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Dec 07, 2015

A Little Monday Morning Dose of Crafting Zen

If your week's off to a slow start and your need a little inspiration (or, for that matter, if it started with a bang and you're ready to slow down already), check out this simple video of Japanese master craftsman Yasuo Okazaki.   

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Dec 04, 2015

How to: Build a Steerable Sled - The Perfect Father/Child Activity

Unless you live in the Minnesotan tundra, now’s the perfect time to get ahead of the snowfall and make a childhood dream come true with this steerable sled project from Popular Mechanics. (just kidding Minnesotans, you’ll figure it out). While you’re at it, why not do it with your child? This DIY guide comes with photographic step-by-steps and mentions which ones require the presence of an experienced adult and which ones can by done by a child on their own.   

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Dec 02, 2015

ManMade Essential Toolbox: Why You Definitely Need a Japanese Flush Cut Trim Saw

Each week in 2015, ManMade is sharing our picks for the essential tools we think every creative guy and DIYer needs. We've selected useful, long-lasting tools to help you accomplish a variety of projects, solve problems, and live a hands-on lifestyle that allows you to interact with and make the things you use every day. 

created at: 12/02/2015

For those of you who have followed along with us in the series all year (this is tool number forty-eight), let's all celebrate: this is an easy one. A flush cut pull saw is a simple device that's totally affordable and almost impossible to screw up. It's small yet super functional, and performs quite well. It's designed to do just a few things, and do them well. Get the right one now, and you're set for life.   

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Nov 16, 2015

Build A $50,000 DIY Mobile Home of Luxury

We've seen a couple of these incredibly designed tiny houses popping up over the last year and they never cease to amaze me. The stories people have about living in them and the desire to simplify one's lifestyle has great appeal to my nomadic bones, but I particularly wanted to point out this one for both its charming aesthetic and its use of space.   

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Nov 12, 2015

ManMade Essential Toolbox: A Hammer Is Not Enough - A Guide to Other Must-Have Mallets and Striking Tools

Each week in 2015, ManMade is sharing our picks for the essential tools we think every creative guy and DIYer needs. We've selected useful, long-lasting tools to help you accomplish a variety of projects, solve problems, and live a hands-on lifestyle that allows you to interact with and make the things you use every day. 

Drilling HammerWhile it's great when pieces fit nice and tight, sometimes you need a bit more . . . persuasion. Enter the mallet. A mallet is generally larger than a traditional framing hammer, and adds a bit of heft right where it's needed. Plus a mallet's striking surface usually isn't metal, which allows you to knock-together pieces or strike wooden-handled chisels without damaging them. Remember, the rule is: metal strikes metal, wood strikes wood. (Or plastic and rubber). 

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Nov 11, 2015

Check It Out: Read the 1st Issue of "Fine Woodworking" Magazine for Free

created at: 11/11/2015

Fine Woodworking magazine is celebrating its 40th anniversary this fall, and is sharing all kinds of cool stuff from its archives. Like... re-sharing its first issue ever, from Winter 1975, when it looked much, much different than it does today.   

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Nov 04, 2015

ManMade Essential Toolbox: If You Don't Have a Proper Set of Marking and Layout Tools, Now's the Time to Get One

Marking GaugeSo you’ve figured out what you want to build, bought all the wood, and have a fresh cup of coffee in hand. Now it’s time to start marking lines and making some sawdust and shavings. When it comes to accurate fits and great looking pieces, it’s essential to have quality marking tools.  

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Oct 29, 2015

ManMade Essential Toolbox: Step Up Your DIY Game with the Ladders Every Home Should Own

Each week in 2015, ManMade is sharing our picks for the essential tools we think every creative guy and DIYer needs. We've selected useful, long-lasting tools to help you accomplish a variety of projects, solve problems, and live a hands-on lifestyle that allows you to interact with and make the things you use every day. 

created at: 10/29/2015

For many people, there comes an act of ownership that signifies true adulthood. For some, it's that first car when you're a teenager. Others it could be an elective retirement account, a first home, or that dream electric guitar.

For me, it was a ladder.   

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03928

Oct 27, 2015

David's Shop Upgrade: Building a Custom Tool Island and (Finally!) Cleaning Up...

Tool IslandA few months ago, I completely destroyed my shop. I pulled everything off the wall, tools off the countertops, and it just . . . imploded. My workshop need an upgrade and it's true - you need to break it before you can fix it.  

