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On the Road with Jay-K Independent Lumber
Sanford & Hawley A Family Tradition
Floating Shelves In a straw bale home!
Precision Lasers for Demanding Projects DeWalt DW079LG vs. Stabila LAR120G
Reader Question An Exterior Siding Puzzle
My New Patio Stamped Concrete
FastCap Tour Lean & Mean

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FastCap Tour: Lean & Mean

My brother is a year older than me, and because of that, he’s far more experienced and much smarter. But the thing that bugs me is that everything always has to be ‘just so’ with him. Sometimes, when I think about my brother I remember the last words in Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury: “…each in its ordered place.” Even the pencils and pens on my brother’s desk have to be ‘just so’ before he’ll answer a ringing phone; his door bench is the same way: every tool has to be razor sharp and in its proper place before he’ll start work on a door.

It took me years to understand why. I have to thank Paul Akers, from FastCap, for helping me see my brother in a totally new way. Read the full article…

My New Patio: Stamped Concrete

When I bought my little house in southern Oregon, I knew I’d be removing the existing concrete patio and the funky patio cover. The concrete had been mixed in a wheelbarrow and poured in sections, maybe over a decade or two, at least that was the forensic evidence. In some places the finish was smooth as glass, in others there was a heavy broom texture, and in a few sections, no finish at all. It was cracked and heaved. Read the full article…

Installing Exterior Doors in HVHZ Zones

This article might not appeal to all TiC readers, but that’s not the point of THISisCarpentry. Our goal isn’t to reach everyone. Our mission is to provide quality educational material for carpenters, even if it’s only a few of them. Still, I expect that even if you never have to install doors to meet HVHZ code, you’ll learn a few interesting things from this demonstration, things that will probably apply to normal door installation, too. Read the full article…

Precision Lasers for Demanding Projects

DeWalt DW079LG vs. Stabila LAR120G

Installing trim packages in luxury custom homes today requires a stricter level of precision than ever before. When millwork is meticulously shop-drawn room by room and trim details flow between spaces, it’s crucial to have agreed-upon reference lines that are understood and trusted by multiple trades. Typically the General Contractor will set a benchmark, or horizontal axis line, at 48 or 60 in. AFF (above finish floor). Floor and ceiling planes are determined from this line, as well as door heads, horizontal trim elevations, and device heights. Grid lines may also be established on the floor to keep finish wall planes square and parallel. Collectively, all of these lines are referred to as axis lines, and serve as the three-dimensional starting point for locating finishes. Read the full article…

Sanford & Hawley: A Family Tradition

Rarely a day goes by, especially when I’m on the road doing lumberyard events, where I don’t pinch myself and acknowledge how lucky I’ve been. I’m not talking about a career or an investment portfolio, or how big the steelhead was that I caught last summer. I’m talking about the people I’ve been fortunate to meet because of the Katz Roadshow: the carpenters and contractors; the manufacturers—marketing, production, and sales representatives; and especially the folks at the lumberyards we work with.

Sanford & Hawley is a perfect example. Read the full article…

On the Road: Jay-K Independent Lumber

We recently did another Katz Roadshow Finish Carpentry event at Jay-K Independent Lumber, in New Hartford, NY. This yard is one of our favorite Katz Roadshow hosts—these folks really get it; they want to help their customers by providing quality educational events. During one of the breaks, Jonas Kelly, the current President of the yard, suggested that before leaving town, we stop by their Woodshop. He said their shop foreman might surprise me. Boy, was he right. But first, some background. Read the full article…

Rules for Proportion

From the Greeks to the Golden Rectangle

Co-authored by Todd Murdock

When it comes to rules of proportion, I never understood the whole picture. At least not until recently, not before spending the last three years studying the classical orders with Todd Murdock—one SketchUp rendition at a time. Now I know why I had such a hard time understanding the rules of proportion. There are none. They don’t exist. But there are guidelines. Read the full article…

The Krenov School of Fine Woodworking

For over twenty years, hundreds of passionate, fine woodworkers enjoyed the unique experience of learning directly from James Krenov, founder of what was then known as the College of the Redwoods, Fine Furniture Program in Fort Bragg, California.

James Krenov trained under Swedish furniture designer, Carl Malmstem. Like Malmstem, Krenov reached out to people through his furniture. He loved the functionality of fine furniture, he marveled at the process of furniture making, and he deeply appreciated how each piece tells a story. As a recognized furniture maker and popular lecturer, Krenov moved from Sweden to Northern California in 1981, where he was invited to develop and direct the Fine Furniture program. Read the full article…

Making Radius Trim On the Jobsite

Lately, my crew and I are installing a lot of flat stock casing in the homes that we trim out—which means I also have to make more and more radius casing to finish the tops of windows and doors that have arched heads. Besides the sizes of the openings always being different, some openings require a full semi-circular arch, while others require just a segmental arch. And occasionally we make radius casing that’s stained and top coated with fine finish. That’s when it’s even more important to get a perfect fit and a good grain match, too! Read the full article…

A Side Gate

…with appreciation to the Katz bros.

It all started when my wife decided we needed a new gate on the side of the house. The existing gate worked, but being 20 years old, it needed more than just a facelift—it needed a structural lift, too. I’m sure you know what I mean!

Linda found a design on the Internet—an Arts and Crafts gate with a cloud lift for the top rail (you can guess where she found that!). I had never made one before but have faced a lot of tougher challenges in my life. Read the full article…

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