The miter saw is a multi function electric saw. You can use a miter saw to make cross cuts (perpendicular to the grain of the wood), miter cuts (an angled cut across the width of the wood), bevel cuts (a type of angled cut where you cut across the thickness of the board) and compound cuts (a mix of the bevel and miter cut). To make each of these cuts, you have to adjust the miter saw accordingly.

Begin by cutting off a 10-in. length of the board and setting it aside. Rip the remaining 38-in. board to 6 in. wide and cut five evenly spaced saw kerfs 5/8 in. deep along one face. Crosscut the slotted board into four 9-in. pieces and glue them into a block, being careful not to slop glue into the saw kerfs (you can clean them out with a knife before the glue dries). Saw a 15-degree angle on one end and screw the plywood piece under the angled end of the block.


Throughout the years I’ve read accounts of people who “discovered” hand planes and had it change their lives. “I was a cabinetmaker for 30 years” they write, “then I” read this article or took this class “and I sharpened my plane iron and now I know what I was missing for all those years”. As I write this I know many of you are nodding in agreement. I know that happened to you too. It happened to me too.

The last tool I recommend for every beginning woodworker is a quality router. While many routers available today offer two different bases (a stationary base and a plunge router base), for most beginners, a quality stationary base model will take care of quite a number of tasks, and can also be mounted in a router table should you choose to invest in (or even build one) one down the line. Choose a router model that is at least 2-HP and has electronic variable speed controls (as larger cutting bits should use slower speeds), a soft start mechanism and is easy to make bit changes (preferably with the ability to use both 1/2-inch and 1/4-inch shank router bits).
Sometimes called “Panel Saws”, these hand saws have a handle and thin flexible metal saw plate with no rigid back or frame. Hand saws have larger teeth and are generally used for quickly rough-cutting boards to length or width. These hand saws were manufactured in very large quantities and are easy to find and usually inexpensive. The specific name of this saw type also happens to be the general name of all non-power saws: “hand saw”.
The last tool I recommend for every beginning woodworker is a quality router. While many routers available today offer two different bases (a stationary base and a plunge router base), for most beginners, a quality stationary base model will take care of quite a number of tasks, and can also be mounted in a router table should you choose to invest in (or even build one) one down the line. Choose a router model that is at least 2-HP and has electronic variable speed controls (as larger cutting bits should use slower speeds), a soft start mechanism and is easy to make bit changes (preferably with the ability to use both 1/2-inch and 1/4-inch shank router bits).
Another classic game! (Are you picking up on a trend?). A cribbage board is really just a piece of wood with 240-plus holes drilled in it. This project includes files necessary to program a CNC machine to drill all the holes, but it also includes a template for boring the holes with a drill. There are endless opportunities for customizing this project with different species of wood. All this adds up to the fact that cribbage boards make great gifts.
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