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GUILD EDITION Vol. 37 / No. 219

Router Joinery
Made Easy
Your Table Saw
Tips & Tricks:
Working with
Bringing Out the SMALL-SCALE
Best in Your Tools
A Publication of August Home Publishing

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PUBLISHER Donald B. Peschke


MANAGING EDITOR Vincent Ancona from the editor
Phil Huber, Randall A. Maxey


Dirk Ver Steeg, Peter J. Larson Storage projects are a popular topic around the office. Were always
SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER Bob Zimmerman looking for ways to gain a little more control and keep things more organized,
whether its around the house or out in our shops. In this issue, youll find solu-
CREATIVE DIRECTOR Ted Kralicek tions to organization and storage challenges in both of those areas.
Starting with the shop, youll find a workbench (page 28) that provides work-
CAD SPECIALIST Steve Johnson space, storage, and organization in one compact package. The benchtop has a
SHOP CRAFTSMAN Dana Myers lot of room to work. Plus, its easy to stay organized with the handy tool rack
along the back of the bench. And you wont be disappointed with storage. Over
Dennis Kennedy a dozen drawers, and racks you can add to the ends of the bench, ensure a safe
and secure place for all your hobby or craft materials and supplies.
PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Minniette Johnson Moving to the inside of the home, we have a couple of projects that take care of
the storage challenges there. The first is a hall tree (page 16) thats key to organiz-
ing any foyer or mudroom the two areas in a home that almost always seem
Woodsmith (ISSN 0164-4114) is published bimonthly by
August Home Publishing Company, 2200 Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50312.
to be cluttered. The hall tree features storage for coats, hats, umbrellas, and more,
Woodsmith is a registered trademark of August Home Publishing.
Copyright 2015 August Home Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
making it a must-have for any entrance.
Subscriptions: Single copy: $6.95.
Canadian Subscriptions: Canada Post Agreement No. 40038201. Send change of
My favorite project in this issue is the gentlemans dresser (page 38). The heavy-
address information to PO Box 881, Station Main, Markham, ON L3P 8M6. duty, solid-wood construction means it will be around for generations. The upper
Canada BN 84597 5473 RT
Periodicals Postage Paid at Des Moines, IA, and at additional offices. drawer and interior trays feature dovetail joinery for strength and great looks.
Postmaster: Send change of address to Woodsmith, Box 37106,
Boone, IA 50037-0106. And a series of adjustable shelves make it a snap to keep clothing and accessories
within easy reach. But its the design features that really catch your eye. From
the classic quartersawn white oak to the grids in the frame and panel doors, its a timeless style that would look right in just about any area of the home.
ONLINE SUBSCRIBER SERVICES Finally, I dont want to forget the adjustable vise on page 24. Honestly, if you
VIEW your account information have a workbench, its worth your time and effort to build this vise. A standard
RENEW your subscription
CHECK on a subscription payment hitch ball allows you to rotate the vise along two axes. When you get everything
PAY your bill right where you want it, a quick-release handle locks it in place. This adjustable
CHANGE your mailing or e-mail address
VIEW/RENEW your gift subscriptions vise isnt something youll use every day, but when you need to secure a project
TELL US if youve missed an issue part in just the right position to work on it, its the perfect solution.
CUSTOMER SERVICE Phone: 800-333-5075 weekdays Besides these great projects, check out the rest of the issue where youll find a
wide range of articles covering tips, techniques, and tools that will ensure you
Customer Service Woodsmith Magazine get the most out of the time you spend in your shop.
P.O. Box 842 2200 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50304-9961 Des Moines, IA 50312

Printed in U.S.A.

2 Woodsmith / No. 219

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contentsNo. 219 June/July 2015


designer project
Elegant Hall Tree . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Corral the clutter in your entryway with this stylish hall tree.
Besides a variety of storage options, the adjustable mirror makes
it easy to check your look on the way out the door.

weekend project
Multi-Function Swivel Vise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Being able to adjust the position of a workpiece or project as you
work on it guarantees better results. This shop-built vise uses a
ball hitch to make any adjustment quick and easy.

shop project
Hobby Workbench . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Need a place to work on crafts and hobbies? This great-looking
bench combines the right features of storage, tool accessiblity,
and workspace to make any hobby more enjoyable.

heirloom project
Gentlemans Dresser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
This Craftsman-style dresser is based on a classic design and
features a lot of great woodworking. And once its complete,
youll enjoy the much-needed storage it provides.
38 3

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from our readers
Tips & Techniques . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
all about
Brushless Motor Tools . . . . . . . . . 10
router workshop
Half-Blind Joinery Made Easy . . . . 12
great gear
The Digital Router Table . . . . . . . 14

woodworking technique
52 Box Joint Tips & Tricks . . . . . . . . 50

working with tools

Super-Smooth Surfaces . . . . . . . . 52

in the shop
Keys to Cutting Diagrams . . . . . . 54
woodworking essentials
Working with Plywood . . . . . . . . 58
mastering the table saw
Super-Tune Your Saw . . . . . . . . . 60

58 tips from our shop

Shop Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
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o m o u r

Tips &
Dowel End Drilling Jig
It seemed like no matter how well I USE THE JIG. Simply press the
marked the centers of dowel ends, I end of the dowel into the
could never get a perfectly centered hole. matching size hole (inset
That all changed when I came up with photo). The screw marks the
the jig you see here. It not only holds the center. Then clamp the dowel
dowels in place for drilling, but it also into the V-groove (main
has a built-in center-finder for marking photo) and drill the hole. The
the centers of the four most common jig can also be used to drill cross holes in b. 7!/2
sizes of dowels that I use. dowels by laying the jig on its side and
SIMPLE CONSTRUCTION. The jig is made from clamping it down. 3#/4 1!/2
a couple pieces of thick hardwood stock Gerald Welf !/2
and two pieces of hardboard that func- Fridley, MN 4 90 !/2"
tion as a clamping surface. One note roundover
about constructing the center-finding !/4" roundover
block drill the four shallow holes 1!/2 1!/2
using Forstner bits. The tip of the Forst- 6!/4 5
ner bit leaves a small divot in the bottom
!/4" NOTE: All parts
of each hole. Use this divot to drill the #8 x 1" 3#/4 assembled with glue
through holes. The tips of the 1" screws Fh woodscrew 1
1!/4 !/4"-20
should just protrude into the holes. !/4" threaded NOTE: Base
roundover 6!/4
insert and side are
made from
a. !/4" hardboard
1#/8 1#/4 1#/8 1!/8
1"-dia. NOTE: All holes
1!/4 !/2"-dia. in center-finding
block are %/8"deep
3#/4 pilot BASE
1!/2"-dia. #/4"-dia. NOTE: Cut
hole 3#/4 Hold-down clamp
NOTE: Screw tips should
just protrude into the holes END 1!/2 (Amazon, B000W07PEM) V-groove in V-block
CENTER-FINDING using the table saw

Win This Kreg K5 Jig

Simply send us your favorite shop
tips. If your tip or technique is selected The Winner!
as the featured readers tip, youll win Congratulations to Joe
a Kreg K5 Jig just like the one shown Winston, the winner of this
here. To submit your tip or technique, Kreg K5 Jig. To find out
just go online to
how you can win this jig,
check out the
and click on the link, SUBMIT A TIP.
information at left.
There, you can submit your tip and
upload your photos for consideration. 5

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Small Parts Carousel
Theres never a shortage of small parts
and loose pieces of hardware cluttering
my workbench. I needed a way to orga-
nize some of these items while still keep-
ing them close at hand. My solution was
to build this double-decker small parts
carousel (photo at right). Its designed
to hook into my pegboard, keeping my
workbench tidy and ready to use.
CONVENIENT DESIGN. At the heart of the
parts carousel are some 4" clear plastic
jars with screw-on lids. These jars are
available from Lee Valley (Sources, page
67) and are the perfect size for organiz-
ing a vast array of small items. The
holes in the upper and lower discs on
the carousel are sized to allow the jars
to slip into place easily.
SIMPLE TO BUILD. With the exception of the
hardwood dowel and the PVC spacers,
the carousel parts are all made from ply-
wood. I made the top, bottom, and back
first. A shallow hole in the top and bot-
tom holds the dowel, and a couple rab-
bets are needed at the ends of the back.
Next, cut the two discs to size and lay
out the six holes for the jars, as well as
the center hole for the axle. To ensure all
seven of the holes align, clamp the discs
together. One hole in the upper disc is
notched (detail a) to make removing jars
from the lower disc easier.
Soften the edges of the discs with a
roundover bit and assemble the carou-
sel. Screw the bottom to the back first. #8 x 1!/4" NOTE: Top and bottom
L-hooks !/8" chamfer are mirror images
Then its just a matter of stacking the rest of one another
of the pieces in place, as shown at right,
#/4 TOP
before screwing the top to the back. A #/4" hardwood
couple L-hooks allow the rack to hang NOTE: Dowel
on a pegboard panel. is glued into !/4"-deep
shallow holes rabbet
Joe Winston in top and
bottom 1
Temple, Texas

!/8" spacers
roundover 1&/16"-dia.(size
holes to fit 3!/2

4 4!/2
2 4
BOTTOM &/8 3!/2
2 #8 x 1!/2" #/4
Fh woodscrew

NOTE: Upper disc has a #/4"-dia. hole,

notch cut in one hole %/8"-rad. !/2"-deep
NOTE: Discs, back, top, and
bottom made from #/4" plywood
6 Woodsmith / No. 219

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NOTE: All grooves and
a. 2!/2 rabbets are !/4" deep #8 x 1!/4"
#/8 !/8" L-hooks
SIDE #/4" ply. chamfer 8!/2
SECTION #/4 1!/2
9 !/8"
BACK SIDE chamfer

#/4" ply. BRACE


NOTE: All #/4" ply. SIDE

parts made BOTTOM
from #/4"
plywood 5!/2
9 5#/8
#/4" ply.
NOTE: Space !/2" -wide
9 grooves !/2" apart starting
#/4" in from either edge
Table Saw Insert Caddy
Whenever I get a new blade for my table organize the inserts, I made the handy assembling the caddy with glue. For
saw, I generally make (or buy) a new caddy you see above. clearance to install on a pegboard panel, I
table saw insert so that I have a zero- PLYWOOD PROJECT. The front, bottom, and chamfered the upper back edges.
clearance insert to match each blade. back have aligning grooves. I cut all of the Gary Ingber
As you might imagine, I have accumu- grooves in one oversized piece and then Big Stone City, South Dakota
lated quite the collection of table saw cut the three parts to size. Cut 34"-wide
inserts over the years. In order to better rabbets in the front, sides, and back before
If you have an original shop
tip, we would like to hearr
from you and consider
publishing your tip in one
or more of our publications.
Jump online and go to:
and click on the link,

Youll be able to tell us all about
your tip and upload your photos
hotos and
drawings. You can also maill your tips
to Woodsmith Tips at the editorial
address shown on page 2. We will pay
up to $200 if we publish your tip.


When I work on bulky items like large
drawers and cabinets, I like to be able to BY EMAIL
rotate the workpiece for easier access to Now you can have the best time-saving
secrets, solutions, and techniques sent
all sides of the project. My solution was to
directly to your email inbox. Just go to:
build several of these roller bars using
360 roller bearings (Sources, page 67). For smaller projects, a piece of plywood
These bars are easy to make by or MDF can be laid across a few roller bars
and click on,
attaching the roller bearings to a piece and used as a platform, as shown above.
Woodsmith Tips
of two-by stock. A cleat fastened to If sized properly, the roller bars can also
one end of the bar butts against the serve as table saw outfeed rollers. Youll receive one of our favorite tips
edge of the workbench and helps to Steve French by email each and every week.
keep the bars aligned. Lakeland, Florida 7

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NOTE: Drill 3"-deep hole 3
sized for your torch head
after assembly
#8 x 1" !/8"
Fh woodscrew #8 x 1!/4"
chamfer L-hook


6!/4 5!/2
4"-dia. 5!/2

2 #8 x 1!/2"
Fh woodscrew

#8 x 1!/4" 7!/2 NOTE: All parts

Fh woodscrew are made from
BOTTOM #/4" plywood.
Posts are two
layers of #/4"
DISC 1 #8 x 1!/2"
Fh woodscrew

NOTE: Size disc to match

inside diameter of PVC pipe
Propane Torch Storage Rack
I use my propane torch quite often for of my cylinder (4" pipe was just right). outside of the PVC pipe and cut on the
little projects around my shop. Instead Then it was just a matter of making the bandsaw. The disc in the bottom of the
of returning it to its plastic storage case rest of the storage rack from plywood. pipe is traced from the inside of the pipe.
every time after using it, I made this sim- THE BUILD. Theres nothing too difficult A hole drilled through the top into the
ple storage rack that keeps my propane about this storage rack. After cutting post provides a place to store the torch
cylinder and torch within arms reach. the PVC pipe to length, simply cut all of head. And a couple of L-hooks in the
PVC CYLINDER. The most obvious choice the plywood parts to size and assemble back allows the storage rack to hang on
for housing the propane cylinder was a everything using glue and woodscrews. a pegboard panel, if you want.
section of PVC pipe that had a slightly Just a couple of points to mention: The Jay Jorgensen
larger inside diameter than the outside half circle in the top is traced from the Albany, New York


File & Chisel Protectors. Charles Mak of Calgary, Alberta, Glue Cup & Brush Keeper. To keep his glue brush off his
didnt like his files and chisels rolling around and getting workbench and at the ready, Paul Pennock of Galena, Ohio,
damaged in his workbench drawer. To keep them protected, made this simple glue station for his shop. Its simply a block
he uses inexpensive pipe insulation. This insulation has a slit of wood with a large hole near one end to hold a plastic cup
in the side and is easy to cut to length for each tool. and a groove to hold the glue brush.

8 Woodsmith / No. 219

WS219_008.indd 8 4/6/2015 1:46:01 PM

Router Leveling Jig
I work with a lot of rough-sawn lumber GUIDES & SHIMS. The leveling jig is noth- leveled, on a flat surface. My workbench
and live-edged tree slices, like the one ing more than two router guides con- works fine for this. If your material isnt
shown above. Unfortunately, my planer sisting of a base and a fence. The router heavy enough to stay in position, you
is usually either too small to handle such guides are attached at either end to a may need to use a non-slip pad to keep it
large pieces, or it would cause too much couple of shim stacks. The shim stacks from sliding on the workbench.
tearout on endgrain. To get around this have a solid top and bottom, but the SHIM IT UP. The leveling jig is set in posi-
problem, I built this router leveling jig shims in the middle of the stacks are tion over the workpiece. I place an equal
out of plywood. I sized my jig to accom- slotted to allow them to be easily added number of shims in each shim stack until
modate the largest lumber slabs and tree or removed (detail a). the router guides just clear the highest
slices that I use, but it could be made SIMPLE SETUP. To use the leveling jig, youll point of my workpiece. The four knobs
larger to suit your needs. need to place it, and the material being are then tightened down.
With a large bowl and tray bit in the
NOTE: Space fences to
accommodate router base router, make a light pass along the fence.
#8 x 1#/4"
Fh woodscrew FENCE #8 x 1" After each pass, slide the shim stacks over
Fh woodscrew by just less than the diameter of the router
36 4
bit and make another pass. It may be nec-
TOP essary to lower the bit and make several
#/4 passes to completely flatten the surface.
Jake Lee
#/4 Shim
!/2 NOTE: All parts stack Amery, Wisconsin
are made from
!/4" washer plywood
!/4"-20 a.
TOP 16
1!/2 #/4
stack SHIM 4!/4

!/4"-20 x 4!/2" 16
carriage NOTE: Make a variety #/8 1%/16
bolt of shims from !/4", 4!/4
!/2", and #/4" plywood BOTTOM 9

WS219_008.indd 9 4/6/2015 11:49:42 AM


what you need

to know about
When Im working in the shop, I dont sense, but rather little blocks of carbon The motors give the tools some clear-
give much thought to whats happen- that transfer an electrical charge from cut advantages over standard brushed
ing inside my cordless power tools. the battery to the rotor, which is the power tools, but the technology also
But theres no question that a lot of spinning part of the motor. makes tools more expensive. I took a
advanced technology goes into these Motors can also spin without using closer look to learn more about the tools.
devices to make them work as well brushes, however, by using a form HOW BRUSHLESS MOTORS WORK. In order to
as they do. Just getting the motor to of brushless technology. This more understand how they can help your
spin, for example, is a massive feat of advanced type of DC motor has been woodworking, its useful to have a basic
industrial engineering. used in industrial settings for several understanding of the differences in how
Traditionally, cordless power tools decades. But now its evolved to the point the two types of motors work. Youll find
have always used brushed DC where its making its way into common a basic overview in the drawings on the
motors. What are called brushes are power tools like drills, impact drivers, opposite page. All motors have a stator,
not actually brushes in the traditional and multi-tools (photos below). which is the fixed, cylindrical housing

Milwaukee 18-volt } Brushless motors can be

found inside a wide range
of handy, common portable DeWalt 20-volt
drill/impact driver combo
power tools.

DeWalt 20-volt

Rockwell 20-volt
driver combo

10 Woodsmith / No. 219

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Brushed Motor Brush
of the motor, and a rotor, which is the Stator
S (with embedded N
inner cylinder that spins. In a brushed magnets) S
Rotor N
DC motor, an electrical current flows (with
through the brushes, which make contact windings)

with a smaller part attached to the rotor

called a commutator. The commutator Commutator
transfers the charge to the rotor, and then
magnets on the stator react to this charge N
S transfer
on the rotor and cause it to spin.
power to
A brushless DC motor takes these basic SIDE VIEW commutator END VIEW
concepts and turns them inside out. The
stator has built-in windings that deliver Brushless Motor
the electrical current. And the rotor has Magnets
magnets embedded in its outer housing.
Controller Stator
The charge delivered from the stator to the (with windings)
rotor is managed by a part called a control- N
ler, a compact, computer-like device.

PROS & CONS. Brushless motors pro- S
vide a number of clear benefits over Rotor N
(with embedded
their brushed counterparts. The long- magnets)
standing complaint about brushed
motors is that the technology requires SIDE VIEW END VIEW
the brushes to always be in contact with
the spinning commutator. This creates be more compact than brushed motors tools with a fairly constant load and
friction and drag, which in turn reduces since they have fewer parts. consistent RPM. This includes tools
tool performance. And over time, it Brushed motors also run at the full such as drill/drivers, hammer drills,
wears the brushes down and leads to charge delivered to the brush, regardless impact drivers, and oscillating multi-
vibration. Eventually, youll need to of the operation. Whether youre driving tools. Most saws and routers have too
replace the brushes or the tool itself. small screws into pine or drilling large much variability in load and torque
With a brushless motor, the stator holes in mahogany, the drill is running demands to incorporate brushless
does not contact the rotor. This means at the same power. motors with the current technology.
that theres no friction, no drag, and no The tiny computer, or controller, that Since brushless tools are usually part
brushes that will ultimately wear down regulates the current of a brushless motor of a manufacturers premium line of
and fail. This makes tools with brush- can adjust the power delivered to the tool tools, they typically have other upgraded
less motors more efficient, run longer, based on the task at hand. This further features, as well. For example, the drill/
and deliver more power in a similarly adds to the tools efficiency in use. driver from Milwaukee has a 12" instead
sized package. They also run smoother If theres any drawback to brushless of a 38" chuck. Other tools showcase
with less noise and vibration. Whats motors in tools, its the cost. Though the push-button impact or speed settings
more, brushless motors can actually technology is improving and the cost (photo, left). As with most new cordless
is decreasing, brushless tools tools these days, they feature lithium-ion
are still on average about 30% batteries for the longest runtime possible.
more expensive than compa- THE RIGHT TOOL FOR YOU. In theory, brush-
rable brushed tools. As just one less tools certainly seem to have an edge
example, the two-tool brushless over their brushed counterparts, both in
DeWalt kit shown on the oppo- performance and longevity. In use in my
site page is $260 as shown, but shop, the tools worked very well, but
just $200 when the tools have they didnt seem hugely different from
brushed motors instead. their newer brushed counterparts for
AVAILABLE TOOLS. Even that the type of work I do. I think where the
increased price, however, may advantages really lie is for tradesmen
change in the years ahead who put a lot of wear and tear on their
as more tool manufacturers tools all day, every day.
embrace the technology. Today, Whether the tools are worth the higher
brushless tools are available price tag for you and your shop is ulti-
from DeWalt, Milwaukee, Rock- mately a personal decision. Either way,
{ Tools with brushless motors usually have lithium-ion well, Makita, Bosch, and a few DC brushless motors are certainly tech-
batteries and other special features, like the push- others. Thus far, brushless nology that is here to stay and worth
button speed control on the Milwaukee impact driver. motors are typically used in keeping an eye on in the future. W 11

WS219_010.indd 11 3/30/2015 3:03:37 PM


routing rabbeted
Many woodworkers purchase a half- So if youre familiar with how the Drawer back
blind dovetail jig to create drawer joints jig works, youre well on the way
quickly and accurately. However, these to mastering this technique.
jigs can do more than basic drawers. One Using a jig to make rabbeted
example is an overlay drawer with a rab- half-blind joints works about the
beted drawer front (left photo). same as making a typical drawer
In our recent dining
di room suite series, with a few differences. The
we used
use this joint for the proces has three steps: creating Spacers
draw in the hutch (No. the rear joints, cutting the tails at
Drawer side
217) and buffet (No. 218). the front of the sides, and cutting
This design eliminates the the pins in the drawer front.
need for a separate false FIRST THINGS FIRST. Before you start { The half-blind joints at the back of the drawer are
front applied to the drawer. up your router, theres one impor- routed as you normally would. The only difference
An half-blind dove- tant step you need to take. And is the addition of a pair of spacers.
tail jig
j can be set to cut thats to cut the rabbets around
these joints following the the edges of the drawer front. Youll use ROUT THE REAR JOINTS. I started with the
appr shown here. these as a gauge for setting up the dove- dovetails at the rear of the drawer since
tail jig. For the dining room suite, the top theyre the most straightforward. The
< You
Yo can rout joints like and bottom edges receive a 38"-wide rab- drawer sides and back arent rabbeted,
th using a typical bet while the ends have a 34"-wide rabbet. so both parts can be cut at the same time,
ha dovetail jig. The depths are the same (38"). just like a typical half-blind joint.

