CARB Tops Poll

CARB Topped Woodwork Concerns, Comments

California Air Resource Board formaldehyde rules topped concerns in our online poll, followed by table saw safety and combustible dust. Comments on other stories follow below:

Wood Business Owner: Raise Taxes

Spencer Organ Co. owner Joseph Rotella was on Capitol Hill in April, urging the U.S. Senate to set a minimum tax for businesses (the ‘Buffet Rule’), and for a ban on large corporation tax havens, which he says place a burden on smaller companies like his. Here are comments:

While Joseph Rotella may be correct that the infrastructure is being allowed to fall apart it is not because we don’t already pay enough, it is because what we do pay is being wasted. It is a very difficult thing for small businesses to remain profitable when our government seems to be doing everything possible to destroy our ability to remain in business through confiscatory taxation and over-regulation. Many who leave our shores have done so because they can’t afford to stay if they are going to remain in business. — Shawn, Michigan

It’s only fair that those who are prospering in this country pay their fare share in taxes. This nonsense of tax havens and tax breaks for companies relocating out of the U.S. has got to stop. — Joe, Vista, CA

Complex pitches lose sales

Rick Hill says woodworkers can overwhelm clients with excessive details about hardware, or continuous design modifications made before a contract is signed, or hard to follow sites and literature. Clients want simple.

Your statements ring so true. I could not agree more as we have stated the exact same scenarios of our typical customer base. Those of us situated in densely populated cities find that the overworked, no-time-available consumer is the new norm. — Rob Grant, Northern Virginia

Wide Belt Sanders

Redbook Online posted FAQs on wide belt sanders. A reader query brought this expert’s answer.

I’ve consistently encountered problems when using maple in any wide belt sanders. Is it still the case with the latest generation equipment or have technical improvements overridden this wood’s inherent dislike of finer grained paper? Normally I have had to start at around 60 grit and slowly and meticulously work my way down the grits until the desired finished is achieved, a long process indeed. — Ben, Austin, TX

Bernie’s response:

Wide belt sanders and hard rock maple make my blood run cold! I have enough trouble with that species as it is. Using a wide belt will require, as you said, “meticulously working” your way down the grits. Otherwise you could end up destroying a number of belts.

Maple is also notoriously non-porous. If you are going to put a finish on top of that sanded maple, you need to leave some “tooth” for the finish to hang onto. Closing the grain may lead to delamination down the road if the finish has nothing to hold on to. I finish sand maple that I am going to clear coat with 120 finer!

If a wipe stain is involved, a good consistent scratch pattern will probably help with maple’s notorious tendency to blotch. Your widebelt, properly set up, should help a great deal to create that consistent scratch pattern. — Bernie Bottens, Woodworking Network

Webcast Lean & Mean

More than 200 registered for a May 16 webcast on lean wood production to learn tips from Horner Millwork.

This was very well presented — great job. We had eight in attendance and all thought it was well done. Can you please send me a link to the archive of this? — Jim Little, Wisconsin

Find it at

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