Bottoms, Skirts and Pizza You Cannot See

At some point during a woodworking class, students, teachers and bystanders become a sort of ersatz family. It is not by design. It is despite my best efforts. Today at The Woodwright’s School, students dressed the shells of their tool chests and added the tongue-and-groove bottom boards (yay for cut nails). After that brief...

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Nails: As Important as Computers

Whenever I teach at a woodworking school, I’m always fascinated by what happens when I open my tackle box full of cut nails. Usually, the students react as if I’d opened a case of ticked-off scorpions. At The Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, one of the students asked: “Are those allowed here?” That was on...

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Stock Your Shop With the Right Nails

I use cut nails in my furniture projects. They hold better and look better than common wire nails. They do have a couple downsides, however. They are more expensive than wire nails and more difficult to find. You cannot walk down to the local hardware store and buy a bag. Well, let me qualify...

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New Traditional Hammers from Tools for Working Wood

The difference between a good hammer and a great hammer is significant. Most hammers at the hardware store are but one step above a rock tied to a stick. As a result, I’ve always bought vintage hammers with wooden handles, which are cheaper, better made and have the right details for a furniture maker....

The Traditional Tool Section of Lowe’s

When I teach classes, I tell my students to buy their winding sticks in the “18th-century Tool Section” of their local home center. They look puzzled until I pull out my winding sticks: two lengths of aluminum angle, one of which is painted black. Aluminum angle is cheap and makes a nice set of...

The New $5.87 Sawbench

I leave for North Carolina this week to shoot two episodes of “The Woodwright’s Shop” with Roy Underhill then teach a three-day class on handsawing at Underhill’s little Utopia of a woodworking school in Pittsboro, N.C. One of the shows will be on English handsawing (no on-screen French-sawing DIY vasectomies are planned) and the...

Gird Your Gut; Expand Your Mind

With Woodworking in America in our backyard this fall, we are going all out to show the attendees a good time in the greater Cincinnati area. So we’ve planned several extracurricular activities for the attendees. All of the events below have a limited number of seats available and will be first-come, first-served (except the...

Survey: Activities at Woodworking in America

This October, Woodworking in America will be held in our backyard here in Cincinnati from Oct. 1-3. Registration will open in early May, and we’ll start telling you all about the instructors and 80 sessions as soon as we get all the contracts signed. But there is one aspect of planning this conference that...

My Adventures With Metafiction

I’m just about ready to assemble a drawer, so my daughter Katy lays down her saw and heads to the pickle bucket below the drill press. She dumps the cool water down the drain outside the shop door and refills the bucket with hot. She drops the liquid hide glue bottle into the bucket...