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Winter 2013-2014

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  • Zero Clearance Dust Port

    by American Woodworker Editors     Tuesday, June 30, 2009
    Zero clearance inserts are wonderful for eliminating tearout, but unfortunately, they also impede dust collection. To give my collection system an opening to pull sawdust through, I cut a 1/2-in.-dia. hole at the front end of the blade slot. In this location...
  • Knee-Saving Compressor Rack

    by American Woodworker Editors     Tuesday, August 11, 2009
    by Richard Fenwick 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...
  • Toggle Clamp Sanding Block

    by American Woodworker Editors     Wednesday, August 12, 2009
    I made this quick-release sanding block from four pieces of 1/2-in. -thick birch plywood. The top three pieces are glued together. Wrap a quarter sheet of sandpaper around the bottom piece and slip on the top assembly. The toggle clamp (www.rockler.com...
  • Sandpaper Saver

    by American Woodworker Editors     Tuesday, August 18, 2009
    by Chip Harding Sanding between coats of polyurethane is tough on sandpaper. And I make it tougher, because I never wait the recommended 72 hours before recoating. But if the finish isn’t bone-dry, the paper is likely to gum up. When my sandpaper...
  • Scratch-Free Flush Cuts

    by American Woodworker Editors     Tuesday, September 8, 2009
    No matter how carefully I cut with my economy-model flush-cutting saw, it always left scratch marks on the wood’s surface. To solve the problem, I attached a playing card with double-faced tape. Now I don’t have to worry about scratches, because...
  • Ladder Lumber Rack

    by American Woodworker Editors     Tuesday, October 20, 2009
    Ladder Lumber Rack I organized all my short boards by turning an inexpensive 6-ft. stepladder (about $30 at a home center) into a lumber rack. Now every board is easy to see and reach. My ladder didn’t have treads on the back legs, so I screwed...
  • Good-Looking Panels

    by American Woodworker Editors     Wednesday, June 24, 2009
    Nothing makes a cabinet look worse than door panels with unattractive grain that runs at weird angles. It pays to be picky about grain direction, even if it means wasting some plywood. After assembling your door frames without glue, slide them around...
  • 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...
  • Photocopy Template

    by American Woodworker Editors     Thursday, January 14, 2010
    Photocopy Template I used to hate hanging objects, like power strips, that have hidden T-slots on the back. No matter how carefully I measured, I could never get the mounting screws in the right place on the wall. Then I realized that I could make a perfect...
  • Dust Collection Tips

    by American Woodworker Editors     Thursday, April 29, 2010
    Dust Collection Tips Practical solutions for a cleaner shop. Vacuum-Assisted Bench I got tired of hooking my bench tools to my shop vacuum. Now I simply plug their dust collection hoses into the bench. I drilled and routed a hole in the bench to house...
  • 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...
  • Instant Wheel-Dresser Support

    by AW-Editor     Thursday, January 29, 2009
    I use my grinder almost exclusively for beveling my chisels, so I like to keep the tool rest set to produce the 25-degree bevel I prefer. Having to reset the angle after using my diamond wheel dresser to clean and flatten the wheel bothered me until I...
  • 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...
  • Leather Tool Sheaths

    by American Woodworker Editors     Tuesday, August 11, 2009
    Leather Tool Sheaths By Michael Dromey When I’m not using my chisels I keep them in a drawer, so I made a set of leather sheaths to protect their sharp ends. I bought the leather and some rivets from a hobby shop and made sheaths for all my chisels...
  • Capture Tablesaw Dust

    by American Woodworker Editors     Monday, November 9, 2009
    My contractor-style tablesaw spewed sawdust everywhere until I enclosed the base by covering all the openings with 1/4-in. MDF panels. First, I added two aluminum angle rails so the collection box slopes toward the dust port in the back panel. Then I...