Ask the Editor February 2014

Readers like you submit questions to us every day. Here, our woodworking expert George Vondriska answers your questions and offer helpful solutions to your woodworking problems.

Woodworking Question:
“Wondering if you know of a way to break apart joints glued with Gorilla glue. Whoever tried to repair this antique dresser drawer let the glue squeeze out all over and didn’t clamp the joints so one has set up so far apart the drawer won’t fit in the case. I can use a sharp knife to cut out the squeeze out, but how do I get the joints apart? The Gorilla folks say there is no chemical that will break the bond.”

I’m assuming you mean Gorilla’s polyurethane glue, not their wood glue.

It seems like Gorilla Glue would know their own product best, but a little cruising on the web indicates that denatured alcohol or acetone might loosen the hardened glue up. Home centers or paint stores should carry either product. I’d lean toward trying the denatured alcohol first as it’s not as potent as the acetone. If denatured alcohol doesn’t do it, go to the stronger solvent, acetone. In either case, work in a well-ventilated area and be sure to wear the right protective gear.

From what I read it looks like it’s important to allow the solvent to soak in for a while, 10 minutes or so, before trying to remove the glue.

Good luck.

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(In reference to Building and Accessorizing a Workbench) Very interesting and informative.

Woodworking Question:
“Why didn’t you drill the bench dog holes with a router and 3/4″ straight bit through the template?”

Great question. I learned the answer the hard way. My first approach was using a plunge router, ¾” straight bit, template guide bushing and the pattern. Unfortunately, with such a deep plunge in hardwood, it’s A LOT of work for the bit, and just didn’t work. Even with drilling out to 5/8” the router bit didn’t like making the plunge. If the bit chatters even a tiny bit the holes lose their tolerance and the bench dogs won’t work.


“In Ontario, Canada I have free fallen trees cut down by the city to walk away with . How long is too long to consider fallen wood to be not green enough for re-sawing?. The trees have been down two winters. What tools & blades will do the job?”

It can take intact trees quite a while to get too dry, but there are lots of “it depends.” The larger the diameter of the tree, the longer it will take to dry. If the bark is still on, the trunk will have dried more slowly. I’ve left logs for a couple years, hoping to get to them later, and once I cut the dried out ends off, they were amazingly wet inside.

To determine if the log is ok, first have a look at the end. It’ll probably be cracked pretty badly. Using a chainsaw cut about 12” off the end. See if the cracks have penetrated to the point where your new cut is. Keep cutting chunks off the end until you get to a point where there aren’t any more cracks. Then use a moisture meter to check the intact wood. Hopefully it’s 25% or higher. You can then start processing the log.

You can rip the log with a chainsaw. It’s best to use a dedicated ripping chain, available from chainsaw suppliers. You can also make the cuts on a bandsaw using the widest blade the saw will handle, 3 TPI (teeth per inch).

Using the search window on (upper right hand corner) search “logs” and you’ll find quite a bit of info on this topic.

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  • Steve Gronsky

    When making an end grain cutting board …….. after the final glue-up, glue removal, scraping, etc. How fine do you recommend sanding the board? Should it remain fairly rough (to better soak up mineral oil) or should it be sanded to say 220 grit and be quite smooth?

    • Customer Service

      Thank you for your comment.
      The board will be in great shape and ready for finish if you sand it to 180-grit.

  • Mike Coughlin

    How do you determine drawer size. If my opening is 20″ and i want 3 drawers, how do I calculate the drawer box size?

    • Customer Service

      Thank you for your comment. In regards to your question, it depends on what you want for drawers. If they’re all to be equally sized you can divide the opening by the number of drawers, and then take a little off of the dimension so the drawers don’t hit each other.

      If you want graduated drawers it’s more complicated. On graduated drawers the difference in size from drawer to drawer should be the same. For instance if the middle drawer is 1” smaller than the bottom drawer, the top drawer should be 1” smaller than the middle drawer. Algebra will let you figure this out.

      X = the size of the smallest drawer. You need to decide how much you want the drawers to graduate by. We’ll use 1”. The formula is X + (X + 1) + (X + 2) = 20 Then combine Xs, so 3X + 3 = 20. 3X = 17. X = 5.7. You can check your work by adding the resulting drawer sizes; 5.7” + 6.7” + 7.7” = 20.1” Take a little off of each drawer size so they don’t hit each other and you’re good to go.

  • Bob Amador

    Not sure if this is the proper place to post a question so here goes anyway! Has there or is there a product review on the GUHDO saw blades? Always looking for the best blade for the price for table saw and miter cut off saw blades. Have used everything from the least to most expensive saw blades will say a high price does not always deliver the best when it comes to saw blades.
    Bob Amador

    • Customer Service

      Thank you for your comment. In regards to your question, I haven’t seen any reviews on Gudho yet. I do have a couple of their blades in my shop and have been happy with their performance on my table saw.

  • Randall Ostler

    What is the best tool for re-sawing bandsaw or table saw. And the best blade for each?

    • Customer Service

      Thank you for your comment. In regards to your question, table saw vs bandsaw for resawing depends primarily on the size of the piece you need to resaw. Most table saws have a maximum blade height of 3”. You can effectively resaw a board up to 6” wide by making the cut in two passes. Make the cut using a rip blade. Thin kerf is great.

      Many bandsaws have capacities in excess of 6” so lend themselves to resawing wider boards. Additionally, the kerf of a bandsaw blade is very thin, so you’ll send less wood up the dust chute on a bandsaw than you will on a table saw. Use the widest blade your saw will take, generally 1/2″ or so, with 3-4 tpi (teeth per inch).

