Cool Nailmaking Video from Austria

Blacksmith Peter Ross recently sent me a link to the video below that shows production nailmaking of shoe nails in a town in Austria. These guys are working at breakneck speed – forget those modern videos you see of amateur smiths working in their garages. If you’ve never read about pre-industrial nail production, it was a hard life. In the United Kingdom and its colonies, nailmaking was many times a […]

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Stop Spelching with an Unlikely Ally: Sandpaper

When you shoot end grain with a handplane, you have to be wary of spelching – when the end grain breaks off at the end of your stroke. There are several ways to avoid spelching; one of the quick ways is to use sandpaper. This trick works best when you are just trying to clean up some end grain by removing tool marks. If you are instead trying to correct […]

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CNC Tooling Basics for Woodworkers

Part One: Questions & Answers about Mills & Bits Yes, the topic of CNC mills can be complicated. Because of the overwhelming minutiae of design detail and a bewildering number of choices, there’s more than enough to intimidate any CNC user. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. Fortunately, woodworkers have a fairly narrow focus: Cutting wood on a CNC. We have special considerations to consider but the good […]

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Tool Lubrication & Asher’s First Eggbeater Hand Drill – Part 1

Asher, who turned two last week, shows a promising appetite for woodworking tools. He is a frequent visitor to my home shop, where he examines the tools that he can reach. Mainly he’s drawn to clamps, bench bulls and, recently, a great looking Craftsman hand drill that I salvaged from the trash two months ago. When I say “I salvaged from the trash” I mean I actually picked it up […]

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Finish for Maloof-style chair

I got a call from a fellow who made a Sam Maloof-style chair and screwed up the finish using Maloof’s formula. I thought, how can you screw up a Maloof finish? Maloof combined three products – polyurethane, linseed oil and tung oil – to give him the look he liked on his chairs. Then he wiped on and wiped off several coats of the finish, rubbing each coat with his […]

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Sharpen a Scraper – Ron Hock Shows You How

sharpen a scraper

Sometimes, a smoothing plane just can’t get things smooth enough (think reversing grain) – and if you’re a handplane user, you probably prefer not to pick up the sandpaper (thought it’s sometimes unavoidable). In that case, you turn to the handy card scraper. A scraper can perform miracles that a plane cannot…except that Ron Hock says once you turn a burr on the business edge of a scraper, you’ve basically […]

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