Fire, Ice & the Popular Woodworking April Issue

Popular Woodworking April

As I write this, it is a balmy -7°F outside, with traffic snarled by crashes and icy roads. Right now, it is warmer in Anchorage, Moscow, Oslo, Copenhagen, Reykyavik, Stalingrad, Stockholm, McMurdo Station in Antarctica, and the high today on Mars (as measured by the Curiosity rover) will be 12° warmer than the predicted high outside our offices.

But I know spring is on the way — as is the April Popular Woodworking, being mailed out to subscribers this week.

Inside, Mario Rodriguez pays homage to Art Deco great Émile-Jaques Ruhlmann with a tabouret featuring rich materials and subtle curves on torpedo legs blending into a crisp rectangular form. Read how Mario built it, the get free SketchUp model and learn how Mario used a shop-made plug cutter during construction.

Frank Strazza, in his first article for Popular Woodworking Magazine, shows how you can use hand tools to cut tapered sliding dovetails. Frank demonstrates how this versatile traditional joint can be made by hand quicker than you think.

Raney Nelson (it’s his first article for PW, too) builds a Japanese-inspired lamp that showcases intricate kumiko, or latticework, along with a finish created by fire. More than 130 small pieces make up the latticework and Raney shows how a few clever jigs simplify the process.

Blacksmith Seth Gould (also his first article!) teaches you how a flame, some wax and a scouring pad can create a beautiful black finish and let you skip sanding.

Flex your joint-making muscles with a stool by Neil Cronk (man…another first!) that includes eight different types of joints, along with bent lamination and several hand-shaped parts.

Not many people can say they changed the world — but a curious attorney revolutionized the woodworking world with an iconic chair and years of research. Read about Jennie Alexander’s near-perfect chair and amazing journey that popularized green woodworking, in this profile by Christopher Schwarz.

In “Flexner on Finishing,” Bob Flexner looks at one of the major factors that makes finishing a difficult task sometimes: Misleading instructions and manufacturers that may not know their own products.

George Walker takes on killer wood in his “Design Matters” column, and how the wrong wood can hurt a good design.

In Tool Test, we review the Mirka DEROS random-orbit sander, the “Easy Parter” tool from Easy Wood Tools and Bosch’s “Power Ready” wireless charging system. “Tricks of the Trade” gives you a great tip for using a Forstner bit on a hand brace, a new use for a oil drain pan and something you can do with leftover beer or wine corks.

Also find out what’s been piling up in Peter Follansbee’s shop, and in “End Grain,” a reader learns to love furniture from a big-box store.

You can buy a digital copy here.

Popular Woodworking April