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GUILD EDITION Vol. 39 / No. 229


Tool & Jig Issue
All-New Creative
Routing Techniques
Table Saw Tricks for
Cutting Plywood
Avoid These 5
Drill Press Mistakes
n of
of C
ruz B
ru Ba
ay P
ng, In

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SENIOR EDITORS Wyatt Myers, Phil Huber


Dirk Ver Steeg, Peter J. Larson
from the editor


PROJECT DESIGNER/BUILDER John Doyle We always try to present a wide range of projects in Woodsmith
magazine to ensure theres something for everyone. But when it comes to proj-
ects Im drawn to, they almost always fall into the category of classic, time-
SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHERS Crayola England, less, or heirloom. I suppose thats because Im getting older, and they just
Dennis Kennedy
ASSOCIATE STYLE DIRECTOR Rebecca Cunningham seem right to me. Honestly, though, its because those types of projects have a
SENIOR ELECTRONIC IMAGE SPECIALIST Allan Ruhnke longevity that appeals to me.
For example, the card catalog featured on page 42 takes me back to the ones
at my school library. Id spend countless hours thumbing through the cards
Woodsmith (ISSN 0164-4114) is published bimonthly by
Cruz Bay Publishing, Inc., 2200 Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50312. inside each catalog to find just the right book to read. Or Id use the cards inside
Woodsmith is a registered trademark of Cruz Bay Publishing.
Copyright 2017 Cruz Bay Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. to direct me to needed information in order to write a research paper for my
Subscriptions: Single copy: $6.95.
Canadian Subscriptions: Canada Post Agreement No. 40038201. Send change of
composition class. Every drawer was like a treasure map to something new.
address information to PO Box 881, Station Main, Markham, ON L3P 8M6.
Canada BN 84597 5473 RT
Alas, all my searches at the library these days simply consist of typing infor-
Periodicals Postage Paid at Des Moines, IA, and at additional offices.
Postmaster: Send change of address to Woodsmith, Box 37274,
mation into a computer for a lightning fast result very little chance of veering
Boone, IA 50037-0274.
Printed in U.S.A.
off onto any new adventures. Today, old card catalogs are showing up in many
homes, being repurposed for other uses. Ill admit they look great in this new
role, but that makes finding one a bit of a challenge. To solve that problem, we
ONLINE SUBSCRIBER SERVICES designed one you can build in your own shop. From the outside, we made sure
VIEW your account information to maintain the look of a traditional card catalog. But instead of recreating all of
RENEW your subscription
CHECK on a subscription payment those small drawers, which dont address modern-day storage needs, we opted
PAY your bill for larger drawers. Dont worry, though, we kept of few of the small ones, too.
CHANGE your mailing or e-mail address
VIEW/RENEW your gift subscriptions Youll find a great selection of other projects, technique articles, and tips in
TELL US if youve missed an issue this issue, as well. The jig for routing bowls (page 18 and photo above) is well
CUSTOMER SERVICE Phone: 800-333-5075 weekdays
worth checking out. It gives you the ability to create unique, one-of-a-kind
Customer Service Woodsmith Magazine projects without a lot of effort. The workstation on page 36 features a simple, yet
P.O. Box 842 2200 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50304-9961 Des Moines, IA 50312 strong design making it useful around the shop, house, or even outdoors. And
the outfeed table on page 24 is a must-have. Besides giving your back a break
any time you have to deal with cutting heavy, awkward sheets of plywood or
MDF at your table saw, it also doubles as an extra worksurface when you need
CHAIRMAN Effrem Zimbalist III it. And did I forget to mention that its mobile, as well?
PRESIDENT & CEO Andrew W. Clurman

2 Woodsmith / No. 229

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contentsNo. 229 February/March 2017



weekend project
Unique Routed Bowl Jig . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18
Want to make a bowl but dont have a lathe? No problem. By
building a simple router jig and templates, you can accurately 36
shape the inside and outside curves of a solid-wood bowl.

shop project
Ultimate Outfeed Table . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24
Breaking down sheet goods is a challenge. This mobile table saw
lift minimizes the hassle by making it a snap to do it quickly and
safely. Plus, it provides storage and an extra worksurface.

designer project
Knock-Down Shelving System . . . . . . . . . . . .30
Contrasting materials and a stylish design give this shelving
system a great look. But the hardware-free, knock-down design
means you can easily move it and set it up in minutes.

shop project
Heavy-Duty Shop Workstation . . . . . . . . . . . .36
No matter what the task at hand is, this workstation can be
set up or taken down in minutes. Optional accessories provide
expanded capability to make it even more versatile.

heirloom project
Classic Card Catalog Cabinet . . . . . . . . . . . . .42
The classic appearance of a card catalog is unmistakable.
While this one looks traditional, theres a secret extra-wide 42
drawers that provide more useful storage to meet your needs. 3

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from our readers

Tips & Techniques . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
all about
Latches & Catches . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
router workshop
Custom Carved Panels . . . . . . . . 12
great gear
Powermatic Tenoning Jig . . . . . . 14
12 woodworking technique
Flattening a Board . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

woodworking technique
Pocket Hole Joinery Basics . . . . . . 52

working with tools

5 Drill Press Mistakes to Avoid . . 56

in the shop
Our Favorite Cordless Tools . . . . . 58
woodworking essentials
Brushing on a Finish . . . . . . . . . . 60
mastering the table saw
14 Cutting Sheet Goods. . . . . . . . . . 62
tips from our shop
Shop Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
questions & answers
Choosing the Right Bit . . . . . . . . 66


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ro m o ur

Tips &
Double-Duty Drawers
Large, deep drawers in cabinets seem to
waste a lot of space. In the past, I would
just dump loosely associated tools into
one of these drawers, only to spend time
rooting around in the drawer looking !/4
for the item I needed later. That item, of !/4
course, was underneath everything else.
It occurred to me that I could reclaim
some of this dead space by adding a pair Notch in drawer side
Drawer slide provides clearance for
of slide-out trays to the top of the exist- tray and slides
ing drawer box. As the photo shows, this
is done by flipping the direction of these TRAY
additional trays and slides. Base drawer
I started by cutting a pair of notches
in the sides of the drawer and sanding
the opening smooth. Then, as the draw-
TRAY Size the tray to
ings show, I built a pair of trays that open BOTTOM allow for drawer slide
to the sides. This gives you maximum
control over the space you have avail-
able. When sizing the parts of each tray, TRAY Drawer slide
remember to account for the thickness of
the drawer slides. NOTE: Tray
bottom is !/4"
Fred Adams hardboard. Other
parts are #/4" plywood NOTE: Tray width and depth
Henderson, New York will vary depending upon
TRAY SIDE your needs and space available

Win This Forrest Blade

Simply send us your favorite shop tips.
If your tip or technique is selected as The Winner!
the featured readers tip, youll win Congratulations to
a Forrest Woodworker II blade. To Fred Adams, the winner of
submit your tip or technique, go to this Forrest Woodworker II. and click on To find out how you can win
the link, SUBMIT A TIP at the bottom this blade, check out the
of the page. There you can upload your information at left.
tips and photos for consideration. 5

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Crosscutting Long Panels
Plywood panels can be tricky to crosscut.
Even when using a crosscut sled, its hard
to keep enough pressure on the piece and
make an accurate cut at the same time. The
material wants to lift away from the blade.
A nice solution only requires a couple
of roller stands and a 2x4. The two stands
along with the 2x4 are adjusted to the
height of your sled. The weight of the panel
clamped to the 2x4 allows the whole assem-
bly to glide across the rollers smoothly.
Michael Cyr
Westport, Massachusetts

Magnetic Router Table Upgrade

My laminate-topped router table lacks a miter
gauge slot. This is a problem when I want to use
a featherboard for some precise milling. Ive tried
clamping a shop-made featherboard to the top,
but often it would shift when in use.
Recently, I received a magnetic feather-
board as a gift. I love it and use it all the time
at my table saw and jointer. Once its posi-
tioned, the large knobs on the top of the
featherboard turn the magnets on and off.
To use it on my router table, all it took was a
piece of sheet metal clamped to the front of the
table. Once my fence and board was in place, I
positioned the featherboard properly against the
board and turned on the magnets.
Hermie Tolerba
Sugar Land, Texas


Peg Hook Extensions. Jerry Renken of Spokane, WA, Precise Epoxy Mixing. Phil Huber of Urbandale, IA, uses
prevents his long pegboard hooks from lifting out by first graph paper to measure his epoxy. Matching the volume of
placing an aluminum tube (316" x .014") over the center resin and hardener is just a matter of matching the size of
peg. This gives the hook enough length that a peg lock the puddles of each. The graph paper gives a good visual
strap can be used to keep everything in place. reference and can be used multiple times.

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Dead-On Stop Block
Projects often require multiple pieces As the photos below show, all is a more accurate reading of the blade
cut to the same length. And the best you have to do is make a partial location, rather than just bumping the
way to accomplish this is to set a stop cut in a scrap thats clamped to the end of your tape into the blade.
block. For setting a stop block on my fence (on the opposite side of the Harry Larrison
miter saw, I use an old radial arm saw stop block setup). Then, hook your Spokane, Washington
trick that my uncle showed me years tape in that kerf to locate and clamp
ago. It works just as well today. the stop block. This live kerf cut 3
1 2

{ Remove the scrap that was clamped to the

miter saw. Now you can use the setup to
make as many repeat cuts as needed.
{ Cut a shallow kerf into a scrap thats { Hook your tape measure into the kerf
clamped to the saw fence. Do not cut
all the way through the piece.
created by the blade. Then position the
stop block and clamp it in place. DIGITAL WOODSMITH
Making Half-Round Dowels If you have an original shop
A recent project that I was working line on the end of the dowels that rep- tip, we would like to hearr
on called for a couple of half-round, resented the stopping point. from you and consider
decorative accents. After some head As you can see in the inset photo, publishing your tip in one
scratching, I came up with the idea of I used my hot glue gun to tack the or more of our publications.
using dowels, leftover lumber, and my hardwood dowels into the grooves. Jump online and go to:
planer to create what I needed. After planing the dowels to the proper
The process starts by cutting two thickness, I pried them off the sled and and click on the link at the
V-grooves in a piece of scrap lumber. trimmed them to final length. bottom of the page,
This creates a sled to carry the dowels Steven Davey SUBMIT A TIP

through the milling process. I drew a Ellicott City, Maryland
Youll be able to tell us all about
your tip and upload your photos
hotos and
drawings. You can also mail your tips
to Woodsmith Tips at the editorial
address shown on page 2. We will pay
up to $200 if we publish your tip.


Now you can have the best time-saving
secrets, solutions, and techniques sent
directly to your email inbox. Just go to:
and click on,
Woodsmith eTips
Youll receive one of our favorite tips
{ As long as tearout is not an issue, you can take some pretty deep passes in the early by email each and every week.
stages of planing. Take lighter passes when you get closer to the finished size. 7

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Table Saw Accessory Cabinet
I recently upgraded from my contractors saw to
a cabinet saw. I love how smooth the saw runs.
There was just one downside to the deal, and that
was losing the mobile storage stand that my con-
tractor saw was mounted to.
Needing to store all the things that were previ-
ously stored in the stand, I designed and built a wall-
mounted version that accomplishes the same thing.
As you can see in the photos, the door of this cabinet
is where I hang my standard table saw blades. Inside, I
store my dado set, arbor wrench, and other tools. Push
sticks and other accessories can sit on the shelves.
The door and the cabinet are identical in size and
depth. The panel in the door is centered, and the cabi-
net back is inset slightly
to allow space for bev- a. DOOR UNIT
eled wall cleats. Spacers FRONT VIEW

are added to the panels 7!/4

to hold the blades away
from the surface. The
blades are held in place
with wing nuts as shown
in detail b below. 4
Kerry Maletsky
Monument, Colorado

#8 x 3" Fh
TOP woodscrew
NOTE: Rabbet door 3%/8 !/4
and cabinet sides !/16"
to install hinge
#/4 14!/2 14
NOTE: Panel on door unit Continuous #/4 1#/4
is centered front to back. hinge
Back panel on the wall unit !/2 SMALL SPACER 2!/2
is inset #/4" from the back edge 14!/2
!/4 (6"-dia.)
!/2"-13 x 3!/4" &/8" 6!/4
threaded rod centered hole 5#/4
SIDE #8 x 1!/4"
3 Fh woodscrew
16!/2 !/2" -13 x 2!/2"
!/2" wing nut carriage bolt
and washer 2!/4"
#/4 L-hook
LARGE SPACERS 29!/2 !/2" wing 28!/2
(8"-dia.) !/2"-13 x 3!/4" nut and NOTE: Lower
threaded rod 5 cleat secured to
wall. Upper
SIDE cleat is screwed
#/4 to panel
-rad. 2!/8 BACK 14
!/4 14!/2
b. DOOR UNIT !/2" nut !/2 3
NOTE: All dadoes counterbore,
are !/4" deep #/8" deep
Spacers NOTE: Spacers
#4 x !/2" NOTE: Cabinet BASE are !/2" plywood.
Fh woodscrew top and base are 3 All other parts are
w/ !/2" washer mirror images #/8" rare-earth magnet w/!/2" #/4" plywood
cup and #4 x !/2" Fh woodscrew

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T-Track Accessory Storage Block
Stop blocks and hold-downs are everywhere in my shop. Most
of the time, theyre piled away in a drawer not anywhere close
to where I normally use them. I had some leftover pieces of
T-track, so instead of tossing them, I put them to good use.
I created a custom storage block for each of the tools that use
the hold-downs. In the photo here, you see the one I installed
at my router table. I simply cut a groove in a scrap block and
attached the T-track to it. Then I screwed it to the front apron
of my router table where the hold-downs and stop blocks are
tucked away, but close at hand.
I also made a couple of small blocks for either side of my
drill press, as well. But there, I used rare-earth magnets on
the back side of the mounting blocks to hold them in place.
Lem Greer
Loveland, Colorado


Sock for Safety Glasses Storage. John Doyle from Benchtop Hand Sander Block. Scott Johnson of Pacific
Ankeny, IA, has found a way to keep his shop glasses from Grove, CA, takes small parts to the sanding block, not the
getting dusty. He stores them in an old (but clean) sock. other way around. He made a simple MDF block and cleat
This has the added benefit of protecting the glasses from that has a hardwood dowel in the underside to lock it in
being scratched if they get knocked off the workbench. place. Then he sticks his sandpaper of choice to the block.

Bucket Recycling. Seeing an opportunity, James Bradley Sander Rest. Dan Martin of Appleton, WI, has a simple
of Oceanside, CA, made use of an old five-gallon bucket solution for an ongoing problem. Instead of waiting for
for different tasks. Cutting just below the top structural rib his random orbit sander to stop, he sets it on a face-up
leaves the bucket and handle intact. The remaining lid and piece of the same sandpaper. While the sander slows, the
cut section can be used as a basin to clean saw blades. soft loop side of the paper wont harm the benchtop. 9

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cabinet door
Latches & Catches
Hardware selection is probably one for your specific need. You just need
of the most important aspects of any to know what each individual piece
furniture project. But, when build- is designed to accomplish.
ing a cabinet with a door, its easy to Here, Ill take a look at seven
get overwhelmed by the number of latches and catches that Ive used a
latches and catches that are available. number of times over the years in
As it turns out, its not as hard as you my shop. Ive grouped them into
might think to get the right hardware two categories visible and hid-
den hardware. Check out Sources
on page 67 to find out where you
can buy any of these items.

The first group is the visible { Attractive and simple to operate, the bar latch
hardware category. These pieces of is best used for light-duty applications. Theyre
hardware can be used on cabinets easy to mount on several types of doors.
that have inset doors and are easy
to install on the surface of the door and than blend in. And even though theyre
the face frame stile. all different, they all consist of similar
Since this type of hardware often parts: A receiver mounted on one side,
becomes a focal point on a project, and a latch component on the other side.
{ An icebox latch is most commonly theyre available in many decorative CUPBOARD LATCH. The cupboard latch
mounted to the doors frame, while the styles that are designed to enhance is probably one of the most common
catch is mounted to the cases stile. the look of the door or cabinet rather latches available (main photo above),

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and one Ive used quite often. This
latch is usually spring-loaded and
locks in place with an audible click.
Perhaps the nicest feature of a cup-
board latch is the fact that it acts as a
catch to hold a door shut, as well as a
knob to hold on to when opening and
closing the door. This eliminates the
need for additional hardware.
BAR LATCHES. Even though theyre most { Magnetic touch latches are the perfect answer for utility and shop cabinets, as well as finer
often associated with holding shut- pieces of furniture. Theyre simple to mount to the interior surface of a frameless cabinet,
ters closed, bar latches are also quite while the washer is mounted to the inside of the door.
useful for smaller applications, like
jewelry boxes and other small con-
tainers (right photo, previous page).
Simple to use, they too will often have
small knobs to grasp when opening.
ICEBOX LATCH. While predominantly
used for restoration or reproduction
iceboxes (left photo, previous page),
this latch works for other applications,
as well. Theyre generally sold for full
overlay or offset doors. < A rare-earth magnet, cup, and washer is
an inexpensive method for securing all
HIDDEN HARDWARE types of cabinet doors.
The next group of catches are designed
to hold a door shut but be completely is a simple rare-earth magnet. These spring-loaded bearings that trap the
hidden from view. Some rely on mag- are easy to place just about anywhere latch on the other half. The spring
nets for their holding power, while by drilling a shallow hole (photo pressure is usually adjustable.
others use spring-loaded components. above). A washer on the door frame BULLET CATCH. Similar to the double-ball
MAGNETIC TOUCH LATCH. Available for a is attracted to the magnet, pulling the catch is the bullet catch, below. This
single door or double doors (upper door closed tightly. There are also mag- style of catch is mounted in a predrilled
right photos), a magnetic touch latch net cups available to house the magnet, hole in a door stile or rail, with the
requires no knob or pull on the exterior as shown in the right photo above. strike plate mounted to the face frame.
of the door to open and close. As the DOUBLE-BALL CATCH. Another unique Their small size makes them perfect for
door is pushed shut, the latch automati- piece of hidden hardware is a double- light-duty applications.
cally locks in position to hold the door ball catch (left photo below). This type For your next project, spend a little
closed. A light push on the door triggers of catch can be surface mounted or time planning out your hardware
a spring inside the latch to pop it open. mortised into the cabinet and works options. With so many styles available,
RARE-EARTH MAGNETS. One type of hidden best on frameless doors that are its easy to make a good choice to match
latch hardware that I turn to quite often inset. One half of the catch has two the beauty of your project. W

