AsaC

Asa Christiana, Newtown, CT, US
Special Projects Editor, Fine Woodworking magazine


I am the Special Projects Editor at Fine Woodworking magazine, which means I produce a range of articles and videos. A winding path led me to the magazine in 2000. I attended a technical high school, where I learned the machinist trade and first became interested in building things. In college I studied both engineering and English, and afterward took a number of teaching jobs: math in the Peace Corps in West Africa, and then English back in the U.S. Later, I worked as an editor at two newspapers, caught the furnituremaking bug, and won my dream job: a spot at Fine Woodworking, where editors get to travel around the country to meet and learn from the best woodworkers out there. I live in Thomaston, CT, with my wife and two daughters, in a house (and workshop) I helped to design and build. For eight years I was the chief editor of FWW, before I stepped down in 2013 to get back to my first love, working directly with the talent.

Gender: Male

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Contributions

Use your skills to make the world a better place

I recently used some basic carpentry skills to help out the summer camps that gave so much to me as a young person. There are lots of opportunities like this around the country.

Esherick Museum is a woodworking mecca

The Wharton Esherick Museum, just outside Philadelphia, preserves the amazing house and studio of this forefather of the studio furniture movement, just as he left them when he died in 1970. For furnituremakers, it is a must see.

Students turn a $15 table into $2,000

Two students at the Chippendale International School of Furniture, in East Lothian, Scotland, beautifully restored a 1940s pine table that they rescued from the top of a bonfire.

Amazing sculpture puts marbles in motion

Karl Hale builds "kinetic sculptures," beautiful works of wood that combine an artists's eye with an engineer's mechanical genius. This one, called "One Eternal Round," makes marbles climb, fly, and follow labyrinthine tracks in an endless dance.

Beautiful woodworking videos from around the world

The Wood Culture Tour has visited four continents to show how wood is a profound part of every culture in the world. This video visits a family of marionette makers and puppeteers in Slovakia.

Tour the Shop of a Marquetry Master

W. Patrick Edwards, winner of SAPFM's 2014 Cartouche Award for lifetime achievement, has been recreating centuries-old techniques at his San Diego shop for more than 30 years now. The shop also contains his American School of French Marquetry, and is home to woodworking wonders that Edwards refuses to let us forget.

Best furniture from Southern California

Each year the San Diego Fine Woodworkers Association draws over 300 pieces from around the U.S. to their annual show at the huge county fair. These pieces from the 2014 show are sure to inspire.

Three great finishing tips

From storing brushes between coats to applying just the right amount of wax, these tips will make things easier.

Rock-and-roll cabinet making

Watch this video, and feel good about your craft

Do you mix your own finishes?

Not content to stick with store-bought finishes? Tell us about your home-brew.

Great video teaches kids about trees

Public TV-host Tommy MacDonald teams up with the Hardwood Forest Foundation to create a fun-to-watch video about everything trees do for us. Share this with all the kids you know.

How a big shop speeds up furnituremaking without compromising quality

This short video from a 30-person custom furniture shop, The Joinery, in Portland, OR, shows how industrial machinery can speed up fine furnituremaking. It's really cool to see their setup in action.

Repair a power tool with a simple brush change

Over time I knew something was going wrong with my old chopsaw. First the automatic blade brake stopped working, then the motor wouldn't turn on sometimes, and then it quit altogether. I suspected that it was the motor's brushes, and I was right. Changing them turned out to be easy.

Capture a favorite face in marquetry

FWW author Craig Thibodeau used a photo-editing program to turn his daughter's face into a lovely marquetry panel.

Turn a Block of Wood into a Box of Money

Craftsman combines carving and trompe l'oiel painting to make a box of bills that could fool the sharpest eye. Check out the step-by-step photos.

Looking for a woodworking school? Consider Scotland

The Chippendale International School, near Edinburgh, Scotland, offers an intensive 30-week program, with a very progressive focus.

If this guy can make guitars in a refugee camp...

Patron Mushamuka makes guitars in Dzaleka Refugee Camp, Malawi, Africa. He proves that woodworking is much more about desire and creativity than it is about tools.

Stacking tansu dressers

This pair of stacking tansu cabinets are designed to be his and hers.

Template calms fears when installing hardware

I worked on a set of four stacking tansu dressers for over a year, and paid about $500 for authentic Japanese hardware, so the last thing I wanted to do was screw up right at the end.

Inspiring furniture from annual Texas competition

Texas furniture is not all mesquite and cactus flowers. A vibrant annual exhibit in Kerrville rivals the best furniture shows in the U.S., boasting rich variety and a very high level of execution.

Why I love shellac

Shellac is the wonder finish. Dries quick, sands beautifully, looks even better, comes in a variety of tones, and works as a sealer under anything else, too.

What you missed at FWW Live 2013

The second annual FWW Live conference took the fun, inspiration and camaraderie to a new level.

AWFS: Steel City benchtop tools cost less and save space

Steel City rolled out a "Blue Line" of cost-saving benchtop tools, planning to add more models soon. Tools like these make woodworking accessible to almost anyone, regardless of cash or space.

AWFS: Wide drum sander will tame big slabs and more

SuperMax's new 25-50 open-sided drum sander is the widest on the market, with enough muscle to support a 49-in.-wide slab up to 4 in. thick, and enough finesse to sand 1/32-in.-thick veneers.

AWFS: A Super-Glue for Furniture Makers?

A group of chemists have developed a new cyano-acrylate glue that sets up slower, for woodworking, but promises to change the craft.

AWFS: New Veritas plane for shooters

If you are a big fan of shooting boards, used to precisely fit parts, you'll like Veritas' big shooting plane, engineered for the job.

AWFS: Laguna tablesaw, bandsaw hit the value sweet spot

Laguna's new 14-in. bandsaw looks to be a perfect blend of capacity, features, and price for most woodworkers. And they've upgraded their hybrid tablesaw to hit that same target.

AWFS: Bench Dog shelf-pin jig is an unbeatable value

If you only occasionally need a shelf-pin drilling jig, but are serious about your furniture, you can not beat Bench Dog's $20 system.

AWFS: Rikon rolls out two market-leading machines

Rikon is about to roll out a big-capacity bandsaw and a segmented-cutterhead jointer-planer at market-leading prices.

AWFS: Space-saving router table makes no compromises

Router tables that bolt onto the edge of your tablesaw are nothing new, but Excalibur's cast-iron version makes no compromises.

FWW award goes to young San Diego woodworker

FWW gives an award each year at the prestigious Design in Wood show, which runs for a full month at the huge San Diego County Fair. This year's award went to a young woodworker who sdhows real promise.

Nick Offerman gives handcrafters a home, and you can help

Nick Offerman gives a group of up-and-coming woodworkers a home in his LA shop, and OffermanWoodshop.com gives them a way to support themselves. There is something here for everyone.

Announcing the FWW Live Buildoff

The first-ever FWW Live Buildoff, scheduled for Friday night (Aug. 9) at the second annual FWW Live event, in New Haven, Conn., is open to all show-goers, and will feature awards and prizes.

Is fitting drawers the best task in woodworking?

Fitting five drawers recently, planing each one for smooth action and perfect gaps, I realized that this is my favorite woodworking moment.

Reserve your spot at FWW Live 2013

The first-ever Fine Woodworking Live was a roaring success, and we are back for round two, with an even-better venue and lots of upgrades. The website is up and taking registrations.

Easy handles for a sliding doors

I like sliding doors and lids, partly because I get to make this nice handle in one simple step on the tablesaw.

Want to be a FWW editor?

We've got a position open on the FWW staff. It's perfect for a woodworking fanatic with writing experience.

Mike Pekovich to Teach at Marc Adams School

Talented FWW editor Mike Pekovich will teach two classes in late July at Marc Adams School of Woodworking

Legendary teacher Will Neptune wins Cartouche Award

Legendary North Bennet teacher Will Neptune wins the most prestigious award for period furniture making.

Easy dadoes with basic hand tools

The Williamsburg cabinetmakers show a simple way to make stopped dadoes, with just a chisel and marking gauge.

Williamsburg 2013 focuses on small boxes

At Colonial Williamsburg's annual conference, Working Wood in the 18th Century, this year's theme is "Small Things Considered." FWW is back again to lend support and bring you the highlights.

Hate sanding? Try this super-block

I used to hate hand sanding, until I discovered the Preppin Weapon, the ultimate sanding block, a steal at $20.

Incredible table tricks the eye

Trompe l'oeil is French for "fool the eye," and that is exactly what FWW author Craig Thibodeau has done with his best piece to date, an Art Deco-style table with incredible marquetry and secret compartments.

A bed fit for a princess

Marc Adams models his school on the Disney philosophy of "plussing," or taking each new effort higher than the last. He is just completing an amazing bed that comes straight out of "Beauty and the Beast."

Fine Woodworking on a prime time sitcom!

FWW editor Asa Christiana and FWW longtime author Chris Becksvoort are slated to appear on this week's episode of Parks & Recreation, a Thursday-night sitcom on NBC. To find out how this crazy thing happened, read on.

Birth of a Lee Valley tool

While I was up in Ottawa visiting Lee Valley, I got a chance to see the various design stages of a new Veritas tool, the pipe vise

Simple jig for planing the sides of finished boxes

You always want to plane parts before joining them, but sometimes you need to do serious planing on the outside of an assembled case or drawer. Here's how to do it.

SawStop benchtop model delayed a year

When last we spoke to SawStop inventor and owner Stephen Gass, he promised a jobsite version of the copany's finger-saving saw at IWF 2012. But the product was a no-show, delayed a year, said a company spokesman.

Multi-Router turns 25 and still can't be beat

I know I'm supposed to be reporting on new tools at IWF 2012, but I can't help but write a short ode to one of my all-time favorite tools, which I found sitting at the front of the JDS booth, where...

New Felder/Hammer segmented cutterhead might be best on market

They are calling it "Silent Power," rolling it out on their entire line of Felder and Hammer machines. The new cutterhead design promises to be 50% quieter yet use less power, and leave zero tracks.

Kreg and Triton team up with a handy bench clamp and a high-performance sander

Kreg recently became th sole distributor for Triton power tools, allowing Kreg to roll out an innovative line of power tools to go with their accessories.

