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Chessboard • Bead-Front Bookcase • Card Case • Candle Centerpiece

Vol. 22 / No. 132

A Handcrafted Showpiece

Two Quick
Projects Learn How to
• A Candle Centerpiece Build a Versatile
• Flip-Lid Card Case Bead-Front Bookcase

No. 132 December, 2000

Associate Editors
Donald B. Peschke
Terry J. Strohman
Jon Garbison
Vincent Ancona
Art Director Todd Lambirth
Senior Illustrators

Graphic Intern
David Kreyling
Dirk Ver Steeg
Harlan V. Clark
Jonathan Eike
A while back, we put together a list of
projects that we were considering
for this special holiday “gift” issue.
CHESSBOARD. Speaking of veneer, be
sure to check out the chessboard on
page 6. This heirloom project has a
Several projects grabbed my attention veneered frame that surrounds a
right away. They are quick to build raised playing field made up of con-
Creative Director: Ted Kralicek • Project Developer: Ken (always a plus as the holidays trasting maple and walnut tiles. Be
Munkel • Sr. Project Designer: Kent Welsh • Shop Manager: approach). But more importantly, each sure to take a look at our simple solu-
Steve Curtis • Shop Craftsman: Steve Johnson • Senior
Photographer: Crayola England one offers an interesting woodwork- tion for cutting the tiles accurately.
ing challenge along with some unique BEAD-FRONT BOOKCASE. Finally, there’s
Executive Editor: Douglas L. Hicks • Senior Graphic design features. a small bookcase that features frame
Designer: Chris Glowacki •Assistant Editors: Craig CENTERPIECE. The candle holder cen- and panel construction, beaded
Ruegsegger, Joel A. Hess •Graphic Designers: Vu
Nguyen, April Walker Janning, Stacey L.Krull •Graphic terpiece that begins on page 26 is a edges, and two drawers. I know it
Intern: Heather Boots good example. It’s made up of nine sounds like a long involved project.
CIRCULATION small blocks that sit on a wood base. But don’t let the details fool you. With
Subscriber Services Director: Sandy Baum • Promotion Mgr.:
Rick Junkins • Renewal Mgr.: Paige Rogers • Billing &
Each block is drilled to hold a tealight its simple, straightforward design, you
Collections Mgr.: Rebecca Cunningham •Circ. Marketing Analyst: candle. By cutting the blocks to differ- can build the project in a weekend or
Kris Schlemmer • Assoc. Circ. Marketing Analyst: Paula M.
DeMatteis • Asst. Subs. Mgr.: Joy Krause • Sr.Graphic Designers:
ent lengths, you can vary the height two — just in time for the holidays.
Mark Hayes, Robin Dowdell and create different looks for the cen-
CORPORATE SERVICES terpiece. It’s a perfect gift that can be
Director of Finance: Mary R. Scheve•Controller: Robin built in an evening.
Hutchinson • Sr. Account.: Laura Thomas • Accts. Payable:
Mary J. Schultz • Accts. Receivable: Margo Petrus•Production FLIP-LID CARD CASE. Another small pro-
Dir.: George Chmielarz • Electronic Publishing Director: ject that makes a great gift and can be
Douglas M. Lidster • Network Administrator: Cris
Schwanebeck • Pre-press Image Specs.: Troy A. Clark, Minniette completed quickly is the card case
Johnson • Prod. Coordinator: Noelle Carroll• New Media shown on page 32. This case features P.S. We’re looking for a woodworking
Manager: Gordon C. Gaippe • Web Site Art Director:
Gene Pedersen • Technology Analyst: Carol Schoeppler • an unusual flip-lid design, and it’s editor to join our staff. See Sources on
Web Content Managers: Terry Walker, David Briggs • decked out with fancy veneer. page 35 for more information.
H.R. Assistant: Kirsten Koele • Facilities Mgr.: Julia
Fish• Admin. Assistant: Sherri Ribbey •Receptionist:
(Required by 39 U.S.C. 3685)
Operations Dir.: Bob Baker • Customer Service Mgr.: Jennie Publication Title: Woodsmith. 2. Publication No.: 0164—4114. 3. Filing Date: September 18, 2000. 4. Issue Frequency: Bimonthly. 5. No. of issues pub-
lished annually: 6 (six). 6. Annual subscription price: $21.94. 7. Complete mailing address of known office of publication: 2200 Grand Avenue, Des
Enos • Warehouse Supr.: Nancy Johnson • Buyer: Linda Moines, (Polk County), Iowa 50312-5306. 8. Complete mailing address of the headquarters or general business office of the publisher: 2200 Grand
Jones • Tech. Service Rep: Johnny Audette • Admin. Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50312-5306. 9. Full names and complete mailing address of publisher, editor, and managing editor: Publisher: Donald B.
Assist.: Nancy Downey • Cust. Serv. Reps.: Tammy Peschke, 2200 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50312; Editor: Terry J. Strohman, 2200 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50312. 10. Owner: August
Home Publishing Co., 2200 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50312; Donald B. Peschke, 2200 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50312. 11. Known
Truckenbrod, Anna Cox, Deborah Rich, April bondholders, mortgagees, and other security holders owning 1 percent or more of total amount of bonds, mortgages or other securities: None. 12.
Revell, Valerie Riley, Linda Stepp • Warehouse: (Does not apply.) 13. Publication Title: Woodsmith. 14. Issue Date for Circulation Data below: July/August 2000. 15. Extent and nature of circulation:
Sylvia Carey, Dan Spidle, Sheryl Knox, Al Voigt

WOODSMITH STORE Average no. copies each issue Actual no. copies of single
during preceding 12 months issue published nearest to fil-
Manager: Dave Larson • Sales Staff: Wendell Stone, Jim ing date
Barnett, Kathy Smith, Larry Morrison, Harold Cashman, Tim
Thelen, Mark Johnson • Office Mgr.: Vicki Edwards
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Woodsmith® (ISSN 0164-4114) is published bimonthly (Feb., Apr., 1. Paid/Requested outside-county mail subscriptions stated on Form 3541 .......................278,532 274,099
June, Aug., Oct., Dec.) by August Home Publishing Company, 2200 2. Paid in-county subscriptions ............................................................................................................0 0
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Woodsmith® is a registered trademark of August Home Publishing. and other non-USPS paid distribution.......................................................................................19,418 19,446
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IA 50037-2112. F. Total free distribution .........................................................................................................................1,442 1,613
Subscription Questions? Write to Woodsmith, P.O. Box 842, Des G. Total distribution.............................................................................................................................299,392 295,158
Moines IA 50304-9961 or call 1-800-333-5075, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, H. Copies not distributed ......................................................................................................................25,780 31,389
Central Time, weekdays. Or send an e-mail to: I. Total ...................................................................................................................................................325,172 326,547
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World Wide Web: 16. Publication of statement of ownership will be printed in the December 2000 issue of this publication.
17. I certify that all the information furnished on this form is true and complete. (signed) Terry J. Strohman, Editor
Printed in U.S.A.

2 Woodsmith No. 132


Chessboard page 6
Chessboard ................................6
Hardwood squares and a veneered frame make for an elegant pro-
ject that’s sure to become a family heirloom. And whether chess or
checkers is your game, the divided drawer under the board holds
everything you’ll need for your next match.

Veneering Basics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Want to “dress up” a woodworking project? Try veneering. We’ll
walk you through the basics (and more) step-by-step.

Bead-Front Bookcase . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
We’ll show you how to build this small bookcase in a few days.
The joinery is simple. The drawers are straightforward. And all
the bead molding is made with a single router bit.

Candle Centerpiece . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
If you would like a unique gift to build this holiday season, take a Bead-Front Bookcase page 20
look at this centerpiece. It’s one project you won’t be burning the
midnight oil to complete.
Top Ten Router Tips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 page 26
Fast, accurate setups, trimming plywood edging quickly, routing
without chipout — just a few of the shop-tested tips that will come
in handy when building your next project.

Flip-Lid Card Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

Any way you look at it, this flip-lid case is a good deal. It features
veneered faces, a shop-made hinge, and a magnetic catch. Plus,
you’ll be able to build it in no time.

Flip-Lid Card Case page 32

Tips & Techniques . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Shop Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
No. 132 Woodsmith 3


Featherboards for Coves
I thought your article on from a previous
cove cutting that appeared project.)
in issue No. 129 of Making the
Woodsmith was well done. fences this wide
FREE Like you, I also use two gives you plenty
Online Tips fences when setting up to of room for
If you’d like even cut a cove on the table clamping them
more woodwork- saw. But I added a modi- down to the
ing tips, the solu- fication to my fences to table saw. It also
tion is simple. make them safer, as well provides a wider
Just visit us at our as improve the quality of base of support,
web site and sign the finished cove molding. making the
up to receive a I simply mounted a featherboards
free tip via email
featherboard to each more stable. in the featherboards. and threaded knobs.
every week.
fence to hold the stock Next, I made a couple Then the blocks are sim- With the featherboards
down firmly against the of mounting blocks for ply screwed to the fences in place, the depth of the
saw table, see photo. the featherboards. These flush with the edges, as cove is more consistent,
I started by making the are just two pieces of shown below in Fig. 1. and I can keep my hands
fences. These are just two “two-by” stock, about 8" I found it convenient to further away from the
pieces of 3/4" plywood, long. Holes are drilled use plastic featherboards. blade (Fig. 2).
about 5" wide. (I used a through each mounting They simply mount to the Donald Peck
couple of scraps left over block to match the slots blockwithmachinescrews Warren, New Jersey

1 2 TOP
Mounting %/32"x 2!/2"
block machine
screw Threaded
knob Saw
#8 x 1!/4" Fence NOTE: Position
#8 x 1!/4" Fh woodscrew featherboards
Fh woodscrew in front of blade

Rolling a Tenon Installing Hanger Bolts

Some time ago, I was mak- In order to create this I use hanger bolts for a lot screwed in place, I simply
ing a project that called for tenon, I came up with this of my woodworking proj- remove the nut.
a round tenon on the end simple method. ects. (These “bolts” have Henry Ellis
of a square piece of stock. I simply slipped the wood threads on one end Melbourne, Florida
workpiece into a piece of and machine screw threads
PVC pipe. (A cardboard on the other.) The trick is
tube would also work.) inser ting them into the bolt
Then I rolled the work- workpiece without damag-
{ A piece of PVC Roll piece while making repeat ing the machine threads.
pipe can be used workpiece passes over a dado blade, I just place an acorn nut
to cut tenon
with a table saw to nibbling away the waste onto the end of the hanger
create a round until I had a round tenon. bolt. This allows me to use Acorn
tenon on square or Dado Henry Roelofs a socket wrench to install
rectangular stock. Torrington, Connecticut the hanger bolt. Once it’s

4 Woodsmith No. 132

Flush Trim Jig
Recently I was building a The problem came router to ride on. So I
bookcase with several when I tried to trim the came up with a quick jig.
shelves. The shelves were edging flush with the shelf This jig is really just a
all made out of plywood. using my router and a narrow “shelf” that
But to conceal the front flush trim bit. Because clamps to the side of your
edge of the plywood, I each shelf was only 3/4" workpiece and provides a
glued a hardwood strip wide, there wasn’t a wide wide, flat support surface
onto each shelf. enough surface for my for the router base.
To make the notch is cut in the front
NOTE: Cut notch #8 x 1!/4" 3!/2" jig, I glued and edge to create clearance
after assembly Fh woodscrew
screwed two for the edging that will be
30" 3!/2" pieces of 3/4" ply- trimmed. This notch can
wood together to be cut on a table saw. (Just
7" create an “L” make sure you don’t cut
7" shape, as you can through the screws.)
3!/2" a. !/8" see in the draw- To use the jig, just
1" ing at left. A small clamp it to the side of the
END support bracket workpiece, flush with the
is then screwed front of the edging, see
2#/4" 1" Workpiece Notch to each end. photo above.
3#/8" #8 x 1!/2" Before using Jerry Pasley
Fh woodscrew
the jig, a shallow Olive Branch, Mississippi

