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Barrister’s Bookcase • Spice Cabinet • Paper Towel Dispenser

Vol. 23 / No. 134

Inside This Issue:

•Heirloom Spice Cabinet—
Full-sized features packed
into a countertop cabinet
•Build a towel dispenser
with through mortises
and tenons

Barrister’s Bookcase

No. 134 April, 2001

Senior Editor
Donald B. Peschke
Terry J. Strohman
Jon Garbison
Contrib. Editor Craig Ruegsegger
Art Director Todd Lambirth
Senior Illustrators

Graphic Intern
David Kreyling
Dirk Ver Steeg
Harlan V. Clark
Kara Blessing
M y mail box is usually pretty full, and
the mail I look forward to most
are letters from our readers. Best of all
which really lends itself to making
modifications. Depending on how
many of each section you choose to
is when they include a photo or two of make, you can end up with a tall
a Woodsmith project they’ve com- bookcase or a shorter version. And if
Creative Director: Ted Kralicek • Project Developer: Ken pleted. I’m always impressed by the you build several rows of bookcases,
Munkel • Sr. Project Designer: Kent Welsh • Project high level of craftsmanship, and the they don’t even have to be the same
Designers: Chris Fitch, Craig Iseke • Shop Manager: Steve
Curtis • Shop Craftsman: Steve Johnson • Senior builders are rightfully proud of their height, as shown on the back cover.
Photographer: Crayola England work. (You can see some of these pro- Another option is a solid wood raised
SPECIAL PUBLICATIONS jects at the Woodsmith Readers’ panel that can be used instead of
Executive Editor: Douglas L. Hicks • Art Director: Doug Gallery on our web site, see below.) glass. There are lots of ways you can
Flint • Senior Graphic Designer: Chris Glowacki
• Assistant Editor: Joel A. Hess • Graphic Designer: Vu DESIGN MODIFICATIONS. When looking make this project your own. (Please
Nguyen • Graphic Intern: Heather Boots over these photos, I try to pay special send me a photo when you do.)
CIRCULATION attention to how the builder modified NEW FACES . While a lot of people
Subscriber Services Director: Sandy Baum • New Business
Manager: Wade Klingbeil • Promotion Manager: Rick Junkins •
our design. Very few projects get built around here contribute ideas for the
Circulation Analyst: Patrick Walsh • Renewal Manager: Paige exactly as they were featured in the projects (and their modifications), it’s
Rogers • Billing & Collections Manager: Rebecca Cunningham
• Circ. Marketing Analyst: Kris Schlemmer • Assoc. Circ.
magazine. Many times, a different our design group that gets to work
Marketing Analyst: Paula M. DeMatteis • Sr. Graphic Designers: wood was used. Or the size was out the details. And recently, we’ve
Mark Hayes, Robin Dowdell
altered to fit a particular corner in the added a couple of new faces. Chris
CORPORATE SERVICES house. And on occasion, an ambitious Fitch and Craig Iseke have joined us
Director of Finance: Mary R. Scheve • Controller: Robin
Hutchinson • Sr. Account.: Laura Thomas • Accts. Payable: woodworker will simply use our pro- as project designers. Chris designed
Mary J. Schultz • Accts. Receivable: Margo Petrus • Production ject as an “inspiration” for something the spice cabinet in this issue (page
Dir.: George Chmielarz • Electronic Publishing Director:
Douglas M. Lidster • Network Administrator: Cris that is very much his own. 18). And Craig just arrived from
Schwanebeck • Pre-press Image Specialists: Troy A. Clark, Coming up with design modifica- Canada, where he had set up and run
Minniette Johnson • New Media Mgr.: Gordon C. Gaippe •
Web Site Art Dir.: Gene Pedersen • Technology Analyst: tions is only natural when you’re a woodworking school.
Carol Schoeppler • Web Content Mgrs.: Terry Walker, working on a project, and, if possible, We’re also looking for another new
David Briggs • Professional Development Dir.: Michal
Sigel • H.R. Assistant: Kirsten Koele • Office Manager: we like to suggest a few of our own. face to join our editorial team. This is
Noelle Carroll • Facilities Mgr.: Julia Fish • Admin. The barrister’s bookcase, on page 6, a full-time position working here in
Assistant: Sherri Ribbey • Receptionist: Jeanne Johnson •
Mail Room/Delivery: Lou Webber is a great example of this. It’s a modu- Des Moines. If you’re interested,
lar project built in small sections — there’s more information on page 35.
Operations Director: Bob Baker • Customer Service Mgr.:
Jennie Enos • Warehouse Supr.: Nancy Johnson • Buyer:
Linda Jones • Tech. Service Rep.: Johnny Audette •
Admin. Assist.: Nancy Downey • Cust. Serv. Reps.:
Tammy Truckenbrod, Anna Cox, Tammy Hidlebaugh,
Deborah Rich, April Revell, Valerie Riley, Linda Stepp •
Warehouse: Sylvia Carey, Dustin Hess, Sheryl Knox, Mike
Overby, Al Voigt

Mgr.: Dave Larson • Asst. Manager: Tim Thelen • Sales
Staff: Wendell Stone, Jim Barnett, Kathy Smith, Larry Morrison,
Harold Cashman, Mark Johnson • Office Mgr.: Vicki Edwards
Visit other Woodsmith subscribers’ workshops, and see photos of
Woodsmith® (ISSN 0164-4114) is published bimonthly (Feb., Apr., the projects they’ve built. It’s all online in the new Readers’
June, Aug., Oct., Dec.) by August Home Publishing Company, 2200
Grand, Des Moines, IA 50312. Gallery on the Woodsmith web site:
Woodsmith® is a registered trademark of August Home Publishing.
Copyright© 2001 August Home Publishing Company. All rights
Subscriptions: Single copy: $4.95. One year subscription (6 issues), We want you to be part of the Readers’ Gallery! To
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Periodicals Postage Paid at Des Moines, IA and at additional submit photos of your favorite Woodsmith projects
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World Wide Web:

2 Printed in U.S.A. Woodsmith No. 134


Barrister’s Bookcase . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
They may look like a single unit, but these bookcases are made up
of individual sections that simply stack on top of each other. It’s a
flexible design that can be modified and configured in a number of
ways and can even “grow” with your library.

Spice Cabinet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Barrister’s Bookcase page 6
With its moldings and arched frame and panel doors, this little
cabinet looks like a piece of fine furniture sitting on your kitchen
counter. To maximize the storage space, the front half of the cabi-
net is actually a couple of boxes attached to the back of the doors.

Choosing & Using Glues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

Flip through a few woodworking catalogs, and you’ll find more
glues available now than ever before. Is there one “all-purpose”
adhesive? Or do you need to fill your shelves with different types?
We help you get to the bottom of this sticky subject.

Paper Towel Dispenser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Spice Cabinet page 18

Sure this is a great project for the kitchen, but it will also help you
“build” your woodworking skills as you cut two variations of a
through mortise and tenon joint. They’re not as hard as they
sound, and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know.

Choosing Glues page 26

Tips & Techniques . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Shop Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Paper Towel Dispenser page 30

No. 134 Woodsmith 3



Size fingers to
grip your random
Random Orbit Sander Stand
orbit sander I have a palm-grip random the body and suspend the
orbit sander that I like to sander so it can “run
use in my shop. But when down” without spinning
turning the sander off, you off my bench.
can’t just set it down on the There are just a couple
bench. You have to wait of things to keep in mind
a. NOTE: Stand until the disc stops spin- when building your stand.
made from
Stand #/4" plywood ning. Finally I decided to First, you’ll have to make
do something about this lit- sure the fingers will fit
Sander tle inconvenience. around your particular
What I came up with is sander. Plus, you’ll want to
Base a simple stand that I built make sure the side of the
with scrap 3/4" plywood, as jig is tall enough so the
you can see in the draw- sander actually hangs
ing at left and the photo above the base.
Size vertical piece
CROSS SECTION so sander hangs above. The key is a pair of Rocco R. Ragano
from fingers “fingers” that fit around Prince Frederick, Maryland

Arbor Wrench Modification Band Saw Setup

I have a Delta table saw, and okay, but a simple modifi- With this bend in the Here’s a little trick I use to
the wrench that came with cation makes it even better. wrench, I know immedi- set the guide blocks that
the saw has hexagonal All you need to do is ately which hole is for guide the band saw blade.
holes in each end — one place the wrench in a vise tightening the saw blades. (It’ll also work if your saw
for tightening the arbor nut just beyond the hole for And the little offset keeps has bearings.) To get the
when securing a the arbor nut (about 1" or my knuckles away from right amount of clearance, I
blade and the other so). Now put a slight bend the teeth of the saw blade. wrap electrical tape around
for the trunnions. in the wrench, as shown in Bob Walters the blade, as shown in the
The wrench works the margin photo at left. Portland, Oregon photo below. With the tape
between the blocks, they
QUICK TIPS can be centered and tight-
ened easily. (This also works
CD Saw Blade Spacers Enlarging Brad Nail “Bits” for the bearing that supports
What do you do with the those There’s an old trick I like to use when the back of the blade.) After
computer software CDs that get drilling small holes. I chuck a brad nail the tape is removed, the
sent to you in the mail? After into my drill to use as a bit. Most of the spacing is perfect.
throwing away a half-dozen time, this works great. But I was recently Henry Morett
or so, I figured out a way installing some small eyehooks, and the Los Angeles, California
I could put them to good holes I had drilled with the brads were
use in my shop. a smidgen too small — the eyehooks
I like to hang my saw would twist off when I tried to screw
blades on a nail, and the them into hardwood.
discs make great spacers To create a slightly larger “bit,” I laid
to put between the blades. the brad on my metal bench vise and
They’re just the right thickness gave it a blow with a hammer. This flat-
for preventing the teeth of the tened the end of the nail just enough to
blades from touching each other. make the hole a little bigger.
Anna Victoria Reich Jim Vasi
Albuquerque, New Mexico Williamsville, New York

4 Woodsmith No. 134

Plumber’s Strap Clamp 1
Recently I was routing a lying on a shelf in my
groove when the fence garage: a roll of plumber’s
slipped slightly, leaving me strap, see the photo in the 2"-long
with a groove that was margin at right. shim pieces of
wider than the thickness of With a pair of snips, I strap
the workpiece that was sup- cut the strap into roughly
posed to fit inside it. 2"-long pieces, as shown
I had already put too in Fig. 1. Wedged into the a.
much work into the piece groove, these makeshift Strap

just to start over, so I clamps provided just Shim

decided to glue a shim to enough pressure to hold

the side of the groove, and the shim piece in place { Small pieces of
then rout it again. while the glue dried. Then Folded straps plumber’s strap
But here I ran into a I planed the shim flush apply enough can be used as
pressure to
problem. How do you get and recut the groove. hold shim CROSS SECTION simple wedge
a clamp into a narrow Guy Gerrard clamps inside
groove? The solution was Orlando, Florida narrow grooves.

