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Articles by Gary Katz

My New Home: Choosing a Contractor

Early last winter, after searching for more than two years, I finally found a new home in Oregon, outside of Medford, near the small town of Ruch. It took a long time to find this place because I couldn’t decide where I wanted to live and once I did, I had a hard time finding a place I could afford—a small, older home that hadn’t been remodeled. After the “big boom,” houses like that became pretty rare. Read the full article…

Casing Doors: Part 4

In Part 1 of this article, we reviewed the details of casing joinery and how to measure for new casing around a door frame. We also reviewed the necessary cut list, so that you can cut your casing right the first time. In Part 2, we moved on to the details of baseboard. We covered the best methods for installing casing and the use of hand-driven nails in Part 3. We’ll finish Chapter 2 by exploring methods for pre-assembly. Read the full article…

Casing Doors: Part 3

In Part 1 of this article, we reviewed the details of casing joinery and how to measure for new casing around a door frame. We also reviewed the necessary cut list, so that you can cut your casing right the first time. In Part 2, we moved on to the details of baseboard. Now, we’ll explore the best methods for installing casing, and the use of hand-driven nails—the preferred technique for working with soft wood. Read the full article…

The Sells Mansion – Columbus, OH

A few years ago, I was riding on a plane to Columbus for JLC LIVE. I was working away on my laptop, oblivious to the fellow sitting beside me who was reading every word I wrote over my shoulder. When he asked if I was a carpenter, I may have exhaled audibly. I was sure that he’d start telling me about his most recent remodel, the molding he installed in his dining room, or the screen door he hung on the back porch. I couldn’t have been further off the mark. Read the full article…

Kaizen Foam

An answer for organizing tools

I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of drawers in my shop that are crammed with tools. It’s difficult to find stuff when I need it, and every time I open a drawer, I’m always worried that my sharp tools are banging around, getting dull or chipped. Especially my new lathe tools. Read the full article…

DeWalt DW 745 10-in. Portable Table Saw

A second portable table saw with a riving knife!

Ever since portable table saws first appeared on jobsites, carpenters have been throwing away the guards, and for good reason: They’re difficult to remove and re-install; after they’ve been used for a few months, you can’t see through the plastic shroud, so it’s impossible to align the blade with a measurement mark; you have to remove the guard to make narrow rips or rabbets; and carpenters have always suspected that the splitters cause more kickback than they prevent. Those are a lot of reasons to set aside a saw guard. Read the full article…

Book Review: A Carpenter’s Life

Soon after Larry Haun published his book, A Carpenter’s Life, I overheard someone complaining that the book was ‘repetitious’. They said: “Larry just keeps saying the same stuff chapter after chapter—take care of the earth, don’t be greedy, care about your neighbors. I thought the book was going to be about carpentry!” I didn’t have the courage to speak up then, but I will now, from the safety of my desk. Yes, Larry Haun’s final, and perhaps most illuminating, book is repetitious—and it should be. Read the full article…

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