Woodworking Techniques and Advice

How to avoid those ever-lingering VOCs

Written by John English Monday, 20 May 2013 00:00

john_englishWe’re hearing a lot in our industry lately about volatile organic compounds, commonly called VOCs. The Environmental Protection Agency says they “include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects.”

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Cutting through the noise on air compressors

Written by John English Monday, 15 April 2013 00:00

john_englishThey’re noisy and bulky and a bit intimidating, but air compressors are unbelievably useful in the woodshop. They can be used to run nail- and staple guns, spray finishes, operate pneumatic clamps and jigs, create vacuum seals, even top up the tires on a delivery truck. A single air compressor can provide cheaper, safer and more easily controlled power than a shop full of tools that are equipped with individual electric motors. And, for most woodworkers, using compressed air is as simple as turning on a machine and running a hose.

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A look at the past, present and future of cordless tools

Written by John English Monday, 18 March 2013 00:00

john_englishManufacturers are constantly introducing new tools, but most of the time it’s just design and packaging updates rather than technological breakthroughs. And while the evolution of design constantly improves the way tools feel and fit our hands and job sites, what we’re really after is performance. That begins with the power source. And batteries can be confusing.

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The versatility of veneer

Written by John English Monday, 18 February 2013 00:00

john_englishWhether repairing antiques, building one-of-a-kind furniture or laminating curves on cabinets, most woodworkers eventually discover veneer. One’s first instinct is to think of it as simply a way to get the most out of rare cuts or species. But veneer serves many functions beyond thrift. It makes life easier when dealing with curves, gives a woodworker access to some very dramatic grains and colors and can be applied to a stable substrate to create wide panels or complex patterns.

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Sanding head variations have their roles

Written by Howard Grivna Monday, 19 November 2012 00:00

howard-grivnaThere are four basic types of sanding heads and one major hybrid variation that can be applicable to any sanding head type that incorporates a polishing platen.

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