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Ultimate Outfeed Table
Hot Pipe Wood Bending
Dovetailed Serving Tray
Ultra High-Tech Finish

October 2018

Display until November 5, 2018

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O cto b e r 2 0 1 8 VOLUM E 4 2 , N U MB E R 5

Classic Cherry Chest
By Chris Marshall
Beautiful wood, lovely joinery and
pleasing proportions — this storage
chest displays a harmony of all
three. Hand-cut dovetails help lift
this project into the realm of an
instant classic.
Page 40

Elegant Curved-handle Serving Tray

By Charles Mak
Our author set out to design a functional, stylish tray he is
proud to use. He crafted the curved handles with a hot pipe
bending technique.
Page 34

Table Saw Outfeed Table

By Matthew Cremona
Taking advantage of some great
lumber and highly functional hard-
ware, Matt creates a multipurpose
super shop helper!
Page 58

4 October 2018 Woodworker’s Journal



ȓ+(/Ζ&$/-2Ζ17(5 + ȓ+(/Ζ&$/-2Ζ17(5 +

ȏ +30RWRU ȏ +30RWRU


Helical Large Tables & Spring Activated Easy to Read Depth

Cutterheads Adjusting Fences Blade Guards of Cut Scales

Call today for more information 877-884-5167

or visit for a dealer near you!

8 Letters 22 Five Fast Facts 50 Tool Tutorial

What exactly is a woodworker? Powerful info on power carving. Sandor Nagyszalanczy explores
Plus, readers sit tall in our latest the band saw, a home shop
Adirondack inspired chair. 24 Shop Talk workhorse, in detail.
Drafting style from the Middle
14 Cyber Makers Spotlight Ages inspires a Canadian 64 What’s In Store
We seek out the best web woodworker to make a sawhorse Ceiling hanging system, a classic
woodworkers so you don’t have to! so complex it took him 450 hours workbench and much more.
See who’s made the list this time. to build it.
70 Finishing Thoughts
16 Tricks of the Trade 28 Woodturning Let’s review: Michael Dresdner
Biscuits in a bag for freshness; So your rough-turned green bowl answers your questions.
scrap wood saddle jig for ripping has dried out and warped. Now
thin strips; recessed leg levelers. what are you going to do? 74 Hey … Did You Know?
Is white or red oak heartier in the
18 Questions & Answers/Stumpers 32 Tool Preview cold? And does your Li-ion battery
Pilot hole smackdown: our staff GluBoost’s Fill n’ Finish has need an MRI?
shares their preferences and applications both as an adhesive
particulars about pre-drilling. and as a finish.
here’s definitely MORE ON THE WEB!
As you flip through the pages of this issue, keep an eye MORE ON THE WEB
out for the More on the Web banner (pictured, right).
It’s your cue that there is additional content waiting for you on
This month you’ll find videos featuring:
• Re-Turning a Rough Turned Bowl
• Bending Wood with a Hot Pipe
• Magnetic Dovetail Sawing Guide (and more)!

To see the latest More on the Web videos, articles or plans, you can scroll down
on our homepage and click the new “Current Issue/More on the Web” photo box.
Or, click the More on the Web tab under the Magazine heading in our navigation
bar to access that content, plus More on the Web from past issues.
— Dan Cary

6 October 2018 Woodworker’s Journal


What Is Woodworking? Volume 42, Number 5


I call myself a woodworker because I have been messing ALYSSA TAUER Associate Publisher
around with the craft in various forms for decades now. But if I
were to tell someone what I do and they replied, "That's great JEFF JACOBSON Senior Art Director
... will you carve me a statue of George Washington?" I would CASSIDY SMITH Associate Art Director
have to say, I'm not that kind of woodworker. And that would DAN CARY Senior Web Producer
MATTHEW HOCKING Internet Production Coordinator
be my answer to several woodworking queries.
MARY TZIMOKAS Circulation Director
Which brings me to my question: What is a woodworker? Is LAURA WHITE Fulfillment Manager
the guy who framed up my house a woodworker? Is a gal who makes guitars a wood-
worker? How about my neighbor who borrowed my chop saw to put in floor molding?
Founder and Chairman
Even though we no longer use wood for as many things as we did in the past (how
many of you are sporting wooden shoes?), our chosen medium is still truly impressive Contributing Editors
regarding the scope of its place in our world. ERNIE CONOVER
So perhaps my question should be: What makes you a woodworker? I think the
range of those answers would be pretty amazing, too. Advertising Sales
ROB JOHNSTONE National Sales Contact
— Rob Johnstone
(763) 478-8255 Fax (763) 478-8396
ALYSSA TAUER National Sales Support
RAS Over Table Saw
I really enjoyed the “Table Saw For example, I have seen many
101” article, particularly since I posts online on how to make a Editorial Inquiries
have never owned a table saw. In- crosscut sled for a table saw. I can JOANNA WERCH TAKES
stead, 35-plus years ago, I bought see the functionality it brings to the
a radial arm saw. (This was 15 tool (at the cost of having to find
years or so before I bought a storage space for a rather large Subscription Problems/Inquiries
compound miter saw.) Although jig), but that job is trivial with a (800) 765-4119 or
I know that there are things that radial arm saw. Miter cuts are triv-
a table saw can do that a radial ial, too. And I’ve done my share of Write Woodworker’s Journal, P.O. Box 6211,
Harlan, IA 51593-1711
arm saw cannot (such as cutting ripping long boards, even on fairly
boards on end, as shown in the wide boards. (Awkward, yes, but email: Include
article), there are some tasks that I’m betting it’s awkward to make mailing label for renewals and address changes. For gift
subscriptions, include your name and address and
it does considerably easier than a the same cut on a table saw.)
your gift recipient’s.
table saw. I know that radial arm saws are
out of style these days, especially
Book Sales and Back Issues
with sliding miter saws being so Call: (800) 610-0883
popular, but I still love mine and
do not want to part with it. These
days, I’m trying to decide whether
Other Questions or Problems
Call: (763) 478-8255
to go ahead and buy an inexpensive
portable/benchtop table saw just
for ripping large pieces of plywood. Woodworker’s Journal (ISSN: 0199-1892), is published in February,
But since I can get [big box stores] April, June, August, October and December by Rockler Press Inc.,
to cut it to size before I take it 4365 Willow Dr., Medina, MN 55340. Periodical postage paid at
home, I’m having trouble justifying Medina, Minnesota and additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send
all address changes to Woodworker’s Journal, P.O. Box 6211, Harlan,
the loss of floor space.
IA 51593-1711. Subscription Rates: One-year, $19.95 (U.S.); $28.95
Bill Dixon U.S. funds (Canada and other countries). Single copy price, $7.99.
Wellford, South Carolina Reproduction without permission prohibited. Publications Mail Agreement
Number 0861065. Canadian Publication Agreement #40009401.
Continues on page 10 ... ©2018 Rockler Press Inc. Printed in USA.

8 October 2018 Woodworker’s Journal


RESAW CAPACITY CAST IRON TABLE 18'' x 6'' multi-orientation fence system designed
Confidently resaw larger boards. Delivers maximum workpiece stability. for aggressive resawing and precision cuts.







Oil and Wood Do Mix WJ Responds: I just spoke

I just finished reading the ar- to Zinsser. Yes, the shellac
ticle by Michael Dresdner on in its aerosol cans is still de-
the drying oils and non-dry- waxed and still for the same
ing oils [“Oil and Wood: reason — the wax clogs the
A Happy Marriage,” June spray tips.
Michael Grinney put some color Sitting Tall 2018]. I very much enjoyed — Michael Dresdner
into our elevated Adirondack from
Hello, I just completed the the article as I really did not
the April issue.
“Tall Outdoor Chair” from know much at all about min- A Knock on Knees
your April 2018 issue. It was eral oil and boiled linseed oil. The comment by Richard
a fun project, and using the This article was quite helpful Wheaton [Letters] in the June
detailed plans and watching to my understanding. Thank 2018 issue about cypress
the online video made it a you much for your time and knees was curious.
breeze to complete. your publication. “Just Google it to get the
If I may make just a few Herb Fogelberg facts.” His own words go on
suggestions, I think it would Woodbury, Minnesota to list more than one possible
be better to tilt the seatback reason for these
at a flatter angle so that the structures to
person isn’t sitting up so exist.
straight. Also, the back of What one
the seat could be just a little does learn, in
lower so that you settle in a reading about
little more. I guess what I’m knees, is they
saying is that if you kept the remain an
design and comfort of the enigma; we
low Adirondacks and just ele- do not know
Aerosol shellac is dewaxed — if it had wax in it,
vated them as you have done, “the facts.” All
that could clog the can's spray tip.
you’d have a winner. we have are
I think that the arms on the The article on oil finishes theories, which are guesses,
chair could also be about four correctly states that dewaxed possible reasons for these
inches longer and slightly shellac is a good barrier coat knees to exist, and none are
Stephen Julian of Southlake,
Texas, built our Tall Outdoor Chair wider. Again, all keeping with for rosewood before apply- proven. Theories are not
from cypress lumber. the comfort in the original ing a drying oil. However, I facts and the bottom line is,
Adirondack chairs. I will believe your accompanying “No one really knows”... just
build a set for myself and a photo showing an aerosol like you said! [Hey Did You
set each for my three chil- can of Zinsser® Bulls Eye® Know, February 2018]
dren. Thanks for the great Shellac is not dewaxed. That Ann Trimmer
projects. could lead to problems. Carmel, Indiana
Michael A. Grinney Lance Fromme
St. Augustine Beach, Florida Andover, Massachusetts Continues on page 12 ...

10 October 2018 Woodworker’s Journal


the elephants strip the bark

There’s more online at at a height convenient for them and, in the process, kill
the tree.

Ken Roberts
Check online for more content
Mebane, North Carolina
covering the articles below:
Woodturning (page 28): You missed one important
Re-turning a rough turned bowl animal that kills trees by
girdling: humans with weed
Tool Preview (page 32): Fast In your June 2018 issue, you Know?] But you omitted the eaters.
finishing with GluBoost Fill n’ include a list of animals that “biggest” culprit: elephants. Ron Jones
Finish (video) damage trees by stripping We just returned from a trip Houston, Texas
Curved Handle Serving Tray the bark. [Hey, Did You to South Africa and saw how
(page 34): Hot-pipe wood
bending technique (video)
Classic Cherry Chest (page
40): Magnetic jig makes
hand-cutting dovetails easier
Tool Tutorial (page 50):
Tips for tuning up your band
saw (video); band saw mainte-
nance info
Weekend Projects (page
58): Table saw outfeed table
build (video); list of optional
What’s in Store (page 64):
Featured tools in action Colorful Canarywood
Repurposed Room Heater Here is a sculpted and carved jewelry box
I volunteer at the St. Vincent de Paul thrift I just completed for a customer in Alaska. I
store in Prescott, Arizona. Someone donated really like the colors found in many pieces of
a large electric room heater in a large wood canarywood. A piece of padauk was added to
frame. The heater didn’t work, so they were the top for a colorful accent to the red striped
going to throw out the whole unit. I took the of the canary. The box bottom and tray bot-
heater unit out, made doors, installed shelves tom are lined with a tan leather. The hinges
and put a back on it. We put it out in the (inset) are 35 mm solid brass Vertex hinges
store for sale and it sold the next day. I made from Rockler.
the double door frames from old oak wood Greg Little
stained with special red oak stain. The center Prairieville, Louisiana
panels I made from white oak stained with
maple stain.
Paul Diemer
Chino Valley, Arizona

Plywood Guitar
Here is my oak plywood
guitar with walnut pick
guard and aluminum
fretboard with cotter
pin frets.
Loretto Abrenica
Hamilton, Ohio

12 October 2018 Woodworker’s Journal


Works “BIG” in a small space.

The new and unique BESSEY GearKlamp works “BIG” in small spaces to provide a fast clamping solution for tight spots up
against another object or, when reaching across something to clamp. The patented gear mechanism separates the spindle from
the rail-mounted handle for greater clearance and, the quick release shift button makes for fast set-ups. BESSEY. Simply better.

Woodworker’s Journal October 2018 13

Get inspired by new methods, materials
and projects these online makers share!
Ashley Harwood -
Ashley Harwood is an accomplished woodturner who teaches
classes at her studio in Charleston, South Carolina, as well
as at schools throughout the world. Ashley turns a wide
variety of bowls and jewelry, but her best known work is her
sea urchin ornament. She’s even produced a full-length DVD
for sale that features step-by-step instructions for how she
makes this
beautiful or-
nament and includes tool sharpening and
spindle turning technique instructions. You
can find a list of her upcoming classes on
her website, and the best place to see what
she’s working on now is her Instagram
page, @ashleyharwoodturning.

Chris Salomone -

Chris Salomone is a furniture designer and builder in Los
Angeles, California, who posts project build videos and plans
under the moniker of Four Eyes Furniture. Besides the quality
of the designs and interesting woodworking video content,
our favorite aspect of his videos is the narrative that he carries
throughout each video. The measured pacing and bits of humor
he injects into each episode makes them interesting and unique
from other woodworking videos you’ll find online. The best
places to find Chris’ latest work are on his YouTube channel,
chrissalomone1, and on Instagram, @foureyesfurniture. He is also one of
the hosts of The Modern Maker Podcast,

Zachary Herberholz -

Zach Herberholz designs and builds projects from a variety of
materials, but he favors various forms of metals as the main
structural material and wood is often used as a secondary
material. Zach’s videos feature a combination of commissioned
pieces and personal projects. They often include demonstrations
of several different metalworking and woodworking skills. For
example, his modern industrial stool features a welded steel base
and a power-carved walnut seat and turned segmented decorative
cone under the seat. The best place to check out Zachs’s latest work
is on his YouTube channel,, and on his
Instagram page @zhfabrications.

