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.

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...

Tricks of the Trade: Scraper Holder from Scraps

Instead of storing your freshly sharpened scrapers loose in a drawer (or tight in a wallet), this easy-to-make storage unit, shared with me by my friend Bob Lee, holds them at the ready over the bench. A thin piece of stock front and back captures a C-shaped piece with a wedge...

Designing kitchen cabinets with filler

Using Fillers When Designing Kitchen Cabinets

If you’ve got the right tools, frameless kitchen cabinets are easy to build. They’re just boxes, and if you don’t want to use any fancy joinery, you can glue and screw them together. The tricky thing about cabinets is figuring out how to make them fit into the room and work...

Gas-powered Plane-till Lid

pages 14-15 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...

An Easy Way to Draw Any Ellipse

On my most recent project I needed an elliptical arc. Although my arc conforms to the Golden Ratio (1:1.62), the method I use works for an ellipse of any proportion. Determine the overall size of the ellipse you need and cut a piece of pattern material large enough to encompass it....