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Feb 08, 2017

12 Ways to Add Texture to Your Woodworking Projects

created at: 10/06/2015

Gives a whole new meaning to the concept of "finish coat," right?

Woodworker Rob Brown invites us to look at our hand tool collection in whole new light... not simply using the tool only for tasks it was intended for, but as opportunities to see these common items beyond their typical use.

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Feb 07, 2017

How to: Make a Leather Strop to Help Sharpen Everything in Your Shop

My highschool workshop teacher had a saying that's always stuck with me: Keep you edges sharp and your powder dry. While I don't pay much attention to the dryness of my powder these days, I take a lot of interest in my tools. Sharp edges are safer, more precise, less frustrating, and just a lot more fun to work with. Here is one of my secrets to keeping them cutting at their best.  

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Jan 27, 2017

Your New Favorite Hobby: Everything You Need to Start Carving Heirloom Wooden Spoons and Utensils

We love a full-on major woodworking project. It's ambitious, challenging, and, once you've figured everything out, you're left with a piece of furniture that will get used everyday.

But, building furniture is also time consuming, takes up lots of space, and if you're using all hardwood construction, can be expensive to source the right materials. So, while it's lovely to learn joinery and finishing techniques, sometimes, you need a woodworking project that can be completed in a single day. Better yet, in a single sitting.  

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Dec 14, 2016

Seriously...This the Single Best Gift You Can Give to any DIYer, Maker, or Woodworker This Holiday

There are lots of ways to give gifts for the holidays. You can give in a way that simply checks a person off the list; acknowledges that it's expected and therefore here's your Amazon giftcard... (Not recommended.) You can can give gifts that are elaborate, expensive, and make everything that also helped create that pile or wrapping paper look negligible. (Also not recommended.) Or you can source something that person didn't know existed, and legitimately surprise them. (Solid.) You could give them something you know they want, but wouldn't spend the money on for themselves. (Nice one.) Or, for many a practical-minded recipient, you can

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Dec 12, 2016

Tackling a New Project Doesn't Have to Be Intimidating

This post is sponsored by DIYZ 

The story goes like this: I'll wake up early...usually on a Saturday, or perhaps the Monday of a three day weekend. I'll pull on my work jeans — not the trashed, paint-splattered ones; just the wornout pair with the ever growing hole in the right knee I need to patch. I'll tie my workboots, and grab a few quick measurements before I head out the door. I always remember to put the tape measure in my pocket to take it with me. Today is project day. 

And I'll get to the home improvement store, and I'll wander the aisles, and I'll realize: I have no idea what I'm doing. I need more information, more measurements, more details. So, I'll desperately look up something on my phone, but the reception in the back of this huge concrete box isn't good enough. Plus, all those content farms have tricked the search engines so that the quality of information that comes up is poor, and so generic that I struggle to trust it. 

Plus, maybe I have the basic materials figured out, but what tools do I need? Do I have the right screws, or are all mine too short or have the wrong head type? And - for goodness sakes - do I need another pack of #2 Phillips driver bits? (Thankfully, that one is easy. Yes. The answer is always yes. )   

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Dec 09, 2016

Reminder: KILZ Primer Giveaway Ends Soon!

This post was sponsored byKILZ, a brand that believes in makers and dream-shop builders everywhere. Thanks for supporting the brands that support ManMade.

Last week I shared a project that I'm really excited about: my makeover of a dark, dingy basement space into a bright, professional workshop. A big part of making that project come together was using the right tools and materials for the job. So I'm equally exited to remind you that we have a great giveaway going on right now! 

That's right, thanks to our project sponsor, KILZ, we're giving away five gallons of primer to a lucky ManMade reader. It's easy to enter, you just need to leave a comment on this post (no, not the one you're reading, the one I'm linking to in this link) telling us what you plan to do with your prize, or just saying "I want to win!".

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Dec 02, 2016

A Dark Basement Becomes the New ManMade Workshop (+ Giveaway!)

This post was sponsored by KILZ, a brand that believes in makers and dream-shop builders everywhere. Thanks for supporting the brands that support ManMade.

A few years ago, if you'd asked me which tool I thought was the most important, I'd probably have punted, wavered a bit, and never decided on a single item. There are too many cool tools, and too many essential ones I use on every project. But if you'd asked me the same question last month, my answer would have been decidedly clear, and much more informed by a different kind of personal experience:  

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Nov 03, 2016

How to: Drill Picture Perfect Countersinks

Countersinking hardware, such as screws or flathead bolts, is key to a sleek surface and a quality, finished look. But it doesn't always go smoothly, and the multiple bits can lead to tearout and misshapen holes.