14 October 2018 Woodworker’s Journal







Woodworker’s Journal October 2018 15

Sponsored By

Table Saw Jig Rips Thin Strips

Silica Packs Keep Biscuits Dry I made this saddle-type jig from scrap that rides along
Wood biscuits will swell in the presence of humidity my table saw’s rip fence to help keep my fingers up
until they don’t fit their slots, but one way to keep them dry and and out of harm’s way when ripping thin strips. It has
unswollen is to use a desiccant. Those little packs of silica gel that of- an adjustable 1/8"-thick hardboard hold-down that
ten come in shoeboxes are perfect for this purpose. Instead of throw- slides up and down on slots and carriage bolts. In
ing them away, just put a silica pack in your container of biscuits and back, a hardboard “heel” pushes workpieces forward.
seal it tight. Then change it every time you get a new pair of shoes. It’s screwed in place in case I ever need to replace it. A
Serge Duclos handle on top makes the jig easy to slide along.
Delson, Quebec Ed Smail
Piggybacking a Wilson, Wyoming
Dust Deputy
My Oneida Dust Dep-
uty shop vac accessory
keeps the vac filter
from clogging up, but
I never liked the way
it would tip over on its
casters when I rolled
the shop vac around.
To fix the problem, I
built a framework from
scrap plywood and
mounted it to the base
of the vacuum. After
removing the caster
wheels on the Deputy, I
fastened its outer buck- Cheap, Slippery Smooth Surface
et to the frame above For less than $20 per 4x8 sheet, you can cover your outfeed
the shop vac. Now, the table or workbench top with pre-painted, 1/8" white hard-
vac and the Deputy board like I have. Some home centers call this “tile board”
are one unit instead of or “marker board.” Its slippery smooth white coating pro-
two. I’ve also outfitted vides a bright, clean, hardened surface for protecting MDF
the frame with various scrap-wood studs so I can store the vac’s or plywood tabletops in the shop. It cuts, routs and drills
wands, tools and the working end of the hose when I’m through. easily. I mount mine with double-sided tape and replace it
No more tip-overs! every so often when the white coating wears through.
Tom Nicosia Pat Keefer
Lake Orion, Michigan Manning, South Carolina

16 October 2018 Woodworker’s Journal

OF THE Safety First
TRICKS Learning how to operate power
and hand tools is essential for
developing safe woodworking
practices. For purposes of
clarity, necessary guards have
been removed from equipment
shown in our magazine. We
in no way recommend using
this equipment without safety
guards and urge readers to

Recessing for Less Noticeable Leg Levelers strictly follow manufacturers’

Leg levelers with threaded posts are useful to avoid tippy, rocking furniture on uneven instructions and safety
floors, but their thickness tends to elevate furniture unnaturally above the floor, especially if precautions.
you add a felt pad to them as I do. To help conceal the levelers, I drill 1/2"-deep holes in the
legs that are a bit larger in diameter than the round leveler pads. I drill a second, centered
hole at the bottom for the post’s threaded insert. Once the levelers are installed, you can
back them out until the pad just clears the big hole and serves its leveling purpose but with-
out lifting the leg too far up. With this fix, you’ll almost forget the levelers are even there.
Willie Sandry
Camas, Washington


In addition to our standard

Flex ability... payment (below), Willie Sandry of

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one hose fits ’em all! receive a Rockler Universal Small

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us your original, unpublished trick.
stretch hose won’t fight you as Please include a photo or drawing
you move about, and it expands if necessary. For your chance to
from 3' to 15'. An included win, submit your Tricks to Wood-
swivel port mounts to most worker’s Journal, Dept. T/T, P.O.
shop vacuums. Box 261, Medina, MN 55340. Or
send us an email:
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For a store near you or free catalog: 1-877-ROCKLER

Woodworker’s Journal October 2018 17

THIS ISSUE’S EXPERTS Q Recently, the subject
of pilot holes came up
in conversation. It turns out

Rob Johnstone is publisher of that my colleagues all have

Woodworker’s Journal. strong feelings on the matter
Chris Marshall is senior editor — including each of them
of Woodworker’s Journal and feeling, strongly, that his is Two pilot holes aren’t
the author of several the correct way to drill pilot just double the fun,
woodworking books.
holes. Hence, the pilot hole they’re the dynamic
Jeff Jacobson is senior art smackdown. The question: duo of drilling.
director of Woodworker’s Whose pilot hole technique
team are you on?
Michael Dresdner is a Joanna Werch Takes
nationally known finishing Woodworker’s Journal Editor
expert and author of The
New Wood Finishing Book.

A When it comes to pilot

holes, there is a right
way, a wrong way — and
at the diameter of the shank
minus the threads. This allows
centuries-old sort that have
a shank that tapers from
then whatever wackiness my the threads to grab the wood top to bottom with an un-
co-workers are doing. fibers firmly, but will keep the threaded portion under the
The goal of joining two wood from splitting. This is ... head — I agree completely
pieces of wood together the right way. with Rob. The pilot hole
using screws is this: to —Rob Johnstone in the top workpiece must
Contact us
tightly secure the wood be slightly bigger than the
by writing to “Q&A,” that the screw is going Rob pulling rank to go first unthreaded portion of the
Woodworker’s Journal, through to the stock that it may have backfired — read screw so its shank can pass
4365 Willow Drive, is being joined to, and to do on to see how Chris strongly through the wood without
Medina, MN 55340, it without splitting the wood. implies that Rob’s pilot holes binding on it. But many
by faxing us at (763) 478-8396 Every woodworker I know are those of an old fuddy- wood screws these days
has committed the sin of duddy. — JWT don’t have tapered shanks
or by emailing us at:
omission, where they trust to and are shaped more like
Please include your home
address, phone number and
the heavens and the grace of
compressible wood fibers to
simply drive a screw through
A When it comes to drilling
pilot holes for “conven-
tional” wood screws — the
deck screws: think of a nail
with threads on it. For these
“modern” wood screws,
email address (if you have one) one piece of wood, into a sec-
with your question. ond piece of wood, not hav- Chris
ing drilled a single pilot hole,
much less two. Sometimes
we get away with it. Other
times, not so much — and
unholy language ensues.
So here is the gospel of
Work smarter, not
pilot holes. To do it correctly,
harder. When it comes
you drill two pilot holes. The to pilot holes, with
first one through the stock today’s un-tapered
where the head of the screw screw shanks, one is
will seat is a hole larger than all you need.
the diameter of the screw
shank and the threads. The
second pilot hole is bored

18 October 2018 Woodworker’s Journal


there’s no need for a larger

diameter pilot hole in the top Stopping your pilot
board. I drill one hole that hole short keeps
you from digging
matches the shank size of
yourself into too
the screw, accounting for the deep of a hole.
full length of the screw plus
a countersink or counterbore
for the screw head, when
necessary. Clamp or press
the workpieces together For simply sending in his
securely, put a little wax on Jeff spends much of his time you down a hole that is way question about water-based
the screw threads and drive drawing the artwork for the too deep. They both have poly top coats, Rick Clock of
it home. The screw pulls magazine — and his vision the right idea for the upper Baldwin City, Kansas, wins
itself tight, and the wood for pilot holes is so clear that part of the shafts, depending a Knew Concepts 5" Mk. IV
doesn’t crack. Rob, for these he believes both Rob and Chris on the type of screw you are
Hand Saw With Swivel.
newfangled screws, I think are operating under a fog of using. The key is to stop the
you’re working harder but delusion. — JWT hole for the threaded part Each issue we toss new
not smarter. The technology a bit short. This gives the questions into a hat and
has changed, and it’s time to
embrace the single-pilot-hole
approach with un-tapered
A Both Rob and Chris
have gotten you started
down the right path — but
tip something to grab onto.
That’s the proper way.
—Jeff Jacobson
draw a winner.

screws. don’t be fooled! Their mis-

—Chris Marshall guided ways can only lead Continues on page 20 ...

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Woodworker’s Journal October 2018 19


Henry Polek of
Ohatcheek, Alabama,
has the complete
set — and it comes in
handy for the older fix-
Mystery solution leaks out tures in his bathrooms.

With June’s mystery
item from Roger Wall
Q We have pine floors that
are 17 years old, in good
shape and coated with a wa-
This? of Martinsburg, West ter-based polyurethane. We
Virginia, “a drippy faucet would like to darken the floor
can be a do-it-yourself color. Is there a water-based
job,” said Brian Nelson polyurethane that we can tint
of Tacoma, Washington. and topcoat our floor?
It is for “reaming worn Rick Clock
metal seats of globe Baldwin City, Kansas
valves, such as old style bath- are designed to keep the
room faucets or hose bibs,”
said Dave Fogt of Phoenix,
cutter straight and perpen-
dicular to the stem,” said
Bill Passey of Sandy, Utah.
A Yes, you can tint
almost any water-based
polyurethane floor finish.
John Kruck of St. Peters- “A few twists of the knob However, it is not easy to
burg, Florida, said, “If not will take off any bumps in apply a coat of tinted topcoat
tightened completely when the seat and make the valve and have it come out uniform
shut off, water flowed be- like-new with a smooth seat in color, so do practice first
tween the rubber washer on for the washer to contact,” on scrap.
the end of the stem and the said Dennis Cilensek of I’d go with TransTint dyes,
metal seat. The water flow Mentor, Ohio. a liquid concentrate that you
would cut a groove in the “A new stem washer can add a drop or two at a
Ray Consilvio of Croton-on-Hudson, metal seat, and then the fau- would be attached to the
New York, bought this item at a cet could not seal properly.” stem, the faucet reassem-
“Nowadays, most faucets bled, and the dripping would
tag sale. Even though he chose to
have removable seats, but stop,” said Sheldon Benton
purchase it, he still has no idea there was a time when you of Everett, Pennsylvania.
what it is. Do you? had to re-cut them so the George Gouraud of Port
Send your answer to washer made good contact Coquitlam, British Colum- and stopped the water flow,” bia, says the tool “is called
or write to “Stumpers,” said Larry Schumer of Salt a valve seat reamer.” Patty
Lake City, Utah. Robert F. Novak of Winner, South Da-
Woodworker’s Journal, 4365
Lupini of Neosho, Missouri, kota, says it’s “a faucet seat
Willow Drive, Medina, MN 55340 explained that, “Different grinding tool.” And Vince
for a chance to win a prize! diameter grinding heads Buckwash of West Chester,
fit on the end [of the tool] Pennsylvania, says “it is
while the tapered part helps called a bib seat dresser.”
with centering the tool in the William Duter from Mad-
valve.” ison, Wisconsin, claims that time to creep up on the color
“The tapered section fits “This tool is pretty much you want. The dyes can be
into the faucet when the obsolete due to the cartridge added directly to the finish
stem and cap is removed. system in today’s faucets.” from the squeeze bottle they
The rings machined into it come in. Obviously, stir well
before using, and test your
Winner! Patty Novak of Winner, South mixture on scrap, because
Woodworker’s Journal editor Dakota, wins a RIDGID® GEN5X Brushless the color in the can is not
Joanna Werch Takes compiles 18V Drill/Driver and 3-Speed Impact Driver what color it dries to.
each issue’s Stumpers responses Combo Kit (R9603). We toss all the Stump- — Michael Dresdner
— and reads every one.
ers letters into a hat to select a winner.

20 October 2018 Woodworker’s Journal

Woodworker’s Journal October 2018 21
Shaping wood is at the heart of nearly
any type of woodworking, but power
carving takes that concept to a whole
1. Power carving is not about making Chippendale
details. On the other hand, it is all about doing beautiful
woodworking. There are many forms of power carving,
new level. from simply texturing a surface with a handheld sander
to Dremel tools to flexible shaft-driven cutting systems

C ar ving is a niche of woodworking that has always inter-

ested woodworkers, but many of us are reluctant to tr y
car ving because we believe the skills are too specialized.
to cutters mounted to an angle grinder. (Oh, and you can
do power carving with an angle grinder and a grinding
wheel. Confused? Just go with it.)
Power car ving is changing that paradigm.

2. Green wood or kiln-dried? The answer is yes. Some

tremendously interesting power carving does occur on
logs or tree sections that are not typically dried. These
can be realistic carvings of subjects like animals or even
people, as well as abstract shapes. With that said, power
carving techniques are being used by furniture makers
more and more on kiln-dried stock.

3. Safety first. While not intrinsically more dangerous

than any other type of woodworking, basic safety steps
are a must when using a power carving tool. Protect all
the standard vulnerabilities: hearing, eyesight and your
lungs. A free spinning cutter on the end of a shaft or an
angle grinder moves about in space more than a band
saw blade or similar — so take common sense precau-
tions. Also, dress appropriately (no flip-flops).

4. Start small. Depending on the tool and the cutter

in play, you can remove an amazing amount of wood in
very short order. It is an obvious truth that it is harder to
add more wood back to your project than it is to carve it
away. Like any woodworking skill, making mistakes is a
clear path to learning what not to do — but you can mini-
mize those mistakes by moderating your first attempts.

5. This pony does lots of tricks. Traditional wood-

workers will quickly see handy aspects to power carving
tools, but they can do much more than shape “butt
cheeks” into a chair seat. Craftspersons all over the
world are doing innovative and beautiful woodworking
using power carving techniques. As examples abound,
many of us will want to go hands-on and try it ourselves.

22 October 2018 Woodworker’s Journal




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Woodworker’s Journal October 2018 23

This Sawhorse was a 450-Hour Build
By Patrick Moore

The author’s completed trestle

sawhorse is now displayed at
Algonquin College in Ottawa,
Ontario, Canada, where it offers
inspiration and challenge.

derstanding stereotomy. It’s

the traditional project that an
apprentice “aspirant” mem-
ber of the Compagnons du
Devoir artisans guild would
build when moving to a new
shop during his journeyman
years touring France. The
more complex the sawhorse,
the more time the aspirant
had been studying Art du
Trait, which meant being
assigned a higher position
and more complex projects
in the shop.

Drawing, Wood Choices

After years of staring at,
hile living in France, I fell in love with analyzing and being inspired
stereotomy — the set of geometrical by trestles in old pictures of
knowledge and graphical drawing Compagnon carpenters, I
techniques used to lay out voluminous pieces into decided to build one of sim-
their complex structure — specifically, the subset ilar design. One inspiration
“Art du Trait.” Developed by French carpenters was the trestle depicted in
before the 13th century, Art du Trait is a kind of the drawing at far left, from
applied geometry which allows the carpenter to 19th century carpenter Louis
use three-dimensional drawing to design complex Mazerolle’s classic book
wooden structures. Traite Theorique et Pratique
One can literally build anything imaginable with- de Charpente.
out the use of a calculator, computer, modern-day First, one needs to draw it
technology or having to have a PhD in Mathemat- out in order to get sizing, pro-
ics. No wonder this knowledge has been recog- portion and design just right:
nized by UNESCO, which in 2009 classified it onto the stereotomical drawing.
the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural The drawing process took me
Heritage of Humanity. more than 120 hours — the
The French trestle (a direct translation from tré- portion seen in the photo at
teau), or sawhorse, is perhaps the high point in un- the top of page 25 is only a

24 October 2018 Woodworker’s Journal

In the photo at top left, you see the
author using the drawing to lay out a
piece. He prepared for the project’s
cutting needs by sharpening his
chisels up to 8,000-grit with
waterstones (top middle photo), then
used a leather strop for final honing.
Each of the four saws used (bottom
left photo) had a specific purpose
and varying tpi. To make the actual
cutting easier, he custom-made a
pivoting vise on a stand, which helps
rotate each piece (photo at right).

small part of what was need- Complex Cutting After cutting, all connect-
ed to lay out all the trestle This project involved a lot of ing points were glued and,
pieces. cutting. I used four different where possible, screwed. I
To move from the theo- types of hand saws: a rip cut, used Titebond III and GRK
retical to the real world, you crosscut, diagonal cut and 1.5" and 2" finishing screws.
place the piece of wood that flush cut. They were forged I would do my best to place
you want to lay out onto the by Daizo Mitsukawa of Japan, the screws so that another
drawing and transfer the whose high-end line of hand-
proper reference lines onto forged saws is used in temple
the piece of wood. Once restorations — fitting for my
completed, you get the real project, built using tech-
length and angles drawn on niques employed for French
the piece. This process is medieval monasteries and
repeated until every piece is Gothic cathedrals.
laid out.
For my complex trestle, I
wanted to use different spe-
cies of wood for extra oomph
and wow factor. The woods
used in my project are as
follows: purpleheart for the
top rail; American white and
red oak for the bottom cross;
French oak for one set of
legs and rail; English oak for
the other set of legs and rail; A technique the author uses to deal
walnut for the external mid with very acute angles is to score
crosses; ash for the external his lines with an X-ACTO® knife or
scalpel, then chisel the start point
long crosses; zebrawood for
(photo above). This creates a good
the smaller internal crosses; reference that’s flat enough for the
wenge for the two external saw to rest, which makes starting
side crosses. the cut easier and more accurate.

