What’s New in the August Issue

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

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  • David Grindel

    Cubb looks very interesting. My first take was do I want the kids throwing 2″ oak sticks but then I thought it’s better than the iron horse shoes !

    I could not get the king crown to work with the measurements given. Raising the blade 1.5 ” then setting the angle to 22.5 deg did not give me an intersecting cuts in the center of the 3″ cube. I found if I raise the blade to 1 5/8″(1.625″) then 22.5 deg angle it works.
    The math works out too ! I assume you want all the cuts intersecting in the center of the 3″ cube ( or 1.5″) therefore hyp = 1.5 / (cos 22.5 ) …. or
    hyp = 1.5 /(cos 22.5) = 1.623 inches. This rounds nicely to 1 5/8″. Of course this
    will only work if your starting block is a 3″ cube !!

    Where: hyp is the height of the blade before the tilt which become the hypotenuse of the triangle when the blade is tilted to the 22.5 deg angle.

  • Rob Johnstone

    So that is what all the “hyp” is about!
    David, thanks for the update. We have a term that we use around here “editor math” … editor math is found more in the realm of “fuzzy numbers” that were so popular just a few years ago.
    So, while I can very accurately write you a story about woodworking, numbers & calculations — not so much!
    Thanks again …
    Rob Johnstone, Editor in Chief, Woodworker’s Journal

  • Russell Bookout

    I still can’t understand how a mortised with 50% less torque than all others (half ghat of the Powermatic) and cheap construction could be consideredbest buy”!

    • Chris Marshall

      Regardless of torque output, or how you determine that measure, the Shop Fox mortiser was not underpowered for my mortising test with an average sized (3/8″) chisel in a range of test woods. The final measure, in my opinion, is how well the machine works for cutting mortises, and it did a fine job. I mention in the article that the Shop Fox didn’t have the same degree of detailed fit and finish as other machines, but I think that’s a fair tradeoff here for its value pricing. I would expect a mortiser that sells for twice the price to have a higher degree of fit and finish quality, and that is definitely the case with the Powermatic. In the end, “value” depends on what each of us determines to be most important. Here, I think a tool that for most woodworkers won’t get the same daily workout as say, a table saw, is especially appealing if you can buy it for a budget price and still cut all the average mortises our projects require. To that end, the Shop Fox met my expectations, which is why it won our “Best Bet” award.