News & Views: Issue 99

Bascom’s legacy continues

We are saddened by the loss of Mansfield “Bob” Bascom, who died on October 26, 2020, at the age of 96. Bascom was Wharton Esherick’s son-in-law and biographer. He was also the co-founder, along with his wife, Ruth Esherick Bascom, of the Wharton Esherick Museum in Paoli, PA, and was instrumental in preserving Esherick’s artistic legacy. His legacy, and that of Esherick, will live on in the museum, which recently announced a $10 million endowment gift from the Windgate Foundation. Bascom learned of the gift a few weeks before his passing. For more information, visit

A puzzling dimension

The Broken Tee puzzle drawing on page 44 (Two for Tee, Dec/Jan 2021) has an error. On the largest piece, the dimension labeled as 1-5/16" should be 1-1/16". That’s the only way to get all the angles to be 45°.
—Steve Corwin, via email

Senior editor Ken Burton replies:
Good catch, Steve. Thanks to you and several other astute readers who pointed this out. Here is the drawing with the corrected dimension.

Writers for fighters

Woodcraft’s 17th annual “Turn for Troops National Turn-a-Thon” brought in more than 13,000 pens to be distributed to U.S. military personnel deployed overseas. This year’s haul means that more than 200,000 pens have been donated to troops throughout the program’s history. Visit for more information about donating pens.

Wooden trunk?

The Kissmas Tree (Dec/Jan 21, page 28) is a neat little project, but I’d like to carve or turn my own finial as the article suggests. Could I swap a dowel for the threaded rod and simply glue the base and finial to it?
—Laurence Wyatt, via email

Associate editor Derek Richmond replies:
A dowel could work, but the rod allows the pieces to be tightened together for stability when standing and for security when packed flat. The rod also allows for seasonal changes in wood. No matter how much you compress the all-wood pieces when you glue on your ends, shrinking wood in the dry winter air will likely leave the branches rattling by the holidays. If you build it in a dry environment, a swing in humidity will cause the wood to swell, possibly popping the glue joints. A better solution is to install a tee-nut into the bottom of your handmade finial, allowing it to screw on like the spike nut finial used in the story. 

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