Tools

Woodworking tools are useless until you learn how to use them efficiently. Whether you prefer hand tools or power tools, the editors of Popular Woodworking Magazine have collected the very best information on choosing and using tools of all kinds. Here you’ll learn a range of essential information from how to tune up simple hand tools to safe and smart power tools practices and advanced techniques taught by the trusted experts in the field.

AW85 Feb01 Q & A

Q & A: Why are new chisels so dull?

Q: Whenever I buy a blade, like a tablesaw blade or a router bit, it’s always sharp. How come when I buy chisels they’re duller than a math lecture on the last day of school?   A: Although it seems reasonable to expect new chisels to come sharp, there are three good reasons why...

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How to Read & Write Tool Reviews, Part 3

For experienced woodworkers, it’s easy to ignore tool reviews and say: “I just buy the brands that have served me well.” But what if you know little about the different brands? When I was growing up, Skil made fantastic circular saws. Black & Decker made good drills. Craftsman put its name on some good...

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How I Read Tool Reviews (And Write Them), Part 2

Most tool reviews aren’t really reviews. They’re press releases dressed up with a lab coat and a clipboard to look respectable. For experienced woodworkers, these faux-reviews are easy to spot and ignore. What are the signs? They’re missing key information about the tool’s place in the market compared to its competitors. Even more telling,...

Two Sides of Grooves Make Pretty Decorative Panels

Edge & Surface Treatments — Tips and Tricks

From Popular Woodworking’s “The Ultimate Router Guide”... Routers were developed to cut moulded shapes in wood. Although their workshop role has expanded (greatly) during the last century to include joinery and other operations, moulding is still what they do best. They remain the chief woodworking tools for edge and surface “treatments” – cutting decorative...

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Earlex SprayPort 6003

This turbine-driven gun produces a good finish at a good price. by Robert W. Lang page16 I first became aware of High-Volume Low-Pressure (HVLP) systems about 20 years ago. At the time, it seemed like a great idea – reduce overspray and eliminate the need for a massive air compressor chugging away. Since then, I’ve...

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Jet JWBS-14SF-3 Band Saw

by Chuck Bender page 18 The new 14″ steel-frame band saw from Jet is nothing less than heavy-duty. With its 3-horsepower, 220-volt motor, this saw is built to handle just about anything you can throw at it. The one-piece frame makes this band saw extremely rigid for tough cuts such as resawing wide boards...

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Shenandoah Tool Works Birdcage Awl

by Megan Fitzpatrick page 18 If you’re in the market for a birdcage awl, this Shenandoah Tool Works version offers a stylish twist – that is, the hand-forged 01 steel shaft is actually twisted during manufacturing. While this aesthetic touch has no effect on performance, it looks nice – and one could argue that,...