12 Woodsmith / No. 219

WS219_012.indd 12 4/1/2015 7:04:10 AM

Now my goal is to have the dovetails Drawer back
MDF backer
arranged symmetrically on all the parts.
To accomplish this without having to
reset the jig for each set of joints, I took
into account the rabbet on the drawer
front right off the bat.
Heres the first difference. I cut a pair
of spacers that match the width of the
rabbet on the top and bottom edge of the Drawer side
Spacer (front end) Drawer side
drawer front. These are placed between
the jig stops and the drawer sides and
back, as shown in the near right photo. { A piece of MDF clamped in the jig behind { The spacers are sized to match the width
With the spacers taped to the drawer the drawer sides prevents the bit from of the rabbet along the top and bottom
sides, I adjusted the side stop on the jig causing chipout as it exits the cut. edge of the drawer front.
so that the drawer parts were centered for
even tail spacing. On a side note, because ROUT THE FRONT TAILS. You can turn your Here again, the solution I chose is a
the dovetail layout is symmetrical, I set attention to the joints at the front of the spacer, as shown in the left photo. This
up the jig to rout all the joints from one drawer. Because the drawer front has a larger spacer has a notch cut on the end
side (left) of the jig. rabbet, its not possible to rout both parts to act as a stop. The depth of the notch
At this point, its a good idea to use test of the joint at the same time. Instead, matches the width of the rabbet on the
pieces to dial in the bit and jig settings for you tackle each part one at a time. end of the drawer front. With the block
a set of dovetails with a nice fit. When The tails routed into the drawer sides clamped in the vertical position on the jig,
thats done, rout the dovetails for the two are created using the same setup as the you can slide the drawer front into place
rear corner joints of the drawer. rear joints with a spacer. The key dif- and butt the end of the drawer front into
ference is placing an MDF backer behind the notch on the spacer.
the drawer side to prevent tearout, as Routing the sockets to create the pins
shown in the upper right photo. doesnt require any sort of backup. So
ROUT THE FRONT PINS. The final part of the youre all set to rout the pins.
dovetail joinery is creating the pins in That wraps up the joinery for the
the rabbeted drawer front. Since the side drawer. However, there are a couple of
stops on the jig were set with this rabbet other details left to take care of before the
front in mind, there isnt anything to worry drawer is ready to be glued together. The
about here. You can set the drawer front box below highlights the steps.
snug against the stop (without a spacer). Its surprising how a few spacers and
Spacer What does need some adjustment is a little know-how can expand the capa-
the front-to-back position of the drawer bilities of a simple half-blind dovetail jig.
{ The vertical spacer has a notch to offset front in relation to the jig template. You And this techniqueq shows why y its such
the drawer front to account for the rabbet need to account for the width of the rab- ab- a handy accessory to have in
on the end of the drawer. bet on each end of the drawer. your shop. W
Drawer side

How-To: FINISHING UP Drawer front

Drawer back

{ Align the groove for the drawer bottom { To create the profile on the drawer
with a tail on the side so that the groove front, I only used a portion of a 12" { The rabbets on the drawer front (left piece)
wont be visible after assembly. roundover bit in the router table. determine the setup for routing half-blind
dovetails in the other parts. 13

WS219_012.indd 13 4/1/2015 7:04:58 AM


computerized routing with Precision

lift unit

Using computers to control tools (like CNC machines, but they also developed a was installing the router in the lift, but
a CNC router) is nothing new. One system to control the fence position and it only took about a half hour. You have
company is using computer-controlled bit height on a router table. your choice of two router plates that
motors to automate one of the most TWO COMPONENTS. The system is made up should fit most router tables.
often-used tools in the shop a router of the Ready2Rout fence and Ready2Lift Attaching the fence system to the table
table. NextWave Automation manufactures router lift, as you can see in the photos is as simple as clamping or bolting the
above. While you can buy each part mounting tabs in place. But before you
separately (refer to Sources, page 67), can use the system, the fence needs to be
theyre designed to work as a system. checked to make sure its square to the
WHAT IT DOES. The Ready2Rout system tabletop. I had to place a few shims under
automates repetitive tasks at the router the mounting plates.
table. For example, it excels at cutting MAKING CONNECTIONS. The system comes
joinery like box and dovetail joints. But with a small controller box with a touch
you can also fine-tune the fence position screen. You can see it in the photo above.
and bit height in increments as small as Both the controller and the lift plug into
0.01" using decimal inches, millimeters, the back of the Ready2Rout fence, as
or fractional inches. (Internally, the sys- shown in the photo at left.
tem is accurate to 0.001".) With everything connected, plug in
{ The Ready2Rout fence system features a SETUP. The instructions that come with the controllers power cord. After you
motor to move the fence plus connections the system are pretty thorough. The get past the intro screens, you can enter
for the control module and Ready2Lift. most time-consuming part of the setup some critical information. One piece of

14 Woodsmith / No. 219

WS219_014.indd 14 4/3/2015 2:09:30 PM

{ Plug the zero plate into the controller to { The included magnet attaches to the router bit { When running the app to zero the bit,
set the fence and bit zero positions before to complete the circuit when the bit touches the the bit raises automatically until it
turning on the router and running apps. aluminum zero plate. touches the zero plate.

data youll need is the bit diameter. The each cut. The fence moves away from the
system calculates all of its movements for bit the correct distance to cut the second
routing based on this measurement. notch. I had already input the width and
The next task is to zero the fence and thickness of the workpiece in the system,
bit. This procedure is shown in the photos so it knows how many times to make a
above and at right. Doing this gives the cut to complete the joint.
system a point of reference for position- Theres another app to cut the mating
ing the fence and setting the bit height. joinery for the box joint. After youve cut
Youll need to do this operation every one side of the joint, substitute the mating
time you install a bit. piece and run that app. Its that simple.
CHOOSING AN APP. If you own a smart- Note: When holding a workpiece
phone, youre already familiar with upright for routing, I prefer to use a sled.
apps. Theyre software programs that You can purchase the one shown in the
provide instructions to the computer. In main photo as an optional accessory. { Set the zero position for the fence using
this case, the apps allow you to make a EVERYDAY ROUTING. If you create a lot of a similar process. This time, the zero plate
variety of joints and decorative cuts (box repetitive joinery or decorative cuts like rides with the fence until it touches the bit.
below). When you purchase the entire fluting, the Ready2Rout system is a per-
system, you receive a broad selection of fect solution. But its great for everyday trial-and-error method on setting the
apps already installed. routing tasks like moldings, edge pro- fence position or bit height.
Once you choose an app, the control- files, and other joinery. The downside to the Ready2Rout sys-
ler provides step-by-step instructions First of all, it can save and recall fence tem is the cost. Its just under $1,000 for
on how to proceed. It will automatically and bit height positions. Thats a great the fence, lift, and controller. But if you
move the fence and change the bit height option if you have to go back and make do a lot of routing, it sure does eliminate
as needed. In the case of the box joint Im a cut after moving the fence. a lot of frustration in setting up the fence
cutting in the main photo, the fence and Since Ready2Rout can move the bit and and bit height for making a cut. And the
bit move to rout the first notch. The sys- fence in increments as fine 0.001", this repeatable accuracy you can achieve is
tem then prompts you to press OK after eliminates a lot of the guesswork and sure to justify the expense. W


As I mentioned, the Ready2Rout system comes pre-
loaded with a few apps. You can purchase addi-
tional apps to add new functions for the Ready2Rout.
Theyre available on the NextWave Automation web
site. The company says theyll develop new apps
based on customer requests. You can also download
updates to the controller software.
Installing or updating software on the Ready2Rout
controller is pretty straightforward. After download-
ing the software from the web site, copy it onto
nto a USB
flash drive (right photo). The instruction manual
tells you how to plug in the flash drive to copy
and install the files from there onto the controller.
roller. { Ready2Rout comes with a selection of apps.
After restarting the controller, the new software
ware is You can download additional apps and updates
installed and ready to use. and then install them with a flash drive. 15

WS219_014.indd 15 4/3/2015 10:29:47 AM


Hall Tree
This stylish project is the
perfect storage solution for
any hall or entryway. Youll
find places to stash your
umbrellas, coats, and more.

Lets face it: The homes entryway tends

to be a magnet for all kinds of clutter.
Shoes, umbrellas, hats, and coats get
dropped and picked up in this area con-
stantly. And if you dont have a good
method for organizing these items, it can
quickly turn into an unsightly mess.
The elegant hall tree you see here is a
great solution to this problem. With a set
of hooks, shelves, and a bottom bin for
storing umbrellas, its the perfect spot to
deposit or collect these items when you
arrive at the entry door. It even has a piv-
oting mirror for a quick check before you
head out the door.
ANGLED DESIGN. The unique look centers
around the compound-beveled legs,
which angle inward from the bottom of
the hall tree toward the top. This lightens
the look of the hall tree and makes for a
more pleasing design.
To simplify the construction process,
I eliminated any tricky joinery and
instead relied on dowels, corner blocks,
and screws to bring everything together.
Of course, the angled design of the tree
presents a few interesting challenges, but
youll find all the information you need
on the following pages. The end result is
a project thats fun to build and is sure to
add some useful storage to your home.

16 Woodsmith / No. 219

WS219_016.indd 16 4/6/2015 10:19:35 AM

Construction Overview / OVERALL DIMENSIONS: 16 9
16"W x 68"H x 16916"D

Hooks on three
Top panel is sides offer plenty
beveled slightly of coat storage
for a pleasing look
Screws secure
all panels to
rails Hardwood splines
reinforce the
mitered frame

Corner blocks Mirror frame is

connect shelf mitered to match
assemblies angle of legs
Mirror fittings
allow mirror to legs
to pivot

Ends of shelf
and slat rails
are beveled
to match
angle of legs
Shelf notches
cut at an angle
to match legs

Inserts fit in grooves

in rails and are
notched to accept
the slats

Shelves and top Legs feature a 2

are glued-up compound bevel
solid-wood at top and bottom
Slat rails joined panels
to legs with
dowels { The mirror pivots back and forth on swivel hardware
Refer to page 67
for hardware for easy angle adjustments, and the middle shelf
sources and
finishing makes a great catch-all area for items you need to
information grab on the way out the door. 17

WS219_016.indd 17 4/6/2015 10:20:17 AM

NOTE: Top and bottom
have a 2 compound
bevel NOTE: Drill holes

Start with legs %/16"-dia.

#/4 for mirror on
front legs only
(for a.
& SHELVES mirror)

12&/8 TOP VIEW

The legs are a good place to start on the screws) 1%/8
hall tree. Theyre made from 8/4 oak thats 90
jointed and planed to thickness and width. %/16"-dia.
In the completed hall tree, the legs A
A 1%/8
have 2 compound bevels on the ends.
This allows them to tilt inward, as shown
b. #/8"-dia.
at right. I recommend labeling the inside- holes
and outside-facing corners of each leg. (for
67!/4 dowels)
Also mark the front legs (for the mir- !#/16
ror) and back legs for clarity. A
COMPOUND BEVELS. The easiest way to cut LEG
92 Leg !#/16
the compound bevel on the table saw is
to make a cradle with a V-groove in it to TOP VIEW
hold the leg at an angle (drawing, below
37#/4 c.
left). This way, you can tilt the blade 2 25!/2
and pass the bottom end over the blade.
With the bottom trimmed at 2, mea-
sure along the edge of the leg and mark
the location for mitering the top end. You 92 Leg

can make this cut with the same table saw !#/64"-dia.
setup by flipping the leg end for end. Now
use the first leg to lay out the cuts on the TOP VIEW
other three legs and repeat the process. 3#/4
DRILL HOLES. The next steps involve drill-
ing a series of holes in each leg. There are
three holes on the inside-facing corner
to accept screws that secure the shelves. tape measure with the bottom or top of action in the lower right drawings. The
And two holes on the two inside faces of the leg, set it parallel with the edge, and details for building them are found on
each leg hold dowels for the slat rails. then measure and mark the hole locations. page 65. (Youll need to extend your hole
As detailed in the drawings above, the The holes need to be parallel with the layout lines around the legs to use the jigs.
dimensions for laying out the holes fol- floor to make it easier to assemble the hall Use a protractor or bevel gauge for this.)
low the 2 angle of the leg. This makes tree. That requires guides with 2 faces to The final holes to drill in the front two
layout fairly simple, as you just align a drill the holes. You can see the guides in legs accept the mirror fitting hardware.


V-block NOTE: Transfer hole Drilling guide
layout lines around (page 65)
legs to align guides
a. 2

Drilling guide hole
Leg (page 65)

NOTE: Flip
leg 180 to cut
other end !#/64"-dia.
drill bit

Miter Legs. Set a block with a V-groove against the Drill for Dowels. Use a brad point bit Screw Holes. This corner
miter gauge, tilt the blade 2, and bevel the end of and this custom guide to drill holes for drilling guide lets you make
the leg. Flip it 180 to bevel the other end. dowels in the legs. holes on the inside corners.

18 Woodsmith / No. 219

WS219_018.indd 18 4/6/2015 1:24:10 PM

a. #8 x 1!/4"
The mirror only needs to pivot a few C Fh woodscrew
inches back and forth, so these holes MIDDLE Shelf
13#/8 SHELF 13#/8 rails Shelf
are perpendicular to the leg faces. I just
drilled them at 90 at the drill press. #/8"
MIDDLE counter-
SHELVES. The shelves are glued-up pan- SHELF RAIL !/8 bore
els supported by four rails (drawings, F E
right). The rails align with the notches #/4
at the corners of the shelves, and they E
all feature 88 bevels to match the angle VIEW 1
of the legs (detail b). Corner blocks fas- CORNER
tened to the rails allow you to screw the E
shelves to the legs. NOTE: Shelf
Notches cut after E
To make the shelves, start by gluing rails are attached
11!/4 Shelf Shelf
up panels for the lower and middle to shelves
rail rail
(refer to How-To
shelf. Then cut them to overall final box below)
size. Next, cut the rails slightly over- B 2
LOWER NOTE: Shelf and
size in length, and screw them to the SHELF rails cut at 2
1#/8 (drawings below)
shelves (Figure 1 below). Note that
theyre set in slightly from the edge 15#/4 15#/4 D
of the shelves (detail c). c. %/16"-dia.
ANGLED CORNERS. With the rails attached, hole
you can cut the notches in the corners Shelf
of the shelves. I did this at the table saw F
F rail Corner
as shown in the two drawings, below block
right. A couple of notes about this F
setup: For one, you want to make all D BOTTOM Shelf
your cuts with the top of the shelf facing VIEW
forward. In order for this to work, you NOTE: All parts are
need to cut one shoulder of each notch #/4"-thick hardwood
using the left miter slot (Figure 2), and cut them to size, you can drill a hole in
the other shoulder of each notch using the center of each block and miter the
the right miter slot (Figure 3). different sizes, youll need to reposition corners at 45. Then glue and clamp
I also positioned a stop block for the stop block for making the cuts on them in place to the underside of the
each setup. This way, I could simply the different shelves. shelves (detail c). The shelves dont
rotate the shelf after each cut to make CORNER BLOCKS. The corner blocks are get installed just yet, so they can be set
the next cut. Since the two shelves are the next order of business. After you to the side for now.


1 2 a. 3 a.
Shelf Shelf NOTE:
rails 92 Move 92
#8 x 1!/4" miter gauge
Fh woodscrew TOP
TOP to other miter VIEW
VIEW slot to
a. Aux. L-shaped
stop block L-shaped
!/8 Shelf assembly
stop block
(top forward) Aux.
Shelf assembly fence
BOTTOM (top forward)
Layout line NOTE: Angle
for notch VIEW miter gauge 2
NOTE: Rotate (detail 'a')
shelf 90 after
each cut

Attach Rails. Leave the rails extra-long, First Cut. To cut one shoulder of each Second Cut. Move the miter gauge to
and screw them to the underside of the notch, hold the shelf on a tall fence, and the right miter slot. Angle it 2 in the
shelf using woodscrews. angle the miter gauge 2 before cutting. other direction to complete each notch. 19

WS219_018.indd 19 4/6/2015 1:24:25 PM


a. VIEW Insert
NOTE: Slat rails H
and inserts left SLAT
#/4 long, then RAIL
trimmed to fit INSERT Slats
Rail assembled hall tree
1#/4 (refer to box
on page 21)
%/8 SLATS 17!/2

!/4 H %/8

NOTE: Inserts are !/8" slat frames 1!/4
proud of rail surface
when installed 88

Slat frames & Waste

Rails are
inserts are

%/8"-thick, and

ASSEMBLY slats are

!/4"-thick hardwood
fit in grooves cut in the edges of the slat
rails. So the next step is to cut centered
grooves in the rails (Figure 1 below).
The bottom part of the hall tree is enclosed Since the shelves are already complete, SLAT INSERTS. Next, I turned my atten-
by four frames. These consist of upper the length of the slat rails is dependent tion to the slat inserts. As mentioned
and lower rails that sandwich five slats. on the space between the legs when the earlier, these have notches to accept
Once the frames are added to the hall tree, shelves are added. The key is to tem- the slats. To simplify making them, I
they form a bin for umbrellas, walking porarily screw the shelves to the legs notched a wide blank (Figure 2) then
sticks, or other items. in order to determine the length of the ripped individual inserts from the
SLAT RAILS. The slat rails are joined to rails (more on that later). For now, you blank to fit the groove (Figure 3).
the legs with dowels. Of course, getting can size the rails to final thickness and There are a couple other things I want
dowel holes to line up can be tricky, even width and leave them extra-long. Youll to point out here. Since the inserts fit in
when youre not dealing with angled trim them to length later. the rails, theyre trimmed down to final
parts. So I incorporated some tips into GROOVES. Rather than cut a lot of mor- length later on like the rails. For now,
the construction process to make sure tises in the rails to hold the slats, I cre- start with an insert blank thats the same
everything goes together smoothly. ated notched slat inserts. These inserts length as the rail blanks.


3 Rip
1 2 Slat rail
a. insert blank blank
Slat !/4 VIEW

#/4" dado
saw blade a. FRONT VIEW %/8 !/4
1!/4 %/8 END
#/8 %/8
Grooves in Rails. Set the END
rip fence to cut a slightly
off-center groove in the Notch Inserts. Start with a wide and Rip Cut. Trim the individual
rail, then flip the piece long blank for the slat inserts, and cut slat inserts to final width at
end for end to center it. the five notches using a dado blade. the table saw.

