When I was a lad working as an apprentice, many woodworkers didn’t have hand routers and machine router salesmen were often laughed out of the shop because a skilled craftsman could set hinges much faster than a router back then. We made any router we needed from a scrap of pine like this one here…

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A more refined ‘not-so-poor man’s router.   This is my suggestion for a simple but more advanced not-so-poor man’s router that comes from a small scrap-sized piece of harder wood, oak, (could be softer wood like pine or poplar too) 5-6″ long and using only a 1/4″ diameter Allen wrench (hex key US) and a…

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…or tenon and housing dado trimmer par excellence. I say Paul’s because I developed it to work so effectively. Many routers are highly effective at perfecting a chiselled out housing or dado joint and the faces of tenons. They have been used for such for centuries now. The idea is of course that they span…

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Poor man’s router Someone recently shared with me a jobsite poor man’s router he uses regularly and I tried it out in an inspired moment recently. It’s made from a #14 (about 44mm shank it looks like) screw and block like the poor man’s beading-cum-marking gauge I have posted on in the recent and distant…

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To form the roundovers With all of the joinery completed, I now focus on design concepts I want to soften the hard corners with a bullnose edge to the top and bottom pieces of the clock. I also want to introduce a method that slims down the appearance of the sides and rails because  think…

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Benchtop insertion dogs  Round or dowel dogs work best in the bench top if you insist on having dogs at all. Metal dogs tend to mar the wood, especially on softer woods, so wooden dowels absorb some of the pressure and reduce this risk. I made some dogs at the show because I felt that…

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I just watched the current edition and final episode in the series on making breadboard ends on woodworkingmasterclasses.com and thought that I should post a quick blog on the poor man’s dowel maker I find delivers the goods. As a boy we drilled holes in pennies for washers because the boss, Bert Pickford, said he…

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The poor man’s ticket to burnishing Two weeks ago I discussed another Fine Woodworking article, which I thought complicated sharpening, burnishing and setting up the #80 type cabinet scraper to create a keen blade edge and indeed we showed that many erroneous statements soon become accepted as absolutes when no one counters what’s being said…

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  • Thomas Olson on Sharp TalkingI also love to sharpen. One of the greatest ways I know to relax.
  • Dennis Sheehan on Sharp TalkingAs a plumber I drilled or cut many round holes usually anywhere from 1/2” through 8” and the benefit of a sharp bit and new worm was self evident at the end of the day . The master…
  • Joe on Sharp TalkingThanks Paul. I followed your advice regarding diamond stones. Have my three and have never looked back. They work well and I'm blissfully ignorant of any other way and happy to rem…
  • Patrick Sadr on Sharp Talking"I do use a coarse abrasive, cloth-backed, to reestablish a damaged bevel and so on, or if I have gone out of square." Paul could you please go on about this? I do vaguely remember…
  • Brandon Wilson on Sharp TalkingPaul: *is an expert and a Sellers and talks about sharpening* Also Paul: *complains when "expert sellers" talk about sharpening* (yes, I know I'm not the first and probably won't b…
  • Jerry Stark on Sharp TalkingI certainly agree with Paul on this one. The more time I have spent wood working, the more I have realized that it is better to build skills than it is to buy machines. (I could ha…
  • Samuel on Sharp TalkingIn relation to sharpening Paul has taught me the word “acuity”