{ The double-ball catch is the perfect option for holding inset doors { The bullet catch gets mounted in a hole in the bottom of the door.
closed. Adjusting the spring pressure of the bearings is as simple The collar can be left proud (left photo) or recessed so its flush
as turning the screws on either side of the latch. with the door. The strike plate gets attached to the case frame. 11

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creative technique for routing

Carved Panels
One of the reasons I enjoy woodworking Rather than making a traditional SETTING UP. I clamped the panel to the
is the opportunity to build one-of-a- raised panel, I turned to my router to workbench between bench dogs so that
kind projects that suit the needs of my create a textured, carved panel. With just there wouldnt be any clamps in the
home. Material selection, proportion, the pair of router bits shown below, you way. As for the router, you only need to
and details all play a role in making a create a series of random, overlapping install the larger bit and set it for about
piece unique. During one recent project, cuts. I was aiming for a lightly textured a 316"-deep cut. Finally, I found that
I wanted to make the frame and panel surface that reminds me of water rip- having a light positioned to one side
assemblies stand out. pling over stones. The result contrasts of the workpiece helps to highlight the
nicely with the straight lines and right texture as its formed.
angles of the frame. MAKING CUTS. Even though youre cre-
An appealing aspect of this technique ating a random-looking texture, the
is the variety of looks that are possible by routing process shouldnt be haphaz-
making simple, subtle changes. By set- ard. A methodical approach is more
ting the router for a deeper cut, making likely to result in an even texture pat-
more aggressive plunge cuts, or using tern, while still being made up of
just long or very short cuts, you can alter random-sized cuts.
the overall appearance. The drawings on the next page show
MAKE THE PANEL. Of course, before fir- the general motion of each cut. The idea
ing up the router, you need to have the is to ease the bit into the workpiece and
{ Common 34" and 12" core box bits are panel in hand. It should be cut to its back out while sliding the router for-
all you need to turn your router into a final size and have any joinery com- ward. I use the back edge of the router
decorative carving tool. pleted for it to fit into the frame. baseplate as a fulcrum to lower and raise

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1 2 3
The goal is an
Finish the cut elongated,
by tilting the elliptical cut
Start with Slowly tilt router again
the base router while TOP
resting upright continuing to VIEW
on the while move the
workpiece moving router along
and tilted forward the panel
away from along the
you workpiece

the bit into the workpiece with the great- intersect and overlap give the work a After completing the cuts, raise the
est control. What youre looking for is a sense of unity, as well. workpiece upright. With a raking light
gently tapered cut. In order to create a Making cuts freehand puts you well from the side, gauge your progress. If
continuous, flowing pattern, I start at on the way to a random look. You can necessary, go back over areas that either
one end of the panel and work side-to- help things along by altering the length look too bare or too uniform.
side down its length. and depth of cuts. My cuts are usually SECOND ROUND. I use a smaller diameter
A VARIED LOOK. In practice, there are only 2"-3" long. Some cuts run nearly the bit to vary the look and to blend heavier
a few other details to consider when full depth of the exposed bit while some cuts into a more unified pattern. Like
creating the textured pattern. For start- merely skim along the surface. before, I set the bit for a shallow cut (a
ers, vary the space between the first set For the most part, the cuts I make little more than 18") and work from one
of cuts with the larger bit. That leaves follow the grain direction. Cross-grain end of the panel to the other.
room for filling in with the smaller bit cuts open the possibility for tearing and In this round, youre working to
later on. All the same, having cuts that a rough surface finish. That being said, remove the remaining flat portions of
you can angle cuts slightly left or right. the surface. Although a few small, flat
As you work, take care to avoid rows portions will look just fine.
of cuts that begin or end at the same There are two ways to do this. The first
place. If you see that happen, feel free method is to start the cut with the bit
to go back and extend some of the cuts. inside a larger cut and work out. This
EDGES & ENDS. The ends and edges of the gives the first cut a smoother transition.
panel deserve special attention. Theres The second approach is to make a
a balance here between an edge that light overlapping pass that traces along-
looks too square or too muddled. side a larger one. In this way you sculpt
Along the edges of the panel, I like and reshape the edge of the first cut.
to run some cuts off the edge. In other After this round of cuts, the panel is
places, start with the bit away from the complete. The texture really comes to life
{ The smaller bit follows the larger bit to edge of the panel and merge into it. A once you apply a coat of finish. Then fit
blend the cuts into a flowing pattern of third technique is to skim the edge, as the panel into the frame and admire
ripples and contours. shown in the bottom photo. your custom work and new skills. W

> When the panel is installed in the frame,

you can see how well the textured look
complements the stiles and rails.

{ Dont forget the edges. To avoid the edges looking

too square, vary the direction and depth of
cut. A few flat areas blend into the rest
of the pattern and wont be noticeable. 13

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Tenoning Jig
For my money, it doesnt get much is deciding on the best method to use comes with a few drawbacks. For
better than a mortise and tenon joint. to create the tenons. one, weighing in at 25 lbs., it can be a
This non-mechanical joint is a main- When I have a lot of tenons to cut, Ill struggle just to lift the jig out of storage
stay in traditional woodworking. But often pull out my dedicated tenoning and carry it to the table saw. And Ive
a rather big challenge (at least for me) jig. But this method for making tenons always been frustrated with the length
of time it takes to set up a tenoning jig
before you can start cutting.
F-style clamp NEW STYLE. Tenoning jigs for the table
saw have been around for a number of
years, and, with the exception of minor
Micro-adjustment differences here and there, theyre mostly
the same design across brands. So when
Powermatics new PM-TJ tenoning jig
showed up in the shop with a very dif-
ferent look from most of the others, I was
Work intrigued to find out if theyd found a
way to build a better mouse trap.

Sturdy Extruded FEATURE PACKED

aluminum handles
base Straight out of the box, the Powermatic
jig is almost ready to use. There are just
Angle a few parts to bolt on using the supplied
Guide indicator
wrenches before youre able to set the

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1 2

{ Adjust the fence until

the saw teeth are just
touching the fence and { With the fence still touching the saw
then tighten the guide blade, push both stops against the rear of
bar screw. the handle and lock down stop #1.

jig in place on the table saw and align it lock knob and slide the fence against the 3
to your blade. But before jumping into saw blade. Move the jig side to side until
the setup procedure, let me touch on a both the front and rear teeth are touch-
few things about this jig that jumped ing the fence (photo 1), then tighten the
out at me right away. guide bar screw. This also establishes the
LIGHTER WEIGHT. The first thing I noticed zeroed-out location of the fence.
is that this jigs footprint is rather sub- Now youre ready to set the jig to
stantial compared to other tenoning make tenons. And this is where the
jigs Ive used (main photo, previous Powermatic jig forges its own path.
page). But despite this obvious size dif- Instead of a trial and error method
ference, the extruded aluminum body common for setting other tenoning jigs, { Move the fence forward so its out of the way.
of the Powermatic jig means that it only this jig is quick to set up for just about After placing the mortise chisel between
weighs 17 lbs. This made it quite a bit any size tenon. Simply use a spacer stops #1 and #2, lock down stop #2.
easier to move on and off the table saw. the same thickness as your desired
COMFORTABLE. Another feature that really tenon and the workpiece itself (photos 4
made this jig a pleasure to use is the 2 through 4). If youre using a mortis-
placement of the handles. Unlike most ing machine to cut the mortises, you
tenoning jigs that use screw-in, verti- can even use the mortise chisel as the
cal posts as handles, the Powermatic spacer (refer to photo 3 at right).
jig incorporates two extruded handles READY TO USE. With the jig properly set
that run horizontal to the saw surface. up, youre ready to clamp the workpiece
These ergonomically shaped and placed in place and make the first pass over
handles felt very natural in use. the saw blade (main photo on previous
UNIQUE DESIGN. But in my book, what set page). After that, simply flip the piece
this tenoning jig apart from the rest is the around and complete the tenon cheek { Set the workpiece against stop #2, pull
creative design of the jig base. It actually on the other side, as shown in photo 5. the handle back until the rear face is just
consists of two separate parts (one black, This will result in a perfectly centered touching it, and tighten the lock knob.
one silver) that interlock using a slid- tenon on the end of the workpiece.
ing taper design. These two parts glide MICRO-TUNING. If you need to fine-tune 5
effortlessly against each other. And since the tenon thickness or create offset
the fence is attached to the black section tenons, the procedure isnt difficult. A
of the base, positioning the fence is a micro-adjustment knob at the back of
breeze since there is very little resistance. the jig makes it easy to move the fence
The base, along with some other key fea- position in very fine increments.
tures of this jig, are shown in the photos While some folks may balk at the
at the bottom of the previous page. almost $300 price tag of the Powermatic
jig, if you have to create a lot of tenons,
INTUITIVE SETUP youll find this jig almost indispensable.
Aligning the guide bar on the bottom The flexibility it provides to change { After making the first pass (main photo,
of the jig to the saw blade took me less tenon sizes quickly and accurately will previous page), flip the workpiece around
than a minute. Simply loosen the fence be a marked advantage in any shop. W and make the second cheek cut. 15

WS229_014.indd 15 11/22/2016 10:27:46 AM

d w orking
woo nique

preparing a surface with a

Hand Plane
Like many home shops, mine is on a faces parallel and make a board a con-
budget of both money and space. This sistent thickness.
juggling act works itself out in many PLANE FACTS. A quick and efficient rem-
ways. One compromise was going edy for this is flattening the first face
with a 6" jointer. Instead of a larger 8" with a hand plane. Im not talking about
Indicated by machine, I chose to spend my cash on a creating a perfect, glass-smooth surface.
a hollow center section
higher-quality planer. The goal is simply to knock down the
Bow Most of the time, Im completely high spots of the board so you can run
happy with this decision. Theres only it through a planer. And using the right
one time this sacrifice shows up pre- strategy, its not a difficult process.
paring stock thats wider than 6" CONSIDER THE BOARD. Before you start
The tried-and-true method for getting planing one face of a board, however,
Indicated by wood flat and square goes like this: Flat- you need to know what kind of prob-
a hollow ten one face of the stock on the jointer. lem youre dealing with. The approach
middle section
Then use the planer to surface the oppo- will vary based on the problem at hand.
site face. Then, back at the jointer, true You have two things to consider when
an edge and youre set to go. But when troubleshooting lumber.
I have a board thats wider than I can As the drawings to the left show,
work with at my jointer, the challenge there are three common surface prob-
is getting that first face flat. lems to contend with. Cupped and
It would be nice to use the planer, but bowed boards are pretty straightfor-
by opposite when it comes to dealing with unruly ward. Twists, on the other hand, can be
elevated corners boards like the ones shown at left, the trouble. But if the board has the look
planer wont do. A planer isnt designed youre after, it may be worth the effort.
to flatten a board. Its job is to make the As for grain direction, you can make a

16 Woodsmith / No. 229

WS229_016.indd 16 11/23/2016 8:15:16 AM

NOTE: Scribe edges of board to help guide the planing process

Cupped Bowed Twisted

Stock Stock Stock Shim


line Waste

Secure with NOTE: Shim under

bench dogs opposite high


quick survey by looking at the edges of PLAN OF ATTACK. With all that in place, A quick way to check your progress is
the boards. A consistent grain direction its time to go to work. Regardless of to flip the board over and see how much
makes for easier planing. the type of grain terrain youre dealing it rocks on the bench surface. Or you can
GET A GRIP. Planing a board is a kinetic with, its best to remove the wood in use a simple set of winding sticks that
activity, to say the least. Even a board light, modest cuts. Since you wont be are featured in the box below.
that requires a light touch with the shaving a lot of wood at first, set your BACK ON TRACK. Once the surface is
plane needs to be firmly held in place. plane for a medium cut and start at the reasonably flat, you can resume the
The drawings above show how using highest point of the board. traditional steps of stock preparation.
bench dogs and shims fit the bill. These first light passes will help you Start by running the board through
But before the shavings begin to get a feel for the grain, as well. To avoid the planer with the flattened face
fly, take a little time to map out your tearout, its important to plane with down. Then flip the board over and
plan of attack on the surface of the the grain direction. This might require plane the opposite face.
board. As all three examples above planing diagonally across the board. Remember, its important to remove
show, you can start by scribing a line The whole process is a matter of trial thin layers of material evenly from both
where needed around the edges of and error. With that in mind, I usually sides of the board until you come to your
the board. From there, with a fairly aim to remove the stock in three or so final thickness. If you hog all the material
soft-leaded pencil (this will leave levels, kind of like the topography off one side, theres a good chance you
a darker, more noticeable mark), rings on a map. As you proceed, if the will stress the board and find yourself
you can highlight all the areas to be cut seems a little aggressive, you can right back where you started, dealing
removed on the surface of the board. adjust the blade depth as needed. with a another warped surface. W


Winding sticks are one of those All you need to survey a sur-
simple shop tools that, when face is two straight sticks. Even a
needed, nothing else will do. And couple lengths of aluminum angle
rightly so, as they are efficient at will work fine. Place the sticks at
what they do. They telegraph the opposite ends of the board, then
surface inconsistencies across any sight across the tops to reveal the
board that youre trying to flatten. difference along the board.


Winding stick stand-in indicates
(using aluminum angle) twist

{ Winding sticks are used to determine any variance across

Workpiece the surface of a board. The amount of material to remove
is magnified by the overall length of the sticks. 17

WS229_016.indd 17 11/23/2016 8:15:55 AM


Make a bowl with a

Router Carving Jig
This project started with a simple idea use a router to make
a decorative bowl, like the ones you see at left. Theres a little
more going on, but its a great way to get more from your router.
Before you can make the bowl, you need a router jig and
Plans for making the bowls
and stand are available at some templates. From there, youll employ an unusual tech- nique to turn a square blank into a graceful, curved bowl. By
the end, we were wondering what the project really was. Is
it the jig and template system, or is it the bowl itself? We did
agree on one thing making a bowl (and jig) is a great way
to spend some time in the shop.
THE BOWL BLANK. From the outset, I was worried it would be
difficult and expensive to find a large, thick piece of wood
for the bowl. As it turns out, this project is a great way to use
up small cutoffs you have lying around the shop. I found this
out by accident. To try out the jig, I glued up a blank from
some poplar scraps. When I was done, the bowl had such a
nice form that I painted it. The result speaks for itself.
{ With the router carriage shown above and a set of If you prefer a bowl with a natural finish, take a look at a
templates, you can create a bowl in less than a day. couple of the other bowls shown at left. The blanks for these
The design possibilities are endless. are made from narrow strips of wood glued together.

18 Woodsmith / No. 229

WS229_018.indd 18 12/6/2016 8:42:16 AM

NOTE: Mark centerlines
32 on templates and platform

TEMPLATE #8 x 1!/2" Fh
B woodscrew 1!/8



NOTE: Make one platform
and switch out templates in use

Start with a set of NOTE: Support platform is


glued up from three
layers of #/4" MDF.
Templates are #/4" MDF 4#/4

Sculpting a bowl with a router requires Use the drawings below to lay out the the router technique in the photo below
a certain amount of prep work. To make profile of the template on a blank. Then and on page 65 to make a copy.
controlled, consistent cuts, templates cut most of the waste away using a band SUPPORT PLATFORM. The bowl blank gets
are used to guide the router. One pair of saw. (A jig saw is another good option.) attached to a thick support platform
templates are used to make the cuts that You want to stay just to the waste side (drawing above). The platform also
form the inside of the bowl. Another pair of the line when cutting. This saves time serves as a mounting point for the tem-
help shape the outside. when removing the blade marks and plates during each part of the process.
The templates shown here are used to allows you to shape an even profile with The platform raises the bowl blank
make the painted bowl shown on pages files and sandpaper. When youre satis- above the benchtop to provide clearance
18 and 23. To make different shapes, you fied with the shape of the template, use for the bit when shaping the outside.
need to make new templates (two other
shapes are shown in the online extras). 12#/16
SHAPING TEMPLATES. I made the templates Inside Template
from MDF because its inexpensive and
fairly easy to shape. Although a pair of
templates are required for each part of 10"-rad.
the bowl-making process, I focused on 10
making just one for each pair.

6 A

B 6 4#/4

{ Making multiples doesnt have to be 8
twice the work. Turn to page 65 to see Outside Template

how to quickly make identical parts.

11!/2 19

WS229_018.indd 19 12/6/2016 8:42:38 AM

NOTE: Rails and cleats are 2
made from #/4"-thick hardwood

%/16"-18 E E
star knob
NOTE: Mounting block E
is glued up from three %/16"-18 x 6!/2" SIDE
layers of #/4" plywood F carriage bolt SECTION VIEW


2!/4 E 1

2!/2 FRONT

D 36
c. %/16"-18
star knob %/16"-18 x 5"
RAIL NOTE: Use holes in rails
3!/2 carriage bolt
as a guide to drill
holes in mounting
block blank F




The templates guide the path of the router, and keep it moving in a straight
but you need a way to support the router line along each of the templates.
above the workpiece and guide it along LONG RAILS. I made the two rails
the templates. Thats where the carriage from maple for stiffness. Besides cut- MOUNTING BLOCKS. The router motor body
shown above comes in. The router is ting them to size, you need to drill a set is captured by a pair of thick mounting
captured between two mounting blocks of mounting holes, as shown in detail blocks. Its important that the mounting
attached to two long rails. b. These are used to secure the router blocks have a tight grip on the motor
The rails ride along the top of the tem- and a couple of mounting blocks to the body. For this to happen, I started with
plates, guiding the bit in and out of the rails. The additional pairs of holes give a single glued-up blank and drew a
cut. A pair of cleats at each end of the car- you more flexibility for setting the cut- circle that matched the diameter of the
riage serve as stops to position the router ting depth of the bit. router motor housing.


1 Diameter of
2 3
motor body Aux. miter
E gauge
a. END
Waste #/4" dado a. FRONT VIEW #/8
Cut to waste
side of line

Split the Block. After marking for Smooth Curve. With a 14"-wide Registration Dadoes. Space the
the router motor body and drilling the blade, cut out the waste in the blocks dadoes so the cleats will slide smoothly
mounting holes, cut the block in half. to accept the router motor. on the rails with the router in place.

