The Woodshop Shed

adventures in woodworking and home maintenance, from my shop in an oversized backyard shed

October 2016
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The $500 Maslow CNC

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maslow2  The Maslow $500 CNC kit No doubt about it, the Maslow CNC is unique. Lets start with the detail that got your attention. Yes, the price of the Maslow really is $500. Actually, it could be had for as little as $350 if you have a couple of sheets of plywood, a few 2×4s and a couple of bricks laying around. More about those bricks later. Next, lets state […]The post The $500 Maslow CNC appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

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posted at: 12:00am on 29-Oct-2016
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Caution When Buying a Spray Gun

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this-is-a-common-american-devilbiss-spray-gun-not-the-brand-i-discuss-in-the-textI was teaching a hands-on finishing class, including spraying, a while back when a student brought me a spray gun he had bought a year before from another teacher who was selling a line of spray guns. The spray gun wasnt working right and he couldnt figure out why. We fixed the problems, but I remember thinking, why didnt he contact the teacher who sold him the gun? He went […]The post Caution When Buying a Spray Gun appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

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posted at: 12:02am on 28-Oct-2016
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Live Edge Maple Waterfall and Turned Walnut Coffee Table: The Turned Leg

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Ouch, I just lost my better half...The structure and design of our waterfall coffee table was really simple, with only one truly original element – the front turned leg. The other leg as well as the tabletop, is a live edge slab mitered and reconnected in a 90 degree joint that is reinforced with domino keys. Turning the Leg I began by searching for an appropriate piece of hardwood. During a short visit to the area […]The post Live Edge Maple Waterfall and Turned Walnut Coffee Table: The Turned Leg appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

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posted at: 12:02am on 27-Oct-2016
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Wendell Castle on his Creative Process

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castleIt will be among my enduring regrets that I didn’t arrange things to tag along on our recent visit to Wendell Castle’s home and studio. The video team, along with American furniture scholar Oscar Fitzgerald (he was on our on-screen interviewer), spent a couple days in New York at Castle’s home and studio to film our latest “Legends” video: “Woodworking Legends: An Interview with Wendell Castle.” In case you don’t […]The post Wendell Castle on his Creative Process appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

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posted at: 12:02am on 27-Oct-2016
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Book Review: Good Clean Fun, by Nick Offerman

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good clean funAs you’d expect, Nick Offerman’s latest book, “Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Woodshop,” is funny and inspiring and that is key in attracting new woodworkers. Let’s face it: Many of us are often far too serious and prescriptive when it comes to tools, techniques and talking shop. A little levity along with solid instruction goes a long way in helping folks to understand that […]The post Book Review: ‘Good Clean Fun,’ by Nick Offerman appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

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posted at: 12:01am on 26-Oct-2016
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How Myths get Started

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all-of-these-brands-are-labeled-tung-oil-but-are-really-thinned-%22wiping%22-varnishIm bouncing off of Chris Schwarzs August 25 blog postwhere he describes how myths can get started. Ill leave you to read what he says, but basically Chris realized that a simple joke can lead to a myth that gets repeated everywhere and never dies. Chris is talking about the woodworking world, which is physics, so you can see it. Im working in the finishing world where the finishing products […]The post How Myths get Started appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

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posted at: 12:01am on 26-Oct-2016
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How I Use a CNC: Cutting Parts Using a CNC

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Precisely cutting a narrow triangle-shaped opening with power and/or hand tools is anything but simple. Cutting parts and precise details are tasks well suited for digital woodworking and CNCs.How I use a CNC:PartTwo In the previous post, I gave an overall explanation of the process that I use to make furniture parts with a combination of various power tools and hand tools. Essentially, its a hybrid process of power and hand tools that many other professional and hobbyist woodworkers use. The goal is consistency and accuracy. I mill and square up materials with jointers, planers and saws. Then, […]The post How I Use a CNC: Cutting Parts Using a CNC appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

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posted at: 12:00am on 25-Oct-2016
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When Your Liquid Hide Glue Turns Bad

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three_blocks_img_3552There are lots of tests for when your liquid hide glue has gone bad the most common one that I know of is to put some glue between your index finger and thumb. Tap your finger and thumb repeatedly to see if the glue turns tacky and produces long stringy strands. If it does, then your glue is good. Ive done this test with glue during woodworking classes all […]The post When Your Liquid Hide Glue Turns Bad appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

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posted at: 12:00am on 25-Oct-2016
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A Better, More Realistic, Push Stick

