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Cutting and Shaping Wood

  1. How to Set Up and Use a Spokeshave

    spokeshave shaping cabriole leg

    The spokeshave is a small plane blade that is mounted between two handles. It's the perfect tool for smoothing small areas and cutting round and curved shapes into your roughed-out workpieces. The spokeshave is often overlooked, but it is a tool every woodworker should have in their shop. Many designs exist, mostly flat bottomed, but there are also soles that curve from front to back, and even some that are concave from side to side for small diameter parts like wheel spokes. Like any tool of this sort, proper setup — most importantly, a very sharp iron — is essential for successful use.

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  2. How To Set Up and Use A Hand Plane

    smoothing a board with a hand plane

    Learn how to set up and use a hand plane. Hand planes have been used by woodworkers for hundreds of years. It can be challenging to smooth wood using a bench plane if you don't know how to adjust and properly work it across the wood surface. We have assembled three woodworking videos that cover everything you need to know about how to set up and use a hand plane.

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  3. What are the Different Types of Hand Planes?

    six bench planes

    The hand plane is a truly iconic woodworking tool. Hand planes feature a blade that is mounted in a wood or metal body. The blade is extended through the bottom of the body and the hand plane is pushed or pulled across a wood surface to remove thin layers of wood, leaving a smoother or reshaped surface. Hand planes are designated by number, the higher the number, the longer the sole of the plane. You can use a hand plane to do quality woodworking as well today as you could a hundred years ago.

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  4. Taper Cutting Techniques

    Making table leg taper cuts with tapering jig

    Taper cuts involve gradually reducing the width or thickness of a workpiece along its length to create a tapered shape.

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  5. Non-Through Cut Techniques

    Using a dado stack to cut joinery for a shelving unit

    Cutting wide channels partway through wood — often called non-through cuts — are useful for rock-solid joinery.

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  6. Cove Cutting Techniques

    Using push block and cove cutting jig to make cuts

    You use your table saw routinely for ripping and crosscutting wood in perfectly straight lines, guided by the fence or miter gauge. Tilt the blade or adjust the gauge, and you get straight bevels or mitered cuts.

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  7. Improving Table Saw Safety

    Tools and accessories used to improve table saw safety

    There is a wide variety of safety gear on the market that applies to table saw use. Push sticks of various types and styles protect fingers. Featherboards secure and guide stock. Personal protective equipment shields hearing, eyesight and lungs. But to be effective, these items need to be routinely used.

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  8. Common Table Saw Cuts

    Cutting a dovetail joint using a table saw

    The two most basic cuts that a table saw performs are rip cuts and crosscuts.

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