Techniques

Below you’ll find smart woodworking techniques including quick tips, advice for beginners and more advanced methods to improve your skills and allow you to get the most out of your workshop and tools. Whether you’re looking for traditional woodworking techniques using hand tools or power tools, finishing or sharpening advice, or just want to hone your woodworking basics, the advice below is from seasoned and trusted woodworkers and furniture makers working at the top of their field.

Quick, Dirty & Effective Trammel Points

When starting in woodworking I couldn’t afford a good set of trammel points. I had my grandfather’s set, but it didn’t lock down well. Then one day woodworker Troy Sexton showed me how he drew large arcs and I realized that I already owned an effective trammel. Troy uses a yardstick...

bench planes

Bench Planes: The System of Three

We rethink the Western bench plane system. All you need to know is that there are three tools, three setups, three jobs and three surfaces. by Christopher Schwarz excerpted from the Winter 2009 issue of Woodworking Magazine Some days I think that every bench plane should come with a decoder ring...

through mortise through-mortise keyed mortise

Make Clean Through-Mortises

Woodworkers expect this joint to be tidy and tight, not ragged and gappy. We explore the best ways to make this sometimes-vexing hole. by Christopher Schwarz from the Winter 2008 issue of Woodworking Magazine The history of the through-mortise begins with a joint that was necessary because of the tools and...

Frame Miter Joints

These elegant joints are difficult to cut and clamp. These jigs can help. by Bill Hylton from the December 2003 issue The only frame joint that doesn’t leave a bit of end grain exposed is the miter joint. Given that it’s almost invisible when done right, it’s visually appealing, so you...

Three Ways to Make Edge Joints

By hand or power? With a spring joint or not? by Robert W. Lang, Glen D. Huey & Christopher Schwarz pgs. 40-43 From the April 2009 issue #175 Buy the issue now One of the most important joints in woodworking is the edge joint. Without it, our projects would look like...

hammer veneer

Hammer Veneering

Discover how and why this age-old hide glue technique works – and works best. by Don Williams One of the great hurdles for many woodworkers new to traditional craftsmanship is applying veneers to a wooden substrate. This becomes even more problematic when the task involves something more than laying down a...

Crackle Lacquer

A friend called me the other day with a question. He was matching a crackle-lacquer finish from the 1980s and wanted to know how this finish is made and how to apply it. Crackle lacquer is lacquer with so much solid material, usually silica, added that there isn’t enough binder (lacquer)...

Spray Booth for a Small Shop

In the December, 2001 issue of Popular Woodworking (issue # 125) I wrote about how to construct a simple but safe home spray booth. This article was reproduced in my book, “Flexner on Finishing.” But what if you have more space, do a lot of finishing and would like to have...