POPULAR WOODWORKING August 20002
In This IssueTraditional SecretaryTroy Sextons gorgeous drop-front secretary is the culminationof a lifetime of professional wood-working experience and a briefstroke of luck at an auction.By Troy Sexton
Garden SwingEven people without porches deserve a porch swing. Our original design includes a simpleA-frame so you can swing anywhere in your yard.
Americas BESTProject Magazine!
Out On a LimbEvery Good Teacher Assigns Homework
LettersMail from readers
Ingenious JigsNick Engler shows you how tobuild and sharpen your ownscraper plane using parts youllfind at the local hardware store.
Tricks of the TradeNibbling with your chop saw;makefinish cans easy to reopen
Projects From the PastFolding Lawn Chair
Endurance TestDeWalts 621 plunge router
Flexner on FinishingStripping finishes from wood
Caption the CartoonWin a set of Quick Grip clamps
Tool TestDeWalts new contractor saw,Metabos cordless drills and inex-pensive wooden hand planes
Out of the WoodworkTool Time for Toddlers
On theCoverAfter years of build-ing furniture forclients, Troy Sextontook some time offto build this tradi-tional secretary forhis daughter.
Cover photo by Al Parrish
In Every Issue
Folding Plant StandWith less than a sheet of plywoodyou can build an ingenious half-round plant stand. And amazingly,it folds flat for off-season storage.
UltimateMiter Saw StandExpand your chop saws cuttingcapacity by building a miter sawstand whose design has evolvedover several years. This one evencollects its own dust. Its foldingwings allow it to fit into a smallcorner when not in use.
Asian Coffee TableContemporary in design andsimple to construct, this maplecoffee table is designed to holdits weight in catalogs and books.
Secret ToadTip back the mouth of this cleverband sawn amphibian and itstongue flicks out to reveal asweet surprise.By John Hutchinson
What You Must KnowAbout ShelvingBuilding great bookcases re-quires more planning than realskill. Learn the essential rules toconstructing shelving that isstout, attractive and adaptable.By Troy Sexton
Nakashima-Inspired TableA cherry tree felled after a hardfreeze and the work of masterwoodworker George Nakashimainspired a modern yet rustictable and a personal journey.
The Case for Combo MachinesEuropean woodworkers are fondof machines that can be convert-ed from a table saw to a planer ora jointer. Learn why more Ameri-cans should consider this space-saving option.By Roger Holmes
August 2000, Vol. 20, No. 4 www.popwood.com
Editor & Publisher Steve Shanesy
Senior Editors David Thiel,Christopher Schwarz
Associate Editor Jim Stuard
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POPULAR WOODWORKING August 20004
Youve heard the expression about thedifference between giving a man a fishand teaching him to fish. The man wholearns to fish puts dinner on his table for-ever, while the other man eats for one day.But what about the guy who says he wantsto learn but doesnt want to bait his hook,or loses his patience when the fish arentbiting?
In woodworking, I sometimes wonderif the hobby is attracting more folks whosay they want to learn to fish but expectto be reeling fish in by the boat load assoon as the boat leaves the dock.
Anyone who really knows woodwork-ing or fishing can tell you it doesnt workthat way. It takes dedication and patienceto learn the skills to routinely land big fishor complete satisfying projects. Until youreach that level its easy to get frustrated.
My concern is for those newcomerswhose expectations far exceed their skills.I fear they quickly conclude that all youneed to build a project is a drawing, cut-ting list and instructions. What is perhapsmore important is a foundation of basicskills. The fundamentals of construction,an understanding of wood movement andgrain direction are all navigation deviceson the road to a rewarding project.
Their unbridled enthusiasm has themtaking on projects that are too complicat-ed. And when they stumble, as most do,they sometimes write, call or e-mail us.Some have polite questions, some arentso polite.
You tell me to use a tenon for the joint,but you dont even tell me what a tenonis! Or, You say to square up the stock be-fore cutting pieces, but you dont even sayhow or why. Or, You say to make an al-lowance for the saw kerf. Whats that? Allthese are legitimate questions, and whenthe caller is working on a fairly simple pro-ject, we happily walk him or her throughit. But when they tell us theyre staring at$500 worth of hardwood and are ready tostart a Chippendale slant-front secretary,
its something else.Sometimes it makes me wonder if we
should rethink the mission of PopularWoodworking. Perhaps wed be a magazinewith more subscribers if we did. As itstands, I believe our mission is to be ateacher who challenges the students. Andthat our students would one day graduateand not require the steady coursework ourpages offer.
We believe that giving readers everypossible bit of information keeps them inthe dark about the joy and satisfaction offinding their own solutions. The bestwoodworkers can adapt, create projects fortheir own needs and engineer and buildfurniture using techniques that suit theirwoodworking interests.
Or we could simply give our readers thefish, issue after issue.
But thats not for me. I respect our read-ers too much to produce a magazine withsuch a cynical point of view. To do so un-dermines one of the joys of woodworking:the supreme satisfaction that comes fromfiguring things out.
However, I will give you this: If you area beginner, heres what you should do tostart your hobby right.
Buy a good book on joinery such asBill Hyltons Illustrated Cabinetmaking(Rodale Press) or The Encyclopedia ofJoint Making (Popular WoodworkingBooks).
Make sure your first projects requirea small investment in time and wood.
In the shower or on your way to work,build your projects in your head two orthree times before you cut your first pieceof wood.
And by all means, dont stop calling orwriting us. We make it easy for you to getin touch because we want to help and wecare about your woodworking. PW
Every Good TeacherAssigns Homework
POPULAR WOODWORKING August 20006
OUT ON A LIMB
David ThielSenior EditorSpecialties: Projects,new products and tools,tricks of the trade513-531-2690 ext. firstname.lastname@example.org
Christopher SchwarzSenior EditorSpecialties:Authorliaison,website, projects,photography513-531-2690 ext. email@example.com
Jim StuardAssociate EditorSpecialties:Projects,carving, turning, project illustrations513-531-2690 ext. firstname.lastname@example.org
Safety NoteSafety is your responsibility.Manufacturers place safety devices on theirequipment for a reason. In many phot