Category Archives: Techniques

Smoke-painted Furniture

Soot was one of the earliest materials used by humans to decorate their surroudings. In the late 18th century and well into the 19th century smoke painting was a decorative technique used on furniture. It was cheap and the smoke … Continue reading

Posted in Techniques | 17 Comments

Grind Twice, Young Chiseler

“Do not condemn the cutting qualities of a new tool until you have ground it more than once, as invariably you will find a perfect edge on the second if not the first time grinding.” — Charles Buck, of Buck … Continue reading

Posted in Historical Images, Techniques | 5 Comments

This is Where we Fight about ‘Fishtails’

Here is joint I have not encountered yet. I suppose they are technically dovetails, but I think the construction looks more like tails of fish. Paul Windle-Taylor of Brittany, France, discovered them at the back of the bottom drawer of … Continue reading

Posted in Techniques | 15 Comments

Sticks and Stones and Naked Gnats

In our household, we have offered the following guideline to our young girls: Words are not weapons. The only way that words can hurt you is if you let them hurt you. So, as you can imagine, we allow complete … Continue reading

Posted in Techniques, Woodworking Classes | 53 Comments

No More Crack!

What’s wrong with this picture? I have found a number of ways to crack the stuff I am working on. Namely half-blind tail sockets in the drawer fronts. I have been chopping them out and been cracking the board. The … Continue reading

Posted in Techniques | 9 Comments

Dovetail Sawing for Non-professionals

After requests from several readers, here is a short video showing how I teach beginning sawyers how to cut pins. Some things to understand before watching this video. 1. We gang-cut the tails first and then transferred the shape of … Continue reading

Posted in Saws, Techniques | 13 Comments

My Supreme Suckage: Hand Mortising

Other bloggers are wary of pulling down their pants. Not me. I suck at a lot of things, but I really and truly suck at mortising by hand. The problem isn’t really my results – I can get a clean, … Continue reading

Posted in Techniques | 27 Comments