In one very significant way, little difference exists between the furniture that Louis Lovas makes and his shop in Hollis, New Hampshire. His philosophy is “Never design as you go,” a lesson he learned after 25 years as a program designer in the computer industry. “My professional work requires a tremendous amount of planning and forethought,” Louis says. “I find both processes rewarding. In fact, they serve me well in all I do, woodworking included.”
Box projects are perennial favorites with woodworkers. They’re a fun way to hone your skills, and there’s always a need for additional storage. While extra storage is appreciated, the treasures within are usually unseen. This good-looking tabletop showcase is different. Sporting a glass top and four interchangeable drawers, this case serves as a mini-museum. It offers up an ever-changing display that makes collections easy to see while keeping them secure.
General International has devised an affordable solution for my square-mindedness: a duplicator specifically designed for use with any mini lathe with cast bedways. Once installed, woodworkers can easily and consistently shape legs, pulls, posts, and spindles (up to 17⅞" long and 7" in diameter) from either an existing turning or pattern.
During the past two centuries the country has witnessed porches come and go, and return again, for reasons of nostalgia and the pure love of sitting outdoors. And while benches, rockers, and wicker chairs help you relax in the open air, nothing offers more comfort than a porch swing. Indeed, it’s as American as apple pie.
Freud’s newest rail-and-stile bit sets not only cut standard cope-and-stick profiles, but also create full-length (or less) tenons. The key is the two-part rail bit. After cutting the ends of the rails, you remove the top section of the bit and continue using the cutter to increase the length of the tenon. But is it as simple as it sounds? I requested a set to find out.
Having worked in the fastener industry a dozen years, it’s hard not to get upset when someone says there’s nothing new in screws. On the one hand, they’ve got a point: the basic design remains unchanged. A 15th century craftsman wouldn’t have any problems driving a 21st century screw. On the other hand, the science and technology behind this seemingly simple fastener could fill libraries.
In early America, beech forests blanketed much of what is now Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and central Michigan. But because the beech tree (Fagus grandifolia) favors rich soil, it fell to the pioneer’s ax, beginning the land’s transformation from forest to farm. The beech rates as unusual among North American tree species in that there’s only one, unlike red oak with nearly a dozen kin. There are, however, nine more of the species around the world. For instance, European beech (Fagus sylvatica) ranks among the favored woods in France, Germany, and Great Britain. In China and Japan, Fagus crenata sees extensive use.
Before starting any project, you first have to prepare your stock. You know the drill: flatten a face, plane to thickness, joint an edge, rip to width, joint the sawn edge, and, finally, cut to length. Since the first face and edge serve as reference for every other step, getting them right matters.