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.

Before: This is how I was cutting sliding dovetails and rabbets by hand.

A Tip for Handsawing Rabbets & Sliding Dovetails

I’ve been cutting a lot of large-scale sliding dovetails and rabbets lately. And when these housed joints get to a certain size (think of a dovetail socket that is 4” wide and 30” long) it’s much more efficient to saw out the walls by hand. When I need the rabbets or sliding dovetails to...

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BT&C Hardware Store Saw

More than just a saw, this tool offers (useful) infomercial-like functions. by Christopher Schwarz page 14 I’m not a fan of multi-tools. In my experience they are marketing gimmicks that do nothing particularly well. But the new Brooklyn Tool & Craft Hardware Store Saw is a huge exception to that rule. This short panel...

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Ridgid 18-volt ‘Hyperdrive’ 18-gauge Brad Nailer

by Megan Fitzpatrick page 16 If you’re working with access to electricity, it’s easy to plug in an air compressor and run a hose to a brad nailer. But if you’re working on a site with no electric, or your compressor hose is too short for the task, well, a cordless nailer is nice...

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Lie-Nielsen Toolworks Honing Guide

by Christopher Schwarz page 16 Since the mid-1990s I’ve been married to my inexpensive side-clamp honing guide, sometimes called an “Eclipse” guide after the firm that developed it. So when Lie-Nielsen Toolworks began showing its side-clamp honing guide around, I resisted even picking it up – I don’t like to mess with my sharpening...

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A (Still) Better Way to Plane Chair Seats

For many years I’ve used the following trick to plane irregular-shaped objects: Screw a square block to the underside of the piece and then clamp that block in my face vise. It’s a trick that I showed in my 2007 book “Workbenches: From Design & Theory to Construction & Use.” (Psst, the second edition...

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‘The Secret Mitre Dovetail’

David Charlesworth’s new video is groundbreaking instruction. by Christopher Schwarz p. 14 The “secret miter” dovetail is considered the most elegant and difficult of all the dovetail joints to make. As a result, many woodworkers hesitate to even attempt the joint, which can seamlessly wrap the grain around a furniture carcase to a beautiful...

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Veritas Stainless Steel Trammel Points

by Megan Fitzpatrick p. 16 These clever stainless steel trammel points (for scribing large arcs and circles) from Veritas work a little differently than my vintage set, which fit only on a fixed-sized beam. The narrow-bodied heads are open on one side, and can thus be attached to any flat piece of material up...

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Sterling Tool Works Stainless Steel French Curves

by Christopher Schwarz p. 16 I like using French curves for laying out hyperbolas, ellipses and parabolas when designing furniture details. These curves are not static arcs – they are segments of the Euler spiral – and so the shapes they create have more spring and life. The typical set of French curves consists...

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AWFS 2015 Tools to Talk About

I’m just back from the Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers show (www.awfsfair.org) in Las Vegas where there were many woodworking products worth talking about – too many in fact, to include all of them here. I’ve narrowed the list below to include just a few that elicited a “Cool!” from me, and I...