Saturday, May 23, 2009

tip of the month, make your own

Hand cleaner, that is. Woodworkers who use Danish oil finishes are left with the nagging problem, "How do I get this stuff off my hands?" Over the years I've tried a number of hand cleaners with some minor success. Now I've stumbled upon the miracle cleaner, one that it seems I will never need to buy at the store, and as long as I'm working with wood, will never run out of. Sawdust! I put a few cups full in the bottom of a small trash can and use it to scrub just like I would have done with soap and water. It is extremely effective, even removing the smell. After scrubbing thoroughly in sawdust, wash your hands as usual with soap and water.

My students at Clear Spring School fussed about getting oil on their hands as they finished up end of the year projects last week. After discovering the effectiveness of sawdust at removing the oil from their hands, there were no further complaints and no hesitancy to get back at work on a second coat. I regard this simple thing as a major discovery.

And while I'm at it, I should show you the chess boxes made in our Clear Spring School 5th and 6th grade class.

The board is laminated using sawn walnut, maple and cherry veneers vacuum laminated on 1/4 inch Baltic birch ply.