Steve Maxwell lives on Manitoulin Island, Ontario and has worked remotely as technical editor of Canadian Home Workshop since 1990. He uses his experience as a cabinetmaker, carpenter and stonemason to prepare projects for the magazine, to write stories of his own, and to test and review products and tools in his workshop. Steve has a readership of about 2 million people across Canada and the US, and takes photos and creates videos to accompany his work.
When Steveâ€™s not working with words, wood and stone, he likes to spend time gardening, cutting firewood, and showing his five kids how to make things.
Recent Articles and Blog Posts
How to deal with dust during renovation
This article originally appeared in the Fall 2014 issue of Cottage Life, now on newsstands. Renovation doesn’t have to mean dust in every corner of the cottage. Here’s how to control the spread.Capture dust at its source A...
How to create a custom wooden sign
A routed wooden sign will help your lost visitors navigate to your little corner of paradise.
Wooden signs are a lakeside tradition, and a router is the easiest way to create them. Knot-free cedar, 3/4" to 1 1/2"...
How to hang heavy objects on the wall
The last time you hung a few frames, did you woodpecker the wall with misplaced holes? Instead, cut paper templates and tape them up to test your positioning. A good rule of thumb is to hang a picture with its centre 60" (150 cm)...
Tool trend: Brushless motors
For a kid rummaging around Grandpa’s workshop, circa 1972, an unattended power drill was a magical thing. Pull the trigger, and not only did the bit spin, but through the cooling vents you could see sparks—real, raw...
Expert advice for building a deck
Rob Dearing, general contractor in Gore Bay, Ont., since 1995: “There’s no point going in-between: You either build your deck on top of the soil or go all the way below the frost line with a foundation.” We asked Dearing for...
How to improve your shovelling technique
A round-mouth shovel is the principle tool you’ll need, ideally one with a long, straight handle. (D-handled gardening shovels are short, which means more bending down.) Start by defining the circular outline of your hole, about...
How to fix a problem door
: Shave down areas that rub using a hand plane or electric power planer. Always work from an outer edge inward to avoid splintering the wood. To fix a door that binds along the floor when opened, try repositioning...
I've cut, split, stacked and burned 15 to 20 face cords of firewood each year since 1990 for my own house, using skills I had mastered cutting hundreds of cords of maple as part of a farm job that got me through university in the...
Getting a cottage inspection
Dan Osborne, a Manitoulin Island building inspector since 2002: “Building codes and inspectors are not a government money grab. We make sure decent buildings happen.”
Advice departmentA good inspector is happy to answer...