Router Trammel
Recently, when I needed to The first thing to do is you can make a hard- the support (detail ‘a’).
make a large circle, I simply remove the “fence” of the board arm with a series of The neat thing about
turned the edge guide for edge guide, leaving the centerpoint holes (to this attachment is that it’s FREE
my hand-held router into a guide rods and the sup- make the circle cutter so easy to adjust. First, Online Tips
trammel, as in Fig. 1 below. port they fit into. Then adjustable) and bolt it to measure from the edge of If you’d like even
the bit to the centerpoint more woodwork-
1 Edge guide
nail holes
hole that’s closest to the ing tips, the solu-
circle radius you’re after. tion is simple.
support and rods !/4"hardboard drilled 2" apart
(fence removed) trammel (I pivot the trammel on a Just visit us at our
arm web site and sign
finish nail.) Then adjust
the support on the up to receive a
free tip via email
guide rods until this
Edge a. hole is the exact dis-
every week.
SECTION tance from the bit. Now
NOTE: you’re ready to rout
How trammel Trammel
attaches to support bolted to Machine your circle.
will vary depending screw and nut Arm
on model of router support Edward Ikemore
Findlay, Illinois

Plywood Ripping Support Thin strip to

fit in saw kerf 1"
I generally rip hardboard.) What keeps
down sheets of the cutoff piece from sag- !/4"-dia.
plywood with my ging are a couple of cross 1" 3"
circular saw. And dowels that fit above and If you have an original shop tip, we
since the cutoff below the plywood. would like to hear from you and con-
piece is unsuppor ted, it Albert Cesnius sider publishing your tip in one or
tends to sag — and some- Middlebury, Connecticut more of our publications. Just write
times even breaks off pre- down your tip and mail it to:
maturely, usually pulling 1 Woodsmith, Tips and Techniques,
some of the veneer off of 2200 Grand Avenue, Des Moines,
the good piece. Iowa 50312. Please include your name,
So to prevent this sag- address, and daytime phone number
ging, I came up with a lit- Circular in case we have any questions. If you
tle “helper,” as shown in saw would like, FAX it to us at 515-282-6741
the photo above. It’s just a or send us an email message at: wood-
thin strip that slides into slipped into We will pay up
the saw kerf after you saw kerf to $200 if we publish your tip.
begin the cut. (I used 1/8"

No. 134 Woodsmith 5


It’s easy to make a case for this project — the joinery is straightforward;
the assemblies are small, and you can customize it any way you’d like.

J ust looking at this barrister’s bookcase, it

would be easy to miss the fact that it’s not
built like most bookcases. Sure, there are
doors that enclose the books, but more
importantly, the bookcase isn’t built as a sin-
gle large unit — it’s modular. And this par-
ticular barrister’s bookcase is made up of
four different sections: a cap, a base, and
two sizes of cases (one with about a 14" open-
ing and a slightly shorter 12" version).
The nice thing about a modular design is
that it allows for quite a bit of flexibility in
the project you end up with. And these sec-
tions can be mixed and matched in a vari-
ety of ways. (The taller version in the photo
at left includes two tall and two short
cases.) Plus, if at some point you end up
with more books than shelf space, you can
always build another section or two.
(Which is probably why these bookcases
were so popular with lawyers, or barris-
ters, to begin with.)
Of course, these individual sections have
to connect securely. And here, instead of
coming up with a “high tech” solution, I
borrowed a simple cleat system I’d seen on
several antiques. Two cleats in the bottom
of one section straddle a single cleat in the
top of the section below it. (See the Side
Section View on the next page.) There’s no
hardware to mess with. And no tricky join-
ery either. So when it’s time to move the
bookcase out of the shop, these small sec-
tions won’t put a big strain on your back.
There’s one other thing to mention.
Before building the bookcase, it’s a good
idea to decide how many of each section
you want to make (including the shorter
cases, bases, and caps). That’s because all
the sections have identical parts, and you’ll
find the project will go together quicker
(and fit together better) if you can build all
the identical parts at the same time.

6 Woodsmith No. 134



CAP Base assemblies CAP: 2#/4”H SHORT CASE: 12#/4”H
SIDE are identical on
all sections BASE: 8”H TALL CASE: 14#/4”H

CLEAT Small case is
2" shorter than
large case, see SIDE SECTION VIEW
box on page 10

Cap assembly

%/8"-dia. Door slides

brass knob in and out on
grooves in
side panels
Back stiffener
allows access
to door

Door pivots on
!/4"-dia. steel pins

Door stops
against case
SIDE bottom
PANEL Door rails and
stiles held together
with bridle joints
Bottom cleats
hidden by
plywood bottom

Top cleat locks

TOP CLEAT between two
bottom cleats
Legs glued up from in case above
one #/4"-thick piece
between two !/2"-thick
FRONT pieces or from one
RAIL piece of 1#/4"-thick stock
RAIL Base joined NOTE:
with mortises Bookcase built with
BASE LEG African mahogany
and tenons
hardwood and plywood

{ Interlocking cleats create a quick, { The doors lift and slide back into the { As an option, you can build a solid
secure connection so the sections can case. Steel pins and a dado are all wood panel for the door as a substi-
be assembled in a matter of seconds. that’s needed for a smooth-sliding fit. tute for the glass, see box on page 12.

No. 134 Woodsmith 7

Front corners
NOTE: Edging mitered
not flush with
Case Bottom & Sides 1 cleat in back,
see Fig. 2
When building this bookcase, I
started with the cases. Of course, CLEAT
you’ll save yourself some setup time A

if you can build all the cases (as well

as all the identical pieces for the base 3!/2"
and cap) at the same time. The NOTE: Side
dimensions listed here are edging glued
on first, then
for the tall case, but the short front edging
case is essentially the same. is cut to fit
(Refer to the box on page 10 1 !/8"
for more on the small case.) EDGING
cases, the place to start is with the SIDE EDGING

bottom assemblies shown in Fig. 1. a. FRONT b. SIDE No groove

%/8" SECTION SECTION cut on front
They’re made up of two cleats with VIEW VIEW edging
pieces of bullnose edging that wrap
around the front and sides. #/4" B !/4" A A #/4" C

The 3/4"-thick bottom cleats (A) !/2"-rad.

!/2"-rad. bullnose,
are fairly straightforward. The only bullnose, !/4" %/8" See Fig. 3
See Fig. 3
thing to do is cut 1/4" x 1/4" stub
tenons on their ends (Fig. 1a).
These tenons strengthen the hold 2 3
of two pieces of bottom side edging NOTE: Raise
(B) that connect the cleats (Fig. 1). bit #/8" for
END bullnose profile
This edging starts out oversized so VIEW
you can safely cut the grooves that Back Bottom
hold the stub tenons on the cleats. not assembly
When the grooves have been cut,
the side edging and the longer bot- !/2"
4!/4"-wide round-over
tom front edging (C) can be ripped spacer bit
to final width (5/8"). Then you can
miter the front corner of each side
edging piece so it’s 121/8" long. BULLNOSE PROFILE . I haven’t forgot- 3/ "
8 in the router table (Fig. 3). Note:
At this point, the cleats and side ten about the bullnose profile on the To guide the bottom assembly, you
edging can be glued together (Fig. edging. I wanted to wait until there will need to use the router fence.
2). When doing this, keep an eye on was a larger assembly to work with. BOTTOM PANEL & EDGING. To create a
the front corners. The inside points Now the bullnose can be routed eas- “solid” bottom for the books to sit
To spread the of the edging should line up with the ily with a 1/2" round-over bit raised on, I added a 1/4"-plywood bottom
clamping pressure front of the cleat. Also, to get the
along the entire cleats exactly 41/4" apart, I used two 4 BOTTOM PANEL
(!/4" plywood)
length of the bot- spacers. (Note that the edging will D
tom panel, I used stick past the cleat 1/4" in back.)
Panel secured 32"
a couple 2x4s on Now you can miter the front edg- 32"
with two brads
} edge as cauls. ing so it fits between and glue
the side pieces and BOTTOM PANEL
glue it in place, as EDGING
shown in Fig. 2. NOTE: Cauls
used to spread
clamping pressure,
see photo at left


D #/4"
Thickness of
%/8" Bottom !/4" ply.
1!/2" assembly


8 Woodsmith No. 134

Rabbet for
panel (D) that spans across the two 5 plywood back,
cleats (Fig. 4). To keep it from shift- Before adding see detail 'c '
ing when gluing it in place, I put two edging, drill
!/4"-dia. hole
small brads in the back. Then to !/2" deep, see
detail 'b'
spread out the pressure, I used 2x4
cauls, see the photo on page 8. PANEL
NOTE: 14"
To complete the bottom assem- Scrap box used
bly, I glued a thin strip of bottom to position sides
G during assembly,
panel edging (E) to the front of the see Fig. 7 below
bottom panel (Fig. 4b). This strip EDGING
covers the edge of the plywood and
also acts as a door stop later on.
SIDE PANELS . At this point, you can assembly 11!/4"
begin work on the side panels, as NOTE:
shown in Fig. 5. The final size of For shorter case,
cut side panels and
these glued-up panels depends on edging 12" long,
see box on page 10
whether you’re building a case with
a 14" opening (shown here) or the
shorter, 12" version (page 10). a.
The first thing to do is cut a dado END VIEW b. c.
!/4"-deep SIDE END VIEW
to hold a steel pin that will guide and !/2" dado VIEW Aux.
!/4" !/4"
support the doors (Fig. 5a). Then a !/2" fence
hole is drilled near the front edge F !/4" 1!/4"
for a second steel pin (Fig. 5b). (The F
door will rest on this pin when it’s !/4" !/4"-dia.
straight hole, !/2"
slid back into the case.) bit deep %/8"
EDGING . Next, I added pieces of Dado blade

side panel edging (G), as shown in

Fig. 5. This edging isn’t just decora- 6
tive. It also “stops” the dado so the a. Outside
door can’t be pulled out from the #/4"
front. And other than rounding over F VIEW
Aux. fence
its edges, the only thing to do to this G
edging is cut a rabbet so it wraps SIDE PANEL G #/4"
around the outside edge of the side EDGING
panels (Figs. 6 and 6a). Rout !/8"rad.
on corners first !/8"-rad. roundover
After the edging has been glued
to the side panels, the last thing to
do is cut a rabbet for the back panel
that will be added later (Fig. 5c). 7 Bottom
ASSEMBLY. Now the side panels can assembly
be screwed to the bottom assembly.
The plywood bottom helps position
the sides, but to keep the assembly
square, I built a simple box to act as box
a form, see Fig. 7. Side panel Back corners
As you work, there are two things assembly flush, see
to watch out for. First, the back detail 'b'

edges of these pieces should be

flush (Fig. 7b). So to make this easi- a. &/8" SECTION VIEW
er to check (and adjust), I assem-
bled the case upside down (Fig. 7). #8 x 2" Fh b.
woodscrew F
Also, you want the edges of the D B TOP
panels tight against the plywood VIEW
bottom. So after adding screws at box Back corners
the back (to hold it flush) and front, flush
I made sure the joint was tight
before adding the other two screws.

No. 134 Woodsmith 9

#6 x 1" Fh
woodscrew J To relieve top
TOP CLEAT edges, use bull-
nose "setup,"
refer to Fig. 3 d.
8 BACK 33!/4"


33!/4" counter-
!/2" sunk shank J
brad hole
!/4" 4!/4"
(!/4" plywood)
I #/4"
NOTE: Back glued
and nailed to case,
stiffener screwed
only (no glue) 3#/4"
For short case, NOTE: Back
cut flush with Cut rabbet to
see box below
bottom of case leave !/4" x %/8" tongue
on end of stiffener

a. !/8" b. c. SIDE
H H Fh screw 4!/4"
!/8" 1!/4" #/4" top edge

VIEW #6 x 1"
%/16" Fh screws

Case Back & Top Cleat

There’s no top to With the side panels screwed in place, ate a tongue on each end by cutting assembly. The only thing you’ll need
these cases — just the next pieces to work on are the a small rabbet (Fig. 8b). Then before to do to this piece is relieve the top
a simple top cleat back and the cleat on top (Fig. 8). screwing the stiffener in place, cut a edges (Fig. 8c). To do this, I used
that interlocks with CASE BACK . There are actually two small groove along the bottom edge the same setup that was used to rout
the two bottom pieces that make up the back of the to hold the back panel (Fig. 8a). the bullnose profile earlier, refer to
cleats in the case case: a hardwood stiffener and a 1/4"- The 1/4"-plywood back (I) gets a Fig. 3 on page 8.
} section above. plywood panel (Fig. 8). The back small tongue on top that fits into the This cleat needs to be positioned
stiffener (H) is meant to be remov- groove. Then it’s simply glued and so it will interlock with the bottom
able so you can add the door to the nailed in place. (Just be careful not cleats on the other sections. And to
case later. It’s cut to fit between the to get glue on the stiffener.) make its installation easier, I cut a
rabbets in the case sides. To get the TOP CLEAT. The next piece to add is long spacer (33/4" wide) and clamped
stiffener to end up flush with the the top cleat (J). It’s sized to fit it flush with the back of the case
back of the case, you’ll need to cre- between the cleats in the bottom before screwing the cleat in place.


