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WffiffiNN June/July 2OO4,lssue 156

22 38 52 65 74 94 96

portable glue/papertowel center heirloomtall clock feature-packeddrill-press table letter opener build-in-a-weekendgarden bench wind chimes classic turned mallet

28 epoxy: a pro's tips 32 how to show off quartersawnoak

Discoverthe tricks for playingup eye-grabbing ray-fleckfigure in project parts.

48 buildinqchairswith Sam Maloof

See how-a renowned master craftsman designs and assembleshis signaturefurniturepieces.

66 how to deal with wood moisture 68 master the mortise-and-tenonioint From low-techto dedicatedmachines,get to know three ways for making snug-fitting pafts.

84 get a grip on four-jaw chucks Learn the advantagesand use of this problem-solvinglathe accessory.

92 brush on a flawless varnish finish


14 wise buys:Japahesepull saws 59 BONUSPOSTER: guideto woodworkingglues 78 shop-tested benchtop monisers pricedmodelscompeteto Sevenmoderately "toptool"rating. earnour prestigious

88 2OO4 tool storaqe contest winners

Checkout 13 of the-bestshopprojectsfrom aroundthe nation.

100 hollow mortise chisels

Get maximumperformance fromyour cutterswiththesepointerson useand care.

115 rated: three shop-provenproducts

This isyour seal assurance thatwebuild prolect, every verify every fact,andtestevery reviewed toolinour workshop toguarantee yoursuccess ano comolete satisfaction.

I 10 16 18 24 36 1U 110 12O

editor'sangle soundingboard sanding-drum dust collector short cuts askWOOD wood words shoptips curiouscraftsman what's ahead

Visit our Web site at rnroodrnagazine.cotrt

for free rnroodvvorking

plans, tips, shop tours,

and more.

wooD. Better


BACKYARD -co/oleil

No.156 lssue


wtTH A YARo 0rcrourYouR


Editor Editor Managing Executive KEMMET JIMHARROLDMARTEI{

palet tand e t e x tu refidn i s h e s , Usi ng a nat ur al patiofurniture goutoocantranslorm and timeworn

Editor Desion Editor Products Senior CAMPBELL KEVIil BOYLE DAVE Editor Editor Features Techniques STOI{E JITII POLT(IGKDAVID

space. oa s t glisou h td o loi vr i n g access orint ies


and Gardenso


2004 June/July

n w


Editor Proiects Editor Prolects OWEI{ DUVALL JAI{SVEC


essag telling us a 100 wordorlesscreative 5end fote ra isdt heide acl a n d i d a whgg ourbac k gar

Craftsman Desion Editor Master HEDLUND MERTZ CHUCK JEFF ArtDirector EHTERS KARL

m a k e o v eI nr .c l u dae c o l o rp h o t oo f g o u rg a r d .

ArtDirector Associate GREG SETLERS

re"*n]J, 3::: j,?d9.rh



ArtDirector Assistant CHERYL A.CIBULA


lL 60601 Ave.,Suite1500,Chicago, 333N.Michigan ADVERTISII{G 0FFIGE:

receives [vergentrant decorating a free0ream 5paces


booklet thatwillhelpgoucreate getsa$101000 ownmakeover. Thewinner U0ur witha prolessional makeover complete backgard


Fu:312580-7906 Phone: 312853-2890 l{EltLE M0RRIS Assistant andMarketing sales A.CHRlSTlAtlSEll Executive JACK Account DAKIS Manager CAROLYI{ Direct Response 'Direct ROBlilS0l{ Representative SANDY Response Sales Detroit, TH0RIIBURGH Account Executive JOHN . 149 Fax: 248/356-8930 Phone: 248/356-1 R.T0MLINS0N, SR.Northeast, PATRICI( Account Executive 21?551-7043Fax:2121551-7192 Phone: Inc. Lagomarsino, Dempsey & Dennis, Soulheast GA30305 100, Atlanta, Piedmont Rd.NE,Suite 2951 -5400Fax4041261-5404 Phone: 404/261 E.SMITH"""-* Director CAIHY Marketing Group MARYM. WRIGHT Manager Services SeniorMarketing MASSIM0 Designer SARAH SeniorPromotion


B.tEVll{S0l{ Publisher STEPHEN Group FEAR Director CRAIG Business Associate g DirectorR0BltlHUTCHII{S0I| Marketin Consumer Manager LESIIE SHAEFFER Marketing Consumer TR0M Manager LlSA Product Newsstand PATHENDERSH0TT Manager Advertising Operations MICHAELA LESTER Manager Sr.Production


DirectorWltLlAMR. REED VicePresidenVPublishing

PUBLISHING GROUP MEREDITH M.LACY President STEPHEN GRlFFll{ President, Magazine Group JAGK MICHAEL BR0WIISTEIN Solutions Corporate EtLEt{ DELATH0UDER Creative Services BRUCE HESTOI{ Manufacturing XARLA Marketing JEFFRIES Consumer MAXRUNCIMAI| Finance andAdministration

HRUi$G,8tEUl,Ut s t o p p i n gr u s t i s i u s t t h e s t a r t l ' is0pen fromVl54ill4-l mlm4 Nopurchase necessarU. [ontest Interonline arclegal USresidents. age 21andowrwho tohomeowners andessau withfull ormailphoto number lo: andtelephone name, dateofbirth,address [withzipcodef N.hnal Backgad Contes[ c/oARS,43 Grcat American Rust-0leum musthepostmarked Julg]t,2m4.Void Streeg [hicago l[60606. f ntries prohibited. visitgrcatandiudging cilteria, where forofficial rules a self-addressed stamped envelope american-backgard.roq orsend Backgard [ontest c/oAR!43 N.hnal to:Rust0leum 6reatAmerican 5tree! thicago ll.fl1606. Rust-0leum Iorporalion O 2004

^lheredlth I


0fficer Chairman andChiefExecutive WlttlAMT. KERR, - E.T.Metedithlll (1933-2003) In Memoriam


oCopyright Meredith Corporation 2004 All rightsreserved.hinted in the U.S.A.

^lP^t WOOD rnagazine

June/July 2004


air-dried wood:

just asgoodas kiln-dried? myththat There'sa commonwoodworking woodis moreproneto warping, air-dried wood. thankiln-dried or expanding shrinking, Don'tbelieveit-doing so couldcostyou seriousdoughwhenbuyingboards. t happened15 yearsago,but I still vividly rememberthe day I passed up the best lumber deal of my life. It was at a farm auction where the entire contents of a small shedwere up for sale.That shedwas stuffedto its rafters with a thousandor so board feet of beautiful walnut planks. They had been carefully stacked and stickered,appearedcompletely dry and flat, and, accordingto the,auctioneer,had beensitting therefor at least25 years.All day long I hadn't found anythingat that auctionI wanted,but this pile of walnut was different.I yearnedfor it. As the bidding begar1I told my companions (both experiencedwoodworkers)that I was readyto make a purchase. "Be careful," one of them advised."You don't know what you'll get with that airdried stuff. It might split or warp months after you build somethingwith it." "Heck," the other friend said, "I built a coffee table with air-dried stock and it explodedright therein my living room!" I had my doubtsabouttheir claims.For centuriesour ancestorsmade beautiful, long-lasting furniture from air-dried stock, and that explosionwas probablydue to faulty joinery. But I decidednot to take a chance,and put my auctionnumbercard back into my coat pocket.Big mistake. The auctioneerstartedoff asking$150 for that wood: about 15 centsper board foot. And no one would pay it! Apparently, I was not the only victim who choseto give in to the myth and avoid taking a chanceon air-dried stock.Eventually,somelucky soul paid $75 for the entire lode. Sincethat day, I've wised up in my wood-buyingways, and all of my research tells me that air-dried lumber is no worse

. " ':::e{E



This pile of air-dried oak (parked where V my wife used to put her van) has supplied the stock for dozens of projects over the past couple of years.

than kiln-dried stock,and often better.It's less likely to have "honeycombing" or the other defectsthat can result from hasty kiln drying, as describedin FeaturesEditor David Stone'sreport on page 66. Of courseair-drying takestime, typically G12 monthsfor eachinch of thickness. You needto dry the wood outside,then restackit inside for the final dry-down. You'll needa moisturemeterto make sure the wood's moisturecontentreachesequilibrium with the relative humidity level in your shop and home (C11 percentmoisture contentdependingon whereyou live). So why do lumber producersspendbig money on kilns and the energy to run them? Becausetime is money and commercial kilns cut total drying time to about6 weeks. Fortunately,few of us hobbyistsare under such time pressuresto produce lumber. To learn more about air-dried stock, see issuenumber59, pages4Ml, or go to u ' o o c h l a - u 1 1 7 i 1 1 . ' . { - l,ri I-ri l' i,rr ' ' . Y o u ' l l f i n d

everything you needto air-dry your own stock,or buy it with confidencefrom someone else.Wish I had that information 15 yearsago.

3lA{^^Du WOOD magazine

June{uly 2004

soun andtimelyupdates comments, boardforletters, Ourbulletin

Bigger magazines need upsized storage

Article updates

Thanksfor growingthe magazineby 3/a"in widthand height(startingwith issue153)to make spacefor even more information. Anyonewho storestheir back issuesin the magazineboxesshownin issue108 (page the biggerissues 50),though,has discovered are just a hairtoo tallto fit the box design. When readersmake more storageboxes, they'llneedto enlargethem accordingly. }hio Ralph London, Jones,

Cat's meow scrollsawn plaque (issue154,page96): Locatethe holefor the cutoutblock2sAa"lrom the leftedge of the plaque. Super-flexibleshop storage (issue152,page 86): !-ocatethe toP threestorage-binmountingbrackets in the HardwareCabinet(Drawing 9) with 4t/q"spacingin between,as shown,below.4

Here's an updated drawing. lf you'd like the complete free plan, go to










-Parts width tofinished thenripped initially cutoversize, boxjoints, Seetheinstructions. aftercutting Materials key: M-mahogany

Sources each brass cardpull,no.70763, Card pulh Solid $9.49 orgoto 8001279-4441, CallRockler, Saw off cornerafterassemblv.


N O T E :R i p partsA, B, and C to final








rop oi@is flushwiththe top of @.

r.nJ iur"r""

brasswood screw

questions andfeedback: r Editorial E - m ail ; andpressoption2; or call800/374-9663 St., 1716Locust writetoW00Dmagazine, lA50309-3023. DesMoines, GA-310, r Subscription assistance: change or to Tonotifyusof anaddress goto gethelpwithyoursubscription, ,r'i,


1; or option andpress 800/374-9663 magazine, P,0.Box37439, writeto:W00D


your Please enclose lA50037-0439. Boone, issue, labelfroma recentmagazine address r Tofind pastarticles: at index online updated Goto ourcontinuously

send$5 perarticle aresoldout.Forreprints, (nophone name including thearticle orders), Reprint Atticle to:W00D andissuenumber, P.0.Box349,Kalona,lA52247; Service, to orderpayable makecheck0r money W00Dmagazine.

projects: published to previously r Updates r Toorderpastissuesandarticles: in listof knownchanges Fora complete magazine oI W00Da Orderpastissues guidesources andbuying dimensions issues special at andournewsstand goto today, fromissue1 through or bycalling Beawarethatmanyearlyissues 800/346-9663. WOOD magazine

June/July 2004

vvise buys

our editorstest

Whybuy? Western-style handsaws-the handsaw Unlike stylemostofusgrewupwith-a Japanese (it'seasier instead Thatmakes cutsonthepullstroke ofthepush. thesawaccurate topull (thethinblade a blade straight thantopushit)andefficient removes lessmaterial). lt also allowsthemanufacturers to harden thecuttingteethmorethanon a Western-style saw (whose teethmustbesoftertowithstand theimpact meaning theystaysharp ofa "catch"), longer. Whenthesawgetsdull,simplyreplace theblade,Wefindthreestylesofpullsaws mostuseful towoodworkers: Forcrosscuts, dozuki(doh-200-kee) to sawssporta stiffener keeptheirsuper-thin frombuckling thereturn thicker blades during stroke; theslightly blades ofdouble-edged sawshavefinecrosscut teethononeedgeand ryoba(ree-OH-buh) ripping teethontheother;andtheteethof a kugihiki(koo-gee-HEE-kee) coarser sawcut flushtotheadjacent workpiece without maning it.

Iananese pdtt savrrs IYpe

Brand, Price

Editor test-drive: (tpi) stayedonmylayoutlines,evencuttingdiagonal Thissawfeatures a fine25-teeth-per-inch pitch, andproduces a pencil{hin kerf(less than to thegrainwithout wandering. Whenusedto Withits rigidback,it tracks 7on" thick). true, finetune thefit of someinterior millwork. this although thestiffener limits thedepth of cutto sawexcelled in bothcrosscutting andripping. about 2".(When crosscutting, though, I doubled AndI foundI couldcutclose-fitting notches inthe t/+" thatcapacity bycutting deeponallfoursides molding moreaccurately-and in lesstimejigsaw. ofa thick workpiece, asifdefining theshoulders thanI could mypower using -Tested ofa tenon, thencompleted withfull-depth Editor by DavidStone,Features cuts.) I hand-cut a fewdrawer dovetails usingthe Tolearnmore: Rockler DozukiDovetail Sawand it easilv 800 |27I -4441,

Editor test-drive: I'veusedJapanese-style sawsformanyyears, frankly, wouldn't and ownanyotherkindof handsaw. Thisryoba wasextremely sharp outof theboxand,using the17-teeth-per-inch crosscutedge,I crosscut hardmaple a slabof 3/qx4" in cleaner and aboutone-fourth fewerstrokes thanwitha fine-tooth miterbox saw.And,cutting I found onthepullstroke, itmuch easier toaccurately Likewise with startthecutwiththeryoba. usingthe8-tpiripedge:faster, cleaner, and moreaccurate.

Thehandle Woodworker ontheJapan ryoba pivotswhereit joinsthebladesoyoucanswing position it to a morecomfortable working if you like,or usethesawina tightspot.Evenif you usedonlythecrosscut edge, thissawwould be wellworthits$26price;theripedgeisjusticing onthecake,A razor-sharp replacement blade costs only$15. -Tested by KevinBoyle,SeniorDesignEditor

Tolearnmore: -7820, 8001537

Editor test-drive: trimmed without a dozendowels I confess thatl'vehadlittleluckwhenusing the wood.I quickly thesunounding sudace. lmpressed, I kugihiki sawin lheWO)h magazine shop.In marring redoak fact,I'dpretty muchwritten offthe"no-marring"pulleda pieceof polyurethane-finished frommyscrapbinandrepeated thetest,again concept of a zero-set sawas overrated untilI leaving in the so muchas a scratch triedtheVeritas Double-Edge FlushSaw,lts without stiffer bladeresists thecut,but finish.Thissawcutsequallywellleft-or rightdistorting during andfarexceeded myexpectations. And stillflexes enough topress flatagainst thework- handed piece. itsblade isn'tremovable, thelowprice Andthetop-set teeth(theblade warns: although "thissideup")cut aggressively it easyto replace thewhole saw. to prevent makes -Tested by JanSvec,ProjectsEditor problem binding-another withother flush saws. Totestthissaw,I drilled anddowel-plugged Tolearnmore: -81 several holesin easyto-scratch 58, obecheply- 800/871 14

WOOD magazine

June/fuly 2004

project builderstalk shop

s.rnding-drum dustcollector


'-,-..:",: ,.,:.,:"*, ';'lt'"'

Looking to add even more functionality to the add-on drill-press table featured on page 52? Consider this integral dust-collectingsystemthat channels fine dust to a vacuum hose during sanding-drumoperations. hetheryou add sandingdrum dustcollectionto the add-ondrill-press tablein this issue,or to someother table,here'sthe lowdownon how to do it. Beforeapplyingthe finish andinstallingthe mini-track,lay out a2Vz"wide stoppedchannelthat intersectsthe 3t/zx3t/z"cutoutin the table,whereshown on the drawing,below.(Lay out the channelto the right or left of the center cutout,depending on the mostconvenient locationfor your shopvacuum.)Then adherescrapwoodguidesto the tablewith double-faced tape,aligningthem with the layoutlines.Now rout a sA"-deep channel, as shownat middleright. Note: If your tabledoesn'thavea cutout and insert,drill 3h" cornerholes,andjigsaw a cutout.Thenrout a 3/s"rabbett/t" deeparound its edgesfor a t/t"-thickinsert. 21/ax41/+x41/q"


EXPLODEDVIEW (Bottomside of tableshown)


,"'i" .,1:.' '' ,i.',1


Changeto a 3/a"rabbetingbit, and rout a %"-deeprabbetalongthe edgesof the centercutoutand the channel,as shownat bottomright. Stopthe rabbetwheredimensionedon the drawing,below.Cut two %" hardboardcoversto fit the rabbeted openings,and glue andclampthem in place. Apply a finish, and installthe mini-track. Using the holesin the shop-vacuum dust port as guides,drill screwholes,and fasten it in place.?

