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This weekend, in addition to eating far too many leftovers, I curled up on my couch with my cats and the February 2012 Popular Woodworking Magazine binder – and despite my prodigious intake of trytophan, I didn’t nod off even once while editing (which means it must be an excellent issue!).

The cover story is a drop-dead gorgeous serpentine chest from Glen D. Huey, contributing editor (and naturally, it’s in tiger maple).

Arts & Mysteries columnist (and contributing editor) Adam Cherubini, writes – as promised – about “boarded” furniture, and teases us with an upcoming project on the same.

Everyone’s favorite woodwright, Roy Underhill, shares the story of the passer drill – the hand-tool equivalent of pattern routing (and he built a modern version with the help of blacksmith Peter Ross).

Robert W. Lang, executive editor, gives us his strategies for making multiples with a story on a hand mirror he designed two decades ago when he was traveling the craft fair circuit.

Gary Rogowski helps us get a handle on our work with a story on designing and making custom pulls for doors and drawers.

Mark Arnold, editor of the Society of American Period Furniture Makers journal, American Period Furniture, leads us step-by-step through building a “crossetted” mirror/picture frame – the architectural corners are so visually arresting that it looks like PhotoShop is involved (it’s not).

Bob Flexner takes a look at “green” solvents – and is pleasantly surprised with their efficacy.

And of course, much more.

But the story I’m most excited about – and one I’m eager to try – is a technique article from Charles Bender of Acanthus Workshop: “Just Plane Round,” a step-by-step piece on making a dowel at the bench, starting with a 1″ square stick (no lathe allowed). It’s an exercise he learned decades ago from his woodworking mentor, Werner Duerr, and one he teaches in his hand-tool classes. It sounds easy: Use a smoothing plane to turn a square stick into an octagon, then a hexadecagon, then a triacontakaidigon and so on until it’s round. But I suspect it will take a few rounds of practice until I can produce a dowel that will roll smoothly across my workbench. (Unfortunately, my tools are packed up for the move, so I can’t run out to the shop and give it a go right away.)

Subscribe now so you don’t miss out – click here for a paper subscription ($21.97 for seven issues), and here for a digital subscription ($18.97 for seven issues).

– Megan Fitzpatrick

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Showing 15 comments
  • John Cashman

    I learned two new words. Thanks.

    I saw Roy demonstrate his passer drill at the Williamsburg conference a few years back, and it still seems like it must use witchcraft to function the way it does.

    Your tools are packed up for the move? Did I miss something? What’s moving?

  • pmcgee

    triacontakaidigon … 32 right?

    I bet Megan didn’t even have to look it up.

  • Bill Lattanzio

    I attended that class at the Acanthus workshop. Making the dowel is not as hard as it sounds but it isn’t easy. Takes alot of patience and a decent block plane with a sharp blade.

  • Tom64

    I will be looking for the Charles Bender article. I just received the Lei-Neilsen dowel plate and finished reading the David Charlesworth article about it. I was wondering how I would make “dowels” close enough to use it correctly.

    Adding to “tittlek”‘s remark about the quality of Popular Woodworking, I am always delighted to see my issue in the mailbox. I am, however, concerned to see Glenn and Chris leaving to pursue other ventures. The imprint that Chris appears to have made on the magazine is huge and that is a great vacuum to fill. I must say, so far, so good!

  • agarwalsa

    Nice teaser, I am yet to get my copy of the Dec issue in the mail when pictures and articles about it have been on this site for about 2 weeks now.

  • Bob Miller

    Is a “blacksnith” a typo or a real kind of blacksmith that makes drill things? I wouldn’t mention it except for the fact it could go either way.

  • djmueller1

    Have you considered doing a piece (blog or print) on the process of producing an issue of Popular Woodworking? There is a lot going on behind the scenes, that most of us haven’t a clue. The roles of the contributors: publisher, editor, managing editor, executive editor (there are more of you, I’m sure) would also be interesting to learn. Then, of course, there’s the digital content. It’s no small feat, of that I’m sure.

  • tittlek

    I’m looking forward to this issue! I enjoy Gary Rogowski’s articles. I have noticed lately more and more authors that used to frequent that “other” magazine adorning the pages of Popular Woodworking. Is this a concerted effort to bring as many from that magazine to your’s?

    Sadly, in my own opinion I have noticed a decline in the quality of content of that “other” magazine at the same time that Popular Woodworking has gotten even better. Keep up the good work!


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