Rodale Press Publication

Page 55 Dovetail Puzzle Box

Features

Edge Joints By Ian Kirby and John Kelsey

Making the Most of a Basic Woodworking Technique 28

Getting Smooth, Square Joints 31

Right-Angle Edge Joints 33

Breakfast Bar By Andy Rae

An Easy, All-Purpose Table for Two 34

Buyer's Guide to Premium Dovetail Jigs

Through Dovetails and More from Four Router-Based ligs 38

Wooden Hand Plane By Yeung Chan

Make Your Own from a Blade and a Block of Wood 44

No-Bend Windsor Chair By Robert Treanor

The Curves in this Low-Back Classic Are Sawn, Not Steamed

Dovetail Puzzle Box By Mason Rapaport

There Are No Locks to this Three-Key'd Box 3.5.

Mitered sticking By Lonnie Bird

A Time-Honored Technique for Stronger Frames Jifi

Lovespoons By Trish Walters

Traditional Carvings from the Heart ii2

Easy Entry Door By Sven Hanson and Chuck Ring

Build Your Own Front Door—With Biscuits M

On the cover: Woodworker and author Ian Kirby shows you how to make the most of a simple edge joint. See the article on page 28.

PttOIOHY MOSmctL

Winging It

We got a letter not long ago from a frustrarcd reader who criticized us for publishing furniture projects that called for cools and machinery he didn't own and couldn't afford to buy. "I don't have a machine-shop full of fancy» expensive tools," was the way he put it. I know how he feels.

I remember a time when my workshop consisted of a box full of hand tools and an old door thrown across a couplc of oil drums in the roach-infested basement of a New York City brownstone. Urban woodworkers develop a keen eye for scrounging, and I was always on the lookout for choice bits of wood that someone had put out with the trash. One day 1 hit the jackpot—a broken chest of drawers with curly maple drawer fronts. I loaded up all I could carry.

A friend was about to be married that week and, at the eleventh hour, I decided to make her a dovetailed candlcbox with a sliding lid. Those curly maple drawer fronts beckoned. The problem was that the '/2-in.-thick candlebox sides were buried somewhere in the middle of those V4-in.-thick drawer fronts and all I had was hand tools. I had to get that box built fast so I grabbed a marking gauge and a hand plane and went to work. I got a few blisters and it took mc a while, but I shaved that hard maple down to the thickness I wanted. As I grunted and pushed I kept thinking, "Back before power tools everybody worked this way." Good for the musclc-s; good for the soul.

Then there was the time I was visiting my brother, who lives outside Ix>ndon. I offered to repair his rickety antique kitchen table that wiggled and wobbled whenever you looked at it. I found out too late that my brother is one of those guys whose tool collection consists of a hammer, a drill and some rusty old screwdrivers. I saw no sense in buying tools he'd never use again (and I didn't want to carry home on the plane) so I dccidcd to wing it.

1 borrowed an old smoothing plane, sharpened it on a piece of fine sandpaper and managed to disassemble the table, clean up the joints and put it back together, ready for glue. Big problem: No bar clamps to glue up the top. I made a loop out of rope, stuck in a stick and twisted it tight like a tourniquet to pull the boards together. The table was fixed.

The point I'm trying to make is this. Nobody has every tool and machine we talk about in AW. Our articles are written by woodworkers who report on the methods they use to get a given result. That doesn't mean their way is the only way. If you don't have a tool that's mentioned in an article, you can nearly always find an alternative if you stop and think about it. No bandsaw? Try a bow saw. No jointer? Try a plane. Call it "winging it," improvisation, or good ol' Yankee ingenuity—it's a trait we woodworkers need to cultivate. It's good mental exercise, and it sure beats giving up.

David Sloan Editor & publisher

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