November 2016 #228

November 2016 The November issue features a contemporary dresser built using a plunge router, Festool Dominos and a few hand tools. Easy to construct, easy on the eye and a cinch to move: This campaign-style piece is designed to come apart for easy transport wherever life takes you – whether that be the depths of a tropical jungle or the college dorm.

In “Art of Concealment,” sneaky maker Matthew Dworman shows you how to build a Shaker-inspired side table with a few well-hidden secrets: Clandestine compartments keep valuables safely tucked away from curious eyes.

If you’ve ever wanted to make cabriole legs without the modern conveniences of electricity and motorized blade movement, we’ve got you covered with period furniture maker Zachary Dillinger’s “Cabriole Legs by Hand.”

Meet Brendan Burnhardt Gaffney, a Maine-based maker who specializes in musical instruments, handmade tools and ancient rules, such as the Japanese kanejaku and Egyptian cubit and span. Gaffney also makes a specialty line of Dancing Master calipers, which he calls pin-ups for early craftspeople.

And check out what you and fellow readers have been working on this year in our fourth annual Excellence Awards, including an “all-around” winner that quickly caught our judges’ eyes.

Build a stylish little console table using a set of common tools in “I Can Do That.”

This issue’s “Tool Test” takes Bosch’s much-anticipated REAXX safety table saw for a spin and shows you the new Walke Moore Tools Router Plane. Learn how to make addictive little shrink pots with Peter Follansbee; study up on the history of furniture brasses in “Hardware”; consider proportions, the designer’s workhorse, with George R. Walker; puzzle over polymerized oil in “Flexner on Finishing”; and read Christopher Schwarz’s dangerous admission that he owns – and likes! – power tools.

Shrink Pots: A Touch of ‘Magic’

These traditional Swedish cylindrical forms are an addictive pastime. by Peter Follansbee pgs. 22-23 I have too much to do. Building a shop by hand, in my spare time, is slow-going. Add in custom work, teaching (and the travel that goes with it) and spoon carving, and my days are pretty...

Contemporary Console Table

This slender table maximizes minimal space. by Rodney Wilson pgs. 58-59 My family recently left our sprawling farmhouse for a compact ranch. We left our farmhouse-sized stuff too, and now we need new furniture. This little console table, under 4′ wide and just more than 1′ deep, fits nicely below a...

Brief History of Brasses

A concise chronicle of furniture hardware styles to help you build it better. by Orion Henderson pgs. 60-61 One question I am often asked is, “What hardware should I use?” And the answer is usually, “It depends.” What did you build? Are you refinishing or restoring? Is your work an original...

Explaining Polymerized Oil

Simple in theory, not in the real world. by Bob Flexner pgs. 62-63 A reader of my blog (at asked me to explain what polymerized oil is. So here goes. On one level the explanation is incredibly simple and on another it’s representative of all that makes finishing and finishes...

Why I Adore my Machines

Grab your torch and pitchfork; the hand-tool guy has a table saw. by Christopher Schwarz pg. 64 People react with shock and horror when they learn I have electric machinery in my Kentucky workshop. After all, I’ve been writing almost exclusively about handwork for almost 20 years now. And yet anyone...