Ripping a Straight Edge

I often use a lot of small need to rip a straight edge out of hardwood to fit 2 Rip straight
pieces of lumber cut from on one side. Since I don’t in the miter gauge edge on
band saw
short logs or branches that have a table saw, I’ve slot of my band saw.
I obtain from the woods come up with a handy way It needs to be the
near my house. of ripping a straight edge same width as the
After sawing the log up using my band saw. miter gauge slot but
and drying the boards, I I first make a runner not as deep.
Then I screw the Runner
1 runner to the bottom
Board side of the board I
want to trim, just like
you see in Fig. 1. (If
you don’t want to board along a straight
drive screws into the path as I push it through
NOTE: Size board, you can also attach the saw (Fig. 2). This
runner to
fit miter the runner with double- gives me a straight edge.
gauge slot Runner
sided tape.) James Reszler
The runner guides the Fort Wayne, Indiana

SUBMIT YOUR TIPS Saw Blade Protector

Here’s an easy way to pro- tion is inexpensive and
tect the teeth of my hand- lasts a long time.
If you have an original shop tip, we would like
saws from accidental Harvey Wise
to hear from you and consider publishing your
damage. (It also works well Arleta, California
tip in one or more of our publications. Just write
to prevent any scrapes or
down your tip and mail it to: Woodsmith, Tips
cuts while handling a saw.)
and Techniques, 2200 Grand Avenue, Des
I simply cut a length Foam
Moines, Iowa 50312. Please include your name,
of foam pipe insulation pipe
address, and daytime phone number in case we insulation
(available at hardware
have any questions. If you would like, FAX it to
stores or home centers)
us at 515-282-6741 or send us an email message
and place the insulation
at: We will pay up
over the edge of the
to $200 if we publish your tip.
saw blade. Pipe insula-

No. 132 Woodsmith 5


From figured veneer and inlay to a board made up of individual squares,
we’ve got the winning strategies to build this challenging project.

W hether you’ve been woodworking for many years or

you’re just starting out, it’s hard to look at a project
like this and not feel a little amazed by all the fine details.
Like the richly-veneered top and side panels, the inlay
border around the top, and even the individually cham-
fered squares that make up the top. But don’t let all these cleverly installed catches to keep the drawer from slid-
eye-catching elements overwhelm you or make you reluc- ing out accidentally. Inside the drawer are divided com-
tant to try your hand at building this project. partments to store the chess pieces safely when they’re
The truth is that even though this appears to be a not in use (see inset photo above). And even though
challenging and complex piece, we’ve come up with we’ve called this a chessboard, there are also compart-
ways to deal with each step of the construction. Take ments inside the drawer to hold checkers (for those of
the veneered, raised panels on the sides and drawer of us who can’t tell a rook from a bishop).
the case, for example. You might think it would be diffi- One more thing. The drawer (and case) are designed
cult to fit the veneer to the panel. But the trick is to so that they can be optional. If you want, you can build
veneer the piece first and then cut the panel afterward. just the top and have an elegant chess and checkers
DRAWER. One feature that I haven’t really mentioned board that doesn’t take up much space. This way, you
yet is the drawer that fits into the case. It can be pulled still get a chance to try your hand at veneering, inlay,
out from either side of the case so both players can have and making the chamfered square “tiles” on the top
easy access to their playing pieces. There’s a pair of without having to build the entire project.

6 Woodsmith No. 132

Top is made up
of 64 individual

18#/4”W x 18#/4”D x 3%/8”H
Veneer covers
top of
upper frame

Bullet catch
If you would serves as stop so DESIGN NOTE:
like to learn more drawer won't Large compartments
about veneering, fall out of case when are sized to hold
see page 14 Inlay fits chess pieces
transporting chessboard in shallow up to 4!/4"-tall
rabbet with 1%/8"-dia. base
so pieces won't rattle
Dowel pins against each other
make it easy
to align top
with base during

Drawer front and back

are veneered to
match side panels

Veneer covers
raised panel
on side of case

brass knob Drawer is pinned
allows you to at corners for
easily open increased strength
Soft felt lining on
drawer bottom
protects playing pieces

Squares stand proud of frame,

Drawer can be creating a "raised" playing field
opened from
either side

Felt dot


A Squares (64) #/8 x 1&/8 - 1&/8 H Drawer Runners (2) !/16 x !/2 - 17 • (2) !/2" x !/2" Brass Knobs w/Studs
B Panels (2) !/4 ply. - 15&/8 x 15&/8 I Frt.-to-Bk. Dividers (9) !/8 x 1 - 16!/4 • (2) Bullet Catches
C Frame Pieces (8) #/4 x 1&/8 - 18#/4 J Side-to-Side Dividers (6) !/8 x 1 - 15!/8 • (1) .032"-thick Brass (!/2" x 6")
D Case Sides (2) #/4 x 2 - 17!/2 *Also Needed: Appr. 3 sq. ft. of Carpathian • (4) #2 x !/4" Fh Brass Woodscrews
E Drawer Fr./Bk. (2) #/4 x 1&/8 - 16!/8 elm burl veneer and 6 lin. ft. of inlay • (1) Felt for Drawer
F Drawer Sides (2) !/2 x 1&/8 - 17 • (1) Posterboard for Felt
G Drawer Btm. (1) !/4 ply. - 15&/8 x 17 NOTE: Squares (part A) are made from • (4) #/4"-dia. Self-Adhesive Felt Dots
!/2"-thick stock that is planed to #/8" thick
#/4" x 5!/2" - 36" Maple (1.4 Bd. Ft.)
Also note that optional dividers (parts I and J)
I J are resawn from #/4"-thick stock
!/2" x 5!/2" - 36" Maple (1.4 Sq. Ft.) #/4" x 5!/2" - 48" Walnut (Two Boards @ 1.8 Bd. Ft. Each) 24" x 48" sheet
of !/4" walnut
C C plywood

!/2" x 5!/2" - 60" Walnut (2.3 Sq. Ft.) H #/4" x 5!/2" - 36" Walnut (1.4 Bd. Ft.)

No. 132 Woodsmith 7

NOTE: Squares 1&/8" 1&/8"
are #/8" thick
Top & Bottom 1
The one thing that makes this
chessboard different than most is A

the playing field. It’s made up of SQUARE

sixty-four individual squares that are

raised slightly above the surface of
the border. Plus, small edge cham-
fers set each square apart from its
neighbors. Together, these two ele-
{ Alternating ments transform a flat playing sur- 15&/8" (!/4" plywood)
maple and wal- face into a three-dimensional one. 15&/8"
nut squares make Building the top of this chess- NOTE: Plywood
NOTE: panel cut &/8"
up the playing board is a lot like installing a tile If building base, larger than dry
surface of this floor. That’s because the individual cut two panels assembled squares
chessboard. squares are glued down to a ply-
wood panel, just like you would with 2 For more on jig,
see page 18
floor tiles. Then once the squares
are attached to the panel, a frame is
a. END
constructed around them. Jig SECTION
SQUARES. The trick to building the VIEW

top is to cut all the squares accurate- Blank for 1&/8"

ly. This makes it a lot easier to keep squares
the rows of squares aligned when it
comes time to glue them down to
the plywood panel. In order to make
all the squares (A) the same size
(and truly square), I used a jig, as 3 Push
shown in Fig. 2. (For more informa-
tion on this jig, see page 18.) a.
Once all the squares are cut, you Chamfer
can rout the chamfers around the Auxiliary bit
zero- !/16"
top edges. As you can see in Fig. 3, I clearance
routed these chamfers on a router
table, using a push block to safely A

hold each piece while routing. SQUARE Carpet

After all the chamfers have been
routed, you can dry assemble the
squares to determine how large to 4
cut the panel to which the squares Framing
will be attached. There’s just one square
thing to mention here. To give the A
squares some “breathing room” I
placed paper spacers between each B
one. You can see how I used these
spacers in Fig. 4. Paper
PANEL. With the squares dry spacer
assembled, you can measure for the
panel (B). I cut my panel 7/8" larger
in both length and width than the
dry assembled squares. If you’re Insert paper spacers
building the complete chessboard between squares

(with the drawer), you’ll need to cut Riser

a second panel for the bottom. a. END VIEW
ASSEMBLY. Assembling the squares NOTE: Orient all &/16"
is just a matter of clamping the fram- squares so grain
runs in one direction
ing square to the panel and gluing
the squares down one at a time, like
you see in Fig. 4. The field of

8 Woodsmith No. 132

squares should be centered on the 5 Inlay
panel, 7/16" from the edges (Fig. 4a).
FRAMES. Both the top and bottom
panel are held in solid wood frames. C
These frames are identical except Veneer UPPER
for the fact that the top frame has PIECE
veneer and inlay strips applied to its (#/4" x 1&/8" - 18#/4")
surface (Fig. 5). Shop Note: If
you’re making just the top, you only
have to build one frame. C
To make the frames, start by rip- NOTE: Lower
frame pieces
ping the frame pieces (C) to width are not veneered FRAME
(Fig. 5b). Then the top face of the (#/4" x 1&/8" - 18#/4")
upper frame pieces can be
veneered. (For more on veneering, a. b. #/8" round-
see the article on page 14.) over with
!/8" shoulder
After applying the veneer, cut a 1" radius
groove on one edge of each frame SECTION 1&/8"
piece to hold the panels, as you see VIEW !/8"
VIEW chamfer
in Fig. 6. You’ll note in Fig. 6a that
this groove is not centered on the
thickness of the stock but is slightly
offset. This is to ensure the squares 6
will stand 1/8" proud of the frame. a. END VIEW
Once the grooves have been cut,
the frame pieces can be mitered to
length to fit around the panels. Then Size width
of groove to
all you have to do is add the inlay match thickness !/2"
strips to the upper frame pieces. of plywood
This is just a matter of cutting a shal- FRAME
low rabbet for the inlay strip and
gluing it in place (Fig. 7).
After trimming the inlay strips 7 FIRST: Cut
flush with the ends of the frame rabbet for a. END VIEW
pieces, you can glue the frames up inlay
Inlay Thickness
around the panels. Once this is of inlay
done, all that’s left to do is create the Width
{ After gluing the
profile on the frames. of inlay inlay strip in
FRAME PROFILE. To start with, I Glue inlay into place, the ends are
used a band saw and some sandpa- rabbet and trim trimmed flush with
ends flush
per to round the corners of each a chisel.
frame as shown in Fig. 5a. Next, a
chamfer is routed on the top edge for each frame due to the thick- the chamfer, as you can see in Fig. 9.
of the upper frame and the bottom ness of the squares on the upper When setting up to rout this
edge of the lower frame, just like frame (Figs. 8a and 8b). roundover, note that there’s a 1/8"
you see in Fig. 8. You’ll have to Finally, a roundover is routed on shoulder between the roundover
adjust the height of the router bit the edge of the each frame, opposite and the face of the frame (Fig. 9a).

