Boring

Weird Wooden Nail? It's the Bit

Peter Follansbee and Mike Siemsen have cleared up the mystery of the pinwheel-shaped wooden nails. The pinwheel shape of the nails is caused by the shell or gimlet bit used to make the hole. The long edges of the bit bite into the grain, tearing it. When the peg is driven into the hole,...

41 Things from 1839

I’m packing up all the tools I’ll need in North Carolina for the coming week, and I was a bit shocked this morning as I went through my checklist. One of the “Woodwright’s Shop” television programs Roy Underhill and I are shooting this weekend will deal with the typical toolkit of a joiner circa...

When I Want to Stop Being Boring

I love me some blue masking tape. I have at least four rolls of the stuff at my bench and use it for all sorts of tasks, from shimming a shooting board to stopping the flow of blood. Yet, there is one common use of the tape that I dislike: Using masking tape as...

A Bit of Voodoo for Cursed Doors

My sister-in-law killed her college landlord with a voodoo doll, so don’t try tell me that curses don’t exist. The curse du jour is an innocent flat-panel door I’m building for a wall-hung cabinet. It couldn’t be a simpler piece of work. It’s a single panel of cherry with two battens on the backside...

Ron Herman: Mojo and Thousands of Hand Tools

Today most of the magazine’s staff spent the day with Ron Herman, a seventh-generation housewright in Columbus, Ohio, who has spent the last 29 years building, remodeling and restoring homes and historic sites , in many cases using only traditional tools. His small shop north of the city is one of the wonders of...

A Visual Guide to Meat-Powered Drills

I like corded drills , as long as it’s an umbilical cord. Actually, I do like my Makita corded drill for some things (mixing paint, for example). And I do like to use a battery drill when I have a heap of screws to drill and drive. But for most of my onesie-twosie jobs,...