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It’s spring, and the lighter evenings at last open up the opportunity to spend some time in the workshop. So clear away the winter clutter and get woodworking! We have a range of features in the magazine this month to suit woodworkers of every skill level, so come aboard, leaf through the pages and see what takes your fancy. Let’s take a look at the projects section first…

• More in store – Duncan Rose describes designing and building a traditional free-standing larder cupboard which not only provides a huge amount of storage space for dry goods; it also offers plenty of room for all sorts of kitchen equipment, from trays and bowls to small appliances. It’s an elegant design that’s easy to build, featuring a tulipwood face frame attached to a strong plywood carcase.
• Two of a kind – Keith Smith tackles an unusual commission to build a small nest of tables copied from a catalogue but given an oil rather than a lacquer finish… and matching the catalogue price. He rose to the challenge to keep costs down by using his Festool Domino to make all the joints in a fraction of the time hand-cutting would have taken. The end result is a very neat bit of kit.
• Drawing inspiration – Gordon Warr creates a small pencil box in beech with a striking inlaid design featuring some familiar drawing instruments. He’s used sycamore, walnut and mahogany for the design, and added a lift-out interior tray to double up the storage capacity. Brass hinges and catches complete this eye-catching little piece.
• Widescreen display – Peter Nicholson presents a large glass-topped coffee table that’s definitely the plasma-screen TV version in the living room furniture stakes. It features a large toughened glass top and shelf, supported on a slender yet sturdy frame of American black cabbage bark – an unusual timber from Latin America that resembles teak and can be stained to look like wenge. It’s a stunner!

In our Workshop section, Andy Standing raises the question of buying second-hand workshop machinery as a way of getting Rolls Royce equipment at super-mini prices, and offers a detailed checklist of points to check out and things to avoid. Ken Jones, a new contributor to the magazine, describes making a pair of simple but extremely useful handscrews from offcuts and leftovers. Meanwhile Alan Holtham reports on some new additions to the Trend Varijig system, road-testing them and explaining how they work. Last but by no means least, Keith Smith’s Shop Notes reveal how he solved a painting problem and unravelled the mysteries of making quick-release connections to his new workshop compressor.

There’s a interesting bonus for the woodturners this month – the story of an oboe that appeared on eBay recently, and of one reader’s quest to make an oboe of his own based on an article that appeared in the magazine over 30 years ago. Alongside this, Ian Wilkie turns a chunk of stripy zebrano into an attractive desk tidy, and explains the use of saw-tooth Forstner bits in turned work. Chris Child shows how to turn knobs and ring pulls for furniture using small leftovers of exotic hardwood, while Colin Simpson describes how to give your turned work that perfect buffed finish.

Finally, our regular test section has reviews this month of the following tools and equipment:
• SIP 01543 surface planer
• Record BS400 bandsaw
• Einhell BT-MG 180 multi-tool
• Excalibur EX-30 scrollsaw
• Kirjes sanding and polishing system
• Axminster Universal router sub-base
• SIP 01936 variable-speed midi lathe

• Metabo KGS315 Plus sliding mitre saw
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