Robert W. Lang

21st-Century Workbench Leg Joints

It’s hard to separate woodworking from history. Most of the skills we need and tools we use come from earlier times when everyday items that are now mostly plastic or cardboard were made of wood. It’s easy to look back and assume that a tool or process developed for a specialty...

Use SketchUp to Preview Proportions

Of all the variables of design, context is the easiest to miss. That is one of the powerful things about using SketchUp, you can easily compare one piece to another, add a human figure to the model or place the piece in a room setting. Seeing is believing and knowing is...

Proportion Problems Solved With SketchUp

I’m in the early planning stages for an upcoming project build for Popular Woodworking Magazine. The project will be a reproduction of a wardrobe cabinet from the early 1900s. I was trying to decide between three likely candidates. I thought that I had a decision made, but as I worked on...

Fearless Furniture in Indiana, See Dale Barnard’s Clock

Greene & Greene never designed a tall case clock, but Dale Barnard, one of our authors, designed and built a clock in the style. The Indiana State Museum has included Dale’s clock in the current exhibit “Fearless Furniture” that runs until May 27, 2014 in Indianapolis. Dale was one of the...

Compass Layout Tricks from October 2013 Issue

In the October 2013 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine, you’ll find my Woodworking Essentials article, “The Mighty Compass.” In the article I show a bunch of things you can do with a compass to create polygons and divide lines and angles. The following video shows some of the layout techniques from...

Fitting Drawers One Piece at a Time

Nice fitting drawers are one of my favorite parts of making stuff out of wood. There is nothing like the appearance of even and minimal gaps and nothing like the feel of an easy sliding drawer that won’t get stuck when the seasons change. Meeting both goals at the same time...

Byrdcliffe Linen Press Door Patterns

One of my favorite projects is the Byrdcliffe Linen Press that I built for the April 2006 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine. It’s one of the 14 project articles included in my new book “Classic Arts & Crafts Furniture: 14 Timeless Designs”. When the original article was published, we posted full-size...

Simple Blocks Let You Work at a Comfortable Height

There is one question in woodworking that has no correct answer. The question? How high should the top of my bench be? Any answer will only be right for certain tasks. Optimize the height for planing and it’s too low for dovetailing. Make it a comfortable height for running a router...