Author Archives: Brendan Gaffney

Brendan Gaffney

About Brendan Gaffney

Brendan Bernhardt Gaffney, managing editor of Popular Woodworking, is a woodworker, designer and tree nerd from the northeastern United States. An alumnus of The Krenov School (formerly College of the Redwoods) his focus in woodworking is on the intersections of good design, fine wood and practiced technique.

Lixie Dead Blow Mallet

by Brendan Gaffney page 14 Well-fit joinery (not too loose, not too tight) and well-planned glue-ups rarely need much persuasion – but I am not always lucky enough to find myself with either of those. In the past, I’ve used big rubber mallets, small sledges and framing hammers (with a block...

Texas Heritage Woodworks Saddle Bag

by Brendan Gaffney page 16 I’m a fan of having my tools out and at hand in the workshop. It’s easy enough to mount the saws to the wall, whip up a chisel rack and tuck the planes on a shelf, but the small items rarely have a good spot to...

7 Tips for Tricky Glue-ups

Glue-ups are always a stressful moment – you have a short timeframe to correctly align the parts you’ve been working on for some time, and failure to do so can compromise your results. So, I figured I’d share some tips that I’ve learned over time, through many a stressful and suspenseful...

Lixie Dead Blow Mallet Test – Some Fun in the Shop

For an upcoming “Tool Test” in the February 2018 (#237) issue of the magazine, I reviewed the Lixie Dead Blow Mallet (the 30 ounce version, with 1 1/2″ diameter heads). While we’ll post the full mallet test when the magazine hits newsstands, we wanted to take the time first (before writing...

How It’s Made – A Trip to M. Bohlke Veneer

I’m a “behind-the-scenes” junkie – any chance I get to see the inner workings of manufacturing or industrial spaces, I jump at the opportunity. So, I was especially thrilled to take a tour of M. Bohlke Veneer, a lumberyard and veneer mill in nearby Fairfield, Ohio (a 15-minute drive from the...

Machine Manuals and Old Tools

This past week I’ve been out in the Popular Woodworking shop, doing a bit of maintenance. Many of our machines were bought many years ago – while they’ve been maintained well and used by careful workers, every machine needs a bit of TLC every once in a while. The biggest hurdle...

Pop Wood Group Project: Magnetic Picture Rails

Last week, Marissa Bowers (our wonderful designer, who’s been helping us out while we seek a new permanent art director*) mentioned she had been looking for a set of picture rails – and wondered aloud if it was something we could build in the shop. Ever eager for an excuse to...

A Lumberyard Map: Find a Lumberyard Near You!

More than a year ago, before I joined the staff, Megan Fitzpatrick and I talked about an article I wanted to write about lumberyards and the perennial discussion about domestic versus exotic lumber. At the time, I was also working on an interactive map of New York City’s neighborhoods, and I...