Wallington, The Unhappy Turner

Trade dangers revealed in 17th-century journals. I thought of Nehemiah Wallington (1598-1658) when I set up my lathe in my nearly finished workshop. A few times a year he pops up in my mind. He [...]

The Downside if Up is Sideways

A nervous woodworker is aghast as his best projects arrive from storage. The message “Up”(with a directional arrow, no less) seems unambiguous. When displayed prominently on all four of what [...]

Make Your Mark

I always sign my work, now that I’ve figured out an easy and permanent way to do it: I use an engraver. But not just any engraver—it has to have an adjustable stroke (the distance the tip moves [...]

Mom’s Shop

Kite frames to cabinets: A 50-year journey back to woodworking. Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in the February 2015 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine. Before mom’s shop [...]

Edge-Knot Repair

Filling knots with colored epoxy usually works quite well, but sometimes the void is in a spot that’s difficult to fill, like the edge of a board. Here’s how to do it. First, apply some paste wax [...]

Mouse vs. Mint

Mice used to rule my shop. They got into everything! That all changed when someone told me that fresh mint repels mice. Mint grows wild in one corner of my yard (it’s a perennial and comes back [...]

Custom Chamfering Plane

Chamfering an edge with a block plane is often easier, faster and safer than using a router or tablesaw—particularly on a small part. I do it so often that I’ve dedicated one of my planes for the [...]

Drill Press Test

How do you know if the table on your drill press is square? Not more-or-less square, but precisely square? I’ve adopted an old machinist’s trick, using a very simple jig. To make it, you’ll need [...]

World’s Best-known Tool Cabinet

The amazing tool cabinet of piano-maker Henry O. Studley has fostered intense admiration and contemplation surrounding its origins and creator for nearly three decades. I’ve heard a lot of this [...]

Welcome to Outdoor Week 2023

It’s thirty-six degrees here in Minnesota as I sit down to write this. We’re supposed to get up to 10 inches of snow tonight. But despite what the weather outside tells me, it is [...]

The Indispensable Mortise & Tenon

Drawbore it for a joint that will last centuries. I once had a visitor to my shop remark that he’d like to see a book about all the types of joints that I use. I told him it’d be a …

Working Memory

Rebuilding a toy chest is a connection to the past and the future. I do not stem from woodworking lineage, at least not the kind you hear about. My dad wasn’t overly handy. While growing up, I [...]

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