If you have a question about one of our books or tools, or something that has been bugging you about what we do here in the shop, this is the place to get an answer.
Every Saturday, I’ll post a new blog entry that calls for your questions. You can write them in the comments section below. I’ll do my best to answer them.
I do reserve the right to ignore questions that are obvious troll bait or cross the lines of decorum or reason. (One reader asked me for a list of every tool I own with an evaluation of how they had performed, plus links to competing tools he might consider purchasing. With notes on those tools, too. Questions such as this will be answered with: Get bent.)
So here we go…. Note that comments for this entry will close about 5 p.m. Eastern.
— Christopher Schwarz
Comments are now closed. See you next Saturday for more typing fun. Thanks to everyone who asked a question. And special thanks to those who pitched in to help answer questions I don’t know the answer to.
208 thoughts on “LAP Open Wire, April 1, 2023”
I commented on another post before regarding tools for lefties. Thanks for the answer then!
Other than swapping your vice to the other side of the bench, do you have any broad advice for people who do everything backwards?
Unfortunately, my best advice (which is from other lefties) is to learn to plane right-handed so that you can use vintage moulding planes. Barring that, as best I know, everything else is simply reversed (shooting boards etc.).
Other lefties will have better advice.
Hey Jonathon! As a fellow leftie, I can confirm. I built my bench as a mirror image of (Frank Klausz’s) published design. Same with my shooting board. If I were to take up residence at my local woodworker’s guild, I would offer to build a left-handed bench for the bench room.
You’ll probably notice when tool shopping if a tool is handed. Rasps and files suck because of this. It’s a great excuse to buy nice (left-handed) rasps. (Bonus: If you share a space, others are less likely to use your tools!) I always feel like a clumsy idiot when I spend time in my dad’s VERY right-handed shop.
A friend of mine who is a Vietnam veteran once pointed out to me the wisdom of learning to do the things I love with either hand (I’m pretty sure he was talking about woodworking). It was a great reminder not to let anything get in the way of doing something I love, even if I didn’t buy the very right-handed plane he was trying to sell me at the time.
Yes to making the leg vise on the front right leg as you face the bench and your planing stop goes on the right edge as well.
A couple more things- agree with the learning to use vintage molding planes either direction. My favorite profile is an old ovolo that gets lots of use. Additionally the best T&G out there in my opinion is from Lie Nielsen, only available in a right handed version. Second, buy a left handed beading plane from MS Bickford. The left handed plane really is a joy to use and the bead ends up so dang useful in my casework. If the Bickford planes are too expensive for you at this point make a scratch stock bead profile or two. Goes in either direction, useful for grain reversal, lefties, and gentle curves.
Lastly, I get a ton of use out of my bench hooks. I make them in pairs, one for left-handed cuts and one for right. The majority of the time, the right handed one is just to support the off end, but on occasion when someone else is working on stuff at my house, they’ve got some basic jigs that aren’t beat to hell.
Matt Bicksford makes left handed mounding planes. Life altering after trying for years to learn to use right handed planes. Yes, it’s an expensive proposition but it ain’t more expensive than investing in a Sawstop or a large format jointer. Matt suggested starting with a larger rabbet plane as the most versatile. See for yourself. Life changing.
Thank you for doing this. I am very interested in building a Gibson chair. You mention in a December 2019 post that you and Mark Jenkinson are planning a book. Is that still on the “to do” list? Have you or will you consider publishing and selling plans similar to the ones in the Stick Chair Book or the Stick Chair Journal?
The next video project will be a Gibson chair. And it will be the chair in the next Stick Chair Journal No. 2.
I still hope to do a book with Mark that focuses on the history and traditional methods used to make a Gibson. But he has a very busy life right now.
I’m really pleased to see this question because it’s on the top of my list as well. Now I don’t have to ask it. Looking forward to Schtick Chair Journal #2 (and likely the accompanying video).
Per your recommendations, I bought some of the paint you used from Lee Valley, only black. I tried a test strip, but got a dull finish, not the same as yours. Then applied their wax, but still not nearly as nice. Any ideas? (Used the linseed oil 1st, as well)
I haven’t used the Allback paint in black. But I do know that you should apply a very thin coat of linseed oil paint for pest results. Thick coats (like what you would use for an acrylic) have too much pigment and can give you a dull finish. When we apply a thin coat with linseed oil paint we get perfect coverage in one coat and a nice glow. To improve the finish, rub the work down with fine steel wool and apply a very thin coat of oil.
By thin, do you mean just not too much paint, or do you thin it with linseed oil?
A thin coat of paint. I don’t thin the pain unless absolutely necessary.
We know that y’all silent auction your chairs. I don’t know how to price a chair I build for the sake of building and selling. Your thoughts please.
A good place to start is to charge an hourly rate based on what auto mechanics make in your area. Plus materials. Plus profit.
Mechanics charge $100 to $125/hour here. So if my chairs take 15 hours to make, I would charge $1,500 plus materials ($100 to $300) plus profit (your call).
That’s a good place to start. Then price accordingly based on customer response.
Your books are sans copyright dates (at least those on my shelf). By design, I’m sure, but why?
As far as I know, all our books have a copyright date listed on the data page, usually opposite the title page. (Though it can be in other places on translated texts). All our books are copyrighted one way or another. (My workbench book is covered by a Creative Commons License – that’s the only outlier.)
Just finished my first windsor-inspired armchair using your books as guidance. Very proud and happy with the result! But I have one thing that bugs me: I noticed the legs flex outwards when sitting in it (im 190lbs). Im afraid it won’t last long if I dont mount stretchers to the legs. Have you tried to, succesfully, do this after assembly?
Greetings from Denmark
You can add stretchers. Look for tutorials that show you how to repair a broken stretcher. There are several ways to do this, all of them too long to explain in a reply.
If your legs are stout wood, the flexing might be because of a joint that isn’t tight. You might instead simply wait for the joint to fail and then try to rebore it a bit and make it tighter. Chairs without stretchers can last for centuries.
Are you still sending out stick chair merit badges? I just built the staked chair from the Anarchist Design Book.
We are all out, I’m afraid. Sorry.
We are about the same age and I notice more back pain from standing for a long time in the shop. I use rubbery mats and better insoles, if they fit in the shoes.
Are you encountering this problem and, if so, what are you doing to deal with it?