A lot of antique barrister’s bookcases BACK

had two case sizes — the ones at the
top were a little shorter than those 11%/8"

on the bottom. Frankly, I wasn’t too

sure what this would involve. Often a
small change in size can really affect
a lot of dimensions. But not here. To
make a shorter version of the case SIDE
(with a 12" opening), only a few pieces PANEL &
change: the side panels and their edg-
ing, the back, and the door stiles.
Other than that, the procedure and DOOR
dimensions are identical.

10 Woodsmith No. 134

a. 1!/4" c.

13&/8" Edge
!/4" x !/2" relieved
29#/4" rabbet with
NOTE: for glass round- Steel pivot
Door is over pin
#/4" thick 11#/4"
panel Relieve
Glass panel is FRONT VIEW
double strength, (see page 12)
see page 12 DOOR
RAIL %/8"-dia.
(1!/4" wide) brass knob L
DOOR !/16"
(1!/4" wide)

The door on this case isn’t like most Both are cut 1/8" shorter than the extra setup for the tenons, but the
cabinet doors (Fig. 9). To open, it case opening to create a 1/16" gap on door will end up a bit stronger.
swings up and slides into the case. each side of the door (Fig. 9b). TENONS . Even though a tenon jig
So instead of hinges, steel pins guide MORTISES. To cut the bridle joints, I was used for the mortises, you’ll
and support the door. started with the mortises (Fig. 10 find it easier to cut the tenons with
The joinery for this door is also below). These are actually cut with a the rails lying down (Fig. 12). This
unusual. With a fairly narrow frame, tenon jig that holds each stile verti- way, you can sneak up on the final
I made the mortises and tenons as cally as it passes over the blade. (If position of each shoulder. (To test
large as possible for added strength. you need to build a tenon jig, turn to the fit, just set the tenon across the
So they’re cut across the full width page 16.) To center each mortise, I outside face of the stile to see if the
of the pieces, as in Fig. 9a. (This is made two passes across the blade, tenon is the right length.)
called a “bridle joint.”) The nice rotating the stile between each pass. After cutting both cheeks of each
thing is that the joint can be cut (A blade that cuts a flat-bottomed tenon, the door frame can be glued
entirely on the table saw. kerf will give you the cleanest fit.) together. Take it slow here. A bridle
CUT TO SIZE . Another nice thing RABBETS. Before cutting the tenons, joint doesn’t automatically lock into
about the bridle joint is that the I cut a rabbet on all the frame pieces position like a regular mortise and
lengths of the door rails (K) and to hold the glass panel (Fig. 11). tenon, so you’ll want to check that
stiles (L) are easy to figure out. Unfortunately, this will require an the frame ends up square.

10 11 12 Aux.

Tenon jig Aux.
(see page 16) fence NOTE:
Also cut
on rails
L blade Dado
STILE blade

a. a. a. END
END 1!/4"
Jig L VIEW fence !/4"
L 1"
Cut !/4"
1" mortise !/4" K
in two
passes !/2" !/4"
blade Dado

No. 134 Woodsmith 11

Door (continued) 13
Even though you’ve got the door GLASS a.
frame assembled now, there are still M !/8"
a few things to do before it will be Hole drilled
ready to be added to the case. #/4" deep !/2"
!/4" brad
ROUND OVER EDGES. The first thing to (/16"
do is relieve a couple of the door’s !/4"-dia.
SIDE SECTION edges. Otherwise, they’ll “catch” on steel pin SECTION M
NOTE: 1” long VIEW
VIEW the case as the door is opened and See page 17
closed. You want to relieve the out- for a safe method
of making glass stop
side edge at the top of each door
Edges and the inside edge at the bottom,
as in the Side Section View at left. 14
round- To do this, I routed these edges at
over the router table, using the setup that !/4"-dia.
created the bullnose profile (a 1/2"- steel pin
brass knob
1" long
rad. round-over bit raised 3/8").
ADD STEEL PINS . The next task is to NOTE:
Door slides
add the steel pins that guide and in from back
of case
support the door, see Figs. 13 and
14. I bought a 1/4"-dia. steel rod from 6"
a local hardware store and cut it into Bottom edge
1"-long pins with a hack saw. (You’ll of door
need four pins for each case: two for
the door and two for the case.) NOTE: Install door Stiffener
after applying removed
Drilling the holes for the pins in finish
the ends of the doors might seem a pin
bit tricky (Fig. 13). But they’re not
very deep — just 3/4". (I used a piece
of tape as a quick depth stop.) So as glass (about 1/8" thick), and to make page 17.) Then the strips can be
long as you work carefully, there sure the glass fit comfortably, I had mitered to fit into the rabbet.
shouldn’t be any problems. the panels cut 1/8" less than the The glass stop will be nailed into
After the holes have been drilled, opening in both directions. place with small brads, but I waited
the pins can be glued into the door To hold the panels in place, I used to do this until after the bookcase
and case. (I used epoxy to do this.) strips of glass stop (M), as shown in was finished. Then I added the glass
GLASS & GLASS STOP. Now is a good Fig. 13. These are rather small and brass knobs. Finally, to install
time to order the glass panels to fit pieces to work with, but you can the doors, I removed the back stiff-
into the rabbets in the frame (Fig. make them safely and quickly on ener and slid the pins into the
13a). I ordered double-strength the table saw. (For more on this, see dadoes in the case sides (Fig. 14).


A glass door panel is a great way to

protect your books and display items. Solid wood
But not everything needs to be on (!/2" thick)
display. And when that’s the case, you
can substitute an elegant solid wood #/4"
panel instead of the glass.
The nice thing is the door frames
don’t need to be built any differently NOTE: !/8"
To cut raised
than they do when holding glass field, tilt saw
panels. That’s because after the blade 10°
raised field is cut on the front of the
panel, you can cut a rabbet on the { By rabbeting the back of the solid
back to leave a 1/8" “tongue” that fits wood panel, the same glass stop
into the rabbet, see drawing at right. can be used to hold it in place.

12 Woodsmith No. 134

Base 15
With the cases complete, it’s time to
build a base for everything to sit on. P
The base here is like a small table 2#/4"
with four legs and rails, as shown in 33!/4" 8"
Fig. 15. But instead of a table top,
there’s a single cleat that interlocks
with the cleats in the case above it. 1#/4"
4!/4" square
LEGS. The first things I worked on NOTE:
O Base cleat is
were the legs (N). These will end up 9#/8" identical to
case top cleat
13/4" square, so if you can find some N
8/4 stock, you’ll save yourself a little P
time. If not, you’ll want to glue a 3/4"- SIDE 8#/8" Legs glued up
thick piece between two 1/2"-thick RAIL from three pieces
BASE LEG (detail ‘a’) or cut
pieces, as shown in Fig. 15a. (This N from 1#/4"-thick
(8/4) stock LEG
way, you won’t cut through the joint
a. 1#/4" TOP N
lines when tapering the legs later.) VIEW c.
The first thing to do to the legs is b. No
1#/4" N shoulder
cut the open mortises at the top. !/8”
(Note: If the legs were glued up, lay RAIL roundover
3#/4" O P on edges
out the mortises carefully, so the P O 2#/4" 3"
!/8" BACK
joint lines all face the same direc- RAIL !/4”
tion.) I cut them at the router table roundover
#/4" Q !/4"
on end
with a 1/4" straight bit and a stop !/2"
block clamped to the fence, as
shown in Fig. 16. I’d recommend at
least two passes for each mortise, 16 NOTE: Rout mortise
and since they’re not centered,
in multiple passes
you’ll need to reset the fence for the !/4" N !/4"
!/4"-dia. !/4" straight
second mortise (Fig. 16b). straight LEG bit
N !/2" bit
The next thing to do is cut the bit 1"
tapers on the legs (Fig. 17). All four Stop
block N (/16" (/16"
faces are tapered, and to do this
safely on these short pieces, I made
a simple sled with an L-shaped fence
(Fig. 17b). To position the fence
pieces on the jig, I laid out a taper on
one of the leg blanks and set it on RAILS. The legs are connected with The only thing to do to these rails
the base of the jig so the layout line front and back rails (O) and side is to cut tenons to fit the mortises in
was flush with the edge of the base. rails (P). When sizing these pieces, the legs (Fig. 15b). Just keep in
After tapering each leg, the last you want the outside faces of the mind that you don’t need to cut a
thing to do is soften the edges (and legs aligned with the edging on the shoulder on the top of these tenons.
bottom end) with some roundovers, side panels (not the bottom assem- TOP CLEAT. With the tenons cut, the
as indicated in Fig. 15c. bly), as shown in the photo below. legs and rails can be glued together.
Then the last piece to
17 Taper jig,
add is a base top cleat
see detail ‘b’ a. b. 6" (Q). It’s identical to
Waste NOTE: the top cleats on the
Lay out case and is screwed in
taper on
LEG leg and place (Fig. 15a).
N use it to
position 12"
4" fences
The cases are >
VIEW supported by a simple
base, interlocking
!/4" 1!/4" securely with the same
cleat system that “ties”
the cases together.

No. 134 Woodsmith 13

(!/4"ply.) SIDE TOP EDGING
Cap 18 Z
The final section to build is the cap,
as you can see in the photo. The main 33!/4" 11!/4"
purpose of the cap is to give the book-
case a finished look at the
top. But if you’re building a CAP TOP PANEL
shorter version of the book- (32!/2" long)
case (as shown on the cover), Y
then this section also serves 32"
as a shelf to set things on. SIDE
the cap look like an integral V
part of the bookcase, I used CAP T
some of the same components CLEATS
that were used for the other sec- R
tions. So the first thing to do is NOTE:
make a bottom assembly (if you Cap
haven’t built it already). You can assembly
{ To match the cap turn to page 8 for this because the identical to
case bottom
to the case sections construction and the size of the cap assembly
below, the same bottom assembly are identical to the a. FRONT SECTION VIEW
edging is used on case bottom assembly. #/4" b. SIDE SECTION VIEW
W !/4"
its side panels. TOP & SIDE PANELS. Next I worked on
!/4" x !/4" U
the top assembly, starting with a cap !/8" W
tongue Rabbet
top panel (U) and the two cap side 1&/8" Z for back
panels (V), as shown in Fig. 18. The !/2" U cut in
V #8 x 2" brad
Fh screw panel
two side panels are short (17/8" tall) S and sides
versions of the case side panels (F). R Z V
(You’ll even add the same edging in
a minute.) The top panel is slightly
narrower. But all three panels get the size of the remaining tongue pieces. But the edging doesn’t cover
rabbeted to hold a 1/4" plywood until it fits the dadoes (Fig. 18a). just the front of the side panels. It
back, as you can see in Fig. 19. EDGING . Now it’s time to add edg- also wraps around to cover the top
To join the top and side panels, ing to the side panels (Fig. 21). The edge. The side top edging (W) and
the first step is to cut a 1/4" dado profile here is identical to the side side front edging (X) join at the
across the sides, as shown in Fig. panel edging (G) on the cases (Fig. front corner with a miter. But since
20. Then you can cut a rabbet along 18a), so you can refer to page 9 for the top edging runs across the grain
each end of the top, sneaking up on the steps needed to make these of the side panel, I only applied glue

19 20 21 Glue top
edging only
Dado at front
blade X

Aux. CAP PANEL blade
fence U


Cut identical Rabbet
rabbet on back SIDE PANEL
for back
edge of side panel (V)

a. Aux. END a. END VIEW a.

fence !/4" VIEW 1&/8"
#/8" !/4" Edging and
!/8" panel flush
in back
for back,
Dado blade see Fig. 18b
Dado blade

14 Woodsmith No. 134

to the front half so the panel could BACK & FRONT. All that’s left to add cap back (Z) is just as easy as the
expand and contract at the back. to the cap assembly are the front front. It’s sized to fit in the rabbets in
ASSEMBLY. Now that the side panels and back. The 3/4"-thick cap front the back (Fig. 24). Then it’s simply
are complete, the top panel can be (Y) piece is cut to fit between the glued and nailed in place.
glued between the two side panels. two sides (Fig. 23). Its top is flush FINISH. Before applying a few light
(Their back edges should be flush.) with the top panel, and before glu- coats of varnish, I mixed up a stain
Then this cap assembly can be cen- ing it in place, I softened the top to give the mahogany a deeper red-
tered over the bottom assembly and front edge with a 1/8" roundover. dish color. For more on the stain
screwed down, as shown in Fig. 22. The last piece, the 1/4" plywood recipe I used, see page 35. W

