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The April 2011 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine will wend its way into the general mail stream beginning next week, so here’s a look at some of what’s inside, to whet your woodworking appetite.

Our cover story is a classic Stickley Morris Chair, built by Executive Editor Robert W. Lang. This will come as no surprise to those of you familiar with Bob’s Arts & Crafts expertise (he’s the author of “Shop Drawings for Craftsman Furniture” and “Shop Drawings for Craftsman Interiors,” among other definitive books on the style), but this “original easy chair” is built in the same manner as the original, with no shortcuts on joinery or design. (But don’t worry – even if it’s your first Morris chair, with Bob’s easy-to-follow instruction, you can build it.) The most surprising thing about this project? How quickly Bob took it home so he could relax in style and comfort.

You may be familiar with the work of Jameel Abraham – he’s one of the founders (along with his brother and father) of Benchcrafted, as well as a renowned iconographer, oud maker, and … so much more. (The term “Renaissance man” is perhaps overused these days, but for Jameel, it’s a description that truly fits.) In “Precision Inlay, Simple Tools,” his first story for Popular Woodworking Magazine, Jameel shares how with just a few clever shop-made appliances (and a sharp plane) you can easily add stunning face-grain inlay to your work.

Editor Christopher Schwarz shares what he’s learned about Compwood, a recent innovative product that can be bent without steam or adhesive. He’s bent two armbows for Welsh chairs around a form with a 9″ radius out of a 1-3/8″ thick piece of ash, and had the job done in 10 minutes with no help. How does it work? How is it made? How much does it cost? You’ll get answers to these questions and more.

John Wilson of The Home Shop (check out the snazzy new web site!) shows you how to make a variable-pitch jack plane (modeled after a Cecil Pierce design) that can easily be adjusted from 45° for rough work to 52° for smoothing chores. And, he even teaches you how to make and properly heat treat your own blades.

In “Dovetailed Keepsake Box,” you’ll get a lesson in through- and half-blind dovetails from Senior Editor Glen D. Huey as you discover a few of the tricks he’s learned in his many years as a professional woodworker to make these classic joints. By the time you’re done building this project, you’ll not only have a lovely little bracket-foot keepsake box, your dovetails will be tighter and you’ll be cutting them more quickly. (And if you want more dovetail instruction, Glen’s new video, “Cheating at Hand-cut Dovetails” shares even more tricks.)

And we have a real treat in this issue’s Arts & Mysteries column: Wilbur Pan joins Bob Rozaieski to discuss the differences – and many surprising similarities – between Western and Japanese planes.

Plus Letters, Tool Test, Tricks of the Trade, Flexner on Finishing, I Can Do That and more.

If you’re not a subscriber, look for the issue on newsstands after March 8 (and subscribe now to get the June issue delivered right to your mailbox, plus save 47 percent off the cover price).

— Megan Fitzpatrick

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