Rout #/8" roundover

8 Rout !/8" chamfer
around frame 9 with !/8" shoulder
b. around frame a. END VIEW
Chamfer Upper Lower
frame Chamfer Lower round- frame
bit over bit
bit frame

No. 132 Woodsmith 9


Sides & Drawer 10 17!/2"

So now you have these two framed
panels — one for the top and one for
the bottom. The next step is to build
the sides and drawer that will be sand-
wiched between them. Veneer
SIDES. The sides of the case feature
a raised field that’s veneered. But
this isn’t as difficult as it sounds. NOTE: Sides NOTE: Veneer
are #/4"thick is applied before
The trick is to veneer the whole face cutting raised field
of the side first, then to cut the
raised field afterward. I started by 11 Aux. miter
cutting two pieces of 3/4"-thick gauge fence
stock for the sides (D) and veneer-
Aux. miter
ing both of them (Fig. 10). gauge fence
A two-step process is used to cre-
!/2" roundover
ate the raised field. First, a with !/8" shoulder
roundover with a 1/8" shoulder is SIDE
routed on the ends of each side, as !/2" round-
over bit
you can see in Figs. 11 and 11a.
Next, a straight bit is used to cut a
rabbet along the edges of each side, 12
just as is shown in Figs. 12 and 12a. END VIEW a.
Before attaching the sides to
the bottom of the case, I drilled a !/8" D
couple of holes in the top edge of
each side piece, like you see in
Fig. 13. These holes are for some D #/4"
SIDE straight bit
dowels that will be used later to
#/4" straight bit
help align and attach the top.
The sides are simply glued down
NOTE: Drill
to the bottom frame. There are a 13 hole on each
couple of things to watch for here. end of side a.
First, you want the sides to be paral- !/4"-dia. hole,
!/4" drill #/8" deep 1"
lel so the drawer will slide smoothly bit
without binding. Second, you want #/8"
to make sure the ends of the sides
are aligned with each other. TOP VIEW
To make this easier, I made a
spacer out of 1/4" hardboard, as you
can see in Fig. 14. This spacer is
clamped in place to the bottom 14 SIDE
frame. The sides are set against the NOTE: Use D
spacer to
spacer, flush with the ends, and then position
glued and clamped in place. Shop
Note: To avoid accidentally gluing
the spacer to the bottom frame, Hardboard
you’ll want to remove it as soon as spacer
(16#/16" x 17!/2")
the sides are clamped in place.
DRAWER. Because there are many
other challenging aspects to this
project (veneering, inlay, squares, a. TOP VIEW
etc.) I decided to keep the drawer !/2"
as simple as possible. As you can
see in Fig. 15, the sides are joined Riser D
to the front and back with ordinary
Bottom %/8"
rabbet joints. Then a plywood bot- frame
tom is added afterwards.

10 Woodsmith No. 132

Like the sides of the case, the 15 F 17"
drawer front/back (E) feature
veneered raised panels (Fig. 15). So G
after cutting the front and back to DRAWER 1#/8" NOTE: Size
1&/8" BOTTOM drawer to
size you can veneer one face of each (15&/8" x 17"- !/4" ply. ) allow for
F !/16" gap at
piece. Creating the raised field is 1&/8" top and
even easier than on the case sides. !/2"
It’s just a matter of routing a shallow
(1/8" deep) rabbet along each edge 16!/8"
of the veneered face, just like you
DRAWER !/8" dowel
see in Figs. 16 and 16a. FRONT/BACK pin
After creating the raised fields,
NOTE: Drawer
the ends of the front and back can front/backs are
#/4" thick. Drawer NOTE: Drawer
be rabbeted to accept the drawer sides are !/2"thick front/backs are veneered
sides, as shown in Figs. 17 and 17a.
The drawer sides (F) are cut from a. !/2" TOP SECTION VIEW b.
1/ "-thick stock, and the rabbets are
2 &/16"
sized to match this thickness.
With the rabbets cut, the drawer VIEW 1" 1&/8" E
sides and front and back can be !/2" F
1" !/16"
glued up. Since the drawer bottom !/8" dowel
isn’t added until later, there isn’t #/16" pin
really anything to help keep the
drawer square. So while clamping it
up you’ll need to check carefully to 16
make sure it’s square. a. END VIEW
Once the glue was dry, I routed a &/16"
chamfer on the inside edge of the !/8"
top of the drawer. You can see this
being done in Fig. 18. Next, I used a
rabbeting bit to rout a rabbet all
!/2" straight bit
around the inside of the bottom !/2" straight bit
edge of the drawer (Figs. 19 and
19a). The drawer bottom (G) is cut
from a sheet of 1/4" plywood to fit in 17
this rabbeted opening in the bottom a.
of the drawer. It’s just glued in place.
Shop Note: You’ll need to round off !/2"
the corners of the bottom to fit the Auxiliary
rabbeted opening in the drawer. #/8"
DOWEL PINS. The final step to com- E
Dado blade
pleting the drawer is to reinforce DRAWER
each corner with a couple of dowel FRONT/BACK

pins. Taking a look at Figs. 15

and 15a, you can see that I drilled There’s just one problem here. I dowel pins from a 1/8"-dia. birch
holes through the sides of the couldn’t find any 1/8"-dia. dowels in dowel. Then after gluing the dowel
drawer into the front and back for walnut to match the wood used in pins in place, I colored the ends with
some 1/8"-dia. dowel pins. the drawer. So instead, I cut my a brown felt-tip marker.

Chamfer bit
18 19
a. a.
!/8" SECTION Thickness VIEW
VIEW of ply- #/8"

Rout chamfer on #/8" rabbeting

inside top edge bit
of drawer

No. 132 Woodsmith 11

Hardware & Dividers 20 Drill !/4"-dia. 21
At this point, the construction of the hole #/16" deep
chessboard is pretty much done — all
that remains is to add a few pieces of
hardware for the drawer and attach !/4"
the top to the base.
BULLET CATCHES. One of the neat fea- E
tures of the drawer in this chess- FRONT/BACK
board is the fact that it can be
opened from either end. But this !/4"
also created a bit of a design dowel
challenge. Without any kind of
back or drawer stop, how do
you keep the drawer centered 22 !/4"-dia. dowel, #/4" long
when it’s closed and prevent it
from sliding out of the base when-
ever the chessboard is moved?
{ Dowel centers The answer we came up with is to
are used to posi- use a pair of bullet catches.
tion the top on The bullet catches are installed in
the base. the underside of the top. Then catch Bullet Drill holes in
catch top for dowel pins
plates are attached to the top edges and bullet catches
of the drawer front and back to
engage the bullet catches when the a. END SECTION VIEW b. END
drawer is closed. The trick to !/4"-dia. SECTION VIEW
#/4" dowel
installing these catches and plates is Bullet #/8"
to make sure they line up correctly. catch

To do this, I started by drilling a

centered hole in the top edge of the
drawer front and back, as you can
see in Fig. 20. Then I placed dowel
centers in the holes in the drawer as the top. These will help you to notches that are cut across the top
well as the holes that were previous- locate the holes for the bullet of the drawer front and back, as you
ly drilled in the sides of the case catches as well as the dowels that can see in Fig. 23a. For more on this
(Fig. 21). The top is then carefully are used to align the top (Fig. 22). procedure, see page 18.
centered over the base and pressed With the bullet catches installed Before adding the top, I cut a cou-
down lightly on the dowel centers in the top, the next step is to make ple of thin strips of wood and glued
{ While positioning (see the photos at left). and install a couple of brass catch- them to the bottom of the case, as
the top with the The dowel centers leave slight plates on the top edges of the draw- you can see in Fig. 23. These draw-
dowel centers (see impressions on the underside of er. These are simply set into shallow er runners (H) raise the drawer up
photo above) you
can use a square 23 a. #2 x !/4"
Fh brass
to check the align- woodscrew
ment of the top
For more on
with the base. catch plate,
see page 18

NOTE: Drawer 17"

runners are !/2" wide
and !/16" thick
#/4"-dia. knob
!/2" felt dot
12 knob Woodsmith No. 132
slightly (1/16") and prevent the draw- 24
er sides from wearing grooves in 16!/4"
the bottom frame of the case. After
the runners are glued in place, the
top can be glued to the case. Then I
attached a couple of brass knobs to
the front and back of the drawer, as
shown in Fig. 23b. Finally, I lined
the drawer bottom with some felt
glued to a piece of posterboard and Felt
I added felt dots to the case bottom.
DIVIDERS. If you wanted to, you
could call the chessboard complete
at this stage. But I decided to take it 15!/8" SIDE-TO-SIDE
one step further. I chose to add DIVIDER
some dividers to the inside of the J

drawer to keep the checkers and

NOTE: Dividers are
chess pieces from rattling around. NOTE: All dividers simply set into drawer,
are cut from not glued
The dividers create individual com- !/8"-thick stock
partments for the chess pieces and
a couple of spaces for the checkers.
These dividers are nothing more a. 7!/4" I
than thin strips of wood joined with (Make
half laps and assembled in the draw-
er to create a grid (Fig. 24). 1"
To make the dividers, start by 4!/2" 7#/8"
planing or resawing some 1"-wide
strips. The trick here is getting the
strips to the correct thickness. You 7!/4" Waste I
want them to be as thick as the (Make five)
width of the kerf created by your J
saw blade (about 1/8"). This way, the (Make
mating pieces will easily fit together 1&/8" 5%/8"
after you cut the half lap joints. It’s
better to make the strips a hair too
thin rather than making them too When you have all the strips cut the spacing of the half laps will be
tight and having to pound them to length, you can start making the identical (Fig. 24a).
together when it comes time to half lap joints. To cut these, I used Once you’ve cut all the joints, you
assemble the grid. an auxiliary fence on my miter can cut out the center section of five
Once you’ve determined the cor- gauge. A stop block clamped to the of the long dividers to create ten
rect thickness, you can cut the fence is used to position the strips short divider pieces. The dividers Half-lapped strips
strips to length (Fig. 24a). You’ll while cutting the half laps, as you are assembled into a grid inside the of wood are inter-
need nine front-to-back dividers (I) can see in Fig. 25. drawer without using any glue. (The connected to create
and six side-to-side dividers (J). I stacked the strips up in order half laps lock the pieces together.) a separate storage
(Later, five of the long strips will be to cut the half laps. Not only is this Then you can add your checkers compartment for
cut up into ten shorter dividers.) quicker, but you can rest assured and chess pieces! W } each playing piece.

Auxiliary END VIEW of blade



No. 132 Woodsmith 13


Looking to give your next project a facelift? Veneer is the key. And as an
added benefit, you’ll learn a new woodworking skill along the way.

