AsaCAsa Christiana, Newtown, CT, US
Special Projects Editor, Fine Woodworking magazine
Technology accelerates the building process, and makes new forms possible, but how much is too much? Is handmade still better than machine-made?
I've met a lot of pro woodworkers during my 15 years at FWW, enough to know that is it not an easy way to make a living. Changing your mentality from hobbyist to a pro is the key. This guide, from a successful furniture maker in the Pacific Northwest, is one of the best I've read.
A small tool company is offering a simple setup tool that will revolutionize tablesaw joinery of all kinds--from grooves and dadoes to drawer joinery. And it couldn't be easier to use.
Fine Woodworking superfan, Manual Chaos Urquiza, recently invited FWW contributing editor Michael Fortune to teach a weekend workshop in his hometown of Querétaro, Mexico. More than a dozen local woodworking fans attended, and had a blast learning how to bend wood.
Lots of folks use threaded leveling feet on the bottom of shop stands and shop furniture, but Michael Fortune has figured out a simple way to make them even more convenient.
The best ideas are often the simplest, like this push stick for the bandsaw, from the ingenious Tim Rousseau.
Furniture master Tim Rousseau loves Old Brown Glue, a liquid form of hide glue, and has found the perfect way to keep at just the right temperature for spreading.
I recently used some basic carpentry skills to help out the summer camps that gave so much to me as a young person. There are lots of opportunities like this around the country.
The Wharton Esherick Museum, just outside Philadelphia, preserves the amazing house and studio of this forefather of the studio furniture movement, just as he left them when he died in 1970. For furnituremakers, it is a must see.
Two students at the Chippendale International School of Furniture, in East Lothian, Scotland, beautifully restored a 1940s pine table that they rescued from the top of a bonfire.
Karl Hale builds "kinetic sculptures," beautiful works of wood that combine an artists's eye with an engineer's mechanical genius. This one, called "One Eternal Round," makes marbles climb, fly, and follow labyrinthine tracks in an endless dance.
The Wood Culture Tour has visited four continents to show how wood is a profound part of every culture in the world. This video visits a family of marionette makers and puppeteers in Slovakia.
W. Patrick Edwards, winner of SAPFM's 2014 Cartouche Award for lifetime achievement, has been recreating centuries-old techniques at his San Diego shop for more than 30 years now. The shop also contains his American School of French Marquetry, and is home to woodworking wonders that Edwards refuses to let us forget.
Each year the San Diego Fine Woodworkers Association draws over 300 pieces from around the U.S. to their annual show at the huge county fair. These pieces from the 2014 show are sure to inspire.
From storing brushes between coats to applying just the right amount of wax, these tips will make things easier.
Watch this video, and feel good about your craft
Not content to stick with store-bought finishes? Tell us about your home-brew.
Public TV-host Tommy MacDonald teams up with the Hardwood Forest Foundation to create a fun-to-watch video about everything trees do for us. Share this with all the kids you know.
This short video from a 30-person custom furniture shop, The Joinery, in Portland, OR, shows how industrial machinery can speed up fine furnituremaking. It's really cool to see their setup in action.
Over time I knew something was going wrong with my old chopsaw. First the automatic blade brake stopped working, then the motor wouldn't turn on sometimes, and then it quit altogether. I suspected that it was the motor's brushes, and I was right. Changing them turned out to be easy.
FWW author Craig Thibodeau used a photo-editing program to turn his daughter's face into a lovely marquetry panel.
Craftsman combines carving and trompe l'oiel painting to make a box of bills that could fool the sharpest eye. Check out the step-by-step photos.
The Chippendale International School, near Edinburgh, Scotland, offers an intensive 30-week program, with a very progressive focus.
Patron Mushamuka makes guitars in Dzaleka Refugee Camp, Malawi, Africa. He proves that woodworking is much more about desire and creativity than it is about tools.
This pair of stacking tansu cabinets are designed to be his and hers.
I worked on a set of four stacking tansu dressers for over a year, and paid about $500 for authentic Japanese hardware, so the last thing I wanted to do was screw up right at the end.
