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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Learn how to choose and use these versatile shaping tools. By James Mursell Pages 50-53 As a Windsor chairmaker and spokeshave maker, I use a spokeshave more than any other tool. I have three: two straight shaves (large and small) and, for hollowing wood, the curved specialty shave called a travisher. My introduction to spokeshaves came at school...

Drawers Date Furniture

Drawers Date Furniture

Quick inspections reveal much about a piece’s age and possible origin. By Bob Flexner Pages 54-56 A while back, my wife and I were visiting friends who wanted to show us their collection of antique furniture. At one point we went into their bedroom and I headed directly for a very old-looking chest-of-drawers. I pulled the top...


Honing in on Proportions

Small changes can make a big design difference – and help train your eye. By George R. Walker Pages 18-19 How do you dial in the proportions on a furniture design? I used to pose that question a lot. Perhaps what makes this puzzling is the fact that small differences can have a dramatic effect. The line...


Woodworking Essentials: The Right Wood in the Right Spot

The end grain holds the secret to what stock to use where. By Robert W. Lang Pages 20-23 The single-most important factor in the appearance of any woodworking project is the selection of the material. This isn’t what species to use or what color of finish; it is the choice of which board goes where. The wrong...


Arts & Mysteries: A Chest for Every Woodworker

Design your tool storage from the inside out. By Adam Cherubini Pages 54-56 I currently store my woodworking tools in a traditional cabinetmaker’s/joiner’s tool chest. In building that chest, I leaned heavily on surviving period chests as well as images dating from the period. Over the years I’ve been an advocate for these sorts of chests. But...


End Grain: It Comes Down to the Cut

Thoughts on woodworking and the art of growing up with Zen. By Wilbur Pan Page 68 Because I’m of Chinese descent, it’s probably not a surprise that I found myself drawn to Japanese tools when I started woodworking, and that I wanted to learn how they worked and how they were used. At first this was frustrating....