Bosch chopsaw and pin nailer pack in the value

While others race to fill out their product lines with me-too products, Bosch watches and waits. Their new pin nailer is a good example. Seeing a hole in the marketplace, between expensive...

Rockler has 5 great ideas under $25

Rockler launched more product innovations than any other manufacturer at IWF, and our faves are all under $25!

FWW Live: The sessions

The heart of the event was the content, more than a dozen power-packed seminars and demos, full of practical tips and techniques designed to take your woodworking to the next level.

FWW Live: The fun stuff

We had lots of laughs at FWW Live, from Nick Offerman's original woodworking songs to game night to a risky design seminar, titled, "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly."

The first-ever FWW Live, as it happened

Our most passionate readers and popular authors descended on lovely New Paltz, NY, for Fine Woodworking's first-ever conference. I left inspired and informed, with a few hundred new friends.

The Greatest Guitar-Maker Ever?

Toronto guitar and music maker Grit Laskin just received one of his country's highest honors for citizenship. All woodworkers will find his life and work deeply inspiring.

Kansas cabinetmaker wins pass to Fine Woodworking Live

Our random drawing netted us a longtime pro cabinetmaker from Manhattan, Kansas. He'll be among friends at Fine Woodworking Live.

Time to end the hand vs. power battle

Some have created a false divide between hand tools and power tools. The best woodworkers I know simply pick the best tool for the task at hand. It's the same thing the old masters did.

Win an all-access pass to Fine Woodworking Live!

Just post a comment to win a pass to Fine Woodworking Live. You'll get every power-packed class and demo, plus the special Saturday-night banquet with Nick Offerman!

Nakashima-style dining table

This is my attempt at a Nakashima-style table. I find most of his designs to be timeless.

Make perfect square pegs with real strength

I recently found a way to quickly make and install square pegs that transition to a round body, for the best combination of strength and good looks

What I've Learned About the Online Woodworking Community

My recent dumb comments on our podcast, Shop Talk Live, led me to a new understanding of the online community and what it means to be a good citizen there

Adam Carolla finds the funny in Fine Woodworking

I went on one of Adam Carolla's hugely popular podcasts last week in Los Angeles, and he dedicated the whole episode to the joy of woodworking. Check it out, unless you mind coarse language and occasionally blue material!

Inspiration from Arizona woodworkers

I was a judge at the Arizona Association of Fine Woodworkers 8th annual Excellence in Woodworking show in February. Check out these great pieces and get inspired.

FWW Live: Meet Michael Fortune, Renaissance Man

At Fine Woodworking Live, this summer in New Paltz, NY, you'll get to learn from and swap stories with many of our star authors, none brighter than Michael Fortune, of Toronto, Canada.

Make FWW projects your own

Don't take the FWW projects, in print or online, at face value. I just finished two bow-arm Morris chairs, from issue 205, and put a Mackintosh twist on them.

FWW Live, Aug. 2012: How our first-ever conference came to be

It has been a long time coming, but our first-ever summer conference is sure to be a great experience for any woodworker, and one of many to come, we hope. Here's the story of how it came about.

Greatest community shop on the planet?

Sun City West, a massive active-retirement community in the Phoenix area, has a 7,000-sq-ft. community woodworking shop, with 800 members and every bit of equipment a happy woodworker could want! At 45, I've got 10 years to wait...

Folding sawhorse stows away

This rock-solid sawhorse folds and stows away in a sliver of space, and you can make it from hardwood scraps and hardware-store hinges.

Williamsburg Day 3: Fitting moldings, drawers, and inlay

Another great day at Williamsburg's "Working Wood in the 18th Century" conference, filled with entertaining woodworking demos and tons of tips and inspiration to carry home.

Williamsburg Day 2: Great tips for hand-tool users

The program kicked off in earnest today with the woodworking presentations. First up was Williamsburg's own Kaare Loftheim, reproducing a bureau table made in 1754 by Williamsburg...

Williamsburg 2012: Furniture of Mount Vernon

Hundreds of woodworkers made their way to Colonial Williamsburg's 14th annual conference on "Woodworking in the 18th Century." This is my Day One report, with others to follow.

Williamsburg hand-tool conference almost sold out

If you are a fan of hand tools or period furniture, you should check out "Working Wood in the 18th Century" at Colonial Willimasburg. This January's conference is almost sold out, so you'll have to move fast to grab a seat.

Great Christmas gift, done in an hour

Here's a great gift for any friend with an iPad or other tablet computer, and you can make 4 of them in an hour or so, not counting finishing.

Why does FWW cost more than other magazines?

The answer is simple: You get more, more content, and more quality.

Behold, the Speed Tenon

Is this the world's fastest tenon? Is this technique safe enough for the pages of Fine Woodworking magazine?

Appeals court upholds Osorio tablesaw verdict: Feds consider landmark safety standard

Despite an outcry among woodworkers across the country over a verdict to pay a Massachusetts flooring installer $1.5 after negligence resulted in a tablesaw injury, the verdict still stands.

SawStop inventor Steve Gass defends the latest tablesaw verdicts

SawStop inventor Steve Gass answers FWW's pointed questions the new tablesaw safety standard proposed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Win a 10-in. jointer-planer from Austria

Hammer is giving away a high-end jointer/planer. Sign up on Facebook.

Build a simple fort with your kids

This is not fine woodworking by any means, but it is a very easy way to build a fort, if you have some forested land on your property.

Tool companies shower awards on talented young furnituremakers

Prizes were awarded last night in Rockport, Maine, at the opening of "Regeneration: Fine Woodworkers Under 30," a juried exhibition co-sponsored by the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship and Fine Woodworking magazine, a special e

Huge advances in woodworking technology

True watershed moments don't come along very often in woodworking, and there are two going on right now: segmented cutterheads, and a revolution in dust collection.

Asa's 2-car garage shop

My shop is heated and insulated and no cars are allowed.

Make a cart for your Dust Deputy

I love Oneida's Dust Deputy. It keeps my shop-vac filter clean and the suction super-strong. But bolted to the side of my vac, it is an awkward appendage. I fixed that problem for good with this simple shopmade cart that marries the two into one nimble unit.

AWFS Tool News: Jet, Powermatic, and Delta Retool their Brands

As you might imagine, the prolonged recession has been a nightmare for manufacturers of stationary machines. Buyouts have consolidated the industry, with Black & Decker/DeWalt buying...

AWFS Tool News: Combo Drum/Brush Sander Could be a Boon to Pros

A drum sander solution for smaller pro shops.

AWFS Tool News: Austrian Engineering Comes to the U.S.

Are American woodworkers finally ready for European sliding tablesaws?

AWFS Tool News: Rockler Rolls Out New Crop of Innovations

The brainiacs at Rockler have been hard at work rolling out a variety of new tool and hardware ideas.

AWFS Tool News: Rockler Releases Router Table for Trim Routers

Rockler downsizes the traditional router table and produces a device that's easy to transport and use.

AWFS Tool News: Say Goodbye to Numb Hands from Sanding

Bosch unveils a new sander specially designed for "good vibrations."

AWFS Tool Update: Rikon Pours its Best Bandsaw Features into a Super Saw

Seems simple enough: take your most popular features and combine them in one tool.

AWFS Tool Update: Festool Makes its Wonder-Drill More Affordable

Exclusive details on Festool's latest drill.

Best pieces from the biggest woodworking club in America

Each year the San Diego Fine Woodworkers Association holds its annual show at the San Diego County Fair in Del Mar, Calif., drawing as many as 400 pieces from all around the U.S. This year was another wonderful outpouring of woodworking passion and talent.

Shooting a FWW article with NBC's Nick Offerman

Nick Offerman, who plays the stodgy Ron Swanson on NBC's hit comedy, Parks & Rec, is a real-deal woodworker. I traveled this week to his roomy shop in LA to shoot an article about the clever router jig Nick developed to level the big slabs he uses in his Nakashima-style tables. After a 20 year-acting career, he remains a humble guy who would rather be woodworking.

What is Furniture Lab?

We conceived Furniture Lab to find out where furniture-making is going, instead of the usual focus on where it has been.

Complete shop in one $200 tool

Rockwell's new Bladerunner can make all types of cuts, from curves to rips and crosscut, for under $180

The amazing Hollow Chair

The Hollow Chair is another piece of genius from one of my favorite furnituremakers

Vote for the best woodworker under 30

A new competition, Regeneration, has attracted 150 woodworkers under 30, and your vote will determine "The People's Choice," and earn that young craftsman a valuable set of tools.

Beautiful furniture from reclaimed materials

New Orleans' Green Project hosts an up-and-coming furniture contest every year, with every pieces made from reclaimed and salvaged materials. The results are beautiful

My 5 minutes of Martha Stewart Show fame

For those of you who didn't see the original broadcast, we finally have a clip of my appearance (brief though it was) on the Martha Stewart Show

Calling all woodworkers under 30

Fine Woodworking is co-sponsoring a special gallery show at The Center for Furniture Craftsmanship. The deadline to send in photos is April 1, and there are huge prizes.

Williamsburg Day 3: Phil Lowe is a woodworking ninja

On Day 3 of "Working Wood in the 18th Century" Phil Lowe took the stage, and stole the spotlight.

Williamsburg, Day 3: Three projects in one day

On Day 3 of "Working Wood in the 18th Century," the presenters worked on three separate pieces, each showing the influence of Oriental imports on native furniture makers of the time.

Williamsburg, Day 2: Mind-Blowing 3-Way Miter Joint

Andrew Hunter continued his exploration of Asian tools and techniques with a mind-blowing three-way miter that he cuts surprisingly simply with a mix of power and hand tools.

Feels good to be back at Colonial Williamsburg's hand tool conference

FWW co-sponsors a wonderful event,"Working Wood in the 18th Century," every year at Colonial Williamsburg. The presenters started bending and cutting wood right away this year.

Hardwood selector is free and fantastic

The Hardwood Manufacturers Association has a free, easy-to-use wood selector online, with all the info a woodworker needs, including working properties, design ideas, and images of each wood with various finishes on it.

