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From Rob Brown's bench logo

Is COVID “Good” for Hobby Woodworkers?

Before even starting to answer that question, I want to make one thing very clear; I’m not trying to downplay the tragic effects COVID has had on our society.

What it has done to people from all backgrounds isn’t pretty, and I’m certainly not celebrating this ugly virus. My question has more to do with the unique situation we woodworkers and DIY enthusiasts find ourselves in. Perhaps there is a tiny silver lining in this situation that we’ve all been thrust into.
Gluing loose tenons
Free Plan:

Build a Moxon Vise

A Moxon vise clamps to any work surface and raises your workpiece to a convenient height while holding it rock-solid. It's a great accessory to have if you do a lot of detailed hand work, such as cutting dovetails, inlaying and letter carving. It's quick, easy and cost efficient to make. This little bench top helper will lend a hand at a moment’s notice.
Moxon vise
Woodworking Sponsor:

Core Bowls for Woodturning Quickly and Easily

The Bowlsaver MAX3 does what it says. Saves bowls, easy! Large or small, it saves bowls, money and your time. Coring a 12" by 4" bowl in less than 5 minutes. It is safe to use with the peace of mind knowing that the Bowlsaver range is the only coring system that has been designed to safely couple to both the tail-stock and tool rest providing stability and minimizing vibration.
bowlsaver max3
Tool Review:

Castle 110 Pocket Cutter

Anyone who uses pocket holes occasionally will likely opt for a manual pocket hole jig, which can be had for around $100CAD. But, if you make cabinets on a regular basis, a pocket cutter machine is significantly quicker and more precise. Unfortunately they're expensive, with the smallest models starting at around $1,700CAD – outside the budget for many self-employed and hobbyist woodworkers.

The new Castle 110 Pocket Cutter (an upgrade of the discontinued Castle 100) can be had for around $560CAD (shipped to Toronto). It bridges the gap between a manual pocket hole jig and a fully automated floor-standing machine.

It's an affordable, portable, easy-to-use pocket hole cutting machine.
Castle 110
Woods to Know:

Karelian Birch (Betula pendula var. carelica)

Growing in the forests of the Karelian region of Finland is a variant of the silver birch. It is not an impressive tree, small in stature, often appearing as a bush or large shrub. Some of these unremarkable trees have areas of thickened bark on their trunks - the only clue that these trees contain wood with the stunning Karelian birch figure.

The Karelian figure (also referred to as Karelian burl and Masur birch) is hard to describe given it’s unique to this species and its random appearance. Some say it looks like marble, others compare it to birds-eye maple or a dense burl figure. These descriptors don’t quite do it justice. I like to describe it as a sea of dark-lined "sugar pops" swimming on a lustrous undulating white background.
Karelian birch
Woodworking Sponsor:

The Premium High-Performance Stain

Varathane Ultimate Wood Stain is a premium, high-performance stain system enhanced with nano pigments and soy oil base for exceptional colour clarity.

Combined, this innovative formula creates a rich one-coat coverage that dries in one hour. No wood conditioner or pre-stain required. This advanced formula guarantees beautiful results three times faster than traditional wood stains.

From furniture, doors, cabinets or floors, Varathane Ultimate Wood Stain is formulated not just to stain your wood, but to reveal its true beauty. Available in 26 outstanding colours, including the new Aged Barrel and Grey Willow.
Varathane Ultimate Wood Stain
Home Improvement:

Tankless Water Heaters

The conventional tank water heater has been around for well over 100 years, and while the technology has changed, it still functions pretty well the same. Tankless (or on-demand) water heaters don’t store any water and only heat up the water when a hot water tap is turned on. Because they’re so small they can be installed almost anywhere in the home.

Installing a tankless heater in a new house construction or during a major upgrade is the most cost effective. If you’re looking to replace an existing tanked system, then you’ll definitely want to evaluate the initial purchase price and installation cost against the long-term savings you can expect to achieve, and the forecasted rate increase for the type of power you use.
Tankless water system
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Chad Martin
For advertising opportunities contact:
Chad Martin
Email or 289-783-4430

Beat price increase for Canadian Woodworking subscriptions

If you're not yet a magazine subscriber – or need to renew your subscription this year – we encourage you to order before March 31 for two reasons:
  • You'll be included in the subscriber draw on March 31 when we will pick one winner for a $250 gift card from Lee Valley as well as a winner for a portable clamping work station from King Canada.
  • Our subscription prices increase effective April 1, 2021. You'll save by locking in a better rate now. We offer 1-year, 2-year and 3-year terms.
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