higgest handyman disaster!


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Recover a chair seat

f you have upholstered &air seats that are stained, warn out or just p h ugly, there's no need ro call a pro. You can do a first-class upholstery job your&, if YOU ~ Y WQ C Don't:ww h u t dyou ean c o r n hem by prying out &PI& ing
and staaing ova.


lfthecbairL~y~,youmhplyccw%r~e &&g fabric with new mataid But it a d y makes sense to tear off the old Uric and ~Iawtheloampadding,sinoemost~ hasalifespnafonlyheto 10yem.Maq Fabric sfares carry foam and upholstery bbric, but for the b e selection and advice, start with an upbohtery store (under *Upholstery FabricsP io the Yellow Pages). For a md chair like the one shown here,

pl~aoosp~dnLM1100nbOM,knhg and Fabric, Yod a need a can of spray adbeh s e ($61, a sdssors, a shph and 5116-in. h staph T u n the chair upside down and remow the m w that fasfen the mt to the &air frame. Thea e s tear off the old fabric with a pliers and pry out t)pe staples with a s m a I I ~ d r i w . I f t h e s e a t i s m a d e f r a m ~ e board, you might fmd that it's warpad, cnunbling or even bmka Making a new seat is e a s Just lay the old sear on ~ a piece d In-in.pltrace m u d it and cut a new mw t a jigsaw. t Ih Cu&the foam t size with a scissors.Take the wood seat o outside and give the topside a light coat of spray adhesive Position~seat~whenyou~itonthefoam;~~ adhesive grab bmntty and you may not be able to pull it oB. Cut h e W g and fabric ( P b w I). Stretch h bate ting slightly as yon staph it into place (2). Staple the~ricattkdddeofd €aursided;tindfXpcbe~t o w t~ make sure the pattern is c e n W II\rg the &ric tuwwd the comers as you stapIe the first sd Go to the la op@e side and stretch the ibric a m the seat as p u stsple iP. Repeat &is process f rthe other two sides. o If $MU s a t hag rounded corners, you m wrap them so that no Mds o aeases are visr"ble From above (photo 3. r ) If the seat has quare corners, aeasc a d fold h e Fabric as you would when p u @-wrap a box (Photo 4). It's usually helpful to trim m y excess hbric as you work on mners. B e k you saw the m t onto the e, consider treating&ebb&wi&astainrepdemifitwaw'tmted

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15-minute fix

Faster flow for a slow-filling washer
If y o u washing machine Nls with a slow trickle, you might need a W i e t &R (See "I 1 Quick and Easy Home Repaics* JulyIAug. '99, p. 40. To order a copy, see p. 7.) But chances are you have a simpler problem: plugged idet screens. These screens catch debris in h e water supply and protect a
wail& ~~d pm Ohm, sneens dog after a remodeling project or after work by city crew on water mains. Any work on water lines



can loosen sediment in pipes
and lead tu plugged s c m m Cleaning rhe screens is a simple job. The only Eri& p is removing ttlt saeem wirhout wrecking them (photo I). Don't just yank rhem out. Gently s u qand twist as you pull. You'll distort the screens a little, but you can mold them back into shape with your hgers. If your screens are cemented in place by mineral deposits, you may not be able to remove them without damage. A new pair of meem mst a b u t $5 at m appliance parts re.Qaw&egaeenswithmnnhgwateror


Turn OHthe hot and cold water supplies
and disconnect the hoses. Use a pair of needle-nosa pliers to q n t I v remove the screens for cleaning.





u may have to pick and scrape


Work the the

the clean dm of the 2 hoses, turn on

screen back into the inlet by pressing arouni sueen with a small screwdriver. R ~ o n n e c r t water and check for leaks. b

a f~ ~ P P Y faucet handle

I on a shower, batbroom or kitchen II
faucet-tighten the screw that holds the handle in p k . With


same faucets, you'll haw to pry off the metal butroo ar the center of the b . oIbers, you'll h d & With a setscrew near the base of the handle. usually require a hex (or *Allenm) wrench. Lf tightening doesn't work, the stem inside the handle may be worn, especially if it's pIastic, Here's a trick to tighten worn stems on mast types of f a u m Wrap the stem tightly with Teflon pipe thread rape aod slip the handle W over the stem. In most mw a single wrap crates a snug fit.






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the fuse

Burned-out holiday lights


I'm putting up my outdoor Christmas lights that I used last year. Half of the lights won't work. I know it's cheaper to just replace them, but I hate to throw them away. Yet I also hate to pull out every bulb to find the bad one. Any solutions? Mike Koning, via e-mail


Judging by our mail, it seems that most of us have experienced the Frustration of uncooperative holiday lights, There's a simple way to solve the problem. First, slide back the plastic covedng on the plug to check the fuse (Photo 3). Some strings have more than one fuse, i which case they'll be next to each other. n Replace any blown fuses. New ones are available where holiday Lights are sold and at some electronicsstores. Second, test the bulbs with an inexpensive tester (less than $lo), available where holiday lights are sold and online. UsualIy, changing a problem bulb (or tightening it) will fu h entire strand. T h e tester will e indicate w i h bulbs are bad and need to hc k replaced. (For the tester to work, the lights m s be plugged into the electrid ut outlet correcrly-the narrow "hot" blade into the narrow slot and the wide neutral blade into the wide slot.)

Some testers work by having you slide each bulb through a hole (photo 2). With orher testers, you simply touch each bulb (photo s).You can test an entire strand in a few minut&,Sometimes you have two or more defective bulbs, so only identifying one bad bulb may not fix the problem. Keep i mind that inexpensive strings n of lights aren't durable. At the end of the holiday season, take down the Iights w t ih care. Don't pull too hard on the wires. A loose bulb, broken socket or frayed wire is sometime all it takes for the strand t malfunction. After raking down the lights, plug them i before storing them, to make sure they n stdl work Then carefully wrap the lights i heir original or sirniIar containers, n making sure the bulbs don't bang together. Proper storage is key to their continued success. Wadding them up in a coil and s t u k g them into a box d h o s t guarl antee they won't work n x year. et ALso be aware that most holiday light bulbs have short life qectancies, about 1,000 to 1,500 hours. This means the ljghts are designed to last one to three seasons, depending an your usage. Newer styIe LED (light-emitting diode) lighw are the exception. They can last 10 times longer than traditional lights.





