Recent comments

Re: It's impossible to cheat at woodworking

Did anybody consider that the guy might have been joking?

I mean I could say that FW has to keep all those expensive power tool advertisers happy when you say,"So, do whatever it takes to make the furniture you love, even if that means using a router, tablesaw, or a chisel guide to cut dovetails," but I'd be joking of course.

Re: Writing Desk

Very nice. I made mine of black walnut. Your contrasting woods define and show off the lines much more clearly and to me give it a more contemporary look. I'm not unhappy with mine used where it is, but I think most people would find yours more striking and appealing. It's interesting how much difference the materials choice makes. I hope you enjoyed building it as much as I did.

Re: Safety Lights Blink When Band Saw blade is in Motion

Good idea. Thanks for sharing it.

Re: Salvaged Fir Trestle Table

Animating such a massive piece would seem a challenge to me. The arched stretcher, the relief and the accents work well, I think, to give it life. I looked at your website; lots of fine work there.

Re: cabinet unit

I always like the pieces you submit. The top cabinet is simply perfect.

Re: Music Cabinet

A pleasing piece, especially in the context of its story. There's an satisfying interaction of the formality of the perfect sizing of the drawers, the repetition of forms from top to bottom and then the freedom of the figure and gentle color variation of the wood. It's probably because of the music connection, but it makes me think of Brahms.

Re: Plum cabinet

Fascinating how the wild is echoed in the formal.

Sometimes I see a piece that seems to speak of its creator, and this one seems to me to speak of someone with the skills and knowledge to knock off high quality conventional work with ease, but also the imagination and understanding and courage to commit to a work that's more than a piece of furniture. To me this piece is like an essay on the creative process; it seems to juxtapose the organic natural form and the refined traditional form and actually not merely place them side by side but blend them in a marvelous interplay which is sort of what creative woodworking is. I can't explain very well, but it makes me think, It's as if it engages in conversation. I think it's a wonderful piece of work; real artistry. Thanks for showing us this one.

Re: Hand Carved Rocking Horse

I would call that art.

Re: "TEMPLE" dining table

My aesthetic sensibilities must be lacking; I don't find this ugly at all. You are a highly versatile designer; some of your work doesn't appear to be of wood at all. But this one, as you say, is an homage to a special tree, and the great trick of the art, it seems to me, is to appear to keep the art subordinate to the tree.

I greatly enjoy seeing your work; it's always fresh, often stretches the imagination, and there's always something, usually much, to admire.

Re: Buckeye Burl and Walnut Pedestal Table

The "eye candy" is a little too sweet for me personally, though I think I'd like the real thing better than I do seeing it in pictures and the more I stare at it the more my mind opens to the idea. And even if I never get past that one thing I really admire the rest of it. The shape and proportions seem perfect to me, the base is excellent I think even though I don't usually favor the style this is so right I can't help liking it. The craftsmanship looks superb in the pictures--beautiful job on the top.

Re: Build a Super-Precise Tablesaw Crosscut Sled

wmaruyama wrote: "(love the idea of going out and buying the aluminum premade miterbar - its precut and predrilled, what's wrong with that? Time is money."

Man, you must be doing all right.

$19 plus shipping in blue, $25 plus shipping from the other popular source. Let's just leave the shipping out.

If I can't rip a scrap and fine tune it with my thickness planer in under ten minutes I'll be really surprised.

So $120 to $150 an hour? Maybe twice that? Congratulations, you're doing a lot better than I am. Me, I just like making things out of wood. And nitpicking.

Thanks to all you guys for several neat ideas including the double fence in the article.

Re: Build a Super-Precise Tablesaw Crosscut Sled

Jeffrey Slater's method of attaching the runners is how I do it as well and it works very well for me. His use of a temporary register to square the fence is a great idea I will start using. I have squared off the blade until now, but his method is much better.

I have metal runners on a couple of jigs. They're fine, but expensive and I really don't find my runners made of hardwood scrap any less efficient and it only takes a couple of minutes to size them perfectly.

I like to leave a bit of my runners protruding; it makes finding the slots when I mount the sled just a little bit easier for me. And I like to have something attached to the fence closest to me to keep me from having my hand where the blade can pass through. For me a large block of wood works.