20 Woodsmith / No. 229

WS229_020.indd 20 12/6/2016 8:41:31 AM

Figures 1 and 2 on the previous page BACKER
pick up the remaining steps. After drill- I
ing the mounting holes, the block is cut in
half. Remove the waste at the band saw
and use a sanding drum or sanding block
to clean up the blade marks. H 16
The router motor and mounting blocks
are held with long carriage bolts and star
knobs. This is shown in the main draw- NOTE: Pattern is
ing and detail a on the previous page. attached to backer
with double-sided tape
SIDE STOPS. The stop assemblies on NOTE: G
the carriage are each made from two All parts
are #/4" MDF
wood cleats joined with some hard-
ware. Dadoes in the cleats fit over the a.
rails. Size the dadoes for a smooth, 5#/4" -rad. 5!/4"-rad.
sliding fit. Rather than cut the dadoes
#8 x 1!/2" Fh J 3!/2
individually in each cleat, I made all woodscrew
the cuts in a wider blank, as shown I
in Figure 3 on the previous page. The
dadoes are spaced to match the width
of the mounting blocks with the router
clamped in place.
Replace the dado blade with a combi- your workbench. The sides are attached in Figure 1 below. Stay just to the waste
nation blade and cut the cleats to width. with glue and screws. The sides are side of the layout line for both cuts.
Like the mounting blocks, the cleats are spaced to correspond with the overall The layout lines serve as a guide for
secured with carriage bolts and knobs, width of the templates and support creating a smooth, even curve. The MDF
as you can see in detail c on page 20. platform you made earlier. is soft enough to easily shape with files
BACKER & PATTERN. Spanning the sides is and sandpaper. However, I found that a
SETUP GAUGE a pattern attached to a backer. The pat- sanding drum installed in the drill press
Before putting the templates and car- tern is a cross section of a finished bowl speeds up the process for smoothing the
riage to use, you need a reliable method at its midpoint. Both pieces are also inner curve, as shown in Figure 2.
to set the router position and bit depth. made from MDF. The backer is simply When youre satisfied with the shape,
That task falls to the setup gauge. cut to fit between the sides. tape it to the backer. Center the pattern
BASE & SIDES. In the drawing above, you The pattern is a little more involved side to side, making sure the top edges
can see the parts that go into making only because of its shape. Lay out both are flush with the upper edge of the
the setup gauge. It consists of an MDF the inner and outer curve on an extra- backer, as illustrated in detail a above.
base and a pair of sides. The base is long blank. The band saw is an ideal tool
extra long so that you can clamp it to for cutting out the pattern, as you can see Materials & Supplies
A Inside Templates (2) 34 MDF - 12 x 32
Outside Templates (2) 34 MDF - 6 - 2912
Support Plat. (1) 214 MDF - 16 - 24
D Rails (2) 3 x 31 - 36
4 2
1 2 E Mounting Blocks (2) 2 4 Ply. - 2 x 612

F Cleats (4) 3 x 1 5 - 8
4 8
G Base (1) 34 MDF - 10 - 20
Sanding 3 MDF - 33 - 10
drum H Sides (2) 4 4
I Backer (1) 3 4 MDF - 312 x 16
Pattern 3 MDF - 12 rgh. x 4 rgh.
blank J Pattern (1) 4
(16) #8 x 1 2" Fh Woodscrews
J Auxiliary drill
press table (2) 516"-18 x 612" Carriage Bolts
(2) 516"-18 x 5" Carriage Bolts
(4) 516"-18 Star Knobs
Cutting Curves. To ease the cleanup, Speed Sanding. Smooth the inner
cut the curves in a single pass while curve with a sanding drum. Take light ALSO NEEDED: 2.6 bd. ft. of hard maple and
staying to the outside of the lines. passes to work to the layout line. one 48" x 96" sheet of #/4" MDF 21

WS229_020.indd 21 12/6/2016 8:41:46 AM

NOTE: Turn to page 11!/4
67 for painting details
Laminated 24




While you could certainly use a thick

NOTE: Bowl blank is
block of wood for the bowl blank, stock glued up from two
that large can be difficult to come by. layers of 1#/4"-thick poplar
Another option is to glue up a blank from
thinner stock. For the painted bowl shown a. FRONT VIEW
on the next page, I used poplar.
Inner profile Bowl blank
GLUING UP A BLANK. To make the blank, I of bowl !/2
cut two oversize pieces and laminated
them together face to face. The key here
is getting a tight, thin glue line. So take
your time to prepare the glue surfaces.
Then use plenty of clamps to prevent
any gaps within the blank. CARVING PROCESS covers the main steps. Center the bowl
Once the clamps come off, its time The carving starts with the inside of the blank on the support platform and
to trim the blank to clean up the edges bowl. The routing process isnt difficult, secure it with screws, as in Figure 1.
and ends. To help locate the blank on the though it is repetitive as you go back FIRST CUTS. The pattern allows you to
support platform, draw centerlines on and forth between the setup gauge and set the stops and bit depth. I found that
all sides of the blank (Figure 1 below). the bowl and templates. The box below routing through the backer on the setup


1 #10 x 4" Fh
woodscrew 2 Stop 3 Hold carriage
against template

Bowl !/2" #/8

blank Use top holes W
for initial cuts straight
Inside bit

platform Pattern and backer

Secure the Blank. Drive long The Setup. With the carriage on the First Cuts. Place the carriage on the templates
screws through the corners of setup gauge, use the stops to position the with the bit away from the blank. Turn the
the blank. These holes will be router just off center. Set the bit depth router on and make a pass through the blank.
cut away later on. and make a cut through the backer. Flip the carriage around for a second pass.

4 5 Carriage
6 Lower router
in carriage as needed
Work from the Move to
center down and lower holes
to the edge for deeper cuts
Pattern Bowl and
tray bit
Setup Cut through Vertical panel
gauge backer with raising bit
each pass
to track your Backer

Repeated Passes. Using the setup gauge as Smooth Sides. Switch to a vertical Bottom Cuts. For shaping the bot-
a guide, reset the position of the router by panel raising bit to trim along the tom, install a bowl and tray bit. Its
adjusting the stops and bit depth to clear out sides. Making fine adjustments flatter profile helps to remove the
the waste in multiple passes. leaves a smoother surface. steps left by the straight bit.

22 Woodsmith / No. 229

WS229_022.indd 22 12/6/2016 8:41:11 AM

gauge helped me to better monitoronitor my
progress, as in Figure 2. For each
ch bit and
stop setup, you make two passes ses across
the bowl, as illustrated in Figure
ure 3.
Your main aim in the first stages is
removing waste as efficiently y as pos-
sible. For this, an ordinary straight
raight bit
does the job (Figures 2 through h 4). Since
the surface quality isnt important
ant at this
point, I set the bit to take a deeper
eeper cut
with each pass than I usually would. { The smooth,
t , even
th ev n grain
n of
of poplar
poplarr makes it an ideal choice for a painted
SMOOTH SURFACES. As you get closer to bowl. Milk paint
n provides a matte
m tte finish thatt highlights the routed form.
the final shape, you want to create a
smoother surface. To do this, switch to the inside. But there are a few important Then in Figure 8, you can see how to
bits that have curved profiles. differences that Id like to highlight. rough cut the bowl to save time routing.
Along the sides of the bowl, l, I found First, you need to swap out the inside After reconfiguring the setup gauge
that a vertical panel raising bit matched templates for the outside templates. Due (Figure 9), its back to the straight bit
the steeper sides, as shown in Figure 5. to the shape of the outside templates, the and a couple of curved bits to shape the
(Refer to sources on page 67.) For cuts at bowl blank needs to be trimmed so it outside, as in Figures 10 and 11.
the bottom of the bowl where the profile wont interfere with the router carriage. In order for the bowl to sit without
is flatter, I opted for a bowl and tray bit, To do this, I set the bowl blank in place rocking, I sanded a flat on the bottom.
as shown in Figure 6. and scribed the edge of the template You can find the details for the two-tone
NOW, THE OUTSIDE. The outside of the onto the bowl and knocked off the cor- painted finish on page 67. The result is a
bowl is shaped in a similar fashion as ners with a hand saw (Figure 7 below). one-of-a-kind keepsake for your home. W


7 #/4 Bowl
blank 8 9
Start in middle
of bowl
5#/8 Draw a line !/2" from
inside edge of bowl
to indicate outside
of bowl
Waste Setup
Unfasten from sides
and flip pattern and
and backer over

Trim the Ends. To provide clearance Cut to Rough Shape. Using the inside Flip the Setup Gauge. Turn the
for the router and carriage to shape of the bowl as a guide, draw a line for backer and pattern over and use the
the outside, bevel the ends of the bowl the outside rim and cut the bowl to same process as before to begin
blank with a handsaw. rough shape at the band saw. shaping the outside of the bowl.

Core box bit

10 11 for sides 12
Flip router
between passes
Kraft and tray
paper bit trims
Install Curved card
closer to scraper
outside bottom

Outside Templates. Secure the bowl blank to Shape the Outside. After Smoothing. Rasps and files make
the platform by gluing it down with a layer of removing most of the waste, use quick work of the outside. On the
kraft paper between the bowl and platform. This a bowl and tray bit, along with a inside, a curved scraper quickly
creates a secure but easy-to-separate bond. core box bit, to refine the shape. removes ridges prior to sanding. 23

WS229_022.indd 23 12/6/2016 8:40:41 AM


Outfeed Table
This shop upgrade has it all a large worksurface, ample storage, and a
unique sheet goods lifting system. Plus, its easy to roll-around the shop.
Outfeed support is essential when cut- Below the table, two heavy-duty other sheet goods lifting them up to
ting long boards or large sheets of ply- shelves add some much-appreciated the saw table. In the left photo on the next
wood at the table saw. But what if the storage space. Casters on the table, and a page, you can see how the cradles carry
support could offer a helping hand at mobile base on the table saw, allow you the lions share of the weight. You just
other times, too? That question was the to arrange the shop space for any task. need to tilt the sheet back, and it rocks
spark that led to the table you see here. Shop-built levelers let you lock the table onto the saw table with a lot less effort.
For starters, the outfeed table has a in place with a few turns of the knobs. Before getting started, theres one item
large, flat top so its ideal for outfeed The two curved extensions in the to note: I sized the height of the table
purposes. But its also plain to see how photo above are sure to catch your eye. (and the cradles) to match the height of
this table might be used as an assembly These removable cradles are a back- my saw. Double-check your table saw,
table, finishing station, auxiliary work- saving solution for one of the most chal- so you can make any modifications to
surface you get the idea. lenging parts of cutting plywood and the plans as you go along.

24 Woodsmith / No. 229

WS229_024.indd 24 12/5/2016 10:24:40 AM

Construction Overview /OVERALL DIMENSIONS: 48"W x 34"H x 36"D (cradles stored)
Large laminate-covered
top creates an ideal
extra worksurface

Stout hardwood frames

are used to provide solid support
for top and two storage shelves Laminate strips allow
sheet stock to slide smoothly

Three-layer ends Upper shelf provides

create a strong, storage for cradles
rigid assembly

Two sturdy
shelves offer
ample storage

Shop-made levelers
make it easy to
account for
uneven floors Swivel casters make
moving the table a breeze
Cradles fit into
pockets in end assemblies
when in use
Removable cradles ease
the burden of
lifting sheet materials
onto saw table

{ The curved cradles carry the weight of a sheet of { To save space, the cradles tuck away on the top
plywood to make it easy to tilt it up onto the table. shelf of the table when you arent using them.
Then just slide it over to the table saw to make a cut. Handholds make them easy to grab. 25

WS229_024.indd 25 12/5/2016 10:25:04 AM


Strong, sturdy


One of the interesting construction fea-

tures of the outfeed table is its simplicity. 26
Two basic assemblies combine to form C
the table: End assemblies and shelf 3 VERTICAL
assemblies. You can see both types in END
the drawings on this page and the next. A A

In a nutshell, solid-wood frames provide

#8 x 1!/2"
a rigid skeleton, while plywood panels Fh woodscrew 4
form stable surfaces. B

While I used Baltic birch plywood and

maple, feel free to use other types of ply-
#8 x 1!/4" Fh woodscrew
wood and solid wood to suit your needs
NOTE: Ends
and budget. The key is making sure the are #/4" plywood. 3
materials are flat and straight. Fillers are a. SIDE
#/4"-thick hardwood VIEW 1
END ASSEMBLIES. I began by making the B
two end assemblies. The drawing at B
right shows the arrangement. A pair of with the top and bottom ends. Use the 2
plywood panels sandwich a hardwood dimensions in detail a as a guide for 1#/4
frame to create a flat, rigid structure. drilling the screw holes. 5!/4
Whats nice is that you dont need to The vertical fillers come next, but notice C
cut any joinery. Large glue surfaces and theyre inset from the edge, as shown in 5!/2
screws solidly join one layer to the next. the drawing above. This creates a pocket
The key is cutting the corresponding for registering the plywood lifting cra-
parts to a consistent size. dles. The inner end panel completes the SHELF ASSEMBLIES
In order to keep the outside face free assembly sandwich. Apply a bead of glue The second type of assembly joins the
of visible screw heads, start with the out- to the filler pieces and set the inner end ends into a single unit, and these are the
side end face down on your workbench. panel in place. Once the edges are all two shelf assemblies. A third, slightly
Add the horizontal fillers so theyre flush aligned, drive the screws home. modified shelf assembly supports the

Materials, Supplies & Cutting Diagram

A Ends (4) 3 ply. - 32 x 32
4 (4) 12"-13 Knobs (8) 38" x 512" Lag Screws
B Horizontal Fillers (4) 3 x 3 x 32
4 (1) 12"-13 x 36" Threaded Rod (8) 38" Washers
C Vertical Fillers (4) 3 x 3 - 26
D Aprons (6) 3 x 3 - 391 #/4"x 5" - 84" Hard Maple (2.9 Bd. Ft.)
4 2
E Rails (6) 112 - 3 x 30 D D
F Shelves (2) 3 ply. - 311 x 391
4 2 2
#/4"x 6!/2" - 84" Hard Maple (3.8 Bd. Ft.) L
G Brace (1) 3 x 3 - 361
4 2
H Top (1) 3 ply. - 36 x 48 D D
I Leveler Bases (4) 112 x 212 - 6
#/4"x 3!/2" - 96" Hard Maple (2.3 Bd. Ft.)

J Leveler Supports (4) 158 x 214 - 5

C C tt

K Cradles (2) 4 ply. - 32 x 3378
L Cleats (2) 3 x 11 - 291
4 4 2 #/4"x 6!/2" - 96" Hard Maple (4.3 Bd. Ft.)
M Cradle Shelf (1) 3 4 ply. - 2912 x 3912 B B C
(28) #8 x 114" Fh Woodscrews
(98) #8 x 112" Fh Woodscrews 1!/2"x 3!/2 " - 96" Hard Maple (Two boards @ 4.7 Bd. Ft. each)
(24) #12 x 3" Fh Woodscrews E E E
(4) 3" Swivel Casters 1#/4"x 3" - 48" Hard Maple (2.0 Bd. Ft.) J ALSO NEEDED: Five 48" x 96" sheets of
(16) #12 x 58" Ph Woodscrews I I I I birch plywood. One 48" x 60" sheet
of plastic laminate
(4) 12"-13 T-Nuts NOTE: Parts 'I' planed to 1!/2"thick. Parts 'J' planed to 1%/8" thick
(4) 12"-13 Swivel Mounts

26 Woodsmith / No. 229

WS229_026.indd 26 12/5/2016 9:56:42 AM

Apply plastic laminate after
attaching top to aprons, brace, and rails TOP

36 D 3 SIDE
E 48 E #8 x 1!/2" Fh VIEW
D woodscrew E

36!/2 BRACE 4!/4
b. D E

D NOTE: Aprons and
brace are #/4"-thick 2!/4 4!/4
13 E hardwood. Rails are
39!/2 1!/2"-thick hardwood.
Shelves and top TOP VIEW !/2"-rad.
F are #/4" plywood

E c.
D 3!/2 F
Drive screws into #12 x 3" Fh
fillers when securing woodscrew
shelf and top E
assemblies to ends
3" swivel casters
large worksurface of the table, as illus- with #12 x %/8"
Ph woodscrews 1!/2 FRONT
trated in the drawing above.
frames that support the plywood Once the frames are complete,
shelves come first. Each frame consists glue and screw the plywood shelf to the additional support for the worksurface.
of a pair of aprons and a pair of rails. top. Working from the bottom up, join Its screwed into the rails.
Here again, glue and screws take care the shelf assembly to the two end assem- The top is a large piece of plywood
of the joinery, as shown in detail a. I blies. (The shelves are centered side to that overhangs the frame on all sides.
used two different thicknesses for the side.) Locate the holes for the screws for This maximizes the work area and makes
aprons and rails. Since the assemblies the upper shelf so they anchor into the it easy to clamp workpieces to the top.
are screwed to the ends through the vertical fillers, as in detail a. I covered the top with plastic laminate
rails, thicker material creates a stiffer TOP FRAME. The frame that supports the for a durable, smooth surface. The lami-
connection, as you can see in detail c. top includes a centered brace to provide nate reduces friction when the table is
used for outfeed support. When pressed

How-To: APPLY LAMINATE into duty as an assembly and finish sta-

tion, stray drips of glue and finish pop
off without any trouble.
1 2 Apply
The top is attached to the frame before
oversize the laminate goes on, as in detail b. To
piece of prevent the screw holes from telegraphing
through the laminate, I filled them (Fig-
Fill ure 1). An oversize piece of laminate is
H holes applied with contact cement. A hand-held
router makes quick work of trimming the
Chamfer laminate flush, as in Figure 2.
bit trims CASTERS. One other addition is a set
flush of swivel casters added to the under-
side of the lower shelf. This way, you
Smooth. Fill the screw holes Trim & Chamfer. A chamfer bit trims the can position the table to reconfigure
with wood filler and sand the laminate flush with the top and eases the your workshop to suit a wide variety
surface smooth. edge in one simple step. of tasks. On the next page, youll see a
way to lock the table in place. 27

WS229_026.indd 27 12/6/2016 3:39:07 PM

Heavy-duty !/2"-13 knob
epoxied to
threaded rod NOTE: There
are two
!/2"-13 x 6"

LEVELERS threaded rod

levelers on
each end

!/8 1!/2
Casters are great for rolling a large table !/8
like this around the shop. But when you !/2"-rad.
want to use it as an outfeed table, the
casters may lead to the table shifting. BASE NOTE: Bases are
I 1!/2"-thick hardwood.
Also, if your shop is anything like mine, Supports are
the floor is uneven. That can cause prob- 1%/8"-thick hardwood
lems when trying to align the outfeed !/2"-13 T-nut
table with the top of your saw table. #/8" x 5!/2"
lag screw and washer
Whats needed is a way to park the
table securely and easily level it with !/2"-13 swivel mount b. 2!/4
your table saw. There are commercial
levelers available, but considering the a.
weight of the table and any workpieces VIEW
on it, those solutions just wouldnt work. 5 I !/8
Instead, I came up with a shop-built
leveler that combines two stout wood I
blocks with heavy-duty hardware. The FRONT
result is an easy-to-adjust system thats 1!/8
VIEW &/8
also strong and stable.
6 2!/2
HARDWOOD BLOCKS. Building the levelers
begins with the two hardwood pieces
the base and support. Since the level- a length of threaded rod, as you can see look at Figure 2 to see how to extend the
ers are attached to the ends of the table, in detail b and Figure 1 below. hole through the support block.
its a good idea to round the corners of The second hardwood piece reinforces SOME HARDWARE. Now its time to add
the base to ease the sharp edge. the base to keep it from flexing under the hardware. First, a T-nut is tapped
The base has a pair of mounting holes the weight of the table, as in detail a. into the counterbore. The adjustable
drilled into the edge. While youre at the The upper surface is beveled to provide portion of the leveler consists of a piece
drill press, you can drill the counterbore clearance, as shown in detail b. After of threaded rod, a large knob, and a
and through hole to accept a T-nut and gluing the two blocks together, take a swivel mount. The size of the knob
makes positioning the leveler much

How-To: MAKE THE LEVELERS more comfortable. I cut a length of

threaded rod and attached a knob to
one end with epoxy. Once the epoxy
1 1!/8" 2 SECTION
cures, thread the rod through the block
Forstner bit and add the swivel mount on the oppo-
Clamp site end (drawing above).
leveler To attach the leveler to the table, I
to bench
Fence used long lag screws. These thread into
all three layers of the end assembly for
the strongest connection, as in detail b.

