Anarchist’s 2016 Gift Guide, Day 5: Arno Burnisher

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I have burned through a lot of burnishers, from the ones I’ve made myself out of carbide rod to very expensive variants. My favorite is the French-made Arno burnisher. Everything about the tool is right. The handle is lightweight aluminum, perfectly shaped and has a guard so my fingers won’t slip off the handle and onto the scraper. The tool has two carbide rods for burnishing scrapers. One has a […]

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Hide Glue (2): How it’s Made

192-gram-strength-hide-glue

The largest, and I think only, hide-glue factory left in the United States is Milligan & Higgins, located in Johnstown, New York, west of Albany, off Interstate 90. You can buy hide glue directly from the company in 50-pound or larger quantities. For smaller quantities, resellers include Woodworker’s Supply, Tools for Working Wood, Merit Industries/Wood Finish Supply and a number of suppliers to the musical-instrument industry. My experience with hide glue […]

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George Nakashima’s Furniture: A Documentary by Danielle Ohad Smith

Coffee table by George Nakashima

It is by mere coincidence that as I am about to wrap up my recent bundle of blog entries about live-edge design, my friend Daniella Ohad Smith is releasing her highly engaging documentary about George Nakashima. Nakashima was (and still is) considered to be the greatest live edge furniture maker and one of the most famous American designers of all times. The 50 minute movie will walk you through all aspects of Nakashima’s monumental achievements. It includes […]

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Anarchist’s 2016 Gift Guide, Day 4: MWTCA membership

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I am not a joiner. Well, I am a joiner in that I join pieces of wood. But I don’t join clubs. I dislike clubs. But despite this, I love being a member of the Mid-West Tool Collectors Association (MWTCA). It’s a bunch of the nicest old dudes and women in the world who collect woodworking tools. If you join the organization for just $25, you get its magazine, The […]

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Anarchist’s 2016 Gift Guide, Day 3: Humidity Monitor

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A lot of woodworking problems can be avoided simply by monitoring the relative humidity in your shop with a simple and inexpensive hygrometer. In most areas of the United States, the target relative humidity for inside buildings is 35 to 45 percent, though that will vary if you live in a desert or a swamp. So if your shop is in the garage, your basement or the neighborhood cave, you […]

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Anarchist’s 2016 Gift Guide, Day 2: Boot Tray for Sharpening

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A dedicated sharpening station makes your work so much easier, but since leaving the magazine in 2011 I’ve never had the space (or a sink) for one. One day I saw this $20 boot tray at my home center and I knew exactly what to do. I cut a piece of masonite to fit in the bottom and turned it into a great sharpening station that lives under my workbench. […]

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