December 2013 #208

Popular Woodworking Magazine December 13 Cover One lucky reader will win the hanging tool cabinet designed and built by Executive Editor Robert W. Lang in “Cabinetmaker’s Tool Chest” (shown on the cover) – and the rest of us get the measured drawings and step-by-step instruction on how to build it.

In “Hammer Veneering,” Don Williams teaches us not only how this age-old technique works, but tells us why – plus, he reveals some tips for doctoring your hot hide glue for various purposes, including increased water resistance and strength. Roy Underhill entertains and educates in “Mechanical Marvels or Steampunk Sporks?” with a close look at the Stanley Nos. 45 and 55 combination planes to help you determine if one of these “all-in-one” planes belongs in your woodworking arsenal.

Editor Megan Fitzpatrick replicates a modern plate rack in tiger maple for your kitchen (or anywhere, really, if you choose to build it as a hanging bookshelf) that was designed for and built by Kelly Mehler; the article includes a sidebar by Mehler on the design process. Contributing Editor Christopher Schwarz visits with tool-making wunderkind Chris Vesper in his Australia workshop in “Tools from Down Under,” and Contributing Editor Steve Shanesy introduces the basics of faceplate turning in “Turn a Platter” (NB: Platters make a great last-minute holiday gift!).

In this month’s Tool Test, we review the solidly built Powermatic PM1000 table saw, Wood Owl “Wood Chipper” auger bits and the Festool Carvex jigsaw. In Design Matters, George R. Walker discusses “Rustication” – how you can incorporate natural elements into your work. In Woodworking Essentials, Managing Editor Glen D. Huey teaches you how to “Pick the Perfect Lock,” and in Arts & Mysteries, Bob Rozaieski discusses how and why to “Choose Your Woods Wisely.” Bob Flexner explains the problems of “Fish Eye & Silicone” (and how to fix the problem). Finally, in End Grain, Autumn Doucet writes about “A Promise to a Professor” – a gift that was a long time in coming. Plus Letters, Tricks of the Trade and Out on a Limb.


Cabinetmaker’s Tool Chest

Store all the tools you need in easy reach. by Robert W. Lang Pages 24-31 If I were to make three lists – the tools I want, the tools I own and the tools I need – the last would be the shortest. When I decided to build a wall cabinet for my hand tools, I put...


Hammer Veneering

Discover how and why this age-old hide glue technique works – and works best. by Don Williams pages 32-34 One of the great hurdles for many woodworkers new to traditional craftsmanship is applying veneers to a wooden substrate. This becomes even more problematic when the task involves something more than laying down a single piece of veneer,...


Mechanical Marvels or Steampunk Sporks?

Stanley No. 45 and No. 55 combination planes are put to the test. by Roy Underhill pages 35-39 It took 2,000 years of fine-tuning for woodworking planes to reach their peak of subtle perfection – each plane elegantly adapted to its niche in the grain. Then, in a coal-fired flash, they were gone, struck down in top-hat...


Kelly Mehler’s Plate Rack

Add pizazz to your kitchen with contemporary curves. by Megan Fitzpatrick pages 40-44 For years, I’ve been trying to cajole Kelly Mehler to write an article for us on one of his many areas of woodworking expertise: building custom pieces that emphasize the beauty of carefully selected hardwoods. And I haven’t given up on that quest – but...


Tools from Down Under

Chris Vesper strives for precision and perfection in toolmaking (and dancing). by Christopher Schwarz pages 45-47 When it comes to settling the issue of who is the most dedicated toolmaker on the planet, Chris Vesper has the plumbing – or rather, the lack of it – as proof of his single-minded love of the craft. Blog: Read about...


Turn a Platter

Shop scraps and a few simple techniques will get you spinning along. by Steve Shanesy pages 48-51 Large turning projects can be daunting. A large bowl, for example, requires gluing up a blank or sourcing part of a tree trunk. When first mounted on the lathe, such stock can be off balance and result in so much...


Tricks of the Trade: Keep Your Saws Sorted & Accessible

pages 14-15 Whenever I work on a project, I end up with my handsaws scattered about the shop. I thought about storing them under my bench, but my bad back keeps me from being able to easily bend down, so it was sometimes difficult to tell which saw I was grabbing. Putting the saw back...


Tool Test: Festool Carvex PS 420 Jigsaw

by Chuck Bender page 18 From the December 2013 issue, #208 Festool’s Carvex jigsaw has innovation written all over it. How much innovation? These jigsaws are available in both corded and battery-powered (due out late in 2013), and you can choose between a D-handle or barrel-grip design. Plus there’s an accessory angle base that folds inward or...


Tool Test: Powermatic PM1000 Table Saw

This saw packs a professional punch for your home workshop. by Chuck Bender page 15 From the December 2013 issue, #208 Powermatic’s new table saw isn’t over-shadowed by its big brother, the PM2000, and it can fit into your home workshop without the added fuss of rewiring your home. Contact: or 800-274-5688 Street price: from $2,000 Blog: Learn...