22 23 Front cut to 24
fit between
Cap cap sides
assembly !/2"
brad Cap

assembly CAP BACK
#8 x 2" CAP FRONT
Fh screw Y


A Bottom Cleats (2) #/4 x 3!/2 - 33#/4 N Base Legs (4) 1#/4 x 1#/4 - 8 • (8) #8 x 2" Fh Woodscrews
B Btm. Side Edging (2) #/4 x %/8 - 12!/8 O Base Front/Back Rails (2)#/4 x 3 - 31!/2 • (4) !/4"-dia. Steel Pins (1" Long)
C Btm. Front Edging (1) #/4 x %/8 - 34!/2 P Base Side Rails (2) #/4 x 3 - 9#/8 • (6) #6 x 1" Fh Woodscrews
D Bottom Panel (1) !/4 ply. - 9#/4 x 32 Q Base Top Cleat (1) #/4 x 4!/4 - 33!/4 • (1 pkg.) 18-Gauge Brads (!/2" Long)
E Btm. Panel Edging (1) !/4 x #/4 - 32 R Cap Bottom Cleats (2)#/4 x 3!/2 - 33#/4 • (2) %/8"-dia. Brass Knobs w/Screws
F Case Side Panels (2)* #/4 x 11!/4 - 14 S Side Btm. Edging (2) #/4 x %/8 - 12!/8
G Side Panel Edging (2)* #/4 x 1 - 14 T Front Btm. Edging (1) #/4 x %/8 - 34!/2 BASE & CAP SUPPLIES
H Back Stiffener (1) #/4 x 1!/4 - 33!/4 U Cap Top Panel (1) #/4 x 10#/4 - 32!/2 • (4) #6 x 1" Fh Woodscrews
I Back (1)* !/4 ply. - 13%/8 x 33!/4 V Cap Side Panels (2) #/4 x 11!/4 - 1&/8 • (8) #8 x 2" Fh Woodscrews
J Top Cleat (1) #/4 x 4!/4 - 33!/4 W Side Top Edging (2) #/4 x 1 - 11&/8 • (1 pkg.) 18-Gauge Brads (!/2" Long)
K Door Rails (2) #/4 x 1!/4 - 31&/8 X Side Front Edging (2) #/4 x 1 - 2!/2
L Door Stiles (2)* #/4 x 1!/4 - 13&/8 Y Cap Front (1) #/4 x 2 - 32 * For short case, dimensions will be
M Glass Stop (1) !/4 x #/8 - 84 rgh. Z Cap Back (1) !/4 ply. - 2#/8 x 33!/4 slightly different, see box on page 10

#/4" x 6" - 96" African Mahogany (4 Bd. Ft.) Solid wood

required for
A K tall case

#/4" x 6" - 96" African Mahogany (4 Bd. Ft.)


Solid wood #/4" x 6!/2" - 96" African Mahogany (4.3 Bd. Ft.)
required for
base and cap O P N N

#/4" x 6!/2" - 96" African Mahogany (4.3 Bd. Ft.)


#/4" x 6" - 72" African Mahogany (3 Bd. Ft.)
One 24" x 48" piece
U U of !/4" plywood for
each large case

No. 134 Woodsmith 15


Tenon Jig for Mortises
The doors on the barrister’s two face pieces out of 3/4"
bookcase on page 6 are MDF. (Mine were 8" tall
held together with a bridle and 12" long.)
joint. This is just another Next, a couple of 1/4"-
name for a mor tise and deep dadoes are cut on
tenon joint where the mor- the inside face of each
tise is cut right through the piece, as shown in detail
end of the stile. ‘a.’ These are sized to hold
It may seem odd, but an the MDF crosspieces
easy way to cut this type of added later. Just be sure to
mortise is with a tenon jig position the bottom dado
on the table saw. Instead so the crosspiece will
of cutting away the out- clear the top of the rip
side faces of the work- fence (and any exposed { A shop-made tenoning jig that slides along the rip fence
piece to leave a tenon, you bolt heads on the fence, can also be used to cut open mortises, like those on the
cut away the middle to see detail ‘a’ and photo.) doors of the barrister’s bookcase.
leave an open mortise I also cut one more
(see photo). dado for the vertical stop. crosspieces, like you see screwed together. I also
Take a look at the draw- Since this stop will get in the drawing and detail waxed the inside faces of
ing below, and you’ll see chewed up with repeated ‘a.’ These are sized so the the jig so it would slide
that the jig is just a tall car- passes over the blade, the faces fit just snug against easily along the rip fence.
riage that straddles the rip dado allows you to replace the rip fence. The goal VERTICAL STOP . Finally, a
fence. And to keep the the vertical stop in the cor- here is to allow the tenon vertical stop is cut to fit
workpiece 90°to the table, rect position easily. jig to slide easily — but the dado and screwed in
there’s a vertical hard- CROSSPIECES . With the without any “slop.” place. To avoid damaging
wood stop that backs it up. two face pieces com- When the cross- the blade, place the bot-
FACE PIECES. To make this plete, they’re connect- pieces are cut to final tom screw above the high-
jig, I started by cutting ed with a couple of size, the jig can be est blade setting. W

NOTE: All dadoes Crosspiece
!/4" deep 12"
END stop
Vertical SECTION
stop VIEW
Crosspiece 1"


8" !/4"
!/2" #8 x 1!/4" Fh

Position Rip
1" screw above fence
highest saw
#/4" x !/4" blade setting
NOTE: dado
Position bottom
Rip crosspiece to
clear rip fence

16 Woodsmith No. 134

Adding Rubber Feet
The bun feet used on the There’s a simple solu-
spice cabinet on page 18 are tion that secures the
nothing more than wood wheel on the drill press so
wheels used for toys. the axle hole is centered
ENLARGE HUB. The wheels directly under the center
look good, but they’re a bit of the drill bit.
slippery on a counter top. This is done using a
To keep the cabinet from short length of dowel that { These bun feet are just wood toy wheels.
sliding around every time fits in both the axle hole of Adding rubber bumpers gives the feet “grip.”
a door is opened, I added the wheel and a piece of
a rubber bumper to the scrap secured to the drill As you can see in Fig. 2, pressed into place. Then
bottom face of each wheel. press table. This can be a wood handscrew keeps the feet are screwed to the
To do this, a shallow seen in Fig. 1. the wheel from spinning bottom of the spice cabi-
counterbore is drilled into Note: The drill bit for while the counterbore is net, flush with the outside
the wheel, centered on the dowel must match the being drilled. edges of the bead mold-
the axle hole. But center- diameter of the axle hole, ATTACH WHEEL . After the ing, as shown in Fig. 3.
ing a counterbore on an and the bit for the counter- counterbores have been For sources of rubber
existing hole is hard to do bore must match the drilled in the wheels, the bumpers and toy wheels,
without some help. diameter of the bumper. rubber bumpers can be refer to page 35. W

1 2 3
in hole
Wood #/4"-dia. Wheel
toy rubber
wheel Handscrew bumper
prevents wheel from #6 x 1!/4" Rh
spinning woodscrew

a. Drill counterbore
to match Wheel flush with a.
Scrap diameter
wood Wheel bead molding
of rubber
Drill hole to match bumper Rubber
diameter of axle bumper
hole in wheel Dowel #/4"-dia.
Forstner bit

Glass Stops
Two projects in this issue 45"-long blank. This blank Finally, raise the blade
require thin, narrow strips is ripped 13/4" wide. Then and cut off two glass stops
in their doors — the glass all four edges are rounded on the “waste” side of the
stop in the barrister’s book- over (Fig. 1). blade (Fig. 3). Then move Unlike the glass stop, the retainer strips
case (page 6) and the Next, a groove is cut on the fence and cut off the for the spice cabinet fit into grooves. So
retainer strips in the spice each edge, as shown in other two strips. to sneak up on the thickness, the blade
rack (page 22). Here’s how Fig. 2. To do this, set the As shown in the box at starts near the center of the piece. After
to cut small strips safely. rip fence 1/4" from the saw right, a similar technique making a pass on each face, just nudge
For the barrister’s blade and then make two is used to make the spice the rip fence away from the blade.
bookcase, I started with a passes on each edge. cabinet retainer strips. W

2 !/4" 3 Use push
stick when
strips from
1#/4" NOTE: blank
Make two #/8"
passes on
Blank #/4" each edge Glass
for stops stop

bit Raise
blade #/8"

No. 134 Woodsmith 17


Whether you happen to be a beginner or a seasoned woodworker,
building this small project will be anything but bland.

N early everyone’s reaction to this proj-

ect has been the same — “It looks
like a miniature armoire.” And while I
couldn’t quite bring myself to call this a
“spice armoire,” it wouldn’t have been
too much of a stretch. After all, even
though this project is small enough to
set on top of a kitchen counter, it’s full of
some of the same design details (and
woodworking techniques) that you might
find on a much larger project.
A good example of this is the arched
rail on each door. This feature would
look right at home on an armoire. Only
with a project this size, your job is a lot
easier. You won’t have to cut curved
panels to match the rails. The pieces
are small enough so everything
(except the rail) can be left square.
But my favorite detail is a practical
one. The doors on this case aren’t your
typical frame and panel doors. As you
can see in the photo below, the front
half of the case is attached to them so
they can hold small spice containers.
This means no more hunting for the
one spice you need. All the containers
are right out front in plain view.

This isn’t your typical case >

design. The front half of
the case is attached to the
doors so every container
gets a “front row seat.”

18 Woodsmith No. 134

14&/8”H x 13#/4”W x 6”D
Top cove
has !/2"-rad. NOTE:
cove profile Figured veneer can be
added to door panels,
see box on page 23
Top bead
has #/16"-rad. Retainer strips
roundover keep spices from
falling out as Wide top rail
door is opened has deep groove
so door panel can
remain square

Like case top and bottom,

shelf joins to sides with
tongue and dado joinery
Brass #/4"-dia.
hook brass knob

brass hinge

Small case sized sources are
to match door listed on
page 35

Base bead and 2!/4"-dia.

cove molding wood toy
wheel !/2"-thick
have same door frame
NOTE: All plywood profiles as #/4"-dia.
rubber Door case joined with
panels are !/8" thick, molding at construction stub tenon
door panels must top of case bumper
similar to and groove
have two good faces #6 x 1!/4" Rh main case
woodscrew joinery


A Sides (2) #/8 x 2!/2 - 11&/8 #/4"x 7!/2"- 96" Cherry (5 Bd. Ft.)
B Top/Bottom (2) #/8 x 2!/2 - 11%/8 F G E H A B
C Shelf (1) #/8 x 2!/8 - 11%/8
D Back (1) !/8 ply. - 11!/2 x 11%/8 O
E Top Cove (1) #/4 x 5&/8 - 13!/2 #/4"x 5!/2"- 96" Cherry (3.7 Bd. Ft.)
F Base Cove (1) #/4 x 5#/4 - 13!/4 M M N N N N L L K J J

G Top Bead (1) #/8 x 5#/8 - 12!/2

H Base Bead (1) #/8 x 6 - 13#/4
I Door Panels (2) !/8 ply. - 4!/4 x 9&/8 SUPPLIES
J Door Stiles (4) !/2 x 1!/4 - 11#/4
K Door Lwr. Rails (2) !/2 x 1!/4 - 4!/4 • (4) #/4" x 2!/4" Wood Wheels • (2 pr.) 1!/2" x &/8" Brass Hinges w/Screws
L Door Upr. Rails (2) !/2 x 2#/4 - 4!/4 • (4) #6 x 1!/4" Rh Woodscrews • (2) #/4" x #/4" Brass Knobs w/Screws
M Door Case Sides (4) #/8 x 2!/8 - 11#/4 • (4) #/4"-dia. Rubber Bumpers • (1) Brass Hook w/#4 x #/8" Rh Woodscrews
N Door Case Dividers (8) #/8 x 2!/8 - 5%/8
O Retainer Strips (6) !/8 x %/8 - 5!/4 ALSO NEEDED: One 12"x 24" piece of !/8" plywood