A big turnip for Thanksgiving

FWW contributor Paul Schurch's veneering skills occasionally bear strange fruit, in this case a strange vegetable. Just as planned, his giant veneer turnip caught the desert wind at the annual Burning Man festival and spun like a top. Then Schurch sacrificed it to the gods in true Burning Man tradition.

Can Brian Boggs change the world for pro furnituremakers?

I attended a recent seminar with famed chairmaker Brian Boggs, where he unveiled the Boggs Collective, a new business model designed to be "nothing less than an incubator for genius," he said.

Don't Mess With Texas Furniture

This was my second time judging the Texas Furniture Makers Show, and the work keeps getting better and better. Click here to be inspired

Help us design a workbench for power-tool lovers

There are a seemingly endless array of workbenches designed for hand-tool use, but we can't find a bench designed for folks who would rather plug in a power tool than push a handplane. Help us design one.

IWF Alert: A chat with the brains behind CustomMade.com

We caught up with two of the guys behind Custommade.com, to talk about what they do, how they started, and their new partnership with Fine Woodworking to bring business advice to woodworkers interested in selling their work.

IWF Alert: Student furniture wows crowds

Once again at IWF, the Design Emphasis show drew crowds with top examples of student work from around the U.S.

IWF Alert: Porter-Cable jig makes pocket screws faster and easier

Porter-Cable's QuikJig is a thoughtfully engineered pocket-screw jig, at a surprisingly low price. It makes the process super quick and repeatable.

IWF Alert: 12v drill combo is best deal at the show

Porter-Cable is offering a 12v lithium ion drill/impact driver combo for $139. I can't imagine much in a woodshop that these tools won't handle.

IWF Alert: DeWalt's little router is a show-stopper

DeWalt's new trim router comes with a plunge base with built-in lights for inlay work. There is nothing like it on the market.

IWF Alert: Finally, a tail vise that is easy to attach

Veritas' new quick-release tail vise can be attached to any workbench.

IWF Alert: Freud's thin-kerf combo blade does it all

Freud's popular Premier Fusion tablesaw blade is now available in a thin-kerf version for saws under 3 hp.

IWF Alert: Router table systems shine at the show

New router-table systems from Woodpecker and Bench Dog bring convenience closer than ever to a full-fledged shaper.

Garden tote is easy and useful

I used this garden tote project to introduce my daughter to woodworking, but it is a good first project for anyone young or old. Fill it with gardening tools, and it makes a great gift, too.

Amazing space-saving furniture from Italy

Check out this video on transforming, space-saving furniture from Italy. This is not your dad's Murphy bed.

A workbench anybody can build

This innovative workbench from FWW in 2009 is worth another look. It is simply two long boxes and two sawhorses, but it can do everything the fanciest Scandinavian bench can do, plus it stacks and stores in a corner of your shop.

Do woodworkers need the Furniture Society?

The recent Furniture Society Conference was an inspiring event, but membership is down, and the Society is suffering an identity crisis. What should they do next?

How Lie-Nielsen decides which tools to make

In a workshop at the recent Furniture Society Conference in Cambridge, Mass., Thomas Lie-Nielsen explained the surprisingly informal way he chooses what to make next

John Cederquist honored by Furniture Society

His cartoony, trick-the-eye furniture isn't for everyone, but there's no doubting John Cederquist's talent. His techniques are cool, too.

Garry Bennett Trestle Table for Charity: Buy a piece of woodworking history

One of Garry Bennett's iconic trestle tables will be auctioned off this weekend at the Furniture Society Conference in Boston

Better than seeing The Lord in a grilled-cheese sandwich

The 2010 Design in Wood show at the San Diego County Fair contains the most amazing piece of wood I've ever seen.

Where do editors come from?

I recently looked back at the winding path that led me to the best job of my life: being the editor of Fine Woodworking.

Miracle Shield Blocks Kickback

New tablesaw technology promises to stop kickback in its tracks.

Take Great Photographs of Your Work--With Any Digital Camera

I'll be teaching a weekend workshop at Marc Adams school in October for woodworkers who want to have their techniques and projects published. We'll do two hands-on workshops, one to improve your writing skills, and one to show everyone how to shoot fantastic pictures of their work using any digital camera.

Is a college professor any smarter than a skilled furniture maker?

A powerful essay, defending the craftsman's deep and profound knowledge of the world, is just one of the treasures I found in an 1883 issue of Amateur Mechanics magazine (free on Google Books). It's amazing how little has changed in our craft.

Williamsburg show: Roy Underhill builds unique Jefferson bookstand

A few year's ago on his PBS show, the Woodright built the same Jefferson bookstand he recently demonstrated at Colonial Willamburg's Working Wood in the 18th Century conference, and you can watch that TV episode for free.

Hand-tool lovers converge on Williamsburg

The furniture of Jefferson's Monticello is the topic of this year's Working Wood in the 18th Century conference, co-sponsored by Fine Woodworking and Colonial Williamsburg. Jefferson himself (in the person of Williamsburg's Bill Barker) showed up often at the show, to answer questions about Jefferson's life, work, and philosophy.

Is Danish Modern the furniture style of our time?

While Maloof and Krenov certainly created the template for the modern studio furnituremaker, I think they they also shared an furniture style: an offshoot of Danish Modern. And recent makers have taken up that mantle.

A good letter for holiday reading

We get lots of letters at FWW, but some stay with us.

A sure-fire sharpening method

Still struggling with dull hand tools? This free video, from the Getting Started in Woodworking series, shows the fastest and most foolproof way to get your tools razor sharp.

Still don't have a workbench? This one is easy

You'll only need a circular saw and a cordless drill to make this simple but rock-solid workbench, complete with a real woodworking vise.

Special Krenov focus in FWW is a strange coincidence

By a strange coincidence, FWW has three Krenov-inspired articles in the current issue. Together they form a fitting tribute to one of modern's woodworking's great luminaries, who passed away yesterday, just after we went to press.

Is it OK to sell furniture based on FWW articles?

Fine Woodworking's generous authors present some of their finest designs in the magazine, and you can make as many as you want for your own home, or as a gift. But a serious ethical question arises if you plan to make money off a design in the magazine.

Students make strong showing in AWFS design contest

AWFS calls its design contest Fresh Wood, and it is designed to showcase the work of talented young high-school and post-secondary students. This year's showing was very inspiring.

Your first sliding saw or cyclone might be a Grizzly

If you've been in the market for a sliding tablesaw or a small cyclone dust collector, you might want to wait a few months for the latest Grizzly products and save some serious cash

Laguna cyclone is user-friendly

Laguna offers a powerful, user-friendly cyclone for under $2,000.

DeWalt's compact 18-volt batteries fit old and new tools

All the kings of the cordless category now offer much more compact 18-volt cordless batteries, based on Lithium-Ion technology, but DeWalt says it is the first to make its new batteries fit its older tools, without compromising performance in some way.

$12 "Bench Cookies" are biggest news at AWFS

In the why-didn't-someone-think-of-this-before category, Rockler rolled out the "bench cookie," a simple hockey-puck-shaped disc that grips and elevates projects on the bench. At $12 for a set of four, it seems like an instant classic.

Easy-to-install spiral cutterheads for $250

Accu-Head makes it easy to get a spiral or helical cutterhead in your planer or jointer.

New Delta midi-lathes have the power, mass, and capacity of larger lathes

Reacting to customer feedback, Delta has built full-size power, mass, and features into its new mid-sized lathes.

SawStop rolls out a more affordable cabinet saw, aimed at serious hobbyists

The SawStop Professional Cabinet Saw does almost everything its big brother does, with better dust collection and a much-lower price. It is aimed squarely at small-shop pros and serious hobbyists.

Furniture Society honors Vladimir Kagan

The Furniture Society gave its highest honor, the Award of Distinction, this year to Vladimir Kagan, who began as a studio furniture maker but converted his pieces into commercial designs, and made his name as a factory furniture designer. But he never lost his connection to the woodshop and to working for individual clients.

How good factory furniture is designed

One of my favorite demos at last week's Furniture Society Conference was "Concept to Market," in which a team of craftmen turned a nice design into a prototype for manufacturing.

Furniture Society Conference had an industrial focus

Although the focus of this year's Furniture Society Conference was the industrial furniture-making, there still were plenty of nuggets for small-shop woodworkers, and even more for aspiring pros.

San Diego guild show shines again

The San Diego Fine Woodworkers Association put on another great woodworking expo at the Del Mar County Fairgrounds this year.

How I remember Sam Maloof

I dialed Sam Maloof’s number timidly in 2005, just another writer calling for a piece of an icon. My idea was to do a twist on the typical Maloof homage, asking him instead to offer advice to...

Maloof on Design

Editor Asa Christiana interviews Maloof in 2005 on the subject of design. We weren't able to fit this material in the article in issue #179, but these thoughtful answers will be illuminating for fans of Maloof's work.

Calling all benchtop warriors

Take our poll about which benchtop tools you have and use, and tell us how you get the most out of them.

Drill/impact driver kits are a good value

Porter-Cable, Hitachi, and Makita are offering impact drivers and drill-drivers that share batteries

Essential workbench has lived up to its name

Lon Schleining's workbench published in a 2003 issue of Fine Woodworking has proven popular. Share photos of your Schleining-inspired bench and view others in the Readers Gallery.

Can Fine Woodworking and art furniture coexist?

Discussion of recent quote by Tom Loeser in American Craft magazine

The gloved woodworker

Lightweight work gloves are surprisingly handy in the shop

Japanese paper is a eureka moment

Japanese paper is beautiful and dirt-simple to apply

Kerrville show corrals best furniture in Texas

Before last week I had never set foot in Texas, at least not outside the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport. So I was looking forward to a trip to San Antonio and the nearby "Hill Country" to judge a...

Studio Furniture of the Renwick Gallery

Defining studio furniture? Maybe not. Read a review of this new book, which celebrates the studio furniture collection at the Smithsonian's Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Boggs side chair

This turned out to be an extremely difficult chair to build, requiring some serious jigs for the steambent parts. The legs bend in two directions, and the back slats are bent progressively to fit the...

Home office

The cases are nicely figured cherry plywood, and the face frames and moldings are solid cherry. To find out how to build one like it, go to FWW 166...

