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 Fear-Love Spectrum of Finishing

Every time I purchase lacquer at a professional paint store, I have the following conversation. Me: “Could you put that gallon in the paint-mixing machine for a couple minutes? That will save me some time.” Employee: “I’ll do it, but you won’t like it. You’ll create bubbles in the finish.” Me: “I’ll risk it.”...

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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...