Source Dust port. Plastic shopvacuum dustportno.03J61.'10, LeeValley Tools Ltd.Call800/871-8158 orgoto $2.15. Using a pattern bit guided by scrapwood guides, rout a 2Vz"-widestopped channel 7e" deep in the bottom of the table.

Sand radiusto matchrabbetedcorners. Leavethesecornerssquare. l/a x 31/qx 81/2"hardboard

Sand radiusto match rabbetedcorners. Shop vacuumdust port #6 x 1/2"panhead SCTEW

#6 flat washer


-widestoppedchannel 21/2" 7a"deep,centeredon the 3t/zx 3t/2"cutout


Rout a 7e" rabbet t/e"deep along the edges of the 3lzx31/2"cutout and the edges of the 2lz"-wide channel,stopping 3" from its end. WOOD magazine

June/July 2004



world Newsandnotesfromthewoodworking

A hull of a workshop Justbecauseyou live on waterdoesn't meanyou can't work with wood. Simply askRon Moreland.His home-a24x55' houseboat-floats on the tidal watersof the SanFranciscoBay in Sausalito,California. After retiring two yearsago,Ron built a compactworkshopin a 9x15'unfinished bedroomin the boat'shull, placingthe shopunderwater, so to speak."I found workshopbooks of little value sincenone of them dealt with an areathis small," claims Ron. "Other than the jointer, I found I was able to put everythingin the shop. Each tool hasits placeand must be put backbeforeusingthe next one." By "everything" Ron meansa tablesaw,a full complementof benchtoppowertools,and a total-shopdust-collectionsystem.

Within the depths of this houseboatlies a fully functionalworkshop where Ron Moreland builds china cabinets,chests of drawers,and dining tables.

A bit of a stretch

When woodpulp (almost)ruled the seas Here's a little-known history lessonfrom the annalsof World War II. Frustratedwith the U-boat threatto shipping,GreatBritain, underthe leadershipof Winston Churchill, gavethe initial OK to developa giant unsinkable2,000'-longaircraft carrier made from ice and wood pulp. Pykrete,the brainchild of Geoffrey Pyke, was a materialthat could be hammeredand sawnand took foreverto melt. Becauseit consistedof 90 percent frozen water, it resistedsinking if hit. And it patchedeasily, sincethe ship-slated to be calledthe HMS Habbakuk-would be

constructedof some280,000easilyreplaceablePvkretecubes. Naturally, it would be a cold-watership, madein Canadaby 8,000workers.Plans called for a hollowed-outinterior featuring crew quarters,hangars,and a hugerefrigeration plant with 50'-thickwalls. Propelling the Habbakukat a top speedof 10 knots: 26 electric enginespoweredby a centralgenerating plant. However,the U-boat threat declineddue to anti-submarinewarfare breakthroughsand codebreaking,melting away any interestin the costly "berg-ship.

Ever cut a project part too shortor worked hard trying to eke the most from every board foot of someprecioushardwood?Of course!It's happenedto all of us. Here's how Rod Siminski of Lafayette,Indiana, solvedthe short-boarddilemma.He calls it his "wood stretcher."OK, so it doesn'treally work, but it surelooks like it does.Says Rod, "All my woodworking buddiesstare at it and conclude,'I've beenlooking for oneof those."'




./-'+ -ry'.6o


*cfG=l *:_jf





An unsinkablegiant aircraftcarrier made of ice and wood pulp was once on the planning table to become the pride of the British navy during World War ll.


Rod Siminski's ratcheting wood stretcher seldom fails to draw a smile from onlookers. Measuring18" long, it's made of pine, cherry walnut, padauk, and maple. Continuedon page 20 WOOD magazine

June/July 2004

short cuts

Woodturners, mark your calendars On June10-12,2004,the Utah WoodturningSymposiumwill celebrate its 25thanniversary at BrighamYoung Universityin Provo.Its biggestevent ever,the UWS plansto includemore than 100demonstrations by world-class turnersand an exhibitionof work that representsI 30 turnersfrom I 2 countries.To learnmoreor registerfor a workshop,visit, or call 8011422-2021.

Testyour workshop smarts and laterfurniture, were decoratedwith Betweenprojectsand looking for some stimulation?Ply your woodworkingIQ on fire-heatediron tips.In creativehandsthe thesecerebralchallenges.For the answers, end resultscanprove quite impressive. seethe next Short Cuts in WOODg maqazine,or go online right now to u o o r l r l r . r g l tizr t c . c i i i n / c t l r t o nr t i.

I For what major workshop tool can we thank the Shakers?

: Buy a tool, get a free plans i education..,and

I What clear woodworking finish among oil or film-forming products holds up best in direct sunlight? I Name the wood that for centuries has been the preferred speciesof violin bow makers. Answersto thequestions in issue155: I Can you name five woodworking tools that hail from the Stone Age? The knife, chisel,auger, adze,and axe (shownbelow) were all there at the dawn of woodworking.Unfortunatelyfor those early craftsmen,it wasn't until thousands of years later that WOODo magazine arrived on the scene.

Today,woodburningadistsuseelectrically heatedpensand a varietyof interchangeabletips to createdesigns. I How do you figure the length for a bandsawthat doesn't have a blade to measure from? If you lost your bandsawowner'smanual and don't havea bladeto measurefrom, or if you've addedriser blocks,put this simplemathformula to work to determine your tool's bladelength: Blade length= (2xA) + (3.l4xB) Key: A= distancein inchesbetweenbandsaw wheelcenterswhen the upper wheel is midway in its adjustmentrange B- bandsawwheeldiameter

i i , : : : r , r : i i : i : i , ; : :

Here'sa heads-upthat woodworkersof all skill levelswill like. FromJuneI through July 3l of this year,DeltaMachinerywill run a specialpromotionfor buyersof its tools at Lowe's homecenters.With the purchaseof any Deltamachine,you canbuy the new Do-It-YourselfWoodworkingKit for $19.95,thenmail in the tool's rebate andbe reimbursedfor the Kit's full amount. What is the "Kit"? It's a CD jam-packed with 15 qualityprojectplansfromWOODa magazine,and loadsof tips andtechniques by TV's masterwoodworkerScottPhillips. In his presentation, Scottworks through the machiningoperations,tune-ups,and safeuseof six majorworkshopmachines: the tablesaw,bandsaw,drill press,thickness planer,jointer,andcompoundmitersaw.He construction topsthat with the step-by-step of a Shaker-style bookcasefrom the March 2004issueof WOOD. In addition,you'll receive printabledrill and screwcharts and articleson shoplayout, dust-collection, finishing,and more.What if you don't buy a Deltamachine?No problem. You canstill get the CD for an unrebated $19.95.cF

Theauger(1),chisel(2),knife(3),adze(4), and axe (5). I Whatts the more common term for the woodworking processknown as pyrography? Woodburning.More precisely,the term pyrographyderivesfrom the Greekwords pur (meaningfire) and graphos(meaning writing). Regardlessof the name,the artisticprocessdatesback tol7th-century Europe when small woodenwareitems,


TV's master craftsmanScott Phillipsand WOOD magazineEditor-in-ChiefBill Krier pause for a photo during the taping of Delta'snew Do-lt-YourselfWoodworkingKit. WOOD magazine

June/Julyl 2004



for your shop

portable glue/paper trelcenter Equally at home mounted on a wall or sitting on your workbench.

WaII $torage $ystem this handy organizer on the lung Idea Shop 5 cleat systemfeatured ll I lon page 86 of the November 2003 issue of WOOb and quickly lift it off and move it wherever you work. It keeps your glue and glue clean-up supplies closeat hand.For this shopaid, cut partsA-D fromVz" plywood, part E from I

Vq"hndboard, part F from Vz" solid stock, and part G from 32" stock to the sizesnoted on the drawing below. Cut the dowel groove in the supports(D) to shape.Cut the dadoes, rabbets,and grooves,whereillustrated,in partsA, B, and F. Assemblethe unit. Cut a 3/q"dowelto fit betweenthe side piecesand into the dowel groove. ;


To hang the centerin a lEcrcnr shopwithout the cleat ?-3/4'-l system,eliminatepart G. For usewith the Idea Shop5 cleatsystem, screwthe cleat to the back F with the top edges ofFandGfl ush.l



V.'l I

#8 x 1" F.H.woodscrew-

the ldea Shop 5 : wall storage system at

rh" groove /+" deep't/q"fiom bottom


f\l_l I --;,1-\



vrEW I exeloDED


tAx6x131/2" hardboard


t # 8 x e / q " F . H . .wood screw


Tsz"shank hole, countersunk Projectdesign: Kevin Boyle

?6 WOOD magazine

June/]uly 2004

askwood fromletters, andW00DOnlineo Answers to yourquestions e-mails,

Hqwto cut rabbetson a jointer i infeedtablethat limits cutsto %" or less. i Most rabbetsaredeeperthanthat,so check your owner'smanualfor informationabout understand howto useit to makeraboverridingthe depthstop.Many jointers bets.What'sthe propermethod? -Stephen Vallery,Yardville, pin on the right side. N.J. havea spring-loaded it asyou Pull out on the pin to disengage perfect normal rabbets lower the infeed table beyond the You can make on 1 tr I I I yourjointer,Stephen, assoonas l limit. The rabbetingledgeservesasthe you takecareof a coupleof set-updetails. , maximumstopat a depthof about%". First,adjustyourjointer knivesso they . To makea rabbet,removethe guardso i that it doesn'tinterferewith the workpiece. extendt/tt" beyondthe front edgeof the : Note: Removalof this guard callsfor extra outfeedtable,as shownin Step 1; this ensuresthat your workpiecewon't hangup : cautionduring the rabbetingoperation.Set on the outfeedtablewhile slidingacrossthe i yourjointer fenceto establisheitherthe rabbetingarm and ledge.Second,determine i width of the rabbet(if you plan to placethe whetheryourjointer hasa depthstopon the i workpiecefacedownon ttt. jointer,as

shownin Step 2) or its depth(with the workpieceon edge,as shownin Step 3). A workpieceheldon edgeridessolelyon the infeedandoutfeedtables.Laid on its face,it receivesextra supportfrom the rabbetingarm,so choosethis positionwhen possible.As indicatedon the drawings,tearout is mostlikely on the surfacecut by the endsof thejointer knives. Finally,adjustthe infeedtablefor a light cut (approximatelyVs"for hardwoodsand Vq"for softwoods),placethe workpieceon the infeedtable,and makethe first pass. Form the rabbetwith a seriesof passes, loweringthe infeedtableeachtime and disengaging the depthstopwhennecessary.

For smooth rabbeting results,set all of your jointer knives so they project t/ez"beyond the outfeed table.

Choose a vedical orientationif you need to avoid tear-out on the workpiece face, created as the knife ends scrape the stock.

n !

I I have a 6" iointer with a . rabbeting ledge, but I don't

To make a rabbet, hold your workpiece flat on the jointer when possible.The rabbetingarm adds valuablesupport.

Slqrting a finish with tung oil spells trouble i .-r..,..,.lrnlquzinc.corl finishingforum, usingboiled : stronglyrecommends let it dry for a day,andthenfollowed linseedoil ratherthantung oil when withseveralcoatsof high-quality water- you want to accentuatefigure before base.Threedaysafterthe finalcoat applyinga topcoat.After applying wenton,whitepatchesbeganto appear boiledlinseedoil, andwith temperaIn thefinish.Whatwentwrong? turesofat least65 degreesF and -Tom Lendway, Vadnais Heights, Minn. averageindoorhumidity,Steve suggests waitinga weekbefore Tom, your problem from the topcoating with varnish,lacquer, stems I tr I I r tung oil. which needs to cure for polyurethane, or shellac.Lengthen your wait to 10 daysbeforeapplying several days before it's ready for a topcoat. For that reason, Steve Mickley, host of the a water-based topcoat. f| !

r tJtinisn a solid cherry tablJop, r I applieda coat of pure tung oil,

lf you apply oil to bare wood and follow too soon with a water-basedtopcoat, white spots begin to appear within a few days. To repairthis situation, strip or sand the piece and start over. Continuedon page 26


WOOD magazine

June/July 2004

S T E V EW A L L L U M B E R C O . Quality Hardwoods and Woodworkingmachinery For The Craltsnan an d Educatton al I nstituttons

*NOW AVAILABLECustomMade Panel Raised Doors Cabinet

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ask wood Oil-basedstain is OI( uryler a water-basedtopcoat if I apply r WillI haveproblems f| . a water-based topcoatoveran ! stain?Howaboutan oiloil-based stain? basedfinishoverwater-based -Bill McTaggart, CaliforniaCity,Calif.

; No problemin eithercase,Bill, as r long asyoLrallow the stainto dry

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thoroughly. Wait as recommendedon the stain and topcoatcontainersand then put yor.rrface next to the surface and sniff. If you smell the stain,give it more time. Whether you staft with oil- or waterbasedstain, switching to the other type of topcoat actually helps avoid trouble. If you brush or wipe on a topcoat that contains the same solvent as the might dissolvethe stain and causesmearinc.

A clean, sharphole everytime. Nochipg no splits, n0 errors. It takesskill anda sharp drillbk. Andfhat takesthe l'




DrillDoctoP drillbitsharpener. , , , , . : ' ; 1 1 ,, l ; . '

Check the stain and topcoat containersfor guidelinesabout waitingtimes.The label of this product recommendswaiting 48 hours after applying an oil-basedstain.

to a woodworking lf you'relooking forananswer question, LocustSt,, writeto AskW000,1716 orsendus DesMoines, lA 50309-3023 GA-310, Forimmediate ane-mailat postyour feedback fromyourfellowwoodworkers, forums at ononeof ourwoodworkinq ouestion


WOOD rnagazine

June/July 2004

the pros know

epoxygoes mainstream While mostwoodworkersshy awayfrom epoxy,furnituremaker RobertHensarlingfindsit the adhesiveof choicein his workshop, andfor goodreason.

amedfor his mesquiteTexas-style rockingchairs(featuredin issue 112of WOODa magazine),Robert Hensarlingusesepoxyfor just aboutall his whetherthe furniture assembly,regardless finds a homein a living or boardroom. What gives(or doesn'tgive)with epoxy? We askedRobertabouthis heavyreliance on it, seekinganswersthat you too canput to usein your shop.

fl X

epoxyfor . Whydoyouchoose r yourjoinery?

lt r I like it becauseit maintainsa little 5L I resiliencyaftercuring.In other words,it expandsandcontractsas wood moves.I work mostlywith mesquite,but find thatepoxyalsoperformswell with otherwoodsI work includingquiltedmaple andblackwalnut.Anotheradvantage: Comparedto yellow glues,it givesme more workingtime (approximatelyl5 to 30 minbeforeit setsup. utes)for adjustments

overnight.ThenI remove with a die the squeeze-out grinder,carbidegrinding wheel,or a drill with a 60- or 8O-gritsanding drum,as shownin the photo,below.BecauseI leaveVtt" to t/g"extra stockto removeon curvedjoints for blending purposesafterassembly,usinga grinder or sandingdrum alsohelpsto sculptthe area to final shape.After grinding,I finish-sand the areausinga palm sanderwith progressivelyfiner grits of sandpaper. buttjoint, I remove For a square-edge excessepoxyusinga papertowel right after clampingthe partstogether.When the epoxycures,I sandthe areato removeany remainingadhesive.I don't useacetoneor othersolvents,which can seepin and weakenjoints or clog openwood pores.