20 Woodsmith / No. 219

WS219_020.indd 20 4/6/2015 10:18:13 AM

Also, the slats need to be centered How-To: ASSEMBLE THE HALL TREE
in the rails once each assembly is com-
pleted. To accomplish this, I simply 1 Hall tree
Size the Rails.
centered the notches on the blank. Since NOTE: assembled)
Use the dry-fit
cutting each notch requires two passes Center legs and shelves
slat frame Band
over the dado blade, I just laid them out in opening clamp to determine the
carefully before cutting them. After rip- before length of the slat
ping them to width, you can glue them rails. After you
into the grooves in the rails. As for the center the slat
slats, theyre planed to thickness to fit frames, use a
the grooves. Then cut them to final size. pencil to mark the
SIZING THE SLAT RAILS. The next steps %/8"-thick spacers
ends of the rails
involve sizing the slat rails to fit your hall (Figure 2).
tree assembly. Get started by dry-fitting
the slat frames together, and then secure 2 3
each frame with a band clamp. At this Miter gauge
SECOND: aux. fence
point, I temporarily assembled the legs Transfer
and shelves with the screws. hole locations FIRST: Mark
final length NOTE: Rail layout
Next, position one of the slat frames of rails Miter line
under the hall tree, as shown in Figure and inserts gauge
angled 2
1. The key here is that the slat rails are
parallel with the shelves, and the middle
slat is centered. Once its all set up, there
are two things to do: Mark the ends of the Hole Locations. Also transfer the Bevels. Disassemble the slat frames
rails to indicate their finished length, and dowel locations from the legs to rails. and bevel the slat rails to final length.
transfer the dowel hole locations from the
legs to the rails (Figure 2). Now rotate the 4 6
hall tree and repeat the layout process for
the other three frames. #/8" brad
point bit
Youre ready to complete the work on
the slat frames. Disassemble each one, Align
and bevel the rails (and inserts) to final guide
length (Figure 3). To drill the dowel holes w/rail
layout Drilling guide
in the ends of the rails, I made one more line (page 65)
drilling guide (Figure 4). The details for a. BOTTOM VIEW
making it are in Shop Notes on page 65. Dowel Holes. Use a drilling guide Leg
STAIN & FINISH. Before you begin assem- (page 65) to drill the holes for the
bling the hall tree, take a moment to dowels in the ends of the slat rails.
stain and finish all the components. hex screw
The details on the stain and finish I 5 Corner
used are on page 67.
HALL TREE ASSEMBLY. Now you can break
out the glue and clamps and get down
to business, as shown in Figure 5. I
joined the pairs of legs together with
slat frames first, and then added the
other two frames to bring the entire
hall tree assembly together.
SECOND: Bring the
ADD THE SHELVES. The final step is to pairs together w/two
more slat frames Allen
add the two shelves (Figure 6). These NOTE: Slide wrench
FIRST: Glue a. shelves into
should slip right into position from and clamp 1 position
below and stop sliding up when two pairs #/8" x 1!/4" from below
of legs to dowel 50mm hex
theyre in place. After making sure the slat frames screw
shelves are level with the floor, install-
ing them is a simple matter of driving Assembly. Glue and clamp the slat Add Shelves. Slip the shelves into
screws through the corner blocks and frames between a pair of legs. Then position from below, and install
into the holes you drilled in the corner join the pairs to one another. them with the hex screws.
of each leg (Figures 6a and 6b). 21

WS219_020.indd 21 4/8/2015 12:47:26 PM


Add the J



parts made
from #/4"-thick
At this stage, your hall tree is nearing
completion. All thats left are a top panel K 88
and mirror to finish things up.
TOP. Like the shelves beneath it, the top K
assembly is a solid-wood panel with rails NOTE: Top rails
3 beveled to fit legs,
and corner blocks fastened to the under- K as shown below
side. But since the top isnt notched at the
corners like the shelves, youll go about b. TOP SECTION
building it a little differently. VIEW
The top features a bevel that eases the 3!/4 50mm
edge and lends a stylish look to the hall #8 x 1!/4" Fh screw
tree. After gluing up the top panel and Corner
cutting it square, I added the bevel as block
shown in Figure 1 below. c. Top
Top Leg
TOP RAILS & CORNER BLOCKS. Since the rest #/8
of the hall tree is all put together at this
stage, its best to use the assembled %/8
project as the guide for both sizing the NOTE: Top is block of the hall tree. Youll need to pull the
top rails and installing them on the centered legs slightly apart to fit it in place. Secure
over legs Top
top panel. Its easy to do this by turn- rail it to the legs with screws and then add
ing everything upside down, as shown SECTION VIEW the coat hooks (drawing, opposite page).
in Figure 2 below. First, you can center MIRROR. The mirror has a mitered, rab-
the top on the four legs, and mark their beted frame thats mounted between
positions. While youre at it, measure to cut the corner blocks to final size and two legs of the hall tree. A pair of fittings
for the length of the top rails. drill the holes in the centers. allow the frame to pivot back and forth.
With the rail dimensions established, TOP IT OFF. Align the rails with the pencil Since the mirror frame needs to match
head to the table saw and bevel the top marks you made and drive in screws to the taper of the hall tree frame, it doesnt
rails to final length to fit between the secure them (refer to Figure 3 below and have 45 miters at the corners. The angles
legs. This involves angling the miter detail a above). Glue the corner blocks are shown in the drawings on the opposite
gauge slightly and trimming them at 92, to the underside of the top and rails. page, but its worth making test cuts and
just as you did with the slat rails on the After applying stain and finish, you checking the fit of the frame in the com-
previous page. Now is also a good time can slip the top panel in place at the top pleted assembly before ordering glass.


1 Top
Mark 92
Tall position
aux. of legs
Measure length
Tilt of rails, then bevel
blade 30 a. BOTTOM VIEW

Center (/16 Install w/#8 x
VIEW hall tree 1!/4" Fh screws
on underside Leg layout
of top panel

Bevel. Tilt the table saw blade and Layout. Position the top panel upside down, Rails. After beveling the top rails
pass the top along a tall auxiliary rip and center the assembled hall tree on it. Mark to fit (top drawing), screw them in
fence to bevel the ends and edges. where the legs meet the top. place on the top panel (bottom).

22 Woodsmith / No. 219

WS219_022.indd 22 4/6/2015 12:35:40 PM

Cut hardwood a.
First, youll want to cut longer blanks splines to
NOTE: Mirror fit, then trim
to width for the mirror rails and stiles. frame parts and sand flush
are #/4"-thick w/frame
Then rabbet the frame parts (detail b). x 1!/2"-wide UPPER 1#/4
After cutting the miters, drill holes hardwood MIRROR RAIL Top
L rail
in the stiles to accept threaded
inserts (detail a). Later on, these
inserts accept the fittings for secur-
1#/4 8!/2 FRONT
ing the mirror. Once you install the SECTION
inserts, its time to glue and clamp the VIEW
Coat M
mirror frame together. hook NOTE: Drill
Youll notice that the mitered corners hole and
Mirror install
have splines glued into kerfs. These rein- fitting 46
w/insert miters insert
force the frame and lend a decorative M before
19!/2 frame
touch. Youll find the techniques I used assembly
!/8" 9#/4
for adding the splines in Shop Notes on mirror
page 64. Once thats done, youre ready fitting
to stain and finish the mirror frame.
I had the mirror cut to fit my frame 44
at a local glass shop. To secure the
mirror, I added some posterboard and LOWER
!/16" M
installed offset clips in counterbored posterboard MIRROR
holes (details b and c). STILE 9&/8
Now bring the frame into position, b.
and thread the mirror fittings through
%/8"-dia. !/8" offset
the legs and into the threaded inserts clip
c. %/8"-dia. hole
in the mirror stiles to secure it. Your hole #/16
for clip
hall tree is now ready to be moved into #/16
place. Its sure to be a useful addition Chisel M
2!/2 Mirror
to your homes entryway. W square !/4

Materials, Supplies & Cutting Diagram M

A Legs (4) 15 8 x 15 8 - 70 rgh. H Slat Rail Inserts (8) 5

8 x 14 - 14 rgh. (24) #8 x 114" Fh Woodscrews
B Lower Shelf (1) 4 x 153 4 - 153 4 I Slats (20) 1
4 x 114 - 1712 (12) 50mm Hex Screws
C Middle Shelf (1) 4 x 133 8 - 133 8 J Top Panel (1) 3
4 x 14 - 14 (16) 3 8"-dia. x 114" Dowels
D Lower Shelf Rails (4) 4 x 112 - 1312 rgh. K Top Rails (4) 3
4 x 3 - 9 rgh. (6) Bronze Coat Hooks
E Middle Shelf Rails (4) 34 x 112 - 1114 rgh. L Upper Mirror Rail (1) 3 x 11 - 81
4 2 2 (2) Mirror Swivel Fittings
F Corner Blocks (12) 3 x 11 - 31 M Lower Mirror Rail (1) 3 x 11 - 97 (1) 18"-thick Mirror (see below)
4 2 4 4 2 8
G Slat Rails (8) 34 x 13 4 - 14 rgh. N Mirror Stiles (2) 3 x 11 - 191 (1) 116"-thick Posterboard
4 2 2
(4) 18" Offset Clips
1#/4" x 4" - 84" Red Oak (Two Boards @ 4.7 Bd. Ft. each)

#/4"x 6" - 96" Red Oak (4 Bd. Ft.)


#/4"x 5!/2" - 96" Red Oak (3.7 Bd. Ft.)

G G G 17!/8

#/4"x 6" - 96" Red Oak (4 Bd. Ft.)

L M G posterboard
H to match
Parts 'H' planed to %/8" thick mirror
!/4"x 6" - 96" Red Oak (4 Sq. Ft.)

7!/2 23

WS219_022.indd 23 4/8/2015 12:09:03 PM


Materials, Supplies
& Cutting Diagram
A Vise Block (1) 212 x 6 - 6
Front Jaw (1)
Jaw Plate (2)
Vise Mounting Plate (1)
134 x 212 - 6
2 2 x 6 - 14 Steel
1 x 514 - 514
Swivel Vise
(1) 2 16"-dia. Hitch Ball
(1) 114" Pipe Flange
(1) 12"-13 Adjustable Handle
(2) 12"-13 x 103 4" Threaded Rods
(4) 12"-13 Hex Nuts

(1) 12"-13 Hex Lock Nut
(6) 12" USS Washers
Position a workpiece exactly where you need it
(1) 14"- 212" x 24" Steel Bar with this versatile vise. The quick-change design

(8) #8 x 1" Fh Woodscrews
(1) 3 4"-10 x 7" Hex Bolt
allows for mounting multiple accessories.
(1) 3 4"-10 Hex Nut
Theres no denying that many of us and easily removed when not needed.
(2) 3 4" USS Washers
could benefit from a fully adjustable, But the genius of this vise is the use of
(4) 14"-20 x 114" Hex Head Mach. Screws
rotating vise in our shop from time to a standard hitch ball between the vise
(4) 14" USS Washers time. Having the ability to quickly rotate jaws that gives you complete adjust-
(4) 14"-20 T-nuts and position a workpiece is a huge ability on two axes. Simply release the
1#/4"x 6!/2"- 24" Hard Maple (2.2 Bd. Ft.) advantage when performing certain handle to rotate and tilt the workpiece
B tasks. However, finding the workbench to the position needed.
space to permanently mount a tool that On the main mounting platform,
may not be used all the time isnt the shown above, I attached a machinists
1"x 6 "- 12" Hard Maple (.6 Bd. Ft.) best use of space. The shop-built vise vise (also called a mechanics vise) for
C NOTE: Parts A are shown here is the perfect solution. handling many common clamping situ-
planed to 1!/4" thick
This vise can be temporarily mounted ations. For even more versatility, check
to a workbench using existing dog holes out the additional clamping fixtures at

24 Woodsmith / No. 219

WS219_024.indd 24 4/6/2015 1:54:29 PM

NOTE: Through holes 1#/4
in vise block are drilled 6
from both ends of the
the bottom of page 27. The plans for these workpiece
fixtures are available as Online Extras
and can be found at
#/4" -rad. B
#/4"-dia. 2!/2
VISE BLOCK & FRONT JAW bolt hole for
securing vise
The vise is constructed from a combina- block to
tion of hardwood and steel hardware. But
you wont need a full metal shop to fab-
ricate the steel components. Most of the A
steel work can be performed with a hack VISE NOTE: Vise block is
BLOCK glued up from two layers
saw, a few metal files, and a drill press. of 1!/4"-thick hardwood.
NOTE: Through Front jaw is made from
BLOCK & JAW FIRST. It really doesnt mat- holes in front jaw 1#/4"-thick hardwood
ter whether you make the vise block and are aligned with
holes in vise block
front jaw from one solid blank or glue
it up from thinner stock. Just be sure to a. b.
choose a solid hardwood for long-term 1(/16
1!/2 END VIEW 1
durability. For the vise block, I planed
Vise #/4
an oversized blank down to 114" thick. I #/4
then cut the board in half and face glued
the pieces together.
After cutting the two parts to size, 1!/8"-dia. counterbore, !/2"-dia. !/16"
!/2"deep through hole A
youll want to lay out the locations for 6
the 12"-dia. through holes in the block
and jaw. These holes will house the SIDE VIEW
threaded rods that secure the vise halves
together. Detail a at right shows the ends of the block. I transferred my layout
position of these holes. lines around the face of the workpiece, as ROUND CORNERS. The back corners of the
COUNTERBORE & DRILL. Start by drilling the shown below. With the workpiece posi- vise block are rounded off. This is easy
counterbores on the back end of the vise tioned against the drill press fence, drill to do at the band saw. A quick trip to
block using a Forstner bit in the drill press. at least halfway through one end of the the disc sander does a good job clean-
The How-To box below gives the details. block. Flip the piece end-for-end, keep- ing up the saw blade marks and leaving
Now switch to a 12"-dia. twist bit and drill ing the same face against the fence, and a smooth surface.
the two through holes in the front jaw. complete the holes. CHAMFER EDGES. To ease any sharp edges,
The block also gets two holes that One more hole in the top of the vise I used a chamfer bit in the router table
match up with the holes in the jaw. block completes the drilling operations. to chamfer the top and bottom edges of
However, because the block is 6" wide, This 34" hole is for the bolt needed to the vise block, as well as the top, bottom,
these holes need to be drilled from both secure the assembly to the workbench. and side edges of the front jaw.


Forstner FRONT
bit Clamp !/2" -dia.
drill bit VIEW

Drill at least
NOTE: Drill halfway
Aux. through holes through block
fence from both
ends of
A block b.
Aux. Flip
fence then
Transfer drill
#/4 layout lines
to both FRONT rest of
TOP way
a. 1!/2 1

Two Counterbores. After laying out the hole Drill Twice. Starting on the counterbored end of the block, drill at least
locations, reference the workpiece against the drill halfway through the block (detail a), then flip the piece end-for-end
press fence and drill the counterbores. and complete the holes from the other edge (detail b). 25

WS219_024.indd 25 4/8/2015 12:08:36 PM

!/2"-13 hitch ball a. NOTE: Chamfer
hex lock- corners after
NOTE: Jaw plates are attaching plates
nut mirror images of
!/2" washer one another
hex nut
washer !/2"-13 x 10#/4"
threaded rod B

!/2" washer
hex nut
Adjustable C
handle #8 x 1" C
JAW PLATE Fh woodscrew
(2!/2" x 6 - !/4" steel) JAW PLATE
(2!/2" x 6 - !/4" steel)


c. 1!/2

A %/8 #/4 %/8 #/4



JAW #/16"-dia.
PLATE !/2"-dia.
1!/4"-dia. sink
1!/2 %/8

!/2 !!/16 END VIEW 1

add the hardware TWO STEEL JAW PLATES. To keep the amount are four mounting holes in each plate. To

& VISE of metal cutting needed to a minimum,

I purchased a section of 14"-thick steel
that was 212"-wide and long enough
keep them all aligned, I stacked the plates
together to drill these holes, as shown in
the How-To Boxes below.
With the bulk of the woodworking for to accommodate both jaw plates. All I Be sure the workpieces are secured to
the multi-purpose vise done, you can needed to do was cut the two sections the drill press table. This keeps the pieces
turn your attention to some light metal- to length with a hack saw and clean up from potentially catching on the drill bit
working. The two steel jaw plates are the edges with a metal file. and spinning. I used a handscrew to hold
fabricated and attached to the vise block DRILLING THE HOLES. Several holes need to the workpieces and clamped it to the table.
and front jaw. These jaw plates help to be drilled in the steel jaw plates (detail After drilling all of the through holes,
secure the hitch ball. Its then just a matter c). The large center hole secures the hitch remove the clamps and label the two jaw
of adding some hardware and making ball while the two 12"-dia. holes allow the plates (drawing below). This ensures the
the machinists vise mounting platform. threaded rod to pass through. Also, there countersinks for the mounting holes and


metal file !/16
hole saw


Bar NOTE: Set

clamp drill press to
slowest speed Countersink
NOTE: Handscrew
holds jaw plate Handscrew

Jaw Plates. Stack the jaw plates Hitch Ball Hole. A bi-metal hole saw works great Chamfer Hole. Use a half round
and clamp in a handscrew. A bar to drill the hole in the center of the plates. Cutting metal file to chamfer the edge of
clamp secures it to the table. fluid is essential for drilling this large hole. the hitch ball hole.

26 Woodsmith / No. 219

WS219_026.indd 26 4/6/2015 2:03:51 PM

Use pipe flange
the chamfered edges of the large center !/2"-rad. to lay out
holes are mirror images when drilled. Machinist's four center
vise holes
ADD VISE HARDWARE. The jaw plates are 5!/4
%/16"-dia. hole
attached to the vise block and front jaw
with woodscrews. I filed a slight cham-
fer on all four corners of each jaw plate to
match the chamfer on the block and jaw. 2&/16"-rad.
Now secure the vise block and front
jaw assemblies together with a pair of TOP
threaded rods, washers, and nuts, as 5!/4
shown in the main illustration on the D Use
vise to &/8"-dia.
VISE layout and counterbore,
opposite page. Also, install the adjustable MOUNTING size mounting !/16"deep
handle on one threaded rod. PLATE holes
VISE MOUNTING PLATE. The next step is to 1!/4" pipe
make the mounting plate for attaching flange
NOTE: Vise mounting
plate is made from
the machinists vise (detail a). Cut the #/4"-10 x 7" 1"-thick hardwood
plate to size and round the corners with hex bolt
!/4"-20 x 1!/4"
a band saw. I also chamfered the edges to hex head #/4" washer
match the vise block and jaws. screw and SIDE VIEW
Since flange hole patterns may vary, washer Jam nut supplied
with hitch ball
youll want to use the pipe flange you D
purchased to mark the mounting holes on Align with !/4"-20 Pipe
bench dog T-nut flange
the plate. Once this is done, drill through hole
holes and counterbores for some T-nuts
and then tap them in place with a hammer.
FINISHING TOUCHES. Just a few more details
need attention to complete the swivel
#/4" washer
vise. First, screw the hitch ball to the c.
flange and secure it with the supplied Size bolt
nut. Next, youll use the hole pattern of for hole
in vise
the machinists vise to locate and drill Recess washer
and nut in a D
the holes in the mounting plate. Attach counterbore
SIDE !/4
the vise to the mounting plate with bolts VIEW
and nuts (detail c, at right). #/4"-10
hex nut
Finally, youre ready to attach the swivel
vise to your workbench. A large hex bolt
through a dog hole works great. Now you
can put your new vise to work. W


Give the multi-function
swivel vise even more ver-
satility with the addition
of these two clamping fix-
tures. The plans for these
fixtures are available on
our Online Extras page at

For two more

accessories, go to 27

WS219_026.indd 27 4/6/2015 2:53:48 PM


Hobby Bench
A large worksurface, plenty of storage options, and traditional looks
make this bench the ideal setup for a workshop or hobby room.
Practicing a hobby or craft is a great way and work. And the base is built stout to Whether your hobby is carving, fly tying,
to while away a few hours doing some- stand up to all kinds of use. or model-making, the ability to organize
thing creative and relaxing. Even better The bench design is inspired by a your tools and supplies is important for
is having a dedicated place to work watchmakers bench. These benches making the most of your time. The 13 box-
a kind of getaway from the everyday. have a cutout in the front edge of the top jointed drawers should hold everything
Thats just what the compact workbench to create a wrap-around worksurface that you need and more. Plus, you have the
shown here provides. lets you keep items close at hand. option of adding racks to the ends of the
Overall, it has a just-right feel to it. The Another feature of these types of bench (middle photo, opposite page) and
benchtop has a lot of room to spread out benches is the ample storage space. a tool rack along the back (photo above).

28 Woodsmith / No. 219

WS219_028.indd 28 4/7/2015 2:26:17 PM

Construction Overview / OVERALL DIMENSIONS: 54"W x 36"H x 22 "D 3

Optional tool rack keeps

frequently used tools
within easy reach
Cutout in benchtop (refer to for details)
improves access
for close-up work
Benchtop laminated
NOTE: from strips of edge grain
Base and drawers hard maple for durability
are made from
riftsawn red oak Adjustable shelf rests
on shelf supports
between drawer cases

Drawer cases
are made from End assemblies constructed
riftsawn red with mortise and tenon joinery
oak plywood

easy-to-build racks
hold tall items
(middle photo below)

Drawers slide on
hardwood runners
Drawer back is inset
to allow access to
contents without drawer
tipping out of case

Threaded inserts and

machine screws lock
components together
for easy assembly

Base assembly
NOTE: features bench
For hardware sources, Drawer fronts and sides are bolt hardware
turn to page 67 assembled with box joints

{ Bench dog holes in the top can be { Build these shallow racks to attach { Optional workbench casters (refer
used as anchoring points for to the end of the bench to keep to Sources, page 67) make moving
carving vises or benchtop tools. materials close at hand. your bench a piece of cake. 29

WS219_028.indd 29 4/7/2015 2:26:40 PM


1!/2 #/4 1!/2

!/2 !/2
!/2 rail A
!/2 !/4"-20
A threaded
3!/4 2 #/4"-dia.
A Lower rail insert
counterbore A
!/4"-20 !/2"-dia. D
threaded Lower
A hole rail B
3 NOTE: Spline
d. counterbore is planed to
!/2" thick
1 19
A !/4"-20 C
!/4"-20 SIDE threaded
VIEW insert 36
34#/8 C
19 48 D
2 B

1!/2 C
12!/4 !/2 B Cross B !/2
dowel 3 STRETCHER 2#/8
1!/2 1!/4

NOTE: Stretcher is glued up !/2

A from #/4"-thick hardwood
bench bolt !/8"roundover
g. B TOP SECTION VIEW Cross dowel
!/4" NOTE: on outside 6 D
roundover Other edges of legs 4!/2
leg is a !/2
mirror NOTE:
image Legs and rails
are made from
1!/2"-thick hardwood 2!/4 7!/8
3 Threaded insert

Create a sturdy END ASSEMBLIES. The legs and rails that

make up the end assemblies are joined
shown in details a and b. The lower
rail has a dado and counterbored hole,
BASE & TOP with mortises and tenons. The box
below highlights the steps involved.
as illustrated in details c and e. This
serves as a registration point for the
The base is a good place to start on the In addition to the joinery, you need stretcher assembly. Once you have the
hobby bench. One challenge when build- to add a few other details. The first is end assemblies in clamps, you can turn
ing many workbenches is having to move installing a set of threaded inserts in the to the stretcher assembly that joins them.
around the large, heavy assemblies. With legs (details a and d). These anchor the STRETCHER. Bench bolts are used to join
this bench, I worked around that problem drawer cases to the base. the ends and stretcher. At each end, a long
by building it up from smaller subassem- As for the rails, youll want to drill bolt passes through the lower rail and
blies that are then bolted together. holes in them for attaching the top, as threads into a cross dowel in the stretcher


Rip fence 1"
Drill out Aux. miter Forstner bit
mortises B
gauge fence C Bottom edge
of stretcher
!/2" a. 1!/2 !/2
a. END VIEW a. 2#/8
Forstner #/8"
bit !/2 dado !/2
Dado blade C
Use chisel blade !/2 !/4
to square up

Mortises. A Forstner bit lets Cutting Tenons. Make over- Centered Groove. Cut a Drill. After assembly, drill an
you drill overlapping holes to lapping passes with a dado groove to create a hole for intersecting hole to accept
remove most of the waste. blade to shape the tenons. the draw bolt and spline. the cross dowel.

