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That’s Not a Holdfast

Christopher Schwarz and Lucy May are pleased to announce the newest addition to their family. Length: 18”. Weight: 9 lbs., 4 oz. Birth date: Feb. 15, 2012. Delivered by: Peter Ross, blacksmith and white smith. After more than seven years of searching, I have finally found a bench holdfast that works effortlessly with a...

Innovative Toggle Clamps from Bessey

Convenient workholding is essential for every woodworking project, whether it’s a stout leg vise or a small spring clamp. Sometimes old methods, like using a holdfast are best and other times innovative new clamps come along. I’m thinking of the “K” body clamp Bessey introduced more than a decade ago that was a vast...

Wmsburg Conference Wrap up

My coverage of the conference was hampered by CW’s policy of photography for “Personal Use Only.” I understand why they are doing this. They don’t want the presenters, who may be working on books or videos, to complain about having their content raided by the woodworking paparazzi. On the flip side (my side), attendance...

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Building Vacuum Veneer Press

It’s been years (actually more like two decades) since I last used a vacuum press during my days in a commercial shop. My recollection is that it was a cumbersome and noisy task. Are you familiar with the high-pitched whine of many vacuum pumps? So a few months back I began investigating bag-clamping systems...

French Workbench Class – Day 5

Installing vises in workbenches is always a finicky process – unless you go for a super-simple setup like the one I prefer: A quick-release vise for the end vise and a simple leg vise for the face vise. We have 10 benches being built in this class at Kelly Mehler’s School of Woodworking, and...

A close-up photo of the gearing on the Fenner Patent frame saw.

The Fenner Patent Frame Saw. Crazy.

And you thought yesterday’s posts about Estonian workholding was obscure? Bah, that was amateur hour. Let’s talk about the Charles Fenner Patent frame saw, a fairly rare bird among collectors. Usually “rare” means “didn’t work or sell too well.” But the Fenner is so wild that I had to try one out. The thing...

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Report: LVL Workbench After (Almost) 2 Years of Use

I find it curious that, more than a year after the November 2009 issue, I’m suddenly getting a spate of questions about the LVL Knockdown Workbench Editor Christopher Schwarz and I built. The most common question – and one that makes sense – is, “How has it held up?” We built the bench to...