Simple and ingenious jigs that will unlock the full capacity of your workbench. By Rob Porcaro Pages: 57-61 From the November 2007 issue #165 Buy this issue now The most important tool in my shop is one I never pick up: the workbench. I purchased my bench about 25 years ago, a classic continental-style model … Read more
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Wedged mortise-and-tenon joints add visual interest to any casework. By Rob Porcaro Pages: 62-65 From the August 2008 issue #170 Buy this issue now To join partitions or shelves into solid-wood casework, woodworkers have several options. This basic task of connecting the end-grain edge of one board to the face of a second board can … Read more
These simple shop-made helpers will make marking less of a chore. By Rob Porcaro Page: 64 From the November 2009 issue #179 Buy this issue now Marking out dovetails for hand cutting goes much easier with these helpers. Held in place while hooked over the end of a board, these markers allow you, with one … Read more
Proper lighting and vision aids can make a woodworking world of difference. By Rob Porcaro Pages: 63-65 From the February 2010 issue #181 Buy this issue now Woodworking is a visual art. The capabilities of our eyes and visual system, as well as the quality of the conditions in which we use them, are essential … Read more
Just keep saying ‘micron.’
By Rob Porcaro
From the August 2010 issue #184
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Woodworkers who use hand tools to lay the quality touch on their work know what can be accomplished with these wonderful inventions. Along with skill, supplied of course by you, a good hand tool is an exquisite blend of simplicity and sophistication that is capable of sweetening your work well beyond what machines alone can produce.
Despite this, I don’t think hand-tool woodworking gets enough respect in today’s world. For the record, sure, I use machinery in my woodworking. Yes, the machines are high quality, well-tuned, take plenty of skill to use and I wouldn’t be without them. Yet when I discuss the joys of our craft with folks not therein immersed, I am invariably asked which major power tools inhabit my shop. This is especially true of techies, but the same question comes from many woodworking beginners. I don’t seem to earn credibility as a serious woodworker until I’ve cataloged my cabinet saw, 16″ band saw, jointer and so forth. Otherwise, I sense I’m regarded as a dilettante who toys with the sort of quaint tools people used before there was indoor plumbing. Who could produce serious work with those things?