Leaking roof
we ave a severe rain and in the winter after heavy snowfalls. How do we stop it? Rick Caville, Grand Rapids, MI %u're getting a double whammy &om poor flashing and ice dams. The cllfprit is almmt certainly the soffit that m e s the roof, which is one of the et toughat areas to waterproof. In your photo, you can srill see signs of an ice dam. An ice dam occurs when snow melts and the water f r m when it hits the coIder edges of your roof. Eventually, water pools behind the dam and works its way back up under the shingles and under the sofit until it hd an opening ns i through your roof. The fact that you get Ieaks during w e r e rain also suggests a roof detailing problem. Start with good flashing, since this should stop leab from rainfall and might stop the leaks from ice darns as well. b i n by removing the shingIes down to the wood sheathing and slip a


Our ceiling leaks under this

section of roof whenever

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fexshaft Circle Cutter Cutting Guide Lawn Mower and Garded , Tool Sharpener
55 Genuine Dreme


Accessories Deluxe Storage Gas, . XPR Planer and XPR MulfiSaw atta~hments available separately

b n l y at Lowesj

strip of adhesive ice-and-water barrier (available where roofing products are sold) under the sofitlmain roof joint. Depending on how the roofs join, you may have to cut a slot to work it in hr enough. It should overlap another piece of ice-and-water barrier laid below, all the way down to the roof edge. This should cover the most leak-prone areas. Then reshingle, sliding metal step flashing behind the fascia board (the trim behind the gutter). (See " C h e y Flashing,"Oa. '03, p. 91, for a step flashing example, To order a copy, see p. 7) The valley flashing, . hid over the joint where the two rook meet, should overlap the step flashing a t least 2 in. If leaks continue to occur from ice dams, consider installing roof edge heating cables. (Find them locally at, hardware stom or home centers, or type "heating cables" in an Internet search enginc) Improved attic insulation and ventilation are usually the best ways to prevent ice dams, but they might nor be effective in this complicated roof situation.

/DO you have a problem that's bugging you. a nagging question or a mystery that you can photograph?Please sand k via e-rnail to askhandyman@roade~lgestestcom or mail it t o Ask The Family Handyman, 2915 Cornmars Drive, Suite 700, Eagan, MN 65127. Include your name, address and phone number. Although our editorial staff reads each one, we can't respond Individually.


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Onllhe Panel and get aest prqects absolutely free! Log on to



Hardware honeycomb
ooking for the night fastener will be like a bee going t nectar with this multio pocket storage bucket. T make one, round up a plastic 5-gdon bucket ($3 at a o home center) and scrap pIywood for partitions and floors. Use 314-in.plywood for the partitions and 114-in.plywood for the floors to match the bucket cutout dimensions shown. Cut the bucket holes with a saber saw as shown, then saw the crisscrossingbottom partitions with shghtly angled ends to fit snugly against the bucket sides. Saw notches halfway down the center of the partitions so they interlock. Next, cut the round floor to fit the bucket on top d the partition, then drop it in. Cut the next set of partition+ drop those in and then add the next floor. Create the egg carton partition to fit on top and grew or nail it to the upper floor. Then load your bucket. Our system i daigned for miscellas neous screws and nails; feel free to try your own configuration to 6t pur needs. Bucket loads of thanks to Patrick h c o x for this honey of a tip.





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the'%ou& opening (given on your plan or in the window litera~ ) . and measure out to the left and right of the center ~ m mark Write a "T" to the outside of both marks to indcate trimmer locations. Measure over 1-112 in. and draw another line. Mark an "X"outside these marks for the full-height king studs. With the o w g s markd, lay out the stud Imtions (tfgm


edges of 4x8 sheets of pIywmd d g n wilh h e centers of studs. Subwa 314 in. from the first layout mark. Then hook your lape on a patidly driven nail at this mark, and nlark at each 16- or 244. multiple. Make an 'X" on the same side of each layout mark to indicate the stud position. Mark studs that land between window or door simmers with a"C" to indicate cripples ratherthan full-height snrds.






I plate
Set the p l a side by side and trans~ fer the marks h m the top p b to the b t b m piate using a quare. Some mrpenters mark only tbe edge of the p k W show m k e hg tbe wide hce, wI& d help


p u a h g n ~ & T ~ t h e p i n of plam together with 8d nails after m w h g hem i they a don't get qamted and mixed with ofher plates. T h set r m aside h until you're m d y to build that waL

CaIculate header I@ by adding 3 in.t the ruugh opening width. o Add 6 in. to haden h a t require

two h e r s on eacb side. a header parts and naiI them together. label the headers. I many plan4 headers are p i n stioned against the top plate. lfyour are, begin wall &y I by @tioning and i d k g these *fulIlqbf'headers t the top p h e with o 16d n & (top ri@t photo). Then lay fUII-lagth studs k w e e n the plates and nail. king studs to the headers md to t top d bottom h plates (bottom rtglwt photo). N d in all the fulf-height m s as vrell as d corner a d t i e s . Note: Sight down a stud before you mil if in & mi orient aay bow (crown) u p ward. Next install the trhmms
(m fieM).

