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Foundational Finish Facts: A Case For Broken Corners

The foundation of any good finish is proper surface prep. One of the key elements of that preparation is breaking all the sharp edges. I know it sounds fairly obvious, but lots of woodworkers skip right over it and ruin their projects. I get it, you’ve spent days, week or even months working on your[…]

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String Inlay Tools

For the year or two before moving to Cincinnati, I ran a class at my school on veneer and inlay (I’m running one in 2019, click here and use the coupon code day3 for a 10% discount off the class – valid for 72 hours). As part of the class, I had the students make string[…]

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Furniture Details: Tambour Doors

Tambour doors have (now) been around for centuries. I believe they reached the height of their refinement during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. You find tambour door construction showing up in a variety of furniture forms. Although tambour construction got its start with traditional period styles, you can find doors and fronts using the[…]

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The Joinery of Wharton Esherick

Esherick's music stand has pocket screws holding the middle leg into the piece.

Wharton Esherick was a terrible joiner. He hated the joinery aspect of woodworking, and it shows. Even on his iconic pieces, Wharton spent more time on the form and how it looked rather than on how it was stuck together. So, like it or not, I’m going to pick apart the joinery of Wharton Esherick. I’m not bringing[…]

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Simple Scratch Beader

Beading is a great way to finish the edges of your furniture projects. This simple, shop-made scratch beader gets you there quick and easy. Whether you make traditional furniture or contemporary designs, softening the edges with some a bead is not only functional but decorative without being overbearing. There are typically three primary types of beads[…]

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40 Years in Under 40 Feet

Last year, in preparation for the move back to Pennsylvania I hauled all my layout sticks, patterns, and jigs to storage. They made their way east late last year only to end up going back into storage (a few ended up inside the then far-from finished new shop). Forty years of accumulation, thousands of pieces[…]

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William Hogarth on Cabriole Legs

All good art, according to William Hogarth, includes the "S" shape (or, "line of beauty" found in cabriole legs.

Today, I’d like to talk about cabriole legs: Something of which I’ve made hundreds (at least), and haven’t thought much about in years.  While prepping for a recent carving class, I started looking at them again from the perspective of someone who hasn’t made many, if any at all. The first questions that come to mind[…]

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Layout Sticks Save Time & Money

Yesterday I wrote in Proper Planning about how important I think it is to have a plan for most any project. I know lots of folks are into SketchUp (and I find it a useful tool), but for working out the details of a job, there’s nothing like a full-sized drawing. That’s why, in yesterday’s[…]

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Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance

Throughout the years, I’ve taught lots of fundamentals classes. The project section of these foundational classes always begins with the proper planning of a one-drawer stand. Even with a plan I’ve seen students struggle with conceptualizing the construction. Which makes me wonder why anyone would attempt to build anything more complicated than a cutting board without[…]