I have some lower discs in my back that are going to need some attention some day. Until then, I do two physical therapy exercises that strengthen my lower back muscles and greatly reduce pain. Look up “glute bridge” and “knee to chest stretch.” These two help me the most. Your mileage will vary.
Hi Jonathan, As a more… ahhh, mature… woodworker, I too had noticed more sore back muscles after extended shop time. I’m careful how I lift, I wear supportive shoes (boots) and I started using anti fatigue mats, all with limited improvements. During a physical, my doc mentioned I might try raising my bench a bit since it’s where I spend the most time. I love my bench and was reluctant to mess too much with it, so I started by lifting it on some cheap pine scrap about 1/2”, and then an inch, and finally 1-1/2”. Voila! Most of my muscle ache has gone away, and my bench is still low enough that it’s comfortable to use. Now to fashion some “risers” that are a little more permanent. You might want to give it a shot.
In addition to the exercises Chris posted, pick up some topicals. This one from Modern Herb Shop is great:
You can use it straight, on really cranky spots – or dilute it a bit with oil (raw sesame, sunflower, etc) to use in a larger area. Martial artists have been using this formula forever for bumps, bruises, aches & pains. And, the MHS version is small batch, craft made…and awesome.
Another “must have” are Thai herbal compresses, like these:
They’re basically a handful of dried herbs that target different layers of the body (skin, muscle, tendon/ligament) and are ridiculously easy to use on yourself. Use these before the exercises, and it’s a “1+1=more than 2” kind of thing.
Keep both the compresses and the liniment in your first aid kit (think of it like sharpening & honing your body) – but only use one or the other in a single session. And be sure to wash your hands after the liniment – you don’t want it on any “sensitive” areas…
I am building a low bench based on Ingenious Mechanics. Would there be any disadvantage to combining the hole pattern for the Herculaneum Bench on the far end of the Salzburg Bench?
Nope. The low benches can use any hole pattern. So those are interchangeable.
My shop is cold. I use soft wax 2.0 a lot. Can I heat it up to make it easier to use? If so, to what temp?
Sure. Beeswax melts at 140° (F), so anything less than that will soften it but not make it liquid.
Any tips on smoothing inside curves (eg chair crest)? I’ve got a curved sole spokeshave, but it chatters like crazy.
Try making a sanding fid – a block of wood that is the offcut from cutting the arm. The fid should have the radius of the inside of the arm. Wrap #80 grit sanding paper around it and use that to shape the arm. Then finish up with a scraper.
That seems to be the best solution for most students. Curved shaves have a steep learning curve.
Rasps are the other path. Use a coarse rasp to shape the inside of the arm. Clean up with a fine rasp and a scraper.
Hopefully this question isn’t a repeat of one I thought I just posted because it seemed to have vanished when I filled in the WordPress details and it doesn’t seem to have been posted. Anyway…here it goes again…
I am trying to drill/bore 3 angled holes for legs into the bottom of a section of log (oak). So I’m boring into end grain. I want to make a chopping block for spoon work and other stuff. Drill diameter being 1″ or 1 1/4″. I’ve tried brace and bit with no success, was very difficult and barely made a dent maybe 1/8″ deep and I quit. Then I tried my wood owl bits and it almost tore my wrist off, the threaded pointy tip (I believe it’s called the “snail”?) grabbed then it drove me into the wood and now I’m afraid to try that again. Suggestions? Thanks
Traditional approach for large holes: a T-auger. Basically a big auger with a handle. These work great. You can find modern ones for bushcraft that work OK. Vintage ones are widely available but usually need sharpening. I believe WoodOwl also sells a T-handle that you can use with their big auger bits. https://taytools.com/products/bushcraft-survival-6-piece-auger-bits-set-with-t-handle-4-auger-bits-and-sharpening-file-in-tool-roll
Modern approach. Electric drill at SLOW speed with a side handle. The side handle is what prevents you from breaking your wrist.
I had the exact same project using 1-3/4″ Wood Owl bits in a section of ash log – and experienced the same issues. I was scared for my wrists! I drilled a pilot hole almost the same size as the snail on the bit so it would not grab and feed itself into the wood. Of course this meant I had to apply feed pressure myself but it was more controllable. I also noticed that the bevel on the cutting edge on these Wood Owl bits was pretty aggressive so they were cutting a bigger chip than the drill could handle in end-grain – it even stalled out my full size drill press, so I filed the cutting edges to a lower angle to reduce the size of the chip and that got the job done. Big holes in tough end grain are challenging!
You’ve probably used every iteration of tool made for plowing grooves in boards. If you could only keep one, just for plowing simple grooves, which one would it be?
I don’t make grooves bigger than 1/4″ typically. If that describes your work, the Record 043 (or the new Veritas equivalent) is my fave. Compact. Simple. Built like a tank. And comfortable to use for hours.
If you do wider grooves, a vintage Stanley 45 is my favorite. Forget the weird cutters, just use it as a plow. At that, it excels.
In your video Roubo Workbench: By Hand & Power Video you had a section where you said its best not to glue two large slabs together for the top. Either one big piece or many small pieces laminated together would be ideal. If I see it correctly your French oak Roubo is two large pieces… Curious why you did that and if it gave you any problems.
My French Oak Bench is indeed composed of two pieces. Not by choice. But because that’s all that was around.
It didn’t cause me problems. But it has caused other people problems when the oak was too wet to glue. The glue (epoxy) didn’t hold and the joint opened up or failed as the glue dried. That’s why large joints are tricky.
When you laminate from a bunch of smaller pieces (such as 2x material) the stuff is dry and there is no glue failure.
Hope this makes sense.
I have the same question as Andrew but will go a step further. Would you consider pegged loose tenons a good (or at least adequate) solution to joining large slabs? (in addition to glue). I’m considering this approach as well as also adding them to the lower face of the slab? My beams are just over 5″ thick and 9″ to 12″ wide (cherry).
Andrew, I glued up my bench top from a couple of 6″x12″x8′ doug fir beams. I sprung the joint (with a hand plane) in both the length and width of the joint based on the expected shrinkage, which I looked up online. (If I remember correctly, the beams were 18% mc in the middle, and 14% at the ends. At the end of the beam, across the thickness, the joint was very nearly straight, and at the middle of the joint it was around a 1/32″. Along the length, it was sprung 1/8″.) I did a dry run, of course, to make sure everything came together perfectly. Then I used an abundance of hide glue (freshly purchased), clamped it tight, and went on vacation. I didn’t let it out of the clamps for 2 weeks.
