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Idea Shop 6, Paycheck 12: Cut it Close

With the previous check, we recommended buying a thin-kerf blade. This paycheck, and some savings from your nest egg, purchase a blade designed to make wide cuts, along with

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Idea Shop 6, Paycheck 11: Through Thick and Thin

Idea Shop 6If your saw struggles to cut thick or dense wood, invest in a thin-kerf blade (about $30). Because the thinner blade removes less wood, it requires less power to make a cut.

Although only 1⁄32″ thinner than a regular blade, that’s about 25% less Read more

Idea Shop 6, Paycheck 10: The Tablesaw Arrives!

With the purchase of a tablesaw, the shop starts to look like a shop. If you’ve never used a tablesaw before, don’t worry, we have lots of resources to help you get started. The first step is getting the saw unloaded and assembled. Your best resources here are a strong friend or two for unloading, and the owner’s manual for assembly. We have a few tips of our own that make assembly easier, especially if
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Idea Shop 6, Paycheck 9: Clamp Down and Rack ‘em Up

Idea Shop 6By now you have several hundred dollars squirreled away. With the addition of another paycheck’s budgeted amount, you’ll have enough to purchase a tablesaw and then begin accessorizing it. But first, add a set of clamps. Woodworkers joke that you can never
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The Woodworking Show season for 2016 ended this last Sunday in Kansas City. Though it officially began in January at the Fairgrounds in the Baltimore area, I actually started the season with planning and prop building in October. So, it’s been a long year but a really good one. Read more



Timing is everything. Some of the nicest weather we’ve had all season greeted us this last weekend, March 18-20, in Tampa. Prior to our arrival, the area saw temps in the 60′s or 90′s and, as I leave, the highs on Monday will be cool again. If temperatures in the eighties and generally sunny weather are considered ideal, then we had a perfect stay. Had I arrived a few days earlier, it would have been even better. Read more



This last weekend, March 11-13, the Woodworking show was in Wisconsin at the Fairgrounds. And, what a pleasant weekend it was! I drove to this show so there was no trip to the airport two hours early. No languishing in the TSA Pre-Check line waiting for those “seasoned” travelers taking off their shoes when they didn’t have to. No flight delays because of a weather problem somewhere in eastern Europe. Just a ride in a comfy, heated leather seat, listening to music and eating out of a bag with more than six peanuts in it. And, I arrived on time! Take that, United! Read more



This last weekend, March 4-6, the Woodworking Shows traveled to St. Paul, Minnesota. Much like our previous week in Houston, the hope was that our multiyear hiatus from the area would generate some nice enthusiasm and big crowds. In Houston we saw both. In St. Paul, a great deal of the former and not as much of the latter. Read more



There’s almost no other way to explain it. Maybe it’s that New Jersey got just creamed with snow a month or so ago that the warmth of this last weekend, February 19-21, brought attendees out of the proverbial woodwork and into the Woodworking Show in droves.   Not only did they fill all the available seats in the education sessions, they made purchasing tools and accessories a near blood sport in many booths. Read more

Idea Shop 6, Paycheck 8: Of All of the Wood Joints in All the World

Idea Shop 6With the previous paycheck, you dipped into the savings to purchase a router. Most of this check will replenish the bank, with the exception of about $20 spent on a mortising router bit. Read more

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