Archive for 2009

Thinking about routers

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Like most modern woodworkers, I own a lot of routers. When I say a lot, I’m talking six or seven. I have one of the original Porter-Cable 3-hp routers, the ones that looked like R2D2 on steroids. I have one of the first Elu plungers, now marketed by DeWalt. I have several Bosch fixed-base routers including a couple of the D-handle models which are pretty much my go-to routers for everyday use. (more…)

Melamine

Monday, September 21st, 2009

I have not built any cabinets out of melamine for a long time now. I never much liked the stuff to begin with but there is no getting around the fact that it is the most commonly used material for cabinet construction. Most customers are pre-sold on the “advantages” of melamine. They like the look of the clean white cabinet interiors and the “low maintenance” and ease of cleaning offered by coated panels. (more…)

Relative danger

Friday, September 18th, 2009

There seems to be an ongoing debate over how dangerous the various woodworking machines are. Questions continually arise as to which machine is the “most dangerous.” (more…)

Common mistakes

Monday, September 14th, 2009

We all make mistakes. Well, I don’t, but everyone else does (ironic smile here). You would think that after all the years that humans have been making things out of wood, by now we would have figured out all of the ways to screw up. That there would be a “knowledge base” of all the possible errors that we could refer to and by doing so, avoid having to reinvent the wheel. But not so. It seems that mistakes are like chess the possibilities are endless. We are constantly finding new ways to generate scrap. (more…)

Is it really “metric”?

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

Most of the so called 3/4 plywood that gets delivered to my shop actually measures out closer to 11/16 in thickness. That’s because, I am told, that it is “imported” plywood and is measured, not in inches, but in millimeters. (more…)

Drawer construction

Monday, August 31st, 2009

If you make cabinets, you gotta make drawers. Lots of drawers. A lot of shops are buying their drawers from specialty shops now but most of us still make our drawers in house. I, for one, don’t see any reason to give the work to someone else, especially now when things are a bit tighter than they have been in the past. (more…)

Tool acquisition disorder

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

There are an increasing number of people falling victim to a growing social disorder that causes them to buy tools and equipment just because they find good deals or something really appeals to them, and not because they really need the tool. (more…)

How much risk are you willing to take?

Monday, August 24th, 2009

Many of us are in agreement that shop safety is more about attitude than it is about a set of “hard and fast” rules. So many of the common safety rules are difficult, if not impossible to abide by. (more…)

Design trends or cycles?

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

A little while ago, I was talking about the latest design trends and I got to thinking that just about every style that was mentioned as being “hot” was something we have seen before at some time in the past. (more…)

Do tools make the craftsman?

Monday, August 17th, 2009

This is one of those questions that is guaranteed to spark a lively debate; sometimes also known as an argument. My position on this, to put it simply, is no. I will absolutely concede the point that “better” tools whether hand tools or machines will make it possible for a craftsman to do more work, more efficiently. But putting an inept craftsman in a shop equipped with the best tools and equipment will not make that person a better craftsman. (more…)