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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DMT’s Dia-Flat Takes a Crazy Beating

I don’t get too worked up about sharpening equipment. With a few exceptions, any abrasive gets your tools sharp. And I find that the less I write about abrasives, the happier I am. But I’m going to break my silence to talk about DMT’s Dia-Flat lapping plate. It is awesome – practically perfect. Yes,...

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For Fun: The Song of ‘Rooney O’Chisel’

This morning, I’m listening to the newest album from The Avett Brothers, “The Carpenter.” It’s a delightful acoustic and folky album, and as a bonus the CD cover looks like a traditional seal of a brotherhood of carpenters. (Listen to them perform the song here.) I’ve always liked songs about the craft, like Guy...

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Learning to Speak ‘Studley’

Today we inched our way through the process of documenting the tools in the H.O. Studley chest with high-resolution, for-publication photographs. It is grueling work that’s done in the dark, punctuated by blinding flashes and always coated in the fear of dropping one of the tools to the floor below. All told, there are...

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H.O. Studley by the Numbers

It takes a long time – months, really – to recover your senses after spending time with the tool chest of H.O. Studley. During our first visit with the chest in 2011, we spent about an hour taking random shots of the thing, as if it might just disappear from the wall at any...

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‘The Woodwright’s Shop’ Renewed for 2 More Seasons

Good news, fellow knuckle-draggers. Roy Underhill’s television show, “The Woodwright’s Shop,” has been renewed for two more seasons – State Farm Insurance has agreed to fund seasons 33 and 34 of the show. Personal note: I have my home insurance through State Farm for this reason alone. My wife thinks I’m nuts for this....

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Cool Square. But What the Heck is it Used For?

One of my favorite tools is the “English Layout Square” I built for the December 2010 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine. Heck, I like it so much I put it on the cover of my book “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest,” built one on “The Woodwright’s Shop” and even had its shape engraved on the...

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Entirely Unimportant

The first lesson of handwork is this: Most things that you think are important are not important. Most surfaces do not need to be true. Most edges do not need to be square. Most boards do not need to be four-squared (or even free of bark). Most dimensions – length, thickness, width – will...

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More Campaign Furniture Pieces to Explore

I’m in Charleston, S.C., this week to fatten myself up on grits and explore some of the antique shops for campaign furniture examples to study. First the bad news: Antiques of the Indies, the awesome King Street shop I visited last fall, recently closed. However I found that the owner had taken a booth...

Hmmm. I don't remember getting up on the table and dancing at last year's WIA.

My Part at Woodworking in America

Now that I’m no longer on the staff of Woodworking in America, I get to do three things: 1) Actually attend some of the really great seminars from people like chairmaker Curtis Buchanan, carver Mary May, Yeung Chan and David Marks. 2) Present my own seminars on topics that are a bit on the...