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Konrad Sauer Reinvents the Panel Plane

Whether you love them or hate them, the English form of the infill plane has remained almost unchanged since it was invented in the 19th century. An infill plane is a metal shell that is stuffed – or infilled – with beautiful wood that supports the iron and helps you grip the tool. Perhaps...

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My Young Apprentice: Day 1

I looked at my 10-year-old daughter Katy over a plate of chili dogs today and realized that this was the chance I had been waiting for all my adult life. When I teach people woodworking, I spend about 42 percent of my time undoing the junk they have taught themselves, or trying to make...

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Things I Cannot Teach About Woodworking

The best things about the craft of woodworking – the things that bring pleasure in the work – are beyond my skills as a writer, teacher or friend to explain. Example: Powered jointers are – in my opinion – the most sensitive machine ever invented. They are like Phil Donohue with an induction motor....

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No Teaching in 2012

I’ve said this a few times in public, so I figured that I better mention it here before somebody starts a rumor about how I have a tumor (not true) or a small gnome or dwarf growing in my stomach. I won’t be teaching any classes or lectures or traveling to shows in 2012....

What I Don't Get About Sharpening Stones

Thanks to the steady stream of tools that flow in and out of our shop, I do a lot of sharpening. I set up more tools from scratch than I care to admit. And I wear out sharpening stones. Last week I noticed that my #1,000-grit Shapton Glasstone was getting wafer thin. This is...

Cute Children's Book on Hand Tool Woodworking

I love getting paid to read, so today was a nice day…at least for the few minutes it took me to read Mark Lovett Wells’, “Daddy, Can We Play in the Workshop?” This cute little book written for young children alternates between simple text and black and white photos, and shares the story of...

Precision Gizmo: Langdon Mitre Boxes

Of all the power tools I own, I think my scariest, oops-I-crapped-my-pants moments have been with a power miter saw. When knocking down rough stock, miter saws have a tendency to “armadillo” , or leap straight out of the cut, sometimes kicking your work around. This happens when the stock pinches on the blade,...

'Adequate' is the New 'Premium'

Sometimes I feel a tad guilty for owning tools from Veritas, Lie-Nielsen and Blue Spruce. But then I pick up my very first chisel and I get over it. I’ve had that chisel since I graduated from college , it’s a 1/2″ chisel I bought at WalMart and it’s branded Popular Mechanics (is that...

Cheap Christmas Idea: Woodblock Stamp

At the risk of enraging the powerful pen-turning cabal, I gotta say that I’ve never been enthralled by making pens or bottle stoppers on my lathe. Life would be easier if I did embrace my mini-lathe, especially at Christmas. Instead I end up building furniture for the people I love. One year I made...