Basics

Here’s your one-stop site for woodworking basics. Popular Woodworking Magazine offers dozens of free articles for getting started in woodworking, including free plans for projects that are easy to build, advice on the best tools to buy for the kind of work you want to do, the technique instruction you need for both hand tools and power tools, tips you can put to use right away in your shop (plus advice on setting up shop!) and more. If you want to learn woodworking the right way, you’ve come to the right place.

hammer veneer

Hammer Veneering

Discover how and why this age-old hide glue technique works – and works best. by Don Williams One of the great hurdles for many woodworkers new to traditional craftsmanship is applying veneers to a wooden substrate. This becomes even more problematic when the task involves something more than laying down a single piece of...

The best finish for a cutting board is no finish

Cutting Boards: The Best Finish

A seemingly never-ending question concerns how to finish cutting boards. You don’t need any finish on a cutting board. Water won’t hurt it and no finish will keep water out anyway, after a few knife cuts. Nor will the finish continue to look nice after numerous knife cuts. If the cutting board begins to...

veneering with backed sheets is easy

How to Apply Wood Veneer with Backing

When hobbyist woodworkers do any sort of veneering, they usually work with raw veneers. These un-backed sheets are great for small projects, and though they can be used for large work, most commercial woodworking shops use paper or phenolic-backed veneers because they’re more convenient. You can decide for yourself which is better for your...

A router table can expand the capabilities of your shop.

Router Basics: Work Safely – Work Confidently

With wood routers, working safely almost always equates to working more confidently. When you are not sure how to use a power tool, especially something as intimidating as a router, it can lead to bad cuts, frustration in woodworking and possible injury. There are lots of great things that can be built, changed, tweaked...

AW81Aug00 Q&A

Q & A: Installing Threaded Inserts

Q: I made a jig that needed threaded inserts but I had one heck of a time installing them by hand. They went in cockeyed and I trashed their slots.What am I doing wrong? A: The most common kind of threaded insert is the straight brass barrel with thin outside threads and a single...

AW73Jun99 Q&A

Q & A: Matching Old Stains

Q: I have to match an old stain. I’ve come pretty close with a new stain I bought at the hardware store, but it’s not good enough. Is there a way I can tint the stain? A: There are several fairly simple ways to alter the color of commercial stain. Probably the easiest is...

Unwanted scratches pop out under a low-angle light.

Q & A: Sanding Scratches Revealed

Q: What can I do to see sanding scratches before I apply stain? I always miss some of them until it’s too late. A: Doesn’t that drive you crazy? Just when you should be home free, wham! Now you’re stuck with a lousy finish and there’s no way out.One simple measure can prevent this...

clean-up-squeeze-out

Q & A: Clean Up Squeeze Out

Q: I saw one of those woodworking wizards on television the other day. As I watched the guy build a three-day project in 30 minutes, I noticed he washed off glue squeeze out with a wet cloth immediately after clamping. Won’t the water weaken the glue joint? A: We went right to the folks...

Hand drafting brush and eraser shield

Hand Drafting Skill-builder FAQ

Q: Is there ever a time in the hand drafting process when you use paper with lines on it, such as graph paper? A: If I am out in the field and do not have a portable drafting setup, then graph paper is desirable paper to have on hand. The most common graph paper...