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I don’t know about you, but Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday – it’s all about the food and mostly free of consumerism…except, of course, for the “Black Friday” sales that start at crazy hours… I will not be at any of those sales. I will be sitting around a table I built (in the one dining chair I’ve built) having a great time with friends and eating what I hope is […]
I better start off with a warning. If you haven’t already figured it out, I’m kind of a nut about patterns. Long before I owned a CNC, I made hundreds of them. As a furniture maker, I really use and rely on them. The rule in my shop is that if you need to make two of anything or if there’s even the slightest chance you might make something again, […]
One of the unique pieces built during my weekend workshop at Snow Farm was a live edge coffee table. Lisa’s “Cape Cod coffee table” began as a 1” cross cut of a cherry tree that showed an attractive burl, intriguing insects cavities and some natural cracks. Our plan was first to fill the imperfection with colored epoxy. Then re-turn four reclaimed furniture legs that Lisa had found on the street. […]
The post Live Edge Class at Snow Farm, Massachusetts – Part 4 Lisa’s Cherry Table appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
There are numerous jigs for cutting dovetails with a router. My go-to is the Keller pro series model 1601. It’s simple to use, though unlike jigs that cut pins and tails in one fell swoop, it takes two operations (and two different cutters) — one for tails, another for pins. The resulting joint is so attractive, with wide tails reminiscent of hand-cut joints, that I think it’s worth the extra time. […]
We are featuring a set of tables by Kerry Pierce in an upcoming issue of PWM and we needed to ship them back to his home in Lancaster, Ohio. So instead of paying over $100 for shipping, we jumped in the car to make the delivery. Kerry repaid us with a shop tour and we spent some time in his home talking about what he likes in furniture style. It was a great […]
Glue-ups are always a stressful moment – you have a short timeframe to correctly align the parts you’ve been working on for some time, and failure to do so can compromise your results. So, I figured I’d share some tips that I’ve learned over time, through many a stressful and suspenseful glue-up. 1. Do a dry-run. You can set aside all the clamps, look at your project and feel good […]
On December 9, two Popular Woodworking Magazine authors – woodcarver Mary May and Design Matters columnist George Walker – will be in Covington, Ky., to give presentations and sign copies of their new books, at a free event at Lost Art Press (7-10 p.m.). Don’t wait to reserve your tickets – space is limited. And while this is not nearly as exciting as meeting Mary and George, I’ll be there, too […]
This week’s book giveaway is for a copy of “Mackintosh Furniture” by Michael Crow. Filled with shop drawings for 30 furniture designs by architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh, it’s a must-have for fans of his work. Furniture forms include chairs, tables, bookcases, dressers, sideboards and more. You’ll also find 2 complete step-by-step projects that showcase some of Mackintosh’s signature furniture details. One copy is up for grabs. Simply post […]
I recently completed a seven-drawer dresser. The drawers featured hand-cut dovetails and are of graduated heights from top to bottom. Cleaning up the drawers with my handplanes was initially tough because I couldn’t get them to remain still during planing. Fortunately, I thumbed through a Charles H. Hayward book recently and came across his solution: a dirt-simple method for easily planing drawers. He writes, “All fitting is done before the […]
The post Tricks of the Trade: Quick & Easy Setup for Handplaning Drawers appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
I love my routers, and if there’s one router function that saves me time and hassles it’s pattern routing. Whether it’s a repeated curve on door rails or intricate fascia work on a bookcase, pattern routing is the answer. Being able to make and refine a single pattern and then letting my router do the work on the rest of the pieces saves time and pretty much takes the thought […]
For an upcoming “Tool Test” in the February 2018 (#237) issue of the magazine, I reviewed the Lixie Dead Blow Mallet. While we’ll post the full mallet test when the magazine hits newsstands, we wanted to take the time first (before writing the review) to put the mallet to work out in the shop. Testing tools like this is one of the most enjoyable and valuable (to our readers) exercises […]
The post Lixie Dead Blow Mallet Test – Some Fun in the Shop appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
As the Chinese curse goes, “may you live in interesting times.” Sometimes, “interesting times” is actually a good thing. In the case of CNCs, there are a lot of new ideas, methods and designs appearing for those interested in digital woodworking. In a short amount of time, we’ve seen several remarkable alternative CNC machines emerge. The Maslow CNC, a hanging CNC based on the design of wall plotters. The amazing […]
I’m a “behind-the-scenes” junkie – any chance I get to see the inner workings of manufacturing or industrial spaces, I jump at the opportunity. So, I was especially thrilled to take a tour of M. Bohlke Veneer, a lumberyard and veneer mill in nearby Fairfield, Ohio (a 15 minute drive from the PopWood office) last week with Christopher Schwarz, Megan Fitzpatrick and Andy Brownell. M. Bohlke Veneer was founded in […]
The beloved backyard tree No store-bought lumber’s story can compete with that of boards from your own backyard. It can be wrenching to fell a beloved tree, but transforming it into a piece of furniture helps dull the pain by giving an old friend new life. Working with lumber from backyard trees tends to be far more labor-intensive than with wood that was commercially grown. Commercial lumber comes from forest […]
How five masterful makers integrate CNC and CAD technology into their woodworking In the December 2017 issue of Popular Woodworking magazine, the article, Digital Artistry is a peek at what five professional woodworkers are doing with digital tools in their shops. Each maker has an extensive traditional woodworking background and many years of experience before they began to use digital tools like CAD software and CNC machines. As I pointed out […]
The post Digital Artistry — Meet the Artists from the December 2017 Issue appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
Time served funds a maker’s pursuit of woodworking happiness. With most things in life, you either pay with your time or your money. Say you want to build a box using 3/4 black walnut. You have three options: Buy boards milled to fi nal thickness from a lumberyard (least time, most money); purchase rough-sawn 4/4 boards to mill yourself (more time, less money); or fell a walnut tree, have a […]
I recently received advance copies of “Hand Tool Basics,” a new book by Steve Branam, hand tool instructor and author of the Close Grain blog. If you’re interested in incorporating more hand tools into your woodworking, but have felt overwhelmed by the prospect of learning how to use them, this book is a great visual guide to get you started. Step-by-step photos and instructions guide you through everything from sharpening tools to […]
Curvy furniture is great to look at and usually offers a tactile aesthetic that makes it appealing. Holding it all together is the joinery – and whether it’s dovetails, tenons or lap joinery, creating that joinery on a curve adds a new level of complication. Whether made by hand or by machine, most of our training on making joinery starts with having flat and square stock to start with. We use reference […]
When connecting a Live edge waterfall joint together we need to expect a “tectonic” shift of the connected corner. While mitering the two banks of the joint at 45 degrees we remove a considerate amount of wood in the shape of a triangular prism from the lower part of the miter. So in order to make the miter flow nicely from one side to the other, Ben had to gouge […]
The post Live Edge Class at Snow Farm, Massachusetts – Part 3, Ben’s Table Completed appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
In earlier posts in this series, I explained how you can take simple computer drawings and make paper patterns. In my last post, I revealed the process I used for years for making MDF patterns. But, how do you do that if you don’t own a CNC? Outsource it. Here are a few tips on finding and working with a local CNC shop. If you look around your area, you should be […]
The post Easy Entry Digital Woodworking — Preparing Patterns for an Outside CNC Vendor appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.