Tricks of the Trade

If there’s one thing a woodworker loves as much as a new tool, it’s a new trick! There’s nothing like discovering a slick new maneuver or a cool jig that makes life sweeter in the shop. Fortunately, Popular Woodworking Magazine readers are a clever bunch, and happy to share their bright ideas.

In every “Tricks of the Trade” column, you’ll find a cornucopia of great workshop ideas submitted by your fellow readers. They cover everything from hand tool tips, machine jigs and clever shop accessories to great advice for better finishing, joinery, layout, and sharpening, among other time-saving, skill-building tricks. To read some of our recent “Tricks of the Trade” and to watch our “Tricks-in-Action” videos, scroll down below.

To learn how to submit an idea to Tricks of the Trade, click here.

Make relief cuts when cutting curves on the band saw

Tricks of the Trade: How to Cut Curves on the Bandsaw

Here’s a tip on how to cut curves on the bandsaw. When cutting a circle or an odd shape from a square piece of lumber on a bandsaw, you’ve probably dealt with the annoying corners that try to pull the material out of your hands as they catch on the bandsaw’s...

Tricks of the Trade: Testing the Finger-Guided Ruler

When you don’t need an absolutely accurate line drawn on a piece (say for a shooting/nailing line or layout line) all you need is a wooden folding ruler, a pencil and your two hands. Lay the rule on your piece the proper distance in, then hold the rule in your left...

Tricks of the Trade: Adjustable Shooting Board

There’s really no substitute for a nice, dialed-in shooting board. It’s a bench appliance that every woodworker with a handplane should have for sneaking up to a line and making perfect miters. When I saw this particular trick in the archive, I thought I’d build it and see how well it...

Tricks of the Trade: Make a Arc Drawing Jig

Over the years, we have amassed a huge collection of handy tips from the Tricks of the Trade column in our magazine. We recently started to film some of these tricks in the Pop Wood shop to give a little personality to the pages that you are so familiar with. Our...

Tricks of the Trade: Quick & Easy Setup for Handplaning Drawers

I recently completed a seven-drawer dresser. The drawers featured hand-cut dovetails and are of graduated heights from top to bottom. Cleaning up the drawers with my handplanes was initially tough because I couldn’t get them to remain still during planing. Fortunately, I thumbed through a Charles H. Hayward book recently and...

Tricks of the Trade: Gas-powered Plane-till Lid

I have a meager collection of handplanes made up of mostly dog-meat users. I like using planes that have history because it’s fun to think about what each might have made during the last 100 years. None of my planes are particularly nice, but I do want to keep them from...