Archive

Work in Tight Spaces without Special Tools

Work in Tight Spaces without Special Tools

When you have to work inside a carcase, there are a wide variety of specialty tools on the market – such as right-angle drills and drawer-lock chisels – to make your life easier. I try to keep a small tool kit. Not because I’m a tightwad. I’m not. But I travel a lot and I prefer to have fewer tools to take care of and keep track of. Buying fewer […]

The post Work in Tight Spaces without Special Tools appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

 

If You Haven’t Tried Full-blind Dovetails, It’s Time

If You Haven’t Tried Full-blind Dovetails, It’s Time

  When beginning woodworkers rank the difficulty of the different dovetail joints, they usually think of the through-dovetail as the “bunny slope.” The half-blind dovetail is the “expert slope” – perhaps a blue or a black trail if you are a snow skier. So what’s the full-blind dovetail? Or the secret-mitered dovetail? Throwing yourself off a cliff without a parachute? In my view, the through-dovetail is actually the most difficult […]

The post If You Haven’t Tried Full-blind Dovetails, It’s Time appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

 

Reverse Hide Glue’s Bond

Reverse Hide Glue’s Bond

Whenever I talk about glue to clubs and classes, I hand around a bottle of liquid hide glue and ask them to tell me what its disadvantages are. “It’s weak.” Actually no, it produces a bond stronger than the wood itself. “It stinks.” Hide glue smells only as bad as a wet rawhide chew toy. It’s not bad at all. “It is sensitive to heat and moisture.” Ah, but that […]

The post Reverse Hide Glue’s Bond appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

 

When Weird Chests Look Less Weird

When Weird Chests Look Less Weird

For most of my life, I thought wood that was grain-painted looked like… an unprintable bad word that rhymes with “bass.” Many pieces of furniture were grain-painted to make a less-expensive wood look like a nicer wood. During the Arts & Crafts era, pine was painted to look like quartersawn oak. If you go back in time a little further you see plain woods that were painted to look curly […]

The post When Weird Chests Look Less Weird appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

 

Stop Your Workbench in its Tracks

Stop Your Workbench in its Tracks

While this isn’t the dumbest shop trick ever (that honor belongs to: “A coffee mug is a good place to store pencils”) it’s close. About six months ago, I became crazy annoyed about my workbench moving while under heavy planing. The bench weighs about 350 pounds, so it wasn’t a matter of mass. For some reason I picked up the wooden wedge jammed under one of the legs that keeps […]

The post Stop Your Workbench in its Tracks appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

 

Read Your Own Blog, Dummy

Read Your Own Blog, Dummy

The alway-eagle-eyed Jeff Burks pointed out that I had already found an earlier reference to using a bow saw to saw out dovetail waste to the one I posted this morning. Back in 2010, I mentioned that Charles Holtzapffel explains the technique in “Turning and Mechanical Manipulation…” (1856). Holtzapffel writes: The wood between the dovetail pins is generally cut out with the bow or turning saw, leaving the space as […]

The post Read Your Own Blog, Dummy appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

 

Can Workbench Legs be too Big?

Can Workbench Legs be too Big?

Jacques writes: I have your workbench book, and I am currently working on my version of the French bench. I had soft maple cut down from my woods, so I had it sawn, and I am working with it for the top. For the legs, a friend of mine gave me four beams that are about 9″ x 9″, out of some resinous wood. They are cracked and dry (must […]

The post Can Workbench Legs be too Big? appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

 

Restoring an Early Spiers Smoothing Plane

Restoring an Early Spiers Smoothing Plane

The first time someone showed me a photo of an infill handplane, it was bewilderment at first sight. “That’s a handplane?” I asked. All I could see were a bunch of odd lumps of wood and some steel. This was years before both the Internet and modern toolmakers made this form of tool a common sight in workshops again. After years of looking at other people’s infill planes, I became […]

The post Restoring an Early Spiers Smoothing Plane appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

 

Next up: The Douro Chair

Next up: The Douro Chair

You would think that after 30 months of researching and building campaign furniture, I’d be ready to build something else. Such as something that didn’t collapse, fold or have copious amounts of brass hardware. But no. I am nuts for the Douro chair. It’s a reclining chair with leather cushions, yet it pre-dates the Morris chair by many decades. Not only is it a very comfortable chair (I sat in […]

The post Next up: The Douro Chair appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

 

Mike Dunbar: Chairmaker and Presidential Kingmaker?

Mike Dunbar: Chairmaker and Presidential Kingmaker?

Woodworkers know Mike Dunbar as the founder of The Windsor Institute, an expert in traditional woodworking techniques and the man behind the renaissance of the Windsor chair in the 20th century. But did you know he also was the man who drafted Donald Trump into a run for the presidency? Heck, I’ve known Dunbar for years, edited his articles and even attended a Windsor chairmaking class by him in May […]

The post Mike Dunbar: Chairmaker and Presidential Kingmaker? appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

 

« Older Entries