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01-28-2013 03:20 PM

Nail guns for newbies? - 10 replies

I’d like to build a workshop cabinet from 3/4” plywood. If I use glue and a nail gun for the joinery, will that provide enough strength? What size nails should I use (gauge and length)? I also would like to use crown staples. Can I buy a nail gun that will work with both nails and staples? Thanks for any help.

01-16-2013 03:56 PM

Ideas for Garage-wall worktable with cabinets and drawers? - 3 replies

I’ve decided to build a work table for the side wall of my garage. I’d like it to be about 12 feet long by 2 feet deep, with drawers and cabinets underneath (sort of like a kitchen counter top and cabinets, but made with sturdy but lower-cost materials). I have a separate Roubo workbench that I use for construction and assembly, s...

01-11-2013 10:23 PM

Free-hand Sharpening technique details? - 3 replies

I sharpen my chisels and plane irons free-hand on oilstones. When I was learning to sharpen, I used long, sweeping motions over the whole length of the stones. Now, I tend to move the tool being sharpened rapidly back and forth over a small part of the stone, but allow the contact area to drift slowly over the stone to avoid dishing the stone...

01-11-2013 07:55 PM

Are my oilstones "good enough"? - 8 replies

How can I determine whether my oilstones are adequate for sharpening chisels and plane irons? I sharpen freehand, and can usually hone a cutting edge with my oilstones and a stop so that the cutting edge is sharp enough to slice through the edge of a piece of paper. What I’m unsure about is whether I could sharpen a lot faster with bett...

01-06-2013 02:37 PM

Lumber from fallen trees - 11 replies

My brother-in-law lives in New Jersey, with several acres of ash, black walnut, and cherry trees up to 80 feet tall with long, straight trunks up to 18-24” in diameter (estimated). Several of these trees were knocked over by Hurricane Sandy, and he’s trying to figure out how to remove them. He can use a chainsaw on some of the smal...

12-15-2012 03:36 AM

Pipe vise as end vise? - 5 replies

I’ve practically finished my Roubo bench, but some day I want to add an end vise and a row of dog holes near the front edge to hold boards for planing. I came across this “pipe vise” as LV’s web site:,41659 Has anyone here used one of these pipe vises? It...

11-28-2012 10:42 PM

Practical limit on width of a drawer? - 8 replies

I’m nearly finished with a Roubo-style workbench and am considering building a tool cabinet for the space below the bench top. The space is 63” wide, and the tool cabinet could be up to about 22” deep and about 12” high. I’ve wondered about building a wide drawer for storing a few hand planes, including my 22...

11-27-2012 03:24 AM

Saw anvil? - 5 replies

Last time I checked, my local Wal-Mart was fresh out of cast iron saw anvils (like this one shown below): (EDIT: The workbench is not mine.) I have an old dovetail saw that I’d like to restore, but I think I will need to flatten the blade a little on a saw anvil. Does anyone have suggestions for a modern, affordable substitute f...

11-10-2012 03:04 AM

What does an oil finish do to wood? - 6 replies

I am adding a shelf to the bottom of my work bench. While thinking about how to finish it, I started wondering about exactly what an oil finish (like BLO or Danish Oil) does to wood. Obviously, oil makes wood shiny, but what else does it do? 1) Does an oil finish harden the wood?2) Does it protect wood from abrasions, scuffs, or other mecha...

10-17-2012 02:30 PM

Newbie question on finishes for a workbench - 17 replies

I’m nearing completion of a workbench made from southern yellow pine. I plan to rag on a finish of some sort. The workbench has a shelf made of ship-lapped ash boards where I will place tools, wood, etc.. Should I use the same finish on the shelf, or should I leave it natural? If I use finish on the shelf, should I put the finish on th...

10-17-2012 02:24 PM

Cleaning pitch and sawdust from table saw? - 7 replies

I am near completion of a workbench made from southern yellow pine. Not surprisingly, my table saw innards are covered with pine sawdust, which is “sticker” than most hardwood sawdust due to the pine’s resins. Can anyone recommend a product for loosening and cleaning this gunk? Also, I’ve heard that grease is not comm...

10-03-2012 03:18 AM

Slow-set epoxy? - 13 replies

I need some slow-setting epoxy—something that has several hours of open time (I’m starting to assemble a Roubo workbench made from southern yellow pine that uses mortise-and-tenon joints; the epoxy is for these joints) I thought I could find some at Lowes or Home Depot, but they don’t carry it. Can I slow down the cure time...

09-26-2012 03:13 PM

Table saw sleds: 1 or 2 runners; metal, wood, or UHMW plastic? - 10 replies

I’ve seen many different plans for table saw sleds, some with one runner and others with two. And the runners themselves may be made from wood, UHMW, aluminum, or steel. Which configuration (one or two runners), and which material, do you prefer?

09-13-2012 10:21 PM

Flattening a board with a router table? - 6 replies

A discussion on another web site about flattening boards with a hand plane gave me an idea for using a router table to flatten a board. If you put a straight bit in the router and set its height so the bottom of the bit is exactly level with the table surface, you should be able to move a board around on top of the router table and eventually...

09-05-2012 06:17 PM

Plane bought at garage sale - 18 replies

This weekend I bought an interesting plane at a garage sale for 25 cents: Is it worth anything?

08-28-2012 06:27 PM

Sagging leg vise? - 10 replies

If you have built a leg vise like the one on Chris Schwarz’s Roubo bench, have you experienced any problems with the vise sagging due to its own weight?

08-28-2012 05:49 PM

Anybody collect or use Alumo 1A planes? - 3 replies

I bought an Alumo 1 weatherstripping plane a few weeks ago at a flea market, thinking I could perhaps use it to make grooves in draw bottoms. Does anybody here collect them or use them?

08-27-2012 06:00 PM

Another benefit to using hand tools... - 5 replies

I’ve been doing a lot of work on my Roubo bench this month, leveling the top (both sides) with hand planes, shopping mortises with a hammer and chisel, etc. The other day my wife noticed that my arms look more muscular! Woo-hoo! ;)

08-27-2012 02:47 AM

Benchcrafted roller brackers for leg vise? - 2 replies

I’m putting the stretchers on my Roubo bench and will soon have to make decisions on how to build the leg vise. I’ve purchased a metal Lee Valley tail vise screw ( for the leg vise. I’m thinking about buying the Benchcrafted roller brackets (http://benchcrafted.blogspo...

08-26-2012 11:24 PM

Ryobi DP121L drill press: can't tighten table - 7 replies

I have a Ryobi DP121L benchtop drill press. I like everything about it, except that I can’t tighten the table completely. The “table lock handle” locks the table in place vertically, but I can still move the table left and right easily. Have any of you had this problem? What can I do to fix it? UPDATE: I contacted Ryob...

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