April 2017 #231

The April 2017 issue takes a deep look at chisels: We’ve all got them, and many of us have more than we need. And while it’s the simplest tool in your chest, a chisel is also the most sensitive – correctly set up, it’s the most versatile too. Christopher Schwarz shows which chisels you actually need, how to set yours up right and techniques for getting successful results from your chisel’s edge.
 
Add a new genre to your period-furniture vocabulary with a William & Mary-style side table. Featuring turned drops and legs, dovetailed aprons, Gothic arches and serpentine stretchers, this 17th-century-inspired piece will put decorative designs in your skill set…and an ornate little table in your home!
 
Learn how to make your own plywood. Wait, plywood? Yeah, but not those 4×8 sheets at the home center – solid-core, shop-made plywood meant for building high-quality furniture that lasts. If this plywood is what your project needs, you likely can’t buy anything better.
 
Urushi, or Japanese lacquer, is known as the “perfect surface,” and its stunning appearance supports the claim. But true urushi is derived from poison sumac and takes months to apply, making it an itchy, time-consuming technique that many are justifiably loathe to undertake. Don Williams’s “faux urushi” process employs epoxy for an exquisite fake-out that saves you time and spares your skin – get the look, not a rash!
  
The kitchen is a home’s heart, so give it some love with a contemporary cutting board featuring breadboard ends, a centuries-old feature with modern style. A quick project that’s perfect for amateurs, this build employs common power tools to create an attractive kitchen accessory.
 
This issue’s “Tool Test” tries out a pair of hollow and round planes from J. Wilding, Rockler’s Beadlock Pro joinery kit and Veritas mortise chisels from Lee Valley. George Walker examines mouldings in “Design Matters,” and Peter Follansbee researches an unhappy woodworking forefather in “Arts & Mysteries.” Bob Flexner explains how some brands of dyes differ in “Flexner on Finishing,” and hand surgeon David Shapiro makes a convincing case for workshop safety in “End Grain.”

Design Matters: Mouldings Got a Start in the Gutter

Woodwork and architecture share some surprising DNA. by George R. Walker pgs. 16-18 I am a country mouse who likes to visit the city. It’s a habit that doesn’t make much sense, because I’ve always preferred walking in the woods to dodging traffic. But when my design quest led me into...

Arts & Mysteries: Wallington, The Unhappy Turner

Trade dangers revealed in 17th-century journals. by Peter Follansbee pgs. 58-61 I thought of Nehemiah Wallington (1598-1658) when I set up my lathe in my nearly finished workshop. A few times a year he pops up in my mind. He was a turner in Puritan-era London, and as unhappy a soul...

Flexner on Finishing: Brands of Dye Stain Differ

Make sense of different dye types to understand what works for you. by Bob Flexner pgs. 60-63 In the last issue (#230), I mentioned that I liked to use W.D. Lockwood or J.E. Moser water-soluble powder dyes (they are the same) for staining, and non-grain-raising (NGR) or TransTint liquid dyes (they...

End Grain – ‘You Own a Tablesaw?!’

This hand surgeon likes meeting fellow woodworkers – but not at work. by David Shapiro pg. 64 I long ago lost track of how many people, upon learning of my interest in woodworking, have puzzled aloud over my table saw. They follow up with, “Do you know how important your hands...