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Popular Woodworking March/April 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.

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

in this issue

2 min
shop dreams

Working from home, my office space overlooks my backyard and garage. When those Zoom meetings run a bit too long, or my eyes glaze over after staring at a screen filled with text and numbers, I find myself daydreaming about my shop. Not my actual shop, mind you. My actual shop is a 1920’s one-car garage that was expanded to a two car some time mid-century. When I moved in two years ago, the walls were solidly out of plumb, the concrete floor was cracked and heaving, it had two, 15-amp circuits, and the roof had a few key leaks. Since then, I’ve added a plywood floor on sleepers to one half, upgraded the electrical to a 60-amp sub panel, insulated and sheathed the walls and added better lighting. I’m always…

3 min
workshop tips

Folding Sawhorses These sawhorses are sturdy and fold flat for easy storage. Building them is a snap: joint and plane 2x4 stock to 1"; then rip to 3". Crosscut at 30" for the legs and 18" for the stretchers. Use a biscuit joiner and double stack #20 biscuits at each joint. Assemble with a 11/2" continuous hinge and locking table leg braces. Larger Try Square Transform a framing square into a large try square by adding a wooden head. The holes bored through the framing square to hold the head must be oversized to allow adjustment. Check the tool for accuracy and adjust accordingly. Back Up Thin Stock Make a sacrificial two-sided miter box when you’re slicing thin stock into short pieces. Mount a toggle clamp on the box to safely hold your work (available…

6 min
new tools

The Multi-Router Returns Woodpeckers recently acquired the rights for the legendary multi-router (originally brought to market by the now-defunct JDS Manufacturing nearly three decades ago). This machine excels at cutting all kinds of joinery with a router, from mortises and tenons, to box joints, dovetails, rabbets and more. The machine features 3-axis movement. The router is mounted horizontally and moves up and down. The table (where you clamp your workpiece), moves in and out and side to side. Levers and stops control the parameters of the cut—most operations require working two levers. Pair the right bit with one of the multi-router templates, and you can quickly batch out all kinds of joinery. Angled joinery is easy to dial in, with the tilting table and adjustable hold downs. You can also upgrade to…

4 min
cutting & carving plastics with a cnc router

Plastics are amazing materials. Their lightweight grain-less structure gives them uniform strength in all directions making it an ideal material for all sorts of parts and projects. Available in clear, translucent and opaque plastics add a whole new level to your workshop’s repertoire. While there are dozens of different kinds of plastics, I recommend you try acrylic and polyethylene. Acrylic plastic is manufactured in either a cast or an extruded form. Both offer good machinability, impact strength and tensile strength. Extruded Acrylic is available in many thicknesses, mostly less than 3/8" and in clear or a wonderful assortment of translucent colors. Cast acrylic is typically clear and available in much thicker dimensions, up to 4". Cast acrylic plastic is tougher and harder than extruded acrylic while extruded acrylic offers more flexibility and…

4 min
pizza rocker

Handmade pizza is a mainstay at my house, but I never knew how much fun cutting up a freshly cooked pie could be until I made a rocker. This baby doesn’t fool around; the hefty blade cleanly slices the thickest of crusts and layers of toppings. After three or four stylish passes, your slice of bubbling hot pizza slides free without dragging that annoying extra cheese or its unsuspecting neighbor. This project also makes an excellent gift for your pizza-loving friends. Begin with Metal Cutter 1. Start your drawing. Mark a 4" x 15" rectangle on your stainless steel. Draw a second line at 5" and make the center at 7 1/2" to indicate the crest of the curve. Freehand a rounded edge from the center of the crest to the 4"…

10 min
plywood lounge chair

PROJECT #2104 Skill Level: Intermediate Time: 2 Days Cost: $100 During my senior year of design school, I was presented with the challenge of creating a piece of furniture using a single sheet of Baltic-birch plywood. The objective being: utilize as much of the sheet as possible with minimal amount of waste. Easy enough—or so I believed. Here we are, a whole decade later and the substance of this objective continues to fascinate me. Part of this allure could be attributed to nostalgia, or just sheer frontal lobe engagement; however, I am convinced it’s a bit more idiosyncratic and applicable than that. One of the unique elements of this assignment is the nature of its framework, which forces one to design within the limits of spatial availability; thus, presenting its own set of inherent challenges. The…