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GUILD EDITION

Woodsmith.com Vol. 38 / No. 227

4 TFORABLE S AW S LEDS
SAFE, ACCURATE & EASY CUTS

Inside:
Router Table Secrets
for Precision Results
Tricks to Build Projects
Better & Faster
Shop Tips for Mastering
Angled Cuts
New Techniques for Your
Table Saw & Router
A Publication of Cruz Bay Publishing, Inc.

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CREATIVE HOME GROUP


GENERAL MANAGER Donald B. Peschke
EDITORIAL MEDIA DIRECTOR Bryan Nelson
MANAGING EDITOR Vincent Ancona
SENIOR EDITORS Wyatt Myers, Phil Huber
ASSOCIATE EDITOR Robert Kemp from the editor
Sawdust
ASSISTANT EDITOR Erich Lage

EXECUTIVE ART DIRECTOR Todd Lambirth


SENIOR ILLUSTRATORS Harlan V. Clark,
Dirk Ver Steeg, Peter J. Larson
SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER Bob Zimmerman
GRAPHIC DESIGNER Becky Kralicek
Many of my favorite childhood memories center around the times
I spent at my grandparents house. After all the usual pleasantries were out of
CREATIVE DIRECTOR Ted Kralicek
ASSISTANT DESIGN DIRECTOR Chris Fitch
the way, all of the grandkids would head to the basement. There, wed play with
PROJECT DESIGNER/BUILDER John Doyle old clothes, toys, and other ancient items wed find inside some old trunks
CAD SPECIALIST Steve Johnson my grandmother kept around. I found the trunks fascinating. You never knew
SHOP CRAFTSMAN Dana Myers
what you might find as you lifted open the lid like a treasure chest.
SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHERS Crayola England, Well, if youd like your kids or grandkids to be able to experience the same
Dennis Kennedy
ASSOCIATE STYLE DIRECTOR Rebecca Cunningham
feeling of fascination, check out the steamer trunk that starts on page 42. Solid-
SENIOR ELECTRONIC IMAGE SPECIALIST Allan Ruhnke wood frames surround plywood panels, ensuring the trunk will last for genera-
PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Minniette Johnson
tions. But unlike the flat tops of many trunks, this one is domed. All the better
VIDEO EDITOR/DIRECTOR Mark Hayes
to store even more treasures inside while providing a unique look and some
Woodsmith (ISSN 0164-4114) is published bimonthly by
Cruz Bay Publishing, Inc., 2200 Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50312.
great woodworking challenges along the way.
Woodsmith is a registered trademark of Cruz Bay Publishing.
ONE-WALL WORKSHOP. On page 24 youll find the second installment of the one-wall
Copyright 2016 Cruz Bay Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.
Subscriptions: Single copy: $6.95. workshop we began in the previous issue. To wrap things up, there are three
Canadian Subscriptions: Canada Post Agreement No. 40038201. Send change of
address information to PO Box 881, Station Main, Markham, ON L3P 8M6. versatile carts. The storage and assembly cart is a must-have project youll end
Canada BN 84597 5473 RT
Periodicals Postage Paid at Des Moines, IA, and at additional offices. up using to glue up and assemble every project you build down the road. Thats
Postmaster: Send change of address to Woodsmith, Box 37106,
Boone, IA 50037-0106. followed by a flip-top tool stand that works great with a planer. But it would
Printed in U.S.A.
make a perfect home for any benchtop tool. And the third cart is a router table to
WoodsmithCustomerService.com make sure you get the most out of your router. Best of all, these three carts store
ONLINE SUBSCRIBER SERVICES neatly under the worksurfaces of the workshop when you arent using them.
VIEW your account information Besides the set of versatile carts and the heirloom trunk, check out the other
RENEW your subscription
CHECK on a subscription payment two projects featured in this issue. The wall calendar (page 20) is a nice project
PAY your bill to knock out if you only have a weekend to spend in the shop. But if you have a
CHANGE your mailing or e-mail address
VIEW/RENEW your gift subscriptions little extra time, the craft center on page 34 provides an opportunity to try your
TELL US if youve missed an issue hand at box joints and end up with a handy little storage project.
CUSTOMER SERVICE Phone: 800-333-5075 weekdays
NEW FACE. Finally, we want to introduce an addition to the staff. Erich Lage will
SUBSCRIPTIONS EDITORIAL
Customer Service Woodsmith Magazine be providing new ideas and approaches to our projects and department articles
P.O. Box 842 2200 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50304-9961 Des Moines, IA 50312 as an assistant editor. And if the name seems familiar, it should. Erich was an
subscriptions@augusthome.com woodsmith@woodsmith.com
illustrator on the Woodsmith staff in the past. Welcome back, Erich!

CHAIRMAN Effrem Zimbalist III


PRESIDENT & CEO Andrew W. Clurman
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT &
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER Brian J. Sellstrom
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, OPERATIONS Patricia B. Fox

2 Woodsmith / No. 227

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contentsNo. 227 October/November 2016

20

24
Projects
weekend project
Wall Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20
Simple to build and easy to rearrange, this wall calendar is a
quick weekend project. But youll be using it to keep track of
the days and months for years to come.

shop project
One-Wall Workshop: Versatile Carts . . . . . . . .24
A flip-top tool stand, a handy router table, and an assembly
cart add capabililty to the one-wall workshop. Best of all, they
tuck out of the way when they arent in use.
34
designer project
Box-Jointed Craft Center . . . . . . . . . 34
The compact, stacked trays of this craft center
provide loads of storage. Then when youre ready to
work, they cantilever out for quick and easy access.

heirloom project
Domed-Top Steamer Trunk . . . . . . . . 42
Frame and panel construction and brass hardware
give this trunk its heirloom look. But its the domed
top that provides the woodworking challenge.

42
Woodsmith.com 3

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10
16
Departments

from our readers


Tips & Techniques . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
all about
Tackling Angles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
router workshop
Precision Stopped Cuts . . . . . . . . 12
great gear
MLCS Router Lift . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

woodworking technique
Hand-Cut Dovetails . . . . . . . . . . . 16

working with tools


Get More from a Disc Sander . . . 54 54
in the shop
Personalizing Projects . . . . . . . . . 56
woodworking essentials
The Efficient Woodworker . . . . . 58
mastering the table saw
Table Saw Sleds . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
tips from our shop 60
Shop Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
4 Woodsmith / No. 227

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ur
from o
readers

Tips &
Techniques
Non-Stick Finishing Stands
When adding finish to a completed proj-
ect, I always run into the same problem.
How do I finish opposite sides without
scratching or marring a finished surface.
Applying stain and varnish to a project
takes long enough as it is, so the last
thing I want to do is chase my tail by
fixing sawhorse marks or dings on a sur-
face thats already done.
NOTE: Riser and base
To curtail this problem, I made two are made from #/4" pipe
stands that look like an upside-down T. NOTE: Riser #/4" plywood insulation
is glued to base
They sit temporarily on my sawhorses 32
while finishing and once done, can be
stowed away when not needed. Just !/2"-rad.
clamp the stands to the sawhorses.
A SOFT LANDING. I used four pieces of
RISER 34
plywood that are slightly shorter than #/4
my sawhorses. To join them, I cut a
centered groove in the base piece that !/2"-rad.
holds a vertical riser. I put a bullnose
on the top of the riser with my router 2!/4 34
and a roundover bit. Around this riser
I wrapped a piece of 34" pipe insula- a. END VIEW
tion. This is the pre-sliced type that you !/2"bullnose
can get at your local hardware store or BASE

home center. 4 NOTE: !/4"-deep


Wallace Swindells groove is centered
on base
Chandler, Arizona

Win This Kreg K5 Jig


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

Woodsmith.com 5

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{ These shop-made hold-downs are custom fit to
the slots of your drill press table. Two of these
clamps will cover all your needs.

Star knob and clamp %/16" washer


(Rockler 35283)
%/16"- 18 x 3!/2"
carriage bolt

!/2 !/2 NOTE: Size


%/16 plywood
Base base to
#/4 fit slot
in
drill press
2
Handy Drill Press Hold-Downs 1!/2

I found myself facing a project that the bit. This is not only annoying, it can through the plywood, the hold-down
required drilling a lot of holes in square also be somewhat dangerous. clamp, a washer, and then into a star
metal tubes. Drilling metal of any kind at GETTING A GRIP. To bring some calm to the knob to bring the clamp together. This
the drill press can be a grabby and unset- situation, I made a couple of hold-downs unit slides anywhere along the bed of
tling affair. Once the bit breaks through that can be used in any of the four slots the drill press. With the long arm and
the metal, the flutes of the drill bit often in the table. Each one starts with a ply- pivot ability of the hold-down clamp,
dig into it instead of shearing away the wood, T- shaped base that fits into the youre completely covered.
material. Then the metal bar wants to opening of the slots in the drill press Dan Martin
abruptly lift off the table and climb up from underneath. A carriage bolt passes Galena, Ohio

QUICK TIPS

True Grit. Rich Flynn of Huntington Beach, California, Easy Zero-Clearance Table. While cutting small pieces at
finds it easy to forget what grit of paper is on his random- the band saw, Peter Sherrill of Forestville, Wisconsin, found
orbit sander when its stored between uses. Writing the grit that cutoffs often got stuck in the throat of the insert. So
number on the center of the face leaves all the information he cut a kerf in a piece of plastic laminate to form a zero-
needed when starting his next sanding project. clearance table. Double-sided tape holds the table in place.

6 Woodsmith / No. 227

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{ The notch in the rear of the shelf wraps
around the shelf standards at the back
where things can roll off.

Better Shelves for Standards & Brackets


Shelving made with store-bought shelf To solve both of these problems, I
standards and brackets have a couple made wider shelves with notches in
of downfalls. First, the brackets dont the back to close the gap (photo, upper
allow for very deep shelves. And sec- right). A hole in the shelf locks into the
ond, because of the thickness of the front of the bracket, as shown at right. { The hole in front is sized to match the tab on
standards, theres a gap left at the back David Chester the bracket. This locks the shelf in place, and
of the shelf that allows things to fall off. Langhorne, Pennsylvania lets you install a wider shelf.

DIGITAL WOODSMITH
SUBMIT TIPS ONLINE
LINE
If you have an original shop
hop
tip, we would like to hearr
from you and consider
publishing your tip in one
e
or more of our publications.
ns.
Jump online and go to:

Woodsmith.com
m
and click on the link,
k,
SUBMIT A TIP

Youll be able to tell us all about
Ruler Holder your tip and upload your photos
hotos and
Whenever Im in the middle of a proj- blade cradles them. A cutout in the drawings. You can also maill your tips
ect, it seems Im always fishing around center lets me select whichever ruler to Woodsmith Tips at the editorial
for one of my rulers. So I made a home I need. And a rare-earth magnet grabs address shown on page 2. We will pay
up to $200 if we publish your tip.
for them right on the side of my bench. and holds the two rulers in place when
This is a simple block of wood that I Im not using them.
fashioned to fit my two most-used rul- Paul Fiebich
RECEIVE FREE ETIPS
ers. A deep groove cut with a thin-kerf !/2"-dia. Derby, Kansas BY EMAIL
rare-earth Now you can have the best time-saving
magnet
secrets, solutions, and techniques sent
a. CROSS #/4
SECTION #/32 directly to your email inbox. Just go to:

2!/2 1#/8
%/8
!/8
3#/4
Woodsmith.com
!/2 and click on,
!/2"-dia. Woodsmith Tips
1 !/4"-rad.
10
Youll receive one of our favorite tips
#8 x 1!/2"
Fh woodscrew by email each and every week.

!/4"-rad.
Woodsmith.com 7

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QUICK TIPS

Quick Whiteboard. Tired of searching for notes jotted


on scraps of paper, Bob Schultz of Saint Charlottesville,
Virginia, turned some of his shop doors into big note
pads. Vinyl peel-and-stick whiteboard decals found
online can be cut to fit inside the door panel.

Clamp Handle Hand Grip


Getting a firm grasp on bar clamp handles can be hard at
times. Dry, winter hands combined with a touch of arthritis
can take the fun out of my shop time real fast, especially on a
project that calls for a lot of clamps.
GET A GRIP ON IT. A good fix for this is a simple plywood wheel
that slides on to the clamp handle. A slot in the wheel and
a screw lets you cinch the wheel firmly in place. The size of
the handle hole may vary depending on your clamp handles.
For the clamp size shown here, the handle wheel starts as
a 314"- square piece of plywood. First, drill a hole in the cen-
ter with a 118" Forstner bit. Next, cut the relief slot centered
Small Parts Tray. Instead of pitching an old keyboard on the side of the block at the band saw. Then drill the pilot
tray, Robert Wintrow of Ridge Spring, South Carolina, and counterbored clearance hole for the screw (detail a).
installed it under his workbench. This gives him Next, head to the band saw and cut out the outer
an additional surface for holding tools and project circumference. Then, to finish up, sand the wheel smooth
hardware. He just slides it away when its not needed. before installing it on the clamp handle.
Jim Moorehead
Barrigada, Guam
a. SIDE
SECTION VIEW 1!/2"
pocket
#/8 screw

!/2
NOTE: Start with
#/4 a 3!/4" square
#/8

1!/8"-dia. hole
!/32"kerf

Attaching Cauls to Clamps. Emanuel Ringel of Fort


Washington, Pennsylvania, has a solid fix for a wobbly
problem. By cutting V-grooves in small blocks and
screwing them to his bar clamp pads, he no longer has NOTE: Hand grip
is made from
to struggle when clamping curved shapes. Hand grip #/4" plywood

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Adjustment
slot

Aluminum angle

Table Saw Side Support


I love the mobility and power of my NOTE: Arm sizes will
vary according to
contractors saw. I wouldnt trade it for Nylon your fence rail system
the world. But the setup does have some tape
shortcomings, mainly when working REAR ARM
FRONT ARM 60 NOTE: Slots in wing
with long boards or plywood. Theres end allows for
height adjustment
just not enough support for my liking NOTE: All parts
as assembly
60 is extended
when making these cuts. are glued up from
#/4"Baltic birch plywood
WING MAN. To improve on this, I built a
1
sliding wing that attaches to the guide 1!/2" x 1!/2"
aluminum angle 34
rails of my table saw. The whole sys-
tem is made of plywood. The front arm
glides in and out of the attached front #/8 1!/4
#8 x #/4" 7!/4
tube, while the rear arm combined with Fh woodscrew 1 3!/2 WING END
a piece of aluminum angle straddles the
rear rail. The two arms are tied together a. END SECTION VIEW
%/16"-18 x 4!/2"
NOTE: Rear arm
1!/2 sized to rest below threaded rod
with the plywood wing end. miter gauge slot
DETAILS. The aluminum angle thats !/8" roundover %/16"-18
star knob
attached to the rear arm has a strip of Rear arm
nylon tape for smooth operation (detail
#/4 b.
a). The front arm has a groove in END SECTION VIEW
the bottom to allow clearance for the 1#/4
2!/4
fence bolts (detail b). Both arms have 1%/16
&/8
a threaded rod epoxied into the ends %/16"-dia. Front arm
to attach them to the wing end with 1!/8
knobs. The plywood wing end is slot- %/16 %/16 %/16"-dia. 1%/16
ted to allow for adjustments in height Nylon @!/32
Alum. angle tape #/8
as the wing extends (inset photo).
NOTE: Size the gap
Robert Llewellyn to fit the rear rail of !/8" roundover
the rip fence
Memphis, Tennessee

Woodsmith.com 9

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all
about

beyond 90
Tackling Angles
Most of the time, the goal in woodwork-
ing is achieving cuts that are straight
and square. To that end, theres an arse-
nal of well-crafted hand tools capable of
getting you there.
On occasion, though, you have to
deal with angles. Whether its making
tapered or mitered parts for a project,
or repairing a vintage piece of furniture
to which the term square no longer
applies, you need options that your
trusty combination square is unable
to tackle. No worries though, there are { The Bevel Setter by Veritas is loaded with useful features. One side can be used to set your
plenty of alternatives to consider. Lets bevel gauge to a precise angle. On the flip side, there are guides for dovetail layouts and
start with the classic sliding bevel gauge. polygon angles, as well. The adjustable metal fence lets you use the tool for precise layouts.
SLIDING BEVEL. Tracking down any angle
you need between 0 and 180 is easy mates with the handle and travels Now that you have your angle, what
with a sliding bevel gauge. This is a freely as needed. Just position the slid- are you going to do with it? For start-
simple tool, really. It starts with a wood ing bevel gauge against the object that ers, you could use it directly in tandem
handle. At the top is a metal head that youre working on, tighten the wing with whatever machine youll be using
has a bolt with a wing nut. This holds nut, and youve got the angle (refer to to make the cut you need. The bevel
a long metal blade. A slot in the blade the main photo above). gauge will work with any number of

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tools your band saw, table saw, miter
gauge, and drill press, to mention a few.
MULTI-TASKING MASTER. A sliding bevel
gauge is great when youre duplicating
an angle. But when it comes to laying
out an exact angle, I rely on an angle
ally that cant be beat.
The Bevel Setter by Veritas is a tool for
angles that covers many bases (lower
photos, previous page). One side of the
tool features angles from 0 to 60 nicely
etched into the surface. On the flip side,
there are markings for dovetail and { A great addition to any shop is a protractor head. This tool can be purchased on its own or
polygon miter layouts. An inch ruler in a set with the standard combination square and center-finding head. Also, rulers in 18"
along both edges come in handy too. and 24" lengths are available for longer reaches on project parts.
Made of heavy-gauge stainless steel,
this tool has a slot in the center for a
stout metal fence that stays put by tight-
arm is a little too short for my liking,
and the degree scale markings on the More Options:
ening a knurled brass knob. The clever
part is that the tool functions as either a
plate can be difficult to read.
PROTRACTOR HEAD. If youre work- DIGITAL SOLUTIONS
protractor or its own layout tool. ing with angles on a regular basis,
BACK TO BASICS. If youre not in the theres always the protractor head.
market for such a tool, the simple pro- Think of it like the big brother to your
tractor from General Tools finds angles combination square. The quality of
like the bevel gauge and can be used these heads varies by manufacturer.
to set precise angles on a bevel gauge, Starrett makes a wonderful protrac-
(photo below). An arm centered on a tor head that Ive had in my shop for
half-circle is marked with degrees to decades. You can see one of these sport-
180. Its easy enough to operate. By ing a 24" ruler in the photo above.
loosening the nut on the arm, you can The head of this protractor has the
rotate it to the desired setting, retighten same mechanism that your combination
the nut, and youre good to go. The square has: A knurled knob that threads
only downsides to this tool are that the onto a milled rod, which in turn grabs
the center groove in the ruler. As
you slide the ruler into the pro-
tractor, simply rotate the blade to { A digital protractor is a combination
the setting you want. Once youve of a bevel gauge and protractor. This
dialed that in, lock the blade in provides accurate angles quickly.
place by tightening the two knobs
on the back side of the protractor.
DIGITAL DELIGHTS. As in the rest of
life, the digital world is moving
into the shop. In fact, its been
there for some time now. The two
examples shown in the box at
right are handy to have around.
From basic sliding bevel gauges
to fancy, calibrated digital protrac-
tors, when it comes to managing
angles in your shop, you have
plenty of options to choose from.
None of these are rare or hard to
find tools. So if youre looking to { The Wixey digital gauge zeros out
{ The protractor by General Tools has been around add any of them to your shop, first. Then it sets your angle accurately
a long time in many shops. The steel plate and there are details for purchasing to within one-tenth of a degree.
arm make transferring angles easy. each one of them on page 67. W

Woodsmith.com 11

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router
p
worksho

making precision
Stopped Cuts
One of the appeals of working at the A stopped cut is where a cut ends be located accurately. The drawings at
router table is just how straightforward before running out one or both ends of the top of the next page show you the
it is to use. Set the bit height and the the workpiece. In order to make this kind process. To get there, you need to start
fence, and youre ready to make one of cut, you have to lower the workpiece with a little layout.
cut or a dozen. For most tasks, youyoull
ll over a spinning bit, make the cut, and After installing the bit and setting the
start at one end of a workpiece and pro
pro- then stop at the right place. Although it height, position the fence in relation to
ceed until the bit emerges from the end. may sound intimidating, I think youll the bit. Its a good idea to make a test cut
However, you can also make stopped find that the differences from an ordi- to ensure its right on the money.
cuts at the router table, as well. nary cut are pretty minor. At this point, youre ready to set up
Stopped cuts can be used for pro- the stop blocks on the fence. The start-
} Routing a stopped groove files as well as joinery cuts like rabbets, ing block on the right side of the fence is
in this box side provides a dadoes, and grooves. In this article, Ill located so that the distance from the left
cleaner look since the demonstrate the process of making a edge of the bit to the stop matches the
groove isnt visible stopped groove to accept the bottom for distance from the end of the workpiece
after assembly. a small box, but the approach applies to to beginning of the cut (Figure 1).
most other stopped cuts, too. The end block on the left side is set in
The groove extends nearly to the ends a similar way. The only difference is that
of the box sides, but I dont want it to youll use the right side of the router bit
come out, so the starting and stopping as the reference point when measuring,
points for the groove need to be right on. as you can see in Figure 2.
For precise work like this, I often set up MAKING CUTS. At this point, youre all set
a pair of stop blocks to control the cut. to make a stopped cut. Heres where
SETTING UP. While stop blocks guarantee a little technique comes into play. As I
consistent limits of a cut from work- said earlier, you lower the workpiece
piece to workpiece, the blocks need to onto the spinning bit to make the cut.

