What separates a “nice” project from a “great” one can be simply several details better executed.
Sometimes it’s easy to take the simplest-looking things for granted. While working on a scrollsawn picture for one of my kids, I spent more time thinking about the process of making the picture than the frame I would put around it. After all, how hard can it be to miter a simple frame? I’m pretty happy with the frames I’ve made, but the skill came from a lot of practice and some solid techniques. Here are some of the things I've learned, occasionally the hard way. Note: I focus on making a frame using a mitersaw.
Thin-wall PVC pipe and fittings
Lightweight, easy to cut, and available at home centers, thin-wall PVC presents the low-cost option. An airtight system can be assembled dry (no glue) using self-tapping screws, allowing for reconfiguration. Cutting stock 10'-long pipe to exact length eliminates couplings.
Here's a tune-up process for your tablesaw and bandsaw that doesn’t take much time and returns their dead-on accuracy.
Our Tools Editor recommends gifts in multiple price ranges.
Void outside the 50 United States, District of Columbia and where prohibited. Do not proceed to enter if you are not at least 21 years of age and a legal resident of, and located within, one of the 50 United States, or the District of Columbia at the time of entry. By participating, you agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsor, which are binding and final in all matters relating to this sweepstakes.
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR ABILITY TO WIN.
I’ve always believed that if a project’s finish doesn’t pass the “touch test”—when running your hands over the project, you feel a flawless, satin-smooth surface.
Tackle the dust problem in your shop, but don’t guess on duct sizes and airflow. Easily calculate flow capacity, ductwork size, and how much static pressure loss your dust collector must overcome.