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Winter 2013-2014

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AW Editor Brad Holden

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  • Friday's Tip

    by AW Editor Brad Holden     Friday, April 26, 2013
    Starting today, and continuing each Friday, I'll be posting tips from the American Woodworker archives. This first one, however simple, is one of my all-time favorites, and one of the most-reached-for tools in my shop. Belt Sanding Block I do most...
  • Festool Connect Event at JLC Live

    by AW Editor Brad Holden     Tuesday, April 30, 2013
    Normal 0 0 1 377 2153 17 4 2644 11.1282 0 0 0 I recently attended the JLC Live event in Providence, RI. It's an event for builders and remodelers. Since Festool was showcasing some new tools at the event, I decided it'd be good for me to have...
  • Friday's Tip for May 3rd

    by AW Editor Brad Holden     Friday, May 3, 2013
    Comfortable Dovetails Like the majority of wokbenches, mine is fine for planing but too low for cutting dovetails without prolonged stooping. My answer is to clamp a heavy backing board, as shown in the sketch, and clamp the workpiece to it. I usually...
  • Friday's Tip for May 10th

    by AW Editor Brad Holden     Friday, May 10, 2013
    Adjustable Curves Laying out a large curve with a cobbled-together, oversize compass is a pain in the neck. Instead I use a bowed slat that can be adjusted to any curve. I used to bend the slat with my hands and draw the curve with a pencil in my mouth...
  • Friday's Tip for May 17th

    by AW Editor Brad Holden     Friday, May 17, 2013
    Rubber Band Veneer Clamp I had tried everything to successfully glue veneer on curved surfaces: cauls, three-way clamps, string and tape, you name it. Nothing ever worked as well as this homespun solution, which requires only simple shop supplies. Nail...
  • Friday's Tip for May 24th

    by AW Editor Brad Holden     Friday, May 24, 2013
    Bevel Gauge For years I ground a way-too-shallow edge on my favorite chisel. It wouldn't hold up worth beans, so I dug through the junk drawer for something I could make a bevel gauge out of. What I came up with is this simple jig. Just place the...
  • Friday's Tip for May 31st

    by AW Editor Brad Holden     Friday, May 31, 2013
    Easier Resawing I'm stuck with a wimpy 1/2 hp bandsaw that stalled whenever I tried to resaw anything tall. Then my neighbor turned me on to a technique that solved my problem. I pre-cut a 1-1/2" deep kerf in each edge of the board with my tablesaw...
  • Friday's Tip for June 7th

    by AW Editor Brad Holden     Friday, June 7, 2013
    Dovetail Marking Jig This little jig greatly speeds the laying out and marking of dovetail pins. Make the jig so the thin piece is exactly the same size as the pin you plan to use. Then, mark a half-pin on the left side, and divide the remaining space...
  • Friday's Tip for June 14th

    by AW Editor Brad Holden     Friday, June 14, 2013
    Smooth-Cutting Hole Saw I cut a lot of discs and large-diameter holes in my shop. I was puzzled for the longest time because I was getting vibration and smoke. It even happened with new hole saws. Eventually, it dawned on me that the culprit wasn't...
  • Friday's Tip for June 21st (on Saturday June 22nd....)

    by AW Editor Brad Holden     Saturday, June 22, 2013
    Machine Floor Locks Anyone with a machine on wheels - especially a tablesaw or planer - understands the necessity of locking it in place before using it. I use a pair of toggle clamps connected to rods. I position the machine where I want it and lock...
  • Friday's Tip for June 28th

    by AW Editor Brad Holden     Friday, June 28, 2013
    Router Dado Jig In the course of my work as a contractor, I often need to build cabinets and bookshelves on site - without the luxury of shop tools. I gave up on the flimsy router fence supplied with the machine and made the jig shown in the sketch. The...
  • Friday's Tip for July 5th

    by AW Editor Brad Holden     Friday, July 5, 2013
    Thickness Gauge I use this handy device constantly to check and compare thickness on a variety of projects. Slide the gauge over the edge of the stock, keeping the graduated edge flat on the surface of the board, and read the thickness. You'll have...
  • Friday's Tip for July 12th

    by AW Editor Brad Holden     Friday, July 12, 2013
    Plywood Carrier You don't have to be built like an orangutan to carry plywood! This simple carrier extends your reach and turns an awkward job into an easy one. It's quick to build out of 3/4" plywood, a scrap of 2 x 2, some glue and a few...
  • Friday's Tip for July 19th

    by AW Editor Brad Holden     Friday, July 19, 2013
    Zero-Clearance Bandsaw Table I like to cut tenons with my bandsaw, but the little cutoffs tend to fall down in the space by the blade and get in the way or bind the blade. I found a slick fix. Tape a piece of thin cardboard (from something like a manila...
  • Friday's Tip for July 26th

    by AW Editor Brad Holden     Friday, July 26, 2013
    Double-Duty Sanding Drum I sand a lot of thin wood on my drum sander and as a result, I only wear out the bottom part of the drums. Flipping them over allows me to use the top but the middle remains unused. Call me a cheapskate, but I hate throwing away...