April 2013 #203

Popular Woodworking Magazine April 13 Cover In “City Sideboard,” the cover story for the April 2013 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine, Mario Rodriguez builds a versatile sideboard suitable for the cramped urban apartment. The spare design is a little bit updated Shaker, and a little bit James Krenov. In “Quarter Columns,” Charles Bender teaches you an alternative technique to manufacture this elegant decorative addition – instead of using a lathe, you’ll use a router. Tom Calisto teaches you how to join oblique sides with through dovetails in “Compound-angle Dovetails,” which he uses in a small, handled tote. Christopher Schwarz discusses the resurgent industry in woodworking vises and holdfasts, along with reviews of the tools, in “A Workholding Renaissance.” In “Greene & Greene Inlay,” David Mathias explores the intricacies of inlays unique to each and every piece of custom-made Greene & Greene furniture. Learn how to cut perfect coves with a novel use of the table saw in “Cove Cuts on the Table Saw,” by Gary Rogowski. In “Design a Trestle Table,” famed woodworker Graham Blackburn discusses the elements of this classic style of table, and shows you how to build both a basic version and an advanced model.

In this month’s tool test, we take a look at the “Powermatic PM1500 Band Saw,” the “Hock Tools Scratch Stock,” and the “Bosch Trim Router Plunge Base.”

In this month’s Design Matters, the Windsor form survives trial by fire in “A Chairmaker’s Design Lessons.” Woodworking Essentials asks you to double-check your methods in “Measure, Mark & Layout.” Flexner of Finishing demonstrates “5 Tricks for a Silk-smooth Finish.” And finally Peter Franks talks about his pathological habits in “A Woodworking Disorder.”

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City Sideboard

Contemporary details and materials update this classic form. By Mario Rodriguez Pages 20-27 Apartments in the Philadelphia area where I live are in demand and rents are high. The same is true for urban areas all over the country. So for someone who insists on living in town, one solution is to “go small.” The city sideboard...


Quarter Columns

Forget the lathe; a router table setup makes quick work of these striking architectural features. By Charles Bender Pages 28-31 If you want to add a little punch to your next traditional furniture project, try adding quarter columns. They help narrow the look of any piece by drawing your eye inward. This usually gives the piece the...


Compound Dovetails

Discover how to join oblique sides with through-dovetails. By Tom Calisto Pages 32-35 As an avid sailor and full-time furniture maker, I’ve always wanted to make a proper sea chest replete with rope beckets and a compass rose inlay. The compound-angle dovetails are the only tricky aspect of the sea chest so I designed this little handled...


A Workholding Renaissance

After years of decline, the industry that makes vises and holdfasts for woodworkers has come roaring back. By Christopher Schwarz Pages 36-40 In my first book, “Workbenches: From Design & Theory to Construction & Use” (Popular Woodworking Books), I urged fellow woodworkers to “fight progress” and “invent nothing” when it came to designing their workbenches. Boy, am I...


Greene & Greene Inlay

Jewel-like details are the crowning touch on these masterpieces of American furniture. By David Mathias Pages 41-45 Furniture designed by early 20th-century American architects Charles & Henry Greene is as rare as hen’s teeth. The reason is simple: their pieces were never mass-produced or marketed. Every table, chair, bed and cabinet was designed to occupy a particular...


Cove Cuts on the Table Saw

Accurately set up for and safely make these versatile curved shapes. By Gary Rogowski Pages 46-49 It was the 1970s. I was a young, lost woodworker out cruising the West Coast in search of inspiration, mentors, cool old tools and furniture to study. I found legendary furniture maker Art Carpenter at his studio in Bolinas, Calif. He...


Design a Trestle Table

Choose your own styles and techniques: simple, advanced, or somewhere in-between. By Graham Blackburn Pages 50-53 In furniture, the term “trestle” historically referred to a pair of diverging legs wide enough to be self-supporting, and joined at their upper end, sometimes by hinges. Two or more such trestles that support a wide board form a table, which...

End Grain

A Woodworking Disorder

Most of us share this pathological habit that’s hard to break. By Peter Franks Page 64 I have a problem. A compulsion, really. It’s not as serious as, say, alcoholism, a food addiction or an unhealthy fascination with Megan Fox. But it’s a problem. Fortunately, most people are too polite to point it out....


Design Matters: A Chairmaker’s Design Lessons

The Windsor form survives trial by fire. By George R. Walker Pages 16-18 The blaze started sometime after midnight. A weak spot in the chimney broke and glowing embers spilled out onto dry timbers. By the time the fire crew arrived and strung hoses from a nearby stream, it was all they could do to keep the...