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.

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Arbortech TurboPlane & Mini-Turbo

by Chuck Bender page 14 If you are into sculpting wood or forming sculpted furniture parts, the Arbortech TurboPlane and Mini-Turbo are two tools that could make your work much easier. Although they are sold separately, they work well as a team. The TurboPlane is an easy-to-handle, relatively safe 4″-diameter power carver that fits...

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SuperMax 19-38 Drum Sander

Attention to detail makes this machine a top-quality addition to any shop. by Chuck Bender page 14 The first thing that comes to mind upon seeing the SuperMax 19-38 drum sander is the company’s focus on quality. It’s evident in everything from the castings to the precision-milled drum to the thoughtful placement of the...

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5 Mistakes Beginners Make with Block Planes

When I teach beginners, one of the most common phrases I hear is, “I cannot get this (insert tool name) to work. What’s wrong?” They hand the tool to me and the fun begins. Though block planes are dirt-simple handplanes, there are some important points about them that are rarely discussed in the literature....

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Tightening the ‘Stay-Set’ Chipbreaker

Last week I took my new Clifton No. 5 to teach a full-size toolchest class at The Woodworkers Club in Rockville, Md. Several of the students used it on their toolchests, which they made using cherry, pine or poplar. The plane did quite well – the iron stayed sharp through planing up an entire...

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How to Stop Your Rabbets from Sloping

Cutting a square rabbet with a rabbeting plane is a challenge for beginners; usually they cut a rabbet that slopes in toward the shoulder or away from the shoulder. When I teach people how to use a moving fillister plane, here are some tips I offer them to assist their efforts. 1. Don’t hold...

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Shannon Rogers’ Big French Saw. Dang.

Shannon Rogers of the Hand Tool School brought along his 48”-long Roubo frame saw to the Saturday meeting of the Chesapeake chapter of the Society of American Furniture Makers, explained its details and (most importantly) let us try it out during lunch. It was so effortless to use (as long as you used your...

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Settling Debts: An Update on Clifton Handplanes

Though I’ve been a non-editor at both Popular Woodworking and The Fine Tool Journal for almost three years now, I still have debts to pay. And I take those debts seriously. One of my first reviews for The Fine Tool Journal, which was reprinted in the book “Handplane Essentials,” is a review of Clifton...

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What Hand Planes are Good For

The difference between school and real life is that in real life the tests come first and then the lessons. This is especially true of woodworking; you never know how far you should take one step of a project until you are knee-deep in the next step. That’s when you realize you didn’t fuss...

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An Observation on Vintage Handplanes

Note: I started writing this blog entry more than a year ago. I shelved it and have revisited it several times since. Each time, I thought: I don’t need this kind of grief. For whatever reason (four beers, perhaps?), I offer this as an observation based on teaching students, both amateur and professional. For...