Recently, I was making a jig from some hard maple that required precise countersunk holes for hardware alignment. I needed the hole to be placed exactly for registration, so I first drilled out the hole, and then the countersink. But every. single. hole. gave me fits. Once I finished one side of the jig, I was determined to come up with a better solution.    

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Sep 21, 2016

Build Yourself a Classic Masculine Workspace with these 5 Rustic DIY Projects

Inspired OfficeMy best work is done when I'm inspired. These 5 DIY projects will make your office a place you want to spend the next 8 hours in.   

1. DIY Paneled Wall - This one is for those that can make some pretty substantial improvements on their space. The $100 price tag for a wall is pretty approachable for such a huge change in the space.

Engineering Map Prints2. Engineer Printed Maps - Large, detailed, and affordable prints from vintage maps or other inspiring pieces.  These interesting pieces are a great way to bring some interesting details to a space that will catch you eye and serve as a unique focal point for the workplace.

Acrylic wall calendar3. DIY Acrylic Wall Calendar - Ditch

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Sep 15, 2016

Make This: 5 Shop Tools You Can Build From Scratch

created at: 09/12/2016There are some very impressive makers out there. not only can they craft amazing projects for the home and shop, but they even go a step further an make their own power tools. Take a look at five impressive projects from start to finish.   

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Sep 13, 2016

Shop Tips: How to Make a Super Simple Sanding Drum

created at: 09/13/2016

One of the last steps in the shop on any project is sanding. It can be a long, drawn out process to get the final shape and then smooth it all out but this drum makes quick work of it.   

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Sep 01, 2016

How to: Build Shop Cabinet Doors on the Cheap

Half Lap JointsThere are plenty of shelves in my shop that need doors to keep out the dust, and to keep the look of the shop more streamlined. These cheap doors are made from 2.5" pine boards and affordable 1/4" plywood. They still look great and function well, and they have enough heft to feel strong in your hand.  

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Aug 30, 2016

How to: Make a DIY Rolling Work Bench with Storage

created at: 04/01/2013

I chat with lots of ManMakers who would love to get started with bigger, more in-depth projects, but lack a dedicated place to work on them and the storage space for all the tools they'd like to acquire. So, here's a perfect project for them: a small-footprint workbench that's sturdy enough to do real work, and includes lots of built-in storage and plenty of accessories. 

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Aug 23, 2016

Is This the Perfect Workbench for the DIYer?

created at: 08/25/2016

Troy spent a few weeks researching and comparing workbench designs, and he thinks he's done it. This is, as he calls it, the perfect garage workbench.

His argument is thus:   

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Aug 18, 2016

Skill Builder: Make A Pair of Shop Horses to Practice Your Woodworking Joinery

Marking Gauge

Every shop needs a bit of extra temporary workspace. Build these solid shop horses to bone up on you joinery and come out with something you'll use often in the shop.  

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Aug 17, 2016

Seriously, This is the Best $5.00 I've Spent on DIY Projects in Years

created at: 08/17/2016

You know those things that prove to be so useful, and become so quickly integrated into your projects and processes that you can't believe you didn't know about it before?

I just found another one. And it might be the best $5.00 I've ever spent. (Sorry three taco special at Los Michoacanos).    

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Aug 11, 2016

How to: Make a Custom Wall-Mounted Tool Rack for Your Workshop

created at: 08/11/2016

There are lots of ways to store your hand tools. Tossed into a portable tool box, or organized in bins, totes, or the drawers and racks of a chest. I've always been a fan of getting things up on the wall where you can see them, find them, use them, and then put them back when you're done. (Plus, let's face it... they do look cool.)

If you're over the limitations of pegboard, but not quite ready to invest the time and resources into a tool cabinet, we suggest one of these: a tool rack. You can make some in an afternoon, and each space and slot is customized to fit exactly what you need to organize.   

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Jul 21, 2016

ManMade Essential Toolbox: 7 Must-Have Books Every Woodworker Should Own

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. Today: the best woodworking books.

Best woodworking books to create your shop library

Here's the great thing about woodworking ... it really hasn't changed much over the last few decades, even centuries. Sure, there are new tools and technologies that make things come together faster, light-weight power tools that cause less fatigue, and safety improvement measures like that table saw

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Jul 05, 2016

Make This: DIY Saw Blade Storage Box

Saw Blade HolderHere’s a quick shop project that will give you a simple and dedicated way to protect your blades in the workshop. So keep them close but out of the way for a cleaner, more organized place to work with this multi-use storage box.

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Jun 06, 2016

Turn Sweeping the Workshop from a Chore to a Joy with a DIY Air Broom

I don't really need to stress the importance of keeping a clean shop to you guys. Anyone who's ever invested the time and energy into creating his own workshop (of any kind) knows the satisfaction one gets from walking into a clean shop with everything in its proper place, just waiting for you to get those creative juices flowing.   

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