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David Craig's Woodworking Reviews

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Ingenious Concept in construction

Ingenious Concept in construction

11-26-2012 05:38 AM by David Craig | 28 comments »

When I made the move to replace my junk bench with an actual woodworking bench, one of the first things I wanted, accessory wise, was a pair of holdfasts. For the uninitiated, holdfasts are an ancient method for holding a work piece to a bench. The construction is simple, a metal bar with a hook on it that uses compression to hold a work piece to the bench. You tap the bar in a dog hole, the bar will flex in the dog hole like a compression spring and the piece is secure. The picture tells the...

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Stanley Sweetheart Low Angle Block Plane

Stanley Sweetheart Low Angle Block Plane

09-29-2010 02:52 AM by David Craig | 9 comments »

I am a newbie when it comes to hand planes. I recently purchased a low cost Stanley 9 1/2, tuned it, and outfitted it with an A2 steel iron from Lee Valley. Total cost of time and effort was in the neighborhood of 60 dollars and a couple hours of my time. I have been checking on the costs of other plane offerings, and have been reading the reviews of the Sweetheart offerings with some interest. I have been mostly disappointed to find that the re-release of the Sweethearts were mostly negative...

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Helps Keep Shop Socket clutter to a mininum

Helps Keep Shop Socket clutter to a mininum

01-29-2010 05:04 PM by David Craig | 7 comments »

As I probably have over-stated many times, I have a small basement shop and I will frequently look for items that can either reduce tool clutter or increase safety. I have a number of shop items that require wrenches or sockets to change settings, swap items, perform assembly, etc. When it comes to car maintenance, I love my socket set, but when I am working downstairs, I find them a bit of a pain. Sockets drop to the floor and hide themselves and they can sometimes be a danger because they a...

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Not a bad little mini-driver but would look for the TEK4 version

Not a bad little mini-driver but would look for the TEK4 version

01-19-2010 05:00 PM by David Craig | 12 comments »

I have been looking for a mini-driver that I could put in my pocket for small tasks around the shop and assembly work. I have the Ridgid 18v cordless for the larger tasks but it is sometimes a pain in the hip (literally) to have on my holster. Since I pre-drill all my holes before adding fasteners, I just needed a light duty driver for screws. This would give me the flexibility of having a drill already prepped with a bit for drilling and another set for driving. I didn’t want to invest...

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Adapter that will transform your HF lathe

Adapter that will transform your HF lathe

01-19-2010 05:55 AM by David Craig | 4 comments »

A friend of mine gave me a Harbor Freight last year to help support my interest in turning. It isn’t a bad beginner lathe and I am definitely not one to complain about such a thoughtful gift, but I did find the mounting and remounting of turned pieces on a faceplate frustrating over time. The lathe has a proprietary 3/4 inch x 10tpi spindle which makes purchasing 3rd party vendor chucks nearly impossible. I recently discovered, though, that Penn State Industries manufactures adapters fo...

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Jig for cutting/routing small parts

Jig for cutting/routing small parts

01-14-2010 02:58 PM by David Craig | 11 comments »

Many of the items I work with in my shop require the shaping and cutting of small parts. These might be small boards for boxes or parts for toys. I have always found it a little nerve racking when I needed to cut a rabbet or shape small pieces, as I do not like my fingers so close to a blade. I have used clamps to perform the job but never felt like I had much control when working the pieces. Last year, I found this item on the PriceCutters website (now merged with Eagle America) and found th...

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An amazing book on Bird Carving

An amazing book on Bird Carving

01-06-2010 09:10 PM by David Craig | 2 comments »

I am rather new to wood carving and power carving in particular. I have a few new dremels and a variety of bits but didn’t really have a good resource for using them. My mother and I share a passion for birds. I have a couple feeders out in my yard and nothing beats the winter doldrums like watching a couple bright red cardinals eating seeds out of them. Learning how to carve them would bring me some joy. I have made a few attempts in the past but one thing that always seem to throw a c...

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Doweling made very simple at a very affordable price

Doweling made very simple at a very affordable price

12-10-2009 05:54 PM by David Craig | 20 comments »

I am relatively new to the field of woodworking and my experience with more complex joinery is very limited, so I appreciate any device/jig/contraption that makes my entry into this area a little more simple. I have seen many different types of doweling jigs out there, but Wolfcraft put together an item that is both inexpensive and very simple to use. The Wolfcraft 3751405 Dowel Pro Doweling Jig Kit comes with the doweling jig pictured, an extra board clamp to keep the board you are working o...

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Very nice Magazine

Very nice Magazine

12-04-2009 04:19 PM by David Craig | 8 comments »

A friend of mine recently gifted me with a subscription to Woodsmith Magazine, a publication of August Home Publishing. I have leafed through a number of woodworking type publications over the last couple years (in fact I am a subscriber to Wood Magazine) and have often been left unimpressed with the quality of the material contained within. There are quite a few niceties that this particular publication has that many do not. I will list some of the positives that most impressed me. 1. The...

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Interesting but very different than the norm...

Interesting but very different than the norm...

11-24-2009 07:56 AM by David Craig | 3 comments »

Rodney Frost put together probably one of the most unusual project books I have ever seen. In it, you will not really find any detailed scale plans, nor projects that one would immediately think of or look to create. The beauty of this book is the openness to creativity and the ideas and techniques that really could do wonders for one’s own hand made toys. The book consists of items that I would consider more modern folk art than real toys. You do explore various cranks and gizmos th...

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