Woodworking Tips

Q & A: Stuck Gib Nut

Stuck Gib Nut Q: I managed to round-over a gib nut on my planer’s blade holder. I’ve tried everything to free that nut. Any suggestions? A: AYou can free a stuck nut by striking it with a center punch (available at hardware stores). Center punches are made of hardened steel and...

AW Extra 6/12/14 – Better Winding Sticks

Better Winding Sticks   Winding sticks are very useful for gauging twist in a board, but they’re difficult to read. My improved version of these time-tested helpers makes the twist stand out. I start with a pair of straight, flat 2-in.-wide sticks made from 3/4-in.-thick light-colored wood. Then I stain both...

Q & A: Shop-Made Sanding Blocks

Shop-Made Sanding Blocks   Q: Commercial sanding blocks all have some kind of padded bottom. Do my shop-made blocks need to be padded, too?   A: Yes they do. Padded blocks have two primary benefits: They increase the life of your paper and they make it possible to use pressure-sensitive-adhesive (PSA)...

AW Extra 6/5/14 – Faster Sharpening

Faster Sharpening One of my favorite sharpening tools is a diamond paddle. I use it for router bits, knives and, most importantly, scrapers. The problem is that it cuts so fast the tiny spaces between the diamonds quickly fill with metal particles, called swarf, which slows or even stops the cutting...

Q & A: Bowl-Gouge Sharpening Jigs

Q: Try as I might, I can’t seem to get a good edge on my bowl gouges. Are bowlgouge sharpening jigs worth looking into? A: Bowl-gouge sharpening jigs do a great job. The jigs give many turners a higher degree of control and repeatability than they get doing it by hand....

AW Extra 5/22/14 – Saber-Saw Cushion

Saber-Saw Cushion The next time you use your saber saw, forget about hauling out the sawhorses or cantilevering a hard-to-hold workpiece off your bench. Extruded polystyrene insulation board, the rigid pink sheets used in housing construction, makes saber-sawing easy, whether you’re cutting a small piece of hardwood or a full sheet...

Q & A: What’s a Tail Vise?

Q: I am really puzzled as to how the tail vise actually works as I have only used a front vise. A: A tail vise’s main purpose is to hold a board flat on the bench for planing, routing, sanding and so on. The tail vise pushes a board tightly against...