Popular Woodworking December 2017

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

3 min.
it starts with a stick

All woodworking starts with some form of stick – even if that stick eventually grew into a branch or a trunk. But my first woodworking “project,” basic though it is, was an actual stick… on which nature did most of the work. I’m certain I was taught at my summer camp to “take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints.” But I took that branch, twisting it off from a live tree. I stripped the bark off the bulk of it with a pocketknife, being careful to leave it on the spiral ridges. I suppose it also counts as my first foray into live-edge work. I made nothing else until grade-school shop class, and after that, nothing until some L-bracket-joined bookshelves after I’d moved out of my college dorm. Now, I’ve made more…

6 min.
finding a radius in proportional patterns

In his February 2016 (issue #223) Design Matters, “Look Beneath the Surface,” George Walker illustrates with lines and arcs how to establish “proportional patterns” in design. I am curious as to how he establishes the radius of the curves. It seems that this distance, and consequently the radius point, would be critical to the overall pleasing appearance of the curve. How is the radius of that curve established? Jay Linthicum, Post Falls, Idaho Jay, Here’s a “beneath the surface” look at one of those flowing curves. This simple compass construction was used by builders and artisans for millennia. To find the focal points, simply open the compass span to match where the arc begins and ends. Swing a pair of arcs from each end; where they cross is your focal point. This gentle arc often crops…

5 min.
the winner: cam clamp fence micro-adjusters

I have found a simple way to modify a wooden lever cam clamp to move a table saw fence or router fence in fractional amounts, using easy-to-find hardware: a 1/4"-20 T-nut, 1/4"-20 carriage bolt, and matching wing nut, washer and hex nut. You can make your own cam clamps (there are plenty of YouTube videos on how), or buy them from a woodworking store. Drill a 5/16" hole in one end of the cam clamp for the T-nut, and glue the nut in place (I used Weldbond adhesive). Thread the bolt through the nut, then cap it with the hex nut, washer and wing nut. Your micro-adjuster is ready for action. I use these for adjusting the fences on my table saw and router table. Just clamp the jig near the fence and rotate…

3 min.
shapeoko xl cnc kit

Generally, CNCs suited for woodworking have heavy construction for stable motion, precision tracking for accuracy and the power to carve through hard woods easily. They come in sizes from very small to huge and are priced from $3,000-$12,000 (and beyond). Until now, there have been few CNC options for woodworkers on tight budgets with small shops. There’s a class of CNCs designed for “makers” – hobbyists who build all kinds of things using the latest technology – but these are usually light duty and not suited to machining solid wood. But a new machine, the Shapeoko XL from Carbide 3D, is. The Shapeoko XL has a desktop-sized footprint – a cutting area of 33" x 17" x 3". It’s priced at $1,499. And, if you have more room, consider the 33" x…

1 min.
sensgard ear chamber hearing protection

Before reading why these Sens-Gard hearing protectors are so good, consider if you share some of the problems I have had with other protectors. I do not like stuffing things into my ear canals, such as foam plugs that must be compressed with often dirty fingers, then uncomfortably jammed in, only to later work loose. The various silicone plugs, even those with high-tech designs, are nonetheless also stuck in the ear canal like a cork in a wine bottle. I find them unpleasant, especially for intermittent use in the woodshop. Earmuffs are cumbersome, tend to bump into things and get sweaty. Worse, despite their soft padding, muffs squeeze the temple arms of my eyeglasses against my skull. It isn’t long before I choose the noise over the headache. The SensGard Ear Chambers solve…

1 min.
bearkat wood’s chair scraper

There is no doubt in my mind that a chair scraper from BearKat Wood should be in every chair-maker’s tool chest. Card scrapers have long been the secret clean-up weapon of woodworkers, and it’s clear that this one was designed by someone with an intimate knowledge of the challenges that arise from working wood in complex, curvilinear forms. Everything about this tool makes sense and solves a real-world problem. With a straight edge on one side and varied radii along the back, flats are no problem, and inside and outside curves from seats to spindles are covered. The .025" thickness has just enough “give” to make it effective at targeting trouble spots, and the 1095 tempered spring steel holds a nice hook while being easy to sharpen and to turn a…