No. 134 Woodsmith 19

Case 1
The odd thing about this case is that CASE TOP
it gets built in two halves. You’re going A

to work on only the back half #/8"

#/8" for now (Fig. 1). The front half
will be assembled and attached
to the doors later (page 24). 11%/8"
This case is simple enough. (!/8" plywood)
#/16" !/4"
All the pieces are cut from 11!/2"
5#/4" 3/ "-thick stock (with a 1/ " ply- SHELF #/8"
8 8 C
wood back) and are joined
with tongues and dadoes.
CUT TO SIZE . After planing 11&/8"
some stock to 3/8" thick, you See margin
for location CASE
can begin cutting the pieces of dadoes Waste to SIDE
#/8" to size, as shown in Fig. 1. be trimmed A
from middle
The case sides (A) are identi- shelf, see
detail 'b' 2!/2"
cal, but I also cut the top/bot- 2!/2"
tom (B) and shelf (C) all the same NOTE:
Grooves for
too. The shelf will end up a little nar- back cut on
top, bottom,
rower later on, but this way, you’ll be and sides only
able to sneak up on its final fit. NOTE: B
Case built with
DADOES & TONGUES . When joining #/8"-thick stock, BOTTOM
#/16" back is !/8"plywood
pieces with tongues and dadoes, I
generally cut the dadoes first. It’s a
lot easier to sneak up on the final a. b. BACK
!/8" D
size of a tongue than it is to sneak up plywood
!/8" on the size of a dado. Mark shelf
and trim
To keep the dadoes in the sides as flush before
final assembly
simple as possible, they’re only 1/8" !/4"
wide. (See the margin drawing at
left.) This way, they can be cut in a SHELF
single pass with a regular blade, as Grooves for
shown in Fig. 2. To back up these plywood back
are #/16" deep
pieces, I added an auxiliary fence to
my miter gauge and also used the
rip fence as a stop. (You’re not cut- blade and burying it in an auxiliary grooves are cut on the case sides,
ting all the way through the pieces, fence. Sneak up on the final depth of top, and bottom but not the shelf.
so you don’t have to worry about a the rabbet until the tongue that’s left To determine the size of the back
waste piece kicking back.) fits the dado perfectly. (D), it’s best to dry assemble the
With the dadoes cut in the case BACK. The other piece to take care case and measure the opening.
sides, the next step is to cut a rabbet of is the 1/8" plywood back. The first (Remember to allow for the
that will leave a 1/8" tongue (Fig. 3). thing to do is cut some grooves to grooves.) But I should mention
This means getting out your dado hold the panel (Fig. 1a). These something about the plywood you’ll

2 Auxiliary
3 Auxiliary
fence a. a.
Aux. END
#/8" fence VIEW

!/8" Auxiliary Auxiliary #/16"

fence fence !/8"


A Dado
Dado blade
CASE blade

20 Woodsmith No. 134

need for this project. Later, the door 4 13!/2" a.
panels will need 1/8" plywood with
two good faces, and you can use this
for the back as well. (If you can’t find
plywood with two good faces, these Brads SIDE
#/8" 12!/2" VIEW
small panels are very simple to 5#/8"
veneer, but I’ll get into that more G
when it’s time to build the doors.) TOP
TRIM SHELF. After the case back has
been cut to fit into the grooves, the Case assembly NOTE:
Front "half" of
last thing to do is trim the shelf to case is added
to doors,
width (Fig. 1b). All you need to do is SHOP TIP: see page 24.
rip one edge so the piece will fit into Brads with heads
snipped off used
the case flush with the front edges. to hold pieces
in position
ASSEMBLE CASE. Now the case can be during assembly
glued up. This is pretty straight-
forward. There are only six pieces
to work with, and the back helps BASE
COVE Case and
keep the assembly square. molding
F flush in
MOLDING. While the glue is drying,
you can work on the molding for the
top and bottom of the case, as #/4"
shown in Fig. 4. There are two kinds Brads
of molding: 3/4"-thick cove molding
and 3/8"-thick bead molding.
I started with the top cove (E)
#/8" 5#/4"
and base cove (F). These pieces can b. NOTE:
FRONT VIEW For more on
be cut to finished size right away. 13#/4"
(The top cove is slightly larger.) 6" wheel,
see page 17
Then a 1/2"-rad. cove profile can be #/4"-dia. Wheel flush with
rubber H bead molding
routed on the ends and front edges 2!/4"-dia. bumper
wood BASE
of these pieces (Fig. 5). wheel #6 x 1!/4" BEAD
The top bead (G) and base bead Rh woodscrew
(H) are thinner than the cove mold- bumper
ing pieces, but the procedure is the edges flush and the pieces centered
same. After cutting them to finished side-to-side, I pressed them togeth-
size, the profile is routed. This time er so the brads would “bite” into the These bun-style feet are just wood
with a round-over bit (Fig. 6). wood. This way, when you’ve added wheels for toys. And to give them
ATTACH MOLDING . For both the top the glue, the pieces won’t shift more traction, I added a rubber
and the base, gluing the two layers under the pressure of the clamps. bumper to the bottom of each. This
of molding together and then to the When both the top and base required an extra counterbore, and
case is the same. First I added small moldings have been glued to the working with round parts required
brads and then snipped off their case, the last thing to do is add the some creative solutions, all of which
heads (Fig. 4). Now with their back feet at the bottom (Figs. 4 and 4b). are covered in detail on page 17.

5 Backing
NOTE: Rout ends
Rout ends first


!/2" F

!/2" E F #/16" G H
cove bit COVE round- over #/16"
!/2" BEAD round-over
cove bit bit

No. 134 Woodsmith 21

Doors 7 4!/4"
With the case done (or at least half NOTE:
Doors are !/2" thick,
done), I began work on the doors, as panel is !/8" plywood
shown in the photo at left. These are
frame and panel doors joined with 1!/4" 2#/4"
grooves and stub tenons. But there
are a couple of unusual things about L UPPER
them. For one thing, the upper rail on RAIL

each door is arched (which helps the

small cabinet to look much less 4!/4"
“boxy”). Plus, after the front half of Case
the case has been built, it will be glued added
to door
to the back of these doors. 11#/4" later,
J see
DOOR PANELS . To get started, the 9&/8" page
first thing I did was to get the door I
panels (I) cut to rough size. (Note DOOR
that all the dimensions in Fig. 7 are
finished sizes.) You need to have a
rough panel on hand now because
the joinery for the door frames is
based on the thickness of this panel.
As I mentioned earlier, the panel
here needs to have two good faces
{ The arched because you’ll see the inside face J
profiles on the when the doors are opened. I was !/2" STILE NOTE:
upper rails may able to find 1/8" plywood with two K LOWER RAIL
For veneered panel,
see box below right
attract a lot of good faces. But you can also apply
attention, but veneer to one face of a regular ply- NOTE:
the joinery is just wood panel (or both faces of a piece !/16" gap Door sized to
gap allow !/16" gap
basic stub tenon of 1/8" hardboard). You can even at top and bottom
and groove “dress up” the doors with a figured
construction. veneer, as shown in the box at right.
DOOR FRAMES . With the panels on VIEW
Doors sanded to
hand, work can begin on the door create !/16" gap
after case is added
frames. The first thing to do is figure
out just how big to cut these pieces.
Since I wanted 1/16" gaps at the top To make the door frames, you’ll panels. But they should also be cen-
and bottom of the doors, I simply need some 1/2"-thick stock (Fig. 7). tered perfectly — it’ll make the
measured the case opening and sub- The stiles (J) and lower rails (K) are tenons that much easier to cut. So if
tracted 1/8" (Fig. 7a). But the 1/16" gap all ripped 11/4" wide, but the upper your panel is exactly 1/8" thick, you’ll
between the doors is a little trickier. rails (L) are quite a bit wider (23/4") have to cut the grooves in one pass.
To keep the numbers easy, I sized because of the arch at the top. On the other hand, if the panel ends
the doors to fit without a gap. Then GROOVES . With the pieces cut to up slightly thicker than 1/8", then you
later, the edges of the doors (and size, it’s time to work on the grooves can center the groove automatically
cases) will be sanded (or planed) to and stub tenons. I started with the by cutting it in two passes, flipping
match the gap at the top and bottom. grooves, sizing them to hold the door the piece between passes.

8 Push
9 Aux.
a. END
b. END NOTE: Cut fence
VIEW identical tenons
L on lower
rails Aux.
J K Aux. fence K L
Zero- fence UPPER
insert 1&/8" RAIL #/8"

Groove NOTE: #/8"
centered on Lower blade Dado
stock for lower rails blade
and stiles see
detail 'b'

22 Woodsmith No. 134

I cut the groove in each upper rail 10 FULL SIZE
first (Figs. 8 and 8a). Because of the NOTE: HALF PATTERN
Photocopy (For upper rails)
arches that will be cut later, these or trace
pattern at
grooves are extra deep (17/8") so you right
don’t have to cut an arched panel. !/4"grid
This way, the panel’s square upper
corners will fit up into the extra-
deep grooves, as illustrated in Fig. 7. 1!/2"
After the grooves are cut in the line
upper rails, you can lower the blade
and cut 3/8"-deep grooves in the Carpet tape
stiles and lower rails (Fig. 8b). upper rails
STUB TENONS. All that’s left now is to 1#/4"
cut stub tenons on the upper and
lower rails to fit the grooves in the
stiles. I decided to cut each tenon 11 12
cheek in a single pass, using my
dado blade buried in an auxiliary rip Waste Sand to
layout line
fence, as shown in Fig. 9. To sup-
port these short rail pieces, you’ll
also want to attach an auxiliary
fence to your miter gauge.
Band saw to
ARCH . The stiles and lower rails "waste" side
of line 2"-dia.
can be set aside for now so you can drum sander
cut the arches in the upper rails. I
used the half-pattern shown above
right. (It’s full-size so you can simply Creating the arch is a two-step DOOR PANELS & ASSEMBLY . Now that
trace it or photocopy it at 100%.) To process. First, the curve needs to be the frame pieces are complete, they
make sure the shape of both rails roughed out at the bandsaw, as in can be dry assembled. This way,
ended up identical, I carpet taped Fig. 11. In other words, don’t try to you can cut the plywood door panels
them together, as shown in Fig. 10. cut right to the line. That’s because (I) to fit in their grooves (Fig. 7).
Then I drew the curve, working the second step is to sand up to this Then the door panels and frames
from the centerline out to the edge. line using a drum sander (Fig. 12). can be glued together.


As elegant as this project to get flat. Not to worry. out where you want to are small enough that
is, it can be “dressed up” You can find exotic veneer position the veneer, you you could easily use yel-
even more by adding a fig- that has already been flat- can glue it to the door low glue or hide glue.
ured veneer to the door tened and glued to a thin panel. I typically use con- When the glue has
panels. Figured veneers backer. (For sources, see tact cement for this, dried, all that’s left is to
are readily available, but page 35.) This means using waxed paper to trim it to size. I like to
the irregular grain also there’s no prep work — prevent the pieces from use a sharp knife for this.
makes them more prone the veneer is ready to be sticking together prema- Start with a couple light
to wrinkling and splitting attached to the panel. turely, as shown in Fig. 1 scoring passes, then cut
and can take a lot of work After you’ve figured below. But these panels the excess veneer away.

