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Popular Woodworking

Popular Woodworking December 2015 - January 2016

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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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Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Active Interest Media
Frequency:
Bimonthly
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6 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
shop-made sandpaper

You’d have to be an idiot to spend lots of money on a tool or shop staple when you can simply make your own, or buy a cheap one at the flea market and fix it up. You’d save a lot of money, and a cheap X will work just as well as an expensive X. I’m so thankful that generous commenters have let me know the above. I feel like such a fool. Who knew I could make my own dovetail marking gauge from scraps, instead of spending $25 (and now it’s even pricier at $29!) on the Woodjoy one that I’ve used on almost every project for nine years? What a colossal waste of money. And I’m in publishing – it’s not as if I’ve scads of discretionary income! Lie-Nielsen planes?…

6 min.
drawer slips: a closer look

I read with interest the “Drawer Slips” article in the October 2015 issue (#220). I must say, it took a lot of work and re-reading to figure out what a rounded, flush and mitered slip were, and how they differ. Keith Mealy, Cincinnati, Ohio Keith, My apologies for muddying an otherwise clear puddle! The difference between the three types of slips is how each is integrated into the drawer box, and how they relate to the drawer bottoms they carry. Turning (or Burning) Treated Lumber is Risky Business I was recently given a bunch of lumber from a backyard lumber mill. The person who gave me the wood mentioned that it had been treated. I have a small lathe, and had planned on using the wood to turn glasses and cups. Would it be harmful to…

5 min.
the winner: (almost) effortless dutchman keys

I used to struggle making Dutchman keys (also known as butterflies) – but I love using them in my furniture. So, I came up with an idea that works well and makes the process completely painless. Because the pieces are small (only 2" long in my typical work), I had them set up in a handscrew on my benchtop to chisel out the waste. I realized that if I were to line up the cut with the side jaw surface of my handscrew, I could use my flush-cut saw to split the layout line and not have to worry about paring. The waste that drops off also happens to make perfect wedges, minimizing waste. One thing to keep in mind while using handscrews either as a paring block or saw guide is that…

6 min.
grizzly 12 1/2" benchtop planer

I admit to some skepticism as I unboxed the Grizzly G0790. This benchtop planer has only two knives, and at just $285 (plus $49 for shipping), I wasn’t expecting to be impressed. And while I’m not completely blown away by the machine’s performance, I have to admit that for the price, it performs surprisingly well. According to the manufacturer, this one-speed, 65-pound, 2-horsepower, 110-volt planer takes 60 cuts per inch, has a feed rate of 26 feet per minute, a cutterhead speed of 8,750 revolutions per minute and makes 17,500 cuts per minute. The maximum cut width is 12/2"; the maximum stock thickness the planer will handle is 4 1/2". In other words, it will handle surfacing most of your rough-sawn stock needs. But here’s the catch – the most stock I…

7 min.
drawing strategies for design

My best days in the wood-shop are with my 4-year-old grandson, Seth. He’s just tall enough to see over the benchtop and quick to grab every scrap of wood or curly shaving before it hits the ground. Typical for a boy his age, his repertoire of sound effects outshines his vocabulary. Walnut offcuts become bulldozers, jet planes and rockets, powered by Seth-supplied motor noises and sirens. These are all equipped with loud machine guns and lasers, and they all tend to crash in fiery explosions. The sound wafting upstairs is a mixture of my sawing and hammering and Seth’s alien space battles. Yet once in a while, when he’s resting up between invasions, that little boy will sing quietly to himself. The words make no sense but the music spilling out of…

19 min.
arts & crafts bookcase

Some of the most aesthetically compelling pieces of furniture I’ve seen in the Arts & Crafts style were made by an English company most Americans have never heard of. Between 1890 and 1910, the Harris Lebus Company of London exploited the prevailing fashion in home décor, producing a variety of sideboards, hallstands, wardrobes, washstands and related furniture characterized by simple lines and bold proportions. Many of these items were production pieces built with a price point rather than handcraft in mind. Yet by virtue of their affordability, these pieces achieved one of the Arts & Crafts movement’s central ideals: to make useful and beautiful things available to those of modest means. While researching an article on Harris Lebus several years ago, I came across a knockout wardrobe. Detail photos revealed less-than-optimal fabrication;…