Woodworker’s Journal October 2018 25


I knew the first assembly squeeze-out, then put on

needed to be the legs, end two coats of satin interior
rails and the bottom cross. Varathane finish, sanding at
Extreme accuracy was 320-grit in between coats.
required, with the legs po-
sitioned exactly where they The Final Piece
were meant to be, so that At first glance, it may seem
all other crosses would line that opposing crosses in the
up where they should. To trestle are symmetrical, but
The most complex glue-up required simultaneous assembly of the exterior help in assembling this main truth be told, every cross
and interior crosses. The latter were temporarily held with plastic wrap.
structure, I built a form from is different. Not one is the
piece was hiding it without pieces of offcuts. same. Each one has been
the use of a plug — although Next came assemblies of rotated differently and is
I did end up having to coun- the walnut crosses and the intersecting a different, also
terbore and plug a couple. long ash pieces, but the most rotated, piece. This is the
Before any assembly complex glue-up and assem- result of a very long drawing
occurred, I glued two dif- bly was the other side of the and laying out process. Every
ferent grits (220 and 320) of trestle. At the same time as imaginable way to position
sandpaper to a 3/4" piece of gluing the exterior crosses, a piece of wood in space has
plywood and clamped it onto I needed to assemble and been used in this trestle.
a flat surface. I then began to temporarily hold the interior I wanted to make this tres-
sand piece by piece in order crosses in place so I could as- tle as complex as possible
Both the exterior and interior to get a good flat sanded semble and glue the exterior without going too crazy. In
crosses are what’s called twisted finish on all faces. In this walnut and ash crosses. To total, this project took me
crosses. The joint between the two case, it was easier to move make this happen, I assem- over 450 working hours.
pieces (above) is the most complex the piece of wood on the bled and glued most of the Everything, except for the
you will ever encounter using
sandpaper than vice versa. exterior pieces and then the gross milling of the pieces,
straight and linear pieces.
subassembly to the trestle, was done by hand.
while temporarily holding the As the first North or South
interior crosses in position American to be received as a
with plastic wrap. Compagnon carpenter in the
Once the exterior crosses ancient French guild, I now
were glued and screwed in teach both online and on-site
place, I applied glue to the courses in stereotomy/Art
interior ones using a syringe du Trait to apprentices and
— I couldn’t get the nozzle professionals alike at my
of the glue bottle in deep Ontario school, the Profes-
enough. sional School of Practical
Once the glue on the inte- Stereotomy (historicalcarpen-
rior crosses was fully cured,, with both online and
I cut and assembled the first on-site courses. The trestle
end exterior cross made of now stands on display at
wenge. This was a simple Algonquin College in Ottawa,
half-lap with some very long, Ontario, to inspire and en-
The ends of the half-lap joint on Assembly and Glue-Ups thin pointy ends. The last courage others to challenge
the wenge end exterior cross The assembly process was a cross to be glued and assem- themselves, continuously
came out thin as paper, requiring whole other ball game, too. bled was the exterior twisted learn new techniques, learn
delicate handling from the author. I didn’t want to shoot myself wenge cross. Stereotomy/Art du Trait, and
The exterior twisted wenge cross
(photo at bottom right) was one of
in the foot by gluing a piece Once the whole trestle perhaps one day build the
the many complicated glue-ups for in place and making the next was glued and assembled, I trestle dubbed “Le Canadien.”
this project. assembly step impossible. chiseled away excess glue

26 October 2018 Woodworker’s Journal

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By Ernie Conover
You’ve done the irst turning and left your green wood
bowl to dry. Now it’s time to re-turn it to inal shape.

n previous columns, I Ernie Conover). The process mounted, test the glue joint
have talked extensively entails proper chucking, the by applying a bit of rocking
about turning and drying re-turning process, sanding force at the rim of the bowl.
bowls from green wood and and finishing. Let’s look at If you find the glue joint to
explained how and why such each of the steps in turn. be unsound, you will have to
a bowl goes oval during create a new joint using the
the drying process. I have Re-Chucking same methods I outline for
harped on the idea that a The two standard ways of four-jaw chucks.
For a video on the topic choice is to let the blank dry chucking the base of a bowl If you did the primary turn-
VIDEO of re-turning a rough for about three months, then during primary turning are ing with a four-jaw chuck, the
turned bowl blank, please visit re-turn it so that you end up with either a glue block or a chucking recess will have and click with a round bowl, and I have four-jaw scroll chuck. likely warped sufficiently
also covered a few different When it comes time for oval during drying time that
on “More on the Web” under the
ways to speed the drying re-turning, if you originally re-chucking is, at best, dicey
Magazine tab. process [June 2018 “Wood- used dry wood for the glue and may be impossible. You
turning”]. block, you can often re- will have to true the chuck-
What I have never talked chuck by simply using the ing recess — scraping it
about in these pages is the same screw holes to attach perfectly round and flat on
re-turning process itself (al- a faceplate for chucking the bottom. This simple task
though the topic is covered and mounting it on the works equally well for fitting
in my book Turn a Bowl with lathe. Once the faceplate is a new glue block.

28 October 2018 Woodworker’s Journal

The author places a piece of cloth or sandpaper in between a wood nub- Since your chucking recess will have warped during drying, you will need
bin and the bowl to provide traction. A second small piece of wood (see to re-cut it so that it is perfectly round and flat on the bottom. The best tool
photo at right) protects the base from the center’s point. for this procedure is a hooked scraper.

Mounting for Re-Turning You will most likely have

To begin the re-turning pro- to grind the hook onto this
cess, simply mount a piece of scraper yourself, although
wood in a scroll chuck or on if you start with the Robert
a faceplate and round it to ap- Sorby Round/Side Cutting
proximately the shape of the Scraper (item number 46334
inside of the bowl’s bottom. at, it only needs
You should be able to hold a slight modification. Other-
the bowl against this wood wise, you can grind the hook
nubbin without it rocking. from any suitable square-
You can now pin the bowl nose scraper. (I have also
against the wood nubbin made them for students from
using a tailstock with a live old woodworking chisels,
center. I generally interpose although you need to be care-
a small piece of wood be- ful not to overheat carbon
tween the live center and the steel during grinding.)
bowl so that the center point Note: for a glue block, The author created his own hooked scraper by grinding steel he happened
does not dig into the base the mortise wall should be to have lying around, but you can also create the tool by slightly modifying
egregiously. I also insert a straight, as it should be for a commercial scraper or an old woodworking chisel.
piece of cloth or sandpaper some chucks. However, for a
between the nubbin and the chuck with dovetailed jaws,
bowl to give some traction. you want a like dovetail taper
You will have to play with on the wall of your recess.
the centering, meaning out
the error until the bowl runs Re-Turning Process
as true as possible. Centering Now you are ready for the
the bowl on the nubbin is one heart of the lathe work.
of the most important steps Secure the bowl on a four-jaw
in re-turning — having it too chuck (with the appropriate
far out of center is one of sized jaws) and turn the
the most common causes of spindle by hand to see that
failures in re-turning a bowl. it is as centered as possible.
You will need to place the Test that the bowl is secure
tool-rest as close as you can by grabbing the rim and
to the live center (and a bit applying a bit of force. Start
above center) and re-cut the lathe out very slow, and When you have your bowl mounted on a four-jaw chuck to begin the
the chucking recess with a then slowly and gradually actual re-turning, test that it is securely attached by grabbing the rim and
hooked scraper. speed it up to a maximum of applying a bit of force.

Woodworker’s Journal October 2018 29


800 rpm — slower if vibration have some failures with your

is discernible. first few bowls. Failure is
Use a bowl gouge to re-cut most commonly caused by
the outside of the bowl. You having insufficient wall thick-
will not be able to make a ness in your dried blank: the
rubbing bevel cut at the wall thickness must be about
base. Instead, the tool has to 10% of the bowl’s diameter.
be dragged off of the bevel Another common reason
with what is called a pull cut. for failure is not centering
At some place, about halfway accurately or having the
to the rim, you will be able to rim too far out of the plane
transition to a rubbing bevel of rotation it was originally
Re-cut the outside of the bowl with a bowl gouge, dragging it off of the
bevel in a “pull cut.” You’ll be able to transition to a smoother, rubbing
cut that will be much smoth- roughed out in.
bevel cut about halfway to the rim. er. You will have to refine In many cases, though,
the area turned with the pull you will be rewarded for all
cut with a large round-nose this toil and trouble with a
scraper. While you are still round bowl with a level rim.
working on the outside of Yes, like any piece of wood
the bowl, this is
the time to sand
and apply finish
if you wish to
do so.
Now turn your
attention to the
inside by first
leveling the rim.
Then, take a se-
ries of sweeping
internal cuts to
Re-turning the interior of the bowl involves first leveling the rim, then
bring your bowl
taking a series of sweeping internal cuts to bring the bowl’s walls to an
even thickness. to an even wall
thickness. Sand
and finish the The end result: a round bowl with a level rim. Sure,
interior. it might move a little with humidity changes — but
To refine the not so that anyone could tell without measuring.
base, the bowl
needs to be reverse chucked it will move some with daily
by vacuum chucking, jam changes in humidity, but
chucking or pinning to a nub- not sufficiently that anyone
bin as we did in refitting our will be able to tell except by
dried bowl to the chuck or accurate measurement.
glue block. Since the nubbin Give Tupperware® a run
needs little or no modifica- for their money: make some
tion, that is the method I round bowls.
have chosen.
Ernie Conover is the author
The bowl needs to be reverse chucked to refine the base. The author Don’t Fret a Few Fails of The Lathe Book, Turn a
chose to again chuck, or pin, it to a wood nubbin, which needs little or no As you begin re-turning, Bowl with Ernie Conover
modification. don’t be discouraged if you and The Frugal Woodturner.

30 October 2018 Woodworker’s Journal



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Woodworker’s Journal October 2018 31

By Michael Dresdner
This flexible CA glue adds new inishing options
with a long open time plus instant solidiication
when sprayed with an accelerator.

eople often use cya- Most notable in their line turnings, right on the lathe.
noacrylate adhesive is Fill n’ Finish™, a flexible, It cures clear, with no bub-
for bonding parts, clear cyanoacrylate that stays bles, pitting, hazing, crazing,
filling voids, repairing finish liquid until you spray it with blooming, yellowing or white and even as a finish on raw GluBoost accelerator, after spots.
wood — typically on pens which it solidifies instantly Because it stays liquid in-
For a video on finishing and other small objects and cures clear. It seems definitely, you can even color
VIDEO with GluBoost Fill n’ because it cures so fast. Most hard to believe, but it’s true. it by mixing their Master-
Finish, please visit us online at folks insist various brands of That means you can apply Tint™ line of colorants right and click cyanoacrylates, often called it to wood as a finish or pore into the cyanoacrylate, and
on “More on the Web” under the “super glue,” are more alike filler, take your sweet time it still won’t cure until it is
than not, and there’s some about getting it smooth and sprayed with accelerator. Add
Magazine tab.
truth to that. uniform, then spray it, and it a small amount of powder for
However, GluBoost® prod- cures almost instantly, ready a translucent color, more for
ucts are different indeed and to sand or recoat in just solid colors. It’s a boon for
open up a whole new world of seconds. Among other uses, filling dings in every type of
options for us woodworkers. it is perfect for finishing clear, tinted, or solid color

32 October 2018 Woodworker’s Journal


You can apply GluBoost’s Fill n’ Finish to small Fill n’ Finish stays liquid after application until The finish solidifies instantly after applying the
turnings as a finish while they are still on the you spray it with GluBoost accelerator, allowing accelerator: you can easily handle your turning
lathe. time to smooth out a finish. or other project with no stickiness or mess.

finishes, including notorious- The GluDry™ accelerator ing dense woods. Both are
ly hard-to-repair epoxies and itself is also very slow drying, great for solidifying spalted
polyesters. which is quite handy if you or punky wood.
Once Fill n’ Finish does plan to use either Fill n’ Fin- If you’re wondering why
cure, it is flexible. We don’t ish or their more typical adhe- you’ve not heard of Glu-
often think of them that way, sive, MasterGlu, as traditional Boost before, in part it is GluBoost
but all wood finishes must be adhesive. Spray one side of because the products were Fill n’ Finish
somewhat flexible to tolerate a bond with accelerator and first introduced to luthiers CA glue is a very
wood movement without put the cyanoacrylate on the (guitarmakers) and mostly durable finishing
option for small
cracking. That flexibility is other. Once they come in con- sold through luthiery supply
woodturnings, like
essential as a finish and also tact, cure comes in seconds. companies. You can find out this pizza cutter,
to create repairs in cracked Both the slow-drying, long more through their website available through
or dinged finishes that don’t open time Fill n’ Finish and at, where
pop out or crack over time. the more typical self-curing the 2 oz. bottles of Fill n’ Fin-
As an adhesive, a flexible MasterGlu come in both reg- ish sell for $15 and the 4 oz.
glue line is more shock-resis- ular and super thin versions, GluDry is priced at $12.
tant than a rigid one. the latter ideal for penetrat-


Repairing dings and dents is another use for

GluBoost Fill n’ Finish. GluBoost offers a line
of MasterTint stains for color matching. The
patent-pending line of colorants is formulated
specifically for use with GluBoost products,
and it will not weaken the polymeric bond of
the adhesive.

Applying Fill n’ Finish Thin into a Next, fill the majority of the void with A little color goes a long way when
chipped-out area seals up the fibers the slightly thicker Fill n’ Finish Pro mixing the MasterTint color stains
of the ding preparing for the next step. Formula to take up space. with the Fill n’ Finish.

Woodworker’s Journal October 2018 33

By Charles Mak
Dovetail joints and a “hot pipe” bending technique to make its
handles combine to lift this tray’s distinctiveness to the next level.

ass-produced serving trays are often unstylishly Since those maple handles are thin, they are a good candidate
box-like and, being machine-made, feature simple for hot-pipe bending. Using that technique of bending wood,
cutouts on the ends as handles. They can be boring, which I will explain later in this article, is a surprisingly simple
and, to paraphrase American furniture maker Jere Osgood, way to achieve the curved visual effect and add a new skill set
their straight-line designs are a wasted opportunity. Curves you can call upon for other woodworking projects.
add interest to a piece, and thus I included curved handles in The basic construction of this tray’s framework is pretty
the latest tray I’ve made here. To add a handcrafted feel, the simple, too — especially if you’ve cut dovetails before. I’ve
tray features hand-cut dovetails and rabbets. already discussed my wood choices for the sides, ends and
For a striking look, I used maple for the handles, while bottom. You’ll want to get started by cutting those pieces into
sapele and African mahogany veneer ply make up the tray. the dimensions stated in the Material List on page 37.

34 October 2018 Woodworker’s Journal

Ganging up pairs of parts The author cuts the tail
is efficient in both laying slopes first. Mark out the
out and cutting, and it waste areas in the pin
ensures that the joint sockets, and use a fine-
layouts match. It’s a good tooth dovetail saw for this
idea to start the tail cuts procedure.
with the pieces held level
in a bench vise (inset).

Dovetail Decisions
I don’t intend this article to be a tutorial on how to cut dove-
tails; my opinion is that the best guide for both beginner and
seasoned woodworkers is The Complete Dovetail by Ian Kirby,
available on Here, I will only cover the key dove-
tail steps that I followed for this tray.
I chose to make the sides of the tray the tail boards for my
dovetails and the tray ends the pin boards. This allows the
tails (and less end grain) to be seen when the tray is brought
out to serve. If you prefer more end grain on the front, you It is quicker to remove the bulk of the waste close to the baseline with
can choose to cut the sides as the pin boards instead. a fret saw, leaving less to chop. As you cut your joints, rub candle wax
How many tails to put in a dovetail joint is both a structural (inset) on your saw blade for lubrication and to reduce binding.
and an aesthetic consideration. For the size of this tray, even
one tail is probably good enough for the structural strength.
However, I chose to have three tails in the joint to add a visual
element of craftsmanship to the piece.