30 Woodsmith / No. 219

WS219_030.indd 30 4/8/2015 6:56:47 AM

FIRST: Rip 1#/4"-wide strips BENCHTOP 8!/8
(refer to detail g on the opposite page). from 1%/8"-thick hardwood E
The challenge is creating a long, straight 8!/8
hole in the end of the stretcher. 54 6!/2
My solution is to build up the stretcher
in several pieces. The stretcher is glued up
from thinner stock. I cut a groove down
the middle of each piece, as shown in the
box at the bottom of the opposite page.
!/4"-20 x 2!/2"Rh
Then to keep the halves aligned I cut a machine screw
spline to fit the center of the groove. Ease all edges
!/4" flat
At the drill press, drill the holes for the washer
cross dowels (box on the opposite page). SECOND: Turn strips on edge
In addition, you can drill the holes and and glue up in sections
install threaded inserts in the stretchers
(detail g, facing page). Later, these inserts Plane sections
!/4"-20 4!/2
are used for installing the drawer cases. threaded to 1%/8" thick
THE TOP. The advantage of building the insert 1%/8 E

base of the bench first is that it gives

a. TOP VIEW 1%/8 A
you a place to work on the top. For this
bench, I made the top from laminated E B Front
1"-rad. edge
strips of hard maple. The color of the
wood provides a light background for 1#/8 #/4"-dia. hole
detailed work. Laminating the top ori- 7%/16
ents the more durable edge grain up. !/16"chamfer 2#/4
In order to keep the process manage- 22#/4 6!/2 !/4"-20
threaded E
able, I only glued up a few strips at a 25!/2 insert
1"-rad. Template
time, as shown in the main drawing at B
right. This allows the glued up sections to 7%/16
fit through my planer. The large sections 1"-rad. 4%/8 5%/8 !/4"-20 x 2!/2" Rh A
60 machine screw
can be assembled into the full benchtop. w/washer
18 9
CUTOUT. To create the cutout at the front
of the benchtop, youll start by using a
drill to establish the radius at the inside router follows the edge of the template These accept stops, vises, dogs and other
corners (lower middle drawing). After to clean up the edge (lower right draw- fixtures to make your work easier.
rough-cutting the shape with a jig saw, ing). To rout the other side of the cut out, I In order to attach the top to the base,
you can use a template and a router with flipped the benchtop over and clamped the threaded inserts are installed in the top
a flush-trim bit to clean things up. template to the bottom face. In this orienta- that align with the holes in the upper rails.
The template is shown in detail a. It tion, the router will be cutting downhill to Center the top side-to-side and flush with
covers slightly more than half of the cut- the grain for a smooth result. the legs at the back. Then you can mark
out. Its clamped to the benchtop along the DOG HOLES. You may want to add bench locations for the inserts through the holes
layout lines. A pattern bit in a hand-held dog holes in the top, as in detail a. in the upper rails (details b and c).


NOTE: Move router left to right


Marking a
large triangle
allows you to
reassemble the
strips in order
2" Forstner bit
matches the radius 1#/4"-long pattern bit
of the corner

Careful Arranging. Lay out the strips for Inside Corner. Use a Forstner bit to Flush Trim Edges. A long pattern
a pleasing grain and color match. Short create a smooth transition on the inside bit following a half-template leaves a
strips define the cutout at the front. corner. Then rough cut it with a jig saw. smooth edge in its wake. 31

WS219_030.indd 31 4/8/2015 6:57:11 AM

Case top, bottom, and sides
are #/4" plywood. Case back 20
is !/4" plywood. Edging is cut J 10!/8 G 1
from #/4"-thick hardwood. LONG DRAWER
Runners are cut from
!/2"-thick hardwood H RUNNER J J !/2
!/4" TOP
roundover SECTION VIEW


!/4"-dia. holes 1 J
are #/8" deep !/4"-20 x 1!/4" EDGING
25#/8 2!/2 Fh machine F

b. screw
2 2!/2
G 10!/8
1&/8 2%/8 1!/2
9#/4 !/4" roundover
2%/8 (this edge only)
F 8!/4
!/4"-20 x 1!/4" Fh 20
machine screw 25#/8
3%/8 1

d. %/16 FRONT
H 5%/8 TALL CASE (/16 H VIEW

I F Leg e.
G #/4"ply. F
2!/2 !/4" H
G !/4
!/2 roundover
!/4 1 !/2
I 2!/2 G #/4"ply.
Stretcher chamfer VIEW

Drawer CASES
from hardwood, I used plywood for the The sides have rabbets cut along the ends
drawer cases. Plywood makes it easy to to hold the top and bottom.
create the large panels that are necessary. You can see the setup I used in the box
As it stands, the completed base and All you need to do is cut them to size. on the opposite page. The key is making
benchtop would make a fine work- Cutting up large sheets of plywood a few test cuts so that the amount of the
bench. However, the space inside the can be a challenge. Youll find some dado blade thats exposed matches the
framework of the bench base is ideal for handy tips and techniques to make it thickness of the plywood, which is gener-
adding some storage. easier on your back on page 58. ally less than the stated thickness (34").
So I built three cases to house a num- When cutting the drawer case sides to DADOES & RABBET. Spaced along the sides,
ber of drawers. Theres a wide, shallow size, I paid particular attention to their I cut a series of dadoes. These hold side-
center drawer flanked by two banks of length. My aim was to have the sides mounted drawer runners, as in the mid-
smaller drawers. On these two pages, slide between the stretcher and under- dle drawing below. The dimensions for
Ill tackle the cases. The following pages side of the benchtop without being too locating these dadoes is shown in detail
will detail the construction of the draw- tight or showing gaps. b on the opposite page.
ers that fit inside. RABBET JOINERY. For the joinery in all three Each drawer case has one more joint
PLYWOOD CONSTRUCTION. I took a different cases, I used rabbets. This joint creates that you need to cut (lower right draw-
tack for making the drawer cases. While a shoulder to register parts for assem- ing). And thats a narrow rabbet along
the base and top of the bench are made bly, but is simple to cut at the table saw. the rear of all four pieces to hold a back.

32 Woodsmith / No. 219

WS219_032.indd 32 4/7/2015 3:48:38 PM

Use holes in case to locate
threaded inserts in benchtop a. 2!/2

SHORT CASE 25!/4 %/16" hole

BACK 14#/8 2 K
J L chamfer
3#/4 K J J


14!/8 EDGING
1"-dia. J

K 14#/8
25#/4 All three
b. !/4 FRONT SECTION VIEW drawer cases
!/2 c. SIDE SECTION VIEW are flush
!/4" roundover at back
L L (this edge only)
1!/8 K K M
!/4"-20 x 1!/4" Fh EDGING STRIPS. Thick hardwood strips
!/2 (/16 machine screw J
conceal the plywood edges at the front
N !/8"chamfer
!/4" and back of the cases. A roundover soft-
ens the inside piece of edging (detail e,
2!/2 2
opposite page). You can glue the front
edging to the cases, but leave the back
DRILL HOLES. I also took the time to drill a between the drawer cases in the knee edging and back panels off until you fit
few holes that will be used to attach the space of the hobby bench. the drawers into the case later.
cases to the legs and stretchers of the DRAWER RUNNERS. Now is a good time to CENTER CASE. There are a couple of items
workbench. Its a good idea to double- cut the drawer runnsers to size. I added to note in building the center case. I
check your layout to make sure the holes a small chamfer on the front edge to help drilled large access holes in the case bot-
will align with the threaded inserts. These guide the drawer into the opening. Glue tom (details b and c). The holes make
holes are shown in details a, c, and d the drawer runners into the dadoes. Once it easy to reach the screw heads with a
on the opposite page. thats taken care of, assemble the cases. long driver when you attach this case to
While at the drill press, you can take Be on the lookout to keep the case square the underside of the benchtop. Second,
care of another detail. Thats to drill a and prevent the sides from bowing in or you need to round over the lower strip
set of shelf pin holes on the inner case out. I set the back panel in place (without of edging, as in detail c. All three cases
sides. These support a shelf that stretches glue) to assist with this. can be fastened in place with screws.


Set rip fence
as a stop for
Auxiliary Cut a rabbet consistent cuts
fence Rabbet cut
on each end Auxiliary on inside
of case sides F L F fence back edge F G K L


#/4" !/2" !/4
#/4" ply.
Dado !/2"
Blade F
Dado Blade F
!/2" !/2
!/2 !/4 Dado Blade

Top & Bottom Rabbets. An auxiliary Cut Dadoes. Reset the dado blade and A Narrow Rabbet. The back panel of
fence on the rip fence allows you to recess cut dadoes across the side panels to each case rests in a rabbet cut in the
the dado blade to dial in an exact width. hold hardwood drawer runners. top, bottom, and sides. 33

WS219_032.indd 33 4/7/2015 3:49:10 PM


1#/4 CC DRAWER BACK 4!/8
DD 14%/8 Z
1#/4 AA
14!/2 CC

4#/4 8 23#/8
2!/2 10
P 24!/8
BB 4!/2
SMALL 20!/4
U 9
4#/4 8!/4 !/2
4!/2 O !/2
SMALL 1!/4"-dia. !/2
4!/2 DRAWER FRONT knob w/screw
4!/2 W
Q !/4
!/2 Q U X AA
9 P !/4
4#/4 8!/4
!/4 !/4
20!/4 &/8 CC CC

CC &/8
LARGE !/4 !/4 2!/8

Box-joint DRAWERS

Your task now is to fill the cases you from the end of the sides. While it may PRODUCTION MODE. There are four dif-
just made with drawers. The detail that look odd at first, the purpose behind it ferent sizes of drawers to build for the
catches your eye right off the bat is the is to provide full access to the drawer workbench. However, all the joinery
box joints at the front of the drawers. The without having to pull it all the way out. (box joints, dadoes, and grooves) is
alternating pins and slots add a classic In a typical drawer construction, the identical. So you can crank out the joints
touch to the workbench. drawer will tip out of its opening the far- assembly-line style.
TOTAL ACCESS. Behind the box joints, ther you pull it out. Here, the extended That being said, it pays to devote a
theres one other detail that deserves sides still support the drawer, holding it little time to accurately sizing parts and
some mention. Youll notice in the draw- up even as you pull it out to grab items fine-tuning the setup of your box joint jig.
ing above that the drawer back is inset in the back of the compartment. These two factors govern the final look of

34 Woodsmith / No. 219

WS219_034.indd 34 4/7/2015 3:49:44 PM

the drawers. What youre shooting for is How-To: DRAWERS & DIVIDERS
to end up with drawers that have a con-
sistent size in the pins and slots and even
gaps around each of the drawers. The box
1 2 Align
at right steps you through the process
involved for making each drawer. And
!/2" Dado
a. END VIEW Drawer
you can find even more box joints tips in blade front
!/2 !/2 !/2 Key side
the article on page 50.
BOX JOINTS FIRST. After sizing the parts, I cut Key !/2
the box joints at the front of the drawer Start with
bottom edge !/2" Dado
first (Figures 1 and 2). These are pretty of drawer front blade
simple to cut with a basic table saw jig.
Be sure to keep consistent pressure on the Drawer Front. After cutting the first The Sides. The front is used as a spacer
workpieces in order to get the best results. slot, hop the workpiece over the key to cut a slot in the sides. Remove the
SIDE GROOVE. The next order of business to make each successive slot. front to cut the rest of the slots.
is cutting a groove on the outside of the
drawer side to fit over the runner in the case.
The key here is aligning the groove with the
3 Drawer
4 Aux. miter
side fence
Dado is 4#/4"
middle slot on the drawer side (Figure 3). from end on
a. END VIEW side drawers a. END VIEW
This way it creates a gap and doesnt affect !/2"
the look of the box joints. And the drawer !/2
front serves as a stop for the drawer. !/8
BACK DADOES. Figure 4 shows the setup Reset fence !/4 4!/8" for
for each center
for cutting the dadoes in the drawer drawer size drawer
sides that house the drawer back. I used
the rip fence as an end stop for consis- Runner Groove. Carefully align the Dado Accepts the Back. You only
tent placement. And an auxiliary fence dado blade with the center slot to cut need to cut a shallow dado to capture
on the miter gauge prevents tearout as the groove for the drawer runner. the back in the drawer sides.
the blade exits the cut.
A SMALLER GROOVE. The final joint to cut
is the groove that accepts the drawer
5 6 FIRST: Glue
back to sides

bottom. This is shown in Figure 5. The

groove is cut in all the drawer parts. Cut-
Cut groove a. END VIEW
ting the groove results in a small gap in in multiple
passes SECOND:
each end of the drawer front. I fill these !/4 Slide in
with small plugs after assembly. !/4 drawer
GLUE UP THE DRAWER. Speaking of assem- THIRD: Tap
drawer front
bly, its time to bring all the parts of the into place
drawer together. Figure 6 shows the
order I used. For a good fit in the case, At Last, a Groove. In order to get a Drawer Assembly. Once the drawer
make sure the drawer is clamped square good fit with the plywood bottom, cut is glued up, check to make sure the
and rests flat as the glue dries. the groove with a regular blade. assembly is flat and square.
When the clamps come off, you can
slide the drawers into the case. If needed,
sand or plane the runners for a smooth-
7 8
Tall aux. fence Tall aux. fence
sliding fit. When youre satisfied, you can
glue the drawer case backs into place and a. END
VIEW Width of dado a. END VIEW
attach the rear edging strips. !/4 blade matches
DIVIDE & CONQUER. The upper drawers are thickness !/4
Aux. of grid parts
a natural fit for storing small items. To fence
organize the space even more, I added &/8
!/4" dado blade
interlocking gridwork. These dividers
are notched to create eight openings.
Figures 7 and 8 show how to cut the
half-lap joinery. I sized the strips for a End Laps. The setup to cut the lap Half-Lap Slots. Use the rip fence as a
press fit in the drawer. To change the joint on the ends of the grid is very stop to consistently position the slots
arrangement as needed, its a good idea similar to cutting a rabbet. in each of the grid dividers.
to install the gridwork without glue. 35

WS219_034.indd 35 4/8/2015 9:05:15 AM

Optional tool rack screwed to
back edge of benchtop holds
a. END VIEW tools within easy reach

#8 x 2"
Fh woodscrew


F F racks
SHELF BACK for end
of bench
to increase
8!/4 storage

E E 3
1!/2 SHELF
25(/16 shelf supports

Dowels keep
25(/16 items in
GG racks from
SHELF LIP falling out
b. SIDE SECTION VIEW !/8" 25#/4
Lip flush with HH
!/8" top of shelf F F
roundover FOOT REST

!/8 Back flush with

1 bottom of shelf c. TOP SECTION VIEW
(/16 NOTE: Shelf back, lip
and footrest are made
from #/4" hardwood
Foot rest is centered roundover
over stretcher
Plans for building
the optional racks Racks are
are available at to legs

A few final DETAILS of bench

There are two other components left to enjoying your pastime. As you can see, theres a tall hardwood back to keep
make a shelf and a foot rest. The shelf neither of these is difficult to make. items from falling off the back of the
takes advantage of the space between the THE SHELF. The shelf rests on supports that shelf (detail b). A narrower lip along
drawer cases along the back of the bench. fit in the holes you drilled earlier in the the front is flush with the shelf. Both
The foot rest provides a wider surface for large cases. But I wanted something a lit- pieces stiffen the shelf and dress up the
your feet if you are sitting at a stool while tle more than a simple panel. For starters, look. I cut shallow grooves on the bot-
tom of the shelf to register on the shelf

How-To: BUILD THE CENTER SHELF pins (lower left box).

FOOT REST. The foot rest is dirt simple.
The only detail to note is a roundover to
E E ease the sharp upper edges, as shown at
left. Then its centered on the stretcher
and glued into place.
a. END VIEW By this point, Im sure youre eager to
!/8" get your new bench set up and start using
Locate grooves (/16 !/8 round-
to align with Set profile it. However, you may want to take the
flush with over
shelf support time to add the tool rack and end racks
holes fence and table
shown in the drawing above. Depending
on what you plan to use the workbench
Shelf Supports. Shallow grooves in Roundover Eases Edges. A small for, you could build these accessories to
the bottom of the shelf keep it from radius is all thats needed to soften the pack even more storage space into this
sliding off the supports. shelf back, lip, and foot rest. project. Youll find plans on our website
at W

36 Woodsmith / No. 219

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Materials, Supplies & Cutting Diagram
A Legs (4) 112 x 3 - 343 8 1#/4"x 6!/2"- 72" Red Oak (6.5 Bd. Ft.)
1 A A
B Rails (4) 1 2 x 3 - 19
C Stretcher (1) 112 x 3 - 48
D Spline (1) 2 x 12 - 36
1#/4"x 8#/4"- 84" Hard Maple (Two Boards @ 10.2 Bd. Ft. Each)
E Bench Top (1) 1 8 x 2234 - 54
3 3
F Tall Case Sides (4) 4 ply. - 20 x 25 8 E E
G Tall Case Tops/Bots. (4) 4 ply. - 20 x 1018 E
H Long Drawer Runners (24) 2 x 916 - 1934
1#/4"x 4"- 84" Red Oak (4.7 Bd. Ft.)
I Tall Case Backs (2) 4 ply. - 1018 x 2478
J Edging 4 x 12 - 396 rgh.
K Short Case Sides (2) 4 ply. - 143 8 x 414
#/4"x 7"- 84" Red Oak (4.1 Bd. Ft.)
L Srt. Case Top/Bot. (2) 34 ply. - 1438 x 2514
M Short Drawer Runners (2) 2 x 916 - 1418 C GG
N Short Case Back (1) 4 ply. - 2434 x 334
O Small Drawer Fronts (6) 2 x 212 - 9 #/4"x 3!/2"- 84" Red Oak (2 Bd. Ft.)
P Small Drawer Sides (12) 2 x 212 - 2014
Q Small Drawer Backs (6) 1 x 212 - 814
2 J
R Drawer Bottoms (12) 1 ply. - 15 x 812
4 !/2"x 7!/4"- 84" Red Oak (4.2 Sq. Ft.)
S Med. Drawer Fronts (4) 1 x 412 - 9 O O O
2 S S S S
T Med. Drawer Sides (8) 1 x 412 - 2014
2 Y
U Med. Drawer Backs (4) 1 x 412 - 814

V Lg. Drawer Fronts (2) 1 x 612 - 9 !/2"x 6"- 84" Hard Maple (Two Boards @ 3.5 Sq. Ft. Each)
1 P P P Q Q
W Lg. Drawer Sides (4) 2 x 612 - 2014
X Lg. Drawer Backs (2) 1 x 612 - 814
Y Center Drawer Front (1) 1 x 212 - 2418
!/2"x 8"- 84" Hard Maple (4.7 Sq. Ft.)
Z Center Drwr. Sides (2) 1 x 212 - 1458
2 P P P Q
AA Center Drawer Back (1) 1 x 212 - 2338 P P P Q
2 M
1 Z Z AA
BB Center Drawer Bot. (1) 4 ply. - 10 x 2358
CC Long Dividers (18) 4 x 134 - 1412
!/2"x 7"- 84" Hard Maple (Two Boards @ 4.1 Sq. Ft. Each)
DD Short Dividers (24) 1 x 134 - 8
EE Shelf (1) 4 ply. x 814 - 25916
FF Shelf Back (1) 4 x 3 - 25916 H H H H
GG Shelf Lip (1) 3 x 112 - 25916
4 !/2"x 7"- 84" Hard Maple (4.1 Sq. Ft.)
HH Foot Rest (1) 3 x 134 - 2534

(20) 14"-20 Threaded Inserts

(16) 14"-20 x114" Fh Machine Screws !/2"x 7"- 60" Hard Maple (2.9 Sq. Ft.)
(4) 1 "-20 x 212" Rh Machine Screws
4 U U U U
(4) 14" Flat Washers
(2) 12"-13 Bench Bolts & Nuts
(14) 114" Knobs (Oil-Rubbed Bronze) !/4"x 6"- 84" Maple (Two Boards @ 3.5 Sq. Ft. Each)
(4) 1 " Shelf Supports CC CC CC DD DD DD DD

ALSO NEEDED: Two 48" x 96" sheets of #/4" oak plywood

One 48" x 48" sheet of !/4" oak plywood 37

WS219_036.indd 37 4/7/2015 3:50:39 PM


Gentlemans Dresser
Quartersawn white oak and Craftsman design elements
combine to create this handsome addition to any rooms dcor.
If theres a piece of furniture that stands proud with a look of and divider. Strong tongue and dado joinery is reinforced
masculinity, its this dresser. The beefy, solid-wood construc- with screws to lock everything together into a solid unit.
tion plus, features like the door grids and plugs that simulate LOTS OF STORAGE. Inside the great-looking cabinet, youll find
through-tenons, creates a stately example of fine furniture. plenty of storage with adjustable shelves. A pair of pull-out
EASY JOINERY. Classic woodworking joinery makes this project trays are ideal for corralling smaller items.
manageable in your shop with basic power tools. The case is As if that werent enough to pique your interest, details like
made with frame and panel construction on the sides, doors, opaque stained glass and Craftsman-style hardware make this
and back. This theme continues inside with the web frames piece stand out in any room of your home.

