Issue 798

Issue 798

Exotic, Me?

Rob Johnstone Photo

One of my favorite woods is wenge. It is an African wood harvested from several different African countries. It is a pain to work with — it’s brittle, very heavy and requires exacting glue joints, but it is so beautiful I tend to overlook all that. (It is a bit like how I describe my dog — it’s a good thing he has his looks because the rest of him is no bargain.)

One thing I find concerning is that it is hard to get good information about the sustainably of wenge when harvested. Sustainability is something I value. I also worry about the other exotic woods (species outside North America) I use.

Do you use exotic woods? Do you avoid them because you are worried about sustainability or perhaps for other reasons such as cost, appearance or something else? Once again, I am looking to the Weekly crowd for answers.

Rob Johnstone, Woodworker’s Journal

Drawknives and Spokeshaves

Bench Dog spokeshave
Various trades have used this hand tool combo for centuries to bring wood to round or oval shapes. Both tools can be equally useful today and are often faster than power tools.

Socket-Assisted Speed Clamping

Socket tightening a bar clamp

Save strain on your hands with this simple reader’s tip for adding a quick clamping socket and some extra surface area to your clamps.

Premium Project: Traditional Spoon Carving

Methods for shaping carved spoons
Make a useful and beautiful spoon with only a few traditional woodcrafting tools.

Premium Project: Veneer Paneled Blanket Chest

Veneered quartersawn white oak blanket chest

Quartersawn veneered panels and a secret drawer that employs the latest in undermount self-closing drawer technology are two of this handsome chest’s “wow” features.

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