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Popular Woodworking

Popular Woodworking November 2017

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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.
nominal knowledge

Idon’t know exactly when I learned that a 2x4 isn’t 2" x 4", but I’m quite sure it was well before I joined the staff of Popular Woodworking. I studied English literature and journalism in college, and took one shop class in grade school that covered little more than basic turning – no construction. When I was a kid, I was busy playing soccer and bugging my mom to let me take riding lessons, not building stuff. And neither of my parents built stuff, either (though I recall hearing some cursing during a DIY tiling job). My grandfather built stuff, but it wasn’t until I was in my 20s that I ever joined him in the shop. Yet I knew as a kid that “2x4” was a nominal measure (though I wouldn’t…

6 min.
cross-grain chest construction

I want to build the “Country Toy & Tool Chest” from the February 2007 issue (#160) – but I have a question before I attempt this. Why is wood movement not a problem with this design given that the sides run the grain vertical and the front and back are horizontal? I did this once on a chest I built for my grandson and the lid seems to have a hard time meeting the top as the seasons change and the wood’s moisture contents goes up and down. I thought that maybe just nailing the sides on would have helped allow for wood movement but I read in the article that you used glue also. Steve Poetzl, via email Steve, As you note, that chest (which is constructed a lot like a typical six-board chest) exhibits…

4 min.
the winner: band saw pattern jig

I made this jig for cutting patterns on the band saw. It works especially well on woods where the line is difficult to see, or if your near eyesight is starting to deteriorate. Simply attach the pattern to your piece and let the arm of the jig ride on the pattern like a guide bearing on a router’s pattern bit. The jig moves closer to or farther out from the blade to cut closer or farther from your template. The arm that extends out from the fence can be adjusted in height for woods of different thicknesses. I also made several additional arms of different lengths that can be switched out by removing the knob and replacing the arm. Dave Diaman, Baltimore, Maryland A Template for Perfection I use this trick to make sure I…

3 min.
veritas combination plane

A plow plane is a joinery powerhouse in the hand-tool shop. Not only can you plow grooves with it – you can, if necessary, use it for rabbets and tongues, though it’s a laborious tonguing process. Enter the combination plane – a plane that excels at grooves and has changeable cutters for not only other joinery, but decorative mouldings as well. Hunting down a vintage Stanley No. 45 or Record #405 in good condition can be a challenge, though, and they’re often pricey. But there’s a new option: the Combination Plane from Veritas. It’s heavier than the company’s Small Plow Plane (natch), but light enough to not tire me out. I weighed it on our postal scale against a Stanley No. 45, both with a 1/4" plow blade inserted. At 3.68 pounds,…

2 min.
microjig matchfit dovetail clamps

A lot of the work in any machine-oriented woodshop revolves around creating and improving jigs. While I’ve used hold-down and F-style clamps in most of my shop fixtures, the Microjig Matchfit Dovetail Clamps offer a new means of integrating adjustable clamping into a jig, securely and out of the way of blades and bits. The clamps have a dovetail cross section on the top arm that fits into a 14º angle, 1/2"-wide x 3/8"-deep dovetail groove in any piece of wood that’s at least/8" in thickness. This allows you to easily create a new guide for your circular saw or router, new table saw or band saw fixtures and whatever power tool paraphernalia you’ve got to make. The clamps run in and out of the groove tightly, without much slop – a…

1 min.
robin wood axe for carving (and more)

As a bowl carver, I am frequently asked about recommendations for beginner sets of tools. Though the Robin Wood Axe is always on that list, it’s not just a beginner’s axe. Weighing in at 1 pound, 9 ounces, it is a midweight carving axe, and considerably lighter than the Gransfors Bruks (GB) Swedish Carving Axe (just more than 2 pounds), making it much more manageable for long-term use and controlled cuts. Though its lighter weight might imply that it’s not suited for heavy stock removal, it can be used for roughing work or even felling and sectioning small trees. Having used the heavier GB carving axe quite a bit, I do notice a difference when roughing out bowls. The weight of the GB helps with removal of large amounts of waste wood…