Marking and Measuring

See David Brookshaw's Incredible Work this Fall

David Brookshaw has been making amazing tools since 1988 — many of them miniatures that have appeared in some of the gorgeous tool books from Sandor Nagyszalanczy, including the cover of “Tools: Rare and Ingenious.” This November, Brookshaw is coming to Philadelphia for the Philadelphia Miniaturia show Nov. 6-7, where he’ll be showing his...

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...

10 Tool Features that Frustrate Me

Some days I forget that not all woodworking tools are designed by woodworkers (see: many of the honing guides on the market). And I forget that some tools are just designed to trick your family members into buying them for you at Christmas (see also: the battery-operated tape measure and C-clamp). This weekend as...

Roubo Try Square Plans Now Available in Our Store

Expanded and detailed plans for the Roubo Try Square from the February 2010 issue are now for sale as a download in our store. The plans include the original two-page article published in the February 2010 issue of Popular Woodworking, plus another six pages of detailed step-by-step instructions on the construction and truing process....

For Dividers I Fall

The longer I’m a woodworker, the less I like systems of measurement. Whether you’re a machinist who works in metric, an imperious advocate of imperial, or a Bob who measures in “bobs,” there is one thing that is true about all these systems: They invite error. When you add, subtract, multiply or divide these...

OXO 16" Folding Ruler: Good for Wood?

Several readers have encouraged me to take a look at the OXO 16″ folding ruler, which is an inexpensive aluminum recreation of the classic 19th-century folding ruler. I picked one up at Staples for $6.99 and have been fiddling with it to determine if it’s the second coming or just a second-string tool for...

A Square that Stays Put

From the “I need three hands” file: Sometimes when you scribe a line on a board with the guidance of a try square you need one hand to hold the knife, one hand to press the blade down against the work and a third hand to hold the square’s handle up and against the...

Star Tools Marking Gauge

Marking gauges have all manner of ways for you to lock the head to the beam, but most involve a screw or wedge mechanism. I think the coolest method I’ve ever seen is a cam-lock on the vintage Star Tools gauge. The head locks on the beam by twisting the head (or beam). It...

Take Your Eye for a Walk

Ever since I saw George Walker’s DVD on furniture design and his lecture at Woodworking in America, I’ve been trying out some of his ideas on pieces of furniture that I know and love. With a pair of dividers (and sometimes a beer) I’ve been walking around the drawings and thinking about shapes, proportions...