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Popular Woodworking February 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.

United States
Active Interest Media
6 Issues

in this issue

2 min
woodworking every day

I’m a sucker for new year’s resolutions. As a pragmatic optimist, I really like the idea of a fresh start, a time to make your life better, for no other reason than a pope in the 16th Century decided that January 1 was the first day of the new year. Some of my more memorable resolutions involve various foodstuffs. (I gave up pizza, my favorite food, for an entire year once. Another year, it was sweets.) Lots of resolutions are about health. This year, my resolution is to work with wood every day. Not just think about woodworking, or write about woodworking, or watch a bunch of YouTube videos about woodworking. Actual hands-on, making chips and sawdust, every day. I don’t think it’s going to be easy. But I also don’t think…

3 min
workshop tips

Strike Plate Mounting Magic When I had to install a bunch of magnetic catches recently, I came up with this simple method to mark the doors for the strike plate. It requires no measuring and the results are neat and clean. Just insert the mounting screw in the plate and attach it to the magnet. Then press the door firmly against the screw so the tip leaves a mark. Drill a hole centered on this mark and then fasten the plate.—Tim Howell Fender Washers for Mounting Pictures I enjoy making picture frames but always found it a pain to use tacks or staples to hold the picture in place. Plus tacks and staples are hard to remove when you want to change the picture. That’s why I developed this method for holding the picture,…

3 min
a cordless vacuum contender

As I replace old and worn out tools, I’ve made it my goal to find a cordless equivalent. Their convenience cannot be overstated especially given they often times outperform their corded counterparts. I’d used and seen several cordless vacuums but had never been impressed. Most of them top out at or below 80cfm (with some advertising sub 40!) and can't replace any of my corded vacs. While speaking to my local Metabo HPT rep, he mentioned a new 124cfm cordless wet/dry vac that would be hitting the shelves soon and asked if I’d be interested in testing one for him. He assured me this vac would outperform any I’d seen, so I agreed. After unboxing the vacuum, one thing that immediately stood out to me was the sleek design. It’s low…

3 min
specialty sander/polisher

The Restorer is unlike any other sander you have, and it won’t replace any other sander, but it can add flexibility and creativity to many finishing prep tasks. Porter-Cable calls the Restorer a “multi surface restoration tool”, while other competing brands call their tools burnishers or wheel sanders. My best description of the Restorer is a handheld spindle sander that fits different adbrasives for sanding, stripping, and polishing various materials. I tested the version that comes with six sanding sleeves, two polishing sleeves, one stripping wheel, and a fabric kit bag. I also added two accessory brushes, the 180-grit nylon bristle and the stainless steel wire brush for just under $50 each. The tool fits proprietary 2 13/16" diameter by 4" wide sleeves and wheels, with basic accessories available frin Porter-Cable…

11 min
adding curves to your toolkit

A lot of woodworkers shy away from curves. There’s plenty of reasons for this. For starters, some of the common power tools are built for rectangular construction, a table saw is a good example. Limitations imposed by our machines can nudge us away from curves. A second reason is that curves add an extra level of complexity to any design. Doors can be fussy to fit even if they are flat. Why up the ante and mess with a curved door and the extra headaches that take us beyond our comfort zone? Yet the biggest reason folks avoid the curvy road is stepping out into the unknown. Curves are wild things like the flight of a falcon, beautiful yet unpredictable. A curved line can easily crash into the weeds. In fact…