Welcome to our first issue of 2020 and have we got some great projects, technical articles, features and brand-new kit in store for you! What a great way to kick off the New Year!

Robert Couldwell’s dressing table design in oak
Robert Couldwell’s dressing table design in oak

In our January projects section we start with Robert Couldwell’s dressing table commission in oak, which he designed to suit a small and narrow space; next, finding an old Arts and Crafts nursing chair in his workshop, Niall Yates decides that it was certainly worth rescuing and placing back into circulation; Rick Wheaton’s simple knife bar uses powerful rare-earth magnets to ensure your kitchen gadgets are kept exactly where you want them; Phil Davy shows how making your own skirting from hardwood is not so much dearer than buying ready-made softwood; learn how to carve your own wooden spoon using Dremel’s handy step-by-step guide; in turning, Les Thorne makes a stunning square box in spalted beech with contrasting legs in African blackwood, before Dave Roberts takes tea in fine style with his faux bamboo cake stand.

Join Robin Gates in his latest technical article

Join Robin Gates in his latest technical article

In our technical section, working with what turns up unexpectedly, Robin Gates makes natural hones from rocks, experiments with ivy wood and sloe, then shapes a side bead scratch tool from a rusty saw found on the riverbank; in part 12 of his ‘Woodworker’s encyclopaedia’, Peter Bishop discusses cutting quality, mouldings, framing and jointing, among a load of other interesting topics; and in ‘Home truths’ Edward Hopkins meets talented woodworker and Buddhist monk Ariyo Bhikkhu as well as visiting the Hartridge monastery in East Devon.

David Plagerson in his Devon workshop with a box of handmade wooden animals
David Plagerson in his Devon workshop with a box of handmade wooden animals

Moving on to features, Organiser of the Alan Peters Furniture Award 2020, Jeremy Broun, gives his advice on photographing submitted pieces and ensuring you’re selling your work to the very best of your ability; next, in ‘Archive’ a screen of wood shavings from The Woodworker of July 1967 has Robin Gates pondering the relationship between form and technique; Gareth Jones recounts life as a jobbing joiner in the 1970s and his encounter with a gang of crooks; in ‘Me and my workshop’ we meet 75-year-old woodworker David Plagerson, the ‘compulsive maker’ of 100s of variations of wooden Noah’s Arks and animals; Paul Greer explores the importance of teaching woodwork in secondary schools; in ‘Modern woodworking’, as he takes over the position of Principal of The Chippendale International School of Furniture from his father, Anselm Fraser, Tom Fraser discusses his vision for the school with The Woodworker; and in ‘End-grain’ Edward Hopkins ponders the ‘dyslexir of life’ when it comes to woodworking.

Hooked up to a Trend vacuum extractor, there was hardly any dust visible when sanding an oak kitchen worktop using the Bosch GET 55-125 random orbit sander
Hooked up to a Trend vacuum extractor, there was hardly any dust visible when sanding an oak kitchen worktop using the Bosch GET 55-125 random orbit sander

Seeing as it’s the start of 2020, we’re sure you’re gearing up to replenish your workshops, so we’ve got all the best recommendations, starting with the Makita DTM50RM1J1 cordless multi-tool. Supplied with a MakPac carry case and a multitude of accessories, this cordless offering benefits from a robust build quality and is able to work in awkward spaces, so why not give it a go? Also on the bench is the new Bosch GET 55-125 random orbit sander (awarded the full five stars), which Phil Davy is a big fan of. Describing it as ‘first rate’, this new model features a perfectly designed ergonomic palm rest and handle along with two sanding modes. He also looks at FirstLightWorks’ Bevel Monkey & Big Protractor (also given five stars) before Jonathan Salisbury puts the Clarke CPS160 160mm plunge saw through its paces.

Don’t forget to enter the fantastic Alan Peters Furniture Award 2020
Don’t forget to enter the fantastic Alan Peters Furniture Award 2020

If you’re a budding furniture maker and haven’t already entered the fantastic Alan Peters Furniture Award 2020, then don’t delay, as time is running out! Take a look at the image guidelines feature in this issue and then go to the website - www.woodomain.com - where you can download your application form now. Help us champion UK furniture making talent while celebrating the life and work of the late Alan Peters OBE. There’s some fantastic prizes on offer as well as the opportunity to have your work displayed in a top gallery, so what are you waiting for?

We also have some fantastic bar and spring clamp prizes up from grabs from Faithfull Tools. We’re giving seven lucky readers the chance to get their hands on various prizes in the range, including first prize of a 50in wide track cutting guide, plus 12in 230kg bar clamp and spreaders, a pack of 4 x 3in spring clamps, and last but not least, a mitre box with pegs. See full details inside the issue - good luck! As well as all this, you can also expect to find all your usual favourite pages, including news and courses, welcome, marketplace, next month, letters and readers’ tips (which, as of next month, will be changing and there’s a brand-new plane on offer), plus much more!

We hope you enjoy the January 2020 issue of The Woodworker & Good Woodworking, which is now on sale!

Enjoy!

Tegan Foley, Editor

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