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.

Windsor Chair Joints

Learning from Windsor Chair Joints

Any experience making or repairing chairs gives you a little bit of insight into how important the joinery is in chairs. And chairmakers have long used socket joints – joints made with a round hole and a round tenon – because they can be made quickly and easily. One problem: these are a rather weak...

PWE150308_QA_Lead

Q & A: Herringbone Inlay

Q: I’d like to use my own wood to make herringbone inlay, but how do I go about it? A: Making your own inlay isn’t tough—you just need a well-tuned tablesaw and a good combination or general-purpose blade. A herringbone inlay is one of the simplest inlay styles to make once you understand how...

PWE150301_QA

Q & A: Use a Router for Biscuit Joinery

Q: I would like to try biscuit joinery but I do not own a biscuit joiner. Is it feasible to use a router to make the slots? A: A router with a 5/32-in. slot cutter will work fine for making an occasional biscuit joint. You can alter the slot depth to accommodate No. 0,...

PWE150222_QAfull

Q & A: Silencing a Squeaky Tablesaw

Q: My tablesaw screeches like nails on a chalkboard whenever I adjust the blade. WD-40 made the noise go away for a while, but now it’s back. What do I do? A: That sound can drive you crazy! It’s a clear sign that the gears under your saw are due for lubrication. The original...

opener

Double-bevel Artistry

A scrollsaw and simple steps yield stunning inlay results. By Jameel Abraham Pages 47-50, August 2013 Picture a two-layer cake. Using a knife, cut a circle out of the middle while holding the knife perfectly vertical. You now have two cylinders of cake that you can easily pull out of the rest of the...

namethatchuck

Name That Chuck!

Name That Chuck! Here’s a chance to test your woodturning IQ. For many operations, a chuck performs the essential job of holding the work securely and safely on the lathe. These operations often present unique requirements, so a dizzying array of manufactured and shop-made chucks have evolved. How many of the 31 different chucks...

Led Christmas Tree_sm

Woodturning with Tim—Christmas In February

I’ll admit right here, I haven’t done a lot of turning in my many years of woodworking. Not that it wasn’t appealing, but it wasn’t what was required at the time. Cabinetry and furniture paid the bills, and I tended to think of turning as a recreational, or an artistic endeavor. Why am I...

PWE150215_QAfull

Q & A: Taking Dimensions From Photos

Q: Sometimes a catalog has a piece of furniture that I’d love to build myself. How can I get the dimensions for a piece of furniture off a photograph? A: Try this method for scaling from photos: Start by taping the picture to a large piece of paper. Draw a vertical reference line through...

PWE150208_QAfull

Q & A: Knocking Apart Loose Joints

Q: I tried reversing a clamp to pull out the rungs of an old chair that needed regluing, but I couldn’t get all of the rungs out. What do I do? A: Spreader clamps can be helpful, but the most effective weapon for disassembly is a heavy, hard mallet or a deadblow hammer (about...