Popular Woodworking February 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.
pursuit of perfection

One of the reviews I wrote for this issue, on David Charles-worth’s drawer-making video (page 14), got me thinking about the level of precision for which I strive in my work on both furniture and house rehab projects – and how my definition of “acceptable” and the choices I now make have changed over a decade. I cut my first dovetails in 2006, following Christopher Schwarz’s “Dovetail a Day” prescription. I recall clearly my glee the first time the joints went together “off the saw” – never mind that you could fit a stack of playing cards in the gaps. At the time, I found that result wholly acceptable. It wasn’t until 2008, however, that I was brave (or perhaps foolish) enough to display my wood-on-wood joinery in the magazine. Looking at…

5 min.
creative use for a vintage yardstick

In one of Megan Fitzpatrick’s blog posts about her house rehab, she mentioned uncovering a 1950s yardstick with an old phone number and hardware store promoted on it. The same thing happened to me! I think I found mine used as a shim in a door frame I was removing. (I rehabbed an old house too; I’d much rather read about dirty, dusty projects than do them.) She mentioned not being sure what to do with the yardstick. One idea is to use it the next time she builds something for the shop – after all, it is wood. I cut mine a little shorter and affixed it to the lip of my tool chest. I’ve even used it once or twice when I needed only an “ish” sort of measurement. Mostly…

1 min.
highly recommended

I’ve had my French-made Arno burnisher for many years (available from $32 online). It has a V-shaped-edge insert on one side (which I use only for steel that is crazy hard) and a rounded-edge carbide insert on the other (the edge I typically use), and both are perfectly smooth – they need to be to turn a good edge on a scraper. I have yet to encounter steel that will defeat this tool. I also appreciate its cast-aluminum handle with guards; it keeps my sausage fingers protected from the sharp scraper edges.…

5 min.
the winner: a clear improvement for router base plates

I cut custom base plates for my routers, which not only allows me to adjust the size for better stability, but to better see the work. They’re 1/4"-thick Plexiglas that I cut to size and shape on the band saw, then smooth with a belt sander. I use a hole saw to remove the center, then file the rough edges with a half-round file. I also wrap a camping head lamp onto my routers to light up the bit through the clear plate. Brian MacAllister, Salt Spring Island, British Columbia Triangle for Square Corners If you have trouble getting corners clamped up square, this will help. Cut a right triangle out of a hardwood scrap, then cut holes in it to accommodate the heads of simple F-style clamps. Put the triangle in the corner and clamp…

1 min.
‘drawer making and fitting’ video

Well-made and well-fit drawers are a calling card of the best furniture makers; David Charlesworth’s video “Drawer Making and Fitting” (Lie-Nielsen) can help you achieve such mastery in the high-end English Arts & Crafts tradition. What this means is drawer construction with excellent materials, perfect joint layout for the stock thickness and drawer size, drawer slips, stops and perfect reveals – but it also means a drawer that glides out for about two-thirds of its travel from the carcase, then slightly tightens in its opening to prevent the user from pulling it out by mistake. As with all of Charlesworth’s videos, the amount of detail he goes into on almost every step of the high-end drawer process is remarkable. While it’s not intended for beginners (he doesn’t teach you herein to cut…

2 min.
lee valley small double square

A diemakers’ square with a narrow blade is an excellent tool for determining minute problems with your joinery, allowing you to get in between narrow dovetail pins, for example, to check for sloping walls. But a true diemakers’ square (on which the blade angle can be adjusted for patternmaking) is quite expensive, even on the secondary market (though Lie-Nielsen sells a well-priced version if you don’t need a narrow blade). Enter the “double square” – a similar tool, minus angle adjustment. Lee Valley has just released a small double square ($49.50) that comes standard with two 2 1/2"-long blades; one is/2" wide, the other just more than 3/16" wide, with a 3/32"-wide, 1/2"-long probe on one end for sneaking into the smallest of places. The stock is dead-square to the blades, and the…