skilled Woodworker

Q & A: Filling Nail Holes

Filling Nail Holes   Q: I am making an oak bookcase as a builtin for our living room. What’s the best way to fill the nail holes and finish the trim pieces once they’re in place? A: Don’t try to finish the trim in place. It’s best to have all of...

Q & A: Spray-On Crackle Finish

Spray-On Crackle Finish   Q: Is it possible to get a crackle finish in a pigmented, water-based lacquer that is applied with an HVLP spray gun? If so, please tell me how. A: Yes, it can be done. Put down a base color first (the color that will show through the...

AW Extra 1/23/14 – Steel Wool Holder

Steel Wool Holder I came up with this idea because I often use steel wool, bronze wool, and synthetic-steel wool. I attach the hook part of adhesive-backed, hook-and-loop strips to a piece of plywood about the size of a flattened pad (3/4 by 2-3/8 by 5-1/4 in). The hooks grab the...

Q & A: Splitter for Narrow Pieces

Splitter for Narrow Pieces   Q:   How can I avoid burn marks when ripping thin strips?       A:   Add a splitter to your zero-clearance throat plate. A splitter keeps the wood from binding on the back of the blade.For most rip cuts, you should use your blade...

Q & A: Clean Cuts in a Countertop

Clean Cuts in a Countertop   Q: I have a plastic laminate countertop that’s about 12 in. too long. I know that plastic laminate tends to chip when cut. How can I trim the countertop to size without creating unsightly chips or splinters? A: If not cut properly, plastic laminate will...

AW Extra 1/2/14 – Tips for Gluing Miters

Tips for Gluing Miters By Bruce Wiebe Every woodworker faces their share of miter joints, whether framing a mirror, edge-banding a coffee table or assembling a jewelry box. And even for seasoned woodworkers, gluing miter joints can be frustrating. Gaps appear. Imperfect cutting or gluing leaves the joint misaligned. One of...

AW Extra 12/26/13 – Precision Height Gauge

Precision Height Gauge To set the height of a router bit—within .001", if necessary— I made this simple stand for my caliper. It works on a router table or a hand-held router. Two screws with washers secure the caliper. When I need the caliper without the stand, it’s easy to remove....