I did not know if this would work, which is why I used hide glue. It’s been sitting upstairs in my house, (which gets up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer), for about 6 years, and now reads about 11% mc.
The joint is still completely closed. Sample size of one, so maybe I was just lucky. Good luck to you as well.
If you’ve ever had a stick loosen up in the arm of one of your chairs, how did you fix it? Re-wedging? A bamboos skewer from the side? Something else?
If you can pry the wedge out and get some more glue in there – plus a new wedge – that’s the gold standard. Otherwise, peg it from the side with a bamboo skewer. It doesn’t have to go all the way through the arm. The joint can be blind. You also might as well peg the others so it looks like it was planned that way….
Towards the end of the video on your tool wall you describe the large double square as something you bought on ebay, which would otherwise be unaffordable. It looks like a Starrett product, but what is its correct description?
It’s the Starrett 439-18 Builder’s Combination Tool. Yup, I bought it used. (The used ones are better made than the new ones.)
RobertsonMiniatures on FB, mentioned this link for Starrett tools. Great Resource, I was very disappointed when I purchased a new pair of dial calipers and found when it arrived it was not made in the USA, so I watch ebay and purchase my tools used now. I cut and pasted, sorry the link doesn’t appear as a link.
Thank you for the Anarchist series and for your time in answering questions. I’m in the process of selling some power tools. I have “vintage” jointer and jack planes. Assuming I get 350.00 for the power tools should I buy a block plane or smoothing plane?
Depends on what you are building. Most people would say smoothing plane, and they are right if you are building casework.
If you are looking to build chairs or small objects, a good block plane would be my next choice. I can set up a block plane to also be a smoothing plane by cambering the iron.
Hi, you have lots of projects going, will you add some videos to the Sharpen This series soon?
Yup. This is my fault. I have two or three planned, but they keep getting overtaken by the “crisis of the day.” I will absolutely fulfill my obligation to produce them. It’s just taking longer than I hoped it would. Apologies.
Will the Sharpen series let me learn to sharpen my lathe chisel? I am in state of despair.
No. There are dedicated videos for lathe tools. They are all about grinding different bevels. That’s outside my area of expertise. I use simple lathe tools – EasyWood tools and a parting tool. Sorry.
Richard_findley on Instagram has an EXCELLENT series of lathe chisel sharpening reels
When building a stick chair, dry fitting arm and sticks to the seat. The arm breaks near the shoe – would you repair it?
If it’s a clean break and easily repaired, absolutely yes. If the repair holds but looks awful, I paint it and give the chair away.
If you have a break, it’s best to examine what caused it. Usually it’s one of two things: Your sticks were too wonky. Or you stressed the arm by beating one side too much. Wonky sticks can be fixed by reaming the mortise on the underside of the arm slightly.
The MFT hole format, 20mm diameter holes on 96mm centres, could be selectively applied to proper heavy workbenches, low and high, to be used for work holding using, again selectively, the various dog systems available. If the holes could be drilled accurately might this combine the excellence of the work holding methods of the past with some useful modern techniques?
I’m sure it could be. I’ve worked on a few MFT tables and understand the reasoning. I’ve just never lacked for a better solution than the traditional system of a planing stop and about a dozen holdfast holes. When I encounter something I can’t hold with that system, I’ll look outside the traditional box.
I noticed in the description of your stick chairs, you mentioned you use hide glue. I have only used it a few times out of a bottle.
I have two questions, I’m hoping you can help me with or point me in the right direction.
1) Are you using a double boiler/hot pot for your hide glue or are you using it straight from the bottle, unheated.
2) How does one determine if hot hide glue is getting too cool for effective glue up?
As I understand, one of the advantages of hide glue is longer working time, but I wonder at what point is “too long”. It seems if you want a glue that is slippery for joint assemble and gives you a long working time (20-25 minutes), you’re either faced with epoxy or hide glue, — quite a difference in other properties of those two mentioned.
I use liquid hide glue for chairs – not hot hide. Hot hide will gel in seconds at times.
With liquid hide glue, I warm it in a pot so it will be nice and thin and easy to apply. I use a Hold Heet glue pot, but those aren’t made anymore. A cheap coffee-cup warmer will do the trick. Or a small Crock Pot or bottle warmer for infants.
I don’t use the Titebond product anymore. I had some glue failure with it years ago and cannot bring myself to trust it again (a personal defect, I am sure it is fine to use). The Old Brown Glue (and the stuff I make myself) both need to be heated.
I get about 30-40 minutes open time with liquid hide. When it feels like jelly, it has probably jelled too much to stick. But I’ve never had a project have that problem thanks to the long open time.
Thanks! Good info.
You can also use body wax heaters.
Chris, thank you for offering up your time like this!
I’ll be building a roubo workbench in the style of “The Anarchist’s Workbench” and am considering using red oak for its combination of weight, economy, and availability. Have you used red oak, or seen it used by others, for a work bench and found any functional disadvantages versus, let’s say maple or SYP?
(I have nothing against SYP, I just love the aesthetic of big oak timbers. White oak would be my first choice on this basis but it gets very spendy for this project, hence I’m considering red oak)
I’ve used red oak many times for a workbench. It’s heavy and stiff and perfect for a bench. The only downside to using open-pored woods is if you do a lot of metalwork on the bench. Metal filings tend to gather in the pores. Other than that, go for it.
I find myself wondering about the LAP logo (?) on the bottom of your spines. The dividers, I get – but I wonder what meaning the E or Σ symbol brings into the equation. https://imgur.com/a/kQcWwfX
PS: best of luck with this experiment, and thank you for giving a shot!
The “E” is from Moxon. The dividers were Fig. E in his book. I wish it were something mysterious.
Third time’s a charm? Why are my questions not showing up? Everytime I try to comment I do not see them being posted anywhere? What am I doing wrong? So here goes again…
I am trying to drill/bore 3 angled holes in the bottom of a section of oak log (end grain). I’m trying to make a chopping block for spoon carvind and other work. I’ve tried brace and bit with little success, barely made a dent (maybe 1/8″ deep) then I quit. Tried my wood owl bits with the threaded tip and it grabbed and drove me hard into the wood and almost tore my wrist apart now I’m afraid to do that again. And that barely did anything but frighten me. Trying to bore 1″ or 1 1/4″ dia holes btw. Suggestions?
