Archive for 2008

Nail guns … Showing my age?

Monday, November 17th, 2008

I was reading a forum discussion earlier this week regarding nail guns. The original question was asking which framing nailer was “the best,” but the scope of the discussion soon broadened to include nail guns and staplers in general. (more…)

Cut list applications for the Mac

Monday, November 10th, 2008

Let me start out by saying that I don’t use much computer software in my shop. I have no CNC machines and I don’t use any cabinet design or CAD programs. Maybe I’m just too “old school” for that stuff but I really think it’s more because my shop work is usually so “tweaky” that it’s easier just to do full-scale layouts and write cut lists by hand. (more…)

Woodworkers and the “new economy”

Friday, November 7th, 2008

How is the current economic situation affecting woodworkers specifically? This was a question recently posted on the forum but I thought it would be a good topic to bring to the front. My own response was as follows: (more…)

Unsafe at any speed

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

Recently a question came up about “freehand” climb cutting on a router table. For those who don’t know, climb cutting is simply feeding the stock with, instead of against, the cutter’s direction of rotation. (more…)

Laser-guided hand saw?

Friday, October 31st, 2008

The trend toward automatic end stops, computer-controlled machinery, laser-guided tools and the like has been with us for many years. And it’s not likely to go away unless we experience a return to the Middle Ages, a possibility that some do not see as being completely far fetched. (more…)

What will become of “American” tools?

Monday, October 27th, 2008

DeWalt. Porter-Cable. Black and Decker. These are names that have long represented high quality “American-made” tools. (more…)

The riving knife

Friday, October 24th, 2008

Since the mid 1980′s, virtually every table saw sold in this country has been equipped with some kind of “splitter”, a stationary metal blade intended to hold the kerf open behind the blade. The splitter has also done double duty as a convenient mounting place for the ineffective but required blade guards that have long come with every table saw. In truth, the splitter has rarely functioned as a decent safety device because, for the most part, they have been made of flimsy metal of a thickness far less than that of a typical saw blade. (more…)

Outdoor kitchens

Monday, October 20th, 2008

Kitchens have been a mainstay of professional woodworkers for the last sixty years. It seems that kitchen design trends are outpaced only by the fashion industry and maybe the auto industry. But over the last five years or so, the hot trend has been the “outdoor kitchen.” And I’m not just talking about a barbeque kettle out on the back deck. We are talking about full-featured kitchens, complete with cooktops, ovens, refrigerators, long runs of stone countertop and, of course, cabinets. (more…)

Smaller and smaller

Friday, October 10th, 2008

For a very long time now we have understood the difference between “nominal” and “finished” sizes. A 2×4 has not been two inches by four inches for many years now. And we have all pretty much accepted the explanation that the dimension “2×4″ refers to the size at which the wood was sawn and that after “surfacing” it would be somewhat less than two inches by four inches. (more…)


Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

For years, we have taken woods for granted. There was never any problem getting good mahogany or rosewood. Nice wide, long clear boards with good color and figure were expected. It did not matter if the woods were domestic or exotic. We expected (and, for the most part) got decent material at a reasonable price. (more…)