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.

‘Chisel Use: An Easy Guide’

by Jim Stuard from the February 2001 issue Chisel Use: An easy guide to whether you should be pushing,paring or pounding your chisels, in any given situation. Back when I started as an apprentice cabinetmaker, a chisel was something to be beaten with a large hammer. That was before I learned...

Don’t Close Your Eyes to the Square

When people injure themselves in the shop, their first reaction is to grab the wound and refuse to look. Sadly, this is the same attitude many woodworkers take with the squareness of their components: They refuse to look and hope things will work out. While there are lots of areas of...

Bill Hylton

Tongue and Groove Joinery

There are many ways to cut this popular edge-to-edge joint. by Bill Hylton from the April 2005 issue A tongue-and-groove joint is an edge joint with a mechanical interlock. The edge of one board has a groove. A matching tongue is formed on the edge of the mating board. The tongue...

Video: Frank Klausz Finger Joint How-to

It’s hard to fathom, but finger joints are a relatively new joinery method for Frank Klausz, because why not just cut dovetails when you need a box?  In fact, when we filmed the video below (2014), he’d cut his first finger joints but two weeks before. But that doesn’t mean he...

‘Houndstooth Dovetails’ – by Rob Cosman

I recently posted on our Instagram account and Twitter feed the opening image from Rob Cosman’s 2006 article “Houndstooth Dovetails,” and it proved remarkably popular – so I figured I might as well post the article. And while that “opener” certainly benefited from good lighting, and great camera and a skilled...

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...