38 Woodsmith / No. 219

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Construction Overview / OVERALL DIMENSIONS: 42"W x 56"H x 22"D
Top is secured to case
sides with screws

Faux tenon plugs

conceal screws used
to assemble cabinet
Tongue and dado joinery
secures bottom and
Door grid forms divider assemblies
rabbets for
stained glass

Trays rest on
Drawer and trays adjustable
feature dovetail shelves

panels resawn
from thicker stock

Classic hardware
complements the
Craftsman style

Doors, case sides, and

back made with stub
tenon and groove joinery

NOTE: All case components

are made from
quartersawn white oak Plugs fill
grooves in stiles

{ Faux tenons add to the classic { The shadow lines and stained glass { Sliding trays sit on any of the
Craftsman-style look. They hide details in the door grids add eye- adjustable shelves to create a
the screws used for assembly. catching appeal. flexible storage solution. 39

WS219_038.indd 39 4/6/2015 10:46:19 AM

NOTE: Apply glue
only to top 3" of SIDE RAIL B
upper side rails a. b. #/4
Apply glue at 5 B
center of 1!/4 1
panel only 5#/8 #/8
FRONT 5&/16
10%/8 #/8 BACK
!/2 A

C Mortise #/8
C #/8
Cut rabbet in (through dado)
back edge of
stiles before 38%/8
A assembly
c. #/8 d.
!/2 #/8
55 TOP
NOTE: Dadoes (through dado)
and mortises in Mortise
sides are cut 9
after assembly %/16
6!/4 6%/16
B SECTION Plug 1!/4
NOTE: Side stiles and VIEW !/2
rails are made from
1"-thick hardwood
B Plugs

NOTE: Side panels are resawn

e. A B
from 5/4 hardwood and
planed to #/8" thick 1
1 Plugs cut to

Assembling the SIDES

fit in exposed

Before you get started on building the stock and planed to 38" thick. Youll want CASE SIDES. I started construction with
gentlemans dresser, theres a little prep to keep track of the panel parts theyre the frame and panel sides of the case.
work to be done. First of all, most of the bookmatched to create eye-pleasing pan- The box below shows the process of
parts are made from 5/4 stock planed to els (more on this later). The bottom line resawing the panels at the band saw and
1" thick. The panels in the cabinet sides, is, its a good idea to get all of your stock bookmatching for the best grain match.
back, and doors are resawn from 5/4 planed to thickness first. For this task, use a wide blade designed


1 2 3
Tall auxiliary

a. Plane panel down

Auxiliary to #/8" thick
table Waste
5/4 panel
Auxiliary After resawing, glue facing
table Cut at edges for a bookmatched panel END VIEW

Resawing for Panels. A tall fence Bookmatch. After taking the pieces off Plane to Thickness. Once the panels
and wide blade help ensure straight, of the band saw, open them up like a are glued up, plane both sides,
consistent cuts when resawing. book to ensure matching grain. sneaking up to a final thickness of 38".

40 Woodsmith / No. 219

WS219_040.indd 40 4/6/2015 11:57:44 AM

for resawing. Adding a tall auxiliary
fence helps ensure straight cuts.
I glued up the panels before planing 1 2
them to their final 38" thickness. You can
set the panels aside for now as you start
to work on making the rails and stiles. rip a. #/8
END fence
FRAME JOINERY. The How-To box on the Rip a. #/8 VIEW
right steps you through the tasks nec- fence VIEW #/8
essary to complete each side assembly. #/8 #/4" dado
!/4" dado blade
After cutting the rails and stiles to size, blade
cut centered grooves on the inside edges
(Figure 1). The width of the groove Centered Grooves. Flip the work- Stub Tenons. By using a dado blade
should match the panel thickness. piece end for end after the first pass with an auxiliary fence, you can cut the
In Figure 2, you can see how I used a to obtain a 38"-wide groove. tenons on the ends of the rails.
dado blade and auxiliary rip fence on the
table saw to cut the stub tenons on the 3 SIDE 4 Spring clamps 1
secure hardboard
rails. Flip the workpiece after each cut to BACK in position
keep the tenon centered. Sneak up on a STILE
Tall aux.
snug fit in the stiles groove. rip fence
The last operation to perform on the a. #/4
two rear stiles is a wide rabbet along the
back, inside edge (Figure 3). The back Make cut 1 Hardboard
assembly fits into these rabbets. with a series positioned
of deeper flush at corners
CURVED BOTTOM RAILS. Figures 4 and 5 passes
!/8" hardboard
illustrate laying out and then cutting the
curved bottom rail. At this point, youre Rabbeted Edge. To accommodate Lay Out an Arc. Use a strip of hardboard
almost ready for glueup. I stained the the back panel, cut a wide rabbet by to lay out the arc on the bottom rails.
panels first (refer to Sources, page 67). standing the stiles on edge. Spring clamps and a nail hold it in place.
This way, bare wood wont show along
the edges if the panels shrink a little dur- 5 6
ing times of low humidity.
Figure 6 and detail e on the opposite
page show you how to locate and glue Cut to outside
of layout line
the lower rail into the side assembly. 3
Only gluing the bottom few inches of SIDE BOTTOM 3
the lower rail tenons and top few inches RAIL
of the upper rail tenons allows them to Spacer block
protects rabbet
move with changes in humidity without edge of stile Glue applied
stressing the joints. to 3"of lower
rail tenons
I used spacers to fill the rabbets in the
stiles to provide a clamping surface. As Cutting the Arc. Carefully cut the Gluing. Apply glue to the center of the
the glue sets up, cut small plugs to fill the arc, just leaving the pencil line. rails. Use spacers to provide a clamping
exposed grooves at the bottom. Follow up by sanding it smooth. surface along the rabbeted edge.
STOPPED DADOES. The top and bottom
Align edge of
web frames of the case are attached to 7 Rout to
layout 8 jig spacer
to layout
the sides using tongue and dado joinery. line lines
Figure 7 shows a simple jig for routing
the dado. Plans for building the jig are
provided on page 66. a. Wide cleat
MORTISES. To help hold the large case Mortising
Narrow jig (refer to
assembly together during glueup, cleats page 66)
%/16 SECTION against
screws are installed through mortises NOTE: Jig VIEW edge NOTE:
clamped to Mortises
in the case sides. Faux tenons will be #/8 are #/8"
workpiece deep
added later to hide the screws.
For locating and sizing the mortises, I Stopped Dadoes. Rout a stopped Mortises. With a simple jig and a dado
used a simple router jig, as in Figure 8. dado at the top and bottom on the cleanout bit, rout out the mortises then
Find out how to build and use it in Shop inside of the side assemblies. square up the corners with a chisel.
Notes on page 66. 41

WS219_040.indd 41 4/6/2015 1:49:07 PM

NOTE: Upper panels I
are resawn from 5/4 34%/8 E UPPER PANEL WEB
hardwood and G F FRAME a. %/16 E
planed to #/8" thick 13!/8 END 5
DIVIDER %/16 2%/16 K %/16
10#/4 10#/4 RAIL #/8 I E Dado is
K WEB FRONT centered
10%/8 D FRAME SECTION !/16" on rail
J #/8 VIEW
NOTE: Dadoes in 10%/8
upper and lower web STILE
frames are cut DIVIDER J
after assembly 42!/2 PANEL d.
NOTE: Lower
panels are planed 4 L
J 5
to !!/16" thick
Back edge of
stiles and rails
are flush with H Hidden line
K rabbet in side indicates
WEB WEB H tongue/dado
10#/4 !/2
e. D
f. #/16"-dia. x
D %/8"-deep hole
10%/8 H for stem bumper
NOTE: Web frames rail !/2 D
13!/8 34%/8 and divider frame
F parts are made from Trim
1"-thick hardwood tongue at
both ends

Completing the CASE

of front
STILE stile

Finishing up the case for the dresser WEB FRAMES. The bottom of the dresser how to cut the groove in the frame parts
involves more frame and panel assem- case is made up of a web frame with and a rabbet around the panel to form a
blies. The top and bottom web frames hardwood panels. These panels are a tongue. The top web frame is the same
meet up with the dadoes you cut in the little thicker than those used in the rest of except the panels are 38" thick (just like
sides. Stopped dadoes in the web frames the assemblies. This way, the top of the the side assemblies).
mate up with tongues on the center panels will be flush with the frame. There are a couple of other steps to
divider. Later, youll create a large frame So youll plane the panels to 1116" thick complete the web frames. One is to form
and panel assembly to complete the and form a tongue to fit into the groove in the tongues on the ends to fit into the
back. The main drawing above shows the frame. The panels are sized for a 116" stopped dadoes in the case sides. Youll
how everything goes together to create a gap all around, as shown above. Figures also need to trim back the tongue with
strong and sturdy case. 1 and 2 in the How-To box below show a hand saw so the web frames sit flush


END %/16
1 Web
frame and
2 H %/16
blank Aux. rip Web frame
Tall aux. a. END a. END VIEW b. Trim front
end of
rip fence VIEW Dado blade
#/8 Aux. rip tongues
!/2" dado fence with a
#/8 blade #/8 hand saw
!/4"dado blade !/2

Groove. Use a dado blade to sneak Rabbet Panel. The panels on the Web Frame Tongues. The web frames have a
up to a 38"-wide groove, flipping bottom web frame are rabbeted tongue on each end to mate with the stopped
the workpiece between passes. so they sit flush with the frame. dadoes in the case sides.

42 Woodsmith / No. 219

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30#/4 #8 x 1!/2" Fh
8 woodscrews a. P
with the sides, as shown in Figure 3 at O
the bottom of the opposite page. RAIL
After gluing up the web frames, lay out M

the stopped dadoes that hold the divider. Taper ends 5

at bottom
This dado is cut on the bottom face of the Glue edge of
panels lower rail
top web frame and on the top face of the at center
bottom frame. I used the same router jig only BACK
VIEW 1#/4
as before (lower left drawing).
Youll build a drawer later, but to make Q
BACK 38%/8 b. Divider
it slide smoothly nylon stem bumpers are #/8
installed in the top web frame. Its easier 38%/8 Q #/8 %/16
to drill the holes for these before assem-
bly, as in detail f, opposite page.
DIVIDER. After gathering up your N Q
clamps, this would be a good time to CENTER TOP SECTION VIEW
dry-assemble the sides and web frames. STILE
This way, you can size the divider to fit c.
13!/8 Back fits in
between the pair of web frames. side rabbet
Theres nothing new with making the 4 M
divider. Its a frame and panel assembly, 2#/4
just like the others. And like the web
frames, youll need to trim the tongues at P
the front edge (detail e, opposite page). BACK LOWER 30#/4
CASE ASSEMBLY. Since screws secure the RAIL d. Side BACK
web frames through mortises in the NOTE: Back stiles and BACK
case sides, the glue-up process is easier. rails are made from 1"-thick STILE
hardwood. Panels are Countersink
I glued up the web frames and divider resawn from 5/4 hardwood for a #8 Fh
and planed to #/8" thick Web frame woodscrew
first (lower middle drawing) then
inserted this subassembly into one side.
After installing the screws (detail d at on an overall grain and color match for assembled panel fit tightly to the case
right), glue and screw the other case side each of the panels. without gaps at the edges.
to the web frames. Because the width of the finished pan- Theres a small taper at the bottom of
CASE BACK. You can start to work on the els is wider than most benchtop planers, the two outer stiles. This is easy to cut
case back. Here, making the panels is a I took extra care during glueup to make at the band saw (lower right drawing).
little different than before. Youll prob- sure the boards were flush. Then use a To smooth out the rough edge, I used
ably need to glue up each panel from hand plane or sander to get the panels a smoothing plane. A few quick passes
three boards instead of two. Since theyre smooth once the glue dries. should do the trick.
a part of the back assembly, I didnt Making the frame for the back should To attach the back, simply glue it into
worry so much about bookmatching be old hat by now. I took some time to the rabbeted stiles of the case sides.
the grain. Instead, I focused more dry-fit the parts often to make sure the Apply clamps to draw it tight to the case.


1 2 3
Dado routing
jig (refer to
page 66)
Divider sets
back 1" from Assembly
web frame front square
1!/2 and flush at back
Rout to frame Cut to outside
layout of layout line,
Web line as Divider then plane or
frame front before sand smooth

More Stopped Dadoes. The same jig Divider Assembly. Using assembly Tapered Stiles. After cutting the
used on the case sides helps to rout squares helps keep the web frames square grooves, taper the bottom end of the
stopped dadoes on the web frames. with the dividers during glue-up. back rails at the band saw. 43

WS219_042.indd 43 4/7/2015 8:03:04 AM

NOTE: Top is flush with back of #/32" chamfer
case and centered side-to-side top back edge
42 22 a. !/2
Shelf pin TOP T
drilling 3 T
guide 3!/4 !/2
2!/2 3!/4
Cleat #/32" chamfers 2!/2
front and sides 1!/4 TOP VIEW
#8 x 1!/2" Fh
FRONT b. c.
VIEW Web frame %/16" -rad.
supports 17#/4 R S !/4
V 2!/2 2#/4
!/2" SIDE
plywood MORTISE 16%/16
40 %/16 BOTTOM
Side stile VIEW

!/4"-dia. NOTE: Mortise 1!!/16

through plugs are made
holes from !/2"-thick
V d. Divider Shelf
Shelf pin supports
1&/16 V V V

U Side
2 FRONT stile

3 Cleat U V
e. NOTE: #/32" chamfer
SHELF on edges of plug SIDE SECTION
2!/2 VIEW

6!/2 U !/2
2 T

#/4 GLUE 34
4 R
BLOCK NOTE: Top, skirt and shelves are
made from 1"-thick hardwood.
END VIEW Glue blocks are #/4"-thick hardwood TOP. Gluing up a wide panel to form
the top comes next. Take some extra
Add the TOP, SHELVES & BINS time to look for a good grain and color
match between the boards.
Youre on your way to finishing up the CASE DETAILS. The skirt is an easy addi- After cutting the top to size, theres a
case of the dresser. The next parts to add tion. Its cut to fit between the case sides. little routing to be done. That starts with
are a skirt along the bottom, adjustable Detail b above shows where to attach four mortises for the plugs that hide the
shelves, and the top. Youll also plug the the pair of glue blocks to create a 516" set- screws used to attach the top. Detail
mortises with faux tenons. And a couple back from the front of the case. Then you a and the left drawing below shows
of sliding bins create additional storage. can glue the skirt in place. where to locate them. Finally, rout a


on back
Case #/8
stile back
Position jig with narrow 1&/16 brad
cleats against back Aux. Fence point
edge of top to fence bit
rout back mortises %/8" Flip guide
straight over and
butt against Tape on
bit bit gauges
back of
case for depth
Push edge back holes
Front of shelf
of shelf into bit Cleat Cleat

NOTE: Reset
a. !#/16 registers
Align jig edge of
spacer with aux. fence-to- FRONT Front
mortise bit dimension SECT. !/4 front stile #/8
Flip jig over with V stile
layout to 1!!/16" for VIEW
lines wide cleat on the notches on back Drill guide
front edge of top edge of shelf on front SECT. VIEW
to rout front mortises stile

Mortises in the Top. Using the same jig as Notches. Set up a fence on Shelf Pin Holes. Using the jig shown
before, rout the mortises in the top, flipping it each side of the bit to locate the on the upper left as a template, drill
to rout the two on the opposite edge. slot and guide the workpiece. holes in the sides and divider.

44 Woodsmith / No. 219

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NOTE: Bin sides, fronts, backs
and runners are made from
!/2"-thick hardwood. Bin guides AA BIN GUIDES
are made from #/4"-thick hardwood. AA
small chamfer on all four top edges. Then Bin bottoms are !/4" plywood 10
chamfer the front and end edges on the 15!/2
bottom face before attaching the top. X 17!/2
MORTISE PLUGS. The last details to add to 6
the outside of the case are the mortise W
plugs. For these, plane some stock to !/4"
thickness to fit the width of the mortises.
Turn to Shop Notes on page 66 to find X 6
out how I shaped and cut the twelve 17!/4 W
are not fixed in place
3 15
plugs (plus a few extra). When it comes
time to glue them in place, the only trick a. 7#/8
is to very lightly tap them into the mor- 2"-rad.
W 16#/4
tise while keeping the top of the plug 2 X
parallel with the surface. Once the plugs SECTION VIEW BIN FRONT Z
are in the mortises, you wont be able to !/4 !/8" chamfer at BIN
front of runner RUNNER
remove them to make adjustments.
ADJUSTABLE SHELVES. Turning to the inside c. d.
of the cabinet, the six shelves are all Divider W Side
Shelf W panel
glued up from 1-thick stock. After cut- panel
!/4 Y
ting them to size, rout notches on the Y
bottom to engage the shelf supports !/2
(middle drawing, bottom of opposite of drawer W
page). This secures the shelves and com- 3&/8 Shelf 1
pletely hides the supports from view. 3 "-rad.
Shelf AA
SHELF SUPPORTS. Youll also need to drill 3!/2 "-rad. X BIN FRONT
holes for the shelf supports. I used the FRONT FRONT
simple drilling guide and techniques
shown in the margin and lower right
drawings on the opposite page.
REMOVABLE BINS. There are two bins that How-To: CUT DOVETAILS & GUIDES
sit on any of the adjustable shelves
(drawings at right). The bins themselves 1 Bin 2 W
are made with 12"-thick stock and joined Bin side
front Rip
with half-blind dovetails. Have extra fence
stock on hand to set up your dovetail jig. a. END VIEW
The sides of the bins are shaped into W %/8
!/4" ply.
X 1
a pleasing S-curve, and theres a curved Groove
hand hold in the front. I waited to do all 1 centered !/4
!/2 on dovetail
of this shaping after completing the dove-
tail joinery. Figures 1 through 3 at right
show how and where to make the cuts, as Dovetail Details. After using a Cutting the Grooves. Make a couple of
well as the groove for the bottom. dovetail jig to cut the half-blind passes with a standard blade to sneak up
GUIDES. After assembling the bins, you dovetails, lay out the curves. on a snug fit with the plywood bottom.
can work on the parts that help the bins
slide smoothly and sit centered on the
shelves. A pair of narrow runners are
3 4
Cut to outside
of layout line,
glued to the bottom of each bin. The then sand smooth
a. END
drawings at the upper right show how !#/32 VIEW
they fit tight against the sides of the bins. Aux. rip
fence AA
Details c and d and Figure 4 in the
How-To box at right show the L-shaped blade
guides that keep the bin centered on the NOTE: Cut
rabbet in
shelf. These guides slip into the space multiple passes
between the edge of the shelf and the
panel in the case side or divider. The Shape Bin Sides & Front. Bin Guides. To make the bin guides, first form a
great thing is, you can move the guides The band saw makes quick rabbet along each edge of a 34"-thick blank. Then
to any of the adjustable shelves depend- work of cutting the curves. rip the blank in two to form each of the guides.
ing on your storage needs. 45

WS219_044.indd 45 4/6/2015 2:42:27 PM

Top Top
a. b.
bottom is CC Stem
!/4" plywood bumper
BB centered
33&/8 on drawer Drawer
back pull
ply. thickness
5 %/8
Upper web Stem
frame bumper
c. Top
pull Side
6#/4 rail

NOTE: Drawer back and sides are Drawer back
made from !/2"-thick hardwood. Stem stem bumper
Drawer pull Drawer front is made from bumper
with screws #/4"-thick hardwood

Building the DRAWER & DOORS 1

web frame

The dresser is really taking shape now. drawer slide smoothly. Its easier to drill Dont be overwhelmed by the number
The last things to build are the large the holes for the bumpers before you of parts, especially in the grid openings.
drawer and the pair of doors. assemble the drawer. I also like to lay out Building the doors isnt really difficult.
DRAWER. The drawer construction fol- and drill the holes for the drawer pulls Ill step you through the process.
lows a path similar to the bins. The front before assembly. The drawings above FRAME & PANEL ASSEMBLIES. As with the pre-
and back are joined to the sides with show the details for locating these holes. vious assemblies, building the doors
half-blind dovetails. The box below Its easier to apply a stain to the drawer should be familiar territory. It starts with
shows the typical dovetail spacing using front before assembly. Just be sure to keep two wide stiles. Connecting the stiles are
a Porter-Cable dovetail jig. the finish away from the dovetails and three rails. The bottom of the door fea-
Unlike the bins where the sides, front, pins so the glue will stick. tures a hardwood panel. The upper two
and back were 12" thick, the drawer front A PAIR OF DOORS. To complete the dresser rails frame a grid to form four openings
is 34" thick. Other than that, the construc- and make it stand out in any room, that are filled in with stained glass. The
tion is the same as the bins. youll work on the doors next. On the small pieces of the grid create attractive
The bottom edge of the drawer back opposite page, you can get an idea of shadow lines that really add some detail
has a pair of stem bumpers to help the how they go together. and draw attention to the dresser.
STOCK PREP. Theres nothing more frus-

How-To: MAKE DOVETAILS & CUT GROOVE trating than building a door and finding
out its warped or twisted slightly when
you install it. Thats especially a prob-
lem on large doors, like the ones shown
here. You can help eliminate this prob-
lem with some careful stock prep.
SIDE BB First, make sure each of the parts
Rip is straight with no twist, cup, or bow.
DD And when cutting the joinery, take care
FRONT 1 a. END VIEW to make sure the cuts are square. Now
!/4" ply. youre ready to start making the doors.
1 Groove DOOR STILES. You need to cut a centered
on dovetail !/4
groove on the inside edges of the stiles,
!/2 just like before. The doors also feature
a chamfer on the inside face, along the
Dovetail Spacing. Your dovetail Groove for Bottom. Cut the groove for hinge edge. This is to provide clearance
jig will dictate the spacing of the the plywood drawer bottom by making a for the bins when pulling them out.
pins and tails on the drawer parts. couple of passes with a standard blade. Detail b on the opposite page shows
where its located.

