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Jun 08, 2018

5 Table Saw Jigs Every Woodworker Should Have

taper Cutting jig

I spend quite a bit of time setting up for projects on the tools. It’s amazing how much time it takes to make a few simple yet complex cuts. For the type of cuts that happen often, it makes sense to make a few go-to jigs to help with those annoying set-ups.  

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Feb 20, 2018

The 16 Tools I Use Most Often in My Workshop

Miter Saw

Does the tool make the man, or does the man make the tool?  Like most things in life, the answer is somewhere in the middle.  You need to know how to properly operate and care for your tools, but the right tool/jig can make or break your project. 

Of course, I'm just an active hobbyist, and my tools reflect that, BUT every single one has a time and place to be used, and we've formed a deep bond over the years. Some are used a lot more frequently than others, and so here is a list of most used tools that I have in my shop...which my wife lovingly refers to as “just the garage."

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Dec 08, 2017

14 Legitimately Good Stocking Stuffers for Men Who Like to Make Things

At this point in the season, the big gifts have already been decided. And if you're on your game, they're boxed, wrapped, and under the tree. But this week is all about the little bits: the practical things, the accessories, and the stocking stuffers. If you or someone on your list is a maker, DIYer, woodworker, tinkerer, or just a general creative type who likes to build and fix things, here's our list of quality stocking stuffers that are just as good as whatever's in that huge box with the bow on it.     

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Aug 07, 2017

Shop Skills: How to Clean Your Saw Blades

Dirty SawbladesMaintaining your shop tools starts with keeping those blades sharp and well lubricated. Here's a quick overview on how to tune up your cutting edges.  

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Sep 22, 2016

Q: Do You Really Need a Chain Saw? A: Absolutely. Here's Why.

Picking a great chainsawThe chain saw. Love it or fear it, this workhorse has made its way into my DIY life after years of avoiding it. And?  I'm totally mad I waited this long! A chain saw is a great tool for even the most entry level of projects, and, if you use good technique and follow the right precautions, totally safe to use. With autumn officially here, we're taking a look at this essential piece of gear. 

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Dec 31, 2015

ManMade Essential Toolbox: Beyond the Basics - Get Yourself Some Beautiful Tools

H.O. Studley ToolkitWe've spent the year highlighting the tools we love in the shop. From the functional to the specialized, there have been 51 posts on the best tools for tackling creative, DIY, or around the house projects. Assembled together, they're functional, long-lasting, and straightforward to use. But now, for this last post in the series, it's time to go beyond the basics to explore those are as beautiful as they are useful.  

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Dec 08, 2015

Essential Toolbox: A Reciprocating Saw is the Tank in Your Toolbox

Reciprocating saw buyers guide

Cut galvanized pipe. Vibrate a concrete mold to get the air bubbles out. Re-set PVC plumbing. Shave down an LVL header. Strip nails from hundred-year-old lumber. Flush cut wood and metal. Plunge cut into walls and cabinets. Demolish a kitchen. Rip out a toilet. Cut a clawfoot tub in half so you can lower it out a second story window. Trim your trees. Cut down a Christmas tree. Free a horrible laminate countertop from its cabinet base.

reciprocating saw flush cutting a nail

I have used my reciprocating saw (also known by it's brand name, Sawzall) for almost all of those things, and some more I can't even remember. Are there other tools for each of those things? Sure. Are there

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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 17, 2015

ManMade Essential Toolbox: In Praise of the Humble Hacksaw, a Seriously Good DIY Value

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: 11/17/2015

The hacksaw, like many of our favorite tools, has gone virtually unchanged for nearly 150 years, and its basic design dates to a couple centuries before that. Its structure is simple, its purpose is clear, and it does what it's designed to do.   

Which is, of course:

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Sep 04, 2015

Manmade Essential Toolbox: Why You Should Definitely Own a Really, Really Good Circular 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. 
 
Get the saw blade up to full speed before entering the material
A circular saw is one of those essential toolbox items I'm guessing a lot of you already have. It's often the first powered saw for many DIYers. But do you have a really good one that you love and trust using? And if not, why should you care?
 

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Jul 30, 2015

ManMade Essential Toolbox: Seriously, the Coping Saw is the Most Versatile Tool Under $20. 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. 

 created at: 07/30/2015

Often, in interviews or lectures or conversations with groups, I'll get asked, "What tool has the most best bang for your buck?" And my answer is always the same: the coping saw. While it's not as flashy as big standing power tool, or as commonly used as a drill or accurate measuring device, it most certainly provides serious versatility for such a small tool.

Oh...and they cost less than two adult movie theater tickets, without snacks.    

