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Do you have plans for the furniture you build for magazine articles or for the projects in your books?

That’s probably the most-asked question I get when talking with woodworkers. It seems that no matter what plans and drawings we can get our hands on, we always are on the lookout for more. Is too much information a possibility? If it is, I hesitate to have you read on.

As a regular reader of Popular Woodworking magazine, you no doubt know the name Rob Millard. Rob has written a couple articles for PW and has an article coming out in one of the next few issues. Go back and take a look at Basic Inlay Techniques from August 2008 (issue #167), click here to watch a video as Rob makes a corner fan, and in his article about Federal Furniture (issue #170) get an in-depth view of period designs (click here to purchase issue #170 for $5.99). Don’t just reread the articles, although I’ll bet that would be beneficial, but study the furniture. In that article, all the pieces shown are Rob’s projects. If you look at the pieces you’ll get a handle on the amount of detail work that’s needed to produce this furniture style.

How does this tie in with a woodworker’s desire for additional plans? Here’s how. Rob is offering plans of pieces that he has built. These are not simple line drawings or Google SketchUp offerings. These are old-school drawings on 18″ x 24″ velum paper , of course you get like-sized photocopies of these drawings , and each set includes a CD of photos taken during the construction of the desk.

This is a set of plans you would expect from an engineer. The detail is spot on. You can almost see Rob squinting in faint light as he letters the elevations and marks in the sizes. Even if you don’t expect to build these projects, I’ll bet money you will pick up on period details and understand just how the piece goes together.

His first plan offering is the small Seymour desk shown above. This project is of particular interest to me. On a visit to New York City and a stop by Israel Sack (before the shop closed), I had a chance to see the original desk up close and in person. I will build this desk before my woodworking days are over, so I purchased a set of plans immediately. When I’m ready to begin, I won’t need to spend the extra days deciding on and scribbling out construction details.

Rob has additional plans in the works. Visit his web site (americanfederalperiod.com) to take a look.

– Glen D. Huey

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  • Michael Rogen


    I’ve been a huge fan of Rob’s ever since discovering him on the pages of PWW. He not only is a brilliant craftsman but a true gentleman in every sense of the word. He has been a huge help explaining his methods of inlaying and veneering making a difficult craft seem within even my beginers reach. If you are looking for a DVD that goes the extra mile, then get one or more of them as they are all outstanding.



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