Starting with the Tails

After deciding on the tail/pin design, the first step is to lay out
the dovetails — a task I usually complete with a pair of divid-
ers and marking gauge. I am a “tails-first” dovetailer, meaning
I mark and cut the tail slopes first. Be sure to practice sawing
straight and plumb on scraps in order to build your confi-
dence before you take the plunge with your prepared stock.
With the tails sawn, remove the waste from the pin sockets
with a fret or coping saw, or simply chop the waste out. To saw
off the outside half pins, I start by chiseling a V-groove on the
shoulder line to act as a saw guide. With practice, you can saw
Chisel a knife wall on the gauge line for the outside pins, and use it as
to the gauge line with very little left to clean up for the edge a saw guide to make the plumb cut. These are crosscuts, so try to use a
shoulder. After chopping to the gauge lines, check that the crosscut saw for that job. Check all of the bottoms of the pin sockets for
shoulders are square and flat, and pare away any high spots. high spots, which would prevent the joints from closing tightly (inset).

Woodworker’s Journal October 2018 35

A dovetail alignment jig must be built flat and square, and stay that way Hang the jig over the edge of your workbench, and clamp the boards to the
in the shop. Be sure to build the jig from a stable material such as MDF or jig with the tail board on the horizontal base. For precise results, hold the
quartersawn hardwood, and check its squareness and fence alignment. knife blade tight to the walls of the tails when marking the pins.

Sawing the Pins

Marking the pins from the tails is best done with a dovetail
alignment jig; it’s a shop aid made popular by David Barron, a
British furniture and tool maker. The jig is simply a right-an-
gled brace with a fence to align the reference edges of the
tail and pin boards (top left photo). To mark out, hold the tail
board on the horizontal part and the pin board on the vertical
part, both against the fence, and scribe out the pins. To com-
plete the pin markings, draw vertical saw guidelines from the
end grain scribed lines down the outside face.
Sawing the pins to match the tails is a tall order for a lot of
people, because one needs to split the scribed line and saw
straight down along the vertical guidelines at the same time.
This is where the earlier suggestion of setting your workpiece
plumb, or level, before you start will help your plumb cuts.
To make the knife lines more visible, use a pencil (0.3 mm lead preferred) After sawing the pins, remove the waste and clean up the
to darken the scribed lines, and position the saw teeth to split the lines.
shoulders in a similar manner as described above for the
Good lighting is important for this task.
tails. Once all the pins are cut, do a dry-fitting of the joint, as
described in the caption below.

Rub pencil on the sides of the tails and tap the joint together until it starts
Chop out the tail socket waste, working from both sides of the board to to bind. Then separate the boards to reveal the high spots on the pins you’ll
avoid unsightly breakout. The author prefers to undercut the baselines by need to pare (photo above). Use a hammer with a domed face for dry-fit-
angling the chisel about 1° to 2° from vertical — it helps avoid high spots. ting, and listen to the sound of the tap for resistance or seating (inset).

36 October 2018 Woodworker’s Journal



1 Sides (2) 1/2" x 21 ⁄ 4" x 18"
2 Ends (2) 1/2" x 21 ⁄ 4" x 12"
3 Bottom (1) 1/8" x 111 ⁄ 2" x 171⁄ 2"
4 Handles (2)* 1/8" x 1/2" x 16" 1 3
* Milled overly long and cut to length after bending

Exploded View
Handle Shape
(Front View)
(Inside View)
/4" 5
L 1
/2" 3
/8" 1
/4" 2
4 1
/2" 3
/8" 1
Each square = 1/2" 1
/2" 3

Adding Rabbets for the Tray Bottom 1

The last joinery to cut for the tray is the rabbets to accept
the bottom. Stopped rabbets are cut on the tray ends, while Sides
(Inside View)
through rabbets are plowed on the tray sides.
After setting the plow plane, I cut the rabbets on the sides.
For a stopped rabbet, I drilled holes at the ends to mark out 1
the length of the rabbet, and then I laid out the width and
depth of the rabbet with a marking gauge. The holes at both
ends served as both length and depth guides for planing. I
excavated most of the rabbet with the plow plane and then
squared the ends with chisels. If you don’t have a plow plane,

cut all the rabbets with a router mounted in a router table. 1


While a router can cut grooves and rabbets quickly, it’s simple and easy to The author bored holes to locate the ends of the stopped rabbets. They serve
set up a plow plane for rabbeting a small job like this one. There’s no need to determine its length and depth (photo above). Stop the plane short of these
to make trial cuts to test your setup, and you can avoid the sawdust. ends, then use a chisel to remove the rest of the waste material (inset).

Woodworker’s Journal October 2018 37

You can make a hot-pipe bending jig For a video on the process of
using U-bolts mounted to a hardwood
block (top) or by attaching the pipe VIDEO hot-pipe bending, please visit
with a threaded flange (bottom). Either and click on
way, use non-galvanized pipe to avoid
“More on the Web” under the
creating toxic fumes, and insulate
between the wood and metal with Magazine tab.
fiberglass. A 6" length of pipe with a di-
ameter between 1” and 3” works well.
The smaller the diameter, the tighter
curves you’ll be able to bend in wood.

Bending the Handles Against a Hot Pipe

As the name implies, the hot-pipe bending method shapes
strips of wood against a pipe, heated with a propane torch. You
can mount the pipe to a post with a flange or U-bolts, insulated
by a layer of fiberglass material, as I’ve done in the photos on
this page. In use, clamp the post in a vise and hold the torch at
an angle in a handscrew or cradle on the bench. Wear gloves
or use pairs of pliers where necessary for protection.
Not all wood species are suitable for bending. Choose
straight-grained, air-dried and knot-free hardwood, such as
maple, ash, cherry and walnut, that is no thicker than 1/4".
Avoid the use of softwood and exotic wood.
To bend wood with the hot pipe, first soak the pieces in hot
or room temperature water for at least several hours. Ignite
Position the torch so its flame the torch and aim the flame at the inner side of the pipe to
is directed up against the heat the pipe to about 200° Fahrenheit and then maintain the
pipe’s inside top wall (inset). temperature with a low flame.
You’ll know the pipe is hot
enough to bend wood when
If this is the first time you are trying this bending method,
water droplets bounce off of use a scrap to practice. Mark the center point of the piece and
its heated surface, as seen in slowly rock the piece on the pipe in a seesaw motion, applying
the photo above. gentle and steady pressure. To prevent scorching the strip,
keep it in contact with the pipe for no more than 10 seconds at
a time, and re-wet both sides of the spot often.
To shape a gradual curve like the handles for this tray,
move the piece slightly to another spot for bending. Once
the center curve is shaped, flip the wood over to bend the
curves on the opposite side to form the handle. I made a
bending form both to check fit and to keep the pieces in shape

Support the thin handle strip with

scraps on top as you seesaw it on
the pipe to start the bend. Re-wet
the bent spot from time to time
(inset), which will help keep burn
Bend the handle curves and check them against the profile on the bending
marks (and subsequent sanding)
form as you proceed with the bending process. While gloves are not being
to a minimum.
worn here, they’re still a good idea to safeguard against accidental burns.

38 October 2018 Woodworker’s Journal

Once the handles are bent to
shape, clamp them in a bend-
ing form overnight so they can
cool and dry thoroughly. You
can also use the bending form
during the sanding process (in-
set) to remove any burn marks.

until they completely dry — you’ll want to leave them in the riveted the handles to the tray instead of using screws. For
bending form at least overnight. When they come out of the added strength, I put a dab of epoxy glue into the holes before
form, the last step is to scrape or sand off any burn marks on hammering the rivets home.
the strips. You’ll want to protect the tray from heat and spills, so spray
on a few coats of polyurethane, with light sanding in between
Assembly and Finishing coats. Finally, after the finish dries, attach some cork pads to
After dry-fitting the tray’s ends and sides, glue up the tray and the bottom corners. Now, rustle up some snacks and drinks,
nail or screw the plywood bottom in place before installing the and put your new assistant into service — with gusto!
handles. I used waxed pine blocks as clamping cauls to pull
the tails and pins tightly together during this final assembly. Charles Mak, semi-retired in Alberta, Canada, is a hobbyist
For a touch of flair, after easing the handles’ sharp edges, I woodworker, tipster, teacher and writer.

The author used a retractable

vinyl window shade to protect
his bench when spraying the
tray parts with polyurethane.

While gluing and clamping the tray’s sides and ends together isn’t
difficult, don’t skip the dry-fitting step. Once the assembly is in the
clamps, check it for squareness. The author used blocks of waxed pine A cork sheet and industrial-
as clamping cauls to close the corner joints. strength double-faced tape
create shop-made, long-lasting
felt pads. You can cut the pads
to shape with a punch.

Woodworker’s Journal October 2018 39

By Chris Marshall

40 October 2018 Woodworker’s Journal

This project’s hand-cut
dovetails aren’t as chal-
lenging as you may fear,
thanks to an ingenious Draw the angled tails on the
ends of the front panel with a
aluminum sawing guide. 10° bevel gauge. Then clamp
the back panel to it, and
hether you use this moder- transfer the tail lines across
the end grain (inset) so you
ately sized chest for storing
can replicate the same tail
bedding, photo albums and pattern on the back panel.
other keepsakes or off-season clothing,
it’s also just the right height to serve as
a quick seat for putting on your slippers
or shoes. I think every woodworker
should eventually build a Shaker-in-
spired chest like this, because it’s one of
those enduring woodworking classics.
It also provides a good opportunity to
practice your dovetailing skills. If you
haven’t built a chest like this before, Mark the pin socket waste
here’s your chance to give one a go! areas, and saw the tails down
to their baselines. David
Starting Out with Dovetails Barron’s magnetic Dovetail
Guide (inset) made this
Let’s get this project underway by
process easy.
gluing up panels for the chest’s front,
back and sides. Flatten their glue seams
by scraping or hand-planing, sand the centerpoints of the pins, with
panels up to 120-grit and then cut them a half pin on the top end of the
to final size, making sure their ends chest only. I laid mine out with
are square. Mark the outside “show” eight pins, spaced 17 ⁄ 8" apart,
faces on the panels, and label the corner on center. The bottoms of the
joints to keep their orientation clear. pin sockets are 1/2" wide, and
The next step is to cut through I set the angles of the tails to
dovetail joints to bring the chest panels a 1:6 slope (about 10°). Use a
together. You could cut these with sliding bevel to draw the tails to
a router and dovetail jig, which is a shape with a sharp, fine-point
perfectly acceptable option. But for this or mechanical pencil.
project, I wanted to make narrower pins Extend the tail reference Remove the pin socket waste by sawing out the bulk of the
than my dovetail jig will allow. I also lines across the ends of the material with a fret or coping saw and then chopping or
wanted the freedom to space the pattern front panel with a square. paring away the remainder to the baselines.
as I liked, so I decided to cut them by Scribe baselines for the tails
hand instead. onto the back panel. Then clamp the freehand. But, if you’re less than confi-
If you like the look of my pin and tail back panel to the front panel with their dent that you can saw squarely and ac-
pattern (see the Drawings on page 43), inside faces against one another and so curately, I tried out a clever and simple
lay out the tails on the front panel. Start the ends and edges are even. Transfer one-piece aluminum jig that I’ll highly
by scribing a baseline for the tails all the the tail lines from the front panel to the recommend to you. Designed by British
way around both ends of the panel with back panel. Use these lines as referenc- woodworker David Barron, it guides
a marking gauge. Set these scribe lines es to draw a matching pattern of tails on these precision cuts to make both
about 1/32" deeper than the thickness the outside face of the back panel. the tail- and pin-cutting process more
of the side panels (this way, the tails will Next, saw the tails down to the base- foolproof. Rare-earth magnets hold the
protrude ever so slightly when the joints lines with a fine-toothed dovetail saw, saw blade at the correct angle while you
are assembled so you can trim or sand following your layout lines. If you’re saw, to virtually eliminate angle-cutting
them perfectly flush). Then lay out the skilled with handsawing, you’ll do these errors. You can learn more about it at

Woodworker’s Journal October 2018 41

Align the front and back panels carefully
over the side panels in order to knife
between the tails for the pin locations on
the end grain. Mark the waste areas, too.

Barron’s website: davidbarronfurniture. make them easier to see when sawing. and on his YouTube videos. Then draw straight lines down from
Once the tail cuts are made, remove the knifed lines on the end grain to the
the waste between them to create the baselines to complete the pin shapes.
pin sockets. You could chop the waste With each side panel clamped at
out with a 1/2" chisel, working in from a comfortable working height for
both faces of the panels and down to hand-sawing, cut straight down to the
the base lines. Or, you can saw it out baselines to form the angled faces of
with a coping or fret saw first, leaving the pins. Again, my Barron Dovetail
just a bit of waste at the bottom of each Guide, flipped to its pin orientation and
pin socket. Then, pare or chop this held in place, was able to help me guide
waste away, working carefully and in these cuts easily. Aim as best you can to
from both faces. When the sockets are literally split these layout lines with the
cleaned out, make sure their baselines saw blade — it will help to minimize the
Carefully cut away the tail socket waste, just are flat across the panel thickness so the amount of paring you’ll have to do next
as you did for the pin sockets. Swivel the blade pins will slide into them squarely. Check to refine the fit of the joints.
sideways to make these horizontal cuts.
the baselines with the blade of a square Saw or chop out the waste in the tail
extended through the sockets; it should socket areas. Effectively, the process
rest evenly across them. Then, carefully is the same as when clearing the pin
trim off the half-pin waste on the top end socket areas, but here there’s more
of the panels. waste to remove. Use wider chisels to
With the tails now cut to shape on help speed the process along, and work
both the front and back panels, clamp carefully when you’re chiseling up to
a side panel to the edge of your bench the baselines to keep them straight and
with an end facing up, and align the evenly aligned with one another. The
correct tail board over it. Carefully scored baselines will give your chisel
transfer the angled tail pattern onto its edge accurate registration here.
end to mark for the pins. Use a sharp, Now, fit the corner joints together one
thin-bladed pocketknife or a marking joint at a time. If you’ve cut carefully,
The knifed baselines register a chisel edge
positively, and they’ll ensure that the bottoms of knife to scribe these lines. Repeat for the pins and tails should engage one
all the sockets are evenly aligned. the other three corner joints. another at least partially, right from
Grab your marking gauge, the start. If they don’t, you’ve got some
again set 1/32" deeper than the paring to do to improve the fit. The
thickness of the front and back important point of note here is to pare
panel, to scribe baselines across as little material away as possible so
the faces of the side panels so the joints will close snugly. Remove too
the pins will protrude slightly much, and you’ll open up gaps that will
beyond when the joints are show. Remove too little, and the panels
assembled. Darken the knifed can crack if it takes excessive force to
pin lines with a sharp pencil to engage the dovetails. Pare only from the
angled, inside faces of the pins, leaving
Even with careful cutting and the tail pattern alone. (Charles Mak
chiseling, you’ll probably also need
offers a good tip for using pencil graph-
to do some paring before dovetails fit
together well. Chisel or file only from ite as a guide for paring in his Serving
the pin walls, and remove as little Tray article on page 34.) Work slowly
material as possible to prevent gaps. and carefully. Continue to test-fit the

October 2018 Woodworker’s Journal

12 10

11 12
Tray Front, Back and Sides
(Inside Views)

/4" 1 4
/4" 1
/4" deep


/4" 1
/4" deep
Lid Overhang
(Side View) 8 5
Exploded View 9
10 10 7
2 2 3
/4" 9
5 6
Case Back 33/16"
(Inside View) 31/4"
4 /8"

/2" TxWxL
1 Carcass Front, Back (2) 3/4" x 15" x 30"
/4" 1
2 Carcass Sides (2) 3/4" x 15" x 171 ⁄ 2"
3 Carcass Bottom (1) 3/4" x 163⁄ 4" x 291⁄ 4"
15/8" 4 Tray Cleats (2) 1/2" x 1/2" x 281⁄ 2"
/8" deep
5 Base Front, Back (2) 11 ⁄ 2" x 41⁄ 4" x 32"
/4" 6 Base Sides (2) 11 ⁄ 2" x 41 ⁄ 4" x 191⁄ 2"
Front Assembly
Base Front and Back (Section View) 7 Base Cleats (Long) (2) 3/4" x 3/4" x 29"
(Front and Top Views) 1 8 Base Cleats (Short) (2) 3/4" x 3/4" x 15"
45° 9 Cove Molding (1) 3/4" x 3/4" x 103"
5 9
7 10 Lid (1) 3/4" x 19" x 311⁄ 2"
11 Tray Front, Back (2) 1/2" x 31⁄ 4" x 157⁄ 8"
5 12 Tray Sides (2) 1/2" x 31⁄ 4" x 13"
13 Tray Bottom (1) 1/4" x 121⁄ 2" x 153⁄ 8"

MORE ON THE WEB Chest Hard-to-Find Hardware

For a video demonstrating David Barron’s Lid-Stay Torsion Hinge Lid Support, Rustic Bronze (1) #37327 ..... $59.99 pk.
VIDEO aluminum Dovetail Guide, please visit Full Mortise Chest Lock (1) #28241 ............................................................ $17.99 ea. and click on To purchase these and other products online,
“More on the Web” under the Magazine tab.
Or, call 800-610-0883 (code WJ1577).

