Cuffing a series of precise dadoes with a router is tricky, because the wood that will fit into the dadoes is usually thinner than the router bit’s diameter. This jig solves the problem: Use a straight router bit that’s one size smaller than the thickness of the wood that will fit into the dadoes. Space the guide boards of the jig so that two passes with the router–one against one guide board and the second against the opposite guide board–will give you the exact dado width. Your jig should be square and fit snugly over the board you’re cuffing dadoes in. The dado extensions that cut across the crosspieces of the jig serve as guides for quick positioning of the jig.
Storing random-length lumber
Before sliding your random-length pieces of lumber into your lumber rack, write the length of the piece on the end with a marking pen. That way you won’t have to empty out the whole rack just to find the size you want.
Easy cut on large plywood sheets
Keep a 1-1/4 in. thick sheet of rigid foam insulation in your plywood rack. Whenever you need to cut a full sheet of plywood with a circular saw or jigsaw, just lay the sheet of insulation on the floor, drop the plywood on it, and cut away.
Ever try to sand the edge of a board perfectly straight and square with a belt sander? Unless you’re some kind of miracle worker, it can’t be done; the sander just rocks on the narrow edge and cuts unevenly. Clamp a straight length of 2×4 to the board, flush with the edge, to provide a guide. It keeps the sander level, and slows down its bite so you won’t get an uneven edge.
Don’t fumble for that utility knife every time you need to cut something. Mount the cutting strip from a wax paper or plastic-wrap box on an out-of-the-way edge of your workbench, so the tips of the teeth are just flush with the work surface. Use small brads through the ready-made holes in the metal strip. It’ll cut string, light rope, tape, and even makes a nice, clean cut on sandpaper.
Template for rounding corners
Make this template to help you cut consistent corners on your woodworking projects with a router (You can get it easily at Amazon or Ebay, and don’t forget get a best router table such as Skil ras900 router table or bosch ra1181 benchtop router table, it is a very good tool for your work) . Cut an 8-in. square of plywood, then round over the corners with a band saw or jigsaw to your most commonly used diameters. Carefully sand the round-overs to exact diameters. To use the template, clamp it in place and cut your corners using a long, straight trimming bit with a ballbearing guide.
7. It’s officially okay to love comfort food again
When it’s cold outside and the economy is tanking, there’s an unwritten rule that says you’re allowed to eat as many braised dishes as you desire. These are humble foods, made for comfort, and they’ve never been more popular than they are right now. Restaurants like Janes on the Common in Halifax and Vancouver’s Fuel have put grilled-cheese sandwiches and fried chicken on their menus (though you’ll pay a premium for them), and high-end food magazines Gourmet and Food & Wine are featuring cover shots of easy pastas and the lowly hamburger, when just a few years ago they were all about seared foie gras and fresh white winter truffles. (Of course, we at Chatelaine have never stopped running homey recipes.)
These are the meals that offer an inherent mix of heartiness, earthy flavours and a good dose of old-fashioned solace, and they’re especially present during the holidays: potato latkes, Easter hams, every type of dumpling, sugar cookies and, yes, even fruitcake. All of these rib-sticking yet affordable foods are meaningful for so many people because they’re evocative of time and place; their love-inspiring smells trigger happy taste memories. They’re about culture, ethnicity, religion. And they’re almost never about salad. But the best part is they’re all about you.
With its environmental and health benefits, becoming a locavore is pretty much a no-brainer. It’s cheap and easy, too, if you grow your own fruits and veg.
Start planning now for a spring sowing, and you’ll be able to skip the produce aisles completely. Here’s how:
Space Start small. Any bit of backyard or balcony can become your new garden, “as long as it gets at least four to six hours of sunlight every day,” says Paul Zammit, director of horticulture at the Toronto Botanical Garden.
Plan When deciding what to plant, take into account what you like to eat and what grows best in your area. For most of us, tomatoes, lettuce, cukes and peppers are a good bet. Then grab the graph paper and start mapping out your space. Place larger plants where they won’t block the sunlight for shorter ones; use herbs to edge pathways. Make note of plant placement, because it’s important to rotate crops each year to avoid depleting the nutrients in the soil.
Soil Plants need nutrientrich, well-drained soil. Spring and fall are the best times to prepare the earth: Work compost and shredded leaves into the top six to 12 inches of the garden, or, ifyou have a healthy worm population, scatter the organic matter on top of the soil and they’ll do the work for you.
Sure, beef bourguignon may be something to blog about, but there’s nothing quite like a juicy hamburger, hot off the grill. No wonder new burger joints have been popping up all over the country.
The nation’s best bets:
Try the resto’s signature Brooklyn Burger: seven ounces of organic Nova Scotia beef topped off with Quebec raw cheddar, smoked back bacon, red-pepper mayo, tomato, onion and pickle. Brooklynwarehouse.ca.
M:brgr At M:brgr–the “burger bar” connected to legendary Moishe’s steakhouse–the M is for meat: your choice of AAA, organic, Kobe, or even tuna. Mbrgr.com.
Burger Shoppe Quality Meats (BQM)
The robust burgers are made from naturally raised AAA beef, ground in-house, and are filler-free. Our fave: the Riverside, all dressed up with naturally raised bacon, BQM barbecue sauce, mayo, greens, tomato, mozzarella and a hand-dipped onion ring that rivals A&W’s. Burgershoppe.com.
The latest ingredients, the country’s best burgers, bold berries, hot chefs, a pizza that will transport you to Havarti Heaven … We’ve discovered a hefty list of reasons to get super-excited about cooking and eating again. Go on, dig in.
1. Dinner? There’s an app for that
Whether you’re grocery shopping, menu planning or making a reservation, your smart phone can help. (Just about the only thing it can’t do is the dishes.)