Shop Tips

Stack-Cutting Compound Projects

Stack-Cutting Compound Projects

A thicker blank and two front-­view patterns will increase your compound-cutting production. Recently, I was planning to compound-cut several classic reindeer. I usually cut them from 3/4″-thick stock, but I found some 1 1/2″-thick stock. I cut the blanks to the correct length and width, but instead of resawing the […]

by December 16, 2011 Shop Tips
Attaching Blanks with Toothpicks

Attaching Blanks with Toothpicks

Instead of glue, tape, or metal brads, I use wooden toothpicks to hold a stack of blanks together. Wooden toothpicks will not scratch your saw table and if you accidentally cut through one, it won’t break the saw blade. Most round wooden toothpicks are approximately 5/64″ (2.4mm) in diameter. I […]

by March 17, 2011 Shop Tips
Preventing Clogged Spray-Can Nozzles

Preventing Clogged Spray-Can Nozzles

Spray-finish nozzles that refuse to spray, spray sideways, or spit and sputter cause frustration and can ruin a project. To prevent this, I always remove the spray nozzle from the can and place it in a jar of appropriate thinner—usually lacquer thinner or paint thinner. When you need the nozzle, […]

by January 10, 2011 Shop Tips
Convenient Finishing Station

Convenient Finishing Station

K&M of Virginia has combined standard painter’s pyramids with a lazy Susan-style turntable to create a complete finishing station for small- and medium-sized projects. The Finishing Turntable features pyramid-shaped work supports that slide on rails attached to the top of the turntable. The shape of the pyramids allows air to […]

by January 4, 2011 Shop Tips
Inexpensive Self-Adhesive Paper

Inexpensive Self-Adhesive Paper

Instead of paying for expensive self-adhesive paper or 81/2″ by 11″ labels, I make my own from a roll of clear or white shelf liner paper. I found a 17″ by 24′ roll of shelf liner at a national retailer for about $5. I cut the roll into fifty-two 81/2″ […]

by October 7, 2010 Shop Tips
Shopmade Sanding Devices

Shopmade Sanding Devices

Save time and money by using ordinary shop items to create handy sanding devices. These shopmade tools cost much less than commercially available versions and will help speed the sanding process. To make a tapered bore cleaner, smear tacky glue on the back of a piece of sanding belt and […]

by July 30, 2010 Shop Tips
Fitting Patterns to Available Stock

Fitting Patterns to Available Stock

Instead of resorting to trial and error, use simple math to increase or reduce the size of a pattern to fit your stock. Divide the size of the stock by the size of the pattern and multiply by 100. If your stock is 15″ and your pattern is 18″, this […]

by July 21, 2010 Shop Tips
Scroll Saw Basics

Scroll Saw Basics

Basic scrolling techniques to help novice scrollers Attaching Patterns Temporary-bond spray adhesive is the most common method used to attach patterns to stock. Photocopy the pattern. Spray the adhesive on the back of the pattern, wait a few seconds, and press the pattern down onto the blank. Rubber cement or […]

by September 15, 2009 Shop Tips
Choosing A Scroll Saw

Choosing A Scroll Saw

Make the Right Choice the First Time If you equate scrolling with a clunky saw from your junior high school woodshop days, you may be in for a very pleasant surprise. Today’s scroll saws are easy to use, quiet and very safe, making scrolling an activity the whole family can […]

by September 14, 2009 Features, Shop Tips
Scroller's Aid

Scroller's Aid

This clever, pocket-sized device combines six scrolling tools in one. There are some tools a scroller uses every day. In an organized shop, they are always within easy reach. Unfortunately, my shop is not that organized. I designed this project to combine several of the most useful tools into a […]

by August 28, 2009 Patterns, Shop Tips