Texas furniture is not all mesquite and cactus flowers. A vibrant annual exhibit in Kerrville rivals the best furniture shows in the U.S., boasting rich variety and a very high level of execution.
Shellac is the wonder finish. Dries quick, sands beautifully, looks even better, comes in a variety of tones, and works as a sealer under anything else, too.
The second annual FWW Live conference took the fun, inspiration and camaraderie to a new level.
Steel City rolled out a "Blue Line" of cost-saving benchtop tools, planning to add more models soon. Tools like these make woodworking accessible to almost anyone, regardless of cash or space.
SuperMax's new 25-50 open-sided drum sander is the widest on the market, with enough muscle to support a 49-in.-wide slab up to 4 in. thick, and enough finesse to sand 1/32-in.-thick veneers.
A group of chemists have developed a new cyano-acrylate glue that sets up slower, for woodworking, but promises to change the craft.
If you are a big fan of shooting boards, used to precisely fit parts, you'll like Veritas' big shooting plane, engineered for the job.
Laguna's new 14-in. bandsaw looks to be a perfect blend of capacity, features, and price for most woodworkers. And they've upgraded their hybrid tablesaw to hit that same target.
If you only occasionally need a shelf-pin drilling jig, but are serious about your furniture, you can not beat Bench Dog's $20 system.
Rikon is about to roll out a big-capacity bandsaw and a segmented-cutterhead jointer-planer at market-leading prices.
Router tables that bolt onto the edge of your tablesaw are nothing new, but Excalibur's cast-iron version makes no compromises.
FWW gives an award each year at the prestigious Design in Wood show, which runs for a full month at the huge San Diego County Fair. This year's award went to a young woodworker who sdhows real promise.
Nick Offerman gives a group of up-and-coming woodworkers a home in his LA shop, and OffermanWoodshop.com gives them a way to support themselves. There is something here for everyone.
The first-ever FWW Live Buildoff, scheduled for Friday night (Aug. 9) at the second annual FWW Live event, in New Haven, Conn., is open to all show-goers, and will feature awards and prizes.
Fitting five drawers recently, planing each one for smooth action and perfect gaps, I realized that this is my favorite woodworking moment.
The first-ever Fine Woodworking Live was a roaring success, and we are back for round two, with an even-better venue and lots of upgrades. The website is up and taking registrations.
I like sliding doors and lids, partly because I get to make this nice handle in one simple step on the tablesaw.
We've got a position open on the FWW staff. It's perfect for a woodworking fanatic with writing experience.
Talented FWW editor Mike Pekovich will teach two classes in late July at Marc Adams School of Woodworking
Legendary North Bennet teacher Will Neptune wins the most prestigious award for period furniture making.
The Williamsburg cabinetmakers show a simple way to make stopped dadoes, with just a chisel and marking gauge.
At Colonial Williamsburg's annual conference, Working Wood in the 18th Century, this year's theme is "Small Things Considered." FWW is back again to lend support and bring you the highlights.
I used to hate hand sanding, until I discovered the Preppin Weapon, the ultimate sanding block, a steal at $20.
Trompe l'oeil is French for "fool the eye," and that is exactly what FWW author Craig Thibodeau has done with his best piece to date, an Art Deco-style table with incredible marquetry and secret compartments.
Marc Adams models his school on the Disney philosophy of "plussing," or taking each new effort higher than the last. He is just completing an amazing bed that comes straight out of "Beauty and the Beast."
FWW editor Asa Christiana and FWW longtime author Chris Becksvoort are slated to appear on this week's episode of Parks & Recreation, a Thursday-night sitcom on NBC. To find out how this crazy thing happened, read on.
While I was up in Ottawa visiting Lee Valley, I got a chance to see the various design stages of a new Veritas tool, the pipe vise
You always want to plane parts before joining them, but sometimes you need to do serious planing on the outside of an assembled case or drawer. Here's how to do it.
When last we spoke to SawStop inventor and owner Stephen Gass, he promised a jobsite version of the copany's finger-saving saw at IWF 2012. But the product was a no-show, delayed a year, said a company spokesman.
I know I'm supposed to be reporting on new tools at IWF 2012, but I can't help but write a short ode to one of my all-time favorite tools, which I found sitting at the front of the JDS booth, where...
