Popular Woodworking October 2019

Whether it's a solo or group project, a home-improvement undertaking or a simple piece of art, Popular Woodworking lets you into the world of woodworking crafts. Each issue of Popular Woodworking features numerous projects for the expert craftsperson and the interested beginner.

United States
Active Interest Media
USD 6.99
USD 17.99
6 Números

en este número

2 min.
from the editor woodworking through it

As this issue goes to press, Popular Woodworking is changing ownership. The last few months have been a rollercoaster of emotions for me, my colleagues, readers and contributors. There’s been uncertainty about jobs, the status of stories and projects, and an overall sense of unease about the world at large. And it’s during this time that it’s been clearer than ever how much woodworking means to me and the role it plays in my life. Just about a year ago, I tore the kitchen of my 1906 house down to the studs, which started a journey that included rewiring and replumbing the entire house, replacing some rotted sill plates and spending more time in the basement and attic than I ever want to do again. At the moment, I’m installing the…

2 min.
workshop tips

Quick Router Table Circles One afternoon my wife called out to my shop with an urgent request. She needed me to make a round cake plate from ¼" plywood for a charity auction. I assured her it would be no problem. I was in the middle of a project and didn’t want to spend all afternoon on this. Then it hit me, I could use my router table. I ripped a ¾" wide strip of ⅜" hardwood to fit the miter slot and drilled a pilot hole near one end for a box nail, which I inserted from the bottom. Then I clamped the hardwood strip into my routers table’s miter slot so the distance from the nail to the bit equaled the circle’s radius. I drilled a center hole in the soon-to-be…

7 min.
weekend picture frames

Here’s a fun way to save money, be creative, make something useful, and use up scrap stock: make your own picture frames. You can start from scratch and have finished frames in a day or less, and the only tools you need are a tablesaw and a router table. The challenge is to create unique profiles using the router bits you already have. The frames and instructions that follow will get you started. You probably don’t have all the same bits, but that doesn’t matter. Just substitute and experiment. You’ll find that a little tinkering yields an amazing range of profiles. Most frames are made using small stock, so be sure to work safely. Always use guards, featherboards and push sticks. Never use stock less than 12" long. Create profiles on long…

5 min.
two looks

Out of the corner of my eye it caught my attention, a fire-engine red 1966 Chevy Impala Super Sport. Memories flooded back to my first car, a model just like this except mine was green with a white rooftop. The problem with memories is that they often clash with reality. As I got closer to inspect the car, the view made me wish I’d stayed at a distance and not seen the bad sheet metal repairs and sketchy interior. I’ve experienced the same thing when looking at furniture pieces. A chair or cabinet can have wonderful curb appeal from across the room, and then fall down completely upon closer inspection. For a design to succeed it needs to draw our attention from a distance and then reward us for making the…

19 min.
the straightest path to a great chair

It’s deeply satisfying to sit in a chair that you’ve created in your own shop—and watch others do the same. Building chairs is also a great way to learn new skills and techniques. To be fair, chairs face more challenges than any other type of furniture. To be comfortable for a wide array of people, they must incorporate key dimensions, curves and angles. Those same bodies put tremendous stresses on a chair, so strength is also critical. Last, you have to deliver that strength and comfort in a graceful package. I’ve been making chairs and teaching the craft for many years, and this design is the straightest path I know to a strong, comfortable, elegant chair. This design is also versatile. As I did here, you can add arms and tilt the back…

2 min.
horizontal mortiser: a furnituremaker’s best friend

As my woodworking projects became more complicated, I built my own horizontal mortiser. I recognized back then that using slip tenon-joinery would let me cut my rails and pieces at clean compound angles on the tablesaw, without having tenon shoulders to fit and extra tenon length to account for. On the mortiser, once I fit the piece wherever I wanted it to go, I just had to align the ends of that piece with the front edge of the mortiser table and cut a mortise. Also, the mortiser cuts mortises just as easily in the ends of parts as it does in their edges. As I started doing this sort of joinery, I found that the whole process was much faster and more precise, even with simple pieces like doors. I’ve never…