April 2014 #210

Popular Woodworking Magazine April 14 Cover Our cover article for the April 2014 issue is a William & Mary five-drawer chest with a two-over-three drawer design built by Chuck Bender. The chest also features frame-and-panel ends with mitered-stuck moulding profiles (plus, he includes a sidebar that walks you through his technique for brushed on shellac).

In “Chipbreaker: Theory & Use,” Kees van der Heiden and Wilbur Pan present video evidence from two Japanese professors who demonstrate how most bench planes come equipped with everything you need to eliminate tear-out as you work. If you set your chipbreaker properly, you’ll have smooth sailing. Autumn Doucet, the winner of the 2013 Popular Woodworking Magazine Excellence Awards, shares her insight into building a jewelry box with wood and shell inlay; you’ll discover how to cut and inlay mother-of-pearl and abalone. Don Williams improves his workbench with the addition of a shop-made tail vise – a sheet of Baltic birch plywood and a few metal parts, including an 8″ handwheel, transform his bench into a workholding marvel. He shares his measured drawings and step-by-step build. And Marc Spagnuolo builds his version of a Greene & Green-style blanket chest, complete with ebony embellishments and a secret drawer – he also shares a special router technique used to form the chest handles.

Christopher Schwarz introduces Freddy Roman in “From Punk to Period.” If you’re not familiar with young Mr. Roman, you’ll be amazed at the finished projects he’s turned out in such a short period of time. And you’ll discover how teachers including Phil Lowe, W. Patrick Edwards and Bob Van Dyke have influenced his woodworking.

In this month’s Tool Test, we review the Bosch 10″ Dual-bevel Glide Miter Saw, Senco’s FinishPro 23 XLP headless pinner, a magnetic-mount LED Work Light from Lee Valley and EyeMuffs (Sells Safety) that are hearing and eye protection combined into a single apparatus. In Design Matters, George R. Walker discusses how to combine cyma curves to produce an outstanding swan’s-neck pediment . Woodworking Essentials has Glen D. Huey’s take on woodworking mallets; learn what shapes, sizes and weights are best. Bob Rozaieski discusses “Period Clamping Techniques” in Arts & Mysteries. Bob Flexner explains how you can use soap as a wood finish – a finish that imparts no color to your project and is great for woods that are light in color – in Flexner on Finishing. And in End Grain, John Ipekjian, in “Blacker House Garden Bench,” shares how a Bermuda cedar tree planted by Greene & Greene is re-purposed into an outdoor bench that resides on the property.

Plus Tricks of the Trade, reader letters and more.


Magnetic-mount LED Work Light from Lee Valley

by Megan Fitzpatrick page 14 I have a perfectly good light for my workbench, on an attachment that slips into the dog holes. And, it has a magnifier, which is becoming increasingly useful. However: My bench is against a wall, so the articulating arm of the light limits how it can be positioned, there’s a pesky...


‘Eye Muffs’ by Sells Safety

by Chuck Bender page 14 I know safety isn’t a topic that evokes that “must read” feeling in most of us, but when something new and innovative comes along, you might just want to stop and take a look. That’s exactly what Eye Muffs are – new and innovative. When I work in the shop, my safety...

DM-150x150 Photo

Secrets from a Swan

Add graceful notes to your furniture with cyma curves. by George R. Walker pages 32-34 The first sign of spring in northern Ohio appears while the wintery landscape is still cased in snow. Ice-covered lakes give way to patches of open water and along with it the arrival of migrating trumpeter swans. My wife, Barbie, and I...


Period Clamping Techniques

Did traditional workholding involve fewer gadgets? by Bob Rozaieski pages 20-22 In my fledgling years as a woodworker, I had a large collection of clamps. I literally bought in to the belief that you could never have too many clamps. I had pipe clamps all the way up to giant 5 footers. I had multiple F- style...


Woodworking Essentials: Shop Mallet Selection

It’s easy to get a handle on which whacker to choose. by Glen D. Huey pages 58-61 If you’ve ever whacked a carving tool or pounded a joint using your palm or the side of your fist – I know you have because we’ve all done it – you know the result: a sore hand and unfinished...


Soap as a Wood Finish

While this natural Danish finish looks beautiful, it’s high-maintenance. by Bob Flexner pages 62-3 You may be surprised to learn that a quite popular finish for furniture and floors in Denmark, and other northern European countries, is soap. I lived in Denmark for two years in the mid-1970s and have visited many times since. I’ve seen a...


Blacker House Garden Bench

A gnarly old conifer finds new life on a recognized California estate. by John Ipekjian page 64 In 1908, architects Charles and Henry Greene built one of their most famous residences, the Robert R. Blacker House. In addition to designing the home and interior furnishings, they also designed the landscaping which included a Bermuda cedar tree in...