February 2018 #237

The cover story for the February 2018 is Christopher Schwarz’s three-legged folding campaign stool – and he shows you three ways to make the legs (no lathe required for two of them!). It’s a perfect piece for carrying along on a picnic, or for plein air painting.

Ben Brunick is a master at making arches – he’s been restoring and making massive windows for an historic South Dakota building. So we asked him to adapt the process to furniture-sized work. He teaches you how to make a “spoil board” then use a router to make arches of any size, whether for a window, door or cabinet front.

In Peter Follansbee’s “17th-Century Desk Box,” you’ll learn the simple joinery that has held these handsome projects together for centuries – and they’re built with just a handful of tools.

You’ll also get inspired by whimsical furniture world of Judson Beaumont’s Straight Line Designs. Read the story behind his practice and get a look at his stunning (and fun) work.

And Willard (Bill) Anderson teaches you how to make three joints by hand as you make some handy shop supports – they’re great for cutting down lumber and sheet goods, or as a workbench in a pinch (with a piece of ply atop them).

In this issue’s “Tool Test,” we try out the new line of REVO cabinet clamps from Bessey, the Lixie Dead Blow Mallet, the new full-size handsaws from Bad Axe Tool Works (the D-8s) and the Texas Heritage Saddle Bag. George Walker encourages you to check out your local house museums for inspiration in “Design Matters,” and Peter Follansbee shares a lunette and floral carving design in a step-by-step pictorial in “Arts & Mysteries.” Bob Flexner explains what orange peel is – and how to avoid it – in “Flexner on Finishing,” and long-time woodworker Bill Murr shares his story of passing on knowledge to a young neighbor in “End Grain.” Plus Tricks of the Trade and more!

Folding Stool

For camping, conquering and contemplating, these stools have a long history among artists, soldiers and rugged individualists. by Christopher Schwarz with David Lyell pages 24-27 There are few things that British military officers and plein air painters of the 19th century would agree upon. But this stool is at the top...

Serious Play

Judson Beaumont and the Straight Line Designs furniture factory. by Asa Christiana pages 28-32 When I think of Judson Beaumont I can’t help thinking of Willie Wonka – the original Wonka, from Roald Dahl’s matchless tales. Small in stature with boundless energy, both inhabit a magical factory with a small army...

Rout Arches of Any Size

This millwork technique can be used to make curved parts with accuracy and ease. by Ben Brunick pages 33-39 Much of my recent work has been making period-appropriate arch-top sash windows for an historic building. They are 61⁄2‘ tall, with a 5’-diameter arch. In other words, they’re a bit larger than...

17th-century ‘Desk Box’

Simple joinery will keep this piece together for centuries. by Peter Follansbee pages 40-47 Books, papers, lamps, candlesticks, spoons, Legos, clothing, electronics and more all end up on top of any flat surfaces in our house. As a joiner, I have made lots of carved boxes over the years. My family...

Shop Supports

Learn to cut three joints by hand as you make these handy shop appliances. by Willard Anderson pages 48-54 I have used what I call “shop supports” for many years. These are not sawhorses, and they are not outfeed tables – they’re somewhere in between, and I find them indispensable.  I...

Next-generation Bessey REVO Clamps

by Megan Fitzpatrick page 14 We love the original wooden-handled Bessey K Body clamps. But they became unavailable in 2008 when Bessey released the Revo clamps, which had a larger clamping surface (of about 30 percent) than the K Bodies and a soft-grip handle that allowed for easier and more comfortable...

Lixie Dead Blow Mallet

by Brendan Gaffney page 14 Well-fit joinery (not too loose, not too tight) and well-planned glue-ups rarely need much persuasion – but I am not always lucky enough to find myself with either of those. In the past, I’ve used big rubber mallets, small sledges and framing hammers (with a block...

Bad Axe Tool Works D-8 Handsaws

by James McConnell page 16 Making a good handsaw is difficult; making great handsaws at a production level seems darned near impossible. The new D-8 handsaws (based on the Disston D8 and Simonds No. 72) from Bad Axe Tool Works somehow invoke all of the best things about the golden age...

Texas Heritage Woodworks Saddle Bag

by Brendan Gaffney page 16 I’m a fan of having my tools out and at hand in the workshop. It’s easy enough to mount the saws to the wall, whip up a chisel rack and tuck the planes on a shelf, but the small items rarely have a good spot to...