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I was sitting in my dining room, Scotch in hand, gazing at the liquor cabinet I had recently completed. I designed it to replace a spindly kitchen side table that shuddered under the weight of whisky and wine bottles.

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I have been relying on a combination blade to handle all the cutting I do on my table saw—crosscuts and rips in solid wood, plus sawing plywood.

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I recently blued the edge of a chisel, mainly because I was in a hurry when trying to grind past a small chip.

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Unless you’re deep into the PGA, if you bring up the name tigerwood, you’re probably talking about gonçalo alves, a tropical hardwood known for its durability and striped appearance. 

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Angle grinders are great for quickly removing wood or metal, but the process typically involves a cloud of sawdust or sparks, and the results are often fairly rough. 

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I started using HomeRight’s Finish Max HVLP (high volume, low pressure) sprayer about a year ago and am happy to report that the little gun is still getting the job done. Thanks to my shop time with it, I got hooked on the speed and quality of HVLP.

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The unusual thing about this particular box is that it’s turned from a hybrid blank. Resin casting, a means of molding acrylic material into blanks for turning, has become very popular in recent years and hybrid blanks are a big part of the trend. “Hybrid” is a term coined for combining wood and resin together to create beautiful and unique designs. 

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Ready for action. The turned spindles in traditional-style rockers inspired the hole-and-slot treatment used to embellish the sides and back of this kid-sized version.

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It’s a tradition among Japanese woodworkers to build a box for their prized hand tools to keep them secure and close at hand. Although these utilitarian boxes tend toward very basic joinery, many feature a simple, but ingenious wedge-locking mechanism to secure the lid. Intrigued by this austere yet functional design, I set out to construct a scaled-down, modified version of these traditional boxes to house any small collection of keepsakes.

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Sometimes a small project is just the thing to fill up a little bit of shop time. It’s even better when you get the opportunity to transform some scrap stock into a nice gift or an addition to your home. This serving tray scores well on both counts. Folding legs enable the tray to sit flat on a table or have an elevated stance, as shown above. The tray’s laminate-covered bottom can easily endure spills and hot plates. And despite the small size of this project, it contains some nice joinery challenges: corners made with finger joints, and template-routed handles and curves. 

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