Welcome to Issue #16 of
Wood Shop News

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

sharpening woodworking tools

In this issue:

  • types of table saws
  • new and for sale
  • woodworking classes
  • on a personal note: delicious, fresh, tomatoes
  • final words

  • Types of Table Saws

    Several months ago I told a friend I'd look into different types of table saws and write something up for her. She, long ago, got herself a saw and I'm just now getting around to doing the article. I'm fortunate to have forgiving friends (wink to Sandy).

    Basically, there are four main types of table saws ranging from small portable ones to massive cabinet saws. Each type has it's own use and, of course, within each style is a range of quality, price and options.

    My article just touches the surface. At some point I'll go into more depth, but I will leave it a mystery as to when that will happen.

    Click the link to read more about types of table saws.

    New & For Sale

    This month I'm featuring a maple & cherry jewelry box.

    Click photo for more information.

    Mention this newsletter and get $5.00 off this jewelry box.

    Visit my sale page for other new work and sale items.

    I've also created a new "Etsy" store. Click on the link to check it out:

    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

    On a Personal Note


    I know I said I was going to write about light in this issue, but I was distracted by tomatoes. tomatoes

    We usually grow several different varieties and once again this year I was struck by just how delicious tomatoes can be.

    Tomatoes originally come from Mexico. They were brought back to Europe after the Spanish colonized South America and they traveled around the world from there. They arrived in the Middle East in the mid 1800s.

    Until the late 17th to early 18th Century Europeans used tomatoes as table decoration rather than food. They were thought to be poisonous because they are from the deadly nightshade family.

    This is partly true. The tomato plant as well as green tomatoes contain a toxin called “tomatine.” The amount of this toxin is small, so it is safe to eat green tomatoes, but keep them and the plant away from dogs.

    Today tomatoes are grown worldwide with about 7500 different varieties available. tomatoes Large scale growers pick unripe tomatoes which are firm and last longer on the shelf. Then they use ethylene (a plant hormone) to speed ripening.

    The ethylene allows growers to pick tomatoes early, unfortunately, that also means the taste is bland and the texture is mealy. Store bought tomatoes are, in my humble opinion, useless. Best to grow your own, or buy locally grown. Yum!

    (A quick aside: scientists have discovered a fissure at the temple in Delphi where the Greek oracles would tell the future. They now think that ethylene gas caused hallucinations in the oracles which was what lead to their famously obscure predictions of the future. See National Geographic for more.)

    Now for a few fun, facts:

    The heaviest tomato recorded was 7 pounds 12 ounces.

    In Iran tomatoes are called “Gojeh Farangi” or “Foreign Plum”.

    A tomato “tree” in Disney World’s experimental greenhouse is the Guinness record holder as the largest single tomato plant in the world. It weighs 1150 pounds and yields thousands of tomatoes at at time (which are served in Disney’s restaurants). tomatoes A Tomato Tree The Land - Epcot Center - Picture taken by deror avi on October 2005.

    Botanically speaking, the tomato is actually a fruit, although it is generally considered a vegetable (most likely because it has less sugar content than what we think of as fruit, so we eat it as we do vegetables).

    According to Wikipedia “a fruit is the ripend ovary or ovaries - together with seeds - from one or more flowers.” (Plants have ovaries. Who knew?)

    You may be happy to know that in 1887 the US Supreme Court stepped in and declared the tomato to be a vegetable. The ruling was to settle a controversy caused by a tariff levied on vegetables but not fruit. (I will not go into the implications of legal vs scientific reality here.)





    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