December 2016 #229

pwm1216_250

The December issue features a classic little table from Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, MA. You may think you’ve seen it before, maybe even taken a stab at it yourself, but Will Myers shows you how to build it right (and that’s a first). Based on measurements Myers took during an in-person examination, the seemingly-simple candle stand is now fully reproducible in your own workshop.

 

Does the thought of computers in the shop make you grip your tenon saw with both hands? Tim Celeski knows some folks think the specter of automation steals hand tools in the dead of night, but he’s convinced you can own a computer-operated router and still hand cut the best dovetails on the block. In “Digital Woodworking,” Celeski introduces you to CNCs with some facts about the tool you may not know you want.

 

Meet JoJo Wood, the young, British-born maker who’s got the green woodworking world buzzing over her exquisitely hand-carved spoons – and her chip-carved clogs haven’t gone unnoticed, either. Our “Arts & Mysteries” columnist Peter Follansbee introduces you to the 20-something putting a new face on age-old techniques.

 

Oh no – nails! Christopher Schwarz thinks these fasteners have gotten a bad rap. Learn why you hate the nails you’ve used, as well as what nails are waiting to capture your heart. From blacksmith-forged Roman nails to cut nails, there’s a whole world beyond the hardware-aisle cardboard boxes. So go ahead – give nails a chance.

 

Get gentle holding pressure with shop-made binding clamps – all you need is scrap Plexiglas and some inexpensive graphite rods. And study up on the hows and whys of moulding planes, the router-free way to cut beading and complex profiles.

 

This issue’s “Tool Test” takes the hi-tech NOVA Voyager DVR drill press for a spin, tries out some bargain-priced bench dogs and makes custom pocket-hole plugs from project stock with Kreg’s new plug cutter jig and bit. Learn to master design skills through deliberate repetition in “Design Matters,” build a cool wedged sliding mortise gauge in “Arts & Mysteries” and learn about changing VOC laws (and their effect on your future projects) in “Flexner on Finishing.” Plus consider the creative challenges bespoke makers face with RH Lee, shop manager at Offerman Woodshop, in “Custom Design, Creative Process,” this issue’s End Grain contribution.

Hancock Candle Stand

This iconic table is the first perfect copy of the original. by Will Myers pgs. 24-32 Sometimes a project ends up going in directions you never expected. What seems to be so simple and straightforward ends up being much more involved. I had not planned to end up on a quest. A few months...

Digital Woodworking

Learn how computers, software and CNCs can contribute in your shop. by Tim Celeski pgs. 33-37 There are a lot of ways to do woodworking. For example, there’s more than a dozen ways to make mortises and tenons. The same is true for almost everything a woodworker does. For any given task, everyone finds...

Fall in Love with Nails

This much-maligned fastener has a place in the finest furniture. Here’s why. by Christopher Schwarz pgs. 38-43 Among furniture makers, the reputation of the simple nail is somewhere south of expired glue and tacos made from weasel knees. The following statement is one you hear all the time: The best furniture is built using...

Handmade in Herefordshire

A young maker works green wood with seasoned skill. by Peter Follansbee pgs. 44-47 Jazz is dead. God is dead. Baseball is dead. I remember when all these deaths and more were proclaimed, but they all have proven to be untrue. And in recent years more than once I have heard that woodworking is...

Binding Clamps

Make your own light-duty one-handed workholding wonders. by Donald C. Williams pgs. 48-49 Like most workshops, mine is well-populated with spring clamps, the ubiquitous tool for applying localized pressure with one hand while holding the workpiece (or workpieces) with the other. But one of the most intractable problems is the need for either gentle...

Beading Planes & Complex Moulders

These simple and oft-forgotten tools can make short work of mouldings. by Christopher Schwarz pgs. 50-54 Legend has it that one reason there are so few moulding planes left is that when motorized spindle moulders became common, the wooden bodies of these planes were burned for heat because they were obsolete. Is the story...

Do Unto Others’ Tools

by Megan Fitzpatrick pg. 6 On Instagram recently, I posted the picture below – a wooden coffin smoother in someone else’s shop. The tool – a handplane at rest – was on its side. It got many comments – both for and against. I’ve heard several rationalizations for placing a plane on its side:...

Tool Test: NOVA Voyager DVR Drill Press

This hi-tech tool takes guesswork out of making clean, precise holes. by Megan Fitzpatrick pg. 14 With a vast array of computer-controlled settings and a “smart” motor, the Voyager 18″ drill press from NOVA/Teknatool will certainly appeal to the technology geeks among us. And while I’m a bit of a Luddite when it comes...

Tool Test: Big Horn Bench Dogs

by James McConnell pg. 16 Any decent workbench with a face vise will allow you to easily work the ends and edges of stock, but finding an efficient and effective way to flatten and dress the faces of boards can sometimes be a puzzle. The solution is a good set of bench dogs, and...