They are calling it "Silent Power," rolling it out on their entire line of Felder and Hammer machines. The new cutterhead design promises to be 50% quieter yet use less power, and leave zero tracks.
Kreg recently became th sole distributor for Triton power tools, allowing Kreg to roll out an innovative line of power tools to go with their accessories.
While others race to fill out their product lines with me-too products, Bosch watches and waits. Their new pin nailer is a good example. Seeing a hole in the marketplace, between expensive...
Rockler launched more product innovations than any other manufacturer at IWF, and our faves are all under $25!
The heart of the event was the content, more than a dozen power-packed seminars and demos, full of practical tips and techniques designed to take your woodworking to the next level.
We had lots of laughs at FWW Live, from Nick Offerman's original woodworking songs to game night to a risky design seminar, titled, "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly."
Our most passionate readers and popular authors descended on lovely New Paltz, NY, for Fine Woodworking's first-ever conference. I left inspired and informed, with a few hundred new friends.
Toronto guitar and music maker Grit Laskin just received one of his country's highest honors for citizenship. All woodworkers will find his life and work deeply inspiring.
Our random drawing netted us a longtime pro cabinetmaker from Manhattan, Kansas. He'll be among friends at Fine Woodworking Live.
Some have created a false divide between hand tools and power tools. The best woodworkers I know simply pick the best tool for the task at hand. It's the same thing the old masters did.
Just post a comment to win a pass to Fine Woodworking Live. You'll get every power-packed class and demo, plus the special Saturday-night banquet with Nick Offerman!
This is my attempt at a Nakashima-style table. I find most of his designs to be timeless.
I recently found a way to quickly make and install square pegs that transition to a round body, for the best combination of strength and good looks
My recent dumb comments on our podcast, Shop Talk Live, led me to a new understanding of the online community and what it means to be a good citizen there
I went on one of Adam Carolla's hugely popular podcasts last week in Los Angeles, and he dedicated the whole episode to the joy of woodworking. Check it out, unless you mind coarse language and occasionally blue material!
I was a judge at the Arizona Association of Fine Woodworkers 8th annual Excellence in Woodworking show in February. Check out these great pieces and get inspired.
At Fine Woodworking Live, this summer in New Paltz, NY, you'll get to learn from and swap stories with many of our star authors, none brighter than Michael Fortune, of Toronto, Canada.
Don't take the FWW projects, in print or online, at face value. I just finished two bow-arm Morris chairs, from issue 205, and put a Mackintosh twist on them.
It has been a long time coming, but our first-ever summer conference is sure to be a great experience for any woodworker, and one of many to come, we hope. Here's the story of how it came about.
Sun City West, a massive active-retirement community in the Phoenix area, has a 7,000-sq-ft. community woodworking shop, with 800 members and every bit of equipment a happy woodworker could want! At 45, I've got 10 years to wait...
This rock-solid sawhorse folds and stows away in a sliver of space, and you can make it from hardwood scraps and hardware-store hinges.
Another great day at Williamsburg's "Working Wood in the 18th Century" conference, filled with entertaining woodworking demos and tons of tips and inspiration to carry home.
The program kicked off in earnest today with the woodworking presentations. First up was Williamsburg's own Kaare Loftheim, reproducing a bureau table made in 1754 by Williamsburg...
Hundreds of woodworkers made their way to Colonial Williamsburg's 14th annual conference on "Woodworking in the 18th Century." This is my Day One report, with others to follow.
If you are a fan of hand tools or period furniture, you should check out "Working Wood in the 18th Century" at Colonial Willimasburg. This January's conference is almost sold out, so you'll have to move fast to grab a seat.
Here's a great gift for any friend with an iPad or other tablet computer, and you can make 4 of them in an hour or so, not counting finishing.
The answer is simple: You get more, more content, and more quality.
Is this the world's fastest tenon? Is this technique safe enough for the pages of Fine Woodworking magazine?
Despite an outcry among woodworkers across the country over a verdict to pay a Massachusetts flooring installer $1.5 after negligence resulted in a tablesaw injury, the verdict still stands.
