Classic Furniture




Number 24

Editor Donald B. Peschke

Design Director Ted Krallcek

Art Director Jon Snyder

Assistant Editor Steve Krohmer

Graphic Designers David Kreyling Marcia Simmons

Subscription Manager Sandy J. Baum

Subscription Assistants Christel Miner Vicky Robinson

Kim Melton Jackie Stroud Pam Dickey

Computer Operations Ken Miner

Administrative Assistant Cheryl Scott

WOODSMITH (ISSN 0164-4114) is published bimonthly (January, March, May, July, September, November) by Woodsmith Publishing Co., 2200 Grand Ave., Des Moines, Iowa 50312. WOODSMITH is a registered trademark of the Woodsmith Publishing Co. 5 Copyright 1982 by Woodsmith Publishing Co. All Rights Reserved.

Subscriptions: One year (6 issues) $10, Two years (12 issues) $18. Single copy price, $2.50 (Canada and Foreign: add $2 per year.) Change Of Address: Please be sure to include both your old and new address. Postmaster: Send change of address notice, Form 3579, to Woodsmith Publishing Co., 2200 Grand Ave., Des Moines, Iowa 50312.

Sawdust perfection. I want to lead off this issue with a letter I received from one of our subscribers. He wrote:

"I subscribe to all the leading periodicals for woodworkers, which I read word for word, cover to cover to increase my knowledge of the craft. However, they all seem to be lacking in one respect . . . Doesn't anyone make mistakes!? I surely do. Despite meticulous care in measuring and laying out, a tool will slip or a router will burn. I conclude from my reading that this either doesn't happen to anyone else or they "junk" expensive wood and start over."

I wish I could say that every project shown in Woodsmith is perfect. But that's far from the truth. There are mistakes in every one. (Fortunately, they don't always show up in the photographs, so it looks like we're much better than we are.)

1 don't mean to sound too philosophical, but mistakes are part of life. The goal is simply to keep them to a minimum. In order to achieve that goal, it helps to think things through — anticipate where a problem might occur, and make adjustments before you get to it.

Okay, that's a nice philosophy, but it doesn't really answer the question.

My personal approach to this nagging problem of mistakes is two-fold. The first and most important thing is "frame of mind." Woodworking is (and should be) fun. It should be a comfortable sequence of events carried out with patience and thoughtfulness.

How do you get in that state of mind? I pretend I'm one of those guys you see in Fine Woodworking magazine. Really. Even when I don't know what I'm doing, I simply pretend that I've done it a hundred times before. This helps build a little confidence so I can proceed without the extra weight of "fear of failure."

The second pari of my approach involves the use of the most valuable "tool" in any shop — scrap wood. Before making any joint, I make a trial cut on a piece of scrap wood. I don't mean make a practice cut. "Practice" always seems to imply that it doesn't count. Instead, I make as many trial cuts as it takes until I've got one that's right on the money, and I feel good about it.

I guess what I'm getting at here is that trial cuts are essential for every project shown in this issue.

about this issue. The molded mortise and tenon joint shown on page 12 takes a lot of patience—even if you're only cutting one of these joints. But in the case of the chair-side cabinet (page 14) the two door frames require a total of 20 of these joints.

The amount of care and patience needed to build these doors can lead to enormous frustration, or a well-deserved pat on the back. I think it's worth a shot.

The same thing is true of the Mantel Clock (page 8) and the Mirror (page 24). Both of these projects use the same molded mortise and tenon joint for frames. Both of them also require some molding cuts that must be aligned just right. Again, this is a matter of using scrap wood to make trial cuts to get the results you want.

stones. The interview with Fred Dam-sen of Woodline (page 4) should clear up some of the mystery concerning Japanese water stones. Once again, the Japanese have given a lot of thought to the task at hand, and have come up with an excellent solution.

Although these stones do the job they're supposed to do (and do it extremely well), that's not why we like them. Our enthusiasm for water stones is due to one simple fact: They're a joy to work with.

You can feel them cut, but you can also "see" them cut. As soon as you push a chisel or plane iron across one of these stones, a visual image of sharpness is transmitted right up your arm. It's quite an experience.

paper. The paper used to print this issue of Woodsmith is different than before. For all past issues we used a paper stock from the Beckett Paper Co. (Beckett is a small, specialty paper mill that produces high-quality paper in relatively small quantities.)

With our increased circulation, we were pushing the capacities of Beckett to produce enough of the one particular stock we use. So we recently switched to Beckett's parent company Hammermill.

Hammermill agreed to produce an identical sheet, in large quantities. It looks and feels the same . . . only the name has been changed. The official name is Woodsmith Buff Opaque Offset Vellum. I hope my ego isn't showing, but I thought it was kind of nice that the name of the paper we use bears the name of Woodsmith.

new faces. This column wouldn't be complete if I didn't mention that wre've added a new face to the gang at Wood-smith. Pam Dickey has signed on to help with the mail-opening and entering subscriptions in our computer.

next mailing. The next issue of Wood-smith (Jan./Feb. 1983) will mark the beginning of our fifth year of publishing. Wood-smith No. 25 should be in the mail on February 1st.

Until then, Merry Christmas to all.

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