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Id tmll, o w n shakes. F '- -'leal uaa, I t has twa - , . S of 8helven to hhal~ -.A oka and treasuras and rge oablnets to hide an sortment of stuff. this artlcle will show eve1


thing you need to know to

butld this bookcase from thq
bottom up. The six8 and elrgance of this piece are decs tlw; don't assume ia too bl, t ' o diiflcult fbr you-you may r be pleasantly surprised whm
you look over the following

pwes. You'll see how the modular conatruetion makes it buildable in a small workshop and easy to disassemble and reassemble in your living

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Overall dlmwrslons: 34-112" tall x 9&1/2" wlde (at crown) x 18-112"deep (at cabinel top)

Glue and n d t o m a r three plywood d i n e t boxes lRgure Al. Square each box by taking diagonal m e a r m mmts, then attach the back. Equal measurementsmeans the box Is squera. Edgsbandthe front wtth i r o h blrdr.



Assemble fhe door frsmttli with glue and pocket screws. Glue and nail a 4. plywood panel to the back of each frame. Miter, glue and nail molding to the panel front,

TOOIS, money and time
E project consists mostly of quickIy W a d k d plywood boxa and solid-wood h a The only fusg. steps are cutting d instalting the mimed moIdin&sthat trim the doors, panels, base and crown. If p u have qerienee wih a table saw, a mim saw and a muler, yuu mn build this b o o b . You'll also need one special tool
you haven't


to the dimensions g i v e n h the Cutting List on p. 47. Before you e m b l e

fill large, deep hole). The filer will
shrink as it dries, so you'll have to apply a
the joints flush on both $idea of the doors and lightly sand t h e plywood panels before assembly with 180-grit sandpaper. Pasten the panels wi!h 112-in. brads.


rhe born, cover the h n t edges of the 314- second, skim coat after four hours. Sand

in. plywood with iron-on wood edge band. Also driII 1IPin. h o l ~ the cabiin net sides for adjustable sbelf supports. F r o some tips on edge knding and driing shelf support holes, m?"Storage Galore," Sept '05, p. 47.(To order a wpy, see p. 7.)

d pocket screws before, togerher with a brad d e r . Then drill donkwrry. You can learn to use them i 311 6-in. pilot holes and drive four 2-ia n minutes. We m n g l y suggest you use a screws along each joint for strength. brad nder Father than damps to tack Fasten the backs wih 1JZin. brad nails. glued parts together. A brad d w is hs~er and acttidy cheaper than h-rtmm Easy, elegant doors of damps you would needTr this projen o The t o d materials bill for our cherry l k cabinet doors may look fancy, but thefp're just solid w d frames with a plybwkcssewasforS13WmBui1~hma1erp mdpanddappedonthebackTh~hebase erph specS like this a p moldings surrounding the panel gke would hare a m I a of about 5800' A thcw simple doon a rich look. Cut the similar piece of comparablequality would solid d rails and stiles Mowing the cost three h e s that much, or more, a a t Cutting List and assemble them with farnitwe store. +a to spend at k t 20 pocket scmvs (photo 2). tf you haven't hours buildhg this book- and another used a pocket screw jig before, see "Using 10 hours W i n g i t lbols: '03, p 23. arder a copy, see Feb. (To p. 7.) The p k e t screw holes will be visicabinet boxes ble on the back of door, so 6ll them The three cabinets are simply b m made with a solvent-hd wood f l e r such as h m 314-in. pJ;ywcMd with U4-in. ply- Plastic Waod (water-based fillers dry w o backs (Phota I ). Cut the plywood dowly and can swell wood when used t od o

ere are two door sizes.:

l a y tha cabinet b a on ks dda and center the &or or agalnst k Mark h i n p guidellnea on the door and Eablnet udng a 2-114-in.-wide spacer block,


Center t moudng plate templ8im on the cabhet b gutdeline and ddU two 3132-In. pilot hdes for thu mourPt. Ing plste. Screw the mounting plate to the aablnea

Mark the center point of the hinge hole 718 In. from the dmh edge using a homemade spacer jlg. Drill tha hinge hole wiih a l41Sin. Forstner bit Insort the hinge and screw it t o tho door.

Snap ttse hinges onto the mourrting plates to make sure

doors by pullingthe release lever.

Carefdiy center the pan& so sothey're 1314 in. from the edges of the door h u e s ; this leaves ample space for mounting the binges. Miter h moldings and install e them with glue and 1- 114-in. brads. Throughout this project, u e b wds spars ingly. Drive only as many as it rakes to draw glw joints tight. Fewer brads means less time spent f d h g holes later. For some tips on installing mitered moldings, see the Edito3s Note, p. 44.


f w y measuring and costs only $6, Our spacer jig (photo 6) is simply a block of w d glued to a scrap of b a r d h a d Yul have t buy a 1-318411. o'l o Fommer bit releasing a lever. ($18). Use a corded drill to bore the hinge Choosing the right type of euro hinge holq most cordless models don't have for the job and poitiming the parts cor- enough power, Clamp down the door and rectly a n be confusing. But we've done d hang on ti@ t to the drill; the bit might l hinges simplified the calculating for p u . II YOU rn h e b i d and lwisl the drill or h e door. stop European hmges--also d e d "cup" or model we recommend[see the Materials drilling occasionally and insert the hinge ' e m n hing-st less thangod-qdty List, p. 47) and follow the steps s h m t check the deprh of the h o l d you o traditional hinges and make cabinet door here, yodIl End the prfmlpmoE bore roo deep, pu'U ruin the door.

installation much easier. The best feature o euro binges is that they're a d j j b l e : f To move the door up and down, left or right or in and out, yon just turn adjustment screws. That means you dadt have to spend hours sanding or plaoiag doors to get a perfect fit-Thehinges we choselet you hang and remove doors in seconds by

The template we used (Photo 4) im'i absoIutdy news-

m but it will save you lots of ,






W 2 1144n.-~lda u b Mocks to plyg

~ t o m a l r e a p ~ l l g . ~ o n a ~ e blwrr and lock @&I pilaster I placia vrlW1 an .