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The key is to do this in a controlled 1 2
manner. You do that by turning on the
router and bracing the back end of the
workpiece against the right hand stop
block, as shown in the main photo on
the previous page. Hold the front end
above the bit, while keeping the work-
piece snug against the fence.
The first time I tried this technique,
my fear was the bit would jerk the work-
piece from my hands. Instead, youll feel
a slight pull as the bit engages the wood. Measure from leading edge of the bit To
To set
set the
the second
second stop
stop
A little pressure is all it takes to settle to the end of the workpiece to set block, measure from the
the first stop block trailing edge of the bit
the piece firmly against the table. Then
proceed like you would for any router
table cut until the workpiece contacts But for deeper cuts, Ill turn off the bottom of the page cover the main steps.
the other stop block. (Like many router router first, then remove the workpiece. In this method, you align marks on the
operations, its a good idea to create workpiece with marks on the router
deep cuts in several light passes, raising ALTERNATE TECHNIQUE table fence to begin and end a cut.
the bit slightly between each pass.) Using stop blocks to start and end a cut The first step is to do a little layout
The end of a stopped cut presents works great. However there are a couple work marking the starting point and
another set of choices. You can lift the of limitations. It isnt possible to use stop ending point of the cut on each of the
workpiece off the bit the reverse of blocks if parts extend beyond the ends workpieces. To make them useful,
how you started the cut. Or you can hold of the fence. Also, if youre only making these marks are drawn on the oppo-
the piece in place, turn off the router and a few cuts, taking the time to set up stop site (upper) face of the workpiece than
wait for the bit to stop. Do what feels blocks may not be worth the effort. where the cut is made. You can see how
most comfortable to you. I usually will The solution is to use a slightly dif- this is done in Figure 1 at left.
lift the piece away if the cut is shallow. ferent technique. The drawings at the After setting the position of the router
table fence, you need to mark the cut-
1 2 ting edges of the bit on the fence faces, as
shown in Figure 2. Extend the lines up
Mark the the fence a few inches so theyre easily
leading
First, mark the and trailing seen during the cut.
starting and end edges of the Making the cut is a matter of holding
points of the cut bit on the
on the top of fence the workpiece against the fence with the
the workpiece
leading end raised above the bit. Align
the starting layout mark on the work-
piece with the left bit mark on the fence,
as you can see in Figure 3.
Lower the workpiece until it rests sol-
idly on the table and push it forward
along the fence until the end layout
mark aligns with the right bit mark. This
3 4 is shown in Figure 4.
FINAL CONSIDERATIONS. Due to the nature of
starting and stopping a cut in a work-
piece, dont be surprised to see some
burn marks. In a cut like the stopped
SECOND:
groove shown here, burned ends wont
Lower the affect the joints strength or be visible.
workpiece Feed the workpiece
onto the forward until the Safety, accuracy, and convenience are
spinning bit second mark on the big benefits to working at the router
workpiece aligns with
FIRST: Line up the trailing edge bit table. Using it for stopped cuts takes
the mark on the fence mark on the fence
corresponding to the leading advantage of all three. And it opens up
edge of the bit with the first new opportunities to get more from
mark on the workpiece
your router table. W

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great
gear

revolutionary routing:
PowerLift Pro
If youre familiar with using a router lift other lifts but has two key additions: A aluminum carriage attached to an
in a router table, you know how handy motor that mechanically raises and low- insert plate that holds a router motor.
it can be. Tasks like changing bits or ers the router, and a digital readout that The insert plate fits in a MLCS router
adjusting bit height can be done above allows you to monitor and adjust the bit table, though other tables can be built
the table, rather than stooping below it. height. And these additions will change or modified to accommodate the plate.
With their new PowerLift Pro, MLCS the way you look at router lifts. The lift will accept a 314-hp router, or
has taken the concept of a router lift to HOW IT WORKS. Like other router lifts, reducer rings are available to allow it to
a new level. The PowerLift is similar to the PowerLift Pro features an adjustable hold smaller routers. You can also pur-
chase a router motor from MLCS using
the source information on page 67.
The carriage slides up and down on
a pair of smooth, steel rods, while a
threaded rod allows for height adjust-
ments (inset photo above). And like
other lifts, you can change the bit above
the table (upper left photo, next page).
With most router lifts, however, the car-
riage moves because the user rotates the
threaded rod with a hand crank. On the
PowerLift Pro, a motor with a belt turns
{ The PowerLift Pro app on an Android tablet { A foot pedal lets you raise or lower the the rod, raising or lowering the router
lets you zero out the bit, set the bit at a router bit while you hold the workpiece carriage (lower photo, next page). A foot
precise height, and control motor speed. securely with both hands. pedal and control box (left photos) are

14 Woodsmith / No. 227

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{ As with other router lifts, the PowerLift { To get started using the lift, you set the { Micro switches installed at the top and
Pro allows you to make bit changes above bit flush with the router table top and bottom of one of the rods stop the travel
the table quite easily. then hit the Set Zero button in the app. of the lift as it moves up and down.

connected to this motor with electrical But what really makes this router lift decrease the bit height from there in
wires. The control box can be mounted unique is the PowerLift Pro app. Avail- specific increments.
above the surface of your table on a steel able for Android phones and tablets, For custom settings, you can also set
arm (main photo, previous page). this app adds a ton of functionality memory positions with the app. Just
Near the bottom and top of one of to your router lift. MLCS sells a tablet raise the bit to the height needed for a cut
the rods, the PowerLift features micro loaded with the app along with the lift and save it as a memory position. The
switches. These stop the up and down for an additional $35. Or you can load next time you need to make a cut at that
travel of the lift and prevent straining the app on your own device. The tablet depth, just hit a button. I found this handy
the lift motor (upper right photo). connects to the lifts electronic control for cutting mating parts for joinery.
AN APP FOR THAT. With just the foot box with a USB cord. NEW ROUTING OPTIONS. Youre probably
pedal and control box, you can raise The app allows you to adjust the lift by already getting a good sense of how
and lower the router mechanically. pressing buttons on the screen. You also the PowerLift Pro can add some effi-
can control the speed of the lift motor. ciency and accuracy to your router
But the most important thing it does is table work. Dialing in precise settings
provide an accurate measurement of the is just a button push away.
bit height. To do this, you set the bit flush But, perhaps most uniquely, the hands-
with the surface of your router table, and free nature of the lift also allows you to
then hit the Set Zero button in the app perform operations that were difficult or
(upper middle photo). After that, the app impossible before. For example, you can
will provide an accurate measurement of cut mortises or stopped dadoes by raising
its height as you raise or lower the bit. the spinning bit into the workpiece with
The app has several preset height set- the foot pedal and holding the workpiece
tings, such as 116", 18", and 14", among securely with both hands. Refer to the
several others (refer to the lower left drawings below for more on this.
photo on the previous page). So if you At $500 ($535 with a tablet), the
{ The PowerLift Pros motor connects to a cut a lot of 14"-deep dadoes or grooves, PowerLift Pro is no small investment.
threaded rod with a belt, letting you raise just hit the 14" button, and the bit raises But for the ways it changes work at the
and lower the router mechanically. precisely 14". Then you can increase or router table, it might be worth it. W

How-To: ROUT A MORTISE


Stopped mortise

FIRST:
First:Set
Setworkpiece
workpieceinin Third: Rout to
starting
startingposition. Grasp
position. Grasp stopping position,
workpiece
workpiece firmly with
firmly then lower bit
both
withhands
both hands with foot pedal
Second: Turn router on.
Raise bit slowly into
workpiece with foot pedal

Woodsmith.com 15

WS227_014.indd 15 8/4/2016 7:06:56 AM


w orking
wood ique
techn

hand-cut Dovetails
Dovetail joinery made with a router creating an incredibly strong connec-
and jig is the go-to method for many tion. And while it does take a little
woodworkers. And Ill admit, its my practice to get the proper method down
preference as well, especially if Im when hand-cutting dovetails, the results
working with more than a handful of (and satisfaction) are well worth it.
project parts. Its just hard to beat the ANGLE CONSIDERATIONS. Before jumping
level of uniformity that can be achieved right in and getting to work, a few
using this method. decisions must be made up front. And
But if there is one drawback to that starts with what angle to make the
machine-cut dovetails, its that it dovetails. If youre working from an
6 requires a fair amount of time to get a existing plan (like Im showing in this
router dovetail jig set up properly before article), then the decision is already
you can make the first cut. So for situ- made for you (8 for the trunks till).
ations where I only need to join a few When creating original work, its best
parts (like the till for the steamer trunk to keep the angle ratio between 1:8 (7)
on page 42), it often makes sense to go and 1:6 (9.5), as shown in the photo
with hand-cut dovetails. at left. If the tail angles are too shal-
1 If youve never cut a dovetail joint low, youll lose the classic dovetail look
Ideal angle ratio is before, the premise is simple: On one (not to mention holding power). And
between 1:8 (7o) board, there are a series of wedge- if theyre cut too steep, theyll appear
and 1:6 (9.5o)
shaped openings that fan out at the exaggerated and be prone to chipping.
end to form the tails. On the other board, PINS OR TAILS FIRST? Along with the angle
< The finished joint is not theres a matching set of corresponding choice, its best to decide which side of
only attractive, but it pins that interlock with the tails. the joint youd like to make first, the
also has unmatched Due to this wedge design, the joint pins or the tails. Traditionally, many
strength and durability. will only slide together in one direction, craftsmen would lay out and cut the

16 Woodsmith / No. 227

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pins first. There are a couple of reasons the tail board before breaking out the LAYOUT
for this. First, the pins are generally saws and chisels. This is especially true To avoid any confusion during the lay-
perceived as being easier to cut (and when the dovetail joint Ill be making out process, I start by spending a few
easier to square to the baseline if they only has a couple of tails and just a few minutes marking which boards receive
are off a little bit). Second, its very easy pins, like the one shown in this article. the tails and which get the pins. I also
to lay out the tails using the completed With everything laid out up front, I can indicate the top edge and both faces of
pin board as a guide. focus on one operation at a time. And each piece, along with a letter to des-
Another school of thought advocates when its time to remove the waste, it ignate the mating corners, as shown in
for cutting the tails first. The reason doesnt really matter if I start with the Figure 1 below.
for this method is that the tail layout pin or tail board. BASELINE. Next up, a baseline serves as
is somewhat easier to figure out. Plus, STOCK PREPARATION. Regardless of the a depth stop for how deep to cut the
the tail layout on the face of the board method you choose, youll want to pins and tails. If youre new to this pro-
gives a visual representation of the start with square stock thats consis- cess, its best to use a marking gauge set
joints final appearance, allowing you to tent in thickness. Any variation in just slightly thicker (164") than the work-
make any necessary adjustments before thickness will throw off the layout piece to mark the baseline shoulder
any wood is cut. process. After cutting my parts to size, (Figure 2). This will make the pins and
Personally, I prefer to do all of the I also take the time to orient my pieces tails proud of the sides when theyre
layout work on both the pin board and for the best look. assembled, and can be sanded smooth.

Mark outer faces 1 2 Mark shoulders on 3


with an arrow for all pieces with a
up and a letter marking gauge
designation for
each corner Marks indicate
wide part of tails

Tail board

Bench vise

Labels. After arranging the pieces as Baseline. A shoulder line marked on all Tail Layout. With one tail board
theyll be positioned, mark the outside four sides of each workpiece serves as clamped in a vise, use a metal rule to
face, the upper edge, and a letter to a reference to indicate how deep youll mark the wide part of the tails on the
designate the corresponding corners. need to cut the tails and pins. end of the workpiece.

NOTE:
4 5 Pin board 6
Position NOTE: Use
end and bevel gauge
edges flush to mark tails
Pin on both sides
board
Mark
waste
Tail
board
FIRST:
Mark pins
Mark waste on end
with an X

Tail
board
SECOND: Use try
square to extend
lines on opposite side

Double Layout. With the tail board still Mark Tails. Using a bevel gauge set Mark Ends of Pins. Leaving the bevel
in the vise, butt the pin board against to the correct angle, mark the sides of gauge at the same setting, mark the
it and mark the layout lines on both the tails. Flip the workpiece around and end of the pin board. Use a try square
pieces. Mark the waste with an X. mark the other face, as well. to continue the lines on the other face.

Woodsmith.com 17

WS227_016.indd 17 8/8/2016 7:06:32 AM


Another option is to use the work- against it and draw layout lines across REMOVING THE WASTE
pieces themselves as guides to mark the both pieces (Figure 4). Be sure to mark With the layout work complete on both
baseline around the face and edge of the waste areas with an X. the pin and the tail board, you can now
each part. For this method, you simply Now raise the tail board up in the remove the waste sections. Whichever
butt one piece flush against the end of vise. Using a compass, set a bevel gauge workpiece you begin with, the process
the other and mark the line. This method, for the tail angle (8 for the till parts), is much the same.
however, leaves less room for error. and draw the lines that mark the sides Youll start by establishing the face
MARKING PINS & TAILS. Figures 3 through 6 of the tails. Youll do this on both faces cuts of the pins (Figure 1, below) and
on the previous page will show you the of the workpiece, as shown in Figure 5. the tails (Figure 3), being sure to stay
sequence for the rest of the layout pro- Finally, lay the pin board flat on the about 164" to 132" to the waste side of
cess. I start by placing the tail board in workbench, and using the same bevel the cut lines. For the tails, youll need
a vise and marking the widest part of gauge setting, draw angled lines across to tilt the saw to match the angle of
the tails on the end of the board using a the end of the piece (Figure 6). Then the tail walls. Also, to provide a visual
ruler, as shown in Figure 3. use a square to continue the lines on stopping point, I use a scrap piece as a
With the tail board still in the vise, the opposite face of the workpiece, stop block. It gets held in place with a
youre ready to butt the pin board tightly down to the baseline. couple of C-clamps.

1 2 3
Use a coping saw to remove
NOTE: Cut the majority of waste Tilt blade to
to waste match angle
side of line of tail

Tail board
Pin board
Clamp
block
across
shoulder
line

Face Cuts. Using a dovetail saw, Coping the Waste. After making the Tilt for Tails. To make the face cuts on
establish the face of the pins by cutting face cuts, remove the rest of the waste the tail board, tilt the saw to match the
just to the waste side of the layout lines. with a coping saw. Again, you want to angle of the layout line. A few practice
Cut down to the stop block. stay just proud of the layout lines. cuts on a scrap piece are in order here.

4 Use block
to keep from 5 6
chiseling past
shoulder line
Opening for
end pin

Tail board
Shoulder
line

Tail board
SECOND:
Undercut FIRST: Cut NOTE: Pare halfway
shoulder shoulder from both sides of
straight down workpiece

Chisel Work. With a scrap clamped Pare Pin Openings. For a tight fit, the Trim Tails. Trim the sides of the tails
across the shoulder line, make a openings for the end pins on the tail (and pins) up to the layout lines. Work
shallow, 90 cut. Then make a V-shaped board arent undercut. They should be from both sides of the workpiece to
undercut in the bottom of the opening. pared flat with the shoulder line. avoid chipout on the opposite face.

18 Woodsmith / No. 227

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1 2 Pin board
3
Pin board
Pin board

Mark narrow
Mark part of tails
narrow Tail board
Tail board
Tail board part of pins

NOTE: Cut NOTE: Cut Trim inside


halfway only halfway only corner of tails

Narrow Pins. Check that the narrow Wide Pins. Now position the wide part Check Inside Face. Next, check that
part of the pins will fit the openings on of the pins above the wide part of the the wide part of the pins fits the
the outside of the tail piece. Mark the opening in the tail piece. Once again, openings on the inside face of the tail
pins and pare off any excess material. mark the pins and trim off any excess. board. Mark the tails and trim as before.

4 Pin board 5 6
Parts should
fit snug by
hand

Mark tails

Hollow
NOTE: Cut Relieve sides of pins by
halfway only cutting very slight hollow

Check Outside Face. If the narrow part Hollow Faces. To ensure a snug fit Test Fit. If the joint wont go together
of the pins wont fit the openings on without affecting the appearance, form with hand pressure, you can use a
the inside face of the tail board, mark a hollow on the sides of the pins. Be wood block and mallet to give it a few
and trim the excess material once more. careful not to cut the edges of the pins. taps. Just dont overdo it.

Now you can switch to a coping saw on the tail piece (Figure 5). This would part of the pins will fit the openings on
to free the rest of the waste, as shown create a gap when the joint is assem- the outside of the tail piece. Mark any
in Figure 2 on the previous page. Again, bled. Figure 6 shows the last step for excess on the pins and pare off the waste.
you want to stay to the waste side of the cleaning up the tail walls. Now do the same process for the wide
layout lines. Do this same procedure on part of the pins (Figure 2).
the pin and the tail boards. FINE-TUNING THE JOINT Next, youll flip the pieces so the
CHISEL WORK. Figures 4 through 6 show With enough practice, the test fitting inside faces are held at a 90, as shown
the remaining steps for finishing one part of the process will become increas- in Figure 3 and 4. Check the fit, and
dovetail joint. Again, a piece of scrap ingly unnecessary. But if youre just pare away any excess. Forming a slight
wood is clamped across the baseline starting out, its best to go through the hollow on the sides of the pins allows
to guide the chisel (Figure 4). Work process shown in Figures 1 through 6 the pieces to go together a little easier
toward the center from both sides above. Youll end up with a tight-fitting without affecting the fit (Figure 5).
of the workpiece, being sure to just joint without having to force the pieces The final test fit, as shown in Figure 6,
split the layout lines. A slight under- together and possibly causing damage. should go together with minimal resis-
cut helps create a tight fit (Figure 4a). First, orient the boards as shown in tance. A little glue on the leading edges
However, dont undercut the end pins Figure 1. Then, check that the narrow of the pins is enough for assembly. W

Woodsmith.com 19

WS227_018.indd 19 8/8/2016 7:04:45 AM


d
Weekent
Projec

perpetual
Wall
Calendar
Easy to build and simple to
rearrange, this will be the last
calendar youll ever need. The
classic styling works well in
many settings.
Over the years, Ive had a couple of per- This calendar has a lot more going for The wall calendar is built from two
petual calendars the small ones that it. Its got a classic look that blends in kinds of wood. I chose poplar for the
require you to change the date every with a lot of dcors without demanding main parts of the calendar because it
day. Theyre clever enough, but those too much attention. And youre not a sands easily and takes paint well. The
things turn into work. Before I know it, slave to a daily routine of calendar care. tiles (both the months and the days) are
Im three weeks behind. Who needs guilt All you have to do is shuffle a couple of made out of maple. When finished with
from a calendar? tiles once a month, and youre good to go. a clear coat, they provide a nice contrast.

Materials, Supplies & Cutting Diagram


A Back (1) 3 x 161 - 2913 #/4"x 5" - 72" Poplar (Two Boards @ 2.5 Bd. Ft. each)
4 2 16
1
B Tray Sides (2) 2 x 134 - 2 Att

Att

C Tray Front (1) 1


4 x 2 - 13
1
D Tray Bottom (1) 8 x 134 - 1214 #/4"x 5" - 60" Poplar (Two Boards @ 2.1 Bd. Ft. each)
E Cap (1) 112 x 5 rgh. - 1878 F F E
3
F Tile Guides (7) 4 x 12 - 1434
1 !/2"x 2!/2" - 36" Poplar (.6 Sq. Ft.)
G Month Tiles (6) 4 x 212 - 1112 B B D NOTE: Part 'C' planed to !/4"-thick.
C
H Day Tiles (31) 1
4 x 2 - 2516 Part 'D' planed to !/8"-thick
7
(21) #6 x 8" Rh Woodscrews !/4"x 5" - 72" Hard Maple (2.5 Sq. Ft.)
(4) #6 x 114" Rh Woodscrews G G G G G G
(25) #6 Washers
(2) 1"L-Hooks H

20 Woodsmith / No. 227

WS227_020.indd 20 8/10/2016 9:04:06 AM


16!/2

Start with a NOTE: Back


is #/4"-thick
a.

