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Popular Woodworking February 2021

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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United States
Active Interest Media
R 101,18
R 260,41
6 Issues

in this issue

2 min
from the editor

While I love designing and building new things out of wood, one of the most valuable skills I’ve picked up along the way is being able to take care of and repair furniture and woodwork. Our kitchen opens up onto a small back porch. When we moved in, the door leading out to the porch was a standard home center steel insulated exterior door, installed backwards with the metal sill pointing into the kitchen. Not only did it not fit with the house, it was just ugly. It was a reminder of good intentions (insulated and weather-sealed) gone wrong. After spending the better part of my last two years remodeling the kitchen, building cabinetry, installing floors and trim, the door really needed to go. We found a great interior door at Better Futures…

5 min
workshop tips

Auxiliary Fence Scale I have difficulty making accurate measurements when I install my auxiliary fence, because its plywood is a weird thickness. My solution is to create a new scale based on the plywood. Zero the fence next to the blade and slide a thin ruler under the plastic curser. The ruler must rest under the curser without touching. Also, make sure the ruler is accurately scaled—inexpensive rulers may be inaccurate. Once the curser line is aligned with the ruler’s zero mark, tape the ruler in place.—Rich Flynn Router Wrench Grips I own several routers and they all have thin wrenches that are awkward to hold. To avoid frustration, I made the handles thicker by housing them in transparent plastic tubing from the hardware store. To keep the tubing in place, I wrapped the…

5 min
new tools

No Flip Jointer/Planer Wood-Mizer has started developing standalone woodworking machinery. This combo jointer/planer caught our eye because it does both operations without flipping the jointer beds up or otherwise adjusting the machine between operations. The machine has a 9"-wide jointing capacity and 16" -wide planing capacity—impressive for the footprint. And, a dust collection port is routed behind the machine (and also doesn't need to move during switchover). The other interesting feature is the variable planing feed rate (available as on upgrade on the 3-phase model), from 6-39 fpm. It packs a lot of features into the compact 56" x 32" footprint, and is definitely worth exploring if you're space-challenged but want an industrial-level machine. Unplugged Maker Kit Battery technology comes to a few of the craftier tools in a woodworker’s kit. Worx has paired…

4 min
using t-track

T-track is a versatile product that has many great uses around the shop. It can be attached to the fence of a chop saw, drill press or router table to provide a quick, secure place to attach feather boards, stops and hold-downs. It also makes a great addition to jigs and fixtures with parts that need to be adjustable or easily removed. At first glance, all T-tracks look pretty much the same. There are, however, several subtle but important differences among brands. Sizes and Prices T-track is available in lengths from 1 ft. to 12 ft. and averages about $4.50 per lineal foot. It is usually sold in 1-or 2-ft. increments, but some brands can be special ordered to a specific length. Most T-tracks are approximately ¾" wide with a thickness of either…

10 min
power-carved side table

Have you ever come upon the opportunity to get some logs either due to a downed tree on your property or somewhere else within your community? A very familiar story is someone has to remove a very beloved tree and they want to have it turned into a piece of furniture. However, once they learn about the process to have the tree milled into useable lumber and the price associated with all of that, the tendency is to decide to do nothing further with the tree. There are other options, such as creating a unique piece of furniture with a log from the tree like a side table. That is just what I have done with a log cut from an ash tree that had to be felled to the…

1 min
carving tools

There are 3 tools that are really my ready and steady go to tools for power carving. The first (from the right) is my Manpa 3" multicutter with a Makita angle grinder. This thing removes material quickly with basically no kick-back and without needing to get too worried about the direction of the grain. I like to think of it as a very powerful, very fast-moving chisel. It is removing material in chips, not in dust. Next in line (middle of picture) is an angle grinder outfitted with one of Kutzall’s extreme line of carving dishes. There are different shapes and different levels of coarseness to choose from, all of them easy and safe to use. Just know, when using the carving dish, this is when it gets super dusty. It's…