I’m delighted to welcome to the pages of Popular Woodworking Magazine James “Jim” McConnell, whom you may know from his blog “The Daily Skep,” where he writes thoughtful and engaging posts, mostly about hand-tool woodworking. Jim worked out of a power-tool- dominated shop for a number of years, before being seduced by a vintage Stanley jack plane, and binge-watching sessions of Roy Underhill’s “The Woodwright’s Shop.” Now, he’s a committed […]
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A seemingly never-ending question concerns how to finish cutting boards. You don’t need any finish on a cutting board. Water won’t hurt it and no finish will keep water out anyway after a few knife cuts. Nor will the finish continue to look nice after numerous knife cuts. If the cutting board begins to warp due to the water contact on just one side, turn it over and it will […]
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Making joinery by hand is a satisfying process, so I thought I’d share a method for hand made dado joints. In the early days of my apprenticeship we would practice joints on short ends of pine, getting used to the tools and working through the steps required to make a joint by hand, but without the pressure of thinking about an actual project. Getting excellent results was important and that’s […]
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I use blacksmith-made hardware whenever I (or my customers) can afford it. But if you’re on a budget or have hundreds of pieces of hardware for a project, it’s time to visit the gun store. My favorite way to blacken steel, iron or even zinc-plated hardware is to brush on a thin coat of liquid “gun blue” – typically a combination of selenious acid, nitric acid and cupric sulfate. If […]
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Antiquing Wood This article originally appeared in the June 2007 of Popular Woodworking under the title “Antique Barn Finish.” by Troy Sexton pages 78-83 This is the furniture finish that fooled our local auctioneer, a man with 30 years of experience selling antique furniture and farm equipment. I had bought a mower from the auctioneer and he was dropping it off at my workshop when he spotted one of my […]
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