February 2015 #216

Popular Woodworking Magazine February 15 CoverChristopher Schwarz reaches into the family tree of furniture for our cover story for the February 2015 issue; the aumbry is the ancestor of kitchen cabinets, bookcases, armoires and other storage. Chris shows you how to create the Gothic tracery showcased in this build and how it’s all held together by simple joinery and cut nails.

Tom Calisto shows you how to use simple shop tools to make your own copper Stickley-style hardware. It’s easier than you think, and Tom shows some innovative techniques for working with the metal.

Find out how to build one of the lesser-known gems of the Arts & Crafts movement as Peter Marcucci takes you step by step through building Charles Rohlfs’ 1898 Desk Chair. It’s art as furniture and furniture as art. Peter shares patterns for the insets and medallions, based on his extensive research into Rohlfs’ work (as well as step-by-step instructions for the chair itself, of course).

Ever use a Donkey’s Ear? You might want to…Graham Blackburn shares six must-have shooting boards to help you plane accurately and precisely.

And in a feature article, Bob Flexner examines teak oil – the oil that doesn’t exist.

In Tool Test, we review the new line of bevel-down bench planes by Veritas, available with frogs milled at a custom angle; the Tormek T-4 water-cooled sharpening system; and Christopher Schwarz reviews Tiger Flakes shellac. In Design Matters, George Walker discusses how depth (or the illusion of depth) adds life to design. In “I Can Do That,” Megan Fitzpatrick builds a kitchen pot rack (and introduces a new video series). And Peter Follansbee builds a Chinese wood carrier in his Arts & Mysteries column.

Plus Tricks of the Trade, reader letters and more.

American Gothic

This early form – an aumbry – spawned many different types of furniture. by Christopher Schwarz page 28 It is easy to forget that many of our favorite pieces of furniture are recent innovations. Forms such as coffee tables, bookcases and desks are – archaeologically speaking – new objects brought on...

Copper Hardware

It’s surprisingly simple to make your own Stickley-style pulls. by Tom Calisto page 33 The simple lines and honest joinery of the Arts & Crafts period have always appealed to me. The fumed quartersawn white oak and the warm patina of the copper hardware add a wonderful effect to the overall...

Teak Oil: The Oil That Doesn’t Exist

‘Teak oil’ is whatever a manufacturer chooses to put in the container. by Bob Flexner page 38 No wood finish illustrates better than “teak oil” why finishing is so confusing. Brands vary from mineral oil, to linseed oil, to tung oil, to oil/varnish blend, to wiping varnish, to simply wax and...

Shooting Boards

These appliances add accuracy and consistency to your handplane work. by Graham Blackburn page 42 There was a time, before the introduction of power tools, when the handplane was the very icon of woodworking. Nowadays of course, woodworking is often represented by the table saw and the electric router (among many...

Recreating Rohlfs

This mahogany Arts & Crafts desk chair exemplifies furniture as art. by Peter Marcucci page 46 Most woodworkers are familiar with Arts & Crafts designers William Morris, Gustav Stickley and Charles and Henry Greene. But Charles Rohlfs’ inspiring work is a bit less well-known. Rohlfs, trained as a designer and draftsman, spent...

Art on the Living Edge

A nearly off-the-grid Montana shop creates a worldwide demand. by Spike Carlsen page 53 Walk into Paul Dumond’s workshop in Montana and you’ll see some unusual things: Slabs of wood the size of pool tables; massive 3-horsepower machines powered by solar panels and 700-pound chunks of salvaged I-beam. You might also...

Weekend Pot Rack

This simple piece keeps your favorite cooking implements close at hand.  by Megan Fitzpatrick page 58 I like having the pots, pans and cooking utensils I use most often within easy reach of my stove, and this simple pot rack fits the bill (with a shelf on top for lids or what...

Design Matters: Depth Adds Life to Design

Use moulding, carving and other details to add visual layers. by George R. Walker page 18 Have you ever gazed at a great painting and, for a brief moment, found yourself pulled into it? Almost like magic, a few well-crafted brush strokes can trigger memories like the haunting cries of a...

Arts & Mysteries: Simplicity Itself

Free up your hands with this useful Chinese wood carrier. by Peter Follansbee page 22 My wife, Maureen, came through the work area and asked, “What are you making?” When I told her, she said, “No, really, what are you making?” “A Chinese wood carrier. Really.” It’s for carrying any kind...