article index

Shapely Legs

You needn’t rely on ready-made patterns to design good-looking gams. by Rob Porcaro pages 43-47 Legs with engaging, flowing three-dimensional curves can add immeasurably to the aesthetic success of such pieces as tables, stands and chests. In this article, using the legs for a small floating-top table as an example, I’ll show a practical...

Diamond Divided Lights

These doors are all about the angles – learn to bisect them using geometry and it’s a snap. by Phil Lowe pages 48-54 When I walk into the American decorative arts Gallery at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Mass., I am always drawn to a great Federal piece that was built by Cotton...

OmniSquare

OmniSquare Multi-function Layout Tool

This clever and inexpensive milled aluminum square functions as a try square, miter square, bevel square, T-square, combination square and (in a pinch) a compass (the compass function would work better were there a groove on the end of the blade in which to set a pencil, which the maker mentions, but leaves up...

Walke Moore Compass Guides

by James McConnell page 14 Designed as solid anchor points for placing compasses and dividers on the edges and corners of boards to mark curves, two of these Compass Guides from Walke Moore Tools allow you to make perfect circles or arcs anywhere on projects without fumbling to align a compass leg. (The round...

See Like a Designer

Look for the ‘bones’ to observe how form defines design. by George Walker pages 16-18 It happens during almost every furniture design workshop. At the start of day two, a carload of students shows up 20 minutes late. One would think they’d be embarrassed, but instead they burst in all giggly and excited. Then...

Tool & Furniture Records

Nicholas Disbrowe, Samuel Sewall and chairs as corpse transportation. by Peter Follansbee pages 58-61 As I study 17th-century oak furniture, I come up with many dead ends. The surviving objects tell one part of the story, another view into this world is found in the written records of this period. The holy grail of...

Colonial Apprenticeship

A brief history of a not-so-romantic woodworking education system. by Bob Flexner pages 62-63 Ever since the renewal of interest in woodworking in the 1970s, especially among amateurs and small-shop professionals, there has been talk of reestablishing an apprenticeship program similar to what existed hundreds of years ago. But what was that apprenticeship system...

Joint Survivors – End Grain

Accidental musing on craftsmanship and building things to last. by Adam Godet page 64 On a cold rainy day in December 2014, I was returning home from running errands in my Washington, D.C., neighborhood. Diane Rehm was discussing Russia on NPR. I was thinking about the leftover pizza I was going to eat for...

Rediscover a Shaker Classic

A rim and box in contrasting species is an elegant eye-catcher. by John Wilson pgs. 28-33 Open boxes, as useful as they are attractive, were not made to hold sweets for the table. Instead, they were for something that makes me wince: expectoration of chewing tobacco. These round open boxes with rims were filled...