Archive

Video: Folding the Folding Bookstand

The June 2018 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine features an article I wrote about making a folding bookstand using scraps and copper rivets. It’s a design based on 18th-century pieces that were popular among British military officers. Several readers have requested a video that shows how the bookstand folds and unfolds. So here you go. Though the mechanism looks complicated, it’s not. If you have a drill press, this project […]

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Make a Marking Gauge for Curves

If you work with curves, you need a marking gauge that can deal with curves. Me, I make chairs. So I need a gauge that can follow the curve of a seat so I can delineate the lines for the scooped-out saddle, the spindles and the “gutter” – a shallow and decorative channel on traditional chairs. I also need a gauge such as this for marking out the armbow and […]

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The Tools in the Bottom of my Tool Chest

The tools at the bottom of my chest are the heavy and expensive stuff – the planes and saws that get constantly used. At the back of the chest are my moulding planes. And the front wall of my chest has a tool rack that contains the stuff I need to grab without even looking at it. Let’s start with that rack. The Tool Rack From left to right: My […]

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A Dovetailing Kit for Beginners

Last week I discussed the Zona Razor Saw and how it’s the ideal saw for beginning dovetailers. It’s just $12 to $15 and cuts extremely well. This saw got me thinking about what other inexpensive tools could fill out the kit for the beginner (or someone who is short on money). So here’s my best shot at this list. I’ve also included (at times) what I think is the next […]

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The Tools in the Third Till of my Tool Chest

The bottomost till in my chest carries the heavy stuff that isn’t on the floor of the chest, and stuff that doesn’t fit in the top two tills and has migrated downward. Three of my essential planes are here, as are some of my most important measuring equipment. When you keep most of your tools in one chest, little is non-essential material. Let’s begin on the left side of the […]

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The Best Dovetail Saw for Beginners

I get asked all the time about which dovetail saw is best for a beginner. It’s a difficult question because saws now come in a crazy variety of prices and configurations, from Japanese dozukis to premium handmade Western saws to well-manufactured mid-range saws. So I usually duck the question and suggest the person try out the saws in our shop and decide for themselves (which is still good advice). This […]

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The Tools in the Second Till of my Tool Chest

The second till of my tool chest sits right below the top till and is almost exactly the same size. My trips to this till are infrequent. This till holds the small items I don’t use every day, including the spare bits and blades, a few specialty chisels and a bunch of tools for dealing with nails and screws. There are also a few specialty layout tools here that I […]

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Tools in the Top Till of my Tool Chest

I am asked on a regular basis about the hand tools I keep in my tool chest. In fact, when people visit my Covington, Ky., workshop during the days we are open to the public, some people have photographed every tool in my chest. I’m going to list brand names. But I want to be clear about something: This is not a sponsored post. All my tools are my own, […]

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