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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...
  • AW Extra 5/24/12 - 8-ft.Straightedge for $4

    by AW-Editor     Sunday, June 29, 2008
    8-ft. Straightedge for $4 Whenever I have to cut down a sheet of plywood I reach for one of my trusty metal stud straightedges.Metal studs are available in different thicknesses for different applications. A 20-gauge non-load-bearing drywall stud (about...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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
  • Hold Small Stock Securely

    by AW-Editor     Friday, September 19, 2008
    In Ireland, where I was taught, the first jig a woodworking apprentice makes is a bench hook—a simple, yet amazingly effective device used to hold small stock for sawing and trimming. The design itself is ancient; bench hooks have been used for...
  • Adjustable Board Support

    by American Woodworker Editors     Tuesday, June 30, 2009
    In the good old days, when a woodworker wanted to plane a board’s edge, he’d clamp one end in the bench’s face vise and support the cantilevered end with a free-standing device called a “deadman”. My modernized version mounts...
  • Clamp Doubles as Tail Vise

    by AW-Editor     Thursday, January 29, 2009
    After years of wishing my old workbench had a tail vise, I realized I could make one of my new Jorgensen Cabinet Master bar clamps do the job. All I had to do was reverse the sliding lower jaw (it's removable) and mount the bar and fixed jaw under...
  • Pipe-Clamp Vise

    by AW-Editor     Thursday, January 29, 2009
    My bench has only one vise, so it needs to be versatile. The jaws on my vise can be positioned to hold objects flat on the bench or cantilevered off the end. In addition, the clamp is removable, so I can still use it for regular clamping jobs. My vise...
  • 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...
  • Knee-Saving Compressor Drain

    by AW-Editor     Thursday, January 29, 2009
    Crouching to operate my compressor's drain valve was no big deal until my football-ravaged knees started acting up. To keep from grimacing in the sawdust, I devised a more civilized way to clear the tank. I replaced the drain valve with a 90-degree...
  • 30-Minute Marking Gauge

    by AW-Editor     Thursday, January 29, 2009
    Make this handy little gem for less than $5. You'll need one piece of hardwood for the beam and another for the fence. You'll also need two 1/4-20 threaded inserts and a thumbscrew. Drill a hole through the fence for the thumbscrew, 1-1/2-in....
  • Mobile Machine Caddy

    by AW-Editor     Thursday, January 29, 2009
    My shop space is so limited-only 12 feet square-that I designed this system to house four machines: belt-disc sander, miter saw station, drill press and planer. Each machine has an accessory storage tray below. With all the machines down I have a clear...
  • Rock-Solid Bench Support

    by AW-Editor     Thursday, January 29, 2009
    The face vise on my workbench didn't hold long boards rigidly enough until I added this adjustable "bench slave." And it only cost about $30. First I milled a board to attach to the leg, making sure it was thick enough to fit flush with...