Trying out one of the Axminster Rider chisels on harder beech gives an indication of how keen the edge is
Trying out one of the Axminster Rider chisels on harder beech gives an indication of how keen the edge is

Welcome to our February issue, which includes the perfect mix woodworking mix: projects, tech, features and all the latest tests. Issue 315 kicks off with a great range of tests from our very own Andy King, who takes a look at the new range of Axminster Rider chisels, which aim to change the game for affordable quality tools; the Makita DHS680 Brushless circular saw, which is a compact and powerful contender; Ultimate & Coloured wood veneer packs from The Wood Veneer Hub, and an excellent waterproof mesh abrasive from Planet Plus, which is ideal for woodturners and anyone who likes to impart a highly polished finish on their small projects.

Les Thorne’s classic cake stand is a winner
Les Thorne’s classic cake stand is a winner

In terms of projects, as usual, we have something to suit all skill sets, and Charlie Gapay’s hanging guitar stand is approachable as well as incredibly useful - a perfect gift for the budding musician. We also have a great short project from Glenn Perry, who shows that offcuts do come in very handy as he makes a foot stool for his mother. And if you’re anything like us, then your workshop is filled with all manner of bits and bobs, all looking to find a home. Patrick Waters looks to solve this problem as he shows how to make a series of stackable boxes, which will ensure your woodworking paraphernalia stays neat and tidy and doesn’t get lost in the sawdust! Phil Davy also gets round to rejuvenating a venerable old plane that he bought for a tenner; Matthew White shows you how to turn your very own segmented wooden cryptex and Les Thorne presents a lovely design for a classic cake stand, with a little help from his niece, who is quite the baker!

Peter Bishop’s guide to learning about lathes covers all bases
Peter Bishop’s guide to learning about lathes covers all bases

In our ’Technical’ section, Peter Bishop moves on to looking at the subject of lathes, as well as offering advice on turning, how to get the best from your tools and invaluable techniques you can adopt in order to become a better turner. And in the last of his series, Peter Sefton and his students learn about the hand cutting of dovetails and use these new-found skills to make a small chestnut letter rack, before Dennis Keeling takes us through the steps for making a space-saving corner dressing table unit using CNC routing techniques.

A modern shrine construction, using traditional methods, at Minoo near Osaka
A modern shrine construction, using traditional methods, at Minoo near Osaka

In ‘People and Places’ we find this month’s cover star - Alun Heslop’s stunning sculptural bench, which is made using bleached oak and aims to evoke the feeling of shifting sands, before SkillBuild judge Tibby Singh gives us a glimpse behind the scenes in terms of what this important competition involves and how his passion for championing young and upcoming talent makes his job all the more worthwhile. In ‘Home Truths’, as the race continues, Edward Hopkins hands over the batten, and William Bruton and furniture designer John Kings set out in search of woodworking enlightenment in the land of the rising sun.

Ergonomic sanding gets smarter as Mirka upgrades its DEROS sander
Ergonomic sanding gets smarter as Mirka upgrades its DEROS sander

As well as all this we also bring you all the latest news from the world of woodworking; share your letters and emails as well as announcing the winner of this month’s ‘readers’ gallery’ Alcolin glue bundle; give you a few clues as to what you can expect from GW316, and finish with Michael Huntley’s latest ‘From the Archives’, where he looks at the variance in quality of acanthus carving on 18th- and 19th-century pieces of furniture.

All this and much more in GW315, which hits the shelves on 3 February.

Enjoy!

Tegan Foley, Editor