PANEL poplar

29!#/16 5!!/16
FRONT
VIEW
2#/8
3
The back of the calendar is a panel glued b. A
up from 34"-thick poplar boards. Before TOP
A 1!/4"-
you start shaping the back, lay out and VIEW 2"-rad.
rad.
drill the holes for the storage tray and &/8
D A
tile rails. The drawings on the right BACK
!/2 1
show you where to locate the screw
!/8 2!/2
holes. Since the back is made out of solid B 1%/8
wood, its best to allow for the potential !/4
NOTE: Tray front 1!/8
of wood movement. So I oversized the C
is !/4"-thick poplar.
pilot and counterbore holes. Tray bottom
is !/8"-thick poplar
To give the back a little character, c. !/4"-dia. A
theres a simple mirrored profile that NOTE: Tray sides
pilot hole
runs up both sides. This profile starts are !/2"-thick 2#/4
poplar #6 x 1!/4" Rh
with an arc at the base, travels upward
woodscrew C
B
for a distance, and ends in another arc, w/washer
!/4
creating a wider top that a cap molding 1#/4 B 6!/16 !/8
!/8
will sit on (refer to detail a).
For the long, straight part of this
profile, a quick rip at the table saw is 2
12!/4 !/8
D
the sure path to a straight side. All you
SIDE VIEW
have to do is make a stopped cut. The 2 2
key to a good stopped cut is carefully
C !/2"-dia.
laying out your stopping points. Figure 13 1#/4 TRAY counterbore
TRAY SIDES
1 in the box below shows how to do this. FRONT
D B
To remove the waste, I completed the TRAY
BOTTOM
cuts at the band saw, which is detailed So youll have some milling to do at the
in Figure 2 below. Once that was done, planer in preparation for making the
I sanded both edges smooth. THE STORAGE TRAY. The storage tray pro- tray. Once thats done, cut the grooves
TONGUE & GROOVE. An arched tongue vides a handy place to store the extra in the front and sides to hold the bot-
runs across the top to provide a secure month tiles when not in use. As you tom. Next, make the rabbets in the front
attachment point for the cap. Cutting can see in the drawing above, it is just for joining to the sides, as in detail b.
the arc and the tongue is straightfor- a simple little box. But looking closely, After youve glued up the tray, you
ward enough. The steps are shown in youll notice that theres no plywood can set it aside for now. Later, youll
Shop Notes on page 66. bottom. Instead, all the parts are poplar. screw it to the back, as detail c shows.

How-To: CREATE THE PROFILE


1 a. 2 Waste

TOP
Stop cut VIEW
when marks
A
meet

4 Leave
Back face A
layout
End of line
cut mark

Go and Stop. When the front edge of the saw blade meets the lines that Cutting the Arcs. At the band saw,
represents the base of the curve, stop the saw. Then back out the workpiece, rough-cut the four arcs. Stay outside
and repeat the process on other side. of the layout lines, then sand smooth.

Woodsmith.com 21

WS227_020.indd 21 8/9/2016 2:18:49 PM


NOTE: Cap glued up from 1!/2
two pieces of #/4 -thick poplar a. E
!/4 #/8 !/2
NOTE: Width of blank
is 5" to allow for
creation of cove
Gap between
!#/16"-rad. cap and back
allows for
E FRONT movement
CAP VIEW !/4 #/4
5

b.
18&/8
17!/4"-rad.
FIRST: Use trammel to E
NOTE: Blank for cap draw arcs on blank
is sized to final length
12!/2

Creating the CAP 16"-rad.


SECOND: Mark ends
of cap

With the back of the calendar now com-


pleted, you can move on to the cap. The
extra thickness of the cap visually offsets detail b above brings all this in order. router table is just the ticket needed
it from the back of the calendar. The cap Once the arcs are drawn, strike a line for this operation. The groove begins
is made of two pieces of poplar glued from the endpoints of the top arc to and ends at the stopping points you
face to face, as shown in the art above. the pivot point of the trammel. All this just laid out (Figure 1). Dont worry if
I cut this blank to final length but left it information is also shown in detail b. this groove goes a little longer than the
extra wide. This provides clearance to Later, youll trim to these end marks at stopping points. That wont be a prob-
create the layout and rout the profile. the table saw. lem. As detail a shows, theres a gap
LAYOUT FIRST. First up is a little bit of With the layout done, I cut out the between the cap groove and the back
layout work. There are two arcs creat- inner arc at the band saw and sanded tongue. Just test fit the cap to the back
ing the top and bottom of the cap. The it smooth. Dont cut the top arc yet. Its and make any needed adjustments.
bottom one has a 16" radius. This is easier to work on the cap with one side TRIM ENDS. The next step requires a trip
the surface that houses the groove that of the blank square. Before moving on, I to the table saw. Here, adjust the miter
mates with the tongue on the back. The transferred the end marks down the face gauge to the proper angle and trim the
top arc has a 1714" radius, creating the of the inner arc and drew my stopping cap to its final length, as Figure 2 shows.
crown of the cap. Youll want to center points for the groove, Figure 1. These cuts give you a surface for trans-
all of this on the blank that you made. GROOVE NEXT. Now you can focus on ferring the cove profile as its shown on
The simple trammel setup shown in the groove. A 14" slot-cutting bit in the the next page in Figure 3a.

How-To: FORM THE CAP


1 Front
a. #/8 2 a.
face !/4 Waste
END
VIEW Miter
!/2
gauge set
E to match
end mark

Miter
1#/16 Groove gauge aux. TOP
stopping fence VIEW
!/4" slot cutter points
1#/16

Groove First. Use the layout lines you extended down from An Accurate End. Rotate your miter gauge to match the
the face of the piece to accurately locate the groove stop- angles that youve drawn on the ends of the cap. Then trim
ping points. Then route the groove. the ends to establish the final length of the cap.

22 Woodsmith / No. 227

WS227_022.indd 22 8/9/2016 1:20:12 PM


NOTE: Use #8 x 3" Fh
woodscrew behind
tile to attach !/2 a.
COVE CREATION. The cove thats calendar to
on the face of the cap is formed wall stud F
at the router table with a core 3!/2
11!/2
box bit and a curved fence. The #/16
returns on either end of the cap 2!/2 NOVE
MBER
MONTH TILE
3&/8
are made at the band saw. G

With the bit and fence set up at


H SIDE
the router table as shown in Figure 3, 1"
1 VIEW
1 2
L-hook
you can start creating the face profile. !/4
This profile is made in several passes. TILE 3 4
GUIDE 5 6 #6 x &/8" Rh

7 8
The first pass will have the bit set at its woodscrew
F w/washer %/16
highest point (Figure 3a). For the follow-
10 11 9
ing pass, youll lower the bit and back 12 13
14 1 #/4
out the fence slightly, repeating this pro-
17 18 5 16
cess until youve removed most of the
19 2
waste (Figure 3b). Then you can clean 0 21 F
up and soften the cove with a curved 24 2 22 2
3
14#/4
scraper and sandpaper. 5 26
27 2 b.
COVE RETURNS. Creating the return
2 8 29 L-hook
profile is more art than science. Its 30 !/4
Wallboard

just a matter of mimicking the face


cove. To do this, position the cap on
2%/16
31 DAY TILE
H
#8 x 3" Fh
G woodscrew
the back. Then, at a 14" away from #/16"-dia.

OC
hole
the edge of the back, as detail a on
previous page shows, draw an arc that TO
matches the face cove. Cut these curves F BER G
SIDE
Wall
stud
at the band saw, along with the arc that VIEW
makes the top of the cap. Then you can NOTE: Guides are
#/4"-thick poplar.
sand the whole cap smooth. Next, glue Tiles are !/4"-thick maple
the cap in place. Its best to only spot
glue it 4" to 5" at the center of the cap to one side only, and the field guides which MONTH & DAY TILES. The tiles for the cal-
allow for wood movement. are rabbeted on both sides. These guides endar are made from maple thats been
hold the days of the week. Both of these planed to 14" thick. Six pieces make
TILE GUIDES parts are simple but small. The details up the month tiles. Each month tile
To complete the body of the calendar, for making them are on page 66. has a month name stenciled on either
youll do the tile guides next. The tile Once the guides are made, screw them side, which saves on storage needs for
guides come in two variations: The top in place through the counterbored holes the unused tiles. Also, the month tiles
and bottom guides that are rabbeted on you drilled earlier (detail a). require drilling holes to hang L-hooks
in the calendar back (detail b). Thirty
one pieces are needed for the day tiles.
a. END VIEW
STENCILING. Once the finish was dry on
1" core !/4
box bit E
the tiles, I moved on to the stenciling.
3 !/2
I used a stencil set that I purchased
online for the letters and numbers (page
67). Centering the numbers on the day
tiles is pretty straightforward. But as
b. END VIEW
E for the month tiles, I did some test runs
!/4 on pieces of paper cut to the size of the
Back side 16"-rad. E tiles. This let me determine the posi-
of blank
NOTE: Lower bit and move tioning before committing paint to tile.
fence backward for each pass
With all of the building said and done,
I mounted the calendar by screwing it to
Careful Cove Creation. Using a fence provides confidence when it comes to wall studs. Hiding these screws under
making the cove on the cap. It supports the whole surface of the cap as you the month tile and one of the rows of
nibble away at the profile. Sand it smooth when youve finished routing. mid-month date tiles gives you plenty
of flexibility for screw locations. W

Woodsmith.com 23

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Shop
Project

24 Woodsmith / No. 227

WS227_024.indd 24 8/9/2016 7:55:36 AM


One-Wall Workshop
3 Space-Saving Carts
These handy carts allow you to set up your space to suit the task
at hand. Then they roll out of the way to free up more room.
In a nutshell, setting up a shop is all about Theyre designed as trusty sidekicks The assembly cart, router table, and
creating a space to build projects. That to the one-wall workshop featured in the flip-top cart all share the same construc-
requires solid worksurfaces and ample last issue. To save space, the carts roll tion DNA, which streamlines the build-
storage. Equally important is making a under the workbench and workstation. ing process. This means you can build
home for tools and projects in-progress. I also think they would make great addi- them quickly and then get to work on
These three carts fit that role to a T. tions to just about any shop. your next project.

Woodsmith.com 25

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Start with the
ASSEMBLY CART
While you could start with any of the
carts, I chose to build the low assembly
cart first because its the simplest. It also
provides a good illustration of the con-
struction method used in the other two
carts. The carts are made primarily from
MDF with some strategically placed solid-
wood pieces for added reinforcement.
The assembly cart is sized to slip { The assembly cart is built
under the shelf of the workbench shown from MDF panels that unite to
in issue No. 226. This low height also create a solid, heavy worksurface.
makes it ideal for having easy access to
all sides of a project during assembly
and finishing. When the inner panel is glued flush to of solid wood cleats (details a and b).
a. SIDE REINFORCED CASE. The the front and top edges of the sides, it Installing the one-by cleats stiffens the
SECTION VIEW side assemblies of creates a rabbet along the bottom and case bottom and serves as secure mount-
G
!/8" chamfer
the cart consist of back. The rabbets register the case bot- ing points for the locking swivel casters.
two layers of MDF. tom and back panels, which are joined to A third inner panel is centered on the
F The inner panel is a the sides with glue and screws. bottom and divides the interior of the
#8 x 1!/4" Fh
woodscrew little smaller in both Youll notice the rabbet for the bottom case into two drawer compartments. This
dimensions, as in is greater than the thickness of the MDF. panel also supports the top. The main
B
C
the drawing below. The extra depth creates space for a pair drawing and detail a show that the top
E

#8 x 1!/2" Fh
woodscrew
c. TOP SECTION VIEW
48 C
A
F
G
3#/4 9#/16 A
TOP
b. FRONT 29
45 1%/8 B
SECTION
A VIEW NOTE: Brace
and cleats %/8"-rad.
D are made
C from "one-by" 5!/2 F
B lumber. All #8 x 1!/4" Fh
BRACE woodscrew

E
other parts
are #/4" MDF
46!/2 A
How-To: HANDHOLD
D Template and
B
BACK 12 pattern bit
#14 x 1" shape handhold
Ph screws B 5!/2
12

28!/4
E
C 11!/4
28!/4
29 BOTTOM
29
5!/2
46!/2
A
SIDE
46!/2
12 #8 x 1!/2" Fh
13!/2 woodscrew E Template. Turn to page 65 for details
CLEAT on using a template to form the
#8 x 1!/2" Fh B
handholds in the brace.
#8 x 1!/4" Fh 3" locking
woodscrew INNER PANEL woodscrew swivel caster

26 Woodsmith / No. 227

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of this panel is notched to accept a solid- a. B H TOP
SECTION VIEW
wood brace. With the main case of the
!/4 J
cart complete, now is a good time to seal A

the edges of the MDF pieces and prime I


K
and paint the cart. Page 67 has informa-
tion on the paint color that I used. I
BRACE & TOP. The top of the cart overlays H DRAWER
BACK
the sides and back to create a smooth, #8 x 1!/4" Fh #8 x 1!/4" Fh
woodscrew woodscrew
continuous worksurface. As I men-
tioned earlier, theres a solid-wood J
DRAWER BOTTOM
brace screwed to the front edge of the
20!/8
top from underneath. The brace has 26 H
a couple of handholds cut into it to 20!/8 DRAWER
I
11 5 SIDE
make it easy to pull the cart out from its 1!/2
DRAWER
8&/16 FRONT
stowed position under the workbench, 27
as shown in the lower right box on the 9!/4 9!/4
previous page. You can find the tech- !/2"-rad. NOTE:
nique for this on page 65. Drawer bottom 26" full-extension
I painted the bottom face and front 21&/8 K
is !/4" hardboard. drawer slide
All other parts w/screws
edge of the brace before gluing and FALSE FRONT are #/4" MDF
screwing it to the underside of the top,
as in detail c on the previous page. The
top itself is also fixed to the cart with
glue and screws. Then the edge is eased
b.
J
FRONT
SECTION VIEW
I
H
How-To: GROOVES
with a small chamfer, as shown in detail
a on the previous page. !/4

Drawer slide
TWO LARGE DRAWERS
A dedicated assembly surface is a big H I
c. K SIDE SECTION VIEW
plus, but the drawers below double the !/4 I J
H
benefits of the cart by increasing the
storage space in your shop. The large !/2 !/4"
dado blade a. END VIEW
drawers operate on full-extension slides !/8
!/8 !/4 !/4
that maximize access and are perfect for !/2
storing heavy, bulky items. H I

RABBETS. The drawer boxes are assem- HANDHOLD. Painted false fronts com-
bled with rabbet joints, as in the drawing plete the drawers. Cut out handholds
above and detail a. The bottom is held to serve as pulls, as you can see in the Drawer Bottom Grooves. Use a
in a groove I cut at the table saw (box at drawing above. These openings are dado blade to cut the grooves for
right). At assembly time, the glued rab- formed similarly to (and line up with) the drawer bottom at the table saw.
bet joints are reinforced with screws. the handholds in the brace.

Materials, Supplies & Cutting Diagram (for the assembly cart)


A Sides (2) 3 MDF - 131 x 29 F Brace (1) 3 x 51 - 45 3 MDF - 11 x 217
4 2 4 2 K False Fronts (2) 4 8
3 MDF - 12 x 281 3 MDF - 29 x 48 1
B Inner Panels (3) 4 4 G Top (1) 4 (44) #8 x 1 2" Fh Woodscrews
3
C Bottom (1) 4 MDF - 29 x 4612 H Drawer Sides (4) 3
4 MDF - 914 x 27 (60) #8 x 114" Fh Woodscrews
D Back (1) 3 MDF - 12 x 461 3 MDF - 91 x 201
4 2 I Dwr. Frts./Bks. (4) 4 4 8 (2 pr.) 26" Full-extension slides w/Screws
3
E Cleats (2) 4 x 512 - 4612 J Dwr. Bottoms (2) 1
4 Hdbd. - 2018 x 26 (4) 3" Locking Swivel Casters
(16) #14 x 1" Ph Sheet Metal Screws
1x6 - 96" Fir
E E

1x6 - 48" Fir ALSO NEEDED:


One 49" x 48!/2" sheet of #/4" MDF
F Two 49" x 97" sheets of #/4" MDF
One 24" x 48" sheet of !/4" hardboard

Woodsmith.com 27

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The flip-top
TOOL CART
The second cart to take a look at is the
flip-top cart. The top isnt fixed in place.
Instead its designed to flip a full 180.
In essence, it gives you two carts in one.
If you attach a benchtop tool, like the
thickness planer shown here, to one sur-
face of the cart, you have a roll-around
tool stand. But once you unlock a couple
of slide bolts, you can flip the top over
for a bonus worksurface. Flipping the
tool under also lets you roll the cart
under the workstation. Whats nice is the
mechanism to make this work is pretty
straightforward (more on this in a bit).
At a glance, this flip-top cart seems > When its time
quite a bit different from the assembly to store this benchtop
cart. But as youll see on closer examina- tool cart out of the
tion, there are quite a few similarities. way, the top flips over (inset)
A TALLER CASE. If you compare the draw- and locks for a lower profile.
ing of the case below with the assembly
cart, youll see many of the same parts
theyre just sized differently. Tall case much easier. Theyre formed using the also has a support piece added to it, as
sides have supports glued and screwed same process as the assembly cart. (Refer shown in detail b. Together with the
to the inside faces to create rabbets for the to page 65 for the details.) side supports, they create a lip to install
case bottom and back (details a and c). The back of the cart is shorter than the a fixed shelf later on.
The sides have handholds to make sides to provide a resting point for the A pair of solid-wood cleats on the
storing and moving the cart around back edge of the flip top. The case back bottom of the cart should look familiar,

NOTE: Cleats are 27!/2


"one-by" lumber. #/4"-rad. a. TOP VIEW A
All other parts
are #/4" MDF
6#/4

E B
D
10
27!/2 3!/2
#/8"-dia. BACK 10
#/4 #8 x 1!/4" Fh D C
1#/4 woodscrew

!/2"-dia. BACK A
SUPPORT b. SIDE SECTION VIEW
E A
3!/4 E
D B
26
A C
B
SIDE 29 22#/4
3 C
F
BOTTOM F

22
27!/2 4 c. FRONT SECTION VIEW
23!/2
CLEAT 29
F 3" A B
locking D
3 swivel E C
caster
F
B #8 x 1!/4" Fh #14 x 1"
#8 x 1!/2" Fh SIDE SUPPORT woodscrew Ph screws
woodscrew

28 Woodsmith / No. 227

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NOTE: Top is two layers
a. b. FRONT SECTION VIEW
of #/4" MDF 22 27!/4
TOP G
SECTION
VIEW TOP #/4" rad.
#/4 G
G
#/8" dia. hole,
11#/4 !/2" x 3" lag screw 2!/4" deep
with !/2" washers
4" slide bolt

2 1
3!/4
22#/4 27!/2
11#/4 C
SHELF

c. TOP
H NOTE: Drawer bottom
SECTION
VIEW is !/4" hardboard.
All other parts are #/4" MDF
J
!/4 I
DRAWER BACK
I
H

DRAWER 24
#8 x 1!/4" Fh woodscrew K FRONT
I J
#/4"-rad.
8
d. FRONT SECTION VIEW DRAWER BOTTOM

#8 x 1!/2" Fh 11!/8 6 20
C 19
woodscrew
1#/8
5
24
!/4 I 1
20" full-extension
J 2!/2
H 27!/2 2!/2 slide w/screws
!/4
!/2"-rad. H
!/4 !/4 K 2#/4
DRAWER SIDE
FALSE FRONT

as well. Casters attached to them round Clearance holes in the cart sides are the lag screws and between the case side
out the main part of the carts case. located so the top is flush with the sides. and flip top, as in details a and b.
SLIDE BOLTS. In order to secure the top in DRAWER & SHELF. With a planer in the
HEAVY-DUTY TOP either orientation, a pair of slide bolts stowed position, there isnt much stor-
The top of the cart is glued up from two engages holes drilled through the sides age space in the cart. Even so, I did
layers of MDF for increased stiffness. I of the cart. I attached the slide bolts on manage to squeeze in a shallow drawer.
sized it to fit between the sides of the each face of the top, as you can see in Its constructed similarly to the draw-
cart with a 18" gap on either side. It has details a and b. Then I used the slide ers in the assembly cart (details c and
a handhold cut at the front and back to bolts to locate the holes in the sides. d). A cutout in the drawer front creates
aid in rotating the top. Before installing the top, I mixed up clearance for the handhold in the false
The top rotates on a pair of lag screws. some epoxy and placed it in the pilot holes front. After installing the drawer slides,
So you need to drill a pilot hole on each of the top. Then I drove in the lags. Note you can cap off the drawer compartment
edge of the top (details a and b above). that there are washers under the head of by adding the shelf, as in detail d.

