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Try Something for Me

When I sharpen a plane I have a standard I work to. It’s almost always surgical sharpness. Why? I’m not always sure. But I’m sure that most of us ultimately end up with a system and an order to sharpening. Ultimately we should all steer away from abrasive papers and silly names like the scary…

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Why Spatulas and Three-legged Stools?

A spatula is a first project with shape. It’s an escape from straight lines and the guarantees of the machine so many machinists rely on. Whereas you could jump through the hoops to create jigs or just use a bandsaw for the bulk of the work, the experience you gain from coping cuts, sawing, chopping,…

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Grass Needs Mowing

It’s a long and narrow garden. Straight lines, squared off. No imagination, easy maintenance. I really like gardens with secret corners and surprises to draw your interest. It was a quick and simple thing to mow the grass. Coming out of retirement The new house presents additional work but it’s a mix of work I…

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New to Dovetails

We’ve been building up our Common Woodworking site with more helps guides for new woodworkers to get started or to build their hand skills if they have mostly or only used machine methods. To that end our recently posted how to’s and exercises includes the ever-important dovetail joint. As ever, you have all been so…

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Milling Oak…

…For My Garden Bench Parts So it’s oak. It’s 5″ thick and you need 3 1/2″. There is no doubt that the bandsaw makes shorter work of ripping it to size but there is still plenty of labour surface planing and squaring up adjacent faces. My hands slowly and tentatively slide over the surfaces of…

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Lightweight or Heavyweight Bandsaw Part I

Owning more than one bandsaw is usually not an option for most woodworkers: they must decide one over all of the other options to make an economical choice in both costs and floorspace. In my bandsaw blog last week I tried to offer practical help for those in the market for buying one and to…

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Happy New Year Everyone!

I sincerely hope we all enjoy the coming year and anticipate a changing way we look at the whole world we share.  This year I look to an unfolding future that will embrace an ever-widening audience who will build their projects alongside me. I have new ideas, new designs and new methods of building and…

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New Free Project For You

A weekend project If you have a weekend free then make this lovely tray. Perhaps you need an additional Christmas gift that will hone your skills at the same time. It has many obvious and not so obvious uses ranging from small tools tray to  pocket dump container or tea-for-two server. I use one for…

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Cognitive Feedback

Woodworking by hand is purely sensory. I read someone who said he bought chisels in and used them as his “beaters”. Shameful! Such careless statements sadden me because though I know what people mean and where they’re coming from, it’s a highly disrespectful way of referring to what was indeed a violent act. I’m not…

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Metal-cast Rarity Planes and Uniqueness

I’ve gathered some tools to my bosom over the years. Special ones in some cases, some simply beautiful in art form and then those that will never be made again. Some are more rare than good looking or even particularly old. I do like the rarer ones though. I’m not interested in collecting for collecting’s…

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