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Popular Woodworking

Popular Woodworking October 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.
revisionist history

For an upcoming issue, I’m working on what will be – what was supposed to be, anyway – my first pure reproduction. That is, instead of my oft-used approach of adapting and designing a piece or style to meet specific needs (e.g., my Shaker-inspired coffee table from the August 2011 issue, #191 – Shakers didn’t have coffee tables, or couches in front of which to put them, for that matter), I was going to faithfully reproduce the piece in its original form and dimensions, using the same joinery, wood species, finish and hardware. While I’m not ready to reveal exactly which one, it’s a Gustav Stickley piece (designed by Harvey Ellis) that you don’t often see in the wild – and can find for only a brief stretch in the company’s…

6 min.
routed hinge gains

I am working on the medicine cabinet project from the June 2016 issue (#225) and am wondering why the author used a chisel to mortise for the hinges instead of using a router. Robert Schreiber, via email Robert, It’s simply a matter of personal preference, combined with the small number of hinges (and plenty of practice chopping hinge gains, I suppose). I hone my chisels before putting them away after using them, so they’re always sharp when I need them; I can just pull them out and quickly get to work. So without needing to sharpen my tools, and only two hinge gains to chop, I can easily get that done by hand more quickly than I can make a jig to guide the router bit, dig up the right bit Dust Mask Endurance I’m wondering…

1 min.
highly recommended

While working in a cabinetshop for several years, I tried many types and brands of ear plugs. But the ones I keep coming back to are the 3M Skull Screws. They’re soft foam like many disposable plugs and are comfortable for long wear, but the threads allow you to screw them in rather than compress the shape, so there’s no waiting for them to expand and they stay put. And the cord is long enough to tuck them inside your shirt when you don’t need them. Plus, they’re affordable (around $3 for a single pair, or less than $1 per when you buy in bulk).…

4 min.
the winner: dovetailed drawers transfer alignment

When I have to cut dovetails for drawers, this trick saves me a lot of alignment fuss. After cutting the tails on the sides, and the grooves that will house the drawer bottoms, I place a slip of wood into the groove of the pin board. I then put the tail board in place, registered on the slip. It ensures perfect alignment from left to right as I transfer my layout. Travis Knapp, Morrisville, Vermont Chisel Scrapers Here’s a tip for shaping awkward timbers. Many of us use the humble card scraper. A cutting action that is oblivious to grain direction is a lifesaver for surface prep; likewise for fine shaping tasks. By grinding a small 90° face on the business end of any chisel, you are effectively placing that cutting edge onto something long,…

3 min.
super nova magnetic lathe lamp

Good lighting can make a big difference in the quality of your woodworking, especially hand-tool work. Without it, there is little hope of accurately sawing to a layout line. It is also key in evaluating a surface finish and countless other tasks in the shop. So it’s a shame to see an elaborately equipped shop with nothing more than fluorescent ceiling lights illuminating the workbench. The Super Nova lamp from Wood-Turners Wonders delivers big time on all the key requirements for excellent task lighting. It was developed by turner and entrepreneur Ken Rizza for use with a lathe, but this flexible light is just as useful for general woodworking. First, you need intensity – lots of lumens shining in the desired direction. The three LEDs in the lamp head together use just…

2 min.
david barron magnetic dovetail guide

If you’re struggling for cut perfection on your dovetails (or you’re just learning to cut this important joint), a magnetic dovetail guide from U.K.-based furniture maker and teacher David Barron is just the ticket. These guides are made of sturdy anodized aluminum and feature recessed rare-earth magnets – covered by a slick low-friction membrane – on all four sides. Those pull the sawplate tight to the guide as you cut, so as to achieve the desired angle right off the saw. Sandpaper on the backside helps to hold the guide in place as you cut. I bought a 1:6, 9.5° guide to test, but there are four other options available: 1:4, 14°; 1:5, 11°; 1:7, 8° and 1:8, 7° In order to provide the bearing surface to guide your cut, this appliance stands 1…