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  • Working with Melamine

    by Tim Johnson     Tuesday, March 3, 2009
    Working with Melamine It's dirt cheap, it's practical, and best of all, there's no sanding and finishing! by Dave Munkittrick Melamine is the professional cabinetmaker’s best friend. Build a cabinet with it and you have a complete, durable...
  • 19 Tips for Buying and Using Rough Lumber

    by American Woodworker Editors     Tuesday, May 8, 2012
    Tips for Buying and Using Rough Lumber Buy smart to get the best deals and the best wood. By Tim Johnson Start out thick Rough lumber thicknesses are measured in 1/4-in. increments. The thinnest rough-cut boards, labeled 4/4, and called four quarter,...
  • 10 Things You Need to Know About Plastic Lumber

    by American Woodworker Editors     Tuesday, November 10, 2009
    by Brad Holden No, we haven’t changed our name to American Plasticworker. I love wood, with all its beautiful textures, figures and smells. But I also enjoy experimenting with different materials. So I decided to try some of the plastic lumber available...
  • Butternut

    by American Woodworker Editors     Saturday, July 24, 2010
    Butternut Tips for working with black walnut's blond cousin. By Tim Johnson Butternut is one of our prettiest domestic hardwoods, but most people have never seen it. Butternut trees are rare in urban and suburban landscapes,and retail lumberyards...
  • The Way Wood Works: Reading Grain Direction

    by American Woodworker Editors     Monday, July 2, 2012
    The Way Wood Works: Reading Grain Direction By Tom Caspar “Going against the grain” is a familiar phrase. It means doing something the wrong way.When you’re talking about wood, you always want to go with the grain—cutting or planing...
  • Rollers Ease Plywood Storage

    by American Woodworker Editors     Monday, April 28, 2014
    Rollers Ease Plywood Storage Before I installed these rollers, sliding plywood in and out of my storage rack used to wear me out. It also damaged the edges of the sheets. Now plywood sheets glide in and out.I cut the 2-1/2-in.-dia. rollers from 3/4-in...
  • 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...
  • Ipe - Wood or Metal?

    by American Woodworker Editors     Tuesday, December 8, 2009
    Ipe - Wood or Metal? By Tom Caspar Ipe (pronounced E-pay) is a South American wood as exotic as its name. When you hold a piece, you know it’s something special. Ipe sinks in water like cast iron, is hard as nails and polishes like brass. Of course...
  • 8 Tips for Milling Rough Lumber

    by American Woodworker Editors     Wednesday, October 14, 2009
    Get the best yield from the least-expensive wood. by Tom Caspar Cut Big Boards into Small Pieces You might think the best strategy for milling rough lumber is to flatten as large a piece as possible, then cut it into smaller parts. Not true. It’s...
  • AW Extra 1/24/13 - The Way Wood Works: Curly Wood

    by American Woodworker Editors     Tuesday, June 14, 2011
    The Way Wood Works: Curly Wood How to buy, machine and finish this amazing wood. By Tom Caspar Hidden within a few trees in every forest lies a mysteriously distorted wood that has always fascinated woodworkers. You can’t spot curly wood from the...
  • Overhead Lumber Rack

    by American Woodworker Editors     Wednesday, February 10, 2010
    I like working in my basement shop, but the floor space is limited. So when it came time to put up a lumber rack, I screwed it to the ceiling because that’s the only space that was wide open. I designed the rack so it holds both long and short boards...
  • Great Wood - Quartersawn Sycamore

    by American Woodworker Editors     Friday, July 2, 2010
    Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) is North America’s tallest hardwood. It is a close-textured wood with interlocking grain that makes it notoriously difficult to split. Because of its toughness and resistance to splitting, sycamore is often used...
  • AW Extra 12/13/12 - The Virtues of No. 1 Common

    by AW-Editor     Thursday, January 29, 2009
    The Virtues of No. 1 Common Save money by using boards that aren’t perfect. By Tim Johnson and Ed Krause Want to make your head spin? Just try to figure out how hardwood lumber is graded.Lumber is such an incredibly diverse material that there are...
  • AW Extra 9/20/12 - How to Deal with Knots

    by AW-Editor     Tuesday, July 8, 2008
    How to Deal with Knots Knotty boards are beautiful, yet frustrating! Here’s how to get the most out of them. By Tom Caspar Knots are usually considered defects in wood. They’re cut out of boards and thrown on a scrap heap. But take a closer...
  • Figured Cherry

    by American Woodworker Editors     Thursday, June 23, 2011
    Figured Cherry Spectacular wood and where to get it. By Dave Munkittrick Nature truly is the greatest artist and figured cherry is living proof. If you’ve ever admired the fluid motion of a flag in a breeze or ripples of sand along a quiet beach...