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Popular Woodworking

Popular Woodworking December 2020

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.

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United States
Active Interest Media
6 Issues

in this issue

7 min
turn a classic wooden bat

Almost every common wood has been used for bats at one time or another. However, a few species dominate the history of the sport. Traditionally northern ash has been the wood of choice, but currently—at least in the pros—it is a neck-and-neck race with hard maple. A few bats are still made of hickory and beech. For this project, I suggest buying a blank of ash or maple that has been graded for bats. The reason is not only superior performance, but also safety. A bat made from a graded bat blank is less likely to break in use. Bat blanks are graded differently from regular furniture grade lumber. First, only straight-grained wood from slow-growing trees of moderate size make the grade. The blank must have tight, evenly spaced growth rings…

14 min
vintage pharmacy cabinet

Over the years it has become apparent that all projects are not created equal. Although, they all seem to come with their equal share of challenges and complexities. It never fails, no matter how much preplanning is implemented, there always seems to be an issue that materializes past the point of no return. For years, my remedy to this was to destroy and discard any signs of what I deemed a failure of personal effort. Allowing such a blunder to become public was inconceivable. It wasn’t until later in my woodworking design career that I realized that these “mistakes” were paramount to the process of learning and development. Not only is it important to confront these miscalculations, it’s the resolve from these faux pas that generates the “ah-ha” moment(s) within the…

3 min
woodworking accountant

How did you get started woodworking? Woodworking for me was born out of a desire to do something different. I am an accountant by profession. Although it is a profitable business, when you close a deal in accounting, there’s nothing physical you can point to and say: Here is the result of our labor. Everything is digital. Just numbers on a computer screen. So when I wanted to expand my entrepreneurship, I looked for something that satisfied my desire to get out of an office and make something with my hands. That journey led me to woodworking. Who were your mentors? Had you asked me two and a half years ago what was a plane, I would have had no context outside of the ones that fly in the air. No one in…

2 min
seeking comfort

This year hasn’t been easy. There have been times I’ve really identified with Bill Murray’s character in Groundhog’s Day, doing the same things over and over again, with no real end in sight. Wake up. Check the news. Make coffee. Sit at my computer. Eat dinner. Sleep. Repeat. Hope for change. As the year draws to a close and I’m still not leaving the house, except for a walk or bike ride, or a trip to the grocery store or home center, I wonder how long this will last. I do feel lucky that I snuck in under the wire buying my first home only a couple years ago. Instead of being confined to a 800 sqft. apartment without much outdoor or garage space, we have about twice that much space now, plus…

2 min
workshop tips

Shallow Cut Eliminates Tearout When I crosscut hardwood plywood, I use an old technique to minimize tearout on the bottom face. I simply make two passes with my general-purpose blade. After setting the rip fence, I cut a shallow groove, no more than 1/32 in. deep. Then I raise the blade and cut all the way through. Cutting plywood this way takes longer, but I’m not in a hurry and the tear-out-free results are worth the extra effort.—Eric Swanson Hook Your Cordless Drills While building this little station to organize my cordless drill paraphernalia, I discovered that bicycle hooks make great drill holders. Mounting the station on the wall saves valuable bench-top space. Now I never have to hunt for my drills, chargers and bits.—Hans Wendt Jointing with a Planer I found some wonderful oak…

67 min
lee valley

EASY WAYS TO SHOP leevalley.com 1-800-871-8158 P.O. Box 20700 Reno NV 89515 1-800-513-7885 CUSTOMER SERVICE: 1-800-267-8735 customerservice@leevalley.com Visit leevalley.com and click on the Customer Service link or call us for information on shipping rates, sales taxes, returns and more. Prices Prices are in U.S. dollars and are current at the time of publication. Prices are subject to change without notice if our costs increase or an inadvertent error has been printed. Our website reflects our current prices, which supersede those in print. Quantity Discounts Quantities shown over our prices, e.g., 1+ and 10+, indicate a quantity discount – the price is reduced when 10 or more of the same item are purchased. The discount does not apply to mixed sizes and types that may total 10 or more. Special Symbols Product is made in USA. Product is made in Canada. Notice to California Residents Where applicable,…