Tool Primer: The #Table Saw Buyer’s Guide

In the modern woodshop, the table saw is king. A table saw can rip, crosscut, bevel and miter.  It can create coves, tapers, even cut circles with the right jigs and fixtures.


Table saws allow more accurate, precise and repeatable cuts in a multitude of materials.  Even more complex joinery, such as tenons and finger joints, can be created on the table saw.

Which table saw should I buy?  Why buy used?  Why shouldn’t I buy used?  How do I pick out a great table saw?  How do I avoid bad table saws?

Glad you asked.  In today’s Tool Primer, we will walk through the various types of table saws and discuss the different features.  Then, I’ll break down which features I find most useful in the shop.  Lastly, I will discuss the used table saw market.  Lastly, I will make a recommendation of which saw to buy.

Lets get cutting!

Continue reading “Tool Primer: The #Table Saw Buyer’s Guide”

Tool Primer: Understanding Common Glues for #Maker Project

GLUESooner or later during a Maker project, you have to stick it together.  You need glue.  Better yet, you need the right glue.


Some glues are formulated to work best porous materials such as paper, wood, or leather.  Some are made to work between two different substrates, say plastic and metals.  Some are made for smooth, hard materials.  Knowing the difference can be the difference between a success and failure in the Home #Makerspace. Continue reading “Tool Primer: Understanding Common Glues for #Maker Project”

Tool Primer: How To Finish Your Woodworking Project: Sanding

In the next two Tool Primer articles, I will discuss my process for finishing a woodworking project.   The finishing process is the difference between a good woodworking project and a heirloom piece of furniture.  When I want to really knock a project out of the park, I focus much of my energy on choosing and creating a proper finish.

Boiled Linseed Oil, Shellac, Paste Wax
Boiled Linseed Oil, Shellac, Paste Wax

So here’s my advice: sand it well and thin it as well.
In this article, I’ll  focus on sanding.  More after the jump!
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Tool Primer: How to Select & Use Jigsaws

Some tools do only one thing well.  Some tools do a lot of things well if you know how to use them.  The jigsaw (or sabersaw), in my opinion, is unique in the pantheon of modern woodworking tools as it does nearly everything with equal parts of ineptness and frustration.  So why keep it around?  It’s the only portable tool that cuts curves.  And that makes it invaluable in the shop when the project calls for it.

Skil jigsaw
D Handled Jigsaw
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Tool Primer: How to Select and Use Power Drills

The first power tool I probably ever used (and owned) was a power drill.  The lowly power drill can do a whole lot of things if you know how to use it.  A power drill can strip paint, drill big holes, little holes, create dowel joints, sand curves and screw stuff together.  It makes pocket holes and wood split.  If you don’t know exactly what a power drill is, it is a handheld tool which spins a metal bit attached to an electric motor via a chuck.  The magic of the drill is in the bit.

In short, it’s pretty essential to the hobbyist and homeowner.  In this post, I’ll break down the types of (power) drills available for the average homeowner/hobbyist/woodshop teacher and give some tips on how to choose which is right for you.

First, let’s take a walk through history, why don’t we? Continue reading “Tool Primer: How to Select and Use Power Drills”

Tool Primer: How to Select and Use a Circular Saw

Invented in 1923 by Edmond Michel, the circular saw remains a basic portable tool for any homeowner/woodworker nearly 90 years later. Skil77

The Model 77 hasn’t changed much, but worm-drive saws such as the 77 have become the realm of framers, carpenters and other tradesmen and women who make a living with the tool.  For a weekend warrior like myself and many others, we use  a sidewinder.  The sidewinder came about from  Porter-Cable in 1928.  In the next post, we’ll walk through selecting ourselves a proper circ saw and I’ll point you in the direction of some internet resources which show you how to use a circular saw.

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