Retired in Arkansas, Love the state however not a single wood working store . I have watched your presentations on tv, and have read quite a bit of your writings. I may have missed this point about tools.I have noticed that if a tool has a motor it decreases in value. A good tool without a motor seems to increase in value. All of the many hand tools I have purchased over the years have done
much better than money in the bank. An article stating this may help a lot of us married woodworkers acquire more hand tools.
Dear Jim’s wife,
Please let Jim by all the tools he wants so your kids can go to college.
How do you sharpen a carving gouge? It’s not included in “Sharpen This” and you reference stropping them to avoid frequent resharpening. What’s the starting point?
You want a flat bevel. So I hold them bevel down against the stones. Pull the gouge toward you as you rotate the handle. Take it slow. Polish the same way. Then, after it’s sharp, strop after every few minutes of use, trying to keep the bevel flat and not rounded over.
Good morning Chris,
As you know, when in Covington last year I bought a Type 11 Stanley #5 up at Colonial Homestead, and have since got it working quite nicely, with a [Union Manufacturing Company] “ST4″ replacement blade (now, alas, discontinued), ground to 10″ radius camber.
Because of the heavy camber, there’s a limit to how thick a shaving I can take when traversing before the mouth becomes too tight, and the shavings get stuck. I’ve experimented with backing the frog off, to but little avail: somewhere just north of shavings 1/32” thick, the mouth persistently clogs.
The obvious answer is to file the mouth open a bit, which I’ll get on with one of these days, but the questions I wanted to ask in this connection was (a) have you filed the mouth of your #5?, and (b) if “yes”, by roughly how much?
I have filed open MANY mouths. Take the plane apart. Clamp the body vertically in your vise. Mark a line about 1/16″ from the existing mouth with a fine permanent marker. File to that line. Reassemble and text your results. Repeat if the mouth still clogs.
Thank you, Chris! I figured (a) would indeed be in the affirmative, so am most grateful for your suggestion of an initial target to shoot; that’ll save me several hours worth of wussing with smaller initial increments.
Where is your chipbreaker?
For a jack? Right behind the curve. On a smoother, as close as possible (about 5 thou.)
Thanks for all the help you’ve provided over the years in book, article, and blog form. I’m curious… with all the stuff you’ve had to make along the way, which one was your least favorite build?
The Danish folding chair I made for PW. It was cursed. The stock kept breaking when it shouldn’t have.
So about getting bent, I am working on a curio cabinet design with an arched top. It has an 18 inch diameter circular arch and is about 16 inches deep. I’ve been kicking around ideas for the arch. Bent laminated oak, solid steam bent oak, or slats around the arch with rounded and coved edge joints. What are your thoughts?
I’ve never made anything like that in my life. I’ve done lots of bent lams and steambending. Bent lams are more consistent in my experience. You might also Google “cold bend hardwood.” I’ve used that stuff with great results.
I’ve tried posting a question 3 times now and none have appeared. What am I doing wrong? This is a test. I’m tired of re-writing my question to no avail.
If it’s your first post here, it will be pending approval.
When dimensioning large panels by hand, how much consistency in overall thickness do you shoot for? I used to tie myself up in knots trying to make every edge and corner bang-on perfect, but for my last couple projects I’ve taken a “meh, good enough” approach–within about 1/16″. I sometimes wonder if I should embrace my newly liberated state, or if I’m setting myself up for screwed up layouts and joints. Thanks for taking questions.
I don’t really shoot for consistency in thickness – it’s too much work. If you have a reference face and edge for every board, you can gauge joinery off that. That’s how rails and stiles match up. Same with dovetails. The machinist approach to woodworking doesn’t work well with hand tools. (And vice versa.)
With hand tools, your parts don’t need to be interchangeable. Just fit one to the other.
I don’t have room for a bandsaw in my shop right now. Do you have a recommendation for an alternative for operations such is cutting curves in arm bows and other operations?
A good bowsaw. Tools for Working Wood has a kit that makes a great bowsaw. Mike Dunbar did a great article for PW years ago on using them for chairmaking that is worth searching for.
At the turn of the century Mike could cut out a Windsor (forest) seat with a 2′ bowsaw in 5 minutes, I timed him. He set up the nearly 2″ blank with 3/4 hanging off the corner of a bench, went around, repositioned for the last corner, done. This was after the heart attack but before the rotator cuff started making serious remarks. Took me more like 20″ with a good saw…
If you build your own, the stretcher and sides MUST be coplanar, do any thickness shaping after cutting the mortises and tenons. Don’t ask me how I know this 😉
At the turn of the century Mike could cut out a seat for a Windsor (~2″ white pine) in 5 minutes, I timed him, took me 20″ and not as smooth a cut line. Hung 3/4 of the circumference off the corner of a bench, cut as much as he could, repositioned, done. This was post heart attack but I think pre rotator cuff problems.
If you make your own saw, the sides and stretcher MUST be coplanar, do any thicknessing after cutting the mortises and tenons. Don’t ask me how I know this 😉
This isn’t a question really
more of a comment, has anyone else noticed one of the team restoring Tally Ho (FB) wearing a Lost Art Press sweat shirt?
Do you ever sleep? My question is about saddling a seat — can you recommend any tools that don’t have a multi-month waiting list?
Please, can we get an update on The Dutch Tool Chest book? Thank you.
You’ll have to ask Megan about that. It is schedule for release this year, and I am sure she will meet her deadline.
What a generous use of your Saturday! Thanks for your many contributions to the woodworking community.
Can you recommend a figurine carver who is located in north america? Or perhaps some pointers on how to find one?
Not a question, but a sincere Thanks! for your books, your videos and this blog. Thanks!
You’ve mentioned regretting finished your dining table with a film finish. What would you use to finish your table now?
No. I would use our soft wax. It is not durable but is easily repaired.
Do you have epiphanies and if so, where?
In the shower or while walking or driving long distances.
I have made several Six-Stick comb backs after taking your class last year in Tampa and would like to give a go at the Four-stick comb back for my next chair. Being a fairly novice woodworker I’m still hesitant to diverge from “plans” so my question is when making the Four stick version do you just swap out 2 long sticks for short ones or is there more to it than that? (As in do you space the 4 long sticks further apart since there are less)
In the AWB book you mention arranging the boards sympathetically for the legs but don’t mention anything about the top, would you recommend to do that as well for the top or does it not matter as much? Thanks!
I built a chair that i need to ship to my grandson. It would be helpful to know how you build your shipping crates and arrange transportation.
I still use the same process:
And then I ship if via LTL. We use YRC.