46 Woodsmith / No. 219

WS219_046.indd 46 4/7/2015 7:53:40 AM

STILE NOTE: All door stiles and rails a.
are 1"-thick hardwood. Door
DOOR RAILS. The three short rails com- GRID panels are resawn from 5/4
plete the frame of the door. The only 5 FILLERS stock and planed to #/8" thick
thing to note here is that the middle rail UPPER
has a groove along each edge. GRID GG
DOOR GRID. As you can see at right, there 8
are a lot of pieces that fill in the upper
opening in the door. To make things
simple, start in the middle and work KK
3%/8 #/8
your way out. I started with the vertical L L
grid stile and two grid rails. Youll make GRID #/8 (/16
and install the small filler pieces after the
door is assembled. 41#/4 I I
The fillers fit into grooves in the grid DOOR
rails and stile. So to make the rails and PANEL RAIL J J
stiles, I started with an extra-long blank, J J
112" wide. This way, you can cut grooves 20!/8
along each edge before cutting the parts (/16
to their final length. All thats left to do F F F F SIDE
SECT. 1!/2 L L
on these parts is to cut stub tenons on the VIEW
ends to fit into the door rails and stiles.
DOOR ASSEMBLY. The box below walks
you through the process of assembling
each door. (Remember to stain the pan- HH 2!/2 MM

els first.) To make sure the grid compo- DOOR

nents are centered, its a good idea to RAIL 6 HH

mark centerlines on the parts. The first 8

parts youll glue together are the upper NOTE: Door grid fillers are
made from !/2"-thick hardwood I I
and mid door rails and the grid stile. and planed to #/8" thick
Once the glue dries on this subassem-
b. MM 1!/2 MM (/16
bly, glue up the door starting with one
KK !/4" chamfer
door stile and bringing in the lower rail, #/8
(inside face of
door panel, and the upper subassembly. hinge stiles)
This is when youll add the two grid rails, 2!/2 #/8 2!/2 4!#/16
centering them vertically on the grid stile.
Then glue and clamp the opposite stile.
GRID FILLERS. The fillers for the grid create next order of business. Cut them just For the horizontal fillers, simply cut
a rabbeted recess in each opening. Youll short enough that you can angle them them to length for a tight fit between the
install small squares of stained glass on into position then roughly center them in vertical fillers. It just takes a couple drops
the back side of the openings later. the groove (right drawing below). Dont of glue to hold each filler in place. A little
The filler strips start out as a long worry about any gaps theyll get cov- patience pays off in the end with a pair of
blank. Installing the vertical fillers is the ered up with the short, horizontal fillers. great-looking doors.

How-To: ASSEMBLE THE DOOR GRIDS 3 FIRST: Angle vertical fillers

in place in grid opening
1 I I
2 KK
F F across



Align centered L L SECOND: Slide

layout lines F F
A small caul Align center horizontal fillers
protects rail edges layout line of in place between
grid stile and rails vertical fillers

Door Subassembly. Gluing the grid stile Final Door Assembly. The only trick to Two-Step Filler Glueup. Install the
to the upper and mid door rails makes gluing up the door is to make sure the vertical fillers by angling them into place.
assembling the door a smooth operation. two grid rails are centered in the opening. Cut the horizontal fillers to fit. 47

WS219_046.indd 47 4/6/2015 3:12:40 PM

Stained glass set
in grid openings
with silicone a. Side
Ball catches 12#/4
SECTION Door front flush
VIEW with edge of side stile
Stained glass
(2#/4" x 2#/4")
b. Cabinet
!/16" gap divider
of Silicone of doors
Door 3" no-mortise at corners
pull hinges with screws stile
with Drill !/4"-dia.
screws through
holes for
door pull
screw holes Grid fillers
Door stiles

Plus they naturally create a consistent

Ball catches 1#/4
with screws gap between the door and cabinet.
The middle drawings below show
where to mount the hinges on the door. I
find that its easier to attach the hinges on
Strike for the door and set the door in place. I like to
Strike ball catch
rest the door on shims to create a 116" gap
at the top and bottom of the door. This is

Attaching the DOORS

your opportunity to fine-tune the fit of
each of the doors in their openings. Mark
the hinge screw locations on the cabinet
All of the hard work is done, and youre Securing the glass couldnt be easier. to serve as a guide when installing them.
almost ready to attach the doors. You All I did was place a small dab of silicone DOOR PULLS. Before installing the catches,
may want to enlist some help when adhesive in each corner of the openings its a good idea to install the door pulls.
installing the hinges. The doors can be (detail a, right drawing at the bottom This makes it easier to open and close
a little heavy to work with by yourself. of opposite page). You dont want to go the doors when fitting the catches.
STAINED GLASS. Before hanging the doors, overboard with the silicone. It spreads BALL CATCHES. Once the doors are in place,
I installed opaque stained glass squares easily and is surprisingly strong. It will its an easy task to install a ball catch at
in the door grid. Turn to page 67 to find hold the glass in place for years to come. the top and bottom of each door. The
out where I purchased the glass. INSTALLING THE HINGES. The next order of right drawing below shows the offset
Whether you have the glass cut or you business is attaching hinges. No-mortise dimension of the ball catch from the
cut it, measure the opening and then sub- hinges save a lot of time. Theres no need edge of the cabinet and distance from
tract 18". This makes it easier to install. to cut mortises in the doors or cabinet. the divider. Its fastened with a pair of


Inside face
of door
a. stile
bottom !/16 Use double-
2 sided tape on
Upper Strike
web 1!/16
Glass frame SIDE SECTION
Lower VIEW
Grid web
filler 6 frame
Hold glass Lower web
against inside Silicone frame
of grid filler SIDE
while applying SECT.
silicone to VIEW Ball Cabinet
each corner catch 1&/16 divider
Installing Glass. Make sure the glass Hinges. Mount the hinges on the door Ball Catches. Once the catch is
fits into the opening before applying a and then shim the door to create a 116" attached to the web frame, use tape to
dab of silicone at each corner. gap to locate the hinge on the case. locate the strike on the door.

48 Woodsmith / No. 219

WS219_048.indd 48 4/7/2015 12:59:01 PM

screws in the web frame. To mark the screws in the catch to loosen the tension If you dont have spray equipment, a
location of the strike on the door, you on the strike and try again. few coats of a water-based polyurethane
can use double-sided tape on the back FINISH. The stain I used was Varathane finish will give it a nice finish.
of the strike. Insert the strike into the brand in their Gunstock color. Its an oil- Once the finish dries, youre left with
catch and press the door closed. You based stain made by Rust-Oleum. Sim- the task of moving the dresser into your
should be able to open the door with the ply wipe it on, let it sit for a few minutes, home and filling it up. The additional
strike attached. If the strike remains in and then wipe off the excess. I sprayed storage space it provides makes it a wel-
the catch, you may have to back off the the dresser with two coats of lacquer. come addition to any room. W

Materials, Supplies & Cutting Diagram

A Side Stiles (4) 1 x 5 - 55 R Glue Blocks (2) 3
x 34 - 212 II Door Mid Rails (2) 1x4-8
B Side Rails (4) 1 x 8 - 1034 S Skirt (1) 1 x 234 - 34 JJ Door Panels (2) 3
8x 778 - 2018
C Side Panels (2) 3 x 105 - 385 T Top (1) 1 x 22 - 42 KK Grid Stiles (2) 1 x 112 - 8
8 8 8
D Web Frame Fronts (2) 1 x 5 - 3458 U Mortise Plugs (12) 1 x 21 - 1
2 2 2 LL Grid Rails (4) 1 x 112 - 358
E Web Frame Backs (2) 1 x 4 - 3458 V Shelves (6) 1 x 1734 - 16516 MM Grid Filler (1) 3 x 9 - 112 rgh.
8 16
F Web Frame Ends (4) 1 x 2516 - 1034 W Bin Sides (4) 1 x 6 - 171
2 2
G Web Frame Rails (2) 1 x 5 - 1034 X Bin Fronts/Backs (4) 1 x 6 - 151
2 2 (24) #8 x 112" Fh Woodscrews
H Lower Panels (2) 11 x 105 - 131 Y Bin Bottoms (2) 1 ply. - 15 x 171 (4) Stem Bumpers
16 8 8 4 4
I Upper Panels (2) 3 x 105 - 131 Z Bin Runners (4) 1 x 1 - 163 (2 pr.) 3" No-Mortise Hinges w/Screws
8 8 8 2 2 4
J Divider Stiles (2) 1 x 4 - 4212 AA Bin Guides (4) 3 x 13 - 10
4 8 (2) Drawer Pulls w/Screws
K Divider Rails (2) 1 x 2516 - 1034 BB Drawer Sides (2) 1 x 5 - 181
2 4 (2) Door Pulls w/Screws
L Divider Panel (1) 3 x 105 - 381 CC Drawer Back (1) 1 x 5 - 337 (24) 14"-dia. Shelf Supports
8 8 2 2 8
M Back Stiles (2) 1 x 234 - 55 DD Drawer Front (1) 3 x 5 - 337
4 8 (4) Ball Catches
N Back Center Stile (1) 1 x 5 - 3858 EE Drawer Bottom (1) 1 ply. - 18 x 333
4 8 (8 pcs.) 234" x 234" Stained Glass
O Back Upper Rail (1) 1 x 8 - 3034 FF Door Stiles (4) 1 x 41316 - 4134
P Back Lower Rail (1) 1 x 4 - 3034 GG Door Upper Rails (2) 1x5-8
Q Back Panels (2) 3 x 131 - 385 HH Door Lower Rails (2) 1x6-8
8 8 8

1"x 5!/2" - 96" White Oak (Two Boards @ 4.6 Bd. Ft. Each) LL 1"x 6!/2" - 96" White Oak (5.4 Bd. Ft.)

1"x 6!/2" - 96" White Oak (Two Boards @ 5.4 Bd. Ft. Each) 1"x 5!/2" - 96" White Oak (4.6 Bd. Ft.)

1"x 8!/2" - 84" White Oak (6.2 Bd. Ft.) 1"x 5!/2" - 96" White Oak (4.6 Bd. Ft.)

1"x 4!/2" - 48" White Oak (1.9 Bd. Ft.)

1"x 6" - 84" White Oak (4.4 Bd. Ft.)

#/4"x 7" - 96" White Oak (4.7 Bd. Ft.) R

1"x 6" - 72" White Oak (3.8 Bd. Ft.)

1"x 7!/2" - 96" White Oak (6.3 Bd. Ft.) !/2"x 6!/2" - 72" Hard Maple (3.3 Sq. Ft.)
J J BB tt



1"x 7!/2" - 72" White Oak (4.7 Bd. Ft.) !/2" x 5!/2" - 84" White Oak (Three Boards @ 3.2 Sq. Ft. Each)
KK !/2"x 6!/2" - 96" White Oak (4.3 Sq. Ft.) U
1"x 6" - 96" White Oak (Two Boards @ 5.0 Bd. Ft. Each)
!/2"x 7" - 84" White Oak (4.1 Sq. Ft.) Z
1"x 6!/2" - 96" White Oak (Two Boards @ 5.4 Bd. Ft. Each)
NOTE: Parts C, I, L, and JJ are resawn from 5/4 stock and planed to
1"x 6!/2" - 96" White Oak (5.4 Bd. Ft.) #/8" thick. Parts M and Q are planed down to #/8" thick. Parts H are
planed to !!/16" thick. Parts AA are planed to #/4" thick
ALSO NEEDED: One 48"x 48" sheet of !/4" maple plywood 49

WS219_048.indd 49 4/8/2015 9:10:42 AM

w orking
wood ique

12 Box Joint
Quick Tips
Box joints combine eye-catching looks [1] Start Wide size
with extra glue surface. Cutting the join- Accurately preparing parts is funda-
ery is straightforward enough after mental to well-fit joints. This involves
all, its just a matter of creating a series cutting parts to consistent lengths and
of evenly spaced slots. thicknesses. However, I like to cut project
Beneath the surface, youll find that parts extra wide to start with. Between
getting good results involves paying setting up the dado blade, the jig, and
attention to some important details. The actually making the cuts, variations can
tips you see here arent groundbreaking. creep in that lead to a joint that doesnt
But taken together, theyll help you get end with a full pin or slot. By using wide
snug-fitting joints time after time. parts, you can trim them to final width
once the joinery is cut. { The width of the key, the blade, and the
space between them should be the same
[2] Make Your Mark for the jig to cut tight-fitting box joints.
When you use extra-wide blanks, its
Hardboard important to orient each part on the jig
backer reduces
chipout the same way. Then when you assemble [3] Dial In Accuracy
the joints, youre sure to have one side If you arent familiar with box joints, setup
of the assembly flush. can seem intimidating. Three dimensions
For example, I like to cut the parts are key: the width of the blade and key,
starting from the bottom edge. In order plus the gap between these two. Ideally,
to use the same edge, you need to know these should be equal (photo above). From
what edge that is. So I also label the bot- there, you can use test cuts to fine-tune the
tom edge and mating corners so that I cut size of the gap for a good fit.
the same arrangement of pins and slots
{ While cutting box joints, firm downward on each end of the parts (main photo [4] Blade Height
hand pressure ensures that slots are cut and photo at left). This keeps the whole The final piece of the setup puzzle is the
consistently on all the parts. assembly looking more consistent. height of the saw blade. Rather than try

50 Woodsmith / No. 219

WS219_050.indd 50 4/1/2015 10:21:53 AM

to nail a flush-fitting joint right off the
bat, I aim for the pins to be slightly proud
of the mating surface (no more than 132"),
as shown in the near right photo. After
assembly, all it takes is a little sanding to After
make the joints perfectly flush.

[5] Back It Up
Cutting box joints is a rip cut, so tearout
on the sides of each slot isnt likely. But
the ends (bottoms) of the slots can chip { When setting up the jig, aim for pins that { Hardwood cauls placed just behind the
out without some backup. Once you get are slightly proud of the surface. Light joints direct clamping pressure to close up
your jig dialed in, slip a piece of hard- sanding brings them flush in a short time. the box joints without getting in the way.
board behind your workpiece (lower left,
opposite page). This supports the work- [7] Keep It Clean [9] Clamp It Right
piece to minimize chipout. Tight-fitting joints depend on close toler- Creating a joint where the pins protrude
ances during the cutting process. Even slightly makes getting a flush joint prac-
[6] Constant Pressure something as minor as a little sawdust tically foolproof. But it also makes it dif-
Consistency is the name of the game, but buildup can throw off a good fit. I make it ficult to apply clamping pressure across
if you have a lot of box joints to make, a practice to regularly clear away dust and the joint. Instead, I use cauls, as you can
the process can get monotonous. As you debris from the jig and saw to keep it from see in the upper right photo. These strips
work, be mindful of how youre applying spoiling the alignment of a workpiece. of wood are set just in from the joints so
pressure to the workpiece. I like to con- that clamping pressure ensures the joints
centrate on holding the parts down (and [8] Mess-Free Glueup will seat completely.
not so much to either side), as in the lower The combined surface area of all the pins
left photo on the facing page. Inconsistent and slots is what gives a box joint assem- [10] Sanding The Joints Flush
pressure can lead to pins that vary slightly bly its strength. But this can make apply- Once the clamps come off, you can sand
and prevent a joint from closing. ing the glue a nightmare. or plane the joints flush. The trick here is
First, I like to use slow- keeping all the surfaces flat and square. The
setting glue. It has a longer main photo on the opposite page shows
open time perfect for applying the method I like best. Apply adhesive-
glue to a lot of pins, as shown backed sandpaper to your table saw. The
in the far left photo. rip fence helps keep the project square.
Cleaning glue squeezeout Light back and forth strokes with 120-grit
from an inside corner isnt paper quickly level the surfaces and shows
how I want to spend my shop off the results of your hard work.
time. The solution is to apply
tape right along the baseline [11] Bottoms & Backs
of the slots. When the glue has In order to accommodate a drawer bottom
set up, you can peel the tape or case back, you need to cut a groove in
away and leave a clean inner all the parts. This groove should align with
{ For a clean inside corner, apply a strip of tape along the surface (near left photo). a full pin or slot. At assembly time, youll
baseline of the box joints. Removing squeezeout is just notice that the groove creates a noticeable
a matter of peeling off the tape once the glue sets up. hole on the ends of one set of pins.
Plug it by taking one of your test pieces
and ripping off plug blanks. Slightly taper
the end and glue it in place (lower left
photos). Remove most of the excess plug
with a chisel. Then a few swipes with
some sandpaper bring everything flush.