Auxiliary drill press table The feature that sets this project apart
from an ordinary outfeed table is the
(/16" brad
point bit system that helps you lift heavy sheets
of plywood or MDF onto your table saw
Drill It. Drill the counterbore for the Support Hole. After gluing up the with less effort. The surprising solution
T-nut first, then use the centerpoint to base and support, use the existing comes in the form of two cradles shown
drill the through hole. hole as a guide to complete the hole. in the drawing on the next page. The
cradles slip into the pockets in the ends.

28 Woodsmith / No. 229

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Apply plastic
A foot formed at the bottom of the cradle laminate to CRADLE SHELF
edge of cradle
provides a place to set the sheet and give
you clearance for your hand below.
The curved profiles of the cradles
support some of the weight of the sheet
as you lift and swing it to the table top.
From there, you can slide it into position 29!/2
on the table saw to make a cut. CRADLE L
MAKE THE CRADLE. Due to the size and
shape of each cradle, you cant cut them
out at the table saw. Instead, you shape SECTION
just one then use the technique on page VIEW
65 to make a duplicate. 3 #8 x 1!/2"
For the first cradle, lay out the various Fh wood-
shapes on a blank that matches the overall 33&/8
length and width of the finished cradle.
The lower right drawing has the details.
With the layout complete, make the
cuts with a jig saw. I recommend using L
NOTE: Cleats are
a fine-tooth blade rated for making #/4"-thick hardwood. #8 x 1!/4"
clean or extra-clean cuts. These All other parts Fh woodscrew
are #/4" plywood
blades leave a fairly smooth surface that
reduces the amount of sanding you need b. SIDE VIEW
to do. Cut as close as you can to the lay- 32
out lines in slow, steady passes. M L

The drawing below shows the pro-

cess I used to make the handholds. Then
remove any blade marks and smooth the
cut edges with files and sandpaper. contact cement, working from the bot- piece of plywood screwed to hardwood
LAMINATE EDGING. I didnt want the tom to the top. A file makes quick work cleats, as shown in details a and b. The
cradles to mar the surface of the sheet of trimming the excess laminate flush shelf is centered side-to-side in the table.
goods as I hoisted them up, so I applied with the faces of the cradle. After all the plywood cutting youve
strips of laminate to the curved edges. SIMPLE SHELF. A shelf just below the top done to build this outfeed table, youll
To do this, cut strips of laminate that are holds the cradles when you arent using realize just how helpful this project will
just slightly wider than the thickness of them. This shelf doest need to be as rug- be the next time you tackle a plywood
the plywood. Glue them in place with ged as the others, so its made from a project. Your back will thank you. W


1 2 76
SECOND: 12!#/16"-rad.
Cut away
K the waste 2!/2
with a
jig saw

Drill out Clean up
ends with 1!/2" 90
edges with files 4
Forstner bit and sandpaper 2!/2
Cut Out Handholds. A Forstner bit creates smooth curves 7!/4 %/8"-rad.
at each end of the handholds and provides access for a jig 2#/4 4!/4
saw blade to cut away the waste.
7 29

WS229_028.indd 29 12/5/2016 10:25:45 AM


Shelving System
This set of shelves uses a clever design of
interlocking notches and keys that make it a snap to
set up or take down. Its sure to be a fun weekend build.
Big, towering, and ornate bookcases this setup. A set of four frames provide keys into grooves at the ends of the
and shelving units certainly have their the basic structure, while shelves that planks spreads them apart. Notches
place in the woodworking pantheon. are each made from two thick maple cut in the outside edges engage with
But every once in awhile, you just need planks pass between the frames. the frame stiles to lock it all together.
something simple and useful. This lit- FASTENER-FREE ASSEMBLY. But the unique If you ever need to take the shelv-
tle knock-down shelving system was part of the system is how its assem- ing system apart to move it, you can
designed and built with exactly that bled. When theyre butted together, simply tap out the keys, remove the
sentiment in mind. the shelf planks are narrower than the shelves, and it all breaks down neatly
SIMPLE DESIGN. As you can see, there openings in the frame and pass through into a tidy stack of frames and boards
isnt a whole lot in the way of parts to them easily. Then, driving hardwood for storage or transport.

30 Woodsmith / No. 229

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Construction Overview / OVERALL DIMENSIONS: 63"W x 38"H x 14#/4"D
Each frame is made up of Shelf planks made
two stiles and eight rails from 1"-thick maple
Frame rails and stiles
joined with stub
tenons and grooves

Bookends slide in the opening

between the planks and lock
securely with threaded
knobs and washers

Keys spread the

shelf planks apart
to lock the entire
system together

Padauk filler
strips make
it easy to
position rails
and provide Notches in shelf
a nice contrast planks lock into
with the cherry frame the frame stiles

{ Hardwood keys are the secret to the shelving systems { Bookends help to make the unit quite useful as a
construction. They spread the shelf planks apart, locking bookshelf. They slide in the space between the planks
the notches on the shelf planks into the frame stiles. and lock down securely with threaded knobs. 31

WS229_030.indd 31 12/6/2016 3:39:45 PM

5 roundovers 2 The framework of the knock-down COMPLEMENTARY WOODS. To give the shelv-
shelving system consists of four frames ing system a stylish look, I used a few
#/4 that look like the ones you see in the different types of hardwood with com-
main drawing on the next page. Each plementary colors. That started with
FILLER frame is made of two stiles that surround the frames, where I made the rails and
4 eight rails. Theyre joined to one another stiles from cherry, and then the filler
with stub tenon and groove joinery. strips from an exotic wood known as
Youll also notice that the frame has a padauk. Since these parts are fairly
few additional parts, which are the filler small, I didnt have to buy a large,
strips shown in the drawing at left. These expensive board to get all the padauk
strips of varying length serve a couple I needed for the shelf. Later on, youll
of purposes for the shelving system. note that I also made the keys from
FILLER First, they fill the grooves in the stiles padauk. And the shelf planks are made
6 in between the rails. And second, they from thick slabs of maple.
provide a handy method for aligning the GROOVE THE STILES. After cutting all the
5 rails as you assemble the frames later on stiles to size from 1"-thick cherry, the
by simply butting the rails against them. first order of business is to cut centered
38 grooves in the inside edge of each of
a. TOP SECTION VIEW them. A simple method for ensuring
!/2 !/4 #/8 centered grooves is to cut them in two
passes, flipping the workpiece end for
LONG end between the passes. Figure 1 in the
box below provides the details. Youll
8 also want to note that the final grooves
are 38"-wide, so I set up a 14" dado blade
in my table saw to cut them.
ROUT RADII. As detail b shows, a 38"
#/8"-rad. #/8"-rad. radius adorns the outside-facing corners
B of each stile. Before doing any assembly
work, it was easy to clamp all the stiles
NOTE: Stiles together in order to rout these radii using
are 1"-thick a roundover bit (lower middle drawing).
hardwood. Fillers
are #/8"-thick Fillers FILLER STRIPS. Now you can move along
to the padauk filler strips that fill the


1 a. END 2 3


Spacer 5
!/4" dado A
a. Backer
blade C
roundover END A
bit VIEW B

Centered Grooves. After the first Radius. Stacking the stiles and routing Install Fillers. A spacer block allows
pass, flip the stile end for end to cut a a roundover along the corners is an you to position the filler strips properly
centered groove in the piece. easy way to form all the radii. as you glue and clamp them in place.

32 Woodsmith / No. 229

WS229_032.indd 32 12/2/2016 7:49:28 AM

grooves in the stiles. I started by plan- E rails are needed
for each frame
ing a board down to thickness until it
fit nicely in the grooves in the stiles.
After ripping some longer strips to
width, I used a stop block attached to
an auxiliary fence on my miter gauge
to cut the three different sizes of filler 11#/4

strips to consistent length.

FILLERS TO STILES. As mentioned earlier, 2
the fillers establish the positions of the E
rails when you perform the final assem-
bly of the frames. So the next order of
business is to glue the fillers into the
stiles at the correct locations. To help in
this effort, I made some spacer blocks
that matched the width of two of the
rails plus the space between them (Fig-
ure 3, previous page). This allowed me
a. !/2
to space the filler strips consistently as I
glued them into the grooves in the stiles. NOTE: Rails A E A
are 1"-thick
You can now turn your attention to the b. SIDE SECTION VIEW
final components of the frames, which are E
the rails. Like the stiles, theyre made from
1"-thick cherry. They have stub tenons on E A 1 A

the ends to fit the grooves in the stiles. E

Typically, I would cut stub tenons like

these using a dado blade. However, a
dado blade can leave an uneven surface
on the tenon cheeks, and the top tenons the shoulder of each tenon before passing complete the frames. Figure 3 below
on this shelving unit were going to be the rail through the blade on end to cut has the details you need. Even though
quite visible once it was all assembled. the cheeks. Details for the backer board the fillers establish the rail locations,
For that reason, I used a two-pass method I used to support the rails for this cut can its still helpful to have some spacers
to cut tenons with cleaner cheeks. be found in Shop Notes on page 65. on hand to force the rails up against
The method I used is shown in Fig- FINAL FRAME ASSEMBLY. Now all thats left the filler strips and hold them in posi-
ures 1 and 2 below. First, you establish is gluing the rails between the stiles to tion as youre applying the clamps.


1 a. END VIEW 2 Aux.
!/2 fence
Backer board
%/16 E

a. E
fence E

#/8 Backer

Stub Tenon Shoulders. Use the rip Stub Tenon Cheeks. This backer Frame Assembly. Spacers help to hold
fence to establish the position of the board (page 65) supports the rails the position of the rails as you glue and
tenon shoulders before cutting. vertically as you cut the tenon cheeks. clamp the frame together. 33

WS229_032.indd 33 12/2/2016 7:49:42 AM

a. END VIEW b. Ease notch
corners with
#/8 G sandpaper
F F !/2
F #/8"-rad.

G !/4
10 1!/2

NOTE: Planks are
1"-thick hardwood.
Keys are #/8"-thick hardwood
10#/4 1#/4


1!/2 KEY !/8"

With the frames assembled, you can NOTCHES. The next step is critical to notches a precise and efficient process.
turn your attention to the remainder how this shelving system is assembled, After cutting them all, I sanded a slight
of the parts that make up the shelving and thats the four notches formed on radius on the edge of each notch so that
system. Those include the shelf planks, the outside edge of each shelf plank. they would seat better against the stiles.
keys, and adjustable bookends. As youll recall, later on these will lock RADIUS. The last step to complete the
START WITH THE SHELVES. The four shelves against the inner edges of the frame planks is to form a radius along all the
are each formed from two maple stiles to hold the entire unit together. outside-facing corners. Here again, you
planks. After cutting them to size, I To cut the notches, I stood each plank can shape these in the same manner as
formed a groove along the inside edge on edge and passed it over a dado blade. you did for the stiles (refer to the lower
of each to accept the key later on. These Each notch is wider than the full width middle drawing on page 32).
grooves can be cut in the same manner of a dado blade, so cutting them required KEYS. Like the fillers in the frames, the
as those on the frame stiles, as shown in two passes each. I used the setup shown keys are made from the exotic wood
the lower left drawing on page 32. in Figure 1 below to make forming the padauk for a nice contrast with the


1 a. END VIEW 2 FIRST: Slide in
planks and align
notches with stiles

Aux. Spacer
fence 1!/2 1 !/2

Stop !/4"
block spacer


Remove SECOND: Tap

spacer in keys to lock
#/4" dado notches to stiles

Notches. An auxiliary miter fence with a stop block and Assembly. Its easiest to assemble the shelving system with the
spacer is the trick to cutting the 1"-wide notches. Remove frames positioned on edge. Carefully slide in the shelf planks and
the spacer after the first pass to complete the notch. align the notches with the stiles before driving in the keys.

34 Woodsmith / No. 229

WS229_034.indd 34 11/28/2016 8:43:24 AM

maple planks. Youll want to start by H 4
planing stock down for a snug fit in
the grooves in the planks. Then rip the NOTE:
6 Bookend front
pieces to width before using a miter H
is !/2"-thick
auxiliary fence with a stop block to I hardwood,
6&/16 bookend back
crosscut them. I trimmed the angle on is 1"-thick
the front corners at the band saw before
sanding the keys smooth and rounding a. FRONT
b. END
the outside ends of each. 1 VIEW BOOKEND VIEW
!/2 BACK
SHELVING SYSTEM ASSEMBLY. After applying a !/4"-20 H
finish to the components, youre ready to 1"-rad. threaded #/8"-rad.
H !/2 insert I
put your shelving unit together. Figure 2
on page 34 provides a good overview. 1"-dia. knob
2 #/4 with !/4"-20 #/4
Once everything is aligned properly, use x 1" stud
!%/16 !/4"
a mallet to tap in the keys, which in turn fender
1 washer
seats the notches over the edges of the
stiles to lock the assembly together.
and back made from cherry. You can detail a above and cut it out at the band
BOOKENDS make as many pairs as you desire. saw. After sanding it smooth, I rounded
If you want to use your shelving system After cutting the bookend fronts and the ends and edges of both parts before
for storing books, these bookends are a backs to overall size, the first thing I did gluing and clamping them together.
useful addition. Each consists of a front was drill a hole and install a threaded A studded knob and washer fit the
insert in the bottom end of the bookend threaded insert and allow you to lock
back (photo at left). This is easier to do the bookends in place (detail b). Loos-
with a thick, square blank. Then rab- ening the knob allows you to slide and
bet both faces of the bottom end of the reposition the bookend easily.
bookend back to fit the space between the This simple, clever shelf is sure to
two shelf planks. Youll want it to slide find a useful spot somewhere in your
smoothly in the groove with little play. home. In fact, you might find that
With that done, I laid out the pro- youll want to build several of them for
file on each bookend back as shown in kids rooms, your own room, or even
the living room. And if you ever need
< The drill press is great for driving to move it somewhere, like off to col-
threaded inserts in straight. Refer lege, it will break down easily and
to page 65 for more on this setup. stack nicely for transporting. W

Materials, Supplies & Cutting Diagram W

A Frame Stiles (8) 1 x 2 - 38 D Short Fillers (8) 3 x 34 - 4 G Keys (8) 3 x 134 - 414
8 8
B Long Fillers (8) 3 x 34 - 8 E Frame Rails (32) 1x 2 - 1134 H Bookend Fronts (2) 1 x 4 - 6
8 2
C Medium Fillers (8) 3 x 34 - 6 F Shelf Planks (8) 1x 512 - 63 I Bookend Backs (2) 1 x 4 - 6716

1"x 6" - 72" Hard Maple (Eight boards @ 3.0 Bd. Ft. each) (2) 14"-20 Threaded Inserts
F (2) 14" Fender Washers
(2) 1"-dia. Knobs w/14"-20 x 1" stud
1"x 6!/2" - 96" Cherry (Two boards @ 4.3 Bd. Ft. each)

1"x 6!/2" - 84" Cherry (3.8 Bd. Ft.)

A E E E NOTE: Parts B, C, D, G, and H
E E E E E E are planed to final thickness

!/2"x 3" - 96" Padauk (2.0 Sq. Ft.)

D D D D D D D D 35

WS229_034.indd 35 11/28/2016 12:17:40 PM


Rock-solid, practical, and inexpensive its
tough to beat this versatile workstation that
you can make from one sheet of plywood..
I dont think a woodworker can ever two heights. Use it in the low position
have enough work space. But building as an assembly or finishing table. Or
a permanent bench or table just makes for cutting sheets of plywood down to
the shop more crowded. Thats where size with your circular saw. At the high
this handy multipurpose workstation position, youll have another workbench
comes to the rescue. or miter saw station. Add the practical
This knock-down workstation can be accessories on the following pages, and
made in a few hours. Its simple, yet the you can set up shop almost anywhere.
strong design makes it useful around
the shop, house, or outdoors. You can > Interlocking notches between the
set up this workstation in almost no time rails and legs make this station a
at all. And it can be assembled to sit at snap to assemble or disassemble.

