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Woodworking advice, woodworking plans, woodworking projects and woodworking blogs
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A Good Goodbye

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 8:18am

Last summer, upon accepting the position of managing editor here at Popular Woodworking Magazine, I wrote a blog post publicly asking myself if I was a woodworker. Today, as I begin my final week in this role, I’m only slightly closer to a definitive answer. Sorry – burying the lede is an old writer’s habit of mine (same with posting misleading photos). Yes, I’m leaving my position at Popular Woodworking […]

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Categories: General Woodworking

Alternative Paint Strippers

Fri, 02/24/2017 - 7:58am
stripper

by Bob Flexner Safer strippers are having a ‘green’ revival. Methods for removing old paint and finish from furniture have gone through at least four distinct periods. Before solvents became widely available, coatings were removed by scraping, often with glass used like we use scrapers, and sometimes by sanding, after sandpaper became available. (Heat and caustics such as lye have never been a good idea for furniture because they can […]

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Categories: General Woodworking

Use Epoxy for Filling Gaps & Bark Inclusions – Martin Goebel

Thu, 02/23/2017 - 7:15am

Along with 64,000 or so (at least as of today) other people, I follow Goebel & Co. Furniture on Instagram. The furniture pieces coming out of this St. Louis-based shop are well-built and beefy, with imaginative designs that in many cases make use of live-edge tops that are stabilized with epoxy. (And take a look at some of the table bases – they’re pretty astounding!) So when we were looking […]

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Categories: General Woodworking

Thin, Good Looking & Strong – Micro Plywood Splines, Part 2

Wed, 02/22/2017 - 4:21am

It is very easy to install thin plywood splines in mitered corners of boxes and frames But, to do so successfully, you will have to design the placement pattern of the splines and spend some time carefully laying out your design on the corners. (Read part one of the micro splines story here)  Design Above (in the lead image) you can see a few optional designs that can be easily […]

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Categories: General Woodworking

Small Shop CNCs: Machines That Fit, Part 2

Tue, 02/21/2017 - 5:00am

In Part One, I introduced a class of machines in this group of CNCs that fit and perform well in home and small professional shops. What they have in common is the 2’ x 3’ to 4’ size range, engineering, design, specifications and build quality. Let’s have a look at that list again. Axiom Precision Pro Series AR6 Pro 24” x 36” & AR8 Pro 24” x 48” Laguna Tools […]

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Categories: General Woodworking

How to Select Woodturning Tools

Mon, 02/20/2017 - 6:30am
lathe tools

When it comes to turned furniture components, you only have a few options. You can buy mass-produced factory-turned components that do not accurately recreate the fine details in period furniture; you can make friends with a turner; or you can invest in a lathe and turn your own. If you decide to go with the third option you’ll need some woodturning tools (in addition to your lathe). This can seem like […]

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Categories: General Woodworking

Small Shop CNC: A Class of Machines Designed to Fit

Sat, 02/18/2017 - 5:00am

If you’re at the point to where you’re at least thinking about the idea of adding a CNC to your shop, then you’ve likely done some research. If that’s the case then you’ve certainly noticed there’s a huge range of sizes and prices of machines to consider.  With CNC routers from as small as 12” x 18” to as large as 5’ x 10’ in size, and prices from a few […]

The post Small Shop CNC: A Class of Machines Designed to Fit appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Popular Woodworking Magazine, April 2017

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 3:00am

The April issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine (#231) just mailed to print subscribers and emailed to digital subscribers. It’s live in our online store too. There’s a lot to dig into in this issue, including a chisel primer from Christopher Schwarz – he addresses what chisels you really need, how to set one up right and correct chisel usage techniques. And if you’re interested in period woodworking, you should really […]

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Categories: General Woodworking

Frank Klausz’s ‘Secret’ Water-tight Joint

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 6:32am
water-tight joint

Frank Klausz reveals the family secret – how to make the watertight wood-on-wood joint for the bottom of his sharpening pond – a boatbuilder’s joint taught to him by his grandfather. It takes a special shop-made tool…from a material that you likely already have on hand. (I think I’ve enough of this particular thing to make at least 40 of them…I need to clean out the basement.) The pond also […]

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Categories: General Woodworking

Acclimating Wood

Tue, 02/14/2017 - 1:00pm
acclimating wood

Whether you buy your furniture wood from a specialty hardwood lumberyard or from a local sawyer, the chance that the wood is ready to go into a piece of furniture with a minimum risk of shrinking (or, rarely, expanding) unduly is just about nil. Instead, it’s more likely (at least in most areas of the United States) that the wood has been sitting in an unheated space and is, at […]

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Categories: General Woodworking

