It sounds like an interesting story that needs to be told. 

- Curt W., Missouri


Wooden Toys: No chance for U.S. Producers?

An article on the growing sales of wooden toys by Mattel and others led to a discussion on opportunities for U.S. woodworkers.

Woodworking Network: Most Commented Articles October 2014

My company, Maple Landmark, has been making compatible wooden trains for over 20 years, since before Thomas was big. We’ve always been American made. With our full line of toys and games we believe we are the largest wooden toy manufacturer in the U.S. Still, it is tough to compete with imported prices.

The current Thomas story you report isn’t much of a story, mostly just a marketing reset. Thomas used to be very big in the U.S. toy market, selling primarily in specialty toy stores. Due to things like the 2007 recall and the company being acquired and acquired again, the brand was damaged and sales likely decreased.

In recent years we have heard a lot less about Thomas and more about other compatible brands. Under larger owners, now Mattel, they were sold everywhere and the “specialness” was
lost. Maybe the TV show behind it lost its audience too. Mattel is making a push to get it all back. The newer Lincoln Log offer is like lots of older brand owners, they talk big about American production but want Chinese prices because they still want to sell to big box stores.

There are interesting stories of American wooden toys, since companies like us do not sell to Walmart and Toys R Us, we are less visible. Mattel and Thomas are footnotes in the recent history. 

- Michael Rainville, Middlebury, VT

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.