Bulld the facades j as you bullt the doors. Glue f w b p f h t m t o the facades. Glue 1-112-in.-wlde t&iw ofplywood t w d ~ a to make L-cleats, and m the cleats to the r e h falpadw.


h b l l the base {ngure A). Then & the ~zlbinet boxes

on the baaa. Screw fhe facades to the slde boxes and
screw the pilwters betworn b x e a . Carefully position and scrsw the boxan to the base.

Band three sldes of the plywood cabinet top with 314 x 314-In. solld wood. Cut a cove In the undemide of the banding with a touter.


The three cabinet boxes are and h k e d by b r flat, prormdmg columns, u or "pihttmn M h the pilasters using a 318-in.cove bit and simple jig that guides your router bit at the beginning and end of d cut (Photo 7 ) . T get perfed, o sphter-he cow, rout the edges of each pilaser i two passes. Set rhe bit to a n

depth of about 3116 in, Rout aII the pilasfer edges once, then set the bit to a 114-in. depth and make a h a l pass dong each edge. Next, b d d two had= m ccrver the sides of the MI and right cabinet boxes. The fiicades are mnstructed jus~ the like doors, wilh fi-ames,a plywood panel and mitered moIdings. Glue a pilasler to the front edge of each Eacade. Also add L-cleats to the back of the facades (photo 8). Space the rear cleat 3/4 in. from &e back edge of the facade. T h m dears allow you to attach the ficades with s m drjvc

en from inside the cabinet born (Photo 8). Glue two layers of 3N-in. plywod to the backsidcs of the two middle pilasters that fit between cabinet boxes.

Set the cabinets on the barn
The base i simply a plywood platform s covered on three sides with mitered baseboard and base cap molding (~iaure ). A Assemble the platform parts with brad nails and then add 2-in. screws for strength. You can use construction-grade

grand bookcase

Frame on the underside of tha cablnH tap wlth two layers d 314-in. plywood. Then wrap three ddas d the frame wIih mltered basa cap moldlng.


A m b k shew boxes and dde framos following Figure A Glue side framm to both end shelf boxes. Then install base cap molding lnslde the frarnw.

You have to renlovs the blade guard to make these cuts. Keep hands end cloth in^ away from

Cut the top rail to length so that the hasf pllaster protrudes about 1132in. beyond the side of the shew box, Glue and nail the top rail ir'rtoplaee followed by the half pilaster.


Rout 11Cin.-deep coves into both sides of the top rails. Then cul a rabbet on the back by making two cuts with your table saw.


pIywood for the sides of the platform, but use finish-gradeplywood for the lid, since the perimeter of the Ld will be visible. Make the baseboardfrom a 4-5/8-h,-wide board using the same cove bit you used on the pilasters, and use the same base cap molding that you used on the doors. Attach the base cap to the platform first, making it flush w i ~ h lid. Then add the the baseboard. Set the base on furniture dollies ($20 each at home centers) or make your own dollies from plywood and casters ($3 each). Set the cabinet boxes on the base. Screw on the facades and join the boxes by screwing into the two other pilasters (photo 9). AU four pitasters protrude

1-114 in. from the cabinet boxes; cut a spacer block to help you position them. Gendy shift the whole cabinet a s m l to seby center it on the base and then fasten each box to the base with four 1-518-in. screws. The cabinet top is a slab of plywood banded with solid wood edging. Be sure to drive brads at the center of the banding. If you drive them too dose to the underside of the banding, you might hit them with your router bit when you cove the banding (Photo 'to). N x ,glue and et nail two layers of 314-in. plywood strips to the underside of the top to form a frame. The back of the frame is flush w r the ih back of the top. The other three sides are inset 112 in. f o the edge af the plywood. rm

The Frame acts as a deat, allowing you to screw the top i place from inside the cabn inet boxes, and provides backing f r the o base cap (Photo 111. This i the m e kind s of molding that was used on the doors. With the entire cabinet unit assembled, snap the doors onto their mounting plates and adjust the hinges If any doors Fit badly, trim &ern with a belt sander or shave them down slightly on the table s w a. Label each door with its location and set t e aside to avoid damagehm

Shelf units
T build the shelf units, you'll repeat the o techniques you w d on the cabinets. The
shelf units begin as plywood boxes (Photo



Edimnm -tmikm
This bookhas a dozen door and side panels ttlat are I n d \wftfi molding. W n g moMIngs t d d a s frame L slow work You m b one e n 4 t h m miter the other endsothe piam B a halr tua long, then shave that end again and again until tile molding fits just dght The p r Is painwaking, but I have learned a iewMebtospsadupthejob: m DonWnwlng your saw h m left to right a hundred tm Sat your i m


Set the ah& u n b an the cabinet top and position them, Fasten thsm to t)le cabinet unk on the backskt8 udno metal strap. Position tha lower ends of the pilasters wfth a taw measure and fasten thsm with small brackets hidden inside the shell unlts.

12 and ngure A). Before assembly, drill holes for adjustable shelfsupports just as you did with the cabinet boxes. There's no need to edge-band the shelf parts. They'll be mered When you asembIe h center A e I f k , keep screws at least e 3-112 in. from the front of the box; that protruding part of the box will be exposed. Square the shelf boxes just as you did the cabinet boxes. T make the pilasters for the shelf o units, buiId a 47-112-in.-long version of the jig shown i Photo 7. You'll need four n full p h t e r s and two hatf pilasters. The sides of the shelf units are uwered w t ih frames. These frames are like the b c a h used on the cabinets, but without the 114in.p b o o d panels. Instead, h e sheIf box sides act as panels. When you add the top rail and half pilaster (motom 13 a d 14), allow the half pilaster to protrude slightly h m h e shelf unit's side. This makes it easier to create a Qbt joint between the side units and the middle shelf unit. The

middle shelf unit has no h e ; cover the h n t plywood edges witb two plasters and a top rail. #en the shelf units are ~rnplete, set them kn place and flma them to the mbhers bdow by suewing metal straps to the backs of h shelf units and cabinets. e The sida of the shelf units may angIe inward or outward slightly, so check the positions of the pilas~erswith a tape measure (photo 18). Then anchor the shelf unit to the cabinet top with small brackets hidden behind each pilaster
(photo abovm).

