December 2012 #201

Popular Woodworking Magazine December 2012 Cover In “Tommy Mac’s Toolbox,” the cover story for the December 2012 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine, Tommy Mac builds a toolbox much like his very first project at woodworking school. One his all-time favorite projects, the box taught him to harmonize power tools and hand tools. “The Case for Hollows & Rounds,” by Matt Bickford, explains how just a few specialized moulding planes can be used to create a seemingly limitless number of complex moulding patterns. Christopher Schwarz builds a delightful “Moravian Stool.” This piece only costs about $10 in wood and two days of shop time, but includes tapered octagons, sliding dovetails, compound leg splays and wedged through-tenons. When completed, you’ll be halfway home to being able to build a Windsor chair. Add a little extra decorative touch to projects with “Profiled Inlays.” Rutager West, a largely self-taught woodworker, shows you step-by-step how to create these delicate moulding pieces with precision. Woodworking is a physical act, whether working with hand tools or power tools. Jeff Miller, teacher and author of the book “The Foundations of Better Woodworking,” offers 12 tips on coaching your body to produce quality results in the shop in “Body Mechanics.” Finally, in “Parquetry Tabletop,” Heather Trosdahl uses grain pattern in a unique take on a pinwheel design. Plus, learn how to work with shop-sawn veneers.

In this month’s tool test, we take a look at the “Knew Concepts Titanium Fretsaw,” the “Makita PJ7000 Biscuit Joiner” and the new “Bosch 23-gauge Pin Nailer.”

In this month’s I Can Do That, Tom Nunlist builds his first project, a “Bookshelf & Wine Rack,” with help from the rest of the staff. In Design Matters, George R. Walker takes a “Look Beneath the Surface” to find design lessons contained in the “bones” of period furniture. And finally in End Grain, Robert W. Lang makes a connection with his woodworking forebears through mistakes left behind in their work in “Past Imperfect.” And of course you’ll find Letters and Tricks of the Trade.

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Parquetry Tabletop

Grain pattern inspires a new take on a pinwheel design. By Heather Trosdahl Pages 48-55 I originally made this table during my first year at the College of the Redwoods Fine Woodworking Program. For our second project we are encouraged to incorporate shop-sawn veneers in some way. My plan was simple: I wanted to...

Tricks of the Trade: Shop-made Circle-cutting Tool

By Bill Wells Pages 14-15 I often need to cut an arc or circle for a template or gasket. In the past, my results using a compass and scissors were far from the smooth shape I hoped for. Recently, I needed to cut a precise, smooth circular arc in a sheet of veneer,...

Design Matters: Look Beneath the Surface

Find valuable design lessons (and templates) in furniture ‘bones.’ By George R. Walker Pages 20-22 The average Jill might look at the little chest of drawers shown on this page and say, “What a nice furniture piece; it’s perfect for a nightstand. What kind of wood is that?” The average Joe might reply, “It’s tiger...

Flexner on Finishing: Sealers & Washcoats

Understand the difference between these often misused terms. By Bob Flexner Pages 60-62 It would be difficult to find wood finishing subjects that have been made more confusing than sealing and washcoating. This is unfortunate because these procedures are very simple and easy to understand. Definitions A sealer is the first coat of finish you apply...

End Grain: Past Imperfect

If anyone ever sees that, they’re looking too closely. By Robert W. Lang Page 64 I spend a lot of time looking at antique furniture, often from below. My interest is pieces made about 100 years ago, from the Arts & Crafts period of the early 20th century. I share a passion with those...