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Notes on the Two-day Workbench

Notes on the Two-day Workbench

If I told you that shooting a woodworking DVD is hard work you’d probably laugh. It sounds like a supermodel complaining about a photo shoot for the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine. So I won’t tell you how we worked under hot lights with no air conditioning (the microphones pick up the fan noise), or that … Read more »

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Meet the ‘Two-bo’ Workbench

Meet the ‘Two-bo’ Workbench

Getting a good workbench usually takes loads of money, time or both of those things. But what if you tried to be really clever and you used inexpensive construction and home renovation materials to build a massive traditional bench for a fraction of the cost of a commercial bench and with only two days of … Read more »

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A Trickier Ruler Trick for Router Planes

A Trickier Ruler Trick for Router Planes

Sharpening router plane blades can be no fun. For years now, I’ve made things easier for myself by honing the flat back of the iron through the grits and then removing the “burr” from the bevel with a polishing stone. This is way faster than trying to hone and polish the bevel while it is … Read more »

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Lumber Sale in Cincinnati Aug. 16-17. Be There

Lumber Sale in Cincinnati Aug. 16-17. Be There

Note: I cross-posted this entry from my blog at Lost Art Press at the request of madame editor. Midwest Woodworking – my favorite source for lumber – is selling off its stock of more than 300,000 board feet of premium hardwoods and softwoods. Wide mahogany. Clear sugar pine. Teak. Chestnut. Red gum. A near-endless cache … Read more »

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Clamp a Square so it’s Square

Clamp a Square so it’s Square

During the last several years I’ve built about 50 wooden try squares for customers, friends and during classes. The most challenging part of the project is clamping the blade and the stock together so they are square. I have tried three or four clamping strategies – some of them too involved to discuss here. By … Read more »

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Straightedge Theory: Full of Holes?

Straightedge Theory: Full of Holes?

When it comes to making wooden shop tools, I think that most of the modifications we make to them are to stop us from throwing the tools away by accident. Many winding sticks are a right triangle in profile. Why? Mostly (I think) to prevent you from pitching them out with the garbage. Yes, the … Read more »

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Things that Get Mispronounced in Woodworking

Things that Get Mispronounced in Woodworking

When you learn woodworking through reading – books, magazines and websites – you often have no idea how certain words are pronounced. And so when you finally encounter fellow woodworkers in the flesh and have a conversation, there can be a language barrier. Here are some of the common mispronounced words I have encountered at woodworking … Read more »

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Tomorrow, I Want to Hear that Snake Hiss

Tomorrow, I Want to Hear that Snake Hiss

During the first three hours of my my class on building a trestle table, here are the statements I heard the students say the most. I cannot design. I can’t draw. I can’t come up with original ideas. I will just copy an existing design. Today is Tuesday. It’s only the second day of the … Read more »

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Design: From Shaker to Snaker

Design: From Shaker to Snaker

Trying to teach design is like trying to push water uphill – or so I’m told. Despite the warnings and eyerolls from some fellow woodworking instructors, I’ve tried to build in a design component to the classes I am teaching this year. My design process is different. No heart chakras will be opened. No power … Read more »

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The Theory of Chisel Monogamy

The Theory of Chisel Monogamy

When I teach woodworking, I talk a lot about monogamy. Not to your spouse (that’s your problem) but to your tools. I think it’s easier to learn to saw, sharpen and plane boards if you don’t jump around and use different handsaws, sharpening systems and bench planes. And when it comes to chisels, I’m super-monogamous … Read more »

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