saw46degrwsmt)Eslaftand r o u g h a t all *the pfaces, maklng them '114 I . tw long. 7hen sat n your saw to the d g h and m tham to length Dm? ImUw with a tape measure. To mark the length of each piece, hold the mitered end in place and mark the other end wfth a s h t p pencil (photo above].
m U i m h t e miter saw guessulrork. Attach a flat scrap of plywood to the bed o your ssw and cut kerfs f in it When you position a mallted piece for W g you'll know n, exactly where the blade wtll land O + I guaesing To attach the pqh woodIyou mn drill holm Into the

and use doublefaeed cqmt tape.

Top it all off with a crown
The crown begins as a solid wood hm joined with pocket saews (Flqnre c). GIue a board to the h n t of t h ~ s frame to
cover h e protruding middle shelf unit (you'll need three damps that open at Ieast 6 in. to attach this part). Then build a plywood parapet around h perimeter e of the kame to support the crown mold-


By removing a few dozen I ~ v o u c a n ~ t h e ~ ~ l e book& apart i abour 10 n minutes. L M the parts to make a reassembly d e r . Cherry a n ahorb stain unevenly h a blotchy appearance, r so w tint applied M i n w P d d ~ e Wood Cunditione~ Then we wiped on two coats of W r cherry oil fkhhAfm am three day%WE lightly sanded the
maldng and Instanwawn rnddhtg. W e and nail In V-bIo& to q


Disassemble for easier finishing

tha wown molding.

~ : , ~
8trs~lrdolo RIANU


wmmi HI


ing. Run mitered base cap molding around the front and sides of the frame. W couldn't find a murower version of e base a p i cherry, so ~ v cut it down on n e the table saw {phota, nbmrs right). If you haven't worked with crown molding before, see "Crowning Touch," Nov. '04, p. 40. (To order a copy, seep. 7.) Crown moldingin rooms i usudy copd s at inside corners to account for out-ofsquare walls. Snethe hame has p e W y ic square corners, we mitered the two

oomer joints (Photo 16). W m yon cut h rbe two &on piof c m m k t flak the middle protruding d m , if d e do ly: Cut them horn a piece at least 12 h. long while holding on to tbe.waste side. Don't hold on t h e short piece. When o the mown molding is in place, glue i n V-bl* to support if. lfyou want to d& play items on top of the crown, cu t a sheet of 314-in. p I y w d to fit. The parapet is 314 in.I than the crown mold& so a plpmod top will fit down inslde it,

laquer (em spray you c h o w a brush-on finish for this project; the intricate doara and side p e l s will require canful hushwork. W let the e 30 W dry overnight and spent minutes rasemb18d the parts in the bookcads new home. A tall, hamy piece o furniture like this a n tip f o m d and f badly injure =meone, so drive two 3-in. mew through the ba& of tfie prnpet into wall studs. n Gght

mt as



c n ) Think twim &re as.


Avoid these common mistakes-and save yourself BIG headaches and BIG money

-Workb"ench 1 3d
Build y o q own mobile workbench
sawdust flying in minutes. k t ofall, you



need the skills of a woodworker to build it. Even thou@ the workbench loaks like e fine pi= of furnilure, si mpk joiner a n d cut-to-fit Vim make this p r o w fairly easy even if pu'w done only rudimentary cabinet ' uildiq, I i a simple b d c m . In thi$ pm we'll wdk y t w h hkey wnaruct , whg
h ' t

b ik&ni4-% f irvd&nga wique,loraktech w q Y due o up the thick top. b u m A an p 59 I T ~ O Wd the derails, S l Yuu wad^ need any e x d c tmS,only a table w,a& q saw* a heavy-duty M ~ n d e .and ar t r 1 fnur4-&&4q5 baeclamps, +nd thos~,a&&trsiawm$.g~~



I . .

Buying tfie materials
~ s p e C i a l ~ ~ ~ ~ k &

~ t h e ~ ~ t t m C ~ ~ O . I n ~ tion, pick bmds h t have light Bench design ~ ( o r n ~ w ) o n o n e + f o r ~ T h e ~ O f ~ b e a c b i s t h e ~ ~ W~ ~ l 4 - k a 4 1 1 d * t p wbih is milde km @mi-up o, && c n t t h e m t o f . & ~ - ~ (PIPWOS 12 - 10). The s u p e r e * b ~~~~d~~~ h d b ftom h e i t w 3/&h pIy- ~ da m ? & ~ ~ ~ r h & ~ ~ t a a 2 8 : t 4 a ~~ ~ t ~ e~ l o n g ~ h m c ~ (?hot0 lh wb then d z m d ug the base h s r a c b ~ c t r t ~ i p ~ wittr venemd plpmd, kimlwd t e b you. h r bihwi~;idad&dheavpWe z e c o whg 314-ia ~ ~drawefs.omd forslm- K ~ f a r ~ ~ a b




~~ hitt-~mmd ~~~~~ ~ c h L ~ e d ~~ &~ ~ ~ O s t r w ( 1

n7 g ~ @ ~ d g d l d o a k . ~ H ~ y o ~ p o t f w ~ d & u m ~ a b o u t 8 ~ 0 0 i F y o n b v i I d fp l p m d don't wmq &at & t~ d&mFlawswiun~bes;eesr.~ =--PW~-* forthe* ~ ~ h ~ a r e & t ~ ~ 3 l This h d i is a m hceqmightr h - t b i & ~ e t r ~ & g ~ t o W ~ e ~ ~ a n d t r , ~ h d o g r s wd&hginar*rnh(withwt m 1 W s h t m i o d kr g it the a r r d ~ h ~ r a a d ~ & d e & r f p i b. b















I t m a n ~ d ~ ~ s o p u c a(or ing n

~ - ~w P & W ~ W & ixim


Cut all of the 314411.AC plywood pleces and 2x4 platform parts lFlgure AI. Screw the platform framing together and then screw on the plywood base,


Glue and pin the box sides togather with 1-112-In. brad, then predrlll and anchor them with threa 1-51841. screws alono each edge.


