Throughout the years I’ve been here at Popular Woodworking Magazine, there are only two woodworking questions that find their way into my inbox on a regular basis. The number of times I’ve answered the question about the router bit I used to plunge-cut workbench holes into my Shaker Workbench from December 2007 (#166) is astounding, and I’m not the only one in the office that has answered that question. (Dig around the editors’ blog and our videos if you need this information – it is there if you search, or you can drop me an e-mail and I’ll happily provide the answer.)
Another question that I get quite often is reflected in the letter below that I recently received. While this time it’s concerning a project from the book on furniture from the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, the Lady’s Desk published in the November 2011 issue (#193) of Popular Woodworking Magazine, in the past it has come in about my Classic Huntboard from the June 2009 issue (#176). I also answered this question when the Queen Anne Dressing Table was published in the June 2010 issue (#183).
I am in the progress of building your Southern lady’s desk. My wife is anxiously waiting for this desk to be finished. I am putting together the bottom unit (base) and I am wondering if I read correctly (in your article in Popular Woodworking Magazine from November 2011) that the tenons on the 8”-wide base unit sides and back are to be glued. Should I make some arrangement to minimize the potential movement of the cherry to keep it from splitting? I can glue the top tenon and allow the bottom tenon to float. I am using flat-sawn cherry.
I have tweaked the design a little (wider and deeper) to make the drawer under the writing surface sized to fit a portable computer. I plan to add under-mount drawer slides to allow the drawer to come out 100%.
First of all, I give an “attaboy” to the writer because he is adapting the design and plan to fit his needs. (There is no need to copy anything exactly as it was published; put your own spin on it, and make it work for you.) In a reply to his letter, I sent him a link to my blog post from June 2009. (The link is below.) I must caution you, however, that if you read the post, please read all the comments as well.
This is still my answer. And it’s how I work when I build furniture.