Woodworking Articles

Maple floor clock
This is a floor clock, also called a longcase clock, tall-case clock, or grandfather clock (technically, I suppose it’s a grandmother rather than a grandfather clock because it’s just under 6 feet tall). I’ve dubbed this clock the “Pop Clock” in honor of my dad who built the clock many years ago (early 1980’s I […]

Pop Clock

Strawberry cage keeping the birds at bay
This bare-bones cage was created to keep the birds from devouring the yummy strawberries in our garden. In the past, we just draped chicken wire on top of the plants. This worked fairly well but it was a bit of a pain to position and remove the chicken wire and it also didn’t prevent those […]

Strawberry Cage

Red oak letter and key rack
I came across this letter and key rack in Issue #32 of Woodsmith and decided to make it the gift project for Christmas 2005. It seemed like a fairly simple “weekend” project and something that most anyone could use. Now, if I only made one of these racks, it would have indeed been a weekend […]

Letter and Key Rack

Insulated dog house 4
The “Sparky 1” This dog house features an insulated floor, roof, and walls, a removable roof for ease of cleaning, a cedar deck with roof, and solid construction throughout. It was made from common construction materials – including recycled cedar boards from an old deck, T1-11 exterior grade plywood, and 2″x3″ pine framing lumber. The […]

Insulated Dog House

Oak carpet trim
Here is an idea for capping off the carpeting at the top of a stairway so it won’t fray or get in the way. When the carpet guy installed the carpeting on our basement stairs, he finished by wrapping the carpeting over the top step and tacking it to a strip of oak. This worked […]

Oak Carpet Trim

Cedar bird house 2
This past winter I was poking around for a challenging woodworking project. Something different from anything I had done before. Something involving unusual joinery and/or cutting techniques. Something that would expand my repertoire of woodworking skills. Something I could make multiple copies of to give out as gifts, thereby incurring the good will of friends […]

Cedar Bird Houses

Bathroom vanity shelf almost doubles storage capacity
Here is an easy to build storage shelf that utilizes the wasted space inside a bathroom vanity cabinet. I’m talking about that space below the sink basin and above where all the bathroom supplies pile up on the bottom of the cabinet. The shelf assembles in place and can be made from scraps you probably […]

Bathroom Vanity Under Sink Shelf

My dad added a porch to our house back in the 1970’s and I must say he did a pretty good job overall. Especially for someone who wasn’t a professional builder or carpenter. However, there was one critical flaw in the construction: the main sill plate running across the front of the porch was made […]

When Wood Goes Bad

A miter saw, also known as a chop saw, is an indispensable woodworking tool for cutting molding, making picture frames, or other applications involving bevels and angled cuts. They also work well for general purpose cross-cutting. In many woodshops, the miter saw has replaced the radial arm saw. There are several different types of miter […]

Miter Saw

A Japanese saw is a thin-bladed hand saw that cuts on the pull stroke, unlike most other hand saws used in the U.S. and Europe that cut on the push stroke. Because they cut on the pull stroke and thus are not subject to compression tension, Japanese saws have thinner, more flexible blades than their […]

Japanese Saw

Handsaws (aka, hand saws) have been around in one form or another for thousands of years. Nowadays, handsaws have been largely supplanted by power saws but a quality handsaw with a properly sharpened blade can still work wonders (plus you’ll get a good workout using it). A typical handsaw has a wooden or plastic handle […]


Most of the heavy lifting in woodshops today is done with power tools but there are many situations where hand tools can get the job done just as well or even better than power tools. Some woodworkers even rely on hand tools exclusively.  Roy Underhill of Woodwright’s Shop fame, comes to mind.  The eco-appeal of […]

Woodworking with Hand Tools

As woodworkers, we use wood to build beautiful furniture and other objects. But wood does have a dark side: it can be harmful to our health. Trees contain toxins in the bark, fruit, sap, wood, and foliage but for the majority of woodworkers, exposure to the wood and, in particular, wood dust is the primary […]

Wood Dust Health Hazards

Potential Hazards Exposure to wood dust has long been associated with a variety of adverse health effects, including dermatitis, allergic respiratory effects, mucosal and nonallergic respiratory effects, and cancer. Contact with the irritant compounds in wood sap can cause dermatitis and other allergic reactions. The respiratory effects of wood dust exposure include asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, […]

Wood Dust Control for Individual Machines

Every woodworker is faced with this dilemma eventually: what to do with all those off cuts and other wood scraps that are left over from your projects? As an eco-woodworker, you don’t want to just dump the scraps out. But you have to do something because those wood scraps multiply like rabbits and will overrun […]

Ways to Reduce and Recycle Wood Scraps

Instead of throwing out sawdust, wood chips, and shavings that are produced in your woodshop, there are a number of uses for these materials in and around your home and garden. Here are a few ideas. Sawdust Mulch Sawdust can be used as an organic mulch that is very effective at controlling weeds, insulating soil, […]

Recycling Sawdust, Wood Chips, and Shavings

Glued-up boards allowed to set for 24 hours 2
While building some birdhouses that relied heavily on glue joints to keep the structure intact, I decided to try out Titebond III wood glue. This glue is advertised as being more waterproof than Titebond II, a popular glue for exterior projects that is designated as “water resistant” by the manufacturer, Franklin International.  Comparing the labels […]

How Waterproof is TiteBond III?

Routing a slot for the replacement tenon
While restoring an antique parlor table, I ran into a situation in which a couple of the tenons holding the leg assembly together split during disassembly. I tried being careful – I brushed a liberal amount of denatured alcohol on the joint to soften up the old hide glue followed by gentle tapping with a […]

Repairing a Broken Tenon