If you’ve ever worried about moisture levels in your wood store and you live in the south of England, fear not! As the long, dry spring turns into what is being billed as the greatest drought since 1893, your timber will be virtually kiln-dried and ready to use. So open up our July issue and see what we have to keep you busy in the workshop this month. We’ll start as usual with the Projects section…

• My name is Davenport – Vere Shannon embarks on his latest cabinet-making venture by building the desk of his dreams, a reproduction Davenport in Brazilian walnut. After discovering that there’s no such thing as a standard Davenport, he’s designed a piece that embodies all the best features that earlier makers have introduced. He starts with the basic cabinet, and adds the finishing touches in next month’s issue.

• Three in a row – Duncan Rose describes the making of a commission to build a run of wall units in the dining area of a large kitchen, intended to display glassware and add some much-needed storage space. The brief was for a fresh look and a hint of Shaker style, and Duncan delivers this with his usual panache.

• Port or sideboard – Forgive the pun, but Keith’s Smith’s latest creation could be used as a drinks cabinet, a DVD library, a small sideboard or just a useful two-door cabinet. It’s made in English oak, and features the clever use of mitre lock joints to give the illusion of solid legs at the front of the piece. It’s his latest addition to an ongoing suite of oak furniture that has already included a nest of tables and a small chest of drawers

In our Workshop section, routing guru Ron Fox takes a brand new look at the subject, aimed at those who fancy buying and using a router but aren’t sure where to start. So Ron kicks off his new series by explaining what you need to take into account when choosing a router. Andy Standing continues his look at the textbook joints every woodworker uses by deconstructing the halving joint in all its different varieties. Ben Plewes takes the subject of sharpening tools by the scruff of the neck, and delivers some forthright views on how to marry up keeping a good edge with not interrupting your workflow. Last but by no means least, Keith Smith’s Shop Notes delivers a useful educational exercise in restoring an old Stanley No3 smoothing plane he bought in a local antique centre.

For the turners among you, we have an unusual box for you to make in an even more unusual wood, the opening feature in a new series on using the main turning wools, and a short feature that combines some unusual turning tricks with an interesting end product. Chris Child takes a chunk of cocobolo (a Central American hardwood with a wonderful range of colour streaks) and an offcut of imitation ivory, and turns them into a lidded box with a difference. Meanwhile Colin Simpson wields the bowl gouge with his usual skill and aplomb, showing off what this versatile tool can – and can’t – do with a bit of practice. Lastly, Ian Wilkie tackles an unusual branch of small-scale turning: making buttons in wood and cast polyester resin.

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

• Axminster AWSS-18 Flex scrollsaw

• DeWalt D26204K ¼in dual-base router

• Imperial multi-tool saw blades

• Kreg R3 Junior pocket-hole jig

• Metabo STA18 LTX cordless jigsaw

• SIP 01545 bandsaw & 10942 bench mortiser

• Skil 5064 circular saw

• Stanley FatMax ProMobile JobChest

• Triton DCA300 dust collector













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