Article Index Michael Dunbar

Steam Powered

Successful wood bending with heat and water is more art than science by Michael Dunbar page 50 Long ago, some caveman made a curious discovery: Wood becomes pliable when it is both hot and wet, allowing it to be bent to a desired shape that it retains when dry. Ever since, woodworkers have been...

Clever Windsor Joints

Apply the strength of dovetails to round pieces by Michael Dunbar pages 36-39 Windsor chairs are comfortable, handsome and strong. That is why for 250 years they have been America’s favorite chair. Windsors were made by hand for more than a century, roughly 1730 to 1840. During that time their designs changed as makers...

Avoiding Mistakes

Improve your accuracy by changing your marking, measuring and working habits. In short: Be bold and consistent. By Michael Dunbar Pages 73-77 From the October 2006 issue #157 Buy this issue now After seeing me help a student recover from a mistake while building a chair, someone in the class will usually take me...

Out of the Woodwork: Turning Pro

No sick days, no paid vacations and no IT department – but it’s worth it. By Michael Dunbar Page: 96 From the October 2007 issue #164 Buy this issue now Ah, going pro – telling your boss to take your day job and stick it in his ear while you go off to earn...

Handplanes for Beginners

Once you understand the anatomy of a handplane, you’ll be well on your way to using it with success. By Michael Dunbar Pages: 70-77 From the June 2007 issue #162 Buy this issue now Handplanes are the king of woodworking tools in that they are the most versatile tool in a shop. They do...

Sharpening for the Sensible

Michael Dunbar distills three decades of sharpening into a simple, inexpensive and do-able system. By Michael Dunbar Pages: 38-44 From the April 2007 issue #161 Buy this issue now This is a subversive article. Woodworking gurus and companies that make expensive sharpening equipment don’t want you to read this, because when you discover that...

Understanding Handscrews

These oft-forgotten clamps are capable of finesse, great force and securing work at odd angles. By Michael Dunbar Pages: 80-84 From the February 2007 issue #160 Buy this issue now Woodworkers use clamps for all sorts of purposes – to create pressure when gluing, to secure parts during assembly, to hold parts while working...

Layout Tools

Whether you do hand or machine work, these layout tools are indespensable. By Michael Dunbar Pages: 52-57 From the October 2008 issue #171 Buy this issue now Layout tools are woodworking’s widows and orphans. The work they do seems pretty mundane, so we woodworkers tend to focus our attention and our expenditures on the...

Planecraft, Part II: Jointer & Block Planes

Jointer and block planes – and beyond the basics. By Michael Dunbar Pages: 56-60 From the June 2008 issue #169 Buy this issue now In the first part of my article on bench planes (April 2008 Popular Woodworking, issue #168), I discussed the historic versatility of bench planes, and explained how to use a...