Marking and Measuring

Tricks of the Trade: Testing the Finger-Guided Ruler

When you don’t need an absolutely accurate line drawn on a piece (say for a shooting/nailing line or layout line) all you need is a wooden folding ruler, a pencil and your two hands. Lay the rule on your piece the proper distance in, then hold the rule in your left...

lumber crayon and mechanical pencil

Don’t Leave Home Without Essential Layout Tools

Whenever I leave town to teach a woodworking class, I make two stops to pick up a supply of two essential things for project layout. The first stop is the office supply store for a box of Bic .5mm mechanical pencils. Next stop is the “big box home center” for a...

Find Center With a Combination Square

In this short video, executive editor Robert W. Lang demonstrates how to find the center of a board using a combination square, it’s easy, accurate and no numbers were harmed in the making of this video. – Robert Lang  

Precision Drilling Repetitive Hole Patterns

Years ago, when I was woodworking as a full-time occupation, I remember a couple jobs in particular that required me to set up a drill press to drill a sequence of holes where accuracy was a must. One job was producing prototype cabinets for JBL, the company that makes speakers. The...

My Favorite Tool from the H.O. Studley Tool Chest

Making woodworking tools doesn’t interest me as much as making furniture, but my recent encounter with Henry O. Studley’s tool chest has me eyeing the metals section of the  McMaster-Carr web site. The tool that turned my head is small and simple, but boy do I have a crush on it....

My Chisel Handles are Older Than Yours

Exotic woods don’t blow my skirt/kilt/skort up much. In small doses they can look beautiful, but for the most part I find them oily, difficult to work and far too wild looking for full-size furniture. I’ve always preferred hardwoods and softwoods from the Northern hemisphere. Quartersawn beech is exotic to me....