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Track Saw Tutorial Quickly Ripping Plywood
Production Door Machining A time-saving template
Custom Rosette Head Blocks For those who love old houses
Greek Revival AND ITALIANATE TRIM
Wooden Storm Doors Another take
Low-Budget Mechanized Biscuit Joinery
The Chappell Square A revolutionary approach to a commonly used tool
Swirl-Free Sanding A new tool tip

TIC Merchandise

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The Chappell Square

A revolutionary approach to a commonly used tool

Every carpenter has his favorite tool—the one he’ll turn the truck around to get because he left it at home. A lot of craftsmen have some kind of antique tool they really don’t use, but think it’s cool to have. (Some of us bought that collectable new!) Just go on eBay and do a search for “collectable carpenters tools.” There are tools online that don’t list a function, because the seller has no idea what it was used for! There are thousands of tools that have come and gone. Some were gadgets that some clever carpenter thought he could retire on; some were replaced with modern technology. My personal test of a tool’s worthiness is whether I would replace it if I lost it or broke it. Read the full article…

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Low-Budget Mechanized Biscuit Joinery

Most finish work is a matter of repetition. And if you don’t come up with a good system for all that repetition, you’ll never make any real money. I had one job where we had to glue up almost 100 panels made from a mixture of recycled beech and maple. We wanted to biscuit all those glue joints, but the last thing anyone on my crew wanted to do was plunge a hand-held biscuit joiner a few thousand times. And the last thing I wanted to do was invest in a big-dollar tool that I might not have a real need for again. Read the full article…

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Greek Revival and Italianate Trim

Years ago, in a Fine Homebuilding article, I explained how to build corbels for an Italianate mirror frame. I ran out of pages in that short article before I could discuss how to layout the pediment. I have plenty of room here, so I’ll cover that part of the story, and I’ll include all the material that we couldn’t fit into the Fine Homebuilding Master Carpenter article. Read the full article…

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Custom Rosette Head Blocks

Thirty years ago, if you needed an old house head block with a bullseye or rosette in it, you would have had to buy one pre-made or seek out one of the few rosette cutters on the market. Either way, it would’ve been too small for a typical renovation of an old house. Today, there are some rosette cutters that have interchangeable blades with the ability to have custom knives cut. But they’re too expensive, especially if you only need a few. And rosette cutters are hard to use on a drill press because they tend to chatter, ruining the work. My 1975 Craftsman has a little play in the bearings—it certainly won’t work with a rosette cutter! Read the full article…

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Out-of-sight Exterior Pocket Doors

At my new home, I built a small guest cabin down by the river (reservations are booked years in advance, so good luck with that!). I wanted to open up the west wall of the cabin, along the river, to both the sight and the sound of the water. But I couldn’t afford a 12-ft. wide commercially manufactured sliding door unit. And besides, I wanted it to look cool. So I made the unit myself. Read the full article…

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Bottom Stair Post and Stringer Deck Connections

When it comes to decks and especially exterior stairs, there are several critical areas that can spell the difference between safe and dangerous construction techniques. For that reason, current code requirements focus on some of those areas. In this article, we’ll look at just one detail: the prescribed method for securing the bottom newel post at the base of a stair.

Read the full article…

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Installing Baseboard

The joinery in baseboard forms the foundation for nearly all the joinery in finish carpentry, which makes perfect sense because baseboard is meant to replicate the foundation—the plinth—of a classical column. Though casing is the first molding profile noticed in a home, and often the first molding installed in a home, baseboard is usually the first molding that an apprentice carpenter learns to cut, and for good reason. Read the full article…

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