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Jun 30, 2015

ManMade Essential Toolbox: Why Every Workshop Needs a Great Oscillating Multi-Tool (and Which One to Buy)

 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: 06/30/2015

We've all heard: "I didn't know I needed it until I got it." It stands true for so many tools in my shop that streamline and tune up my jobs, but no tool has done more to make my life easier than the Oscillating Saw. Once you get your hands on one, I guarantee you'll agree.  

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Jun 18, 2015

ManMade Essential Toolbox: Why Every Workshop Needs a Really, Really Good Jig Saw (and Which One to Buy)

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: 06/18/2015

Woodworking and DIY tasks are often about keep things straight. That is: flat, square, true, non-bowed, non-cupped, planed, and jointed. There's a half a dozen tools in the shop dedicated to doing one or a few of those things, with complex fences and tables to ensure everything stays square.

And my favorite power tool laughs in the face of all those things. It not only is intended to cut curves and complex shapes, but can do so not just in solid wood, but in metal, plastic, laminate, ceramic, and plywood. We're talking about the jig saw, which is, by far, the most fun tool in the shop, and surprisingly versatile. 

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Mar 20, 2015

ManMade Essential Toolbox: Why You Definitely Need a Japanese Pull 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: 03/20/2015

I am, by no means, a traditionalist. I say the best tool for the job is always the tool that will produce the best results. Take my love for cast iron cookware: I don't prefer it because its old time-y, nostalgic, or because it's what my grandpa would have used. (My grandpa was kind of a jerk). I love it because it's often the best surface with which to cook; and when it's not, I'll gladly reach for a stainless steel pan or a piece of non-stick.

The same applies to woodworking and DIY tasks: I'm happy to use powered tools - saws, sanders, planers, jointers - in my projects if they allow me to work faster and smarter. And I do; I use them in almost everything I make.

But here's the deal: sometimes, the powered option is not the best tool for the job, and there are many cuts for which you should leave the table saw, the miter saw, or the jig saw behind. And in those cases, what you should grab is the Japanese pull saw.    

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Jan 14, 2014

Making a DIY Scroll Saw from a Vintage Sewing Machine

Simon had a sewing machine. A well-built, vintage Brother - built, as he says, "to survive an atomic attack. Everything is shiny stainless steel or molded aluminum."

created at: 01/14/2014

But Simon didn't really need a sewing machine. He needed a scroll saw. Guess where this is going...   

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Apr 12, 2012

50 Tools Everyone Should Own

created at: 04/12/2012

Whenever I'm at a cocktail party, get together, or other small talk-conducive occassion and I tell people what I do, the first question I always get asked is, "Okay...so how do you make money from that?" But the second question I always get asked is for a recommendation of what are my top ten essential tools that everyone should have/buy for their niece who's getting their first place/try to get their husband to use.

The answer, of course, is "well, depends on what you're trying to do with them." I usually come up with some combo of measuring devices, handsaws, clamps, and fasteners, but I always think..."maybe I should come up with a list of essentials for the average homeowner or artist/maker at some point."   

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Oct 03, 2011

ManMade Giveaway: Win a 10" Compound Miter Saw from Craftsman ($199 value)

Whether you're framing a house or just framing a picture, a miter saw is a pretty essential power tool to own. And this week, we'd like to help you get your hands on one! We're giving away a Craftsman MiterMate 10" miter saw ($199 value), a really cool, innovative product that reduces setup time, and achieves results with fewer miss-cuts.

The Craftsman MiterMate 10" miter saw

Read on to see how to enter, but first, here's some info on the prize...

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Jun 06, 2011

Don't-It-Yourself: Slingshot that Shoots Circular Saw Blades

created at: 06/06/2011

We're all for creativity and pushing the limits of what you can make, but we're not so sure that shooting circular saw blades from a sling shot made of 2x4s is a good idea for anyone. Ever.

But, you should totally watch the video of this guy doing it:     

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Feb 04, 2010

ManMade Top Ten: Non-Powered Workshop Tools

created at: 2010/01/12

I do indeed love the sights, sounds, and smells of a razor-sharp sawblade ripping through a two-inch block of hard maple, or a router-bit whizzing at 23,000 rpm creating a perfect 1/4" roundover.

But, for as much as I embrace the strength and speed of power tools, I find myself spending even more time with those tools that DON'T require ear plugs. Of course, you need hammers and screwdrivers and wrenches, but here's a list of ten items you can find in your hardware store that'll help you turn out great work, without the need for batteries or electricity.

created at: 2010/02/04

1. All Sorts of Clamps. There's an old saying in the woodworking community..."You

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Feb 03, 2010

Handmade Haiku: My Dearest 109 Lb. Circuit Overloader

created at: 2010/01/13

February 3rd, 2010: My Dearest 109 Lb. Circuit Overloader

created at: 2010/02/03

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