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Jerry has the perfect retirement plan: WOODWORKING WITH HIS WOODMASTER DRUM SANDER

Published on November 3, 2014

Jerry has the perfect retirement plan: WOODWORKING WITH HIS WOODMASTER DRUM SANDER

J CEDAR IN MCH FRNT

Recently retired from the aviation industry, Jerry Heater’s got the time now to pursue his lifetime interest in woodworking. “I’m doing woodworking for personal satisfaction, not for money,” he told us. Jerry’s not selling what he makes but he has steady work making home improvements with his Woodmaster. He also has a regular clientele for his work: a couple of grandsons, a great nephew, and the Heater family’s newest addition, their first great grandson.

“Nothing gives me more personal satisfaction than making woodworking projects. I see a knotty, curled-up piece of old barn board and I think, ‘I could really make something beautiful out of that with my Woodmaster Drum Sander.’ Long ago, I read a woodworking article in which the author said he was often asked, ‘What kind of wood is best for woodworking?’ His answer was, ‘The kind of wood you have access to.’  I liked his answer and use this philosophy in my woodworking.

Wedged dowel fastening

No metal fasteners. Look closely and you’ll see Jerry has “pinned” this project together with split dowels and tiny wedges.

Jerry Heater IMG_4582 _sml

Here’s the finished project — a one-of-a-kind cedar baby cradle that’ll surely become a family heirloom. The note on Jerry’s wall says, “Send Help,” but we think he’s got his woodworking very much under control!

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His woodlot has acres of oak and cedar

My wife and I have 65 acres in the country — her family home place. I have access to a lot of Eastern Red Cedar and Post Oak for the most part here on our place. We had a major fire about four years ago so I have a lot standing dead cedar. 99.9% of what I build is from wood I cut here on our place, though I do use store-bought dowel rods.

I have a TimberKing 1220 band mill, which I use to saw trees into lumber.  Sawing my own lumber with my TimberKing allows for me to get more book-matched wood, but it’s the Woodmaster Drum Sander that makes the finished pieces look like someone who actually knew what they were doing made them!

When finished, Jerry's wedged tenon joints are tight as a drum.

When finished, Jerry’s wedged tenon joints are tight as the bark on a tree.

I’ve taken woodworking classes but I don’t have a history of furniture making so I build what I build until I get it right.  I enjoy making live edge furniture and most of what I do is one-offs, one of a kind.  I use no metal fasteners. I use mortise and wedged tenon combined with wedged wooden dowels.

Older Woodmaster still going strong

I have an older, black 26” Woodmaster model drum sander.  (Editor’s note: new Woodmasters are tan color. We built Jerry’s black machine in 1986 or 1987 — almost 30 years old and still going strong.) Having this machine allows me to use wider wood than I’d tackle if I didn’t have my Woodmaster Drum Sander to sand the surfaces. After all, no woodworker enjoys hand sanding! The wider the work piece, the more hand sanding.

We made Jerry's black Woodmaster in the late 1980's. Today's machines are a handsome tan color.

We made Jerry’s black Woodmaster in the late 1980’s. Today’s machines are a handsome tan color.

What's that mounted on the plaque Jerry made? "That's a kudu. Its one of the critters I harvested when my wife and I went to South Africa back in 2004. The brass on the horns and the bronze on the skull ​is referred to as a cold metal coating. The color is derived solely by the use of ground metal suspended in a acrylic solution. Since it is actual metal - when you apply various acids you get the same patina as the metal would acquire on its own over time."

Hey, Jerry, what’s that mounted on the plaque you made? “That’s a kudu. Its one of the critters I harvested when my wife and I went to South Africa back in 2004. The brass on the horns and the bronze on the skull ​is referred to as a cold metal coating. The color is derived solely by the use of ground metal suspended in a acrylic solution. Since it is actual metal – when you apply various acids you get the same patina as the metal would acquire on its own over time.”

I looked at cantilevered drum sanders — the ones where only one end of the sanding drum is attached to anything. I couldn’t see how that would do a good job. I bought my Woodmaster used. I found it in an advertisement and drove 150 miles to pick it up. I’ve been using it ever since.

Dad always said, “Get the best tools, you’ll never be sorry.”

I wanted a Woodmaster Drum Sander because of its quality construction. My father was a contractor and always told me to get the best tools you can afford and you’ll never be sorry. Woodmaster’s the best — I couldn’t buy a better drum sander.

Yes, mine is an older Woodmaster. Owning one of their new double drum sanders would be a big advantage. But mine has stood up over time. It’s extremely accurate and I’ve done a lot of work with it. I feel I’ve got the best drum sander out there. If someone’s thinking about getting one, I’d say jump into it.

In retirement, I need to stay busy. As I told my wife recently, nothing gives me more personal satisfaction than making the projects I do with my Woodmaster.”

— Jerry Heater, Oklahoma — Woodworker & Woodmaster Drum Sander Owner

SAVE BIG NOW on Woodmaster Drum Sanders! – sale prices, online specials

SAVE BIG NOW on Woodmaster Molder/Planers! – sale prices, online specials

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