Plans vs Proportions

Adapt a furniture plan with your eye. I think of plans as sort of a roadmap. They were a big part of my early work as a machinist and later as a woodworker. We had an unwritten rule in the …

Drawing Strategies for Design

It will take more than one drawing to get it right – and that’s OK. My best days in the woodshop are with my 4-year-old grandson, Seth. He’s just tall enough to see over the benchtop and quick to [...]

Federal Furniture

Years ago I discovered Federal furniture and knew that with beautiful veneer, superb inlay and simple carving, this would be my furniture period of choice. Federal furniture has much to offer [...]

Mastery Through Repetition

Practice is the best of all instructors. Maynard lived next door. When he wasn’t spinning wrenches at the local Ford garage, he was out in his driveway, hunched over a neighbor’s car. As a kid I [...]

Ideas that Jump Off the Page

Isometric views help keep your designs grounded. The kite leapt into the wind and I frantically uncoiled string that burned and chafed my hands and fingers. The thin wooden crossbeams bent almost [...]

Tablesawn Glass-Panel Doors

Make see-through doors in 6 easy steps. Here’s a nifty way to make frame-and-panel door frames with built-in rabbets for glass. The offset shoulders on the stiles and rails make the joinery look [...]

Design by Touch

While design is dominated by the eye, the hand plays an important role. Most of what I’ve written about design has focused on how we look at it. Yet good design often has multiple layers that [...]

Drop-Front Limbert Desk

This rare and timeless silhouette is updated for contemporary use. When our youngest went off to kindergarten, my wife took on freelance copy-editing and needed a work station. An executive-size [...]

Artisan Geometry

The universal and timeless structure of our imaginations. Woodworking spans the globe and is a common thread linking humans across the ages. This craft shares a basic tool kit across time and [...]

Using Milk Paint in Woodworking

Apply layers of milk paint to add depth and contrast to your work. A visitor asked, “Paint over wood? Aren’t you obscuring wood’s natural beauty?” There are two assumptions behind these [...]

Shop-made Bandings

Learn to make your own and you’ll never have to compromise your design. Bandings and stringing are a dramatic and exciting way to dress up your period furniture. I see them as a way to highlight [...]

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