Belt-driven tools: Performance Upgrade

Swap your old school V Drive belt for a Link v-belt for instant benefits One of the easiest upgrades you can perform on a belt-driven shop tool (table saw, drill press, etc.) is the removal of the OEM style V drive belt(s), and replace it with a correctly sized...

Tool Sharpening 101: Stones

Different types of sharpening stones exist for a reason – there is not one type or style of stone that is best for every sharpening task. Choosing the one that best one is a matter of matching the best combination of advantages for your particular sharpening...

Using Forgotten ‘Throw-away’ Wood

I grew up in Connecticut, where large trunk hardwood trees were in abundance. Split vertically the grains visible on their flat surface run as long and with as much grace and purpose as the highways crossing this country. I now call the Bitterroot Valley in Montana,...

Random Orbital Sander vs Sheet Sander

Random Orbital Sander No matter what the advertising says, hand sanding has not been eliminated and when working with shapes and contours it [hand sanding] is really the only way to get the job done. But there are times when the job is big or the amount of material to...

Workshop Project: Table Saw Tune-up

As durable as most table saws are, they do require attention from time to time. If you’re table saw is is leaving rough saw marks, burning wood or bogging down when you rip average stock thicknesses, chances are something’s amiss, and it’s time to...

Woodcarving: Selecting Wood

The ideal carver’s wood might be as soft as white pine, with mahogany’s straight grain, totally without knots or difficult grain, and able to hold detail as well as persimmon. But the next carver in line may well prefer working with very hard woods that...

Choosing the Right Wood Lathe

Woodturning is an art of the highest order dating back to 6th century B.C. You become a sort of creator, turning a dull chunk of wood into a magnificent masterpiece, which is why choosing the right wood lathe is of the utmost importance. Inspired by the intriguing...

Shop Project: Air Filtration for Dust Control

Dust — It’s everywhere! Despite our best efforts in recent years to control the dust and chips that our woodworking tools produce, we still end up breathing in more than we should. Breathing in the fine dust particles produced from sanding, routing, and...

Rescue Project: A Face-lift for Old Oak Doors

For nearly 100 years the thick oak pocket doors separated living and dining space in a charming craftsman style home. But the years and several different owners’ taste in interior finishes had not been kind to these once proud examples of turn-of-the-century...

Trim Routers – your new best friend?

With some routing chores, bigger isn’t always better; sometimes it’s a bother. For small-cut jobs, a larger machine is the workshop equivalent of swatting a fly with an elephant gun. Enter the trim router. This prized tool – sometimes called a...

The Basics of Cabinet Making

Hearing that someone is a cabinetmaker tends to bring respect for the woodworking skills of the person described. That’s as it should be, but the skills are neither arcane, nor impossible for the average woodworker to gain. After all, most of us feel anyone can...

Wipe-On Oil Finishes – you may never use a brush again

Wipe-on finishes are popular for a variety of reasons, the biggest of which is the ease of application. Wipe-on oils may take a little more time to apply and to dry than do some spray finishes, but provide a different look, and feel, which is often preferable for the...

Building a Birdhouse

Spring brings means yard work but one of the most popular small projects this time of year involves birds – either feeding or housing. Building a birdhouse can be a fun project for the entire family – the tools required are minimal and you can let your...