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  • Q & A: Pencil Mark Cleanup

    by American Woodworker Editors     Monday, December 17, 2012
    Q & A: Pencil Mark Cleanup Q: How do I get the pencil marks off my oak plywood bookcase? I tried using an eraser, but that didn’t get down into the open grain.When I tried sanding it out I ended up erasing the paper-thin veneer instead! I don’t...
  • Q & A: Installing Threaded Inserts

    by American Woodworker Editors     Tuesday, January 8, 2013
    Q & A: Installing Threaded Inserts Q: I made a jig that needed threaded inserts but I had one heck of a time installing them by hand. They went in cockeyed and I trashed their slots.What am I doing wrong? A: The most common kind of threaded insert...
  • Q & A: Warped Wood Woes

    by American Woodworker Editors     Monday, April 29, 2013
    Q & A: Warped Wood Woes Q: I ordered a milled piece of ebony through the mail last winter. It looked great upon arrival, but after a few days it was so warped and twisted that I couldn’t use it.What gives? A: Watching your prized ebony turn...
  • Q & A: Truing a Framing Square

    by American Woodworker Editors     Tuesday, January 29, 2013
    Q & A: Truing a Framing Square Q: I just inherited my grandpa’s framing square. It’s big and heavy and I’d like to use it but it isn’t square! How on earth can I fix it? A: Get yourself a hammer and a center punch. Then: 1...
  • 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: Why are new chisels so dull?

    by woodworkerBryan     Wednesday, February 27, 2013
    Q & A: Why are new chisels so dull? Q: Whenever I buy a blade, like a tablesaw blade or a router bit, it’s always sharp.How come when I buy chisels they’re duller than a math lecture on the last day of school? A: Although it seems reasonable...
  • Q & A: Anti-Kickback Router Bits

    by American Woodworker Editors     Wednesday, July 31, 2013
    Q & A: Anti-Kickback Router Bits Q: I’ve noticed some router bits are available with an “anti-kickback” feature. If this works, this seems like a great thing. Does it? What’s the downside? A: Yes, anti-kickback router bits...
  • Q & A: Restoring a Blued Chisel

    by American Woodworker Editors     Monday, October 22, 2012
    Q & A: Restoring a Blued Chisel Q: The first thing I did with my new grinder was to blue the edge of a chisel. Is there anything I can do to save it? A: Most woodworkers have faced this problem at some point. The only practical solution is to remove...
  • Q & A: Final Rubout

    by American Woodworker Editors     Tuesday, January 15, 2013
    Q & A: Final Rubout Q: I always have problems getting a smooth finish. I sand the wood with 220 paper,wipe it with a tack cloth, apply three coats of high-quality varnish, and still get a rough surface! What can I do to get that “professional”...
  • Q & A: Mortise and Tenon Dimensions

    by American Woodworker Editors     Monday, November 5, 2012
    Q & A: Mortise and Tenon Dimensions Q: I would like to use mortise and tenon joinery on a project. Are there any rules of thumb for sizing mortise and tenon joints? A: Here are a few good rules of thumb for designing a mortise and tenon joint: For...
  • 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: Setting Jointer Knives

    by American Woodworker Editors     Monday, October 1, 2012
    Q & A: Setting Jointer Knives Q: How can I set my jointer knives without using a jig? A: A wood block and a pencil will do the job on a jointer with an adjustable outfeed table. If the outfeed table on your jointer doesn’t adjust, you’re...
  • Q & A: Rub-Joint Gluing

    by American Woodworker Editors     Tuesday, January 22, 2013
    Q & A: Rub-Joint Gluing Q: My panel glue ups drive me nuts because the boards slide around whenever I clamp them together. Then I end up beating them back into position. What’s going on? A: Most likely you’re putting too much glue on the...
  • Q & A: Removing Old Glue

    by American Woodworker Editors     Monday, September 17, 2012
    Removing Old Glue Q: I’ve got some old furniture that’s been reglued too many times. How do I get the old glue off so I can get back to clean wood? A: If your furniture was made before World War I, there’s a good chance it was put together...
  • Q & A: Router Bit Slipping

    by American Woodworker Editors     Wednesday, November 28, 2012
    Q & A: Router Bit Slipping Q: Is there any reason why my router bits are suddenly slipping? I have had this router for years without any trouble. A: Because you haven’t had trouble with bits slipping before, the problem is probably not with...