1 2 Don’t think >

veneer-side veneer, like this
down to mahogany crotch,
trim edges
Waxed is just for the
“experts” — it
doesn’t have to
Veneer NOTE: Keep
Remove waxed
side of blade be that difficult.
paper while
!/8" plywood rolling down veneer tight to edge
(good face down) of substrate

No. 134 Woodsmith 23

NOTE: Case pieces CASE
are cut to fit DIVIDER
back of door 2!/8"

11#/4" N
M #/8"#/8"


2!/8" N


M %/8" 3&/16"
NOTE: Door case O
is #/8" thick.
Retainer strips N
are !/8" thick.
13 Retainer strip
cut to fit kerf

Door Case
Even though the doors are assem- (M) are cut to length to match the the tongues, as shown in Fig. 15.
bled, they’re not quite ready to be height of the doors. The four case Later, these grooves will hold retain-
attached to the case. That’s because dividers (N) that form the top, bot- er strips that will keep the spices
the second (front) half of the case tom, and shelves of the case equal from falling out of the door case.
needs to be built and then glued to the the width of the doors, minus 3/8" DOOR CASE ASSEMBLY . The two door
doors, as shown in Fig. 13. for the dado and tongue joinery. cases are ready to be assembled at
The procedures you’ll use here DADOES & TONGUES . The joinery on this point. The important thing is not
are much the same as the ones used the door cases is identical to the that each case is square so much as
to make the case earlier. But this case you built earlier. The first thing it matches the door it will be glued
time, you’ll be building two small to do is cut four 1/8"-wide dadoes on to. So when clamping up the pieces,
sections (instead of one), and they’ll the case sides (Fig. 14). Then to I set the door on the assembly to see
need to be sized to match the doors. make the 1/8" tongues that fit into how closely they matched. You’d be
Plus, since these cases are designed the dadoes, a rabbet is cut on the surprised how much difference just
to hold smaller spice containers, ends of the dividers (Fig. 13a). repositioning a clamp or two can
there’s an extra shelf in each. GROOVES FOR RETAINERS. Before glu- make to the final shape of the case.
CUT TO SIZE. Like the case in back, ing the case together, you’ll want to Now the assembled cases can be
the door case is built from 3/8"-thick grab three of the dividers and cut a glued to the doors, as shown in Fig.
stock (Fig. 13). The door case sides 1/ " x 1/ " groove in the same face as 16. (Keep in mind that the grooves
8 8

14 Aux.
fence 15 Groove for
a. strip a.
Aux. !/8" x !/8"
fence groove

on ends of case sides
SECOND: Reset rip fence and NOTE: Cut grooves
cut dadoes on inside in three dividers only

24 Woodsmith No. 134

for the retainer strips should end up 16 Assembled
door case NOTE:
on the inside of the cabinet, not next
strips cut to
to the door.) The trick here is keep- fit between
ing the edges aligned as the clamps case sides

are applied. The solution is the Brads for

same one you used to attach the positioning
molding pieces earlier — wire brads
with their heads snipped off. { The thin retainer strips can be
However, when applying the glue, RETAINER made safely and easily on the table
be careful not to overdo it. Any glue O saw. Turn to page 17 for more.
squeeze-out on the inside of the
case will be hard to get at. a.
FIT DOORS. You may find you need
to do a little sanding to get the edges
of the case and door flush. Plus, the
inside edges of the doors need to be RETAINER
sanded to create the 1/16" gap STRIP
(!/8" x %/8")
between them. (To help keep these
edges flat while sanding, lay a strip NOTE:
of adhesive-backed sandpaper down After assembly,
sand inside edges to
on your table saw.) create !/16" gap between
doors, see Fig.18
RETAINER STRIPS . Now the case is
ready for some retainer strips (O).
These strips are cut to fit into the 17
grooves in the case, but you don’t a. END VIEW
b. Mortise
slightly less
need a thickness planer to get them than full
down to 1/8" thick. It’s actually a lot Mortise thickness
for hinge of hinge
quicker to cut them with the table 1"
saw, as you can see above in the
Hinges mortised
into door W3425d02
case only 1!/2"
right margin. (Turn to page 17 for
more on this procedure.) VIEW
Waste Hinge
MOUNT DOORS . After the retainer Dado
strips have been glued into their
grooves, the doors are ready to be
mounted to the case, as shown in 18 NOTE: Hook lines up with
Fig. 18. The first step to doing this is upper rails, see detail 'a'
to cut the mortises for the hinges. Brass
I kept things easy and mortised
the hinges in the door cases only
(Fig. 17b). This means there’s just
one mortise to cut for each hinge. Align #4 x #/8"
(It’s cut just short of the full depth of hook with Rh screws
the hinge barrel, Fig. 17b.) Another
benefit to this is that the mortise can Brass
be cut on the table saw, as shown in hook b. SIDE SECTION VIEW
Fig. 17. But make sure you don’t screws
push the case all the way through
the blade. You only want to cut the
mortises on the outside edge.
8-32 x #/4"
Before you install the doors, it’s a #/4"-dia.
#/4" x #/4" machine
brass screw
good idea to apply a finish. (I added knob brass knob
a few coats of a wipe-on finish.)
Then the doors can be hung, and the
knobs added to the inside rails, as
shown in Figs. 18 and 18b. Finally,
to hold the doors closed, I installed a 1!/2" x &/8"
brass hinge
simple brass hook, aligning it with Doors sanded
the upper rails (Fig. 18a). W to create !/16" gap

No. 134 Woodsmith 25



When you find a glue that works, you stick with it.
But are you using the best glue for each job?

S tanding in front of a shelf at the

woodworking store, I counted
twelve different kinds of glues. It
made me think back to when I started
woodworking and there were about
three choices for assembling a joint:
FREE hide glue, yellow glue, or a couple of
Glue Chart nails. So does anyone really need all
If you have a these different adhesives?
hard time getting Just like you choose the right
all this informa- wood for a project, you also should
tion to stick, you pick a glue that fits the needs of the
can download a joint. On some jobs you need a glue
handy reference that dries within seconds. The next
chart from our time, you may need 10 minutes to
web site. Turn to get the parts assembled. Some
page 35 to find
joints have to resist the weather.
out more.
There are even joints you may want
to take apart later. No one glue does
it all, so knowing the strengths and
characteristics of each type will help
you choose the right glue.

Yellow & White Glues

Probably the most familiar glue to white glue, by their chemical name — grade is suitable for most outdoor
For maximum woodworkers, and certainly the one polyvinyl acetate or PVA.) projects and is labeled as a Type II
bonding strength, I reach for most often, is yellow glue. PVA glues are water-based. They adhesive. (On page 28, there’s more
white and yellow It’s inexpensive, easy to use and clean form a bond when the water in them about other types of outdoor glues.)
glues should be up, and forms a strong bond. (If you is released into the air and into the NO-DRIP . I recently tried a yellow
applied with want to impress your friends, you can workpieces. It also means that any glue that’s thicker so it won’t run or
} clamping pressure. refer to yellow glue and its cousin, squeeze-out or spills can be cleaned drip as easily as regular glue (see
up with water before it hardens. the photo at the top of the next
(However, I usually wait about 15 page). It’s called molding glue, and
minutes until the glue skins over it sets up faster than regular glue.
and then remove it with a chisel.) Put some on the vertical cheek of a
Since yellow and white glues are tenon, and it won’t run off before
water-based, don’t let them freeze, you can get it into the mortise.
or the glue will be ruined. WHITE GLUE. Yellow glues are just a
INDOOR & OUTDOOR. The regular yel- higher grade of the white glue you
low glue I use on almost all my fur- find in the school supplies section of
niture projects is meant only for use many stores. And believe it or not,
indoors. If a joint gets wet or is white glue can be useful in the shop.
exposed to extremes in tempera- On occasion, I’ll use white glue
ture, the bond will weaken. because it gives me a longer open
However, there is a type of yellow time. That means you have more
glue that’s water-resistant. This time to assemble pieces before the

26 Woodsmith No. 134

glue starts to set. It’s also thinner Hide Glue
than yellow glue, so it will flow into Ever wish you could take a joint apart LIQUID. While hot hide glue has its
hard-to-reach crevices. after the glue had cured? With hide place, I don’t like to deal with the
White glue isn’t quite as strong as glue, you can. Even though the glue “cooking” or the messy glue pot.
yellow glue, but it’s perfect for joints cures to a very strong bond, some Instead, I use ready-mixed liquid
where you need a bit of flexibility steam directed onto a joint will usually hide glue, like you see in the mar-
after the glue dries. That’s why it’s a soften the glue enough to allow you gin. It contains the same ingredients
good choice for fastening slats to a to take the pieces apart. as hot hide glue, but it doesn’t need
canvas backing to make tambours. HOT HIDE GLUE. Using traditional hot to be heated. An additive keeps the
hide glue can be a bit messy. First, glue liquid inside its sealed bottle.
the dry grains of glue need to be dis- The additive also gives liquid hide
solved in water. Then the mixture glue a longer open time. So, while
has to be heated to about 160° in a one of the key characteristics of hot
thermostatically-controlled glue pot hide glue is its quick cure time (it
or some other device. Heat keeps becomes tacky in less than a
the glue in this liquid form. minute), I choose liquid hide glue
A unique property of hot hide for its slow cure time. During { Liquid hide glue
glue is that it will dissolve old hide assembly, liquid hide glue lets me doesn’t require
glue in a joint. Then the new and old adjust parts and clamps for up to 10 mixing or heating
{ Molding glue is a thicker type of glues bond together. This makes it minutes before the glue starts to in a glue pot. It’s
yellow glue. It won’t drip or run perfect for restoring old furniture “grab.” With the slower cure rate, ready to use right
before you assemble the parts. that was assembled with hide glue. clamping times are several hours. out of the bottle.


Imagine tr ying to TWO TYPES. There are two types of con- bond. So when applying a finish to a
clamp a tact cement: solvent-based and water- veneer, I start with thinned, light coats.
piece of lam- based. They’re both applied the same CAUTIONS. Most contact cements contain
inate across a way. Use a metal spreader, a stiff-bristled vapors that are hazardous to your health,
large panel while the laminate slides brush, or a roller to coat both surfaces to and some are very flammable. To pro-
around on a slippery pool of liquid glue. be joined, as shown in the photo at left. tect my lungs, I wear a respirator
With contact cement, there is no such When working with them, the biggest designed for paint mist or organic
problem. The instant bond created by con- difference between the two types of con- vapors. I even work outdoors, if possible,
tact cement means the laminate stays tact cements is the cure time. Solvent- so there is plenty of ventilation. And
where it’s put as soon as it touches the based cements are ready to be joined make sure no open flames are nearby
substrate. No clamping is needed. Just much sooner than water-based cements. (like a gas water heater or a furnace).
some firm pressure over the surface from (The wait is about 10 to 15 minutes with The vapors are heavier than air, and they
a rubber roller to strengthen the bond. solvent-based cements and up to an hour can travel down air vents and stairways
with water-based.) and collect in lower portions of the
With either type, the “finger test” will house where they might ignite.
let you know when the cement is ready.
When you press your finger on the
cement, it will feel tacky, but won’t stick
to your finger. At that point, the pieces
are ready to be pressed together.
HEAT-RESISTANT. Contact cement has a
higher resistance to heat than yellow or
white glue, so it’s a perfect choice for
sticking plastic laminate on table tops
that might have hot dishes set on them.
On the other hand, if you use contact
{ The key to a successful contact cement cement to fasten veneer to a substrate,
joint is to apply multiple coats to each keep in mind that it has a lower resist-
surface until it remains evenly “shiny.” ance to water and solvents than yellow { Soap and water cleanup of your tools
Dull spots mean that the cement has glue. A heavy coat of finish could soak and hands is one of the benefits of using
soaked in and will not adhere properly. through the veneer and weaken the a water-based contact cement.

No. 134 Woodsmith 27

Outdoor Glues
Projects that will spend time outdoors
need an adhesive that can stand up to
water and weather. There are several
glues that fit the bill.