Materials, Supplies & Cutting Diagram (for the ip-top tool cart)
A Sides (2) 3 MDF - 2312 x 29 H Drawer Sides (2) 3 MDF - 21 x 20 (16) #14 x 1" Ph Sheet Metal Screws
4 4 2
3 3
B Side Supports (2) 4 MDF - 3 x 22 I Dwr. Front/Back (2) 4 MDF - 212 x 24 (1 pr.) 20 Full-Extension Slides w/Screws
3 MDF x 223 x 271 1 Hdbd. x 19 - 24
C Bottom/Shelf (2) 4 4 2 J Dwr. Bottom (1) 4 (2) 12" x 3" Lag Screws
3
D Back (1) 4 MDF - 2712 x 2712 K False Front (1) 3
4 MDF x 23 4 - 2714 (4) 12" Washers
3
E Back Support (1) 4 MDF - 3 x 26 (28) #8 x 112" Fh Woodscrews (4) 4" Slide Bolts w/Screws
3 - 4 x 29
F Cleats (2) 4 (38) #8 x 114" Fh Woodscrews
G Top (1) 1 2 MDF - 22 x 2714
1
(4) 3" Locking Swivel Casters
1x6 - 60" Fir
ALSO NEEDED:
F F One 24" x 24" sheet of !/4" hardboard
One 49" x 48!/2" sheet of #/4" MDF
One 49" x 97" sheet of #/4" MDF

Woodsmith.com 29

WS227_028.indd 29 8/9/2016 8:48:24 AM


Now for the
ROUTER TABLE
The third and final cart is probably the
one that youll use most the router
table. The large surface makes it capable
enough for workpieces of any size. An
open shelf and a drawer below give the
cart plenty of storage space. In effect, this
turns the cart into a rolling router center
big enough for all of your gear.
While storage is valuable, its the > The router table
top that matters in a router table. And cart features a
this one hits all the right notes. It has a large working
smooth, durable plastic laminate surface. top and plenty of
The top is extra thick to absorb vibration storage below.
and stay flat over the long haul. And the
router is mounted to an aluminum insert
plate for easy router adjustments and hardwood fence handles the job of guid- shown in the drawing below. In fact,
bit changes. The plate comes with a set ing a workpiece past the bit. the basic structure makes it a near twin
of insert rings that allow you to match FAMILIAR CONSTRUCTION. By now, youll to the flip-top cart on the previous page.
the opening in the plate to the size of have figured out there arent any sur- The main difference is the size of the
the router bit. Finally, a simple, sturdy prises in building the cart case, as side supports. These are taller, which
means the drawer they surround can be
NOTE: Cleats are 27!/2
"one-by" lumber. deeper to hold all your bits and acces-
#/4"-rad.
All other parts sories. Dont worry, theres still plenty
are #/4" MDF 6!/8 of space above the drawer to accommo-
23!/2 D 10 date even the largest routers.
28!/4 3!/2
BACK BACK 10 The side assemblies are joined to the
SUPPORT bottom with glue and screws, as you can
E A
see in detail a. The back and its support
piece are added to round out the case
26 construction, as illustrated in the draw-
B ing at left and detail b.
A 22#/4
6 After attaching the wood cleats to
SIDE F C the bottom and screwing the casters in
22 BOTTOM place, you can tip the cart upright. Flip
27!/2 the lever on the casters to keep it stable,
4 and youre ready to start making the top.
CLEAT
28!/4 F 29 3"
locking
swivel HIGH-PERFORMANCE TOP
caster
6 Even though the top on the router table
B #8 x 1!/4" Fh
needs to be fixed solidly in place, it does
#8 x 1!/2" Fh #14 x 1"
woodscrew SIDE SUPPORT woodscrew Ph screws share one feature with the flip-top cart.
The top consists of two layers of MDF
a. SIDE SECTION VIEW b. FRONT SECTION VIEW glued together, as you can see in the
drawing on the top of the next page.
E
D A A B
D E
CAREFUL SIZING. As the drawing indicates,
#8 x 1!/4" Fh B
the two layers arent the same size. The
woodscrew
#8 x 1!/2" Fh
top spans the full width of the cart,
C
woodscrew while the subtop nestles down between
F F
the side and back. So its important
C
that the length and width of the subtop
match the opening in the cart.

30 Woodsmith / No. 227

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Router
insert plate
Plastic
laminate a. FRONT SECTION VIEW
!/8"chamfer How-To: INSERT PLATE
23!/2 29
H
H G
I
TOP

23!/2 29
Power
G switch
SUBTOP

27!/2 Step-by-step
22#/4 b. TOP VIEW instructions are
on page 64
%/16"-18
BRACE threaded
insert 3#/4
I
27!/2 7!/8
3!/2
4!/2 3
Insert Plate Opening. A router and
NOTE: Top and subtop a jig saw combine to create a perfect-
are #/4" MDF. 7&/8 fitting opening for an insert plate.
Brace is "one-by" lumber

At the table saw, I trimmed the panel to the wear and tear of workpieces slid- The fence is secured to the top with a
to size in a series of cuts until the subtop ing across it. To give the top durability series of threaded inserts. The locations
just fits into the cart without forcing the and a smooth surface, I added plastic for these are found in detail b above.
sides apart or leaving a gap. Then it can laminate. Cut a piece of laminate thats POWER SWITCH. One other addition has
be glued and screwed in place. at least 1" larger in each dimension than to do with increasing the safety and
The top is cut to match the overall the top of the cart. convenience of using a router in a table.
width and depth of the cart and installed I like to use spray contact adhesive You may want to consider attaching a
with glue and screws. On the bottom to attach plastic laminate to a surface. power switch to the inside of the case
face of the subtop, I added a wide, Spray a coat on both the top and the near the front, as shown in the drawing
solid-wood brace along the front edge to laminate. Once the adhesive is dry to above. This switch makes turning off
provide additional stiffness (detail a). the touch, you can place the laminate. the router much easier. You can find the
PLASTIC LAMINATE WORKSURFACE. A router A flush-trim bit in your router eas- source for the one I used on page 67.
table sees a lot of use in most shops. ily removes the excess laminate. Then THE FENCE. I find that an uncomplicated
So the worksurface needs to stand up switch to a chamfer bit to ease the out- router table fence is simpler to make
side edges and prevent chipping. and works just as well as a full-featured
a. FRONT SECTION VIEW SOME ADDITIONS. The top is now ready for fence. You can see how this plays out in
Dust port the insert plate. The box above shows the drawings at left.
#8 x 1!/2" Fh
L woodscrew one part of the process. For the complete The overall structure is an L-shaped
J story, turn to page 64. hardwood assembly backed up by a
pair of braces. The base of the fence has
1"-rad.
a centered bit notch and a slot at each
FENCE BRACE end used for attaching the fence to the
b. SIDE SECTION VIEW L top, as in detail c. I also rounded the
K
J Dust 1 back corners with a radius.
3!/2 port
L #8 x 1!/2" Fh FENCE 2#/4 45 The fence face also has a bit notch cut
woodscrew BASE 1
L
into it. The face and base are glued and
J 2
%/16"-18 x 1!/2" screwed together, as illustrated in detail
studded knob b. As I mentioned, adding two braces
26
2!/2
ensures the fence stays square during
c. TOP SECTION VIEW 26 use, as you can see in details a and b.
J
3 1!/4
6 6#/8 The back corners of the braces are bev-
L Dust #8 x 1!/2" Fh
port woodscrew eled to soften the edge.
2#/4
1!/4 The final part of the fence to attach is
NOTE:
2!/4
K
All parts a commercial dust port. All thats left on
!/4"-rad. 3!/2
are #/4"-thick K the router table is to build a drawer. You
hardwood
FENCE FACE can find the details on the next page.

Woodsmith.com 31

WS227_030.indd 31 8/9/2016 8:49:21 AM


27!/2
22#/4
a. TOP
C SECTION VIEW
SHELF O
#8 x 1!/2" Fh NOTE: Glue and screw M N
!/4
woodscrew shelf in place after
installing drawer slides
DRAWER BACK
N #8 x 1!/4" Fh P
woodscrew

M b. FRONT SECTION VIEW

24

O M
DRAWER C
N
SIDE DRAWER BOTTOM 8
M 6 O
20 1"-rad. !/4
19 11!/8 !/4
5
!/4 !/4
1#/8 !/2"-rad.
N 24
20" full-extension 5!/2 DRAWER
FRONT 5!/2
slide with screws
1

Wrap it up with a
27!/4
P NOTE:
FALSE Drawer bottom is !/4" hardboard.
5#/4 All other parts are #/4" MDF
FRONT

DRAWER & SHELF


Having a router or two in your shop Its straightforward to cut, and it helps Here again, a look at detail b shows you
means theres no shortage of bits, to register the parts for assembly. what you need to know.
wrenches, collets, and more to keep The cutout in the drawer front is an FALSE FRONT & SHELF. The false front gives
track of. The drawer in the cart is a easily overlooked detail. But its impor- the drawer a finished look and includes
handy place to corral all those items. A tant, as the handhold in the false front the integral handhold that matches the
quick construction process means you wont do you any good without it. After sides. Finally, you can slip the shelf into
can finish off this router table and have cutting a groove in all the drawer box place to wrap up this cart.
it ready for action in a short time. parts to house the hardboard drawer bot- While the carts are complete, the next
RABBETS & GROOVES. One of the features I tom, you can glue up the box (detail b). page has one other bonus add-on to the
like about the drawers in these carts is The drawer slides can now be installed one-wall workshop. A set of sliding tool
the rabbet joinery, as shown in detail a. on the drawer box and in the cart. platforms to make the best use of space.

Materials, Supplies & Cutting Diagram (for the router table cart)
A Sides (2) 3 MDF - 2312 x 2814 K Fence Face (1) 3 x 31 - 26
4 4 2 (1) 26" x 32" Plastic Laminate
B Side Supports (2) 3 MDF - 6 x 22 3 x 23 - 31
4 L Fence Braces (2) 4 4 2 (1) Router Table Insert Plate
3
C Bottom/Shelf (2) 4 MDF x 223 4 x 2712 M Drawer Sides (2) 3
4 MDF - 512 x 20 (4) 516"-18 Threaded Inserts
3 MDF - 271 x 281 3 MDF - 51 x 24
D Back (1) 4 2 4 N Dwr. Front/Back (2) 4 2 (2) 516"-18 x 112" Studded Knobs
3 MDF - 6 x 26 1 Hdbd. x 19 - 24
E Back Support (1) 4 O Dwr. Bottom (1) 4 (2) 516" Washers
3 3
F Cleats (2) 4 - 4 x 29 P False Front (1) 4 MDF x 53 4 - 2714 (1) Dust Port
3 MDF - 22 x 271 1
G Subtop (1) 4 4 (44) #8 x 1 2" Fh Woodscrews (1) Power Switch
3 MDF - 231 x 29
H Top (1) 4 2 (46) #8 x 114" Fh Woodscrews (1 pr.) 20" Full-Extension Slides w/Screws
3
I Brace (1) 4 - 312 x 2712 (4) 3" Locking Swivel Casters
J Fence Base (1) 3 - 6 x 26
4 (16) #14 x 1" Ph Sheet Metal Screws
#/4"x 6!/2" - 60" Hard Maple (2.7 Bd. Ft.)
ALSO NEEDED:
K L L One 24" x 24" sheet of !/4" hardboard
J One 49" x 48!/2" sheet of #/4" MDF
One 49" x 97" sheet of #/4" MDF
1x6 - 96" Fir
F F I

32 Woodsmith / No. 227

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Add some cool
TOOL SLIDERS
The carts make configuring and using,
your shop space a snap. However, there
are other power tools that could use a
little organization, too. Benchtop power
tools are compact space-savers that
pack a lot of punch. The problem is that
unless they have a home, these tools
can end up in the way, contributing to
unnecessary shop clutter.
The solution to this problem is a set
of simple sliding platforms. Theyre
designed for the miter saw workstation
shown in the previous issue. They work { Benchtop tools stay close at hand on these pull-out sliders. Lock them in
on a simple concept. Each tool is secured place at the front of the workstation, or slide them back to free up space.
to an MDF base. In the stored position,
the tools sit back against the wall and during use. Wood guides keep the bases handles to the front edge of each base
leave free space for work or to cut long aligned and on track. to create a solid place to pull the slider
boards at the miter saw. NO NONSENSE DESIGN. The drawing below out and push it back in.
When you want to use the tool, you shows the construction of the three slid- The rabbet in the guide is just a hair
just pull the base forward. A studded ers I made. Keep in mind that you may deeper than the thickness of the bases, so
knob and threaded insert engage a hole need to modify the size of the bases that it doesnt bind, as in detail a. Also
drilled in the front edge of the work- to suit the tools you plan to use. An note that the outer guides only have a
station, as shown in the photo above. This important part of that is to make sure rabbet cut on the inside edge. Speaking
prevents the tool from moving around the sliders sit behind the fence of your of binding, I waxed the bottom of the
miter saw when theyre pushed bases so that they slide smoothly even
GUIDE D back against the wall. with a relatively heavy tool on top. Then
D
There are a few other details you can attach your tools to each base.
that I want to highlight about the Ive found that a workshop needs to
HANDLE
E sliders. I added a pair of wood be flexible to suit the task at hand. And
1!/2 this one-wall workshop and its carts offer
19
1!/2 a great way to get the job done. W
1!/2

6!/2 D
%/8
1!/2 E
D C
Materials, Supplies
19 E

17!/4
LARGE BASE & Cutting Diagram
B
A
E (for the tool sliders)
MEDIUM BASE
SMALL BASE E 3
21!/2 A Small Base (1) 4 MDF - 1312 x 19
E 3 MDF - 171 x 19
B Medium Base (1) 4 4
3 MDF - 211 x 19
19 C Large Base (1) 4 2
NOTE: Bases are #/4" MDF. 13!/2
D Guides (4) 112 x 112 - 19
All other parts are
"two-by" lumber E Handles (1) 112 x 112 - 40 rgh.
1
(12) #8 x 1 2" Fh Woodscrews
Drill #/8"-dia. holes, #/4"deep in (12) #8 x 2" Fh Woodscrews
edging to receive threaded knob
(3) 516"-18 x 112" Studded Knobs
(3) 516"-18 Threaded Inserts
a. FRONT SECTION VIEW
D C D 2 x 4 - 48" Fir (Two Boards)
!/4
E E E
D D E E E
!#/16
#8 x 1!/2" Fh %/16"-18 x 1!/2" %/16"-18 #8 x 2" Fh ALSO NEEDED:
woodscrew B studded knob threaded insert woodscrew One 49" x 48!/2" sheet of #/4" MDF

Woodsmith.com 33

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r
Designe
Project

Box-Jointed Craft Center


This unique storage project holds ample craft supplies in its five stacked
trays. When its time to work, the trays cantilever out for easy access.

More storage is always handy, par- to a comfortable working height when a little work at the band saw to com-
ticularly for crafts that involve a lot youre sitting in a chair. (Refer to page plete the final shaping.
of small parts and pieces. Thats why 41 for more on this design option.) CANTILEVER ACTION. But the most inter-
I built this handy craft center. In stor- SIMPLE, STURDY CONSTRUCTION. I opted to esting feature of this craft center is
age and transport mode, its a compact use box joints to hold the five trays how the upper trays pivot out above
package thats easy to carry around together, as well as the handle. This the lower tray. As it turns out, this
by its comfortable handle. And when joinery gives the cherry trays a great wasnt really difficult to do. The secret
youre ready to work, the four ample look while also providing a rock-solid is a series of solid-wood pivot bars
upper trays swing out above the large connection between the parts. The joined to the trays with brass binding
lower tray to put all the contents within same technique is used to join the posts. Ill show you the tips and tricks
easy reach. An optional stand raises it parts of the handle before performing for installing them on page 38.

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Construction Overview / OVERALL DIMENSIONS: 20"W x 13 "H x 10 "D 3
4
7
8

Lids feature
plywood panels
in a mitered,
grooved frame

Brass chain
holds lid in
upright position

Continuous hinges
join lids to trays

Solid-wood
trays assembled
with box joints
{ Like the trays, the parts of the solid-wood
handle are connected with box joints. Some
shaping at the band saw creates the curves.

Plywood bottoms
held in groove
in tray parts

Handle assembled
with box joints and
shaped at the
band saw

Binding posts
connect pivot
bars to trays

Pivot bars
allow upper trays
to cantilever out
above lower trays
for easy access

Lower tray is twice


the length of the
upper trays

NOTE: Refer to page 67


for hardware sources and
finishing information

< When closed up, the center is


a compact, easy-to-transport
package that securely stores all
your craft and hobby supplies.

Woodsmith.com 35

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UPPER E a.
TRAY END
10 UPPER
TRAY SIDE
E
E FRONT
VIEW
F
2!/2 #/8
9&/16 9&/16
E

MIDDLE TRAY
UPPER TRAY BOTTOM
BOTTOM 10
F
F D A !/4 B
D MIDDLE
E TRAY END
E
2!/2 Groove in Groove in
tray side is tray end is
D cut through stopped
E
MIDDLE
Ease edges E TRAY SIDE
at top and 3
bottom of B
trays with !/4
sanding D D
No
roundover
A on mating
corners
C
!/8"-rad. LOWER TRAY 19&/16
on outside 20 NOTE: Tray sides
3!/2 BOTTOM
corners and ends are #/8"-thick
hardwood. Tray bottoms
9&/16 are !/8" plywood

A
b. FRONT
10
B LOWER TRAY SECTION
SIDE #/8 VIEW
LOWER TRAY
END

!/8
!/8

Box joints for the TRAYS !/8

Construction of the craft center starts test-cutting your box joints. I always following page, it has a fence and base
with the five trays. As you can see above, like to cut box joints in some sample that attach to the miter gauge for sup-
the trays are made from solid cherry. pieces until I get the settings just right. porting the workpiece and a hardwood
They feature plywood bottoms and are Once all your stock is the proper key spaced 14" from the dado blade.
assembled with box joints. thickness, you can trim the parts to final The sequence shown in the drawings
The rectangular lower tray is twice the length. As for the width, its a good idea on the following page should give you
length of the two pairs of trays above it. to leave the pieces a hair wider than what the basics of cutting all the box joints.
Its also the deepest tray at 312". The pair is shown above. The reason for this is that As mentioned earlier, I like to start with
of middle trays are 12" shallower than its difficult to get a pin or slot of exact some test pieces until I get the fit right.
the lower tray, and the upper trays are width on the edge of your workpieces Then Ill label my pieces, so I can keep
1 " shallower yet (3" in the middle, 21 " as you cut the joints. Having a little extra track of them as I cut. To do this, Ill mark
2 2
at the top). Since I used 14" box joints to width allows you to trim the parts for a what tray they are part of, and also write
join the tray ends and sides, this equaled full pin or slot after cutting the box joints, a corresponding number in the mating
out to one more pin and slot in each set as shown in Figure 5 on the next page. corners of the workpieces. Label the mat-
of tray parts as you work your way from BOX JOINT BASICS. Once your tray parts ing corner ends with a 1, 1, and then the
the top of the craft center to the bottom. (and test pieces) are cut to length and next corner ends with 2, 2, etc. This way,
PREPARE TRAY PARTS. The stock for the a hair wide, youre just about ready to you can cut the parts in sequence. And
tray ends and sides is 38" thick, so youll start making box joints. But first, youll when you switch from cutting box joints
want to start with 12"-thick hardwood need a simple table saw jig. Youll find on one workpiece to the next, all you
and joint and plane it to final thick- the details for the one I built on page 65. have to do is match up the numbers to
ness. Also, prepare some extra stock for As you can see in the drawings on the make sure you get it right.