() X

. What do you mix the epoxy in, r and how do you apply it? I.mix the epoxyin throwawayplasr I I tic cupsusingwood sticks,suchas {t To paint stirrersandtonguedepressors. fully contactthe ensurethatthe depressors cup sideandbottomfor thoroughmixing, I squarethe roundendson a disc or belt sander.I applythe epoxyusingthe sticks gluebrushes. anddisposable


It r For mostjoinery, I useSystem {} I Three'sGeneralPurposeEpoxy. (Call 800/333-5514, or on theWeb at It comeswith a resin In winter and a choiceof threehardeners. weather,I go with their fasthardener;at normal 60 degreeto 100degreetemperatures, their mediumhardenerworks well; on really hot Texasdays,I usetheir slow hardener. hardenergivesme the Usingthe appropriate neededopentime to spreadout, fine-adjust, andclampjoints.

Solvents and safety

Howdoyou fr| . Epoxycanbemessy. r with squeeze-out? deal { Ilf .I assembleeverythingrough,sanded r with nothingfiner than60-grit fl paper.For a sculptJdjoint, suchasbetween an arm and a leg, I let the epoxy cure

r Whattypesof epoxiesdo you use r for joinery?

A drill with a sanding drum quickly removes excess cured epoxy and blends the joint between this arm and leg.

Solventsfor epoxyincludeacetone, lacquerthinner,denaturedalcohol, and ordinarywhitevinegar.These work fine for cleaningtools,but not so well on skin becausethese thinnerscan permeateyour Pores. Robertalwayswears disposable latexgloveswhen he mixes,Pours, dispenses,spreads,clamps,or cleansup epoxy.Also,work in a spaceor wear a well-ventilated respirator,he warns.Fumesfrom epoxiespose healthhazards. Continuedon page 30 WOOD magazine

June/July 2004

the pros know For joints that I leaveparticularlyloose, suchaslegjoints, I useSystemThree'sT88 StructuralEpoxy Adhesiveinsteadof the GeneralPurposeEpoxy becauseit's thicker andwon't run out. (BecauseI test-fitthese joints many times during construction,the loosefit reducesthe chanceof damagingthe parts.)T88 epoxycomeswith a resinand : as one hardener,and it curesin temperatures low as 35 degrees. i i

a A

do you I To fill gapson surfaces, r addsawdustto the epoxy? 1I prefernotto dothis,andhere's r why.I've foundthattheepoxycolor

changeswhen you add sawdust,particularly with mesquite,which makesa repairedarea more noticeable.I've ffied addingtints to get a bettercolor match.but found this unsatisfactory too. For me, usingjust the basicclear amberepoxy works best.

n X

r Howdoyourepairepoxied ioints? themapart? r Byknocking

tI r You can't knock an epoxiedjoint r apartas easilyas one assembledwith ff water-basedglues.What I do insteadwhen chair making is saw off a piece-say a back slat.flush at the seatand headcrest.Then I drill out thejoints, making the hole in the

Thisarmllegjoint cutawayshowshow the the dowelin an overepoxyencapsulates the dowel. sizehole,strengthening headcresttwice as deepas the one in the seat,and epoxy a new slat in place.This sametechniqueworks for replacingan arm or aleg, but you must be very careful when cutting out the brokenpart to avoid removingstockat thejoint from the adjoiningpart.

f| X

a iointforePoxy . Doyouprepare thanforyellowglue? r ditferently

r Yes. One of the things I like about lt frf r epoxy is that it lets me make what I call "floating dowel" joints. With these,I drill slightly oversizeholesso the dowels have a loosefit. Epoxy fills the space aroundthe dowels,as shownin the photo, above,which makesthem stronger and lets me makeadjustmentswhen clampingthe partstogether.Another nice featureaboutepoxy is that it won't swell dowelsor biscuitsbecausethere'sno water in it. tl

Robertoffersfour-dayseminars buildingas well on rocking-chair For as one-on-oneinstruction. write Robert more information, Hensarling , 4926 East Main Street,Uvalde,TX 78801,or visit his Web

WOOD magazine

|une/July 2004


workshop sawl/



For a solld leg with two adlacentshowpiecefaces, as shown at left,cut and hssemblethe four piecesyou see below.

best face formrd When you build with quartersawn oak, use these simple techniques to display as much beautiful figure as possible.

distinctive ray flecks of quarter-Jllhr -sawn white oak play a key role in | beautifying the mission tall clock on page 38. When making it, we took exta stepsto show as much of that figure as possible.<n adjacentfaces,for instance. To work similar magic with yow projects, ty the three techniqueshere whenever you build with wood that bearsbeautiful figure on its facesbut not on its edges.

The mission clock standson legs that run full length.If we had laminated4l4 stock face-to-faceto build the tegs, each leg would show ordinary-lotiking edge grain on

STEP l: Tilt a combination blade away from the tablesaw fence at 45o. (On this right-tilt saw, we moved the fence left of the blade.) Set the fence to cut the upper (outside) face of your 4/4 workpiece l/te" wider than the leg's final width. Clamp a board to the fence to serve as a hold-down, install a feather board, and bevel-rip to form a leg corner.

STEP 2: Remove the feather board and set the fence to cut spline slots in the bevelripped edges where shown, centercd %" from the inside corner. Adiust the blade height to cut a kerf 1/d' deep. Replace the feather board and add a second feather board where shown for extra support. Now' using a pushstick, cut a slot on each piece.


Md<e_fircdigp-lay-worthy ! facesfor eacli leg

two oppositqfaces and ray fleck on the other faces.Instead,we used a simple technique to place extaordinary figure on both adjacentoutside surfacesas shown in the leg above. Here's how to make this splinedmiter joint with a filler.

STEP 3: On your tablesaw, cut a piece of 7e" hardboad to make a spline %e" wide and the same length as the leg corners. This spline aligns the miter ioint during assembly. By keeping the spline slightly nanower than the combined depth of the two kerfs, you ensunethat it won't bottom out and cause assembfy problems' conrinued on page 34 WOOD magazlne




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Apply glue to both mitered sudaces and the spline.Slip the spline into place, join the two leg corners, and apply masking tape to hold them until the glue dries. Tape across the joint at 6" intervals. Clamp any area that refuses to line up.

RiP a fillerPiece ('h 'h" for the clock leg)to fit the L-shape space of the leg assembly and crosscut it to the same length as the leg. Glue and clarnp it in place. After the glue dries, reduce the leg to its fina. dimensions with a jointer or planer.

Dress uD a narrow edqe to matdh your desiin

Cut wide bevels according to the end grain

T h c l l ' o n to l ' t h c I n i s : i o t tc l o c k s h o r rs t h c c d g c o l ' t l r r c ec l i ri c l c t ' - l l ' u r trtaci l s :o t t c l t t t h e t o p o l ' t h c c a s c .o l t c l t t t h c l - r o t t t l t lltt.l l c tl t t t c l - r c t u e e tnh c c k r o r s . , \s i n t l t l cs t c pt l ' i u t s cclgcittttt Ltttattrltctivc lirrnrscach ol'clirtitt'r' c l c t a i cl o r t t p l c n t c n t i r t ch c c l o o r sa t t c l c g s . Sclcct it tticclr' figurcd scrltl.r lticcc lts lotlg lusthc erposcclcdcc uttclrilt a blank lts ri itlc . t t n l t l u c ct h c b l a r t k a s t h c c c l g ct h i c k n c s sN u i t h i t s f i g u r c t ll r . t c cu s u i n s tv o u t 't l t b l c s l t r i r i p l ' c n c eu r t ccl L t tu r + - t h i c k s t r i l t .( ' i l L r ct l l r s stril-rort thc cclgcto tnukc the tlil'l'crcttcc s h o u ' n .K c e l l t h i s t c c h t t i c l uict t r t t i t t t rl i h c t t 1'orrbLrilclshelr cs too.

I j i n a l l r . h c t ' c ' su s l t c ei l t l i z c t lt c el t t t r t l L rlcl l l r t l p l t l i c s t o r i i t l c . s l l L l l o i i b c r ' . - ' l lsi l ' e t l l e l t t c o n t h c l o l t t t ' i t l o l ' t l t c t t t i r s i t t t ct l o el ' . .. \ : \ ( ) u s c c . r t c l o o l ' c r l i t t ' - ' t l ( lg t ' l i i t ll l t t t l t ' l l t l t e l t t i o t ' l ' , 1 t i c cuc i t i t l n t i r t : l o p i l t ! t ( ) \ \l l l ' t l ( ) l l c

A p p l y a 7 q " - t h i c ks t r i p , w h i c h is easy to handle and clamp without gaps. Remember to allow for the thickness of this piece as you plan and build a divider or shelf.

c ( ) r ' n c r -( .' r r t l t b c t c l r t c r t l s st l t c , ' t ' l t i t t .l i : s h o u n . l i l l t h c b c . t eI l t t t c c t t l ' c r l t t t : r r l g t ' l t , r I ' l c c l . t i n o u l . . .t ' u r i l c c l . ,i s t t i t t s t q t t ' c ltt l c t l t o t l : L t t - l ' u c ctst i t h g t ' o t tt h t ' i t t g st l t l t t t ' t t t ll l c l ' l l c l l r [ i er r l l L rt o t l . t o s c: t t t ' l l t r ' c s) . f

End grain tells you where to cut a wide bevel o n a w h i t e o a k o r r e d c - r a kb o a r d . O r i e n t t h e b e v e l e d e d g e s o t h a t i t ' s p e r p e n d i c u l a rt o the grain direction.

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WOOD rnagiazine You Can do it. We can help.

June,/July 2004

vtrood words W00D@ magazine termsusedthroughout A quickguideto must-know

Biscuit: A commonnamefor footballshapewooden"plates"usedin joinery. beech,biscuitsfit Made from compressed into slotscut with a biscuitjoiner (see bottom),or a slot-cuttingbit in a router. Biscuitsincreaseglue surfacein thejoint for improved holding power and hold the joint in alignmentduring clamping.Three traditional sizes(#0, #10, #20) are most common.but severalother sizesexist.

Biscuits shown full-size

Biscuit joiner: A specializedpowertool madeto cut slotsthat accepthardwood biscuits.The tool most often resemblesan anglegrinder with a precisionfence and baseaddedon. Thesepartsof the tool work togetherto align a retractablecircular blade that plungesinto the matingjoint members at the desiredslot location.Each plunge createsone half of the biscuit slot.

lVlaterials list: A chart accompanyinga woodworkingproject that detailsevery part by letter, name,dimensions,material,and quantity.The list may include notesthat indicatespecialcuffing instructions.

A face


41/q' Ss/au BEM


B backer


41/c' 57s"



C sides


13/4' 55/a'



Cutting Diagram: An illustratedguide 1/2u 41/q' 55/s' C 1 D back that depictsthe quantitiesand sizesof E subtop boardsrequiredfor a project as well as 2 andbottom Yzu 3' 61/z' C whereeachpart shouldbe laid out to F tooandbottom Vau 3Va' 71/a' C minimize waste.While extremelyhandy l/zu 7/s' Vru 4 C G-capitals for defining lumber needs,cutting diagrams H1/zo 3/co 4Va' 2 C oillars can't accountfor -Parts cutting Diagram initially cutoversize. Seetheinstructions, grain variationsin Materials key: BEM-bird's-eye maple,C-cherry, solid wood stock or sheetgoods, or for defectsin 3/+x51/z x 12" Bird's-eyemaple(.5 bd. ft.) solid stock.So. usea cutting diagramas a guidelineonly.

Air-dried lumber: Boardsthat have dried naturallyby stackingthem in the openair, as shownabove andright. Air flows betweenthe boards.allowing the moisturein the wood to evaporate.Air drying can take as long as one year per inch of boardthickness.In all but the driestregions,moisturecontent rarely falls below 12 to 20 percent without additionaldrying indoors. Kiln-dried lumber: Stickeredboardsdried at an acceleratedrate by exposureto warm, dry air inside a chambercalled a kiln. By controlling airflow, humidity, and temperature, this processreducesmoisturecontentin just daysor weeksto desiredlevels-6 to 10 percent for hardwoodsand high-gradesoftwoods,12 to 20 percentfor constructionlumber.ll


WOOD magazine

June{uly 2004


trikingIooks aside, thismastffi .;"i;iiTil;i'fi ;'ffi . eral f-eaturesthat reflect simplicity and flexibility in desisn. For starters.the case uses straightforward joinery. and mortise-and-tenon Stub-tenon-and-groove leg-mortiseplugsgive the side Addedto this,easy-to-make look. Also, you havea rails a time-honoredthrough-tenon choiceof a mechanicalclock movement,asshownttt,or a less-expensive battery-poweredqvartzchiming movement with separatependulumdrive. No matterthe movementyou select,the caseconstructionremainsthe same.Finally, if you wish to build the clock usingquartersawnwhite oak, as we did, you'll find the designallorvsfor maximumdisplay


Make some gorgeous legs

Il sroeASSEMBLY (lnsidefaceshown)

't/q x 13/q"mortise s/0" deep, centered 3/e'

I -J1 @


Note: To display quartersawnoak ray fleck on adjacentoutsidefaces of the clock's legs, we joined together two corners (A)-showing fleckwith a spline(B), andfiller (C) in the configurationshownon Drawings 1, 1a, and 1b. If you plan to use unfigured wood, saveyourself work by making the legs from solid stock. Cut them to the finished size of lt/zxlt/2x797/a"from 8/4 stock or from laminated4/4 stock. Then,continue with Step 4 on page40. Cut the corners(A) to lsls" wide and 81" long. (You'll trim them to their finished width of lVz" and length of 797/s"after assembly.) Angle your tablesawbladeto a precise45o,and bevel-ripone edgeof each corner piece face-sideup, where shown on Drawing la, leaving the piecesextra wide. Then, lower the blade and cut a Vt" grooveVq" deep along the corner pieces' bevelededges,where dimensionedon Drawing1b, to receivethe splines(B). For help on cutting and assembling the legsandfor techniquesto showfigure on the edgesandbevels of otherparts,seepage 32.

. Overalldimensionsare 251A"wide x 161/2"deep x 80t/a"high. . For the board feet of lumber,clock/hardwareand lumber kits, and other items neededto build this project,see page 46. o To make it easy for you to installand adjust the clock, we've preparedcustom installationinstructionsthat are suppliedwith the kits.

