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Woodworking Videos

Using a Doweling Jig

I love it when there are pleasant surprises in woodworking. Thanks to a few of our subscribers who have asked about using doweling jigs after a number of videos we released on using pocket hole jigs. Pocket hole jigs are great but, but there are alternatives. Not everyone loves pocket hole technology ... for a few reasons: 
1) it leaves visible holes (that can often be placed in the back or underside of the build, or they can be "plugged")
2) on rare occasion the screws will crack the wood
3) it can be difficult to match the plugs colors to the main wood.
There are also advantages to pocket holes, like ... you can take the project apart to repair, rebuild or re-use. The alternative to pocket hole technology is doweling, which has been around in one form or another for, well ... hundreds of years, and it works as well now as it did then.

There are 2 main advantages of doweling technology
1) joints can be completely hidden within the wood
2) the strength of the dowels is every bit equal or exceeding pocket hole or in many cases even mortise and tenon type technology.
I thought it was high time I got up to speed on doweling jigs.

As a bit of a newcomer to doweling technology, and after un-packaging my Dowelmax jig, I was very impressed by the quality of the jig. The number of well thought out accessories and add-on components was also impressive. It did take me a bit of practice to really understand how the jig worked but once I got on to it, with each joint I made, the jig continued to impress me ... what a pleasant surprise ...

Knife Making

Having a desire to make something and knowing how to go about it can be quite and experience. I have often looked at custom knives in awe and amazement with what can be done but have never ventured into the knife making world.

Recently I met someone who is an artist and craftsman when it comes to making knives and all you have to do is look at his work to see why. Peter Demmer is a Canadian knife maker who has brought his European Craftsman skills to the art of knife making. Peter makes all sorts of knives from custom Chef Carving Knives, to hunting, fishing and survival knives and even to everyday utility type knives, you can see more here www.terrierblades.com
Recently I invited myself to his workshop to make a video for our viewers on the art of custom knife making and Peter walked us through the entire process from beginning to end.

He started off by showing me how the shape of the steel is cut with a high-speed water jet tool, to create the basic shape of the blade and handle. The material he uses is special stainless steel that he purchase in large sheets. Once the basic shape of the knife is set out, the next step is to temper the steel which requires a special technique ...

Making Simple Wooden Storage Boxes

Making simple wooden boxes is easy and fun and you can make them  in no time. For someone starting off in woodworking it's a great way to get stated, and you end up with some cool little boxes to store things in, but don't forget to make plenty of them because when people see them they all want them because everyone has little items they need to store and keep together.
I happened to walk past a house construction a few weeks ago the they were just finishing up putting the roof on. In the driveway of the house was all the plywood off cuts from the roof, all sorts of different angles and sizes, but all construction grade 1/2 inch plywood. Not much anyone could do much with ... well, except a woodworker. I gathered up as much as I could carry with the idea in mind that these pieces would be perfect for making little wooden boxes.

I used the same principal for making them that I used in making the One Piece Box video from a couple of years ago but this time using the table saw. The only real trick is to make sure all your pieces are square and accurately cut, I did that by ....

Using a Router Freehand - Beginners #11

wood routerMost people who purchase wood routers, start off by purchasing just the router unit - no router table. A router by itself is a great tool, and is enhanced by matching it with a router table. Although the standalone router has somewhat limited use, for some, it is all they need and does a perfect, quick, easy to replicate job for them.
In this video and associated article we talk about using a standalone or freehand router unit, how to use it safely, how to set it up and what you can hope to achieve with it. In our case we will be using a Plunge Router, but a Fixed Base Router would have similar set up, with the exception of the depth setting. If you are looking for more Router Information you can also purchase Colin's One Hour Popular Woodworking Course "Router Basics" ... click here to check it out.

 

In order to make this quick and easy to understand we are going to try on put everything in point form so it is easier and quicker to read through. We would appreciate your feedback on how this works for you ....

Cold Bluing a Rifle Barrel

Cold Bluing a rifle barrel is not strictly a woodworking project, but since it relates to the whole aspect of gun restoration, and because we actually did cold blue the barrel, we are covering it here. Bluing is a process to help prevent rusting of exposed steel and is sometimes used on some woodworking tools as well.

We are of the belief that hot bluing is the best, at least in my experience, but it is also somewhat complicated and needs special equipment to do, OR you need to find someone who does this and again in my experience, it is not cheap.
The other thing that needs to be noted up front, is that I have seen some pretty crappy hot blued barrels and receiver plates, not because the bluing was all that bad, but because the preparation of the metal was poor. If the metal is not polished and cleaned properly it doesn't matter what kind of bluing you put on, the finished product will not look good.

To that end, we made sure that the barrel was extremely well sanded and prepared before we ever started the bluing process.

In our case we were using Outers Gun Blue Kit, a product we had never used before, so were quite interested to see how it performed, and we were ....

Re-Finishing a Gun Stock

gun stock refinishingOwners of rifles know that taking firearms back and forth to the target range and just general handling can be hard on guns, particularly wooden stocks. If the gun is old, it could have been finished with varnish, which over years can crackle and chip depending on conditions. In this article we will discuss the different aspects of refinishing a wooden rifle stock to restore the firearm to something close to it's original beauty.
Before you refinish or even handle any firearm, it is up to you to ensure you are working safely for yourself and for those around you.

The first thing to consider when refinishing a rifle stock is - should this rifle even be refinished? Some rifles can dramatically lose their value when the original finish is removed and replaced. If you are planning to go ahead with the refinishing, you will need to remove all the hardware from the rifle.


Once the hardware is removed, the first step is to remove the existing finish. This can be done with sandpaper, but is best started off with some sort of a remover if possible. A good paint and varnish remover should get the stock down to either the natural wood, or at least to a stained wood. At this point you will likely have removed most of the nasty marks on the stock with exception of those that are deep into the wood. The next step is ....