[12] Eliminate Gaps

Work chisel After glueup, you may notice small gaps
around plug towards
the center left by the angled tips of the dado blade.
I like to apply wood filler along the
{ After assembly, fill the gap created by the groove for a { A putty knife forces filler into joints. After sanding the dried filler
drawer bottom with a matching tapered plug. When the small gaps in box joints to smooth, it blends in with the alternating
glue dries, use a chisel to trim away the excess. create a seamless look. grain pattern of the box joints. W 51

WS219_050.indd 51 4/1/2015 10:22:19 AM

workin ls
with too

surfaces with
Orbit Sanders
When it comes to sanding, efficiency perfecting your projects, its important Another bonus of using dust collec-
is the name of the game in my book. to develop good sanding habits along tion is the health benefit. Keeping the
Whatever steps I can take to get things the way. Here, Ill take a look at some of fine dust particles out of the air in the
done quicker, Ill take. Many of us will the best practices for getting the most first place will ensure they stay out of
reach for a powered sander, often times from your random orbit sander. your lungs, as well.
a random orbit sander, to make life eas- USE DUST COLLECTION. Perhaps the most log- SKIP GRITS. One of my favorite sanding
ier. And while one of these sanders will ical first step is utilizing dust collection. time-savers is skipping discs. Instead
shorten the amount of time you spend Most random orbit sanders come with a of working through every grit 80,
dust collection canister or bag. But hook- 100, 120, 150, 180, 220 skipping every
} Skipping every other grit of sandpaper ing up your sander to a shop vacuum or other grit (photo, at left) will save you
can be an efficient alternative. Try a dust collection system (photo above) is a time in the long run. Try progressing
sequence like the one shown here. superior alternative in many ways. through just a few grits next time 80,
The suction power of a dust collec- 120, and 180 or 100, 150, and 220. As
tion system will keep the sanding disc long as the sanding marks from the pre-
from loading up with sanding dust and vious grit are removed, its safe to move
wearing out prematurely. It also helps to on to the next disc.
keep the sandpaper in constant contact STEER CLEAR OF EDGES. Be sure to sand extra
with the sanding surface. And the more carefully near edges to avoid round-
the sandpaper stays in contact with the ing them over. Only allowing the edge
80 120 180
grit grit grit surface, the quicker you get done. of the sanders pad to extend past the

52 Woodsmith / No. 219

WS219_052.indd 52 3/30/2015 3:03:57 PM

edge of the workpiece is the best strat- (photo below). And move the sander
egy. This will help to avoid the tendency very slowly. About 1" per second is a
for the sander to tip and round over the good rule of thumb, which leads to the
edges. In some situations (particularly next important point.
when sanding softwoods) it may make KEEP IN LINE. Be sure to follow a set pat-
sense to switch to a hand sanding block. tern for proper overlap, especially when
AVOID MARKS. By design, a random orbit sanding a large surface (illustration,
sander will leave very light swirl marks below right). Establishing an east-west,
on the work surface. To avoid making north-south pattern on the workpiece
these marks more pronounced, you need and overlapping each pass by 13 of the
to use the proper techniques when sand- sanding disc ensures that youll have
ing. And the best words of advice here is proper coverage of the entire surface.
to slow down and apply light pressure. MARK IT UP. Since a random orbit sander
Be sure to let the random orbit action has a somewhat agressive nature, it
of the sander do its job. This is accom- can be easy to sand through the thin { When sanding veneer plywood, make a
plished by using light downward pres- veneer layer of some plywoods, leav- few light pencil lines on the surface to
sure. No more than the weight of your ing behind a nasty scar on the surface. know when to stop sanding.
arm and hand should be on the sander To avoid this problem, mark a few
light pencil lines on the plywood sur- wider surface created by clamping mul-
face before you start sanding, as shown tiple pieces together also helps to avoid
in the photo at right. When the pencil rounding over edges.
Light pressure lines are gone, youre done sanding. BUY PREMIUM SANDPAPER. And finally, it
MATCH THE SANDER TO THE JOB. For large sur- may be tempting to buy loads of bargain-
faces, a large sander really is better. It priced sanding discs but beware. This
may not seem like it, but switching from lower-priced sandpaper may also be
a 5" sander to a 6" sander means almost lower grade, as well. Premium grades of
44% more sandpaper surface will be in sandpaper have higher-quality abrasives.
contact with the worksurface (photo, This grit removes wood much faster than
below left). This saves valuable time standard (cheaper) sandpaper and the
thats best spent on other tasks. abrasive particles stay sharper longer. So
GANG SAND EDGES. Another time-saving in the long run, it makes sense to get the
trick is to gang sand the edges of boards best sandpaper you can afford.
Slow movement that are all the same width, as shown in A random orbit sander will certainly
the main photo on the opposite page. help you get through your sanding tasks
Clamping pieces together and gang in short order. By using these tips youll
{ For best results, apply only light downward sanding accomplishes two goals at once. save time, get better results, and this
pressure and maintain a forward speed of First, youll avoid sanding one work- once messy and monotonous task wont
about one inch per second. piece more than another. And second, the feel like such a burden anymore. W

28.3 With the grain

sq. inches Against the grain

sq. inches

S Technique. When sanding a
la surface area, start by moving the
sa in an east-west pattern (above),
{ Switching from a 5" orbital sander to a 6" orbital overlapping
o by 3 of the disc. Then
sander results in an almost 44% increase in the switch to a north-south pattern (at
amount of surface area the disc can cover. right) to ensure complete coverage. 53

WS219_052.indd 53 3/30/2015 3:04:21 PM

in the

getting the most from

a materials list &
The first step in building any project is project lies in understanding what these THICKNESS. Starting with the thickness,
acquiring all of the lumber and other sup- can offer before you turn on the saw. this dimension usually indicates the final,
plies. In Woodsmith magazine, we help A LIST OF PARTS. Lets start with the mate- or finished, thickness of the workpiece,
you with this by providing a cutting dia- rials list. Every part in the project is not the rough (nominal) thickness of the
gram and materials list with every proj- assigned a letter and part name. This lumber. For example, a part listed with a
ect. You can see a sample of this at the top helps you identify each part in the art- 1" thickness will have been planed from
of the opposite page. work for the project. The quantity of 5/4 stock. For sheet goods, the thickness
From time to time, we get questions each part is listed after the part name. is followed by an abbreviation such as
on how to use the cutting diagram. In The overall dimensions come next. ply. (plywood), hdbd. (hardboard),
short, it serves as a guide for purchasing And this is where I want to explain what or MDF (medium-density fiberboard).
the lumber. The supplies list shows the each of the numbers mean. The dimen- WIDTH & LENGTH. The final width of the
fasteners, drawer pulls, hinges, or other sions shown are listed in order: thickness, part is the second dimension shown.
items needed to complete the project. The width, and then length. You can see how For solid-wood parts, this dimension
materials list breaks down the project these relate to a project workpiece in the is measured across the grain. In other
into its parts. The key to success on your drawing below. words, this is the dimension youll use
to rip the workpiece to width.
The dimensions shown in the
materials list reflect the final As you might guess, the last dimension
dimensions of the project part shown in the list is the overall length of
the part. This includes any joinery, like
tenons, that needs to be cut on the ends
of the workpiece before assembly.
For sheet goods without a definite
grain, like MDF or hardboard, the
Length length and width dimensions can be cut
in any direction. But for cabinet-grade
plywood where appearance is a con-
cern, I treat the grain direction the same

54 Woodsmith / No. 219

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Materials, Supplies & Cutting Diagram
Board Rough width Species used Board feet
thickness and length in project in this board
Thickness Width Length
#/4" x 9" - 84" Red Oak (5.3 Bd. Ft.)
A Leg Blanks (4) 3 x 3 - 2914
B Upper Rail (1) 1 x 15 8 - 3314 O O
Four parts O I I I I
C Middle Rail (1) 1 x 23 4 - 3314 are glued up
to make a #/4" x 9" - 84" Red Oak (5.3 Bd. Ft.)
D Lower Rail (1) 1 4 x 312 - 3314
wide panel
E Back (1) 3
8 ply. - 18 x 323 4 O O

F Side Panels (2) 3

8 ply. - 185 8 x 183 4 H H
G Side Braces (2) 2 x 3 - 18 1"x 7" - 60" Red Oak (Three Boards @ 3.6 Bd. Ft. Each)
H Upper/Lower Stretchers (2) 4 x 3 - 3212 Number of A A
5 boards for A A
I Drawer Guides (4) 8 x 2 - 20 the quantity
J Drawer Sides (4) 1
2 x 73 8 - 183 4 of parts 1"x 9" - 84" Red Oak (6.6 Bd. Ft.)
K Drawer Fronts/Backs (4) 1
2 x 73 8 - 3178 G G G G
L Drawer Bottoms (2) 4 ply. - 18W12 x 313 8
M False Fronts (2) 13 4 x 73 8 - 3178 B N
1#/4" x 11" - 72" Red Oak (11.0 Bd. Ft.)
N Cleats (2) 1 x 112 - 3312 Square feet
O Top (1) 3
4 x 24 - 38 shown for M M
boards 12
thick or less D
Part letter Part name Quantity
!/2" x 8" - 84" Poplar (4.7 Sq. Ft.)

Hardware and
(12) #8 x 3 4" Fh Woodscrews other materials !/2" x 8" - 72" Poplar (Two Boards @ 4.0 Sq. Ft. Each)
(8) 114" Pocket Hole Screws
(6) #8 x 112" Ph Woodscrews w/ Washers
(4) 118" Drawer Pulls NOTE: Parts I planed to %/8" thick
(1) 2' x 8' Sheet Lacewood Veneer
ALSO NEEDED: One - 60" x 60"sheet #/8" Baltic Birch Plywood
One - 60" x 60"sheet !/4" Baltic Birch Plywood

Required sheet goods listed here

as hardwood the length dimension is imaginary board. (Ill talk more about This is why the more important num-
always with the grain of the face veneer. how to use the cutting diagram later.) ber to look at is the board feet. Its the
A LIST OF HARDWARE. Besides a list of the Like each part in the parts list, each minimum amount of rough lumber
parts needed to assemble the project, board in the cutting diagram is labeled, youll need to build the project. For
theres a list of hardware and other mate- as shown above. The first thing youll boards greater than 12" in thickness, the
rials required to complete your project. notice are the thickness, width, and total number of board feet indicated
For instance, the fasteners you need are length dimensions of the board. should allow you to cut out all of the
shown in the list of supplies. The type A key dimension is the thickness of the parts labeled on that board. Boards 12"
of screw is abbreviated: Fh (flathead), board. It details the surfaced thickness of thick or less are sold by the square foot.
Rh (roundhead), and Ph (panhead). Its the boards. Its not the nominal thickness If multiple boards are required, the quan-
a good idea to keep a supply of #8 x 114" you buy at a lumberyard. Some parts tity of boards will also be shown.
and #8 x 112" flathead woodscrews on may still have to be resawn or further Nestled between the board dimension
hand. These are common sizes youll planed to the final thickness shown in and the overall board footage is the spe-
use on most projects. the materials list before cutting the parts cies of wood used in the project. Second-
For the other hardware like hinges to width and length. ary woods like poplar or maple are often
and drawer slides, I like to purchase and The width and length shown for each used for drawer sides and backs.
have them available before starting, just board on the cutting diagram need a lit- At the end of the cutting diagram,
to make sure everything will fit. Hard- tle explanation. As I mentioned before, theres a list of other sheet goods or
ware sizes and hole locations can vary, so these boards are shown only as guide- items you need. Thats also where we list
it helps to buy them beforehand. lines. Youre not likely to find boards with any exceptions for part thicknesses. For
CUTTING DIAGRAM. For a visual guide and these exact dimensions at your lumber example, we show part I on a 34"-thick
rough idea of how much lumber you supplier. The parts and boards are only board. But the parts list shows it needs
need, take a look at the cutting diagram. shown to give you a rough idea of the to be planed to a thickness of 58" before
It shows each hardwood part on an minimum amount of lumber youll need. using it in the project. 55

WS219_054.indd 55 4/8/2015 12:05:39 PM

selecting parts on the
Youve read through the project plans,
have a good understanding of how the
project goes together, and youve looked
over the parts and materials list. Now
youre ready to go buy the lumber, right?
But before heading straight out to the
lumberyard with your cutting diagram
in hand, there are a few things to take
into consideration.
NO PERFECT BOARD. The cutting diagram
is a perfect world scenario. First, it
assumes that the grain and color of every
board shown is perfect and matches
one another. That doesnt account for
the individual character of the board
like knots, checking, wandering grain, { A jig made from L-shaped pieces of plastic laminate can help you orient and arrange parts
warpage, or other defects. on a larger board. Adjust the strips to the rough size of the part and tighten the knobs. Place
One other factor is that most lumber- the jig on the board to frame the desired area for the part and outline it with a pencil.
yards stock their hardwood in random
widths and lengths. So the chances of project, so you can pick out the boards There are benefits to having extra mate-
finding a board the exact size listed on for the best appearance of those parts. rial on hand. It gives you more of an
the cutting diagram are pretty slim. And If you need to glue up multiple boards opportunity to find the best board for
most lumberyards arent willing to let for wide panels (left photo below), those each part. The other advantage is that
you cut the boards to the size specified boards should have matching grain and it gives you the opportunity to work
before you walk out the door. color. And even though parts like mold- around defects. You can see a trick I use
A VISUAL GUIDE. You may be thinking, ing may be shown as thin strips in the in laying out parts in the photo above.
why bother with cutting diagrams at all? cutting diagram, youll want to leave WATCH THE GRAIN. While youre laying out
Like I said, theyre a guideline. You can room to safely rout their profile and then project parts, be conscious of the grain.
take the cutting diagram with you when rip them from a wider blank, as shown in For example, when theres a row of
you pick out your lumber. The diagram the lower right photo. drawers in a project, I like to make sure
shows the relative size of each part on BUY EXTRA. Heres the bottom line the grain is continuous across them. To
a board. Plus, you should have an idea after sorting through the boards at accomplish this, cut the drawer fronts
of where the parts will be located on the the lumberyard, buy about 20% extra. sequentially from the same board, as

{ When gluing up panels from multiple boards, its important to take { Even though thin parts like molding and glass stop may be shown
the time to find matching grain and color. The ultimate goal is to stacked together on a cutting diagram, I like to cut them from a
have the glue lines virtually disappear after the finish is applied. wider blank. Shape the edges before ripping the molding free.

56 Woodsmith / No. 219

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you can see in the photo at right. For
stacked drawers, find boards with simi-
lar grain pattern and color for a consis-
tent, even look across the cabinet front.
When it comes to frames, the same
idea works for parts like rails and stiles.
I look for straight grain so the eye isnt
distracted by wild grain that runs out the
side on the finished piece.
SHEET GOODS. What Ive talked about so
far relates to getting the best-looking { After the lumber is in your shop, start sorting it by color and grain. Use care in laying out
parts from hardwood. But the rules the parts so that the grain is consistent and doesnt distract your eyes in the final project.
apply to visible parts cut from plywood, For drawers, cut each one consecutively from the same board for continuous grain.
as well. Door panels and drawer fronts
deserve the same attention to detail for For sheet goods where appearance the drawing below. A computer drawing
making your project stand out. You can doesnt really come into play, I like to program like SketchUp makes it easier to
see in the photos below how just a little make a list of all of these parts that will lay out and rearrange parts.
different placement of parts on a sheet be cut from the same material. Use graph CHECK FOR UPDATES. Theres one more thing
of plywood can make a big difference in paper to start roughing them out on a I want to add. Before you start any proj-
the overall look of the final part. virtual sheet of material, as illustrated in ect, its a good idea to first contact the
publisher of the plan. Sometimes there
are revisions and updates that pop up,
and you want to make sure you have the
most up-to-date information on hand.
Before you turn on the saw to start cut-
ting parts, theres another thing to point
out. The parts list shows dimensions in
an ideal world. Its best to thoroughly
read through the project plan first and get
an idea of what measurements are critical
or most important. And, as tempting as it
is, its never a good idea to cut all of the
workpieces in the parts list before you
start assembling the project.
Let me explain why. On casework
like a hutch, buffet, dresser, or kitchen
cabinet, youll typically start by mak-
{ Laying out parts to get the most efficient { For a better-looking project, use care in ing the sides, top, and bottom. You can
use out of plywood may sacrifice the best part layout to get parts that look good cut these to the sizes shown. But after
overall look for your project. without worrying so much about waste. those parts are assembled, start taking
measurements directly from the project.
In my example, after the shell of a cabi-
net is assembled, everything inside (like
shelves or dividers) is cut to fit.
In the end, the results are the same, but
by taking each part one at a time, you end
up with parts that fit together perfectly. If
youve precut your parts and a cut is off
as little as 132", its likely to cause trouble
down the road and lead to poorly fitting
joints, not to mention frustration.
By taking the time to familiarize your-
self with the project parts, hardware, and
instructions on how the project goes
together, you can save a lot of hassle later.
Make Your Own Cutting Diagram. For sheet goods, use graph paper or a In the end, the project will go together
drawing program on your computer to make a cutting diagram. Here, Ive laid out more smoothly and become something
the parts so I can rip the sheet along three lines before cutting the parts to length. you can really be proud of. W 57

WS219_056.indd 57 4/3/2015 8:14:28 AM

w ork ing
wood ntials

breaking down
Sheet Goods
A great deal of furniture projects use using all solid lumber for an entire fur- Heres a look at three alternatives that
some variety of hardwood veneer ply- niture or shop project. provide proper support of the work-
wood. And many shop-built projects use Fortunately, most lumberyards and piece both during and after the cut. The
other kinds of sheet goods, like MDF, in home centers have a large selection of one criterion all of these methods share
their construction. Whether its plywood sheet goods. But once you get these large is that the support structure is sacrifi-
or MDF, the reasons for using sheet goods sheets home, youll need to break them cial. This means that the saw blade can
over standard lumber are numerous. down into more manageable pieces. (If safely cut into this support material
Plywood and MDF are generally more you dont have the means to get them while making the cut.
stable than glued-up boards for making home, see the box at the bottom of the SAW BLADES. Even though Im only rough
large panels. And choosing sheet stock next page for an alternative.) cutting the sheet stock material at this
will typically be less expensive than CIRCULAR SAW & STRAIGHTEDGE. One option point, I like to use a blade that will give
many woodworkers turn to is using a me the cleanest cut possible. A blad blade
Circular saw
with 60-tooth circular saw and a straightedge (pho- with 60 teeth or more works best.
blade tos below) to rough cut their sheet And always remember, when youre your
goods into smaller pieces. These pieces cutting with a hand-held circular saw, ththe
can then be trimmed to final size with blades teeth enter the workpiece from
a table saw. While this is a reliable and underneath and exit at the top. Its wher
time-tested method, it does require the teeth exit that youll have the possibil
that you have solid and stable sup- ity of chipout and splintering. So when
port under the entire sheet cutting plywood, be sure to place the th
of plywood to make a good side down to get the best results.
safe and accu-
Perhaps one of the easiest ways to supsup-
and clamps
port a sheet good is with the use of rigid
foam insulation. The piece of o
insulation should be laid

58 Woodsmith / No. 219

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{ This shop-built straightedge guide works well for crosscutting. { When breaking down full sheets, be sure to use enough sawhorses
Trimming the edges of the foam leaves room for the clamps. so that the offcut and the main sheet are fully supported.

on the floor so that it doesnt sag in the CUTTING ON SAWHORSES USING A KNOCK-DOWN TABLE
middle, as shown in the photo at the top If youd prefer to raise the work up off A simple upgrade to the saw horse
of the page. The circular saw blade should the floor, then using sawhorses may be a method for breaking down sheet goods is
be set at a depth to cut through the sheet good option for you (photo, upper right). to add a knock-down table (main photo,
good and just into the insulation. An added bonus of this method is that opposite page). A knock-down table is
A full piece of rigid foam insulation is you may be able to unload your sheet very easy to build and can be supported
big enough to provide support under an goods directly from a vehicle onto the with just a couple of sawhorses.
entire sheet of plywood, including the sawhorses, eliminating excessive han- Constructed from two-by stock, the
cutoff. One tip when using this method dling of the heavy sheets. knock-down table goes together easily
is to trim a few inches off the edges of Just a few notes about using saw- using half-lap joints. Its best to size the
the insulation. This provides clearance horses for this task. If youre using steel table to support an entire 4 x 8 sheet. But
to clamp a straightedge to the sheet sawhorses, be sure to add a sacrificial best of all, the table comes apart quickly
good, as shown above. piece of two-by stock to the top. Also, for easy storage. And when the pieces
There are, however, a few minor draw- to avoid damaging the veneered face of start to get chewed up from use, theyre
backs to this method. To start, working at plywood, adding small strips of carpet inexpensive to replace.
ground level isnt the most comfortable to the tops is a good idea. These methods for breaking down sheet
option. And the little bits of insulation Finally, for full-size sheet goods, its goods are sure to make your workshop
kicked up by the saw blade make it a bit better to have four sawhorses for maxi- experience better. So the next time youre
messy. Plus, its not very convenient to mum support both under the main faced with this task, plan accordingly, and
store a large piece of insulation. piece and the offcut. youre sure to get great results. W


So what do you do if you dont have the means to transport
large sheet goods home from the store? Or, you just dont
like the hassle of handling and cutting down those large
sheets? Fortunately, most home centers and lumberyards
will be happy to take care of this task for you.
CUT FEES. If you decide to use this service, here a few things
to keep in mind. Most retailers will make a small number of
cuts for free. After that, they generally charge a very nomi-
nal per cut fee $.50 per cut is typical.
KNOW YOUR SIZES. When you make your purchase, be sure to
have an idea of the sizes of pieces you need. Having a cut
list in hand is even better. This will help you avoid making
a rushed decision and possibly having pieces cut too small.
CUTEM BIG. Which leads to the final point its a good idea
to get your workpieces cut oversize and then cut them to
final size when you get them to your shop. A good rule of
{ Most lumber retailers and home centers have a large panel thumb is to have them cut 12" to 34" oversize. Most lumber-
saw to efficiently break down sheet goods on site. Having an yards and home centers do a fine job cutting material, but
accurate cut list in-hand makes the job much easier. the equipment may not always be calibrated correctly. 59

WS219_058.indd 59 3/30/2015 1:54:51 PM

as te ring
m saw
the ta ble

simple steps to a
Table Saw Tune-Up
As the workhorse of the shop, the table start to vibrate and rattle when you turn The goal, of course, is to do a little basic
saw gets a lot of use and not a lot of it on, or cuts that used to be smooth start maintenance on your saw occasionally to
thought when its humming along and to bind or burn. Thats when you know prevent any of these problems in the first
making smooth cuts. But problems can your saw needs a little TLC to get it back place. Thats why I like to run through
come up from time to time. The saw may to working its best. the following checklist to keep my table
saw at peak performance. Its not difficult
to do, and the peace of mind you get is
certainly worth the extra time spent on
tuning up your saw.
thing you can do periodically is to give
everything a good cleaning. I always
start by vacuuming up as much loose
sawdust as I can. I also use compressed
air to blow out dust on both the inside
and outside surfaces of the saw.
Then I turn the wheels, raising and
tilting the blade fully to make sure
everything is moving freely without
binding. If anything sticks, chances are
good that built-up sawdust or pitch
inside the saw is the culprit.
To solve the problem, you dont need
much. I just rely on WD-40 or mineral
spirits and a brass bristle brush to clean
up any problem areas. Once everything
is clean and turning smoothly, I apply a
bit of paraffin wax to keep it that way.
have everything clean and operating