Kitchen island

Kitchen island in butternut

Safety Week: Beware of Jointer Dangers

The jointer is essential for milling rough lumber but its spinning cutterhead will chew up your fingers if you ignore safety precautions. Fine Woodworking magazine editor Asa Christiana shares basic...

Safety Week Videos: Protect Your Ears

Workshop noise can wreak havoc on your ears. Learn how to keep your hearing safe from the roar of shop machines with tips from magazine editor Asa Christiana. For more on hearing protection, read...

Safety Week: Avoid Kickback and More

The tablesaw is an essential piece of shop machinery, but it can also be dangerous. Learn how keep your fingers safe and avoid kickback with a short video lesson from magazine editor Asa...

Safety Week Videos: Tame the Dust

Woodworking machines cough up fine dust that is harmful to your lungs so it’s essential to develop a game-plan for dust control. Magazine editor Asa Christiana shares simple strategies for...

Safety Week Videos: Protect Your Eyes

Safety glasses are imperative in woodworking. In this short video, magazine editor Asa Christiana explains how to protect your eyes from flying woodchips and dust.



Recent comments


Re: Esherick Museum is a woodworking mecca

Thanks, Gmoney. I'll tell her. She's just 16, and loves photography. And she loved the Esherick house, too! If a typical teen is inspired by it, you know it's good!

Re: Do you mix your own finishes?

Thanks, all. What I was thinking here was normal-size furniture mostly, to be kept indoors. That narrows it down a bit.

Re: Repair a power tool with a simple brush change

Yeah, I read somewhere online that replacing the brushes would also restore the brake action. In my case it did, though the brake isn't as good as new. It comes on a while after I release the trigger, after the blade spins a bit.
As someone else suggested, I did clean off the commutator with a brass-bristle brush, but it was still pretty scarred up. Maybe that's why the brake still isn't fully functional. But the saw is working, and has plenty of power, which is the main thing!

Re: Repair a power tool with a simple brush change

Calamas, I'd give up on dadoing with a sliding miter saw. Just not the right tool for the job.

Re: Stacking tansu dressers

Love that note about wabi sabi. I think I had heard that somewhere, and had it in the back of my mind. Now I feel smart!

Re: Stacking tansu dressers

No plans to write these up in the magazine. I don't think I would recommend these tab joints on cabinets that are this big. They don't register the parts very well during clamp-up, and things can easily get out of whack. But if you want to see how I made them, or the sliding doors (which work wonderfully) read Seth Janofsky's excellent articles on our website, or in back issues.

Re: Template calms fears when installing hardware

To find out how to do the pinned tab joints, or the sliding doors, read Seth Janofsky's articles on same.

Re: Template calms fears when installing hardware

Thanks, John. I put a more full description here:
http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/110221/stacking-tansu-dressers
Each stack is 34 wide by 60 tall by 15-5/8 deep. No plans to do a project article on these in the magazine. Not sure if I would recommend those big tab joints to everyone. They don't register the parts very well during assembly, and it is easy for things to get out of whack.

Re: Template calms fears when installing hardware

Thanks, Craig. Definitely, on my profile page, and I'll also put a better one at the top of this blog.

Re: Why I love shellac

Sorry, no plans available for the bed. I copied it from one I saw in a catalog.

Re: Why I love shellac

MSBeal, ditch the foam brushes in favor of a good natural bristle brush. Don't skimp on quality and you can use it for years. Also, bag the tints. Use flakes instead which come in a variety of tints. Shellacfinishes.com is a great source. Last, lay down the shellac and don't go back over it much. It starts to dry quickly and then you'll just drag it into those blotches you talked about. Do all that, and you'll be feeling the love.

Re: Fine Woodworking Live Holds its First Build-Off

Frontrow:
Those sawhorse brackets are available at home centers in New England for under $10, I believe. Try home centers and hardware stores near you.

Re: AWFS: Steel City benchtop tools cost less and save space

Hi Niels. I saw it in their show brochure, so I believe it is available now, but I don't see it on their website. Just heard from one of their guys who says he will be commenting here to give us an update.

Re: AWFS: New Veritas plane for shooters

Thanks for the comments. You can be sure one of our expert hand-tool guys will be testing this one soon, probably against all similar planes. Stay tuned.
Check out the Shop Talk Live podcast, where I interviewed a Veritas guy about this plane, and about how great shooting is in a hand-tool oriented shop. I believe we'll be posting it later this weekend. Cheers.

Re: AWFS: Laguna tablesaw, bandsaw hit the value sweet spot

Oops, yes, changed it to 1-3/4 hp. Good catch, Erik!

Re: Announcing the FWW Live Buildoff

Outdoor furniture is a good idea, Chris, which we MAY or MAY NOT choose.
Keeping the mystery alive!
The main reason is that some people will team up at the show, and we don't want them to be at a disadvantage to those who might team up beforehand and agree on their design in advance.

Re: Shop Talk Live 29: Secrets for Sharp Blades and Perfect Plane Irons

I saw Faux Tenon at Coachella. The guy on the saw blade was amazing.

Re: Is fitting drawers the best task in woodworking?

I love that moment when the case is done, too. With a square case, everything else is gravy!

Re: Easy handles for a sliding doors

My fear was misalignment, in case that wasn't clear.

Re: May I present FWW managing editor Tom McKenna

Great way to make sure our video editors do not use the footage from our VoiceOver reads! Good idea, Tom!

Re: Easy handles for a sliding doors

Hey, GrampaDoodie (my new favorite screen name)--
The handles are centered vertically on the doors, but I didn't want to take a chance and pivot off both the top and bottom of the door. So I pivoted only off the bottom, moving the setup to do so. Another option would be to work far from the rip fence, but no thanks.

Re: Reserve your spot at FWW Live 2013

Sorry about the electives confusion. The is no specific schedule for classes until we know how many people want what. Less than a week after registering for the conference, you'll receive an email asking you to choose your classes (electives). Then at the event, you'll get an individualized schedule.

Re: Reserve your spot at FWW Live 2013

Yes, a spouse or friend can buy the Yale tour without buying a conference pass.

Re: Easy handles for a sliding doors

Good tip, Bill.

Re: Reserve your spot at FWW Live 2013

The is no specific schedule yet, Linuxguy. When you register you pick what you want, and then we hand you your schedule at the event. That will let us adjust how many times we repeat certain classes based on demand. See you there. You too, Geniole!

Re: 9 reasons why I don't sharpen my plane blades as well as I thought

Love the wide plane. That is insane! Back in the real world, I find an 8,000 grit waterstone to be the sweet spot for me. Takes me only a couple of stones (1,200, 4,000, 8,000) or get there, and it leaves the edge plenty sharp for the toughest woods.

Re: Reserve your spot at FWW Live 2013

Hope to see you guys there. FYI, we just landed the legendary Brian Boggs as our banquet speaker.

Re: Mike Pekovich to Teach at Marc Adams School

Thanks, Steve--
A suggestion box is a great idea. We just need to figure out a mechanism for it. Stay tuned. Love the video workshop ideas. As you know, We have tons of them online already for members, starring both Mike and Garrett, and we have more Mike coming up soon. Plus we are about to release a workshop on a cabinet with curved veneered doors. So great minds think alike!

Re: It's impossible to cheat at woodworking

This is one of my favorite blogs and comment chains in a long time. Thanks go out to Matt for speaking his mind and making a very important point, and also to everyone else who offered a thoughtful comment.

Re: Incredible table tricks the eye

I'll ask him.

Re: Shop Talk Live 20: Fine Woodworking on Primetime TV

Nice one, Beem. (just so everyone knows, and this doesn't seem any weirder than necessary(!), we had asked people to send in names for a new woodworking musical.

Re: New Felder/Hammer segmented cutterhead might be best on market

Hi, Trevor. Sorry for the delay. I spoke to Ruan from Felder/Hammer and he explained that the retrofit would require replacing the blocks that support the cutterhead, plus complete recalibration of the machine. That's why the company is not planning to offer that service for existing machines, but Ruan did not rule it out for the future either.

Re: Powermatic's Philosophy: Go Big, or Go Home

Also, what is notable about these latest products from Powermatic is their departure from the recent past. Product designer Barry Schwaiger is a woodworker and wants to return Powermatic to that no-compromises reputation it had in the past. He has taken his time coming out with these latest machines, and asked people to pay for thick castings and state-of-the-art features. What is cool about the new bandsaw is that it is a little brother to the expensive, over-the-top one he came out with two years ago. This one is a much better fit for small shops in my opinion. But we'll have to test it to know for sure, of course, which we will surely do.

Re: Powermatic's Philosophy: Go Big, or Go Home

Slowman, this is a live blog, done from the show floor. So there is a bit of excitement mixed in. But nowhere do we report on actual performance, or promise that the manufacturers will actually deliver on their promises. We never say stuff like that unless we have proved in testing. That's where the magazine comes in.
These are all just reports on seemingly hot new tools rolled out at IWF. There is a difference, and I hope it is clear to most people.

Re: New Felder/Hammer segmented cutterhead might be best on market

I'll ask Felder to comment here about retrofitting. And you cna be sure we'll test out the head in an upcoming issue!

Re: Multi-Router turns 25 and still can't be beat

It's fantastic for angled joinery, that's for sure.

Re: Complete IWF Woodworking Show Coverage

That's an astute observation, Woodsmithy. With folks holding onto the machines they have, it is a tough time for the big machinery guys to innovate and do product launches. But attendance was way up at IWF, and the mood was much brighter than in the recent past.

Re: The first-ever FWW Live, as it happened

So glad you all loved it as much as we did. One of our goals was for the event to recharge people's woodworking batteries. What I didn't anticipate is how much of a recharge all of the organizers and presenters would get. just like all of you, we can feel isolated sometimes. What a great way to connect!

Re: FWW Live: The fun stuff

Ray and Geniole, so glad you enjoyed it! And hello to Luis. Keep on playing that guitar.

Re: The first-ever FWW Live, as it happened

It was our pleasure. Hope to see you both next year. And let's get that competition for youngsters going!

Re: The first-ever FWW Live, as it happened

Hope to see you at FWW Live 2013, Vic!

Re: Win an all-access pass to Fine Woodworking Live!

We have a winner, folks! It is Jan Olewnik, from Manhattan, Kansas. Watch for my blog about Jan in the next day or so. Thanks to all of you for commenting, and watch your email inboxes for some special news.

