Tools in Your Shop

‘Tis a poor craftsman who blames his tools … which is why we like to celebrate them! Popular Woodworking has been at the forefront of woodworking tools and tool usage for many years. Our focus is not just reviewing new tools, but considering the best overall approach to tooling – especially how hand and power tools can go together in your shop. It’s all about completing great projects and doing it efficiently, without breaking the bank. Have fun learning from these community posts and applying the knowledge to your next project!

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Plunge Router Depth Adjustment Trick

A plunge router is a versatile tool, but setting an exact depth can be perplexing. There are a bunch of knobs and levers that control how far down the bit will go, but if you’re trying to make a precise adjustment you rapidly run out of hands and patience as you fight the springs...

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Your Basic Guide to Chisels

Common Types and Sizes Bevel-edge Chisel (at left): Long edges are ground to an angle to allow the tool to get into tight spaces, such as between dovetails. It is not designed for heavy chopping. A common variant is the paring chisel, which has a longer, thinner blade. Mortising Chisel (at right): A thick...

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Permission to Sand – Granted!

I’m always bemused by woodworkers who boast that they never use sandpaper. I usually say something to them such as: “Then I guess you don’t like old-school technology.” When they look confused, I add: “Egyptians used sandstone to abrade wood flat. Sanding is older technology than planing, which is a Greek or Roman invention.”...

Drill Bits

Your Guide to Drill Bits – Free PDF Download

This one-page basic guide will get you up to speed on drill bits and drilling. Includes: Visual guide to basic types of drill bits Eight common drilling problems and solutions Chart of suggested speeds for different bit styles, sizes and types of wood Download the PDF here: Your Guide to Drill Bits – Tom...

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What Tools Do I Need to Start Woodworking?

Woodworking really is simple, despite all attempts to complicate it. Complications introduced by well-meaning folks can keep a beginner away from the enjoyable part: making things. One of the most common questions is “what tools do I need to get started?” and as the would-be woodworker starts reading he soon begins asking, “Which set...

New Bosch Barrel Grip Jig Saw

Bosch ‘Enhances’ Jigsaws

Last week I was at the North American headquarters of Bosch Tools, part of a group of woodworking journalists taking a look at new offerings of the company’s products. The first woodworking tools we were shown were a pair of new jigsaws, the top-handle model JS572EL and the barrel-grip model JS572EBL. My first thoughts...

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My Favorite Band Saw Blade

While I do most of my work by hand, there are two machines that I refuse to do without: a thickness planer and an old Delta 14” band saw. These two machines remove the drudgery from reducing boards in thickness and long rips. So I baby these two machines. When it comes to band...