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Fighting Evil Alien Technology

Beating it requires knowing the right way to nail a board. When I was about 8 years old, I decided that I needed to construct a sturdy fort to protect myself from the army of aliens (who cleverly [...]

Common Woodworking Mistakes

There are many things we do wrong but we don’t know they’re wrong. In woodworking there are two kinds of mistakes: There’s the garden-variety gaffe where we simply cut a board too short or botch [...]

One Stick, All the Info

Measured drawings for some, story sticks for me (and others). I once had a job making a couple of wainscot chairs and chests for the National Park Service. After barely surviving the paperwork it [...]

Planer-Puss

Planer-Puss After my friend Jason and I purchased a truckload of rough lumber, we headed for his garage workshop to plane the boards before divvying them up. All of Jason’s tools are on mobile [...]

Sharpeners’ Anonymous

A 12-step program for regrowing forearm hair. I head through the main doors, down the stairs to the basement, arriving at the third door on the right. Like everyone else, I grab a cup of coffee [...]

On Wood Selection

Both fast- and slow-growing wood present good opportunities. Wood selection is an important part of any woodworking project. I sometimes feel like I take it to an extreme, like I’m some kind of [...]

Flying Sawdust

Flying Sawdust Last summer, due to the heat, I covered my portable saw with a canvas tarp and retreated to the cooler air inside my basement shop.  For two months, the saw sat under the shed [...]

The Sketchbook of Henry Lapp

An illuminating look at the life of a 19th century country cabinetmaker. Daydreaming in my shop, I’m imagining a warm summer day way back in 1899. Just after supper, Henry Lapp sits at a pine [...]

Egg-oh!

Egg-oh! My fiancé and I planned an April wedding. To celebrate our marriage, I decided to turn a very special Easter egg. In addition to segmented rings of maple and ebony, this egg would have a [...]

It’s Not About Perfection

The beauty of utility: coarse and fine combined. Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in the April 2018 issue of Popular Woodworking. One of my favorite pieces of furniture is a [...]

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