Category Archives: Techniques

Some Dovetails from the 15th Century

When I first learned about dovetails, the tale was that this mechanical joint was one of the things that helped transform the squat furniture of the Jacobean era into the soaring vertical styles of the 18th century. The problem with … Continue reading

Posted in Techniques | 6 Comments

A Little Dab Will Do You

I like non-drying vegetable-based oils. Not just for frying up chicken, but for keeping rust at bay in my basement workshop at home. What’s not to like? For nearly 14 years these oils have kept rust at bay on my … Continue reading

Posted in Techniques | 6 Comments

Was the Author a Genuine Joiner?

Nothing drives a trained journalist crazier than an unanswered question. As you probably know, the book “The Joiner and Cabinet Maker” doesn’t name the original author. He (and it almost certainly was a “he”) didn’t put his name on the … Continue reading

Posted in Techniques | 12 Comments

Footwork and Casework

One of the interesting things about the “Joiner and Cabinet Maker” are the construction details you can find in almost every sentence. I’ve read the book at least six times now, and every time I dip into the text I … Continue reading

Posted in Projects, Techniques | 3 Comments

I’m Thinking I’m Over-thinking

Today I taught my 8-year-old to sharpen. It took five minutes. Instead of teaching her about abrasives and honing angles and all the other theory my head is filled with, I took a hands-off approach to this important hand skill. … Continue reading

Posted in Techniques | 4 Comments

The ‘Texas tea’ Solution for Knots

Sometimes you read old accounts of workshop practice where there’s a pot of raw linseed oil by the bench. Andre Roubo’s bench had a little swing-out pot of oil underneath the bench. Likely it was used to oil the soles … Continue reading

Posted in Techniques | 6 Comments

The Perfect Hand-tool Wood

A couple years ago there was a kid in Iowa who was trying to learn to use hand tools. He had no teachers, just a few books and limited access to the Internet. But he had a phone. So he’d … Continue reading

Posted in Projects, Techniques | 11 Comments

'Wear a Dress to Work Day'

While cleaning out the shop a couple weeks ago we stumbled on a plastic-wrapped parcel of tools that were owned by the maintenance men from our old building. When they were “released on their own recognizance” by management, they gave … Continue reading

Posted in Techniques | 15 Comments

Guest Post: Make Ogee Feet By Hand

Editor’s note: Here’s another great installment from hand-tool woodworker Dean Jansa. This one guides you through the process of moulding and assembling and ogree bracket foot. The same chest that has the molding shown in “Sticking a Moulding” will have … Continue reading

Posted in Personal Favorites, Techniques | 8 Comments

Clinching Nails (Sometimes Teeth)

I’ve been clinching a lot of nails these last few weeks while building some utilitarian boxes. So I’ve been digging into the literature to investigate the best way to do it. Clinching (sometimes spelled “clenching”) is when you drive a … Continue reading

Posted in Techniques | 17 Comments