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3 Tips for Wedging Your Joints

Wedging joints adds great strength, but it also is risky. A wedge can split the work, it can fail to dive into the tenon (sometimes popping out of the tenon), or the tenon itself can split when you hit it, making a mess of things. Here are three things I do to reduce the risk. 1. Make lots of wedges. When I make wedges, I usually make at least 100 […]

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3 Tips for Wedging Your Joints

Wedging joints adds great strength, but it also is risky. A wedge can split the work, it can fail to dive into the tenon (sometimes popping out of the tenon), or the tenon itself can split when you hit it, making a mess of things. Here are three things I do to reduce the risk. 1. Make lots of wedges. When I make wedges, I usually make at least 100 […]

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Early English Manual Training Workbench

While at Bloodline Merchants we also investigated this English workbench, which is almost certainly an early manual training bench. The face vise is a Parkinsons Perfect Vise (and yes, it is spelled “vise” not “vice” on the casting). Parkinsons were made in the 1880s and this example features early metal screw threads that are not the familiar Acme thread we use today. The vise is a quick-release model and opens […]

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Antique Lefty Workbench in the Wild

Until yesterday, I’d not seen a left-handed antique workbench in the wild. While I’m sure there are some out there, the historical record suggests that left-handed woodworkers usually made do with right-handed benches and learned to plane with their dominant hand on the toe of a handplane. While poking around Bloodline Merchants, a delightful import business in Cincinnati, we stumbled on this bench which, like my bench in my shop, […]

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Anarchist’s 2016 Gift Guide, Day 10: Blue Spruce Try Square

At the conclusion of every gift guide, I like to offer a tool that is a bit expensive but will change the way you work or – at the least – wildly exceed your expectations. This year, it’s the Blue Spruce Try Square. When I first saw photos of the square on the Internet, the tools looked a little plastic-y, probably because of the different color schemes available. But when […]

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Anarchist’s 2016 Gift Guide, Day 10: Blue Spruce Try Square

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At the conclusion of every gift guide, I like to offer a tool that is a bit expensive but will change the way you work or – at the least – wildly exceed your expectations. This year, it’s the Blue Spruce Try Square. When I first saw photos of the square on the Internet, the tools looked a little plastic-y, probably because of the different color schemes available. But when […]

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Anarchist’s 2016 Gift Guide, Day 9: ‘Good Clean Fun’

The following statement contains 99 percent corn, but the remaining 1 percent is what gets me moving in the morning. The greatest woodworking gift isn’t a tool or a shop accessory. It’s watching someone else fall in love with the craft based on something you’ve done. If there’s someone in your life who might be teetering on the edge of becoming a woodworker, purchase “Good Clean Fun” by Nick Offerman […]

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Anarchist’s 2016 Gift Guide, Day 8: A Trusco Toolbox

I have worked out of an 18th-century-style tool chest since 1997 or so, but I still love a good metal toolbox. They are great for moving tools to a jobsite or storing a dedicated set of wrenches or a socket set. The plastic or sheet-metal toolboxes at home centers do nothing for me. The plastic breaks and the sheet metal is thin and bends when you look at it too […]

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Anarchist’s 2016 Gift Guide, Day 7: Veritas Spokeshave

Like a good French rasp, a spokeshave will open your eyes to a new world. Furniture parts that were once simply flat or round can easily be made curved and subtly faceted. And though the type of spokeshave you prefer is pretty personal, it’s hard to argue that the most successful and copied model is the Stanley 151 shave. I think this model is the apogee of this form’s design. […]

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Anarchist’s 2016 Gift Guide, Day 6: WoodOwl Auger Bits

Jameel “Jamal-Alabama” Abraham of Benchcrafted introduced me to these bits, and I still need to repay the favor with beer and/or bratwurst. These bits are the cat’s meow, knees and pyjamas. Made in Japan, the WoodOwls cut through tough, wet, thick wood like it almost isn’t there. When you drill a lot of holes through 6”-thick wet French oak, these bits are a lifesaver. But even if you don’t build […]

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