Our cover story for the June 2015 issue explores the complexity of simplicity with an Asian-inspired sideboard by Geremy Coy, a woodworker based in Virginia. Coy, in his first article for Popular Woodworking Magazine, details how he used pale, straight-grained Spessart oak shaped with hand tools to form an elegantly proportioned cabinet filled with subtle details.
Speaking of simplicity, Don Williams shows you how you can use a few common tools to add striking metal accents to your work. Williams — a noted restoration expert who recently retired from the Smithsonian Institution — uses a rotary tool, wire and a tool made from a concrete nail in this innovative technique.
So what part of angle theta from baseline x, combined with theta (2) from baseline y, equals your resultant angle? I don’t either, but that’s OK — Christopher Schwarz has a great technique of using perspective, no trigonometry in sight, to set rake and splay for chairmaking and more.
Furniture that changes into something else often has a “z” and a “boy” somewhere in its name (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Brian Hubel has created a floating-top table with complex curves that seems to change its shape as you change your view — but it’s solid as a rock. This simple project develops your band saw skills with the compound cuts used in this build.
Light or heavy? You can’t defy gravity, but you can use a few design tricks to make your furniture seem lighter or more substantial. Darrell Peart analyzes the design of Greene & Greene’s Thorsen House sideboard and other pieces to show how Charles Greene used subtle details to lighten a substantial piece of furniture.
George Walker’s Design Matters explores the mystery of the cyma curve — a design element you see almost everywhere. Peter Follansbee discusses the plain matted chair, a humble form with a long history, in his Arts & Mysteries column. Bob Flexner, in “Flexner on Finishing,” lets you in on the most important tool for wood finishing and repair. (Hint: it’s between your ears.)
And Don Williams appears again this month in End Grain, revealing some of the secrets of the famed Studley tool cabinet.