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Oct 27, 2015

How to Remove Rust with Electrolysis: It's Easier than You Think

created at: 10/27/2015

We'll always prefer steel and wool tools to plastic and fiberglass ones. They simply have a heritage quality and classic look that inspires us to want to make stuff, and keep them on display. 

But steel contains iron, and if you're a fan of older tools made from higher quality steels, can contain a lot of iron. Which, we all remember from science class and every visit to the antique store, causes rust.   

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Oct 26, 2015

Workshop Inspiration: The Woodgrain Wall and Workbench

I spied this rather droolworthy workbench and storage area through some pin of a pin of a Tumblr of a magazine...

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Oct 23, 2015

Watch a True Craftsman at Work: The Violin Makers

Music makes us feel. Good, bad, energetic, lazy...it's an ethereal experience to experience skill and passion coming together in one fluid moment. It has been said that the tone of a instrument improves over time as the instrument settles in, and the vibrations from playing helps to "open up" the resonance in the wood. 

While this may or may not be fully true, it is definitely true that a quality instrument begins with a master craftsman. Instrument craftsmen are some of the most gifted makers in the world. Not only must they be precise with joints and materials, but in the end the piece must sound as good as it looks. It truly is an art

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Oct 22, 2015

How to: Build an Rustic and Inviting Coat Rack w/ Storage and Message Station

First impressions count, and the first few moments someone spends in your doorway do too. You want the entrance to be welcoming and efficient for coats, shoes, etc., while also giving a sense of the rest of the house to come. And if your friends are of the Minnesota Goodbye persuasion, you inevitably spend a good deal of time chatting at the door before anyone leaves.   

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Oct 20, 2015

Try This Simple Trick Anytime You Use Wood Glue on Your Woodworking Projects

created at: 10/20/2015

Whenever you're working on a bigger woodworking project that involves milling and preparing stock for parts, you often have to work on several parts at once in order to maximize efficiency. For example: dimension, plane, and joint all the wood at once while the tools are set up, cut all the joinery while the dado stack is installed in the table saw, etc. 

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Oct 16, 2015

ManMade Essential Toolbox: You Need A Router, But Where Should You Start?

Palm RouterAside from the table saw, one of the most useful tools in my shop is the router. This large, loud, powerful tool can be intimidating to work with, but once you know the basics I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s a tool worth learning to use.   

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Oct 15, 2015

The Process: Crafting a Traditional Post-and-Rung Stool from a Tree

You know those videos that show some young dude dressed in leather boots and a crew neck sweater, walking into his shop or studio, blowing off the sawdust or unrolling a side of leather, arranging his tools and assessing his materials, all with some slow churning music and a shallow depth of focus?   created at: 10/15/2015
This is definitely one of those videos.

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Oct 12, 2015

ManMade Essential Toolbox: Every DIYer Needs a Simple Set of Chisels. Here's Why.

ManMade Essential Toolbox: Chisels

For many centuries, from wood to stone, chisels have literally chipped away history to reveal some of our most lasting and beautiful artwork. Do I need to give you any other reason to get yourself a set?

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Oct 08, 2015

How to: Build an Electric Guitar From Scratch

created at: 10/08/2015

Ok, it's not entirely from scratch (where do you even get scratch nowadays?) but this unique guide will walk you through the entire guitar-making process from choosing and sculpting your lumber through wiring the electrics to the finishing touches. Most DIY guitar guides will prescribe a repurposed neck, but here you'll be making it all yourself.     

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Oct 05, 2015

ManMade Essential Toolbox: Yes, Every Man Needs a Blow Torch. Here’s What to Know.

Each week in 2015, ManMade is sharing our picks for the essential tools we think every creative guy and DIYer needs. We've selected useful, long-lasting tools to help you accomplish a variety of projects, solve problems, and live a hands-on lifestyle that allows you to interact with and make the things you use every day. 

Blow TorchThere's always room for a flame in the workshop... or the kitchen. Here's the run-down on blow torches and how they can be extremely useful on your next project.  

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Oct 01, 2015

On Building Boats: Three Unique Tales of DIY Watercraft

Some of you may know that I built a raft and traversed the Mississippi River a few years back, having no prior knowledge of boat building. Believe it or not, it was remarkably easy to do if you're willing to plan ahead and put in some good labor hours. Here are three bizarre stories of different DIY boats from True Almanac, each constructed for different purposes, such as the "disaster-proof" boat designed to survive a tsunami pictured above.   

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