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CUTTING BOX JOINTS. With all the necessary to end up with a full pin or slot when can just rout it as you normally would
prep work done, the process of cutting youre done (Figure 5). without making a stopped cut.
box joints is pretty straightforward. Fig- COMPLETE THE TRAYS. The last step for the With all the glue surface available with
ures 1 through 4 in the box below provide trays is cutting a groove and adding box joints, you dont need much glue to
the details. Just make sure you hold the the plywood bottoms. As you can see create strong joints. I like to apply a little
pieces firm and steady as you cut, so you in Figure 6 below, I routed stopped to the inside of the slots before gluing
dont end up with a misaligned slot or grooves in the tray ends, so that I and clamping up the parts. All thats left
pin. As discussed previously, youll cut wouldnt create small holes in the is a little routing and sanding to round
slots across the full width of the work- outside faces of my trays. On the tray some of the box corners and edges, as in
pieces, and then trim them to final width sides, the groove ends in a slot, so you the main drawing on the previous page.

How-To: CUT BOX JOINTS & COMPLETE THE TRAYS


1 Jig fence
Box joint
jig (page 65) 2 FIRST: Slip SECOND:
first slot over Repeat the
Tray process to cut
Key side key and cut
a. second slot rest of slots on
FRONT VIEW workpiece
Jig base !/4 !/4
Key
#/8

!/4" dado
blade

Cut the First Slot. For the first cut, maintain a firm Cut Adjacent Slots. After cutting each slot, slip the slot over the
grip to keep the workpiece in position against the key to cut the next one. As you move the workpiece after cutting
fence and tight against the key. each slot, make sure the bottom edge stays flat against the base.

3 4
Tray Tray THIRD: Cut
side end a. FRONT all slots
VIEW as before
SECOND: Butt
mating part Key
against it to
begin cutting
FIRST: Flip slots
piece face for
face and put slot
over key

Switch to Mating Workpiece. Flip the first workpiece around (face for Repeat the Process. Now cut along the mating
face), and use it as a spacer for cutting the first notch in the mating workpiece as before, slipping the slot over the
workpiece. Butt the mating piece firmly against the first one while cutting. key in order to cut the adjacent slot.

5 Full slot 6 Stop a. END b. FRONT VIEW


on end
line !/8 SECTION Start Stop
Tray VIEW line line
end #/16
#/16
Start
a. Push END SECTION VIEW line
block
!/8
!/8"
straight
bit

Final Width. After cutting all the box Stopped Grooves. The tray parts have a groove to accept the plywood bottom.
joints, rip the waste edge off each piece This groove can be cut all the way through the tray sides, but it needs to be a
so theres a full pin or slot remaining. stopped cut on the tray ends. You can make the stopped groove as shown above.

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Ease edges
G
1!/8
with sanding a. FRONT SECTION VIEW
1"-dia. G
hole H #/4
LID FRAME LID
SIDE PANEL
G !/16" #/8 H
G
8#/4 8#/4 round-
10 over
NOTE: Sides are #/8"-thick 10
hardwood. Panels are #/8
!/4" plywood #/64
G
G 20mm
Ball continuous
chain hinge b.
H (9!/4" long) %/8
Ball
chain
G H

3!/2 Continuous
G hinge

%/8

Upper 3!/2

Lids & PIVOT BARS tray end

Now that all five trays are complete, you Then rip the lid frame sides to final PANEL. Now turn your attention to the
can get started on the lids that enclose the width, but leave them long for now. plywood panel that forms the center
upper trays. Each is a mitered hardwood MITERS. The overall dimensions of the portion of each lid. As you can see
frame sized to fit flush with the tray, with lid frame need to match those of the above, its rabbeted to fit the groove in
a plywood panel in the middle. A hole upper tray, which can be easier said than the frame sides. The rabbet is formed
in each panel allows you to open the lid. done. I found it was best to sneak up as shown in Figure 2 below. Check the
Theyre joined to the upper trays with on the miters, and check the fit of each fit of the panel until it slips nicely into
continuous hinges and brass chains. frame on the tray until I got it right. place in the grooves. Finally, drill the
START WITH THE LID FRAMES. Like the tray GROOVE. Now you can cut the grooves hole in the lid panel with a Forstner
parts, the lid frame sides are made from in the frame sides, as shown in Figure 1 bit. Then its time to assemble the lids
3 using glue and clamps.
8"-thick hardwood. So youll want to below. Set the rip fence so that the panel
get started by jointing and planing the will align flush with the top edge of the HINGE MORTISES. Both the top tray and
stock to size from 12"-thick material. of the frame once it gets added next. the lid have shallow mortises in them

How-To: CREATE THE LIDS


Start Stop line
1 2 3 line
#/8

G H FIRST: Start cut


Rip Push so lid edge aligns
fence block with start line #/8 FRONT
Rip SECTION
!/2" straight
blade
bit a. VIEW

b.
a. a. !/8
END
VIEW #/8
!/4" !/8
ply. SECOND: Stop
cut when lid edge
!/8 aligns with stop line
NOTE: Rout THIRD: Square END #/64
END VIEW upper trays mortise with VIEW
with same setup chisel

Grooves. After mitering the frame Rabbet. Cut a small rabbet around Hinge Mortise. The hinge mortises on the lid
sides, cut grooves with a standard rip the edges of the lid panel so it fits and upper tray both require simple stopped cuts
blade to accept the plywood panel. the grooves in the mitered frame. on the router table as shown.

38 Woodsmith / No. 227

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a.
J
I FRONT VIEW %/8 J
!/8"-rad.
5!%/32 I

J 4!%/32 4!%/32
9!%/16

b. TOP SECTION VIEW


I
LONG PIVOT
BAR
&/32"-dia. Tray
J holes side
J
SHORT
PIVOT BAR NOTE: Add
threadlocker Pivot #/8
!#/64"-dia. x #/4" to binding bar
binding post NOTE: Pivot
bars are #/8"-thick posts when
hardwood installing
them !/8"
roundover

for the continuous hinges. These are After sizing the bars, the first order of the binding posts to secure the bars in
easy to cut with the same router table business is drilling the holes in the bars. the middle tray, then stack and clamp all
setup, as shown in Figure 3 on the pre- Its important that the holes align per- five trays together. Finally, use spacers
vious page. Leave the lids off for now, fectly from each bar to the next, so use a to align the bars at the correct position
however, as theyll get in the way dur- stop block on the drill press for each hole on the lower and upper trays (Figure 2).
ing the next step, which is making and setting. With the holes drilled, soften the After marking all the hole locations,
installing the pivot bars. edges of the bars with sandpaper. you can drill them out and connect the
PIVOT BARS. The craft centers cantilever For the swing-out trays to work trays with more binding posts. (I added a
action is accomplished with a series of smoothly, the bars must be parallel with few drops of threadlocker to each post as
pivot bars. There are eight short pivot each other, and their holes must align I installed it.) The trays should now open
bars and four long pivot bars. Theyre horizontally and vertically. I used the and close smoothly.
joined to the sides of the trays with bind- process shown below to accomplish LIDS. All thats left is attaching the lids
ing posts. These are two-part fasteners this. The key is laying out and drilling to the upper trays with the hinges and
that consist of a small bolt that threads the holes in the middle tray first, as brass chains. Refer to the drawings on
into a barrel (detail b above). shown in Figure 1 below. After that, use the previous page for details.

How-To: INSTALL THE PIVOT BARS


Right middle
1 tray J 2 a. Pivot
bar
Left middle 1!(/32"-wide Tray
I
tray spacers side
SIDE &/32" brad
VIEW point bit
J
&/32"-dia.
holes

b.
a. 3%/16 1&/8 Backer
&/32" brad Clamping
point bit caul
Left middle tray
1!/2 FRONT VIEW

Middle Tray Holes. The middle trays hold the key to ensuring Install Pivot Bars. After attaching the bars to the middle
that the pivot bars work properly. Carefully lay out and drill the tray, stack and clamp the trays, and use spacers to position
holes in these trays, using a backer to prevent blowout. the bars as shown. Then mark and drill the holes.

Woodsmith.com 39

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HANDLE
TOP NOTE: Handle parts
10&/8 start as 1"-thick hardwood
L
and are cut to shape
b. SIDE VIEW
after assembly
1 a. #/8 L
L
1"-rad.
!/4 13#/4
K
%/8"-rad.
1
HANDLE K
SIDE
#/8
!/4

K
K c. #/8
1!/4
!#/64"-dia. x #/4" !/8"-
binding post rad.
NOTE: Handle is
centered on width
of sewing box END &/16
SECTION
VIEW 3!/2
K 2#/4
&/32"
!#/64"-dia. x #/4" hole
binding post
#/4

Finish up with the HANDLE


Your box-jointed craft center is nearing unique curved box joints at the top of SHAPING THE HANDLE. After cutting the box
completion. All thats left in the construc- the handle, as shown in the drawing joints and gluing the handle together,
tion process is adding the handle and, if above. But first, youll start by cut- the work of shaping it can begin. I
desired, some tray dividers and a stand ting the 1"-thick pieces to width and relied on a few different tools to get
(refer to the Designers Notebook on length. Here again, leave the parts a good results when forming the handle.
the following page). To give it a unique hair wider than their finished width. As indicated in detail c above, the fin-
look that matches the rest of the box, I BOX JOINTS. The process for cutting these ished handle is slightly relieved on the
made the handle from cherry parts con- box joints is about the same as outlined inside faces to provide clearance when
nected with box joints. Then I formed the on page 37. The main difference is that opening and closing the trays. To form
final curved shape of the handle. these parts are thicker, which means the a smooth transition at this point where
HANDLE. Since the handle is made cuts for the box joints need to be deeper, the thickness changes, I drilled holes at
from thicker parts than the rest of the as shown in detail a above. But other the drill press as shown on the left side
sewing box, it requires purchasing than that, the method for cutting them of Figure 2. While there, I also drilled out
one thick cherry board. This thick- is identical. You can even use the same the inside radius at each upper corner
ness is what allows you to create the jig (Figure 1 below provides the details). with a 114" Forstner bit (detail b). Then I

How-To: MAKE THE HANDLE


1 Key
L
K
Box
joint
2 3
jig !/4" brad
(page 65) point bit &/16
!/4" dado
blade !/2 %/8"- NOTE:
rad. Cut outside
a. L K layout lines then
5 sand smooth
!/4 3%/8
NOTE: Make
1 Inside matching
face stopped
NOTE: Drill cut on other
matching hole on side of handle 1"-rad.
other side of handle

Box Joints. The box joints for the Shaping. Drill holes near the bottom and Band Saw. The remainder of the
handle are cut the same way, with the top of the handle to form clean radii, then shaping work on the handle is done at
same jig, as the tray parts, only deeper. make stopped table saw cuts at the bottom. the band saw and with sanding.

40 Woodsmith / No. 227

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made some stopped cuts at the table saw able to follow up with a sanding block GREAT FOR A RANGE OF HOBBIES. Now all thats
to form the bottom of the handle (right and my spindle sander in order to left is applying stain and finish to the
side of Figure 2, previous page). clean up the cuts. parts (page 67). There are some options
TO THE BAND SAW. All thats left is shap- INSTALLATION. Once thats done, posi- you can add as shown below, if desired.
ing the upper portion of the handle, tion the handle on the box and drill The craft center is sure to come in handy
which I did mainly with a band saw mounting holes through both the han- around your house in several different
and some sanding work. By cutting dle and lower tray. Then secure it with ways. Its great for storing sewing sup-
just outside the layout lines (refer to four more binding posts, as shown in plies, but it also makes a handy storage
Figure 3 on the previous page), I was the drawings on the previous page. area for other hobbies, as well. W

As presented in this article, the


Upper tray
craft center is quite handy to set on divider consists
of four thin wood
a table or desk while youre working strips with
interlocking notches
on a project. With the addition of the
stand shown at right, however, you
can elevate the box to a comfortable
height to set on the floor beside your
chair while you work.
A second design option is found in
the upper trays of the center in the Stand features
tapered legs connected
form of a gridwork of tray dividers. to stretchers with
mortise and tenon joinery
These simple notched strips divvy up
the trays to organize smaller supplies. For details on the
Full details are available online. stand and tray
dividers, go to
Woodsmith.com

Materials, Supplies & Cutting Diagram


A Lower Tray Sides (2) 3 x 31 - 20 G Lid Frame Sides (8) 3 x 3 - 10 (2) 20mm x 780mm Continuous Hinges
8 2 8 4
B Lower Tray Ends (2) 3 x 31 - 10
8 2 H Lid Panels (2) 1 ply. - 83 x 83
4 4 4 (20) #4 x 38"Fh Brass Woodscrews
C Lower Tray Btm. (1) 18 ply. - 9716 x 19716 I Long Pivot Bars (4) 3 x 5 - 915
8 8 16 (2) Ball Chain Sets
D Middle Tray Sides/Ends (8) 3 x 3 - 10
8 J Short Pivot Bars (8) 3 x 5 - 515
8 8 32 (32) 1364"-dia. x 34"-long Binding Posts
E Upper Tray Sides/Ends (8) 38 x 212 - 10 K Handle Sides (2) 1 x 114 - 1334
F Middle/Upper Tray Btms. (4) 18 ply. - 9716 x 9716 L Handle Top (1) 1 x 114 - 1078

!/2"x 6!/2" - 96" Cherry (Two Boards @ 4.3 Sq. Ft. each)
A B D tt
D D D E E

E E G G I J J

1" x 2" - 48" Cherry (.8 Bd. Ft.) ALSO NEEDED:


One 24" x 48" sheet of !/8" birch plywood
K K L One 24" x 24" sheet of !/4" cherry plywood

Woodsmith.com 41

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Heirloom
Project

Domed-Top
Steamer Trunk
Practical storage space combines with a stylish, custom design in this
adaptation of a well-known classic traveling companion.
In the era of steamship and train travel, finding a second life serving as decora- gradual curve from front to back to create
no self-respecting traveler would dare tive storage solutions. That was the inspi- the domed shape that gives our trunk its
venture abroad without a fashionable, ration for the version you see above. name. The lid construction may appear
rugged trunk to safely store their pos- This trunk is not only attractive, but it intimidating. But its very similar to mak-
sessions and wardrobe. However, as also provides lots of storage in its main ing the other frame and panels, with a
transportation evolved to modern auto- compartment. In addition, a removable few angles thrown in.
mobiles and air travel making way for till with dovetail joinery offers up the I used quartersawn white oak and
the more transportable suitcase most perfect place to store smaller items that plywood throughout on this trunk. That,
trunks found a new home tucked away in are easily accessible. along with the traditional hardware, cre-
the attic storing family treasures. The bulk of the trunk consists of frame ates a piece of fine furniture that youll
But because of their beauty and con- and panel construction. Even the lid uses be proud to put on full display, instead
siderable size, many of these trunks are this technique with one twist. It has a of letting it gather dust in the attic.

42 Woodsmith / No. 227

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Construction Overview / OVERALL DIMENSIONS: 36"W x 20 3
16"H x 20"D

The domed lid


creates plenty of
storage space inside
the trunk

Traditional steamer
trunk hardware provides
an authentic look. For source Till is constructed with
information turn to page 67 hand-cut dovetails.
Turn to page 16
Lift-out till is for more about
perfect for dovetail joinery
storing smaller
items
Aromatic cedar
planks are added
to the sides and
bottom

Decorative tacks
provide a nice
detail on the
reinforcement bands
Each component of
the trunk is a frame
and panel assembly The rugged leather
using stub tenon and handles provide a
groove joinery comfortable grip for
moving the trunk
NOTE: Quartersawn white
oak used predominantly
throughout trunk

{ Traditional steamer trunk hardware not only looks { The sturdy dovetail joinery on the lift-out till ensures
fantastic, but it also protects the vulnerable corners that itll stand up to frequent removal, even when its
and edges of the trunk from damage. loaded down with heavy items.

Woodsmith.com 43

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MIDDLE
BACK
C STILE B a.
B #/8
STILE Size tenons #/8
to match
B plywood
A D
A thickness
D MIDDLE C
C STILE
D C D
BACK D !/4" ply.
PANEL C
D
A

b. C
C D
D
D

A
#/8
A
FRONT D D
A 15#/4 PANELS B !/4"
C 2!/4 ply. C
BACK
RAIL D
5!/4

B 2!/4
FRONT
5#/16
A
c.
!/4"
STILE FRONT RAIL #/8 ply.
6&/8 32!/4
A
NOTE: Rails and stiles are
2!/8 made from #/4"-thick hardwood. B
Panels are !/4" plywood

Making the TRUNK FRAMES


D

The trunk is made up of a group of frame MATERIAL PREPARATION. Before cutting the next provides the information you
and panel assemblies: The front, back, any parts to size, I spent a little time need to build the front, back, and sides.
and two sides form the walls of the preparing my stock. Since a vast As you can see, the front and back are
project, while the bottom and lid enclose majority of the trunk parts are made identical assemblies, as are the two
it. Each assembly consists of a hardwood from 34"-thick quartersawn white oak, side frames. With that in mind, start
frame with plywood panels. This frame I surfaced enough lumber up front to by cutting all of the stiles and rails to
and panel design relies on stub tenon and ensure a smooth build process. size for all four assemblies. Because of
groove joinery, which is both strong and IDENTICAL ASSEMBLIES. A quick look at the the large number of parts youll now
easy to cut at the table saw. drawings at the top of this page and have on hand, its a good idea to label

How-To: BUILD THE FRONT & BACK FRAMES


1 NOTE: Outside
rails and stiles
2 3 Riser
have groove on Aux. miter
A one edge only fence
B Aux.
C rip
Rip fence
fence A C
!/2" dado blade Front/back
frame
a. !/4" a. END VIEW assembly
ply. !/4" ply.
Featherboard #/8
END
VIEW Clamp
#/8 Cauls at ends of across
frame protect stiles
frame end stiles

Centered Grooves. Make all of Stub Tenons. Make the cheek Assemble Front & Back Frames. Some risers
the grooves in two passes, flipping cuts for the tenons on the rails and clamping cauls make assembling the front
the pieces end-for-end in between. and middle stiles. and back frames much easier.

44 Woodsmith / No. 227

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NOTE: Rails and stiles are
made from #/4"-thick F
hardwood. Panels !/4
are !/4" plywood #/8 Front
G
everything in order to keep things !/4" stile
E
straight as you cut the joinery. ply.
F F
CENTERED GROOVES. The plywood pan-
els are held in the frames by a narrow G
F
groove cut along the edges of the stiles
#/8
and rails. In order to size the grooves E G E a.
to fit the plywood, and keep them G
SIDE PANEL
centered on the thickness of the work-
pieces, I cut them in two passes. Using G
a standard 18"-wide rip blade, I flipped 15#/4 #/8
F
each piece between passes, as shown
in Figure 1 on the previous page. Be 16#/16
F
E
sure to note that the outer stiles and
rails have grooves on one edge only. SIDE
RAIL
STUB TENONS. Figure 2 at the bottom of F G
5#/16 E G b.
the previous page (as well as details
SIDE
a, b, and c on both pages) provide 2!/4 2!/4 STILE
the dimensions and details for cutting Front/
the stub tenons at the table saw. With 16!/4
d. back
G assemblies
so many parts, this will take some time D fit in side
B stile
to complete, so patience is key. This is G
rabbets
where having properly labeled parts outer edge (detail d). These rabbets %/8
pays big dividends. form a thin tongue that wraps around E

With the tenons complete, cut the the stiles on the front and back panels. E #/4
plywood panels to size for all four The reason I chose this joint is twofold.
TOP SECTION F
c.
VIEW
assemblies. But before adding any glue, First, it creates a lot of glue surface, mak-
its a good idea to do a test fit on each ing for a very secure connection. And assemblies to form the basic box, as
section. Nows the time to make any second, after the trunk is assembled, the shown in Figure 2. Because of the thin
needed adjustments. When youre satis- corners get eased, and the thin edge of the tongues on the side stiles, I used some
fied with the fit, you can assemble each tongue essentially blends into the mating thicker strips of hardwood as clamp-
panel assembly using glue and clamps. piece. After the side assemblies come out ing cauls. This helps to distribute the
The front and back frames are shown in of the clamps, these rabbets can be cut at clamp pressure evenly. Here, its a
Figure 3 on the previous page. the table saw (Figure 1, below). good idea to call in a helper to hold
RABBET SIDE PANELS. The stiles on the side ASSEMBLE CASE. Finally, glue and the frames together as the clamps and
assemblies receive a rabbet along their clamp the sides to the front and back cauls are put in place.

