article index

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...

Soap: Making a Clean Finish

This traditional finish from Denmark is simple, safe and tactile. by Christopher Schwarz pgs. 34-38 When I tell fellow woodworkers and customers that I use soap as a finish on some of my tables and chairs, they think I’m joking. Then, when I pull out a Mason jar filled with soap finish to show...

Finger-joined Tote

An elegant exercise in bent lamination and joinery. by Bill Heidt pgs. 39-43 When I started taking woodworking classes, I needed a convenient way to carry my tools. After looking for just the right toolbox, I decided to design something to meet my specific needs with some elements of style and craftsmanship to make...

‘Old Arn’

Finding and restoring vintage shop machinery. by Jameel Abraham pgs. 44-49You pick up an old handplane at the local flea market. You clean it, flatten the sole, tune the adjusting mechanism, hone the iron to a frightful edge. That first shaving. You know the one. Full length, full width, the sound. You are grinning...

‘According to Fancy’

by Joshua Klein pgs. 50-55 When most people think of period furniture, they think of high-style carving or inlay. This hyper-focus on exceptional examples skews our impression of pre-industrial life. The truth is, very few people lived with that kind of refinement. Far more common were simplified, vernacular representations of forms in vogue in...

Revisionist History

by Megan Fitzpatrick pg. 8 For an upcoming issue, I’m working on what will be – what was supposed to be, anyway – my first pure reproduction. That is, instead of my oft-used approach of adapting and designing a piece or style to meet specific needs (e.g., my Shaker-inspired coffee table from the August...

Super Nova Magnetic Lathe Lamp

Three LEDs and a 30″ flexible neck deliver durable, excellent task lighting. by Rob Porcaro pg. 16 Good lighting can make a big difference in the quality of your woodworking, especially hand-tool work. Without it, there is little hope of accurately sawing to a layout line. It is also key in evaluating a surface...