Magazine Review – Wood – May 2019

I decided that it might help if I do a little review of the various magazines Jay and I receive. Yes, both of us would prefer to have the paper magazine in our hands as compared to just reading it online. Call us weird, but that’s our preference.

My first review will be for Better Homes & Gardens WOOD Magazine, Issue 260 May 2019.

Wood 05 2019

When this arrived at our house I read the cover and looked forward to the article about finishing with Shellac. Jay wanted to see the Floating-face Clock.

If you’ve followed my blog for a little bit then you know that Jay and I typically have at least one project going on in the work shop. I’ve purchased many different wood working magazines, but WOOD magazine is definitely our favorite. It’s very down-to-earth with practical tips and projects. We aren’t ever going to make heirloom-quality projects, so a ‘common man’s’ magazine is fine for us.

This issue features four different projects (front door, bench, work bench, clock), six different articles about various tools & techniques, plus departments such as shop tips, subscriber projects, and a Q&A column.

The first project is a Front Door:

Wood 05 2019-1

It’s a very nice front door. For each project you are given the dimensions, approximate materials cost, an assembly picture, step-by-step directions (including pictures), a materials list and a cutting diagram. According to the magazine this door will cost approximately $500 for materials.

Knowing how long it takes a project to get through our workshop, this is one that will probably never be on our To Do list. It’s easier for us if we just order a door from somebody else and have them install it. We aren’t chomping at the bit to build our own. If we did, it would have MUCH lower glass panels on the side so that the cats could comfortably sit and look outside.

One of the tools & techniques articles in this issue is:

Wood 05 2019-2

Tablesaws take up a lot of room so this article tells you how to make cuts typically done on a tablesaw with other saws or tools that you might have in your shop. Jay didn’t really read this article because he already has a tablesaw. However, if something happened to it and he had to figure out a different way to make the cuts he would have this handy article to reference. They include a lot of pictures and instructions, which is really nice.

Another tools & techniques article:

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This article breaks down the basics of building an upper cabinet so that anybody can do it. They give instructions, drawing, cutting diagram and materials list for a 24″W x 42″ T cabinet. Again, neither Jay nor I read this one, but it’s another one of those handy reference articles when you need it.

Finally, we come to the article I was looking forward to reading:

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Since I’m the one who does almost all of the finishing on our projects I always am interested in learning about the various finishes that I haven’t yet attempted. This article was very informative and I plan on re-reading it because there’s so much in it that I need to wrap my head around. This one article completely made the entire issue for me.

Project #2 in this issue:

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The dimensions given on this bench are 39″ W x 19″ D x 17″ H. The approximate material cost is $40. Not bad for a solid wood bench. However, when I first saw it I thought it looked like it would be a little uncomfortable to sit on. Jay says that he would be tempted to try it if we had room for it. I told him that with something like this that is relatively inexpensive he could go ahead and make it, but we’d donate it to our church’s festival as a Chinese Auction prize. I know that Jay has a lot of scrap stuff that he could actually use up on this, and we’d be doing something good for the church. It’s a win-win!

There is an article that reviewed various Tracksaws, but I didn’t read it. Jay didn’t either. He considers a tracksaw to be a single-purpose tool, and he tries not to purchase any of those if he can help it. The magazine does a good job of reviewing several different brands across a wide spectrum of prices.

Project #3:

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This is a fold-up workbench and mitersaw station for a person who has their workshop in their garage. Again, like the other projects, an approximate material cost, cutting diagram, materials list, and dimensions are given in this article. Plus, they give you a heads up that in future issues there will be more projects to go along with this set. Since we don’t have need for anything like this, we both skipped reading the article.

Project #4:

Wood 05 2019-7

This clock really didn’t do anything for me because it looks too contemporary for my tastes. Jay thought it would be neat to make. The article doesn’t give me an approximate materials cost, but you could probably make the majority of it using scraps in your shop. The most expensive components are going to be the clock movement and the sheet of acrylic. Again, this is another project that if Jay really wanted to try we could always donate the finished project to our church for some kind of prize.

So, there you have it… the May 2019 issue of Wood Magazine. Overall there were only a couple of articles that we actually read, but there were many more things that inspired us in various ways. If you want to take a closer look at any of these projects, you can find them on the magazines website along with a LOT of other articles, plans and tips. If you’ve been wanting to subscribe to a wood working magazine you should definitely give this one a try. Like I said, it’s our favorite.

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