Re: Time to end the hand vs. power battle

EE, I was speaking in a general sense, not to say the physics are identical, but that both simply employ physics to present a cutting edge to wood. Of course, the precise physics vary greatly.
Try that curve cutting technique--it is amazing! All praise to Micahel Fortune on that one.

Re: Win an all-access pass to Fine Woodworking Live!

Mendoguy should win just for being hilarious! (But it is a random thing.) Thanks for all the responses. We'll announce the winner right after the contest ends (June 26).

Re: What I've Learned About the Online Woodworking Community

Sure, Al. I'd be glad to hang out on Google+. Let me know when. E-mail me at achristiana@taunton.com.
Asa

Re: Make perfect square pegs with real strength

I'll answer everyone in one fell swoop: I was a bit unclear about what the "trick" is. It is the dowel plate I made, which quickly turns the square peg into a round one along most of its length. Of course the little sharpened tang thing, which turns the round hole to square at the opening, is pretty awesome too.
As for how much to leave square, I've been allowing about 1/2 in. at the top end. Also, when deciding how much to round on the peg, leave it that section a bit short to allow glue to collect at the bottom of the hole when you drive the peg in.
In any case, definitely experiment on some scrap wood to dial all this stuff in.

John Moran, sorry our blog platform doesn't allow easy printing. We'll work on that in the future. And maybe one of our web editors has some tips..?

Re: Adam Carolla finds the funny in Fine Woodworking

drllucas: he is defintely not everyone's cup of tea. Can't say I didn't warn you! I'm trying to spread the good word about woodworking wherever I can, and Adam has a huge audience.

Re: Shop Talk Live 5: Compounding Errors

I'd like to apologize to everyone who was offended or hurt by the unfortunate original title of this episode of Shop Talk Live ("Perfect Storm...") and by my comments about online expertise. I’ve learned a lot in the past few days, the most important being that the online woodworking community is mostly about being supportive and helpful. My comments were neither, and served no good purpose. For the record, Fine Woodworking supports and celebrates the work of ALL woodworkers, despite what my comments may have implied. For more info on what I’ve learned, go to www.finewoodworking.com/item/47376/what-ive-learned-about-the-online-woodworking-community
(For the record, the Perfect Storm of Stupidity was a quote from later in the show when we were talking about our mistakes in the shop...another dumb move on our part)

Re: Adam Carolla finds the funny in Fine Woodworking

Added a more obvious link above. Try podcasts when you are in the shop. Nice companion when you don't have to concentrate too much. But turn it off when you turn on the power tools!

Re: Shop Talk Live: Episode 2

Go to iTunes to get the podcast. Depending on the device you are using, you can either subscribe or just look for new episodes. We'll have a new one every two weeks.

As for the video, I'm not sure how to find it easily each time but I'll have our web people weigh in.

Hope you like it! Let us know.

Re: Make FWW projects your own

oops means to say "well aware." Darn auto-correct!

Re: Make FWW projects your own

Yup, I'm well are of SketchUp, but it is a great tip for those who aren't. It's free, and very powerful. Lately On my iPad I've been using a 2D program called TouchDraw. It is great, though not 3D like SketchUp.

Re: Inspiration from Arizona woodworkers

Smithy...that one is definitely over the top, but segmented turning is actually easier than it looks, at least the part whe you build the rings and then stack them in layers. Turning the actual vessel is probably harder.

Re: Greatest community shop on the planet?

I'm not sure if Sun City West takes community equipment donations, but it wouldn't be hard to call them and check. Those other community shops sound great. These are on our radar now, so hopefully we'll visit others as we make our way across the country. As for pics of the members work, I didn't grab many of those, and I don't think the club posts any. Good idea for them, though: Create an online gallery, and maybe an annual sale!

Re: FWW Live, Aug. 2012: How our first-ever conference came to be

New Paltz is great! One thing I didn't mention in my blog is that colleges are a great site for summer events, since they often have state-of-the-art facilities that go unused. In fact, more and more of them are getting into serious events planning. New Paltz was the perfect combination of great facilities, the right capacities, a great locale for spouses who want to tag along, and also driving (vs. flying) distance for the FWW staff, and many of the presenters. It is our first one, so we wanted to keep it as straightforward as possible, but in future years we will most likely branch out to new locations. We had lots of great runners-up.

Re: Folding sawhorse stows away

Nothing new under the sun, huh? For the folks looking for plans, the frames are 32 tall with a 35 in. wide top cross piece. And the lower folding bar is 13-1/2 long. But really I just winged it, and so should you. just look at the various photos for the notched out joints. Those I do recommend.
That said, if enough folks want full dimensions, I'll post a plan.

Glad people a liking those...and your suggestions for beveled top parts or sacrificial ones are great too.

Re: Williamsburg Day 3: Fitting moldings, drawers, and inlay

Thanks, Keith. Sorry for the so-so photos. It was tough to get good ones without getting in the way, but I'm glad you got the overall flavor of this fine event. Hope to see you there next year!

Re: Great Christmas gift, done in an hour

Good question. The home button is centered, so the dimple should be too. the slot should be about 3/4 in. deep (forgot to mention that earlier) so none of the screen is hidden. That means the dimple needs to extend about 5/8 in. from the top surface to give good access to the button. I think a 2-in.- dia. Forstner bit will make a nice dimple. Of course, you would be using just a section of the bit's diameter to make a 5/8 deep dimple.
Have fun.

Re: Great Christmas gift, done in an hour

Me too. The onboard keyboard works fine, and the Smart Cover holds it at a good angle. But with a separate keyboard the viewing angle is a bit low. That's where this stand comes in, I think. Plus it is a good angle for watching videos or whatever. But hey, it is yours, so you can sell it better than me!

Re: Perfect Bevels on a Bench Grinder

Aluminum oxide wheel, 80 grit. Get a friable wheel like this one. Particles break off leaving fresh edges behind.

Re: Perfect Bevels on a Bench Grinder

Trust me, the crowned wheel works way better than a square edge. I was a machinist (trade school) before I was a woodworker, and I always believed in the square edged wheel too. But then I tried this amazing technique, recommended by Joel Moskowitz, from Tools for Working Wood, which was taught to him by an old-school guy from Europe.

Rounded wheel gets you a square edge! It's counterintuitive, I know, but you have to try it. It focuses the grinding action on one part of the edge at a time, making it much easier to control. And as for keeping the edge square, it is simple. If the edge is already square, you just use that to track your progress, flipping the tool over to check.

If the edge isn't square, mark a line across the back, set the tool rest to 90 degrees, and grind the tip blunt at 90. Then reset the tool rest to the grinding angle, usually 25, and start grinding, using the blunted tip to track your progress.

Try it. It is amazing.

Re: Why does FWW cost more than other magazines?

Thanks for the kind words, everyone, and the helpful feedback. Good exchange, Ian. And I'll see you in Williamsburg, Jerry. I'll be at the first session, and Matt Kenney will be at the second.

Re: Why does FWW cost more than other magazines?

I stand by all of the advice given in the dust article. Of course, we could have dived in a whole lot deeper, as you point out, but our editorial judgement was that most people don't care to. The article, plus the one in the same issue on state-of-the-art shop vacs (with HEPA), goes deeper than any article has before (that I know of), asking folks to take fine dust more seriously, and taking the industry to task for not doing so. If you freak out hobbyists with too much science, and tell them they need a 5hp cyclone (they don't), most will give up before they begin. Bear in mind that most folks have an old 30-micron bag system, if anything, so even a pleated filter is a huge upgrade. This was our logic anyway. You have every right to disagree.

Re: Why does FWW cost more than other magazines?

By the way, I take every person's feeback here to heart, and blend it into what we know from surveys and just meeting people and visiting shops. We are always open to various shifts in direction and trying new things. For example, a lot of people have told us we need to go beyond furniture and boxes, so we've been trying some articles on guitar-making, making entry doors, etc. The problem with the fringe stuff, though, is that everyone wants something slightly different. The best solution is the web, where it can live forever, and continue to find its small but passionate audience.

Re: Why does FWW cost more than other magazines?

I'll respond to a few of the questions and comments at once. There aren't enough tablet owners in our audience yet to pay for us developing an iPad version, though I would love to, and no doubt eventually will. Imagine a FWW where you click on a picture and it turns into video, where drawings become animations, and so on. That's the Holy Grail.

And I just personally did a state-of-the-art article on dust collection in FWW #223, our annual Tools & Shops issue. There hasn't been one like it anywhere else:
http://www.finewoodworking.com/ToolGuide/ToolGuidePDF.aspx?id=34367
Check it out, "ondablade." I think it is exactly what you are looking for.

As for plans, every dimension and detail you need is in the exploded drawings, though you'll have to to some work on your own to make a cutlist. That said, we are strongly considering putting cutlists online for free. They are just a spece-hog in the magazine.

On the overall direction of the magazine, here's our goal: We try to be as useful as we can to as many people as possible, without compromising on our core values, which are to show how to build things that will last decades, and are tasteful enough that you will want to live with them for that long.

But of course, we can't be perfect for everyone. We know from our many readers surveys, for example, that the vast majority of our readers are hobbyists, and are not interested in info on how to succeed as a pro, though we sprinkle that in from time to time for our pro and prospective pro audience. Same for the folks who want interviews and craftsman profiles. We sprinkle those in but always make sure the magazine is packed with practical how-to info, which is what most people want.

Re: Why does FWW cost more than other magazines?

Thanks for the kind words, guys. I'll make sure the staff sees them.

Re: Behold, the Speed Tenon

By the way, to make it safer, some people make the shoulder cut, then go over to the bandsaw to cut away most of the waste before continuing. You can just set the badsdaw's rip fence and leave it there for all the tenons you have to make.
If the bandsaw is close by, it goes just as fast as the tablesaw-only approach, since the tablesaw cuts go a bit more quickly with just a sliver of material left to remove. Plus you are applying less sideways force, which means your hands aren't pushing hard toward the tablesaw blade, which is where most of the danger comes in.

