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  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Drawer Slide Tracing Jig

    by American Woodworker Editors     Thursday, March 4, 2010
    I recently needed a jig to trace lathe turnings. I tried a variety of designs but none produced the accuracy or ease of operation that I wanted. While rummaging around my shop, I discovered an extra set of 10-in. ball bearing drawer slides (see Sources...
  • 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...
  • Q & A: Dovetail Jig Set-Up

    by woodworkerBryan     Wednesday, February 20, 2013
    Q & A: Dovetail Jig Set-Up Q: I’ve fallen in love with my dovetail router jig, but my big frustration is setting the depth of the dovetail bit each time. I’ve tried measuring how much the bit should stick out, but that’s awkward...
  • Template for Rounded Corners

    by AW-Editor     Thursday, January 29, 2009
    This guide takes only a minute to make and helps you make perfect corners in four different diameters. Simply use a different sized coin (penny, nickel, dime, quarter) to create the four radii.
  • 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...
  • AW Extra 5/3/12 - Machine Floor Locks

    by AW-Editor     Thursday, April 17, 2008
    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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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