Archive

Tip: Wipe it Where You Store it

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I know a woodworker who said he saved himself hundreds of steps a day merely by moving his pencil sharpener so it is under his table saw. I had a similar “duh” moment today when I was wiping down a handsaw to put it in my tool chest. For the last 15 years I’ve kept an oily rag hanging on the frame of my articulated bench light. The position of […]

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How to Start a Woodworking Myth

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There are so many old wives’ tales in our craft that you could write an entire book that lists and debunks them. Students constantly bombard me with them, and it makes me wonder: How do these begin? After a slip of the tongue the other day, I think I have a good idea. This week I’m assembling a Roman workbench and had a couple woodworking friends over as we drove […]

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Gummy Bear Glue

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Hide glue is one of those simple and natural products that is intertwined with our lives in many ways, much like shellac is. The core ingredient in hide glue will gross out your children: it’s the cartilage, connective tissue and bones of cattle or other animals. When cooked down, the resulting product makes the most versatile woodworking glue ever invented (it’s reversible and can be modified easily to do different […]

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Working Without a Cambered Iron

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The cutters in my bench planes all have cambered irons. The jack has the most – a 10” radius curve – followed by the much slighter curves of my jointer and smoothing planes. The curves do two things: They prevent the corners of the iron from digging into the work and creating “plane tracks,” tiny unsightly rabbets. And the cambered irons also allow me to remove material in certain areas […]

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The Almost-flush-cutting Saw

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Flush-cutting saws are great, except when you have heavy work to do, or the saws dive into the work below the teeth, or they bend because you got too aggressive. I usually use these specialty saws for light-duty work – trimming small dowels – or when I can’t otherwise do the work – trimming overhanging moulding that has been dovetailed at the corners is one common example in my work. […]

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