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  • Q & A: Bandsaws for Cutting Metal and Wood

    by American Woodworker Editors     Wednesday, July 2, 2014
    Bandsaws for Cutting Metal and Wood Q: I plan to buy a bandsaw, and I’d like one that can cut metal as well as wood. I’ve seen some two-speed bandsaws advertised. How well do they work to cut metal? A: The slow speed on most two-speed bandsaws...
  • Q & A: Proper Varnish Storage

    by American Woodworker Editors     Thursday, June 26, 2014
    Proper Varnish Storage Q: Does varnish go bad sitting on the shelf? A: Unopened varnish should last for years on the shelf when kept away from excessive heat. When a can is opened and the finish exposed to oxygen, curing can begin. If the finish skins...
  • Q & A: Stuck Gib Nut

    by American Woodworker Editors     Tuesday, June 10, 2014
    Stuck Gib Nut Q: I managed to round-over a gib nut on my planer’s blade holder. I’ve tried everything to free that nut. Any suggestions? A: AYou can free a stuck nut by striking it with a center punch (available at hardware stores). Center...
  • Q & A: Shop-Made Sanding Blocks

    by American Woodworker Editors     Thursday, June 5, 2014
    Shop-Made Sanding Blocks Q: Commercial sanding blocks all have some kind of padded bottom. Do my shop-made blocks need to be padded, too? A: Yes they do. Padded blocks have two primary benefits: They increase the life of your paper and they make it possible...
  • Q & A: Square Drive vs. Phillips-Head Screws

    by American Woodworker Editors     Wednesday, May 28, 2014
    Square Drive vs. Phillips-Head Screws Q: What’s the advantage to square-drive screws over Phillips-head screws? A: The primary advantage to square-drive screws is they are much less prone to “cam-out.” Cam-out refers to the slipping...
  • Q & A: Bowl-Gouge Sharpening Jigs

    by American Woodworker Editors     Tuesday, May 20, 2014
    Q & A: Bowl-Gouge Sharpening Jigs Q: Try as I might, I can’t seem to get a good edge on my bowl gouges. Are bowlgouge sharpening jigs worth looking into? A: Bowl-gouge sharpening jigs do a great job. The jigs give many turners a higher degree...
  • Q & A: What's a Tail Vise?

    by American Woodworker Editors     Monday, May 12, 2014
    Q & A: What's a Tail Vise? Q: I am really puzzled as to how the tail vise actually works as I have only used a front vise. A: A tail vise’s main purpose is to hold a board flat on the bench for planing, routing, sanding and so on. The tail...
  • Q & A: Glue-Line Rip Blade

    by American Woodworker Editors     Tuesday, May 6, 2014
    Q & A: Glue-Line Rip Blade Q: I use my jointer to clean up sawn edges before glue-up. The results are great except when I try to joint figured wood. Any suggestions? A: Jointing highly figured wood often leaves nasty tear-out. It’s times like...
  • Q & A: Router Table Miter Joints

    by American Woodworker Editors     Wednesday, April 9, 2014
    Q & A: Router Table Miter Joints Q: I plan to build some jewelry boxes with mitered corners, but my contractor’s saw does a poor job of cutting miters. Can I use my router table to cut the mitered joints? A: A 45-degree chamfer bit mounted in...
  • 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...