A ll it takes is just one look at

some of the beautiful veneers
that are available to convince most
woodworkers that veneering is
something pretty special.
But aside from appearance, there
are a couple of other great reasons
to use veneer. For one thing, veneer-
ing is economical. It allows you to
build a project with rare or expen-
sive woods without having to take
out a second mortgage on the
house. And from a construction
standpoint, a veneered panel made
out of plywood or MDF is stronger
and more dimensionally stable than
one made from solid wood.
Despite this, veneer often gets a
bum rap. Why? Well, I think a lot of
woodworkers believe that veneer-
ing is messy, difficult work, involv- tional method. These can be pur- veneer down, I prefer to use contact
ing a large (and expensive) veneer chased for about $10. The blade on cement. A small (1" or 2"-wide)
press and lots of specialized equip- this saw doesn’t have any set, so it wooden roller comes in handy for
ment. This may have been true in makes a crisp, clean cut. But if you pressing the veneer down. This
the past, but not any more. Modern don’t have one of these saws, you kind of roller allows you to concen-
adhesives make it possible for just can also use a utility knife or even a trate the pressure on a smaller area.
about anyone to do veneering in rotary cutter (see photo in margin You’ll also need a roll of veneer tape
their own shop, with a minimal on opposite page). to join pieces of veneer together
investment in equipment. Regardless of what tool you use (more on that later).
EQUIPMENT. In fact, you may already for cutting, you’ll also need a VENEER. I generally use traditional
have most of the items you’ll need. straightedge to guide the knife or veneer (rather than foil-backed or
First, you’ll need a way to cut the saw. For this you can simply use a self-adhesive types). These veneers
veneer. A veneer saw (shown in framing square or metal rule. are usually about 1/36" thick and
the photo below) is the tradi- When it comes to gluing the come in a variety of wood species.
Because it is fairly thin, veneer
should be handled carefully to avoid
cracking or damaging it.
Veneer is sold by the square
foot, in random widths and
lengths. If you want to cover a
large surface area, you’ll need to
join two or more pieces together to
create a larger sheet.
In order to get a good color and
grain match, veneers are usually
sold in consecutive sheets, as they

14 Woodsmith No. 132

were sliced from the log. This
stack of veneers is called a “flitch.” saw
The fact that all the sheets in a
flitch look nearly identical can be
used to create some interesting Utility
and striking visual patterns, as you knife
can see in the box below.
CUTTING THE VENEER. The first step in
using veneer is cutting it to size.
For both the chessboard and the Veneer tape
card box in this issue, I cut the Straightedge Straightedge
veneer slightly larger than the
piece I was covering. If you’re
using a utility knife, make sure you
keep the blade tight against the
1 To make a cut with the grain, start
by making a couple of light scor-
ing cuts with the veneer saw before
2 You can avoid splintering the
edge when cutting across the
grain by simply placing a strip of mask-
straightedge. Because the blade is cutting all the way through the veneer. ing tape over the veneer.
so thin, it tends to follow the grain,
and can actually pull away from the Sanding { A rotary cutter
straightedge. This isn’t as much of block (available at fab-
a problem with the veneer saw, ric stores) can be
since it saws rather than slices it’s used with a
way through the wood fibers. Straight- straightedge for
JOINTING THE VENEER. If you’re going edge cutting veneers.
to be joining two or more pieces of
veneer together, it’s important to
joint the edges to get a good, tight Overlap
fit. To do this, I clamp the pieces edges of
between two straight boards so the
edges of the veneer are sticking
out about 1/16" or so. Then I sand
or plane the edges of the veneers
3 To create a tight joint when join-
ing two pieces of veneer, over-
lap the edges slightly and cut through
4 Another way to create a smooth
joint is to clamp the veneers
between a couple of boards and joint
flush with the boards. both pieces at the same time. the edges by sanding.


Utility Template

Match veneers
to create mirror

Book Matching. Book matching is a Herringbone. To create a herringbone Pinwheel. For a pinwheel effect, use a
common effect achieved by joining two pattern, cut strips of veneer at a 45° angle template to cut matching triangles of
or more consecutive pieces of veneer to to the grain. Then orient the strips so the veneer. Then piece the triangles together.
create a mirror image of the grain pattern. grain runs in opposing directions. Contrasting woods highlight the effect.

No. 132 Woodsmith 15

Applying the Veneer 1
Once you have the veneer cut, you a.
can glue it down to the substrate. For Apply contact
cement to
the projects in this issue, I used both both surfaces
solid wood and plywood as a sub-
strate. You could also use hardboard
or MDF. The important thing is that
the surface is smooth and flat so that Substrate
Veneer Center veneer
the veneer will adhere well. on substrate
Gluing the veneer down is
straightforward. First, contact
cement is applied to both the veneer
and the substrate, as you can see in 2
Fig. 1. In most cases, you’ll need to
apply at least two or three coats of
adhesive, letting each coat dry
before applying the additional coats.
Make sure you roll or brush the Roll out veneer
Veneer to ensure a good
adhesive on as evenly as possible so adhesive bond
that there won’t be any imperfec-
tions that telegraph through to the
surface of the veneer.
Once the last coat of adhesive has 3 END
dried, the veneer can be placed onto a. VIEW
the substrate. Since the adhesive Utility
will grab on contact, make sure that NOTE: Trim knife
ends first
you have the veneer centered over
the substrate the way you want it. If
you’re working with larger pieces,
you may want to take a look at the
tip in the margin at right. Trim veneer
flush with
As soon as the veneer is in place, substrate
start rolling it out as shown in Fig. 2.


Inlay strips are a close cousin to veneer. Applying an inlay is just a matter of
They are narrow strips of wood that are cutting a groove or rabbet in your work-
usually applied as a border or accent on piece according to the width and thick-
a project. Although you can use solid, ness of the inlay. Then the inlay is glued
one-piece inlays (called stringing) most in place. Once the glue is dry, the inlay
inlays are created from glued-up pieces can be sanded or scraped lightly to
of wood to create striking patterns. ensure that it’s flush with the surface.

Trim ends
of inlay when

Size rabbet
so inlay sits
proud of Scrape inlay flush
surface with surface

Cutting the rabbet. Size the rabbet (or Trimming the inlay. Depending on the Scraping the inlay. After gluing the inlay
groove) to match the width of the inlay. pattern of your inlay strip, you may need strip in place, use a cabinet scraper to
But make the depth just a hair less than to carefully miter the ends and match up carefully scrape the inlay flush with the
the thickness of the inlay. the mating pieces at each corner. surface of the project.

16 Woodsmith No. 132

Work from the center out toward
the edges, rolling out any air pock- 4 Use veneer tape
to piece veneers
ets. Contact adhesive forms a bet- together
ter bond under pressure, so don’t
be afraid to put a little muscle into
it as you use the roller.
neer has been rolled out, you can
trim the edges flush with a utility
knife, just as is shown in Fig. 3. veneer tape
Trim the end grain first and then
trim the long grain edges.
MATCHING VENEERS. If you’re cover-
ing a large surface, chances are a. b.
Place veneer
that you will have to join two or tape across
Fold veneer
back and
more pieces of veneer together. joint line apply glue
The key to doing this is to to edges
assemble the pieces before gluing
them down to the substrate. That
way you can make sure the joint
lines are nice and tight.
To hold the pieces of veneer
together, I use veneer tape. This
“tape” is just lightweight paper with 5
a gummed adhesive on one side.
Holes in the tape allow you to see
“through” it as you’re placing it over
a joint. To use the tape, all you have
to do is moisten the adhesive side { Dowels can be
and press it in place. If you take a used to prevent the
look at Fig. 4, you can see how sev- veneer from con-
eral strips of veneer tape are used to Roll veneer tacting the sub-
from center
piece the veneer together. outward strate until you
Although the tape holds the have it positioned
sheets of veneer together, they can where you want it.
pull apart slightly under the force of and clamp them flat for a few min- and scraping or peeling it off (Fig.
being rolled out. To prevent this, I utes while the glue dries. 6). Light scraping or sanding across
like to glue the edges of the veneer Gluing the matched veneers the entire surface of the veneer, as
together. At first, this may sound down to the substrate is really no demonstrated in Fig. 7, will remove
impossible. After all, the veneer is different than gluing down a single any residual adhesive and prepare
only 1/36" thick. But if you take a look piece of veneer. Just make sure to the surface for finishing. Just don’t
at Fig. 4b, you’ll see how it’s done. roll the veneer from the center out. get carried away with this step. It’s
Just fold the taped pieces of veneer Once you’ve got the veneer in easy to sand or scrape right
back and brush some glue along the place, you can remove the tape by through the veneer, spoiling an
edges. Then fold the pieces back moistening it with a damp sponge otherwise perfect job. W

Remove tape
6 7 residue by
Damp lightly

Moisten Cabinet
veneer tape to scraper
remove it

No. 132 Woodsmith 17


Cutting Small Squares
To build the chessboard on to length). But I came up JIG . My jig was made All that’s left is to add a
page 6, I needed quite a few with a method for making from a 11/2"-thick block of dowel handle, and you’re
1 7/8"-square hardwood both cuts with one fence hard maple. (But there’s ready to cut a few squares.
blocks — sixty-four in all. setting. The blanks are no reason it couldn’t be CUT SQUARES . To make
The trick, of course, was ripped to width first. Then made from a 2x6 scrap.) the squares, the first thing
getting the two cuts exactly they’re safely crosscut with This block has a wide rab- to do is rip several blanks
the same (ripping the piece a simple jig, using the rip bet cut on its end. The to width. (The chessboard
to width and crosscutting it fence as a stop, see photo. depth (height) of this rab- squares were 17/8" wide.)
bet matches the thickness Then without moving the
a. CROSS SECTION of the stock. fence, slide a blank in the
Hardboard But the important thing jig and set it on the saw,
pressure is the rabbet’s width — it pushing the blank against
on blank 1&/8" 1"-dia. should be a hair narrower the rip fence. (You may
6" dowel
#/8" handle than the width of the need to adjust the screws
Blank for squares you’re going to on the hardboard if the
squares 1"
cut. This way, when you tension is tight or loose.)
#8 x 1!/4"Fh screw a piece of 1/4" hard- Now simply push the jig
woodscrew 4"
6" board to the end of the jig, (and blank) through the
1!/2"- the hardboard will apply a saw to crosscut the square.
thick little pressure to the work- Then remove the piece
NOTE: blank
Rabbet is pieces, keeping them and slide the blank back
!/4"-thick cut slightly
hardboard #/4" under-sized from slipping (detail ‘a’). against the rip fence. W

Making & Installing a Catch Plate

Most drawers close against short strip of 1/2"-wide sunk holes for the #2 these edges for position-
a stop or a case back, but brass that was .032" thick screws that will be used to ing the top.) I decided to
the drawer in the chess- (about 1/32"). Then I used attach it to the drawer. rout the mortise, using a
board opened from either a hacksaw to cut two 1"- The trick was holding this hand-held router with a
end. So how do you keep it long plates from this piece tiny piece while drilling. clamped-on support block,
in place? I decided to use and removed the burrs on So I set it on a small scrap as shown in the photo on
bullet catches. But the the ends with a file. block and clamped them page 31. I didn’t rout the
catches I found didn’t have DRILL HOLES . Next, three in a handscrew (Fig. 1). entire mortise, however. I
flat catch plates. So I holes are drilled in each CUT MORTISE . Now shal- cleaned up the ends with a
decided to make my own. plate: a centered 1/4"-dia. low mortises can be cut to chisel, carefully paring
BRASS STRIP . At a local hole for the bullet catch hold the catch plates. (A from the edges toward the
hobby store, I bought a and two small counter- hole was drilled earlier in center (Fig. 2). W

1 NOTE: Pre-drill hole

in brass plate before
Twist mounting

When cleaning
Hand- mortise, work
screw chisel towards
center of piece a. Establish
Catch ends with
plate chisel first

block Thickness
of plate

18 Woodsmith No. 132

Miter Box For Small Pieces
In order to build the card screws, so you can adjust
case on page 32, I needed the gaps to match your
to work with quite a few handsaw blade and close
small pieces, mitering some them up when they get
at 45° and crosscuting oth- wider with use.
ers at 90°. For this project, ADJUSTABLE BASE. To make
I decided to use my hand- the miter box, I started
saw for these cuts. But I with the adjustable base. < The kerfs on this
was a little stumped as to It’s just three pieces of ply- miter box can be
how I was going to make wood glued together into adjusted to match
these cuts accurately? The an H-shape. I cut a 1/4"- the blade of your
solution was to build a deep dado through the hand saw.
scaled-down version of a side pieces to keep the
common miter box, as you center piece aligned, and 1 H-shaped
can see in the photo. in this center piece, I adjustable
!/4"-20 x 1!/4" Fh base
However, there were a drilled four countersunk machine screw
couple improvements I holes for a 1/4"-20 flathead Slots allow
wanted to make to the machine screw. When glu- for base
miter box. First, the kerfs ing the base together, I 3"
needed to be sized to cut two extra pieces to
match the blade of my support the assembly and 7!/2"
dovetail saw so there make sure the side pieces 3"
wouldn’t be any “play.” ended up square, as you
And I wanted these kerfs can see in Fig. 2 below. Fixed base
to be adjustable so that as FIXED BASE . One of the %/16"-dia. hole
these kerfs widen over scrap pieces I used to sup- Miter box
built from "washer"
time they can be closed up port the assembly became #/4" plywood, 2"
and not lose any accuracy. my fixed base. I trans- except washer
1" T-nut
This really wasn’t too ferred the position of the
difficult: I built a two-piece pilot holes to this piece “washers” to the bottom Fig. 3. (I used my table
miter box, as you can see and cut 5/16"-wide slots at of the fixed base. These fit saw, but this could also be
in Fig. 1. An adjustable H- these points. into a groove cut into the done with a radial arm
shaped base is attached to To secure the two bottom of the fixed base, saw or miter saw.)
a fixed base with machine bases, I added four wood and they hold a T-nut that ATTACH BASES . Now the
match the threads on the miter box can be assem-
Spacers hold
2 H-shaped assembly
machine screw. (To keep bled (Fig. 4). Because of
square the T-nuts from splitting the wood washers, this is
the wood, mount them almost a one-handed oper-
into a long 3/8"-thick blank ation. Simply set the saw
!/4" and then cut them into the blade between the two
2"-long washers.) pieces and tighten them
MITER ADJUSTABLE BASE . At down. As the gap widens
this point, you’re ready to with use, you can close up
&/8" cut the adjustable base the kerfs by loosening the
One spacer can be Spacer apart — two 45° cuts and screws and repositioning
used as fixed base
one 90° cut, as shown in the adjustable base. W

Assembly clamped 4 SECOND:
to miter gauge to
prevent shifting Tighten screw
to lock base

a. 4!/2" TOP VIEW

7!/2" Slide adjustable
base against saw blade

No. 132 Woodsmith 19


Build a frame and panel case with
two drawers — in just two days.

