Woodworking Magazine 04 (Autumn 2005)

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Traditional woodworking magazine, by (author) Popular Woodworking Editors

Text of Woodworking Magazine 04 (Autumn 2005)

A Magazine Committed to Finding the Better Way to Build Filled With Good Craftsmanship, the Best Techniques and No Ads

Rethinking Workbench DesignsA Simple 18th-century Goliath That Smites Todays Puny Benches Fed Up With Plywood? Overcome The Failings Of A Useful Material Sawhorse System Lets You Work at 11 Heights Learn Drawboring: The No. 1 Trick To Tighter, Stronger Joints Choose and Use a 6" Combination Square



Contents1 On the LevelStrive to be a blended woodworker.

Well, my standard formula was the better work you do, the more chance that youll starve. James Krenov in a 2004 interview conducted by Oscar Fitzgerald

30 Workbench Finish StrategiesUnlike furniture, workbench nishes must stand up to a great deal of abuse. We compare our favorite brews, including no nish at all.

2 LettersQuestions, comments and wisdom from readers, experts and our staff.

4 ShortcutsTricks and tips that will make your woodworking simpler and more accurate.

31 GlossaryWoodworkings terminology can be overwhelming. Learn the terms from this issue.

6 Choose the Right PlywoodYour frustration is well-founded. We test 11 samples from around the world, unveil their inconsistencies and offer solutions.

32 End Grain: The Question is the AnswerWhen you ask yourself which path you should take in a project, you have unconsciously pointed out the correct choice.

10 The Shop Box SystemBased on clever ergonomic formulas, two simple boxes and a set of I-beams will make your woodshop a better place to work.

12 Drawboring ResurrectedLearn an age-old technique for strong, gap-free joints that require little clamping. The secret is a simple tool that we show you how to make.


16 Roubos 18th-century WorkbenchMany modern benches are more complex than necessary. We revive a 230-year-old design and discover that our ancestors had it right.CHOOSING A 6" COMBINATION SQUARE: PAGE 27

24 The Mystery Of HoldfastsReal holdfasts grab your work faster than any clamp. The problem is that many modern versions are fragile or faulty. We investigate.

27 Choosing a 6" Combination SquareThe combination square is one of the most important layout tools. We review the three best brands and nd that two come up short.

28 Using a 6" Combination SquareSHORTCUTS: PAGE 4

This simple tool has dozens of workshop uses. Here are some of our favorites.


Autumn 2005woodworking-magazine.com

On the Level

Editorial Ofces 513-531-2690ext. 1238, steve.shanesy@fwpubs.com ext. 1396, linda.watts@fwpubs.comEXECUTIVE EDITOR Christopher Schwarz ART DIRECTOR Linda Watts EDITOR & PUBLISHER Steve Shanesy