Re: Behold, the Speed Tenon

To answer a few of the questions here, I should say first that if you have any misgivings about the technique you shouldn't do it. As I mentioned earlier, based on the responses here, we've decided not to do a print article about it, since we don't feel confident teaching it to beginners. And there are many other fast ways to make a tenon that are inherently safer.

That said, if you do choose to try it, I don't think the blade type matters much. The whole point is not to change the blade you normally use. If you do that, you might as well put a dado set on the saw, and cut tenons that way.

As for the danger of using the rip fence as a stop, that is way overblown for non-through cuts. But you definitely don't want to do it for full crosscuts, where the cutoff could become trapped between the blade and fence.

And last, we'll continue to seek out your opinions about woodworking techniques. I like the idea that everyone can take part in the magazine-making process. That's the power of the Web. It doesn't mean the editors still won't have the final say, but this robust and thoughtful discussion proves how passionate and knowledgeable our readers are. OK, go ahead and say I'm just kissing butt.

Re: Behold, the Speed Tenon

Thanks for the many insightful answers posted here. One of the many great things about the web is the way it lets us at the magazine interact with so many readers. In some cases, it will let us get a read on an issue or start our reporting (see my blogs on the recent tablesaw developments) before we finalize a magazine article. The intent here was to give you all a voice. It's great to see how generous and thoughtful people are in our community.

Anyway, upward and onward. In this case, I'm leaning toward leaving this speed tenon technique out of the magazine. As many of you have pointed out, the magazine speaks to woodworkers at every level, and this technique might be dangerous in less-experienced hands. That's how many on our staff felt, too.

Tough call. This one was right on that line between what people do in the real world and what a responsible teacher would teach.

Re: Frame-Top Table series

Nicholas--
Just stumbled across this. The editors love this design. Would you be willing to do a how-to article on one of these tables. We would coach you through the writing and then travel to your shop to take the photos. E-mail me at achristiana@taunton.com to continue the conversation. Thanks a lot.
--Asa

Re: SawStop inventor Steve Gass defends the latest tablesaw verdicts

Just to clarify, I'm not arguing against SawStop in general, either in this Q&A blog or the other one I wrote. And I'm not yet sure which side of the CPSC issue I come down on. Lots of interviewing still to do. My goal with these blogs was to ask the tough questions. You can be sure I'll be just as tough on PTI. That's a different blog, coming soon.

Re: SawStop inventor Steve Gass defends the latest tablesaw verdicts

Hi again. I made a mistake in one of my questions. I hadn't read enough of the CPSC briefing package when I said that Steve Gass had "dominated the discussions." After reading the whole thing, I can't stand by that statement. Gass was the original petitioner that got this thing started, and he supplied some info to the CPSC, but the CPSC went far beyond that in conducting their own tests and research. So I apologize to Gass, and I'll have our web guys change my wording as soon as possible. As I mentioned earlier, this is a fast-breaking story, and I am learning as I go.

Re: SawStop inventor Steve Gass defends the latest tablesaw verdicts

Great comments here (most of them). Thanks. I can assure you that I came in with some opinions, as any experienced tablesaw user and industry observer would (covering these tools for 15 years), but I am learning as I go, and working hard to keep my mind open and remain unbiased. There are great points on both sides of this debate, and in my questioning of Gass I was hitting him with all the tough questions I could think of. You can bet I will do the same with PTI. Gass made some great points I hadn't heard before, and I'm very interested in the other manufacturers' responses.

Keep weighing in. You guys are adding a lot to the debate, as I knew you would. I'm listening, and you can be sure the industry is too.

Re: Appeals court upholds Osorio tablesaw verdict: Feds consider landmark safety standard

Great comments. Thanks a lot. I started these two blogs with a pretty good grasp of the Osorio case and a lot of experience as a woodworker, and from being in frequent contact with manufacturers for many years now, but I am still learning as I go. I've learned a lot more in the past couple of days from reading the Osorio documents (some of them) and the entire CPSC briefing package (ouch) and from my Q&A with Gass, and your comments are adding a lot to the debate, as I had hoped.

I didn't know that appeals don't usually involve new witnesses, so I was wrong to expect that the Osorio award would or could be overturned. So thanks to the lawyer who commented. I didn't realize that Bosch had admitted in the Osorio case that it could put SawStop-type technology in its saws for just $55 more. Thanks to Gass for pointing that out. There is an awful lot going on here, and both sides have legitimate arguments.

There are many moving parts here, to say the least. I do have opinions of my own, but those are changing as I learn more, and I can promise you I am staying unbiased against Gass, PTI, etc. We'll be sure to stay on this story. Gass raised a lot of great points in our Q&A blog, I will be putting those to PTI this coming week, and passing along their answers to you right away.

We are working on more fully reported coverage of this breaking news in the next issue of FWW (#224), and we'll eventually be providing our perspective to the CPSC as well. So please keep weighing in. I'm reading every comment.

Re: Fine Woodworking on the David Letterman Show

I was lucky enough to shoot this article in LA with Nick. I met him at The Martha Stewart Show, where he was demonstrating how to build a canoe paddle by hand, and I knew right away he was the real deal. While I was out there at his shop's "undisclosed location," I also shot a shop tour. Check it out at http://www.finewoodworking.com/Workshop/WorkshopArticle.aspx?id=34350
There's a longer version for members, too:
http://www.finewoodworking.com/subscription/Workshop/WorkshopArticle.aspx?id=34351
I'll see if one of the web folks can add these videos to this blog.
Now I've got to get back to brainstorming Nick's next article. Think enough FWW readers would want to see his process for making beautiful handmade canoe paddles? Or should we a full how-to article on these side tables he makes?
http://www.finewoodworking.com/Workshop/WorkshopArticle.aspx?id=34272

Re: Build a simple fort with your kids

Thanks, Jolly. I thought I was going to take it on the chin from the hardcore woodworking crowd, but so far so good... It's not really woodworking, but it did involve a saw! Better yet, it kept us all outside for a few days.

Re: Tool companies shower awards on talented young furnituremakers

Weekend workshops are great, too, and the best teachers tend to travel the country. I'll bet there are some great workshops near you. There are schools all over, Woodcraft stores hold lots of short classes, and there are also classes at local woodworking clubs and guilds. Go to our community page:
http://www.finewoodworking.com/Community/CommunityHome.aspx
and scroll down to find links to lots of clubs, schools, and events. If you strike out, e-mail me at achristiana@taunton.com, and I'll help you find something.

Re: Huge advances in woodworking technology

Sorry for the delay, folks. Busy makin' the donuts. By "20 to 30 times longer" I was referring to how much longer a carbide edge lasts than a steel one, all other things being equal. I based these numbers on my admittedly vague recollection of comparison numbers I've seen in the past, and I might have overstated the case a bit. The article is based on very thorough tests and research, however, not a tired editor's vague recollections.
Consider this, even if the edges last 10 times longer than steel, there are four of them on each tooth. I can also report that I've had a planer-jointer with a segmented cutterhead in my shop for two years now, and I've probably filled my dust collector bag 6 or 8 times since I got it, and I'm still on the first edge of each tooth. They don't get nicked like my steel knives did, and they cut with virtually no tearout on even the toughest woods. It's an amazing upgrade. My old knives were always nicked, and I let them get dull because I didn't want to deal with changing them until I was forced to do so!

Re: Asa's 2-car garage shop

Will do.

Re: AWFS Tool News: Jet, Powermatic, and Delta Retool their Brands

I totally agree about innovation being the answer, and I said as much to both of these companies.

Re: AWFS Tool Update: Rikon Pours its Best Bandsaw Features into a Super Saw

I definitely took the 14-in. Laguna into account when blogging about this new Rikon. We recently reviewed that Laguna and the larger Grizzlies, so I'm looking forward to trying this new Rikon out and comparing it to the others. Stay tuned.

Re: How to Cut Tenons on the Bandsaw

No worries. There should be no problem with kickback on the tablesaw when cutting the shoulders, as long as the workpiece is held firmly against the miter gauge. All the leverage is in your favor and the workpiece will slide along just fine. But I wouldn't drag it back through the blade. Slide it sideways once it is clear of the blade, and get it out of the way before you pull the miter gauge back.
Great blog, Tom. You've got me convinced, and I was a diehard dado set guy!

Re: My Not So Small Shop

Nice shop. I answered your question about jennifer anderson's bench, by the way, at my blog on the Del Mar show:
http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/38444/best-pieces-from-the-biggest-woodworking-club-in-america
Sorry for the long delay!

Re: Best pieces from the biggest woodworking club in America

JQL--Sorry for the delay. Jennifer Anderson told me she designed the carving in RhinoCAM, based on pleated fabric, and did it with a CNC. Not sure how she colored it, though it seems almost anything would work, with a quick sanding to clean up the flat areas.

Re: Best pieces from the biggest woodworking club in America

JQL--
I'll ask.

Re: Shooting a FWW article with NBC's Nick Offerman

Sorry, Matt (MBerger). Next time for sure.

Re: Best pieces from the biggest woodworking club in America

Robert--
Great comment. You win the fair tickets if you want them! Let me know.
--Asa

Re: What is Furniture Lab?

Thanks, all--
JD--I think you are right about the clunkiness. These are only a couple of initial ideas, mind you, but I will definitely lighten the base, and your ideas are excellent ones. Not sure how to float the top, but it will be something probably bolted right through. I think 3-Form actually makes some extender-type posts with nice screws on them, or maybe I saw that somewhere else.

AcaciaDave--I love that quote!. I think we are all citizens of ImagiNation. That's what will make FurnLab a hit, I hope.

Lindhrr--Keep it positive. Let's celebrate everyone's efforts, so people feel encouraged to break out of the box. 3Form's stuff is for sale, by the way, so they are inviting people to use it, and my design will be more than just a slab of 3Form with no other ideas invested, I'm sure. C'mon brother, join the ImagiNation!

Re: Could This Tool Change Everything?

To those who just don't agree with this sort of joking about woodworking, I want you to know that I do respect your opinions. Humor is always a risky thing for FWW, since we are regarded so seriously by our readers, and also since you never know how a joke might be taken. But each April 1, we take that risk and let our hair down for just one day. We thought the video was funny, especially the part where you got to see the staff joking around, and we didn’t think anyone would mistake the “Sissy Stick” for anything more than what it is: ridiculous.
And, although some people have complained, it is mostly about the fear of OTHER people misunderstanding it, not the objector himself. That said, I do think we gave the impression to some that we are not serious about safety, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Helping people become better, safer woodworkers is deeply important to me, and is a big reason this job is so meaningful for so many of us.

