Working with Poplar: America’s utility hardwood

Yellow poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera, or tulip tree), the tallest hardwood tree in North America, also rates as the most valuable commercial species because its intolerance to shade stifles lower branches and produces a perfect, straight trunk with clear lumber even...

Using Cherry for Woodworking Projects

CHERRY (botanically called “black” cherry, Prunus serotina) has long been ranked second only to walnut by makers of finely crafted furniture. Once you’ve worked it, you’ll understand why: great color, fine grain, a wonderful luster, and it even...

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,...

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...

White Pine: Your next woodworking project

Eastern White Pine is one of the most common and widely used construction lumber species in the northeast United States. It has two cousins: Sugar Pine and Western White Pine. Of the three, Eastern White Pine tends to have the finest texture and smallest resin (sap)...

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...

Using White Oak for Woodworking Projects

White oak produces fine lumber and exquisite veneer. Its cellular structure proves impermeable to liquids and is resistant to decay, making it suitable for outdoor projects — a rare feat for a North American hardwood. Although only one species, Quercus alba, is...

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...