A Sneak Peek at the Autumn 2006 Cover Project - Popular Woodworking Magazine

A Sneak Peek at the Autumn 2006 Cover Project

 In Chris Schwarz Blog, Woodworking Blogs

Today we received our first glimpse of the printed version of the Autumn 2006 issue. We’ve switched to using a new printer that specializes in smaller magazines that have fussy and picky editors and art directors. We wanted the black-and-white photos on the inside to have a richer look, with darker blacks and crisper whites.

We got our wish. We are (and this is rare) quite pleased. Add to that the fact that we’re also pleased with the editorial content. This issue features plans for an American Trestle Table. It is a remarkably fun project to build (I’ve built it twice now) with some interesting joinery and a lot of little surprises. Here’s a few: I built the table’s base using $30 in wood. The table can be lifted with just two fingers. My 5-year-old gymnast can vault off of it.

The table’s joinery is mostly wedged through-tenons. This joint intimidates many woodworkers because it seems so complex. You know what? It’s not a difficult joint at all. It just looks that way. We tried all the complex and nutty variants out there in books and magazines. The best technique (and the simplest and hardest to mess up) came to us from a Canadian chairmaker working in the Ontario wilderness.

And, as you might guess, we’re going to offer SolidWorks files of the projects in this issue once the magazine hits the newsstands. And when is that? Start looking for the magazine for sale on our website and at bookstores starting July 25. West Coast woodworkers should wait until early August (we have to truck the issues out there).

Christopher Schwarz

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Showing 6 comments
  • Christopher Schwarz


    Thanks for the thoughtful message. I’m glad you like the table.

    On the corbels: On the original Shaker piece, they were added later on in the life of the piece. As to why, I think it’s hard to say. They will indeed strengthen the base against racking, but I suspect they are overkill in a well-made joint.

    As to attaching them, I would (and did) simply glue the corbels in place. Any yellow-glue joint that joins long grain to long grain will be stronger than the wood. So I think you can take the simpler path there.

    Hope this helps.

  • Rik Alewijnse

    I saw the Shaker inspired trestle table on the cover of your Autumn 2006 issue and fell in love. I also decided that here is a project I, a beginning woodworker, can tackle. I work mostly with hand tools. I went ahead and made the saw horse, both as a practice piece and as a useful tool. Right now, the pine for the table is acclimatizing in my shop.
    I cut the wood for the saw bench from 2 x 4s and cursed at every knot. I also swore at the inevitable tear-out with the change in grain direction either side of those horrible knots.
    As I said, it was a practice piece. So for my next project, the parts for the table came from 2 x 12s. I took a folding rule to Home Depot to measure up and make sure I could harvest the pieces I would need by cutting between and around the knots this time! Consequently I have a nice stack of clear pine to work with. However, I have been giving this project some more thought, and those corbels concern me a little. They are there to resist the racking forces of the legs. Is glue alone going to be enough to hold them over the years? I am considering mortises with loose tenons and draw boring to hold them firmly to the stretcher. A worthwhile improvement, or overkill – what do you think?


    Rik Alewijnse
    Northville, MI

  • James Fowlie

    Well… I don’t know about the west coast of the U.S., but I’m in northern British Columbia, and happily picked up a copy from a local drugstore on July 25th. Very nice work! I noticed the printing improvement right away.


  • dave brown

    I was looking through American Woodworker this weekend in Borders. They have an article on doing wedged through tenons that would scare me away from doing them. There are precise angles for the wedges and mortise walls. In addition, there are holes drilled tangential to the sawkerfs to provide "strain relief." There must be a better way.


  • Simon Auchterlonie

    Hi Chris,

    Could I ask what the delivery date would be to the UK?

    I was also thinking about ordering back copies of issues 4 and 5 at the same time. Would it be safe to do this or are you in short supply of these issues and should I order them now?

    Thanks for your time and help.

    Simon Auchterlonie.

  • Alan DuBoff

    Looks nice, look forward to seeing the article. West coast seems to be the slow coast…(LOL!)

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