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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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...

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Secret Dovetails for the Rest of Us

I hate end grain. In my work, I take great pains to hide every square inch of it. This often means cutting joinery that is more involved. For example, on my spice chest, I could simply have used through-dovetails to join the top to the sides of the case. Like the original maker, I...

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Milk Paint Primer – No Cause for Panic

Imagine, if you will, spending somewhere in the neighborhood of 45-50 hours working on a project that not only looks halfway decent, but is destined (or at least intended) to transform your messy and cluttered existence into a neatly organized and tidy way of shop life (see above*). Then, imagine wetting your brush with...

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Understanding Wood: Four Structure Types

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...