My Favorite Tools: Sharpening with Dia-Sharp Bench Stones

When is a tool sharp enough? Over the years, I have realized that what I thought was sharp at one time simply doesn’t produce the quality of what I want or need today.  For power tools, there is a balance in the level of sharpness because of the nature of the cutting edge. Most carbideContinue reading “My Favorite Tools: Sharpening with Dia-Sharp Bench Stones”

My Favorite Tools: Saws (or Seven Reasons the Dozuki Z is my go-to saw)

I have never really liked sawing wood by hand, whether pruning or lumber, although pruning is more forgiving at least. I think its the imprecision of sawing, or perhaps my implementation of sawing. The table saw or miter saw or bandsaw or even the circular saw all have their own special precision. But sometimes noneContinue reading “My Favorite Tools: Saws (or Seven Reasons the Dozuki Z is my go-to saw)”

My Favorite Tools: A Plane that Breaks the Mold

Most of the hand planes in the shop have some common characteristics, whether small or large. They have a flat base with a space that allows a blade to protrude and when pushed or pulled to take thin shavings of wood. Most planes we think of are metal, but wood planes are also popular andContinue reading “My Favorite Tools: A Plane that Breaks the Mold”

My Favorite Tools: Hand Planes (part 1)

About twenty years ago, I inherited some power tools from my grandfather, who had died several years before. After his retirement, he bought and turned houses that needed refurbishing and had a nice shop for that purpose. I received a Delta contractor table saw, a Porter-Cable router and circular saw, a Bosch belt sander, aContinue reading “My Favorite Tools: Hand Planes (part 1)”

My Favorite Tools: Measuring

Not to be too obvious, but if you cannot measure accurately, you cannot be skilled at woodworking. And to measure accurately, you need the correct measuring tools that do what you need. Length, width, height, depth, square, 45°, other angles, outer diameter, inner diameter, circumference, radius, center, level, and other measurements take different tools dependingContinue reading “My Favorite Tools: Measuring”

Office Sideboard Update

It’s done! The “Office Sideboard” project I began in late October is finished. As always, it took longer than I wanted, but mistakes happen, plans change, and all of that results in more time. Sounds like life in general. The result, however, is more beautiful and functional than I originally conceived or imagined. Some changes,Continue reading “Office Sideboard Update”

A Dove Tale

After spending any time reading woodworking magazines, the topic of dovetails inevitably comes up. Terms and phrases usually get repeated almost to the point of being cliche: “the sign of excellent craftsmanship,” “time-honored,” “the strongest joint,” “beautiful,” “difficult to master,” “intimidating” are a few. The reason they are repeated is because all are true—especially theContinue reading “A Dove Tale”

A New Project: Office Sideboard

Over the years, I have built many pieces of furniture for our home and others. The only times I actually used a pre-existing plan was for my daughters’ loft beds and the coffee table in our living area. I discovered quickly that much of the enjoyment of making a piece is the creativity involved inContinue reading “A New Project: Office Sideboard”

Perfect Imperfection

Over the years of building things with wood, I have taken two approaches. If the project is shop related, I only focus on functionality. Beauty is nice, but beauty takes time. Shop projects, at least thus far, are meant to make beauty easier, but I take more satisfaction in the way a shop project worksContinue reading “Perfect Imperfection”

Glorious Mistakes

Over the years of going to the workshop to design, cut, plane, straighten, drill and mortise, rout, sand, glue, assemble, and finish whatever project I am working on, I virtually always make a mistake or have an unfortunate slip-up in the process. With wood this eventuality is inevitable in the non-production home shop, at leastContinue reading “Glorious Mistakes”