36 Woodsmith / No. 229

WS229_036.indd 36 12/6/2016 3:42:40 PM

Rail assemblies are designed 21!/4 63!/2
to support a lot of weight
without flexing



Rails fit into

notches for quick
set up and breakdown

NOTE: Round over all edges

for ease of handling
Double b.
legs for 18!/4 63!/2

END 32#/4 SIDE

Gussets provide VIEW VIEW
joint strength and
stability when

TALL & NARROW Cut-outs


A height-adjustable STATION
Take a look at the drawings on this page, You can also change the length of to size. And youll also need a drill, a
and youll see how versatile this work- the rails if you desire. I made the long router, and a jig saw to shape the legs
station really is. The two rectangular rails shown above for mine, but itd be and make the notches in the legs and
legs are connected by rails that fit into simple to adjust their length to suit a rails. But the best part is, you can make
notches. The legs are notched on two smaller (or bigger) workspace. all the parts shown above using a single
sides to create two working heights. Building this workstation isnt dif- sheet of plywood and a couple of 2x4s.
And theyre laminated from two pieces ficult to do. Youll need a circular saw Youll see how all the pieces go together
of plywood for added strength. or a table saw to cut the plywood down starting on page 38.

Materials & Supplies

Workstation J Outfeed Cleats (4) 3 x 1 x 6 S Platform Blocks (4) 3 ply - 5 x 5
4 4
A Legs (2) 112 ply - 2312 x 3112 K Outfeed Supports (2) 1 2 x 314 x 2014
1 T Platform Cleats (2) 3 4 ply - 1 x 2512
B Rails (2) 3 ply - 51 x 631 Planer Station U Outfeed Base (1) 3 ply - 12 x 301
4 2 2 4 2
C Caps (2) 112 x 212 - 6312 L Planer Platform (1) 3 ply - 19 x 213
4 4 V Outfeed Top (1) 3 ply - 12 x 301
4 2
D Gussets (16) 3 ply - 2 x 5 M Platform Blocks (4) 3 ply - 5 x 5 W Outfeed Sides (2) 3 ply - 91 x 111
4 4 4 4 4
E Worksurface (1) 3 ply - 311 x 631 N Platform Cleats (2) 3 x 1 x 19 X Outfeed Fronts (2) 3 ply - 6 x 111
4 2 2 4 4 4
F Cleats (4) 3 x 1 - 631 O Outfeed Base (2) 3 4 ply - 6 x 2134 Y Outfeed Mntg. Cleats (2) 34 ply - 2 x 914
4 2
Miter Saw Station P Outfeed Cleats (4) 3 x 1 x 6 Z Outfeed Cleats (2) 3 ply - 1 x 12
4 4
G Miter Saw Platform (1) 34 ply - 24 x 24 Q Outfeed Supports (2) 1 2 x 258 x 2014
1 1
(50) #8 x 1 2" Fh Woodscrews
H Platform Cleats (4) 3 x 1 x 24 Table Saw Station (20) #8 x 114" Fh Woodscrews
I Outfeed Base (2) 3 4 ply - 6 x 2134 R Saw Platform (1) 3 ply - 251 x 301 (1) 12" x 3012" Sheet Plastic Laminate
4 2 2 37

WS229_036.indd 37 12/6/2016 3:42:57 PM

NOTE: Legs are two
Building the
layers #/4" plywood


NOTE: Rails are
#/4" plywood 63!/2

!/8" roundovers
The legs are each made up of two pieces on edges
of plywood (main drawing at right). To RAILS B
make the legs lighter and easier to clamp
during glue-up, I cut out the center
portion on the four pieces. To get good
results, I drilled out the corners on one A
of the pieces of plywood, cut it to rough Holes are
drilled and
shape with a jig saw, and sanded the then slots are
opening smooth. Then I used that piece cut with jig saw

as a template to flush-trim the other 9!/2 a. END VIEW

pieces to identical shape with a router. Waste 2!/2
(Youll find tips on flush-trimming parts
in Shop Notes on page 65.) A
NOTCHES. Now you can turn your atten- 6#/8
17!/2 3&/8
tion to the notches for the rails. Each of
the legs has two pairs of notches. The
best way I found to form the notches #/4"
dia. 2!/2
was to first drill a 34"-dia. hole at the
base of each notch, as in detail a. Then 31!/2
you can cut out the waste with a jig saw. 1"rad. b.
PAIR OF RAILS. The rail assemblies are a FRONT VIEW
piece of plywood with a 112"-thick cap
(refer to the box below). Theyre built Waste Waste 1!/2"
2!/2 dia.
like an I-beam for strength. 23!/2 80
Start by cutting the rails to width and LEG 3 2!/2
length, and trim off the bottom corners.
Then mark the locations for the notches. 3
Note that these notches are angled at 80
from the bottom edge. This splays the
base of the legs out, which makes the need to make these notches wider to fit GUSSETS. The gusset pieces are angled
platform more stable. the legs. Finally, for the rail cap, I ripped to provide support for the legs when
Youll make the notches like you did a 2x4 to width and cut a 34" groove on the workstation is assembled. I glued
for the legs, by drilling a hole and cutting the bottom face to fit over the rail. Cham- and clamped them in place on the rails
out the waste with a jig saw. But youll fer all the edges and glue it in place. to provide extra strength.


NOTE: Gussets NOTE: Cap is made from
add strength 63!/2 two-by material.
and stabililty Gussets are #/4" plywood b. 2!/2
Soften #/4
edges C
Angle ends
a. C
of gussets 1!/2
to fit
under cap !/2
5 Rail D D D D

Cap and rail 80
are flush at END
both ends D

38 Woodsmith / No. 229

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By itself, the workstation is great for E
projects around the shop and the
house. But the accessories shown on CLEAT
the next few pages will make it even
more versatile and useful.
WORKSURFACE. The first accessory I
added was a simple worksurface. Its
just a piece of plywood with some
cleats to hold it in place on the rails
(refer to detail a at right). If you want
to use the worksurface at both heights,
youll need to add the two sets of cleats
#8 x 1!/2" Fh
shown in the drawing. woodscrew
It makes a great assembly or finish-
ing table for projects. Or, its also a NOTE: Worksurface
is #/4" plywood. Cleats
useful workbench when I need a little are #/4"-thick hardwood
extra elbow room in the shop.
can also come in handy when cutting
down large sheets of plywood or other
sheet goods with a circular saw. For
this operation, though, you dont want
to cut into your worksurface. So its a
good idea to remove it and simply lay F

down some scrap 2x4s across the rails

#/4 5!/8
(lower right photo). This supports the
sheet and prevents it from falling to the
ground as you cut.

{ For a quick and easy finishing table or an extra { Cutting plywood with a circular saw can be a chore
workbench, a piece of plywood is all it takes. Cleats without proper support. Simple 2x4 supports turn
hold it in place, making for a sturdy worksurface. your workstation into a panel-cutting bench. 39

WS229_038.indd 39 12/6/2016 3:37:18 PM

Miter saw & planer
NOTE: Size platforms
to fit base of UPPER I
miter saw and planer CLEAT K

To set up your portable workstation #8 x 1!/4" Fh

for a miter saw or planer, all it takes is OUTFEED 1"-rad.
a platform and some outfeed supports. G
(see note)
miter saw is nothing more than a piece
of 34" plywood sized to fit the base of 1"-rad.
20!/4 24
my saw. Cleats on the bottom fit along 24
the rails of the workstation. And I
added some cleats on top to keep
the saw from sliding around (refer to 21#/4
detail a at right).
The outfeed supports are easy to
make, as shown in detail b. The only SUPPORT 6 H
BASE #8 x 1!/2" Fh
trick is to make them the same height LOWER woodscrew
as your saws table.
PLANER STATION. The platform for my b. FRONT VIEW
J Chamfer
benchtop planer station is a little dif- OUTFEED Flush 1!/2 top for
ferent. Its also made from 34" plywood SUPPORT with miter saw
and has cleats on the bottom. But table
instead of top cleats, it uses L-shaped bullnose
platform blocks to hold the planer in Flush for planer
position. These blocks are shown in a. END VIEW with
1 planer K #8 x 1!/2" Fh
detail a on the following page. H table woodscrew
To accommodate these L-shaped
blocks, size your platform at least four #/4 I

inches larger than your planers base in 1

1 J
both directions. Finally, make sure the
outfeed supports match the height of H 6
your planers table (detail b).

{ A stable worksurface and outfeed support are { Portability and quick setup make this miter saw
necessities when using a portable planer. You get stand a must-have for the shop. A solid platform and
both with this easy-to-make accessory. outfeed supports make for accurate cuts.

40 Woodsmith / No. 229

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NOTE: Position L-shaped
blocks to fit your saw
(refer to detail 'a')

With this platform and outfeed table Use router base BLOCK
for my benchtop table saw, I can now as template for drilling S
mounting holes
use the saw just about anywhere. And
to make it even more useful, I mounted
a router to the outfeed support to create OUTFEED TOP
a compact, portable router table. (12 x 30!/2)
TABLE SAW PLATFORM. The base for the (sized to fit saw)
benchtop table saw is just a piece of 34" W
plywood with cleats on the bottom, like
the other bases on page 40. Youll have
to size your platform 4" larger than the
base of your saw to accommodate the (12 x 30!/2) Y
four L-shaped blocks in each corner 1"-rad. MOUNTING CLEAT
(9!/4 x 11!/4)
(refer to detail a at right). I rounded X (2 x 9!/4)
the corners of the blocks with a 1" OUTFEED b. #8 x 1!/2" Fh
radius before screwing them in place. (6 x 11!/4) woodscrews
OUTFEED SUPPORT. The outfeed support V
shown on the right doubles as a handy NOTE: All Y
parts are Z #8 x 1!/4" Fh
router table. The important consid- #/4" plywood woodscrew
eration is to make the final height the CLEAT
same as the height of your saw table.
Detail b on the right shows how the
outfeed support is just a bottom and
#8 x 1!/2" Fh
top piece connected by a pair of front a. woodscrews
and side pieces. The top is covered 2 2
with laminate for smooth operation. Height of U
S outfeed table
To mount your router, use your rout- 5 should match
5 height of Z
ers baseplate as a template for locating saw table
the screw holes. W

{ A handy plywood platform makes it easy to outfit the { To maximize shop space, you can create a portable
workstation with a benchtop table saw. Added outfeed router table by mounting a router to the underside of
support increases the capability of the saw for cuts. the table saw outfeed support. 41

WS229_040.indd 41 12/6/2016 3:44:06 PM


Card Catalog Cabinet

Offering up plenty of storage and a convenient writing surface, this
custom cabinet is reminiscent of the old card catalogs found in libraries.
Over the past couple of decades, as the decorative (and functional) potential of tray for taking notes. To accommodate
nations libraries switched to computer these cabinets. Therein lies the inspira- the storage of larger items, the outer
systems for tracking their collections, tion for the design you see above. banks of drawers are double wide.
thousands of outdated card catalogs PERIOD AUTHENTIC LOOK. This version And a sturdy, straightforward stand
were cast aside. But many astute has genuine label-insert pulls on the puts it at just the right height for any
individuals recognized the excellent drawer fronts and a simple pull-out location in the home.

42 Woodsmith / No. 229

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Construction Overview / OVERALL DIMENSIONS: 3638"W x 4578"H x 1612"D

Locking rabbets A mitered frame and

secure the drawer panel gives the rear
fronts to the of the cabinet a
drawer sides finished look

Six double-wide
drawers maximize
the storage capacity
of the cabinet

edging covers
all of the exposed
plywood edges

Leg blanks Tapered legs

are glued up are simple to
from thinner cut on the
material band saw

Stand parts
connected with
mortise and tenon

NOTE: Refer to Sources

on page 67 for
hardware information

{ The pull-out tray turns the card catalog cabinet into a { The generous cutouts on the drawer
writing desk. When done, simply push it back into the sides mimic the shape of the original
tray case for out of the way storage. card catalog drawers. 43

WS229_042.indd 43 12/5/2016 1:50:40 PM

NOTE: Upper and lower UPPER
end rails are made from END RAIL 2!/4
#/4"-thick hardwood a. !/2 !/2
!/2 B 1!/4

2!/4 3
!/2 !/2
A 2
!/8" roundover !/4
on outer edge !/4 A
!/4 1!/4"-deep
A mortises
!/8" roundover b. %/8"-deep
on four edges LOWER mortise A
END RAIL 1!/4 1
NOTE: Legs C Leg
are mirror 2 taper
images !/4 1!/2
c. 1!/4
28 #/8
14 8!/4 !/4
!/4 1!/4"-deep
3 !/4 mortise

8 !/8" roundover on
A three outside edges
and on bottom
perimeter blanks from this stock, as well. Leave
FRONT the individual boards oversized and
VIEW NOTE: Legs are glued cut them to final size after the glue
1#/4 up from three layers
of #/4"-thick hardwood dries. Since the legs are mirror images,
its a good idea to label them now to

Begin with the STAND

help keep the joinery straight.
SOLID JOINERY. When completed, the
weight of the upper cabinet, tray case,
The card catalog cabinet consists of three and displayed on a table, I wanted my and drawers is quite substantial. For
separate components: The upper case cabinet to be a freestanding piece of that reason, I went with mortise and
that holds the nine drawers, the tray furniture. With that in mind, I started tenon joints to construct the stand.
case that houses the pull-out writing building the cabinet from the bottom up. You can use the drawing above along
tray, and the stand that supports both STURDY LEGS. Since the bulk of the with details a and b to lay out the
assemblies. While the upper cabinet project parts are made from 34"-thick mortise positions on all four legs. To
could be built as a stand-alone project hardwood, I opted to glue up the leg cut the mortises, I removed the bulk of


1 2 Use a !/4" 3
Leg blank chisel at ends
of mortise Leg

brad point Leg
bit Use a wide blank
chisel for sides
a. of mortise
Cut to waste
1!/4 side of layout
line, then
sand smooth


Drill Mortises. Remove the bulk of Chisel Work. With most of the Taper Legs. The band saw makes
the waste for the mortises using a brad material removed, use a pair of chisels quick work of cutting the taper on the
point bit at the drill press. to clean up the walls of the mortises. lower portion of the legs.

44 Woodsmith / No. 229

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#8 x #/4" Fh Shelf
the waste with a brad point bit at the D
woodscrew brackets
drill press, as shown in Figure 1 at the
bottom of the previous page. You can
then clean up the mortise walls with a
couple of chisels (Figure 2).
ELEGANT TAPERS. To lighten the look of the D 34#/8 3
stand, I cut a taper on the inside face of FRONT
each leg at the band saw. Detail c and !/8" roundover,
Figure 3 on the previous page provide lower outside
edge of rails
the details. A sanding block makes quick 1#/4
work of cleaning up the saw marks.
END RAILS. Next up are the upper and
lower end rails. Be sure to note these
are different widths before cutting them !/8" roundover, 34%/8
four edges
to final size. The tenons on the ends of
these four rails can easily be made using NOTE: Rails and E
stretchers are made STRETCHER
a dado blade at the table saw. Again, from #/4"-thick hardwood
youll want to keep in mind these ten-
ons have different widths, as well. a. !/4 !/4 b.
I made the cheek cut on all of the rails, !/4
first (Figure 1). With the dado blade at !/2 !/4
the same height, I made the shoulder cuts D
on the lower end rails before raising the Shelf
bracket 2
blade and making the shoulder cuts on 1!/4
the upper end rails (Figure 2).
Now cut a shallow mortise on the 2 1!/4
inside face of each of the lower rails
to hold the stretcher later on. I used
the same drill and chisel method that I clamp up each end assembly and set you through cutting the tenons on the
used previously on the legs. them aside to let the glue cure. ends of the rails and stretcher. Once
Before gluing up each end assem- again, I made all of the cheek cuts first,
bly, I took the time now to round RAILS & STRETCHER followed by the shoulder cuts on the
over the edges on the legs and rails A pair of rails and a stretcher are used stretcher. The shoulder cuts on the rails
as shown in the drawings at the top to hold the end assemblies together. complete the process.
of the previous page. With that done, Use the How-To box below to guide I softened the edges on these pieces, as
well, using a roundover bit at the router

How-To: CUT RAIL TENONS table. Ease all four edges on the stretcher,
but just the lower, outside edge on the
rails (details a and b above).
1 2 ASSEMBLE THE STAND. Just a quick point
before you bring the end assemblies
Aux. miter
NOTE: fence together. Its important that the stand
Rip fence Aux. sit flat on the floor to prevent rocking.
acts as miter
stop B D fence So after gluing the rails and stretcher in
Rip place and loosely applying the clamps,
fence I positioned the stand on my flat work-
#/4" dado a.
blade a. END VIEW bench top and sat an oversized piece of
plywood across the top. Some weight on
#/4" dado blade
top of the plywood (I used a couple of
!/2 sandbags) keeps the whole thing stable
and all four legs flat on the workbench.
You can then tighten the clamps.
Tenon Cheeks. Use the rip fence Shoulder Cuts. Using the same dado Finally, screw the shelf brackets to the
to establish the length of the tenon blade and fence setup, flip the rails on inside face of the rails (detail a). These
as you cut the cheeks. edge and finish up the tenons. are used to secure the stand to the tray
case that sits on top. 45

WS229_044.indd 45 12/5/2016 8:51:44 AM

NOTE: Runners and front tray BACK CASE EDGING G NOTE: Tray and tray case top
edging are made from !/2"-thick J and bottom are #/4" plywood.
hardwood. Tray case sides and Tray case back is !/4" plywood
edging are made from
#/4"-thick hardwood I
35#/8 36#/8 F

14!/2 EDGING 33!/4
2%/8 1 F 36#/8 34#/4
!/2 2%/8 TRAY
14!/2 Tray
2%/8 1 knob
H N 14!/2
14!/2 EDGING knobs after the
!/2 finish is applied

a. #/16 b. SIDE c. d.
!/8" F I Tray knob
F F !/2 I
#/16 J roundover M
N 1 N Shelf Tray
#/16 N L L
bracket knob I M

!#/32 F !/4 F L F I #/4 6!!/16
J Tray case Tray case sides I
FRONT Shelf is flush !/8" are flush with
Leg SECTION VIEW Leg bracket with leg roundover stand legs

Constructing the TRAY CASE

With the stand completed, its time to top and bottom panels for the tray case RABBETS & GROOVES. The tray case top
move on to the tray case and tray. As are cut from the same sheet of plywood and bottom have tongues on the
shown above, both of these assemblies as the tray, I decided to cut all of these ends that fit in the hardwood sides.
consist of plywood panels with hard- plywood pieces to size at the same These are easy to cut at the table saw.
wood edging on the front, back, and time. You can then set aside the panel Note that these tongues are offset, as
sides to cover the plywood. Since the for the tray for the time being. shown in Figure 1 below.