LEGDETAIL t/a" tabbet 7a" deep, stopped 5" from bottom (rear legs only)


Rightrear leg

1 / l l


f7a" gfOOVeS s/ro"deep, stopped 21/a"trom bottom

lnside faces




_t Rishtrronttes

1/qx 43/a"mortise s/0" deep,


How to ensure

. / l l


1 7/a')

t/q"rabbel7e"deep, stopped5" from bottom(rearlegs only)



f--F tl )'/a


1/qx 21/2"mortise g/ro"deep

solid joints

and a stunning


For rock-solidcaseconstruction and a showstopping appearance, followthesepointers. 1 When cuttinggroovesand rabbetsto fit plywoodparts,be sure I to matchyour dadobladeto the plywood'sthickness. rl For pedect{ittingtenons,save your parts'cutoffsand maketest 4 tenonsto verifythe fit. Thencut the tenonson the parts. 2 For a continuousgrainflow betweenadjacentparts,suchas the rJ top and bottomside panels(F, G) and top and bottomdoor stiles(V, W), lay themout in the arrangement shownon the Gutting Diagram,page 46.



DETATLS TENoN E sroe-nArL (lnsidefaceshown)

e/o+" shank hole,countersunkon backface


1/q"groove s/ro"deep

#6 x3/l' F.H." wood screw

i / l l






/+" grooves s/ro"dgep, centered

1/q"groove s/ro"deep


a / l l t/4




1 1 1/z' 747/a'




Cut the %"-thick tempered-hardboard sPlines(B) '/ta" wide and 81" long. Then, glue and assemblethe corners (A) and splines,keepingtheir endsflush. Apply painter'stape every piecesof easy-release to hold the beveled 6" acrossthe assemblies joint tight. When the glue dries,removethe tape, and scrapeoff any squeeze-outfrom the insideand outsidesurfaces. Cut the 3/q"-thick fillers (C\ 3h" wide and 81" long.Then,glue andclampthemto the cornerassemblies,where shown,keeping their ends flush. When the glue dries, scrape off any squeeze-out.Next, using your thicknessplaner or a horizontaldrum sander,plane or sandthe corners(A) flush with the fillers, leaving 1/:"-squarelegs. Now, cut the legs to the finishedlength by trimming their ends. Rout t/s" chamfersalong the legs' bottom edges.To keep the leg locations straight,mark their top ends ("front right," for example).Also, to ensureyou machine the legs' mortises,grooves,and rabbetsin the correct faces, mark the legs' inside faces,whereshownon Drawing1b,keeping in mind the left and right pairs of legs are mirror images. 40


mortiseat the botLay out the t/+x21/2" tom of eachleg, wheredimensionedon Drawing 1, to receive the bottom rail (L) tenons,where shown on Drawing 3. Note that the mortisesareoffset(not centered)on the legs.Then,onthefront faceof thefront legs,lay out the Vqxls/4"uppermortisesand lower mortises,where dimenthe V+x43A" sioned, for the leg-mortiseplugs (N, O). Thesemortisesarc centered. Using a tA" brad-pointbit in your drill press and a fence to keep the holes aligned, drill the mortises to the depths shown. Then, squaretheir sides and ends with a chisel.For help on cutting mortises and tenons,seepage 68.

Using a t/+" dado blade, cut an offset sAo"-deepgroove stopped 2t/4" ftomthe bottom on the marked inside face of each l"g, where dimensioned on Drawing 1. (You'll need to change the fence position for two of the legs.) Now, along the back inside edge of the rear legs, cut a t/+" rabbet 3/8" deep, stopped 5" from the bottom, where shown on Drawings 1 and 1b, for the back (M). For an easy way to form the stopped grooves and rabbets, see the Shop Tip, opposite page, rigltt. WOOD magazine

June/July 2004

Using an auxiliary fence positioned 1/t"from the outside of the dado blade and a miter-gauge auxiliary extension for backup, cut the tenons on the side rail'sends.

Note: Becauseboth sidesof the sidepanels (F, G) that go in the /+" Ieg groovesare visible in the clock and our quartersawnwhite oak plywood hnd only one good side, we veneeredtheseparts to provide two good sides, as explained later. The overall plywood/veneerthichtessmeasuredexactly%".

Using a mallet and a scrap wood block, tap the middle side rail (D)to position its top edge 17t/a"from the assembly's top. Mark the rail's location for easy realignment.

,r'. Sandthe legs (A/B/C), siderails (D, E), ..-'rand side panels (F, G) with 220-git sandpaper.Dry-assemble and clamp the parts togetherto form the two sides,exactly positioning the middle side rails (D), as shown in Photo B, to ensurethat the clock movement and the clock face align later. Then, disassembleand glue and clamp the parts together.

the stiles (H) and rails (I), where shown on Drawing 4. Then, adjust the blade height and cut /+" tenonson the ralls' ends. ;S Glue and clamp together the divider '.i& framesand panels.When the glue dries, sandthem smooth.Then, lay out notchesin the stiles (H) to fit around the legs, where dimensioned.Bandsawthe notches. Gompletethe sides ffi Cut V+"tonguesalong the notchedends #of the frames, where shown, to fit the $ Cut the top/middle side rails (D), botd* tom side rails (E), and top and bottom Add the divider frames groovesin the siderails (D, E). '+i plywood sidepanels(F, G) to the sizeslistCut the divider stiles (H), divider rails ffi'Cut the bottom rails (L) to size. Then, ii,#cut tZ" tenons Vz" long on the rails' ,.:*,(I), and plywood divider panels (J) to ed in the Materials List. If you wish to veneer the less attractive side of the quar- size to make a top, middle, and bottom ends, where shown on Drawings3 and 3a, tersawnwhite oak plywood, as we did, see divider frame,where shownon Drawings3 to fit the legs' mortises. Make certain the Sources. Apply the veneer as directed in and 4. Note that only the top and bottom shoulder-to-shoulderlength of the rails the suppliedinstructions.. frames have panels.Then, cut the V+"edg- exactly matchesthe I7Vz" notch-to-notch # Using aV.a"dadoblade,cutasAa"-deep ing (K) to3/q"wide and 19V4"long. Cut it so length of the divider frames' front stiles &.4groovecenteredalong both edgesof the quartersawnfigure showson its face. (H), where shown on Drawing4, to ensure Ss Glue and clamp the edging to three that the clock case assemblescorrectly. middle siderails (D) and along one edgeof ,*:'*stiles (H) for the front. When the glue Draw, bandsaw,and sand the rails' arches the top side rails (D) and bottom side rails (E), where shownon Drawing2. dries, sandthe edging flush. to shape. 'skUsing a /q" dado blade, cut sAo"-deep ;$Clue and assemblethe sides(A through {$ Adjust your dado blade, if needed,and '*#cut '4u;;:grooves ,,Si"" V+" grooves5/16"deep on the inside centeredon one edge of all of G), divider frames (HlIlJlK), and botface of the side rails (D, E), where dimensioned,to receivethe tongueson the divider frames (H/llJ/K). SeeDrawing 3. S to form tenons on the ends of the Don't get stumped when cutting slft side rails, set up your tablesaw as stopped grooves or rabbets shown in Photo A. Next, cut a tA"-long Here'san easy way to form stoppedgrooves tenon in scrap, and test-fit it in the legs' or rabbets,such as the ones for the clock's grooves.Adjust your setupif needed.When legs (A/B/C).Drawa line on the saw table satisfied,cut the tenonson the rails' ends. where a bladetip at the front of the blade passesthroughthe insert,whereshownon Then, place the top side rails (D) on edge the drawing,right.Then, draw a line on the and trim the tenons' width to 27/te". Repeat part whereyou want to stop the grooveor for the bottom side rails (E), where shown, rabbet(for example,2tA"from a leg's bottom to trim their tenonsto 57Ao"wide. for the stopped1/c"groove).Now,cut the ffi Using a fairing stick, draw the arch on groove,stoppingwhen the two markedlines a,"sthe bottom side rails, where dimenalign.The bladewill leavea radiusedareaat sionedon Drawing2. Bandsawand sandthe the stoppedend.Squareit with a chisel. archesto shape.




r/a"groovess/ro"deep, centered

(3 needed)


t/e" chamfer



:--J/ '/a

for part@ forpan@

t/a"rabbets t/a"deep z/ax 11h" notch t/a x 11/2"nolch



t/a" deep




Note: Middledividerframe has no panel@.

Locationof part@on the middledividerframe 171/z'


7/au Loc'ationof part @on the bottomdividerframe


tom rails (L) together,as shownin PhotoC. Be sure to apply glue to the divider-frame notchesto adherethe frames to the legs. ,1,'.,From /+" plywood, cut the back (M) to 'i, size.Sandit smooth,and setit aside.

the plugs and trim Next: '',

Plane stock to Vz" thick, and cut two ,-i,2x8" blanks to form the upper legmortise plugs (N) and a 5x8" blank to


Glueand clampthe dividerframeslt{AlJlK) and bottomrails(L)betweenthe side makingsureto locatethe frame assemblies, withouta panelin the middle.

form the lower leg-mortise plugs (O), where shown on Drawings 1 and 5. Note that the plugs will show face grain on their sidesto give the appearancethat the side rails (D, E) have throughtenons. '.. Using your tablesaw,follow the setup and instructionson Drawing 6, steps 1 through 3, to form the plugs from the blanks.Sandthe plugs smooth.Then, glue them in the less' mortises.

,r',,, Plane stock to 1" thick, and cut a '..:,,,.;43/ex64" workpieceto form the side and front trim (P, Q) for the top. Angle your tablesawblade to 18o from vertical, and bevel-rip the workpiece, where dimensioned on Drawing 7a. Then, rotrt a Vs" chamfer along an edge of the workpiece, where shown. Now. miter-cut the trim to the listed lengths, cutting the pieces in sequence(side, front, side) to maintain a continuousgrain flow. .':.,Adjust your biscuit-joinerfenceto cenr.,,?'ter the cutter on the trim's thickness. Plungeslotsfor #20 biscuitsin the mitered ends, where shown on Drawing 7. Next, drill countersunk shank holes through the top of the trim 3/s" from its back edge, where shown on Drawings7 and 7a. Then, glue and assemblethe trim with biscuits. When the glue dries, position the trim on the case,flush with the rear legs' back face and centered side-to-side.Clamp it in WOOD magazine



7se"shank hole,countersunkon bottomface located --r- ' - part - ' - \ 7 6Et 1" from end and 1" from backedge of r



Mitered ends

t/e"chamfer 7o+"pilot hole t/z" deep






#6 x3/q"panheadscrew t/2"slot 7" long tZ" from front edge and centeredside-to-side Mechanicalclock movement

vrEW fl exnloDED

Magnetic catchstrikes



Magneticcatch-.. strike \


place. Now, drill1/eq" pilot holes r/2" deep centered in the shank holes into the top divider frame, and drive the screws.

Put on a beautiful face Cut the face blocks (R) to size. Then, drill two t,/td"holes through the front edge, where dimensioned on Drawing 4, to receive magnetic catches, where shown on Drawing 7. (The catcheshold the clock-face frame in place.) Now, dnll 3/rc" holes to form 7rc"-long slots through the top of the blocks, where dimensioned on Drawing 4. Using your vise, press magnetic catches into the %e" holes.

To mount the face blocks to the top of the middle divider frame's front stile (H) and to the bottom of the top divider frame's front stile, where shown on Drawing 7, position the blocks t/2" back from the stiles' notches (the legs' back face), where dimensioned on Drawing 4. Clamp the blocks in place. Now, drill pilot holes, centered in the slots, into the stiles, and drive the panhead screws. From 3/,+"-thtckstock, cut a 2t/qx78" workpiece for the frame members (S). Using your tablesaw, form a lt/2" rabbet t/+" deep on the workpiece's front face, where dimensioned on Drawing 8a. Then,

using a I "-tall auxiliary fence attachedto the fence on your table-mountedrouter and positioning the workpiece on edge with the rabbeted surface against the fence, rout a Vq" chamferalong the piece, whereshown.Sandthe workpiecesmooth. Now, miter-cut four l1z/s"-long frame membersfrom the piece.Glue, assemble, and clamp the frame together. Mark centerpointsfor two 1/ro"holes in the frame for magnetic catches, where dimensionedon Drawing8. (These catcheshold the top door closed.)Using a Forstnerbit, drill the holes. Now, install the catches.



z/o+" shankhole, --1 I countersunkon backface 173/a" #4 x s/a"F.H. wood screw

e/q"hole drilled after assernbly


--------'-\d l

l l

11/q' 21/2'


--@:=N1"nng1ic 17e/a'

catch s/c"tinger holes 1/ , "


FRAME t/q" chamfer routedafter forming 1t/2"rabbet the rabbet t/q" deep


I t





From /+" plywood, cut the backer(T) to size.Mark the top. Then,drill a /e" hole through the backer, where dimensioned. Positionthe backer(without the clock face) on the back of the frame flush with its top and sides.(The backer extends Vto" from the frame's bottom, which centers the frame in the clock casewith a t/ro"reveal at the top and bottom.) Clamp the parts together.Now, drill countersuirkmounting holesthroughthe backerand into the frame, and drive the screws. '' Mark centerpointson the frame for two ' . '3/+"finger holes, where dimensioned.

Glue and clamp the cleats (BB)to the top side panels (F) using 4l/e"-wide spacers to position the cleats above the middle divider. 44

Using a Forstnerbit in your drill press,bore the holes through the frame and backer. Match the location of the magnetic catch strikes on the back of the frame/backerassembly(S/T) with thoseof the catches in the face blocks (R). See Drawing7. Drill pilot holes,and mountthe strikes using the supplied screws. Install the assemblyin the case.

Createthe prized doors Cut the top/bottomrails (U), top door stiles(V), andbottomdoor stiles(W) to the listed sizes.

Glue and clamp the clock seat (CC)/movement to the cleats (BB),locatingthe seat's front edge 3" back from the legs' front face.

Lay out V+xlVz"mortiseson the top and bottom door stiles (V, W), where dimensionedon Drawing 9. Using a Vq" Forstnerbit, drill the mortises lt/ro" deep. Squarethem with a chisel. Referringto Drawing9a, cut tenonson the ends of the top and bottom door rails (U) to fit the stiles' mortises.Then, mark the locationsfor the door-pull mounting holes on the stiles (V, W), where dimensioned on Drawing 9. Drill a V4" counterboreV+"deepwith a %0" hole centeredinsidethroughthe stiles' front face at the marked locations, where shown on Drawing9b. , Glue and clamp the doors together, "' checking for square. When the glue dries,sandthe doorssmooth. " Rout a 3/s" rabbet3/s"deep around the inside edgeof the doors,where shown on Drawing9, to receivethe glassand glass stops(X). Squarethe cornerswith a chisel. Mount 2t/2" no-mortisehinges on the door stiles, where dimensioned,using the supplied screws.Then, position each door in its opening, flush with the legs' front face, and centered top to bottom. Check for a uniform reveal all aroundequal to the hinge-side reveal (approximately z/tz"). Remove the doors and plane their edges, if needed,to achieve the desired reveal.Now, screwthe hingesto the legs. Plane stock to t/q" thick, and rip two z/sx96" strips for the glass-stopblanks (X). Measurethe doors' rabbetedopenings, and then cut the horizontal and vertical stopsto length to fit the openings.Set the stopsaside. ' . Measure the opening between the bot'..'tom door's rails (U) and stiles (W). Then, plane stock to t/q"thick, and cut the Vz"-widehorizontaland vertical glasstrim (Y, Z) to length to fit the opening.Next, using a dado blade, cut a W" groove t/re" deep centeredon the trim's back face for clear silicone caulk, where shown on Drawing 9c. Now, cu,tVz"half-lapsin the back face of the vertical trim and front face of the horizontaltrim, where dimensioned on Drawing 9. Glue and clamp the trim together. When the glue dries, sand the assemblysmooth. s/a"thick, and cut the .,'.,Plane stock to ' ,,doorblocks(AA) to size,miter-cutting them, where shown on Drawing7. Next, drill a 1Ae"hole through the blocks, where shown. Then, install magnetic catchesin the holes.Now, glue and clamp the blocks to the top of the bottom divider frame's front stile (H) and to the bottom of the middle divider frame's front stile, where dimensionedon Drawing 4. Match the location of the masnetic catch strikes on WOOD rnagazine

June/July 2004

the back face of the doors with the catches in the clock-face frame (S) and door blocks, and mount the strikes.


