Shop Tips

Organizing Sandpaper

From Carol Leavy via E-mail I use small strips of sandpaper, and sometimes the grit of the sandpaper is not visible on the backs of the small pieces. A friend suggested I reinforce sandpaper with strips of duct tape, especially when I’m sanding in tight corners. I decided to color-code […]

by April 26, 2012 Shop Tips

Stropping Angle

From Don Ghee Huntington Station, N.Y. No matter how you strop, whether by hand or with power, the surface you are working is always face down and out of sight. This makes it difficult to see if you are holding the tool at the correct angle.  I use a Sharpie® […]

by April 24, 2012 Shop Tips

Folding Carving Bench: 3D Model

In Woodcarving Illustrated Spring 2012 (Issue 58), Jack Schmauch showed how to create a folding carving bench. Scroll down to find a 3D SketchUp Model that allows you to rotate the piece and see it from any angle. You MUST download the free SketchUp program or the free SketchUp Viewer […]

by January 25, 2012 Shop Tips, Videos

Shopmade Work Positioner

From Mike Pounders, North Little Rock, Ark. Using a work positioner allows you to carve with both hands, which provides greater control and power. This positioner is simple to make with a few pieces of plywood and some hardware. To start, face-glue two pieces of 1/2″ (13mm)-thick plywood together or […]

by October 7, 2011 Shop Tips

Convenient Finishing Station

K&M of Virginia has combined standard painter’s pyramids with a lazy Susan-style turntable to create a complete finishing station for small- and medium-sized projects. The Finishing Turntable features pyramid-shaped work supports that slide on rails attached to the top of the turntable. The shape of the pyramids allows air to […]

by September 27, 2011 Shop Tips
Keeping Tools Organized

Keeping Tools Organized

TOP TIP From Joe Savarese Brooklyn, N.Y. , Whenever you are working with sharp tools, it is important to be organized. I start by color coding my tool handles. For example, I paint a purple stripe on all of my #5 gouges. Then I woodburn my initials or a symbol […]

by November 23, 2010 Shop Tips
Inexpensive Tool Rack

Inexpensive Tool Rack

From Roy Smith, Clovis, Calif. It’s easy to make a rack for carving tools out of 1″-diameter PVC pipe. First, choose the length to make the rack. Take into account the size of your work space and avoid making the length longer than 24″ because the pipe can sag. Drill […]

by September 8, 2010 Shop Tips
Carver’s Lapboard

Carver’s Lapboard

The dimensions of the lapboard depend on a couple factors; I made mine to fit comfortably in my easy chair. Your physique and available materials also play a part in your dimensions. Step 1: Cut out your keystone pieces. Set your table saw or miter saw to cut at a […]

by February 2, 2010 Shop Tips
SHOP-MADE Holding Devices

SHOP-MADE Holding Devices

Carvers tend to be innovative—and with the odd shapes that carvings can take on, many commercial holding devices just won’t work. That is why carvers design, or adapt, their own holding devices. The variety of designs is endless, but most can be broken down into a few simple approaches. All […]

by February 1, 2010 Shop Tips

All About Buying Wood

Buying wood—be it pine, basswood, or something exotic like rosewood—can leave you scratching your head wondering about the mathematics and vocabulary. When I first started purchasing wood, I fell in love with a piece of mahogany, ideal for an exotic fish I had in mind. The owner of the lumber […]

by January 29, 2010 Shop Tips