SawStop inventor Steve Gass answers FWW's pointed questions the new tablesaw safety standard proposed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Hammer is giving away a high-end jointer/planer. Sign up on Facebook.
This is not fine woodworking by any means, but it is a very easy way to build a fort, if you have some forested land on your property.
Prizes were awarded last night in Rockport, Maine, at the opening of "Regeneration: Fine Woodworkers Under 30," a juried exhibition co-sponsored by the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship and Fine Woodworking magazine, a special e
True watershed moments don't come along very often in woodworking, and there are two going on right now: segmented cutterheads, and a revolution in dust collection.
My shop is heated and insulated and no cars are allowed.
I love Oneida's Dust Deputy. It keeps my shop-vac filter clean and the suction super-strong. But bolted to the side of my vac, it is an awkward appendage. I fixed that problem for good with this simple shopmade cart that marries the two into one nimble unit.
As you might imagine, the prolonged recession has been a nightmare for manufacturers of stationary machines. Buyouts have consolidated the industry, with Black & Decker/DeWalt buying...
A drum sander solution for smaller pro shops.
Are American woodworkers finally ready for European sliding tablesaws?
The brainiacs at Rockler have been hard at work rolling out a variety of new tool and hardware ideas.
Rockler downsizes the traditional router table and produces a device that's easy to transport and use.
Bosch unveils a new sander specially designed for "good vibrations."
Seems simple enough: take your most popular features and combine them in one tool.
Exclusive details on Festool's latest drill.
Each year the San Diego Fine Woodworkers Association holds its annual show at the San Diego County Fair in Del Mar, Calif., drawing as many as 400 pieces from all around the U.S. This year was another wonderful outpouring of woodworking passion and talent.
Nick Offerman, who plays the stodgy Ron Swanson on NBC's hit comedy, Parks & Rec, is a real-deal woodworker. I traveled this week to his roomy shop in LA to shoot an article about the clever router jig Nick developed to level the big slabs he uses in his Nakashima-style tables. After a 20 year-acting career, he remains a humble guy who would rather be woodworking.
We conceived Furniture Lab to find out where furniture-making is going, instead of the usual focus on where it has been.
Rockwell's new Bladerunner can make all types of cuts, from curves to rips and crosscut, for under $180
The Hollow Chair is another piece of genius from one of my favorite furnituremakers
A new competition, Regeneration, has attracted 150 woodworkers under 30, and your vote will determine "The People's Choice," and earn that young craftsman a valuable set of tools.
New Orleans' Green Project hosts an up-and-coming furniture contest every year, with every pieces made from reclaimed and salvaged materials. The results are beautiful
For those of you who didn't see the original broadcast, we finally have a clip of my appearance (brief though it was) on the Martha Stewart Show
Fine Woodworking is co-sponsoring a special gallery show at The Center for Furniture Craftsmanship. The deadline to send in photos is April 1, and there are huge prizes.
On Day 3 of "Working Wood in the 18th Century" Phil Lowe took the stage, and stole the spotlight.
On Day 3 of "Working Wood in the 18th Century," the presenters worked on three separate pieces, each showing the influence of Oriental imports on native furniture makers of the time.
Andrew Hunter continued his exploration of Asian tools and techniques with a mind-blowing three-way miter that he cuts surprisingly simply with a mix of power and hand tools.
FWW co-sponsors a wonderful event,"Working Wood in the 18th Century," every year at Colonial Williamsburg. The presenters started bending and cutting wood right away this year.
The Hardwood Manufacturers Association has a free, easy-to-use wood selector online, with all the info a woodworker needs, including working properties, design ideas, and images of each wood with various finishes on it.
FWW contributor Paul Schurch's veneering skills occasionally bear strange fruit, in this case a strange vegetable. Just as planned, his giant veneer turnip caught the desert wind at the annual Burning Man festival and spun like a top. Then Schurch sacrificed it to the gods in true Burning Man tradition.
I attended a recent seminar with famed chairmaker Brian Boggs, where he unveiled the Boggs Collective, a new business model designed to be "nothing less than an incubator for genius," he said.