Woodworker’s Journal October 2018 43

The chest’s plywood bottom panel recess-
es into a 3/4"-wide, 3/8"-deep rabbet in the
bottom inside edge of the carcass panels.
The author milled these rabbets with a
wide straight bit in the router table. Cut
the rabbets in several deepening passes to
prevent tearout or overloading the machine
and router bit.

able tray. Rout these two grooves now as

well. I terminated the grooves 1/4" from
the ends of the panels.
Finish-sand the inside faces of all
four chest panels up to 180-grit. Now go
ahead and assemble the chest carcass
joints until they close easily with glue and clamps, making sure the
enough to tap together by box is square by measuring across its
hand without undue force. diagonals. Don’t rush the job — I glued
up the back corner joints in one session
Forming Rabbets with the front panel dry-fitted as a
and Grooves spacer. Then, when those joints dried, I
Notice in the Drawings that glued the front corner joints together.
the chest’s bottom panel fits Once the carcass comes out of the
into a 3/4"-wide, 3/8"-deep clamps, clean up the outside faces of the
rabbet that runs around the corner joints by planing or sanding until
bottom inside edge of the the ends of the tails and pins are flush.
chest. Each of these rabbet Cut a 163 ⁄ 4" x 291 ⁄ 4" plywood bottom
cuts must stop before it panel to fit the chest’s rabbeted recess.
reaches the ends of the Sand the inside face of the plywood
panels, or the cuts will show smooth. Then glue and brad-nail the
Scrap clamping cauls, with short protrusions for the tails, help through when the dovetails panel into place. Make up some tray
to press these joints together during glue-up. Taping the inner are assembled. With the cleats, too, and install them into their
joint faces makes squeeze-out easier to wipe or peel away. chest carcass dry-fitted grooves in the front and back panels.
together, mark out the
rabbeted areas. Building the Base
I used a 3/4"-dia. straight bit in a The chest’s base consists of four
router table to mill these rabbets in a 11 ⁄ 2"-thick workpieces, beveled to 45°
series of progressively deeper passes. on their ends. Start out by ripping them
Make sure to mark the cutting limits to a final width of 41 ⁄ 4" and crosscut-
of the bit on your router table’s fence ting them overly long by a few inches.
so you’ll know where to start and stop Bevel joints are invariably tricky to cut
these cuts. Square up the rounded ends accurately so they close tightly, and the
of the rabbets with a sharp chisel. wider the joints or thicker the material,
And since you’re at the router table, the more exacting your saw setup needs
there’s also a 1/2"-wide x 1/8"-deep to be. I made a long scrap fence of
groove that runs along the inside faces doubled-up MDF and attached it to two
of the front and back panels to fit two miter gauges in order to provide plenty
cleats that will support the chest’s mov- of stout backup support for these long
workpieces. I also used a 1/8" full-kerf
blade on my table saw — the thicker
A pair of cleats that support the tray extend the
length of the front and back panels. They fit into and stiffer the blade, the flatter the cuts
shallow grooves that must be cut before the car- will be. However you choose to make
cass is assembled. Glue and tack them in place. these angled cuts, test your saw setup

October 2018 Woodworker’s Journal

by making practice cuts first and adjust-
ing the blade’s tilt angle as needed until Take every precautionary measure to ensure that your 45° bevel joints on the base components will
close accurately. The author added a thick fence to two miter gauges, used a full-kerf saw blade for
the joints meet at 90°. Then, bevel-cut
stiffness and clamped a stop block for the final end cuts to guarantee matching part lengths.
the parts to final length, using a stop
block and clamps to control the part trim bit at the router table. transition here. I chose a 5/8"-radius
lengths accurately. Sand these curves and the rest of the cove profile for my moldings and milled
Glue alone won’t offer enough part surfaces up to 180 grit, and glue the it into 3/4" x 3/4" strips of leftover cher-
strength on these end-grain joints, so base together. Use strap or bar clamps ry at the router table. Finish-sand the
I reinforced them with two 10 x 50 mm to pull the joints tight. moldings, miter-cut them to length, and
Festool Domino tenons at each joint. Give the base joints several hours to install them — it’s a good idea to cut
Dowels, biscuits, short splines or dry, then go ahead and fasten the chest and fit these pieces one at a time so you
shop-made loose tenons would be good carcass and base together. Do this by can make any necessary adjustments to
options here if you don’t have a Domino attaching 3/4" x 3/4" cleats to the inside the joints as you go.
joiner. Dry-fit the base together with faces of the base with countersunk
these reinforcements in place so you screws. Position the top edges of the Mounting the Lid
know the joints will close completely. cleats flush with the top edges of the The chest’s solid panel lid overhangs
Next, it’s time to cut the base’s curved base. The base projects 1" out from the carcass by 3/4" all around. In back,
feet. I made a pair of scrap plywood the chest carcass all around; invert the the overhang helps to hide the large
templates — one for the cutout on the chest carcass and position the base over torsion hinges from Rockler that I used
base’s front and back and another for it carefully. Clamp the carcass and base for this project (they hold the lid open
the base sides. I used them first as together, then drive countersunk attach- through much of its travel without
tracing guides and rough-cut the feet to ment screws through the cleats and into further support and prevent it from
shape at the band saw. Then, I adhered the chest bottom. slamming down). Glue up the lid panel,
the templates to each workpiece with All that’s left to do on the base is to and flatten the glue joints when it comes
carpet tape in order to trim the contours make and install moldings around its out of the clamps. Then, cut it to final
to final shape with a long piloted flush- top edges to create a pleasing visual width and length.

Festool Domino tenons are one option for reinforcing the base’s corner The author used long and short templates to trace, cut and shape the base’s
joints, but you could use lots of alternatives, too, including shop-made curved cutouts for the feet. Here, the longer template is affixed to one of the
loose tenons, splines, biscuits or dowels. The choice is up to you. workpieces with double-sided tape for a final template-routing pass.

Woodworker’s Journal October 2018 45

The chest’s upper carcass
sits on the overhanging base.
Attach these two components
with four 3/4" x 3/4" cleats and
countersunk screws driven
through them into the base and
the chest’s bottom panel.

then be attached to bit and a simple edge guide made it easy

the lid. If you do the to do this accurately.
same, make sure the Install the hinge leaves into the chest
hinges are perfect- mortises with a few screws so you can
ly aligned along a test the lid’s fit and hinge action. If
penciled layout line you’re satisfied with the result, remove
when you screw the hinges from both the chest and lid
them to the lid. I so you can add a decorative profile to
spaced them 43 ⁄ 4" in the lid’s front and side edges. I shaped
from the ends of the the bottom edges with a 3/8"-radius
lid and positioned piloted roundover bit to complement the
the front edge of cove molding on the base and to make
their hinge leaves the lid more pleasant to grasp. Along
21 ⁄ 4" in from the lid’s the lid’s back, I just eased the sharp
back edge. edges and corners with a sanding block
Locating these non-mortising hinges With the hinges in place, set the lid on and left it at that.
accurately on the lid is a bit of a “blind” the chest and mark the carcass back for
operation if you mount them to the the hinge locations. When closed, these Adding the Sliding Tray
carcass first. That’s because they’re hinges are about 3/16" thick, which will The tray is simply an open-topped box
inset from the lid’s back edge and don’t prevent the lid from resting completely with a 1/4" plywood bottom that gives
benefit from the registration advantage flat on the chest. I didn’t want to see a this chest a second level of internal
that mortises would offer. So, to make gap under the lid, just because of the storage. I made mine from 1/2" maple,
things easier, I started by mounting the hinge thickness, so I cut a pair of wide which provides a splash of brighter
hinges to the lid instead of to the car- mortises into the top back edge of the wood color to the rest of this project’s
cass back. That way, there’s no guess- carcass to recess the hinge bodies. A dark cherry. Once its front, back and
work about where the hinges should trim router, shallow piloted mortising sides were cut to size, I brought the cor-

Cove molding creates an appropriate transition between the carcass and While you could chisel hinge mortises into the chest’s top back edge by
the wider base. It also adds shadow lines for visual appeal. Attach the hand, cutting them with a simple clamp-on mortising jig and a trim router
moldings with glue. Pin nails can help to hold it place while the glue sets. guarantees that these wide recesses will have flat, clean bottom surfaces.

46 October 2018 Woodworker’s Journal

The author opted to make the chest’s removable storage tray from maple. Installing the lock involves
He used 1/4" box joints to provide a contrasting geometry to the chest’s cutting deep and shallow
dovetails. They’re also a rock-solid joinery option for this application. mortises for the lock body
and selvedge plate. Most
ners of the tray together with 1/4" box the underside of of the deep mortise was
joints to add some decorative flair and the lid carefully to drilled out first with a
doweling jig (not shown). A
strength. Be careful to stop the bottom position this strike
slotted router jig (inset) cut
panel grooves accordingly when you plate — you only the selvedge mortise.
rout them so they won’t show through have one shot to
on the assembled joints. I positioned get it right! I knew
these grooves 1/4" up from the bottom I was on target by
edges of the tray framework. Sand the using a simple trick:
tray parts, and glue it together. I colored the top
edge of the raised
Final Hardware and Finishing lock bolt with a
To give this chest a bit of security, I black permanent
added a keyed lockset. Rockler provides marker and closed
a step-by-step instructions page for in- the lid down onto it
stalling it, which is available as a down- to transfer the bolt’s
loadable PDF. But briefly, here’s how exact location. An-
the process goes. I centered the lock other shop-made jig
on the chest’s front wall, then bored a with a shorter slot
11 ⁄ 2"-deep, 17 ⁄ 8"-long mortise for the lock helped me rout the
body using a 5/16"-dia. brad point bit strike plate mortise
and a clamp-on doweling jig. accurately. The bolt
The lock has a 3/8"-wide, oblong also requires extra A shorter-slot mortising jig made quick work of routing a shallow recess
selvedge plate on top that requires clearance behind in the lid for the lock’s strike plate. Notice the dark rectangular marker
a shallow mortise to recess it into. I the strike plate so it imprint of the lock’s bolt: it helped make locating the strike plate easier.
routed that mortise with a shop-made, can pivot up into the
clamp-on slotted jig, 3/4" O.D. guide locked position. For that, I switched to a smell, then four coats of satin lacquer.
collar and a 3/8" straight bit. Once the 3/16"-dia. straight bit and used the same To keep the maple tray as blonde as
selvedge mortise was cut, I switched to mortising jig to excavate the bolt’s deep- possible, I used a water-based non-yel-
a long 5/16"-dia. straight bit and, using er recess. Attach the strike plate to the lowing varnish from General Finishes
the same shop-made jig, cleaned up the lid to wrap up the hardware installation. called High Performance. It dries
walls of the deep mortise. But, a chisel Then remove the lock components and incredibly fast and imparts very little
would do the job just fine, too. hinges to prepare for finishing. color to the wood. My hope is that,
A 1/4"-dia. hole, drilled through the A good way to warm up the color of whenever this chest is unlocked and
face of the chest, and a little chiseling cherry and accentuate its figure is to ap- opened, the lighter-colored tray with
below that, provided access to the lock ply a drying oil first. I wiped on a heavy its showy corner geometry will be a
for the skeleton key. Install the lock coat of Rockler’s 100 percent pure tung welcomed surprise waiting inside.
body in the chest with screws. oil and gave that a full 24 hours to dry,
A brass strike plate attaches to the followed by a barrier coat of dewaxed Chris Marshall is senior editor of
chest lid to engage the lock bolt. Mark shellac to seal in any oily residue and Woodworker’s Journal.

Woodworker’s Journal October 2018 47

By Sandor Nagyszalanczy

Woodworking expert Sandor Nagyszalanczy

takes you through the need-to-know for the band
saw, a multitasking shop basic.

Knob Tracking Window
Tension Release Lever

Door Catch

Guide Post Elevating


Tension Window

Guide Post

Upper Guide

On/Off Switch Fence

Miter Slot

Table Locking
Fence Locking Handle Pin

Fence Rail
For a video demonstrating how Dust Port
VIDEO to tune up your band saw, plus Door Catch
an article on band saw maintenance,
please visit Drive Belt Tension
and click on “More on the Web” under Adjuster
the Magazine tab.


50 October 2018 Woodworker’s Journal

ext to the table saw, the band saw is Although these machines have been around
one of the most versatile machines for more than 150 years, they’ve changed
in the woodshop. In my own shop, I very little in basic anatomy: A continuous
use it daily to do most of my curve cutting strip of metal with teeth on one edge travels
tasks, as well as occasionally employing around two (or more) wheels, one of which is
it for resawing planks and preparing turn- driven by an electric motor. The blade passes
ing blanks. With the right blade, it’ll even through a table that supports the workpiece
handle delicate jobs, like cutting scrollwork and keeps it at a fixed angle during cutting.
in workpieces too thick or hard for a regular Guides and thrust bearings help keep the
scroll saw. blade stabilized and running straight.

