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Winter 2013-2014

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  • Q & A: Avoiding Swirl Marks

    by American Woodworker Editors     Tuesday, April 1, 2014
    Q & A: Avoiding Swirl Marks Q: I just stained a tabletop and found it covered with tiny swirl marks from my random-orbital sander.What did I do wrong? A: Swirl marks are inevitable. The trick is to use a technique that minimizes their prominence....
  • Q & A: Safely Rough-Cut Twisted Lumber

    by American Woodworker Editors     Thursday, March 20, 2014
    Q & A: Safely Rough-Cut Twisted Lumber Q: I buy my lumber rough, and sometimes I get a very twisted or crooked board. What’s a safe way to crosscut and put a straight edge on these awkward boards? A: I use a two-step process for safely prepping...
  • Q & A: Taking Dimensions From Photos

    by American Woodworker Editors     Tuesday, March 4, 2014
    Q & A: Taking Dimensions From Photos Q: Sometimes a catalog has a piece of furniture that I’d love to build myself. How can I get the dimensions for a piece of furniture off a photograph? A: Try this method for scaling from photos: Start by...
  • Q & A: Soaking Stones

    by American Woodworker Editors     Thursday, February 27, 2014
    Q & A: Soaking Stones Q: I just bought a 6,000-grit Japanese waterstone mounted on a wooden base. Can I soak it like my other stones? Also, what’s the purpose of a Nagura stone? A: Your 6,000-grit waterstone absorbs water quickly and doesn’t...
  • Q & A: Chisel Sharpening Angles

    by American Woodworker Editors     Tuesday, February 18, 2014
    Grind a new 25-degree bevel. Grind all the way up to the leading end. Make sure the end is square within a few degrees. To prevent overheating, frequently dip the chisel in water as you approach the leading end. Q & A: Chisel Sharpening Angles Q:...
  • Q & A: Spray-On Crackle Finish

    by American Woodworker Editors     Tuesday, January 21, 2014
    Spray-On Crackle Finish Q: Is it possible to get a crackle finish in a pigmented, water-based lacquer that is applied with an HVLP spray gun? If so, please tell me how. A: Yes, it can be done. Put down a base color first (the color that will show through...
  • Q & A: Splitter for Narrow Pieces

    by American Woodworker Editors     Tuesday, January 21, 2014
    Splitter for Narrow Pieces Q: How can I avoid burn marks when ripping thin strips? A: Add a splitter to your zero-clearance throat plate. A splitter keeps the wood from binding on the back of the blade.For most rip cuts, you should use your blade guard...
  • Q & A: Clean Cuts in a Countertop

    by American Woodworker Editors     Tuesday, December 31, 2013
    Clean Cuts in a Countertop Q: I have a plastic laminate countertop that’s about 12 in. too long. I know that plastic laminate tends to chip when cut. How can I trim the countertop to size without creating unsightly chips or splinters? A: If not...
  • Q & A: How Can I Avoid Kickback When Resawing on a Tablesaw?

    by American Woodworker Editors     Tuesday, December 17, 2013
    How Can I Avoid Kickback When Resawing on a Tablesaw? Q: Is there a splitter that can be used for resawing on a tablesaw? Mine is hooked onto the blade guard so it won’t work. A: It’s unfortunate but true; you can’t use a conventional...
  • Q & A: Why Does My Wood Have Stripes?

    by American Woodworker Editors     Tuesday, November 12, 2013
    Why Does My Wood Have Stripes? Q: I put a clear finish on a beautiful ash table I made and found faint stripes an inch or two wide going across each board. Any ideas on what caused them and how to get rid of them? A: Those stripes probably won’t...
  • Q & A: Is Polyurethane Food-Safe?

    by American Woodworker Editors     Tuesday, November 5, 2013
    Is Polyurethane Food-Safe? Q: I’m planning on finishing a set of wooden plates with polyurethane. Is this finish safe for food? A: According to finishing expert Bob Flexner, all finishes are food-safe once they have cured. Polyurethane varnish does...
  • Q & A: How Fast Should a Forstner Bit Spin?

    by American Woodworker Editors     Friday, October 4, 2013
    How Fast Should a Forstner Bit Spin? Q: I just bought a set of Forstner bits for my drill press.The first time I used one I made more smoke than sawdust! How do I figure out the right spindle speed for these bits? A: To find the fastest maximum speed...
  • Q & A: Router Speed Limits

    by American Woodworker Editors     Thursday, September 26, 2013
    Q & A: Router Speed Limits Q: I love my new variable-speed router but I haven’t a clue about selecting the right speed for the job. Any tips? A: Four factors determine how fast your router should go: ■ The diameter of the bit. ■The rate at which...
  • Q & A: Knocking Apart Loose Joints

    by American Woodworker Editors     Tuesday, September 17, 2013
    Q & A: Knocking Apart Loose Joints Q: I tried reversing a clamp to pull out the rungs of an old chair that needed regluing, but I couldn’t get all of the rungs out.What do I do? A: Spreader clamps can be helpful, but the most effective weapon...
  • Q & A: Sawdust in the Garden?

    by American Woodworker Editors     Thursday, September 12, 2013
    Q & A: Sawdust in the Garden? Q: I spend as much time tending plants in the garden as making sawdust in my shop.Are there any problems with using the sawdust and chips in my dust-collector bag as mulch in the garden? A: Go for it! A one- to 2-in....