April 2016 #224

The April cover features moulding planes based on André Jacob-Roubo’s designs from “L’art du menuiesier” – planemaker Caleb James shows you step by step how to make a set or three.
In “Guerrilla Guide to Spray Finishing,” Christopher Schwarz shares the down-and-dirty info you need to know to start spray-finishing your work at home, no booth required. With the relatively low cost of a spray system these days, there’s little reason to harness the speed and quality of this approach.

Build geometric interest with a Baillie Scott side table; Mitch Roberson’s clever jigs make it simple to make one, or multiples of this example of the English Arts & Crafts style.
In “The Core Hand Tools,” you’ll discover the must-have tools to set up a new hand tool shop – Deneb Puchalski argues that it will cost you less than the cost of one quality machine.
Build a nearly forgotten layout tool, shown in Albrecht Dürer’s 1514 “Melecolia I” engraving; it’s a simple way to use up some shop scraps, by Christopher Schwarz.
After 35 years of teaching, the “King of Windsors” is closing his school – find out what’s next for Mike Dunbar in this profile by Megan Fitzpatrick.

In “Tool Test,” you’ll read about the new Festool ETS EC125/3 low-profile sander, the Chestnut Tools Universal Sharpener and an inexpensive moisture meter from CMT.

In “Arts & Mysteries,” Peter Follansbee shows you a “riving brake”; Bob Flexner teaches you about “water-based lacquer”…which isn’t really lacquer in “Flexner on Finishing;” George Walker discusses how to lighten the look of a bank of drawers in “Design Matters;” in “End Grain,” Jim Baker shares his life-changing experience at the Tower of London; and more.

Roubo Hollows & Rounds

Make these French moulding planes that are essential for every hand-tool kit. by Caleb James pages 22-29 Hollows and rounds are making a strong comeback in the hand tool woodworking world. However, many woodworkers are scared off from jumping in by either a limited tool budget or the limited availability of antique ones in...

Guerrilla Guide to Spray Finishing

It’s fast, forgiving and affordable – and you don’t need a spray booth. by Christopher Schwarz pages 30-35 The hardest part about learning to spray finishes is becoming convinced that you can learn to spray finishes. Of all the ways to apply finishes – brush, rag, rubber and spraying – there’s only one method...

Arts & Crafts Occasional Table

Conquer some fun joinery challenges with this geometric Baillie Scott build. by Mitch Roberson pages 36-42 As soon as I saw Mackay Hugh Baillie Scott’s 1901 occasional table on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, I knew I had to make one. Baillie Scott (1865-1945) was an architect at the...

The Core Hand Tools

For the cost of one quality piece of large machinery, you can set up a complete shop. by Deneb Puchalski pages 43-47 Setting up a hand-tool-oriented shop is a fraction of the investment of setting up a power-tool shop. For the price of one large quality piece of power machinery, you can buy all...

melencolia try square

‘Melencolia’ Try Square

This nearly lost layout tool is surprisingly accurate and useful. by Christopher Schwarz pages 48-49 A surprising number of woodworking tools and furniture forms have been lost to time. Some for the better (the motorized coping saw?) and others for no apparent reason. A lot of my research into early woodworking consists of examining...

King of Windsors

After decades of teaching, Dunbar is closing the doors to his castle. by Megan Fitzpatrick pages 50-52 It all started in 1971 with a black chair Mike Dunbar spotted at a yard sale in Sutton, Mass. He was looking for things to furnish his student apartment at Worcester State University in Worcester, Mass. “It...

Jig Journal: Custom Push Pads

This handle design is a safety improvement over commercial versions. by Jerry C. Forshee pages 54-55 Let’s face it: Many of us all too often see safety as…well, just plain boring. We always seem to be anxious to use that little bit of free time to get to the shop and work on that...

Festool ETS EC125/3 Eccentric Sander

Festool’s newest 5″ compact tool delivers on comfort and performance. by Andy Brownell page 12 A well-sanded surface makes a huge difference on a finished piece. Unlike many woodworkers I know, I appreciate the relatively mindless nature of sanding. In addition to recently using the Mirka DEROS for benchmarking purposes, my go-to power sander...

Chestnut Tools Universal Sharpener

by Christopher Schwarz page 14 Sometimes a small advance in technology makes an enormous difference in everything. The Chestnut Tools Universal Sharpener – just $18.50 from Lee Valley Tools – will absolutely change the way you sharpen tools. It looks like a folding pocketknife, but instead of a blade the sharpener has a piece...