Wondering About Wenge – Woodworking | Blog | Videos | Plans | How To

Why do we keep woodworking? Well, there are probably as many answers to that question as there are woodworkers making sawdust, week in and week out, for their lifetimes.

Here’s one of the reasons why woodworking just never loses its allure for me: the chance to try a new species. I have that very opportunity on a project I’m building for our June issue, and this time the species is wenge. Rob tells me this central African hardwood can be splintery, and it glues up well. I’ve seen its almost black, coarse-grained goodness on the rack at my favorite lumberyard. I’m positive I’ve even pushed a few of these boards around on their stack, just to take a closer look at it. But in 30 years I’ve never had the occasion to buy some. Now I do!

What will my experience with it be? I wonder how it will smell when I run it through the saw for a first rip cut. Will I be impressed when I whisk off an oxidized face on the jointer to reveal what’s underneath? How about its hardness, grain structure and color variation? Are there any bad surprises I’ll discover that might temper my enthusiasm when making project parts? Perhaps I’m destined for a big splinter in my thumb. We’ll see! But whatever the outcome is, how many hobbies offer the variety of raw materials we have with woodworking? It’s a journey of discovery and a delight to the senses with every new species we try. I’ll bet you’re nodding your head in agreement with me. The addiction is real, but how lucky are we?!

Chris Marshall, Woodworker’s Journal

Making a Flag Plaque

Rob Johnstone and Nick Brady join forces to create this textured American flag plaque, a great project and gift idea. This project is perfect for a small shop CNC machine and Amana Tool’s CNC Router Bits.

Click Here to Download the CNC Files.

The Basics of Workholding

A variety of screw chucks.
Dennis Belcher explains the different types of workholders for lathes used in woodturning and discusses how they are used.

Premium Project: Chevron Table

Chevron table with under tabletop storage
Multiple wood species aligned in a chevron pattern make up this little trendy table.

Premium Project: Backyard Beehive

Shop-made beehive with viewing window
This project will help give honeybees a fighting chance, while honing your woodworking power tool skills.

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