Archive

Another Way to Drill Plumb Dog Holes

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There are dozens of ways to drill dog holes that dead-nuts plumb, and I’ve written about many of them during the last 17 years. My favorites use the fewest tools and jiggery – not everyone has a big plunge router with massive bits or can clamp a drill press to the benchtop. This method uses a 2×4, a drill and a bit. First you need to drill a plumb hole […]

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Blushing, a little …

In addition to teaching small classes on my own, over the past eight or nine years (see Schedule), I also teach classes in the Fundamentals of Traditional Woodworking series for the Southwest School of Woodworking here in Phoenix. Jamie Hanson, one of my students from the spring 2016 class maintains a blog, and wrote about his experience at the Southwest School. He included a few kind words about me, which I appreciate very much:

A WORD IN PRAISE OF MY TEACHER

The man who taught my class was David Fleming (he has his own site here).

David was my kind of teacher: he has a mastery of his subject, and he has the sense to know how much of that subject a novice needs to know. He was very good at communicating just the right amount of information — enough to keep me interested, but not so much that I became bewildered or discouraged.

He was also laudably patient: answer every question and never making me feel like a dumb-dumb (e..g, when I confused camber and camphor).

Thank you, Jamie — I enjoyed working with you very much, and hope to have the chance to work with you again in the future.

You can read Jamie’s entire post and review of the Southwest School here …

 

Get Four Feet Flat on the Floor

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Getting all four feet of a chair or table in the same plane can be a challenge. What makes the task more difficult is that it can be difficult to figure out when you are done with the job of leveling the feet. After all, your shop floor, your workbench or your table saw are unlikely to be truly flat. What do you do? (Besides buying shag carpet for every […]

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2 More Ways to Improve your Vise’s Grip

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We’re always looking for ways to improve the grip of the vises on our workbenches. During the last decade I’ve discussed how to use suede or adhesive-backed cork to improve a vise’s gripping power. Benchcrafted recommends “Crubber” (which I haven’t tried yet) and many woodworkers simply use adhesive-backed sandpaper. Last year, Jennie Alexander sent me a piece of 3M Safety-Walk 370 adhesive-backed tread to try on my vises and handscrews. […]

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& Imperfection">Why Handmade Chairs are Better: Tension & Imperfection

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There are many reasons that factory-made chairs fall apart, but I think the biggest reason is they lack what handmade chairs have in droves: tension in their assemblies due to imperfections in the angles. If you’ve ever had to repair a factory chair you might have noticed this: All the parts fit perfectly – spindles in their mortises etc. – and everything can be put back together with little fuss. […]

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& Odd Shapes">A Trick to Sawing Compound Angles & Odd Shapes

Shallow kerfs laid in on all the facets.

The trickiest cut when building a chair or stool is leveling the feet. This cut is always a wacky compound angle. And when you combine a compound angle with a foot that is an odd shape, such as the octagon shown here, it can be difficult to keep your saw in the right plane. Here’s how I do it – it’s a method that has yet to fail me. Lay […]

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& Ron Hock">The Krenov School: A Conversation with Laura Mays & Ron Hock

Ron Hock at his bench.

Ron Hock has a long association with the fine woodworking program at the College of the Redwoods (CR), which is soon to become The Krenov School under the administration of Mendocino College. Both the school and Ron are in Fort Bragg, Calif., where Ron started a knife-making business in 1981. He was soon thereafter asked by CR students if he could make plane irons for them, so he did.* Ron […]

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The Milwaukee Right-angle Attachment

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I don’t like gizmos that try to make one tool (like a drill press) do the job of another tool (like a hollow-chisel mortiser). The results are usually sub-optimal. But the Milwaukee Right-angle Attachment is the grand exception. I’ve received a few questions about this tool because I am shown using it in the November 2016 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine. I’ve owned this attachment for about five years and […]

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