Raw Materials

The Traditional Tool Section of Lowe’s

When I teach classes, I tell my students to buy their winding sticks in the “18th-century Tool Section” of their local home center. They look puzzled until I pull out my winding sticks: two lengths of aluminum angle, one of which is painted black. Aluminum angle is cheap and makes a nice set of...

The Long Squiggly Yellow Line

People often divide our country into North and South using a variety of metrics. There’s the Mason-Dixon line, of course. The Barbecue Line (the word means “grilled meat” in the North and “porky heaven” in the South). And so on. I use the “Yellow Pine Line.” This fantastic material is difficult to find in...

Get Bent! OK, I Will

Steam-bending wood is awesome, but I’ve never been a big fan of having a potential bomb in my house (or in the office). So I’ve worked at mastering cold-lamination bending, but I’ve found there’s a lot of prep work (resawing, drum sanding, etc.), and the plastic resin glue is nasty stuff. It’s the only...

Video: Visit to the David R. Webb Veneer Mill

This week I’m working with Marc Adams on a series of articles for Popular Woodworking Magazine on veneer. Marc did all the work , I’m just editing and helping with the photos. I hope these articles will convince many woodworkers to start working with veneer. Marc’s series will explain all the simple tools and...

The MDF of the 19th Century?

In college I had a girlfriend who was half Japanese, half German and entirely unpredictable. And for a kid raised in Arkansas, she was quite the exotic Axis-power antidote to my small-town upbringing. My grandmother flipped her wig when I brought the girlfriend to the Natural State for a visit (mission accomplished). I was...

Building Strategies Part 2 Using a Cut List

If you look at the video I made about buying lumber, you can see how I approach that task. If the piece were more complicated, I would have had my cut list in hand. The most important part of the video is at the end. I have all the raw materials I need, I’ve...

White Water Meeting House Bench

This coming week I’m starting to build a pair of close reproductions of the White Water Shaker Meeting House benches. Earlier this summer I measured the original bench, which is in a building near the Meeting House. When I’m done with these reproductions, we’re donating the benches to the Friends of White Water Shaker...