How-To: CUT THE RABBETS & ASSEMBLE CASE


Assembly squares
1 2
Aux. E
rip F a.
fence
TOP
VIEW
#/4" dado a. END VIEW E
blade Caul
#/4

B
%/8
Cauls protect Position clamp away
thin tongue of from thin edge
end stile rabbet of stile rabbet

Rabbets. Cut the rabbets on the Assemble Case. To avoid putting uneven pressure on the thin tongues on the side
front and back edges of the side stiles, I used some hardwood clamping cauls during assembly. Using a few assembly
frames after theyre assembled. squares, along with a helper, will make this part of the process go much smoother.

Woodsmith.com 45

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a.
SIDE SECTION VIEW Front
rail
J
Cedar plank

NOTE: Cut cedar planks to H %/8


length to fit between stiles.
Trim outer edge of front #/4
I
and rear planks as needed

Cedar b.
planks 16!/4 FRONT
BOTTOM I SECTION
RAIL VIEW Cedar plank
H J
16!/4
fits tight
Side against rail
rail
J
!/4 15#/8
!/4 I
I
BOTTOM H
J STILE NOTE: Refer to
I
BOTTOM 36 page 67 for cedar
BOTTOM PANEL plank sources
STILE
2!/4 c. FRONT SECTION VIEW
Cedar planks
BOTTOM H
RAIL NOTE: Bottom rails and #/8
NOTE: Overall dimensions stiles are made from !/4" ply.
of bottom need to match 2%/8 #/4"-thick hardwood. Bottom
the outside case dimensions panels are !/4" plywood

Add the BOTTOM & TILL SUPPORT


H I H
J J

With the assembly of the four walls of the trunk opening to guide a removable side frames. After cutting the rails to
the trunk in the rearview mirror, you till that youll make later on. size, use the same technique shown in
can now turn your attention to the next FAMILIAR CONSTRUCTION. At this point, the the How-To box on page 44 to complete
frame and panel assembly the bot- bottom construction should be second the grooves in the edges of the work-
tom. After that youll add some mitered nature. It follows the same procedure pieces. Likewise, the stub tenons on the
supports around the inside perimeter of you used to build the front, back, and ends of the side and middle rails follow

How-To: BUILD THE BOTTOM


3
1 2

Aux. Clamping
rip cauls
fence

Support
Clamp across Rabbet all blocks
stiles #/4" dado four edges
blade
a. END VIEW

#/4
a.
NOTE: Case turned
upside down
Edge of end stiles are for installation
flush with ends of
front and back rails %/8 Cauls apply equal
pressure around
perimeter

Glue Up Bottom. After cutting all of Rabbet Edges. Use a dado blade Attach Bottom. Use clamping cauls to
the joinery, assemble the bottom panel to form the rabbet around the evenly distribute the clamping pressure
with glue and clamps. perimeter of the bottom. along the edge of the bottom.

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NOTE: Till guides and K TILL GUIDE a. TOP
till support lips are made SECTION
the same steps as before. Now from #/8"-thick hardwood 2%/8 VIEW
cut the two panels to size, do
a test assembly, and then glue 18!/2 Back
K end stile
the bottom assembly together
34!/2 33#/4 Back plank
(Figure 1, previous page). widths are Cedar planks Side
cut to fit are cut to fit stile
WIDE RABBET. Attaching the bot- between rails
tom to the trunk case works L
much the same way as the TILL
sides were attached to the SUPPORT
LIP
front and back. Except this K Trimmed
cedar
time, the rabbet is cut on plank
all four edges of the bot-
L
tom so that it fits inside
the bottom opening of the
trunk carcase. After the bot- Side
Cedar planks at panel
tom comes out of the clamps, both ends of case
you can cut this rabbet at the
b. c.
table saw, as shown in Figure 2
on the previous page. #/8
K Till guides have
BRING IT TOGETHER. Figure 3 Sand to ease mitered ends
top edges of
shows the process for adding till guide K Side L
the bottom to the trunk case. stile NOTE: Cedar
#/8 K planks are
Place the case upside down Lip is Front glued to
flush with top side panels
supported on blocks. And bottom rail Front
SIDE end stile
again, using some hardwood of till SECTION
guide L #/8 VIEW
cauls to distribute the clamp-
TOP VIEW
ing pressure evenly, assemble
the case with glue.
CEDAR PLANK OPTION. If your plans call the planking to the bottom, as well as and has tongue and groove edges. How-
for using the steamer trunk to hold the sides for extra thickness. This extra ever, the styles and thickness may vary
linens or wool items, then you may thickness will be needed for securing by vendor. Its simply cut to size (Figure
want to consider adding aromatic the handle hardware later on. 1) and glued in place between the rails.
cedar planking to the interior to help Cedar planking is available at many I cut my pieces to size now but waited
keep things smelling pleasant. I added home centers. The style I used is 14" thick to install them until after the interior of
the trunk was finished.

How-To: CUT PLANKING & TILL GUIDE TILL GUIDES & SUPPORTS
Next up are some thin till guides with
1 2 Aux. miter
a narrow lip attached at the bottom.
These wrap the interior opening of
Rip fence
fence K
the trunk. The guides and lip provide
Trim tongue
edge of a resting spot for the removable till. I
cedar plank used 38"-thick boards planed down
Tilt from 12"-thick stock for these pieces.
blade 45
Start by ripping the till guides to width,
a. END VIEW
a. END VIEW
but leave them a little long. Youll then
miter their ends (Figure 2) and glue and
Waste
clamp them in place as shown in detail
b, above. Now ease the upper edges of
these parts with sandpaper. This elimi-
nates a snagging point when reaching
into the trunk and allows for a smoother
Cut to Fit. Depending on the cedar Miter Till Guides. Miter the ends opening and closing operation. The two
planking you use, it may be necessary of the till guides for a snug fit till support lips are simply cut to fit and
to rip the end pieces to fit. around the interior of the case. glued and clamped to the front and back
till guides (details b and c).

Woodsmith.com 47

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O
NOTE: Middle rails are made LID MIDDLE a. 2.7
from !!/16"-thick hardwood. RAIL
#/8
Outer rails and stiles are N
#/16
#/4"-thick hardwood. N !!/16
Lid panels and splines !/4
are !/4" plywood O M
Q 7.3
P R
M
P Q SIDE SECTION VIEW
P (through lid outer rail)

Q 35#/4 2.7 middle rail b.


Q P
edge bevels
O
O LID MIDDLE 8 4.6 middle
Q #/ stile bevel
STILES
P
R R !/4 N
R
2!/4 7.3
3&/8
#/4 #/16 R
1!/2 4&/16 2!/4 35#/4 M
Q
LID OUTER SIDE SECTION VIEW P
LID PANEL RAIL (through lid middle rail)
SPLINE
R 6!%/16
c. FRONT SECTION VIEW d.
3&/8 (through panels) P
Q P
N
LID OUTER 2!/8 2!/4 #/8
STILE #/16
!/4 #/4
O P N !!/16

Q Q
SIDE SECTION VIEW

Build the DOMED LID (through panels)

Having the main portion of the chest used splines instead of stub tenon join- that the two middle rails are made
completed is a big accomplishment. ery (like was used on the lower part of from slightly thinner stock (1116"). This
And while everything up to this point the trunk). This means that all of the makes it much easier to smooth the
has been done by making a lot of 90 grooves on the stiles are cut at 90. Just outer surface of the lid with a block
cuts, thats about to change. take things one step at a time (and keep plane after the lid is glued up. The two
The lid for the chest has a slight curve the parts organized) and youll end up outer rails are also left a little wide for
from front to back. Making this curve with a perfect-fitting lid. now (238"). The outside edges of the lid
requires some angled grooves and bevel SQUARE THE RAILS. Begin building the lid will be cut to size after assembly.
cuts on the four long rails. But to sim- by cutting the four long rails to size. ANGLED GROOVES. When building the
plify the rest of the lid construction, I Youll notice in details b and d above frames on the lower section of the

How-To: GROOVE & BEVEL RAILS


3 a. END VIEW
1 2 Maintain 2!/4"
rail width
M Bevel one edge only
N
NOTE: Inside
Rip face of rails
fence against rip N M
Inside face fence
against Tilt blade
fence 7.3
Tilt blade 7.3 !/4" dado
blade b. END VIEW
!/4" dado Maintain 2!/4"
blade a. END a. END Tilt blade 2.7
rail width
VIEW VIEW
#/16 #/16 Bevel both edges
NOTE: Inside
face of workpiece
#/8 #/8 is flat against N
table surface

Outer Rails. Use a dado blade to Middle Rails. Maintaining the same Bevel Edges. Tilt the saw blade and bevel
make the groove in the rails. Be sure setup, cut the grooves in both edges the edges of the rails. Be sure to only bevel
the inside face is against the fence. of the middle rails. the inside edge of the two outer rails.

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How-To: MAKE STILES & ASSEMBLE LID
trunk, I recommended using a regular
rip blade to cut the grooves for the ply- 1 2 6
wood panels. This was to make it easier Push
to center the groove on the thickness of a. END b. END support
VIEW VIEW is flush
the workpiece. But here, not only is the Push with part
block
groove off-center, its angled as well. So #/8 3&/8
instead, I used a 14" dado blade to cut O
Push
Aux. rip P
all of the grooves in the rails and stiles. !/4 support !/4" dado blade
fence #/16 fence
ALL ABOUT THE ANGLES. For the next few #/16 P
steps, having a digital protractor or !/4 a. #/16
!/4" dado
angle gauge is very handy for tilting the blade END
VIEW !/4
table saw blade. The How-To box at the #/8 #/8
bottom of the previous page shows the Featherboard
angle to use for cutting the grooves in
the two outer rails (Figure 1), as well as Edge Grooves. With the inside face against End Grooves. Using a support
the two middle rails (Figure 2). the fence, cut the grooves in the outer stiles block, cut the grooves in the
Since the grooves arent centered, (detail a) and the middle stiles (detail b). ends of the stiles.
keeping the proper face of the workpiece
against the rip fence is the key to success 3 Aux. miter
fence
4
here. Figure 3 provides the information
for beveling the edges of these parts.
LID STILES. The fifteen stiles are next
Stop
on the agenda. Be sure to note that the block
O P
nine middle stiles are wider than the six
Tilt blade 4.6
outer stiles. With that in mind, cut these N M
Q
parts to size and cut the grooves in the END VIEW a.
edges and ends, as shown in Figures 1 3&/8 O
and 2, at right. I made a couple push
Clamp both Clamp
block supports to assist in making these outside top Clamp cleats to
workbench at 90 assembly
cuts. Keep in mind that these grooves assemblies
to each other to cleats
arent centered either.
BEVELING THE STILES. Completing the Bevel Middle Stiles. Bevel the Assemble in Sections. Clamp up the
short stiles is simply a matter of bevel- ends of the stiles, maintaining two outer lid assemblies using some cleats
ing the ends at the table saw. You only their overall length. positioned at 90 to one another.
need to remove a sliver of material,
as shown in Figures 3 and 3a. Using 5 6
a stop block ensures the parts remain
the same finished length.
STAGED ASSEMBLY. After cutting the ply-
wood panels and splines to size, its
time to tackle the lid assembly. To make Trim equal amounts
this step easier to manage, I did the at each edge to
achieve 19#/4"
assembly work in stages, starting with finished width
the two outer rows as shown in Figure Cleats hold assembly 2"-tall Outfeed
square and in position support block support
4. A few hardwood cleats set at 90 help
to keep the parts aligned properly. a. a. END VIEW
Clamp !/32
The middle row of panels, splines, block 1 !/4 O
and stiles can be added next. Figure 5 99 M
shows the details. I made some simple
Tilt blade
clamp blocks (detail a) to provide a 2 22
larger clamping surface. A support END SECTION VIEW !/8
block under the lid ensures the correct
lid height. After the glue sets up, the Middle. After the outer assemblies Trim. At the table saw, trim the outer
outer edges of the lid can be trimmed. dry, you can add the middle stiles edges to the final size shown. Remove
Take an even amount off each side to and panels using clamp blocks. an equal amount from both edges.
arrive at the final dimension (Figure 6).

Woodsmith.com 49

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Lid side blank
size shown
LID SIDE
NOTE: Lid side
T
arc is cut at the
T band saw
S LID BACK 4!/2
4#/16 35#/4
S LID FRONT 20
2
20 a. #/8 Trim
flush after
assembly

T !!/16
NOTE: Lid front, 2!/8
back, and sides are END SECTION 1(/16
made from#/4"-thick INTERIOR VIEW
S
hardwood
Till guide
Front rail
b. 20
c. d. Waste sanded flush
after assembly

4&/16 %/8
(Top of 4!/2 T
Strike arc and cut 24!/4"-rad. cut line arc)
2!/4 at the band saw 2
T

LID SIDE BLANK 4&/16


S
#/4
%/8
NOTE: End rabbets cut Till guide

Completing the LID


on the table saw. Faceted
rabbet is made using a FRONT
router and template SECTION VIEW

With the top portion of the lid completed, edges to wrap the ends of the lid. How- detail a. The excess will be trimmed
there are just a few more pieces that need ever, because of the different facets of off after theyre installed. Figure 1 below
to be added to finish up the assembly. the underside of the lid, a template and shows how to cut the rabbets.
The lid front and back have angled rab- a router are used to cut these rabbets. Gluing the front and the back to the
bets on their upper edges that wrap the LID FRONT & BACK. Start by cutting two lid isnt complicated by any stretch, but
edges of the lid rails. These are simple to blanks to length for the lid front and back. it does require quite a few clamps to
make at the table saw. The sides of the Youll want to cut these a little wider hold everything together. As you can
lid also have rabbets along their upper than their finished width, as shown in see in Figure 2 below, I made a spacer to

How-To: ADD THE LID FRONT & BACK


1 S
2 3
Aux.
rip
fence

Tilt #/4" dado


blade 22 Blend proud ends
18!/2"-long of stiles with
a. END VIEW spacer block between top of lid outer
Clamp
2!/8 lid front and back Riser block and middle rails
#/4
a. a. Plane, then
sand flush
Notch in
#/8 clamp block
clears lid front
Riser
Spacer
1(/16 block END VIEW

Angled Rabbets. Use a dado Glue to Lid. Using risers, spacer Shape the Lid. A block plane makes quick work
blade to form the rabbets along blocks and clamp blocks, glue the of rounding the ends of the stiles. Sand out the
the edge of the front and back. lid front and back in place. plane marks when done.

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Reinforcement bands
!/8"roundover are centered on lid Trunk knees
fit between the lid front and back. This on edges and 36 middle rails are centered on
prevents the clamps from putting too ends of lid reinforcement
and trunk U
bands
much pressure on the curved lid and
pulling it out of shape. I also made a
!/8" roundover on
couple of long clamping blocks using top edge perimeter of
the same profile from earlier when reinforcement bands
assembling the lid sections. These #8 x %/8" Ph U
provide a nice, flat clamping sur- woodscrews
4 Trunk hinge
face for assembly.
The little sliver of material on
the lid front and back that sticks REINFORCEMENT
BAND
up over the top of the lid is planed U Brass
down and sanded smooth. I also trunk
knees
9(/16
took the time at this point to Brass
trunk
slightly round the ends of the stiles knee 1&/8
to make them flush with the rails
(Figure 3, previous page). #/4" brass
tacks
LID SIDES. The sides of the lid are a little !/8" -dia. shank hole through Large trunk
more complex than the front and back reinforcement band for tack #8 x %/8" Ph corners
pieces and require some close attention Front and back reinforcement woodscrews
bands are centered on front
to ensure a good fit. But they too begin and back middle rails
as a couple of extra-wide blanks. The
rabbets cut along both ends are pretty
straightforward (Figure 1).
Next, hold the blanks against their How-To: MAKE THE LID SIDES
respective ends of the lid and trace the
curved, outside profile of the lid onto 1 Aux. miter 2
the sides. You can then cut these curves fence
at the band saw, being sure to cut on the
T
waste side, about 18" away from the line.
This excess material gets sanded smooth Waste
after the sides are glued to the lid. a. END VIEW 20
#/4 Scribe inside
TEMPLATE. The next two drawings show #/4" dado profile of lid on 4!/2
the rest of the process for completing the blade %/8 template, then
cut out on
sides. And that starts by tracing the inside the band saw
Flush
curve of the lid onto a piece of MDF that MDF
template
will act as a template (Figure 2). After cut-
ting out the template at the band saw and Rabbet Ends. The rabbets along the Template. Make a hardwood
checking the fit against the lid, its held ends of the sides are easy to make at template to the size shown and
to the side with double-sided tape. Dont the table saw with a dado blade. trace the inside profile of the lid.
try to remove all of the material in one
MDF
pass (Figure 3). Take light cuts, moving 3 template 4
the bit closer to the template each time.
T Clamp
The sides are then glued in place as across
shown in Figure 4. A couple of cauls ends of
side Riser
help to distribute the clamping pressure. !/2" pattern bit
When the clamps come off, the upper
a. &/8 Template Double-
edge of the sides can be sanded smooth
sided tape
with the lid surface. END
VIEW %/8 T
DETAILS. Before placing the lid on the Clamping cauls cover
entire lid side at
trunk, I added the four decorative rein- Waste
each end
forcement bands. At this point, I laid out
and drilled all of the mounting holes for Rabbet. With the bit set to the Glue Sides in Place. A couple of cauls
the hardware shown in the main draw- depth shown, make several skim help distribute the clamping pressure
ing above. However, I waited to attach cuts to remove the waste. evenly along the sides.
things until after I had applied the finish.

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a.
Waste 4
NOTE: Till front, 6!#/16
back, and sides
TILL BACK are made from 4#/4 Drill 1"-dia.
!/2"-thick hardwood. holes Waste
17%/8 V 3
Till bottom is END VIEW
!/4" plywood 24"-rad. (Till side blank)
16#/8 17%/8
W

16&/8
17!/8 b. !/2 c.
V Through Stopped
TILL FRONT dado in dado in
W TILL SIDE till front till sides
3 !/4 !/8
3 1!/8 !/2 and back !/8
W W
V
V
Trunk Trunk TILL BOTTOM X !/4
handle handle 1!/8 !/8
loop 5!/4 X
!/4
7#/8 Trunk lock is !/4 Dovetails NOTE: Rabbet perimeter
Drawbolts centered cut at 8 of till bottom
are centered on middle
on stiles stile
2!/4 of the relatively small number of pins
#8 x %/8" Ph
woodscrews and tails needed, I opted to cut the
dovetails by hand. The article on page
BEGIN WITH THE SIDES. Cut the four pieces 16 provides all of the details youll

Final DETAILS
to size that make up the front, back, and need for laying out, cutting, and fitting
sides. You can set the front and back a hand-cut dovetail joint.
aside for now to focus on the sides. BOTTOM GROOVE & PANEL. A rabbeted ply-
In order to keep small items from After laying out the curve along the wood panel used for the bottom of the
getting lost in the large main compart- top edge and the handhold positions till fits in an 18"-wide groove cut along
ment, I added removable till to the (detail a), I moved to the drill press the inside edge of the till parts. So after
trunk. The box-shaped till consists of a and drilled a couple of holes to define the dovetails are complete (but before
front, back, two sides with handholds, the ends of each opening (Figure 1). A assembling the till), I cut and sanded
and a plywood bottom. jig saw makes quick work of removing the arcs on the side pieces and then
It would have been easy to slap some- the waste between the holes. For now, headed to the router table to make the
thing together using simple joinery, but I refrained from cutting the arcs on the groove on all four pieces, as shown in
since this is an heirloom project, I opted top edge until after the dovetailed cor- Figure 2 below. Stopping the groove
for dovetail joinery at the corners. This ners were complete. short on the side pieces means theres
small attention to detail really makes the DOVETAILS. Using a dovetail jig and no gap to plug after assembly. The arti-
till stand out when the lid of the trunk router is one way to complete the dove- cle on page 12 provides more insight
is open for display. tail joints for the till. However, because into making stopped grooves.

How-To: MAKE THE TILL


1 1" Forstner 2 3
bit
Aux.
W rip X
fence
Handle
waste
Start cut with
part end at Dado
this line blade a. END VIEW
Till side a. !/8 SIDE
Drill two 1"-dia. blank End cut with SECT. !/4
holes to define other end of part VIEW !/8
ends of opening at this line
!/4

Remove Waste. Use a Forstner bit to Stopped Groove in Ends. Making a Rabbet Bottom Panel. The bottom of
form the ends of the handle. A jig saw stopped groove in the ends eliminates the till is rabbeted on all four edges. A
removes the rest of the waste. the need to plug the gap. dado blade makes quick work here.

