Fixing a Naughty Nail

Traditional cut nails can be made from pretty soft steel, especially the useful cut headless brads. As a result, you have to be careful when installing them. Here are some of the things that can go wrong and how I deal with them. 1. Your pilot hole is too shallow. One early book on...

Those People Had Knives

Milford Brown writes: Since you are interested in the older hand-powered woodworking, I wonder what, if anything, you know about the history of marking knife use? I recently had occasion to dismantle an old pine blanket chest (because of extensive powderpost beetle damage in the sapwood edges of its top and bottom boards) that...

More Hammer Tricks

You can do fancy things with a hammer and the right nails. And lately, I’ve been doing a lot of practicing with cut nails for a series of projects I’m working on that feature nails (including the dry sink in the next issue of Woodworking Magazine). The more I learn about nails, the more...

International Nails of Mystery

Last year I got to tour one of the Lee Valley Tools warehouses in Ottawa, Ontario. No wait, don’t leave just yet. A Lee Valley warehouse is like the Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory. Yes, there are huge metal racks filled with bins for garden equipment, tools and Painters’ Pyramids. But the Lee family also...

Trouble Outside the Norm

Cabinetry is made of chunks of wood that are fairly standard in size. Most of your parts are going to be shorter than 48″ long. It’s rare that individual planks will be wider than 12″, or that your casework is going to be much deeper than 24″ or so. And so most of our...

Figuring Out Finger Joints

For me, finger joints have always been the nerdy, square cousin to the dovetail. Finger joints are immensely strong when glued properly. But they are usually used by beginning woodworkers in places where a dovetail would be more appropriate, such as on a piece of 18th-century casework. Add to that the fact that finger...

Free SketchUp Drawings of Woodworking Magazine Projects

Now you can download six free SketchUp drawings for projects published in Woodworking Magazine during the last four years. These files work with Google’s free drafting program, SketchUp, and allow you to take the projects apart, see the joinery and view the projects at any angle. These files are great for understanding how a...

The 18th-century Tool Crib at Home Depot

I’m a big fan of cut nails. They hold far better that modern wire nails and they really have the right look when it comes to building reproduction furniture, which is why I don’t use square-drive brass screws when installing reproduction hinges. However, cut nails can sometimes be difficult to find. Tremont Nail is...

Our Infinite Power to Forget

After finishing college, two of my closest friends joined the Peace Corps and were posted to rural Morocco. But within a year they were back in the United States: 20 pounds lighter, two shades paler and singularly disillusioned. Their job in Morocco could be boiled down to one simple lesson for the villagers: Do...