WT134 – Handworks

Special thanks to our show sponsors: Festool and SawStop.

On today’s show, we’re talking about the Handworks event in Iowa, locking miter joints, quality dividers, locating an air filter, using OSB, dealing with large wet slabs, and alternatives to weight down your boards when stickering and stacking.


The Handworks event took place this past weekend and we discuss the feedback from listeners.

Around the Web

A piano repurposed for tool storage!
Tom Buhl’s awesome chalk art. Past work by Tom.
Amazing sculptures that look like silk but are made from wood.


– In response to Episode 133, Jon suggests folks look into Locust as an alternative to pressure treated wood.
– Tim in Ottawa thinks it’s a great time to be a woodworker. We agree!


– Mr. B has some questions about a board that broke along the glue line and a table top repair.


– Jacob is looking for our thoughts on locking miter bits.
– Tim needs some advice on locating his new Jet air filter.
– Shawn needs a good quality set of dividers.
– Ernesto has a client that insists he use inferior materials.
– Milo needs to know how to handle a few fresh cut live edge oak slabs.
– Dan is pondering his options for applying pressure to retain flatness in a stack of wood.

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8 replies on “WT134 – Handworks”

Enjoyed the show but I have a question for Shannon, so I guess this is for Kickback. Why do the divider points need to come together to form a single point? I have a new pair of those expensive dividers and while each arm comes to a nice point, they don’t touch when fully closed, and I can’t think why they need to. If I need to make a point I just use one arm and unless you are trying to make really, really tiny circles, a slight gap shouldn’t be a problem, unless I am missing something.

I see your point Barron and hereby stand corrected. They do not need to come together completely however I think you might be surprised how close together you may need to set them for some things. I often use dividers to evenly layout my dovetails and usually am setting them inside an 1/8th to mark the half pins. Also when I use dividers to capture dimensions from a photograph I am often pushing those points very close together. So yes a little taper on the inside is ok, but I think the point is that you should not get in the habit of sharpening them on the inside. Instead only sharpen them from the outside so you don’t widen that gap over time. Besides look at a single bevel marking knife; it leaves a more accurate line.

Handworks was organized by the folks at Benchcrafted… who live and work in the area of Amana. The biggest difference between Handworks and the other larger events like WIA is that it is free. It was a fantastic event and I am sure it will continue. As far as the location, you are right central Iowa is, well, I the center. 3 hours from Chicago, 3 hours from Minneapolis, 3 hours from Kansas City, 1 hour from Des Moines, etc…

Hope to see you all there next time!

Handworks was absolutely amazing. What a great time.
A couple clarifying points though. The official attendance estimate from Jameel Abraham was 1500 people over 2 days. There were at least 500 people in that barn for the Studley presentation. It was packed.
There isn’t yet a set in stone decision on whether it will happen again, but 2015 is when it would happen next. Be sure to let Jameel and Benchcrafted know that you want it to happen again!
My favorite part of shows like that is all the conversations I get to have with customers, other tool makers, and all the awesome woodworkers.


You’re definitely right about the attendance. I think people missed the fact that this “barn” was two blocks long.


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