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Opt for Something Better

  It would be no shocker to tell you that this year has been rough for all of us. We’ve been carrying around the emotional weight of looming biological threat, social unrest, and political division for so long that many of us are wearing thin. To be perfectly honest, I don’t know a single person who isn’t struggling with anxiety in the face of so many worldly uncertainties. There are many possible responses to this trauma. One common response is anger and finger-pointing. Another is fear and despair. And a third is to distract ourselves with the consumption of commodities. For those who find themselves in the latter category, this Friday has its sights set on you. After a day...

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“Not for the Milquetoast”

  An excerpt from Joshua Klein’s forthcoming book, Joined: A Bench Guide to Furniture Joinery: “Now, your tenon is bigger than the mortise, and that’s good – but you don’t want to split the leg when you drive it. Carve shallow flats on the two sides perpendicular to the grain orientation of the leg (i.e. the “sides” of the tenon, not the “top” and “bottom”). This sideways relief ensures that your tenon doesn’t act as a wedge, splitting the leg apart. This was a common historical practice.   Brush a little hide glue in the mortise and then dip the end of the tenon in hide glue. Drive it in. Hard. This joint is a serious mechanical lock so it ought...

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Free Shipping Over $75

Hey all,  Just wanted to let you know that if you were thinking of ordering gifts from our store this year, we have decided to offer free shipping on all domestic orders greater than $75. The coupon code “FREESHIP75” can be entered at checkout. This offer is available now through December 7th. Also, due to the slow shipping times this year, the 7th is the last day we recommend Christmas ordering. After that, we can’t say for sure that it will make it in time. Hope you had a restful weekend. Wishing you a fruitful Monday!  

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Forehead-smacking Insight

Joshua’s new book, Joined: A Bench Guide to Furniture Joinery, is packed full of useful insight – the kind that you usually get in a one-on-one conversation with an instructor. It’s those little hints or bits of guidance that can make all the difference in pulling off a woodworking operation: “Turn the chisel over and pare with the bevel up,” or “Stay off the line when ripping – a few passes with the plane will finish the job.” While editing through the rough draft of the manuscript, I came across this gem describing the process of fitting rail tenons into mortises:  “This back-and-forth test fitting and marking can get tedious, but it’s important to never work blindly. It’s always worth...

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“All You Need to Know”

An excerpt from Joshua Klein’s forthcoming book, Joined: A Bench Guide to Furniture Joinery: “Now to join the two boards. Place the square-end board in the vise a touch higher than a support block and place the rabbeted board into place on top, just as you did with the dovetails. Make sure there are no unsightly gaps and make any necessary adjustments now. Get yourself some legit handmade nails from a blacksmith. If you don’t know a local smith, a quick internet search will pull up some options. Many smiths don’t feel like making nails because most customers balk at the somewhat expensive cost per piece, so if you find a kind soul who will set you up with nails, treat...

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“When You’re Confident”

“When you’re confident everything is perfectly lined up, scribe the angles with your knife. Several gentle and progressively deeper lines are better than one deep line. Do all the right sides first, then come back for the left sides, as you did with the sawing of the tails.

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“My Goal is Swiftness”

An excerpt from Joshua Klein’s forthcoming book, Joined: A Bench Guide to Furniture Joinery:   “Here is one reason I prefer to have my workbench against a wall: avoiding the use of clamps in paring operations. To pare chamfers onto the tenon for ease of assembly, I butt the rail against the wall. This is so much faster than messing with clamps or a vise and allows me to instantly adjust the workpiece. A related technique is pinning the work with my hip into a fixed point on the bench. Depending on the stock’s length, sometimes it’s the metal-toothed bench hook (planing stop) or in this case the wooden side rest. I’m sure some would think this is silly and...

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Pre-ordering Now Open for Klein’s New Book: “Joined: A Bench Guide to Furniture Joinery”

  I’ve long had this project on the backburner, waiting for just the right time to do it. My new book, Joined: A Bench Guide to Furniture Joinery, is designed to be an at-the-bench step-by-step guide through the fundamental furniture joints. I’ve not covered this material anywhere else in this kind of depth before, and we hear from our readers that they’d like more hands-on help.  The format is photography-rich, and the commentary explains all the details. This book is intended to literally lay on the workbench next to you as you saw, pare, and join these joints. We’ve intentionally given generous margins on each page so that you can make notes and comments as you work through the projects....

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Podcast 21 – Saving Historic Windows

In our most recent podcast episode, we decided to do things a little different: we recorded the entire thing while working. As we reglazed historic window sashes, we talked all about why we decided to use these windows instead of buying brand-new double-panes, and discussed a few of the tips that helped us along our window-saving journey. Items Mentioned in this Episode:John Leeke’s “Save America’s Windows” Webpage

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Choosing a Decent Vintage Plane

“When you’re looking to restore an antique plane for use, the good (and bad) news is that half the battle is often getting a good plane. Although you can bring most anything back into service, if you’ve secured a decent example, the restoration will be minimal.… Restorable examples can be obtained at antique stores, flea markets, tool swaps, or tool dealer websites. Be warned that they are usually pulled out of barns and attics, and often have the grime to prove it. In dimly lit antique stores, it can be hard to know which examples are worth investing time in and which are better used for stove fuel. There are a few simple things I look for, the first and...

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