Winter seems to have released its icy grip at last, and the workshop suddenly seems like a more enticing place in which to spend some time. So dust off the bench, oil the machines and sharpen those dull edges; we’ve got plenty in this month’s issue to whet your appetite and get the shavings flying. Let’s start with a look at the Projects section…
• Natty dresser – Mark Cass describes a recent commission to build a classic dresser tailor-made to fit in a fireplace alcove. He used laminated pine boards for the carcase, American poplar for the doors and framing, birch ply drawers and a decorative top of solid oak, and added a touch of class with an arched top to the glazed upper section and a decorative cornice round the top.
• Suite inspiration 5 – Roger Berwick adds the final piece to the jigsaw that has involved building a suite of oak dining and living room furniture. He’s called this a companion unit, due more to its purpose than its appearance; it’s a versatile piece featuring optional drawers, designed to sit between two chairs and provide a safe landing for a mug of tea, a magazine, the TV remote and whatever else you need to hand.
• Going Dutch – Vere Shannon presents a compact sideboard in a style that’s in keeping with 19th century South African furniture, commonly called Cape Dutch and made using contrasting coloured timbers. It was designed as a companion piece for a dining table featured in the June 2009 issue of The Woodworker.
• Double or quits – Keith Smith explains how a commission to replace some windows in a listed building led to a conflict between his client and the local conservation department. The client wanted double-glazed windows, but the planners preferred like-for-like replacement. The solution? Some carefully-crafted secondary glazing that fitted unobtrusively inside the new window frames.

In our Workshop section, Paul Sellers discusses the pros and cons of using low-angle planes, based on his experiences in over 40 years of workshop practice. Peter Bishop reveals some of the tricks of the furniture restoration trade as he marries up a glazed bookcase and an old Victorian chest to create a fine-looking dresser that would grace any room. Meanwhile, Keith Smith explains how he created some tailor-made oak floor vents to provide ventilation to a woodburning stove, rescued a decrepit family heirloom and improved the mobility of his router table.

We start our monthly trio of woodturning features with an unusual wooden trivet that Colin Simpson has made to showcase some simple off-centre turning techniques. Alan Holtham describes an unusual challenge set by his local cricket club – to make a set of bails that would stay on the stumps on windy days! He also explains a few tricks you can use to increase the accuracy of repetition turning. Finally Chris Child presents a simple home-made jig he has designed that makes light work of sharpening your turning tools on a grinding wheel.

Finally, our regular test section has reviews this month of the following tools and equipment:
• SIP 01549 multi-function woodworking machine
• Einhell BT-SD 3.6/1 Li cordless screwdriver
• Proxxon FET table saw
• SIP 01926 disc/belt sander
• Mafell KSP40 Flexistem circular saw
• Excalibur EX-21 scrollsaw
• Trend SS12 & SS15 router cutter sets
• Veritas plug cutting kit

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