  • Skipper

    In the videos you wear “red” hearing protection. What is the brand please?

    • Customer Service

      Thank you for contacting us.In regards to your question, the brand is Sensgard.

  • johnvickib

    I am wondering about the Mast-R-Lift router lift by Jessem. I have been remodeling my house by building cabinets with raised panel doors. I have three router tables, one to cut the rail profile, one for the stile profile, and one for the raised panel bit with under cutter and other cuts (door edges, round overs, etc.). As you know, all the profiles have to be set just right to get the 3 parts to fit correctly. I hate removing the bits because it takes a while to get them set up to match the other profiles. I usually only try to take out the raised panel bit and it is a pain to get it set back up to fit the rail and stile. I don’t see how the Mast-R-Lift really helps speed up the alignment. I don’t want to spend close to $400 if I can’t be sure that the bit set-up will be quicker. Can someone explain why the Mast-R-Lift is so helpful? I think the raised panels are a good example because all 3 cuts are so dependent on each other.

  • Strap

    I want to make a work top for a work bench. I can get 2″ ash and have thought of laminating these onto an MDF sheet. The width of the surface is 2 feet. Is this a practical idea . Planing the surface may be a problem as I haven’t a planer. But I may get someone commercial to plane in for me.

    • Customer Service

      It’s not a good idea to glue solid wood to man made material. The ash will want to expand and contract seasonally, the mdf will not. On a 2’ wide slab there will probably be a lot of movement. If the ash is glue in place it’ll crack.

      • Strap

        Thank you for your advice it exactly what I wanted to know.

  • Gary Scoville

    Hi guys! I just finished repairing and updating my Craftsmen (BelSaw) 12″ planer/shaper with nice new knives and in-feed and out-feed rollers and two new Power Twist V-Belts. They are on the 5 hp motor with dual pulley’s. Now all I need to do is get some help setting it up to work! That’s were I hope you guys can help me out. I think I got it for a fair price but I’m new to this trade and may have payed a bit to much. Anyway, if any of you fine folks out there can help me out, that would be awesome! Thanks again in advance….

  • Ernest

    I bought a GMC (RedEye) 10″ Slide Compound Miter Saw in 2005. It has worked fine until now. The blade does not go all the way down or forward when cutting. This causes it to not make a full cut on the piece leaving about a 1/4″ piece of uncut wood. I have tried blowing all the sawdust out and even using a scrap piece up against the fence but no luck. I emailed GMC about 2 months ago but no response from them. Can you help?

    • George Vondriska

      Most miter saws have a stop that controls the downward travel. If the stop gets advanced, limiting the travel, you won’t be able to complete the cut. I suggest you find the stop and see if you need to back it out a little.

  • Scott Resch

    I am building a display cabinet its 24″ wide by 16″deep and 48″ tall will have glass in the sides and door is it okay to attach the top, bottom and back with pocket screws or is a stronger joint necessary?

  • Michael

    I am making an end grain cutting board with maple and black walnut and want to add zebrawood. Is zebrawood suitable for an end grain board?

    • Customer Service

      Hi, Michael! Yes, zebra wood is fine for an end grain cutting board.

  • Ronald Lambier

    Does anyone here have a set of plans available that I can use for a Vacuum Kiln? The reasoning is that using a vacuum kiln considerably lowers the temperatures needed to kiln dry wood. As an example: I live in Brantford, Ontario which is 814 feet above sea level and the temperature required to boil off the moisture content is 90 degrees Fahrenheit instead of the usual 240 degrees.

  • Don McConnell

    I recently built a set of raised panel doors that my wife wanted painted. I painted them black and set in the sun to dry. After a couple hours in the sun I went to install only to find them all blistered and beyond repair. I tried to send them down and repaint them only to get the same result. I am assuming the poplar wood I used was too green. Is there a simple fix or do I need to start again?

    • Customer Service

      Hi, Don. Thank you for your comment. It’s possible that there was moisture in the wood that was trying to escape through the paint. Or, something was left on the wood, silicone, oil or something similar, that prevented the paint from sticking. A moisture meter would give you an idea of whether or not the material is too damp.

  • LJ

    Hello, I was hoping I might find some advice on
    repairing a secondhand log bedframe. It seems quite loose and will need some
    gluing and possibly some counter sunk hardware with dowels. I would like to
    avoid repairs that are ‘too obvious’ but would like a sturdy product. What
    would you recommend for this task?
    Kind Regards,

    • Customer Service

      Thank you for your comment. It’s typically best to completely disassemble the joints, clean off the old glue, and then reassemble with new glue. If the joints themselves are loose you could do the reassembly with epoxy instead of wood glue, since epoxy is gap filling. You could also reinforce the joints with a dowel or peg. Miller dowels, which are basically wooden nails, might be a good solution.

  • gdaddypaul

    How do I search for a particular video..i.e., the one om weaving a seat for a stool or chair seat?

    • Customer Service

      Thank you for your comment. You may search for a specific topic by using the search bar in the upper right hand corner of our website. If you have any other concerns, please contact us at 1-855-253-0822.

  • Dick Bigler

    You show an interesting video…on spoke shave. When I click on it. I get the sales pitch to join up. I did join up, but still can’t see the spoke shave set up video. Frustrating. I feel like all this is is a sales pitch that never ends.

    • Customer Service

      Thank you for your comment. We are sorry to hear you are having trouble accessing this video. Please contact us at 1-855-253-0822 so we may further assist you.