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bright ideas

A Bright Idea for Photographing Your Work

In an effort to better document my work (and possibly move into sales), I’ve begun to focus on my photography skills. One major need is light, preferably diffuse and bright-white. After checking my options online, I decided that cheap clamp lights sold in big-box stores were a better idea. Only thing is, they cast harsh… Read more

jointer feature

Master the Jointer

Many woodworking projects require the ability to render a perfectly square edge on a board. There are many ways to perform this task, but nothing matches the performance, precision and repeatability delivered by the motorized jointer. Getting the jointer to deliver on its potential is not particularly difficult but, like most things, it requires proper… Read more

align-the-miters-300

Countertop Connectors for Project Assembly

A client recently asked me to design a platform bed for him. Beds are always a challenge; because of the large size, they must always disassemble for transport and delivery yet be rock solid when set up. The large miter on the corner of the platform presented a particular problem. The long joint needed to… Read more

two-routers-300

Do I Really Need a Compact Router?

Like most woodworkers I already owned multiple routers, both table-mounted and hand-held, before hearing about the new breed of routers that cast a smaller shadow than their full size counterparts. When I first read about them my initial assumption was that there wasn’t a need for one in my shop.Cynically I supposed that this could… Read more

bare-clamp-300

Get a Grip – on Your Clamp Handles

Bar clamps provide many advantages over other types of clamps, so I use them a lot in my shop. One downside to their design, however, is they can be difficult to grip as you tighten or loosen them. I noticed that some of the newer designs have addressed this by applying some rubber material to… Read more

apply-the-dye-300

An “Authentic” Arts and Crafts Finish

There is actually no single, authentic, “Arts and Crafts finish,” rather many different schools of thought and technique that comprise the totality of the discipline. It seems that people are looking for that radiant, reddish chocolatey finish when uncovering an antique Stickley chair at a garage sale. In my research, I found the original Stickley… Read more

chamfering300

Refurbish a Classic Apron Plane

Few tools are as simple and utilitarian as an apron plane. I had a $100 Lie-Neilson Apron Plane years ago, and it disappeared in my co-operative shop. Chamfering, trimming tenons and cleaning up tear-out are just three of the myriad uses for this little tool. I always wanted to replace it, but just never got… Read more

mounted-hinge300

Tools We Love: Vix Bits

Have you ever struggled to get all of the screw holes perfectly aligned when you are installing hinges? If you do not pre-drill your screw holes in the center of the mounting holes on the hinge, the hinge can be installed at a skewed angle, and/or the screw heads can fail to seat properly, making… Read more

apply-glue-to-the-filler

Stopped-Cut Bent Lamination

My family lives in Northern Michigan, where we get tons of snow. While we love to cross country ski in the woods, we also like to go for walks out on the snow-covered road. I wanted to pull my two-and-a-half year old daughter in something a bit more stylish than an orange or red plastic… Read more

the-blade-bump-technique

Jake’s Tips for Making Miters

There are a lot of folks who “live to breathe sawdust” or just like to “sniff” a little once in a while, but are frustrated or intimidated by the high cost of those beautiful precision tools available in the market place. Take heart fellow woodworkers. May I suggest that we can do a lot with… Read more

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