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nov 17 popular woodworkingThe November issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine entered the mail stream yesterday to both print and digital subscribers – and it’s now available for single-issue purchase in both print and digital formats. Though I urge you to subscribe – it saves you money…and a healthy subscription base means less anxiety for me (said in my best Sally Struthers voice). Or share the love – consider a gift subscription for that neighbor who keeps asking for your expert help (though he or she might still want to borrow your tools, no matter how much knowledge they might glean…).

Inside this issue, you’ll find (as always) a mix of expert hand- and power-tool techniques and approaches to furniture making.  Take a look:

The cover article is from renowned Arts & Crafts furniture maker (and uber-talented kitchen designer) Nancy R. Hiller. She teaches you step by step how to build a circa-1903 Harris Lebus sideboard – a stunning example of the English Arts & Crafts aesthetic.

On the simpler end of the woodworking spectrum, contributing editor Christopher Schwarz teaches you how to make an incredibly useful workbench appliance: a “doe’s foot.” Pair one or more with a holdfast, and you can hold just about anything on your benchtop to work the faces and edges. (Note: the appliance, not Christopher, is simple.)

Planemaker Steve Voigt shares his secrets for making a coffin smoother – the perfect tool to put the finishing plane touch on all your projects. And it only takes a few tools (and some careful layout and execution) to make a plane that will serve you well for years to come.

And the always-innovative “Stumpy Nubs” (aka James Hamilton) is back with Crosscut Sled Jigs, to help you make the most of his MegaSled from the October issue – it slices! It Dices! It cuts dovetails! It cuts spline joints! It does not, I’m sad to say, clean the litter box. Ah well. But it does just about everything you could hope for from a table saw sled, and for very little investment.

Plus, we share the winners of the 2017 PWM Excellence Awards – in which you’ll find an astounding array of top-notch work. Shown below is the grand-prize-winning entry, from Al Spicer.

But let’s not forget our columnists! In Flexner on Finishing, Bob Flexner talks about the difference between furniture-grade and cabinet-grade finishing; in Arts & Mysteries, Peter Follansbee shows you how to process hickory to make the best use of the bark and the wood; and in Design Matters, George Walker discusses “artisan geometry,” and how to apply it in the modern shop. End Grain this month is from the redoubtable Bob Rozaieski, who argues (rightly, I think) that if a form isn’t good, no amount of ornamentation can save it.

To see everything that’s in the issue – and check out the online extras – visit Or better yet, read the issue!

— Megan Fitzpatrick


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