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Wisdom for the Day

What we want to do as Christians is put on the new life without taking off the old life.  That’s like dressing a filthy stinking pig in a $10,000 suit;  God isn’t impressed and neither is anyone else.

Affluenza:  A painful, contagious, socially transmitted disease.
Symptoms:  Symptoms include debt, anxiety, and waste, resulting from the dogged pursuit of more.
Additional symptoms: Feelings of dissatisfaction and unhappiness occur frequently.
Causes: It is caused by the twin viruses of discontent and greed.
Cure:  The only known cure are extreme acts of generosity.

For there to be true life change, regret for being caught must turn into the confession, the of admitting guilt, with true sorrow.  This is the first step of true repentance.

The most effective ministry from the pulpit is that which is supported by godliness from the pew.


Words as Weapons

Millions (billions?) of words have been said and written about the shooting in Las Vegas.  I don’t have much to add to the discussion but I do want to share something from a different perspective.

We all know that what happened was a shooting of tragic proportions.  It is hard to comprehend the terror and chaos such an event would cause, not only for those there but for those around them, and in their futures, from that moment on. What this man did caused extreme suffering and pain in lives of thousands.  What he did was despicable, cowardly, and pure evil.

But I heard today an additional perspective of this.  We abhor and are angered by those who use any means to kill and maim innocent people.  But are we not guilty of the same thing, when we spew angry hate-filled words at those around us, even some we love, intending to kill and destroy them mentally and emotionally?   Is the destruction any less, especially when aimed at innocent children?  Are the lifelong effects of the bullets of sarcasm, racism, belittling, and hatred any less than an actual bullet making its way through soft tissue?  And some of the worst offenders are those who say they love God.

Are your words an injection of an antibiotic that heals wounds or are they bullets that tear and shred the soul?  For if we use words like bullets, then we have no standing to speak against the shooter in Las Vegas or anywhere else for that matter.  It is only a matter of degree, but the long term effects are the same.  Those of you who have been on the receiving end of such words know what I mean.  Evil words aimed at the soul don’t pass through to be eventually healed, but take root and last a life time and will affect many generations, affecting possibly thousands of people.

There is the children’s saying:

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

This is a lie of satan.  There are many of you who can remember exactly where it happened and the exact words shot into you that still hurt and bleed, and have negatively affected every day of your life since.  And what is sad is that those of us who are hurt by these bullets of anger, hate and bitterness end up using the same weapon against others.

So be careful before you go off on the shooter in Las Vegas.  Look deep into your own past and see if you have picked up a rapid-fire mouth and unloaded round after round of hatred and bitterness into someone who was least expecting it and who had no defense against your barrage.    You may be just as guilty as this man.   He is dead and there is no retribution or restitution that can be made that will give back what he has taken away.  But for those we have wounded, we do have the opportunity to go with a contrite attitude and ask forgiveness.  Our attempts to heal may not have the intended effect, and that’s up the hearer to do with them what they will.  But to have the humility and repentant spirit to at least try is all that is asked of us.  To do otherwise is to leave those wounded people bleeding in the street, when you, the perpetrator, have the ability to stop the bleeding.



Wisdom for the Day

God asks for your weaknesses, not your strengths. He does not need your strengths; He has plenty of His own.

It is God’s Word that saves souls, not our comment on it, however correct that comment may be.  Spurgeon on preaching

If God never answered another prayer, would you still worship Him?

Personal holiness expresses itself in Radical Non-conformity to the world.  Who does your life look like?

The biggest question you need to answer in life is whether you are god of you life or if God is God of your life.

When a man grows weary of breathing, he is dying.  So it is with prayer.

Go nowhere where you cannot go after prayer.

We can do better without the voice that preaches than without the heart that prays.

Woodworking Tips and Tricks… working with Formica plastic laminates, part 2

(Go here for the previous post, part 1)

Last time I ended with cutting to size.  I failed to mention how to cut this material.  If you cut it wrong, it will crack and a very expensive crack it will be.   First of all, when you get it, it will most likely be rolled up.  Place this roll on the ground or a large table and unroll it carefully.  Control the speed at which it unrolls so the end doesn’t whip around a break.

If you can get the place you bought it from to cut it, the better.  That way if they crack it, it’s on them.  Cut it on a table saw with a fine tooth carbide blade, 60 tooth or more.  Less teeth will have a tendency to grab and you don’t want that.  And don’t use a steel tooth blade as the plastic will just eat it up.  It takes some doing to run a large sheet through the saw without breaking it.  So have a table in front of the saw so you can lay the laminate out flat and just slide it through the saw.  An out feed table is a must as the laminate will go off the end of the table, and will probably snag on the floor.  Always use a guard, as this will force the laminate down into the saw, as it may have a tendency to bow out of the blade.  Do not run the blade high as you then are cutting down on the material and this will cause considerable chipping on the bottom.  It may also crack the laminate.  Only run the blade up about 1-1/2″ above the table.