Re: CPSC Drafting New Tablesaw Regulations

I'm with beem, villareal and yannick 100%. It's an imperfect world and we can be pretty sure no government will get things absolutely right, but an unfettered free market system has a history, and for little people like me and probably most of you it is not pretty. When I see my grandchildren strapped into their mandatory car seats in cars that the government has required to have seat belts, air bags, and highly engineered frames and think about the cars I rode in seven decades ago and why they are different now all my reservations about government regulation in a democratic society melt away. Nonetheless I'm glad to see there will be a market for my old saw.

Re: Water Lily Lamp

Incidentally, the link to your website didn't work for me. If you have more of your work there I'd love to see it.

Re: Water Lily Lamp

I don't see many lamps that I like, but I like this one very much. The base has the grace of a stately tree trunk; the slope of the top and the spacing of the elements all seem just right. I'm not a big fan of this style, but excellence of design transcends any style. From what one can make out from the pictures the execution is masterful. Everything about it is wonderful; I don't see how it could be better.

Re: Ruhlmann-style chiffonnier

Excellent. If there's a link to your website on this page I didn't find it, but did find it on your member page. I'm glad I didn't miss it; more beautiful work. You certainly aren't afraid of a challenge. http://bodnerfurniture.com

Re: Federal sideboards

Those are lovely tables. As with your other work you've posted they show stunning materials, elegant design and superior craftsmanship. The finish is gorgeous. The tables combine a classic look with a light, sprightly feel. Elements like the bevel on the top and the curves of the apron give them life. They are perfect for those extraordinary airplanes; they both capture the magic interplay of the engineering and romance of flight. Wonderful work; thanks for posting.

Re: Whale of a chair

That's a happy little chair. I think they'll be a big hit on Nantucket; I don't see how a grandparent could resist. Best of luck with it.

Re: Rope handle spices up a tea box

This piece seems to me to be a marvelous interplay of an almost crude utilitarianism and fine aesthetic sensibility in the proportions and fine craftsmanship. The rope is just right; who would have thought? I guess that's the element of art.


I hope other readers will click over to your website for the extensive galleries and much more. I can't say I liked every piece at first view, but I'm sure the fault is in me. But I did admire every one. Such a show of vibrant aesthetic imagination, technical virtuosity and profound skill is rare. Wonderful work.

Re: Free Plan: Arts and Crafts Library Table

Has anyone else had more than enough of arts and crafts? Does anyone else think maybe it's clunky, muddy and taking up far too much space in all the woodworking magazines?

Re: Coffin Grandfather Clock- Chronos Muertos!

So woodworking is how you kill time?

Re: Dream Rocker Reproduction

One day I expect to read that you've made one of your wonderful chairs out of pallet wood.

Re: Dream Rocker Reproduction

One day I expect to read that you've made one of your wonderful chairs out of pallet wood.

Re: Asian inspired Gong Rack

The first thing to come to my mind is this is not a piece that belongs in a home with children. And that in turn leads me to the thought that it's not a piece that belongs in almost any home. That is, it isn't a place to sit, or store clothes, or hold objects at a convenient height, it is something that has to earn its place in a home by its craft and art. The longer I linger over it the more I appreciate the proportions, the echoing lines of the curves that give it an energy and uplift sort of like what you'd get if one of those children I mention came along and gave it a whack. The joinery must have been challenging as you say, and the highly contrasting colors would be unforgiving not only in fitment, but in balancing the perceived weights of light and dark. They are lovely woods and beautifully formed and finished. It's a piece that makes itself needed.

Re: Stephanie's Bent Wood Rocker

The longer I look the more I like it. Perhaps there's a bit of initial resistance because it is different. At first glance I too felt the legs looked a bit heavy, but I suspect that is largely a matter of the darker color exaggerated by the stark white background in these photos. The real thing, I would guess, does not give that effect. And after a bit that sense faded for me. There's nothing there that doesn't need to be there. There's nothing there but an interface with the human body and the rockers. That takes a bit of getting used to, because some of what's not there we would ordinarily think has to be there. I don't know that I can express what I'm feeling about the chair, but it seems to me that after a bit it is as if it comes alive to me. Instead of a dead framework, a geometric scaffolding, this seems as though it would hold you up with its own energy. Those rockers seem organic and muscular. I'm getting silly I suppose, but I'm really impressed. It shows much thought, great craft, and more daring than seems common. And if you'll forgive me for this thought, it looks like it would be a fantastic ride down a snow-covered hill. It's an exceptional piece.