1 / a x 1 3 1 / zx 1 3 t l 2 "g l a s s



Time for the clock Cut the cleats (BB), clock seat (CC), chime mount (DD), and chime-mount suppon (EE) to the listed sizes.Remove the frame/backer assembly (S/T). Then, install the cleats (BB) in the case against the top side panels (F), where dimensioned on Drawing 7 and as shown in Photo D. Cut a t/2" slot 7" long Vz" from the front edge of the clock seat (CC) and centered side-to-side, where shown. (We formed the slot by drilling /:" holes at the ends, and then scrollsawing it to shape.) Then. wearing cotton gloves to protect the brass. moLlnt the mechanical clock movement on the seat, as directed in the instructions supplied with the movement. Now. install the seat/movementin the case, as shown in Photo E. Glue and clamp the chime mount (DD) to the chime-mount support (EE), where shown on Drawing 7, keeping the support's top face and the mount's top edge as well as their ends flush. When the glue dries, drill countersunk shank holes through the support's bottom face, where shown. Install the chimes on the mount (DD), as directed.Then, position the assembly in the case tight against the top divider frame with the back edge of the supporl (EE) 3%" from the back (M), where shown. Using the support's mounting holes as a guide, drillT/oq" pilot holes t/2" deep into the rails (I). Now, drive the screws.


El ooons

1 / qx 1 1 / 2 m " o r l i s e , 1 % 0 "d e e p




7e" rabbets 7a" deep, routed after assemblv


l I 3/eu


%" half-laps


1/qx 11/2"

27z"no-mortise hinges

monises 1%0d " eep

l( -'i| 8t_'-) l#17x s/+" I brad tl


--/ , l-12'/" '/a glass x 131/zx 511/t 1 / l l

Strike location


#17 x s/c" brad

s/a"rabbets 7e"deep, routedafter assembly

Finish up Remove the doors, clock movement, chimes,and hardware.Then, sandany Strike areasthat need it wrth 220-grit sandpaper. location Removethe dust. Apply a stain,if you wish. (We used WatcoDanishOil Finish,Dark Walnut, lightly sandingit when dry with 320-gnt DOOR.TRIMDETAIL sandpaper.)Top-coat with a clear finish. (viewedfromback) TENONDETAIL SECTIONDETAIL (We applied three coatsof AquaZarWatert/a" grooves BasedClearSatinPolyurethane, sandingto 1/q" % o "d e e p , 320 gnt betweencoats.) centeredfor clear Note: Let thefinish dryfor sevendaysbefore siliconecaulk you install the clock movementbecause 7q" counterbore fumeswill degradethemovement'slubricatt/q" deeo with a 3/ro"hole ing oil, causing premature welr and centered inside mechanicalproblems, Install the glassand glassstops(X) in the doors,where shown on Drawing9, using #17x3/4"brads.To preventsplitting door pulls as shownon Drawings7 and 9. your workbench.Cleanthe glass.Then,to the stops,drill holes in them using a brad Drive the suppliednailsto securethe door- keep the long vertical trim (Z) straight,cut pull escutcheons. with its headsnippedoff. two 1x45" strips from %" hardboardfor Next, placea few dabsof clearsilReinstall all of the hardware.Then, To installthebottomdoor'strim assem- spacers. iconecaulk in the /+" sroovesin the backof using the suppliedscrews,mount the bly (Y/Z), first placethe door faceupon

the trim assembly.Now, install the trim with the spacers,as shown in Photo F. Let the caulk cure for 24 hoursbeforeremoving the tape and spacers.Trim any squeeze-out using a single-edgerazorblade. ' Remount the doors. Then, install the clock movementand chimes.Make any neededadjustmentsto the clock's hammers to align them with the chime rods. Remove the backer (T) from the frame (S). Spray-adherethe clock face to the backer,where shown on Drawing8, aligning their holes for the clock movement's shaft. Reattachthe backer to the frame. Install the frame/backerassembly(SfI) in the casewith the clock's shaft centeredin the hole.Checkthat the assemblvis

parallel to the case's front face and positioned so its magnetic catcheshold the top door closed.If needed,remove the assembly;adjust the position of the face blocks(R); andreplacethe assembly.Then, install the clock's handsand retainingnut. Positionthe back (M) in the rear legs' rabbets. Drill mounting holes, where shownon Drawing3, and drive the screws. Move the clock to the desired location. Install the weights and pendulum,and adjustas specified.Now, set thetime, andenjoythe charmingWestminster chimeswith everypassinghour.i Writtenby Owen Duvallwith Chuck Hedlund Projectdesign: Kevin Boyle lllustrations:Roxanne LeMoine



B* splines C* fillers D top/middle siderails E bottom siderails F topsidepanels G bottom sidepanels


11/2" 797/a' OWO 7/rc" 797/s' TH 4 3/q' 797/a' QWO 4

111/z'QWO 4


111/z' QWO 2


1/q' 11r/z' 14%" QWOP 2

1/qu 111/z'52%' QWOP2

divider stiles

23/q' 191/q"QWO 3/c'

panels J divider K* divider edging rails L bottom back


21/q' 173/e' QWO 4



173/e" 17710"QWOP 1

top/bottom rails


21/q', 147/a',QWo


21/q' 17Va' QWO 2


horizontal trim


vertical trim



Vi, V4



55' QWO 2

96" QWo 2


127/a' QWO 2


501/z' QWO 2



81/z' 153/+'QWOP 2

171/z'OWO 3 18t/z' QWO 2


181/q" 747a' QWOP 1

N* upper legplugs mortise

3/su QWO 4

0* lowerleqplugs mortise

183/q' QWO 2


V topdoorstiles W bottom door stiles X olass-stoo 6lanks

81/z' OWO 6



S* framemembers

With the trim assembly UIZ) and spacers held tight againstthe glass and bottom door stiles (W),apply tape to hold the assembly in place while the caulk cures.


3/a' QWO 2

P* sidetrim


43/e' 161/z' 0W0


Q* fronttrim


43/a' 251/q" 0W0


BB cleats CC clockseat mount DD chime




23/q' 18lt'

13/q' 191/q' OWO 1 OWO 1

EE chime-mounl 3/^' 13/q' 18lq' QWO 1 support -Parts initially cutoversize. Seetheinstructions. whiteoak, Materials key: QWO-quartersawn white TH-tempered hardboard, QWOP-quartersawn oakplywood.

Cutting Diagram A 3/+x71/+ x 96" Quartersawnwhiteoak (5.3 bd, ft.) (2 needed)

3/qx71/qx 96" Quartersawnwhiteoak (5.3 bd. ft.)

painte/s tape;#20biscuits; Supplies: Easy-release flathead woodscrews; #6x3/t", #8x11/q", and#8x1%" #4x5/a", panhead brads; #6x%" and#8x1t/q" screws;#17x%" t/sv\tt/2vlJr/2" glass(1);t/svi1r/2v$lt/s" glass(1);1/e" hard' sprayadhesive. clearsilicone caulk; board; bit; set;t/+"brad-point Blades and bits: Dado-blade rabbeting router bits;/+",%0", 450chamfer and%"piloted Forstner bits. and3/q"

Sources pressure-sensitive veneer, whiteoak Veneer. 7oq"-thick (1).CallRockler quarter no.61332, 24x96", sliced, $59.99 orgoto Woodworking andHardware, 800/233-9359, Meehanical clock movement/hardware chimes, clock mechanical clockmovement, kit. lncludes (6),door face,magnetic catches withstrikes andscrews (4),Orderkit no.FC-04, pulls(2),2%"no-mortise hinges ppd.CallSchlabaugh andSonsWoodworking, $338.95 or 800/346-9663, Quartz clock movement/hardware kit. quartz chiming clockmovement, Includes battery-operated pendulum withstrikes catches drive, clockface,magnetic (4). (6),doorpulls(2),2/2"no-mortise hinges andscrews ppd.CallSchlabaugh Orderkitno.FC-04Q, $180.95 800/346-9663, or goto andSonsWoodworking, quartersawn whiteoakstockand Lumber kit. Enough plywood foroneclock, kitno. hardboard andtempered ppd.Heritage call Building Specialties, W156, $449,95 8001524-4184,

3/qx51/z x 96" Quartersawnwhiteoak (4 bd. ft.) whiteoak (4.6bd. ft.) llAax51/2x96"Quartersawn r/ex4 x 96" Temperedhardboard

3/qx71/c whiteoak (5.3bd. ft.) x 96" Quartersawn "Planeor resawto the thicknesseslistedin the MaterialsList.

3/+x71/ax 96" Quadersawnwhiteoak (5.3 bd. ft.)

3/qx31/z x 96" Quartersawnwhiteoak (2.7 bd. ft.)

t/qx 48 x 96" Quartersawnwhite oak plywood

Spenda day with America'squintessential chairmaker andlearn a few tricks alongthe way. n icon of American furnituremaking. An artist.A living legend.All of thesewords aptly describeSam Maloof. But Sam shuns fancy labels in favor of a more fitting description."I'm a woodworker,"he says. Though Sam has crafted more than 500 original furniture designs during five decadesas a professionalwoodworker,his most famous piece remains his elegant, supremelycomfortable rocking chair, seen at left. His chairs and other pieces are so uniquelyoriginal that they don't fit a particular furniture style, but have emerged insteadas the "Maloof style." Recently,we caughtup with Sam in his Alta Loma, California,shopto seehow this renowned woodworker creates his highly pnzed rockers that sell for $20,000and up. We quickly discoveredthat trying to derive a plan for one of Sam's chairsis comparable to getting a recipe from a chef that cookswith pinchesand dabs:You probably won't be able to exactly re-createwhat he makes, but you can learn much about the craft by just observing.

his passionfor good wood may have gotten out ofhand, ashe now storesa few hundred thousand board feet of his favorites. all separatedby species,thickness, and grain pattern,below left. When the time comesto selectwood for a chair, Sam carefully matches boards by color, especiallywhen choosingwalnut or cherry becausethey can have widely uarying tones. Zircote and maple tend to be more consistentin color, so he selectsthem by carefully comparing and matching each board'sdistinctivegrain. Most of Sam's boardsare thick, from 8/4 (2") through 16/4 (4"), becausehe cuts all chair parts except the rockers from solid stock, and many require large curves. The rockers he creates from Vq"-thick laminationsglued on a form. This gives the rockersconsistentshapeand strength.Plus, bent lamination allows him to insert con-

Start with wonderful wood




Templatesensuresuccess Some woodworkers begin the building process by developing intricate plans for everydimension,p&rt,and detail.Samdoes not. Instead,he relies on templates,below, to give him the rough shapesneeded for such parts as rockers, slats,and arms. Like his designs and techniques,he developed thesetemplatesusing estimatesand experience,not formal training. "I mademy original templatefor the back slats by cutting cardboard and holding it against my back, then reshapingit until it felt right," Sam says."f've beenusing that template for over 30 years now. Everyone tells me how the chairs fit their backsjust right, so I guessit works."

You won't find any jigs in Sam's shop, but you can't miss the plywood templates that hang everywherespace allows. Some are decades old, and still see regular use. Many bear the name of the originalbuyer of that style chair and provide a unique record of his clients.

Like all masters,Sam chooseshis woods carefully and knows that beautiful lumber can separatea greatpiece from a good one. For many years,he built most of his pieces from walnut, which remains one of his favorite speciesthanks to,its great workability and enduring good looks. He also often uses curly maple, zitcote, and, on occasion,cherry.Many piecesalso feature ebonyaccents. Sam always keeps lumber on hand to ensurean adequatesupply, and admits that

"l don't have to look for lumbe6 it finds me," Sam says. As a result, he needs four buildings to store his stash. Luckily,southern Californiaoffers ideal storage conditions: low humidity and moderate temperatures.

trasting wood when desired, such as the ebony accentin the curly maple rocker seen at left.


Carefullyeyeing his layout lines,Sam begins shaping the blank for a chair arm. He pivots and turns the arm as he works to follow the lines and create compound curves.

Sculptingthe shapes With his stock and appropriatetemplates in hand, Sam starls to rough out the parts at the bandsaw, a tool he has mastered like few other woodworkers, obove left. He's quick to advise, though, that some of his methods "aren't exactly OSHA approved," and he knows better techniques exist. Regardless, he shapes chair parts with amazing agility, more sculpting than cutting. His templates give the rough shape. The rest he creates by eye and feel to make almost perfectly matched parts.

Forming the seat To create a chair seat, Sam starts with five pieces of wood. When possible, he cuts them all fi'om the same board to ensurethe best color match. He sculpts the seats to a shape that he believes lies at the heart of his chairs' comfoft. "The shape forces you back and places you against the curved slats. This positions you so the chair supports you from your shoulders all the way to the backs of your knees," he says. Bevelingthe edges of each seat board createsa contour that yields a more comfortable shapewhile requiringless shaping.Keepingthe edges at 90" simplifiesleg joinery.


After about five minutes,Sam has transformeda rough blank into an arm that is ready for installation.He'll create the mirror image from the other blank, deftly matching the shapes as he works.

Before gluing up the seat panel, Sam roughs out some of this sculpted shape at the bandsaw. The seatshe makes today feature beveled edgeson each of the boards, as seenbelovr'.This design allows deeper hollowing of the surface than was possible with the f-lat seat panels he used to make. Though today's chairs look similar to those made decades ago, these subtle refinements point to Sam's drive to constantly improve. The joint Sam uses to join the seat and legs stands as another of those refinements made over many years. You can see this joint, which he calls the dado-and-rabbet,in the drawing and accompanying photo on the .followirtg poge. "I spent four or five years developing that joint," he notes.

Though the joint offers loads of glue surface, Sam reinforces it with screws after assembling it with standard yellow glue. He's tried many types of screws over the years, and these days chooses ones designed for deck building becauseof their deep thread purchase. Some woodworkers may scoff and say deck screws aren't appropriate in fine furniture, but Sam seesit differently. He wants to ensure his chairs remain together. He covers the screws with plugs which he used to make from the same wood as the chair. Now, plugs are often made of ebony. Screws also reinforce the rocker-to-leg joint. Where the arms meet the front legs, blind dowels (no screws) provide strength.





This uniqueioint attachesthe front and back legs to the seat, The pieces interlock to lorm a twist-resistantioint with lois of glue surface.A couple ol screws, covered by plugs, add strengthto withstand long-termuse. After assembly,rasps and tiles blend all the surfacestogether.

Handwork yields final form For most woodworkers,final assemblyof a projectmeansthe work is almostcomplete. With Sam's chairs, though, much work remains.Why? At assembly,all piecesstill hold only their rough shape. To create joints and crisp details,Samrelies seamless on hoursof painstakingshaping.Pneumatic sandersand grindersspeedthis process,but most of the work getsdoneusingjust traditional handtools,suchas thoseseenbelow.

Traditional handtoolsget a workoutin Sam's shop.Samandthe boyscommonlyuse rasps,files,riflers,sandpapenand scrapers to refinethe roughshapesintofinishedform.

