Posts tagged with “Tips”

Finding the Right Angle

Co-written by Mike Sloggatt

Around 2,500 years ago, a Greek philosopher we all met in high school named Pythagoras discovered a theorem that can make life easy for carpenters and contractors—if we just knew how to use it, and how to find right angles!

Most of us remember our ABC’s from high school, and we remember the Pythagorean Theorem, too, which applies to any 90-degree triangle. Read the full article…

Detail Sanding Techniques

The standard scarf joint. Every carpenter is expected to make this field splice to join two lengths of molding. How often does the joint match perfectly? Any number of variables can affect the quality of the splice: Imperfections in the millwork, waves in the wall framing, taping compound buildup, inaccurate miter saw setup… Read the full article…

Problem-free Prefit Doors

I’ve been hanging doors for over thirty-five years, and writing about it for nearly twenty-five. For many years, I approached door installs differently every time (like most carpenters). After all, there are so many steps, and there is a lot you need to watch for! It’s tough to do it the same way every time. But a door is a door is a door. Which means unless you’re doing exactly the same thing every time you install one, you’re wasting valuable energy and time. Read the full article…

Problem-free Prefit Doors – Toolbox

A door is a door is a door. And although doors might differ in construction or design, you should be doing the exact same thing every time you install one. Read the full article…

Scribing Stair Skirt Boards Revisited

When I first read Norm’s article on skirt scribing, four thoughts immediately came to mind:

1) He and I both learned the technique from the same instructor, Don Zepp.
2) Norm’s explanation of the process was spot on.
3) I had a bunch of photos of a skirt board I had installed that I should share with others.
4) I felt exactly like Norm did: Don Zepp was absolutely the best instructor I’ve ever had the good fortune of learning from. Read the full article…

If you’re routing a curved surface, or if you have to follow a curved template and you’re using a router bit with no guide bearing, then you need to use an overhead pin router. I had to make some curved gooseneck rails for an old house; several of the existing rails had rotted away. The goosenecks would have to match the profile of the rail—they all needed to be routed, and I didn’t own an overhead pin router. Read the full article…

Track Saw Tutorial: Processing Sheet Goods

I recently worked on a video series for Festool in which I covered examples of how you might use a Festool track saw in a shop or on the jobsite. I typically work out of a small garage-based shop, and yet I’m able to process sheet goods in a one-person operation with limited space—something that wouldn’t be nearly as easy with a table saw. Read the full article…

Sharpening Secrets

Sharpening tools properly must be one of the hardest lessons to learn in carpentry. And yet the path to success is simple. Unless you’re a tool junkie, or my friend Gary Katz, it doesn’t require fancy or expensive equipment. Read the full article…

Circular Based Arches – Part 3: Four-Centered Arches

Four-centered arches are most often found in Victorian homes for a simple reason: Victorian architecture is a blend of neo-classical styles and Gothic designs. And there is no better example of Gothic revival architecture than a four-centered arch. Read the full article…

There’s a new toggle clamp in town, and it’s a huge winner. I’ve been using De-Staco toggle clamps for years! And it’s been a real love/hate relationship. I’ve loved them for holding pieces securely in a jig or fixture when nothing else will work. But I’ve hated them because they’re so difficult to adjust. Read the full article…

Miter Angles and Miter Saws

Miter saw gauges confuse a lot of finish carpenters for one simple reason—they aren’t designed for finish carpentry, they’re designed for framing and stairs. Let me show you what I mean. Read the full article…

Miter Angles and Miter Saws – Toolbox

Miter saw gauges confuse a lot of finish carpenters for one simple reason—they aren’t designed for finish carpentry, they’re designed for framing and stairs. Let me show you what I mean. Read the full article…

Van Racking

Van racking is basically just trim carpentry with loads of scribes, using elements of North American face frame construction and European box systems of cabinet making. But it’s also an exercise in extreme organization. Getting it right can save you time and energy on the jobsite—both of which lead to increased productivity and profits. Read the full article…