August 2012 #198

Popular Woodworking Magazine August 2012 CoverOur cover story for the August 2012 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine is “Campaign Furniture” by Christopher Schwarz. In the piece he discusses the wartime origins of this furniture style, which was popular in the British Empire and America for more than 150 years, and builds his own campaign chest – includes furniture plans. In “4 Boxes, 4 Ways” our staff editors each design and build a box of their own, with different joinery techniques and aesthetics. Renowned period furniture maker Charles Bender offers three high-style variations on the carved foot in “A Trio of Trifids.” Robert Lang explores exposed joinery techniques building a “Stickley Book Rack,” a classic of Arts & Crafts furniture. In “Rule Joints: by Hand & by Power,” woodworking teacher and retired research scientist Willard Anderson reveals the subtleties of crafting a smooth-moving joint. Plus, period furniture maker Freddie Roman shows you how to plot “The Elusive Ellipse” in four minutes or less.

In this month’s Tool Test, we review the “Makita Compact Router Kit,” “Lie-Nielsen No. 101 Block Plane,” and the “iVac Pro Automated Dust-control System.”

In Arts & Mysteries, Adam Cherubini discusses “Mortising by Hand,” explaining the key to lasting joints is a good fit – or good pegs. With Matthew Teague’s Jig Journal, you’ll use a table saw to make quick work of reinforcing miter joints with a “Keyed Miter Jig.” This month’s I Can Do That column has Robert Lang building a sleek “Contemporary Coffee Table” by taking the easy way out – sizing with no measuring. Flexner on Finishing keeps you abreast of recent changes to wood finishes that may necessitate technique changes on the part of woodworkers. Finally in End Grain, woodworker Scot O’Shea reflects on how imperfect woodworking often delivers the best lessons in “A Teacher’s Seat.” And of course you’ll find Letters and Tricks of the Trade.

Below, you’ll find capsule descriptions of every article, with links to the many free Online Extras.

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Campaign Furniture

Campaign Furniture

Simple, rugged, masculine and awesome – this sometimes-forgotten style of furniture is great for beginning and advanced woodworkers. By Christopher Schwarz Pages 24-30 Campaign-style furniture is as sturdy and simple as Shaker. It is as masculine as Arts & Crafts. And it is free of adornment, like Bauhaus pieces. Yet many woodworkers are unaware of this furniture...

4 Boxes, 4 Ways

4 Boxes, 4 Ways

The editors present some of their favorite designs. By Matthew Teague, Robert W. Lang, Megan Fitzpatrick & Steve Shanesy Page 31-35 Whether we spend most of our time building 18th-century highboys, production cabinetry or toys for our kids and grandchildren, we all build small boxes from time to time. Because we produce so many small offcuts of...

A Trio of Trifids

A Trio of Trifids

Three variations on a carved foot offer high style. By Charles Bender Pages 36-41 Access to information provides the modern woodworker with greater variety, and it challenges their skills more than their 18th-century counterparts. When we consider how fashion-conscious both producers and consumers were in the 1700s, it’s truly amazing to think how quickly the word spread...

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Stickley Book Rack

Expose your joinery skills with this Arts & Crafts classic. By Robert Lang Pages 42-47 In the early 1900s, furniture maker Gustav Stickley began producing a unique style of furniture that he called “Craftsman.” At the time, the world was coming into the modern industrial age, and Stickley, among others, began to question the value of mass-produced...

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Rule Joints: by Hand & by Power

No matter how you cut them, understand their subtleties to make a smooth-moving joint. By Willard Anderson Pages 48-53 The rule joint is elegant in its apparent simplicity and is a classic element of fine furniture. Much of what has been written on rule joints – or table joints as they’re often called – is from...

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The Elusive Ellipse

Plot an ellipse using simple geometry in 4 minutes or less – really! By Freddy Roman Pages 54-57 As a furniture maker with a fondness for the Federal period, I’m interested in the ellipse-shaped decorative details that regularly appear in furniture from the era. When I study these details, I think of master craftsmen of the day...

Table for your trim router

Tricks of the Trade: A Table for Your Trim Router

By Bruce Davis Page 14 I was looking for a safer way to use my trim router for everyday chores around the shop. My solution was to build a router table that hangs off the end of my bench on a French cleat. When I’m not using the router table, I store it under the end...

Lie-Nielsen N0. 101 Block Plane

Tool Test: Lie-Nielsen No. 101 Block Plane

By Megan Fitzpatrick Page 16 This wee bronze plane from Warren, Maine, is a reproduction (of sorts) of the Stanley No. 101 plane – a small block plane originally designed for household use and light work (and sold in toy tool chests, according to Patrick Leach’s “Blood and Gore” web site). But unlike its inspiration, this new...

Moritsing by Hand

Arts & Myteries: Mortising by Hand

The key to a lasting joint is a good fit – or good pegs. By Adam Cherubini Pages 20-22 Frankly, I can do without dovetails quite nicely. You can nail two boards together and be left with something strong and serviceable. But mortises are trickier to live without; you need to know how to cut them. Mortises join...