Info that every woodworker should know
Learning more skills and acquiring greater knowledge turns any woodworker into a more advanced version of himself.
Improve your skills
Learning more skills and acquiring greater knowledge turns any woodworker into a more advanced version of himself. So sit back and browse through this slideshow to learn more about certain aspects of woodworking--then get back to work!
Muff-Style Hearing Protectors
Power tools and machines make noise ranging from mildly annoying to downright harmful. Muff-style hearing protectors reduce the sound reaching your ears, effectively preventing hearing damage. You'll find muffs are easy to put on and take off, fit over safety glasses and hats, and they form tight seals around the ears. They can-and should-be used when using almost every power tool. For this article, we chose four different styles, from simple, passive muffs to high-tech noise-canceling models. The manufacturer's Noise-Reduction Rating (NRR) for each model is shown, and our testing with a professional audiologist confirmed the accuracy of those figures.
Keep a well-stocked shop
Always maintain a good supply of these shop necessities: painter's tape, double-faced tape, orange-based hand cleaner, tweezers with a magnifying glass, first-aid kit, and fire extinguisher.
Get organized with project plans
Interested in updating your shop? Our shop cabinets, storage and racks project plans include detailed instructions, easy-to-read illustrations, color drawings, how-to photographs, a bill of materials, and all the information needed to build these shop helpers. Each project has been shop-tested by the editors of WOOD magazine to ensure your building success.
Stop Tear-Out While Drilling, Routing, and Sawing
Occasional splinters in your hand may be a fact of life in woodworking, but splintered wood is easy to avoid at your tablesaw, router, and drill press. Just make prevention of tear-out gremlins part of your common woodworking routine.
How to make zero-clearance inserts for your tablesaw
A zero-clearance insert virtually guarantees you'll get no tear-out when ripping or crosscutting wood on your tablesaw. Here's how to make them.
Razor-fine layout lines
Does it make sense to measure to 1⁄64 ", and then mark a line with a pencil point that's twice that width? Even a fine mechanical pencil proves no match for the precision of a marking knife. Here's what you need to know before buying one.
8 great ways to use a combination square
Often underappreciated, a 6" or 12" combination square--we keep both on hand because they're handy for different project and tool-setup applications--does far more than just help you draw perpendicular lines. Here are some great ways to get the most from your combo square.
Fast, accurate template routing
When you need several copies of identical parts, such as the curved corbels for a mission piece of furniture or graceful tapered legs, consider pattern routing. Using a template and a flush-trim or pattern bit designed to follow it, you'll speed through the drudgery of making duplicate parts without sacrificing quality. By keeping a battery of templates, you also can save time on projects you decide to build more than one.
Quick guide to template routing
You can make exact copies of project parts using an easy-to-make template and your router. We show you how.
Don't swear, get square
Can't miss methods for squaring projects from master woodworker Ben Svec.
Right-angle clamping brace
Anytime you need to hold two large workpieces at a right angle, say while you're screwing or gluing them together, you need one or more of these plywood triangles. Here's how to make some for your shop.
How wood reacts to seasonal humidity changes
Even the driest wood can change shape due to moisture absorption, no matter what you do to it. But you can learn what to expect.
Tool Review: Sharpening Systems
We'd rather be using tools than sharpening them. And tool manufacturers must think so, too, because several new sharpening systems have been introduced to take the drudgery out of honing a keen edge. Those products fall into three general types: wet-wheel sharpeners, powered sandpaper sharpeners, and human-powered honing guides you use with your own stones or sandpaper. To help you decide which type and model is best for you, we rounded up dozens of sharpeners and spent more than a month testing them.
Quick and easy tool sharpening
Put a razor-sharp edge on your chisels and plane irons using self-stick sandpaper, and a grinder equipped with a stone and buffing wheel. You'll be amazed at the speed and the results.
Rust-busting: Testing rust removers and preventers
Discover which of fourteen products rid rust from cast-iron surfaces and stop it from returning.
Router combo kits perform well against dedicated plunge routers
We'd all love to have a fleet of routers at our disposal, but few of us can afford that luxury. So we went on a quest for the ultimate router: one machine that does it all. After compiling a list of what's required for a do-everything router, we rounded up every router that meets those criteria-three dedicated plunge routers and six multibase kits-and put them through extensive testing. See how they fared.
TLC for Power Tools
Clean, lubricate, and adjust your power tools regularly. You'll get years of faithful service in return, and better-built projects because of it.