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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.
People use the term salvaged to describe a variety of lumber. Salvaged lumber can be cut out of beams, joists, or other parts of buildings, whether remodeled or demolished. It can come from cabinets, furniture, packing crates, or other objects no longer in use. It can come from a tree felled by a bulldozer to make way for new construction or uprooted by a storm. Using material from any of […]
This past week I’ve been out in the Popular Woodworking shop, doing a bit of maintenance. Many of our machines were bought many years ago – while they’ve been maintained well and used by careful workers, every machine needs a bit of TLC every once in a while. The biggest hurdle in adjusting and maintaining machines is often figuring out the various set screws, rollers and shrouds, and finding the […]
As an aerospace engineer I don’t often get the opportunity to sprinkle snippets of beauty into my day job – “I mean, isn’t a missile going super-sonic beautiful enough?” Definitely not when it comes to woodworking! I’m starting to realize that one of my weaknesses is my inability to interject design aspects into my woodworking while maintaining structural integrity. But truthfully, these two things don’t need to be separate and […]
The post Tackling the Houndstooth Dovetail: An Engineer’s Approach to Form and Function appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
In the first post of this series, I explained the process that I use to make paper patterns for parts. Simply put, output your design to your printer, use the tiling feature to divide larger drawings into printer size pages, splice the pages together, glue it onto MDF or plywood, cut close to the line on a bandsaw and finally, fair the results with rasps and files. The most important […]
The post Easy Entry Digital Woodworking – Outsource Perfect patterns appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
A couple of years back Popular Woodworking Magazine had the chance to visit renowned sculptor, author and teacher Toshio Odate at his home. While there, we had a wonderful opportunity to speak with him about his life and work. While filming a great deal of content for two videos, we had the unique chance to watch as Toshio, his family and friends (and a few of our crew) helped re-install […]
Twice a year, we add a bindup of “legacy content” (articles that have appeared in the magazine before) to newsstand copies. While it’s nothing long-time subscribers haven’t already seen, recent subscribers might have missed one or two of the articles. So we’re offering it here, free. In the December 2017 issue (which mails to subscribers on November 8 and is on newsstands November 21), we’ve included in the newsstand copies “Workholding Solutions” […]
It is with no small regret that I announce we will not be holding a 2018 Woodworking in America conference. Though pulling the conference together is always a lot of work, I’ve found that the days actually at the conferences (every year since 2008!) have been among the most rewarding – I will sorely miss this opportunity to get together with 400+ of my closest woodworking friends. In the meantime, […]
Most of my income comes from weekend art/farmers markets where I sell mainly turned work (bowls). I’ve learned that you need to have a bell curve of prices from cheap to extravagant with the majority falling in the middle-class affordable range. I’ve always struggled with the $20 cheap range. If you don’t have a selection of goods at low prices you lose mid-priced sales from the uneducated. These people will […]
The post Profitable Subpar Work – A Strategy for Selling at a Farmers Market appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
We experimented to find the perfect recipe for this most-requested finish for pine – and it’s as easy as pie. by Glen D. Huey from the Autumn 2007 issue of Woodworking Magazine Pumpkin pine is a developed patina that glows a warm orangy color similar to – you guessed it – a pumpkin. Ask woodworkers what finish they want to replicate when using white pine as their primary wood in […]