1 a. #/16 END 2 3 Push
VIEW block
Push G
#/16 G Rip
Aux. F Rip
rip fence

b. END a. END VIEW !/4" dado a. END VIEW

#/16 VIEW #/16
!/4" dado !/4" dado
blade blade !/4
1!/16 !/2 #/16 #/16

Form Tongues. Using a dado blade, cut Groove. Flip the side end for end after Tongue Grooves. Narrow
the rabbets on the ends of the case top and the first pass and make a second cut to grooves in the sides mate up
bottom to form an offset tongue. create the centered grooves. with the tongues on the panels.

46 Woodsmith / No. 229

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Now cut the two hardwood case sides
to size. The centered groove (Figure 2 1 2 Cut a !/8"
at bottom of previous page) holds the chamfer on
H front of runner
tray runner, while the narrower grooves before gluing
shown in Figure 3 mate up with the Rip Blank in place
fence waste
tongues on the top and bottom panels.

up the tray case, youll want to add the a. END

tray runners to the sides. Figures 1 and VIEW Glue
bead G
2 at right cover this process. A slight
chamfer on the front end of the run- !#/32 NOTE: Ends of runner
ners allows the tray to slide smoothly are flush with ends
of tray case side
without getting hung up.
Next, the sides can be glued to the Runner Blanks. Start with an Side Assembly. After chamfering
top and bottom to form the basic case. oversized blank before ripping the the front end of the runner, glue it in
Just a cautionary note here: Youll want tray runners to final size. place in the center groove.
to be careful when placing the glue
in the narrow side grooves so that it 3 4
doesnt squeeze out on the inside of the Aux. miter
fence J
case. The small case opening makes it I

difficult to clean up after assembly. Aux. rip

fence Featherboard
HARDWOOD EDGING. Adding edging to the
front and back edges gives the tray case a. a. END
#/4" dado VIEW
a nice, finished look. So after cutting blade
extra-long blanks for the front edging, NOTE: Set !/2
miter gauge
I rounded over the front edges of each to 45 TOP !/4
Waste VIEW
piece. Take your time mitering the ends
of these pieces to sneak up on a flush fit
around the perimeter of the case (Fig- Miter Edging. With the table saw Rabbet Back Edging. The rabbet in
ure 3), and then glue them in place. miter gauge rotated 45, sneak up on the rear edging is quick to cut using a
The edging at the rear of the tray case is the fit for the front edging. dado blade and featherboard.
slightly different. I wanted the cabinet to
look good whether its displayed against 5 6
a wall or not. To that end, I created an
edging strip with a rabbet on one edge Flip part
end for end N
(Figure 4). This rabbet houses a plywood to cut
Spacer centered
back that mimics the look of the back of groove !/4" dado
the drawer case youll make next. blade
The ends of the back edging are G

mitered just like the front. Again, youre Blocking a. END

aiming for a flush fit along the back of
the plywood edge. To keep an even !/4
!/2 !/4
space when gluing this edging in place,
I added a small spacer (cut to the same
width as the back) between the two long
pieces of edging, as shown in Figure 5. Attach Edging. Clamp the back edging in Tray Edging. The grooves
After the clamps come off, the case place on the rear of the case. A spacer keeps it on the tray side edging are
back is ready to be glued in place. At properly positioned while tightening the clamps. made with a dado blade.
this point, I rounded over the edges of
the case sides, including the ends of the
front and back edging. receive centered grooves on the outside and finally the front. Be sure to note that
NOW FOR THE TRAY. The tray itself is a faces that fit over the tray runners. This the front piece of edging is thinner than
much simpler piece to make. It too has groove should be wide enough to allow any of the others. The tray case can now
edging all around, but the pieces at the the tray to slide smoothly (Figure 6). be positioned on the stand (flush with
front and back are simply squared off. Glue the edging in place, starting with the front, back, and sides) and secured
The edging strips on the sides of the tray the back piece, then the grooved sides, through the shelf brackets. 47

WS229_046.indd 47 12/5/2016 8:54:01 AM

DRAWER Drill and
DIVIDERS countersink for
14!/2 H Q
!/8" chamfer a #8 Fh
front edge !!/32 woodscrew
14!/2 of runners P #/16

Q 6&/16 #/4 Tray case top

#/4 2 2 #/4
SIDE 13#/8 2!/8 Q
13!!/16 O

Q O Tray case top

BOTTOM NOTE: Case top, bottom,
sides, and dividers
are #/4" plywood c. FRONT
#/4 NOTE: Drawer runners P
are made from !/2"-thick H
hardwood. Case corners are !/4 !/4
made from #/4"-thick hardwood #/16

#/16 Tray case top

Building the DRAWER CASE

The upper portion of this cabinet is from a sheet of plywood. Be sure the details for this operation. Then its just a
topped off with the drawer case. Its grain direction is oriented as shown matter of cutting all of the dadoes in the
construction should look pretty familiar above. The offset tongue formed on sides and dividers to hold the drawer
to you. It uses the same type of joinery the ends of the top, bottom, and sides runners, as shown in Figure 3.
as the tray case, with one subtle differ- is accomplished the same way as the MORE RUNNERS. The runners for the
ence. The sides of the drawer case are tray case at the table saw (Figure 1). drawer case are the same size, and
plywood with hardwood corners. The two dividers are sandwiched made the same way, as the runners for
CASE WORK. Youll begin by cutting the between the top and bottom in a couple the tray case. You can refer back to page
top, bottom, sides, and dividers to size of dadoes. Figure 2 below provides the 47 for the information on making these.


1 2 Rip fence 3 Rip
acts as guide fence

a. END O !/2" dado

!/4" dado VIEW blade
#/16 a. END VIEW a. END VIEW
#/16 2!/8
#/4 !/2
#/16 #/4" dado blade !/8

Rabbets. Use a dado blade to Panel Dadoes. The dadoes in the top Sides & Dividers. Change the dado blade
cut the rabbets on the panels and bottom can also be made at the table thickness and use the same technique to
that form the offset tongues. saw using the rip fence as a guide. cut dadoes in the sides and dividers.

48 Woodsmith / No. 229

WS229_048.indd 48 12/6/2016 10:07:17 AM

J 36#/8 J
Then glue them in place in the sides 34&/8
and dividers, as shown in the main TOP 35#/8
drawing on the previous page.
CASE CORNERS. The final pieces to make V
before assembling the drawer case FRONT
TOP 36#/8
are the four corners. These are simply EDGING S
I BACK 13!/2
square blanks with offset grooves in DIVIDERS T 12!/2
two sides to accommodate the offset 13 14!/2
tongues on the plywood panels. Fig- BACK
I R 14!/2 J
ure 1 below provides the details for FRONT NOTE: Case back
DIVIDERS is !/4" plywood.
cutting these grooves. Case top is
STAGED ASSEMBLY. Instead of trying to #/4" plywood
glue and clamp all of the case parts at 1!/4 13
one time, I broke the assembly into a
couple smaller stages. Start by gluing a. 1!/4
the corners to the case sides. #8 x 1!/4" Fh woodscrew
NOTE: Edging, front
While the glue is drying on these dividers, and front case U J I #/4
37 #/8
parts, locate and drill the countersunk top edging are made Case
from #/4"-thick hardwood. V
mounting holes in the case top and !/4
Back dividers are made !/2
from !/2"-thick hardwood R 1
bottom. The position for these holes is I S T

shown in details b and c on the previ-

ous page. Now, glue the rest of the parts b. c. TOP SECTION VIEW d. FRONT SECTION
1!/4 T VIEW
together to form the drawer case.
Case I
divider !/2 S I J
ADD THE BACK & TOP I R %/8 !/8"
The perimeter edging on the front and divider roundover
back of the drawer case is the same as roundover Drawer
runners J
the edging used on the tray case (detail TOP SECTION Case side T
a). With that in mind, machine all off
these pieces as before, miter the ends,
and glue them to the case. I then took For these I added two thinner strips on than the case edging, but have the same
the time to round over the edges on the exposed front and back edges. The rounded-edges profile (detail b). Once
the corners and the ends of the edging pieces added to the back are slightly all of these pieces are glued in place,
strips, the same as the tray case. wider than the case dividers and pull size the back to fit the rabbeted opening
A few more pieces are needed to cover double-duty as drawer stops (detail c), and glue it in place, as well.
the plywood edges of the case dividers. while the strips on the front are thinner CONSTRUCT THE TOP. The main drawing
and details a and d above show

How-To: CUT GROOVES & CHAMFER TOP EDGE all of the information youll need to
make the top and its necessary edg-
ing. The edging on the sides and back
1 2 is the same as the edging youve used
Case top throughout this project on the tray and
Push assembly
block Tall
case front. The piece on the front edge,
Rip Featherboard aux. however, is slightly different.
fence It has a chamfer on its lower edge. I
V found it easiest to glue all of the edging
a. END a. END to the top panel first, and then create the
!/4"dado #/8 chamfer at the table saw, as shown in
blade Figure 2 at left. The last step is to round-
#/16 blade 37 over all the edges. This includes easing
the edge underneath the chamfer.
Now position the top on the case and
Case Corners. The offset grooves in Chamfer Edging. Tilt the table saw mark the pilot hole locations on the
the case corners are made using a blade 37 to make the chamfer cut on underside of the top through the holes
dado blade in the table saw. the front edging piece. in the case top. After drilling the pilot
holes, screw the top in place. 49

WS229_048.indd 49 12/5/2016 8:53:18 AM


NOTE: Drawer 12&/8 Z

bottoms are 12!/2 Back divider
!/4" plywood
NOTE: Drawer Y
1#/4 BB
sides and backs W FALSE AA
are made from Z
!/2"-thick SIDES FRONT !/2
hardwood. NARROW
Drawer fronts 5#/4 6!/4
are made 12!/2 FRONT !/4
from #/4"-thick Drawer
hardwood pull
b. V DD
5#/4 CC !/4
Z !/4 V !/8 X
4!/4 2!/4
DD #/4 #/8
BB 14#/4 NARROW NOTE: Drawer
NARROW DRAWER pull is centered
DRAWER BACK BOTTOM on width Y #/8 !/4
&/8 6!/4
1 Drawer
3 #/4"-rad. runners
#/4"-rad. #/16
started by cutting all of the sides to size
and then creating a cutout using a tem-
plate as shown in the How-To box below.
2 #/4"- #/4"- 2 Z Z
rad. rad. LOCKING RABBET JOINTS. Now cut all of
!/4 1&/8
the drawer backs and fronts to size.
!/8 As I mentioned before, the fronts are
%/16 !/4 connected to the sides using locking
rabbets. Turn to Shop Notes on page 64

Adding the DRAWERS

to see how to make this joint.
After the locking rabbets are com-
plete, you can finish the rest of the
The final stage of this project is to build SOLID CONSTRUCTION. Locking rabbets are joinery on the sides, as shown in Figures
the drawers. The two outside banks of used on all of the drawers to secure the 1 and 2 at the top of the next page. This
drawers are twice as wide as the center fronts to the sides. A dado toward the includes the groove along the outside
drawers. But they have a false divider back of each side piece captures the back, edge that allows the drawer to slide
dropped into a dado in the front to give while a groove along the bottom edge over the runner, as well as the dado near
the appearance of two drawers. This secures the rabbeted plywood bottom. the back edge to secure the back.
allows you to store larger items while still SIDES FIRST. Despite the different drawer With those complete, you still need
maintaining the look of a card catalog. widths, theyre all the same length. So I to cut a dado in the center of the wide


1 MDF template same 2 Cut to waste
3 Drawer side
size as drawer blank
side of layout
side blank line
Waste !/2" flush-
trim bit

a. Template
Drawer side
Drawer side
blank Template

Trace Template. Line up the ends and Rough It Out. Move to the band Trim. Use double-sided tape to attach
edges of the template with a side blank saw to rough cut the side blank. the template to the blank and clean up
and transfer the shape to the blank. Stay to the waste side of the line. the waste with a flush-trim bit.

50 Woodsmith / No. 229

WS229_050.indd 50 12/6/2016 10:09:17 AM

drawer fronts. Now, center the false How-To: CUT DRAWER JOINERY
dividers in the dado and glue them in
place (detail b on the previous page). 1 2 Aux. miter fence
Finally, cut a 18"-wide groove along Z
the inside, bottom edge on all of the Rip fence
drawer parts to hold the bottom. Cut fence
the plywood bottoms to size and rab- Z
bet the edges (details c and d on the !/2" dado a. END VIEW a. END VIEW
previous page) before assembling the !/2
1&/8 !/2 1#/4
drawers with glue and clamps.
The last detail is to pick out your fin- !/4
ish and install the hardware. For
information about the finish and hard-
ware I chose, check out Sources on Cutting Grooves. Cut the groove Dado for Back. The dado blade also
page 67. Youll then be ready to display along the outside face of the drawer makes quick work of cutting the dado
your card catalog cabinet in a promi- sides using a dado blade. to hold the drawer back.
nent place in your home. W

Materials, Supplies & Cutting Diagram

A Legs (4) 214 x 214 - 28 M Front Tray Edging (1) 1 x 1 - 343
2 4 Y False Dividers (6) 3 x 3 - 41
8 4 4
B Upper End Rails (2) 3 x 3 - 14 N Back/Side Tray Edging 3 x 1 - 65 rgh. Z Drawer Sides (18) 1 x 41 - 143
4 4 2 4 4
C Lower End Rails (2) 3 x 2 - 14 O Case Top/Bottom (2) 34 ply. - 1412 x 3514 AA Wide Drawer Backs (6) 12 x 414 - 1278
D Front/Back Rails (2) 3 x 3 - 343 P Case Sides/Dvdrs. (4) 34 ply. - 1412 x 1338 BB Narrow Drawer Backs (3) 12 x 414 - 534
4 8
E Stretcher (1) 3 x 13 - 345 Q Case Corners (4) 3 x 3 - 141 CC Wide Dwr. Btm. (6) 14 ply. - 1212 x 1278
4 4 8 4 4 2
F Tray Case Top/Bot. (2) 34 ply. - 1412 x 3514 R Front Dividers (2) 5 x 3 - 13
8 4 DD Narrow Dwr. Btm. (3) 14 ply. - 1212 x 534
G Tray Case Sides (2) 3 x 25 - 141 S Back Dividers (2) 1 x 11 - 121
4 8 2 2 4 2
H Runners (20) 1 x 13 - 141
2 32 2 T Case Back (1) 1 ply. - 131 x 353
4 2 8 (4) Shelf Brackets
I Edging 3 x 3 - 170 rgh.
4 4 U Top (1) 3 ply. - 141 x 347
4 2 8 (8) #8 x 3 4" Fh Woodscrews
J Back Case Edging 3 x 1 - 100 rgh.
4 V Front Top Edging (1) 3 x 11 - 363
4 4 8 (2) 17mm-dia. Tray Knobs
K Tray Case Back (1) 1 ply. - 15 x 353
4 8 8 W Wide Drawer Front (6) 3 x 41 - 133
4 4 8 (15) Label Holder Pulls w/Screws
L Tray (1) 3 ply. - 133 x 331
4 4 4 X Narrow Drawer Front (3) 34 x 414 - 614 (12) #8 x 114" Fh Woodscrews
!/2"x 4" - 84" Red Oak (2.3 Sq. Ft.) S
H H H H Y Y NOTE: Parts 'Y' planed to #/8" thick

!/2"x 5" - 96" Hard Maple (Two Boards @ 3.3 Sq Ft. Each)

!/2"x 5" - 96" Hard Maple (Two Boards @ 3.3 Sq Ft. Each) N

#/4"x 5" - 96" Red Oak (Two Boards @ 3.3 Bd. Ft. Each)

#/4"x 7" - 96" Red Oak (Two Boards @ 4.7 Bd. Ft. I J

#/4"x 6" - 96" Red Oak (4.0 Bd. Ft.) V N R I

ALSO NEEDED: One 48" x 48" sheet of !/4" oak plywood NOTE: Parts 'R' planed to %/8" thick
One 48" x 96" sheet of #/4" oak plywood 51

WS229_050.indd 51 12/6/2016 3:40:35 PM

d w orking
woo nique

a fresh look at
Pocket Hole Joinery
Whether Im building face frames or the various methods that I employ to to it. As you drive in the pocket screw, it
cabinets, I rely on pocket hole joinery join pieces of wood together, its prob- draws the two pieces together to create a
quite a bit. And with good reason: Few ably the easiest of all to accomplish. solid, strong joint (drawing below).
joinery solutions offer the combination POCKET SCREWS. As for the screws used
of strength and simplicity that comes OVERVIEW OF A POCKET HOLE JOINT in pocket hole joinery, theyre not your
from drilling an angled hole with a jig To create a pocket hole joint, you simply average woodscrews. Most have a
and then driving in a screw to connect drill an angled hole in one workpiece, washerhead that pulls the joint together
the two parts. In fact, I would say among and then butt and clamp the mating piece by seating fully in the pocket hole.




{ Pocket screws come in many lengths for different Basic Joint. The screw driven into the angled hole forms a strong
material thickness, as well as fine threads for mechanical connection between the two boards, while the
harder woods and coarse threads for softer woods. washerhead on the screw helps to lock the joint firmly together.

