October 2012 #199

Popular Woodworking Magazine October 2012 CoverOur cover story for the October 2012 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine is “Bow-front Entry Table” by Matthew Teague. This elegant little project is the perfect introduction to working with curves and veneer – one that won’t break the bank; the veneer is done using an inexpensive hand-pumped vacuum press designed originally for making skateboards. Add a touch of classic detail to your work with “Acanthus Leaf,” which offers a 16-step guide to carving the design into a table leg, as well as short history lesson on the iconic motif. Get ready for the mighty “Gizmozilla.” This (non-radioactive) build-it-yourself woodshop beast is primarily a router-mortising fixture, but it also acts as a Moxon-style vise to speedily cuts tenons – and it makes repetitive stop cuts a breeze. The portable “Roorkhee Chair” helped imperial British soldiers move around the battlefield in comfort and style; Christopher Schwarz’s reproduction will help you do the same, even if the battlefield is more like a mosquito-y barbecue than the Boer Wars. James Mursell, founder of The Windsor Workshop, gives you the skinny on “Spokeshaves,” versatile wood-shaping tools that too often go under-used. Finally, feed your inner woodworking historian as Bob Flexner explains how “Drawers Date Furniture.”

In this month’s Tool Test, we take a look at “Veritas’s New Top Secret Steel,” the “Festool Domino XL DF 700,” and the “M-Power CRB7 Combination Router Base.”

In this month’s I Can Do That, Megan Fitzpatrick builds a sturdy Shaker Carry Box with attractive notched and nailed joints. In Arts & Mysteries, Adam Cherubini teaches you to design your tool storage from the inside out in “A Chest for Every Woodworker.” George R. Walker explains how small changes can make a big difference in your designs, as well as help train your eye in “Honing in on Proportions,” this month’s Design Matters column. In a new column that reveals the basics for good woodworking, Woodworking Essentials, Robert W. Lang explains the importance of putting the “The Right Wood in the Right Spot.” The big secret: An up-close examination of the end grain. And finally in End Grain, Wilbur Pan reflects on his Asian upbringing and how it has shaped his views on the Japanese woodworking tradition in “It Comes Down to the Cut.” And of course you’ll find Letters and Tricks of the Trade.

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Different Kinds of Roorkhee Chairs

Since building my first run of Roorkhee chairs for the October 2012 issue of Popular Woodworking, I’ve been able to explore many of the variants of this nifty design, from the original version (shown in the magazine), to its iteration in the hands of Kaare Klint. This week I’m building an early chair inspired...


Festool Domino XL DF 700

By Matthew Teague Page 16 Festool recently released the Domino XL DF 700, big brother to its revolutionary Domino DF 500, one of the most innovative tools of the last few decades. Aside from the size, the loose-tenon joints created by the XL are the same as with the earlier version. From a machine...


Veritas’s New Top-secret Steel

Canadian company creates a steel combining the best of the old and new. By Christoper Schwarz Page 14 I’ve long been suspicious of the so-called “super steels” that promise long edge life between sharpenings. That has always meant that you have to spend a long time sharpening the tool on your stones or –...

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Bow-front Entry Table

This contemporary design is an easy, affordable introduction to curved work and veneer. By Matthew Teague Pages 26-33 Learning to work with veneers and curves enables you to design and build almost anything. This bow-front entry table serves as a good introduction to both – without costing a small fortune or requiring you to attempt an overly...


Acanthus Leaf

Learn how to carve this classic detail – follow a few rules, and it’s simple. By Mary May Pages 34-39 The beauty and elegance of the acanthus leaf has inspired artists, architects and craftsmen for centuries. Among furniture makers, carving this classic detail is a rite of passage, much like making your first hand-cut dovetails. If you...


I Can Do That: Shaker Carry Box

Notched and nailed joints add visual interest to this simple project. By Megan Fitzpatrick Pages 50-52 This form is typically called a Shaker silverware tray – but it comes in handy for ferrying all sorts of things hither and yon. I got lucky at the big box store in finding some perfectly straight, flat...


M-Power CRB7 Combination Router Base

By Steve Shanesy Page 16 M-Power Tools offers an aftermarket router base that offers a number of features at the very reasonable price of about $90. It can be mounted to any router that has 5/16″-diameter edge-guide holes spaced between 35/64″and 51/8″. One key feature is an indexed micro-adjusting wheel that lets you dial...



A perfect union between an improved router fixture and a Moxon-style vise. By Kenneth Speed Pages 40-43 This fixture, which I’ve christened “Gizmozilla,” grew out of my general dissatisfaction with the methods available to small shops to cut mortises. At one time I used a small hollow-chisel mortiser but I never found the results satisfactory. I tried...


The Roorkhee Chair

Ten sticks of wood and basic skills are all you need to make this ultra-comfortable (and portable) seat. By Christopher Schwarz Pages 44-49 Furniture historians tend to paint the Arts & Crafts movement as a turning point for modern furniture design – where style turned its back on the ornate excesses of the Victorians to embrace the...