I don’t have a glue warmer for hide glue, so I tried the Titebond Hide Glue which they market as not requiring the warming. It seemed to work ok, but what do I know. Have you had any experience with the product? And where the heck do you buy a glue warmer??? Thank you for doing the Q&A thing!
I have used Titebond. I had some glue failures with it years ago and now I am psychologically averse. It’s my problem.
To warm glue, use a coffee mug warmer, a bab bottle warmer or a mini crock pot.
Or, in the absence of a warmer, you can use hot tap water! It is of course more of a faff, and rather less convenient, but it is much better than nothing!
First get a jug or bowl or whatever that will hold, say, a quart (or litre, if you are metrically inclined) of water and in which the glue bottle can sit with it’s top sticking out of the water.
Let the tap run until the water comes as hot as it can (which should be in the region of 150° F/65° C, as that is how hot it has to be to be safe — ’cause legionella! — while heating it much further would be both wasteful and dangerous — ’cause scalding!), and fill the container until just the top of the glue bottle sticks out.
(By the way, don’t use boiled water or a bain-marie with no temperature control; hide glue does not like being boiled, or so I’ve understood.)
Change the water after ten minutes, and again after another ten minutes or so, and then wait another maybe five minutes. Your glue will now be nicely liquid and runny, and as long as you keep the bottle in the water it’ll stay that way for long enough for most glue-up jobs. And if the job is long enough that the water starts getting cold, refresh it from the tap!
I furthermore like to pour out a suitable amount of glue from the main bottle into a small glass pot that I also pre-heat and keep in warm water, from which I apply the glue with a brush.
Again, getting a warmer like Chris says will make for much easier handling, and I will certianly go shopping form one myself one of these days, but as a stop-gap measure, hot tap water is your friend!
What do you think of Bill Pentz’s extreme approach to dust collection? His blog is alarming, but I’m not sure how seriously to take his research and opinions since probably 99% of shops have dangerous levels of dust according to him, so I was curious if you had a take on it.
(link for reference: https://billpentz.com/woodworking/cyclone/index.php#index.php)
I’m not one to criticize the work of another craftsperson or writer.
I am a practical person. I do my best and try to do better every year. Whenever I encounter advice at either end of the bell curve, I am wary.
As John Brown said: “By all means listen to what the experts have to say. Just don’t let it get in the way of your woodworking.”
That should apply to me as well.
I am visually impaired. Would that potentially preclude me from woodworking classes? I know its a personal question, but it might be helpful for someone else in the same sort of boat.
I don’t know. I think it would be possible one-on-one. But teaching a class of people is already a huge challenge for me. Adding more challenges would worry me. I have taught students with hearing disabilities in a class environment, and technology helped us overcome that.
Sorry I don’t have a better answer. It’s not something I have done in my life – yet.
I started reading The Anarachist’s Workbench online version last night, but started at the end first, then went to read from the beginning. I understand the “A” reference a little better by skipping to the end. I want to make a workbench and I have a Maple tree that we need to fell, that is large enough for my bench slab…. and 4 legs. Q1. Which book covers the transition of the tree in its round form to my prep to have it slabbed? What dimension should I have someone with a portable mill cut this for drying? I am very encouraged that the video preview indicated I could start with green wood, will buy a moisture meter, but how green is green? So technically my price per pound of maple was $0, except to have the tree cut down. I am patient.
I am a scale miniaturist, The Preface of the Anarchist’s Workbench, indicates, “to me. It means I wasn’t too far off the mark when I began my journey. And equally remarkable is that 15 years of building workbenches of all different forms, from Roman benches to a miniature one from Denmark,” I study life size woodworking to apply this to my craft in scale. I searched the text using “Ctrl+F(find)” and found the word miniature three times in the text, but could not find the miniature workbench. Q2. What scale and which bench did you make?
I want to make the Roubo Bench in miniature, but have not decided on the design for my life size bench. I do like the Yellow Pine bench though, too, and I see some advantages in your first workbench.
I read very few blogs, but I do read LAP very consistently. Thanks – Tamra
Here’s one version of a miniature Roubo you might enjoy checking out:
Ron Brese is quite the craftsman!
I’m not a sawyer, so I don’t have any good resources on that. Sam Sherrill wrote a book on harvesting urban timber that I liked. But I’m no expert.
The “miniature” bench is not a scale miniature. It is a bench for small scale work. Google “milkman’s workbench” to see it.
Marco Terenzi has made some amazing miniature Roubo workbenches. As has William Robertson. Tracking them down would be a good first step.
Sorry I am not much help here.
Thanks Brian for the link for the 3/16″ scale miniature Roubo. It is a beautiful bench on life size scale & miniature scale. I am a student of William Robertson, I’ve taken 6 classes with WRR, does this put me at groupie status? Unfortunately, had conflicts when Marco Terenzi taught at Marc Adams, I would clear my wprl schedule if he returned to MASW. The Milkman’s workbench is on page 64 of your book and will continue reading. I am off to find the Sherrill book! Can’t wait to see the grain inside this piece of wood.
What is one out-of-print book that you would like to see brought back to press?
What is one out-of-print book that has high availability (and reasonable price) that woodworkers should consider adding to their library?
What trade/craft skill do you find really fascinating but have never pursued?
Thanks for your time with this.
Have you considered adding a bit more navigation support for the blog entries on the site? The depth of content after so many years is amazing but can be challenging if you’re looking for posts related to a specific topic. I see that you do categorize some posts, but not consistently. Not suggesting you turn this into a full online zine, but a little more structure would be helpful. Thanks for all the great content.
To be honest, we already work seven days to keep this afloat. I can’t ask our people to work more. And we can’t afford to hire someone to do it.
I have found that just googling “Lost Art Press” in front of the content you’re looking for is very effective. Takes you right back here, but is way better than the search function on the site.
Matt-I’ve had success scrolling to the bottom of the blog page and using the search feature for key words.
In your blog post on linseed oil paint, you state that find milk paint demands a lot of time and effort to get the look you want. However, in the Anarchists Design book, you indicate you often favor a single coat applied with a roller, which seems fast and easy. Could you expound on the extra steps you’re taking to make a milk paint finish look right?
I like milk paint. Please don’t get me wrong. I just can’t make money on using it as a finish for a chair. It is a multi-day process. Coats go on quickly, but they have to dry and harden before you take another step forward.
Meanwhile, my bills are coming due as the paint hardens.