Once Sam approvesthe workmanship,a chair is ready for finishing. After sandingto at least400 grit, a chair getsmultiple coats of the finishes Sam developed.The first consistsof equal parts boiled linseed oil, tung oil, and polyurethanevarnish. Sam appliesat leastthreeliberal coats,allowing each to dry for a day. After the third coat, a secondmixture of linseed oil, tung oil, and carnaubawax gets applied. Rubbing vigorously ensuresthat these coats blend thoroughly into thoseunderneath.Again, he appliesthree coatsover three days. For many years,Sam brewed the finishes himself, but he now hasthem manufactured. You can purchaseSam's finishes through Rockler Woodworking and Hardware at www.rockler.comor 800/279-4M1. A quart of either the poiy/oil blend (#58644) or oiUwaxblend (#58677)sellsfor $15.99. Finally, each chair receivesa couple of coatsof furniture wax. The multistep finish imparts a rich glow and adds depth to the grain figure. And, it holds up well, taking on a warm patinaover years.

Samts legacy and his future Even at 88 years young, Sam works six days per week designing,cutting out, and assemblingeverypieceof furniture.He also designsa few new pieceseachyear."I love being in the shop.It's what I do," he says. In addition, he establishedthe Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundationand deviseda plan that will pass his businesson to the boys; his son, Slimen; new wife, Beverly; and his businessmanager,Roz Bock. So, does he have unfulfilled ambitions? Sure,but he keepsit all in perspective:"If I ever make it to the top of the mountain, there will be nowhereto go but back down. So I just keepclimbing." Learn more about Sam by reading Sam Maloof, Woodworker,or The Furniture of SamMalool Both of thesebooks are available from you can visit where you'll find more information on Sam's businessand schedulesfor public shoptours.|l Written by David Stone Photographs:Edmund Barr

This phase of the process takes many hours, which in the early years meant Sam could produce very few pieces annually. So, Sam employs talentedcraftsmenwho get little of the glory, but play essential roles which Sam readily acknowledges. Seen in the photos, right, "the boys," as Samcallsthem,arelike sons.All threehave beenwith him for at least 15 years. During this shaping process, the chairs pass continually back and forth among all four guys.Becausethe processtakesmuch time and becausethere are usually multiple chairs in process simultaneously,a month may pass before any one chair makes its David Wade, /eft, applies Sam's special finish to a decades-old chair sent in for refurbishing, way from beginning to end. while Larry White, middle, and Mike Johnson shape new chairs still under construction.




lthough indispensablein a woodworking shop, most drill presses - come equipped with a table more suited to metalworking. This add-on table with fence sets things straight, supplying everything the cast-iron table on your drill presslacks. il 1||



Startwith the table (A), cut two l4Vzx29v2" I For the base I piecesof Vz"plywood. (We usedBaltic birch plywood for its flatness and absence of voids. You also can use regular birch plywood or medium-density fiberboard.) Glue and clamp the pieces together,keeping their endsand edgesflush, where shown on Drawing1. j)from V+" temperedhardboard,cut Erthe top sides (B), top front (C), and top back (D) to the sizeslisted in the MaterialsList. Mark the :/e"-radius finger notch on the front edge of part D, where shown on Drawing 1. Cut and sand it to shape. [The notch makesit easvto remove the insert (E).1Now spreadglue on the backs of the hardboard top parts, and glue and clamp them to the l"-thick plywood base, as shownin PhotoA. QDraw the 3Vq"-radiuscutout at the rear tJof the table,whereshownon Drawing1. Bandsawor jigsaw and sandit to shape. locate the 3Vzx3Vz"cutout in the Afo ''if add-ontable base,install a Va"bitin the drill-press chuck, center your metal drillpresstable under the bit, and lock the table in place. Position the add-ontable to center the bit in the recess for the insen (E) createdby parts B, C, and D. If the metal drill-press table protrudesbeyond the front edge of the add-on table, slide the add-on table forward until the two are flush. Clamp the add-on table in place. Now drill a %" hole all the way through the base (A). Removethe add-ontable, and turn it upside down. Mark the 3Vzx3r/2"cutout centered on the %" hole. Then drill 78" holes at the corners,and cut the opening with a jigsaw. Now cut the insert (E) to the size listed. f For a drill press with slots through its tJmetal table, cut the groove for the minitrack in the bottom of the add-on table whereshownon Drawing1. For a drill presswithout slots in its metal table, drill two /a" mounting holes. Locate the holes about halfway betweenthe center of the table and its rear edgeand asfar apart as possible.Then clamp the add-ontable in place as before, and trace the hole locations on its bottom. Cut the groove for the minitrack so it passesover the hole locations. the table over, and cut dadoesfor ftfurn lfthe top mini-tracks, where shown on



#6xt/2" F.H.woodscrew

7+"mini-track 29/z" long

With glue applied to their bottom surfaces,position top parts B, C, and D on the 1"-thick base (A).To keep them from shifting, tape the top parts to each other and to the base with masking tape. Then clamp the top and base between e/q"-thickcauls and 2x3 bearers.

Drawing 2. (The dadoesare centeredon the joint lines betweenthe parts B and the parts C and D.) Note: To add under-table dust collection for the sanding-drum setup shown in the photo, near left, see page 16.

Now make the fence (F), face blank (G), I Cut the baseblank I lower rear blank (H), and upper rear blank (I) to size.Install a3/a"dadobladein your tablesawand position the fence to cut centeredgroovesin the thicknessof partsH


and I, where shown on Drawings 3 and 4. Then curt3Ao"-deep grooves in these parts,and mark the face th at was against the saw fence. When cutting the top and MICRO-ADJUSTABLE STOPBLOCK bottom groovesin the lower rear blank, keep the marked face againstthe fence for both cuts. Now without changingthe setup,cut a mating groove in the baseblank. (G) to QCtue and clamp the face blank Cr the base blank (F), where shown on Drawing 4. Make sure the face blank is squareto the baseblank. With the glue dry, glue and clamp the lower rear blank (H) and upper rear blank (I) in place, as shown in Photo B. Before the glue dries, run a length of 3/s" steel rod in and out of the square holes to clear away any excessglue.

p exeloDED vrEW 4-arm knob /+" SAE washer




t/+"hexheadbolt 1/2" long #6xr/z" F.H. wood screw

7+"mini-track 14r/2"long



4t/2"(See Step 5 on page 53.1

t/+"hole or existingslot

With their marked faces against the back of the face blank (G), glue the lower rear blank (H) and the upper rear blank (l) to each other and to the base blank (F) and face blank (G).Apply cldmping pressure in two directions.

Tips on using threaded inserts Shop fixturesand jigs often requirethe installation of variousclampingor adjustment knobs.That'swhen you'll reachfor threadedinserts.Commonlyavailablein sizes from #8-32 (a #8 screw body with 32 (as/e"screw threadsper inch)lo 3/a"-16 body with 16 threadsper inch),there are two basic types: thread-inand press-in, shown at near right. Use thread-ininsertsin softerwoods and plywoodwhere their coarse outside threadscut easilyinto the surrounding wood.Simplydrilla hole sizedfor the body of the insert,and screw it into place. In very,hardwoods,such as whiteoak and maple,or when the insertis closeto the edge of a part and screwingit in may splitthe wood,drilla hble slightlylarger than the outsidethreaddiameter,and epoxy the insert in place.To protectthe


internalthreadsfrom epoxy,cover the end of the insert,as shown above right. Press-ininserts,with their barbedexteriors, work well in hard woods, soft woods, and plywood.Drill a hole sized for the body of the insert,and press it into place with a clampor tap it in with a hammer

and a blockof wood. For applicationsin whichthe clampingactiontendsto push the insert out of the wood, such as the knobsthat tightendown on the drill-press fence extensionrods,drilla holethat engagesjust the tips of the insertbarbs and epoxyit in place.

WOOD magazine

June/July 2004

p reuceEXPLoDED vtEW

t/a"press-inthreadedinsert,e.poxiedinto place

3/q" groove3/s" QCut a lJdeep for the minitrack in the fence face (G), where shown on Drawing 4. Then cut a VexV8"sawdust-reliefrabbet alongthe bottom edge of the fence face. one en d o f l l l tr im Tthe assembledfence blank square,and then cut it into threepieces,where sh own on Dr awin g 3 , making a 22t/2"-long fence and two 3Vz"-long extensions.Now cut off the base portions of the extensions,where shown on Drawing4. fBending a fairing rJstrip to join their endpoints and centerpoints, mark the centeredradius cutouts on the top of the fence and the back of its base (F), where shown on Drawing 3. Bandsawor jigsaw, and sandthem to shape.Then dill V4"holes for the bolts that hold the fence to the table and a hole for the drill-press chuck key in the fencebase,where shown. install press-inthreadedinserts in Afo lJthe fence portion of part I, dnll 7Ao" holes to intersectthe top squarehole in the fence,where shown on Drawings3 and 4. Spreadepoxy in the holes, and press the inserts in place. When the epoxy cures, ream out any excessthat may have dripped into the extensionrod holes with a 3/a"dt''ll bit. For more information on using threaded inserts,seethe sidebar,oplosite.

7,Aa"hole e/ta

7e" gfOOveS s/0" deep,

centered 3/e"groove s/o"degp 3/ta"trom front edge


7a"mini-track 22t/z"long

Hole sizedto fit drillchuckkey


Trim basesfrom both extensions.

7sz"pilothole Te"deep

#6xt/2" F.H. wood screw

@ rerucesEcloNvtEW

sions, orient the flange in the same direction in all 7/'ra"hol /4" press-inthreadedinsert, s/ro"de( epoxiedinto place threeparts. four l4r/2"-long QCut lJpieces of 3/s"steelrod 1 1/'ra" with a hacksaw.Using 803/q"gloove grit sandpaper,rough up s/e"grooves3/6"deep, s/a" deep 3t/2" at one end of each centered rod, and epoxy theseends 11/2" 7a"groovess/ro"dgep, into the squareholes in the centered fence extensions.To hold Mini{rack 1tr-+1 the rods parallel while the 1 3 A a epoxy cures, insert.their other ends into the square holesin the fence. t/e"rabbet make knobs for Trim the fence Afo t/e"deep extensionshere. Tlockine the fence finish and assemble extensionsIn place, refer the table and fence to Drawing 2, and thread grooves Cover the bottoms of the lVz"-long flathead bolts and I I dadoes for the mini-track in the table partway into a pair of four-arm knobs. and fence with masking tape. Now apply Apply epoxy under the heads,and then seat a clear finish to all the parts. (We used the bolts in the knobs. two coats of satin polyurethane,sanding f Referringto Drawing2, slide the heads between coats with 220-grit sandpaper.) rf of two hexheadbolts into the auxiliary When the finish dries, remove the table bottom mini-track.Positionthe auxilmasking tape. iary table on the drill-press table, dropping the countersunk holes in the the bolts into the slotsor holes.Add wash)Using Er mini-track as guides, drill pilot holes ers and threadon the taperedhandleknobs. into the mating table and fence parts. (The Note: The tapered handle knobs accept Add an adjustablestopblock mini-track supplied with the hardware kit about t/t" of bolt length. You may need to I To form the body (J), cut two piecesof listed in Sourceson page 56 comescut to trim the 2"-long hexheadbolts to accommo- L 3/4" stock to 2x27/a", and glue them the neededlengths.) Apply epoxy to the date the thicknessof your drill-press table. together face-to-face, keeping their ends boffoms of the grooves and dadoes, and fiStiOe hexheadbolts into the auxiliary and edgesflush. With the glue dry, crtta V+" screw and clamp the mini-track in place. lJtable top mini-tracks.Align the holesin dado 3Ao"deep centeredin the back of the Note: The mini-track has a small flange the fence base with the bolts, drop on flat body, whereshownon Drawing5. along one outside edge, where shown on washers,and fastenthe fence with four-arm j)Cut the pad (K) to size, and adhereit Drawing4. To make certain the track in the knobs. Slide the extensionrods into the Er with double-facedtape to the right side of the body (J) in the configuration shown fence aligns with the track in the exten- fence,and threadin the locking knobs.



t/2"counterbore3/a"deep with a

E sropeLocK

1/a"hole centeredinside on Drawing 5. Chuck a Vz"Forstnerbit in 7a"counterbore7e"deep your drill press,and drill a 3/s"-deepcountZ" hexheadbolt 2" long terbore in the left side of the body, where t/q" dado s/o"deep, dimensionedand as shown in Photo G. M centered Now, without moving the parts,changeto a 7+"counterbores/a"deep 6sBcrFV+" blt, and drill a hole, centered in the t/q" roundhead counterbore,all the way through both parts. 4-arm boll4,t/"" long (K) from the body (J). pad the knobs QSeparate 2)/r,, fJUsing a 3/q"Forstnerbit, drill %"-deep ( ( /4" sAE counterboresin the body and pad, centered \- washer \ on the /+" holes,whereshownon Drawing5. To center the Forstner bit, insert pieces of /+" SAE Vq"dowel in the holes before drilling. Now, 12"SAE washer centering u rt76a," bit in the Vc" dado in the 1Yz" back of the body, drill a hole through the body, where shown. !f Assemblethe hold-downclampsin the fiEpoxy a four-arm knob onto the end of I configuration shown on Drawing 2. the a hexhead lfthe roundhead bolt. Slide lock nut in Vz" counterbore a lllBpoxy 'lin the body (J). Then cut the guide bar bolt through the stop body (J) from the Slide the hexheadsof their bolts into the (L) to size,and glue and clamp it in the dado back. and add a washer and four-arm knob mini-track. Now yo:ur woodworking dnll at the front, as shownon Drawing5. To use pressis ready for action. fl in the back of the body, flush with its right the stopblock, first adjust rt to Ieave t/2" edge,whereshownon Drawing5. betweenthe pad (K) andthe body. Slidethe Written by Jan SvecMertz RApply a clear finish to the parts.With Projectdesign:Jeff rf the finish dry, slip a Vq" SAE washer guide bar and the bolt hexhead into the Illustrations:Roxanne LeMoine onto the roundheadbolt. and insert it in the mini-track, using a ruler or tape measureto hole in the pad (K). (A /+" SAE washerhas position the stopblockclose to the desired an outside diameter of s/s".)Slip another distancefrom the drill bit. Clamp it in place washer onto the bolt, and then thread on a by tightening the front knob. Now fine-tune the distance to the bit by turning the end lock nut. Tighten the lock nut so it firrnly knob. Because the clamping knob and A base holds the pad, but still allows the bolt to 141/z' 29Vz' LP 1 guide bar (L) are centeredin the stopblock B topsides turn. Now assemblethe pad and the body 1/q' 141/2' 10%' (J), as shown in Photo D, driving the bolt body, you can use it on either side of the C topfront 1/q' \Vc' 31/q' drill-press chuck by simply turning it over. until the pad contactsthe body. t/tu 51h' $Vc' top D back \ a


E insert F baseblank G faceblank H lowerrearblank Vc' I upperrearblank a/tu


body K pad L guide bar








plywood, H-tempered Materials key: LP-laminated LM-laminated maple. hardboard, M-maple, With the pad (K) down and the dadoed back of the body (J) against the fence, clamp the parts in place, and drill a /2" counterbore 7a" deep in the side of the body.

Cutting Diagram

t/2x24 x 30" Balticbirchplywood(2 needed)

3/qx 51/zx 96" Maple (4 bd. ft.)


With the pad (K) mounted on the bolt with washers and a lock nut, slide the bolt into the stop body (J),and drive it into the lock nut epoxied in the body.

tape,%"dowel, Supplies: Masking tape,double{aced epoxy. Blades and bits: Stack dadoset:%"andVt"Forstner bits.