Re: Beautiful furniture from reclaimed materials

Sorry, Linda. I'll correct the blog. Great work.

Re: My 5 minutes of Martha Stewart Show fame

Flair, you're right. That back stage photo was corny, and I felt like a dork!

Re: My 5 minutes of Martha Stewart Show fame

Thanks, guys. Her producers did a good job prepping me. You get plenty of advance notice about the questions she might ask.

Re: Cutlists are a waste of space

Great feedback here for us editors. Matt gave his take on this issue of cutlists in the magazine.

Here's what I would add. My biggest reason for leaving them out has always been that anyone can use our detailed, dimensioned, exploded drawings to make their own cutlist. That's what I do. And with the space a cutlist would consume, we can show you a technique that your couldn't figure out on your own. Also, cutlists encourage beginners to precut parts that shouldn't be precut, as Matt pointed out.

But maybe we were wrong. I'm going to put this question to a 1,300-member reader panel we have assembled. I think the idea of putting it online is a great one.

And I'll ask about materials estimates, too.

Thanks for this VERY helpful feedback. Sometimes you just have to ask.
--Asa Christiana
editor, FWW

Re: Seen at Colonial Williamsburg: Japanese tools force a new stance on woodworking

Nice job, Matt. Killer post and pics! Glad you are having fun. It's hard not to!

Re: Williamsburg, Day 2: Mind-Blowing 3-Way Miter Joint

You've got me convinced! I think readers would love to see Andrew execute this joint, step by step. Thanks for the great feedback! Stay tuned.

Re: Castor's Folly

Important to give credit to Beaumont. The connection/inspiration is clear.

Re: A big turnip for Thanksgiving

My wife was not happy about that line! She is actually great about staying out of my hair (not enough of it left to get into). But the truth is that she probably wouldn't be happy seeing me go to Burning Man. With lots of mood-altering substances, and a, let's say, "alternative" reality when it comes to morality, it's not really a married man's game. But it is also an amazing event when it comes to creating and living art, if you are into that sort of thing.

Re: Can Brian Boggs change the world for pro furnituremakers?

Thanks for all the great questions, folks, and thanks to Brian for fielding them all. This is much better than just my blog alone.

Re: Help us design a workbench for power-tool lovers

Wow, I had no idea we'd get som many good ideas so quickly! I think we struck a chord here.
I'm loving this idea of the Festool MFT top and then DIYing everything else, but good points were made about a sacrificial MDF top and Kreg holddowns also.
Let's see what others say. We'll feature this blog in an upcoming e-Letter, and then we'll get a whole new flood of advice!

Re: IWF Alert: Porter-Cable jig makes pocket screws faster and easier

Camdenken--
1-1/2 in. is the thickness limit. So anything bigger than a 2x4 won't work.

Re: IWF Alert: Porter-Cable jig makes pocket screws faster and easier

It definitely has dust collection (I added a note about that in the original blog). I should have mentioned it. Company reps said that if you attach a hose, the thing is almost dust free.
One other thing, this was designed by the same engineers that did Porter-Cable's latest dovetail jigs, and those were great in our tests.

Re: Do woodworkers need the Furniture Society?

Sorry it took me a while to answer, but wow--what an incredible series of responses. Every one is a good read, from very thoughtful and engaged people. My first reaction is: The Web is an amazing tool for getting beyond the thoughts and words of just a few cloistered editors and their frequent contributors and authors.

My second response took a bit longer to formulate, but here it is: The Furniture Society needs a clearer mission than "advancing the art of furnituremaking," though nobody would disagree with that statement. In fact, I think it DOES have a tighter focus than that, though is is not explicit. David Richardson has it right I think, when he notes that the organization is "basically for professional furniture makers, and their friends and supporters." That's a clear mission and represents one way the FS could continue to go.

That would include doing all of the things they are currently doing, which Scott Braun and others have described eloquently. And it would probably go a long way toward energizing the membership if the Board of the FS could give everyone a common goal to work toward, such as educating young people, as Doug Stowe and "CranberryRose" suggest. That would also help to solve the "ask not what your country can do for you" problem that a few people have mentioned. People love to be a part of a higher goal.

BUT, here's the rub with the pro furniture maker focus, it occurs to me. It probably will help with declining membership numbers, but might not stop the slide. From everything I can tell, pro furnituremaking is a shrinking profession. I think there will always be a pretty fixed number of cabinetmakers, putting plywood built-ins and kitchens into people's houses, but I'm talking about people who build freestanding custom furniture, especially one-offs. For a wide variety of reasons, cultural and economic, it is getting increasingly difficult to make a decent living as a small-shop furnituremaker. So the other way way the FS could go is to make a concerted effort to reach out to hobbyists. I'm not sure exactly how they could do that, but I'm going to take a closer look at the AAW, as Skewz suggests. Feel free to weigh in with suggestions.
Stay tuned, and thanks a million. I am really honored by the time and thought all of you have put into this question.

Re: Garry Bennett Trestle Table for Charity: Buy a piece of woodworking history

Unfortunately, the bids for the table didn't meet the minimum so The Furniture Society will auction it again next year. That's good news for anyone with deep pockets and a deep appreciation of studio furnituremaking history.

Re: Garry Bennett Trestle Table for Charity: Buy a piece of woodworking history

Yeah, Gary is a great guy, and a great artist. It's funny how many of the most talented furniture makers are also the most down to earth. I may be off-base on Bennett actually inventing the roach clip, but he definitely made a pile of dough designing and manufacturing them. I think he did those metal peace signs, too. He's here at the Furniture Society Conference in Boston, so I'll ask him.

Re: Take Great Photographs of Your Work--With Any Digital Camera

Sorry for my LONG delay in responding. I lost track of this one.
On the photograph thing: Of course, we can't teach you everything in an article, or even a book, and shooting a piece of furniture indoors is just one small slice of the art and craft of shooting photos.
But it's amazing how much better your furniture shots will be with a few simple accessories and some helpful tips. Check out our article in FWW 213, out on newsstands right now. That has all the proof you'll need.

As for how to submit articles to FWW: We are a how-to magazine, so we are looking for clever techniques and tasteful projects, ones that will appeal to a broad cross-section of our readers, most of whom are intermediate woodworkers. To submit an article, go to: http://www.finewoodworking.com/pages/fw_authorguideline.asp

And as for the aging of our raedership, you are spot on with that one. Simply put, not enough new or young peoplke are coming in to the craft to replace those who are aging out of it. And you are right again that there is no unified effort to change that. We don't have the resources to do it on our own, though we promote and feature young peoples' work whenever we can, and we have created a free video series on Getting Started in Woodworking aimed at attracting and supporting new woodworkers. We also tried to get a coalition of manufacturers to pitch in money for a National Woodworking Day, but the economy tanked and money was tight. All I can say to you is be an ambassador for the craft. Invite younger folks over to your workshop to do projects. Join your local woodworking guild and help them improve their outreach programs, things like that.

Re: Where do editors come from?

I totally agree, Ralph. When I hear music, I sometimes see geometry unfolding in my head. The same goes for stand-up comedy routines. There is a natural harmony things that we all respond to. We call it quality, or beauty, or somethign else. Good article structure, good layout, a well-built machine, it's all one.
What did the buddhist say to the hot dog vendor? Make me one with everything.

Re: Better than seeing The Lord in a grilled-cheese sandwich

I hear you, Tom. But the wood is pretty miraculous, no? I've never seen a flitch like this one.

Re: My GSIW Workbench

Brent--
It looks great. I like how you lengthened the vise jaw. That will help you hold long boards on edge. Also, it's good to see that you took advantage of the storage space under the benchtop. Great work!
Keep woodworking. If you built this workbench in a day, you've got real talent.
--Asa

Re: Miracle Shield Blocks Kickback

My favorite comment so far is "Crotch Block 2000." That would come in handy for all those people on America's Funniest Videos.

Re: Take Great Photographs of Your Work--With Any Digital Camera

Definitely, Don. In this economy (maybe short-term) and this culture (probably longterm), it is increasingly difficult to sell custom-made furniture. Alomost every pro woodworker I know is increasingly supplementing their income with teaching gigs.
But those are the pros. Not much has changed with the hobbyists, other than the fact they they are getting older, and not as many young people (say, under 50!) are discovering woodworking these days.

Re: Hand-tool lovers converge on Williamsburg

Hydroelectricguy--
Mark Schofield (who attended the 2nd session) and I did talk at length about whther FWW should do one of the projects at the conference as a project in the magazine, since all of the pieces were intriguing in their own way.
I can tell you that we decided not to do the stand-up desk. The equation when it comes to magazine articles is always, "How many people do we think will actually build this?" The trouble with this desk is that it is not terribly practical for modern life, so only a small percentage of readers will actually take it on.
We only do about 15 project articles a year in the magazine, so we have to choose them very carefully. That said we do find other ways to feature cool pieces like this one. Sometimes a nice piece doesn't merit a project article, but it might serve as the example piece for an article on a specific technique.
So stay tuned!

Re: Hand-tool lovers converge on Williamsburg

Thanks, all. Answers to a few of your questions:
Mark Schofield, our managing editor, attended the second session and will be blogging about the SAPFM (Society of American Period Furniture Makers) and the special awards to Steve Lash and Mickey Callahan.
Willimasburg doesn't do a DVD of the show footage. It is a great live show, but it is hard to turn 15 or 20 hours of rambling stuff into a good DVD presentation. From my own experience at Taunton, I know that you have to have a tight script for a successful production.

Re: Hand-tool lovers converge on Williamsburg

Thanks, Gina. I added a picture of Jefferson (Bill Barker) speaking at the banquet. To be honest, I expected it to be a little corny, but he was just the opposite. He was totally committed to the character, and masterful at it. I was inspired by his first-person stories about the early days of the democracy, how he went about researching and writing the Declaration, etc. He was a true renaissance man, like most of the founding fathers, with a powerful, independent mind.
And DanMart is right about the special treatment that Col. W'burg gives the attendees. Spending a bit of extra time down there really fills out the experience.