Just What Can a Band discs up to a radius just

Saw Do? under your saw’s throat
Like a table saw, a band saw capacity. Most jigs
is capable of innumerable feature a small center
cutting tasks, including a pin around which the
wide range of both straight workpiece rotates as it’s
and curved cuts. The major- cut; the entire jig slides
ity of band saws come with the workpiece forward
both a rip fence and miter into the blade to start
gauge, handy for tackling the cut.
standard rips and crosscuts. • Joinery. Although
The most common use for it might not be the first
the band saw, however, is machine you’d think
in cutting irregular shapes. of using for cutting
The other common use is in traditional joinery, such
resawing or ripping lumber as tenons, box joints or In addition to both dry and green lumber, a band saw can also cut a variety of oth-
into thinner slabs. Fitted with dovetails, a band saw er materials, including plastics and nonferrous metals like brass and aluminum.
the right blade, a band saw can make short work Bi-metal blades are great for cutting metals as well as dense woods.
can make cuts that leave very of sawing fine joineries
smooth edges, or even cut or large joints for big Cutting big dovetails is a breeze on the band saw: The tails are cut with the table
non-wood materials including projects. set at no tilt; pins are cut with the table angled to match their slope. After most of
plastics and nonferrous met- the waste is sawn away, the pins and tails are cleaned up with a sharp chisel.
als (aluminum, brass, etc.).
• Cutting curves. While you
can cut curved parts with a
portable jigsaw, a band saw
accurately tackles regular
and irregular curved cuts
in the thinnest stock with a
minimum of vibration, as well
as slices through heavy stock
up to the thickness of your
saw’s depth-cutting capacity.
A band saw is also useful for
cutting compound curves,
such as when making cabri-
ole legs or ogee bracket feet.
• Perfect circles. Using a
commercial or shop-made jig,
you can cut perfect circular

Woodworker’s Journal October 2018 51


kinds of tight-radius cutting blade removes less material

normally done with a scroll during cutting, thus allow-
or jigsaw. This is great for ing more slices to be taken
making small parts for scale from a given board (and less
models and miniatures or for valuable wood ends up as
Fitted with a narrow, high tooth-per-inch, regular-tooth blade, a band saw doing intricate scroll work sawdust!).
is capable of tackling curvaceous cuts in both thin and thick workpieces, for projects such as ginger-
leaving smooth cut edges that require little or no sanding.
bread decorations for a Victo- Choosing a Band Saw
• Sawing logs and turning rian style dollhouse. A band Band saws come in many
blanks. Even a 14" band saw saw’s tilting table also allows sizes specified by the diam-
can serve as a mini sawmill bevel-cutting tasks, such as eter of their wheels, which
that will turn tree branches crafting wooden puzzles with range from 9" (and smaller)
and small logs into rough- interlocking pieces. The only tabletop saws to behemoth
sawn boards ready to run limitation is that, unlike a 48" (and larger) stationary
through a planer to make scroll saw, a band saw can’t saws. The most useful saws
project-ready lumber. The do blind inside cuts, such as for small woodshops are in
band saw’s unique cutting sawing keyholes. the 12" to 18" size range,
abilities make it a must-have • Multiple parts. By stack- with 14" band saws being
machine for woodturners ing and fastening together the most popular. The width
preparing lathe-ready blanks multiple blanks, you can of the stock that a saw can
from green or laminated cut a number of parts all at cut is limited by its throat
stock. the same time, thus saving size: typically 1/2" less than
• Puzzles and scroll- considerable time and effort. the diameter of its wheels.
work. Fitted with a narrow, For small/thin parts, you can Generally, the larger a saw’s
fine-toothed blade, a band get away with double-stick wheels, the thicker the stock
saw can perform the same taping the layers together. it can handle. However, some
For larger/heavier parts, you 14" saws have taller frames
may need to nail or screw that allow them to handle
them together; be sure to lo- deeper cuts (up to 131 ⁄ 2").
cate fasteners well away from Some 14" models may be fit-
the line of cut and use brass ted with special riser blocks
nails or screws, just in case to increase their depth of cut
the blade strays into them. from 6" to 12".
For safety’s sake, the height • Benchtop saws. As their
of any stack should never be name suggests, benchtop
taller than it is wide. band saws must be clamped
• Resawing. Resawing is or mounted atop a table,
ripping thick stock into thin- bench or stand before they’re
ner stock, thickness wise. ready for use. Benchtop mod-
There are two reasons that els are far more affordable
the band saw is the machine than stationary models and
of choice for this operation: are easily portable and stow-
1. All but the smallest bench- able. On the downside, they
Resawing is a great way to create your own veneers and to cut two or top band saws have a greater lack the power and cutting
more matching panels from the same board, for purposes such as raised depth of cut than most table capacity of stationary saws,
panels on a set of cabinet doors. saws. 2. The saw’s super thin and they are typically limited

52 October 2018 Woodworker’s Journal

Benchtop band saws
feature lightweight
cast alloy and plastic
construction, simple
guides and universal
motors (the same
kind found in portable
power tools).

than benchtop your owner’s manual

saws, and the before purchase.
heavier ma- When cutting
chines are not curves, choose a
very portable. blade that’s narrow
enough to handle
Selecting the tightest radiuses
Blades you plan to cut (see
A band saw can the chart, below).
be fitted with Wider blades are
to using spring steel blades different types and sizes of best for straight cuts Stationary band saws have large dust ports
only 3/8" wide or narrower. blades, to allow it to handle when ripping, cross- that allow connection to a proper dust collec-
Benchtops are a good choice different kinds of cuts and cutting or resawing. tion system.
for hobbyists, model makers thicknesses of stock. You’re • Teeth. Blades
and woodworkers looking to typically confronted with made for cutting wood
tackle only small projects. choices in band length and typically feature one of three
• Stationary models. Built width, type and number of tooth configurations: Regu-
with heavy cast-iron or weld- teeth and the type of steel lar, skip and hook. Regular
ed-steel frames, stationary the band is made from. Blade teeth, common for blades
band saws come mounted length is specific to the 3/16" wide and narrower,
atop open stands or closed particular make and model of leave a relatively smooth cut
cabinets. These saws sport your band saw. surface. Skip and hook-tooth
1hp to 5hp motors that run • Blade width. Band saw blades have larger gullets
on 110- or 220-volt AC power, blades range from 1/16" to 1" capable of removing sawdust
depending on the motor. Big- or more in width. Basically, more quickly from the kerf
ger saws typically have more the narrower the blade, the during cutting. This allows
powerful motors, to suit their tighter the radius it can cut. them to cut faster than reg-
greater cutting capacities. Conversely, the wider the ular tooth blades, but they
Regular Tooth

Hook Tooth
Stationary saws all have large blade, the more resistant the leave rougher saw marks.
Skip Tooth

tilting tables (most tilt to 45° blade is to deflecting during Both skip and hook-tooth
right, 10° left), to better sup- cutting. All band saws have blades are a great choice for
port large/heavy workpieces, an upper and lower limit to cutting thicker stock as well
plus heavy-duty blade guide width of blades, so check as for resawing.
assemblies. Some models
have handy features, like Blade Width/Cutting Radius Chart
blade tension-release levers BLADE WIDTH SMALLEST RADIUS CUT
and foot-operated blade 1/16" 3/32"
brakes. In addition to per- 1/8" 3/16"
forming demanding sawing 3/16" 5/16"
tasks, such as resawing thick 1/4" 3/8"
stock, stationary saws accept 3/8" 17 ⁄ 16"
From left to right: Regular teeth
both narrow and wide blades, are evenly spaced and set. Skip
1/2" 2 1 ⁄ 2" tooth blades have fewer teeth,
making them more versatile 5/8" 3 3 ⁄ 4" as every other regular tooth is
than benchtop models. But 3/4" 57 ⁄ 16" missing. Hook-tooth blades have
stationary models are also 1" 7 1 ⁄ 2" large gullets and teeth that cut
considerably more expensive aggressively.

Woodworker’s Journal October 2018 53


Regardless of tooth style, • Recommendations. Here

each blade has a specific are a few general recom-
number of teeth per inch mendations: A 1/4" 4 to 6 tpi
(tpi). The less teeth a blade skip tooth blade is a good
has, the faster it will cut but all-purpose curve cutting
the rougher the cut surface blade that’ll handle curves
it leaves behind; more teeth down to a 3/8" radius. Step
results in slower but cleaner up to a 1/2" or 3/4" 3 to 4 tpi
cutting. Higher tpi blades standard or hook-tooth blade
are also more easily clogged for ripping and crosscut-
with sawdust and heat up and ting stock. For resawing or
dull more easily. Narrower cutting green wood, use the
blades typically have a higher widest 2 to 3 tpi skip tooth
tpi; wider blades, a lower tpi. blade your saw will handle.
Conventional wisdom sug- For delicate and/or thin
gests choosing a blade that materials, choose a 1/8"-
Whenever fitting a brand-new blade, it’s good to round the back edge with
a medium coarse honing stone. This not only helps the blade cut smoother, has at least three teeth in the or 3/16"-wide, 10 to 14 tpi
but it can also increase blade life by reducing friction (and heat) in the workpiece during cutting; standard tooth blade. If you
kerf during curve cutting. for example, a 3 tpi blade is plan to do a lot of cutting, I
right for stock 3/4" thick or recommend buying carbon
greater. steel or bi-metal blades.
• Blade material. The When sawing dense woods,
most commonly available like rosewood or wenge,
band saw blade materials are or abrasive woods such as
carbon steel, spring steel, teak, you’ll get longer lasting
bi-metal and carbide. Carbon performance from a carbide
steel blades are the most tooth blade.
common and affordable and Remember, you’ll need
hold up pretty well in daily to reset your saw’s blade
use. Their main disadvantage guides, tension and tracking
is that they dull rather quick- each time you change to
ly. Spring steel blades are a different width of blade,
very flexible and are most which can take quite a bit of
often used on benchtop saws time and trouble. For this
When cutting small or short stock, or when approaching the end of a cut, with small-diameter wheels. reason, a 3/8" 4 tpi skip tooth
use a push stick — not your fingers or thumbs — to feed the stock past the They are softer than carbon blade is a good “general
blade. Here, a featherboard helps keep the stock against the rip fence.
steel and hence, their teeth purpose” blade that’ll handle
dull more quickly. Bi-metal a wide variety of straight and
blades are a hybrid of the curved cuts.
two: the body of the blade
is spring steel, while the Band Saw Safety
teeth are made from harder Although these tall machines
cobalt steel. Although more with their spinning wheels
expensive, bi-metal blades and racing blades may look
perform better and stay intimidating, they’re actually
sharper longer than most one of the safest saws in the
other blades, except those shop. The “hungry” part of
with carbide teeth, which are the blade is relatively unex-
The author believes that most band saws’ tension gauges read a bit too very expensive and should posed during operation, and
low, so he sets the blade tension one tick higher than the actual blade’s be reserved for only the most its cutting force is directed
width. Setting tension much higher than this can result in blade breakage. demanding tasks. downwards toward the table.

54 October 2018 Woodworker’s Journal

Hence, the machine is free dition also requires occasion-
of kickback, as is all too com- al maintenance. Find more
mon with table saws. information in my band saw
In addition to the basic maintenance article, posted
safety rules you should at
follow when using any kind Start a blade change by
of power machine (always first disconnecting power to
wear eye and ear protection, the saw and backing off the
don’t wear loose clothing, guides and bearings, both
etc.), here are some import- above and below the saw
ant safety practices to follow table. Open the blade guard
when using a band saw: door(s) and release blade
• Make sure your saw is fit- tension until the blade easily
ted with a sharp blade that’s slips off the wheels. Remove
in good condition, and that your saw’s throat plate and
the guides, tension and track- table locking pin and wiggle
ing are all properly set up. the blade out through the
• Always keep fingers table slot to remove it. Clean
and hands out of the path of off any caked-on dust/chips
the blade and at least three from the surface of each
inches away. tire with a stiff brush. Slip
• During cutting, wait the replacement blade back
to clear small cutoff pieces through the table and onto
from the table until the saw’s both wheels. Increase blade
power is off and the blade tension with your saw’s
has stopped moving. adjuster knob just enough
• When cutting stock to take the slack out of the
that’s not flat on the bottom blade. Then turn the wheel
(logs, branches, etc.), sup- slowly while increasing
port the stock by clamping blade tension as shown on
or otherwise securing it in a the saw’s tension gauge. If
If your blade is not riding on the center of the tire’s crown, you will need to
sliding jig with a flat bottom. the blade isn’t riding on the adjust the tracking knob until it is centered.
Dowels and other cylindrical center of the wheel’s crown,
workpieces can be supported adjust the saw’s tracking
with a V-block. control knob until it is.
When adjusting the upper
Setting Up the Saw and lower guides, start by
Compared to most wood- setting both thrust bearings
shop machines, band saws so that the back edge of the
require a bit more in the way saw blade clears by a scant
of preparation and tuning to 1/64". Position the guide
keep them cutting at their assembly next, with the front
best. Several adjustment edge of each guide block
operations need to be done or bearing just behind the
each and every time a new teeth. Slip a scrap paper shim
or different blade is fitted. between each guide and the
These include adjustment blade band and press the
of the guides and thrust guides together with your fin-
bearings, and tracking and gers while locking the guides Whether your saw has bearings or block style blade guides, small slips
tensioning of the blade itself. in place. Remove the paper of paper set between the guides and blade during adjustment provide a
(Keeping a saw in peak con- shims, replace the throat slight clearance once the guides are locked and the paper is removed.

Woodworker’s Journal October 2018 55


plate and locking pin, close to be clamped or otherwise

the blade guard door(s), fastened into a sliding jig of
plug the saw back in and some kind. Boards and pan-
start it up. Recheck both the els to be cut freehand need
tracking and guide settings only to be flat on the bottom,
and readjust if necessary. to prevent them from rocking
Finally, check the squareness on the saw table during cut-
of the blade and saw table (or ting and bind the blade.
set the table to the desired Before switching the saw
angle). Set the angle of your on, make sure that the blade
miter gauge head or position is properly tensioned and
of the rip fence if you’re plan- that your workpiece, hands
ning on using either of these and fingers are well clear of
for a sawing operation. it. Once cutting commences,
Check the squareness of your band saw’s blade relative to the table with
it’s usually best to feed stock
a large, dependably accurate try square. Once set to square, use a pair of
wrenches to lock the saw’s table stop at that setting. Making the Cut at a moderate rate; never
Once your band saw is tuned force the cut. If your blade
up and ready for action, becomes stuck in the kerf
prepare your stock for the or has wandered from your
kind of cut you have at intended line of cut, don’t try
hand. Boards being readied to back the blade out of the
for ripping, crosscutting or workpiece: Stop cutting and
resawing should have at least shut the machine off.
one straight edge and one If you have a complex cut
surface that has been planed to do, say sawing a decora-
flat and smooth. Green tive curvaceous edge, it’s im-
lumber needs to be jointed portant to plan the sequence
flat enough on two adjacent of cuts before you begin.
edges/surfaces to ride stably When cutting curves just a
on the saw’s table and rip bit too tight for the particular
fence. Otherwise, it needs width of blade you’re using,

Whenever possible when cutting on your band saw, set the upper guide If your blade gets stuck in the kerf when cutting, after you’ve shut the
assembly so that it’s no more than 1/4" to 1/2" above the top edge or sur- machine off and the blade comes to a complete stop, use a scrap of wood
face of the workpiece. to press the blade back out of the kerf.

56 October 2018 Woodworker’s Journal

Sometimees it’s best to cut away the waste from one section of a blank to When sawing a compound curved part, such as this short cabriole leg, tap-
prevent trapping or binding the blade, as well as to provide clearer access ing cutoffs back onto the blank from the cutting of the first side retains the
to the next section of your cut. pattern and keeps the blank square to the table as you saw the other side.

sawing a series of relief cuts stop the machine quicker; let

that extend from the edge it stop on its own. At the end
of the stock right up to your of the day, it’s a good idea to
line of cut will help prevent release blade tension to pre-
the blade from binding. vent a flat spot forming in the
When cutting compound saw’s tires. The saw blade
curved parts, say cabriole band itself can also take a bit
legs for a table or desk, start of set over time, resulting in
with a square blank onto irregular tracking and vibra-
which you’ve drawn or pasted tion. Modern saws often have
the patterns for the desired a de-tensioning lever.
curves on two adjacent sides.
After sawing one side, take Summary
the cutoffs and tape them If you don’t already own a
A curved or wheeled fence allows you to adjust the angle of the work-
back into place on the blank. band saw (or you’ve been
piece as necessary to keep the blade tracking straight along the line of
The taped scraps keep the making do with a jigsaw, like cut while ripping or resawing. The author built this resawing fence using
blank square to the table as I did for many years), you’ll skateboard wheels.
you saw the other side. be pleasantly surprised at
When ripping stock using the number of different daily
the band saw’s standard rip cutting tasks you’ll use it for.
fence, it’s not uncommon for And I bet you’re likely to find
the blade to “wander” away that this versatile saw can
from the line of cut. One significantly expand your
solution is to angle your rip woodworking repertoire
fence slightly in the direction to include tasks you can’t
of blade drift. Alternatively, easily perform with any other
you can guide the stock machine in your shop.
using a small curved or
wheeled fence and follow a Sandor Nagyszalanczy is a
line marked on the stock. furniture designer/crafts-
After a cut is complete, man, writer/photographer
turn off the band saw and and regular contributor to
To make de-tensioning easier, many modern band saws have built-in
wait until it comes to a Woodworker’s Journal. His levers that release blade tension without changing the current blade
complete stop. Never stick a books are available at tension setting. Loosening tension at the end of the day prevents flat spots
wood scrap into the blade to from developing on the wheel’s tires between uses.