(12); flathead woodscrews Hardware kit. #6x%" g/q" long(1), long(1),141/z' long(2),22r/2" minitrack: 29r/2" (2);%"steel threaded inserts long(2);%"press-in and31/2" long(4);t/qflathead bolts1tlz"long(2);t/q"round' rod141/2" long(2), headbolt4t/2" long(1);t/i' hexhead bolts:1r/z" (5);t/+'locknuts(2);four2" long(3);t/+"SAEflatwashers gg (2);t/4"lQvlt/q" (6);tapered handle knobs armknobs (2).Kitno (2);hold-down assemblies fender washers plus$7.95 shipping. Schlabaugh & Sons ADP-1, $42.95 ororderonline at Woodworking, Call800/346-9663, schsons,com, 1/ax24x 48" Hardboard pieces of Baltic *Resawand plane Sheet goods kit. Twot/2vl!t/2vl$r/2, pieceoftempered andonet/avl$s/avtls/a" to the thicknesses birchplywood ppd,Seeabove hardboard. Kitno,LP-6, fortele$15,95 listedin the number andWebaddress, ohone MaterialsList. WOOD magazine

June/July 2004

toolshavechanged, fust aswoodworking to havethegluesthatholdtogetheryour -J woodprolects.lf youstillrelyon justone glue,you'veprobablyoverlooked big performanceadvantages available fromthe latestgenerationof adhesives. Doyouknowthattherearenowyellowglues withextended opentimesthathavereplaced


glues?Or have traditional whitewoodworking youheardaboutwater-resistant andwaterproof one-partgluesfor exteriorprolects? Tohelpyousortthroughthe manyglue choices,we'vedeveloped the posterthatstarts on the nextpage.Putit up on yourshopwall andyou'llneverhaveto lookfar for an answer to yournextgluingquestion.

Stillstuck?Therearenowplentyof resources to helpyounavigate throughglue issues, including theTitebond 800/347-GLUE Website. Or,postyourgluingquestion onlineat wcrt-ld rnagazine ro mr'generalf orum. Woodworkers fromfar andwidelikelywillrush to yourrescue.

gluing mistakes to avoid

I Cluingpiecesnot acclimated to the roomtemperature andmoisturelevel.Glues won't setupproperly iftheboards areat joints) (stepped different temperatures. Andyou'llnotice a dimension change if boards aren'tatthesamemoisture level. Sobefore machining andgluing, allowat least3 daysfor allworkpieces to adjust.

2 Ouetlooking the importance of glue shelf life. A manufacturing or expiration date shouldbeprinted onthegluecontainer. the Contact manufacturer's customer if you service department products (see can'tdecipher thecode.ForTitebond example at right),thefirstnumber represents the finaldigitoftheyearin whichthegluewasproduced;it'sfollowed bya letterdesignating the ("A"represents "8" February, month. January, andso "1").lgnore forth,skipping therestofthecode, which relates to theparticular batchof glue.Toknowhowoldis tooold,seethe "ShelfLife"column ontheposter.


J Poorprocedures in removinggluesquceze-out. lfyoudon't glueleftonsurfaces yourfinishwill remove nexttojointlines, completely havea splotchy Toavoidproblems, appearance. allowglueto skinoverbefore removing Aftergluelosesitswetlook,remove excess. thesqueeze-out witha sharpchisel0r scraper. Thensoaka cleanragin tapwater,squeeze outtheexcess, andwipedown thejoint.Follow witha dryrag.

4 not waitingfor the glucto Gure beforemachining. Glue temporarily swells thewoodalonga glueline(Drawing A).lf you joint,plane, the or sandtooquickly andremove swelled wood, thejointwilllookgoodforonlya shorttime(DrawingB).Butwhencompletely dry, jointwillhavea valley yourhastily machined (Drawing G).Toavoidproblems, letthegluecure forthe"Full-Strength Time"listedontheposter. (Effectexaggerated for clarity.)

gruideto choosing and using Cc'

h--1s#ffL *r* =


t .&-




tfr iG

1t2 15 minutes hour

24 3,600 psi hours



1t2 20-25 minutes hour

24 3,5' 10 psi hours



112 15 minutes hour

24 psi hours 3,600



1t2 15 minutes hour

24 3,750psi hours



projects wherelongopentime woodworking Exterior forgluingbentlaminations. is desired. Goodchoice projects to water. Interior subjected

1t2 20-25 minutes hour

24 3,840psi hours



joints. ldealfor hard-to-clamp initialgrip. Interior useonly.Strong

1t2 15 minutes hour

24 3,000 psi hours



1t2 20-25 minutes hour

24 4,000psi hours



4 20-25 2-4 3,500psi minutes hours hours



project quick-setting requiring bonds. Needs little &tr ^L,P0LYURETHANE Any Bonds wellwhenfit is marginal and or noclamping. ffi-H0TMELT widevariety of materials. withendgrain.Bonds --at==-

1-2 24 1,480psi 30 secondsminutes hours



repairs in antiques andmusical ldealforauthentic later. instruments thatyoumaywantto disassemble withwood. Willexpand andcontract

10 24 500psi 5 minutes*minuteshours




projects, woodworking Interior





projects wherelongopentime Interior woodworking YELLow w Recommended for bentlaminations and is desired. z.-. (extendedassemblytime) larger, moreinvolved assemblies.


wooD * ryDARK t-

; F F l!


projects Interior thatmay resistance is important. WEATHERPROOF fl comein contactwithfoodandwater.

wenrnllrtPRooFT z #,g Z.- (extendedassemblytime) I

I o 0.

ldealfordarkhardwoods, suchaswalnutand mahogany. Interior useonly. projects wherewater Exterior woodworking

o i J


a *



projects timeor Exterior requiring longer assembly temperature thannonextended lowerapplication wATERPRooFcross-linking PVAs. s projects requiring longworking time Exterior PoLYUREilTANEand joinery. waterproof t




HIDE GLUE ,, oi-lr'ii ,,',

qiln HIDE # | cLUEPREMTXED *rs% E I



5-MINUTE l:,, rnJ|*| EPOXY *qsr:tc-d.ii&:,, hr


to formula. Longassembly time,Sensitive Ready-to-use 1 (easy later). Latexpaintapplied 20-30 to disassemble moisture minutes hour paint glue provide sudace. dried will a crackled over

24 psi hours 3,590



Excellent for repairs andjointsthatdon'tmatetightly. 1 3 quickly to anythickness, Fillsgaps. Cures hour minutes Won'tshrink. Bonds dissimilar materials. Easily colored.

24 5,000psi hours







jointthat waterproof LikeS-minute epoxybutcreates Easily colored. Won'tshrink. canbeusedunderuvater. foroilyexoticwoods. Excellent

tttil?f",fttnltt'I E

parts. weakareasandthin,delicate Strengthens in thinandthick(gap{illing) viscosities. Available pads. ThinCAbestusedwithtight-fitting

glueto clamping 1 Howmuchtimeyouhavefromapplying thejoint. * Varies ratio. depending onwater/glue ** N0openassembly timeforthincyanoacrylates; gap{illingCAgluesgiveyouabout5 minutes of opentime. 2 Depends moisture content, temperature, andhumidity. onwoodspecies, -Thin,15sec.;gap{illing,60 joints, matesurfaces, sec.Forthin-CA andthenapplyCAglue glues;dryconditions glues. water-based 3 Moisture delays delaypolyurethane

1 hour

24 7 psi 7,500 hours days

24 2,900psi hours

persquare 4 Pressure in pounds inch(psi). mostwoodwillfailbefore theadhesive. Depending onspecies, rnaterials. for example, reflects bonding strength Jornon-wood Thehighpsifor epoxy, plus- Bondnotaffected in water. 5 (E+)Excellent bylong{ermsubmersion - Bondnotaffected (E)Excellent in water. byshort-term submersion or soaking (G)Good- Bondnotaffected bydampness or highhumidity. (fl Fair- Couldbeaffected bysevere humidity or dampconditions. (P)Poor- Affected byalmostanymoisture.

vyoodrrorking glues

by Sponsored

F (5

= { -, E-





t-g B.g glue.Least expensive. interior Fastgrab.Bestgeneral-purpose Long shelflife. Good sandability.

Dyedversion of yellowglue. Minimizes visibility of gluelinein darkhardwoods. for suchprojects ascuttingboards. for indirect foodcontact Approved general-purpose glue.Paintable. reaction. chemical Driesandcuresthrough Great forwet-use applications. Longshelflife.Good Paintable. for suchprojects ascuttingboards. for indirect foodcontact Approved Goodfor wet-useapplications. notrecommended. fillssomethingaps.Power sanding Thickformula runor drip. Doesn't

projects. or epoxies. Lessmessythanpolyurethanes Bestoptionfor mostoutdoor to dampsurface. maybeapplied Triggered bycontactwithmoisture; weargloves fromhands; foamupandaretoughto remove Polyurethane adhesives longclamping time. Relatively duringapplication. WW60(60-second) setsupquickly; heatgun.WW30(30-second) Requires specialty properties;WW75 (7S-second) materials. alsobondsnon-porous hasgap{illing recommended to protectfromhotadhesive. Gloves at device(someuseCrock-pot) Dissolves in water.Usein gluepoUwarming jointswith uses.Disassemble between about145"F.Maybestoredin refrigerator finishes couldaffecthideglue. steamandheat.Water-based of traditional Hasthe"crackle" appearance Requires nomixing, heating, or stirring. hideglues. heat. reactwitheachother,producing Two-part Resinandhardener adhesive. for Threedifferent hardeners available recommended. Bondsmanyplastics. Gloves various temperature ranges. heat.For reactwitheachother,producing Two-part Resinandhardener adhesive. thinner, andapplyepoxy bonding oilywoods(suchasteak),sand,wipewithlacquer Bondsmanyplastics. Gloves recommended. within60 minutes. solvents strength at endof cure.Specialty reduces curetime;75 percent $5.00/oz.Accelerator joints.Littlegluerequired; recommended inch.Gloves useonedroppersquare Iora2-oz. debond it bondsto skininstantly. bottle because (forexample, conditions enclosed trailerondesert). 6 Applies to powersanding andoverheated - Glueloseslittleor nostrength (E)Excellent upto 150degrees F.Nogumming of thesanding belt, sanding. evenwithextensive (G)Good- Noticeable F (substantially weakerjoint lossof upto 50 percent of strength at 150degrees at 150degrees). powersanding. well,butcanloadupwithextensive Sands (P)Poor- Dramatic lossof 75 percent of strength at 150degrees F. (evenhand-sanding). Poorsanding characteristics withanymechanical sanding

7 Abilityto bondsuccessfully whenmaterials aren'ttightlymated. * Thin,no;gap-filling, yes noted.retailcostoerouncein 16-ounce bottle. 8 Unless


projects scraprrvood Don'ttossyourscraps-turn themintosomething useful

letter-perfect openet It maynot makebills morefun to open,but it will let you enjoyyour woodworkingfirsthand.

I nip andcrosscutonepieceof a dark I wood andtwo piecesof a light wood (we usedwengeand lacewoodrespectively) to V+xl%x8".With the darkwoodin the middle,laminatethe piecesface-to-face, with the edgesandendsflush. )WaUe a copy of the Top andSideView Erpatterns from theWOOD PATTERNSa insert.Using sprayadhesive,adherethe paperTop View patternto the top of the laminatedblank. QCrosscut a pieceof 2x4 to'about6" in tJlength. Usingcloth-backeddouble-faced tape,securethe blank to one face of the 2x4. Cuttingjust outsidethe markedline, bandsawthe oppositefaceof the blankto shape,as shownin PhotoA. Usingdouble-

r,..::a) i trll'$i/'dY-i

facedtape,securethe wasteback to the facefrom which it wasjust cut. Now, securethe 2x4 to that face,and cut the otherfaceof the blankto shape.Tapethe secondpieceof wastebackin place. Removethe 2x4 from the blank. ldhere the Side View patternro one face 'f1ll of the laminatedblank andbandsawto shape,asshownin PhotoB. f Removethe pattemsandwastefrom the alletter openerblank. ftPower-sand or file the edgesof the hant\f dle portionto shape,working slowly to get comfortableroundededges.Honethe bladeportionof the letteropener,as shown in Photo C. Strivefor sharpedgesanda point for easein slittingenvelopeslater. f Finish-sandthe letteropenerand apply I the finish.(We sprayedon threecoatsof aerosolglosspolyurethane.) Rub lightly with 220-gntsandpaper or 0000steelwool betweencoats.lF

With the waste pieces taped back in place, reattach the 2x4 and finish bandsawing the blank to shape.

Projectdesign:Will Cummer

Make the entire set

For safety when cutting, adherethe letter opener blank to a section of 2x4.

lf youlikethe looksof thishardwood youmaywantto spend letteropener, a fewmorehourscrafting theother fourpiecesof ourmatching deskset. SeetheMay2003issueof WOODa or download theplansonlineat woodmagazi

Adhere 1O0-gritsandpaperto a piece of plywood, and chamfer both blade edges.


The Woodworker's Guide to UnderstandingWood: A 4-Part Series

Partrr:hovvto deal wftfi ou probably know that wood has to be dried in order to be useful as lumber. Removing the water makes the material dimensionally stable, predictably machinable,and acceptingof glues and finishes. But have you stoppedto consider how wateris storedin wood?Do you know how that water is removed,or what happensto wood fibers as they dry? Knowing the answersto thosequestions, and understandingwhat can go wrong if wood getsdried improperly, will make you a smarter buyer and user of this natural resource.Here's the short courseon wood moistureand its effects.

What happens when wood rel-eises water Whether dried naturally (air dried), or in a kiln, wood dries to a cenain percentage,and then stops.The relative humidity of the air around the wood determines this point, calledequilibriummoisturecontent(EMC). This is why you always should let your wood acclimate to the conditions in your shop before beginning a project. As bound water (see the wood cell cutaway for an explanation) is râ&#x201A;Źmoved, the cell walls shrink, causing the wood to


(inches)causedby Potential woodmovement an8 percent change in moisture content: Quarlersawn





Douglas Fir






(hard) Maple












Western RedCedar .077


White Oak



change dimension. Boards shrink most acrosstheir tangentialplane (face grain), so flatsawn boardsshrink more than thosethat are quartersawn,as shown above.

Becausewood cells Off-center pith vary in size, density, and orientation, they may shrink unevenly,causing boards to warp in various wavs. To minimize these problems, shy away from boards that showwild figure,inconsistent growth-ring spacing,or an off-centerpith. Shrinkagealso stressesthe wood. If not properly relieved,this tearsthe fibers apart, asillustratedbelow.You can stopshrinkage by replacing bound water with a stable substancethat will remainin the cell walls. Turners do this by soaking blanks in polyethyleneglycol (PEG). But this technique remainsimpracticalfor usewith whole logs or largepieces.

Wood dries from the outsidein, as the water it containsmoves naturallyfrom areas of .highestto lowestcbncentration. This createsunevenpressuresin the outerportion (the shell) and the insideof the board(the core).

WHEN DRYINGGOES WELL When dried correctly,a dry board appearsthe same as when wet, only smaller. SCENARIO 1: FRESHLYCUT BOARD


WOOD CELL CUTAWAYVIEW (Actual length=%e-%")

WATER VAPOR - Smallamountsmay remain in the cell cavity,even in "dry" wood. BOUNDWATER - This water is held in cell walls. Some remainsbehindin "dry"wood. FREEWATER - Water storedin the cell cavity. It is removedcompletelyduring the dryingprocess. As wood dries, it first sheds its free water, and then the bound water. Eventually,moisture loss stops, leavingsome bound water and, possibly, water vapor in the cavity.

v RaYs

Growth ringsL


Most trees arrive at commercialmills and get cut into logs while stillfairly wet. That means each board that gets sliced free has a relativelyconsistent moisturecontentthroughoutits thickness and length.At this point,cell walls are fully saturated,and the cell cavitiesmay still be filled completely with water.

