August 2012 #198

Popular Woodworking Magazine August 2012 CoverOur cover story for the August 2012 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine is “Campaign Furniture” by Christopher Schwarz. In the piece he discusses the wartime origins of this furniture style, which was popular in the British Empire and America for more than 150 years, and builds his own campaign chest – includes furniture plans. In “4 Boxes, 4 Ways” our staff editors each design and build a box of their own, with different joinery techniques and aesthetics. Renowned period furniture maker Charles Bender offers three high-style variations on the carved foot in “A Trio of Trifids.” Robert Lang explores exposed joinery techniques building a “Stickley Book Rack,” a classic of Arts & Crafts furniture. In “Rule Joints: by Hand & by Power,” woodworking teacher and retired research scientist Willard Anderson reveals the subtleties of crafting a smooth-moving joint. Plus, period furniture maker Freddie Roman shows you how to plot “The Elusive Ellipse” in four minutes or less.

In this month’s Tool Test, we review the “Makita Compact Router Kit,” “Lie-Nielsen No. 101 Block Plane,” and the “iVac Pro Automated Dust-control System.”

In Arts & Mysteries, Adam Cherubini discusses “Mortising by Hand,” explaining the key to lasting joints is a good fit – or good pegs. With Matthew Teague’s Jig Journal, you’ll use a table saw to make quick work of reinforcing miter joints with a “Keyed Miter Jig.” This month’s I Can Do That column has Robert Lang building a sleek “Contemporary Coffee Table” by taking the easy way out – sizing with no measuring. Flexner on Finishing keeps you abreast of recent changes to wood finishes that may necessitate technique changes on the part of woodworkers. Finally in End Grain, woodworker Scot O’Shea reflects on how imperfect woodworking often delivers the best lessons in “A Teacher’s Seat.” And of course you’ll find Letters and Tricks of the Trade.

Below, you’ll find capsule descriptions of every article, with links to the many free Online Extras.

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Keyed Miter Jig

Jig Journal: Keyed Miter Jig

This shop-made table saw jig makes quick work of reinforcing miter joints. By Matthew Teague Pages 60-61 I love the clean look of a mitered box that has continuous grain wrapping around the corners. It’s an easy detail to create, but a sure sign that the maker is paying close attention to the details....

Contemporary Coffee Table

I Can Do That: Contemporary Coffee Table

Take the easy way out: Find sizes without measuring. By Robert Lang Pages 62-63 This small coffee table is a great introduction to building furniture. It doesn’t require much material and it’s an opportunity to develop your skills. This project is sturdy, attractive and easy to build. All of the parts...

iVac Pro

Tool Test: iVac Pro Automated Dust-control System

By Steve Shanesy Page 18 Laziness can reduce the efficiency of your dust-collection system, whether you use a shop vacuum or a centralized collector. Sometimes just walking around the machine to switch on your collector doesn’t seem worth it. Read the full article here.
Flexer Aug 12

Flexner on Finishing: Finishes: They are A-changin’

Reformulations may compel you to adjust your finishing process. By Bob Flexner Pages 64-66 Many years ago a friend explained to me the difference between woodworking tools and finishes. Woodworking tools, he said, are physics. You can see them. You can see that a band saw isn’t a table saw even though it has...

End Grain: A Teacher’s Seat

Imperfect woodworking often imparts the best lessons. By Scot O'Shea Page 68 A good friend asked me if I could help his son put together a chair he wanted to make and like a good neighbor, I said, “Sure, I will be happy to look at it and offer a little advice.” That was...

Makita Compact Router Kit

Tool Test: Makita Compact Router Kit

Bigger doesn’t always mean better. By Robert W. Lang Page 16 Small routers are easy to handle, and the addition of multiple bases makes them good all-purpose tools. The basic 1⁄4″-collet router that comes in the new Makita compact kit (RT0700CX3) has good power and variable speed. The motor slides in...