You will need a strip of 1/4″ plywood, about 3″ wide on the table against the fence so the laminate does not slip under the fence.  Put a nail in it that overhangs the fence rail so it does not slide forward when pushing the laminate through.  You can also use this for cutting thin strips buy setting you fence, and then  pushing the plywood through the saw until the nail hits the rail.

When cutting small pieces, you can use tin snips.  Only use the flat bladed ones, not the curved ones.  Use the ones with the upper part (when cutting) on the right.  When cutting ALWAYS have the waste to the right of the snips.  The laminate will chip during this process and having the waste to the right will create the chips on the bottom, not on the top where it will show.  This is especially important where you are cutting real close because you can’t get a router in there to trim  off the excess and don’t want to spend a week filing off the excess.  It would be good to practice this process several times on scrap until you feel confident to go at the project.

Now that you have cut your piece, glued up both sides and let it dry (but not too dry!), how do you put the laminate of the particle board and get it straight the FIRST time?  STOP!  Look at the glued surfaces from a steep angle to see if there is any junk on the surface of either one.  They will show on the glue.  If you don’t take this step and there is junk on the glue,  well, I cover that later.

So how to lay up the laminate:  Make some wood strips, 5/8″ x 5/8″ x about 4″ longer than the laminate is wide.  These strips need to be sanded real good so no sawdust or wood hairs will be pulled off by the glue.  I have seen where waxed paper and 1/4″ plywood strips are recommended.  Don’t do it this way!  You won’t be able to get the waxed paper out and the 1/4″ strips are not thick enough to ensure the laminate won’t dip down and touch at the wrong time.

(A note here:  Make sure you cloths are clear of dust; blow yourself off and the strips with the air compressor.  Working over the glued surface  you can shake off dust and it will show in the final result.  More on this later.)

So place the wood strips out on your substrate, one at either end, and then space them about 8″ apart along the length.  The idea is to create a bridge between the 2 glued surfaces.  Now place the laminate on the strips.  You may need help with this, as handling the laminate at this critical point is where cracking can happen.  Square up the laminate on the substrate, making sure you have even overhang over all edges.

Now, in the middle, pull out one of the strips, place it on top of the laminate where it was located, and force it down, so the glue makes contact.  Press down hard.  This is critical as this makes sure the laminate will not move when removing the rest of the strips.  Then, curl back one end of the laminate, remove the strips, and carefully roll the laminate back into place; don’t just drop it into place.  I usually take the strips and place them on top of the laminate and sort of push the laminate back into place as it rolls down.  This is a critical process as if done wrong, you will end up with air pockets under the laminate that might not be able to be removed.

Now do the same with the other end.  You should now have the substrate with the laminate glued down, with the overhang reasonably equal around the edges.  Now you need to make sure the glued surfaces are in full contact with each other.  For this you  need a J roller.  A hammer and a block of wood may work but the roller works the best.  Roll the whole surface going both directions.  BUT be careful at the edges because you can force the roller off the edge and crack the laminate, which will usually chip over the top of the particle board.

Trim with a carbide laminate trimming router cutter with a ball bearing.  It is helpful if you oil the bearing with WD 40 so the glue does not stick to the bearing and then picks up chips and soon the router will go thump thump as your route.

When you are done routing, roll down the laminate again, paying close attention to the edges, where delamination will start to show.

If you have done this right, you will now have a nice smooth surface.  Wash it will acetone or lacquer thinner…um what are those bumps in the laminate?  Those are what we call (at least at the shop I worked at) “peanuts” and are dirt, sawdust, etc. that have gotten stuck to the glue and now show up as little bumps in the laminate.  If you do not get rid of these, they will eventually show wear at that point.  So cleanliness is very important during the whole process.  Always blow yourself off before you apply glue, and blow and brush off the laminate and particle board before gluing.  Then blow yourself off again before laminating, especially if you have done some routing before this step.  Those little laminate pieces will be stuck to your clothing, just waiting for an opportunity to jump into the glue.

I went to one jobsite where another shop had done the front counter and the upper writing shelf had probably 50 peanuts under the laminate.  It’s like they dropped the laminate on the floor and just picked it up and put it in place.  And left it that way….

If you have put on an edgeband, you will use a tapered laminate bit, adjusted so just a little bit is left after routing.  This is then filed off, which is an art in itself.  The top paper layer is so thin that it is VERY easy to file into it on the edgeband.  Try to follow the angle the router creates, using a draw filing method, NOT a sawing method of filing.  Just hold the file and push it back and forth along the length and you will find shavings of laminate coming off.  Stop often and feel with your fingers if you are getting close.  Not sense in doing this whole process right and then messing it up with some careless filing.  Take your time.  You will need to develop  a feel for this part.  If you have messed up, depending on the color or pattern of the laminate, you can use black permanent marker (Marks-a-Lot) on the edge and use lacquer thinner to wash it off.  The black will stay put where needed and make the project look nicer than without it.  If you have doubts about whether the marker will come off, test it on scrap.


