Fun Reading: 'The Carpenter's Tool Chest'

“A craftsman is one who understands his tools and uses them with skill and honesty. It does not matter whether his tool is a chisel or a planing machine, it is the work that he does with it that counts and you today can be as good a workman in the carpenter’s craft as...

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The 2014 Anarchist’s Gift Guide: Day 2

It’s easy to be skeptical about the polissoir. Could a bundle of broom corn radically change the way you finish some pieces of work? All of us who worked on the translation of A.-J. Roubo’s “l’Art du Menuisier” were wary when we translated the section on the polissoir – literally “polisher.” So we were...

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Grain-painting Done Well – Quite Well

When people ask me what foods I hate, I usually say, “I’ll eat anything, as long as it’s prepared well.” I didn’t like Brussels sprouts until I had them roasted. I didn’t like oysters until I tried them right from the creek. And I didn’t like green beans until I had fresh ones (ugh,...

If you plan your storage correctly, you can maximize limited space. Here I'm using a rolling cabinet as an outfeed table.

The 9 Principles of Hand Tool Storage, Part 3

My kids – even the 18-year-old in college – do not want their meats to touch their starches or vegetables. And so we have divided plates for them – just like at the school cafeteria. If they keep this habit up, I’m sure their weddings will be interesting, but I’m not one to mess...

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The 9 Principles of Hand Tool Storage, Part 2

Before we launch into part 2 of this series, allow me to ask a question. Do you enjoy looking for a tool that you cannot find, but you saw just a couple days ago and you have looked for everywhere? If you answered “yes,” then you don’t need to read this article and can...

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The 9 Principles of Hand Tool Storage, Part 1

If you ever write a book on workbenches or tool chests, be prepared for this question: “Off the record and just between you and me, what’s your favorite chest or bench?” The easy way out would be to give them a direct answer: a Dutch Roubo Nicholson with Japanese planing stops and Krenov-style tills....

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Coping Saw Blades from Pegas

I pretty much eat coping saw blades for breakfast. Just about every piece of casework I do involves dovetails (sometimes more than 100 in a single piece such as a tool chest), so a coping saw is almost always on the bench to remove waste. For years I have used the Olson coping saw...

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Why I Lay Out Dovetails with Dividers

Rob Cosman showed me how to lay out dovetails using dividers about 12 or 13 years ago, and I have never looked back. I’ve caught a lot of crap for using the divider method from fellow hand-tool woodworkers who say that laying them out by eye is much faster. I don’t disagree. However, there...

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Lie-Nielsen Open House (and a Crazy Dutch Chest)

Last weekend I attended the Lie-Nielsen Open House at the company’s factory in Warren, Maine, and got to hang out with a lot of contributors to Popular Woodworking Magazine and work together on an unusual Dutch Tool Chest. What’s a Dutch Tool Chest? Check out the October 2013 issue to find out. Every year,...