One of the newest types of adhesives
is polyurethane (or “poly”) glue, intro-
duced in the U.S. in the mid-1990s.
FOAMING. An odd characteristic of
poly glue is the foam that results as it
cures (see photo below). Like rising { With polyurethane glue, lightly mist one workpiece with water, then spread
bread, this is due to a chemical reac- the glue thinly on the mating piece. The water helps the glue cure.
tion that releases carbon dioxide.
This foam is sometimes mistaken is that they cure by reacting with RESORCINOL
for the gap-filling quality the glues moisture. So instead of just squeez- For a completely waterproof bond,
advertise. But don’t let the foam fool ing the glue on and clamping the resorcinol is the glue to use. Even
you. It will fill a gap, but there is little pieces, I’ll spray a light mist of water immersed in water for extended peri-
strength in the bubbled glue. The onto one of the surfaces to be ods, the glue won’t dissolve.
real gap-filling ability is in the glue joined, then apply the glue to the Resorcinol is a two-part adhesive
that doesn’t foam. And even then, mating piece, as shown in the photo that needs to be mixed before use. It
the glue only supplies strength above. Poly glue will also react with can irritate your eyes, nose, and
across gaps of 1/16" or less. the moisture in your skin and will skin, so wear a respirator (not just a
JUST ADD WATER. Something else stick like, well — glue. So it’s best to dust mask), gloves, and goggles.
that makes poly glues a bit different wear gloves when applying it. Once it’s mixed, you’ll have an open
USE LESS. Since the glue expands as time of at least 15 minutes.
it cures, you only need to apply Assemblies will have to be clamped
about one-third as much as you overnight to allow the glue to set. W
would with a yellow glue. And it’s a
good thing a bottle of polyurethane
glue goes farther — it costs three to
five times as much as yellow glue.
The longer working time for
polyurethane glue (15-20 minutes)
makes it useful when assembling
large or complicated projects. You’ll
have plenty of time to bring parts
{ One unique characteristic of polyurethane together and get clamps in place. { Resorcinol provides a truly water-
glue is that it foams as it reacts with mois- Poly glue is also water-resistant (but proof joint, making it the adhesive
ture. The foam can be removed with a not waterproof), so it’s a good of choice for boat builders. Use
scraper or chisel after the glue has dried. choice for outdoor projects. care when mixing and handling it.


Although it’s not a typical choice, caulking gun. I trim the tip of the
you may want to consider using con- nozzle to give me a bead that’s
struction adhesive when assembling about 1/8" wide. The adhesive is
outdoor projects. For weather dura- thick (about like toothpaste) and
bility (and price), it’s tough to beat. will spread out as you clamp two
I’ve used it on several pieces of out- workpieces together. So keep it
door furniture with great results. away from the edges of the joint.
TUBES. Construction adhesive is Unlike a yellow glue, it isn’t nec-
readily available at hardware essary to spread construction { Construction adhesive is a good
stores and home centers. It comes adhesive. But if you do, use a piece choice for outdoor projects. It
in a tube and is applied with a of scrap that you can throw away. holds up well in wet conditions.

28 Woodsmith No. 134

Whether it comes in cans, a cou- plastic knob to a jig. Plus it will The second rea-
ple of tubes, or a syringe (see bond oily woods (like teak) son has to do with
photo), epoxy is a two-part glue that other glues can’t. the way epoxy
system. It consists of a resin and MIXING. When a job calls for cures. As it cures, it
a hardener that need to be mixed epoxy, you usually don’t need begins to warm up. { Epoxy starts as two parts that need to be
together, and with some epox- much. So I mix the resin and Warming makes mixed together. The bottom of a soft
ies, you can vary the open time hardener in an old jar lid or the the epoxy cure drink can makes a disposable mixing cup.
by using a different hardener. bottom of an empty soft drink faster, which then
Epoxy excels at joining dif- can (see photo). I do this for a generates more heat. Allowing of epoxy are mixed in a tall,
ferent types of materials to couple of reasons. First, clean- the glue to spread out after it’s narrow container (like a plastic
each other. And the bond is ing up cured epoxy is next to mixed gives you a longer open cup), the heat can actually
very strong. For example, I use impossible. So it’s easiest to time and keeps heat from build up enough to melt the
it when attaching a bolt or a just throw the lid or can away. building up. If larger amounts cup or even ignite it.

Instant Glue
the tiny tubes and bottles of bottle, store it in the refrigera-
cyanoacr ylate are the most tor. Just let it warm up to room
expensive glues around. But temperature before using it.
they’re used in small amounts, so Otherwise it won’t bond.)
the per-use cost is low. USES. One place where super
COLD STORAGE. The shelf life of glues excel is filling small
these glues is rather short. cracks in turning blanks. I’ve
Once the container is opened, also found them useful for
they only last about six replacing small pieces that chip { Instant glue can be used to
months. So the small contain- off (provided I can find the hold hinges in position tem-
It’s called “crazy,” “super,” or ers ensure you don’t end up chip). They can also be used to porarily while you mark mor-
“instant” glue. They’re all names wasting a lot of glue because it secure metal parts on a jig or to tise and screw locations. A
for cyanoacrylate glues. When gets old. (Here’s a tip — to fasten carvings or hardware to sharp tap on an edge of the
you compare per-ounce prices, extend the life of an opened a project (see photo). hinge will break the bond.

Spray Adhesive Hot Melt Glue

need to stick a piece of Everything I glue isn’t meant to dry for a few seconds, then
paper or fabric to some- stay together permanently. trim it with a sharp knife.
thing (see photo). For That’s why I keep a hot melt glue Dribbles can be scraped off
example, spray adhe- gun in my “bag of tricks.” with a fingernail or putty knife.
sive is perfect for STRENGTH. Different strength For stubborn chunks, soften
attaching patterns to glue sticks are available, but the glue with a hair dryer.
workpieces. The tack none of them are strong
of the adhesive is enough for a permanent bond.
enough to keep the pat- For example, as I was
tern in place but allows designing the spice rack on
it to be peeled off when page 18, I wanted to experi-
Spray adhesive comes in an the work is done. ment with the positions of the
aerosol can, like a spray paint. APPLYING. Just like a spray door pulls. A dab of hot melt
Depending on the brand, the paint, you can’t control exactly glue on the back of each one
consistency of the adhesive may where the spray will end up. let me stick them in place.
fall between that of spray paint For this reason, you may need When I wanted to remove the
and a runny whipped cream. The to mask off surrounding areas pulls, they came off easily.
glue cures quickly, but the bond or spray the workpiece while EASY CLEANUP. One nice thing { Hot melt glue provides a tem-
isn’t very strong. you hold it inside a cardboard about hot melt glue is how eas- porary bond that is perfect for
USES. In my shop, I use spray box. Then stick the pieces ily it cleans up. If you have jobs such as applying pads to
adhesive most often when I together before the glue dries. some squeeze-out, just let it the jaws of pipe clamps.

No. 134 Woodsmith 29



Try your hand at something new – a variation of a mortise and tenon
joint that you can still see after the project is assembled.

W hen you need a paper towel, too

often it’s needed “right now” to
wipe up a spill. But until I built this
ers in this dispenser help organize
the little odds and ends that seem to
collect in the kitchen.
For example, the case is joined
with double through-mortise and
tenon joints. And there are two vari-
project, I was always hunting for the JOINERY. Building the paper towel ations of the joint. One set of mortis-
roll of towels while the spill spread dispenser can help you sharpen es are regular through mortises.
all over the place. Now, the towels are your skills without taking a lot of The other set is open on one edge.
always right at hand. Plus the draw- time, materials, or space. The two types of mortises are cut
differently, but all you need is a table
saw, drill press, and a chisel.
MOUNTING OPTIONS. This project is
designed to fit whatever space you
have in your kitchen. The lipped
drawers and the case openings they
fit into are square, so the dispenser
can be positioned three different
ways. It can sit on a countertop with
the paper towels above, as shown in
the main photo; on one end with the
{ If counter space is in short supply, hang { You also have the option of set- towels upright (right photo); or if
the dispenser under a cabinet. The tow- ting the dispenser on end on a you don’t want to take up any count-
els will be at your fingertips, and the countertop. Either way, the er space at all, it can be hung under
drawers keep little items organized. drawers will fit in right side up. a cabinet (left photo).

30 Woodsmith No. 134


Top, Bottom, & Sides 1"

The first pieces to make are the ones
1 1!/2"
that define the size of the dispenser. NOTE: Sides are
cut to rough
I glued up panels from 1/2"-thick length
stock for the top/bottom (A) and !/2"
SIDE 9#/4"
sides (B), as shown in Fig. 1. The
top and bottom are cut to finished
size, but leave the sides a bit long.
The sides can be set out of the way A
for the time being while tenons are SIDE
cut on the top and bottom pieces. 4!/2"
TENONS. You’ll only need to lay out !/2"
Length of
the tenons on one end of the top (or 7"
tenons equals
thickness of
bottom), as shown in Fig. 1a. As sides
you’ll see in a moment, the other 7" 12!/2"
tenons are positioned automatically.
I found it easiest to cut the tenons A
on the table saw with a dado blade,
like you see in Fig. 2. To do this, use NOTE: Top,
the layout lines on the top to set the bottom, and sides
are glued-up panels
position of the rip fence so it will act
as a stop. Also, it’s a good idea to
screw an auxiliary fence to the Next, flip the workpieces end for this line and trace around them.
miter gauge to steady the work- end and repeat the process. After Now that the mortises are laid
pieces and prevent chipout. removing the waste to the edges, out, the next step is cutting them.
Here’s where you can save some reposition the rip fence and remove The open mortises are cut on the
work. The tenons on both pieces the waste between the tenons. table saw, the same way the tenons
can be cut at the same time if you MORTISES. After the tenons are cut, were cut. The mortises in the center
stick the workpieces together with you can use the top as a pattern to require a different method. Here, I
double-sided tape. lay out the mortises in the ends of used a Forstner bit to remove most
Now simply put one edge of the the side pieces, like you see in Fig. 3. of the waste, as shown in Fig. 4.
top and bottom against the rip fence Laying out the mortises in the Then a chisel and guide block are
and use the miter gauge to push middle is a bit trickier. First, you’ll used to square up the mortises
them through the blade, as shown need to draw a line across the side (Fig. 5). The trick is to sneak up on
in Fig. 2. Then turn the workpieces to mark the top edge of the mortise the final size of the mortises until
side for side and make another cut. (Fig. 4). Then align the tenons with you get a snug fit with the tenons.

2 END VIEW a. 3 A

!/2" Trace around

Dado blade tenon ends

A Aux. miter Position

gauge fence Rip pieces against
fence alignment block
NOTE: Tape pieces together
and cut tenons on both B
at same time

4 Drill press
fence Guide Guide block squares
block chisel to workpiece
Forstner for cleaning
bit up mortises
4!/2" Chisel halfway through
!/2" from each face to
prevent chipout

No. 134 Woodsmith 31

Sides (continued) 6 (1"-dia.)
Before you can begin assembly,
there’s still some layout and cutting B

to do on the two sides.

Just as I did when marking the
tenons on the top and bottom, I laid
out the shape on just one side piece, 3#/4"
then taped the two workpieces DIVIDER
(!/2" thick)
together. This way, both can be cut NOTE: Dividers
are edge-glued
to shape at one time. from narrower 3#/4" C 3#/4"
First, lay out the arc along the top A
edge, as shown in the margin. 7"

When you do this, make a visible

mark at the centerpoint of the arc. 3!/2" D
CL 1!/2" radius You’ll need this reference point BACK
3!/2" (!/4" ply.)
1!/8"-dia. again later to drill a hole. After the
hole arc is drawn, lay out the angle on a. FRONT VIEW b. END VIEW
each edge. Note that the starting #/8"
point of the angle aligns with the top A !/8"
edge of the mortise (Fig. 7a). !/8" TOP/BOTTOM A B
B Now the two sides can be cut to !/4"
SIDE ply.
shape using the band saw, as you
can see in Fig. 7. Stay just outside
8" the line, then sand up to the line. 7 Cut to rough size
on band saw, then a. PLAN VIEW
And before separating the pieces,
sand to line
drill a hole for the dowel that holds
the paper towels. This hole is cen- Waste
tered on the centerpoint of the arc B

that you marked earlier.

