Author Archives: David Thiel

About David Thiel

David Thiel has been part of the Popular Woodworking family for 20 years, and now oversees the woodworking video creation.


Pictures in the Pattern: Simple Parquetry Techniques

A few years ago (okay maybe more than that) picture mosaics were all the rage. Making a single large image from lots of smaller images arranged in a planned pattern by color and “pattern”. Whenever I saw one of those images, the woodworker in me always thought of the ancient art of parquetry. Essentially...

Popular Woodworking in America

Popular Woodworking in America: An Interview with Alf Sharp

After a brief tenure in law school at Vanderbilt University, Alf Sharp decided the white collar world was not for him. His woodworking career began with some simple remodeling for a landlord in lieu of rent, which led to doing interior trim work and simple cabinetry, and teaching himself fine woodworking through books and...

Traditional Japanning

Traditional Japanning, It’s Worth the Time

Let me start by getting this off my chest, the phrase “Traditional Japanning” makes me laugh a little because “Japanning” is a European finishing technique that is an imitation of Asian lacquerwork. Snicker. Doesn’t matter, this is a very cool finishing technique. Get the images of dusty boxes on shelves in Chinatown shops out...


The Woodwright’s Shop with Roy Underhill Season 32

Calling All Tool Geeks! Roy Underhill has your number in Season 32. I have a hard time coming up with interesting new ideas for dinner, so I’m always in awe when Roy manages to pull together another 13 episodes of “The Woodwright’s Shop” that are clever, informative and new! Season 32 is all of...


Build a Greene & Greene Dining Chair

The early 1900s Arts & Crafts movement is frequently recognized as a reaction to the industrial revolution with a strong emphasis on hand-crafted furniture, pottery, metalwork and art. All well and good, but it can also be noted that the more successful companies creating these pieces also recognized the economies of scale and the...


Take the Fear Out of Chairmaking

When you make a table it’s fairly straightforward. Four legs (or some variation thereof) and a top. Not too hard. If you choose to splay the legs, then you’ve added some geometry and math to the process…and that’s why you see a lot of tables with straight legs! If you build a chair with...


Offset Turning with Alf Sharp

I’m not really a turner (only when I have to), and I’m not a big fan of math (words are my thing), so when Alf Sharp starts to talk about offset turning and the math he used to figure out his settings…my mind wanders a bit. But when there’s a chunk of wood locked...


The Table Saw: When Was Your First Time?

Do you remember the first time you used a table saw? Was it in shop class? Did your father, or grandfather show you how? My first time was with my father at the age of 15. But it wasn’t in our garage or basement, it was in his custom furniture shop and it was...


Add a New Skill (Leaded Glass) to Your Shop!

While growing up I had never been enamored of stained or leaded glass in my home furnishings – Tiffany glass lamps were usually a bit too frilly for my tastes. But that all changed when I visited Frank Lloyd Wright’s home and studio in Oak Park, Illinois. Suddenly the idea of geometry versus flowers...