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How-To: ADD THE REMAINING HARDWARE
The plywood panel for the bottom is
#8 x %/8" Fh
cut to size next. A rabbet cut along all 1 2 woodscrew
four edges forms a tongue that fits the
grooves you just made at the router table Receiver
(Figure 3). After doing a careful test fit, #4 x #/4" Fh
woodscrews Trunk lock
the till can be assembled with glue. is centered
on front
Folding of trunk
HARDWARE & FINISH lid stay Plate
To finish up the trunk, I added the rest Align mounting
plate with lid
of the hardware. The positions of these rails joint line Lock. The receiver section of the
pieces are shown in the How-To box at two-piece trunk lock is mounted to
right. Again, I laid out and drilled all 1 Back till the lid the plate to the trunk.
2%/8 support
of the mounting holes up front, but I
waited to permanently attach things 3
until after I had applied the finish. a. Drawbolts
Speaking of the finish, I opted to stain
my trunk and also gave it a light coat of SIDE SECT. VIEW
glaze to give it an aged look. The pho- (lid closed)
tos on pages 42 and 43 show what I #8 x %/8" Fh
woodscrew
mean. Youll find a list of the products I
Vertical stiles
used in Sources on page 67. Now with
the finish complete and all of the hard- Lid Stay. The surface-mounted lid stay Latches. Align the two drawbolts so
ware in place, this piece is ready to is positioned as shown. Only one lid theyre centered above the vertical
assume a prominent place in your home stay is needed to hold the lid open. stiles on the front of the trunk.
preferably not in the attic. W

Materials, Supplies & Cutting Diagram


A Frt./Back Rails (6) 3 x 21 - 321 M Lid Outer Rails (2) 3 x 21 - 353 (1) 15 Sq. Ft. Package Cedar Planking
4 4 4 4 4 4
B Frt./Back End Stiles (4) 34 x 218 - 1534 N Lid Middle Rails (2) 11 16 x 214 - 3534 (8) Antique Brass Large Trunk Corners
C Frt./Back Mid. Stiles (12) 34 x 214 - 514 O Lid Outer Stiles (6) 3 x 21 - 37
4 8 8 (8) Antique Brass Trunk Knees
D Frt./Back Panels (16) 14 ply. - 5316 x 678 P Lid Middle Stiles (9) 3 x 21 - 37
4 4 8 (2) Black Trunk Handles
E Side Stiles (4) 3 x 21 - 153 Q Lid Panels (12) 1 ply. - 47 x 615 (4) Antique Brass Trunk Handle Loops
4 4 4 4 16 16
F Side Rails (6) 3 x 21 - 161 R Splines 1 ply. - 3 x 72 rgh. (2) Antique Brass Trunk Drawbolts
4 4 4 4 4
G Side Panels (4) 1 ply. - 53 x 163 S Lid Front/Back (2) 34 x 218 rgh. - 3534 (1) Antique Brass Trunk Lock
4 16 16
H Bottom Rails (2) 3 x 21 - 36 T Lid Sides (2) 3 x 41 rgh. - 20 (3) Trunk Hinges
4 4 4 2
I Bottom Stiles (3) 3 x 21 - 161 U Reinforcement Bands (4) 14 x 178 - 36 (12) 34" Brass Tacks
4 4 4
J Bottom. Panels (2) 1 ply. - 153 x 161 V Till Front/Back (2) 1 x 3 - 167 (1) Folding Lid Stay
4 8 4 2 8
K Till Guide 3 x 25 - 112 rgh. W Till Sides (2) 1 2 x 41116 - 1758 (4) #4 x 34" Fh Woodscrews
8 8
L Till Support Lips (2) 3 x 3 - 333 X Till Bottom (1) 1 ply. - 171 x 163 (107) #8 x 58" Ph Woodscrews
8 8 4 4 8 8

!/2"x 5!/2" - 96" White Oak (Two Boards @ 3.7 Sq. Ft. Each)
tt

U U
W K K V
L
#/4"x 5" - 96" White Oak (Two Boards @ 3.3 Bd. Ft. Each)
A A C C C C C
A E E F C NOTE: Parts U are resawn
and planed to !/4" thick.
#/4"x 5" - 96" White Oak (Two Boards @ 3.3 Bd. Ft. Each) Parts K and L are planed
T
H F F to #/8" thick. Parts N are
M N planed to !!/16" thick

#/4"x 5" - 96" White Oak (3.3 Bd. Ft.)


S B B I
S B B I

#/4"x 5" - 60" White Oak (2.1 Bd. Ft.)


I O O O O O O ALSO NEEDED: One 48" x 96" sheet
of !/4" white oak plywood
P P P P P P P P P

Woodsmith.com 53

WS227_052.indd 53 8/8/2016 12:11:41 PM


o rk ing
w ls
with too

get more from your


Disc Sander
When space is at a premium in a with 9" to 12"-diameter discs and 4" Sand workpiece only on downward-
shop, deciding which tools to add can to 6"-wide belts are your best bet for moving area of disc
be a real juggling act. Tools that pull most woodworking tasks.
double duty are worth a second look. Once you have the sander in your
One worthwhile combination tool shop, youre sure to find a variety of Disc
rotation
is a belt/disc sander. In the space of uses for it. However, youre faced
one tool, you get two distinct smooth- with a decision. Which part of the
ing and shaping tools in a compact tool should you use, the disc or the
footprint. Belt/disc sanders come in a belt? Both have their advantages, Work area for Work area
counter-clockwise for clockwise
range of sizes. But for my money, the but it takes a few tips and tricks on rotation rotation
larger tools are the most versatile. Tools each to get top-notch results.
START WITH THE DISC. In this issue, Ill
} Disc sanders run more efficiently when cover the disc sander. (The techniques from smoothing convex curves and radii
using coarse 80-grit or 100-grit discs to shown here apply to stand-alone disc to trimming project parts to length and
prevent burning a workpiece. sanders, as well.) In the next issue, well fine-tuning miter joints.
look at getting the most from the belt THE RIGHT GRIT. Even though a disc
sander part of the machine. sander is used for accurate work, that
The advantage of a disc sander is doesnt mean you need a fine-grit sand-
that the metal disc offers a flat, solid ing disc. On the contrary, I find that
reference surface for precision work. an 80-grit or 100-grit disc is ideal, as
Its ideally suited for shaping crisp, shown in the photo at left. These discs
smooth surfaces without rounding the work fast and run cool while still leav-
edges. The applications run the gamut ing a smooth surface.

54 Woodsmith / No. 227

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Inner edge has
lower surface
THE RIGHT SIDE. When it comes to speed for fine
sanding to the
using a disc sander, you have layout line
to work from the correct side. Outer edge has
higher surface
Always work on the side where speed for
the disc rotates down into the quick material
removal
table, as in the drawing on the
previous page. (Not all disc sand-
ers rotate in the same direction.) Cut close to the
layout line on
Working this way means the the waste side
rotation of the disc helps hold the
workpiece in place on the table.
CUT, THEN SAND. To take best
advantage of using a disc sander, you the workpiece so that youre sanding a gauge, as shown in the middle photo
should think of it as a precision refin- larger area and moving the workpiece below. The table on most disc sanders
ing tool rather than a coarse shaping along the table. Allow the sanding disc comes with a slot for a miter gauge.
tool. So unless youre shaping a small to do the work rather than forcing the Its a good idea to add an auxiliary
radius, its faster and more efficient to workpiece into the disc. fence to increase the support surface.
cut away most of the waste with a jig SPEED ZONES. Theres another aspect to In addition to keeping the workpiece
saw or the band saw, as you can see in sanding in different places along the square to the disc, the miter gauge fence
the upper left photo. disc. The outer portion of the disc is allows you to ease the workpiece into
Grinding away a lot of material with a moving at a faster surface speed com- the spinning disc with a high degree of
disc sander may lead to some problems. pared to the inner portion of the disc. In control. With this setup, youll find that
First off, heavy sanding can be time- fact, the outside of the the disc is mov- its possible to quickly remove small
consuming. Sanding a lot of material ing twice as fast as the portion thats amounts of material to work up to a
shortens the life of the disc unneces- halfway from the center of the disc. To layout line and a perfect fit.
sarily and could lead to burning the put that to use, I use the faster-moving MITER TRIMMING. Fine-tuning miters
workpiece, as well. outer part to remove material quickly, as is the other task where a miter gauge
AVOID THE BURN. Burning is the number shown in the upper right photo. Then I comes in handy (lower right photo).
one enemy. Lingering in one place allows move to the inner part to fine-tune the More often than not, youre tweaking
heat to build up and scorch the wood. work as I approach the layout lines. the angle, as well as the length of a part,
And burned surfaces make poor glue FULLY SUPPORTED. Up until now, the tech- in order to get a tight-fitting joint. With
surfaces. Whats more, resin from the niques discussed have related to all the miter gauge and auxiliary fence,
wood can transfer to the disc and cause kinds of work at a disc sander. But there you can use playing cards, business
glazing, which often ruins the disc. The are two common sanding tasks where a cards, or even layers of masking tape as
lower left photo shows a reliable method little more workpiece control is needed. shims to adjust the angle.
for keeping the disc in top shape. When sanding the end of a workpiece While a disc sander may not be the star
One way to avoid burning is to keep to bring it to length, holding the piece of a workshop, it is a dependable work-
a workpiece moving while in contact with your hands is a recipe for spoiling horse. And with the right techniques, you
with the disc. This means both moving the end. The solution is to use a miter can expect consistent results. W

{ Holding a crepe stick against the { A miter gauge with a plywood { When trimming miters, you sometimes need to fine-
spinning disc removes built-up dust, auxiliary fence provides solid tune the angle. Slipping playing card shims between the
prolonging the life of the disc. support for square cuts. workpiece and fence lets you sneak up on a tight fit.

Woodsmith.com 55

WS227_054.indd 55 8/4/2016 3:03:55 PM


in the
shop

cool ways to
Personalize
Your Work
After you complete a woodworking even provide a historic record of the You can find everything from branding
project, its understandable that youll completed piece in some cases by irons customized with a logo to smaller
have some pride in a job well done. Its personalizing it with a brand, a name, plates or medallions. Heres a roundup
this feeling that leads many woodwork- and/or a date of completion. of some of our favorites.
ers to commemorate their work and When it comes to the options for BRANDING IRONS. A branding iron is a
adding your personal mark to your traditional way to add your name and
projects, there are quite a few available. a bit of personalization to your project.
Several retailers offer custom options
that are available within a few weeks
Electric iron
after you order them.
Removable Branding irons come either as a torch-
custom stamp
heated type that you heat yourself, or an
Included
stand electric iron that you plug in and switch
on (left photos). Though more expensive,
I found that the electric iron provided
< Electric and torch-heated more consistent results. It also featured
irons are available. Electric a removable head, so replacement heads
Torch-heated
iron ones are pricier but provide can be purchased for less money once
more consistent results. you buy the initial iron.

56 Woodsmith / No. 227

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{ This simple hand stamp comes with all the stamps you need to create a
custom message. Its a good idea to use a couple of layout lines to keep
things aligned as you begin stamping with the tool (left photo).

The most cost-effective way to obtain Burning a brand only takes a few sec- and a pencil will also help you keep your
a personalized branding iron is to choose onds, so I like to practice several times on stamp aligned as you apply it to your
one of the boiler plate designs available a scrap of wood thats the same species project (upper left photo).
from Rockler and a few other suppli- as my project before I brand the actual Custom stamps with a personalized
ers (refer to page 67). These companies project (main photo, previous page). message or logo are also available for a
have several designs that you can choose STAMPS. Another option is to stamp, or higher price. The smaller personalized
from. Then, you provide the custom text emboss, the surface of the wood with a stamps can be applied with a hammer
that will accompany the design. The iron personal mark. Highland Woodworking blow, while the more elaborate plates
shown in the main photo on the previous offers a kit with 36 stamps, including all will require a mechanical press in order
page is an example of this. the (capital) letters, numbers, and an & to stamp the wood effectively.
These suppliers and a few others symbol (right photo above). Each stamp is CHOICES ABOUND. For even simpler per-
will also produce a completely custom approximately 14" tall. The spring-loaded sonalization options, refer to the box
branding iron with your logo on it. But stamp works with simple hand pressure. below. These medallions and plates are
you can expect a higher price and a lon- Of course, this kit requires stamping inexpensive and simple to add to your
ger wait time for this type of iron. just one letter at a time, so getting good completed projects. Whichever method
Once you have your branding iron, it results requires some careful setup. Here you choose, adding a custom name,
takes a bit of a trial and error to get the again, I like to practice a bit on a separate date, or other message ensures that your
heat and pressure for a good brand just scrap piece before stamping my actual work will stand the test of time, no mat-
right. It also varies from wood to wood. project. A little layout work with a ruler ter who inherits it down the road. W

How-To: APPLIED SOLUTIONS


Another personalization option is to add
a custom medallion or name plate. These
plywood medallions (below and near
right) can be ordered with custom text
and images. They fit in a shallow hole
drilled with a Forstner bit and can also
be stained and finished to match your
project. At the far right, these metal name
plates are laser-etched and available in
gold or black. Theyre simply screwed to
the surface of the finished project.

{ These plywood medallions fit in a shallow { Laser-etched name plates are an


1" hole. Theyre stained or finished along inexpensive but nice-looking option for
with the rest of the project. commemorating a completed project.

Woodsmith.com 57

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w ork ing
wood ntials
esse

7 shop tips to improve


Efficiency & Accuracy
Lets face it whether the project youre thicker or wider blank first. Then, you [2] Stack Them Up
working on is a big piece of furniture or a can cut the workpieces to their final size One area of woodworking thats diffi-
small box, theres going to be some rep- in order to produce project parts with cult to duplicate is freehand curved cuts
etition involved in building it. Its all just accurate, identical joinery. at the band saw. But if you have parts
part of the process of woodworking. Some examples of when this tech- that require identical curves or tapers,
Though repetition is a necessary part nique can be effective include matching such as table legs, theres a simple way
of the craft, it doesnt have to be some- case sides with the same dadoes and to speed up the process and enhance
thing you dread. In fact, I find quite the rabbets. Here, youll cut the joinery in accuracy. Just join a couple of them with
contrary is true. Over the years, Ive an extra-wide panel first before rip- double-sided tape and cut them both at
developed several ways to take advan- ping the two case sides to final width once (lower left photo). You can even
tage of this repetition in order to speed (refer to the main photo above). This leave them together while smoothing
up the project-building process. approach also works for parts like them out with a sander.
The best part about these strategies thin divider strips with interlocking
is that many of them not only help you notches. The notches can be cut on a [3] Set Stop Blocks
work faster, but they also improve accu- thick blank before ripping the individ- When it comes to quick consistency for
racy. This leads to more consistent parts, ual strips from that blank. a variety of operations, a stop block will
tighter-fitting joints, and other hallmarks
of solid construction. Here are some Set stops
tricks to speed up your next project. when drilling
multiple holes
at the same
[1] Get Two (or More) from One location
With many projects, your first inclina-
tion is often to start trimming parts
down to their final sizes right away.
However, if youre dealing with parts Join parts
with identical
that are going to have identical joinery, curves using
as well, then you might want to hold double-sided
tape
off on the final sizing. Instead, a better
approach can be to cut the joinery in a

58 Woodsmith / No. 227

WS227_058.indd 58 8/2/2016 7:01:58 AM


Make all
the identical
cheek cuts before
moving on to the
shoulders

{ By assembling frames before profiling the


be your best friend. You can use a stop Though it sounds simple in theory, you edges, you can avoid alignment issues later.
block to produce parts of identical length can spend an awful lot of time adjusting
by clamping it to an auxiliary miter fence the fence and making test cuts to get a routing the profile around the perime-
on the table saw, for example. And for groove perfectly centered. ter (photo above). The work goes faster,
making holes at identical locations on A better approach is to cut the groove and the profile is guaranteed to align.
the drill press, its also the way to go in two passes as shown in the photos
(lower right photo, previous page). Ill below. To accomplish this, set the blade [7] Sand Smarter
also use stop blocks on my miter saw slightly off-center, and cut the groove in The same common-sense approaches can
fence, at the router table for stopped two passes by flipping the board end for be used when completing project assem-
cuts, and in many other instances. end between passes. You can also adjust blies. For example, the inside faces of
the rip fence slightly to easily change cabinets can be tough to sand once the
[4] Save Your Settings the size of the groove. cabinet is assembled. So Ill lay my parts
Tenons (along with mortises) are the on the benchtop and sand the inside
cornerstone of good joinery. So I tend [6] Pair Up Profile Cuts faces before assembly, taking care not to
to cut them a lot. And with most projects Profiles like roundovers, chamfers, and over-sand the joinery. For the outside of
with tenons, youll find that the dimen- coves are a great way to dress up your the case, though, Ill save the sanding for
sions are pretty consistent from one projects, as well as soften the edges. But after assembly to achieve the smoothest
tenon to the next, with cuts of similar if youve ever tried to line up work- results possible (photos below). W
lengths or depths. pieces that already have the profile cut
To take advantage of this, Ill make as on them, you know how difficult it can } Sand the hard-to-reach inside faces before
many tenon cheeks or shoulders as I can be. Thats why another time-saving assembly, and the outside faces afterward.
at one blade setting before moving on. For trick I like to use is to save my router
example, Ill cut all the 38" cheeks before profile work until
the 14" shoulder cuts (photos above). after the work-
Not only is this faster, but it improves pieces have been
accuracy by not changing a blade setting joined together. If
thats difficult to reset later on. I plan to rout a 14"
roundover on the
[5] Simple Centering parts of a frame,
Another operation that can be difficult Ill assemble the
at times is cutting a centered groove. frame first before

Flip pieces
end for end
between
passes to cut
centered grooves

Woodsmith.com 59

WS227_058.indd 59 8/2/2016 7:02:32 AM


as te ring
m saw
the ta ble

essential upgrades
Table Saw Sleds
A critical part of every project is mak- crosscut sled can further simplify the sled instead of sliding across the saw
ing clean, square crosscuts. This leads to process and aid in giving you predict- table. This means the piece wont shift
snug-fitting joinery and a better-looking able, high-quality cuts. While you may or catch during a cut, so your odds of
project. So it comes as no surprise that think of a sled as only helpful for cutting getting a cleaner cut increase. Also, the
most woodworkers rely on their table panels, there are some good reasons for base of the sled and the fence provide
saws to tackle this task. using one for nearly any size workpiece. zero-clearance support to the bottom
A well-tuned saw with a sharp blade The main benefit of using a sled is that face and back edge of the workpiece,
is a good starting point. But adding a the workpiece rests on the surface of the reducing the possibility of tearout.

a. FRONT SECTION VIEW Two-Sided Sled b.


