Classic Posts Weekly - 3/28/2019

This tab will have a link to an old post of mine that I happen to think is worth remembering. It could be because it shows a woodworking principle that is worth talking about again, tools that I still use, or even evidence that I have changed my mind over time (it's MY blog, I can do that if I want).

28 MAR 2019
 It's been a while since I've updated this. If you even know this is here, congratulations!

This post is from 2014, and it is half weird little one-board project, and half is a soliloquy on the advantages of being a woodworker for small projects around the house.
TV stand adapter thingie.
This contraption is still in use, and still works great. It makes me smile every time I see the little pattern I cut out on the bottom, which isn't often since it's hidden from the front.

Take a look at this old article and let me know if you've used your skill in an unusual way around the house.

10 OCT 2018
Today's throwback is a post near the from 2012, soon after I started this blog. It's called, Hand Saws and M-16's.
Right-eye, or left-eye dominant?
I really enjoyed writing this post at the time, because I hadn't really found any information out there that addressed the problem of accurate handsawing when you have a cross-dominant eye. That is, I am right handed and left eye dominant. Your dominant eye wants to throw your body out of alignment while sawing.

Since I wrote this, I have been working a lot on this problem, and have solved it in two ways: the first way is to really take your time and concentrate on which eye is looking at the line. That is, make a conscious decision to "turn-off" your dominant eye. This works, but for me in only works when I'm thinking about it. The second way is to indeed learn to saw left handed.

As weird as it sounds, and as awful as it feels at first, there is no reason one can't learn to saw left handed just as good as right handed. If it works for Mary May when she is carving, then I can do it with a handsaw. Once I became accustomed to it, left handed sawing comes in handy all the time.

Read my old blog post and give it a try! 

23 SEP 2018
Since I was late last week, I'll post one a day early this week. Besides, I'll be busy with the DCBE III in Denmark. 

Today's post is called Microbevels - Bringing Woodworking to the Masses.
No point woodworking without sharp tools.
I suspect I wrote this post after reading someone pontificate about the uselessness of honing guides in a forum somewhere.

In short, this post discusses the benefits of using a honing guide for beginning woodworkers, because using them is fast, repeatable, and it gets you to the level of sharp required in woodworking. 

All these years later, I find I do freehand sharpening a lot more than I used to, but I still often use a honing guide. Especially after I grind. 

Additionally, whenever I teach someone how to sharpen, I show them how using a honing guide.

What are your thoughts? Do you use a honing guide?

19 SEP 2018
Today's Weekly post is only the second one, and what do you  know, I'm two days late.

This post is called More Mora

A while back I was thinking of buying a Mora knife from Amazon. Jonas came to the rescue, and told me his dad had oodles of those knives and he would send me one. Instead, I got a box full of them from him.

This post mostly included information from my Swedish friend Bengt, who was able to look up the logos and tell a little bit about these knives. One thing I learned, was that Mora isn't a manufacturer, but a town in Sweden that is famous for making these knives.

It was enjoyable going back to read this post again.
It's still in my tool chest!

To add a bit to this story, I sharpened up the worst of the lot, with the intention of practicing rehabbing these knives so that by the time I got around to the last, nicest one, I would have a fantastic knife.

What happened was after sharpening that first one, I fell in love with that knife and haven't bothered to do anything with any of the others. I use that knife on nearly every project now. 

Do you use a shop knife? If you do, which knife is your favorite?

10 SEP 2018

For this first throw back, is a random post I ran across:

Ode to Canadians (click this link to read the post).

In this post I discuss a forum discussion that erupted around an experiment that I conducted (links to the experiment are in that post).
One flat, one not. Just as I predicted.
I don't mean to be smug about it, but my predictions on this experiment were correct. I was able to keep one panel flat, and the other one failed just short of explosion.

Here's a summary if you don't want to read the whole series of posts:

I made two identical panels by laminating fresh hardware store construction store pine, in the orientation with the growth rings all going going the same way. After gluing up the panel, I screwed battens on the underside of each in a crossgrain manner. The only difference being that I glued one set of battens on with plenty of PVA glue.

I haven't looked at these panels in a few years, but I know that they both looked just the same as this two years after this photo was taken. The un-glued one is as flat as it was the day it left my bench.

If you read the forum post linked to in the blog post, keep in mind that I made TWO panels. One designed to fail, and one in which I felt I solved the problem by not gluing.

Here's what I'd like to say about this now, as far as a "Here's Why."
  1. A cross-grain batten of the same material and thickness as your panel is a fine method for keeping the panel from cupping. As long as there is a way for the batten to slide a little bit (i.e. no glue). The flat one in the picture was done with three screws along the length of the batten. The two outermost screws I elongated the holes, so the steel screws have a way of flexing a little when the lumber shrinks and expands.
  2. Alternating growth rings is unnecessary. I know all the woodworking books say so, but I think the appearance of the panel trumps this rule. Besides, I think it is easier to keep one big cup flat than a bunch of wavy boards. There are always exceptions, but if you are reinforcing your panel with battens, you don't need to alternate growth rings.
  3. Finishing the underside of a panel is unnecessary. More sacrilege, I know! Again, if you glued up the panel well, this will not be the reason your table top  warps. I know this because I've made quite a few tables over the years, and I've finished the underside of precisely zero of them. They all look as good now as the day they were made. Finish the underside of the tabletop if you like, but don't do it because someone on Lumberjocks said you have to.
I'm sure there are more, but this ought to get the discussion started.

I hope you enjoy this post. I'll try to resurrect another next week.


  1. It was fun to read through these again. Finding that a batten doesn't have to be very thick was completely new to me, as well as how little fastening is needed. Looking forward to more looking back.

    1. Thanks, Jeff! The thickness of the batten was something that I thought would derail my test, so I was pleased when it worked. Wood really is pretty awesome to work with.

      Thanks for the nice comment