Blended W oodworkingIn the coming months and years I predict youll the craft improves. And you might ask yourself: run up against the term blended woodworking If woodworking is a hobby and not a means to more and more frequently. Its a ne new term putting food on your table, what should it matter for something thats been around for years and if some hand-tool processes take a bit longer? If practiced by those who didnt realize a name was your result is a better-crafted project and you have needed for something they took for granted. For derived more pleasure in the making of it, then this group, it was just woodworking. any extra time making it was time well spent. Blended refers to combining the use of hand Blended woodworking is really just a next logtools with power tools in the practice of woodical step in the evolving home craft of woodworkworking. It recognizes the advantages of power ing. With a growing understanding, acceptance tools and hand tools, putting each to work at the and appreciation of the benets of hand tools, appropriate time to derive the greatest benet. their use will become more commonplace in the The obvious example would be using a power average home woodworkers shop. The clear fact jointer and planer for preparing rough lumber that emerging makers of quality hand tools are as opposed to preparing ourishing is compelling it using hand planes. But evidence of their growing once the stock is attened The two most powerful warriors acceptance and use. and squared up, you might To practice blended switch to a smoothing are patience and time. woodworking is really plane to prepare the stock Leo Tolstoy just to be a broader skilled for nishing rather than novelist and philosopher woodworker. Its what a use a power sander. really good woodworker In another example, has always been. you might cut a tenon using a table saw or router I once worked with a young Swiss woodmounted in a table, but achieve the perfect t for worker who had recently completed a seven-year each mortise by ne-tuning the tenon using a apprentice program in his homeland. His skills shoulder plane or paring it with a chisel. Or, use a and knowledge were amazing. He was not only block plane to remove saw marks from the edges skilled in the use of hand and power tools, but of a board instead of tediously sanding them out could produce CAD drawings, rewire a switch (and misshaping the edge in the process). or motor, program and operate CNC machines, For those not in the habit of reaching for a produce veneer faces and hammer or press them, hand tool, dont make the common mistake of grind custom proles for shaper knives and do assuming that the hand-tool method is necesmany other things. As part of his training, he even sarily the slower and/or more difcult way. In spent six months in a plant that produced particlemany cases, its actually faster and easier, and board. And to amuse himself during lunch breaks produces a superior result and sometimes, with hed carve lengths of interlocked wooden chain less associated risk. Consider that stock removal links or a ball in an enclosed box. His traditional with hand tools happens at a highly controlled apprenticeship had grounded him in just about rate. Routers and belt sanders, by comparison, every facet of woodworking, from harvesting can create serious problems in the blink of an eye trees to applying nishes. and with no warning at all. It will take a few years for hand-tool use to be Admittedly, some hand-tool operations fully blended so as to become commonplace. do require more time to complete. Additional I cant help but wonder what will come next a time is required to both learn how to use edge renaissance in the skills of veneering? WM tools and keep them in good, sharp condition. Virtually all woodworkers Ive met who have walked far enough down the hand-tool road to become even moderately procient in their use have found the time and effort to learn proper hand-tool use rewarding. They have seen that Steve Shanesy both their woodworking and their enjoyment of Editor & Publisherwoodworking-magazine.com

ext. 1407, chris.schwarz@fwpubs.com ext. 1255, david.thiel@fwpubs.com ext. 1327, robert.lang@fwpubs.comSENIOR EDITOR Robert W. Lang SENIOR EDITOR David Thiel


ext. 1348, kara.uhl@fwpubs.com


ext. 1058, susan.l.smith@fwpubs.comILLUSTRATOR Matt Bantly PHOTOGRAPHER Al Parrish


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William R. Reed President Colleen Cannon Senior Vice PresidentCIRCULATIONGroup Circulation Manager Lynn Kruetzkamp Group Newsstand Manager Mark Fleetwood Vice President Barbara Schmitz Production Supervisor Vicki Whitford Production Coordinator Debbie Thomas Production Assistant Katie SealNewsstand Distribution: Curtis Circulation Co., 730 River Road, New Milford, NJ 07646 Back issues are available. For pricing information or to order, call 800-258-0929, visit our web site at woodworking-magazine.com, or send check or money order to: Woodworking Magazine Back Issues, F+W Publications Products, 700 E. State St., Iola, WI 54990. Please specify Woodworking Magazine and month.


Safety is your responsibility. Manufacturers place safety devices on their equipment for a reason. In many photos you see in Woodworking Magazine, these have been removed to provide clarity. In some cases well use an awkward body position so you can better see whats being demonstrated. Dont copy us. Think about each procedure youre going to perform beforehand. Safety First!


Highly RecommendedThe book thats most changed my woodworking isnt a woodworking book. The Old Way of Seeing (Houghton Mifin) by Jonathan Hale contends that architecture has declined in the last 160 years as designers have lost the ability to make patterns of light and shade. Hale unveils history, explores magic formulas and compares old and new designs. His lessons apply directly to furniture and are essential reading. Christopher Schwarz


LettersHow Did You Stretch Wood?I just picked up the Spring 2005 issue of Woodworking Magazine. I have enjoyed reading it. I would like to know if you have developed a new wood stretcher? On page 2 (Letters) you have made 7/4 lumber out of 6/4. What a deal! Lyman Smokey Bennett Pine Grove, California Smokey, Its a special wood that only grows ... in my mind. Good catch. Yes, the illustration should either read 11 4" and 6/4, or 13 4" and 8/4. Thanks for the sharp eye. David Thiel, senior editor When things look nearly flat, switch to the jointer plane, which should have a slightly curved blade thats set for a ner cut. Work diagonally across the face, then diagonally the other way. Dont worry about tear-out yet. When the face of the board is at, come back with the jointer plane and smooth the board with strokes following the grain.