Screw tha three boxm together, then mntw the

box assembly on the base (3i4 In. from each end) and screw h dawn. Then screw on the plywood top.


flip the bench upside down and screw the vuheels to the underside with 1-112 x 5/1&ln. lag screws. Position two In the cabinot center.

Cut the parts and build the b
Staxt by cutting all of the AC plywood pieces foUowing the cutting diagrams (Figure C, pp. 6-9). TO save an maarials, we cut a few of h e pieces h m IeFtover oak plywood. Mslrk each piece with its lener to save confusion later. Assemble the base pktform and then the boxes (Pfio-I 1 and 2). Finish the back c8bi.net shutture by centering the tripIe box assembly on the base, screwing it down and mewing on the top sheet of ply-


back with xhe oak plywood cut to 5t (PW 5). each p k e mund the perimeter with 1-112-in.brads spaced evay 4 in. Then add I-518-in. screws t h e Ixk p a d s o for more men& (they'll be r m d by irh lam).Tfim out the cabinet by cutting baards to fit as &own i n FigureAandPhoto B,&gwhb thehofimncalhds a the k e and top. It's a little extra wrk, but the bench t will look more polishadif p u miter ehe top and b o r n ~od(Phob3).Whenpournountthewh&(~hao horieonral trim at the corn= F m d cut m d n don the ~ 41, make sure they pivot freely and won't bind against vertical t x i m b d s . B e r n to car o r ~ ~ t b e ~ e a the h e , trimbwdflusbwithbboxopinpattheht After the stmchre is together, hishing the outside o 0h f tthe drawer slides will be too narrow at tbe the cabinet is s m i g h d o d . Simply cover the sides md b n t and won't o p t e smoothly.


Glue the plywood end and back panels Vllw u10 boxes and nail them with 1-libin. brads. S m the perimeter of the three ba& pane18 to the boxes


Mher, then glue and nail on the bottom and top

horizontal trim pieces. Then cut, glue and nail the vertical trim in place (figure A).

with 1-5ia.h. screws.


Glue and nall the drawer Jdes to the fronts and backs Square up e ~ drawer with the bottom ~ h panel and glue and nall it into place.


Rest the top-drawer slldes on a spacer flush with the fmnt trim, then extend them and screw them to the ddm of the cabinet box

W give you the measurements for the drawer fronts and e backs, but that assumes that you cut and assembled your cabinet k e s pmkctly. It's best to mwure h box e widths at this point and cut the front and back of the dmvets exactly 1 in.shorter than the openings. Doublec h d those pieces before assembling the drawers. If they're any larger or smaIler, h e slides won't work. Photos 8 and 9 s h o holy to I & ~ E plpwod S p W S to mount the drawer slides accurately. (ISee the Cutting List, pp. 6849, for spacer sizes.) Slightly m@e i the n spacers and rest the drawer on them so tbe drawer projaa few inches beyond the cabinet front P d out bath drawer slides until they're flush with the drawer h n t





Rest lhe drawm on the spacars. Screw the slides

onto h e drawer at the front Rrst, slide the dranrer out and drive the second patr, then repeat for the t h l d


Mount the draww alldm to the udlhy drawer blocks uslng 1/44n. spaand tfien mount the drawer. Center and demp the drnwur blocks to the cabinet basa and fastm them WIUI3-In. w o w s



Lag-screw the angle iron to the bench-top support boards wfth 1-112-in. x 5/l&in. lag screws. Then bolt them to the base with 2-in. x 5116-in. nuts and b o k

and drive the first screws through the dots (Photo 8). Slide out the drawer until the nexr ram hola are showing and i n d l the next two s m and then slide it out farther t accm the last ones. Rip tbE s p a r and mount o the s a n d drawer the same way. Use a 114-in,spacer for the h o r n sliding shelf, bottom drawer and utility drawer (Photo 10).

I built a version of this bench last winter for my shop and belteve me, K s a joy to usa. [My wlfe complains that Ks nlcer than our kltchen abinetsl) If you've never had a decent vise coupled with bench dogs, you're in for a trertt. They're great for planing, sanding and many other tasks. I urge you to cud0miz0 the drawers and sliding shelves. When building my bench, I laid out my tools and supplies and decided the number and sizes of the drawers and sliding shelves to store them all. The &in.-tall drawer In the space between the bench top and cabinet base Is my favorite. ft stores my tape m a * ures, squares, uhisels, drill bits and marking knives. t added slotted bins in the bottom of ons of the cabinets for my air
guns. Send me soma digital photos of your new ban& akng with comments regarding the building of your bench and any problems you encourvtered We'd love to see and hear how your bench took shape. Send tham to travisJarson@readers digest.com.


Cut and edge the d m r and dmr fronts
the doors and &. C w the edges with sh-ip-s.of o maechrng hardwood for a n a t , d m b k edge meament.
Cut h
e identid panels of oak p
(Figure A)




Rip twenty-four 74t.-long 2rr4s to 3-11Mn. widths. Clamp each bosrd and screw It to the others Lay thrw pipe damps on a R a t surface. Roll a with 3-111, screw spaced every 6 In. Add another thin layer of glue ovar the two maling f a of the 2x4s. clamp and more screws as needed to dose large gaps.


Mark the bench at 6 ft long, then cm m aotn ends witf~ guide and circular saw. Cut from a both sides.



