Chris Schwarz's Blog

Coming Up in Issue Five – Spring 2006

We’re deep into producing issue five of Woodworking Magazine right now. We have cherry boards basking in the sun this afternoon and I’m trying to finish up some historical research on hammers that might change the way you look at this glorified rock on a stick. Senior Editor David Thiel has been ordering and messing with a load of dial calipers (we’ve got some real surprises in store in that article). And Senior Editor Bob Lang has been tinkering with router templates to give us all the last word on pattern-routing.

The Spring 2006 issue will ship from the printer during the week of Jan. 9. That means you should start looking for it to appear on newsstands the week of Jan. 16 and will be for sale everywhere by Jan. 31.

There’s still time to contribute to the Spring 2006 issue. If you have a Shortcut you’d like to share, you can send it to shortcuts@fwpubs.com . Be sure to get it to us by Nov. 25 if you want to be considered for the next issue. Below is a quick look at some of the features you can look for in the issue:

Making Good Grooves
Cutting grooves for a frame-and-panel construction can be frustrating and dangerous. Using a straight bit in a router table (a common tact) can fling your work across the room. We compare three solutions: slot cutters, dado stacks and plow planes.

Silverware Tray
A reproduction of a Shaker silverware tray. Construction is cut nails with a tongue-in-groove bottom that’s nailed in place.

Hammers & Nails
Learn to choose and use a proper hammer for woodworking. And find out why cut nails should be in your shop , they’re so much stronger than wire nails. We also investigate the other tools that should be used with a hammer: gimlets, push drills, nail sets.

Shaker Enfield Cabinet
How to build this simple case piece with a hammer and nails.

Dial Calipers
We review a selection of commonly available dial calipers, which cover a wide range of costs. Which ones are the best value for the money in a woodworking shop? We make the case that one specific kind of caliper is your best choice, though no one makes the caliper that we want , yet. Also, a sidebar on the seven things dial calipers can do in a workshop.

Adding Age to Cherry
We compare the common finish strategies for finishing cherry that add some color, warmth and age to cherry , which has a cold cast if you simply slap a clear finish on it. We try a basecoat of linseed oil, lye, small quantities of stain added to the topcoat and exposing the wood to the sun.

Christopher Schwarz