Monthly Archives: July 2014


Joiner's mallets
A wooden joiner’s mallet is a very useful shop tool for project assembly, chiseling, inserting dowels, and general purpose pounding operations. Compared to a conventional metal hammer, it is less damaging to wood or metal surfaces, especially if the faces of the mallet are covered with leather. The relatively large face of a typical wooden mallet spreads the […]

Joiner’s Mallets


Restored garden bench 15
We bought this garden bench about 15 years ago from the local Lowes home improvement store.  It held up fairly well for about 10 years but inevitably the oak slats on it started to rot and break apart. The finish also disintegrated over time (yes, I didn’t maintain it) and the bench took on a gray, […]

Restoring a Garden Bench



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Walk into most any hardware or Home Depot type store and invariably you’ll find boxes upon boxes of drywall screws but only a meager selection of woodworking screws. Not only that, the drywall screws cost much less than the woodworking screws. As a consequence, I suspect many a woodworker has pondered the question: “Can drywall […]

Using Drywall Screws for Woodworking


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After reading about the virtues of aniline dyes for years, I finally decided to take the plunge and try them out on a rustic grandmother clock that I inherited from my dad. The unfinished maple clock had been sitting in a barn for at least 25 years and over that time, the wood had darkened […]

Aniline Dyes – First Impressions



Choosing the right saw blade for a cutting task can mean the difference between misery and glory. If you’ve ever tried to rip a piece of 4/4 oak with a saw blade that’s not designed for ripping, or tried making a cross-cut on a piece of plywood with a rip blade you know what I’m […]

Choosing a Saw Blade


Multiple cedar bird houses
When embarking on a new woodworking project, I ask myself if the item of interest would be a good candidate for making more than one. This usually comes down to answering these specific questions: Can I use multiple copies? If I’m building a Murphy bed for the man cave, there’s no need to build more […]

Making Sense of Making Multiples



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