Woodworker’s Journal October 2018 57

By Matthew Cremona

n outfeed table is a great func-

tional improvement to a table
The author
saw. No longer do you need to opted for a slab
worry about workpieces falling off the of live-edge
back of the saw — or trying to keep lumber for his
them from falling as you wait for the tabletop, but
blade to spin down. The outfeed table plywood — a
more tradition-
top, especially when combined with the al choice for
table saw top, provides ample additional typical shop
working surface, while putting a cabinet projects — is a
underneath it efficiently increases shop fine choice, too.
storage space. As you build your own
outfeed table, you can also plan for
additional work holding options.

58 October 2018 Woodworker’s Journal

The case sides receive 3/4"-wide by 3/8"-deep rabbets in their ends to Use a dado blade, with its width set to the thickness of your 3/4"
receive the top and bottom panels. plywood, to cut 3/8"-deep dadoes for the vertical divider.

First, Some Table Considerations you commonly rip down, you’ll want
The overall size of an outfeed table sur- to have about four feet of outfeed
face should depend on the shop setup, support. In my shop, I mostly make
the size of table saw it will be used with solid wood furniture, and my parts
and the length of stock you typically are rarely longer than four feet, so
use in your projects. The biggest factor two feet of outfeed support depth
is shop size. None of us have unlimited is perfect for me. For those occa-
space, so we ought to make sure we use sional times when I need more “real
the space we do have as efficiently as estate” behind the saw, I can always
possible. In other words, a huge outfeed set up a roller stand.
table might be nice, but if it doesn’t fit Finally, don’t forget to think about
in your shop, then it isn’t going to be all the amount of overhang between the
that effective. saw and the cabinet. Most saws have
For other design considerations, take their dust collection port extending The author used Rockler’s JIG IT® Shelving Jig with
a look at your shop layout and how out the back, so clearance for a dust Self-Centering Bit to drill rows of shelf-pin holes for
you have your table saw positioned. In hose is important. If the saw is on supporting the cabinet’s adjustable shelf.
my shop, for instance, I have an outlet a mobile base, there could be other
against the wall that can’t be blocked. clearance issues as well. With my
Further, my jointer’s infeed table is ad- table saw, I needed to account for
jacent to where the outfeed table must both the dust port and my mobile
go. So, an outfeed table with drawers or base. I opted to design the cabinet
doors on the end would be impractical so it would have space underneath
for my shop’s layout. to nest over part of the mobile base.
The next factor to think about is how This reduced the amount of over-
wide to make the outfeed table. This will hang I needed, while also reducing
again depend on the size of your table the amount of dead space between
saw and overall shop layout. It might the saw and the cabinet.
make sense to make the outfeed table
as wide as your table saw so, no matter Building the Cabinet
what the rip fence is set to, the work- The cabinet carcass is made from Build and install six plywood risers for the leveling
feet, and fasten the leveling feet to them with screws.
piece will be fully supported. If you rare- 3/4" plywood and joined with rab-
Optional casters add mobility; make sure their locking
ly make cuts that wide and would rather bets and dadoes. I broke the sheets tabs clear the risers when the casters rotate around.
use the extra space behind the saw for down into manageable pieces with a
storing something else, a narrower table track saw before bringing them into dadoes across the top and bottom
might be better for you. the shop and cutting them down to final panels to fit the vertical divider; be sure
You also need to consider the depth size at the table saw. Mill rabbets on the to adjust the width of these two dadoes
of the table top. This is critical, because top and bottom edges of the side panels carefully to match the thickness of your
if it isn’t deep enough, the problem of to connect with the cabinet top and bot- plywood — these days, it’s typically
workpieces tipping off the table won’t be tom panels. The sides, top and bottom 23/32" wide and not a true 3/4".
resolved. A tabletop will support a work- will also need a 1/2"-wide by 3/8"-deep Next, dry-fit the cabinet pieces
piece up to twice as long as its depth. If rabbet along their back edge for fitting together, and cut the back panel to fit its
full-length sheet goods are something the back panel into place. Lastly, plow opening. The rabbets make everything

Woodworker’s Journal October 2018 59


Mill 1/4"-deep grooves along the edges of the door rails and stiles to house The ends of the rails and center stile all receive short stub tenons that fit
1/2” plywood panels. Choose a slightly undersized dado width, and cut these into the grooves for the plywood panels. It’s an efficient and sturdy joinery
grooves in two passes, flipping the parts end for end, to center the grooves. option for building simple cabinet doors.

ment, the door can be glued up as a

solid unit. When the glue has dried, trim
the door to final size to fit the opening
(you’ll want the gap sized similarly to
that of the drawers), and hang it on its
hinges. Add the shelf to the cabinet cavi-
ty, which also serves as a doorstop.

Constructing the Top

I wanted to make the top fairly substan-
tial so it would hold up well as a work

Since the door panels are plywood, they can be glued into the rail and stile grooves during assembly
without the need to account for wood movement.

come together easily, as all the parts provide a stable base and make it very The author’s choice of European-style
are self-aligning and self-squaring. Drill easy to bring the outfeed table up to the BLUMotion hinges for this project’s door offers a
soft-close feature you can turn on or off.
rows of shelf-pin holes into the walls right height for the table saw. When the
of the left cavity. After a final check to cabinet needs to be moved, I can simply
make sure everything seems in order, lower it onto the casters. surface. I considered doing a laminated
you can glue up the case. Gluing in the strip top (like a workbench) but opted
back panel further helps to square the Adding the Door instead to use a single slab with a live
case and reinforces the structure, which I built my cabinet door using simple edge. This gives the outfeed table a
will help keep the cabinet from sagging. frame-and-panel construction. First, run unique look, and orienting the live edge
Rip and crosscut pieces of 3/4" x 3/4" a 1/4"-deep, 1/2"-wide groove along so it slants toward the top also works as
edge banding from solid wood to cover the edges of the rails and three stiles a functional detail: it allows materials to
the exposed plywood edges on the cab- to fit the panel stock. Then cut mating slide onto the table easily. A few years
inet front. Glue and clamp them in place. tongues into the ends of the rails and ago, I cut a boule of ash slabs (the slabs
Because I hate limiting my options, I center stile. This creates the door frame. are cut from one log and kept together
added both leveling feet and casters to Since the panels are plywood and don’t in the order of sawing) with my chain-
the base of the cabinet. The leveling feet need to float to allow for wood move- saw mill. The log was a bit short, which

60 October 2018 Woodworker’s Journal

Cabinet Side
(Inside View)

5 16
/8" deep
Exploded View

/8" deep 3
10 4
Leveler Support Brace 11
and Bracket
(Front View)
11/2" 7
/4" 1
9 8

6 2
Cabinet and Door TxWxL
1 Cabinet Sides (2) 3/4" x 19" x 27"
2 Cabinet Top and Bottom (2) 3/4" x 19" x 531 ⁄ 4" 8
3 Vertical Divider (1) 3/4" x 181 ⁄ 2" x 261 ⁄ 4" Bottom of Cabinet 9
(Bottom View) Flush to back edge
4 Back Panel (1) 1/2" x 261⁄ 4" x 531 ⁄ 4"
5 Side Edge Banding (2) 3/4" x 3/4" x 27"
6 Top, Bottom Edge Banding (2) 3/4" x 3/4" x 521 ⁄ 2" 21/2"
7 Divider Edge Banding (1) 3/4" x 3/4" x 251 ⁄ 2"
8 Leveler Support Brackets (6) 3/4" x 37 ⁄ 8" x 5" 201/8" 3

Position the two center 75/16"

9 Leveler Support Braces (12) 3/4" x 37 ⁄ 8" x 41 ⁄ 2" 9 #8’s under the Vertical Divider
10 Shelf (1) 3/4" x 171⁄ 2" x 191 ⁄ 2" 31/4"
11 Shelf Edge Banding (1) 3/4" x 3/4" x 191 ⁄ 2"
12 Door Stiles (2) 3/4" x 3" x 251 ⁄ 4"
6 Flush to back edge
13 Door Rails (2) 3/4" x 3" x 14" of Edge Banding
14 Door Center Stile (1) 3/4" x 21⁄ 8" x 20"
15 Door Panels (2) 1/2" x 61⁄ 8" x 197⁄ 8" 13
Door Exploded
16 Plywood Top (2) 3/4" x 24" x 60" View

Outfeed Table Hard-to-Find Hardware 12 15
3" Heavy-Duty Polyurethane Casters (2) #38865 ........ $29.99 pr.
Heavy-Duty Lifting Leveler (2) #81239 ............................ $25.99 pk. 14
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Stainless Steel Naples Pulls, 96 mm (4) #52127 ............ $4.19 ea.
Stainless Steel Naples Knob, 39 mm (1) #56737 ............ $2.79 ea.
Nickel 1/4" Shelf Supports (1) #33860 .............................. $5.99 pk. Door Rail
18" 75-lb. Full-Extension Drawer Slides (1) #48022 ... $13.99 pr. (Front View)
Rockler 4 Ft. Universal T-Tracks (2) #20054 ................. $29.99 ea. 1
/2" 13
Rockler T-Track Intersection Kit (1) #22209 ................. $24.99 ea.
/8" 3

To purchase these and other products online, 1

visit 13
Or, call 800-610-0883 (code WJ1577).

Woodworker’s Journal October 2018 61

(Top and Inside Views)




made the slabs the perfect extremely foolproof: after the front and
length for this project. If backs are cut to rough length, place
you do the same, flatten them into the case beside the drawer
and surface the top, attach slides and evaluate the fit — whatever
it to the cabinet and cut a you get at this step will be the fit you get
pair of dadoes to extend once the drawer is assembled. Adjust
your table saw’s miter the part lengths, if needed. Then mill
slots. To give this top rabbets into the ends of the drawer
If you don’t have a handsome piece of slab lumber lying around,
more versatility as a work fronts and backs, as well as along the
you can make a top for your outfeed table by laminating together
two sheets of 3/4" plywood. Coat the entire surface with glue, surface, I also installed bottom inside edges of the fronts, backs
clamp around the perimeter, and pull the middle together with two lengths of T-track at and sides, to fit the drawer bottoms.
screws. If you install the screws on the underside, their holes will 90° to each other along Hang the cabinet-side components of
not be visible when the outfeed table is completed. Be sure not the side and front edge. the drawer slides in the case next, and
to place them in the locations where the T-tracks or miter slots
Another option, if you fasten the drawer slide components to
will go. Once the glue has set, you can remove the screws if you
choose to do so. don’t have access to slab the drawer sides. Now, glue and brad-
lumber, would be to dou- nail the drawer boxes together, and
ble up a couple sheets of hang the boxes in the case before the
3/4" plywood for the top. glue sets. I do this so that each drawer’s
geometry fits the case’s geometry — if
Adding the Drawers the case is a little out of square, the
I made the four drawer drawers will be equally out of square but
boxes the same way as will operate flawlessly anyway.
the cabinet, by breaking Cut the four drawer faces to length
down some 1/2" plywood and width, and install them on the
into strips for the sides, drawers with a few screws. To make
fronts, backs and bottoms, setting gaps around the drawers easy, I
then rabbeting the drawer cut a full-length thin strip of wood to act
fronts and backs to as a spacer. Placing the strip between
receive the sides. Here’s the drawer faces as you work your way
Cut 3/4"-wide by 3/8"-deep dadoes for the T-track with a dado
blade. The author placed these dadoes 2 5 ⁄ 8" from the front and how to make sizing the up the stack ensures that the gap will be
side edges of the top. drawer for its opening consistent between each drawer and all

If you’d like to watch our author build his outfeed table featuring a thick
slab of ash lumber, you can see the whole process unfold online, in a
video found in the More on the Web listings for this issue. Matt Cremona
is a Minnesota-based woodworker known for harvesting and milling his
own lumber from logs and sharing start-to-finish project videos on his site,
There are other accessories for this table that can increase its versatility
even further. Find a list of them online at under In addition to the details found here in the magazine, there is a
the More on the Web section for this issue. video of the author building the outfeed table online.

62 October 2018 Woodworker’s Journal

Drawer Exploded View
Drawers TxWxL
17 Top Drawer Sides (2) 1/2" x 4" x 173⁄ 4"
Corner 18 Top Drawer Front and Back (2) 1/2" x 4" x 31"
Detail 18
17 19 Second Drawer Sides (2) 1/2" x 41 ⁄ 4" x 173⁄ 4"
17 25
20 Second Drawer Front and Back (2) 1/2" x 41 ⁄ 4" x 31"
21 Third Drawer Sides (2) 1/2" x 61 ⁄ 2" x 173⁄ 4"
22 Third Drawer Front and Back (2) 1/2" x 61 ⁄ 2" x 31"
23 Bottom Drawer Sides (2) 1/2" x 81 ⁄ 2" x 173⁄ 4"
24 Bottom Drawer Front and Back (2) 1/2" x 81 ⁄ 2" x 31"
25 Drawer Bottoms (4) 1/2" x 173 ⁄ 4" x 301 ⁄ 2"
26 Top Drawer Face (1) 3/4" x 41 ⁄ 4" x 313 ⁄ 4"
27 Second Drawer Face (1) 3/4" x 43⁄ 4" x 313 ⁄ 4"
28 Third Drawer Face (1) 3/4" x 63⁄ 4" x 313 ⁄ 4"
29 Bottom Drawer Face (1) 3/4" x 83⁄ 4" x 313 ⁄ 4"

Plow 1/2"-wide by 1/4"-deep rabbets on both ends of the

drawer fronts and backs to receive the drawer sides.

