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“The Joinery Challenge,” a new DVD from Ron Herman, is now available for pre-order at ShopWoodworking.com (and on sale for $5 off the regular price through the end of June). This exercise is one Ron had to pass when he was in his apprenticeship on his way to becoming a journeyman housewright (he’s now a master housewright, and runs Antiquity Builders of Ohio, a century-old family business in Columbus).

This two-hour DVD walks you through making nine essential joints; one is the modern pocket-hole joint, the rest are made using hand tools. Ron talks about the joints, shows you the layout of each, then teaches you to cut each of the nine joints in order. If you cut them squarely and accurately,  you end up with a strong frame that’s divided into four quadrants – and with no glue, it’s should be sturdy enough to use in a game of toss.

In addition to the pocket-hole joint, you’ll learn how to accurately make a mitered butt joint, a pinned and mitered butt joint, a corner slip joint, a corner half-lap joint, a half-lap dovetail joint, a mortise-and-tenon joint, a bridle joint and a center half-lap joint.


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