Category Archives: Techniques

We Don’t Need You

“Unless you think you can do better than Tolstoy, we don’t need you.” — James Michener

Posted in Personal Favorites, Techniques | 8 Comments

Tool Chest Finish: Make it Stick

When it comes to finishing a tool chest, I feel a bit like Henry Ford. I like any tool chest finish as long as it’s paint. That said, my finishing procedure outlined in “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest,” has bemused some … Continue reading

Posted in Techniques, The Anarchist's Tool Chest | 9 Comments

Make a Table or Stool: Part 1

Design brief: Before commencing on any design other than a copy a design brief must be prepared. A design brief is a collection of all the data relevant to the construction and use of the article and the design is … Continue reading

Posted in Products We Sell, Techniques, The Essential Woodworker | 2 Comments

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