A Preview of the October 2008 Issue of Popular Woodworking

The next issue of Popular Woodworking will be heading into mailboxes in the next two weeks, so we thought we’d give you a quick look at what you can expect inside.

21st-Century Workbench: For at least a year, Senior Editor Robert W. Lang has been working diligently on plans for a new kind of workbench that blends the best of modern and ancient designs. He succeeded beyond my expectations. This bench performs all the workholding tasks for power or hand tools. It’s simple to build. It knocks down in less than 10 minutes (we timed it). And it looks great. We were so impressed with the design that we’ve even made a complete hour-long DVD of the construction process. We’ll tell you more about the DVD when the issue comes out.

Tool Test: Random-orbit Sanders:
If you own only one sander, it should be a random-orbit tool. But which one? Senior Editor Glen D. Huey tested nine popular brands in our shop here and found one tool that we liked better than all the rest. Here’s the best thing: It’s definitely not the most expensive in the test.

Details & Joinery of Greene & Greene: Trust me on this , the joinery and level of detail found on Greene & Greene-style pieces is far beyond what is typically done in today’s shops. We sent woodworker David Mathias to the West Coast to get inside the casework and under the tables to reveal the inspiring level of work found in these masterpieces. Read the first installment in this series here.

Taming Handplane Tear-out:
Battling tear-out is one of the most vexing things about using a handplane. Everyone has an opinion about what reduces it, but not all these strategies work all the time. We investigate.

Layout Tools: Michael Dunbar surveys the 16 tools you need for accurate layout in any shop. With his typical practical approach, Dunbar shows you how you don’t have to spend a small fortune to do precision layout work.

Marc Adams on Table Saws: The table saw is the most used (and misused) tool in the American workshop. Marc Adams shows you how to set up and use your machine so you get accurate results without becoming one of the thousands of casualties each year. You can read another installment in Adams’s series on safety here.

Arts & Mysteries: Adam Cherubini builds a 17th-century “joynt forme,” a type of low seating bench with turned legs. Adam gives you hints on angled mortises and riving your materials using traditional methods.

The Wood Whisperer: Marc Spagnuolo runs a power-tool shop, but he uses hand tools to improve his joinery. He shows you how.

Flexner on Finishing: Bob Flexner takes on the common perception that shellac is best used a sealer when finishing. He shows you how you might be making your finishing harder than it has to be. Read more of Bob’s articles here.

– Christopher Schwarz