Gifts from the Woodworker’s Journal Staff

Woodworker’s Journal staff members turn to a certain favorite hobby when the holidays come around. Now that we won’t be spoiling any surprises, here are some of our projects given as gifts this year.

Almost two years ago, our family was fortunate enough to take a trip to Africa, and we purchased an original watercolor painting from our guide to remember our time in the Masai Mara National Reserve. My wife has wanted it framed ever since, and now it is. Her Christmas gift is made of cherry back-banded with walnut. I used half-lap miter joints to bring the frame members together and added a beaded profile to the walnut to create shadow lines. She loves it. – Chris Marshall, Field Editor


frame corner

I built something recently for my wife. It isn’t technically a Christmas present, but it was a holiday-related gift to her and the theatrical company she works for: Shakespeare Santa Cruz. They were doing a holiday show called “A Year With Toad and Frog” a musical that’s for both children and adults. It’s a donation box on a stand made from Douglas fir. The box joints are all mortise and tenon, and the top mitered frame is joined together with Festool Dominoes. - Sandor Nagyszalanczy, Contributing Editor

Collection Box

This was my first holiday season as a woodworker, but once I got the idea to make one gift, it quickly spiraled out of control and before I knew it, I was even making gifts for people I hadn’t seen or spoken to in months. In addition to numerous turned pens and bottle openers, I completed not one but five butcher-block cutting boards (technically six if you count the one I cut in half). The cutting board pictured is the one I gave to my wife – the majority of the board is walnut and cherry, with the edges done in purpleheart and zebrawood. – Matt Becker, Internet Production Coordinator

Maple Burl Pen

bottle opener

cutting board

Fresh February Content Coming Soon!

Even though we’re just days away from Christmas, our staff has propelled “full speed ahead” into 2011 to bring you lots of fine content for the February print issue. It’s due to arrive in your mailbox very soon. But Matt Becker, our Internet Coordinator, says I can share some details about the articles you’ll be reading at your leisure shortly. And so I will…let’s get a jump on the new year straight away!

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Reader-Submitted Custom Frame

While this reader project submission came in before our recent “Five Good Reasons to Get Framed” blog post, it’s a great example of what Chris had in mind:

This is a frame I built for my brother-in-law after he moved out of state.  It was meant to help him remember his time here in the great state of Oregon.

I was very impressed by the figure of this oak. It has a simple style, with no mitering necessary… and by the way, the corner inset details are faux, not functional, just for the added interest to the piece they provided.

- Curt Hadley; Medford, OR

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

Matt Becker
Internet Production Coordinator

Picture Frame

Five Good Reasons to Get Framed

Now that our daughters are old enough to travel well, my family has spent several vacations in our national parks. (Our parks are extraordinary, by the way…well worth the road trip.) As mementos to those visits, we’ve been collecting a series of “woodcut” prints that don’t fit standard sized picture frames. Lately I’ve been building six matching frames to get our collection up on the wall. As you know, there’s a lot of repetitive work that goes on when you’re building a half dozen of anything, so I’ve had some shop time to think about the virtues of picture frames as projects. Continue reading

December Issue Sneak Peek


Bill Hylton surveys two full-featured router tables in Today's Shop.

There’s a December issue of Woodworker’s Journal headed to your mailbox soon, and this issue is dedicated to one of our all-time favorite tools: the router. Here’s the inside scoop on what you’ll find.

Whiz-bang Router Tables: Bill Hylton takes a close look at two of the industry’s “top-shelf” router tables in “Today’s Shop,” and he discusses how installing a router in a table can help you take new “routes” in your woodworking projects. If you’d rather build your own router table, Sandor Nagyszalanczy has designed a versatile horizontal router table, and we’ll provide the measured drawings and step-by-steps so you can build one for your shop.

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