D esigning a project that can be built quickly is easy

enough. But it often means leaving out a lot of the
details. And for woodworkers, it’s these details that
make a project interesting to build.
However, details don’t have to be difficult. And this
bookcase is a great example of this. For instance, the
two small drawers are joined with simple locking rab-
bets; all the bead profiles are created with a single bit
on the router table, and the frame and panel con-
struction of the sides is straightforward too.
Another thing that keeps this bookcase from
being difficult to build is its size. It’s not very big — I
wanted it to have a small “footprint” so it would fit in
just about any nook or cranny around the house, as
you can see in the two photos here. This means you
won’t be wrestling with a large assembly. And since
the shelves and top are plywood, there aren’t any
wide panels to glue up either.
All in all, it’s a project you’ll be able to complete in
just a couple of days in the shop. The end result will
only look like it took a long time to build.


A Front Stiles (2) #/4 x 1!/4 - 47 P Top Panel (1) #/4 ply. - 12 x 23
B Back Stiles (2) #/4 x 2 - 47 Q Top Trim (1) !/2 x #/4 - 23
C Side Rails (6) #/4 x 2 - 8!/2 R Front Edging (1) !/2 x 1 - 24
D Lower Panels (2) !/4 ply. - 8!/2 x 13!/2 S Side Edging (2) !/2 x 1 - 13
E Upper Panels (2) !/4 ply. - 8!/2 x 24 T Dwr. Fronts (2) #/4 x 6&/16 - 17&/8
F Dwr. Dividers (3) #/4 ply. - 11 x 20#/4 U Dwr. Sides (4) !/2 x 6&/16 - 11
G Back Panel (1) !/4 ply. - 21!/2 x 42!/4 V Dwr. Backs (2) !/2 x 6&/16 - 17#/8
H Face Stiles (2) #/4 x 2 - 47 W Dwr. Btms. (2) !/4 ply. - 10!/2 x 17#/8
I Adj. Shelf (1) #/4 ply. - 10&/8 x 20#/8 X Dwr. Guides (4) #/4 x 1(/16 - 11
J Edging (4) !/2 x 1 - 18 • (4) 1!/4" Wood Knobs w/Screws
K Back Stiffener (1) #/4 x 1!/2 - 20!/2 • (4) Spoon-Style Shelf Supports
L Front Rail (1) #/4 x 1 - 20!/2 • (7) #8 x 1!/4” Fh Woodscrews
M Frame Front (1) #/4 x 2!/2 - 23 • (7) #8 x 1!/2” Fh Woodscrews
N Frame Side (2) #/4 x 2!/2 - 12!/2 • (1) Nylon Glide Tape (4 Feet) { Need extra storage space?
O Frame Filler (1) #/4 x 1 - 18 • (52) 18-Gauge Nails (#/4” Long) This case only takes up two square
feet and looks great in any room.

20 Woodsmith No. 132

!/4"-dia. TOP PANEL
48!/2”H x 24”W x 13”D Side FRAME
assembly SIDE

TOP PANEL !/4"-dia.

profile RAIL PANEL


FRONT held in
dadoes DRAWER
in side DIVIDER
assemblies LOWER
Top & Frame. A simple frame makes it easy to PANEL
attach the top panel to the rails on the case.
Plus, it helps support the 1"-wide edging. Wood BACK
knob STILE



joined with
SIDE stub tenons
RAIL Face stiles and grooves
cover edges of
side assemblies, SIDE
hiding dadoes RAIL

Plug for
GUIDE in stile
Drawers rest
on dividers
Stub Tenon & Groove. Building frame and two guides Drawers
joined with
panel assemblies using stub tenon and groove locking rabbets,
joints takes no time at all and is plenty strong. refer to box on page 25

#/4" x 7" - 60" Red Oak (Two Boards @ 2.9 Bd. Ft. Each) #/4" x 7" - 60" Red Oak (2.9 Bd. Ft.)
#/4" x 4" - 60" Red Oak (1.7 Bd. Ft.) K !/2" x 7" - 48" Red Oak (Two Boards @ 2.3 Sq. Ft. Each)
!/2" x 3!/2" - 60" Red Oak (1.5 Sq. Ft.) J
J ALSO NEEDED: One 24" x 24" piece of !/4" oak plywood
One 48" x 48" piece of !/4" oak plywood
S S R Q One 48" x 48" piece of #/4" oak plywood

No. 132 Woodsmith 21

2" 21!/2" #/4" nail C

Case 1 Holes for


Building a case for books can be a big adjustable BACK

shelf pins STILE
project, but there are a number of rea-
sons why this case won’t give you any G
problems. The joinery is simple — 2" BACK
just stub tenons and grooves plus a 2" 24" PANEL
(!/4" ply.)
few dadoes. And the case is small so 5#/8" (!/4" ply.)
the assembly is more manageable. 42!/4" E
SIDE FRAMES. I started work on the
frames at the sides, cutting the front F 47"
stiles (A), back stiles (B), and side
rails (C) to size, as shown in Fig. 1. LOWER
(All six rails are the same size.) (!/4" ply.)
The first thing to do with these F D

pieces is cut the stub tenons and

grooves (Fig. 1a). I like to cut the
grooves on the inside edges of all 13!/2"
the pieces first (and both edges of
the two rails that will end up in the Dadoes for
dividers cut
center), as in Fig. 1b. These are after sides F A 2"
sized to hold 1/4" plywood (which is are assembled FRONT
closer to 3/16" thick). Then the stub
NOTE: Edging (#/4" ply.)
tenons on the ends of the rails can 8!/2" Plug
on dividers NOTE: All
be cut to fit these grooves. will be added later hardwood pieces (4!/2"long)
are #/4" thick
PLUGS & PANELS. Right away, I made
41/2"-long plugs and glued them into 1!/4"
the grooves (Fig. 1a). The plugs cre-
ate shoulders for the bottom rails to a. b. Top &
!/4" bottom Center
rest on during assembly. Plus, hav- rails rails
ing them in place now makes it easi-
er to dry assemble the sides and 1!/2" C
C C 2"
size the panels. The lower panels 2"

(D) will be 131/2" tall (Fig. 1). But Glue plug

into stiles !/4"
the upper panels (E) should be before assembly
sized so the upper rails will end up
flush with the top of the stiles.
ASSEMBLE SIDES. With the panels cut now, these are just 3/4" plywood pan- to match the thickness of the
to size, you can glue up the sides. els that are cut to size (Fig. 1). Later dividers) and using the rip fence as
And since the plywood isn’t going to on, hardwood edging will be added a stop so the dadoes on each assem-
expand or contract, I glued the pan- to cover their front edges. bly would line up perfectly.
els into the frame. But first, I cut dadoes to hold the SHELF SUPPORT HOLES & BACK . There
DIVIDERS. The next pieces to work dividers in each side assembly (Fig. are still a couple steps to complete
on are the drawer dividers (F). For 2). I did this with a dado blade (set before the case can be assembled.

2 Auxiliary miter
gauge fence Aux. fence

12!/4" a. #/4" END a.
4#/4" VIEW END
Back edge !/4" ply.

Dado blade Dado !/2"

Dado blade
Side Side
assembly assembly

22 Woodsmith No.132
Shelf has !/16" gap on
all sides, see detail 'b'
For instance, a series of holes needs 4 !/4"-dia. FACE
to be drilled for the pins that will bead bit STILE
support the shelf later (Fig. 1). H

Also, to help keep the assembly ADJUSTABLE

square, I decided to add the 1/4" ply- SHELF
NOTE: (#/4" ply. -
wood back panel (G), as shown in Adjustable 10&/8" x 20#/8")
shelf I
Fig. 1. But before cutting it to size,
rests on
you’ll need to rabbet the back edge spoon-
of each side assembly (Fig. 3). style
CASE ASSEMBLY. Assembling this rel- supports
atively small case is straightforward. b. TOP VIEW
The only thing to mention is that the
back is glued (and nailed) to the ADJ.
dividers — not just the sides. This !/16" I
will prevent the back from being (!/2" x 1" - 18")
forced away from the dividers as the
drawers are pushed in.
FACE STILES . Now it’s time to work !/32" gap
on the front of the case. First, I cut a H H FACE
couple of face stiles (H), as shown STILE
in Fig. 4. All you need to do to these (#/4" thick)
pieces is rout a 1/4"-dia. bead along c. SECTION VIEW
each edge (Fig. 4a). And when glu-
ing the stiles to the case, you’ll want
to be careful near the top. Since
there’s no top rail on the case (yet), Edging on dividers
the edges of the case can flex a little, 2" cut to fit tight. Shelf
edging trimmed !/4"-dia.
so make sure the edges of the face !/16" shorter H
beads J EDGING
stiles and case end up flush. FACE
SHELF. While the glue was drying, I
cut the adjustable shelf (I) to fit in shelf. The edging (J) I used was cut back on, you’re not going to be able
the case. (I allowed for a 1/16" gap on 1" wide (tall) and has the same 1/4" to clamp the edging from front to
each edge, as shown in Fig. 4b.) bead profiles routed on their edges back. But that’s okay. I didn’t use
EDGING. Now’s the time to hide the as the face stile (Fig. 4c). clamps at all. Instead I simply taped
plywood edges on the dividers and With the case assembled and the the edging in place, making sure the
top edge was flush with the ply-
5 FRONT wood, as shown in the margin draw-
RAIL L ing at right. (Packing tape with its
1" 20!/2" NOTE: “ribbed” strands works best.)
Stiffener and FRONT RAIL & BACK STIFFENER . There
rail cut to fit
between sides are just two more pieces to add —
!/4"-dia. of case
bead both at the top of the case. At the
!/2"-deep back, I added a back stiffener (K).
As you can see in Fig. 5, it’s cut to fit
tight between the sides and then
STIFFENER glued to the back panel (Fig. 5a). { You can’t clamp
(#/4" x 1!/2" - 20!/2") The last piece to add is a top front the edging to the
rail (L). It’s similar to the edging, plywood shelf and
but it’s cut to length to fit between dividers, but pack-
BACK ing tape will hold
STIFFENER the sides of the case (not the face
left square
#/4" stiles), and the bead profile is routed the edging just fine.
only on the bottom edge.
RAIL To attach this rail to the case,
there are 1/2" deep rabbets that need
glued to to be cut on the front of the rail. But
plywood you’ll want to sneak up on the width
of these rabbets so the rail fits tight
between the face stiles.

