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Winter 2013-2014

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  • Jointing With A Planer

    by AW-Editor     Thursday, January 29, 2009
    I came across some wonderful oak boards for a small table I wanted to build. The problem was the boards were too wide for my jointer and I didn’t want to rip them any narrower. I solved my dilemma with this planer sled that allows me to use my planer...
  • Jig for Router Dadoes

    by AW-Editor     Thursday, January 29, 2009
    For fast and accurate dadoes, this jig is hard to beat. The trick is to run the router against one guide, then back against the other. This allows you to use a 1/2-in. bit, for example, to cut a dado that's 13/16-in. wide or less, to get a perfect...
  • Grind Your Own Knives

    by AW-Editor     Thursday, January 29, 2009
    With this simple jig, a drill press and a cup grinder, I can sharpen any jointer or planer knife. First I make a hardwood block and cut it to 1/16 in. less than the length of the knives. Then I add a retaining piece at each end, as shown. Install a medium...
  • Long-Reach Stop for Crosscut Sled

    by Tim Johnson     Sunday, February 22, 2009
    I built the “Ultimate Crosscut Sled” featured in AW #75 (October 1999). It works great, and recently I've added an adjustable stop, which makes it even better. I thought other AW readers would be interested in my upgrade. My 50-in.-capacity...
  • Simple Lumber Maker

    by AW-Editor     Thursday, January 29, 2009
    I've turned my bandsaw into a mini sawmill with the help of one dirt-simple jig and a pair of extension tables. The jig is nothing more than a piece of plywood screwed to the log. It steadies the log when I cut the first slab and provides additional...
  • Grit-Free Benchtop Weights

    by Tim Johnson     Sunday, February 22, 2009
    I keep a few landscape pavers handy in my workshop to use as hold-downs and weights when clamping is inconvenient. The only problem is that they leave grit behind with every use, and grit and woodworking don't mix. I solved this gritty problem by...
  • Gauge Blocks Aid Biscuit Joiner Setup

    by Tim Johnson     Wednesday, February 25, 2009
    Gauge blocks work great for quick, accurate biscuit joiner fence settings. All you do is pinch the block between the fence blades. This technique will also ensure the fence is set parallel to the blade. Joiners with rack-and-pinion fence adjustments automatically...
  • Tips for Mastering the Miter Saw

    by American Woodworker Editors     Wednesday, September 9, 2009
    Tips for Mastering the Miter Saw 14 Ways to Make Safe, Accurate Cuts with No Tear-Out by Tom Caspar At first glance, using a miter saw appears quite simple. But to get good results—that’s another story! Here are a handful of techniques and...
  • Drawer Helpers

    by AW-Editor     Sunday, December 14, 2008
    These blocks are like a spare pair of hands for assembling drawers and many kinds of cabinets. Make them out of 3⁄4-in. plywood with dadoes the width of your stock. Back to Workshop Tips Index
  • Small Shop Tip: Instant Drawers

    by Randy Johnson     Thursday, February 19, 2009
    Instant Drawers Large plastic boxes, the kind that restaurants use for bussing dishes, are perfect for shop drawers. They're strong, durable and lightweight, plus they have built-in handles. They're perfect for storing and transporting workshop...
  • Smooth-As-Silk Countersink

    by American Woodworker Editors     Wednesday, September 9, 2009
    Countersink first, drill the pilot hole second. That may sound backward, but it’s the easiest way to ensure a perfectly smooth countersink. I used to drill the pilot hole first on the drill press, but if that hole was relatively large or the wood...
  • Spread Biscuit Slot Glue

    by Tim Johnson     Wednesday, February 25, 2009
    4. Apply Glue With An Acid Brush Glue must be evenly applied throughout the biscuit slot to get the strongest joint possible. The easiest way? Squirt some glue into the slot and then run a glue brush, sometimes called an acid brush, through the slot until...
  • Minimize Router Burns

    by American Woodworker Editors     Wednesday, September 9, 2009
    End grain burns easily on maple and cherry, and those burns are hard to remove. After sanding my fingers to the bone following one particularly unfortunate routing pass, I came up with an easy solution that removes those unsightly burns without requiring...
  • Biscuit Gauge

    by AW-Editor     Thursday, January 29, 2009
    I use my biscuit joiner all the time to quickly make strong joints. With narrow boards like face frames, I used to spend a lot of time figuring out which biscuit size to use so the slots wouldn't be too wide and show. To avoid all that recalculation...
  • Protect Batteries from Overcharging

    by AW-Editor     Friday, September 19, 2008
    I own several inexpensive cordless tools—for the money, they can't be beat. The no-frills battery chargers they come with, though, don't automatically shut off after the battery is recharged. Yet according to the operator's manuals,...