Thin, Good Looking & Strong – Micro Plywood Splines, Part 1

Mon, 02/13/2017 - 5:38am

While designing a 9th-grade box project, one thing kept bugging me: How should we reinforce the miter joints at the corners of the boxes? After cutting the miters and gluing the box parts together, I knew that we would have to add some strength to the corners – otherwise they would fail at some point, because simple miters are not reliable. So the question was, what kind of reinforcement? First […]

The post Thin, Good Looking & Strong – Micro Plywood Splines, Part 1 appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Digital Woodworking & Contemporary Art

Sun, 02/12/2017 - 6:53am

While working on a couple of blog posts about a group of CNC machines that are great for small shops, I got distracted by something rather impractical. But I thought because the distraction was about wood, it might be of interest to some of my fellow woodworkers. This is the final week of a solo contemporary art show of my work at Zinc Gallery near Seattle.  All the sculpture created […]

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Categories: General Woodworking

Create a Fumed Finish

Fri, 02/10/2017 - 5:00am
fumed finish taboret

Ever tried to create a fumed finish? Fuming with ammonia is a traditional Arts & Crafts finishing technique. When exposed to concentrated ammonia, the tannins in white oak cause the wood to darken, yielding a rich, warm color that penetrates the surface of the wood. Depending on the intended use of the piece, different topcoats can be applied to provide different effects. Boiled linseed oil is easy to apply. Shellac offers additional protection […]

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Categories: General Woodworking

How Darrell Peart Makes Greene & Greene Ebony Pegs

Thu, 02/09/2017 - 7:14am
ebony pegs

In this video, Greene & Greene expert Darrell Peart discusses the square, pillowed ebony pegs often seen on the Greene brothers’ furniture designs (most of them were merely decorative, he tells us, though sometimes they were used to cover up screw heads). Then, he shows us how he makes the pegs, start to finish – including the simple jig he uses at the disc sander to rough-pillow the ends quickly. […]

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Categories: General Woodworking

Power Tool-Friendly Bench, by Richard Tendick

Wed, 02/08/2017 - 7:52am
power tool bench american woodworker

At least a couple of times each month, I get a query about Richard Tendick’s “Power Tool-Friendly Bench,” which was featured on the March/April 2014 cover of American Woodworker. So to cut down on those emails (and because I’m generally a nice person, evidence to the contrary notwithstanding), here’s that article, free. The intro is below; download the PDF at the end of it for the article in its entirety. […]

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Categories: General Woodworking

Tractor Seats for a Shaving Horse

Fri, 02/03/2017 - 10:00am

Bill Anderson’s “Knock-down Shaving Horse” in the February 2017 issue has prompted some inquiries about antique tractor seats. Would that we had a stash of them to offer, but … So, my best recommendation is to check out flea markets and antique stores (particularly in more rural areas, and areas with a rich history of agriculture), and, of course eBay (at which there are many styles and price points available at the […]

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Categories: General Woodworking

The Making of ‘Handplane Essentials, Revised Edition’

Fri, 02/03/2017 - 5:41am
handplane essentials

When Scott Francis at Popular Woodworking Books asked me to revise my 2009 book “Handplane Essentials,” I thought it would be a short job. The plan was to add a handful of articles I’d written on specialty planes and update the text to accurately reflect toolmakers who had entered or left the market since the book was first published. I started revising the book in May of 2016. And the […]

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Categories: General Woodworking

Prep Stock by Hand – Christopher Schwarz Shows You How

Thu, 02/02/2017 - 11:28am
prep rough stock by hand

Stock prep by hand might sound like a great workout (and it can be if there’s a lot of it), but it isn’t at hard as you might think – particularly if you have only a couple of boards to take from rough to ready. In this longish video excerpt from “Build a Hand-crafted Bookcase,” Christopher Schwarz shows you how he uses winding sticks and handplanes (hint: a jack does most of […]

The post Prep Stock by Hand – Christopher Schwarz Shows You How appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Need a 1/4″ Mortise Chisel? We Have 2 from Veritas to Give Away

Wed, 02/01/2017 - 9:00am

James McConnell (of The Daily Skep), wrote a tool review of the new Veritas mortise chisels for the April issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine. He gave a workout to both an A2 and a PMV-11 blade, both in the 1/4″ size – and (spoiler alert) – he didn’t see a lot of difference in use, but was able to get the PMV-11 a bit sharper more quickly. And he likes […]

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Categories: General Woodworking

Join the Popular Woodworking Team!

Tue, 01/31/2017 - 11:11am

Popular Woodworking is hiring a Web Producer to work on popularwoodworking.com, newsletters, social media and more – in short, all things related to the Popular Woodworking brand on the ’net. The Web Producer’s role is to be the online “face” of Popular Woodworking and increase both traffic to and revenue from the website(s), E-newsletters, and social media. He or she must be social-savvy, business-minded and have first-hand knowledge of woodworking, […]

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Categories: General Woodworking

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