John Wilson

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Make Your Own Hand tools

I’ve turned hollow mortise chisels into square punches, refashioned chisels and their handles, made a number of scratch stocks, ground steel bar stock into embossing punches and a made a few other quick tools. And I’ve built a few wooden, Krenov-style handplanes over the years – I had a fine time and wound up...

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John Wilson’s Adjustable-pitch Plane

If you had only one bench plane, it would be nice if that plane could do both roughing and smoothing chores. Woodworker John Wilson tackled that problem in our April 2011 issue with his adjustable-pitch jack plane, which can be switched from 45° pitch to 52° pitch in less than a minute. I’ve had...

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Variable-pitch Jack Plane

This jack plane can be easily set to work at 45° for rough work or 52° for smoothing chores. By John Wilson Pages: 48-53 From the April 2011 issue #189 Buy this issue now The story of this plane goes back 20 years to a chance encounter I had with a Cecil Pierce jack plane. Pierce was a...

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$5 Router Plane

If you can’t afford a vintage or new one, build your own using a block of wood, an Allen wrench and a thumbscrew. By John Wilson Pages: 72-75 From the August 2005 issue #149 Buy this issue now Here is a real-life shop problem: The project calls for a shallow slot, or dado, in...

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Sawbench & Shop Stool

This simple afternoon project is perfect for handsawing, holding doors for planing, organizing tools and giving you a leg up. It will quickly become indispensable. By John Wilson Pages: 42-44 From the June 2005 issue #148 Buy this issue now My simple plywood two-step in the old tool shed had reached the end of...

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Build a Sailor Girl On Your Own

A week in your own shop will produce a boat that’s fun to sail or row. By John Wilson Pages: 86-91 From the February 2005 issue #146 Buy this issue now When I was a Boy Scout 50 years ago, I remember reading an article titled “Building an Orange Crate Canoe.” At the time...

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Solar Drying Kiln

A cost-effective and efficient way to take green boards to usable lumber. By John Wilson Pages: 74-79 From the December 2006 issue #159 Buy this issue now The solar drying kiln is the most cost-effective way for the craftsman to get quality boards for woodworking from green lumber. Today there are many band saw...

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Rustic Garden Bench

A slab from green wood, some sturdy legs and a sylvan setting are all you need. By John Wilson Pages: 70-75 From the June 2006 issue #155 Buy this issue now “A slab like that can make up into a garden bench. Being white oak, they last.” The sawyer was making conversation while cutting...