Chisel Care

As with hand planes, the key to using chisels successfully is keeping them sharp. If they are not kept sharp, your work will suffer. If you are wary of taking your good chisels to the stone, consider buying a cheaper set to practice on. Store your chisels boxed, in a tool roll, or in a wall rack. Avoid magnetic tool racks; when chisels are magnetized small metal filings will cling to their edges, making honing more difficult and dulling a keen edge much faster.
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Saw Maintenance

Handsaws are designed to provide years of good service. However, by wiping the entire surface of the saw blade with an oily rag, you will maximize your saw's performance and extend its life. Many hand saws come with a protective tooth cover. Don't throw this away. It will protect the teeth from any harm that could occur in a busy workshop. If you can't find this cover, cut and slice open an old garden hose and use it to cover the entire length the blade.
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Blade Radius

The width of your bandsaw blade and its tooth set will determine the smallest circle you can cut without damaging the blade or the saw guides. Generally a 3/16-in. blade will cut a radius as small as 5/16 in.; a 1/4-in. blade will cut as small as 5/8, and a 3/8-in. blade as small as 1-7/16. The wider a blade, the thicker it will be and the longer it will stand up and keep its edge.
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Saw Tune-Up

Before and after each use, check the saw's safety mechanisms. Make sure that blade guards are operating properly and smoothly. Pay special attention to the proper care and storage of saw blades. Keep them clean and free of all dirt and resins. Oven cleaner does a great job.
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Clamp Pads

Professional woodworkers often don't use pads on their clamps because they know how to set them up without marring the wood. But if you prefer to use them for pipe or bar clamps, you can buy some or make up your own. Scrap rubber, shoe soles, even old mud flaps, can do the trick. For pipe clamps, cut out a slightly undersize circle to fit over the pipe using a sabersaw. Next, cut out the perimeter about 1/8 in. oversize. Then make a slit in the pad bottom so it can stretch over the pipe without taking off the jaw end.
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Clamp-On Storage

Have a rather large collection of adjustable wrenches, c-clamps or odd-shaped screw clamps laying around the workshop? You can store them neatly side by side just by tightening up their jaws on the edge or lip of a shelf that is out of the way. They will take up very little room and will always be easy to spot and retrieve. If the ceiling joists are accessible in your shop, they also can be used for clamp-on storage.
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Measuring Square

A measuring or rafter square is a great addition to any tool box. You can use it to mark a board for square or angled cuts. It fits securely into a tool belt and can be used to check the trueness of an angle or as a cutting guide for a circular saw. It's also handy when you're working with large-dimensional lumber or when you're laying out rafters.
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Cleaning Bits

After a few uses, resin will build up on your drill and router bits and lessen their effectiveness. An easy way to clean them is to slip on a pair of rubber gloves and safety goggles then spray each bit with household oven cleaner. Scrub away the resin with a medium bristle toothbrush. Rinse and thoroughly dry each bit.
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Square It

If you'd like your project to turn out as strong, solid, and lasting as if a professional woodworker built it, do what they do...use your tri-square to check for squareness after each cross cut. Edges on boards that will be edge-joined must be absolutely square, so carefully check all sides. If a cut is not exactly square, use a block plane to trim. It takes a little extra time, but the improved results will be well worth it.
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