Power up your skills

Three resources to help you get the most from your tools

By Barb Siddiqui

Classic Joints

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Classic Joints With Power Tools
Lark Books, 2002, $24
If you want to learn alternative techniques for joinery, Yeung Chan’s book is a must-have. This accomplished craftsman discusses a long list of joinery choices and describes how to do them all on a tablesaw, router table, bandsaw or with a handheld router. He includes plans for several shopmade jigs, plus a lot of tips and advice. He shows how to sneak up on the fit of a joint by making small fence adjustments, and how to stagger dowel holes so multiple dowels don’t intersect. Chan also includes a gallery of fine pieces and explains the joinery used to produce them.

Working With Power Tools
Taunton Press, 2007, $28
Editor Paul Anthony has grouped together a series of informative articles drawn from previous issues of Fine Woodworking magazine. Experts tell how to use and fine-tune portable and benchtop machines, routers, tablesaws, drillpresses and hollow-chisel mortisers, bandsaws, planers, jointers and shapers. Procedures in the shop are well illustrated, with as much advice on what not to do as on what to do. Learn to sharpen hollow chisels, build jigs for the drillpress and make an auxiliary fence for the bandsaw. This book draws on the experience of master woodworkers, with guidance for all levels of the craft.

Jointer and Planer Secrets
Passion For Wood Productions, 2007, 2 DVDs: $65
One goal of every home woodworker is to achieve the best results possible from each technique learned. In this follow-up to his manual Starting and Running a Woodworking Business, CHW contributing editor Hendrik Varju presents four hours of instruction on the use of a jointer and a planer in this two-DVD set. It features tips on reading the edge- and end-grain of a board, handling complicated glue-ups and dealing with cupped or twisted materials. The second disc shows how to use newly planed and jointed boards to produce a beautiful tabletop, flat right out of the clamps. This video provides valuable instruction.

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