Hi Chris, this is great – your answers to the posts above are a mini-seminar! Are you planing videos to go along with the “Peasant” book? Specifically tips and tricks you have learned for carving the spells? The photos of all the spell blocks over the last few days are amazing. A whole new dimension to add to our work. Thanks
I am shooting video of the spell carving and have been posting it on “The American Peasant” substack. We might do a long-form video if there is interest in it.
I am really looking forward to the book and I subscribe to you on substack and following along. I think there will be interest in a long form video once the book is out. Thanks!
On the day that I put a deposit on a 20” Italian bandsaw for re-sawing reclaimed timbers you wrote a post on how all big welded saws are finicky & frustrating wastes of money! Haven’t been able to sleep since then. Should I get my money back & put it towards a Wood-Mizer type saw instead? Buy a 2 ton Northfield antique on eBay & possibly inherit problems? I’m lost!!! Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!
If your life is all about sawing veneers, then you need a big band saw. And the welded steel ones do that well when tuned up (and the tuning is constant).
If you are only going to resaw occasionally and just want to cut curves, I think those saws are silly.
I just read your “Sharpen This” book and I really enjoyed it. I need to be much sharper in several ways. Are you typing or speaking your answers today?
I type everything. Might have to switch to ChatGPT at some point if the questions come in this hard…
Is there any value to gluing a draw bore joint. It seems that the mechanical nature of the joint would support not gluing. Your thoughts.
Glue is cheap. And hide glue is reversible. Unless I plan to disassemble the joint in the future, I use hide glue in all my housed joints.
I’ve built 2 stick chairs from the video and I have run into the same problem on both. The outer most long sticks don’t line up with the comb template, they are to far forward. Now I have to either introduce a massive bend in them to get them in the mortise or make a more curves comb. The mortises in the arm and seat look consistent with all their friends. Any idea what I’m doing wrong?
The sticks need a little bending to get into the comb. But nothing troubling. You can always make a new comb that more closely matches the curve of the long sticks after assembly.
Is there a decent source for the race knives that you are using for the American Peasant? I realize the compass mounted one is a one off at this point. And there likely is some modifications necessary to get one in a rigid handled version.
I showed my wife the spells and she’s quite intrigued, I’d like to strike while the iron is hot.
For race knives? No. I use a vintage one. The timber scribe is from Otter (Benchcrafted will be carrying it shortly). It just needs honing. No other modification.
Chris – several years ago you mentioned a manufacturer of furniture pads for furniture legs that pretty much lasted forever. Can you let us know who what that manufacture is? Thank you very much! Stuart Baesel
We use Flexi-felt pads. Which are as good as you can get commercially. Lee Valley sells them.
Gluing a leather pad to the legs with hide glue is another good solution.
I want to build a shave horse and to maximum extent possible only with hand tools There are so many plans/ videos floating about it makes my head spin. Do you have a recommendation on where I should start.
I don’t use shavehorses much in my work. I use a carver’s vise. So my opinion is pretty worthless. Chairmakers such as Peter Galbert, Greg Pennington and Curtis Buchanan have forgotten more about shavehorses than I’ll ever know.
Here’s another option to consider from chair and tool maker Tim Manney:
He wrote a Fine Woodworking article about it and you might find some build descriptions if you fish around his website. It’s a project I’m planning to tackle one of these days! Best,
Six to eight seconds in a microwave (with the top OPEN to allow air to escape) does the trick. If the top’s not open, you’ll melt a hole in the bottle and your coworkers will wonder what died in the kitchen.
I was so hoping this was to be an extended April Fool’s prank with special guest appearances by Rudy, Klaus, and maybe John Barron. Turns out the questions and answers are serious, at least the ones I have seen.
Just to keep my thought alive, here’s one. What is the ugliest chair you have ever seen and why was it so ugly?
Well I’d never show a photo of it because I would hate to embarrass anyone. Let’s just say it was made from seven species of wood. The seat had three or four racing stripes glued in. Plus three or four butterfly keys. And the hands looked like tumors.
But other than that, it was fine.
Good Morning, I want to buy one of your chairs, want to put a 50% deposit and wait as long as necessary. Just before November 2024, I’m finally retiring then and move back to my home country were my retirement income goes a lot farther. Is it possible?
Also made an offer for the bog oak chair, and submitted for the mahogany chair. Can you please post some stats about the sales, winner’s offer, how many offers, just to see if I’m in the same area or I’m I competing with millionaires. Thank You Very Much
Silent auctions are silent. This is to keep the price reasonable. I promise I am not trying to be a jerk, but I am trying to keep the chairs affordable this way.
I can say that a chair that is put up for a raffle can get as many as 60 entries.
There are other makers out there who can make you a nice stick chair. You might reach out to Travis Curtis, who can make almost any chair. Any Windsor chair maker can make my chairs, which are rudimentary compared to a Windsor.
Also: You could make one for yourself when you get to your home country! These chairs are not difficult to make!
I am truly sorry you haven’t won one.
I have a workbench question for you!
I have access to a lumber store that sells 100-150 year old barn beams from 6”x6” up to 10”x10”.
I have not looked at these Timbers yet.
My thinking was to acquire a 10”x10”, rip it in half and plane the original outer faces. The 6”x6” would also be planed to get fresh surfaces. This would give me (conservatively) 9”x4.5” beams and 5”x5” beams.
After that the top would only need 3 pieces to laminate up: 2 of the 9” besms plus a 5” beam.
The cost for buying this is cheaper than getting any other kind of lumber.
Is this a crazy idea? I haven’t seen any evidence online of anyone making a workbench from barn Timbers so either I’m brilliant (unlikely) or I’m missing something obvious.
Barn timbers can be nasty stuff. And filled with metal.
But if they are clean and in good shape, of course it will work. Cutting big stuff and flattening it requires big equipment. Or muscle. And a lot of it.
If you have a friend with a sawmill, the work can be easy. Just watch out for metal….
I had not given thought to the possible presence of metal. I feel better prepared now when going out shopping.
I could really use another chapter / video added to Sharpen This for how to sharpen spokeshaves. I haven’t had much luck using them, maybe because they aren’t very sharp. Thanks!
I sharpen mine using a honing guide. But I don’t use the low-angle ones with tangs. In the past I have held those with handscrews and then applied the stone to the edge.
Sorrty Chris – brain fart. I meant drawknife…
Ah. We have that one planned.
