Popular Woodworking – August 2019
English | 70 pages | True PDF | 54.2 MB

By Andrew Zoellner
I often question whether or not I’m getting better at woodworking. I can saw a straight line with a hand saw, take paper-thin shavings with a plane, use power tools safely and even turn four very similar-looking table legs on the lathe. But those are things I learned to do very early on. There was a lot of growth in my woodworking abilities in that fi rst
year, but since then, progress feels like it’s slowed. Each piece of furniture I make seems to take more time than the last.
I’m generally happier with the things I make today than even a few years ago. That’s due, in part, to woodworking being the way I relax and de-stress. For me, nothing beats a few hours of uninterrupted shop time with some good music, a pile of wood and a little bit of a vision. I also think that my happiness stems from patience, which is something woodworking has taught me. Sometimes, things just don’t work. Maybe milling stock reveals twists and stresses in the lumber, so I need diff erent material. (No big deal, I can make a lumber yard run in the morning.) Maybe a check starts to develop at the end of a panel. (Should I trim it shorter? Or stabilize it with a bowtie and it becomes a feature?) When woodworking is your hobby, and you’re not under the pressure of a deadline, patience and being open to change becomes the best course of action. Those are two sentiments we can all benefi t from.
In our cover story (page 22), Mike Cliff ord shows you how to use glass fi ber-reinforced concrete (GFRC) in furniture designs. It’s a versatile material that looks great next to wood, and working with it uses a lot of the same skills you likely already have. But, as the author explains, a healthy dose of patience (when waiting for parts to cure) is a very helpful thing. The same goes for Will Myers at Popular Woodworking magazine (page 32). His beautiful reproductions and no-nonsense approach to hand-tool woodworking are inspiring. When he caught a glimpse of a candle stand—an antique form he’s quite familiar with—with a base he’d never seen before, he knew he had to build one. He wasn’t looking for another candle stand to build, but he was inspired to do so.
There’s defi nitely a healthy dose of patience built into the process of making Willie Sandry’s take on a Limbert chair (page 42). Angles, curves, lots of pieces and tricky joinery mean there’s plenty of room for things to go awry. But if you follow his guidance and complete all the steps, you’ll have a beautiful, comfortable seat to plan your next project from.
As I ponder what to do with this log sitting in my back yard (Chair parts? Turning blanks? Viking chest?), I know that patience is going to be key to my success. I have no idea what will be inside as I split the log or how it’ll dry. But, as a wise sawyer once told me, “It’s taken hundreds of years for this tree to grow. We can take a few minutes to make sure we do things right.”