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Articles by Gary Katz


My Living Room Wall: Part 1

I’m fortunate not to be a packrat. I know many people who are. My father would never throw away anything! Which is probably one reason I’m so averse to saving stuff. I’ve even thrown away a few things I had to buy again! But there is one thing I’ve always had a problem with—books. My entire life, I’ve collected books. In fact, I still have most of my favorite first reads from when I was a kid. Read the full article…


Improve Moldings and Increase Referrals

Back in the mid-1980s, my brother and I were growing tired of installing 1 1/2-in. clamshell casing, and 2 1/2-in. streamline baseboard. As finish contractors, that’s all we did on every job, day after day (after we had installed the doors and windows). By then we’d nailed off miles of small trim in thousands of apartments and hundreds of single-family homes. The market was starting to soften up about that time, and one of the contractors we worked for needed an edge against other spec builders in the same subdivision. We suggested upgrading the moldings in one of his homes. Not the whole house, mind you, only the first floor. We told him we’d do it for our cost, just to prove a point. Read the full article…


My Shop Entry Door

I wanted a BIG entry door for my new shop—at least 4/0 x 8/0—so I wouldn’t have to fight carrying materials into the shop. Sure, I installed a 12-ft. wide custom roll-up right next to the entry door, but I open that ‘garage door’ rarely, especially in January, February, August, and September, and barring a big order of sheet goods, I open the roll-up door just to take finished projects out of the shop. But the main door I’d be opening every day, all day long, and I knew I would never find the door of my dreams on a shelf at a store. So I built the door and the jamb myself, as one big pre-hung unit.

Read the full article…


My New Home: Craftsman Style Gate

The last time I built gates, for my old home in L.A., I didn’t spend too much time on the design. My dog was jumping over the top of the old gates and I just wanted to get them built. But this time, with a cattle guard in front of the gate, I didn’t have to worry about the dog, and I wanted the gate to express what I loved about architecture, and I wanted the gate to express the style of architecture I enjoy most. With Todd Murdock’s help, I spent more than a month working on different designs. Read the full article…

(Note: Click image to enlarge)

Installing Sidelight/Door/Sidelight Units

For the 2014 IBS show, Plastpro asked me to produce a special presentation on installing an SDS unit. They shipped me all the materials so I could practice the presentation and shoot a video before the event. I was kind of surprised when the freight delivery arrived and the package was so small—the entire unit came knocked down, which reminded me of the olden days. Read the full article…


Notice: A Day with Gary Striegler

So much was happening back in the first weeks of September 2001. Reading the news and watching videos of the Twin Towers, few of us knew that Roger Cliffe passed way, after suffering a heart attack while riding his bike. While some people knew him as Dr. Cliffe, because he taught technology classes at Northern Illinois University, many of us knew Roger as a prolific author of woodworking books (Table Saw Techniques, Radial Arm Saw Basics, The Shaper Handbook, etc. ), and as an extremely approachable woodworking instructor. Read the full article…

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