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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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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Shaker Oval Music Box

A simple gift for the holidays. By John Wilson Pages: 74-79 From the November 2007 issue #165 Buy this issue now Two Shaker accomplishments were prolific song writing (there are more than 10,000 extant songs) and gracefully fingered oval boxes. This music box combines both. The song “Simple Gifts” is familiar to many from...

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Making a Spokeshave

Make this tool in your workshop using scrap wood and a piece of tool steel. By John Wilson Pages: 60-65 From the October 2007 issue #164 Buy this issue now If you have been reading these pages during the past few years, you have been introduced to the traditional spokeshave. I’m going to show...

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Shaker Nesting Trays

While not traditional, this form echoes the look of iconic Shaker box tops. By John Wilson Pages: 66-71 From the December 2008 Issue #173 Buy this issue now I have never seen an oval tray at a Shaker village, but these examples are certainly in the Shaker style. Trays are an extension of a...