Bah-sand the top flat diagonally Rrsf one way,

then the other until the *progress" IInes -r. Then finish sanding wtth a random ortrkal sander.

Rip your own strips or buy 112 x 314-in."parting stop" at the lumberyard. GIue and pin on the edging with 1-in. brads and slighrly ease the edges with sandpaper to prevent splinters. Then cut the drawer fronts from one of the panels on the table a w . When the drawer fronts are mounted, the spa= bemen the drawers will be the thicknessof h e saw kerf (use 16d nails as spacers), so the top and bottom wiIl remain aligned with the doors, Mount the fronts as we show i Photo 17. Tack strips of n wood spaced 112 in. from the openings on the bottom and one side to d i p the bottom drawer fronts. Screw the hinga on the cabinet doors (3 in. from the top and bottom) Erst and then center the doors and screw the hinges
to the cabinet.

Glue up the knch top
G u n up and flattening your bench top will take most lig of a day. You can get by with lour pipe clamps, but if you have any buddies with pipe damps, borrow them too; they'll speed up the process and ensure gap-free glue joints. Begin your top by mrting twelve 14-ft. long 2x4s in hdf. Choose the best edge of each piece: the one with the fewest, smallest h t s and without any comer defects. Rip each 2x4 to 3-114 in. wide, trimming the best edge square. Cluster together the first h e boards, h d the center of the group and mark lines every 6 in. ( ~ h o t a ts). Later, avoid these locations when you're driving m w so e s you can drilI dean holes for the bench dogs.



q r r d md Illq -Am vnq I ~ ' L F O ~ ~ m d q sS marmu g r dm & ~IIW a *spa a hn 1 - P u p w P* P I * re asn rF d s , l q .dm aag-ds% d p p d a m ~ o j S ~ p d n ~ Q X ~ 1 p ~ h p m q a p 8-p xaddpmarl dn B p w o an@ a q .(Xpo doi) %w dmap B qoj no avJ3oad~ pw IWTB (mauoq P -azaanbs an@ a q 30ad- 'qmq ma^ e Sup@mgv "aq- m q a q 9dpq JqP Z IsQ aV @ W Wclq ' - 11! Y 8 1 IW a! anfo -mu q q ~ x ary saqs%i@ 03 dmp q m q q pps %n@ 8 q m o a acuop am(IqnmmmbsII s na4 m an@ m a ue 1o-j Syqool rlq 1p9gq atp g p~ n q rrrw ."rausjo MOJ aq3 vp = p %g p ! ~ 03 08 n se dw puaq av no WDS ymw p q x a q d atp B q p m ququp 01a[q!ssod SE qsnp se sdal p qa q d q d ~ q e ~ a pO~ m 1 d s a arp dn spaads 3 a p qm @





atp ~

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a u .(sr pus ZL world) an0 dq auo sp8"t m pue an@ PUB s d w q ad!d a m p $noL q .asq s uo & a q dmp pntr an@OI ~ n ~ ~ l SJId q ~ o

by Eric Smith




b Cb?m€Ir,

rrtralgbr and


eatherboards for an extm set of hands
board firmly against the piece of softwoods)-thin enough so the wood 1 t 3 in. before the saw long fingers flex slightly. o blade, then damp it tightly to the saw rable, It should be fairly easy to push the wood fomrd but hard to pull it back. And when you're ripping large boards, add a second damp for --firm 118" TO 114" pressure. Make your own featherbwds from a 2-A. length of b t - f r e e 1x4. Cut one end at 45 degrees.


it's tough to keep a h a r d aligned with the fence, pull out a featherboard for smooth, straight cuts. Featherboards have a series of wooden "fingers" that hold wood tightly against the saw fence. The fingers are slightly flexible and cut at an angle, so they anow you to push the wood through w M e maintaining firm, even pressure, T e a h dig in hy and hold wood in place if it starts to kick back. They're a great *third hand" when you want the perfect rip. Justpush the feather-


Then cut a mies of 4-in.-long kerfs every 118 to 114 i. (narrown er on stiR hardwoods, wider on




Set up simple outfeed support
l y i n g to rip h e last few feet of a long board wirhoupahelper or support at the possible. An expensolve the problem. e, set up a tempoKeep i mind that this works only with conn tractor-size and larger tabIe saws with heavy steel or iron tables. It could cause lighter bench-top saws to tip or bend.


plywood perfecdy in Iine


underside of the 2x4s.

When gas sits. gum can form that keeps engines from starting. When you add STA-BILD Fuel Stabilizer to your gas can and gas-powered equipment this fall, you'll guarantee a quick start next spring.

Usa a half feme

for mplioated gmm
W d w h b I P l O t g ~ ~ ~ g r a i n d w d d r a t ~















~ ~ w m k ~ p e n , d a m
sumth, s i h g f i l of 3J4-in. m&

d ~ ~ f e n G % e n d b g a t ~~tef.dbw#um Wf-+=b+* ( ~ ~ ~ t h e the he)m m t W i u a wh t pushing badF a@mt the Wda lgQep~~~ahand9
p u ~ ~ m & &

I str

andOOrnpl*&e m ~ r f t h e m ~ b e & ~

a & & m w ~ ~ r a t ph~~spIitferat.t~of the W e g m d - h n h c m o f f


&art WM STh-B,
Sold In Ihe automhe &en at leadt~rg n!eU6Ks.


