Side-by-side comparison of Milwaukee and Ryobi adapters
More than once I’ve found myself in a situation where I needed to drill a hole or insert a screw in a hard-to-reach location but lacked the technology to easily accomplish the task in a satisfactory manner. Typically, these are situations where there is insufficient room to position the drill directly over the hole so I usually resort to […]

Milwaukee and Ryobi Angled Drill Adapters

With the new year upon us, it has me thinking about what I want to accomplish woodworking-wise for the next 12 months. New tools to try, new projects to tackle, new techniques to learn, etc. Here’s what I have so far: Learn to scroll saw. I’ve always been intrigued watching someone cut out intricate shapes with […]

Woodworking Goals For The Year

Shelf deflectometer in woodshop 5
I call this apparatus a shelf deflectometer. It’s used to measure shelf deflection or sag in order to test various shelf construction and loading parameters. (I would call it a “sagometer” but there’s already a device by that name used to measure sag in electrical power lines). The impetus for building it was to facilitate […]

Shelf Deflectometer

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

If you cut enough wood, you’ll eventually encounter situations where the saw blade is burning the wood. This usually happens with ripping operations but can also happen with crosscuts. If the burning is really pronounced, it may be accompanied by smoking and a noticeable increase in feed pressure. Although there are a number of causes […]

How to Prevent Saw Blade Burning

Wiping off rust and naval jelly residue 1
One day in the woodshop… I was applying a finish to a newly constructed coffee table and I activated my fume control system.  This involves opening one of the windows and turning on a fan that is positioned in front of the window to blow fume-laden air outside. It actually works fairly well at clearing […]

Removing Rust from A Jointer Bed

Jet JBM-5 benchtop mortiser in action
After watching Norm Abram effortlessly cut mortises with a hollow chisel mortiser, and reading glowing accounts about them in woodworking mags, I decided it was high time to equip my shop with one of these bad boys. It also happened that I was planning to build several tables with mortise and tenon joinery so this […]

Jet JBM-5 Hollow Chisel Mortiser

Bearing down on the cut works best with a rock-solid work platform
A hollow chisel mortiser offers several advantages over other mortising technologies: it cuts a square hole so there’s no need to round tenons, it’s faster than cutting mortises by hand, it’s much quieter than a router, and it’s a dedicated machine whose sole job is to crank out mortises. This last point is a big one […]

Hollow Chisel Mortiser

Folding rule
Although not so commonly seen nowadays, the carpenter’s folding rule was once a mainstay tool of carpenters and woodworkers. This venerable measuring device essentially consists of multiple small 6″ rulers that are joined together on their ends with pivoting hinges that allow the rule to open and close. When fully extended, a typical folding rule […]

Folding Rule

4-way equal pressure clamp
Like most woodworkers, I have accumulated quite an assortment of woodworking clamps over the years. As someone once said, you can never have too many clamps. Of course, I love, er… I mean like some of my clamps more than others… The clamps I use most often are trigger-action mini bar clamps. They’re lightweight, adjust […]

Clamps I Have Known (and Loved ??)

I used to use a commercial blade cleaning product with the no-nonsense name of “Saw Cleaner” to remove pitch from my circular saw blades. It did a great job — you just sprayed it on, let it sit for a few minutes and then wiped off with an old tooth brush and warm soapy water, […]

Cleaning Circular Saw Blades