Chris Schwarz's Blog

Autumn 2006 Issue Heading to Printer

We’re wrapping up the Autumn 2006 issue of Woodworking Magazine this week , all the building, testing and writing of the last five months will end on Friday. Once it leaves the editors’ hands, the art director will give her final touches to it, and then it begins its tortuous path to the printer. Bottom line: The printing plant will finish up its work in early July and it will be on the newsstands in most markets by early August. Let’s say Aug. 9.

As always, we try to bring you some stories that are a little different, and I think we have a few good surprises in this one.

David Thiel tested a bunch of moisture meters (I mean, who reviews those things? Apparently, we do.) They are curious little instruments that cost anywhere from $30 all the way up to $200 (and more). I have to say that after reading David’s comments and looking at the meters myself, there are some pretty bonehead designs out there. If you’re thinking about ordering an entry-level meter, I think you might want to wait for this issue , on pins and needles. (Yes, that’s the worst pun in this weblog entry.)

Robert Lang investigated the traditional method of splining your boards in a tabletop. Yes, we know that modern yellow glues have rendered this technique obsolete for most applications. But after some careful consideration, we think you might want to dust this technique off the next time you make a slab top.

Megan Fitzpatrick learned to paint for this issue. Actually, she’s quite an obsessive (her word) painter around her house. Ask her about painting kitchen cabinets at 2 a.m. sometime. In any case, she spent time learning how to paint furniture really, really well from a local guy who is a professional painter and an accomplished woodworker. Once you read this story, you might change your attitude toward paint. It can be a stunning finish when executed correctly.

And I got to make a bunch of joints and saw them apart. Surprise, surprise. Wedged tenons have always fascinated me and I’ve made many many of these joints, especially since I took up chairmaking. But the dogma around this joint is quite remarkable. The directions for preparing the parts for assembly span a wide range from “do almost nothing” to “build a small city inside your mortise.” So I made a whole bunch of joints and then sawed them open to see what happened to the joint in each method. Here’s a hint: The method that scared me the most turned out to be the best one.

And there’s other stuff too, of course: plans for a traditional sawbench and an American trestle table. A few Shortcuts that we know you’ve never seen before and some really fine quotes, too. Here’s a sample:

“The things I make may be for others, but how I make them is for me.”
, Tony Konovaloff, woodworker, 1992 graduate, College of the Redwoods

– Christopher Schwarz

One thought on “Autumn 2006 Issue Heading to Printer

  1. Robert Bourque

    I look forward to the Aug 06 issue, I have wanted to design a trestle table for our dining room for some time now – hopefully this will give me the inspiration needed… Keep up the good work!

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