Tips & Tricks: Curved Tapers on the Jointer

Russ Svendsen, Olean, New York - 01-16-2017

I recently had to replace a broken leg on a Duncan Phyfe style candlestand table. These legs are curved, so you can’t taper them on the tablesaw. They are also tapered fully end-to-end, so you can’t shape them on the jointer the way you can a stop-tapered leg. So here’s how to pull off the j...

Tips & Tricks: Self-Positioning Assembly Braces

Joe Hurst, senior editor - 01-16-2017

Squaring braces can be very helpful for assembling cases and drawers. Expensive commercial versions are available, but simple plywood triangles with notches or holes serving for clamp purchase work pretty well. However, I decided to upgrade to the shop-made fenced versions shown for a recent large c...

Tips & Tricks: Tape rule trammel

Walt Summers, Miami, Florida - 01-16-2017

Trammel heads—the kind that clamp onto a strip of wood—are the tool of choice when laying out circles and arcs. Unfortunately, they can be expensive, and require a suitable strip of wood for the job, which may not be available when you need it. A handier alternative may be sitting in your kitc...

Tips & Tricks: Glue cleanup detailing

Frank Ellis, St. Louis, Missouri - 11-02-2016

It can be difficult to clean up glue in tight recessed spots like in beads and other small profiles, but here’s a good approach. Begin by using a damp, short-bristled brush, pushing it forward to scoop up the majority of the glue. Keep the brush clean by washing it in clean water as you work. When...

Tips & Tricks: Handscrew headstand

Marge Fillmore, San Diego, California - 11-02-2016

Standing short pieces at the drill press can be challenging if you don’t have the right kind of vise. But there’s a perfectly good way to get by with no vise at all by using a notched handscrew. For safety and accuracy when holding both round and square pieces, the notches must be cut at 90°,...

Tips & Tricks: Planing boards short and sweet

Adam Swinton, Baltimore, Maryland - 11-02-2016

When I saw Paul Anthony’s method of snipe-free planing in issue #73’s Tricks column, I thought I’d share a somewhat similar technique that I use for safe planing of short boards. As any thickness planer manual notes, it’s unsafe to feed boards shorter than about 12" through the machine. Bu...

Tips & Tricks: Dead-Simple Mortising Setup

Andy Rae, Asheville, North Carolina - 11-02-2016

Loose-tenon joinery is a great way to join pieces. For ease, efficiency, and dead-on accuracy, making the joint requires using a jig that secures the workpiece on end while guiding the router. However, in a pinch, you can get away with using just your workbench, its end vise, and a simple plywood or...

Tips & Tricks: Cantilevered Clamping

Natalie Simmons, San Diego, California - 09-01-2016

The next time you need to clamp an area that’s out of the reach of your clamp jaws, such as gluing a patch in a tabletop, try this: Place a dowel or triangular strip of wood near the edge of the workpiece to serve as a fulcrum, and place a protective clamping pad over the area to be clamped. Strad...

Tips & Tricks: Snipe Free Planing

Paul Anthony, senior editor - 09-01-2016

Planer snipe is hard to avoid. Sure, you can cut away the sniped ends, but that’s not a good approach with expensive woods. Or you can precede and follow the board with scrap of the same thickness, but that can make for clumsy feeding. Here’s a better approach: Joint one face and both edges of t...

Tips & Tricks: Squaring Sticks Upgrade

Bruce Robertson, Raleigh, North Carolina - 09-01-2016

I liked Paul Anthony’s squaring sticks in issue #70’s Tips & Tricks column. They work great for comparing diagonal distances to ensure that cabinets and other cases are truly square. However, I found that using a spring clamp to hold the sticks together in use was a bit clumsy. Instead, I made a...

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