Sanding Help from the Garden

In my work as a luthier, I sand a lot of curved surfaces. I’ve found that I can make perfect sandpaper backing pads from “kneeling cushions” sold for garden work. Available at home-supply stores [...]

Shop Apron Magnets

Small tools are easier to reach since I added two rare-earth magnets to my apron. I epoxied the 1/2″ dia. magnets to two 1″ square pieces of leather, punched 1/2″ holes in the [...]

Cove Cuts on the Table Saw

Accurately set up for and safely make these versatile curved shapes. It was the 1970s. I was a young, lost woodworker out cruising the West Coast in search of inspiration, mentors, cool old tools [...]

Bullet-Catch Bench Dogs

Bullet-Catch Bench Dogs When I built my workbench, I drilled round bench-dog holes in the top so I didn’t have to cut square mortises. Being a thrifty sort, I didn’t want to shell out for [...]

Body Mechanics

Get better woodworking results with these 12 tips. I’ve been teaching now for more than 15 years. And in that time I’ve thought a lot about why students are or are not able to do certain things. [...]

Improved Push Pad

Ordinary push pads tend to slip, I’ve found, when face-jointing a board. I modified one of mine by cutting 1/2″ of the rubber padding off its back end and then screwing on a 1/2″ x [...]

Bandsaw Blade Marking Knife

Old bandsaw blades can easily be recycled into useful marking or carving knives. One blade nets you a slew of small pieces. Use a tin snip to cut off a piece of the blade, grind off the teeth, [...]

Soda Cap Standoffs

When finishing a flat panel, I use plastic soda bottle caps as standoffs to raise the panel above the bench. First, I finish the back side of the panel. Then I set the wet side on the upturned [...]

12 Weekend Picture Frames

Here’s a fun way to save money, be creative, make something useful, and use up scrap stock: make your own picture frames. You can start from scratch and have finished frames in a day or less, and [...]

Tape-clamping Small Miters

When gluing miters for small mouldings, clear packing tape makes an ideal clamp. Begin by placing a strip of tape across the bottom of the joint; this will prevent glue squeeze-out from getting [...]

Get the Most From Your Router

  These tips and tricks will take you a long way toward success. The router is, simply put, a multi-tasking workhorse in the woodshop. But you would be surprised by how many folks don’t get [...]

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