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.

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Test Drive: Carbide Marking Knife from Czeck Edge

If you don’t like (or cannot) sharpening a marking knife, the new Czeck Edge “Super Kadet II” knife is likely the right choice for your tool chest. Based on the well-balanced and well-made “Kerf Kadet” knife, this version is like its older brothers with the addition of a tungsten carbide blade. Why a carbide...

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How To Glue Miter Joints-Wait a Minute

Miter joints can be a real source of frustration. The pieces need to be the exact length and the cut surfaces need to be as close to perfect as you can get them. If they don’t look great right off the saw, use a shooting board and a plane, or rub the surfaces on...

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Tuning Bench Planes at Vesper World Headquarters

Honestly, I’ve tuned so many dang metal planes in my lifetime that I’ll never worry about having enough iron in my diet. They might mine my carcass for the mineral when I’m dead. For me, it has always been an analog process: Do it by hand with inexpensive supplies. Today I spent the day...

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Inside Colen Clenton’s Adjustable Try Squares

I first heard about Colen Clenton’s tools from Joel Moskowitz of Tools for Working Wood in Brooklyn, N.Y. On Joel’s recommendation, I purchased one of Colen’s squares and was deeply impressed by its craftsmanship and accuracy. I asked Joel how I could e-mail Colen and ask him a few questions about his tools for...

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Taming the Circle Cutter – the Tool I Love to Hate

Perhaps the headline should read “the tool I hate to love.” Every now and then I need something round, or an odd-sized hole, and I turn to the “adjustable circle cutter.” I know it as a “fly cutter” and it is never my first choice. It’s a simple device, but it looks scary, and...

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TS-2: Perfection Made Rare

Years ago I worked with a professional woodworker who built all his own tools, used the least-expensive machines available and turned out work that was undeniably world class. He scoffed at buying clamps (he made his own). He invented precision tools when he needed them. And he could make inlay tools from shop garbage....

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Dovetails with Help from the Drill Press

When I make a lot of half-blind dovetails, I’ll use a drill press to help bore out the waste between the pins. The video below shows how I do. Some caveats to consider before you try to cram your boot between my buttocks via a comment below: 1. Ya, I use machines at times...

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The Real Reason to Practice Your Woodworking Skills

I spent much of Friday in the shop, tuning up machines in preparation for an upcoming magazine project. The thing I will be building is rather small, but with some involved details. I wanted the table saw and router table to be as precise as possible, and I also wanted to get some practice...