New Lee Valley Precision Screwdrivers Seeking Grace

New Lee Valley Precision Screwdrivers Seeking Grace

If you are picky about the screws you use in your projects, you are probably as picky about your screwdrivers. I sure am. Typical inexpensive and mid-price screwdrivers for slotted screws have a tip that tapers like a wedge. This wedge doesn’t have much contact with the screw. And if you slip while driving, the … Read more »

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Alside’s Warranty and How to Make Sure You are Covered…

We have partnered with Aside windows for many reasons and one of those is their commitment to stand behind their window. I often get questions about the warranty on our windows. To see a copy of Alside's warranty you can click here. For those of you who don't care to read through the legal mumbo jumbo I will highlight a few key points. 

1)  Generally speaking the window frame, glass and moving parts are all covered for as long as the Original Purchaser/Present Property Owner shall own and live in the property. 

2) If the Original Purchaser/Present Property Owner sells the home the warranty is transferable one time and the windows will be covered for 30 years from the original purchase date EXCEPT if the window's unit is failed (fog between the window panes). Failed units are only covered at a percentage after a transfer which is highlighted below. 
  • 0-10 years = zero change
  • 11-15 years = owner responsible for 50% of costs to replace 
  • 16-20 years = owner responsible for 70% of costs to replace 
  • 20-25 years = owner responsible for 80% of costs to replace 
  • 25+ years = owner responsible for 90% of costs to replace

But of course a warranty is only as good as it's fine print. How many times have you tried to use your warranty only to be rejected because you didn't keep that UPC label or go online and register your purchase? It happens all the time, but luckily Alside makes it relatively easy to submit a claim and have it accepted. Here are a few helpful hints. 

1) Make sure your window is installed correctly! If your window is installed with Duct Tape and you used a stack of pennies to make sure it's level, you are going to have issues. Feel free to submit the claim, but don't be surprised if the technician doesn't cover it and laughs when he leaves. 

2) Keep your receipts! Your receipts show the date you purchased the windows as well as where you purchased them from. They will want copies of your receipts when you submit your claim. If you can't find your receipts take the time to look up the date they were purchased via your bank records and call the company you purchased the windows from. They may have your purchase on file. As a rule, the Millwork Outlet keeps our customer's receipts on location for one year. 

3) Take a Picture of the Defect! They generally ask for a picture which helps them determine if the issue is covered under the warranty.  

4) Keep Your Stickers! Every window that leaves Alside's factories are tracked with a serial number and each order that is placed with Alside is tracked with a FO number. Both these numbers help the warranty technicians look up your window specifications. These numbers are not only helpful for warranty issues but they are also helpful if your son throws his baseball through the window (which is not covered under warranty). What many people don't know is that Alside offers a discount on their replacement glass units. Which means that if you break your glass and it's not under warranty but you have a serial number to PROVE that it is an Alside window, they will give you a discount on the replacement glass and you don't have to go through the hassle of measuring the unit and taking the chance you measured it wrong. Below I have highlighted the stickers I suggest you keep. 

The Warranty Sticker

This sticker is found in the top track of the window. It is placed there so that it is difficult to see so people will leave it on the window and not lose it. It has the PO# of the company that sold it, the size of the window as well as the serial number. The gold sticker doesn't do us a whole lot of good even though it looks far more official. Follow the directions on the this one and DO NOT REMOVE!

The Energy Star Sticker

This sticker is NOT helpful in terms of warranty and tracking your window. This is a generic sticker and only has information about the series of window. However, if you are having your window project inspected and there is a certain u-value requirement on the job you need this sticker to prove it meets the requirement. This is also an important sticker to save if you are trying to get a tax or energy rebate.

Mallet Theory: You Can Get Used to Almost Any Tool

Mallet Theory: You Can Get Used to Almost Any Tool

When it comes to holding a woodworking tool in our hands for hours at a time, we have two choices: change the tool or change our attitude. Most woodworkers – surprisingly – refuse to change the tools. Perhaps we’re afraid we’ll make it worse. Or we don’t know what to alter on the tool. Or … Read more »

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Sharpening Angles for Dullards

The most embarrassing jig I’ve ever owned has been photographed, measured and pondered more than any single piece of fine furniture I’ve built. It’s a stupid little block of wood with stops on it for many common sharpening angles I use with my side-clamp honing guide – sometimes called the “Eclipse” guide because that was … Read more »

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Some Upcoming Projects with Popular Woodworking

