Mira Nakashima is a mother, wife, architect, furniture maker, author, and daughter of renowned woodworker and author George Nakashima. She’s also a longtime friend and woodworking compatriot, thanks to my having worked in her dad’s finishing shop many years ago. When George died, Mira took over the business—knowing full well how challenging it would be to walk in the footsteps of her famous father. Remarkably, Mira has the same passion and reverence for wood—and fine woodworking—as her dad. I caught up with Mira recently to talk about family, wood, woodworking, and what the business has been like since her father’s passing almost 30 years ago. —Andy Rae
Most work stands are designed to provide simple but solid infeed or outfeed support, or to help heavy stock slide past a blade or cutter. You can accomplish a lot with most one-trick ponies, but sooner or later, you’ll encounter a job where you wish you had the stability of a fixed top, or rollers to help maneuver long boards or heavy sheet goods. Where some woodworkers might resort to buying or building another support, PM-5093 owners have 3 options, for only about $10 more than single-headed competitors.
A strong mortise-and-tenon joint requires cheeks that are flat, smooth, and parallel. Good tenons can be cut in many different ways, but it’s hard to beat the results you get with a well-made table saw tenoning jig. With its sliding base and micro-adjustable stop, cutting perfect cheeks with the WoodRiver jig is smooth and simple.
For the lucky few finally enjoying their “dream workshops,” big projects aren’t a big deal. However, for those still struggling to carve out a little shop space from a garage or basement, big projects offered by many magazines may be little more than wistful page-turners. This project is designed for the “little guy.”
When it comes to timeless, functional furniture, it’s hard to beat a desk. These days, we all need a place to park a laptop computer, tablet, or other personal electronic device, along with their attendant cords, chargers, etc. Here’s a great wall-mounted unit designed by Andy Rae and myself that can conveniently hang on a wall in any room, for either sitting or standing work. (See page 72 for more on its inception.) The door drops down to create a generous, very sturdy desktop surface, with wire management in the form of a PVC pipe at each end of the unit. When not in use, a laptop, tablet, and/or file folders can be stored in a bar-corralled pocket that is flanked by a cubby on each end to accommodate all manner of accoutrements. Four drawers provide more storage below, with the small outer drawers offering a great place to tuck charger wires and the like.
A few months ago, I took on a project that called for built-in cabinetry and custom trim details as part of a major home renovation. Early on, it became clear that my partner and I needed a better way to keep our sanding supplies organized—so we could spend time getting our work finished instead of rooting around in a drawer stuffed with sheets, discs, and sanding blocks.