A Square Nail and a Round Tool

One of the themes coursing through the next issue of Woodworking Magazine is rethinking the role of nails in woodworking. And so I’ve been whacking a lot of cut nails lately and setting them below the surface of my work with a nice nail set. Perhaps the most frustrating part of using cut nails...

Coming Up in Issue Five – Spring 2006

We’re deep into producing issue five of Woodworking Magazine right now. We have cherry boards basking in the sun this afternoon and I’m trying to finish up some historical research on hammers that might change the way you look at this glorified rock on a stick. Senior Editor David Thiel has been ordering and...

Nailing Down the Details

There is a lot to know about nails. Don’t laugh or scoff. I’ve been digging deep into my library this week and have come up with some stuff that is wild and weird from the world of nails. Here’s a taste of stuff I bet you didn’t know from Paul N. Hasluck’s “Handyman’s Book”:...

Getting Hammered – Properly

So many woodworkers resist using hammers, and I suspect it’s because they use one that’s more suited for framing a house or cracking walnuts. In browsing through old tool catalogs, it’s obvious that cabinetmakers in England and Europe preferred a kind of hammer that’s uncommon in hardware stores today. We’ve been buying a lot...

The Problem With Dado Joints

Many cabinets with shelves are built using a common method: You plow dados in the sides of the cabinet. And then you glue the shelves into the dados. Perhaps you glue on a face frame to the carcase; perhaps not. With glue alone, this is a questionable joint. The end grain of the shelf...

The Right Nail Ain't Round

In looking at a lot of old fine furniture, you might be surprised how much of it is made using nails. In fact, I’m often shocked at how bad a reputation the nail has among woodworkers. I think the problem comes from the fact that we are using the wrong nail. Most nails today...