Re: Is Danish Modern the furniture style of our time?

Happy New Year, all.
I've really enjoyed the responses and discussion so far. I agree with most of the posts, actually. Of course, Danish Modern had its own sources, as almost nothing happens in vacuum. Also, it certainly has never gone away. My own opinion is that it has faded a bit from the American public's attention, as well as the North American woodworker's. I can't really speak for European woodworkers, or others.
I guess I hope that that changes, that woodworkers rediscover it in the way I did recently, and take it to new places.
A few questions remain from my blog: When historians look back in another century or so, and try to identify a dominant furniture style for the 20th century, will it be Arts & Crafts? Danish Modern? Something else?
And will any identifiable style coalesce in the 21st century?

Re: Is Danish Modern the furniture style of our time?

Here's what I got out of the Jacobsen quote: A little goes a long way, basically. We have to evaluate a lot of furniture at FWW, for the Readers Gallery, for projects, etc., and probably the most common problem pieces have is trying to do too much: too many types of wood, too much contrast, too many eye-grabbing details battling for attention, and so on. Jacobsen argues for artistic restraint, which is almost always a good thing, especially in the long run. The piece that shouts at you can become abrasive over time; just like simple elegance in lines, proportions, and details will grow on you.
--Asa

Re: Is Danish Modern the furniture style of our time?

Great comments here. I'm especially flattered that a teacher of cabinetmaking in Copenhagen took the time to respond. I love that quote from Arne Jacobsen.
And I'll check out Al Navas's podcast and blog, right after Christmas. Right now, my wife and I are waiting for our youngest daughter to be sleeping soundly enough for us to put Santa's deliveries under the tree! Happy holidays, everyone.
--Asa Christiana

Re: Still don't have a workbench? This one is easy

fshanno--
No problem using pocket screws to attch the top and shelf. Good idea.
--Asa

Re: Still don't have a workbench? This one is easy

I'm so glad to seee that people are happy with this bench. Tell your friends about it. I think a lot of woodworkers struggle for years without a real bench.
A few notes on the suggestions. I think a thicker finish would be great, but like someone said, when the MDF top gets beat up, you can always make another. Maybe that's a good reason not to glue the two MDF layers together but just use the screws we showed.
The leveling feet seem like a good idea, but they might make the bench skitter across the floor when you handplane on it, for example. Maybe some kind of leveling feet with rubber on the bottom of them?
And don't worry about the bench racking sideways. No diagonal stabilizers are needed when you have those long bolts and nuts all tightened down. You could chuck that base off the roof of your garage and it would be fine. Wait, hold on, I can just see the YouTube video now.

Re: Is it OK to sell furniture based on FWW articles?

Great comments here. I think Larry is right that I used the phrase "in the public domain" too loosely. I meant that the design and techniques are out there for everyone to see. The copyright and patent issues are complicated, though, when it comes to furniture design. My understanding is that there is a lot of grey area, and that cases can be hard to prove.

Re: Reader Says Mythbusters Missed on Hammer Strikes

Safety is always foremost in our mind at FWW. But here's the point people are missing, and the reason we allowed that photo to run in the first place. The force needed to peen the corner of a miter-gauge bar is very slight, and two hammer faces are not going to shatter from light taps. So the safety police are right in theory (there are situations where one hardened face could splinter another) but wrong in this specific case. The context makes all the difference.
This reminds me a lot of the letters we get each time we run a photo of someone grinding on the side of the wheel. Grinding should be done with a light touch, and there just isn't any danger of the wheel exploding as some warn. Yet the letters pour in, saying, "I was always taught..."
I went to tech school for high school and worked in machine shops, and saw people use the side of the wheel regularly and safely, but with a light touch, of course. The edge of the wheel is where you should do most of your grinding, but there are times when the flat side comes in handy.

Re: Easy-to-install spiral cutterheads for $250

I thought the same thing, Sleepydad, but it is the same cutterhead Steel City puts in their planers, and I saw some of the cuts it made at the show. Extremely clean and smooth. I should have mentioned that in my blog. Also, each cutter goes on its own ring, and the rings can be removed if the seat that holds the cutter gets damaged. That's impossible on other cutterheads.

Re: Poll: The Next FWW Tool Test

Thanks, everyone. The tools on the list were just a few suggestions, all being relatively popular tools we haven't reviewed in a long while. I'm glad folks are using the comment feature to let us know what we missed. That was the plan.
As you can see, people's needs are quite varied. That is one of the challenges of putting together a general-interest woodworking magazine ("fine" or not). But I've seen a few things mentioned over and over, from used tools to sharpening stones to hand tools. Your comments will definitely factor into our decision-making. By the way, we are already working on an article that teaches people where to find used machinery, and what to look for to make sure you don't get a lemon or get in over your head with rehabbing.
Keep the good comments coming.
--Asa Christiana, editor

Re: Furniture Society Conference had an industrial focus

Sorry for the late credit, Andy. I fixed the caption. I'll be doing more blogs on the conference, so stay tuned.

Re: How I remember Sam Maloof

I'm glad this touched some people. Sam's life touched so many people. Greg, I added some photos to this blog. To see the best photos I shot during my two days, check out the article that resulted from that trip: http://www.taunton.com/finewoodworking/ProjectsAndDesign/ProjectsAndDesignPDF.aspx?id=24704
--Asa

Re: Calling all benchtop warriors

Thanks, everybody. The response has been overwhelming. There are lots of good ideas and questions here. The upshot seems to be: how to get a small shop to work. Stay tuned. We may well be contacting some of you for your tips.
By the way, I'm always grateful, and a littled awed, when people come out of the woodwork (so to speak) to offer comments and info and a piece of their lives. We put projects and techniques out there--like the workbench in the Getting Started in Woodworking video series--and then sit back and hope people will find them and try them. I can't tell you how rewarding it is when they do (see the post from "Blackwill").
--Asa

Re: Thanks Asa!

Wow, Daniel. It was a joy to see your post and the pics of your daughter. It's just what I had hoped when I posted the project. It's funny how something as simple as drilling can be a treat for a kid. I thought it would be boring (so to speak), but I'm jaded. I had forgotten how cool it is to see the tool cutting for the first time, and how you can feel the cutting action as you pull down on the handle, etc. I'll share this with Mike (or art director), who did the plan, and has a daughter of his own, about the same age as mine and yours.
You made my day (and your wife's).
--Asa

Re: Garden tote is easy and useful

Good comments about safety. I've had a couple of e-mails, too. For starters, this is my daughter, so you can be sure I considered her safety.
I'll take the questions one at a time:
1. Blade exposure. My opinion is that this is not a big safety issue. I lower the guides when blade flex is a particular problem, which wasn't the case here. The safety issue is a tradeoff, to me. Lower guides might keep fingers away from the blade, but they also obscure the sightline, making it hard to see the blade at all, maybe tempting fingers closer than an exposed blade would.
2. Long sleeves. Good general safety rule. In retrospect, I should have had her roll them up. But again, in this case, I just didn't see the hazard. Her fingers would be in danger long before her sleeves got close to the blade.
3. Earmuffs. Seriously? On a 14-in. bandsaw cutting cedar. No.
4. Safety glasses. She does have glasses on, which will stop the stray particle from hitting the eye. But again, consider the context. I hear the same thing about drill presses. Those tools just don't throw material faceward, and not rapidly either, in my experience. Normal glasses are fine for these tools, at least for me. The safety police will say that a particle can hit the cheek and glance upward into the eye. I've never had that happen on a bandsaw or drill press. That's just not what they do.

Remember that my safety approach does not have to be yours. But also remember that some safety rules were made for worst-case industrial situations, with unskilled, fatigued, distracted workers working all day poorly set-up machines, without close supervision.

Re: The gloved woodworker

Good points, all. I'll keep all of this in mind.
I knew I'd take some safety flack when I posted this. Let me add a few caveats. I'm not recommending this for everyone--just saying it works for me. People have to make their own safety decisions. If you are nervous about this, or if you think you might forget to take the gloves off at a critical time, then just wear them when you go to the lumberyard. They'll make it easier to unstack and restack those piles, and the yard guys will love you for it.
As I said, I take them off when there is any chance my hands might come close to a spinning blade or bit. Also, these are close-fitting gloves. That's important.
In some cases, believe it or not, I think I can control the stock better when wearing these, with less of a chance that my hands will slip. On the other hand, I make sure I never have dangling sleeves or jewelry.
All that said, woodworking is inherently dangerous. So take your time, err on the side of safety, and never work when you are tired, distracted, etc.
--Asa

Re: Japanese paper is a eureka moment

Thanks for the kind words, Rob. It was your article that inspired me to try Japanese paper. It was just as easy as you said it would be, in fact easier, for two reasons:
1. The glue bottle (sold by the paper supplier) had a cool applicator tip that worked better than a small brush for me.
2. The plastic wrapper on the paper roll had some instructions on it. They were in Japanese of course, but there were little pictograms that made it all pretty clear. I followed their suggestion and just applied the glue, clamped down one end of the roll, and just rolled it across the whole screen. Done. No cutting needed until afterward,when everything was dry, when it was very easy to trim with a razor and straightedge.
Next time, I'll try the cool marquetry technique you showed!
Thanks.
--Asa

Re: Kerrville show corrals best furniture in Texas

It is easy to find flaws in any group of 60 pieces, and the Kerrville show is no different. But I'd rather talk about what is right about handmade pieces. After all, someone had a picture of something beautiful in their mind's eye, took a pile of rough lumber, and made it happen. And if they made it 90 percent of the way, that is something to celebrate. Also, remember that with a show like this, people are usually rushing to make the deadline. And finishes are usually what suffers. So I always cut people some slack on that. I saw one beautiful inlaid table that had lengthwise ripples sanded into its surface, telltale marks from a poorly set up wide-belt sander. I had a chance to meet the table's maker, and sure enough, he said he had been rushing to get the table to the show, and put it through the big industrial sander to try to quickly get the marquetry level and ready for finish.

Re: Studio Furniture of the Renwick Gallery

BStev is right. There weren't enough of the best contemporary makers. The more recent choices were the weakest of all. I hope Taunton will do a book like this and get it right.



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