No. 132 Woodsmith 23

Case Top & Drawers 6 SIDE
Before work can begin on the draw- #8 x 1!/2" Fh
ers, a top needs to be added to the woodscrew FILLER
(1" x 18")
case, as shown in the photo at left.
There are actually two layers here. 2!/2"
First, there’s a frame that runs around
the top of the case. Then I added a
plywood top with beaded edging.
FRAME. As you can see in Fig. 6, the 12!/2"
frame is just three mitered pieces 23" N
(and later, a filler), but it provides an Frame is FRAME
easy way for attaching the top. #/4" thick M
The frame front (M) and two FRONT
pieces of frame side (N) are cut
from 1/2"-thick stock. The front cor- a. SIDE SECTION b. TOP VIEW
ners are mitered so there won’t be 2!/2"
any end grain showing. With a
1!/4" 1"
U-shaped assembly like this, I like #8 x 1!/2" Mounting
to start with the front piece. I miter Fh screw hole for
top panel 2" O
both ends, sneaking up on the &/8" N
length until the piece aligns with the !/2"
corners of the case. Then on each c. SIDE SECTION
side piece, I miter the front end and
Filler !/2"
glued to
stiffener 1"
trim the back end to length until it’s and back
flush with the back of the cabinet. 1#/4" 1!/8"
Next, two sets of countersunk &/8"
pilot holes can be drilled in these
pieces (Figs. 6a and 6b). One for
attaching the frame to the case and TOP PANEL . With the frame layer the edging on the dividers). So the
another for attaching the top panel complete, I began work on the top 3/ " plywood panel is sized to match
to the frame later on. panel (P) of the case (Fig. 7). the outside edges of the frame
FILLER. After attaching the frame to Usually, I design the top to over- exactly (Fig. 7a). But before cutting
the case, I filled the opening at the hang the frame a little. But here, I it to final size, I glued a 1/2"-wide top
back of the frame with a hardwood planned to “wrap” the plywood trim (Q) to the panel. (This hard-
frame filler (O), as shown in Fig. 6. edges with 1"-wide trim (identical to wood strip hides the plywood edge
at the back of the case.)
TOP EDGING . As I’ve already men-
S (!/2" thick) tioned, the front edging (R) and side
12" edging (S) that cover the exposed
P TOP plywood on the top are identical to
(#/4" ply.) the divider edging (Fig. 7). They’re
1/ "-thick pieces cut 1" wide and

13" S have a bead profile on both edges.

SIDE Just like the frame earlier, you’ll
want to start with the front piece
NOTE: when mitering the edging. And
FRONT Cut panel
EDGING and trim (unlike the edging on the dividers)
(!/2" x 1") to match when it’s time to glue this edging in
place, you’ll be able to use clamps.
a. P
With the case complete, the last thing
#8 x 1!/4" Fh to do is build the two small drawers.
woodscrew Whenever I need quick, strong draw-
FRONT #8 x 1!/2" Fh ers, I use a locking rabbet joint for
EDGING woodscrew
the front corners (Figs. 8 and 8a).
Here a tongue on the front piece
“locks” into a dado on the side. (The
24 Woodsmith No. 132

back corners are connected with 8 NOTE:

tongues and dadoes, as in Fig. 8b.) Sides and back joined
Best of all, a locking rabbet can be with tongue and dado 6&/16"
cut on the table saw in just a few steps,
as illustrated in the box below. U BACK
CUT TO SIZE . Since the front over- V GUIDE
laps the sides, it needs to be cut (#/4" x 1(/16" - 11)
from thicker stock. So the drawer 17#/8" !/4"
fronts (T) are 3/4" thick, while the 17#/8"
sides (U) and backs (V) are only 1/2" !/2" wood W
thick. I sized the drawer pieces so BOTTOM
(!/4" ply.) 6&/16"
they’d fit in the case openings with DRAWER
1/ " gaps on the sides, top, and bot- FRONT
tom. (The gap at the bottom will be U
created by some nylon glide tape CL
the drawer will ride on.) Also, note NOTE: 17&/8"
rabbet, 11"
that in the front the drawers set Drawer
sized to have see box
back 1/4" from the edging on the !/16" gap on 3" below
dividers (Fig. 8a) and that at the each side

back of the case the drawers stop

against the back panel (8b). a. X W
When the joinery is cut on all the 1!/4" Rh
woodscrew #/8"
pieces, you can cut the grooves for TOP !/16" gap !/4" V
the 1/4" plywood bottoms (W). Then 1!/4" wood stops !/8"
the drawers can be glued together. against
back !/4"
DRAWER GUIDES . In order for the panel
Locking Divider
drawers to open and close smoothly, rabbet joint edging X

you still need to add two items to the

case. First to keep the drawers
opening and closing straight, I glue these guides inside the case. FINISH . Now that the drawers are
added hardwood drawer guides The other item that helps the complete, you can add some wood
(X). These fit inside the case and drawers open smoothly is nylon knobs and apply a finish to the
are cut so they stand proud of the glide tape. (It also lifts the drawer, entire project. I mixed up my own
face stiles 1/16" (Fig. 8a). When creating the 1/16" gap at the bottom.) oil-based stain. (I’ll give you the
you’re sure the drawers will open This tape is simply placed on the “recipe” on page 35.) Then I applied
and close smoothly, you can simply drawer dividers next to the guides. a few coats of a wipe-on finish. W


For the drawers on this bookcase, I used thickness of the drawer sides.
a locking rabbet joint at the front corners. Next, add an auxiliary fence for the
To cut it, all it takes is three quick setups dado blade and lay the front piece down.
on the table saw (Figs. 1-3). Then trim it along the inside edge to cre-
The first step is to cut a 3/8"-wide slot ate a 1/4"-long tongue (Fig. 2).
on the ends of the drawer fronts (Fig. 1). The last step is to cut a dado on the { In a locking rabbet joint, a tongue cut
The important thing is the depth drawer side that will fit over the tongue into the end of the drawer front fits
(height) of the slot. It should match the on the front of the drawer (Fig. 3). into a dado cut in the drawer side.


#/8" fence !/2" U
face FRONT T
Dado Dado
blade blade

No. 132 Woodsmith 25


Highlight your table and your woodworking
— with this decorative holiday centerpiece.

X ’s or O’s? That’s what I thought of

when I first saw this candle cen-
terpiece. But despite its similarity to
a certain popular children’s game, the
design makes an extremely striking
and elegant candle holder. (Safety
Note: This centerpiece is designed to
be used with commonly available
“tealight” candles. These candles are
held in small plastic or metal cups
which make them safe to use in this
wood centerpiece.)

The base of this centerpiece couldn’t
be much simpler. It’s just a square
block of wood overlaid with a grid
made up of thin wood strips.
I started out by cutting a square
base (A) out of 3/4"-thick stock slots are cut on a table saw, using a tance from each slot to the edge of
(Fig. 1). Then to hold the dividers dado blade. All four slots are identi- the base but the distance between
that will be added later, two pairs cal, so you only have to worry about the slots. The “square” in the center
of slots are cut into the top surface setting up the rip fence on your of the base needs to be 21/4" square
of the base at right angles. table saw one time. However, the to match the candle cups that will be
As you can see in Fig. 2, these important thing here is not the dis- added later (Fig. 2a).
DIVIDERS. The grid that sits on top
#8 x 1!/4" Fh woodscrew
of the base is made up of eight
1 individual pieces. These are all the
CUP same width and thickness, but
there are three different lengths
(Fig. 1). First, two long dividers
DIVIDER #/4" (B) are glued in place. Then the
B two center dividers (C) are glued
6#/4" in between the long dividers.
2!/4" Finally, the four short dividers (D)
SHORT 2!/4"
DIVIDER 2" are glued in place. That’s all there
is to the base. Now you can start
working on the candle cups.
NOTE: Candle cups
are cut from a CANDLE CUPS
glued-up blank
!/4" If you take a look at Fig. 1, you can see
that each candle cup (E) is actually
NOTE: Base is 6!/4" C a glued-up block made out of three
#/4" thick. CENTER
All dividers DIVIDER layers of 3/4"-thick stock. But instead
are cut from A
(2!/4" long) of gluing up each block individually,
!/4"-thick stock
26 Woodsmith No. 132
it’s much easier and quicker to glue 2 3 Clamp
stop block
up three long strips and then cut the
to fence
blocks from this blank.
I cut the strips for my blank about Push
3" wide. This way, you can glue Dado
them up without having to worry blade A

whether or not they’re exactly BASE

aligned. Then after the glue is dry,

the blank is squared up to its final
a. a. END VIEW
dimensions (21/4" square). The END VIEW
next step is cutting the individual NOTE: Rotate
workpiece 1#/4" 2!/4" 1!/2"
blocks from the blank. between !/4" Cut Stop
passes !/4" blocks from
CUT TO LENGTH. After deciding on the block
A blank
height you want your candle cups
(see box below), you can cut the
blocks to length. To ensure that all
the blocks end up the same length,
try clamping a block of wood to First, to quickly center the hole candles, the next step is to drill a
your rip fence and use the block as a on each block, I clamped a fence countersunk shank hole in each cup
stop, as you see in Fig. 3. and stop block to the table of my for a mounting screw.
DRILL HOLES. Once all nine blocks drill press, as you can see in Fig. 4. FINISH & ASSEMBLY. Before assem-
have been cut, you’re ready to drill Second, because you’re drilling a bling the cups and base, I applied a
the holes for the candles. Using a fairly large hole into end grain, you finish to all the pieces. Then it’s just
Forstner bit, I drilled a 15/8"-dia. hole want to minimize the heat caused by a matter of screwing the blocks in
5/ " deep in the end of each block friction to avoid burning the wood place (Fig. 5). (To create a uniform
(Fig. 4a). There’s nothing compli- (and your drill bit). To do this, I set appearance, I oriented all the candle
cated about this, but a couple of tips my drill press to its slowest speed. cups so the joint lines were running
make the process go a lot smoother. After drilling the holes for the in the same direction.) W

4 NOTE: Run drill press

at slowest speed


a. 1%/8" dia.
Stop block
block SECOND:
%/8" FIRST: Apply Screw cups
finish to base to base
and candle cups



You can create strikingly different effects with this

candle centerpiece by cutting the candle cups to dif-
ferent heights. (You might even want to make sev-
eral extra cups of various heights so you can mix
and match them in different combinations.)
For the stair-step design of the centerpiece shown
in the photo at the right, I made cups that were 11/2",
2", and 21/2" high (three of each). Just make sure that
you drill all the holes for the candles to the same
depth (5/8"). And don’t forget that you will need
longer screws (13/4" and 21/4") for the taller blocks.

No. 132 Woodsmith 27



Perfect setups the first time, dead-on dadoes, avoiding chipout,
and more — ten great tips you’ll be using on your next project.
I’m sure that at some point grain on a workpiece that avoided. So here are ten more quickly and accu-
ever y woodworker has was just about completed. I hand-picked tips to help rately — covering all the
routed a pair of dadoes that know I have. you do just that. These bases from setting a bit
didn’t align perfectly. Or The thing is, many of tips will help you work accurately to creating a
had a router bit chip out the these problems can be with a hand-held router profile without chipout.

