Woodsmith February/March 2021

Every project featured in Woodsmith contains detailed, step-by-step illustrations and clearly written instructions to guide you through each stage of construction — whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned woodworker. Plus, you’ll get practical, hands-on information covering woodworking techniques, tools, and tips.

United States
Active Interest Media
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6 Números

en este número

1 min.
from the editor sawdust

“Something fun in every issue.” Creative Director Chris Fitch and I were talking about this year’s project lineup not long ago. And that’s the motto we adopted. Woodworking is a hobby and it should be fun. Clearly, your idea of fun probably is different from mine, but I think this issue offers several projects that compete for the fun prize. My winner is the set of three pub signs. The goal here is to offer appealing designs you can make while teaching the skills and techniques you could apply to your own custom sign — maybe a workshop sign? Based on the messages I get from readers, I have a sneaking suspicion that the router mortising machine may rank high on the fun meter, too. Shop-built tools prove to be quite popular.…

1 min.
shannon rogers, contributing writer

Shannon started a woodworking blog called The Renaissance Woodworker back in 2008 that straddled the line between power tools and hand tools. He finally unplugged his last power tool in 2010 and started making shavings using only Twinkie power. He currently runs The Hand Tool School teaching thousands of woodworkers on 6 continents how to become better woodworkers with hand tools. By day, he’s the Director of Marketing for one of the oldest lumber companies in North America, J. Gibson McIlvain Co. So basically he is a wood nerd living the dream.…

2 min.
reader’s tips

Mortising Machine Dust Cover One of my favorite tools happens to be a shop-built tool from Wood-smith. It’s the mortiser seen here from issue No. 217. I made a slight improvement that you see in the photo above — it’s the addition of a clear safety shield in front of the router. FORMED ACRYLIC. Molding a piece of acrylic into a shield is pretty straightforward. I started with a flat piece of stock, and drilled the end locations for the mounting slots. Then, I routed the slots at the router table. After rounding the corners, I sandwiched the plastic between a pair of wood blocks and used a heat gun to soften the plastic enough to form the shape. Then, it’s a simple matter of mounting it to the router clamping block. Regis…

1 min.
quick tips

Dull Edges. Larry Hilton of Green Bay, WI was having a problem remembering which edges of his carbide turning tools he had used. To leave himself a reminder, Larry now colors the dull edge of the carbide tool before he rotates it. That way, when he needs a fresh, sharp edge, he knows which edges he’s already used. Power Strip Mounting. Sarah Vallient of Princeton, MO found it frustrating to get screws correctly spaced for the slots on the back of power strips. As a simple solution, Sarah discovered that she could cover the strip with a piece of masking tape and use a marker to mark the slot locations. Then, she can peel the tape off and put it on the mounting surface. The marks on the tape make it…

6 min.
flush trim bits

When I first started woodworking, I didn’t have a router and created “identical” parts one at a time, measuring, cutting, and shaping them one by one. I kept my fingers crossed that they’d match. After getting my first router and bit set, I was able to create identical parts by making a template and trimming my rough-cut workpieces with a flush-trim bit. Over the years I learned a few tips and techniques for getting the best results. These tips don’t require any specialized bits. For the majority of my work, I use the three basic bits you see at left. My workhorse bit is the flush-trim bit at the top. Its bearing is attached at the end of the bit and I use it in my router table, so I can see…

13 min.
intro to sketchup

When it comes to wood working , nothing beats a solid set of plans. And here at Woodsmith, we’ve prided ourselves on our plans. But, like most woodworkers, I often build things “off the cuff.” Sometimes it’s from a picture someone sends me and says “Here, can you build this?” or it’s something that’s been in my head and is trying to break free. But there are times, especially when designing a commission piece or working through a complex project, that you need to flesh out the napkin sketches that so many of us often work from. SKETCHUP. I’m sure by now you’ve heard of SketchUp. Formerly, it was powered by Google, but has since been under a company by the name of Trimble. Regardless of the company that owns it,…