All hardwoods have vessels (little pipelines) that are used in sap production. The size and distribution of these vessels vary among species; some are visible to the naked eye. When the vessels are cut across the end grain, they’re often referred to as pores, thus hardwoods are known as “porous woods” (see below for further … Read more
Why Should Understand How Wood Fails Tear-out is ugly, but how does it happen? Ground-breaking research that began in the 1950s by Norman C. Franz showed how wood fails when you cut it with hand tools or power tools. Using a movie camera and a milling machine, Franz made amazing photos that pointed out how … Read more
Common Types and Sizes Bevel-edge Chisel (at left): Long edges are ground to an angle to allow the tool to get into tight spaces, such as between dovetails. It is not designed for heavy chopping. A common variant is the paring chisel, which has a longer, thinner blade. Mortising Chisel (at right): A thick blade … Read more
How a Collet Works • A collet is the steel sleeve that holds a router bit in a router. The collet works with the router shaft (connected directly to the motor) and the collet nut. • Collets are machined to perfectly mate with the tapered recess in the end of the shaft and to … Read more
Sharpen a Plane Blade There are many ways to sharpen plane blades, and woodworkers have strong opinions on the best technique. Here is a simple, reliable method to achieve a sharp edge. It takes just three waterstones, an inexpensive jig and a few minutes. 1. Get a flat back. While some blades come with a … Read more
A friend of mine used to claim that his favorite tool was his own spit. I’d never claim such a thing publicly, but I do admit to using some rather unorthodox tools at times: I’ve sharpened paint-can keys to scrape off glue squeeze-out, and ground threaded rod into various shapes for stamping wood. In this … Read more
Wedged through-tenons keep this handle secure.
By Megan Fitzpatrick
From the November 2011 issue #193
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Whether you’re using it for woodworking tools or garden tools, a tote is a simple and quick project. It’s so simple, in fact, that I decided to add a wee degree of difficulty with a curved handle secured in place by wedged through-tenons. And, I wrapped the handle with suede for a more comfortable and secure grip.