Author Archives: Chuck Bender

Chuck Bender

About Chuck Bender

Chuck is the senior editor of Popular Woodworking, and has 30+ years of experience as a high-end period furniture maker and woodworking teacher.

chipstone_townsend_dressingtable

Furniture Details: What’s New?

In order to know, and understand, how things were made in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries you’ve got to spend a lot of time on the floor (no Bender jokes, please). Looking at pieces from the top down, or outside in, only gives you a small part of the picture. And that’s why...

cornice_plane

An 18th Century Rarity in Use

John Sindelar, owner of the famous Sindelar Tool Museum, posted a link today from the European Woodworking Show that showed a cornice, or crown moulding, plane in action. I thought it was worth posting here because you see the planes everywhere but seldom see them in use. Thanks to John for bringing it to my...

Copyright Charles Bender 2014 - all rights reserved.

Furniture Details: Decorative Mouldings With Bite

When most people think about adding something to enhance crown mouldings on pieces of furniture, they turn instantly to dentil moulding. It’s easy to make because of the repetitive cuts, and you can jig it up on a table saw in mere minutes (it uses the same jig as a box joint – learn how to make...

Photo courtesy of Winterthur

Design in Practice: Stylin’ Finis?

In the last installment I got to Chippendale furniture but I didn’t cover all the changes that took place. The cabriole leg was actually on its way out in terms of fashion (in England, at least). Chippendale included many designs for pieces with straight, or Marlboro, legs in his “Gentleman’s and Cabinetmaker’s Director”. Some...

SU_shoe

Furniture Details: Shoes

In my last “Design in Practice” post I talked about how, as furniture transitioned from William & Mary to Queen Anne, the bottom back rail moved down and became the shoe on top of the back seat rail of a chair. It occurred to me that some folks may not know what a shoe...

Jet

New Jet $50 Guarantee

If you’ve ever been frustrated by heading to your local tool dealer to get a hands-on look at the latest new tool reviewed in Popular Woodworking Magazine (or in one of our online reviews) only to find they don’t have it on the showroom floor, then Jet has the guarantee for you. As of yesterday...

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Period Trippin’

I got a request recently in the comments section of my “Design in Practice:Stylin’ Too” post (read it here) about museums to visit for those interested in period furniture from Boston to Williamsburg. There’s a bunch, but I’ll list some of my favorites. Of course, by limiting my northern exposure to Boston, you’re forcing...

Newport Philly compare

Furniture Details: Philly Explained

A couple of weeks ago I posted why Philly chairs were just better (read it by clicking here). In the comments pmac mentioned including a SketchUp drawing in future posts to illustrate the joinery I discussed in the body of the post. Even though pmac understood the joinery I mentioned, I thought it would...

Photo courtesy Winterthur

Design in Practice: Stylin’ Too

Last week I started down the slippery slope of defining some of the differences between the various periods of furniture (read it here). This week, I’m just jumping off the cliff. Even if you’re not into period furniture, this series of posts can help you understand where your style of furniture came from. The...