Archive

Reviewing Saws (and Automobiles) is Kinda Dumb

First, let me say that I am guilty of the behavior that I am discussing below. When I reviewed tools for Popular Woodworking Magazine for 20 years, I fell into the trap I’m about to describe. After decades of woodworking, I have achieved a bit of wisdom. And I think this entry is some of it. Here we go. Reviews of new cars are generally crap. Most new cars drive […]

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Experiment: Plastic Rotting Strips

One of the important features on tool chests are what I call “rotting strips” – pieces of wood between the chest and floor that protect the bottom of the chest from water. And, if the chest does get wet, these strips rot before the bottom of the chest. I’m in the middle of building a couple of tool chests for customers. And one of the customers wanted to add casters […]

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Why Build a Tool Chest?

During the last six years, I’ve built a lot of tool chests for customers. To many woodworkers, this might seem odd. Why not build one yourself? The answer is simple. Why not build your own handplanes? Your chisels? Forge the steel for your tools? Mine the iron ore and learn to transform it into steel? We all have a point at which we’ll say: Someone else can do that job. […]

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Crosscutting Sled – Just 5 Pieces of Wood

The sled we use the most in our shop is the one shown here. I built it five years ago, and it is as accurate as the day I made it. I built it in response to my frustrations with fancy sliding tables, Jim-crack miter gauges and other silly devices used to crosscut wood at 90°. This sled and my panel-cutting sled handle all of my crosscutting needs. Here’s how […]

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Dovetail Angles are Style, Not Substance

For dovetails, I use what I call a “redneck slope” – 1:4 or 14°. I like this slope because I’ve seen it on a lot of vernacular pieces I’ve studied. It says: Dovetail y’all! And not: Ill-defined box joint. But that’s just what my eye sees. Truth is, dovetail slopes are more about fashion than their mechanical properties. When I started woodworking, my head was injected with a lot of […]

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Panel-cutting Sleds – Just 3 Bits of Wood

There are a lot of people who don’t see the point of having a panel-cutting sled, which is a sled that has its fence on its leading edge instead of on its trailing edge. The better solution, I’m told, is a giant sliding table that can handle a 4×8 sheet of plywood and have a stop system for repeatability. That approach is correct if you make kitchen cabinets for a […]

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2 Table Saw Sleds (Part 1)

No, you have not entered an alternative dimension. Today – on this blog that focuses on handwork – we are going to talk about table saw sleds. When I do production work – processing hundreds of board feet of lumber for a class, for example – the table saw is an important machine. Table saws are great for ripping, but they are kind of crappy for crosscutting. Manufacturers have devised […]

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