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Winter 2013-2014

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  • The Way Wood Works: Reading Grain Direction

    by American Woodworker Editors     Monday, July 2, 2012
    The Way Wood Works: Reading Grain Direction By Tom Caspar “Going against the grain” is a familiar phrase. It means doing something the wrong way.When you’re talking about wood, you always want to go with the grain—cutting or planing...
  • Q & A: Folding Bandsaw Blades

    by American Woodworker Editors     Tuesday, October 16, 2012
    Q & A: Folding Bandsaw Blades Q: I once saw someone fold a bandsaw blade for easier storage— how was that done? A: Folding a bandsaw blade can be a bit intimidating when you first attempt it. Armed with sharp teeth and a spring-like tension...
  • Q & A: Cock-Beading on Drawer Fronts

    by American Woodworker Editors     Tuesday, November 13, 2012
    Q & A: Cock-Beading on Drawer Fronts Q: I have plans for a Queen Anne highboy in which the drawer beads are applied as separate strips to the edges of the drawer front. How is this done without creating a problem with cross grain movement? A: Some...
  • Q & A: Keep the Crook

    by American Woodworker Editors     Tuesday, December 4, 2012
    Q & A: Keep the Crook Q: I have some planks with a pronounced crook.The grain is beautiful and I would like to make use of the crook in a desktop design. How can I edge join the boards without loosing the crook? A: Joining curved boards is not as...
  • 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: Dovetail Jig Set-Up

    by woodworkerBryan     Wednesday, February 20, 2013
    Q & A: Dovetail Jig Set-Up Q: I’ve fallen in love with my dovetail router jig, but my big frustration is setting the depth of the dovetail bit each time. I’ve tried measuring how much the bit should stick out, but that’s awkward...
  • 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: Help! My router makes huge sparks!

    by American Woodworker Editors     Tuesday, March 5, 2013
    Q & A: Help! My Router Makes Sparks! Q: When I run my router I see lots of small, blue sparks inside. Recently the sparks have grown larger. Is this OK? A: Nope. Small sparks are normal, but large sparks are an indication that your brushes are wearing...
  • Q & A: Are Broken Screws Removable?

    by American Woodworker Editors     Tuesday, March 12, 2013
    Q & A: Are Broken Screws Removable? Q: Argh! I broke off a brass screw while installing a small hinge. Can I get it out? A: Join the club! Every woodworker has faced this problem.The best answer is to drill around the screw with a hollow bit, an unusual...
  • Q & A: How do you cut curves in glass?

    by American Woodworker Editors     Monday, March 18, 2013
    Q & A: How do you cut curves in glass? Q: My up-and-coming star pitcher accidentally hurled her baseball through a glass pane in our family room hutch. Usually, I’d just get out my glass cutter and make a replacement pane, but this one’s...
  • Q & A: Perfectly Flush?

    by American Woodworker Editors     Wednesday, April 17, 2013
    Q & A: Perfectly Flush? Q: I recently bought a plate joiner in hopes that it would help me get perfect alignment when edge-to-edge gluing. I’m still getting some unevenness at the joints.What gives? A: Biscuits help considerably with alignment...
  • Q & A: How Much Light?

    by American Woodworker Editors     Monday, April 22, 2013
    Q & A: How Much Light? Q: My husband wants to turn our basement into a TV room so I have to move my shop to the garage. I want to fix it up right and one of the big questions I have is how much lighting do I need? A: Pages could be written on how...
  • Q & A: Sawing Aluminum

    by American Woodworker Editors     Friday, May 3, 2013
    Q & A: Sawing Aluminum Q: Can I cut aluminum with my chop saw? A: Yes.Most carbide blades work fine for occasionally cutting aluminum, but we recommend using a special, non-ferrous metal-cutting blade (about $70) if you cut a lot of aluminum or brass...
  • Small Parts Organizer

    by American Woodworker Editors     Friday, May 3, 2013
    Small Parts Organizer I’ve designed a small-parts chest that’s as useful as it is simple to make. I’ve found those disposable, plastic containers for leftovers are ideal for small parts, such as screws and nails. The containers come...
  • Snap-On Soft Jaws

    by American Woodworker Editors     Friday, May 3, 2013
    Snap-On Soft Jaws I’ve been using an old metal-working vise in my shop for years. Occasionally I really do need a metal-working vise, but most often I use it to hold drawer sides up high when cutting dovetails. Unfortunately the metal jaws can be...