Archive

A Return of the Home Invasion

This morning the crew from Popular Woodworking Magazine showed up to shoot photos of my recently built aumbry for an upcoming issue. While I’m always happy to shoot my own photographs, if they offer to send photographer Al Parrish, I roll over immediately. He is one of the finest photographers I’ve ever worked with. I also immediately purchase pastries – Al travels on his stomach. They started by shooting the […]

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Cut a Bead Detail for the English Square

When I first built an English layout square in 2011, it took me about 20 minutes to cut one of the six bead details on the square. Four years and more than 100 beads later, each bead is less than 5 minutes of work. If you have ever thought of building one of these beautiful squares, here are tips for the tools and processes that make it easy. Make a […]

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How Best to Adjust the Cap Iron on a Veritas Plane

I bought one of the new Veritas bevel-down planes to get familiar with its parts – I’m quite sure I’m going to see a lot of these planes at woodworking schools and in the hands of students in the coming months. Overall, it’s a great plane, and I have a full review coming up shortly in Popular Woodworking Magazine. One of the little difficulties I had with the plane at […]

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The Slant-lid Tool Chest

In some Victorian books on woodworking, the author suggests that if you don’t have a shop you could use a chest of drawers as a woodworking bench, tool chest and shaving collector. I’ve not seen an occurrence of this in the wild, but it is an interesting idea. Recently, Will of Texas sent me photos of his tool chest, which is based off a slant-lid desk with banks of drawers […]

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Grain-painting Done Well – Quite Well

When people ask me what foods I hate, I usually say, “I’ll eat anything, as long as it’s prepared well.” I didn’t like Brussels sprouts until I had them roasted. I didn’t like oysters until I tried them right from the creek. And I didn’t like green beans until I had fresh ones (ugh, 1970s canned green beans;I’d rather eat bauxite). The same thing goes for furniture finishes. Most people […]

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& Wax">Friends of the Finisher: Glazes, Toners & Wax

Here’s a common and frustrating finishing problem: You apply finish to your piece, and one of the parts – say a rail or a stile – ends up a slightly different color or shade. The off-color piece makes the project look like a jumble of parts instead of a cohesive whole. There are several ways to fix this problem. And while a full explanation of color-matching would require a book […]

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Linseed Oil, an Ancient Friend (and Foe)

When Egyptian King Tutankhamun was buried in haste, the linen cloth he was wrapped in was soaked with linseed oil. And, perhaps because Tut was buried in haste, the oil was not allowed to cure. And so began one of the most common safety messages in relation to finishing: Spread out your oily rags to dry cure to avoid spontaneous combustion. Yup. The oily rags that wrapped Tut’s body spontaneously […]

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American Gothic: An Aumbry from Kentucky

Last night I put the first coat of linseed oil on this oak aumbry I’m building for an upcoming issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine and think it came out like I wanted. The oak is nothing special – just rift and quartered red and white oak off the rack at the lumberyard. I chose it mostly for its straight grain and color. Most of the construction is dados, rabbets and […]

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