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fantasy push stickReally? There. I fixed it. A slightly chunky guy in a trucker hat is far more realistic in this scenario. Megan Fitzpatrick @1snugthejoiner  The post A Better, More Realistic, Push Stick appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

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posted at: 12:01am on 22-Oct-2016
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Crosscut Jig for Your Circular Saw

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crosscut jigI have an affinity for the circular saw. Perhaps it comes frombuilding the back deck at my parent’s house with my father when I was a kid (my earliest memory of really getting to build anything). Perhaps it’s from the summers I spent remodeling houses and building fences to help pay for college. There are so many uses for the circular saw, but it does have one glaring deficiency: there […]The post Crosscut Jig for Your Circular Saw appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

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posted at: 12:00am on 21-Oct-2016
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Rethink the Rules of Liquid Hide Glue

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group_glues_img_3513Ive just finished writing an article on liquid hide hide glue for Popular Woodworking Magazine that takes a critical look at the adhesive compared to yellow glues. My hope is that its a fairly dogma-free article. While liquid hide glue will probably always be my favorite adhesive for interior work, there are some cases where another glue is a better choice. During the research for the article, I talked to […]The post Rethink the Rules of Liquid Hide Glue appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

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posted at: 12:02am on 20-Oct-2016
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Live Edge Maple and Turned Walnut Waterfall Coffee Table

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Waterfall legWhile teaching at Peters Valley, my class assistant, Anneloes Van Beek, and I decided to build a live edge furniture piece for the schools benefit auction. We chose a flamboyant piece of maple which was rich with character, spalting and even some traces of bark. We contemplated what to do with it. It did not take long to realize that the most striking way we could celebrate this slab would […]The post Live Edge Maple and Turned Walnut Waterfall Coffee Table appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

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posted at: 10:55pm on 18-Oct-2016
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On Thick, Wet Slab Tops for Workbenches

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Benchtop slabs (6" thick) that are green and ready to use.During the last seven years, Ive slowly become a fan of using a monolithic slab for the top of a workbench. And Ive also slowly begun to ignore all the criticisms of slab tops. I built my first slab-top workbench in 2009-2010, which was published in the August 2010 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine. The top was some wet cherry that had been rotting in the log yard of Ron […]The post On Thick, Wet Slab Tops for Workbenches appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

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posted at: 12:27am on 15-Oct-2016
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Karl Holteys Final Plane: The 984

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holtey1_img_3816If you ever hear a criticism of the pioneering work of Karl Holtey its that his planes are too perfect or lack a soul. Ive always been a little befuddled by these comments because I have used a good number of planes that have no soul by the likes of Harbor Freight, late-model Stanleys and other Far East makers. These planes, which can only be called by that word because […]The post Karl Holteys Final Plane: The 984 appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

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posted at: 12:27am on 15-Oct-2016
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Its Chairmaking Season (For Me, at Least)

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welsh_chair_img_6344While I love making cabinets, tables and bookcases, I have always been drawn to making chairs. At first I made Morris chairs because they were very cabinet-like lots of 90 angles and traditional square-mortise joinery. There might be an odd angle or two for a builder to conquer, but nothing outrageous. Then I encountered John Brown, a Welsh chairmaker who made stick chairs that didnt look like a frilly […]The post Its Chairmaking Season (For Me, at Least) appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

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posted at: 12:25am on 14-Oct-2016
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How I Use a CNC: Making Parts Using Hybrid Techniques

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Furniture making involves making a lot of parts. Stacks of dining chair parts are made by first rough cutting stock. Then they are shaped with patterns on a shaper.How I Make Parts Using Hybrid Woodworking Techniques In previous posts, I wrote about what led me to get my own CNC. Now that I have one, a couple of questions come up. Whats changed in how I do my work? What do I do with a CNC? In the next two posts, Ill explain how I previously made furniture using a combination of power and hand tools and how […]The post How I Use a CNC: Making Parts Using Hybrid Techniques appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

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posted at: 12:25am on 14-Oct-2016
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Is it the Object or the Finish?

