We publishing folks live and die by the “master calendar,” and according to ours here at Woodworker’s Journal, the August print issue is off the press and in the mail. You should be receiving your copy any day now. So, in between cutting the grass, angling for bass or getting those summer woodworking projects going, be sure to give your new magazine a close look. It’s chock-full of summer sizzlers you won’t want to miss:
Projects: Rob Johnstone was busy in the shop building a pair of handsome Shaker Tables which incidentally, are historic reproductions he faithfully recreated and then facelifted with some striking flame maple. Meanwhile, Frank Grant was also sharing Rob’s shop in order to complete an Arts & Crafts inspired screen door with removable stained glass panels. His wood choice: Lyptus, a sustainable hardwood that’s getting put to a lot of good use by woodworkers these days. Brad Becker, in cahoots with our publisher Larry Stoiaken, will share a new lawn game called Kubb in this issue. The game pieces are quick and easy to make from scrap wood and a table saw jig. Knock them out on a Friday evening, and you’ll be playing by Saturday afternoon.
Tools: My assignment for this issue was to give today’s benchtop mortisers a close look. I put seven models to a rigorous battery of mortising tests, with some surprising results — particularly from my “Best Bet” winner. It proved to be a solid performer AND the cheapest machine in the lineup (click here to see a video about mortising machine setup & use). Maybe you’re at the stage in your woodworking where it’s time to break down and invest in a jointer — a tool that, in my mind, no shop should be without. Frequent contributor A.J. Hamler will give you the low-down on why he agrees with me here and which model sizes you’ll need to consider before you buy. Speaking of “must haves,” a good CAD program sure takes the guesswork out of designing new projects…not to mention creating accurate material and cut lists. Our art director Jeff Jacobson has been playing with a free version of Google SketchUp for a few months now, and he’ll share his insights to help you get up and running with it more quickly. It looks very promising; if you follow other woodworking blogs, you already know SketchUp is getting lots of buzz from around our wider woodworking community.
Techniques: Rob’s Shaker Tables provided a good learning opportunity when turning the legs, and he’ll tell you about his ups and downs in the Woodturning Department. Meanwhile, Sandor Nagyszalanczy turns dovetails upside down with a jig he uses to cut them on the table saw. Learn how to make one and use it in this issue (click here to see a video of this jig in action). And, Ian Kirby has a simple and sometimes more precise solution to a tape measure…all you need are two sticks of scrap to make it work.
Other hot content: As always, August includes your usual favorites: Tricks, Q&A, Stumpers, What’s In Store, Shop Talk and our Skill Builder series. Quick reads between innings or when you’re taking a breather when weeding those rows of beans.
Enjoy your summer, your shop time and the new issue!
Catch you in the shop,
Chris Marshall, Field Editor