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August/September 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.

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United States
Active Interest Media
6 Issues

in this issue

1 min
from the editor sawdust

What is woodworking? For real, I’d like to know. I’ve been part of a few discussions recently about whether a given technique or project constitutes legitimate woodworking. For some folk, it centers around furniture projects built with solid wood joinery. For others, it’s all about hand tools. I’ll submit this issue as a practical example of how I’d answer the question. We have a couple furniture projects (cabinet and coffee table), a model boat, a reading lamp, and a shop-built vise for cutting joints by hand. In the departments, we have the usual articles on the router and table saw. Erich Lage, who in a past life was a trim carpenter, looks at installing a door. Vic Tesolin shows show to punch up a cabinet door with veneer. The point is woodworking…

1 min
quick tips

Sticky Tack Painter Points. Marc Hopkins of Des Moines, IA was looking for a way to hold some small chess pieces in place while flocking the bottom. Sticky tack to the rescue! It not only temporarily secures the pieces, but it’s the perfect solution to keep from marring up any of the finish he had already applied. Even Pressure. Chris Fitch of Winterset, IA has a quick tip to get even pressure when he has a large glueup. By layering a couple of pieces of painter’s tape in the center of a board being used as a caul, he is creating a “crown.” This allows for the pressure to start in the center of the caul ensuring even pressure when tightening down on your clamps. Tighten Loose Miter Bars. Carol Holly of…

7 min
setting up a carving space

The longer I’m around woodworking and woodworkers, the more I realize just how broad this craft is. My projects tend toward furniture and cabinets. But in the last few years, I’ve dabbled in some carving. It offers a change of pace and a set of new skills to learn — and tools to get. Along the way, I’ve discovered that carving has different workshop needs than what I already have set up. The biggest difference is that you don’t need much space at all. While there’s a lot of information about setting up furniture making shops, there isn’t much on creating a space for a dedicated carver. So my aim is to talk about the big ideas of a carving shop: worksurfaces and work-holding, lighting, and layout, then we’ll get into the…

7 min
casual coffee table

Tables invite gathering. A large dining table draws family and friends to celebrate holidays and special events. A coffee table on the other hand, tones down the rituals for laid back gatherings whether coffee-based or another beverage of your choosing. I’ve noticed a recent trend that super sizes the coffee table into continent-sized altars of display. This table instead relishes small spaces and everyday gatherings. The splayed legs and aprons visible from the front add visual and woodworking interest. Down below, there’s a drawer to hold entertaining essentials, remotes, or just a place to clear the deck when company arrives. We finished the base with a two-tone distressed paint job. Think of it as a subtle permission slip to skip the coasters or put your feet up. Painting the base also allows…

1 min
dillon baker, project designer

Dillon Baker is a contributing editor for Popular Woodworking and the design editor for Woodsmith magazine. His long-standing appreciation of the duality of art and functionality in furniture design, and his technical expertise in crafting both modern and traditional pieces, allow him to approach each project with unique perspectives and a high degree of creativity. Dillon holds a BFA in design from Iowa State University, and prior to entering the publication world, ran a design and build studio in downtown Des Moines, Iowa. Dillon both designed and wrote (his first) the Scissor Lamp project on page 32.…

1 min
reader’s tips

Adjustable Router Stop Block There are occasions when I need to rout multiple mortises in a large workpiece. A recent project was a bed headboard. Instead of laying out the mortises and trying to eyeball where to stop routing, I decided to make a few stops that I could use with my router. You can see the stops in the photo at left. SIMPLE, BUT WORKS. The construction of the stop blocks is easy. The stops are an easy build from plywood. A fixed front fence is attached to a top plate. The movable fence is attached to the top plate with a screw through a slot. This way, the stop block works with a wide range of workpiece thicknesses. The inside of the stops are lined with adhesive-backed sandpaper for extra…