There is nothing I like more this time of year than spending a few hours in the workshop making something. It doesn’t have to be fancy or even particularly complicated so long as it gets the blood moving. Like most workshops that are situated in the garden, it is not practical to heat all year round so a bit of physical exercise will soon warm the body while the little heater is working overtime to take the chill off the space. 

In this issue we have plenty of ideas to keep you warm this month. I show you how to make a simple chisel rack from some off cuts of hardwood and if you decide to hand prepare the material you will soon be turning that heater off!

Our lead article this month is a superb walnut veneered mantle clock built by Peter Dunsmore. This is a real example of what can be achieved using modem techniques and limited tools. Peter also describes how to finish the clock retaining the wonderful grain pattern and colour of the walnut. Also in the Projects section Gordon War is making a hall table and we sow you how to keep the birds happy with a simple Saturday Workshop project that anyone can make. 

Moving on to the workshop section you will find Ben Plewes continuing his finishing series. This time he is going all-traditional on us and explaining the finer points of French polishing. It looks like Mrs P has rumbled his excursions into the kitchen as this month there are no kitchen utensils involved! Ron Fox is rounding off his look at the not so common cutters with a final selection. Subscribers will be able to catch up with Ron on TV

Moving on to the Turning section you will find me trying my hand at bowl turning using the bowl blank I cut last month. A simple job but my over confident approach takes a knock…

The big news in this issue is that we are please to welcome Colin Simpson, professional turner, as a new contributor to The Woodworker. He starts work with the first of a three-part article on how he produces his fascinating bowls of fruit; he even makes the bananas! So how do you turn a banana? I will let you into a little secret; round woodworkers sometimes use square woodworker’s tools.

The Test section features Alan Holtham’s in-depth look at belt sanders, getting right inside to show you exactly what you are getting for your money. Elsewhere you will find a good selection of tools being tested by our regular team of contributors and a round up of what the High Street Bargain hunter team have been up to this month.  You can keep up with the High street Bargain hunter every Monday at

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