Tools in Your Shop

‘Tis a poor craftsman who blames his tools … which is why we like to celebrate them! Popular Woodworking has been at the forefront of woodworking tools and tool usage for many years. Our focus is not just reviewing new tools, but considering the best overall approach to tooling – especially how hand and power tools can go together in your shop. It’s all about completing great projects and doing it efficiently, without breaking the bank. Have fun learning from these community posts and applying the knowledge to your next project!

Your Guide to Drill Bits – Free PDF Download

This one-page basic guide will get you up to speed on drill bits and drilling. Includes: Visual guide to basic types of drill bits Eight common drilling problems and solutions Chart of suggested speeds for different bit styles, sizes and types of wood Download the PDF here: Your Guide to Drill...

What Tools Do I Need to Start Woodworking?

Woodworking really is simple, despite all attempts to complicate it. Complications introduced by well-meaning folks can keep a beginner away from the enjoyable part: making things. One of the most common questions is “what tools do I need to get started?” and as the would-be woodworker starts reading he soon begins...

New Bosch Barrel Grip Jig Saw

Bosch ‘Enhances’ Jigsaws

Last week I was at the North American headquarters of Bosch Tools, part of a group of woodworking journalists taking a look at new offerings of the company’s products. The first woodworking tools we were shown were a pair of new jigsaws, the top-handle model JS572EL and the barrel-grip model JS572EBL....

My Favorite Band Saw Blade

While I do most of my work by hand, there are two machines that I refuse to do without: a thickness planer and an old Delta 14” band saw. These two machines remove the drudgery from reducing boards in thickness and long rips. So I baby these two machines. When it...

Accuracy in Woodworking

One of the sure signs of getting old is finding out that the kid who works in the next cubicle never heard of the TV show “WKRP in Cincinnati.” Another sign is remembering something that is taken for granted today was at one time brand spanking new. Our web guy wasn’t...

Exploit the Weakness of the Tree

In hand-tool woodworking, brains almost always trump brawn. For example, when I need to remove a lot of material from a localized area, I need to think like a tree assassin and exploit its weaknesses. Think about it for a minute: Trees are much stronger in the vertical axis than they...

Single Purpose Tools – What’s Your Favorite?

One of my favorite finishes is Watco Danish Oil. I love the product, but hate the container. In addition to being a pretty good wood finish, Watco Oil is also a very effective metal-to-metal adhesive. After you use it, the little bit of finish that drips around the threads of the...

Cutting Tenons on a Table Saw

I’ve long been a fan of cutting tenons on the table saw. I’ve found it can be done quickly, with repeatable accuracy and safely. Recently, I discovered a new saw blade with a thick, 1/4″-wide tooth that’s ground flat on the top, and it’s perfect for this operation. This Infinity Tools...

Another Solid $10 (and Change) Saw

It sounds like a difficult question, but it’s really not. “I really want a Wenzloff & Sons handsaw, but I am a (graduate student, hobo, philosophy major) and cannot afford it. Can you recommend a saw that works almost as well but costs only $10?” Yes, I can. For many years...