1. Depth Gauge
Setting the depth of a router The gauge is made from a head brass screw to the mine in 1/16" increments.)
bit can involve some trial scrap of 2x4 with a series “center” of each. (Note: The With the gauge, setting
and error. But a quick setup of half holes, as in the draw- length of these screws will a bit is simple. Place the
gauge will eliminate all the ing below. (I drilled them vary.) Now all that’s left is router base on top, as in
guesswork so you can set with a Forstner bit because to “dial in” the screws to the photo. Then lower the
the depth of the bit pre- it will work on the edge of various heights, measuring bit until it touches the
cisely — the first time, see a board.) Once the holes down to the screw from the screw that corresponds to
the photo below. are drilled, I added a round- top face of the gauge. (I did the desired depth. W

NOTE: Screws will
vary in length


Depth settings
from !/16" to 1" Brass Rh
Scrap 2x4

2. Chamfer Gauge 3. Hinge Mortise Depth

The router bit I use about or routing one that’s more I often use a hand-held What I do is use a pair
as much as any other is the visible ( 1/4" or deeper), router when cutting hinge of hinges to support the
chamfer bit. Whether I’m there’s a lot of time spent mortises — the straight bit base of the router, as in
just relieving an edge (with setting the bit. creates a really flat, smooth the drawing below. The
the bit set 1/16" or 1/8" deep) Unfortunately, the depth mortise. However, one of bit is lowered until it just
gauge that’s shown above the challenges is setting the touches the work surface.
won’t work for bits with bit to match the hinge Now the mortises can be
guide bearings. So I creat- leaves. But here’s an easy routed — and the depth
ed a quick chamfer gauge way to do this in one shot. should be right on. W
by routing different sized
chamfers around the edge
of a scrap block. (Label
the sizes for quick refer-
ence.) To set the bit, all
you have to do is raise it
until its cutting edge Lower bit until
Hinge Hinge
matches the profile on the leaf it touches surface leaf
gauge, see photo. W

28 Woodsmith No. 132

4. Trimming Plywood Edging Flush
When using plywood to like to get the job done the photo at right.
build a project, I know with a hand-held router Now the router has two
there’s typically going to be and a flush trim bit. points to rest on. (And you
exposed plywood edges The challenge is “bal- can trim both panels at the
that will need to be covered. ancing” the router on the same time.) Just be sure
Applying the strips of hard- edge of the plywood. If the to rout in a counterclock-
wood is pretty straightfor- router tips, the bit will wise direction so you’re
ward, but since I like the gouge the edging. But not back routing, as
edging to be a hair larger since there’s usually more shown in Fig. 1 below.
than the thickness of the than one plywood piece Also, if the bearing on
plywood, it has to be that’s being edged, there’s the bit has to cross any
trimmed flush after it’s been a really quick solution. grooves or dadoes, I cut
glued in place. I stand the two panels small filler strips to plug
The trick with trimming on edge with 2x4 scraps them temporarily (Fig. 2).
edging is in not damaging between them and a hand- This way, the router bit
the thin veneer on the ply- screw to stabilize them so won’t “fall” into a dado and
wood. And to avoid this, I they won’t fall over, as in gouge the edging. W

Clamp 2x4 spacer
edging flush 2 !/2" flush trim
between panels router bit

Trim ends of TOP VIEW
edging with
hand saw Filler strip
or chisel prevents
gouges in
Move router in Panel

5. Setting a Straightedge Accurately 6. BASE POSITION

When routing a dado To make this gauge, To use the gauge, align
across a large panel, I gen- clamp a scrap block to the the dado on the gauge
erally clamp a straightedge bench, as in Fig. 1. Then with the layout lines on the
to the panel as a temporary clamp a thicker piece at workpiece. Then butt the
fence to guide the router. one end of the scrap to act straightedge against the
But this isn’t as easy as it as a temporary fence. gauge and clamp it down
sounds. Because the base Now, mount the bit for (Fig. 2). Repeat this proce-
(not the bit) rides against the dado, and rout across dure at the opposite end of
the straightedge, you have the gauge, keeping the the straightedge and then
to “offset” the straightedge router tight to the fence. double check the first end
from the layout lines. One (Mark the router base so again (to make sure it has
quick solution for this is to it will always be oriented not shifted). Now you’re edge
build an alignment gauge. the same, see box at right.) ready to rout the dado. W
Ever ended up with a dado that was
1 Run router
2 Clamp straightedge slightly wider than the bit? Or had a small
against end stepped shoulder inside the dado? This
of gauge
fence happens because the bit isn’t centered
perfectly in the base of the router — and
you’ve used both edges of the base when
routing (a different edge for each pass).
To prevent this, all you need to do is
work off the same edge of the base
when routing against a straightedge.
Set end of Rout NOTE: Align dado
gauge against shallow Repeat at opposite with layout lines And to remind me which edge I’m using,
fence dado end of straightedge on workpiece I mark the base with a piece of tape. W

No. 132 Woodsmith 29

7. Perfect-Fitting Dadoes
Routing dadoes for ply- GUIDES . The guides are 1 #/4" x 1"
wood is a hassle. Plywood easy to make. For each Dado guides fence attached
is always slightly less than one, glue a straight hard- (Make two) to base
its nominal thickness. (For wood fence to a 1/4" hard- Half of
router base
instance, 3/4" plywood is board base, see Fig. 1. diameter
really about 23/32"-thick.) So The base is trimmed to
!/4" hard- Keep base
to end up with the proper width using the router and board base position
fit, you have to use a smaller straight bit you plan to consistent,
see box on
diameter bit and take two use, see Fig. 1a. Now the page 29
Rout excess
passes. But this job gets a base equals the width of width off base
lot easier if you have a pair the router base from the
Arrow shows
of simple guides, as shown outside edge to the bit. direction of router
in the photo below. Note: I like to mark the
base of the router so I can
always keep the same
edge against the fence.
(See the box on page 29.)
Use same bit to
GUIDE SETUP . To use the trim base and
guides, first lay out one a. rout dadoes
edge of the dado on the
piece. Then clamp one of
the guides along that line. cut from the same ply- To rout the dado, all you
Now to size the dado wood that will fit into the have to do is run the
exactly, I use a spacer to dado later (Fig. 2). (You router left-to-right along
set the second guide. The can also use a scrap piece one guide and then back
key is that the spacer is the same thickness.) along the other (Fig. 3). W


shows Rout
direction dadoes
of router in a series
Clamp guides
to workpiece Reference of
point overlapping
Position second shallow
guide using workpiece passes
(or scrap from workpiece) Workpiece

8. Preventing Chipout
One of the most frustrating get around the chipout chipout. All you need to So when the end grain is
problems when routing is problem is to rout the end do is temporarily clamp a routed, the chipout will
chipout. It happens most grain first. You’ll still get scrap of wood to the side end up on the scrap — not
often at the end of a pass splintering at the end of a of the workpiece so it’s on the workpiece.
when routing across end pass (Fig. 1). But as you flush with the end, as After the profile has
grain (Fig. 1). rout the sides (which are shown in the photo at left. been routed, the scrap can
As the bit exits cut along the long grain), The scrap piece backs be removed and discard-
the wood, it you’ll remove the areas up the wood fibers at the ed, leaving a clean edge
splinters the that are chipped out, as corners of the workpiece. on the workpiece. W
fibers on the shown in Fig. 2.
edge of the However, when routing 1 2
piece. That’s end grain, you still want to
because there minimize chipout, so don’t
isn’t any more set the bit for a full cut.
wood left to Instead, take light passes.
keep these SUPPORT SCRAP . If you’re
{ Adding a scrap block is fibers together. not routing all the way Routing Routing along
one way to prevent chip- ENDS FIRST . around a piece, there’s across end grain long grain removes
splinters corner areas that are chipped out
out at the end of the cut. One way to still a way you can prevent

30 Woodsmith No. 132

9. Stopping Chamfers
Stopped chamfers routed But there’s still a small shown in Fig. 1. Now set as in Fig. 2. Then clamp
on the inside and outside problem. The point where the chamfer bit to the the stop blocks in place so
of a frame soften the edges the bearing guide hits the proper depth and rout the the routed chamfers line
and give it a finished look, stop blocks is different inside corners formed by up with the stop marks on
as you can see in the photo from where the bit actual- the stop blocks and the the workpiece (Fig. 2a).
at right. The only trick is ly stops cutting. However, long scrap piece. Now the chamfers can Stopped
getting the chamfers to start a quick modification to the At this point, the stop be routed on the work-
and stop in the right places. blocks takes care of this. blocks are ready to be piece. Note: This same
A pair of stop blocks Start by clamping the used. The first thing to do technique can also be
clamped to the workpiece stop blocks to each end of is mark the start and stop used to rout other stopped
will stop the chamfer bit. a longer scrap piece, as points on the workpiece, molding profiles. W

1 2 Workpiece
Long Stop
scrap block

Stop mark
Stop mark
a. Stop lines up with
block chamfer

Need two short blocks

for start and stop blocks Workpiece

10. Stabilizing Router Cuts

When using a hand-held SUPPORT BLOCK ON ROUTER. ing a support block direct-
router, there are plenty of You can stabilize a router ly to the base of the router,
times I’d like some addi- cut in a number of ways, as shown in Fig. 1.
tional support. I don’t want depending on the situa- To make the support
the router to tip and ruin tion. Sometimes, the solu- block, cut or plane a piece
the profile (or cut). tion is as simple as fasten- of scrap stock to match
the thickness of the work-
1 piece. Then tape the block
to the router base with
double-sided carpet tape.
along the edge of a work-
piece (as when rabbeting { One method for adding support
Work- a bookcase or cabinet for to a router is to clamp a 2x4
a back panel) requires a flush with the edge of the case.
different solution. Here,
Scrap support you have a couple options. serves as a bridge span-
Carpet equals thickness CLAMP-ON SUPPORT . If the ning across the case to the
tape of workpiece
box or case is constructed opposite side. I make this
in such a way that clamps auxiliary base from a
2 will reach around it, I piece of 1/4" hardboard.
clamp on a 2x4 block flush After drilling a hole in
with the edge to be rout- the platform for the bit to
!/4" hard- ed, as in the photo above come through, I use dou-
board base
right. This provides an ble-sided carpet tape to
extra 11/2" of support for stick the auxiliary plat-
the router base. form to the plastic base on
Carpet tape AUXILIARY BASE . The sec- my router. Then, I rout as
holds router
to base Base rides ond method is to add an usual with the new base
on edges
of case auxiliary base to the spanning across both
router (Fig. 2). The base edges of the case. W

No. 132 Woodsmith 31



An easy-to-build project with veneer and
a simple shop-built hinge? Deal me in.

T his is one of those projects I love to

get my hands on — literally. About
the size of a paperback book, you can
a simple shop-built hinge. But what
really grabs your attention are the
faces of the case. They’re all “decked
this is the perfect project to start
with. There’s even an article on
page 14 that covers all the basics
comfortably hold it in one hand. And out” with padauk veneer. (For mail (and more) step by step.
with the flick of a finger, the lid flips order sources, see page 35.) Design Note: Of the two common
open and out of the way, swinging on Never worked with veneer? Then card sizes, this case is designed to
hold the larger (poker) cards. But
you can easily adjust the dimensions
to make the case a little smaller.

