Category Archives: General Tips for Woodworkers

woodworking wood gate

Preparation and Planning

This past couple of weeks I worked on a porch gates and fence renovation for a friend.  He has goats that can get on his porch which wraps around the entire house.  The porch does have posts and rails but the stiles between the posts are far enough apart that the goats still go through the space between.  There are also openings that did not have any gates. The solutions: put up some more stiles and build some gates.  My …

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A Most Ancient of Modern Crafts

I read about a team from China finding what may be Noah’s Ark, which is another way of saying, “box”.  Probably it was a large rectangular box, very much like a two by four with a hollow center!  That is a very large two by four. Initial carbon dating puts the wood found at the site around 4800 years ago.  For a point of discussion, let’s accept that this discovery is a fact. This means woodworking has been around for …

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Hitting the Nail on the Head!

It’s a little embarrassing, but back when I was a young pup at the carpentry, I was once told to nail the back panel of a kitchen cupboard in place. The nail was 3mm long and the wood was 10mm thick, yet I still managed to nail the 3mm nail clean through the wood. I not only put a hole right in the middle of the back panel, but I destroyed the smooth paintwork! We had to fix, strip and …

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Use Forstner Bits, Combinations Blades and Other Tools to Organize Your Shop

As a woodworker, we often amass large amounts of tools – both big and small. While I have seen some very well organized shops, I admit that I am not the most organized person. I try to keep my router bits, saw blades and hand tools in their set places, but there have been numerous times that I had to spend more time that I’d like to admit searching for specific router bits and other tools when I needed them. …

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How Does One Know What to Buy When Opening Up a Shop?

So the dream has come true. Since you have been 15, you always dreamed of opening your own woodworking shop in your home. Now, you can move the 2 cars out of the garage to set up a shop to create those beautiful pieces you have been planning in your head for years. You have a good job which pays well and the kids are old enough that your spouse does not need you in the house helping as much. …

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One of My Favorite Tools on Toolstoday.com

Now, I may be a bit biased towards Toolstoday.com, but let’s be clear that they do provide us all with a great service. Not only do they sell great products which are guaranteed and tested, but for someone without the full knowledge of exactly what they need, their customer service is very helpful. As a customer, I was looking to replace and upgrade circular saw blades. I tend to like buying products which are the best quality that I can …

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No Substitute for a Hammer Drill

One of the most common mistakes I see, and have admittedly done in the past, is trying to get away with using a wood bit to drill through concrete. I know, it is not the smartest thing to do, but we justify it by saying, well…it’s an old bit anyway, I just need to drill just one hole, or even, I have no choice since I don’t have the proper tools to drill through concrete. Whatever the reason, it is …

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I Am A Woodworker, Not A Mechanic…

We all went into woodworking because we love the craft. We feel refreshed by the sound of a hand plane sliding over the edge of stock whilst tossing the shavings from our hands to our feet, or we love the feel of sunlight blasting through the open window of our shops accompanied by the wind of the cool air breeze. To me, woodworking is a form of meditation. It’s a space where I can create and be on my own. …

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The Art of Buying Woodworking Tools

A nightmare scenario: It’s my wife’s birthday and she loves gifts. More than just gifts, she loves when people buy her make-up. I would go through the different types of make-ups, bases and highlights, but I would have no idea what I am talking about. I am not a cosmetician, nor have I ever put on makeup. But one thing is for sure, my wife just loves makeup so I have little choice but to bite the bullet and go …

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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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