This was my second time judging the Texas Furniture Makers Show, and the work keeps getting better and better. Click here to be inspired
There are a seemingly endless array of workbenches designed for hand-tool use, but we can't find a bench designed for folks who would rather plug in a power tool than push a handplane. Help us design one.
We caught up with two of the guys behind Custommade.com, to talk about what they do, how they started, and their new partnership with Fine Woodworking to bring business advice to woodworkers interested in selling their work.
Once again at IWF, the Design Emphasis show drew crowds with top examples of student work from around the U.S.
Porter-Cable's QuikJig is a thoughtfully engineered pocket-screw jig, at a surprisingly low price. It makes the process super quick and repeatable.
Porter-Cable is offering a 12v lithium ion drill/impact driver combo for $139. I can't imagine much in a woodshop that these tools won't handle.
DeWalt's new trim router comes with a plunge base with built-in lights for inlay work. There is nothing like it on the market.
Veritas' new quick-release tail vise can be attached to any workbench.
Freud's popular Premier Fusion tablesaw blade is now available in a thin-kerf version for saws under 3 hp.
New router-table systems from Woodpecker and Bench Dog bring convenience closer than ever to a full-fledged shaper.
I used this garden tote project to introduce my daughter to woodworking, but it is a good first project for anyone young or old. Fill it with gardening tools, and it makes a great gift, too.
Check out this video on transforming, space-saving furniture from Italy. This is not your dad's Murphy bed.
This innovative workbench from FWW in 2009 is worth another look. It is simply two long boxes and two sawhorses, but it can do everything the fanciest Scandinavian bench can do, plus it stacks and stores in a corner of your shop.
The recent Furniture Society Conference was an inspiring event, but membership is down, and the Society is suffering an identity crisis. What should they do next?
In a workshop at the recent Furniture Society Conference in Cambridge, Mass., Thomas Lie-Nielsen explained the surprisingly informal way he chooses what to make next
His cartoony, trick-the-eye furniture isn't for everyone, but there's no doubting John Cederquist's talent. His techniques are cool, too.
One of Garry Bennett's iconic trestle tables will be auctioned off this weekend at the Furniture Society Conference in Boston
The 2010 Design in Wood show at the San Diego County Fair contains the most amazing piece of wood I've ever seen.
I recently looked back at the winding path that led me to the best job of my life: being the editor of Fine Woodworking.
New tablesaw technology promises to stop kickback in its tracks.
I'll be teaching a weekend workshop at Marc Adams school in October for woodworkers who want to have their techniques and projects published. We'll do two hands-on workshops, one to improve your writing skills, and one to show everyone how to shoot fantastic pictures of their work using any digital camera.
A powerful essay, defending the craftsman's deep and profound knowledge of the world, is just one of the treasures I found in an 1883 issue of Amateur Mechanics magazine (free on Google Books). It's amazing how little has changed in our craft.
A few year's ago on his PBS show, the Woodright built the same Jefferson bookstand he recently demonstrated at Colonial Willamburg's Working Wood in the 18th Century conference, and you can watch that TV episode for free.
The furniture of Jefferson's Monticello is the topic of this year's Working Wood in the 18th Century conference, co-sponsored by Fine Woodworking and Colonial Williamsburg. Jefferson himself (in the person of Williamsburg's Bill Barker) showed up often at the show, to answer questions about Jefferson's life, work, and philosophy.
While Maloof and Krenov certainly created the template for the modern studio furnituremaker, I think they they also shared an furniture style: an offshoot of Danish Modern. And recent makers have taken up that mantle.
We get lots of letters at FWW, but some stay with us.
Still struggling with dull hand tools? This free video, from the Getting Started in Woodworking series, shows the fastest and most foolproof way to get your tools razor sharp.
You'll only need a circular saw and a cordless drill to make this simple but rock-solid workbench, complete with a real woodworking vise.
By a strange coincidence, FWW has three Krenov-inspired articles in the current issue. Together they form a fitting tribute to one of modern's woodworking's great luminaries, who passed away yesterday, just after we went to press.
Fine Woodworking's generous authors present some of their finest designs in the magazine, and you can make as many as you want for your own home, or as a gift. But a serious ethical question arises if you plan to make money off a design in the magazine.