To build the basic case, I worked on
the 1/4" plywood face panels (A) first.
You can go ahead and cut them to fin-
ished size, as indicated in Fig. 1 on
the next page. But the veneer you
glue to both faces of each panel
should be slightly oversized. (I
worked on one face of each panel at
a time.) Then when trimming the
veneer, I simply put a new blade in
my utility knife to get a clean cut.
CASE FRAME . Now the face panels
can be set aside for a minute so you
can work on the 1/4"-thick mahogany
frame pieces (Fig. 1). The frame
top/bottom (B), and ends (C) are all
ripped 11/4"-wide, and because their
ends will be mitered later, I cut them

The striking padauk veneer > MATERIALS & SUPPLIES

on this case is really easy to
apply. So if you’ve never A Face Panels (2)* !/4 ply. - 3!%/16 x 5!%/16
worked with veneer, this is a B Frame Top/Btm. (2)** !/4 x 1!/4 - 6!/4
great project to try your C Frame Ends (2) !/4 x 1!/4 - 4!/4
hand at it. All you need are D Lid Blocks (2) #/8 x #/8 - 1
a few small pieces of veneer E Strike Spacer (3) !/4 x !/2 - #/4
and some contact cement. F Box Divider (1) !/2 x #/4 - 3!/4
*Both faces of panels are veneered
For more on this, refer to
**All pieces (except panels) start out oversized
the article on page 14.
• (1) !/4" x !/4" Rod Magnet
• (1) #/8" Steel Washer (Countersunk)
• (1) #4 x !/2" Fh Woodscrew
• (1) #/32"-dia. Brass Rod (1!/4" Long)

32 Woodsmith No. 132


a little long to begin with (1" or so). 1

This way, after cutting a couple 5!%/16"
grooves on these frame pieces,
you’ll be able to easily and accurate-
ly miter them to length. 4!/4"
GROOVES . I started by cutting two
grooves in each frame piece to hold
the face panels (Fig. 2). To end up
with clean, flat grooves, I used the END
router table and a 1/8"-dia. straight FRAME Veneer
bit. And since the pieces are rather END !/4"
small, I clamped a zero-clearance
top to the table and used an auxil-
iary fence to cover the opening.
When setting the fence, the
important thing is that the distance
to the outside edge of the bit equals a. A
6!/4" B
the thickness of the veneered face
panels (Fig. 2a). Otherwise these FRAME
pieces won’t be perfectly flush when
the case is assembled later on. NOTE: NOTE: Lid Frame
Both faces of !/4" plywood will be cut from
TONGUES . With the grooves cut in panels are veneered, pieces are
box after assembly, joined with miters
the frame blanks, mating tongues see article on page 14. see Fig. 4.
can be created on the face panels.
To do this, a small rabbet is routed 2 Aux. fence
covers bit
3 Fence
around the edges (Fig. 3). Since this opening
joint is going to be visible when the !/8" straight bit
!/8" straight bit
case is cut apart, the tongues should A
fit without any gaps (Fig. 1a). B C
At this point, the frame pieces are
ready to be mitered to fit around the
faces. Since these pieces are so END VIEW a.
Thickness of
small, I cut them by hand, using a Auxiliary a.
face panels #/32"
special shop-made miter box, as NOTE: #/32" (zero-
Auxiliary top !/8" clearance) END !/8"
shown in the margin photo at right. (!/4" hardboard) B C
top VIEW
creates zero-
(For more on this miter box and clearance

how to build it, refer to page 19.) opening for !/8" straight bit
router bit
ASSEMBLY . Now the case can be
assembled. There’s nothing tricky
here, though you do want to avoid needs to be a really clean cut, so I outside corners get a 1/4"-radius
using too much glue. You don’t want used a zero-clearance insert and roundover, while those on the edges
to end up with a mess to clean up made sure the saw blade was sharp. between the lid and box are only
inside the case when it’s cut apart. With the lid and box cut apart, 1/ ". To create these roundovers, I
After the glue has dried, the lid there are a few roundovers to add to laid out the radius across each cor-
can be cut off, as in Fig. 4. This the corners of the case (Fig. 5). The ner and sanded to the lines.

4 5 !/4"-rad. on all
outside corners

{ The small pieces

Push Sanding
block Push block a. block a. !/4" radius on this project can
1" END VIEW Lid be cut safely and
!/8"blade accurately with a
Zero- on all SIDE special miter box,
clearance !/8"
"inside" radius
insert VIEW refer to page 19.
Lid Box

No. 132 Woodsmith 33

(!/4" x !/2" - #/4")
Connecting the Lid 6 D
Now that the lid and box have been #4 x !/2"
cut apart, it’s time to put them back Fh screw
together (Fig. 6). But there’s more to !/4" x !/4"
this than just adding a hinge. You want Lid blocks
rod magnet washer D
these long narrow pieces to stay and strike
spacer cut
aligned. And there has to be some from over- &/32"-deep hole
way to keep the lid closed. sized blanks
LID BLOCKS. The first thing I did was F
add two small blocks to the lid (Fig. BOX #/4"
6). One lid block will be pinned to
the box (and act as a hinge). The 3!/4" #/32"-dia
brass rod
other block will keep the lid and box (1!/4"-long)
Notches cut !/2"
aligned (and act as a finger pull). extra deep
For these blocks to work, you’ll so lid opens
past 90°
need to cut centered notches in the
box and the lid (Fig. 7). (The notch-
es in the box are deeper so the lid CROSS SECTION b.
will open past 90°, as shown in Figs. a. F Screw
7a and 7b.) To center these notches, CROSS
I cut them with a 1/4" dado blade, flip- SECTION Washer
{ For a nice contrast ping the pieces between passes. D 1" NOTE: For
Block flush sources of rare-earth Rod
with the mahogany LID BLOCKS . To safely make the with inside rod magnet and steel E magnet
of lid #/8" washer, see page 35
frame, I made the short lid blocks (D), I started with a
two lid blocks from 4" long blank. (I used padauk to
padauk (to match match the veneer.) Sand a 1/8" 7
the veneer). One roundover on what will be the out- END a. b.
block acts as a side face of the lid blocks and then VIEW
Box Lid
hinge. The other cut one from each end, using the #/8" #/8"
keeps the lid and miter box (refer to page 19).
box aligned. The blocks are simply glued into
!/4" dado
the notches in the lid. And to help blade #/4"
align them initially, I used a small Notches cut
square block (Fig. 8). in two passes
STRIKE FOR MAGNET. The last piece to
add to the lid is a strike plate for the
magnetic catch (Fig. 9). This is just wandering, I drilled from both the magnet (Fig. 6b). (To hold the
a screw, a countersunk steel washer, faces.) Cut the rod slightly long and divider safely while drilling the hole,
and a strike spacer (E). The spac- sand it flush after it’s been glued in I clamped it in a handscrew.)
er’s cut from an oversize blank and place with epoxy. TESTING THE FIT. After the magnet is
then glued into the center of the lid. DIVIDER & MAGNET. All that’s left is to glued into the divider, I set it in the
Now the lid can be hinged to the add a box divider (F) and rare-earth case and shut the lid. If the divider’s
box with a tiny brass rod (Fig. 6). I rod magnet. (For sources, see page too long, simply trim its bottom end
clamped the lid and box together 35.) The divider creates two com- until the lid shuts completely. Then
and drilled a pilot hole through partments for the cards, and I glue it in the case, using a square to
them. (To keep the small bit from rounded its top edges before adding make sure it’s straight (Fig. 10). W

#4 x !/2"
8 9 Countersunk
Fh screw 10 Square
Square scrap steel washer

1" F
LID NOTE: Divider
Use glue E is centered in
sparingly STRIKE SPACER box opening

34 Woodsmith No. 132

We’re currently looking for an
enthusiastic woodworker to join Similar project
The hardware and supplies was built to hold 15/8"-dia. seed oil. Both of our editorial team. If you’re inter- supplies and
you need to build the proj- (and smaller) pieces. To these items are ested, send a cover letter and hardware may
ects in this issue are avail- find a set, you might first thick, so it’ll take a resume to S. Ribbey, 2200 be ordered from
able from local stores or the try a local game shop, but lot of stirring to Grand Ave., Des Moines, IA the following
50312. Or email it to: companies:
mail order sources at right. there are also a couple get them mixed
For a complete list of sup- sources listed at right. well. And the mix- The Chess Shoppe
plies needed for each proj- ture you end up 877-327-8356
ect, check out the detailed BOOKCASE will also be thick, but it’s blanks of the same species
list included in each article. There’s not much hard- easy to apply. Its thickness (for the lid blocks). Constantine’s
ware needed for the book- also means the color will You’ll also need a short 800-871-8158
CHESSBOARD case on page 20. Besides be uniform. The stain length of brass rod, and a
Chessboard hardware,
The chessboard on page 6 woodscrews and nails, won’t soak in too quickly rare-earth rod magnet
Chessboard veneers,
requires just a few hard- you’ll need some 11/4"-dia. and leave the wood with a with a steel washer. I Card case veneers,
ware items, and most of wood knobs, spoon-style blotchy appearance. found the brass rod at a Veneering tools &
these should be available shelf suppor t pins, and Burnt umber artist’s oil hobby shop. The magnet supplies
locally. (Veneering tools and nylon glide tape, see can be purchased from art and washer I purchased
Lee Valley
supplies are available from sources list at right. supply stores, and boiled from Lee Valley. 800-871-8158
the sources at right.) BEAD PROFILE BIT . In addi- linseed oil is available at LIST RENTAL STATEMENT. On
However, if you have trou- tion to the hardware, hardware and paint stores. occasion, we allow compa- Chessboard hardware,
ble finding the brass knobs you’ll also need a bead nies whose products and Bookcase hardware,
Veneering tools &
and bullet catches, there profile bit. The bit I chose CANDLE CENTERPIECE services may be of inter-
supplies, Bead bits,
are several sources listed. routs a 1/4"-dia. bead pro- The candle centerpiece est to you to send adver- Forstner bits,
(Note that the 1/2" brass file (also listed as a 1/8"- doesn’t require any hard- tising mail to our sub- Rare-earth magnets
knobs may not be identi- radius bead profile). It’s ware worth mentioning. scribers. We are careful to
Rockler Woodworking
cal to the ones we used.) available from a number (You can find the “tealight” choose ethical companies
The bullet catches also of sources, see list at right. candles at just about any that have information of
required shop-built catch BOOKCASE STAIN . When department store that sells genuine interest to our Chessboard hardware,
plates. For those, I went to finishing the bookcase, I items for the home.) But subscribers, and most of Bookcase hardware,
a local hobby shop and mixed up my own stain to you will need a fairly large our subscribers appreci- Veneering tools &
supplies, Bead bits
bought a small strip of give the red oak an aged Forstner bit (15/8"-dia.), see ate receiving these materi-
.032"-thick brass. appearance. the list at right. als. However, if you prefer U.S. Chess Federation
CHESS & CHECKER PIECES . This is a lot easier than to have your name deleted 800-388-5464
Besides the hardware, it sounds. You just need a CARD CASE from this mailing list
you’ll also need chess and tube of artist’s oil and a To build the card case, made available to other Woodcraft
checker pieces. For the quart of boiled linseed oil. you’ll need some small companies, please write to 800-225-1153
chess pieces, the impor- I mixed three tablespoons pieces of veneer. (I used us at Woodsmith, 2200
tant thing is the diameter of burnt umber artist’s oil padauk.) And you’ll also Grand Avenue, Des Chessboard hardware,
Forstner bits
of the base. The drawer into the quart of boiled lin- need some small wood Moines, IA 50312. W
Woodworker’s Supply


Chessboard hardware,
Chessboard veneer &
To order a hardware kit from Woodsmith Project
inlay, Veneering
Supplies, please use our Toll Free order line, see below.
It’s open Monday through Friday, from 8 AM to 5 PM
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No. 132 Woodsmith 35



{ Candle Centerpiece. { Bead-Front Bookcase. Small details make a big differ-

Build this project in one evening and light up the holidays for years to ence. A bead profile, two easy-to-build drawers, and frame and
come. You won’t need much in the way of time or materials. panel construction — they all add up to a project perfect for the
Complete plans for this simple gift project begin on page 26. bedroom, bathroom, den or kitchen. Instructions start on page 20.

> Chessboard & Card Case.

The only thing better than
receiving one of these beautiful
projects as a gift is building it.
Both the chessboard (page 6)
and card case (page 32) give
you an opportunity to do some
simple veneering.