When I started work at Popular Woodworking in 1996, the goal was to cram as many projects into each issue as possible. No techniques. No tool reviews. Just 17 to 20 projects.
Oh, and we couldn’t use outside authors to help. As a result, we were building all day, everyday. And we were always trying to goose the numbers so we could increase the total count of projects in the issue. Conversations went something like this:
“Let’s see…. The potting bench gets us up to 14 projects. If we add some pegs to the side, that’s a tool rack for spades. Can we count that rack as a project?”
Thankfully, for our sanity and yours, those days are long gone.
During some research on coping saws for an upcoming article, I stumbled on some great plans in an original copy of “Coping Saw Work” by Edward F. Worst (Bruce Publishing, 1927) that I have in my library.
One of the pages features five “paper knives,” what we call letter openers. They have an Arts & Crafts or Art Deco-ish look to them. I scanned them so I could make a few of them (a good use for scraps). And I thought: Dang. I wish I’d found these back in the 1990s. I could have added five projects to an issue of the magazine in one page.
In any case, download the image above to your computer to print it out. The file has everything scanned at full size.
— Christopher Schwarz