Some Upcoming Projects with Popular Woodworking

If a workbench or a tool chest is on your list of woodworking projects to build this year, you’ll definitely want to read on about two upcoming DVDs I’m working on with Popular Woodworking Magazine. In just a few weeks, we’re filming a DVD on building a traditional tool chest using a small set of … Read more »

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Arno Burnisher: The One True No-fail Burnisher

Arno Burnisher: The One True No-fail Burnisher

Sometimes it’s not you. Sometimes, it is the tool that is causing the problem – especially if we are talking about burnishers. The following scene has been repeated so many times during the last seven years that it is beginning to feel like “Groundhog Day” for me. Woodworker: I can’t turn a hook on a … Read more »

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Remove Rust, Zinc and Black Oxide with ‘The Works’

Remove Rust, Zinc and Black Oxide with ‘The Works’

Three of the enemies in my shop are rust, zinc coating and black oxide. 1. Rust: No explanation needed. Rust is the enemy of steel, and steel is what allows us to tame wood. 2. Zinc coating: Many steel fasteners are coated with an ugly layer of zinc to protect them from rust in the … Read more »

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Photographing the Difference – Final Picture Group

This is my third and final post about before & after pictures. This could be considered ‘during and after’ pictures as a fewof them are half way towards completion but… you get the idea. IFor what it’s worth, this isn’t a blog about photography. I’m simply trying to show how our woodwork can improve the places we live & work in. (It’s hard enough to find the time to go back a month later to photograph some work after it’s painted, much less be able to spend three hours lighting & dressing ‘the set’.)  Hell, I’m even showing some that were shot & sent to us by the client.
These first two pics show a section of the front of my house before & after painting. The white on white had become grungy looking (not to mention boring) so we went with a beige and did all the trim in a dark green. An understanding of color and a ‘fresh coat’ can really renew a setting.

Here we made a custom vanity for a very skinny bathroom. It needed to hold their sink, enclose a cast iron radiator & provided some open shelving. The way we had to make these cabinets in order to 1) be small enough to come up a very small, turn of the century stairwell 2) fit around all the existing plumbing and 3) leave access to all the valves… was somewhat disconcerting… but the interior decorator (Cottages to Castles, Inc.) & client were very pleased when all was finished.

I really should go back & try for a better shot of this arbor. The final shot was taken at night with pool lights… hence the grainy look. I designed a rather different looking arbor here. Although difficult to explain, the placement off this arbor in the backyard’s corner required me to give up a basic rectangle with the opening on one of it’s sides (which would have made it’s construction simple). and create one that was open on one of it’s corners. The pair of rafters running up the center are fastened to a pair of rafters running parallel to the pool house’s face though attached from underneath. Not your typical arbor construction.We created the panels at the bottom of the posts to enrich what would have simply been posts otherwise. After the painting was accomplished, it all ‘came together’ nicely we thought.

The next two are of my own foyer where I removed a cast iron railing and found a salvaged, old Victorian banister made from solid walnut (well over 100 years old) that I got at one of those huge flea markets / I had to do some retro fitting & make two additional newels for the upper landings. All those spindles were dovetailed into the tread’s ends. This has improved the look of our foyer ten fold.

Lastly is a wainscot and coffer-ed ceiling adornment we did for a client’s rather formal dining room. This required that we perform furniture quality work ‘on-site’. We created all the walnut panel, coffers, installed the trim and had our finisher come in and stain it all to this very dark value. A louvered vent was fabricated (of walnut) in one of the corners to handle the home’s central air.
A large dinner party was thrown two weeks thereafter and the owners expressed their pride to me… which in turn, of course, made me proud.
My sons and I did fairly meticulous work in this good sized home (calling it a mansion wouldn’t be much of a stretch) and there isn’t a single seam to be seen where all these pieces of solid walnut join one another. We love being commissioned to do high-end work, … projects that allow us to show what we can do.

And I’m glad we have the pictures to prove it.

Russell Hudson / Hudson Cabinetmaking, Inc. – 1/10/13



Threading Small Vise Screws

Threading Small Vise Screws

This week I’m building a pair of portable workbenches for an upcoming issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine and spent yesterday turning lots and lots of threads for the vise and for the garbage can. Instead of using a manual threadbox for these benches, I decided to try the Beall Tool Co. wood threading system. It … Read more »

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Quick Review: Whitechapel Crab Lock

Quick Review: Whitechapel Crab Lock

OK, so let’s say you are too cheap to purchase a blacksmith-made lock for your next tool chest or blanket chest. Wait, that wasn’t very kind of me to call you “cheap.” Instead, let’s put it this way: Let’s say your spouse just ran off with the village blacksmith, so you are looking for an … Read more »

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