By Steve Shanesy Page 16 In the world of routers and routing accessories, it seems that small is big these days. The popularity of trim routers has been growing for some time; in fact, it’s now been a couple years since we praised Micro Fence’s plunge router base for the Bosch Colt, and we recently … Read more
These traditional tools are a throwback for a thoroughly modern maker. By Christopher Schwarz Page 14 Perhaps the last tools I ever expected to come out of the Blue Spruce Toolworks are the most traditional set of modern bench chisels I have ever used. After all, Dave Jeske of Blue Spruce has spent all of … Read more
Straight lines will help you generate pleasing curves.
By George R. Walker
I know a potter who’s worked clay on a wheel for more than a quarter-century. His practiced eye has a keen sense for curved forms, honed by shaping tens of thousands of pots. I admire his work and also the fact that he still gets excited at the thought that there’s more to be learned about curves.
Blog: Read more from George R. Walker on his Design Matters blog.
In Our Store: George R. Walker’s DVDs, “Unlocking the Secrets of Traditional Design,” and “Unlocking the Secrets of Traditional Design: Moldings.” Read more
Do 18th-century tools and techniques always work for modern pieces?
By Adam Cherubini
I’m in the middle of the construction of a machinist’s-style chest to hold some of my smaller or modern woodworking tools. My goal with this project was to recognize the tool-storage needs of the majority of woodworkers and build something that would be more familiar to them. I was also interested in gauging my skills against modern styles of construction. Does my focus on 18th-century woodworking hinder me in executing modern work? I think the quick answer is yes.
How can something so simple be made so hard to understand?
By Bob Flexner
It’s probably fair to say that a majority, or at least a large minority, of woodworkers use a finish they can wipe on and off the wood. No expensive spray gun; not even any brush cleanup. Simple.
At least the application is simple. But these finishes have been made the most complex and confusing of all finishes by manufacturers striving for an edge (they want to convince you they have something special) and writers who either buy into the marketing or simply don’t know what they are talking about.
Articles: You’ll find many free finishing articles on our web site.
In Our Store: “Flexner on Finishing” – 12 years of updated columns illustrated with beautiful full-color images, and “Wood Finishing 101.” Read more
A dream deferred – and that’s just fine.
By W. Paul Olsen
I’ve dreamed about my Workbench for years. It will be solid maple, top to bottom. It will have traditional face and tail vises, with a sliding deadman between. The top? Two 31⁄2″-thick laminated slabs separated by a set of four individual tool trays – like Robert Lang put on his 21st-century Bench (October 2008, issue #171).
I have considered every detail. Length and height? Check. Finish? Check. Round or square dog holes? Decided. Leg construction? Solid wood, flush with the front edge of the top to facilitate clamping.
Late in January of last year, my wife found me sitting in my unheated shop, staring into the void that my Workbench will one day occupy. “Having fun?” she asked, grinning from ear to ear. She knew I was thinking about my Workbench.
In Our Store: You’ll find books, DVDs and downloadable plans for many workbenches in our store. Read more