American Woodworker

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Winter 2013-2014

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AW Editor Brad Holden

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  • Friday's Tip for March 7th

    by AW Editor Brad Holden     Friday, March 7, 2014
    Versatile Center Gauge I wanted to add accent dowel "dots" down the center of some slightly curved, tapered table legs. Sounds simple, but I nearly pulled my hair out trying to accurately find the center of these legs using a ruler! I was about...
  • Friday's Tip for January 24th

    by AW Editor Brad Holden     Friday, January 24, 2014
    Plane Stand Every so often I need to plane down a piece of wood that is too small for my jointer. To handle these small jobs, I devised a stand for my No. 5 Stanley jack plane. The plane rests upside down on two wood blocks that fit up between the ridges...
  • Friday's Tip for February 14th

    by AW Editor Brad Holden     Friday, February 14, 2014
    Stable Roller Stand I bought a roller stand to support my lumber when sawing. It worked okay, but sometimes the rear leg would fold up and the stand would collapse. This was very annoying. I fixed it by adding some plastic cable ties at the top and bottom...
  • 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...
  • Friday's Tip for January 3rd

    by AW Editor Brad Holden     Friday, January 3, 2014
    Double-Decker Mini Clamp Here's a great little clamp for those light-duty hobby or craft jobs. Start with two ordinary clothespins, then modify and combine them as shown above. You now have a clamp with triple the capacity of a single clothespin....
  • 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 March 28th

    by AW Editor Brad Holden     Friday, March 28, 2014
    Cutting Multiple Parts One day my wife asked me if I would make her 58 shields for awards day at her school. Usually when I cut multiples on my scrollsaw I tape or screw the parts. This time I hot-melt glued them together. It not only worked great, but...
  • 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 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 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 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 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 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 November 1st

    by AW Editor Brad Holden     Friday, November 1, 2013
    Tablesaw Jig Clamp I added this hold-down to my tablesaw's sliding cutoff jig and find it a great convenience, because the height of the clamp is easily changed. This clamp uses a standard bar-type caulking gun, cut in half, as shown. The mounting...
  • Friday's Tip for November 22nd

    by AW Editor Brad Holden     Friday, November 22, 2013
    Getting the Point I frequently use awls in my work and like to keep them needle-sharp. This little jig takes only a few minutes to make and guarantees a fine, tapered point. The magnets keep the jig securely in place while in use. Jay Wallace My Take...