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Wooden Miter Saw Stand

I am a cabinet maker. I own and operate a small shop. I do it all, from making the sale to installing the pulls. Crown molding is standard on all my cabinets, unless the client wants something different. So on 99% of my installs there is crown molding involved. I used to use a small 10-in. single bevel miter saw that worked just fine for most of the crown I needed to install. Occasionally, I would run into something that was too big for my saw to cut, but I was always able to find a way to “make do.” Sound familiar? Read the full article…

The Benefits of a Work Van

Finish carpenters carry a lot of tools. In fact, we carry more tools than any other trade I know, maybe more than any two combined. Sure, plumbers carry a lot of weight, but that’s mostly pipe. We carry tools: table saws, table saw stands, outfeed tables, miter saws, miter saw stands, work tables, nail guns (at least four), drills (at least four), routers (at least four), planers, grinders, sanders, circular saws, track saws, compressors, air hoses, extension cords—and that’s just the big stuff. Then there’s the nails, screws, glue, sand paper…the list goes on and on.

You’d think that after 15 years in this business I’d hate tools, but I love them. The problem is, how to get them to the job, and how to store them so I can find them! Read the full article…

What I Learned At Festool Cabinet Training Class

I recently had the honor of being invited to participate in Festool’s cabinet-making class at their corporate headquarters in Lebanon, Indiana. The class was two full days of solid training…and it was a lot of fun. They have a complete training room set up there, stocked full of tools—more than a person could dream of having in their own shop. In fact, when the class was over, I didn’t want to leave and go home. They had to make me. Read the full article…

Make a Miter Saw Work Station: Part 1

No matter how much or how little you invest in a miter saw, the quality and enjoyment of your work will depend more on your saw stand than on the miter saw itself.

A miter saw stand is more than just a place to set your saw—it’s a work station.

Manufactured stands are available that are easy to set up, transport, and store, but if you’re working at your home, in a couple hours, with $50 or $60 in material, you can make your own. In this chapter, I’ll show you how. Read the full article…

Building a Chinese Chippendale Balustrade

Once you figure out the math, the rest is just glue and sawdust.

“You want what?” You’re kidding!”

That’s what I thought when some very good clients asked me to build a railing for a second floor deck above a living space. I hesitated — I normally do interior finish work, not decks.

But when they said they were thinking of a Chinese Chippendale balustrade, they got my attention. In general terms I knew what Chinese Chippendale design was — I’d just never built anything with the geometric fretwork patterns that mark that style. It’s beautiful stuff. Read the full article…

The Curtis Mitertite

Have you ever said to yourself, “How’d they do that??” I have. Lots of times. And when I found a mysterious casing on a recent job, I said it again. This time, though, it took a little longer than a day or two to figure out how they did it.

I was in the midst of trimming out a recent remodel when one of the guys described a miter joint he’d noticed while doing the demo work. What he described sounded more like a Japanese temple building joint than the conventional miter joint found in your typical American house. I was intrigued. When he found a sample of the joint and showed it to me, I was amazed. Read the full article…

Solving Porch Problems

Start with the Finish and Work Back to the Rough

A lot of carpenters scratch their heads every time they finish framing a porch and start on the stairs. There are so many ways to frame stairs on a porch that it’s hard to make a logical choice, let alone use the same technique twice. That’s why, to work on this story, we gathered together a group of carpenters, all JLC authors: Mike Sloggatt, Frank Caputo, Jed Dixon, Carl Hagstrom, Tom Brewer, and Greg DiBernardo all contributed to this article. Together we worked out a simple system for installing stringers, so you won’t have to scratch your head the next time you start on the stairs. Read the full article…