Issue 840

Issue 840

Be Thoughtful About Contrast

Chris Marshall photo

One of the many wonders of wood is how different species visually contrast each other. It’s fun to play around with the effects of contrast, and, to some extent, we should. We like to combine light and dark, figured with plainsawn or mix many color combinations. I think it brings joy and whimsy to some designs. But recently, I ran across a thoughtful quote by James Krenov in his book, The Impractical Cabinetmaker, that serves as a good reminder when we’re tempted to get flashy with wood grain or color.

“Try to resist the temptation of making the parts with your rare wood more important than the rest of the piece. Avoid letting it jump out and wave, ‘Look! A curiosity,’ leaving us with only this to remember about the work you have done.”

Subtlety can be beautiful, and Krenov elevated it to an art form in his cabinetry. Proportion, pleasing shapes, effective use of negative space and a host of other factors all influence good design. Wood grain and color certainly play their part, but oftentimes it’s harmony that makes a piece of furniture truly stunning.

Chris Marshall, Woodworker’s Journal

Making Tenon Stock

Door frame joined by loose tenon
Once you’ve cut your mortises, you need to join them together. While there are many pre-cut tenon options, A.J. Hamler explains options for making your own.

Crossing the Finish Line

Rick Weil turning a bowl blank
What’s the hurry? Rick Weil advises that you always focus on quality rather than speed.

Tabletop Fire Pit

Small mahogany fire pit
Our weekend project will light your way to outdoor enjoyment. Brighten your backyard or patio with this fun-to-build project.

Mission Picnic Table Plan

Picnic table with two benches
With a slight twist on the usual flavor of picnic table design, you can dine al fresco in style.

Click here for Free Plans!