52 Woodsmith / No. 229

WS229_052.indd 52 12/6/2016 10:10:47 AM

(Although some smaller pocket screws
have a panhead that accomplishes the
same goal.) Determining the correct
length of screw to use depends upon
the thickness of your workpieces. There
are also coarse-thread screws for softer
woods and finer threads for harder
woods, as well as coated screws for exte- Pocket holes
on inside
rior use (lower photo, previous page). face of
face frame


on back face
If theres any drawback to pocket hole of miter joint
joinery, its that it leaves visible holes in
your workpieces. One option is to plug
the holes, which Ill explore in greater Miters. Miter joints can be tricky Face Frames. Since the backside of a face
detail on page 55. But what I often do is to glue up without parts slipping, frame is usually hidden from view, its a perfect
use pocket hole joinery on areas of the but pocket holes can help. situation for using pocket hole joinery.
project where the holes will be hidden.
Youll find that there are a lot of possi- If you work primarily on smaller
bilities where this will be a good option. parts, then a stationary jig that you
A few applications are shown in the clamp to a benchtop is a good choice.
drawings at right. For example, its great With this type of jig, you bring the
for cabinet face frames, where you can workpiece to the jig to drill the pocket
hide the pocket holes on the back face of holes (main photo, previous page).
the frame. It also works well for picture For larger projects with long or wide
frames, cabinets, cabinet base frames, parts, a mobile jig is a good solution
table aprons, or adding cleats to projects. (refer to the left photo below). With this
style, you bring the jig to the workpiece Pocket holes are
visible in cases but
TYPES OF POCKET HOLE JIGS in order to complete the task. might be acceptable
A number of manufacturers make Finally, if you drill a lot of pocket for shop cabinets

pocket hole jigs, including Craftsman, holes, you might want to look into a
Porter-Cable, General Tools, and others. pocket hole machine to speed up your
But Ive always gravitated toward Kregs work. Kreg makes one solution, the
offerings due to their ease of use and the Foreman, that is built and priced for Case Joinery. Pocket holes arent ideal
many types available. Their products consumers (below right). Refer to page for all casework, but they can speed up
are easy to find at many home centers. 67 for source information on these tools. jobs like making basic shop cabinets.

Pocket Hole Options: JIGS & MACHINES

{ A portable pocket hole jig like this Kreg Jig HD is a great solution { The Kreg Foreman is a consumer-priced pocket hole machine that drills
if youre working with big parts where you want to bring the jig a hole as you lower the machines handle. It can greatly pick up the
to the workpiece rather than the other way around. pace of your work if you drill a lot of pocket holes for your projects. 53

WS229_052.indd 53 12/6/2016 10:11:22 AM

Pocket Hole Tips & Tricks Bit guide
NOTE: set for
When building frames, youll drill pocket Bit guide 1!/4"-thick
stock Bit
holes on the ends of boards (rather than set for
edges), parallel with the grain direction. stock Bit
The main considerations are setting the
Stop collar Collar is
jig to match the material thickness and set for raised for
positioning the holes along the width of correct thicker stock
drilling depth
the board. As discussed earlier, you also
choose the screws to join the parts based
on the material thickness.
SETTING THE JIG. When it comes to setting Bit enters
stock at a
the jig to match stock thickness, the pro- higher point
cess is fairly simple. The goal is for the
exit hole to be roughly centered on the
thickness. To that end, the drill bit guide
slides up and down in the jig base and
has a number of settings for common Jig Setup for 34"-Thick Stock. For Jig Setup for 114"-Thick Stock. To drill
stock thicknesses like 12", 34", 1", and so thinner stock, youll set the bit guide pocket holes in thicker stock, simply
on. You simply slide the bit guide until and stop collar at a lower setting. raise the bit guide and stop collar.
it matches the setting you need and lock
it in place. Youll also need to adjust the one another to prevent them from mov-
stop collar on the drill bit to match the ing apart as you drive in the screws.
stock thickness, as shown in the draw- If the project is small enough (or your
ings at the upper right. clamps are long enough), you can sim- Use at least
As far as spacing out the holes goes, ply clamp across the assembly to hold two screws
per joint
you should keep them at least a 12" from everything together, as shown with the
the edge of the workpiece to avoid blow- small frame in the lower left drawing.
out. And youll want to aim for at least Another option is to use face clamps.
two holes. For wider pieces, adding holes These apply pressure directly at the
in the middle increases the strength of joint, so you can hold it together no mat-
the joint (drawing at right). ter how big or small the assembly is, as Locate screws
at least !/2"
shown in the lower middle drawing. from edge
CLAMPING CONSIDERATIONS A simple assembly table that con-
Before driving in the pocket screws to sists of a piece of plywood with a Hole Position. Youll want pocket
complete your pocket hole joints, youll couple of fences at 90 to one another holes at least 12" from edges to prevent
also need to clamp the parts securely to is another option. It will hold the parts blowout. More holes add strength.

clamp Table fences
to one another


Clamping across smaller

assemblies secures the joints

Clamp Across. For small assemblies, Face Clamps. A face clamp applied Assembly Table. A simple table with
simply clamping across them provides directly to the joint will also hold it well 90 fences provides clamping surfaces
enough support when driving screws. when adding the pocket screws. and keeps parts square for assembly.

54 Woodsmith / No. 229

WS229_054.indd 54 12/1/2016 1:33:55 PM

Plywood spacers
match face
frame openings

Riser positions
frame rail


Spacers. For face frames, some simple plywood spacers Risers. When joining parts that have offset faces, you can
that match the widths of the openings will keep everything use a riser block with a thickness that matches the offset
positioned correctly as you drive in pocket screws. between the parts to keep them all aligned.

square to one another and give you some simple solutions you can employ as grain exposed on the surface. As a result
a clamping surface as you secure the you join your assemblies to make every- of this, I typically reserve these plugs for
joint. As you can see in the lower right thing go together smoothly. projects that I plan to paint.
drawing on the previous page, I like When assembling face frames, for Another option is the Custom Pocket
to put down a few pieces of adhesive- example, I like to cut plywood spacers Hole Plug Cutter kit from Kreg shown
backed sandpaper on the base of the to match the widths of the openings. below. The kit comes with a bit guide
table to provide grip and keep the Then I can use the spacers to square that fits in a Kreg pocket hole jig. It has
pieces from sliding around as I secure everything up while driving in the a special bit that allows you to cut plugs
the joints with pocket screws. screws (upper left drawing). to match the wood and the grain of your
Another issue where positioning the project parts. After making as many
ALIGNMENT ISSUES parts can come up is when the edges plugs as you need, you can cut them
One concern that often arises with pocket or faces are offset. Here again, using a free from the blank at the band saw.
hole joinery, particularly with project wood riser to position the mating parts At this point, the plugs are ready to
assemblies such as face frames, is that it properly can do the trick, as shown in use on your project.
can be difficult to align the parts prop- the upper right drawing. POCKET HOLE POSSIBILITIES. If you dont
erly prior to driving in the screws. Unlike already use a lot of pocket hole joinery
other types of woodworking joinery PLUGGING POCKET HOLES in your woodworking, then the method
like mortise and tenon joints or dadoes, If you want to use pocket hole joinery is certainly worth a closer look. By
the project parts with the pocket holes on a visible area of your project, then employing it in the right situations, you
dont have an automatic place to register plugging the holes is an option. You can simplify the construction of your
against the mating parts before you put can buy pocket hole plugs, but theyre projects in a manner that completely
them all together. Fortunately, there are made from dowels and leave the end hides the holes from view. W

{ The Kreg plug cutter kit comes { You make plugs with the guide { Making a simple cut at the { Each plug sits just above the
with a special bit guide and and bit, much like drilling band saw releases all of the project surface, so you can
the plug cutting drill bit. standard pocket holes. plugs from the blank. sand it smooth and flush. 55

WS229_054.indd 55 12/1/2016 1:34:08 PM

workin ls
with too

avoid these 5
Drill Press Mistakes
A drill press is a versatile addition to any run into. Thankfully, the remedies for 1,000 rpm). The idea here is that low
shop. I use mine on nearly every project. poor-quality performance are simple to speeds are low-risk. But this approach
Part of what makes it so handy is how achieve, and they wont cost you a dime. ignores the fact that a drill bit has an
simple of a machine it is. However, that optimum speed range based on its type
simplicity can lead to a casual attitude RAGGED OR BURNED HOLES and its diameter. When set too low or
just walk over to the drill press, turn Its tempting to have a set it and forget too high, the quality of the hole suffers.
it on and get started. That mindset often it attitude with the speed of your drill One good example is brad point bits.
leads to less than desirable results. Here press. Most of the time, I see drill presses These bits are designed to work their
are five common problems you may set to a medium to low speed (less than best at higher speeds (above 1,500 rpm).
At slow speeds, the spurs on the edge of
the bit may tear out soft or open-grained
wood like red oak.
The remedy is to match the speed of
the drill press to suit both the bit and the
material (photo at left). You may be think-
ing that the time it takes to change the
speed in order to drill a few holes doesnt
seem worthwhile. The truth is it really

< Adjust the belt on the drill press

pulleys to change the speed to match
the bit you plan to use.

56 Woodsmith / No. 229

WS229_056.indd 56 11/28/2016 8:44:03 AM

doesnt take that long. Many newer drill TOO DEEP, OR NOT DEEP ENOUGH
presses have wheels or levers to simplify Along with lining up a hole by eye, drill-
the process of changing speeds. ing a hole to the proper depth is another
Two approaches come into play in place where its tempting to just wing
order to determine the proper drill press it. However, most drill presses have a
speed. First, you can find speed charts depth stop thats designed to increase
from many bit manufacturers as well as accuracy, save time, and improve the
online sources. These provide a good quality of the holes you drill, as shown
starting point. From there, I rely on test in the photo at right.
cuts and experience. That may sound When drilling pilot holes, counter-
subjective, but in a short time, you get an bores, or recesses for hardware, taking
idea of what it takes to make clean cuts. the time to set the depth stop really pays
off. If you drill a hole thats too shallow,
INCONSISTENT PLACEMENT its difficult to align the bit perfectly
When it comes to lining up the bit with without enlarging the hole or tearing
a layout mark, eyeballing the operation the top edge of the hole.
leaves you with minor variations in the I often mark a line on the edge or end
placement of holes. For some tasks, that of a workpiece that indicates the depth
may not be a big deal. But for others, it of the hole. This serves as a guide for
may lead to difficulties down the road. setting the depth stop.
The solution is to give yourself a hand For a through hole, you may not think { All it takes is a few seconds to set the
by adding a fence to the drill press table, setting the depth stop is necessary or depth stop on the drill press to create
as shown in the main photo on the pre- even helpful. However, drilling too deep consistent, accurate holes.
vious page. I try to do this anytime a needlessly chews up the drill press table
hole needs to be dead-on. Whether its (or insert). That results in tearout on the block thats clamped to the fence above
one hole or a dozen, by setting the fence backside of the workpiece. the workpiece works well, as you see in
you can rest assured knowing the holes the lower left photo. Working together
are a consistent distance from an edge. WORKPIECE SHIFTS OR LIFTS with the fence, the hold-down immo-
Another way to improve accuracy is to Drilling thin stock or small pieces pres- bilizes the workpiece for cleaner holes.
add a stop block to the fence. Now youre ents a challenge in control. With thin
registering the parts off both an edge and parts, the upward cutting action of the GOOD ON TOP, LOUSY UNDERNEATH
an end to maximize your chances of drill- bit can cause a workpiece to climb the As I said earlier, using the correct bit
ing a hole in the right place. bit and lift off the table. This leaves an speed is a surefire way to create a crisp
oblong hole, and the spinning part pres- start to the hole. But for through holes,
ents a hazard. The rotational force may you need to finish strong, as well. As the
wrench a small part out of your hand. bit exits the workpiece, the bottom face
The answer to both issues is to use tears out if it isnt supported.
a hold-down. Something as basic as a The auxiliary table for my drill press
has a replaceable insert that backs up the
workpiece to stop tearout in its tracks.
Over time, the insert gets chewed up. So
you need to flip it over or replace it to
gain the most benefits (near left photo).
You can get the same support even if
you dont have a table like this. Small
squares of MDF work great as sacrifi-
cial cutting boards. No matter which
method you use, be sure the surface is
free of debris that would interfere with
providing close support.
On their own, each of the setup solu-
tions here will help you improve the
results you can expect from your drill
{ By clamping a block to the fence above { Replace the insert regularly to ensure press. But when you combine them,
a workpiece, you can prevent a thin adequate workpiece support for drilling youll really notice a big improvement in
workpiece from climbing the bit. tearout-free holes every time. the quality of the projects you make. W 57

WS229_056.indd 57 11/28/2016 8:44:31 AM

in the

our favorite
Cordless Tools
Theres no question that cordless tools CIRCULAR SAW. Theres a tendency to
have come a long way since they first think of a circular saw as a construction
appeared on the scene. Todays cordless tool useful for crosscutting two-by
technology offers tools that are more framing lumber. But in my shop, I often
powerful, run longer, and weigh less use a circular saw to break down sheets
than those made just a few years ago. of plywood or MDF before cutting them
Improvements in battery technology to final size on my table saw. The issue
have even made tools like cordless table I have with a corded circular saw is that
saws and miter saws possible. the cord drags along behind the tool
This is great news if youre a con- and can snag on the edge of the sheet,
tractor or builder working on a jobsite resulting in an uneven cut.
where electrical power isnt always A cordless circular saw (photo above)
available or conveniently located. But does away with that distraction. In addi-
do cordless tools offer any advantages tion, most cordless saws are smaller in
to a home woodworker? Well, if youve size, making them a little easier to han-
ever used a cordless drill, you probably dle. Since I rarely use my circular saw
would say, Yes. However, drills arent for cutting anything thicker than 34", the
the only battery-powered tools that are smaller size is actually a benefit. And
{ One of the main benefits of using a handy to have in a home shop. Heres a because I typically use my circular saw
cordless brad nailer is that you can free quick look at five cordless tools that we for just a few cuts at a time, I find that a
yourself from the jarring sound of an air feel are worth considering even if you cordless version gives me all the power
compressor kicking on every few minutes. already own a corded version. I need for just about any project.

58 Woodsmith / No. 229

WS229_058.indd 58 12/2/2016 11:55:36 AM

BRAD NAILER. When it comes to install-
ing molding, edging, or glass stop on a
project, its hard to beat the convenience
of a brad nailer (lower left photo on
previous page). But that convenience
typically comes at a price. With an air-
powered brad nailer, you also need
an air compressor to run it. And then
you have the hassle of dragging an air
hose around the shop in order to use
it. Cordless brad nailers, on the other
hand, dont have these issues.
If youve tried cordless brad nailers
in the past and were unimpressed, you
may want to give them a second look. { A cordless jig saw allows you to cut out an opening in the middle of a plywood panel
Some of the older cordless nailers were a without having to use one hand to hold the cord out of the way. And with the 18-volt
little slow in action because they utilized versions available today, you wont have to sacrifice anything in the way of power.
a motor-driven piston that took a sec-
ond to ramp up before each fire. But the IMPACT DRIVER. If you already own a chucks and adapters available to expand
technology behind some of the newer cordless drill, you may question the the versatility of this tool.
models has improved, offering nailers need for an impact driver. After all, MULTI-TOOL. Ill be the first one to admit
that will fire brads nearly as fast as their a cordless drill can be used to drive that an oscillating multi-tool is probably
air-powered cousins. screws, as well as drill holes. But unlike not a must-have tool for most wood-
JIG SAW. Like the circular saw, the jig a drill, an impact driver is designed workers. But its one of those tools that
saw is a tool that doesnt typically see to do just one thing drive fasten- youll find yourself reaching for more
a lot of use in my shop. But for cut- ers. And it does this exceedingly well and more once you own one.
ting out openings in the middle of a (lower left photo). Multi-tools are great for reaching
panel, as shown in the photo above, An impact driver works by not just into tight spaces where other sanders
or cutting interior curves and unusual spinning the fastener, but by hitting it simply cannot go, as you can see in the
shapes, its a handy tool to have. with concussive blows, as well. The photo in the lower right. And there are
Because Im usually guiding the jig increased torque from this one-two a variety of attachments available that
saw freehand, I find it a lot easier to steer punch allows the tool to power through allow you to use them for other tasks
the tool along my layout line when it driving even large lag screws. And it can around the house, as well.
isnt tethered to a power cord. And since drive screws through softwoods without I dont see cordless tools completely
Im usually making just one or two cuts the need for drilling pilot holes. replacing all the corded power tools in
with my jig saw at a time, its a lot easier The chucks found on most impact my shop any time soon. But in some
to grab my cordless jig saw and get cut- drivers are designed to accept only hex- cases, a cordless tool really is the best
ting than to drag out an extension cord. shank bits. But there are accessory drill choice for the job at hand. W

{ Impact drivers are generally lighter and smaller in size than { Its hard to beat the versatility of an oscillating multi-tool. They
cordless drills. But they provide more torque, making them a great can be used for sanding, cutting, scraping, and even removing tile
choice when you have a lot of screws to drive. grout. With a cordless version, you can use it anywhere. 59

WS229_058.indd 59 12/2/2016 11:55:57 AM

dw orking
woo ntials

the basics of
Brushing an
Oil-Based Finish
Here in the Woodsmith shop, the shop see on an heirloom piece, then an oil- These brushes have soft bristles that
craftsman finishes almost all of our based finish is the way to go. are perfect for smoothly applying
projects by spraying on a couple of When it comes to brushing on an an oil-based finish. Plus, they hold a
protective coats of lacquer. However, oil-based finish smoothly, there is cer- large amount of finish and release it
in a home shop, setting up a dedi- tainly an art to it. By taking the right evenly on the surface.
cated spray booth for applying lacquer approach, from the brush you choose to GETTING STARTED. Once you have the
might not be a realistic option. And the sequence you use to apply the finish, right brush in hand, loading it prop-
that typically makes brushing on a you can achieve a smooth, flawless, and erly is step number one for getting
varnish, most commonly polyure- drip-free surface. Heres what to keep in good results. I typically dip just the
thane, your best bet for a protective mind as you get started.
coating for your project. CHOOSING YOUR TOOL. The first step in
Both oil-based and water-based poly- getting good results is pairing the
urethanes are available, and either one proper brush with the finish you plan
will offer protection to your woodwork- to use. For oil-based varnish or poly-
ing project. But if you want the warm, urethane, a white China bristle brush
amber tone that you typically expect to is your best bet (photo, below left).
Quality ferrule Natural, white
prevents loose bristles China bristles hold
a lot of finish

Contoured handle
improves comfort

{ Pouring finish in a jar prevents contamination

in the can and makes it easier to remove
Flagged brush tips lay excess finish from the brush.
finish down smoothly

