Woodworker's Journal

December 2021

Woodworker’s Journal is the magazine for people who love to work with wood. Woodworkers of any skill level will find top-tier plans to build great projects, expert reviews of woodworking tools, and a ton of woodworking tips and techniques. Get Woodworker's Journal digital magazine subscription today and get inspired and motivated.

United States
Rockler Press, Inc
6 Issues

in this issue

1 min
finding that spark of inspiration

Building handmade gifts is one of the most satisfying woodworking experiences of my life. Whether the gift is fanciful or practical, complicated or easy, it makes little difference. I am exhilarated as I build, excited when I complete it and gratified as I see the gift opened and enjoyed. On the other hand, I have been making holiday presents for some 40 years now, and I have to confess that coming up with new and exciting gift ideas can be a bit daunting. If that’s true for you, I have a suggestion that could be very helpful. Rockler and Woodworker’s Journal have teamed up to create a gift guide to inspire woodworking and spark ideas. Find it at https://www.rockler.com/gift-guide and light your fire for gift-building anew.…

1 min
you guessed it — gifts!

SOMETHING FOR ALL, PLUS A CALL FOR VOTES There’s no need to sugarcoat it … we are in the homestretch when it comes to making gifts for the holidays. It’s my hope that in this issue you will find inspiration for your efforts as well as a couple of fun-to-build ideas to help you out. Our selection of projects covers a multitude of holidays. The “Modern Farmhouse Dining Table” (page 28) is clearly a winner for Thanksgiving, my gustatory favorite. Of course we have some Christmas-appropriate gifts, or build a modular “Menorah” (page 38) if you are a member of the 12 tribes or know someone who is. The “Simple Serving Tray” on page 42 can be made with minimal tools and skills in any small workspace. Our “Beehive Honey Dipper”…

4 min

Why Such Skinny Pins? When I look at many projects with dovetail joints these days, there seems to be a trend toward small, skinny pins. As an engineer, I think joints not only have to be strong, they must also look strong, since non-engineers judge strength by looks. So the question is: Why do we see, of late, really skinny pins? If I were making the joint, I would probably double the [thickness] of the pins. Don Dziubakowski Georgetown, Kentucky Chris Marshall Responds: Router jigs make dovetail joints accessible to any woodworker with a router and some patience. But one thing that limits all dovetail jigs I know of is the width of the pins at their base. That’s because we must use dovetail bits that restrict the shape of the pins to usually not…

1 min
reader projects

Toolbox Urn Honors Carpenter Father My father recently passed away, and I wanted to honor him in a way that would recognize his carpentry talents. He and my mom built houses as a hobby and as a way to finance their retirement. I don’t have his carpentry skills; I’m more of a woodworker and antiques restorer, but I got the love of wood from him. I made this urn for my dad using curly maple, Honduran mahogany and monkey pod with purpleheart accents. His favorite house-building hammer will sit on the top lid. Jeff Hudson Yuma, Arizona Lathe Stand with Tool Storage Here’s a modified version of your June 2020 “Mobile Lathe Stand” project to fit my RIKON lathe. I built it mostly from red oak boards I cut from trees in our yard. Because…

1 min
we asked our survey group about routers this time

How many handheld routers do you own? 1 to 2 32.14% 3 to 4 48.87% 5 to 6 13.81% 7 or more 5.18% About how old are your routers? Three years or less 4.39% 4 to 7 years 44.61% 8 to 10 years 30.76% 11 years or older 20.24% Do you own a battery-powered router? Yes 9.02% No 90.98% Which styles of bases are on the router or routers you own? Fixed base 40.31% Plunge base 31.7% Fixed/plunge base combo 27.89% What sorts of woodworking tasks do you use your router or routers for? Profi ling edges 29.19% Template routing 18.8% Milling joinery 10.12% Making rail-and-stile doors 13.57% Jointing board edges 11.87% Other 2.62% What brand of handheld router do you think represents the best value, in terms of quality and price? Black + Decker 1.36% Bosch 15.6% Craftsman 6.11% DeWALT 14.25% Festool 3.12% Makita 3.66% Metabo HPT/Hitachi 2.44% Milwaukee 2.58% MLCS 0.54% Porter-Cable 35.3% RIDGID 3.26% Ryobi 3.53% Triton 2.99% Other 5.29%…

3 min
stumpers fiery possibilities or a toothy truth?

While Chris Ericson’s small cast-iron mystery tool from our August issue (pictured at right) has had him stumped, several of you have thrown your hats in the ring to help solve this riddle. Two likely possibilities have sifted to the top of the mail bag, based on your general consensuses. After Sim Galazka took on the task of researching “C D MFG CO” cast into the tool, “I now believe it’s a die casting used in metalworking,” he contends. Douglas Harris agrees with the “press” aspect of Sim’s theory anyway, but in his opinion, it’s a book press instead. Ron Madsen of St. George, Utah, has a different hunch. “It has the overall appearance of what I used to use to compress my brake pistons back into the caliper holder so that new…