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The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator


Be sure to visit the Hand Tool Headlines section - scores of my favorite woodworking blogs in one place.  Also, take note of Norse Woodsmith's latest feature, an Online Store, which contains only products I personally recommend.  It is secure and safe, and is powered by Amazon.


Tico Vogt

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Updated: 7 min 8 sec ago

The Stabilizer

Tue, 02/28/2017 - 5:37am

Most of us who have any experience using hand held routers understand the reason for an offset subbase. Here is how Pat Warner explains it:

“Routers are tippy. Most of the mass of these machines is above the control knobs. On inside excavations this top heaviness is unnoticeable, especially when the casting is entirely surrounded x substrate. However, on the end, edge or corners of the work, where routers spend most of their time, their tipsiness can be appreciated. You can’t control them. There’s always less than 1/2 the casting on the work and when you take a right angle turn that number falls to <25%. You’re supporting the other three fourths of the tool in the air, 7 pounds of the typical 10 pound router! Precise work is hit or miss. Add an offset subbase and you’re in control. Moreover, you’ll be on the safe side of the yellow line.”


To see Pat’s incredibly well made products, click here.








Paul Alves is a custom stair builder in Massachusetts. He is currently at work on a friend of mine’s new house. He has designed a router offset base called “The Stabilizer” to support the router from the “unsafe” side of the yellow line!  All you need is a clean, level workbench. I can easily see its effectiveness in stair, boat, door and window building.


Paul and a business partner have put up a website to submit the product to potential interested parties or licensees. It showcases some of Paul’s masterful stair work and includes testimonials from users of The Stabilizer. I would like to see The Stabilizer in the marketplace. It is immediately useful for known applications and has potential for opening up new techniques. If you like the product, give them a shout on the contact link.

Chasing a Perfect 45° Bevel

Thu, 12/29/2016 - 6:49pm

A fixture used to produce an angle had better by right on, as on the Donkey Ear for the Vogt Shooting Board. Close ain’t cuttin’ it. It’s easy to get in the ballpark but not to hit home runs consistently.


If you want to bevel a plywood edge to 45° the tablesaw is the obvious choice.


I have found that, no matter how carefully I set the blade angle, the results can be inconsistent. Material can be less than ideally flat, the reference edge against the fence not as straight as expected, and the angle a fraction of a degree one side of 45 or the other.

A technique I have developed that delivers the accuracy I want is to start with the tablesaw, then use a jointer plane to shoot a small, straight flat on the knife edge, and finally to joint the bevel on the router table using a large bit.


My router table fence can be set with an out-feed fence to remove about 1/32”. Notice in the photo that I have inlaid a strip of acetal in the MDF face of the out-feed fence where a very sharp edge would wear a groove in it.


When I set the bit height, the sharp edge lands in the small space below the bearing.


There is snipe for the first two inches of the piece to be beveled that I account for as waste. Tapering the leading edge helps to guide it onto the out-feed fence.


Scribble on the edge to be jointed lets you see if the job is completed when it is fully removed.

bevel-5R S shooting moldings

It’s A Good Day

Sun, 12/25/2016 - 12:18pm

A demo from 2005. Listen to Ray’s voice and have a good day!

On blogging

Sun, 12/11/2016 - 6:29pm

First off, a note of gratitude to www.unpluggedshop.com and Paul and Joseph Sellars for this aggregate site that we go to daily. It has been a vital way for me to connect to the world of woodworking enthusiasts.

Next, I want to thank the many bloggers for their inspiring posts through the years. You deserve credit for keeping at it and taking the necessary time and effort. It would be helpful if more readers left comments on your blogs if nothing else than just to acknowledge your contributions. For some reason many of the blogs where I used to leave comments have made it less accessible to do so with the need to sign in under a choice of accounts which thwart my efforts to join.

I discovered weblogs in 2009. Like all things internet, there was a lot of confusion for me. I thought at first that all the woodworking blog posts were written by fellow professionals. Eventually, it became clear that only a small percentage were pros. Talented amateurs were the main body of contributors and among them were highly skilled craftsmen/craftswomen. The unpluggedshop site,of course, selected the predominantly hand tool workers.

Before the internet, woodworking shows and readers’ comments and articles in magazines were the only means of sharing information and perspectives. Blogs and forums forever changed that. It is as easy as a few keystrokes or clicks now to find blog posts that cover:

~tutorials on building furniture of all kinds
~tutorials on specific tools and techniques
~information on trees, wood, timber, etc.
~philosphical attitudes and approaches to the craft
~tool and new product reviews
~historical information about antique furniture
~historical information on traditional methods of work
~step-by step builds by contemporary makers
~biographies of important woodworkers
~the teaching/class schedules of woodworking teachers and institutions and important events
~book and magazine reviews

I have really enjoyed using my blog, in addition to documenting extensive builds, as a means of telling personal stories that cover a wide range of topics and don’t always relate to woodworking specifically, such as the kindness of a stranger, business snafus, funny clients, harrowing commissions, family history, my inventor father, growing trees, and dogs.

Since my hiking accident in 2015, my blogging efforts have waned. As gratifying as they are to publish, I find that they take a fair amount of time and effort. All the camera images need to be re-sized, for one. Writing, itself, can be a slow process. If you are tired and have other things to do… Another important fact is that, while there may be many readers, so few people comment, as previously mentioned. That is a discouraging aspect.

And then there is Instagram. instagram-179

Some of my younger tool-making friends encouraged me to try it out and it’s quickly become a daily routine. Initially, I was wary of being awash with so many images. How many can I really want to look at? Don’t I already have enough screen time in my life? And yet it is such a convenient and effective way to pass along shop tips and share pictures and short videos of work. No resizing required and usually just a paragraph of text or less. My wife, who teaches writing at the college level, maintains that it is one of the reasons her students can’t write! It has certainly diminished my production of long form posts.

Just in the last two weeks, though, my interest in writing blogs has been given a boost, first by the editors of Furniture and Cabinetmaking Magazine published in the UK who will recommend my site to their readers, having evaluated the content and given it the thumbs up, and, secondly, by Toolversed that selected me to be in their top 25 blogs.

The two platforms offer those of us who want to share our woodworking adventures better options. Just as I wouldn’t think a blog post appropriate or worth it for just a picture with minimum text, a long form post requiring multiple photos with detailed explanation, like the one you’re reading, wouldn’t fly on Instagram.

All this online activity is having an impact on magazines and presses, the people who make hard copy. How could it not? Let’s not forget to support them. You won’t get any “fake” woodworking news or information from their well-edited pages.

Low Tea Table Highlights Joinery