Start of angle
DIVIDERS aligns with top
of mortise
The next thing to do is to add the
dividers that form the drawer open-
ings (Fig. 6). The important thing


Mounting the paper towel dispenser under a cabinet frees up

counter space. If this is how you plan to mount your dispenser, the Spacer block may be needed to
provide clearance for drawers
mounting holes need to be drilled through the bottom before the
case is assembled (Step 1). And access holes need to be drilled
through the top so a screwdriver can reach the screws (Step 2).
As you can see in Step 2, if your cabinet has a lip around the
bottom, you’ll need to add a spacer block above the dispenser.

Hole allows
Countersink screwdriver access
holes in Counter-
bottom 1#/4" sunk shank
piece hole


NOTE: Case is mounted reaches through
upside down so bottom access holes to
piece ends up on top drive screws

1 Before assembling the case, drill countersunk mounting holes

on the inside face of the bottom piece. Also, drill access holes
through the top piece to align with the mounting holes.
2 If the bottom of your cabinet is recessed, you may need
to add a spacer block above the dispenser. Otherwise, you
won't be able to get the drawers into the case.

32 Woodsmith No. 134

here is that the three drawer open- 8
ings end up the same width. a. END VIEW
To hold the dividers, I cut dadoes Aux. fence
on the top and bottom pieces. Since fence
A !/2"
I used the rip fence as a stop, I 4" TOP/BOTTOM
allowed for the length of the tenons 3!/2" A !/8"
when setting the fence (Fig. 8).
DIVIDERS & BACKS. To determine the
length of the dividers (C), dry
Dado blade
assemble the top, bottom, and sides.
Now measure between the dadoes
and cut the dividers to size (Fig. 6). 9
The next step is to cut grooves in a. END VIEW
the top, bottom, sides, and dividers #/8"
to accept a plywood back in each Cut groove !/4" ply.
to fit !/4"
drawer opening (Fig. 9). But since plywood
1/ " plywood is usually just under 1/ " !/8"
4 4
thick, I cut the grooves by making A

two passes over my rip blade on the NOTE: Grooves for backs
table saw. (A rip blade will cut a flat- also cut in sides (B) and
both faces of dividers (C)
bottomed groove.)
As you can see in Fig. 9a, the first
pass on each piece is made with the The case goes together from the 10 CROSS
rip fence set 3/8" from the outside inside out. The first thing to do is to a. SECTION
edge of the blade. (If you look at Fig. glue the dividers into the dadoes in Trim and
6, you’ll see that the dividers need a the case bottom. Next, the three sand plug
groove on each face.) Then nudge backs are glued into the grooves.
the fence toward the blade slightly Then the top is added to this assem-
to widen the grooves. (Don’t worry bly. Finally, the sides are glued and
about the grooves showing on the clamped in place. I also glued a plug
ends of the sides. The exposed into the exposed groove on each
holes will be plugged later.) side panel (Fig. 10).
After the grooves are complete, TOWEL BAR . Before moving on to Plug
After assembly,
you can measure for the backs (D) the drawers, there’s one more piece cut plugs to fit
and cut them to size (Fig. 6). needed for the case. That’s the exposed grooves
towel bar. This is just a 1"-dia. dowel
ASSEMBLY with a tenon on each end to keep the
Now that all the pieces are cut, you’re dowel from falling out of the holes in
ready to assemble the case. Note: If the sides. To form the tenons, I of the dowel. And a stop block
you plan on mounting the completed decided to use a straight bit in the clamped to the fence to the left of
dispenser under a cabinet, you’ll need router table, as you can see in Fig. the bit sets the tenon’s length. The
to drill a few holes in the top and bot- 11. This gave me a nice, smooth important thing here is that the dis-
tom before assembling the case. See tenon with a clean shoulder. tance between the shoulders of the
the box on the opposite page for The fence should be positioned so tenons ends up just a bit less than
details about doing this. the bit is centered on the diameter the measurement between the case
sides. This makes it easy to lift the
11 FIRST: Position fence
to center bit on a. FRONT VIEW
towel bar out to replace the towels.
diameter of dowel
To form the tenon, start the
#/4" router and place the dowel against
!/2" the fence, to the right of the bit.
Stop block
straight !/8"
Dowel bit Push the dowel into the bit until it
hits the stop block. Rotating the
dowel will define the shoulder of the
tenon. Then, run the dowel back
SECOND: Place and forth across the bit as you roll it
dowel against
fence, then to remove the rest of the waste.
slide over bit Rotate dowel Now that the case is assembled,
to form tenon
it’s on to the three drawers.

No. 134 Woodsmith 33

Drawer sides and backs are !/4"
thick, drawer fronts are !/2" thick,
drawer bottoms are !/4" plywood 3 #/16"
Drawers 12
The drawer openings are square for G
3 &/16" DRAWER
a simple reason. This way, no matter 3 !!/16" 3 &/16"
how the case sits, the drawers fit in DRAWER
right side up. The drawers are iden- SIDE
tical, so construction goes quickly. 3 !!/16"
FRONTS. The first parts to cut are F
the 1/2"-thick drawer fronts (E). H
Since these are lipped drawers, the E DRAWER BTM.
3 #/16"
fronts are 3/16" larger than the draw- DRAWER
FRONT 6 !/4" 6 !/2"
er openings. (Fig. 12 shows that my &/8"-dia. wood knob
drawer fronts were 311/16" square.)
Next, a 1/4" roundover is routed a. !/4" b. F TOP c. !/2"
!/8" VIEW
around each drawer front (Fig. 12a). !/8"
#/4" #/4" 1"
Then rabbets need to be cut on the !/4" Knob
back faces to form the lipped edge. !/4" E #/4"
round- E F
{ The drawers and Because of the roundovers, there over
drawer openings isn’t enough surface for the bearing
are square. No of a rabbet bit to ride against. So I
matter how you made these cuts using a straight bit 13
position the case, in the router table. Note that the a.
Auxiliary Aux. END VIEW
the drawers will go rabbets along the sides are wider Dado fence fence
blade F
in right side up. (Fig. 12b) than those along the top !/4"
Auxiliary F !/8"
and bottom edges (Fig. 12a).
To complete each drawer front, a
hole is drilled, and a knob is mount-
ed, as you can see in Fig. 12c.
SIDES AND BACKS. The 1/4"-thick
drawer sides (F) and backs (G) are
up next. A look at Fig. 12 shows that 14
they’re the same width, but the L-shaped a. END VIEW
drawer sides are longer. auxiliary fence !/4"ply.
allows drawer lip E
To make it easier to reach into the to ride above fence fence #/8"
drawers, the sides have a “scooped” !/8"
profile (Fig. 12c). I made the pro-
files identical by stacking the sides
NOTE: Leave auxiliary
together with double-sided tape and fence in place to position
!/4" hardboard grooves in all drawer pieces
then cutting all the pieces at once.
To hold the drawer together, the
front and back pieces fit into rabbets the drawer pieces. Take a look at keeps the grooves positioned cor-
in the sides, as shown in Fig. 12b. I Fig. 14, and you’ll see that a low aux- rectly on all the pieces.
cut these rabbets on the table saw iliary fence needs to be used when Finally, cut the drawer bottoms
(Fig. 13). Then to accept a 1/4" ply- cutting these grooves. The fence fits (H) to size. Then glue the drawers
wood bottom, I cut grooves on all under the lip of the drawer front and together and apply a finish. W


A Top/Bottom (2) !/2 x 7 - 12!/2
!/2" x 4" - 48"Oak (Two Boards @ 1.33 Sq. Ft. Each) B Sides (2) !/2 x 7 - 9#/4 (rgh.)
A A B B C Dividers (2) !/2 x 7 - 3#/4
D Backs (3) !/4 ply. - 3#/4 x 3#/4
!/2" x 4" - 48"Oak (1.33 Sq. Ft.)
E Drawer Fronts (3) !/2 x 3!!/16 - 3!!/16
F Drawer Sides (6) !/4 x 3&/16 - 6!/2
!/2" x 4" - 48"Maple (1.33 Sq. Ft.) G Drawer Backs (3) !/4 x 3&/16 - 3#/16
F F F F F F H Drawer Bottoms (3) !/4 ply. - 3#/16 x 6!/4
• (1) 1"-dia. Dowel (12!/2" long)
ALSO NEEDED: One 12" x 24" piece of !/4" plywood • (3) &/8"-dia. Wood Drawer Knobs

34 Woodsmith No. 134

We’re currently looking for an
enthusiastic woodworker to join Similar project
Most of the hardware and from a length of steel rod locally, you proba- our editorial team. If you’re inter- supplies and
supplies you need to build or from 1/4" bolts. bly won’t be able to ested, send a cover letter and hardware may
the projects in this issue are Another thing that will find everything. So your resume to Michal Sigel, be ordered from
available from local hard- have to be ordered locally all the hardware 2200 Grand Ave., Des Moines, the following
IA 50312. Or email it to: companies:
ware stores, woodworking is the glass for the doors. has been assem-
stores, home centers, or Ask your glass shop for bled into a kit that
1/ " double-strength glass. Bob Morgan
from the mail order sources 8 you can order from Woodworking Supplies
listed at right. To find out STAIN. The stain I chose Woodsmith Project Sup- penser. They’re available 502-456-2545
exactly what supplies are for the bookcases was plies. (See below for infor- from the sources at right. Two-ply veneer

needed for a project, check General Finishes’ Red mation.) As shown in the Cherr y Tree Toys
the materials list included Mahogany. But after test- photo, the kit includes the GLUES 800-848-4363
for each project ing it, I thought it was too wheels, knobs, hinges, rub- Finding most of the glues www.cherr ytree-
red. So I blended three ber bumpers, a door hook, mentioned in the article on
Door catch, Toy wheels
BARRISTER’S parts of Red Mahogany and the necessary screws. page 26 isn’t dif ficult.
BOOKCASE with one part of General Cabinet Hardware Kit They’re available in home Constantine’s
The barrister’s bookcase Finishes’ Antique Cherry 7134-100 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$15.95 centers, hardware stores, 800-223-8087
on page 6 features a simple to reduce the “redness.” VENEER . On page 23, an and even in discount stores.
Brass knobs, Door catch,
design that doesn’t need optional treatment for the Some of the specialty
Dowels, Glue, Hinges,
much hardware. The SPICE CABINET door panels uses a glues might be harder to Toy wheels, Veneer
screws and brads can be Although some of the hard- mahogany crotch veneer. locate. You may need to
found at a hardware store. ware for the spice cabinet We used a two-ply veneer order from the catalog Rockler Woodworking
The metal pins can be cut on page 18 can be found from Bob Morgan Wood- companies listed at right.
working Supplies. See the WALL CHART. A chart that Brass and wood knobs,
SPICE CABINET KIT margin for information. sums up the types of Glue, Hinges
glues, what kinds of proj-
VanDyke’s Restorers
PAPER TOWEL ects to use them on, their
DISPENSER characteristics, and more
You don’t need much mate- is available on our web site Brass and wood knobs,
rial at all to build the paper at Dowels, Glue, Hinges
towel dispenser on page 30. Click the “Online Extras”
I found the 1"-dia. oak button to get to the chart. 800-225-1153
dowel at a home center. If You can also order a
you can’t find an oak copy through the mail by Brass and wood knobs,
dowel locally, check the sending a self-addressed Door catches, Dowels,
Glue, Hinges
sources listed at right. stamped #10 envelope to:
The 7/8"-dia. knobs I Woodsmith Glue Chart Woodworker’s Supply
used were also oak to P.O. Box 842 800-645-9292
match the rest of the dis- Des Moines, IA 50304 Brass and wood knobs,
Door catches, Dowels,
To order a hardware kit from Woodsmith Project
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. 134 Woodsmith 35



c{ Barrister’s Bookcase. These stacking bookcases are designed to

be customized easily. Build as many sections as you want, and
for the doors, choose glass or wood panels. Plans start on page 6.

{ Paper Towel Dispenser. Like a space-saving appliance, this project { Spice Cabinet. Add some zest to your kitchen with the classic
can be mounted under a cabinet. But it will also sit on a countertop looks of this countertop cabinet. Turn to page 18 to learn how
— either horizontally or vertically. And with three small drawers, to build this case, from the deep doors with built-in storage to
this caddy will prove to be indispensable. Plans start on page 30. the finishing touches of the moldings and bun feet.