Tool Reviews

A woodworker is only as good as his tools. In a world with enough woodworking tools to fill entire big-box stores, it’s important to know what you should buy (and what to avoid) so you can produce the best pieces possible and save money. Our tool reviews are different. Rather than use pseudo-science, we use the tools in the shop (we’re all experienced woodworkers), and report back how they perform. So whether you are in the market for a new set of chisels or a powerful table saw, we’ve got the best tools covered.

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Easy Chuck from Easy Wood Tools

By Steve Shanesy Page 18 Four-jaw scroll chucks used in wood turning largely work the same. They have interchangeable jaws held by screws, and the jaws open or close using a geared key, a hex key or tommy bars. The jaws usually have a dovetail-shaped rim that clamps a similarly shaped tenon turned on the base...

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Bosch Colt Router Plunge Base Video Tool Test

In the April issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine, we test the plunge base for the Bosch Colt router. In this video, I show some of the features of this long-awaited base, and give some tips for using a router to make mortises. With a good fence on the router and a few clamps, you...

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Tool Test: Hock Tools Scratch Stock

By Megan Fitzpatrick Page 14 A scratch stock is a simple tool – sort of a combination of a scraper and a moulding plane – for scratching in a profile (typically a bead or other simple shape). And while it’s fairly easy to make a scratch stock out of scrap wood and a piece of thin...

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Tool Test: Bosch Trim Router Plunge Base

By Robert W. Lang Page 14 In 2005, Bosch introduced a new laminate trimmer that eventually became know as the Colt. Powerful and user-friendly, it quickly became a favorite in our shop and in shops across the country. At the time, I suggested to Bosch that they needed to make a plunge base for it. Video: Watch...

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Tool Test: Blue Spruce Firmer Chisels

These traditional tools are a throwback for a thoroughly modern maker. By Christopher Schwarz Page 14 Perhaps the last tools I ever expected to come out of the Blue Spruce Toolworks are the most traditional set of modern bench chisels I have ever used. After all, Dave Jeske of Blue Spruce has spent all of his toolmaking career...

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Tool Test: Micro Fence Micro Plunge Base

By Steve Shanesy Page 16 In the world of routers and routing accessories, it seems that small is big these days. The popularity of trim routers has been growing for some time; in fact, it’s now been a couple years since we praised Micro Fence’s plunge router base for the Bosch Colt, and we recently reviewed...

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Tool Test: Veritas ‘Workshop Striking Knife’

By Megan Fitzpatrick Page 16 Spear-point marking knives are my favorite marking knives because they’re a good all-around choice for most layout tasks in the shop. Because a spear-point knife has two bevels and a flat back, it can easily register against a guide on either the right or left side – very handy when marking...