Woodsmith Store

Manager: Dave Larson » Assistant Manager: Paul Schneider •Sales Person: Wendell Stone •Office Manager: Vicki Edwards

Woodsmith® (ISSN 0164-4114) is published bimonthly (Feb., Apr . June, Aue., Oct., Dec.) Dy Woodsmith Corp., 2200 Grand, Des Moines, IA 50312. Woodsmith® is a registered trademark of Woodsmith Corp. Copyright© 1994 Woodsmith Corporation. All rights reserved. Subscriptions: Single copy: $3.95. One year subscription (6 issues), $19.95.Two years (12issues),S35.95 (Canada/Foreign add $5 peryear, U.S.'funds.)

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EDITOR'S COLUMN

Sawdust

One of the most satisfying things I hear from readers is that they like the proportions and design of the projects in Woodsmith. They're projects that would fit comfortably in or around their homes.

All of our project designs start out on paper. But we've learned if we take the time to build a quick prototype, we can work out some of the design questions and details before building the actual project

The prototypes we build may be ful size, half size, or even quarter size. Sometimes we build a prototype out of cardboard or Styro-foam. Sometimes if s built from plywood, scrap, or dimension (construction) lumber such as 2x4's. What we're always looking for in a proto

type iswhafs difficult to see on paper: Ddhe right of the grid), all of the parts of the project "work' together to create a balanced look? Are the proportions right? And, in the case of a chair, is it comfortable to sit in?

GARDEN BENCHieGardenBenchthat's shown on the cover of this issue and on 6 is a good example of the benefits of ing a prototype

But when I sat in I noticed a few things that weren't obvious on paper. The armrests were a little high. And their shape didn't support my forearms very well. (In the photo you'll notice a few ofthe different armrest shapes we tried are lying in front of the prototype.) Also, take a look at the vertical back slats in the photo. The ones on the left of the center grid are positioned as or-ginally designed on paper. But when I saw the prototype, I thought there was a little too much space between them. And when I sat down and leaned back, a slat caught me right in the backbone.

The solution was simple: Turn the slats so the wide face was forward (as shown to bui

I built a prototype of the Bench using low-grade "two-by" dimension lumber, see the photo above. I didn't worry about cutting out the knots and cracks, or sanding offthose ugly lumber grading stamps.

Instead of cutting all the mortise and tenon joints that we planned on using in the finished bench, f screwed it together with drywall screws. (It was plenty strong enough to sit in.) And I didn't rout, sand, or finish any of the parts. (Remember, the purpose wasn't to build a finished bench. It wasjust a prototype.)

I spent $30 for the lumber and screws and had the prototype done in an afternoon. Was it worth it? You bet

Here's what we learned: First of all, to our eyes the overall size of the bench was just about right (That was a little surprising, since the size is one of the first things we often change after seeing a prototype.)

All in all, it was well worth the time and the effort.

WALL STORAGE SYSTEM. I've never been a big fan of pegboard. I think most of my problem is those darn little metal hooks. Whenever I've tried to take a tool off the hook, the hook comes with the tool and falls to the floor (usually in the pile of sawdust behind my bench).

The other problem I have is when I buy a bag of assorted metal pegboard hooks. Ofthe twenty-five hooks in the bag, there's usually only five or six that have the shapes I need. The rest of them get stuck in a drawer somewhere and never used.

That's why I'm so pleased with the Storage System on page 20. It uses pegboard, but it doesn't use those hooks. Instead we've developed a system that uses inexpensive Lrhooks from the hardware store.

I started by building a simple chisel rack. But then I realized that the same system could be used to make shelves and drawers to hold tools, hardware, sandpaper, and all kinds of stuff.

We're showing some specific uses we came up with for our shop, but if you have any others, let us know. We're always looking for new ideas.

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