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unsanded-very-coarse-clay-that-would-require-a-lot-of-sanding-to-make-smoothI got a call recently from a friend who runs a mid-size woodworking shop. He was making several dozen walnut tables for a restaurant and finishing them with pre-catalyzed lacquer. He sent off a sample of the finish to the restaurant owner, who came back with an objection. The restaurant had hired a professional potter to make the dishes (nice!). And the plates and bowls scratched the finish when they […]The post Is it the Object or the Finish? appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

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posted at: 12:25am on 13-Oct-2016
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For the Love of Classic Wooden Toys

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classicwoodentoysPerhaps its because Ive become a father myself or maybe its just a sign of getting older but Ive found myself thinking fondly of old toys. Im not talking about the Transformers, Stretch Armstrongs and Star Wars figures of my youth (though, I love those toys with all my heart). Those kinds of toys are special in their own way with their wonderfully cheap plastic and bright colors, […]The post For the Love of Classic Wooden Toys appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

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posted at: 12:25am on 13-Oct-2016
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Live Edge Class at Peters Valley: Chads Coffee Table (B)

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Live Edge TableLets continue the story of my student Chads coffee table built at alive edge class at Peters Valley. In this entry I will show how we found a convenient way to trace the shape of the shelf, cut it and connect it to the legs. Because the shelf was intended to span an irregular trapezoid-shaped gap between the four legs, it had to be custom cut. We had to devise […]The post Live Edge Class at Peters Valley: Chads Coffee Table (B) appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

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posted at: 12:25am on 12-Oct-2016
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Make Your Own Hardwood Kitchen Utensils

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woodworkers-kitchen-coverShow off your woodworking skills at your next dinner party with these beautiful hardwood kitchen utensils (instructions excerpted from “The Woodworker’s Kitchen: 24 Projects You Can Make” by A.J. Hamler). Hardwood kitchen utensils, often called treenware, are a staple of high-end craft markets and upscale kitchen shops. Guess what? As elegant as these are, theyre not difficult to create at all. Cherry is probably the most popular wood used for […]The post Make Your Own Hardwood Kitchen Utensils appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

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posted at: 12:25am on 12-Oct-2016
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A Shaker Failure

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shaker_secretary_img_6329Ive had bad days wrestling with my sketchbook where it was impossible for me to draw anything but junk. Junk I didnt want to build and junk that no one would ever buy. Sometimes I leave those stepchild pages in my sketchbook as a reminder of how awful I am. Sometimes I crumple the pages up because someone might see the drawing if I die before destroying the evidence. And […]The post A Shaker Failure appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

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posted at: 12:25am on 11-Oct-2016
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Nick Offerman on Woodworking, His New Book & More

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nick offermanA couple weeks ago just two daysafterPopular Woodworking in America, in fact I had a Skype audio chat with woodworker, author and actor Nick Offerman. His latest book, “Good Clean Fun,” will be released on October 18 (I’ve a review ready to post here when the book is available, and we’ll have Good Clean Fun in the store at ShopWoodworking.com but in short, the book is a […]The post Nick Offerman on Woodworking, His New Book & More appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

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posted at: 12:25am on 11-Oct-2016
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What I Do with a CNC in My Shop

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screen-shot-2016-10-07-at-9-55-52-amHere’s a glued up leg and apron assembly for a sofa table being milled with a CNC router. Here’s the big picture: A CNC is a digitally controlled router that cuts from its highest to its lowest point in three dimensions over the entire area of its bed. What would any woodworker do with that capability? It turns out you can do quite a lot. Below are some of the […]The post What I Do with a CNC in My Shop appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

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posted at: 12:23am on 08-Oct-2016
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Shooting Boards: Must-have Appliances

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shooting boardLast night while drinking some wine with Christopher Schwarz (Id stopped by to return a chair we’d borrowed for a photo shoot), we got in a semantics discussion (do we know how to have fun or what?!)*. Is a shooting board a “jig?” Not really; it’s an appliance yet most magazines (us included from time to time) call hand-tool appliances a “jig” or “fixture,” because those are better-known terms […]The post Shooting Boards: Must-have Appliances appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

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posted at: 12:23am on 08-Oct-2016
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Dutch Tool Chest: Tongue-and-Groove Back

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Tongue-and-Groove  After Popular Woodworking in America, my desire to get back in the shop was insatiable. As soon as I returned to the office and caught up on work, I found my way to the shop to finish my Dutch tool chest. The first step was to create the tongue-and-groove joints for the back. After considering my options, I landed on using the table saw. In my first year as […]The post Dutch Tool Chest: Tongue-and-Groove Back appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

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posted at: 12:23am on 07-Oct-2016
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Books on Repairing Furniture

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Here is the front cover of his book.As I mentioned in a previous post, I had good woodworking skills 40 years ago when I started doing furniture restoration, including furniture repair. But repairing furniture is different than making it. So how did I learn good repair skills? I learned them from a number of excellent books, which showed me good practices for making broken down furniture strong again. The books I found most helpful were from England, […]The post Books on Repairing Furniture appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

