March 31, 2023

Furniture Makers

We Speak Furniture

STL227: Tom McLaughlin is serious about square

Question 1: 

From Gavin:

I have been an amateur woodworker since 2015, and am planning on continuing for the rest of my life. I am wondering if you can share your thoughts on building different styles of furniture, or picking a narrower range of styles to build. In other words, did any of you personally either start out by building a variety of styles (arts and crafts, modern, etc) and/or narrow your focus once you felt more confident with your skills? Is there any reason to “pay your dues” by building a lot of different styles, or should I just make what I find interesting, which is Arts and Crafts kind of stuff?

Join deputy editor Jon Binzen for a fascinating look at less-familiar furniture of the Arts and Crafts era.

The Fine Points of Furniture – Good, Better, Best

Tom’s deco-esque easy chair

Find out more about the New Hampshire Furniture Masters here.

Question 2:

From Craig:

My question involves the misalignment of the desk lid.  I installed the hinges and the lid moves well, however, the left side of the lid sits higher than the case, and the right side of the case sits lower than the case.   I’ve attached pictures for you to review.  I’m thinking that I need to deepen the mortise on the right side lid with the intent on raising the lid up to case, and deepen the mortise on the left side case to lower the lid just a bit.  What do you think?

Sign up now! Join FWW editor and creative director Mike Pekovich for a live webinar on installing hinges and locksets Thursday, November 5th at 7pm.

In this video, Tom McLaughlin shows you how he installs hinges and his method for dialing them in for a perfect fit

When I’m designing furniture, nothing appears out of whole cloth. Both of these cabinets resulted from the dozens of pieces that came before them.

Segment Potpurri: 

Mike: Smooth move – Drilling a hole in the wrong place and running with it.

Tom: Favorite technique

Ben: Favorite tool… carbon paper

Question 3:

From Mike:

I am making a tabletop that is 7feet long and I needed to joint the edge of the boards. I have a 6 inch jointer and the total bed length is 46 inches long. After jointing the edge of the boards and placing them next to each other I noticed that some of the jointed edges were concave over the 7 feet and the concave was much too large for a spring joint. To solve for this problem I put the boards together (face to face) then using my #6 flattens the sides. Although this worked, I would have preferred that the joints were not concave off of the jointer. Was it my technique or is my jointer just too small?

In this episode, Matt Wajda sets the jointer tables using only a straight-edge and some scraps of paper


Ben: This Old Tony

Tom: That Boat Guy

Every two weeks, a team of Fine Woodworking staffers answers questions from readers on Shop Talk Live, Fine Woodworking‘s biweekly podcast. Send your woodworking questions to [email protected] for consideration in the regular broadcast! Our continued existence relies upon listener support. So if you enjoy the show, be sure to leave us a five-star rating and maybe even a nice comment on our iTunes page.

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