November 2014 #214

Popular Woodworking Magazine November 14 Cover A live-edge top and spalted beech doors bring an organic twist to the clean lines of a hanging cabinet that mixes classic and contemporary. Michael Dunbar, the wizard of the Windsor, shows you three innovative joints that will keep your chairs solid no matter how much your sitters lean, plop and squirm; In “Must-Have Router Bits,” Chuck Bender trims away confusion to show you the four router profiles your shop shouldn’t be without. Chuck shows how you can make almost any moulding or cut you need with just a few sizes of each bit’s profile. This month, you’ll also learn how to make a contemporary splay-leg table that looks hard to build — but despite the splay legs, it’s not. “Bookend Inlay” is one of the hallmarks of Federal-period furniture – you’ll learn how to use common tools and a pan of hot sand to make four variations of this design (and in our December issue, you’ll see how to build the rest of the table that features this beautiful inlay).

Looking for inspiration for a fall project? You’ll find plenty as we present the winners of the second annual PWM Excellence Awards, as determined by you and the editors. You’ll love how our Grand-Prize winner used walnut, ebony, olive, ash and dyed sycamore to create remarkable marquetry inside his winning entry.

In this month’s Tool Test, we review the Hammer K3, an Austrian sliding table saw that’s worth the price (which isn’t much more than a typical U.S. cabinet saw); the Angle-Ease, a tilting router base from Woodhaven…and a secret tool to be revealed on Oct. 13. George Walker gives his slant on “Fair Curves” in Design Matters; Peter Follansbee looks at interesting and unusual tools from the past in his Arts & Mysteries column (what – you haven’t used a thixtell?); and in End Grain, Joe McMahon says goodbye to his longtime love (and his wife is still around).

Plus Tricks of the Trade, reader letters and more.

Contemporary Cabinet

The inspiration for this simple build hangs on a live-edge piece of walnut. by Megan Fitzpatrick pages 26-31 A contemporary look and no dovetails: Those were my self-imposed rules for this cabinet design. I’ve just completed a remodel on my kitchen, you see, with shop-built Shaker-style cabinets and a passel of hand-dovetailed drawers. I needed a...

‘Bookend’ Inlay

Make four variations of Federal inlay with heat and a few simple tools. by Frank Vucolo Pages 32-35 While one revolution was winding down, another was gaining force. The Federal period, from about 1780 to 1820, saw both the rise of the nascent United States as well as a uniquely American interpretation of neoclassical...

Clever Windsor Joints

Apply the strength of dovetails to round pieces by Michael Dunbar pages 36-39 Windsor chairs are comfortable, handsome and strong. That is why for 250 years they have been America’s favorite chair. Windsors were made by hand for more than a century, roughly 1730 to 1840. During that time their designs changed as makers...

Splay-leg Table with a Twist

Tweaking a classic table design adds a contemporary feel and challenges traditional building techniques. by Tom Calisto pages 40-45 My aim was to make something fairly simple and classic with contemporary flair. The cuffs and cock bead are borrowed from the Federal period, but I added splayed legs and an angle on the cuffs...

Must-Have Router Bits

Here are four profiles that will change your woodworking life. by Chuck Bender page 46-48 Every woodworking shop has a few vital tools that are absolute necessities. And whether you have a strict power-only tool policy or you take a blended approach, I would argue that a router is one of the tools essential...

Woodworking Excellence

Get inspired by our 2014 winners. by Megan Fitzpatrick page 49 For our second annual PWM Excellence Awards, we solicited submissions in five categories: Boxes and Smalls; Seating; Tables; Cabinets and Casework; and Turnings, Carvings and Objet d’Art. Featured here are the Editors’ Choice and Readers’ Choice winners in each (Bruce Chaffin was the...

Design Matters: Fair Curves

Dave Fisher designs bowls by touch as well as sight. by George R. Walker page 18 The words “fair curve” get tossed around by designers, chairmakers and especially by boatbuilders. It’s almost impossible to pin down any of those folks and get a precise definition. About the best you might hear is that a...

Arts & Mysteries: Pre-anarchist’s Tool Chest

‘Thixtell?’ ‘Wymble?‘ Legal records reveal some curious period tools. by Peter Follansbee page 22 Centuries before we all read Christopher Schwarz’s “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest” (Lost Art Press), craftsmen compiled lists of what they perceived as a basic set of tools for a young man starting his career in the woodworking trades. They just...

Customizable Bevel-down Planes from Veritas

by Megan Fitzpatrick page 16 We don’t typically include tools in this column that we’ve not actually tested, but we’re making an exception for these five new bevel-down planes from Veritas (Nos. 4, 41⁄2, 5, 51⁄2 and 7 in the Stanley numbering system). I got a preview of these at Lee Valley Tools in...