Tool Education

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  • DM SawStop 900

    Why I Bought a SawStop

    I recently bought a SawStop tablesaw. (Is that the sound of applause I’m hearing?) On the one hand, it was an easy decision. Who wouldn’t want the blade brake safety feature only SawStop offers. On the other hand, it wasn’t a snap decision. In fact, years went by between the time I first used a

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  • Using a wooden scraper

    Tools We Love: A “Real” Burnisher Makes All the Difference

    I tried my hand at using a cabinet scraper a couple years ago and was frustrated that in spite of my best efforts to roll a proper burr on its edge, I just couldn’t tune the scraper to produce more than dust and the occasional wimpy shaving. I followed all the instructions, and did everything

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  • Vix Bit Tools

    Self Centering Drill Bit: Vix Style

    Have you ever struggled to get all of the screw holes perfectly aligned when you are installing hinges? If you do not pre-drill your screw holes in the center of the mounting holes on the hinge, the hinge can be installed at a skewed angle, and/or the screw heads can fail to seat properly, making

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  • fine woodworking

    Fine Woodworking Tools We Love: Jigsaw

    When I started woodworking, I had a lot of tools to acquire. Of course, the table saw was the first big purchase. After a while, I got a really nice sliding miter saw, and then a planer. One of the ‘big’ tools that took me a long time to acquire was a bandsaw. I love

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  • Using Aircraft Drill Bits

    Extra Long Drill Bits for Deep Holes

    Long drill bits reach where ‘regular’ drill bits just can’t. Aircraft drill bits are long drill bits originally designed for use in the aircraft industry where they often need to drill holes reaching through deep cavities, and then through thin materials. I find them invaluable in my shop for drilling holes in tight spaces, and

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  • Dremel

    Tools We Love: Dremel Multi-Max

    I saw this tool demonstrated at a home center last year and bought it on the spot. I have to say the honeymoon is still going between me and this tool because I keep finding new tasks for it. I originally bought it to cut baseboard in place so I could butt built-in bookcases against

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  • Using Digital Tools in the Woodshop

    The Digital Revolution Finally Hits the Woodshop

    My “day job” in the software industry hits me with a constant barrage of innovation, at an exhilarating pace that I enjoy for the most part. In stark contrast, I have found the rate of innovation in woodworking to be, frankly, a yawner. For example, if you compare a table saw, band saw, jointer, etc.

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  • Using Japanese Handsaws

    Tools We Love: Japanese Ryoba and Mini Dozuki Handsaws

    I would never call myself a woodworking purist. I have never flattened a broad plank of white oak with a scrub plane or hand cut a chest full of dovetails. That’s what power tools and jigs are for! But every once in a while I marvel at the efficiency of a beautifully designed hand tool.

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  • Using Trammel Points from Rockler

    Trammel Points for Laying Out Large Curves and Circles

    When it comes to making BIG circles, you need a pair of trammel points. This set, sold by Rockler, is very nice. I really like the wooden handles and brass fittings. They not only look good, they also feel good in your hands, and work great for large radius projects. In the set, you get

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  • Squaring a Table Saw Blade with a Rockler Japanese Square

    Tools We Love: Japanese Square

    Sometimes less really is more. This Japanese Square is perfect in so many ways. Made out of stainless steel, it is hefty enough to withstand daily use, but light enough to toss in an apron pocket. As opposed to other squares that have sliding straightedges, this square has a long, fixed foot that makes it

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