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  • AW Extra 7/26/12 - Master Your Brad Nailer

    by AW-Editor     Monday, July 7, 2008
    Master Your Brad Nailer 5 Tips and products to make your brad nailer safe and easy to use . Avoid the blowout curse A brad that unexpectedly shoots out the side of your project is guaranteed to make you curse, especially if your finger happens to be in...
  • 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...
  • AW Extra 6/14/12 - Convenient Benchtop Protection

    by AW-Editor     Sunday, June 29, 2008
    Convenient Benchtop Protection My workbench is beautiful and I want to keep it that way, so I cover the top with builder’s paper ($7/140-ft. roll at my local home center) whenever I’m gluing or staining. But the heavy roll was hard to handle...
  • 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 (
  • AW Extra 1/17/13 - 3 Kitchen Storage Projects

    by American Woodworker Editors     Monday, October 19, 2009
    3 Kitchen Storage Projects Squeeze more space from your cabinets with customized roll-outs. by Eric Smith and David Radke It may seem like a paradox, but even kitchens that are overflowing have underutilized space. Many base cabinets are only half used...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • AW Extra 1/31/13 - Furniture Repair Tips

    by American Woodworker Editors     Tuesday, February 2, 2010
    Furniture Repair Tips Tricks for taking it apart and getting it back together. by Mac Wentz Major furniture repair often involves disassembling the piece and putting it back together. Sounds simple enough: knock things apart and glue them back together...
  • 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...