December 2004

Popular Woodworking December 2004The December 2004 issue of Popular Woodworking focuses on turning. We pick the best mini-lathes and offer two holiday turning projects – Judy Ditmer’s spindle ornaments and Dale Nish’s birdhouse ornaments.

Find smart storage for small shops with six superior toolbox solutions.

Learn how to build a Shaker bench – an easy heirloom.

We pick the best new tools of 2004.

Check out these two simple jigs to make cutting and routing small parts easy.

Discover six strategies for smooth-fitting, wicked-tight sliding dovetails.

Visit the Marc Adams School of Woodworking.

An easy-to-build, contemporary torsion-box desk is detailed.

Woodworking Essentials continues with basic table saw joinery.

We put Rob Cosman’s “Rough to Ready” video, Craftsman’s Twin Cutter and Starrett’s ProSite Protractor through our Tool Test.

Learn how to fight evil alien technology.

Plus, Tricks of the Trade, Q&A and much more.

Detailed article previews are below. Online extras can be found here.


Out of the Woodwork: Fighting Evil Alien Technology

Beating it requires knowing the right way to nail a board. By Jim Tolpin Page: 104 From the December 2004 issue #145 Buy this issue now When I was about 8 years old, I decided that I needed to construct a sturdy fort to protect myself from the army of aliens (who cleverly had...


Great Woodshops: Fertile Fields

In the last 11 years, Marc Adams’s woodworking school has experienced explosive growth. By Kara Gebhart Pages: 94-98 From the December 2004 issue #145 Buy this issue now It’s an unusually cool August day, and Marc Adams has all the doors of his woodworking school swung open, letting the bright Indiana sunshine in. In...


Birdhouse Ornament

Dale Nish, one of the principal architects of the turning revival, shares some turning techniques. By Dale L. Nish Pages: 88-93 From the December 2004 issue #145 Buy this issue now Birdhouse Christmas ornaments have become very popular the last few years, and they are excellent gifts for family and friends. Back in 1993,...


Working Small

Safely cutting parts that are too small to handle is easy with some simple jigs. By Robert W. Lang Pages: 86-87 From the December 2004 issue #145 Buy this issue now Cutting and machining small parts can be one of the biggest challenges a woodworker faces. Beading, mullions and muntins, and small mouldings are...


Contemporary Torsion-box Desk

This sharp-looking desk is sturdy and easy to make using basic tools and simple joinery. By David Thiel & John Hutchinson Pages: 80-85 From the December 2004 issue #145 Buy this issue now John Hutchinson is much more than Popular Woodworking’s illustrator. He’s also a talented furniture designer. When an e-mail comes in from...


Mini Lathes

We found 3 great machines priced from $225 to $1,550. By Judy Ditmer & Kara Gebhart Pages: 76-79 From the December 2004 issue #145 Buy this issue now Mini lathes, which used to be a tool for crafters, have evolved into capable, powerful machines. Most manufacturers now offer a mini, midi or maxi version...


Arts & Crafts Tool Cabinet

The goal: The maximum tools in the minimum space. By Christopher Schwarz Pages: 66-75 From the December 2004 issue #145 Buy this issue now Sometime while sawing the 60th dovetail for a drawer side, when my patience was as thin as the veneer facing on cheap plywood, a familiar feeling crept into my body....


Best New Tools: 2004

By the Popular Woodworking staff Pages: 61-65 Every year, the Best New Tools article is the one that everyone on the staff looks forward to. Each editor picks his or her favorite tools introduced during the calendar year and makes a list that’s passed around. Then we have to defend our recommendations to the...


Woodworking Essentials: Basic Joinery

By Nick Engler Pages: 45-52 From the December 2004 issue #145 Buy this issue now There are three basic saw cuts: crosscuts, rips and miters. Crosscuts are made perpendicular to the wood grain, rips are cut parallel to the grain and miters are made at angles diagonally across the grain. None of these requires...