Archive

A What? A Dovetailed Dustpan?

One of the great things about working for editor Megan Fitzpatrick is that she will laugh at your face and then (usually) go along with your crazy ideas. Case in point: the dovetailed dustpan in the June 2017 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine. When I submitted my sketches of a shop-made dustpan and asked to write an article, I strongly suspect she thought I was kidding. After all, you can […]

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Insomnia – the Greatest Design Drug

For the last 20 odd years I have benefited from regular bouts of insomnia. When they happen, I’ll wake about 4 a.m., roll over and my head will spin with several conflicting images, usually relating to something on my workbench from the past, present or future. For years I tried to get back to sleep when this happened. When Lucy and I had children who were young, we needed every […]

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Call it Done (For Now)

After the worst Thursday on record, I awoke the next morning and resolved to sort out this stool. I needed more maple, so I headed to Frank Paxton Hardwoods and found the perfect board waiting for me. Straight. Clear. Flat. Reasonably priced. So I assumed I’d get into a car accident on the way home. (No collisions.) I milled the new seat, assuming it would be case hardened and twist […]

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Failing Daily Since 1993

After the 2016 election, I did what every sane American did: I eliminated the annoying people from my social media feeds on both the left and the right who had become singularly obsessed with politics. And then I took another healthy step: I eliminated feeds from the “fake perfectionists.” Who are the “fake perfectionists?” You probably know them. They are the people who post beautiful photos of their work on […]

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& Effective Trammel Points">Quick, Dirty & Effective Trammel Points

When starting in woodworking I couldn’t afford a good set of trammel points. I had my grandfather’s set, but it didn’t lock down well. Then one day woodworker Troy Sexton showed me how he drew large arcs and I realized that I already owned an effective trammel. Troy uses a yardstick (or meter stick if you are metric). Then he bores holes at all the locations where he wants to […]

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& Staked Furniture">Drill Bits for Chairs & Staked Furniture

Making large-diameter mortises for chairs or staked tables requires big drill bits and a way to drive them. Usually a drill press won’t work because the workpiece is too large and the angles are too odd. So here are some bits that work – and some to avoid. To drive big bits (1-1/4” and bigger), you probably need a corded drill. I’ve tried using a brace, but that’s a tall […]

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The One-stop Place for Saw Maintenance

When I was learning to sharpen and set saws in the 1990s, I was desperate for information. All I had was one modern book, a somewhat helpful video and the attempts I had made on my bargain basement saws. It was a slog. While today there is a lot more information available on saws and saw sharpening, much of it is conflicting and more complex than necessary. Sharpening a saw […]

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