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New & Cool

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Stabila R-Beam Levels

For my first ten or fifteen years in carpentry, Stabila levels were mythical. Most of the time, you couldn’t even buy one, even if you could afford the hefty price tag. There just weren’t many around—only the most discriminating stores sold them, and they were always in short supply. Today you can buy a Stabila level at every professional tool store and lumber dealer. Read the full article…

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The DWS780: DeWalt’s New 12-in. Slider

As carpenters, we rely on our miter saws to help us do fast, accurate work. Our cut stations are the heart of our jobsite setups. It comes as no surprise that we expect a lot out of these tools—we are continually on the lookout for a saw that is precisely calibrated, feels natural, operates strong and smooth, offers large cutting capacity, and doesn’t weigh a ton. No single saw satisfies these criteria perfectly, and the new DWS780 is no exception. Read the full article…

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Lamello Top 21 Review

Biscuit joinery at its best!

Most woodworkers are familiar with biscuit joinery. But what they might not know is that there are really only two types of biscuit cutters: the Lamello, and all the rest. I know biscuits—I’ve been using them to assemble panels for over twenty years. And after putting Lamello’s new Top 21 machine to the test, I realized I could never go back to using another manufacturer’s. If you have an appreciation for stepping up your game in fine joinery, then read on. Keep in mind, however, that this tool comes with a hefty price tag. I’ll tell you why it’s worth it. Read the full article…

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Laying Out Wainscoting with BuildCalc

I’ve been using construction calculators for quite some time. They are an indispensable tool for all kinds of layout work; from squaring up foundations, calculating materials, rafter layout, right on through to finish work. When I start any wainscoting job, I reach for a calculator before I even think about cutting any wood. A few minutes crunching numbers saves time and helps me avoid costly mistakes with expensive material. Read the full article…

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Modified Bosch T4B Gravity-Rise Miter Stand

In Jesper Cook’s recent article, “Miter Angles and Miter Saws,” Cook points out that miter saws aren’t designed for finish carpenters. I believe the same can be said for miter saw stands.

There have been countless articles, reviews and tips written and videoed on the ideal miter saw stand (for example: Lamar Horton’s “Wooden Miter Saw Stand” and Gary Katz’s “Make a Miter Saw Work Station“). And while not everyone agrees on what’s “perfect,” most trim carpenters would agree that continuous material support is critical. Read the full article…

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Building Doors the Easy Way: The Festool Domino XL

I had a set of custom doors to build from scratch and boy was the timing right. Festool picked me as one of the few carpenters to get a Domino XL for user evaluation. And I took full advantage of the opportunity, one that I felt was both a privilege and a responsibility. I carefully documented the process for my peers on THISisCarpentry. Maybe another contributor will follow up with a different angle on this awesome second generation tool. Read the full article…

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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…

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Portable Table Saws: Bosch or Dewalt?

Most carpenters these days are very concerned about space. Whether we are trying to cram all of our tools into the back of a pickup, into a small garage/shop, or onto a cramped jobsite, most of us are all-too-aware that the old adage “bigger is better” is not always true. How many times have we been on a job only to wish we had brought that one tool that was left behind due to lack of space? Read the full article…

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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…

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