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The Mistakes of First-time Bench-builders

If you’re about to embark on building your first workbench, you might want to read this blog entry. I expect you to discard every piece of advice in it (most bench-builders do) and build the crazy contraption you’ve planned out in your head. Here, in my opinion, are the most common missteps woodworkers make...

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Shop-made Tail Vise

Transform your workbench with custom-fit workholding – without any fuss. by Don Williams pages 42-45 For many woodworkers, especially those of the Galoot persuasion, a workbench with a tail vise of some sort is a fundamental necessity. These vises are integral to most European-style benches, and there are now extraordinary aftermarket options, some of which I own....

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Period Clamping Techniques

Did traditional workholding involve fewer gadgets? by Bob Rozaieski pages 20-22 In my fledgling years as a woodworker, I had a large collection of clamps. I literally bought in to the belief that you could never have too many clamps. I had pipe clamps all the way up to giant 5 footers. I had multiple F- style...

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How to Straighten Warped Wood and Eat Humble Pie

Someone once said, “The toughest advice to follow is your own.” I am tooling and lumbering up for some furniture projects this year, and while thinking about how to straighten warped or bowed wood (step one of any project involving rough-sawn boards) I started daydreaming about the world’s largest power jointer. I even included...

You may be inspired to design your own bed after reading about Marc's beautiful work on this platform model.

Design Your Own Furniture the Hybrid Way

“For me, furniture design is mostly about problem-solving.” –Marc Spagnuolo, The Wood Whisperer Let’s say you have a good shop to work in – including a solid workbench or other reasonable workholding strategy – as well as some woodworking knowledge and a budget for lumber. You really want to design your own furniture and...

The Transition from Building Boxes to Building Your Own Furniture

I’ve been pushing at the borders of my woodworking knowledge lately. I can feel a growth spurt coming on. For me, that growth will entail a move from the “building boxes” camp (mostly cabinet-sized boxes) to the “build your own furniture” camp. It’s a common transition for woodworkers – and not just beginners or...

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Turn a Platter

Shop scraps and a few simple techniques will get you spinning along. by Steve Shanesy pages 48-51 Large turning projects can be daunting. A large bowl, for example, requires gluing up a blank or sourcing part of a tree trunk. When first mounted on the lathe, such stock can be off balance and result in so much...

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A New Shop, a New Workbench and the “Kitchen Test”

I’m not sure if I can call it “progress” yet, but I have acquired access to a larger shop space. It is rather run-down, so there is some work to be done. Sweeping was first. A close second was taking a look at the workbench. It was surrounded by a pile of locally harvested...

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Getting Bit by the Toothed Planing Stop

I know there are people who use edge tools straight out of the box, but I can’t. I always sharpen them. So why should workbench accessories be any different? For many years I’ve been indifferent to metal planing stops. The aluminum ones are terrible for too many reasons to even get into here. The...