Re: Small Chest

A pleasing little project and it sounds as though you were enjoying yourself letting it come about. I like hickory in moderation and to me it works very well with the cherry; it has a cheerful sort of look. From what I can make out of that shop you have a lovely workplace too.

Re: Kumiko art - landscape

I hope all readers will follow the link to your website to see more astounding work.

Re: Birds Eye Maple Shaker Table

It's a lovely little table. Hand tools and birdseye maple? Very impressive.

Re: Solo microBootlegger

Stan, he provided a link next to "my own design," though it does not stand out--here it is again http://www.guillemot-kayaks.com/guillemot/

Go there at your own risk; it's a site to inspire dreams. But from the looks of your contributions you are up to it.

Re: Segmented Turned Feet are Easier than You Think


Re: Shaker style coffee and end tables

As you say, the design is simple and yet it is also sophisticated in proportions. The simple design helps showcase the fine detail work. Simple yet elegant. And that is a very nice looking shop.

Re: Paduke post and panel chest

Very nice. Substantial yet graceful; that's a pretty good trick.

Re: Wooden boat model

Lovely. Makes me wish I were a foot tall.

Re: Wooden boat model

Lovely. Makes me wish I were a foot tall.

Re: coffee table

I seldom see a piece where I feel that everything is just as it has to be, but this is one. Perfect.

Re: Snow sled for my boys

That's quite a pleasing design. I'm too far south or I'd build one for my grandchildren.

Re: Hanging Tool Cabinet

Lovely. Perfect proportions and very pleasing colors. The craftsmanship appears excellent. The only problem is whether to leave it open or closed; it looks great both ways.

Re: 2-tiered guitar pick side table

Turned out nice indeed. That's some tricky joinery and no place to hide.

Re: Buffet Esthetique


Re: Whimsical crib

I believe that's the best looking crib I've ever seen. Excellent concept; excellent execution.

Re: Blanket Chest

Among the several things I like about this is that you used lovely, interesting woods that we don't see very often.

Re: Detail Chisels

I like everything about this.

Re: Stanley/LN Totes for Veritas Bevel-Up Bench Planes

Exactly! This has been a sore point for me for ages. Do we all wear the same size shoe? I'm not competent to say whether different size totes should be offered, but I think you are 100% right about a custom fit. Good looking work too.

Re: Tool Box


Re: Free Plans: Federal Fireplace Mantel

It's a nice looking mantel, but does it meet code? Many localities will use a code that reads, "Exposed combustible mantels or trim may be placed directly on the masonry fireplace front surrounding the fireplace opening providing such combustible materials shall not be placed within 6 inches (152 mm) of a fireplace opening. Combustible material within 12 inches (306 mm) of the fireplace opening shall not project more than 1/8 inch (3.2 mm) for each 1-inch (25.4 mm) distance from such an opening." It didn't look to me as though this plan satisfies the conditions of the second sentence.

Re: 3 drawer cherry worktable

The Shaker style simplicity doesn't leave one a place to hide. Your proportions are very pleasing, the details like the beaded edge and the contrasting pins enliven the piece without disturbing the the calm of the Shaker style. I can't tell, but it looks as though there's a subtle chamfer on the legs. And of course cutting the drawer fronts from the skirt board is always good, but you've chosen a grain pattern that accentuates the effect. Very nice balance; you've got detail that gives the piece energy and life, but you knew just where to stop. Beautiful piece.

Re: Bonsai box

You've posted several boxes now, all of them very pleasing and showing a master's eye for subtle detail as well as perfect proportion and form; very impressive.

Re: Sewing Center

Nice work, and I too feel it looks best in maple even though it's a sort of out of fashion wood.

