Personal Favorites

When we like something – a tool, a book or a web site – we tag it as one of our “Personal Favorites.” That’s what you’ll find here. Whether it’s from our Editor’s Blog or a woodworking article from the magazine, you’ll find it here. We may rant about a sandpaper that really is worth twice the price of any other, a piece of furniture that strikes us piece of furniture that in just the right way, or a great price on one of our favorite books500 Year Old Shaving Horses , you’ll find it here.

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The Anarchist’s Gift Guide, Day 8

As a furniture-maker, turning was always an uphill battle for me. Every turning tool requires a different touch and a different sharpening approach. The problem was that I never practiced enough to keep my skills up. So every time I picked up a skew, I was a baby turner again. A few years ago...

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The Anarchist’s Gift Guide, Day 7

The last two items on my list are for woodworkers who have been very good this year. They are a bit more expensive than the other items on my list, but they are excellent tools. Of those last two items, the first is the Saddle-Tail from Sterling Tool Works, a one-man toolmaking company in...

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The Anarchist’s Gift Guide, Day 6

I cannot give you the gift of better eyesight in the shop because, oh, wait, I actually can. Speaking as someone who has had pitiful eyesight since first grade, I have always looked for ways to improve my marking tools. Without a doubt, the one tool that has improved my game more than any...

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The Anarchist’s Gift Guide, Day 5

OK, I’m going to sound like I have a “man crush” on Joel Moskowitz with this blog entry. But when I think about the simplest inventions in my lifetime that have changed my work, the Gramercy holdfast is pretty much at the top of my list. For just $35 you can get a pair...

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The Anarchist’s Gift Guide, Day 4

My first experience using shellac in the mid-1990s was a disaster. The stuff wouldn’t dry. And when it did finally, kinda dry it was a gummy mess. So I stuck to pre-cat lacquer and other film finishes. However, since then, I’ve gotten my hands on some very good, fresh and pure shellac from Tools...

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The Anarchist’s Gift Guide, Day 3

We woodworkers work hard to put stuff together. But we suck eggs when it comes to taking things apart. Every woodworker – no matter how skilled – needs an “iron crow.” It’s a thin-bladed pry bar that can actually get inside of cabinets and lever parts apart. I used to have one made from...

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The Anarchist’s Gift Guide, Day 2

If you buy your screwdriver tips at the home center, then you have probably figured out they are made from recycled chewing gum. They are, for the most part, worthless. The steel is too soft, the tips are malformed and they fall out of the driver constantly. (Other than that, they’re great!) And if...

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The Anarchist’s Gift Guide, Day 1

I’ve been gagging a lot lately on some of the woodworking “gift guides” out there. About 90 percent of the stuff in them is just silly, cheap stuff that you really don’t need. I can say this because I’m a “gift guide” victim. One year my wife took the kids to a woodworking store...

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An Even Better Bench Light

This summer I swallowed hard and praised an inexpensive IKEA light that I used while teaching at the Port Townsend School of Woodworking. When I returned home, I was going to buy one. But then I found that one of my kids had purchased one and had it in her room. So I pinched...