AWFS calls its design contest Fresh Wood, and it is designed to showcase the work of talented young high-school and post-secondary students. This year's showing was very inspiring.
If you've been in the market for a sliding tablesaw or a small cyclone dust collector, you might want to wait a few months for the latest Grizzly products and save some serious cash
Laguna offers a powerful, user-friendly cyclone for under $2,000.
All the kings of the cordless category now offer much more compact 18-volt cordless batteries, based on Lithium-Ion technology, but DeWalt says it is the first to make its new batteries fit its older tools, without compromising performance in some way.
In the why-didn't-someone-think-of-this-before category, Rockler rolled out the "bench cookie," a simple hockey-puck-shaped disc that grips and elevates projects on the bench. At $12 for a set of four, it seems like an instant classic.
Accu-Head makes it easy to get a spiral or helical cutterhead in your planer or jointer.
Reacting to customer feedback, Delta has built full-size power, mass, and features into its new mid-sized lathes.
The SawStop Professional Cabinet Saw does almost everything its big brother does, with better dust collection and a much-lower price. It is aimed squarely at small-shop pros and serious hobbyists.
The Furniture Society gave its highest honor, the Award of Distinction, this year to Vladimir Kagan, who began as a studio furniture maker but converted his pieces into commercial designs, and made his name as a factory furniture designer. But he never lost his connection to the woodshop and to working for individual clients.
One of my favorite demos at last week's Furniture Society Conference was "Concept to Market," in which a team of craftmen turned a nice design into a prototype for manufacturing.
Although the focus of this year's Furniture Society Conference was the industrial furniture-making, there still were plenty of nuggets for small-shop woodworkers, and even more for aspiring pros.
The San Diego Fine Woodworkers Association put on another great woodworking expo at the Del Mar County Fairgrounds this year.
I dialed Sam Maloof’s number timidly in 2005, just another writer calling for a piece of an icon. My idea was to do a twist on the typical Maloof homage, asking him instead to offer advice to...
Editor Asa Christiana interviews Maloof in 2005 on the subject of design. We weren't able to fit this material in the article in issue #179, but these thoughtful answers will be illuminating for fans of Maloof's work.
Take our poll about which benchtop tools you have and use, and tell us how you get the most out of them.
Porter-Cable, Hitachi, and Makita are offering impact drivers and drill-drivers that share batteries
Lon Schleining's workbench published in a 2003 issue of Fine Woodworking has proven popular. Share photos of your Schleining-inspired bench and view others in the Readers Gallery.
Discussion of recent quote by Tom Loeser in American Craft magazine
Lightweight work gloves are surprisingly handy in the shop
Japanese paper is beautiful and dirt-simple to apply
Before last week I had never set foot in Texas, at least not outside the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport. So I was looking forward to a trip to San Antonio and the nearby "Hill Country" to judge a...
Defining studio furniture? Maybe not. Read a review of this new book, which celebrates the studio furniture collection at the Smithsonian's Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C.
This turned out to be an extremely difficult chair to build, requiring some serious jigs for the steambent parts. The legs bend in two directions, and the back slats are bent progressively to fit the...
The cases are nicely figured cherry plywood, and the face frames and moldings are solid cherry. To find out how to build one like it, go to FWW 166...
Kitchen island in butternut
The jointer is essential for milling rough lumber but its spinning cutterhead will chew up your fingers if you ignore safety precautions. Fine Woodworking magazine editor Asa Christiana shares basic...
Workshop noise can wreak havoc on your ears. Learn how to keep your hearing safe from the roar of shop machines with tips from magazine editor Asa Christiana. For more on hearing protection, read...
The tablesaw is an essential piece of shop machinery, but it can also be dangerous. Learn how keep your fingers safe and avoid kickback with a short video lesson from magazine editor Asa...
Woodworking machines cough up fine dust that is harmful to your lungs so it’s essential to develop a game-plan for dust control. Magazine editor Asa Christiana shares simple strategies for...
Safety glasses are imperative in woodworking. In this short video, magazine editor Asa Christiana explains how to protect your eyes from flying woodchips and dust.