Our annual show at London’s Alexandra Palace is fast approaching – it opens on March 11th, so make sure the date is in your diary – and we’re putting the finishing touches to what will be a fantastic exhibition. The star attraction for many visitors will be the free-to-enter draw to win our stunning summerhouse, while for others the all-day demonstrations and the cut-price show offers from exhibitors will be an equally big draw. Meanwhile, in this month’s issue of the magazine you’ll find…
• Prize summerhouse 3 – Alan Holtham finishes off the shingle-clad roof, fits the doors and windows and lines the interior before adding the final decorative touches. Then he takes it for a spin to prove that his ingenious revolving mechanism works a treat!
• A tall order – Western Australian expat Tommy Wood presents a classically-inspired grandfather clock which he’s designed and constructed from scratch using his own interpretation of the traditional long-case clock. He’s definitely getting the hang of it now; this is the sixteenth one he’s made so far…
• Suite inspiration 4 – Roger Berwick adds an occasional table to his growing suite of oak furniture. This echoes the design and style of the dining table featured in our December 2010 issue, and is intended to sit in the lounge area that adjoins his client’s dining room. It’s also a stunning piece in its own right.
• Quick on the drawer – James Hatter designs and makes a simple three-drawer chest from plywood, which he’s given a painted finish set off with ash trims. It’s a design you can adapt to whatever size you want (within reason), and can be used to satisfy a wide variety of storage needs.

In our Workshop section, Ben Plewes explains the key features you should look for when selecting a portable workshop vacuum extractor, and goes on to contrast the pros and cons of three machines he’s used recently in his own workshop. Alan Holtham describes a simple trick you can use to get out of jail when you hit a buried nail and nick the blades in your planer. Vere Shannon introduces a selection of home-made jigs he’s found indispensable during a lifetime in woodworking, many of which have appeared in The Woodworker over the years. Keith Smith does some good housekeeping in his sub-zero workshop, while Gordon Warr reports on some unusual things you can do with a set of plug cutters.

Our regular trio of turning projects kicks off with a pair of inlaid wall clocks presented by Gordon Warr, featuring decorative plugs as hour markers. Colin Simpson continues his look at ways of texturing turned work by trying out Robert Sorby’s Texturing and Spiralling System, some rotary carving tools and burrs, and a touch of pyrography. Meanwhile Ian Wilkie puts his miniature turning tools and techniques to good use by creating a selection of classic East Midlands lace bobbins, complete with traditional decorative spangles.

Our regular test section has reports this month on the following tools and equipment:
• Einhell RT-XM 305U sliding mitre saw
• Makita LB1200F bandsaw
• Mafell LNF20 biscuit jointer
• Three GMC power planers, including the unique PPM palm planer
• Triton TA235CSi circular saw
• Axminster Power hand clamps

• Wealden centring point
Never miss an issue of The Woodworker again by subscribing here. Not only will you get a copy of your favourite woodworking magazine every month but you will also get FREE unlimited access to Digital Back Issues of The Woodworker and FREE access to our new Get Woodworking TV Channel!