The drawer fronts, backs, and sides get a 1/2"-wide by Rockler’s Universal Drawer Slide Jig makes mounting the hardware simple. Once clamped
1/4"-deep rabbet along their bottom edges as well, to in place, it holds the slide in position and square to the front of the cabinet while you install
accommodate the drawer bottoms. the attachment screws.

the way from left to right. Since I built to even out the sheen. I added a coat of the shop. The project’s slab top is also
my cabinet when the humidity was low, paste wax to the top to further protect it fantastic to look at, which further adds
I used a 1/8" gap. That way, the drawer from glue and to make workpieces slide to the inviting nature of my shop. Shop
faces will have plenty of cross-grain across it more easily. Once the finishing projects don’t always have to be pretty
expansion space as they get wider when is done, you can reassemble everything — an argument can be made for making
the humidity goes up. and install the door and drawer pulls. things quickly and roughly — but a little
My outfeed table was a much needed curb appeal never hurts, either.
Finishing Up shop upgrade. I’m loving having the Shop projects are also great for prac-
At this point, it’s up to you whether or functionality of the workpiece support tice: if you make a mistake, you’ll see
not to apply a finish. Shop projects are a without having to set up roller stands it every time you’re in your shop as a
great opportunity to use up the last bit or worry about catching parts before constant reminder not to make that mis-
of finish that might be sitting in a can they fall off the back of the saw. And, of take again. When you move on to more
on your shelf. In this case, I applied two course, having more drawers and shelf demanding projects, you will have the
coats of a wiping varnish. The first coat space for storage has really helped cut process all figured out and can proceed
really brought out the color and figure down on the clutter of small items that more confidently and effectively.
in the wood, and the second coat helped otherwise just seem to float around

Woodworker’s Journal October 2018 63

Rockler Ceiling Track
Contact Information The Rockler Ceiling Track
System lets you position
Affinity Tool Works (Sjöbergs)
800-624-2027 cords, hoses, lights or
other items up and out of
Bosch the way of your benchtop.
Interchangeable ring and
Grizzly Industrial hook attachments thread
800-523-4777 into wheeled trolleys, which
Rockler in turn roll in the dedicat-
800-279-4441 ed ceiling-mounted track.
SeppLeaf (Mixol) Adjustable stops in the
212-683-2840 track can limit the trolley’s
Tailgater Tire Table movement and prevent them
775-622-8048 from rolling out of the PVC
track, sold in 4' sections
rated to hold 60 pounds. The
MORE ON THE WEB system includes two types
For videos demonstrating of trolleys: non-locking and
locking, which can lock into Mixol® Metallic Effect Con-
VIDEO featured tools, please visit
place. Both have 5/16", 18 centrates are water-based tint- and click
tpi threaded openings for the ing pastes that can be added
on “More on the Web” under the attachments, which include to transparent coatings to
Magazine tab. a 11 ⁄ 2" inside diameter ring create a decorative finish or powder-coated steel table
hook for power cords and glaze, or to any of Mixol’s has two small legs that rest
Mixol Metallic Effect Concentrates air hoses; a medium Universal Tints for an infinite against a tire and an addition-
J hook for hoses and color palette and a variety of al center extendable leg that
other items up to special effects. The Metallic can be used straight, angled
21 ⁄ 2" in diameter; and Effect Concentrates come in or not at all. Stable regard-
a large J hook that gold, silver and copper and less of ground conditions, the
fits hoses and other can be used, depending on
objects up to 4" in the amount added, to create
diameter. Each attach- effects ranging from slight
ment/trolley combo glitter to an opaque, metal-
is rated to hold 20 lic-like surface. Silver and
pounds. Components copper are sold in 20-gram
are sold individually, or 200-gram containers, and
with prices starting at gold in 30-gram or 300-gram,
$9.99 for with prices ranging from $9
hooks or to $10 for the smaller con-
a pair of tainers and up to $75 to $80
ceiling for the largest.
stops, The Tailgater Tire Table is Tailgater Tire Table
or in a a durable steel table that Tailgater Tire Table fits most
kit (item uses a vehicle tire for its tires sizes 14" and up, with
56867) main support. On a jobsite, it no tools or hitch required for
for can provide a stable cutting
$69.97. surface or tool storage. The Continues on page 66 ...

64 October 2018 Woodworker’s Journal

.00 EACH!
(downloads only)

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Woodworker’s Journal October 2018 65

Grizzly Model G0862

Cyclone Dust Collector

Bosch GHO12V-08 12V

Max Planer Depth adjustment
allows you to create
rabbet cuts up to .7". It
can plane up to 33 feet
of 1"-wide hardwood per
amp hour. The GHO12V-08
planer has switchable right
or left shavings extraction,
a collection bag for shavings
and a vacuum hose adapter.
It also comes with two
2.2" Bosch Woodrazor
micrograin carbide planer
blades, a blade wrench and
installation. It weighs under a shavings diverter, for a
12 pounds and is 23" wide, price of $179. Battery and
29" long and 11 ⁄ 2" thick. All charger are sold separately. on a wall to act as a separate
parts store on the table. The workspace. A variety of
Tailgater Tire Table is priced The Sjöbergs Elite 2500C accessories can be added,
at $139.95. Workbench Combo is de- both on top and around the
signed to be the ultimate skirt, including jaw cushions,
The new Bosch GHO12V-08 combination of workbench a steel anvil, holdfasts and
12V Max Planer is a cordless and clamping platform for more. The Sjöbergs Elite
planer weighing in at 3.3 optimal workspace. It weighs 2500C Workbench Combo
pounds (not including bat- in at 329 pounds, with a (item SJO-33459C) retails for
tery), with about 2.2" of plan- trestle base and top con- $2,760.
ing width and a single-pass structed entirely of European
planing depth of up to .08". beech. The benchtop is 235 ⁄ 8" Grizzly has three new
The tool itself is just over 10" wide, with a working height compact dust collectors for
long. A brushless motor of- of 357 ⁄ 16". Total workspace is October. Each offers effec-
fers speeds up to 14,500 rpm, 98", with a grid of 3/4"-diam- tive two-stage dust separation
with constant speed circuitry eter holes placed across the and includes a 20-gallon
to maintain speed under load. top and skirt to incorporate steel collection drum with
Sjöbergs Elite 2500C bench dogs (four quick-release handle, swivel
Workbench Combo steel ones are casters, powder-coated paint
included) or a and a wireless remote. A
holdfast, sold pleated filter with paddle
separately. Two cleaner captures the fine dust
231 ⁄ 2"-long vises in a secondary collection
are pre-mounted: the bag. Model G0862 moves
front vise can be easily 1,941 cubic feet of air per
rotated from one side of minute (11.0" of maximum
the bench to the other static pressure in a water
to suit either left- or column), thanks to a 3hp
right-handed users. single-stage, 220-volt motor.
The clamping platform It has a triple-port, 4" hose
can be detached from adapter and sells for $1,295.
the workbench and placed

66 October 2018 Woodworker’s Journal

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68 October 2018 Woodworker’s Journal


W oodturning is growing in popularity as

people discover how inexpensive and easy it
is to get started in this practical, fun and creative
craft. This full-length DVD teaches everything
you’ll need to know to start woodturning safely
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By Michael Dresdner
Our expert takes on some of the questions that have
arisen in response to previous inishing article topics.

board, or even a flat grain

cutting board, I’d go with
boiled linseed oil.

Question on “Finishing Out-

door Furniture,” Finishing
Thoughts from July/August

with my wife, she wondered Q I make lawn chairs for

neighbors and family.
Digital image courtesy of Bigstock/Tetiana Chudovska

what would happen if you I use pine lumber because

put a hot roast on the board of cost and put clear varnish
for cutting. Will the hot meat on for finish. After a year
melt the paraffin coating? or two, the finish fades or
Terry Elfers peels. Someone told me to
Cincinnati, Ohio spray chairs with the clear
finish they use on cars. Can I

A Canning paraffin, which

is what we used in the
article, starts to melt at about
really do that? Look forward
to your reply so I can make
more durable items.
100° F., so yes, a very hot Paul Liput
hen students start roast could theoretically soft- Hacienda Hills, California
back to school in en or even melt wax. It would
the fall, the teach-
ers usually take at least a bit
of time to review what was
not matter much because
you scrape all the paraffin off
except what resides in the
A Yes, you can spray wood
with automotive clear
coat, but I think you have a
previously learned. It can be pores. Since a cutting board larger problem than that will
a worthwhile endeavor, espe- with a roast on it is horizon- solve.
cially if you can clear up any tal, and melted paraffin flows Pine is not an ideal choice
questions. That’s what we’ve downward thanks to gravity, for exterior furniture since
tried to do this time out, you would not likely get it moves a lot, contains a lot
with some questions focused any on the roast, or at least of sap, is rather soft and,
on the topics of previously not enough to notice. If the unless it is pressure treated,
published Finishing Thoughts surface of the hot roast is has no natural resistance
columns. wet (juicy), as is usually the to bugs or rot. If you really
Michael Dresdner case, wax won’t adhere to it want to make more durable
is a nationally known finishing Questions on “Linger- anyway, and in any case, that items, start with a wood that
expert. He shares his expertise on ing Questions,” Finishing wax is nontoxic. has good exterior durability
the DVD The Way to Woodwork: Thoughts from May/June Still, I should point out that (mahogany, white oak, red
Step-by-Step to a Perfect Finish, 2017 paraffin is generally used not cedar, ipe, redwood, cypress,
available through the store at on serving boards, but on teak).
Q I enjoyed your tip in the
June 2017 issue suggest-
ing coating a cutting board
butcher’s chopping blocks,
mainly used for cutting cold,
raw meat, where the surface
To get back to your specific
question, there are plenty
of finishes that will work on
with paraffin. In sharing it is all end grain. For a serving pine, but do make sure you

70 October 2018 Woodworker’s Journal

Q In my retirement, I
anticipate creating
woodworking projects such
Contact us
with your finishing questions by
writing to Woodworker’s Journal,
as multi-species cutting
boards, wooden bowls, wood- 4365 Willow Drive,
en spoons, etc., etc. Medina, MN 55340,
check the wood’s moisture want a solid color, or even, as I have completed several or by emailing us at:
content before finishing, and someone suggested to you, of those cutting boards for a
let it dry if it is above 12%. automotive urethanes. Noth- couple of my granddaughters
Please include your address,
Finishing wood that is too ing will hold up very long, and finished them with min-
phone number and email
wet is an invitation to peeling. so your choices are between eral oil with the assumption
A good exterior clear var- something that holds up a that they would be food- address (if you have one)
nish or spar varnish should little longer, or something safe. Through normal use, with your thoughts or questions.
hold up more than one year, that is easy to rejuvenate. the boards have needed a
but not much more. Other refurbishing. My question is:
options include deck coat- Questions on “Oil and Am I correct in my assump-
ings, which need almost year- Wood: A Happy Marriage,” tion? Or would it be better
ly renewal, exterior house Finishing Thoughts from
paint (over primer) if you May/June 2018 Continues on page 72 ...

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Woodworker’s Journal October 2018 71


Boiled Boiled
Linseed Linseed
Oil Oil ticed that the author leans to
OVER OVER boiled linseed oil — and his
tung oil shows “100 percent
Mineral Pure pure tung oil.” Do I need to
sand off my tung oil down
Oil Tung Oil to bare wood, or can I apply
BLO on top of the tung oil?
Marvin Steffen
You cannot put a drying finish, like boiled linseed oil, over a non-drying finish like mineral oil. Alford, Florida
You can, however, go over a cured (dried) oil like tung oil with BLO.

(and food-safe) to use the

boiled linseed oil instead of
is a surfactant, meaning it
will help “grab” that last bit of
A I’m going to assume you
are certain that your
flooring was pure bamboo
the mineral oil? If I can use mineral oil. with nothing else in it. Other-
the linseed oil, can I apply it When the wood is clean wise, this may be a different
directly over the mineral oil and dry, sand it smooth, issue entirely. You might
presently on the boards with- then flood it liberally with be dealing with resin or
out presenting an adhesion boiled linseed oil, re-wetting waxes added to the bamboo
or curing problem? the surface wherever the oil “boards” during manufac-
Herb Fogelberg is absorbed. After 10 or 15 ture, which could affect how
Woodbury, Minnesota minutes of flooding, wipe off oil dries and cures.
all the excess oil and let the Let’s assume you have

A Yes, and no, in that

Yes, you can use boiled lin-
board cure in a warm, dry
place for two days before
putting it into service.
untainted bamboo and move
on to the finish. I don’t know
what was in your “tung oil”
seed oil on a cutting board. Incidentally, drying oils, product, but if it did not
It is food-safe once dry, and like linseed oil, may not cure dry completely, you want to
it will hold up a lot longer over woods in the dalbergia remove it, even if you must
than mineral oil, though not family, so if you plan on using resort to paint remover. First,
forever. You can replenish anything from the rosewood though, try scrubbing it with
when needed. family in your multi-species mineral spirits on a nylon
No, you can’t go over the boards, leave those natural. abrasive pad. That should
mineral oil, since that nev- remove any uncured oil. You
er dries and you can’t
put a drying finish,
like boiled
Q I have built a dining
room table using bam-
boo flooring that I planed
won’t have much luck trying
to sand oil off: sanding liquid
oil simply grinds it into the
linseed oil, over down to a uniform thickness. wood and moves it around.
a non-drying or I glued it to a 36" x 54" top You can certainly go over
still wet finish. and sanded down to a 500- cured tung oil with linseed
To redo the board grit paper. I finished with five oil, but that’s not what I
you’ve already done, first coats of tung oil, using 4/0 would suggest in this case.
remove the mineral oil by steel wool between coats. For a dining room table,
scrubbing the wood with When we put a coffee cup which gets lots of wear and
mineral spirits to solvate the on the table with a coaster, plenty of heat and stains, I’d
mineral oil, then blotting it it raised up the tung oil and go with an oil-based polyure-
up with paper towels. Get also raised up the grain on thane varnish. It, too, can
as much oil out as possible. the wood. I thought maybe I go over any cured oil. Just
Follow up with a scrub using didn’t wait to cure the oil. clean and scuff sand for
an ammonia based cleaner, After reading Finishing adhesion first.
such as Windex®. Ammonia Thoughts (June 2018), I no-

72 October 2018 Woodworker’s Journal


Learn to safely and confidently

operate the most important tool
in your workshop with the latest
installment in The Way To Woodwork
series: Mastering the Table Saw. Our
experts teach everything, from the
basics of ripping and crosscutting,
working up to more advanced
techniques. You’ll also discover
how jigs add versatility, safety and
accuracy to your table saw. Expert
or rookie, this DVD has something
for every woodworker.
Our experts put these techniques
to work building a classic Arts &
Crafts Nightstand
made entirely
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saw — free
plan included!

White Oak
plan included!

or call 800-610-0883 (item #57292 and code WJ1n5£)

include ...
Woodworking trivia: aww, nuts!
Why don’t white oaks grow in more northern latitudes?

Gustav Stickley liked to use quartersawn

oak but felt the “tiger stripe” of the ray
What Does It All Mean? cells detracted from his furniture’s simple
A quick guide to terms from the lines. Staining quartered oak makes the
world of woodworking. rays more prominent, but darkening oak
by fuming minimizes their contrast, so
Quartersawn: Lumber cut with
that’s what he did.
growth rings almost parallel to the

Photos: Sapna Parikh/NYU

board’s edges
Dovetail: Attractive, strong Digital image courtesy of Rago Arts/

joint formed by mating angled,

fan-shaped “tails” on one board to
correspondingly sized and shaped 9RMZIVWMX]LEWHIZIPSTIHERSRMR-
“pins” on another board. The join- ZEWMZIHMEKRSWXMGWW]WXIQJSVVI-
ery can be visible from both sides
(through), from only one side (half
blind) or invisible (blind). W]WXIQ[LMGLQIEWYVIWGLERKIWMR

Hide glue: Adhesive made from XLIQEKRIXMG¿IPHEVSYRHXLIFEX-

collagen extracted from the skins XIVMIW[EWMRWTMVIHF]QIHMGEP16-W
of animals

Submit your Your Trivia Test: Al Larson of Orono,

Maine, will receive
own trivia ... Q Why did Gustav Stickley a Hitachi 3-1/4
Peak HP Variable
Send in a curious fact about prefer to build with quartersawn Speed Plunge
your favorite topic and ours:
woodworking. If it is selected
oak instead of flatsawn? Router (M12VE) for
for use, you will win an having a contribu-
awesome prize! tion selected for
Submit your Trivia to Woodworker’s the Trivia page.
manner to be stronger.
Journal, Dept. Trivia, 4365 Willow Drive,
He believed the wood cut in this
Medina, MN 55340. Or send us an email:

74 October 2018 Woodworker’s Journal

Introducing the SprayPort 6000 Series
for a Flawless Finish
• Compact and robust 2
or 3-stage base turbine
• Pro-8™ non-bleed gun in
gravity or pressure-fed
options for superior
• 25' Lightweight and
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