A Quick Look at the New April Issue

Punxsutawney Phil might be taunting us with the promise of an early spring, but winter here in Ohio (where I live) still holds us in an icy grip. Still, like the postal carriers vow, neither snow nor sleet will keep us here at the magazine from bringing you new projects, tools and techniques in your April issue. And, in just a few days, those diligent mail carriers will be bringing a copy to you. But, why wait? Here’s a quick rundown of what’s coming your way.

Projects: Even if you don’t own a lathe, there’s no reason why you can’t make an attractive laminated bowl anyway. All you need is a scroll saw. Our guest author Carole Rothman has written a book on the subject, and she’ll walk you through the process of making one in the new issue. Greg Wood, who build the walnut bookcase that appeared on the cover of our February issue, is working his magic on walnut again — this time he’s building a stunning Tall Kitchen Chair. Or, maybe you’re in the mood to build something downright clever. Sandor Nagyszalanczy might have just the trickery you’re looking for: he’s designed a Tambour-topped Box with a lid that glides open automatically when you pull a drawer. It’ll make a handsome valet or desk organizer.

Tools: Are you in the market for a new saw blade? Before you head to the home center and buy something that’s been on the shelf for a spell, check out A.J. Hamler’s overview of the industry’s latest blade developments. Manufacturers have been busy refining those all-important grinds and tooth styles, so it’s worth the wait. For this issue’s “Today’s Shop” contribution, I went searching through the catalogs and rounded up anything and everything digital. Boy, did I find some goodies! These days, you can add digital precision to your rip fence, dial in tilts or set angles within hundredths of a degree, check the moisture content of all your stock, plus much more. Bottom line: I think our tool setups and other shop tasks can really benefit from a little microchipping in the right places.

Buying and Designing Smart: Do you buy wood from local sources? If not, there are some real advantages to doing so. Author Jeff Day will take you on a “behind-the-scenes” trip to two family-run lumberyards in his area of Pennsylvania as a way of explaining the benefits of buying direct from the source. It’s a great read. And, Ian Kirby will bring you the second part of an ongoing series on project design. This time, he focuses on the relationship of form and space. Our master woodworker goes so far as to propose that the space around your project may hold just as much interest as the project’s form itself. There’s food for thought!

Techniques: Last issue, Sandor showed you how to clean and maintain your table saw. Part two of his Skill Builder series will focus on tuning up the band saw this time around. We’ll provide both his print version of this article, plus a more extensive analysis with a video segment as a “More on the Web” exclusive. Be sure to check out both! When you’re done dialing in your trusty band saw, you can turn your attention to those dull gouges and skew chisels. In our Woodturning department, Rob Johnstone provides an overview of three power sharpening strategies to bring them back to proper edge.

All Your Regular Favorites: Never fear — we’ve got a new “Stumper’s” tool, a fresh batch of reader tricks as well as some new tools and accessories in “What’s in Store.” See what’s cooking in fellow woodworkers’ shops in “Shop Talk,” and be sure to read Michael Dresdner’s helpful “Finishing Thoughts” article. He’ll help you determine whether to keep or pitch those half-full containers of finish. What’s the life expectancy of shellac or varnish, you might wonder? Michael has the answers.

Good luck digging out of these lingering days of winter. We’ve got some hot content to help warm you up when you’re back inside again.

Catch you in the shop,

Chris Marshall,  Field Editor

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