Ask the Editor November 2013

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

George, you made a pair of
Kitchen Tongs, where do you purchase maple or cherry wood 1 1/8″ thick?

George: In my area, Wisconsin, it’s pretty easy for me to get hardwoods that are 5/4” (1-1/4”) and 8/4” (2”) thick from my hardwood supplier.

I did a Google search for “wood turning blanks” and there were lots of matches. Turning blanks will be thick so, if you can’t find a hardwood supplier in your area, you can order turning blanks to get thick stock.

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What can i do too prevent my timber from splitting open? We manufacture furniture in south africa – Cape Town then we transport it up country as soon as the furniture is delivered a month after that our turned legs craps open.We use a glue called balcotan 100 which is the best glue here in cape town.What can we do too prevent it from happening.

George: Having spent some time in Africa (I lived I Swaziland for three years) I think you have a humidity problem. The humidity at the Cape is high. If your products are going up toward Jo-Burg or Pretoria the humidity is lower and the wood is reacting. It’s hard to overcome wood movement. If it wants to move, it’s going to move. You’d have to deal with this by controlling the environment where you’re manufacturing the furniture. Can you lower the humidity in that environment to match the humidity where the product is ending up?


Saw your video on finishing wood pens with CA and stick buffing compound. My question is this: what type and brand name is the buffing compound I should use?

George: You can find stick buffing compound at most woodworking retailers, and also on line. Check out for white buffing compound sticks.

All Woodworking Articles, Ask WWGOA

  • JohnG

    Do you have plans to build the shop-made router jig used for flattening the end grain glue up ?

    • Customer Service

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  • aaron

    how would i ask a question

    • Customer Service

      Thank you for your comment.
      Once we receive your question, we will forward it to the proper department.

  • Tim

    I have a large spalted maple slab that I am making into a small table. The slab has a large knot hole that I would like to fill with a clear epoxy that can be sanded and take a lacquer finish. What product should I use?

  • Joseph McGrath

    My son would love to be a professional woodworker. George, where did you get your formal woodworking training? I know other professional woodqorkers on T.V. went to the Bennet Street school in Boston. Is that where you went? Thanks

    • Customer Service

      Thank you for your comment.
      I am very lucky in that I knew early what I wanted to do, thanks to a great junior high shop teacher. At 11 I wanted to be just like Mr Mathis and teach shop. I took every high school shop class I could, then got my teaching degree in Technical Education from UW Stout in Wisconsin. I taught a little junior high and high school, and also worked for others in their cabinet shops.
      So for me it’s been a mix of formal education and hands on experience. I’ve never been to Bennet. It’s hard to beat the real world education that comes from working for someone else. I’ve worked places where I learned how to do woodworking, and also learned from some of them how not to do woodworking.

  • Jonny

    Is there an article an Laminating? formers? hardwood? glues? machines used ect?

    • Customer Service

      Hi, Jonny. It sounds like you’re asking about post forming laminate. No, nothing like that on WWGOA.

      • Jonny

        thats a shame. do you think there will ever be one? An interesting topic to cover!

        • George Vondriska

          It’s pretty “industrial” for us. Most of our readers are hobbyists and not likely to make their own post formed countertops.