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posted at: 12:23am on 07-Oct-2016
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Popular Woodworking Magazine: November 2016

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pwm1116_150_squareThe November issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine just mailed to subscribers, and its live now in our online store. Theres a lot of great content in this issue (the campaign Danish modern dresser is a lovely piece, and one I hope to make someday), but the article I keep thinking back to involves a secret or, rather, a few secrets. In Art of Concealment, Matthew Dworman shows readers how […]The post Popular Woodworking Magazine: November 2016 appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

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posted at: 12:22am on 06-Oct-2016
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You Read it Here First: Pee Back Paint

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before-and-after-imagesIn my first blog post I told you about a new smart-coating technology that causes liquids, including pee, to bounce off surfaces. In the case of pee, it bounces back onto the perpetrator, so its used to discourage people (men) from peeing on walls in public places. The example I used was from the party district in Hamburg, Germany. I just came across an announcement that the transportation authority in […]The post You Read it Here First: Pee Back Paint appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

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posted at: 12:21am on 04-Oct-2016
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Live Edge Class Part 5: Chads Coffee Table (A)

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live edge coffee tableWalnut is probably my favorite wood. It is rich in color and texture, easy to work with, grows domestically and has the right density and strength to serve well in almost every woodworking deployment. So, when Chad showed me the walnut slabs that he brought over to our class I immediately developed expectations for the great furniture that would grow out of them. Chad milled the walnut during a lumber […]The post Live Edge Class Part 5: Chads Coffee Table (A) appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

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posted at: 12:21am on 04-Oct-2016
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Going Digital, Part 2 Custom CNC for Furniture Making

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custom CNCPart Two. Decisions to Make Ive been using CNC services since the late ’90s to create patterns, jigs and fixture components and a few furniture parts. After years of use, the potential of a CNC as a useful tool in woodworking was obvious. But, if I was going to make the most of it, I needed get my own machine. A couple of things were holding me back. Which machine […]The post Going Digital, Part 2 Custom CNC for Furniture Making appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

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posted at: 12:18am on 03-Oct-2016
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Darrell Peart on the Rules of Design

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rules of designI am both a believer and disbeliever in the rules of design (ROD). My relationship with them is not a simple black and white matter. Ultimately, I believe the rules to be detrimental to art of any kind. But I do not disbelieve in their credibility. My relationship to the ROD is complicated! We are inherently drawn to nature. Many of the shapes, patterns, colors and sounds expressed in art […]The post Darrell Peart on the Rules of Design appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

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posted at: 12:18am on 02-Oct-2016
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Woodworking Magazines: The Real Truth

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pwm1016_250Woodworking magazines might be dying (or just shrinking), but they arent going down without a fight. Ive been reading woodworking magazines since 1992 or so, and I have kept up with all the major titles since at least 1996. I know most of the writers and editors, and I think a lot about their content and how its presented. (I cannot help myself, really, because Ive been in media my […]The post Woodworking Magazines: The Real Truth appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

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posted at: 12:18am on 02-Oct-2016
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Dumb (But Effective) Dust Collector Trick

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dust_collector_trick_img_5526You dont see a lot of dust collector tricks in the woodworking magazines, but heres my contribution. When your two-bag dust collector is too full, the usual solution is to remove the lower bag, let the chips dump all over the shop and then clean up the mess. When I foolishly let my dust collector to get too full, I do something different. With the dust collector off, I punch […]The post Dumb (But Effective) Dust Collector Trick appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

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posted at: 12:18am on 02-Oct-2016
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Planemakers Roundtable from PWIA 2016

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planemakers roundtableThe Planemakers’ Roundtable was one of the most popular sessions at Popular Woodworking in America 2016, with discussion topics ranging from metal vs. wood planes, to low-priced knock-offs. Panelists Raney Nelson (Daed Toolworks), Rick Blaiklock (Lee Valley/Veritas), Caleb James (Caleb James Planemaker), Konrad Sauer (Sauer & Steiner Toolworks) and Thomas Lie-Nielsen (Lie-Nielsen Toolworks), with moderator Christopher Schwarz (contributing editor, Popular Woodworking; editor, Lost Art Press) talked for almost two hours […]The post Planemakers’ Roundtable from PWIA 2016 appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

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posted at: 12:17am on 01-Oct-2016
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