I’ll be starting hand-tool woodworking classes for kids in our neighborhood (middle school/high school) toward the end of this year. Do you have any favorite beginning woodworker projects? Were there any written or other resources that you leaned on when you were first starting to teach?
I’m a moderately experienced Windsor chairmaker (by hobbyist standards, still a noob by pro standards) with about 15 chairs of various styles under my belt. I’ve not made a stick chair and they aren’t exactly my style, but I wonder if I’m missing out on learning something from them that would push by Windsors to the next level. Is there an aspect(s) of stick chairmaking that you think would make it worth a Windsor guy’s time to build one rather than spending that same time building another Windsor?
Nope. Stick chairs are for idiots like me. You have already eclipsed me.
Hi Chris – I’ve been needing to find out what the best way to attach a table top to the frame is, and best joint to make the table top. I’m making my first table using no plans, going off images of antique French work tables, that will act as a dinning and work table. Its ash base and white oak top that is 7 quarters thick, 34in w, 72in l. Im getting confused by what my Google search is turning up – is there a book or resource you’d recommended for attaching the top? Im considering button joints, but unsure how far apart to space them and where, how many, and how much to expect the wood to move (I want to avoid it cracking).
The top is 5 boards – is an edge joint best or would you suggest a different joint like tongue and groove or edge joint + loose tenon? (I only have access to hand tools)
There’s isn’t a hard-and-fast rule. Buttons are a great solution. I usually place them every 12″ to 20″. And allow for about 1/4″ of movement total.
Nails are a very traditional solution. Simply nail down through the top and into the base. Nails bend with the seasons, so wood movement is sorted.
There are other solutions that use sliding dovetails and metal plates. Those are more trouble than they are worth in my mind.
On the video clip of you and Will Meyers building a green oak slab bench, there is a wonderful French sounding song playing. Can you share the artist and song title.
Thank you for your time.
I have no clue. The music was picked by the editor. Have you tried using Shazam on your phone to identify the music?
I’ve tried buying two of your beautiful chairs via drawing, most recently the March Lowback, but kind of relieved when I didn’t win because I worry about the seat angle being uncomfortable. Have you considered coming up with a design better for posture? I’m trying to fix bad posture from decades of abuse. BTW, it would help your lower back disc issues a LOT. This link explains what’s needed as to antiverting hips, etc… (I just don’t want an ugly stupid office chair -wood is good).
I know, I should build my own, but I am chicken).
Thanks for all you do!
My lower back issues are fine and under control with simple exercises.
I don’t have much interest in taking my chairs out of the traditional realm. I build in as much lumbar support as possible. And I pay a LOT of attention to popliteal height and seat tilt. I’ve read all the treatises on chair comfort and have arrived where I want to.
I encourage anyone who wants/needs something different to give it a go themselves. These chairs are ridiculously easy to build.
What is the status of the Dutch tool chest book?
It is scheduled for this year.
Hi Chris, When making your high or low backed Welsh stick chairs, do you ever drill through the seat and wedge the mortice and tenon joints where the long and short sticks enter the seat? Or do you only ever drill one inch into the seat and glue that joint? Thank you
I have made many chairs with through-mortises through the seat. Historical practice supports both approaches. Some makers wedged the sticks from the underside. Some didn’t. Some left them proud. Some sawed them flush to the seat.
That’s great, thanks very much for the reply👍👍
I’ve seen several posts here and on the American Peasant about spell panels. Could you explain what a spell panel is and what are their significance. Thanks Chris.
They are just something I made up. I am practicing the engraving process more than 100 times before I build another piece of furniture. Many of the shapes I am engraving are protective glyphs, such as the “fishing net.” So I call these little 6″ x 6″ practice blocks “spell panels.”
Hi Chris. I really love your shop apron, and am looking forward to the redesign. If I may suggest…
Would you consider putting a dust flap over the top of the pockets? That is the one thing that really drives me crazy about the design. I’m kind of a slob, and need a little help from my friends to keep crap out of my pockets. And dust. And shavings.
When the new apron comes out, I plan to buy one and will add my own after market modification…
I don’t like flaps on my pockets. I’ve tried it both ways. But I’m happy for others to mod the thing.
Fair enough. Thanks for permission to do so on my own!
Chris, love your answer to the guy who wanted all these questions answered: Get Bent . Haven’t heard this being
used in a long time! I chuckled all day long. BTW, can you give the name of the company that makes card scraper sharpening
jig that sharpens both edges of the scraper at the same time. This could be a game changer. I have never seen a card scraper anywhere that was truly sharp. (including my own).
You are thinking of the Accu-Burr from Union Tool. Works well.
https://www.heartwoodtools.com/ is a distributor for the Accused-Burr burnisher. It has made my card scrapers much better than I could do before. The proprietor, Leslie, is very knowledgeable and helpful.
Good afternoon! Really enjoying the q and a today. Any questions I have had are now answered. I have purchased quite a few books from Lost Art Press and 2 of them had the signed sticker with them. Do you think now that the warehouse is closer to home that signed books might be possible again in the future? By the way, the Lost Art Press books are by far the best quality books in my library! Thanks for all you and you team do! Brian M
When we get our warehouse opened (June 1 is our target), my first goal is to offer signed editions of all my titles.
Chris i just want to thank you for your time and effort in putting this Saturday morning festival together. The information and advice offered was simply superb.
Awww. Thanks. Come back next Saturday, ya hear?
Count on it.
Planing stops! You indicate 3x3x12 for the size of the wood block to install the planing stop into.
How short can you go before you encounter an issue? I ask because drawers mounted under your bench would interfere with a 12 inch length.
Depending on how thick your benchtop is…. probably about 8″ long is about as short as I would go.
Is Megan’s dutch tool chest book still going to happen? fingers crossed
I’m working on drilling holes for all my sticks and I have a laser set up at about 13-ish degrees(my arm is 1/2 inch back of seat). I have a jig set up just like what you have in your chair video and for some reason I cannot get the laser to line up with my mark on the arm and my mark on the seat. it’s driving me nuts,I cannot figure it out.! I know it has to be something simple because the first couple chairs I built it worked out great But the last two chairs I’ve built I’ve had this issue. It works out in the end, but it is a struggle to get the sticks in. Hope this is enough info to visualize. Any advice would be much appreciated.!
That is odd. Try holding the laser by hand and target both mortises. That might give you an answer as to what the tilt should be. The 13° isn’t a magic number. Just tilt the laser until the line passes through both drilling locations and lock it there. Sorry if I’m not following your problem!
