Jonathan Hicks’ Sudoku inspired coffee table
Jonathan Hicks’ Sudoku inspired coffee table

While February can be a bit of a dreary month, we are hoping to spice up every woodworker’s life with our next issue - GW328 - which contains a whole host of varied content. Our cover star this month is Britain’s ‘most deserving young woodworker’, Katherine McConnell, who was awarded this accolade by David Savage back in 2016. We catch up with her nearly two years on to learn about how this experience has shaped her career as well as discovering what advice she would give to other young furniture makers. Also, don’t miss out on our exclusive test of the new Mafell MT55 18M BL cordless plunge saw, which receives a glowing review from Jamie Smith of Atelier Cabinet Makers.

Projects-wise, you’re in for a treat, as we bring you Jonathan Hicks’ clever coffee table design, inspired by his love of Sudoku puzzles, which relies on the same mathematical principles, and faced with an untidy understairs area plagued by shoes, coats and all manner of cleaning equipment, Dave Long decides to take matters into his own hands as he designs and builds a bespoke storage solution to hide and house the offending items. David Manger has the perfect project that can be made in readiness for spring - an eye-catching mason bee hotel - before George Carlson encourages you to make some noise, as he shares the build of a wonderful Aztec drum - a simple box construction with a few added elements. Phil Davy’s sturdy side gate design is made using softwood and features heavy hardware, and in turning, Les Thorne’s lamp base, which is turned in ash then sprayed using various coloured spirit stains, is sure to brighten up any room.

Seen from overhead, here, John Bullar is cross-cutting a board on the table saw’s sliding carriage, using a push-stick in his right hand
Seen from overhead, here, John Bullar is cross-cutting a board on the table saw’s sliding carriage, using a push-stick in his right hand

In techniques, we bring you the next in our ‘How-to’ guides series as we take a look at routing fire doors for an intumescent strip using Trend’s specialist range of router cutters, followed by the penultimate article in Dave Roberts’ series as he contemplates the winter blues, as he adds a splash of natural colour followed by a pinch of frittery and indulgence. Next in Peter Bishop’s series, he discusses the properties of wood - something that needs to be taken into consideration when working with this wonderful material; and as John Bullar shows, a good table saw is a great help to the busy furniture maker and safe when used correctly. Here he looks at the types available and basic layouts, and finally, in a one-off special, the tech team at Baileigh Industrial offer their expert advice on bandsaw blade failure.

Simon Morris’ faceted burr elm cabinet
Simon Morris’ faceted burr elm cabinet

Kicking off our ‘People & Places’ section is Barrie Scott’s special feature, which sees him visiting the Brikama Craft Village in West Africa as he finds out more about how Djembe drums are traditionally made; in ‘Centrefold’ Simon Morris of Lufu Furniture’s stunning Scottish burr elm cabinet holds a secret; and in ‘End-grain’, Edward Hopkins ponders fixing a hole.

Phil Davy trying out the new Trend Stealth half mask - perfect for woodworking fans of Star Wars!
Phil Davy trying out the new Trend Stealth half mask - perfect for woodworking fans of Star Wars!

As well as our test on the new Mafell cordless plunge saw, we also get to grips with the Antex Fire Writer pyrography kit - a professional unit that is solid, powerful, convincing and efficient in use. Phil Davy also shows us a neat gadget from Wixey, which saves you time and frustration when drilling - perfect for the frequent drill press user, before putting the Trend Stealth half mask through its paces. He says it’s an excellent mask that’s far more efficient than disposable types and doesn’t cost a fortune. And you even get a resealable plastic bag to hide the Stealth away…

As well as all this, we also have a fantastic competition from IRWIN Tools, which give you the chance to win 1 of 10 WeldTec CSB 165mm/24T cordless circular saw blades, and where would you be without all your favourite pages? Expect to see news and courses, next month, letters & makers, plus much more!

Enjoy!
Tegan Foley, Editor

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