Furniture & Cabinetmaking editor's leader, June 2019

At the heart of every project lies a framework of design and development that’s not always apparent to the casual observer. If that sounds a little elitist it’s not meant to be because like most (or some) people I’m not an expert in everything and now and then take things for granted.

Good design on its own is often hard to spot so it takes a few bad examples to pass our way before we see its benefits.

This month’s issue is interspersed with examples of good design and best practice, the latter being something we’re mildly obsessive about here at F&C.

Take our article by Mark Harrell on saw files for example. Mark’s explanation to me when we discussed the idea was ‘This is some serious saw geekery.’ Personally, I couldn’t be happier, we’re happy to be geeks and do geekery better than anyone else.

Our other tech articles this month continue the theme with a review of the latest F-style clamps from BESSEY, again an example of creative design that will, most probably, set the style for F-clamps in the future.

Demonstrating that good design evolves incrementally is Kieran Binnie with his article about iterative design on page 30 based on a project he built more than a year ago. Who hasn’t revisited a successful design from the past and made it better?

Our main project this month comes to you in two parts, the first on Dovetails with mitred corners represent the best of both worlds; a good mechanical joint without a potentially jarring or clumsy junction.

As an habitual builder of boxes in all shapes and sizes I’ve accepted or done what I can to mitigate this problem over the years, but not entirely. You can see my latest attempt at resolving this conundrum here.

Finally, the most important thing I want to draw your attention to this month is a story, not quite as old as time but definitely up there, about a material and one man’s desire to make sure it takes its rightful place in history. The Fenland Black Oak Project is your must-read feature this month. Take notes and a deep breath and tell me that’s not the most incredible thing you’ve heard in a long while.

Derek Jones