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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‘Drawer Making and Fitting’ Video

by Megan Fitzpatrick pg. 14 Well-made and well-fit drawers are a calling card of the best furniture makers; David Charlesworth’s video “Drawer Making and Fitting” (Lie-Nielsen) can help you achieve such mastery in the high-end English Arts & Crafts tradition. What this means is drawer construction with excellent materials, perfect joint layout for the...

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Lee Valley Small Double Square

by Megan Fitzpatrick pg. 14 A diemakers’ square with a narrow blade is an excellent tool for determining minute problems with your joinery, allowing you to get in between narrow dovetail pins, for example, to check for sloping walls. But a true diemakers’ square (on which the blade angle can be adjusted for patternmaking)...

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Crowned CBN 6″ Grinding Wheel

by Megan Fitzpatrick pg. 16 We’ve been using Norton 3X Super Cool ceramic alumina oxide wheels on our dry grinders since we first reviewed them in 2006; they cut fast and don’t easily overheat a tool’s edge – that means you can get your heavy grinding done fairly quickly, because you don’t have to...

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Toothed Planing Stop from Benchcrafted

by James McConnell pg. 16 Most woodworkers have the skill to engineer a makeshift planing stop from a block of wood and a bit of old saw blade, but the precision engineering and price point of the new toothed planing stop from Benchcrafted beg the question: Why would you want to? The folks at...

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NOVA Voyager DVR Drill Press

This hi-tech tool takes guesswork out of making clean, precise holes. by Megan Fitzpatrick pg. 14 With a vast array of computer-controlled settings and a “smart” motor, the Voyager 18″ drill press from NOVA/Teknatool will certainly appeal to the technology geeks among us. And while I’m a bit of a Luddite when it comes...

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Big Horn Bench Dogs

by James McConnell pg. 16 Any decent workbench with a face vise will allow you to easily work the ends and edges of stock, but finding an efficient and effective way to flatten and dress the faces of boards can sometimes be a puzzle. The solution is a good set of bench dogs, and...

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Kreg Custom Pocket-Hole Plug Cutter

by Megan Fitzpatrick pg. 16 The Kreg pocket-hole jig is the workhorse joinery method in our beginner woodworking “I Can Do That” series of articles, videos and books. When we design those pieces, we’re careful to hide the pocket holes, because we don’t want them to show. Sure, one can buy ready-made plugs, but...

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Super Nova Magnetic Lathe Lamp

Three LEDs and a 30″ flexible neck deliver durable, excellent task lighting. by Rob Porcaro pg. 16 Good lighting can make a big difference in the quality of your woodworking, especially hand-tool work. Without it, there is little hope of accurately sawing to a layout line. It is also key in evaluating a surface...

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David Barron Magnetic Dovetail Guide

by Megan Fitzpatrick pg. 18 If you’re struggling for cut perfection on your dovetails (or you’re just learning to cut this important joint), a magnetic dovetail guide from U.K.-based furniture maker and teacher David Barron is just the ticket. These guides are made of sturdy anodized aluminum and feature recessed rare-earth magnets – covered...