Rethinking the Simple 2×4

Outfeed TableOne of the luxuries of being a woodworking magazine editor is that I get my hands on “good” wood on a pretty regular basis. Clear, straight cherry and maple are often “on deck” for projects in our magazine. Recently, I built a couple of Arts & Crafts bookcases from some nice quartersawn white oak for our first “Small Shop Journal” project (February 2013 print issue). And, without spilling the beans prematurely, I just finished a project that I built from some extraordinary ribbon stripe mahogany for our June issue. It was too wide to fit my jointer … what a problem to have, right?!

Last fall, when I needed a few 2x4s for a home improvement project I was working on, I went to Lowe’s to pick them up. There, at the top of the pile, were a few of the clearest, straightest 2x4s I’ve ever seen. Some were even quartersawn — and for a woodworker that’s pretty mind-blowing when you consider how absolutely green, checked and awful so much of the construction lumber seems to be these days. It’s a wonder it even passes inspection on the way to market. Continue reading

Three-Wood Desk & Chair

This reader’s project skillfully combines three different species without sacrificing the pieces’ cohesive looks.

This is a desk and chair I recently made for my granddaughter that now has a place to do her homework. It’s made from leftover oak, maple, and walnut. The top is made from walnut plywood left from a dining table project and quarter-sawn oak edging remaining from a rocking chair project. The front chair legs are made from a piece of 100-year-old oak beam salvaged from a barn demolition. Does this make it a “green” project?

- Paul Douglass; Centennial CO

Do you have a project you’d like to share? Click here to send it in.

Matt Becker
Internet Production Coordinator

desk and chair

Airplane Bed

This reader’s project incorporates some clever “interactive” functionality and plenty of storage.

A family I work with has a son who is crazy about airplanes. The mother sent me a picture of an airplane bed, and I knew I could do better. Attached are the sketchup design, a few pictures of the work in progress and the finished bed with Paulito included. I was disappointed that they added the box springs, as I had designed it for a single bunk mattress only, but I was told when Paulito goes to bed, he feels he is really flying.

It is made from hard maple, padauk, and Peruvian walnut. There is a little maple plywood and veneer, but it is mostly solid lumber with no stain or paint. I made two propellers which are easily removed. One is maple and the other is padauk and walnut. The wings pull out and form a storyteller’s seat, and the propeller really turns. There is plenty of storage in the drawers on the base.

- Joe Byron

Do you have a project you’d like to share? Click here to send it in!

Matt Becker
Internet Production Coordinator

Paulitos Bed - SketchUp

paulitos airplane bed frame

Airplane Bed complete

Airplane  Bed in place

Woodworking Lessons, Learned Firsthand

First things first – I’m not a woodworker. Actually, I WASN’T a woodworker. Longtime followers of the blog know that while I certainly appreciate the beauty, precision and creativity of this craft, I haven’t been someone that uses wood to make things that look good, serve a purpose, or both.

That all changed a couple months ago. Long story short, I decided that after almost four years of working with some pretty amazing woodworkers, it was time to join the party.

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Tiger Maple & Purpleheart Kitchen Table

In addition to the beautiful inlay and the two wood species’ contrasting colors, the coordination between the modified tusk tenons and the extension slide handles are incredible details not to be missed.

This is a kitchen table I made out of tiger maple and purpleheart. The purpleheart table legs kept splitting on me down the center so I decided to hide the splitting with tiger maple inlays to match the table top. I also made two foot long extensions for the table that attach with pegs to sliding boards that are concealed under the ends of the table top. Each extension has two folding legs for storage. The tiger maple top was finished with tung oil followed one week later with multiple coats of General Finishes, High Performance Water-Based Top Coat. The purpleheart legs and apron were finished only with the top coat.

- Stewart Shapiro; Newark, DE

Do you have a project you’d like to share? Click here to send it in!

Matt Becker
Internet Production Coordinator

kitchen table 1

kitchen table 2

 

kitchen table 3

kitchen table 4

kitchen table 5

June 2011 Issue Preview

Red-wing blackbirds are back, the daffodils are up and my grass is just about ready to mow. Dare I say it, but spring has finally arrived. But warmer weather and longer days aren’t the only things you have to look forward to: our brand-new June 2011 print issue is nearly at your doorstep. It’s packed (as always!) with fresh content to keep you busy right on through to Memorial Day and beyond. For a quick preview of what’s in store, here’s a short video that covers the highlights. Hope you enjoy the new issue!

Catch you in the shop.

Chris Marshall, Field Editor

A Miter Saw Station for Many

Sometimes being Woodworker’s Journal’s “Field” Editor, I feel like I’m way, way out in some field. What I mean here is, I’m one step removed from the day-to-day feedback we receive in our home office from readers about what we publish. A lot of mail comes in, but generally I don’t get to see it. I work from home, which is several states away.

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Flummoxed Over Flooring Finishes

Calling all flooring guys out there! I’ve got a flooring conundrum to share with you. Care to offer some advice?

Here’s the deal: I’ve had a hardwood flooring project on my to-do list for a long time. It’s my shop floor, actually. A couple of years ago, I got a great deal on 900 square feet of hard maple “shorts.” Tongue and groove, beautiful stuff. My plan has been to lay it over the current flooring in my shop, which is plywood subfloor. Not that I mind plywood, but it gets banged up pretty easily and doesn’t look as nice as a hardwood floor. At $1 per square foot, it was a deal too good to pass up.

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Birdseye Maple Morris Chair

The unique grain pattern of this reader-submitted project puts a fresh look on a classic design.

As you can see by the photo it is a Morris style chair. I put a little spin to it like instead of the slats on the sides I used flat panels of Birdseye Maple.

- Jesus “Rocky” Rodriguez

Do you have a project you’d like to share?  Click here to send it in!

Matt Becker
Internet Production Coordinator

Morris Chair 1

Morris Chair 2

Morris Chair 3