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Raised Panel Doors: Table Saw, Router, or Shaper?

Creating raised panel doors can be done in a number of ways. For the most basic, you can use the table saw with a few passes and a tilt of the blade. This will give a flat profile. But the table saw is limited, and it can’t give you much of a complex profile. For a more complex profile with a bit more machining, use a router table with a paneling bit. You can achieve a professional look with an …

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What’s the Best Table Saw Blade?

I am just a simple furniture maker with limited space and money. Ideally I would have a machine and tool for every possible use, but this is a pipe dream. Perhaps if I win the lottery things would be different. In the meantime I do my best with what I have. Just one example is my table saw. My one table saw. I use my table saw to rip as well as crosscut on boards too wide for my radial …

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Do-It-Yourself Beautiful Hardwood Floors Using Tongue and Groove Joints

After many years of having a hardwood floor, one can experience all types of damage. Whether it is light starched, gouges, water damage, boards lifting up…etc. Kids especially put a lot of wear and tear on hardwood floors. There was one customer I had that lived in an old colonial home in central NJ; a historical and very well-kept beautiful home. The kitchen cabinets were made from old cherry with a gorgeous patina which showed that it lived a very …

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A Mortise and Tenon Nightmare

I spent some time working in a high-end shop located in a poor industrial area in Northern New Jersey. From the outside you would never guess that inside there was a set of ten chairs being produced to be sold for $66,000. I think this is way too much for anyone to spend on a set of chairs—but to be fair these chairs were made from Makassar ebony and had ivory inlay. To this day I remember that each chair …

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Carbide Bits vs. Steel: Shopping for Quality

Last month I bought a new (used) car. When searching for the right car, of course I did some basic research. First, I went to a few different mechanics with a list of models and asked them which ones they saw the least. Second, while driving around took notice of which older cars I saw on the road most often. But wait…what does this have anything to do with woodworking and why is this on a woodworking blog page? Just …

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Long Life, Health, and Beautiful Furniture

Growing up in New Jersey creates a person that is always on the move. When I opened up my shop, the last thing I wanted to do was spend money and time outfitting the shop with air filtration systems, create a complete dust and chip collection system as well as create separate workspace for the loudest machines. I had finally opened up my own shop and just wanted to get started with my first few projects. I was eager and …

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When I Replaced My Straight Router Bit with a Dado Blade Cutter…

For a long time, I was able to get away with cutting all of my Dado joints with a straight plunge router bit. Although not ideal, I was never able to justify the expense of purchasing this cutter. I would simply mark the depth and width of the cut, set up the depth of the cutter accordingly and then set up a fence to get a straight line. To achieve the right width of the cut, I would then move …

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How a Router and Router Bits Help with Field Work

Boy scouts and carpenters have something very much in common. When they are out in the field, they aim to “always be prepared”. As a child I was in the boy scouts and learned that sometimes you just can’t predict when you will need something. So the next lesson learned is to improvise. As a carpenter, we are often in the field when we realize that we either forgot something back in the shop, or, as we all do sometimes, …

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Plugging Screw Holes from Hardwood Scraps

Although there are many carpentry joints you can use to avoid screws such as rabbet joints, or dovetail joints, occasionally time restraints, or skill level, will force you to use screws instead. In these cases, people will often use putty or store bought dowels to conceal the screws. This can lead to unattractive elements in your piece, or cause you to waste time trying to find the best way to blend the imperfections caused by the screws. There is another …

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How a Flush Trim Router Bit and an Old Template Saved My Aunt Some Money.

A few months ago, I got a phone call from my aunt. She told me that while visiting her sister’s house (my other aunt), she was amazed at what beautiful work I did with the set of three nesting tables I made for their 30th wedding anniversary. She loved them so much that she and my uncle wanted to commission me to build them an identical set. So like any normal person who gets a request from family, money is …

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