a n c l ~ a ~ ~ t k e t



by George Vondriska

1 No problem
When the w i d i blows the rain s h 0mhg and the p r i going, w s what do p u do?Scurry around the



h o w hoking for a flashlight and radio with pod W e $ ? Hope your cell pbom has a f charge? d The Black & D d e s Storm Station ($100) i an all-in-one axlsww to s stormy weather and poww outages. PIug t e Storm Station in and h the onboard batteries wiIl be dlarged when you need them. If the power d m go old, a Small *Find M Lighf' comes on so you e can 1 a the Storm Station in the dark A r e m d k f *d h l a baWs that also charge when h e s t i o n is pIu& in, canbe dto l@t )pow m y so you don't stub PUT A larger light, builf into roes. the S&, will ihmhte a sman t& mom, The onbaard radio cao be w e d t 1 d tdwbim 6 Bo o P Ew i cIaeAMorFMdial,or,bywingthe w e r t d m band, to weatherspe&c d l & . The Storm Station dm indudes an inverter that will power household phones that q u i r e e l d c i iy, a d wen some laptop computers. The m h u m output of the inverter is about -22 amps, not enough juie to make coff~e run or a blow dryer. The Station a h has a &are& lighter-style 12-vdt DC wnnection with an output of 25 amps. If p u ' pet a d phone ~ l d-mger yon we in p r car, it can u be plugged into the Storm Station. The Storm Station is available at home centers.
Bhok & m

r , (800)


-b Ekr . b - *-

blade mechanism kick in. Cutting w

d won't trigger the s i @

According to the manufacturer, the system is self-monitoring and won't allow the saw to be turned on if the system isn't

You really don't want to do your own hotdog experiments with the szlw, because activating the brake mechanism desuoys both the blade and h brake. Replament brake cartridgesare e $69 for 10-in. blades and $89 for &in. dado heads. Swapping a A table saw accident will ruin anybody's day. Even incidental blown cartridge only takes moments. A 30-in. contact with a spinning blade can cost you a digit. Enter the fence comes standard with both the cabinet Sawstop machines. T h e table saws include a revolutionary and contractor saws. Larger fence capacMade retraction and braking system that instandy stops the i ties are available for an additional fee. blade if it contacts skin. Sawstop table saws are more expenHow does 5 milliseconds sound to you? That's 5 tlrorr- sive than most other table saw. But s n ~ r d t h a second-the time it takes for the SawStop mech- they're quality, welI-engineered saws of anism to stop a saw blade and drop it below the saw table, and may save you a trip to the hand ,r , once your h g e r contacts the blade. That's less than the blink surgeon. Whah that worth?


10,end with 10

ER!" injury to an "Oops, I need a Band-Aidn injury. On the SawvStop Web site, watch as a hotdog is run into the blade to sirnuIate a table saw accident. You just can't beIieve how quickly the retractionlbrake m ~ h a n i s m mcts.

SawStop. The company's cabinet
saw is available now f r $2,799 and o its contractor-style saw will be

-. .

No lost straws, ever
It's a little thing, but it drives me nuts. I buy an aerosol can of silicone, carburetor cleaner or penetrating oil, use it a c e or nrice, and the next time I need it, I mdt find the straw that focuses the stream. It's gone, somewhere in the Black Hole of Lost Stuff. But the Black Hole isn't getting any more of my straws, because I've found HsId-Its ($5 for 12). This is a cool ljltje problem solver that lets you put a leash


on those straws so they can'r ever run

1 I

It wuldn'r be simpler. There's a big loop that stretches around h e top of the can.At the end of the leash is a rubber balI with a straw-size hoIe in it. HoM-Its are durable enough to be used over and over. Get 'em straight f o rm the manufacturer.
nou-I#, (201) 440-lea@.
















Tough-as-iron work pants
dayin ~ e t i f e o f m y ~ d o & ~ ~ ~ u g h dirt, nm over, tugged on and subjected t tots af pmmm o Ifadypumuld get dotha that areaslonglashgand

r u n m , ~ o n a n d ~ j t o I o t s a f p ~ A

toughasafmh~~e.Nowpucani~uth~dingCds Fire HOSEWork Fan&($SO plus $9.95 shippSngl are made fiam the same stuE fire hoses we made h m , which
Inam t h ~ ~ t o ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ u t ~ m durywrk pants, you don't 4 w drag cbem bekid+

~ " w ~ t o s o ~ h n p ~ o x e t3me.Thq'ncomfm%a&sofirigbtfromthesntrt Thew aren't t g t i t n j m r ~ ~ i h -f t i g They're p m n S r y art w r k pan& &at: let p u had o w , dimb a ladder add he i the &And k f r e @;-rich, inddhga speel n d pou& f r the latcsr Wi-pWer t & u d o m p pPone.Tke are 90 m m y ~ t h a canalmat t ~ I~pkIr~behind~pan&eanbandk@ny tig hn you?

~ w . g o r i l l a t a p e . c o n i www.gorillaglue.com



Have an impact
an your project
~ ~ M o p ~ ' l b u & - ~ ~ ? p d e m The new Ridgid Right-Angle Impact D k ($129)isa b h t o t r s c . I t f d g m r i n y o n r h d , e a d y getsiato~~dpackSr~p~letsfidrhe s a w s that would.& a regular cord- drill It's~eodriPescrcwswitbm~driwrh V P i t h a n w - i m p a d ~ ~ ~ ~ d r i ~ p ~ agahstrhe~wkenit~~.It'sl&etp b

pingonEhemdofevmn&whahhbshldGAsthe mw h m m M to drive, e ka rat-a-tal-tat £mm h&rim, like that cool m d you hear horn the
~sgarqyvirbenpu'rehaviugpurtimchanged TbeImpacthhdoesn"lhaPcadriIl&u&ithasa 1 1 4 h c o u p 1 e r . bitsarediysmppedinarrd out. ~ o @ c ~ 1 p hIt m e s with one 12-volt batmy and a f . and can be p c b d only from Rome D e p t

Do ii Once. Do it Right.

dhat Size? How Many? How Much?

Get It Right The First Time!

OukHy tInd lhe narnhsr ol&rr
Qr * l * m l P -# m







m a m - & w m l t ~ W E&LawIaum*m84


yo09 113mg:OI l u ~ l u u d euo lpea JOJMLS e rn

Aed e m

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