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Woodworker's Journal

Woodworker's Journal April 2013

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.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Rockler Press, Inc
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6 Issues

In this issue

6 min.
considering the cost ...

LUMBERING ALONG WITH WOOD CHOICES ... The cost of lumber is always a topic that sparks conversation among woodworkers. Personally, I lean towards spending a little extra to get a great-looking piece of wood, because I think it pays dividends when people look at my work. (I somehow get credit for growing the tree so prettily!) But lumber can be expensive, and we woodworkers are a “thrifty” lot. So in the next few issues, the Journal will look into finding lumber outside of the normal lumberyard routine. Our first article in the series examines a major concern when procuring wood from alternative sources: moisture content. When you leave the services of a lumberyard behind, how can you be sure your wood is well seasoned? I only know of one way, and…

3 min.
stick-on solutions improve workflow

No-slip Straightedges I improved the convenience of my metal rules and straightedges by affixing strips of non-slip foam kitchen shelf liner to their back sides. I used glue to attach the foam, but double-sided tape works well, too. Now, the liner holds my straightedge or rule firmly in place when I’m taking measurements or drawing layout lines, and it doesn’t scratch the contact surface on which I’m working. It’s a simple, helpful fix. Bill Wells Olympia, Washington Weatherstripping Beats Space Balls Adhesive-backed foam weatherstripping is a good substitute for those little “space ball” rubber balls used to float panels in cabinet doors. It’s available at any hardware store or home center in various thicknesses and widths and comes in 10 foot rolls. Here are the advantages over using space balls: first, weatherstripping spacers…

6 min.
hammering away at an answer

Q What is the purpose of using a cone-shaped mallet for carving as shown in the photo (upper right picture) on page 20 of your December 2012 issue, as opposed to a regular rawhide or wood mallet? This has always bugged me, and hopefully you’ll supply a good, logical answer. Bernie Petrasek Kingston, Pennsylvania A You mention three mallets in your letter: a “cone-shaped mallet,” known as a carver’s mallet; a “rawhide” mallet and a “wood” mallet. This last one I’m going to assume you have in mind a “joiner’s mallet.” The family of hammers and mallets has more variations than any other family of hand tools. Every craft or trade that has a need to hit something, whether it is material or the end of something, has a hammer or a…

2 min.
a fishy tale

Although Jared McLaren of Ashland, Oregon, had purchased the mystery tool shown in our December 2012 issue to practice sharpening, he still wanted to know what it was. Merlin Ryan of London, Ohio, suggested it could be identified as “a pruning knife, for small green branches, in tight places.” Warren Allen of Cedar Hill, Texas, thought the item was “used to groom dogs and other animals with long hair.” And Ken Wagner of St. Paul, Minnesota, thought it was “some sort of opener, perhaps a very early can opener.” Ricky M. Schlatter of Stacy, Minnesota, however, chastised us with the comment, “Being from Minnesota, you have to know what this is.”Mike Walrath of Auburn Hills, Michigan, added that he has “spent lots of time using one of these over the years…

5 min.
“fire !!” the mystery of “the lost carving”

David Esterly is a woodcarver, but a few years ago, he said, “I found myself in the middle of a mystery.” His new book, The Lost Carving, is in part a tale of his true-life detective work in recreating a piece from a famed historical woodworker that everyone had thought was destroyed. David was already interested in 17th century British carver Grinling Gibbons, who frequently worked with Christopher Wren to provide decorative elements for many of the famed architect’s work, when a 1986 fire at Hampton Court Palace near London severely damaged one of Gibbons’s carvings. Due to that interest, plus the fact that “it’s a small field of people who carve limewood high relief foliage for a living — I think you’re talking to the field,” David was hired by…

5 min.
pyrography and turning

New techniques can add interest and beauty to woodturning, or really any type of woodworking. One that I find useful is pyrography (or “woodburning”). While you may think that woodburning is simply drawing with a blowtorch, that is far from the case. It is an art form in its own right that can add shadow, texture and color that support your turning in new and intriguing ways. With that said, you don’t have to possess Leonardo daVinci’s powers of sketching to do great woodburning. Impressive design can be accomplished by burning various patterns and textures into surfaces, making them startling and intriguing to the viewer. Let’s look at the road to becoming a pyrographer as well as a woodturner. Woodburners can be had at prices ranging from less than $20 to…