Welcome to Issue #12 of
Wood Shop News

brought to you by: wooden-box-maker.com.

sharpening woodworking tools

In this issue:

  • fixing mistakes
  • woodworking classes
  • new and for sale
  • in progress
  • on a personal note
  • final words

  • Fixing Mistakes

    My shop has been feeling crowded recently, so I've been trying to get caught up on some projects that have been lying about waiting to be finished. While tucked in various corners of the shop some managed to get dings and scratches. If the blemish is small it's easy to fix.

    Simply wet the area with the scratch, then iron it. fix woodworking mistakes

    Yes, with a regular household iron. The heat and water combine to make steam which raises the grain of the wood. Once the grain has been raised you can simply sand it smooth again. Presto, no more scratch. fix woodworking mistakes

    Note that I'm ironing over a piece of cloth. You don't want to burn the wood. Use a hot iron and keep it moving over the area. It's best to practice on a scrap to see how quickly your wood will burn.

    Please don't forget to turn off the iron when you are done!

    For larger areas it's usually possible to either drill a hole and plug it or to cut a shim and fit it into place.

    fix woodworking mistakes

    In either case you want to match the wood as carefully as possible. Notice the difference in the color of the two pieces of walnut. A plug cut from the piece on the left will be lighter than the board and will stand out.

    It's also important to get the grain oriented in the right direction. If you look at the two photos it's clear that a cross grain plug will show up much more than one which follows the grain. fix woodworking mistakes

    fix woodworking mistakes

    If done carefully the repair should be barely noticeable.

    fix woodworking mistakes

    Woodworking Classes

    (Located S/SW of Boston)

    Learn new skills or hone old ones in small group sessions tailored to the individual. woodworking classes Classes are limited to 3 people and take place in my shop outside Boston. They generally meet once a week for 2-3 hours. The sessions go on as long as students are interested, a few months or a few years.

    woodworking classes As students progress, class becomes "open shop" time when they work on the projects of their choice while I answer questions and give suggestions as things come up.

    Individual instruction is also available.

    Click on the links below or contact me for more information.
    woodworking classes
    student work

    New & For Sale

    Click photo for more information.

    Visit my sale page for new work and sale items.

    Or visit wooden box maker recommends for ideas on books and tools (category list top right of page).

    In Progress

    I've been working on a game table recently. It has shaped legs with a chess/checkers board top. A drawer will hold the pieces.

    game table

    I shaped the legs on the band saw, used mortise and tenon joinery for the aprons.

    I sized the aprons to fit a box I found in a corner covered with dust. No idea what it was for originally, but it made a perfect drawer.

    The table still needs several coats of finish and a drawer pull. Now all I need to do is turn the pieces.

    I think I'll start with the checkers and see how it goes.

    On a Personal Note

    Acupuncture: acupuncture

    I had an acupuncture appointment today and I have to say, it was one of the most relaxing hours I’ve had in several weeks. I started to wonder how acupuncture came to be.

    Acupuncture is the practice of inserting fine needles into meridians, or energy channels (know as qi) in order to treat disease and illness.

    The history of Chinese medicine as a whole and acupuncture in particular is such a huge topic libraries are filled with books on the topics. Obviously I'm going to barely scratch the surface of the topic ;)

    Briefly, acupuncture goes back thousands of years and is based in Taoist philosophy. Since dissection was forbidden and anatomy was not known, the beginnings of acupuncture were based entirely on observation.

    Part of Taoism includes meditating on energy both inside the body and within the natural world. This meditation led to the discovery of the energy channels, the meridians.

    acupunctureThere is also evidence that soldiers wounded in battle and other people with injuries discovered they were cured of chronic conditions when certain areas of their bodies were pierced. Matching meridians with illness and disease led to the use of needles to manipulate that energy and bring relief.

    As far back as the stone age (10,000-4000 BCE) Chinese medicine included the use of bian stones. These stones were ground to a fine point and used to drain abscesses and treat disease. By around 1000BCE bronze needles began to be used. Acupuncture itself, was first described in a text written around 200 BCE (although some put the date as early as 1000BCE).

    Other cultures also have procedures similar to acupuncture. Ancient Egyptians described a system of energy similar to the meridians, while people as diverse as African Bantu and American Inuit either scratched or punctured the skin to cure disease.


    Today acupuncture is becoming more popular in the West. Modern needles are made of metal filaments that can be as fine as a cat’s whisker. In 1996 the U.S. classified acupuncture needles as “accepted medical instruments,” for the first time. acupuncture

    While acupuncture is still not understood from a Western medical perspective, studies using MRI technology have shown a correlation between acupuncture points and corresponding brain waves.

    From meditation to MRI, we’re an amazing species!

    The bronze figure on the right, showing acupuncture points, is a reproduction of one cast in AD 1443. (Reproduced from An outline of chinese acupuncture published by Foreign Languages Press, Peking 1975.)


    history of acupuncture in China

    American acupuncture


    article on MRI study

    The Oxford Journal

    Final Words and Errata

    I hope you have enjoyed reading this ‘zine.

    Do you have ideas for future topics? Comments? Feedback? I'd love to hear from you. Just hit reply and tell me what you think.

    If you know someone who might enjoy this newsletter, please feel free to send it on. If a friend passed this on to you and you like what you read, please subscribe by visiting my website.

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    Kate Taylor Creative Woodworking