  1.  peanuts.  If they are very small, you can take a wood block and pound them into the substrate.  I have done this innumerable times.  It seems no matter how careful you are, those little pieces end up in the glue.  If this does not get them all the way flush (look it from the edge), you can take the wrong end of a nail set (the large part) and gently hammer this right over the bump to get it down.  You can also use a hammer but if you don’t hit flat on the face, you will dent the laminate.  If the peanuts are larger, like a chip of laminate, if it’s near the edge, you may be able to get it out with a putty knife, wedging it towards the edge.  If it’s too big and pounding it down does not work, then you will need to either live with it or delaminate and start over.
  2. Air pocket.  Check if there is one before the first rolling.  If there is one, roll it towards the edge and you may be able to get it flat.  If you find it after you have rolled, you may be able to get it down with a hammer and wood block.  A clamp on a wood block will also force it down.  If it’s in the middle where a clamp can’t reach, the clamp a 2×4 across the piece with a wood block over the bubble.
  3. The laminate touched down before you had it into position and now it’s crooked on the particle board.  DON’T panic and start pulling and pushing as this is a good way to make it worse and possibly crack the laminate.  Calling yourself an idiot does not help, trust me.  Push the wood strips close to where it touched down to keep it from getting worse.  Then take some acetone or lacquer thinner and squirt it into the stuck area.  This will soften the glue and eventually it will pull loose.  Make sure when it does, it doesn’t stick down somewhere else.  But now you have a mess.  It will have to dry COMPLETELY and then the whole thing will need to be reglued as the glue will have been open for too long and won’t stick.  Another way to get the piece loose is to use a carpenter’s hand saw, and using the back, NOT the teeth, sawing back and forth to get it loose.
  4. You totally screwed up and when you rolled the last part, you noticed the particle board is showing because you didn’t center the laminate.  You will have to delaminate the whole thing.  It’s a smelly process but if you want to save your money and work, you will have to do it.  If you can, stand the piece on end.  This will help keep the solvent at the release line.  Starting at one corner, start peeling back the laminate.  You may have to use a putty knife to get a start.  Put in some solvent.  A glue bottle works great for this.  GENTLY start peeling back the laminate as the solvent does it’s work; this is a perfect place for the laminate to crack so be careful.  Wooden wedges (8″ long, taper 0″ to 1″) work great for holding the laminate out; you can keep pushing (not forcing) these wedges down and the peeling progresses.   Take your time with this, for if you rush it, you WILL break the laminate.   Once it is off, you will need to let it dry COMPLETELY and then reglue.  If there are humps in the glue from pulling it apart, these will need to be scraped off with a glue scraper.  Sanding does not work.  Wonder why I know all about delaminating?  Don’t ask.

So that’s laminating Formica in a whole lot more words than I had planned.  This is not for the faint of heart because of the cost of materials and the glue is not forgiving at all.  And the smell is nasty and so are the solvents, not to mention flammable.  I think it’s one reason not many cabinet shops work with plastic laminates, and those that do, it’s just about all they do.  Fortunately, I apprenticed at a large cabinet shop that did both and learned both in my course as an apprentice.

If you have any questions, I would be willing to answer them.




Wisdom for the Day

God freed the Jews from Egypt in one day but it took 40 years in the desert to try and get Egypt out of the Jews.  He was unsuccessful.  Will He have more success with you?

There is no amount of “religion” or devotion that will show God your love without an undivided heart.

Self dies oh so hard and very few carry out the execution successfully.

True greatness in life is to master yourself.

He is a great conqueror indeed who has tamed his own passions.

Salvation is all of the grace of God;  damnation is all of the will of man.

A job well done has consequences beyond just the financial reward.

I would sooner be a toad under a rock than to be a Christian who tries to conceal his Christianity.   Spurgeon.

One of the most dangerous words you can believe is “mine”.

Super Bowl

In his sermon on prayer this morning, the pastor mentioned the super bowl but called it:

Super Baal.

Those of you offended by that need to examine why and read the book, God’s at War by Kyle Idleman.


Quotes from Books…God’s at War by Kyle Idleman

More quotes from the book “God’s at War” by Kyle Idleman
A very convicting book.  Buy it, and then actually read it.

(The rich young ruler was sad because) he owned so much that it owned him.  He was a rich young ruler and Jesus was offering him an opportunity to be a poor young servant.

2 Kings 17:33  “They worshiped the Lord but they also served their own gods.”

God measures success by faithfulness, by our obedience to Scripture.

Mark Twain wrote, “Some men worship rank, some worship heroes, some worship power, some worship God, and over these ideals they dispute and cannot unite – but they all worship money.”

Money is amoral…But it holds the most potential to become for us a God substitute.

(In Scripture) money is consistently portrayed as God’s chief competition.

John Tillotson “He who provides for this life but takes no care for eternity is wise for the moment but a fool forever.”

The reason money so often ends up being God’s chief competition is that we tend to ascribe divine attributes to it.  We look to money to do for us the very thing God wants to do for us.

…you think if you could just save enough money, all your worries would go away.  When we look to money as security, it becomes our god because that’s where we are putting our hope and our dependence.  Prayer becomes nice but not necessary because we have enough money to meet our own needs.