Back in the spring of 2005, Jonathan Benson, a master furniture designer, builder, and author, took us step-by-step through some of his favorite methods for veneering. Jonathan has just finished writing a book called “Veneering: A Comprehensive Guide.” (You can see examples of his work at his website.) He builds beautiful furniture.
His “Constructivist Hall Table” combines striking walnut veneer with a granite top. Its kinetic design makes you feel it could get up and walk away at any minute. The “Pyramid Pedestal” mixes bubinga veneer and Cocobolo on the base, vintage African satinwood arms, a granite top and gold plated capstone with a halogen light under the top for illumination. You can find some more examples of Jonathan’s work at our Gallery.
When I have a lot of cabinets doors to build I like to use a 3-piece rail and stile bit set that also includes a horizontal raised panel bit for routing a profile on solid-wood panels. These sets are great for making frame and raised panel doors for a couple of reasons. First, there’s not much to setting them up and getting good-looking results.
They’re also great time-savers. Once the bits are set up, you can make a lot of doors in a short amount of time. But best of all are the results. The bits add a decorative profile on one edge and they cut a rock-solid joint, all at the same time. During this week’s Woodsmith Woodworking seminar, I will be building a door from solid oak. You’ll be surprised at the great results I get with this 3-piece doormaking router bit set.
One of the secrets to a successful project is to start with the surfaces of each board being flat, straight, and square to each other. It doesn’t matter how you do it as long as your goal is consistent with the previous statement. Some folks can accomplish it in 5 or 6 steps, but Bryan Nelson likes to do it in seven easy steps.
First he flattens one face. Then he surfaces the opposite face so they’re parallel to each other. Next, he’s back to the jointer to square one edge. The table saw is used to complete the next step — ripping the workpiece so it’s 1/16" or so oversize. Now, take the piece back to the jointer to joint the remaining edge. Finally, he crosscuts one end square, then makes a second crosscut to get the piece to final length. Phew! It sounds like a lot of work, but it’s worth it.
At this week’s Woodsmith Woodworking Seminar, you can watch as Bryan talks about the different kinds of lumber you can buy. He’ll also give you some pointers on tuning up your machinery for the tasks that lay ahead. When he’s done, he’ll have perfect pieces that are flat, straight, and square.
Craig Ruegsegger’s great seminar on "…Making Perfect Panels" is available now on WoodworkingOnline.com.
Or you can also subscribe to the Woodsmith Woodworking Seminar Podcasts using iTunes.
How do you get a straight, rigid piece of wood to bend in a smooth, flowing curve? One way is with a technique called bent lamination. Another way to create curves is to steam the wood first and then bend it. Both have their advantages and even some disadvantages.
Our choice for Woodsmith projects is to use bent laminations. This involves ripping several thin, flexible strips and applying glue to each one. Then, the strips are stacked in layers and bent around a jig or form and clamped in place.The result is a perfectly formed workpiece that, after a little clean-up and sanding, works great.
During this week’s Woodsmith Woodworking Seminar, Chris Fitch will show us how to do this for a couple of projects that were recently featured in the magazine. Then he’ll get out the tea pot and his steam box and show us how to steam bend another simple project.
This seminar has been rescheduled from March 1st. The new date is Tuesday, March 27th at 6:30 pm. All tickets purchased for this seminar will be honored for the rescheduled seminar.
During this week’s Woodsmith Woodworking Seminar podcast — Router Inlays: Adding Decorative Details — Dennis Perkins, an assistant editor for Woodsmith and ShopNotes magazines, will show us how to use a router inlay kit. During the seminar, he uses a router fitted with a simple kit that includes a bushing, a removable sleeve, and a down-cut spiral bit (click thumbnail at left). He also used his own home-made template. With the kit, he can rout out both the inlay and the matching recess using only one template.
Another way to add inlay to a project is to use color-tinted epoxy. During the seminar, Dennis demonstrates an easy way to do it. Woodsmith magazine also used the process to add a decorative detail to an end table project that was featured in the magazine.
During the seminars, the presenters often mention a seminar guide or handout. The guide is now available for download in .pdf form from PlansNow.com. If you’d like to follow along during this week’s seminar, you can purchase the guide for only $4.95. The 12-page guide includes a two-page article from Woodsmith No. 166: “Using a Router Inlay Kit.” There’s also the six-page project plan: “Curved-Leg End Table.” It’s a Designer Series article from Woodsmith No. 168 (mentioned above). In addition to the project plan, there’s also a two-page technique article: “Adding An Epoxy Inlay,” and a one-page article on how to build a router trammel: “Router Trammel Jig.”
Remember you can also subscribe to the Woodsmith Seminar Video Podcasts using iTunes.
Router Inlays: Adding Decorative Details
The Veneering seminar scheduled for this evening has been canceled due to weather.
We are tentatively rescheduling the seminar for Tuesday, March 27th at 6:30pm. All tickets purchased for this seminar will be honored for the rescheduled seminar.
Joel Hess, Associate Editor; Woodsmith, ShopNotes, & Workbench Magazines