Is the laser trying to self-level?
Let’s Active or Love Tractor?
Good Afternoon, Chris. Thanks for taking the time to do this today. I’ve really enjoyed reading other folks questions and your responses.
My question pertains to work-holding on your Anarchist Workbench design. I’m planning to build a scaled down version for a spare room, and I was curious how you typically hold workpieces while using fenced planes (using a moving fillister to rabbet the end of a board or grooving a drawer side/front). Any suggestions would be appreciated.
I have a sticking board for most mouldings. It pushed against the planing stop. Holdfasts hold it down. Sticking board here: https://blog.lostartpress.com/2016/09/01/the-sticking-board/
For rabbeting casework, I will hold the work down with holdfasts and let the work hang off the bench. If the stock is narrow, create a fence with a long scrap on the workbench. Then use that fence and the planing stop to restrain the work. Photo of that here: https://blog.lostartpress.com/where-to-locate-your-holdfast-holes/
I really appreciate the response. Thank you.
I’m working on my first stick chair, which is taking a bit because a lot of the tools don’t seem to be in stock. At least one tool maker has blamed you for the shortage, but in a good way.
I just drilled the mortises for the legs, which came out ok angle-wise but I notice looking down from the top there are gaps around the tenons. I assume because the mortises are not perfectly circular due to the conical nature of the reamer and my unsteady hand.
What do you recommend I use to fill those gaps? I’m hoping they will be reduced once I carve the seat down but they may actually get worse as I go deeper. I tried reaming a bit deeper to try to correct the issue but I didn’t want to go too far and/or make things worse.
Thanks for all the inspiration. I don’t need a chair, I didn’t (until recently) care about chairs, but you made the process look so interesting I decided I needed to build a chair.
Big wedges! That usually fixes most gaps. Then fill gaps with putty. Paint. And you’ll get better next time!
Thanks for doing this today. You must deal with heaps of information and manage lots of projects at any given time. Are you a paper and pencil project manager or do you employ some sort of system (either analog or digital) to manage all of your projects? I ask because I am starting a new business and am trying to figure out how to find right the balance between simplicity, efficiency, cost, and capability in project management. I have a strong inclination towards simple project management tools, but was curious what approaches have worked for you at LAP?
Individual projects are managed on clipboards. One per project. All relevant paperwork on the clipboard. Big projects also have a 3-ring binder for backup references.
Spreadsheets manage the publishing. We keep master spreadsheets for each part of our business. Books have one. Tools have one. Accounting has one.
I always default to simple tools. And I probably do more work than necessary.
If one has not-too-recent Old Brown Glue that convincingly passes the three-block-two-joint-then-break-it glue quality test that you posted a while back, can one safely ignore the purchase date? (stored at 70F and dry conditions)
Yes. I buy out-of-date Old Brown all the time. Saves money. We use a LOT of Old Brown.
In your book “Sharpen this” you describe the proper way to sharpen a tool. By the way, your books are so good I read them for fun. Anyway, try as I might I am unable to determine of you hone the entire 25 degree angle. In other words do you grind, then hone the 25 degree angle and then hone and polish the 35 degree/secondary edge.
Sorry that isn’t clear!
I grind at 25°. Hone and polish at 35°. Hope that clears it up.
Any suggestions on a good resource for beginners with only a few chairs under their belt in putting in a back splat with an arm bow? Not confident on the order of operations. Unless that’s in stick chair journal number 3 and I just have to wait a bit.
I haven’t encountered any. Here’s a brief order of operations.
In the Stick Chair book (and videos) you mark the wood for rough cuts with what looks like a Sharpie—and you call it a “magic marker.” Is it permanent ink or washable? Doesn’t the ink soak into the wood? Are there woods you wouldn’t use a marker on? Thanks!
It’s a Sharpie. I use it for marking rough crosscuts. It will soak into the wood, so I wouldn’t draw on the face of a board that is close to being complete. For that I use chalk or grease pencil or regular pencil.
In the ATC book, and in a number of your videos, you and Fitz refer to “Sugar Pine”. My local lumber yards and my one hard wood seller have no idea what you are referring to. Is there another name this goes by?
Sugar pine is a Western species – Pinus lambertiana. It can be tricky to find, but our local lumberyard (Shiel’s) usually has it.
Hi, i have a couple of questions.
1. In the book sharpen this you dont really talk about the benefits of hollow grinding for sharpening at the grinding level. How by using the hollow you only hone the cutting edge and the base of the primary bevel. This shoild make free hand sharpening eaier for two reasons (less steel to hone away, and greater stability in honing means less of a chance to roubd off the tip). For that my question is this: am i spewing bs here? Or is this a valid approach?
I would like to know who makes yourdrawknife and what criteria do you look for in one.
It’s a valid way to do it, of course. And some schools teach that approach. I’ve used it with great success. It gets a little arduous as the hollow disappears. And a lot of steel is getting polished that isn’t ever going to see wood.
Years ago I decided to stick to a honing guide because it is fast, repeatable and you are only polishing the steel that cuts the wood.
Just my 2 cents. And I am happy if you are happy!
Have question regarding soap finish. I use it mainly on stools in ash, oak and birch. I followed (tried) the recommendation about mixture concentration, light sand in between, and apply 2-3 coats with rag and wipe off, however I always tend to end up either kind of greasy (too much?) or way too little (doesn’t feel like I “build up” anything). Also trouble with proper soap application on end grain. cannot figure out how to troubleshoot the process. If you have any advice, thank you. Love your work and efforts you put in the pedagogic teaching. Cheers
If it’s too thick, try letting it sit for a few days. Then buff it hard with a huck-weave towel. That usually helps.
The tendency is to use too much. (Must be a result of the pandemic.) A couple thin coats are all you need. The surface should feel slightly softer than wood usually feels. That’s the sweet spot.
I want to laminate a top for a workbench I plan to build, and it will be made using construction grade pine. I am planning on using the DowelMax to align the individual boards for the top to minimize the amount of hand planning required to level the top. The dowels will only be for alignment and the glue joint will be utilized in the normal manner. I thought about using biscuits, but they aren’t accurate enough to get precise alignment, in my opinion. I have both tools, the DowelMax and a Biscuit Joiner, but I don’t have a domino, and I don’t think a domino would be accurate enough either. Any thoughts on my approach plans?
Use whichever tool you are comfortable with. But, to be honest, I’d probably just use glue. Construction pine is easy to flatten with a jack.
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