60 Woodsmith / No. 219

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smoothly, its time to start checking
some of the adjustments on your saw.
One of the most important factors for
getting safe, accurate cuts is aligning the
blade with the miter slot. There are sev-
eral ways to check this alignment, but
perhaps the most accurate option is to
invest in a table saw gauge like the one
shown at right (Sources, page 67).
This simple device features a runner
that slides in the miter slot and a dial
indicator that extends out toward the
blade. The indicator checks the alignment
of the blade in relation to the miter slot.
To see if the blade and slot are { A table saw gauge makes it easy to check the alignment of the blade with the miter slot. Mark
aligned, youll need to check the slot a tooth with a marker, and set the gauge in the slot at the front of the blade near that tooth.
alignment at the front and back of the Then move the marked tooth and gauge to the back to see if the gauge readings are the same.
blade (photo, above right). First raise
the blade to full height and make a
mark behind a tooth of the blade with a
marker. Then rotate it to the front of the
insert slot, and place the dial indicator
against it. Zero out the dial indicator
to establish a baseline measurement.
Now rotate the mark on the blade to
the back, and slide the gauge back in
the miter gauge slot to check it again.
A little variation is okay, but you want
the reading as close to zero as possible.
If the readings are different, youll
need to adjust the saw to bring the blade { Check the alignment of the rip fence to a
into alignment with the miter slot. On a miter slot with a gauge (above). Then use a
contractor-style saw, this involves loos- triangle to make sure the fence is square to
ening the trunnions at the front and back the table (inset). This fence has set screws on
of the saw and tapping them lightly to the head for fine-tuning the settings.
change the position of the blade. The
photo and drawing on the opposite ADJUSTING THE RIP FENCE. Now that the with a miter slot. The process is similar
page show you how this works. On a blade and the miter slot are aligned, to checking the alignment of the blade
cabinet saw, you often have to shift the youll want to check the alignment (main photo above). Then make sure
position of the saw table (refer to your of the rip fence, too. To start, use the the fence is square to the table (inset
owners manual for guidance). table saw gauge to see how it lines up photo). My fence had separate pairs
of set screws on the head for adjusting
both of these fence settings.
CHECK BLADE AT 45 & 90. When it comes
to tilting the blade of your table saw,
you cant assume that the blade is set
at 45 and 90 just because the scale on
the front of the saw says it is. Most saws
have adjustable stops at these two set-
tings, but they can be bumped out of
alignment with repeated movements.
To check the blade at 45 and 90, first
raise the blade to full height, and then
check the settings as shown in the pho-
{ To see if the blade is aligned at 90 to { A speed square or drafting triangle is useful tos at left. Once the blade is set properly,
the table, place the rule of a combination for getting a quick check of the blade when youll want to adjust the stops and scale
square along its face. Make sure its not at 45. Here again, just make sure the cursors to match. Refer to your manual to
touching any teeth for an accurate reading. square isnt touching the teeth of the blade. see how to do this on your saw. 61

WS219_060.indd 61 4/2/2015 7:10:53 AM

With the basic components of the table
saw aligned, you can turn your atten-
tion to checking and correcting some of
the auxiliary items. These include the
miter gauge and the blade guard, split-
ter, and/or riving knife.
the blade tilt settings that you checked
earlier, the miter gauge should also
have stops that set the gauge at 90 and
45 to the blade. Once again, these often
slip out of alignment with constant use.
The best tool to use for setting the
alignment of the miter gauge properly
is a drafting triangle. Just loosen the
miter gauge, and check the 90 edge of
the triangle against the blade, as shown
in the upper right photo. Then set the
miter gauge stop for 90 at this position.
The process is much the same for set-
ting the miter gauge at 45. Just use the
other side of the triangle to check the set-
ting, as shown in the photo at right. { A drafting triangle (refer to Sources, page 67) is a simple tool to use for checking the settings
When I think the gauge is set up prop- of the miter gauge at 90 (upper photo) and 45 (lower photo). Most gauges have a small
erly, I do one more test to make sure. I adjustment screw at the back for locking in the settings once theyre correct (inset photos).
crosscut a piece at 90, flip over the cut-
off, and butt the two pieces together to will vary based on the saw you have, To check the alignment of the split-
check for gaps. If there arent any, then but two things are consistent for setting ter or knife with the blade, you can use
you know the gauge is set properly. them up. First, the splitter or riving knife a pair of straightedges as shown in the
You can test the 45 setting by miter- should be square to the saw table (if the photo, below left. There are two schools
ing a piece and then butting the pieces blade is). This is easy to check with a tri- of thought on how the blade should be
together against a square. angle or small square. Theres usually a aligned with the splitter. Some feel that
SET UP THE SPLITTER/RIVING KNIFE. The blade bracket at the back of the saw that you the face of the splitter should be flush
guard, splitter, and/or riving knife setup can adjust if needed (photo below). with the side of the blade facing the rip
fence for the most accurate cuts. Person-
ally, I like to center the splitter with the
body of the blade. That way, the setting
doesnt need to change if I cut on the
other side of the blade or if I change to a
different saw blade.
ALIGN THE PULLEYS. The next item youll
want to check is the alignment of the pul-
leys on the arbor and on the motor of the
saw. If these two pulleys are out of align-
ment, it can cause the saw to vibrate,
which leads to premature belt wear. For-
tunately, this issue is pretty easy to both
check and correct if necessary.
You want the faces of the pulleys to be
parallel and in the same plane with one
{ Set a couple of straightedges against the { Many saws have an adjustable bracket at another. You can check this by placing a
body of the blade in order to bring the the back that allows you to fine-tune the straightedge across the two faces of the
splitter in line with the blade. position of the splitter. pulleys (drawing on the opposite page).

62 Woodsmith / No. 219

WS219_062.indd 62 4/2/2015 7:11:44 AM

If the straightedge touches both pul- where it stays tight in
the area that rests on the
leys across their entire faces, then theyre
aligned properly. If theres a gap, how- pulley. A higher-end link
ever, youll need to adjust the position ofbelt (box below) doesnt
one of the pulleys to bring it into align- have this problem, and
ment with the other one. This adjust- it often runs smoother
ment might require sliding the pulley on with less vibration.
its shaft or adjusting the position of the GET IT LEVEL. Youre now
motor, depending on your saw. on the home stretch for
CONSIDER UPGRADES. If the saw still your table saw tune-
vibrates despite these adjustments, you up. The last thing youll { Long and short
may want to consider upgrading the belt want to check is that all straightedges
and pulleys on your saw. Many pulleys the surfaces of your saw are useful tools
that are factory-installed on table saws are level and flush with when checking
are die-cast versions. By replacing them one another. This is an the alignment of
with higher-quality machined steel pul- important consideration, saw surfaces.
leys, like those shown in the box below, as you dont want a work-
you can reduce vibration. piece to catch or drag on an uneven final step of my tune-up. If you do this
The drive belt is another area for surface as youre making a cut. regularly, its a pretty simple process. For
considering an upgrade. Over time, a Here again, I like to get out my long any glue or pitch on the saw table sur-
standard V-belt can develop a memory, straightedge and check the alignment of face, a few strokes with some #0000 steel
both wings of the saw with the wool should take care of things. After
saw table (photo, above right). wiping the table clean with a dry rag, I
You can adjust the position spray the entire surface with a protectant
of the wings using the bolts such as Bostik GlideCote.
driven through the wings and THE TUNED-UP SAW ADVANTAGE. As with most
into the saw table. things in life, preventive maintenance is
The throat insert around the best approach with your table saw.
the blade is another surface By running through these steps occasion-
that should be flush with the ally, you should be able to catch problems
saw table. As you can see in before they impact your saws perfor-
the inset photo above, many mance. And once you tune up your saw
Pulley faces inserts have four set screws properly, youll likely notice the differ-
should align that you can adjust to bring ence. It will run more smoothly, and cuts
the insert flush with the table. will be cleaner and more accurate, as
Align the Pulleys. A piece of aluminum angle While Im focused on the well. Plus, it can make an old table saw
makes a good straightedge to help align the pulley saw table, I usually polish up work like new again. And who doesnt
on the motor with the pulley on the saw arbor. and protect the table as the like having a new tool in their shop? W


{ A link belt and higher-quality machined steel pulleys are two upgrades you { Machined steel pulleys tend to run more smoothly than
may want to consider if your saw is vibrating or rattling in use. You can find standard die-cast versions, and a link belt is easy to
where I purchased these items in Sources on page 67. customize in length to fit your model of saw. 63

WS219_062.indd 63 4/2/2015 7:12:13 AM

tips frop
our sho

Splined Miter Jig
The hall tree on page 16 features a mir-
ror frame joined with miters at the cor- a. b.
ners. I wanted the mirror to hold up Frame END
stile VIEW
over time, so I reinforced the miter joints Cleat
with hardwood splines. Frame
Adding the splines requires cutting 1
kerfs in the corners of the frame after
its assembled. To do that quickly and
accurately, I built the table saw spline jig SIDE VIEW

shown in the photo at right.

JIG DETAILS. The jig assembly is pretty
straightforward. It features a tall front the mirror frame is actually mitered at width of the spacers. You may need
fence to support the frame during the 44 and 46, but thats okay. The differ- to adjust this dimension to fit your rip
cut, and spacers and a back fence that ence in the kerf lengths is so slight that fence. You want the assembly to slide
are sized to straddle the table saws rip its difficult to notice.) smoothly without binding but also
fence. A cleat cut at 45 holds the frame BUILDING THE JIG. As youre cutting out without racking from side to side.
at the proper position while you cut the parts for your jig (refer to the draw- Once the parts are cut, you can cut the
the kerfs. (On page 23, youll note that ings below), pay close attention to the dadoes in the fence parts. Then put it
all together with glue and screws. Just
make sure to position the screws in the
NOTE: Size spacers 45
so jig straddles a. cleat high enough up so they wont
your rip fence with Front
fence come in contact with the saw blade.
a smooth, sliding fit Cleat
CUTTING THE KERFS. Since the mitered
17!/2 #8 x 1!/4" Fh Back
woodscrew fence END frame for this project doesnt have per-
VIEW fect 45 miters, the key to making the
Front cuts is to always have the frame stiles
fence (the long edges) against the cleat as
12!/2 !/4
Back youre cutting the kerfs. Its also a good
fence 12
8 Spacers idea to clamp it in position, so it doesnt
Spacer 2!/2 shift while youre cutting (photo above).
Other than that, its a matter of set-
ting the blade height (detail a) and then
2!/2 adjusting the rip fence to center the kerf
NOTE: Locate
screws in cleat NOTE: Cleat is #/4"-thick (detail b). After you cut a kerf, flip the
hardwood. Other parts 3%/8
out of path
of blade are #/4" plywood frame and repeat the process. Then add
the splines, as explained on page 23.

64 Woodsmith / No. 219

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Dowel Hole Drilling Guides 1 a. FRONT VIEW
The beveled legs of the hall tree present
some interesting challenges. For example,
though the legs and slat rails meet at a 2 Drilling Fence
angle, they are joined with dowels that are guide
installed parallel with the floor. This simpli- 4
fies construction of the hall tree, but it makes NOTE: Guide
drilling the holes a bit of a head-scratcher. is 1%/8"-thick
hardwood. 88
ANGLED DRILLING GUIDES. The solution to this Fence is
88 !/4" hardboard
problem is shown in the two drawings at #/8"-dia. 2
right. Figure 1 shows the thicker drilling 3
guide for drilling dowel holes in the legs. It
features a 2 bevel on one side of the guide
block, so it helps you drill holes that are 2 a.
parallel with the floor. END VIEW
Drilling #/8"-dia.
The second guide (Figure 2) is for drill- guide
Fence hole 2
ing holes in the slat rails. Its similar but
made from thinner stock to match the slat
1%/8 88
rails. With both guides, you simply drill
centered holes at the drill press before bev- NOTE: Guide
is #/4"-thick
eling one side of the block at 88. Then glue hardwood. Fence 4
is !/4" hardboard
the blocks to a hardboard fence. Refer to
pages 18 and 21 to use the guides.

Corner Drilling Guide

Theres one other drilling guide needed 4
to build the hall tree, and this one is a bit
more complicated than the other two. 4 45
Its used to drill holes in the corners of !#/64"-dia.
the legs that are needed to secure the
shelves and top with screws. 1#/4
As you can see in the drawings on the 2!/2
right, the guide is just a block with 45 88
miter cut on one corner and a notch cut
on the opposite corner to fit over the 1#/8
leg. Of course, because the legs taper
upward at 2, each face of this notch
also needs to be cut at 2 in order to drill provides the details. The key is to support the block during these cuts to keep your
holes that are parallel with the floor. the block with a miter gauge auxiliary hands safely away from the blade.
I started by trimming the 45 corner fence and tilt the miter gauge 2 to cut one Once the notch is completed, you can
on a longer piece and then crosscutting shoulder of the notch (detail a). Then, drill the centered hole in the guide as
the guide square. Then its time to cut move the miter gauge to the other miter shown in Figure 2 below. The details of
the tapered notch. The setup is very slot, angle the gauge 2 in the opposite using the guide to drill holes in the legs
similar to how youll cut the shelves in direction, and complete the notch (detail of the hall tree are shown in a drawing
the hall tree project itself. Figure 1 below b). Just make sure to use a clamp to hold at the bottom of page 18.

1 2
2 a.
1#/8 Use this TOP
setup to VIEW
cut first
shoulder a.
block Drilling Fence
guide b.
!#/64"-dia. Drilling
drill bit guide
NOTE: Top Switch VIEW
of guide 2 miter slots
facing forward and rotate
gauge to
notch 65

WS219_064.indd 65 4/7/2015 1:06:30 PM

1 Short
Mortise Routing Jig Narrow cleat #8 x #/4" Fh
The sides and top of the gentlemans woodscrew
dresser (page 38) are assembled with
screws through mortises. To ensure the Base Narrow cleat
5!/4 2!/2
sizing of the mortises was consistent, I
used the router jig shown at right. 5#/8 Base 10
The two-part base and a pair of spacers
form an opening for a pattern bit. (See
Sources on the opposite page for the bit I Long spacer
used.) The width of the opening matches
the diameter of the bearing on the bit. 11!/4 Wide cleat
The bit should slide smoothly in the slot 2
NOTE: All parts are
without moving from side to side. The made from !/2" plywood
distance between the spacers determines
the overall length of the mortise. a. !/2" dado
For all of the mortises except the two clean-out bit
3!/2 2!/2 2!/4
near the front edge of the top, clamp the
Wide cleat Narrow cleat
jig to the workpiece with the narrow cleat
securely against the edge. Use a plunge Long spacer Short spacer
router to make a couple of passes to reach #/8
the final depth (detail a). For the two Back edge of
dresser top 1
front mortises on the top, flip the jig over
so the wide cleat butts against the edge.

1 2 Chamfer Mortise Plugs

L-shaped The mortises in the gentlemans dresser
Chamfer all Aux. stop are plugged with faux tenons. These
four edges on block
both ends Rip small pieces are cut from end grain. To
of blank chamfer them and cut them to length, I
blank used the techniques shown on the left.
45 chamfer bit First, I planed a long blank to thickness
to match the width of the mortise. Rip
a. END Plug set
the blank to width to match the mortise
block length. Use a chamfer bit at the router
#/32 Plug table to rout all four edges at each end of
Stop the blank. Then set up a stop block on the
block Aux. miter
table saw to cut off the plugs, and repeat
the process for the remaining plugs.

Stopped Dado Jig Back cleat

The gentlemans dresser features #8 x 1" Fh
stopped dadoes to assemble some of the woodscrew
case components. The router jig shown at
Size to fit
right makes cutting the dadoes foolproof. router base Fence
The jig is simple to make. It consists
of two fences and a pair of cleats. The
fences are spaced to trap your routers 1
base between them yet allow it to slide
2 Fence
smoothly. This helps ensure a straight cut
when routing the dadoes.
Using the jig is fairly straightforward. 20
After laying out the centerline and ends cleat
of the mortise, center the jig over the lay- against
edge Stop routing
out lines. Clamp it in place with a cleat when bit reaches
NOTE: Fences layout line. Clean
against the edge of the workpiece. Rout and cleats are up corners with
!/2" plywood a chisel
to the layout line (Figure 1). W
Front cleat

66 Woodsmith / No. 219

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hardware & supplies
Most of the materials and sup- Grignons Art and Frame The dresser was stained with MAIL
plies youll need to build the 1
8" Offset Clips . . . . . . . . . 1311G Varathane Gunstock stain (made by ORDER
projects are available at hard- The mirror glass was purchased Rust-Oleum). Then it was sprayed SOURCES
ware stores or home centers. For from a local glass shop. The hall with two coats of lacquer.
specific products or hard-to-find tree was stained with General Fin-
Project supplies may
be ordered from the
items, take a look at the sources ishes Pecan oil stain and sprayed ORBITAL SANDERS (p.52) following
listed here. Youll find each part with two coats of lacquer. Amazon companies:
number listed by the company Makita 5" Sander . . . . . . . B05030 Woodsmith Store
name. See the right margin for SWIVEL VISE (p.24) Rockler 800-444-7527
contact information. McMaster-Carr Bosch 6" Sander . . . . . . . . . 58953 Rockler
Hitch Ball . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8785T6 800-279-4441
FROM OUR READERS (p.4) Adjustable Handle . . . . . 6270K52 TABLE SAW TUNE-UP (p.62)
Lee Valley Amazon Rockler Amana Tool
4" Storage Tubes . . . . . . 27K60.11 4" Mechanics Vise . . . . . 4935504 45-90-45 Triangle . . . . . 33486
Amazon Pipe Flange . . . . . . . B000BO4HVI Table Saw Gauge. . . . . . . . . 23139
Roller Bearings . . . B009KASQZW MetalsDepot Bostik GlideCote . . . . . . . . . 97594
Steel Bar . . . . . . . . . . . . . F214212 Highland Woodworking General Finishes
BRUSHLESS MOTORS (p.10) The hardwood parts of the swivel Link Belts . . . . . . . . . . . . . 485401
Tools with brushless motors are vise were finished with two coats Machined Steel Pulleys . . . varies Glass Crafters
made by manufacturers such of spray lacquer.
as DeWalt, Milwaukee, Rockwell,
Grignons Art and Frame
Makita, Bosch, and others. They HOBBY BENCH (p.28) 207-487-2754
are available at hardware stores, Lee Valley
home centers,, and online retailers. Bench Bolts . . . . . . . . . . 05G07.02 Highland Woodworking
114"-dia. Knobs. . . . . . . 02W14.24 800-241-6748
Bench Casters . . . . . . . . . . .43501 Lee Valley
1 800.871.8158
4 Shelf Supports . . . . . . .33860
The workbench was finished with
several coats of General Finishes Get the all-new Woodsmith 859-745-2650
Arm-R-Seal wipe-on varnish. Magazine Library DVD! It con-
tains every page of our first 216 McMaster-Carr
GENTLEMANS DRESSER (p.38) issues. The DVD is fully search- 630-833-0300
Rockler able and printer-friendly. Plus,
14) Ring Pulls . . . . . . . . . . . . 1008747 you get online access to every Next Wave Automation
Rockler Bail Pulls . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1008515 issue, as well. Learn more at
Ready2Rout Fence . . . . . . . 44999 No-Mortise Hinges . . . . . . .28704!
1 " Shelf Supports . . . . . . . 33902 Rust-Oleum
Ready2Lift. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57766 4 Magazine Library DVD: ............... $99 800-901-0411
Touch-Screen Controller. . . 58808 Stem Bumpers . . . . . . . . . . .28373
Lee Valley Ball Catches . . . . . . . . . . . . .28613
Ready2Rout Fence . . . . 17N15.05 Glass Crafters
You can purchase the Ready2Rout Black Opal Glass . . . . .S10-1009W
system and additional accessories Rust-Oleum
directly from the manufacturer, Gunstock Stain . . . . . . . 211728H
Next Wave Automation. Amana Tool
Dado Cleanout Bit . . . . . 45460-S
HALL TREE (p.16)
Lee Valley
50mm Hex Screws . . . . 00W65.03
Bronze Hooks . . . . . . . . 00W86.51
Mirror Fittings . . . . . . . 00K62.01 67

WS219_066.indd 67 4/6/2015 11:47:33 AM

looking inside
Final Details

{ Gentlemans Dresser. This handsome cabinet has several Craftsman-style { Hall Tree. Gracefully tapering sides give this hall
details, from the hardware and decorative grids, to the solid quartersawn tree a stylish appearance. A swiveling mirror,
oak construction. Turn to page 38 to see how its all done. catch-all shelf, and umbrella storage make it func-
tional, as well. Complete plans start on page 16.

{ Shop Projects. This issue features two practical but out-

of-the-ordinary shop projects. On page 28, youll find a
compact bench (left) thats perfect for just about any hobby
or craft. And the multi-function vise (above) can be built in
a weekend by following the plans beginning on page 24.

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