June 2016 #225

The June issue features an Arts & Crafts-inspired maple medicine cabinet, with a clever trick (learned from David T. Smith) that makes the divided-light door a snap. Megan Fitzpatrick shows you step by step how to make this simple but handsome piece.
In “Draw Your Way to Better Woodworking,” David Savage teaches how drawing can help to improve your furniture designs, and how to get started…even if you think you can’t do it. It’s a lesson every student at Savage’s Devon-based furniture school learns.
Christopher Schwarz’s “The First Trestle Tables” are portable, sturdy and easy to build – and while they’re based on medieval designs, they look shockingly modern.
Build a Queen Anne strop box (or stone box) entirely by hand with detailed instruction from Willard “Bill” Anderson – it’s an excellent introduction to hand-tool work, and a fun project for woodworkers of any skill level.
Karl Holtey is now at work on his final production plane – the 984 panel plane – before retiring from his storied career. Kieran Binnie spent a few days with Holtey in his workshop and shares an intimate look at his work (and Holtey’s plans for retirement).

In “Tool Test,” you’ll read about the Powermatic table saw tenon jig (PM-TJ), J. Wilding’s moving fillister plane and the Lee Valley Tools glue pot and tabletop warmer.

In “Arts & Mysteries,” Peter Follansbee shares the story of a 1631 dispute between London’s “joyners” and carpenters (which led to trade regulation); Bob Flexner teaches you all about sealers in “Flexner on Finishing;” George Walker discusses how to use isometric drawings to enhance your visualization skills in “Design Matters;” in “End Grain,” Derek Cohen makes the case for a jointer and band saw as the only tools you need for stock prep; and more.

Medicine Cabinet

A slick technique makes the divided-light door a snap. by Megan Fitzpatrick pages 26-31 In 2008, I built a contemporary maple chimney cupboard to hold towels in my bathroom. Eight years on, I decided it was time for a matching medicine cabinet – in large part because the house I recently bought has solid...

Draw Your Way to Better Woodworking

Using your hands to sketch can teach your eyes to really see. by David Savage pages 32-37 Most of us use our eyes to avoid bumping into things; we probably are only using 20 percent of our visual ability. I had a student some years ago at Rowden Workshops who had a history in...

The First Trestle Tables

Portable, sturdy and easy to build, these were used for a variety of tasks. by Christopher Schwarz pages 38-43 Many of the fantastic furniture forms of the Middle Ages have disappeared and have been replaced by pieces that are more complex but not necessarily better. One of my favorites is the early trestle table....

Queen Anne Strop Box

Sharpen your hand-tool skills with this useful project. by Willard Anderson pages 4-50 I recently obtained a nice piece of leather about 1⁄4″ thick that I wanted to use as a strop for plane irons and chisels. And, I was looking for a simple hand-tool project. So I decided to make a “strop box”...

Karl Holtey, Plane Pioneer

This legendary planemaker’s career has been dedicated to innovation. by Kieran Binnie pages 51-55 There is no straight path between a childhood spent in a camp for displaced persons in Germany’s Black Forest at the end of the Second World War, and a workshop in the Scottish Highlands making some of the most desirable...

Tool Test: Powermatic Table Saw Tenon Jig

No-measure setup delivers precise, repeatable tenons – fast. If you cut a lot of tenons, the Powermatic Tenoning Jig (PM-TJ) is worth a close look. While it appears a bit complicated out of the box, the PM-TJ is remarkably easy to use and compatible with any standard table saw with a low-profile riving knife....

moving fillister plane

Tool Test: J. Wilding Moving Fillister Plane

Vintage moving fillister planes are easy to find but can be tricky to restore because of all the moving parts and the general wear and tear these tools endure. If you don’t want to buy a metal moving fillister, then I highly recommend you check out the work of Jeremiah Wilding, a young planemaker...

glue pot

Tool Test: Lee Valley Tools Glue Pot & Tabletop Warmer

This stainless steel replica of a late 19th-century double-boiler cast iron glue pot from Landers, Frary & Clark is both cute and useful – despite its diminutive size (3″ diameter x 2-3⁄8″ height). The outer pot holds 2-1⁄2 fluid ounces of water to keep the contents of the inner pot from scorching when it’s...

Design Matters: Ideas that Jump Off the Page

Isometric views help keep your designs grounded. by George R. Walker pages 20-22 The kite leapt into the wind and I frantically uncoiled string that burned and chafed my hands and fingers. The thin wooden crossbeams bent almost to the breaking point again and again as the wind buffeted the kite, until finally it...