60 Woodsmith / No. 229

WS229_060.indd 60 11/28/2016 8:19:42 AM

{ By starting slightly off the edge of { Now move back to the starting point, and { After finishing the entire panel, hold the
a panel and back-brushing carefully make a smooth, sweeping stroke with the brush almost vertically in order to tip
toward it, you can avoid runs and drips. grain across the panel. off the surface and make it smooth.

first couple of inches into the finish called cross-brushing. Basically, what heavy coat, to get the smoothest, most
and then dab off the excess on the side you do is brush horizontally against even results without runs or drips. To
of the container. To make this easier, I the grain, working your way from the that end, even though the directions
transfer some finish from the can into bottom of the vertical surface to the on most cans of finish recommend two
a glass jar (lower right photo, previous top, as shown in the lower left photo. coats, I like to use three or more.
page). This way, I can see more clearly Then, once the finish is applied, you In addition, I sand lightly between
exactly how much finish I am loading tip off the entire surface by starting coats with 320-grit paper. Then I
onto my brush. Plus, its a lot easier at the bottom and working toward the thoroughly wipe off any dust before
to wipe off the excess cleanly on the top vertically (lower right photo). This applying subsequent coats.
inside surface of a jar than on the lip smooths everything out and prevents SMOOTH WITH A BRUSH. A flawless, glass-
of a full can of finish. any runs and drips from occurring. smooth finish is truly possible by
BRUSHING FLAT SURFACES. Probably the BRUSHING TIPS & TRICKS. Whichever type of taking your time and employing the
most common area youll need to fin- surface youre finishing, there are a few proper brushing techniques. Ater a
ish on your woodworking projects other things I keep in mind to improve little bit of practice, you might find
is a flat surface. To prevent runs and my results. In general, I like to apply fin- that your results may rival those of a
drips from spilling over the surface of ish in several light coats, rather than a sprayed-on finish. W
the panel and onto the edges, I like to
start slightly off the edge and back-
brush toward it (left photo above).
Then I brush with the grain across the
panel, holding the brush at 45 and
making slightly overlapping strokes
(upper middle photo).
For the smoothest finish possible,
theres one extra step youll want to
add to your brushing process, and
thats to tip off the finished sur-
face to make it completely smooth.
As you can see in the upper right
photo, youll hold the brush almost
completely vertical for this step.
VERTICAL SURFACES. If you have to brush
finish on a vertical surface, gravity
presents an additional challenge to
your progress. Obviously, these areas
are a lot more prone to runs and drips { An approach that works well for vertical surfaces is called cross-brushing. First, you brush
than horizontal ones. To avoid these back and forth across the grain, working from the bottom up (left photo). Now complete the
issues, one useful technique to try is coat by tipping off the surface vertically from the bottom to the top (right photo). 61

WS229_060.indd 61 11/29/2016 12:15:44 PM

a s te ring
m saw
the ta ble

strategies for
Cutting Sheet Goods
Here in the Woodsmith shop, we have a a snap. But like most people, I dont have those large sheets at the table saw. These
panel saw for cutting sheet goods. This that luxury when Im working in my cuts can be challenging. But with the
handy, wall-mounted tool makes posi- home shop. So I do what many people right setup and technique (and a little
tioning and breaking down large panels do and figure out how to break down help), youll have that panel of plywood
or MDF broken down into more manage-
FIRST: Assistant helps able pieces in no time.
Operator lift and position sheet
on the table saw SECOND: Assistant helps CLEAR SOME SPACE. As you can imagine,
square the sheet with
the fence as operator one of the first considerations when cut-
begins the feed ting full sheets at the table saw is making
sure you have enough space. In order to
Assistant rip a full sheet of plywood, youll need
THIRD: Assistant moves to the a full 96" both in front of and behind
outfeed side and supports the the saw. For crosscuts, it requires 48" of
pieces as they exit the cut
clearance in front and behind the saw, as
well as some space along the side.
In my garage shop, I have my table
saw on a mobile base. This allows me to
Two-Man move it out to the driveway if I need to
Operation break down sheet goods.

The reality of breaking down full sheets is
that its easier to do it with two people. So
if a friend is available to help out, I often
NOTE: Assistant ONLY supports opt for that method. The drawing on the
the pieces. He does not pull or guide left provides the basic overview of the

62 Woodsmith / No. 229

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Operator starts One-Man
at corner opposite Operation
the rip fence
two-man technique. Both the table saw
operator and the assistant should start
at the front of the table saw, with the
operator behind the sheet and the SECOND:
assistant beside it. This way, the Sheet is pushed
forward and
two people can work together to against rip fence
lift the sheet onto the saw table,
with the leading end posi- positioned
tioned in front of the blade. to support
At that point, the assistant
can switch on the saw. Then Router table
he will hold the edge of the can be used
as infeed THIRD:
panel as the operator begins support During cut,
to push it through, keeping operator moves
toward normal
it square with the blade and tracking ripping position
along the rip fence.
As the leading end of the panel starts Workbench
to exit the saw table, the assistant moves Scrap piece clamped NOTE: to support
to the back of the saw and supports the to rip fence helps keep To control chipout, rip cuts
thin sheets of plywood cut plywood with
two pieces as the operator continues flat on saw table good face up
to push. The key is for the assistant to Workbench and router table
simply hold up the pieces and move should be same height or
slightly lower than saw table
steadily backward. He should avoid
pulling on the pieces, as this can cause moves across the saw table. It can also goods, its still a good idea to make the
them to shift. When the cut is done, the be difficult to lift the sheet into position cuts oversize rather than trying to cut
operator shuts off the saw, and both by yourself, but the project on page 24 of parts to their final dimensions right off
people can safely move the cut panels this issue can help in that effort. the bat. Its difficult to keep a large sheet
to a worksurface. The drawing above shows how you perfectly aligned throughout the cut. So
can arrange tools and fixtures that you I like to cut it into more manageable pan-
ONE-MAN TECHNIQUE probably already have in your shop to els. Then I cut these to final dimensions.
If youre working on your own, cutting properly support a sheet while making GREAT RESULTS. Despite their large size,
a full sheet of material at the table saw rips or crosscuts. A few other options breaking down sheet goods quickly and
becomes a little more challenging. The that I like for infeed, outfeed, and side easily at your table saw doesnt have to
key is to have proper infeed, outfeed, support are shown in the box below. be difficult. It just takes some space and
and side support when making the cut CUT OVERSIZE. Even with the proper setup either a helper or the right support sys-
to prevent the sheet from falling as it and the right technique for cutting sheet tem to get the job done effectively. W


{ Inexpensive roller stands are readily { The Heavy-Duty Flexible Roller Stand from { Simple, shop-built solutions are also a
available at home centers and are easy to General International offers the ultimate good option for sheet good support, such
adjust for infeed, outfeed, or side support. in support (refer to Sources on page 67). as this adjustable-height sawhorse. 63

WS229_062.indd 63 11/22/2016 10:28:47 AM

ip s from
our shop


Locking Rabbet Joint

For the drawers on the card catalog GROOVE. The first step is to rout a fence and trim the thin tongue on the
cabinet on page 42, I used a locking groove on the ends of all the drawer inside face of the drawer fronts (Fig-
rabbet joint at the front corners (photo fronts. As you can see in Figures 1 and ure 2). Sneak up on this cut until the
above). This joint is much stronger 1a below, this groove isnt centered on tongue is 14" long.
than a simple butt or rabbet joint, and the end, but rather, is offset slightly. Use SIDE GROOVE. All thats left is to rout the
its not as difficult to make as a dovetail the router table fence to help position the narrow dado on the inside face of the
joint. In fact, it only requires a couple of workpiece properly. To avoid removing side pieces to fit over the tongue you
straight bits and a few different setups too much material at once, youll want to just created on the fronts. Figure 3 pro-
at the router table to complete. make multiple passes until the groove is vides the details. Its a good idea to use a
Since the locking rabbets used on the as deep as the side pieces are thick (12" in scrap piece when setting this up. After
wide and narrow drawers are identi- the case of the card catalog cabinet). making a test cut, check the fit with a
cal, I cut all of the drawer fronts to final FINISH FRONTS. Using the same bit you front piece. You want the outside edges
size before starting. used for the grooves, reposition the to be flush (inset photo above).

1 2 3

Drawer Fence side
front Fence Drawer
Fence Wide push
Wide push
#/8" block !/8"
Tall push straight straight
block bit bit
a. #/4 a. !/4 a. !/8 END
NOTE: Make !/8 END
multiple #/8
raising the
bit after !/2 !/2
each pass

64 Woodsmith / No. 229

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Installing Threaded Inserts
The bookends for the knock-down shelving system (page 4
30) slide in the openings between the shelf planks and lock Tall aux.
in place with studded knobs and washers. In order for this to
work properly, however, you first have to install a threaded
insert in the underside of each bookend to accept the knob.
DRILL PRESS. Threaded inserts can be a bit tricky to drive in Guide
square, so I like to use the method below. You cut the head off 7 (1"-thick
hardwood) 7
a bolt and chuck it into the drill press. A pair of nuts threaded Fence
(!/4" hdbd.)
together and a washer protect the insert and workpiece from
damage. Simply turn the chuck by hand and pull down on rail
the handle to drive the insert in straight and true.


Cut head
off bolt
and discard

Backer Board for Stub Tenons

Chuck bolt
in drill press The knock-down shelving system features frame rails with
stub tenons that are in plain view at the top of the shelves.
I decided to cut the tenons in two passes at the table saw in
Hex nuts order to achieve the cleanest cuts possible.
VERTICAL CUT. For the first pass, that simply meant cutting

the tenon shoulders with the workpiece face down on the
saw table. The second pass, however, required holding the
pieces vertically to cut the tenon cheeks. Fortunately, this
wasnt too difficult. I just made the simple backer board
insert shown above. Paired with a tall auxiliary rip fence, it sup-
ports the rail as you pass it over the blade vertically.

Creating Duplicates
Whenever a project calls for making my attention on just one of the pieces. Figure 1. Then the next step is to remove
identical curved or irregular parts, I With an accurate layout, careful cutting, most of the waste using a jig saw or a
often use a technique that saves time and a little handwork, you end up with band saw, depending on the size of the
and ensures perfect copies. Thats the a pretty good match to the plan. workpiece (Figure 2). Aim to cut within
case for making the templates for the 1
MAKE IT A TEMPLATE. Rather than go through 16" of the pencil lines.
routed bowls (page 18), the cradles for all that effort for the other parts, use the With double-sided tape, secure the
the outfeed table (page 24), and the legs first part as a template to shape the next. completed part to the copy and use a
for the workstation (page 36). The drawings below show you the steps. flush-trim bit to remove the rest of the
Since its nearly impossible to shape Use the completed part as a pattern to waste (Figure 3). The result is a set of
each part perfectly on its own, I focus trace the shape on a blank, as shown in parts that match each other perfectly. W

1 2 3
Trace the shape
onto a blank Duplicate Completed
workpiece piece

Flush trim bit a.

Cut close to Use jig saw
the traced lines to square
up corners
workpiece 65

WS229_064.indd 65 12/6/2016 3:44:56 PM

& answ

Drill Bits
I've noticed that you use a few is helpful in aligning the bit with the TWIST BITS. Brad point bits and Forst-
different styles of bits when drilling desired hole location on your work- ner bits are both designed for drilling
holes for projects in Woodsmith. How piece. Finally, they have a steep flute in wood or soft materials like plastic.
do you determine which type of bit to design to help eject chips efficiently. If you have occasion to drill holes in
use in a given application? FORSTNER BITS. When a project calls for metal, youll need yet another style of
C. J. Kingery a hole with a flat bottom (such as a bit a twist bit. These bits are ground
Spring Valley, California counterbore or mortise) well typically to drill clean holes in both ferrous and
use a Forstner bit. Like brad point bits, non-ferrous metals (lower right photo).
There are a number of factors that go Forstner bits score the edge of the hole Theyll work in wood, but they dont
into the decision of which type of drill as they cut, leaving a clean hole (center leave as clean of an edge as either brad
bit to use. The material youre drilling, photo below). But they remove most of point bits or Forstner bits.
the size of the hole, and even the number the waste with a pair of straight cutting However, theres one situation where
of holes you have to drill all play into edges that shave the wood similar to twist bits are useful in woodworking,
the equation. But most of the time, there a tiny hand plane. This creates a hole and thats when you need to drill an
are some pretty clear guidelines when it with an almost perfectly flat bottom. in-between size hole. Brad points and
comes to choosing a bit style. Ill try to The downside of Forstner bits is that Forstner bits are usually available only in
outline them here. they arent very good at chip ejection. 16" increments. So if I have to drill a 932"-
BRAD POINT BITS. For the lions share They have a tendency to clog when drill- dia. hole, for example, I turn to a twist bit.
of holes, we use brad point bits (left ing deep holes, which can possibly burn Although it may seem like you need
photo below). These bits are designed the wood or ruin the edge of the hole. So to outfit your shop with a lot of different
specifically for drilling in wood. They when using a Forstner bit, you need to bits, the good news is that you dont
feature spurs on the edges of the bit to feed slowly and lift the bit out of the hole need to buy them all at once. A good set
score the perimeter of the hole, leaving occasionally to clear it of shavings. If you of brad point bits will get you started,
a clean edge free of tearout. They also have a lot of holes to drill, this can really and then you can add additional bits or
have a long, sharp centerpoint, which add to your drilling time. sets of bits as you need them. W

{ For quickly drilling clean, tearout-free { A Forstner bit excels at drilling a flat- { For drilling holes in metal, a twist bit
holes in wood, its hard to beat a quality bottom hole. Since its guided by the rim is the correct choice. Theyre readily
set of brad point bits. of the bit, it can drill overlapping holes. available in a wide range of sizes.

66 Woodsmith / No. 229

WS229_066.indd 66 12/1/2016 1:34:59 PM

hardware & supplies
Most of the materials and OUTFEED TABLE (p.24) Kreg Jig HD . . . . . . . . . . . KJHD
supplies youll need to build McMaster-Carr Plug Cutting Kit . . . . . . . KPCS
the projects are available at 3" Casters . . . . . . . . . . .78155T13
hardware stores or home cen- 3" Knobs . . . . . . . . . . . 5993K93 CORDLESS TOOLS (p.58)
ters. For specific products Threaded Rod . . . . . . 90034A033 Youll find a wide variety of cord- Project supplies
or hard-to-find items, take T-Nuts . . . . . . . . . . . . 90975A033 less tools, including the items may be ordered
from the following
a look at the sources listed Swivel Mounts . . . . . . 6103K174 discussed in the article, at most companies:
here. Youll find each item Nevamar home centers. Theyre also avail-
Amana Tool
and part number listed below Lam. (Maritime Gray) . . . . S6027 able from a number of different 877-676-0077
the company name. Refer to The non-laminated portions of online vendors, such as Amazon
the right margin for supplier the table were sprayed with two and Woodcraft.
contact information. coats of lacquer.
General Finishes
Home Depot
House of Antique Hardware Rockler Flexible Roller Stand . . . 50-167S
Cup. Latch. . . . R-08BM-1619-OB 1
4"-20 Threaded Inserts . . .33183
House of Antique
Icebox Latch. . . R-08BM-1506-PB 1" Knob w/1" Stud . . . . . . 34238 Hardware
Lee Valley The shelving unit was finished 888-223-2545
Bar Latch . . . . . . . . . . . . 00L08.10 with two coats of lacquer.
Mag. Touch Latch . . . . 00W02.02
Kreg Tool
Double-Ball Catch . . . 00W12.04 THREADING JIG (p.36)
Bullet Catch . . . . . . . . . 00G11.02 MSD Supply
Lee Valley
Double Angle Cutter. . . . 8511982 982 800-871-8158
TENONING JIG (p.14) Lee Valley
The Powermatic tenoning jig is V-Groove Bit . . . . . . . . . .16J13.08
.08 McMaster-Carr
available from a number of dif- McMaster-Carr 630-833-0300
ferent online retailers, including 2" Star Knobs . . . . . . . . 5993K66
Amazon and Woodcraft. 112" Star Knobs . . . . . . 5993K64K64 MSD Supply
The threading jig was finished
ROUTED BOWLS (p.18) with two coats of lacquer. Stream all past, present,
McMaster-Carr and future episodes of the Nevamar
Star Knobs . . . . . . . . . . . 5993K66 CARD CATALOG (p.42) Woodsmith Shop
Amana Tool Van Dykes Restorers TV Show.
Panel Raising Bit . . . . . . . 54524 Label Holder w/Pull . . . 02015612 Watch 117 full episodes 800-279-4441
Woodcraft Lee Valley now, plus new epsiodes

Bowl & Tray Bit . . . . . . . 825834 Brass Knobs . . . . . . . . . 01A06.17 even before they air on Van Dyke's Restorers
Two of the bowls were finished Shelf Braces . . . . . . . . . . 00S23.70 public TV! 866-279-4302
with a couple of coats of oil for The card catalog was stained with Ready when you are,
protection and to showcase the General Finishes water-based stain wherever you are on Woodcraft
natural grain of the wood. The in Espresso. It was then sprayed your computer, tablet,
painted bowl was finished with with two coats of lacquer. phone, or TV!
General Finishes milk paint. The
outside is Tuscan Red, and the POCKET HOLE JOINERY (p.52) WoodsmithShop
inside is Antique White. Kreg Tool
K5 Jig . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . K5
Kreg Foreman . . . . . . . . . DB210 67

WS229_066.indd 67 12/2/2016 9:20:52 AM

looking inside
Final Details
> Card Catalog Cabinet. Inspired by once-common library
card catalogs, this storage cabinet is made more useful
by the fact that weve designed it with two different
sizes of drawers. Well walk you through the complete
building process beginning on page 42.

} Outfeed Table. The unique design of this table

saw outfeed table allows it to do double-duty
as a panel lift, helping to take the strain off
your back when working with sheet goods.
Step-by-step plans start on page 24.

} Shelving System. Perfect for just about any

room of the house, this knock-down shelving
unit offers plenty of storage space for books
or other items. Complete plans for building it
begin on page 30.

{ Routed Bowls. Although they look hand-carved,

these bowls were actually created with a router and a
simple, shop-made jig. Once you have the jig made,
you can crank out a bowl in just a couple of hours.
Turn to page 18 to learn more about the process.

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