If only the Romans had given us 13 four-week months in the year instead of the regular 12, we wouldn’t have to call our extra issue ‘Summer’. But they didn’t and we have… and here it is – 92 pages filled with the usual mixture of projects, techniques and tests to keep you busy whenever rain stops play. We’ll start as usual with a look at the Projects section…

• The desk of my dreams – Vere Shannon completes his superb Davenport in Brazilian walnut with a real showcase of his skills. He’s dovetailed the four drawers, turned the columns and feet, and topped it off with a writing box that features a leather skiver top and a useful pigeonhole for stationery and writing implements. We hope you’ll agree it’s a magnificent feat of cabinetmaking.

• Flaps up – Gordon Warr designs a neat gate-leg dining table for a friend with a small apartment and very little spare room. It’s a classic design with a sturdy central leg and twin leaves supported by hinged gates so that one or both can be raised as required. The wide leaves are cleverly braced to resist warping, using a cunning technique called secret screwing, and the finish is tailored to match the other furniture in the room.

• All dressed up – Peter Dunsmore presents a striking kitchen dresser he was commissioned to make for a country cottage kitchen. As the body of the unit was to be painted, he chose sycamore for its knot-free close-grained qualities. The worktop, by contrast, is in solid oak, treated with finishing oil to give a waterproof and durable surface with a subtle sheen.

In our Workshop section, Ron Fox continues his new series on his specialist subject, the router, with an in-depth look at what you need to know about choosing, using, sharpening and storing cutters – the parts that actually do the work. Andy Standing continues his tour round the textbook joints every woodworker uses by describing how to cut three types of housing joint – through, bare-faced and dovetailed. Keith Smith picks some of the woodworking gadgets he’s made or bought over the years and has actually found useful… and promises another batch next month. His first choice is quite a surprise! And in his regular Shop Notes feature he sings the praises of the Trend hinge jig, explains how to swap the levels in a mortise sashlock and adds some more observations about spray painting.

There’s an unusual challenge from Bob Chapman in our turning section. He’s created a suspended tapered vessel that sits on three curved legs, and the making of it calls for an unusual combination of turning and laminating skills. He’s even created a pierced version using his Dremel multi-tool. Meanwhile, Alan Holtham explains the importance of getting a good grip on your turned work, and takes a look at the most basic holding technique of all – between centres. Lastly, Colin Simpson completes this month’s turning selection with his second feature about basic tools of the trade. He explains that the spindle gouge is the workhorse of all but the dedicated bowl turner, and is a tool with a multitude of uses.

Finally, our regular test section has reviews this month of the following tools and equipment:

• Four small planer thicknessers

- Axminster MB9020

- Erbauer ERB052BTE

- SIP 01552

- Woodster PT85

• SIP 01938 swivel-head lathe

• Axminster AWHBS310N bandsaw

• Metabo KGS216 Plus mitre saw

• DeWalt DW622 router

• Proxxon IB/E Professional drill/grinder

• Microplane rasps

• Axminster woodworker’s gauge blocks

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