April 2016 #224

The April cover features moulding planes based on André Jacob-Roubo’s designs from “L’art du menuiesier” – planemaker Caleb James shows you step by step how to make a set or three.
In “Guerrilla Guide to Spray Finishing,” Christopher Schwarz shares the down-and-dirty info you need to know to start spray-finishing your work at home, no booth required. With the relatively low cost of a spray system these days, there’s little reason to harness the speed and quality of this approach.

Build geometric interest with a Baillie Scott side table; Mitch Roberson’s clever jigs make it simple to make one, or multiples of this example of the English Arts & Crafts style.
In “The Core Hand Tools,” you’ll discover the must-have tools to set up a new hand tool shop – Deneb Puchalski argues that it will cost you less than the cost of one quality machine.
Build a nearly forgotten layout tool, shown in Albrecht Dürer’s 1514 “Melecolia I” engraving; it’s a simple way to use up some shop scraps, by Christopher Schwarz.
After 35 years of teaching, the “King of Windsors” is closing his school – find out what’s next for Mike Dunbar in this profile by Megan Fitzpatrick.

In “Tool Test,” you’ll read about the new Festool ETS EC125/3 low-profile sander, the Chestnut Tools Universal Sharpener and an inexpensive moisture meter from CMT.

In “Arts & Mysteries,” Peter Follansbee shows you a “riving brake”; Bob Flexner teaches you about “water-based lacquer”…which isn’t really lacquer in “Flexner on Finishing;” George Walker discusses how to lighten the look of a bank of drawers in “Design Matters;” in “End Grain,” Jim Baker shares his life-changing experience at the Tower of London; and more.

CMT’s Inexpensive Moisture Meter

by Christopher Schwarz page 14 If you ever work with wood from unreliable or unusual sources, such as one-person sawmills, it pays to own a moisture meter. I slip mine into my pocket whenever I head to the lumberyard and it has saved my skin several times in the last 20...

Design Matters: Graduated Drawers

Ancient architecture provides a starting point for tall chest design. by George R. Walker pages 16-18 Far back in our past, one of our early ancestors cobbled together a box with a lid and created a furniture form still in use today. Wooden chests, sometimes equipped with fancy locks and hinges,...

Arts & Mysteries: Give Me a Brake

Get some splitting leverage with this simple contraption. by Peter Follansbee pages 58-59 Reach for a froe, and you should immediately think, “Give me a brake.” The brake can be a constructed workholding device, or just a couple of logs. Its function is to trap your workpiece in such a way...

strain water based lacquer

Flexner on Finishing: Water-based Finish isn’t Lacquer

The two products – both useful – are quite different. by Bob Flexner pages 50-52 Dating back at least 100 years, the term “lacquer” has referred to a non-crosslinking finish that thins with lacquer thinner. The most common type is nitrocellulose lacquer. In the late 1980s water-based (or waterborne) finishes became...

Humble Job Endures 1,000 Years

The Tower of London provides inspiration to make an impact. by Jim Baker page64 A few years ago I visited England with my wife, daughter and a few friends. It is a fascinating country – some parts of it seem right out of a mid-20th-century television show, while other places are...