Marking and Measuring

Free Plan: English Layout Square

I’m fond of wooden layout tools – squares, straightedges, winding sticks and the like. They are lightweight, don’t damage your work like metal tools can and are made from scraps. Plus, you can make them to suit your taste, whether that’s plain, fancy or something between. Last fall I built a couple of these...

Details: Installing Hinges in Mortises

Installing traditional mortise hinges makes some woodworkers want to turn their electric drill on themselves to just end it all. While practice is the best teacher, there are little tricks that can help when installing hardware. I have a bunch of “dodges” that people have taught me through the years. This one is ridiculously...

Coming in 2011: Build the Square that Built Bridge City

If there were a woodworking tool hall of fame, the Bridge City TS-2 try square would definitely be on display there. In my travels through shops all over the country I’ve seen this square in the hands of many woodworkers, including those who prefer their tools to be salvaged from junk stores and incorporating...

Erasers: The Unsung Heroes of Accuracy

I make lots of pencil marks on the wood as I work. Removing them is either easy or excruciating. Whenever I can, I use a handplane to dress my stock, so the pencil marks usually come off without any visible residue of the charcoal or polymer lead or indentation from the penciling process. But...

The Need to See Red

I can be a bit obsessive-compulsive at times. And woodworking sure doesn’t help my malady. My family would be much better off if I’d just lick a few light switches or check 63 times to make sure the stove was off. Instead, I’ll build an entertainment center. Then I’ll strip the finish. Strip it...

New Video: Fit Doors With Ticking Sticks

I’ve used the “ticking stick” method to fit countertops into odd spaces in a home, but I’ve never used it in the workshop. But then Indiana carpenter Carl Bilderback showed me how to use the method to fit a door to a face frame. As soon as he mentioned it, I slapped my forehead...

Get Squared Away for December

Right before “Woodworking in America” turned into “Dead Tired in Covington,” I finished this square for the December 2010 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine. The square is based closely on an original that tool pusher Patrick Leach brought back from England. I showed him my curly maple version of the square at Woodworking in...

Wooden Layout Square: Patrick Leach Strikes Again

With Woodworking in America breathing down our necks (we’re beginning to count it down in hours instead of days), we’re trying to get a workbench built, machines assembled, wood processed, questions answered and problems solved. Of course, we also have to finish the December 2010 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine , the day job....

So Lonely

I’ve been purging my shop and tool chests of excess tools this week. But now I’m afraid some of my tools are “taking the hint” and leaving on their own. This morning I set out to dovetail a walnut carcase and found that one of my beloved dividers , an old Brown & Sharpe...