Dowels and splines

The boards have been chosen for grain and color, the edges are cut square, and I'm ready to glue them together. Wait. Don't you have to use dowels or splines to get a good joint Again, this is a question that's open to debate. It's usually said that dowels should be used for edge-to-edge joints. I personally don't ever use dowels for edge joints. It's difficult enough to get two opposing dowel holes aligned, much less a whole series of opposing holes down the length of every board. If the dowel...

An Interview With Frank Welles

When we were working on the article on oil finishes for Woodsmith No. 30, we got acquainted with Frank Welles, owner of Sutherland Welles, Ltd., a small company that sells tung oil finishes. It didn't take long to discover that Welles is a genuine eccentric. . . but one who knows oil finishing. About fifteen years ago, Welles became dissatisfied with traditional surface applied finishing techniques, and began to experiment with the penetrating oil finishes, especially tung oil. He quickly...

Country Classic

Drawer Divider Dado Jig

Have you ever noticed how dovetails are always hidden away on the corners of a drawer It's never seemed quite right to me that one of the strongest, and most asthetically pleasing joints used in woodworking is constantly kept from view. This hasn't always been the case. In the 18th and 19th centuries, country furniture often used dovetail joinery because of its strength and durability. Rather than spending a lot of time and effort hiding the joinery, craftsmen used the exposed dovetails as both...

Thumb screw wrench

Adjusting and tightening the thumb screw on the depth stop mechanism of my Sears floor model drill press has always been a real hassle. It never stays put. I've tried tightening the thumb screw with my fingers, but it always works loose from the vibration of the drill press. I've even tried keeping a pair of pliers near the drill press, but they always seem to disappear just when they're needed. Finally, I decided to make a small, specialized wrench to tighten the thumb screw. The wrench is...