Techniques

Below you’ll find smart woodworking techniques including quick tips, advice for beginners and more advanced methods to improve your skills and allow you to get the most out of your workshop and tools. Whether you’re looking for traditional woodworking techniques using hand tools or power tools, finishing or sharpening advice, or just want to hone your woodworking basics, the advice below is from seasoned and trusted woodworkers and furniture makers working at the top of their field.

The Art of Making Dovetailed Drawers

Fine furniture calls for an elegant drawer. A master cabinetmaker shares his approach to design and fitting. by Mario Rodriguez pages 50-54 Issue #174 There are just a few things my partner at Philadelphia Furniture Workshops, Alan Turner, and I don’t see eye-to-eye on. But how to make a good drawer isn’t one of...

Video: How to Reduce Planer Snipe

Nearly every time that I approach the planer, I think to myself, how am I going to avoid snipe this time? Without fail, I end up with snipe at the leading or trailing edge at some point in the process to a varying degree. It has been rumored that some have totally mitigated the issue...

Mushroom Your Drawbore Gaps

It’s a shame customers don’t know as much about woodworking as woodworkers. They run their hands over your work and if it’s smooth they think it’s good – whereas you know that’s just the temporary wax on top. It shows the customer nothing about the weeks you spent oiling it daily or the high...

‘Chisel Use: An Easy Guide’

by Jim Stuard from the February 2001 issue Chisel Use: An easy guide to whether you should be pushing,paring or pounding your chisels, in any given situation. Back when I started as an apprentice cabinetmaker, a chisel was something to be beaten with a large hammer. That was before I learned how to properly...

Don’t Close Your Eyes to the Square

When people injure themselves in the shop, their first reaction is to grab the wound and refuse to look. Sadly, this is the same attitude many woodworkers take with the squareness of their components: They refuse to look and hope things will work out. While there are lots of areas of woodworking where squareness...

Bill Hylton

Tongue and Groove Joinery

There are many ways to cut this popular edge-to-edge joint. by Bill Hylton from the April 2005 issue A tongue-and-groove joint is an edge joint with a mechanical interlock. The edge of one board has a groove. A matching tongue is formed on the edge of the mating board. The tongue goes into the...

Video: Frank Klausz Finger Joint How-to

It’s hard to fathom, but finger joints are a relatively new joinery method for Frank Klausz, because why not just cut dovetails when you need a box?  In fact, when we filmed the video below (2014), he’d cut his first finger joints but two weeks before. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t know what...

‘Houndstooth Dovetails’ – by Rob Cosman

I recently posted on our Instagram account and Twitter feed the opening image from Rob Cosman’s 2006 article “Houndstooth Dovetails,” and it proved remarkably popular – so I figured I might as well post the article. And while that “opener” certainly benefited from good lighting, and great camera and a skilled photographer (as you...

Quick, Dirty & Effective Trammel Points

When starting in woodworking I couldn’t afford a good set of trammel points. I had my grandfather’s set, but it didn’t lock down well. Then one day woodworker Troy Sexton showed me how he drew large arcs and I realized that I already owned an effective trammel. Troy uses a yardstick (or meter stick...