Tag Archives: woodworking

Dovetails in Pine

As I continue to work on a small cabinet to hold baskets for my daughter, I’m doing some focus exercises on my dovetails. I teach a hand cut dovetails class at Woodcraft, but I’m no master like Mr. Cosman. Because I don’t do this professionally (outside of teaching), I take every new project with dovetails as a chance to improve my technique. The critical points for the tails is that 1) they are perpendicular to the face of the board, and 2) they stop exactly on the scribe line. By taking the time to practice, I’m trying to continue developing muscle memory, which is a hard thing to do if you don’t do them all the time. And anyways, I don’t know if I’ll ever get to the point that speed becomes an focus, because I do this for fun not for profit.

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Knock Down Nicholson Workbench – assembly

photo 1 (28)The McMaster-Carr connectors that I ordered late last week arrived yesterday, so I was able to get much further in bench assembly than I thought I was. I glued the 1×10’s to the aprons, after setting them in place on the upside down top of the bench. Using the 1×10’s as a guide, I set the legs up tight against the apron, and was able to mark and secure the legs to the aprons using the connectors.

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Simple Push Sticks for the Table Saw


I don’t remember where I first saw this form of push stick… but I do remember thinking – “That is the right way for me”. A simple plan that I’ve used for several years.





Some push sticks are narrow enough to handle 1″ strips but the form factor is the type that requires a long reach. To me, and more importantly with my technique, I don’t feel safe with that style. The other style I use is a the “paddle” style, which I do really like, but doesn’t work well for cuts where the width is less than 4″.

I like the handle form, where I can press forward a bit to engage the toe, but the center of gravity in my hand is pretty much right over a small hook that is engaged on the trailing edge of the board. There are number of styles out on the internet, so look around to see what suits you best. Most importantly – Use Them!

Since I have the old one (yeah, it gets chewed up over time), I used it as a template and laid out the form on some 1/4″ scrap, and some on a 3/4″ scrap. I pretty much just use plywood for this, I expect MDF would work as well – but I would not try to do the thin ones from solid wood, unless I was sure the grain wasn’t going to give out.

I cut out the forms on the bandsaw, and just sand them down. In the past, I’ve glued strips of sandpaper to the bottoms for extra grip, but have not done that with this set. (at least not yet!)



Finished the Bathroom Cabinet

I got the cabinet hung this week, and am taking a short break. Bathroom Cabinet I’ll probably spend some time just cleaning up, I need to do a deep cleaning in there. The stationary equipment all needs a deep clean and tune ups. I have a pile of off cuts from the last two projects that I need to root through and figure out what I keep and what I get rid of. I hate that part, because each time I go through the get rid of pile, I think of something else that piece might be good for. Even when I’m finally at the burn barrel, there are hunks that still call out to me…