February 2014 #209

Popular Woodworking Magazine February 14 Cover Our cover article for the February 2014 issue is a Connecticut lowboy with distinctive details – Glen D. Huey builds a faithful reproduction of this piece he found in a museum storeroom (plus, he includes a sidebar on several ways to make the cock bead moulding).

In Jeff Miller’s “Perfect Shoulders,” you’ll discover how to build a handy saw and frame for dead-on-accurate tenons; it’s a tool Jeff devised…then saw a similar item in an 18th-century French book. Christopher Schwarz got a close-up look at Roy Underhill’s iconic nail cabinet, tape measure in hand. He shares his measured drawings and step-by-step build (plus the “secret” he discovered about it). You’ll discover four ways to make mortises from Robert W. Lang – by hand, by power and by both – but what’s most important is that you understand the mechanisms of the mortise.

Take a trip to the Mercer Museum with Chuck Bender for a look at this brainchild and life’s work of one man, Henry Mercer, who was intent on capturing pre-Industrial America. In “Mighty Router Planes,” Megan Fitzpatrick shows you how this precision tool works, and explains why you need one (or two) in your shop.

In this month’s Tool Test, we review the Laguna 14-Twelve band saw, the new carbide birdcage awl from Czeck Edge Hand Tool and Starborn’s Smart-Bit depth setter. In Design Matters, George R. Walker shows you how to make the most of figured maple. Woodworking Essentials takes a look at taming your table saw for precision and safety (by Robert W. Lang). Bob Rozaieski discusses “Small-shop Efficiencies” in Arts & Mysteries. Bob Flexner talks about acetone – a powerful and versatile solvent that’s fairly easy to find and safe to use in Flexner on Finishing. And in End Grain, David Mathias shares every woodworker’s fear – bad moving companies – in “The Downside if Up is Sideways.”

Plus Tricks of the Trade, reader letters and more.


Tool Test: Starborn’s Smart-Bit Depth Setter

by Chuck Bender page 16 Starborn Industries has set the benchmark for driving screws. The Smart-Bit Depth Setter allows you to sink screws to a consistent depth every time. Although it was first introduced to the deck-building industry, there are a lot of features about this little tool that make it appealing to furniture makers. Contact: starbornindustries.com...


Design Matters: Make the Most of Figured Maple

The right orientation adds shimmer and pop to your work. by George R. Walker pages 18-20 The barn loft was hot and dusty – and especially so after digging through piles of rough lumber for wide cherry boards at the bottom of the stack. We took a break outside for some fresh air and sat on a...


Arts & Mysteries: Small-shop Efficiencies

Simplification and organization are the keys to success. by Bob Rozaieski pages 22-24 I’ve worked in a small workshop for many years now. Many, if not most woodworkers, would classify my 7' x 13' space more as a closet than a workshop. In fact, I have seen some master-suite walk-ins that were indeed larger than my shop. The...


Woodworking Essentials: Taming the Table Saw

There’s no need to fear the most versatile machine in the modern shop. by Robert W. Lang pages 58-61 There are good reasons that the table saw is at the center of many shops. This machine revolutionized the way we make things. And in recent years, it has become the center of controversy on two fronts: safety...


Flexner on Finishing: Acetone in the Woodshop

This solvent’s versatility makes it ideal in many situations. by Bob Flexner pages 62-3 If you’ve been shopping at paint stores or in the paint department of home centers for the last decade or so, you may have noticed the increased prominence of acetone among the solvents. There is a reason for this. Acetone is among the very...


The Downside if Up is Sideways

A nervous woodworker is aghast as his best projects arrive from storage. by David Mathias page 64 The message “Up” (with a directional arrow, no less) seems unambiguous. When displayed prominently on all four of what should be the vertical surfaces of a crate, the intent of the person who went to the trouble to emblazon...