One-Sided Sled Rear bridge #/4
!/4"-dia. BLADE Fence
shank hole Fence 12 COVER
1
REAR BRIDGE #/4 3
Rabbet for
%/8"-dia. x dust relief
%/16"-deep 1!/2 1!/2
counterbore
3
!/2
FENCE SIDE VIEW
FENCE
12
2 2 FRONT
16 BRIDGE 2!/4
2%/8
BASE
8
NOTE: Size runner for
a smooth-sliding fit
BASE #8 x 1!/4" in the miter gauge slot
16
Rh woodscrew
RUNNER 24 w/washer RUNNER
48
!!/32" -thick x NOTE: Sled bases are !/2" plywood.
17"-long runner All other parts are #/4"-thick hardwood

60 Woodsmith / No. 227 1

WS227_060.indd 60 8/9/2016 2:07:59 PM


FIRST: To attach runner to the sled, 1 2 THIRD: Use the rip fence to keep the sled
square to the blade
a.
lay a few pennies in the miter slot to Countersink Countersink
raise the runner above the table screws screws
FOURTH: Press the sled on the runner
SECOND: Apply strips of double-
sided tape to the top of the FIFTH: Flip the sled over and screw the Runner
runner and lay it in the slot runner to the sled (See detail 'a')
SIXTH: Place sled on saw and pass through
blade to locate the blade kerf
NOTE:Position fence so
Attach bridge that
before
sled
cutting will
kerf in be
sledcentered
on the blade
BRIDGE
Fence

Pre-drill runner
for #6 x %/8" screws

Clearly, a sled makes a lot of sense. bridge and the fence allows you to made from hardwood and sized for a
But what kind of sled should you build? crosscut 12"-wide panels, much like the smooth-sliding fit in the miter track.
Id like to share two designs that meet one-sided sled. But the base of this sled I only used one runner in the two-
most of my project-building needs, as straddles the blade. Extending the base sided sled. Using two runners can be
shown in the drawings on the previous to the opposite side of the blade sup- problematic. Unless theyre perfectly
page. Think of these sleds as everyday ports the waste piece as its cut away. parallel, the sled will bind in use.
sleds designed for general crosscutting The result is it cant fall and possibly Youll notice that the sleds operate
duties when building any project. cause a split or kick back at you. from the left side of the table saw (as
ONE-SIDED SLED. The first sled shown in The two parts of the base are held you face it). You could also set up the
the main photo on the previous page is together with hardwood bridges. The sled to work from the right side. But if
made to work from one side of the saw rear bridge piece incorporates a safety the table saw is positioned with the right
blade. Its like an extended miter gauge feature a blade cover. This hard- side against a wall, the wall limits the
with a base. Whats nice about this sled is wood strip acts as a barrier to keep your length of a workpiece that can be cut.
that it doesnt weigh much. This means thumbs out of the path of the blade as With the sled on the left, the size of the
Im more likely to actually use it. The you complete a cut, as shown in the inset workpiece isnt as restricted.
sled works great for accurately cutting photo below. I made the fence out of a The fence on each sled has a small
parts that are 24" or shorter. The base will separate piece of hardwood from the dust relief rabbet cut on the lower edge
fully support panels up to 12" wide. bridge so that its easy to fine-tune its (detail b on the previous page). And I
TWO-SIDED SLED. The other sled design position for a square cut. added a strip of adhesive-backed sand-
is larger, which allows for cutting lon- SLED DETAILS. Both of the sleds are made paper (180-grit) to the fence to prevent a
ger workpieces, as shown in the photo from 12" Baltic birch plywood and workpiece creeping during a cut.
below. The space between the front 3
4"-thick hardwood. The runners are SETTING UP. A sled doesnt do you any
good if you cant make square cuts. So
accurate setup is an impor-
tant element of building
each sled. The drawings
above show how I attach
the runner so that its par-
allel with the base.
After attaching the run-
ner, I raise the saw blade and
make a cut to establish the
edge of the base. With this
edge (or kerf) as a reference,
use a square to attach the fence with
screws set in oversized, counterbored
holes in the base, as shown in detail a
on the previous page. Now take some
time to make some test cuts and check
{ A two-sided sled supports long boards and panels for making accurate cuts. The sled is the angle with a square. The oversize
guided by a single hardwood runner. On the back of the rear bridge, a blade cover provides screw holes allow you to dial in the fence
a physical barrier to keep your hands clear of the blade (inset photo). position for perfect cuts.

Woodsmith.com 61

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{ A hardwood stop block and a clamp are all you need to cut { This swing stop slides in a T-track mounted to the fence (refer to
multiple parts to the same length. A lip on the top edge keeps the sources on page 67). A cursor in the stop lets you dial in the setting
stop block square to the sleds base. using a tape measure attached to the track.

SLED UPGRADES of the fence. It functions to keep the stop MAINTAINING A SLED. Over time, blade
A basic crosscut sled makes getting pre- block square to the base. deflection and vibration may lead to the
cise, square cuts a sure thing. However, A clamp-on block has a couple draw- base of the sled getting a little chewed
you can get even more out of the sled backs. First, you need to get out a tape up to the point that it doesnt provide
with a few accessories. measure every time you set it up. And the same level of support and backup
SIMPLE STOP BLOCK. The upper left photo with the block clamped in place, you cant that it used to. But dont worry, you can
shows a basic hardwood stop block that make other cuts without removing it. quickly and easily refresh the sled and
I routinely use. But this block has a few TRACK & STOP. The answer to these draw- get tearout-free cuts without having to
tricks up its sleeve. The lower corners backs is to turn to a commercial T-track make a new one. The box below has all
of the block are chamfered. This creates system. One of my favorites is shown the details for each sled design.
a relief space for dust so it cant build in the upper right photo. A track is A nice crosscut sled provides a higher
up between the workpiece and the stop mounted to the top of the fence. Its level of accuracy and safety. More than
and spoil the accuracy of the cut. designed to accept an adhesive-backed that, it allows you to focus on the finer
Less noticeable is a wide, shallow rab- tape measure and a swing stop. You points of building projects and increasing
bet on the back. The lip formed by the can flip the stop out of the way to make your enjoyment of the process. Thats a
rabbet registers the block on the top edge other cuts without losing your setting. win-win in my book. W

Quick Fix: ZERO-CLEARANCE TUNE-UP

{ With a single-sided sled, the solution is to smooth the edge and glue { Bring a two-sided sled back into shape by cutting a piece of 18"
on a narrow strip of hardwood. After sanding the hardwood flush or 316" hardboard to fit between the front bridge and the fence.
with the surface, make a cut, and the sled will work just like new. Secure it with a few strips of double-sided tape.

62 Woodsmith / No. 227

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Special-Purpose Sleds: DADO & MITER SLEDS

After working with a crosscut sled for DADO SLED the two-sided sled and dedicated it for
a while, I started thinking of other table A lot of my projects are made from use with a 34" dado blade. Of course, you
saw tasks that could be improved with plywood pieces joined with dadoes. can use the sled with other dado width
a sled to guide the workpiece. The two Long, narrow panels can be a challenge setups, but you wont have complete
ideas shown here are based on relatively to guide when using either the miter support right around the blade unless
common tasks. The idea behind each gauge or the rip fence. To improve you add an auxiliary, hardboard base, as
one is to simplify the setup. workpiece control, I made a version of shown in the box on the previous page.

MITER SLED
Cutting miters for a frame or to wrap
molding around a project are a cou-
ple of other tasks where a sled can
come in handy. Instead of resetting
the miter gauge each time you need
to make a cut, the sled you see here is
automatically set for perfect 45 cuts.
While the look of this sled seems
FRONT SECTION VIEW unique, it shares some of the same
!/4"-dia. components as the one-sided sled
shank hole Fence
shown on page 60. The base is the
%/8"-dia. x same size. The difference is that I
%/16"-deep
NOTE: Sled base is !/2" counterbore positioned the runner to center the
plywood. Bridge is made 22
sled on the blade.
from two layers of !/2" plywood. BRIDGE
All other parts are #/4"-thick 6 45 Two layers of The miter sled incorporates two
hardwood !/2" plywood
fences (with T-track) mounted at 45
16 2 to the blade kerf for left and right hand
FENCE miter cuts. To hold the sled together
BASE
1"chamfer 25!/2 #8 x 1!/4"
and act as a blade cover, I made a
Rh woodscrew trapezoid-shaped bridge from two
w/washer
layers of plywood. Its glued along the
back edge of the sled. A small gap (14")
NOTE: Size runner for 24
a smooth-sliding fit RUNNER NOTE: Commercial between the plate and fences allows
in the miter gauge slot (!!/32" x 17") T-track can be added you to fine-tune the fence positions
to the top of both fences
to dial in a perfect miter.

Woodsmith.com 63

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m
tips frop
our sho

Shop Notes
Router Plate Installation
One of the challenges of making a router table (like the one on
page 30) is cutting an opening in the top for the insert plate. To
meet the challenge, I employ an approach that uses the plate as
a template for locating a set of strips. These strips guide a hole
saw and a pattern bit to form the opening. Most pattern bits
will require 1"-thick strips. So I made strips from 34" plywood
with a layer of 14" hardboard glued on the top. Cut the strips
a few inches longer than the length and width of the plate. DRILL STARTER HOLES. To provide a starting point for the router
LOCATE GUIDE STRIPS. Position one of the guide strips so its bit and to form the corners of the opening, drill a hole in each
parallel with one edge of where youd like the plate located. corner that matches the radius of your router plates corners,
Double-sided tape holds the strip in place. After setting the as in Figure 2. I used a hole saw. Wrap the body with mask-
plate along this strip, you can wrap the plate with the ing tape to compensate for the set of the teeth, as you can see
remaining guide strips, as in Figure 1. in Figure 2a. Once the teeth cut through the laminate, you
can remove the tape (so it doesnt get gummed up in the
1 FIRST: Place first strip
parallel with edge
SECOND: Set insert plate
against first strip
hole) and complete the hole, as in Figure 2b.
of router table top
CREATE THE LIP. The next step is to use a router and a 12" pattern
bit to create a lip for the insert plate to rest on. To determine
THIRD: Wrap remaining
strips around the plate the cutting depth of the bit, set the plate on a guide strip,
place the router on the plate, and lower the bit until it barely
touches the table top, as shown in Figure 3a. Now, set the
router plate aside and rout a channel all around the inside of
the template (Figure 3b). In order to maintain the radius in
Attach strips the corners, rout only to the edge of each starter hole.
with double-
sided tape REMOVE THE WASTE. Cut away waste in the middle with a jig
saw, following the inner edge of the groove (photo above).
Then use a sanding block to smooth the cut edge. With the
opening complete, all thats left to do is mount the router to
the insert plate and install it in your new router table top.

2 Hole saw radius


matches corner
a. END VIEW 3 a.
of insert plate Insert plate
Tape
Guide strip
Guide strip

Routertop Tabletop !/2"


pattern
END VIEW bit
Guide strips align
hole saw to drill out
the corners NOTE: Do not rout
b. END VIEW
completely into corners b.

Guide strip Guide strip


Remove tape Thickness of
to complete hole insert plate
END VIEW

64 Woodsmith / No. 227

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Making a Handhold 3!/2

To create smooth, consistent handholds


2
for the workshop carts (page 24), I used
1!/2
a template. The template is used for
laying out and shaping each handhold.
TEMPLATE. I started by making the tem- 8#/8
plate out of 14" hardboard, as you can see 6#/4
10
in the drawing at right. You could also
use plywood. Just make sure the tem-
plate is at least 14" thick to provide an
adequate surface for the bearing on the
pattern bit youll use later. Take care to 23!/2
make the edges of the opening smooth.
TRACE & DRILL. Put the template to work REMOVE THE WASTE. The end holes pro- FLUSH TRIM. For the final step, attach the
by positioning it on the workpiece vide clearance to start a jig saw to template to the workpiece with double-
and tracing the handholds. I drilled remove the inside waste (Figure 2). sided tape. Then use a hand-held router
out the ends of each handhold as indi- Take care to keep the blade just inside and a pattern bit to trim the handhold
cated in Figure 1 below. the layout lines, as in Figure 2a. to shape, as you can see in Figure 3.

1 Drill holes to
define each 2 a. 3 a.
end of
handhold

Layout Waste
line Pattern
Waste
bit

1!/2"
Forstner bit
Cut just inside the NOTE:
Template
layout lines to remove fastened with
the bulk of the waste double-sided tape

Table Saw Box Joint Jig


To cut the box joints on the craft cen- #8 x 1!/4" Rh NOTE: Front and back
Front woodscrew fences are #/4"plywood
ter trays and handle (page 34), I used fence and washer
a table saw and the jig shown at right. 5 Back
The crucial components you need to !/2" fence Miter
chamfer 1 8 gauge
cut box joints are a tall front fence and
a hardwood key. But I added a couple
Hardwood
other parts to make the cutting process !/4" key
hardboard
go more smoothly. The hardboard base base !/2
lets the workpiece slide without catching 20
on the saws throat insert. And the back
fence allows minor adjustments in case 3
your box joints are too loose or too tight.
BUILDING THE JIG. Making your own box Oversized holes
allow for adjustment
joint jig is fairly straightforward using of front fence b. SIDE
the drawings shown at right. The main SECTION VIEW
considerations are to cut a notch in the a. FRONT VIEW Oversized
front fence and glue in the key before Set blade !/32" hole
higher than Front
adding the hardboard base and back !/4 !/4 !/4 thickness of fence
workpiece
fence. Then, positioning the key in rela- Back
tion to the blade is critically important #/8 Key fence
2
for cutting accurate box joints, as shown Base Key
in detail a. Oversized holes in the back
fence allow you to tweak the settings.

Woodsmith.com 65

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Curved Tongue 1 2
The calendar on page 22 has a curved
cap piece thats mounted to the back. Center trammel
To attach this cap, I used tongue and on calendar
back
groove joinery. The groove is in the 16#/8"- Cut arc
A
cap, while the tongue is on the top of rad. to shape,
then sand
the back. And that tongue is what were smooth
focused on making here. 13&/16" A
In order to establish a clean line to bottom Back face
edge
between the back and the cap, I cut the
tongue so it was flush with the front of
a. SIDE VIEW
the back. Before forming the tongue, I 3
laid out the arc with a trammel (Figure #/8
1). This arc represents the edge of the A
Top !/4
tongue. After I cut the arc at the band Sneak up slowly side A
saw (Figure 2), I sanded it smooth. on the final thickness
of the tongue
ROUT THE GROOVE. To create the tongue, I
moved to the router table and used a 38"
rabbeting bit to follow the contour of #/8"
the arc (Figure 3). To ensure a good fit, rabbeting
bit
I carefully crept up on the final tongue
thickness (Figure 3a).
CLEAN UP. Since the joint is a cross-grain
4 a. FRONT VIEW
b.
assembly, its a good idea to build in
Back A
some room for wood movement. So I saw Chisel
trimmed the tenon back from the ends. A
Doing this, along with cutting a slightly Waste
A
longer groove in the cap, provides for
plenty of room. A small back saw, as Make cut #/4 Pare flush
shown in Figure 4, works best. To finish just shy to shoulder
of shoulder
up, pare away the excess tongue mate-
rial with a chisel (Figure 4b).

Tile Guides 1 2
The tile guides mentioned on page 22
in the wall calendar article are simple Oversized Push
enough in design, but theyre a bit small blank block
to machine safely. To protect my fingers,
I started with an extra-wide poplar Fence
Tile
blank, as shown at right. guide
ROUTER FIRST. The rabbet width and
depth are the same on both guides, !/2" straight bit F

and the cut is best tackled at the router


table (Figure 1). For the field guides, a. b.
youll rout the same size rabbet on both END END
VIEW VIEW
sides (Figure 1a). For the top and bot-
%/16 %/16 a.
tom guides, rout the rabbet on one edge !/2
Field Top/
only (Figure 1b). Even though the blank guide bottom
is oversize, its best to use a push block. F
guide F END
VIEW
TABLE SAW. Now cut the guides free F

from the blank at the table saw, as


shown in Figure 2. Then joint the edges #/16 #/16
of the blank square and repeat the pro-
cess until you have as many guides as
needed for the calendar. W

66 Woodsmith / No. 227

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hardware & supplies
Sources
Most of the materials and sup- Woodcraft hardware pieces, I soaked them
plies youll need to build the Dust Port . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147788 in a brass aging solution.
projects are available at hard- MLCS
MAIL
ware stores or home centers. For Power Swtich . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1727 PERSONALIZING WORK (p.56)
ORDER
specific products or hard-to-find The carts were painted with Rockler
SOURCES
items, take a look at the sources Benjamin Moores Rendezvous Electric Iron . . . . . . . . . . . 48893 Project supplies may
listed here. Youll find each part Bay (eggshell). The tools sliders, Torch-Heated Iron . . . . . . . 48719 be ordered from the
following
number listed by the company and the tops of the assembly cart, Electric Iron Head. . . . . . . 44660 companies:
name. See the right margin for and flip-top cart are finished Highland Woodworking
Benjamin Moore
contact information. with two coats of spray lacquer Letter Stamp . . . . . . . . . . 168083 benjaminmoore.com
(satin). The plastic laminate for Signature Medallions . . . . varies
Dick Blick
ANGLE GAUGES (p.10) the router table is Sandcastle Woodcraft 800-828-4548
Lee Valley from Nevamar. Name Plates . . . . . . . . . . . varies dickblick.com
Bevel Setter . . . . . . . . . .05N66.01 General Finishes
Rockler CRAFT CENTER (p.34) TABLE SAW SLEDS (p.60) 800-783-6050
generalfinishes.com
Digital Sliding Bevel . . . . 47091 McMaster-Carr Kreg Tool
Home Depot Binding Posts . . . . . . 93813A336 24" Top Trak . . . . . . . . KMS7712 Highland Woodworking
800-241-6748
General Protractor . . 100349259 Lee Valley 48" Top Trak . . . . . . . . KMS7714 highlandwoodworking.com
Woodcraft 20mm Cont. Hinges . . . 00D52.20 L-R Tape . . . . . . . . . . . KMS7724
Home Depot
Starrett Protractor . . . . . . 06R16 Ball Chain Sets . . . . . . . 00G48.01 R-L Tape . . . . . . . . . . . KMS7723 800-466-3337
Wixey Angle Gauge . . . . .159488 The sewing box was stained Swing Stop . . . . . . . . . KMS7801 homedepot.com
with a mixture of three parts Istencils
POWERLIFT PRO (p.14) Zar cherry stain and one part THE FUTURE OF 877-863-5227
istencils.com
MLCS Wood Kote Jel'd stain (cherry). WOODWORKING IS HERE!
PowerLift Pro . . . . . . . . . . . 9590 Then it was sprayed with two Kennedy Hardware
800-621-1245
Android Tablet . . . . . . . . . . 9591 coats of lacquer. kennedyhardware.com
Locking Insert Ring Kit . . . 9566
Kreg Tool
312" Reducer Sleeve . . . . . . 9568 DOMED-TOP TRUNK (p.42) 800-447-8638
314" Reducer Sleeve . . . . . . 9569 Kennedy Hardware kregtool.com
314-hp Router Motor . . . . . 9564 Trunk Lock . . . . . . . . . TKL-3AB Lee Valley
Trunk Handles . . . . . . . .TKH-93 800-871-8158
leevalley.com
WALL CALENDAR (p.20) Trunk Handle Loops . TKH-72AB
Istencils Trunk Drawbolts . . . TKD-33AB McMaster-Carr
630-833-0300
Number Stencils . . . . . . AL-NGB Lrg. Trunk Corners. . TKC-37AB mcmaster.com
Letter Stencils . . . . . . . . AL-UGB Trunk Knees . . . . . . . TKC-26AB
MLCS
The paint for the poplar parts Trunk Hinges . . . . . . . . .TKH-63 800-533-9298
of the calendar is from Benjamin 3 " Steel Trunk Tacks . . . TKT-9S mlcswoodworking.com
4 Be a Founding Member
Moore, Waters Edge (#1635) Rockler and get access to new Nevamar
and Van Deusen Blue (#HC- Bronze Lid Stay (LH) . . . . 32128 videos every week
877-726-6526
nevamar.com
156). Both of these are Aura Matte The trunk was stained with one 125+ videos per year!
finishes. The stencil paint is from coat of Varathane Premium Wood 26 Weekly Video Editions
Rockler
800-279-4441
Dick Blick, Chroma Acrylic Mural Stain in Gunstock, followed by includes Heirloom Projects, rockler.com
Paint in Blacktop Black. a light coat of lacquer to lock in Shop Projects, Step-by-Step Woodcraft
the stain. After the lacquer dried, I Techniques, and Shop Tips! 800-225-1153
ONE-WALL WORKSHOP (p.24) applied one coat of General Finishes Plus, 26 Weekly Talking woodcraft.com
Lee Valley Glaze in Van Dyke Brown. The Shops features in-depth Wood Kote
26" Drawer Slides . . . . 02K30.26 trunk was then sprayed with a Talking Shop videos, plus
800-943-7666
woodkote.com
20" Drawer Slides . . . . 02K30.20 couple of coats of flat lacquer. bonus Shop Tips.
3" Casters . . . . . . . . . . . 00K21.31 To get the trunk hinges and Zar
zar.com
Kreg Tool steel trunk tacks to match the WoodsmithVideoEdition.com
Insert Plate . . . . . . . . . . . .PRS3036 antique-brass look of the other
Woodsmith.com 67

WS227_066.indd 67 8/8/2016 3:55:59 PM


looking inside
Final Details

{ PPerpetual Wall Calendar. By simply rearranging the


individual tiles, you can use this stylish calendar month
after month and year after year. Not bad for a weekend
project. To learn how its made, turn to page 20.

{ One-Wall Workshop. As a follow-up to the workshop featured in our


last issue, here are three useful additions an assembly cart, a router
table, and a flip-top tool stand. Each one tucks neatly out of the way
when not in use. Youll find plans starting on page 24.

{ Craft Box. The cantilevered compartments


of this box provide space for a variety of craft
supplies. And a sturdy handle allows you to carry it
anywhere. Complete plans start on page 34.

< Steamer Trunk. The domed lid and brass hardware


may be the focal points of this classic trunk. But
inside, youll find a sliding till and plenty of storage.
Step-by-step instructions begin on page 42.

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