Al, you can find the plan and hardware here

I built one for my wife using hard maple and customized slightly to suit my wife's preferences. A lot of people have used this plan and posted pictures and comments, and many, maybe most, seem to have used it as the basis for something they have personalized. For instance, mine has drawers on the right that match those on the left and I made a few cosmetic changes to suit my personal taste. All that was easy to do while keeping to the overall dimensions specified in the plan that my wife finds excellent for general sewing. I used very high quality drawer slides. I thought that was an extravagance, but they feel wonderful and I'm glad I did.

Re: Manuscript Cabinet


Re: Walnut Table with inlays

I didn't get it at first glance, but the more I look at it the better I like it. Nice proportions and some lovely walnut in there. Impressive inlay work and several subtle details that seem just right. The pictures surely don't begin to do it justice. The finish looks superb. You took a chance and I think it worked.

Re: How to Build a Coffee Table in the Arts and Crafts Style

I'm so tired of arts & crafts.

Re: Bedside Lamps

I see a FW article here.

Re: Watch the preview of Tommy Mac's new woodworking show

" unless they tone down the conceit and arrogance I won’t watch long." I agree completely, Philshel. I feel, as do so many others, that a greater emphasis on hand tool skills and less reliance on nails and putty will be great, but these guys are 180 degrees from Mr. Abram's appealing demeanor. And the "nails and putty" remark is not a put-down. That works, but it's not the way I'd prefer to do it myself.

Re: Watch the preview of Tommy Mac's new woodworking show

There seems to be no lack of self-confidence. I always felt the NYW shows were about the project, not about Mr. Abram. This kid isn't connecting with me.

Re: Is the Radial Arm Saw on its Last Legs?

What I'm reading is that the RA can do a couple of things that nobody does very often maybe a little better than other tools that do everything else better, take up less space and are more versatile. My experience with them is scant; I had an old Craftsman in excellent condition for a few weeks recently. So I don't know much about them. I bought it used for not much to do some rough on site carpentry and then sold it for twice what I paid for it. That seemed its highest use. I remember using an industrial quality RA in a huge shop forty-some years ago. It had its place there, but a consumer quality RA in a home shop is, I think, a waste of space. So I think it's a question of the quality of the tool and where and how it is to be used; big pro shop, probably good, but consumer grade in home shop, not so good. Does FW need to devote space to them? Not as long as there are still copies of Mechanix Illustrated from the sixties around.

Re: Fancy Footwork

And how does he sharpen?

Re: Bubinga Sideboard - Comtemporary Design

This is your first furniture project?!

Re: Dulcimer


Re: Laminated Strand Lumber stool

Lovely piece made of scraps that are themselves made of scraps. First someone turned "useless" wood bits into framing lumber and then you turned the scraps from that into this fascinating piece of furniture. Excellent proportions, lovely colors, simple elegance and probably tricky as can be to build. Nice work. Got to be a winner.

Re: glider and ottoman

Those are some lucky friends.

Re: Walnut poka-dot stool/side table

I love it. You know how to have fun. Great workmanship and a great attitude.

Re: Fireplace mantel

Now that's the way to send scraps to the fireplace; very handsome. I guess that's a gas log fire. If it were a wood burning fireplace I think codes and good practice would dictate keeping that wood further from the opening--I think it's 12 inches, but may not remember correctly. Something those of us inspired by this piece need to think about.

Re: Towel Rack

Looks like a fine match. If you want to next time you can run a square length of stock past a round over bit on your router table. Turn the piece four times, obviously, and of course leave some untouched on both ends to stabilize the piece. Naturally you're limited by the size of your bit, but maybe a half inch radius would have worked here. But your way worked great--real nice piece.

Re: Free Plan: Arts-and-Crafts Inspired Chair

It may be a subjective judgment, but I agree it's not an attractive chair. It doesn't look too comfy to me either. But I thought the plan and technique PDF was worth a look.

Re: UPDATED: Giveaway and Poll: The Most Requested Woodworking Gifts of 2009

I'm wishing that all of you end next year with all the fingers you start with. Oh, and a new Wood Slicer would be nice--111".

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