DRIED TO USABLE MOISTURE GoNTENT (6-1 1%) Undergood conditions,water exits the wood at a pace that doesn't inducestress.The board shrinksas bound water leavesthe cell walls. Ends dry more rapidly,which causes minor stressesthat result in some end checks. Forks of the kiln sample remain parallel.

WOOD magazine

June/luly 2004






Calculating water content Moisture content(MC)tellsus the ratioof theweightof waterin a pieceof wood compared to itsweightcompletely dry.We expressit as a percentage. no To determine MC,firstweigha pieceof wood.Then,dryit untilit contains theweightsas follows: water(determined whenweightlossstops).Next,compare (wetweight- 9ry.weight) = 'G dry weight Forexample, if a pieceweighs25 lbs.wetand20 lbs.dry,its MCequals25 percent: - 5120= .25or 25o/o (25-20)120 youdon'thaveto weighanddrylumberto determine Thankfully, its MC.A moisture meter doesthejobfor you, Forindoorprojects, MCshouldliebetween and11percent to copewithdehumidi6 percent lumberandoutdoor woods,subjected to high fiedconditions. Seethemap,rght Construction humidity levels,shouldrangefrom15to 20 percentMCto minimize expansion andcontraction.

HOW WOOD WARPSIN A MILLED LOG As boards dry natural shrinkagecausesthem to cup awayfrom the pith.The amountof cuppingvaries, dependingon the board'slocation in th e l og.

In general, boards located farthest from the pith cup the least.

Areas of quartersawn grain remain relatively flat.

Good boards may warp if they are dried improperly, as this piece did when dried too quickly.

Most severe cupping occurs in the pith and the juvenile wood that surrounds it.

humidity,and airflow Lumberproducersconstantlymanipulatethe temperature, insidethe kiln,and cut thin,tuning-fork-shaped crosssectionsregularlyto look for signsof problemsbeforethey becometoo severeto correct.

Preventinq problems with moisture in? movement Wood becomesmost stablewhen it reaches EMC, and that's controlled by relative humidity. So what happenswhen humidity levels fluctuate? Wood is described as hygroscopic,meaning it will continue to take on and shed moisture and. becauseof this, expandand contract. You can seehow this happensin glued-up panels.At somepointsduring the year,they may be dead flat. At other times, though, panelswarp, as shown below. This movement won't cause problems if you build your projectsto withstandit, as discussed in issue 150, page 80. Don't have that issue? You can download the article at rncrtt. wocldnragaz i ne.cclnr/rvoochrtuvc To slow down the movement of water vapor into and out of the wood, always apply finish to your completed projects. Apply the samenumberof coatsto all surfaces to equalize the rate of moisture exchange.This helpspreventcupping.

WHAT GAN GO WRONG Dryingstresseswood fibers,which can leadto seriousdefects. SCENARIO 3: REVERSECASE HARDENING



Alternating growth rings All growth rings oriented same way

Severe end checks

Wet Core

Dry shell


Honeycomb cracks FULLY DRIED

In this situation,the board'sshell driestoo quicklyin relationto the innercore.The shelltries to shrink but can't due to the still-swollen core.This tears the shellapart to create severeend and face checks. Reintroducingmoisturecan swellthe checks shut, but the board is ruined.

Here,the shelldriestoo quickly, but retainsenoughstrengththat it doesn'ttear apart. Instead,the shell holds togetheras it dries crushesthe still-swollencore.As the core dries and shrinks,it gets pulledapart by the shell.

Forks of the kiln sample spread open.

Forks of the kiln sample close in.

(Cupping exaggeratedfor clarity)

Alternating growth-ring direction creates a panel that stays relativelyflat, but wavy. Orienting all rings the same way produces a panel that cups but retains a smooth surface.

Up next: How woodts aflatomy affects machining In the next issue, we'll examine which wood propertiesdeterminesuccessor failure when the time comesto machinevour lumber into project parts.lF Written by David Stone lllustrations:Eric Flynn


Choosethebestmethodfor yourshopandbudget, andwe'll showyouthefoolproofpathto success, 1,




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tn one



of three rrays

WOOD magazine

June/July 2004

Cut clean tenon$using oneof thesd techniques joinery has astering mortise-and-tenon alwaysrankedat the top of woodworkers' skill priority lists.That's becauseits great strength makes it the premier joinery technique for furnituremaking. No wonder our project designers used mortise-and-tenon joinery throughout the mission clock project on puge 38. Machining mortise-and-tenon joint members takes only a moderateamount of time and fuss, provided you have a few basic tools. To help you succeedat the king of joints, we'll walk you through making the blind mortise-and-tenonjoint (the most common, where the tenon is completely enclosed in the mortise), letting you choose the options that best suit your tools and preferences. But before we begin, take a minute to review the basic terms and design proportions in the drawing, below. Note: Plane ltour stock to consistent thickness prior to making these joints. (lnclude a couple of scrap pieces for testing tenoning setups.) This step makes all of vour vvork easier while ensuring accuracy.


Edge cheek

Length of

p l u s% o

Length of

t e n o ne q u a l s t/zto zlz width of stile. woodmagazine.corn

Startwiththe mortise lwavscut the mortisefirst andthensize I Iilthe i.non to fit snugly.It's quickerand easierto adjustthe dimensionsof a tenon(as we'll showlater)thanto changea mortise. Establishthe mortisewidth at one-thirdof the workpiecethickness.This ratio resultsin

a joint with plenty of strengthin both the tenonand the sidewalls.Most woodworking projects call for 4/4 stock, which measures approximately3/4"thick after surfacingand sanding,so a t/q"-widemortise works well for most of your projects.

I Also, avoid mortising less than 3/e"from the end of a workpiece.This preventssplitting as you shapethe mortise and assemble the joint. For strength, make the mortise depth approximatelyone-half to two-thirds the width of the workpiece.

Pro: This methodrequiresno expensive or specializedequipment. Con: Cleaning up the mortise with a chisel takestime. If you havea drill pressand chisels,you're readyto mortise.Equip your drill presswith a brad-point bit that matchesthe mortise width; a brad-pointbit wanderslessthan a standardtwist bit as you drill overlapping holesto form a mortise. Now use a sharppencil or marking knife and a combination squareto lay out the mortise opening. Then set the drill-press fence to centerthe bit betweenthe mortise sidesand adjust the depth stop. (Seepage 52 for instructionson building a precision drill-pressfence.) Finally, follow the twostepprocessshownin the photosat right.

Pro: A no-chiselway to drill and square the mortise in one step.Moderateprice. Con: Installing and removing the mortising attachmenttakes time, and the drill press can't be used for other tasks with the attachmentin place.



Adjust the fence to center your drill bit in the layout lines. Hold the workpiece against the fence, and form the mortise by drillingto full depth at each end of the layout. Now drill a series of overlappingholes in between.

Clamp the workpieceto your workbench. Place a wide, sharp chisel on the layout line and clean up the mortise walls with hand pressureor by tapping with a mallet.Use a narrow chisel to square the ends.

To speedup your work, avoid hand chisel work by equippingyour.drill presswith a mortising attachment.Its hollow-chisel design-a drill bit surrdundedby a sharp, squaresleeve-lets you form a mortiseby drilling a seriesof squareholes.We bought a kit that includes hollow chisels in four

sizesfor $70 from Tool Crib at 800/635Before you 5140 ( buy any mortising attachment,check with the dealeror manufacturerto make surethat it fits your drill press.The photos below describethe simpleprocedurefor usingthis handy accessory.

Clamp the chisel holder to the drill-pressquill, fasten the fence to your drill-presstable, and slide the hold-down onto its suppod rod. Installthe hollow chisel with its front edge parallelto the workpiece and set the drill-pressdepth stop as desired. 70

With the hold-down tightened against the workpiece,use moderate pressure on the quill-feed lever to bore a hole at each end of the mortise.Completethe job by drilling a series of slightlyoverlapping holes in between the end holes. WOOD rnagazine

June/July 2004

Pro: Yields quick, cleanmortiseswith minimal setup. Con; A benchtop mortiser servesonly one pu{posein your shop. Entry-level modelscost $20O-$240. Woodworkers who make a lot of mortises find it handyto own a dedicatedmachine.A benchtopmortiserworks like the drill-press attachment,but it's always ready to use. Refer to the photos at right for details and * seethe tool review on page 78 for information about the featuresand performanceof severalmodels. Set the fence of your benchtop mortiser to place the hollow chisel squarelywithin your mortise layout lines.Then adjust the holddown to secure your workpiece.

Adjust the depth-stop rod to establish the mortise depth and keep it consistent.Drill a hole at each end of the mortise and a series of slightlyoverlappingholes in between.

Now itts tenoningtime l[ fter you finish the mortises,use your flt..ui test piecesto set up for forming tenons.The ideal tenonslidesinto its mating mortisewith firm hand pressure.Centerthe tenonon the edgeof the workpiece(between

faces)and make it t/to" shorterthan the mortise depth; this hidden gap providesa place for excessglue and guarantees that the tenon won't bottom out in the mortise,spoilingthe fit of thejoint.

What's the best way to cut the tenons? Match your equipmentto one of the operations discussedbelow. If you have it alldado set, tablesaw,and bandsaw--rxperiment to discoverwhich methodyou prefer.

Installa dado set and set the rip fence. The distance from the fence to the left side of the dado set equals the tenon length.

Adjust the dado set height to establish the thickness of the tenon. For stock surfacedto 7+",set this height atl+" and make test cuts.

Butt the workpiece end againstthe rip fence for the first pass. Follow with more passes to form the cheek and then flip and repeat.

Adjust the dado set height if necessary and cut the tenon edge cheeks with the same methods used for the face cheeks.

Pror No jigs are needed,and you make all cuts with the workpiece completely supportedby the table. Con: Some lesser-quality dado sets produce a rough surface and can splinter wood when crosscutting; such surfapes must be sanded. Also, you might find it awkward to handle workpiecesover about 4' in length. In the WOODa magazineshop, we usually choose this method for cutting tenons becauseit's quick, simple, and reliable. Align your tablesawrip fenceparallelwith the dado set and make surethat your mitergaugefence sits at right anglesto the dado set. These steps are critical for making a square,tight-fitting tenon. You'Il also need to install a miter-gauge auxiliary fence that extendsto the rip fence. Make this fenceby attachinga2"-widestrip of straight material to the gauge with screwsor double-facedtape. Now follow the step-by-stepphotos at right. If you're in the marketfor a dado set,see issue 150, page 92, for the results of our tool testor vi sit woodrna-uaz i I to purchasethat articleas a printabledownload. We reviewed 15 models,ranging in price from $50 to $260.


Pro: Smooth resultsat little cost. Gon: Saw blade's working height limits tenonlength;jig takesup storage spacein your workshop. If you're not preparedto pay $100 or more for a high-qualitydadoset, cut tenonswith the workpieceheld vertically on the tablesaw. You jig for this operneeda dependable ation; the drawing at right shows you how to build one at minimal expense.We designedit to clamp the workpiece in place and ride flush againstthe rip fence. Now, mount a combinationblade in your tablesawand add an auxiliary fenceto your miter gauge.Also install a zero-clearancethroat plate to keep the thin wastepiecesfrom beingcaughtand kicked back.Now proceedas shownbelow.

Set the rip fence to establishthe length of the tenon and adjust the miter-gaugeauxiliary fence so that it nearlytouches the rip fence. Set the blade height to establishthe tenon thickness.Butt the workpiece against the rip fence and make four passes around the workpiece.Gut a test piece as well.

Pro: A fine-tuning knob makesthis jig easier to adjust than our shop-made version shown above. Con: Not designedto cut edgecheeks. Most jigs cost about$100. Would you ratherbuy a jig than make your own? In issue 152,we testedthree similarly priced models and liked them all. A tenoningjig, such as the Delta version shown at right, offers great convenience and accuracyand shouldlasta lifetime. 72

3/qx 21/zx 24" stock

TENON-CUTTING JIG z/o+"pilot hole t/2" deep

sAz"shank hole, countersunk

# B x 1 1 / q "F . H . wood screw

) x 7+"mini-track 1 8 "l o n g _ ' - _! ' -



clampblock toggleclamp Quick-release /2" counterbore t/q"deep with a r/q"hole centeredinside

Before cutting the finished piece, use your test piece to set the rip fence. Raisethe blade to the kerf's height and set the fence to cut the face cheek on the left side of the blade. Make the cut, flip the workpiece around,cut the other face cheek, and test the result in a completed mortise.

For the edge cheeks, removethe clamp and place a test piece as shown. Adjust the rip fence as necessary hold the test piece firmly in place,and make the cut. Flip the piece edge for edge, cut the other edge cheek, and test the fit in a mortise.Adjust if needed and then cut the tenon edge cheeks.

Cuttinga tenon with a commercialjig is similar to the process used with our shop-madejig. Cut a kerf aroundthe rail, use a zero-clearancethroat plate,and cut on the side away from the jig body. Cut the edge cheeks with a bandsaw. as shown in Tenon Method 3, opposite page, top, or with a crosscut handsaw. WOOD magazine

June/July 2004

Fro: It's easierto handle pieces over 4' long on a bandsaw than on a tablesaw. Gon: A dull or poorly tensioned blade results in an uneven face cheek. None of the tenoningmethodsdiscussedso far solve the handling problem you face when cutting oversize workpieces. Rather than hold big pieces vertically on your tablesaw,cut their tenonson your bandsaw, supporting the weight of the rail with a table-heightsupport. Set up for this techniqueby installing a blade designedfor resawing; a Vz"-wide blade with three teeth per inch is a good choice.Make test cuts in scrapto determine whether you need to compensatefor blade Cut a kerf around the workpiece as in Step drift by setting your fence at an angle. A 1, opposite page. Now, clamp a straight bandsaw works just fine for short workfence to the left side of your table to cut the pieces,too, and surpasses many dadosetsin face cheek on the right-handside of the producingsmoothtenoncheeks. blade. Flip it edge for edge and cut again.

Unclamp and reset the bandsaw fence to cut the edge cheeks,as shown. Again, set up the operation so the waste piece falls away from the blade instead of being trapped againstthe fence.

Fine-tune tenonsfor a goodfit Despite your most careful efforts, sometimes you'll need to make a tenon thinner or thicker to achieve a good fit. Don't count on glue aloneto fill gaps-that approach will only weakenthe joint. For a tenon that's slightly oversize, use a sanding block to remove a modestamount of materiil as shown in the "Sanding" photo. Sandpaper wrapped around a block is likely to ruin the straight line of the shoulder, so useself-adhesivesandpaperon the bottom only. Or, if you prefer, use a rabbeting plane and a light touch, as shown in the "Planing" photo. Fix a tenonthat's toothin by gluing on oversizefiller piecesas shown in the "Shimming" photo. Saw, plane, or sand the tenon to final thickness after the glue dries. Finally, use a sanding block to form a chamfer around the end of each completed tenon, as shown in the "Chamfering" photo. This simple step helps you get the tenon started into its mortise with no fuss at assembly time even if the glue hasbegunto swell the wood fibers. al Written by Jim Pollock with Kevin Boyle


Use 15O-gritsandpaperand a sanding block to slightly reduce the thickness of a tenon. Place self-adhesive paper on a block or stick regular sandpaper in place with spray adhesive or double-faced tape.

A sharp rabbeting plane removes material more quickly than sandpaper. Here you see a low-angleplane (Lie-Nielsenmodel 60%R), designed to cut efficiently across grain and leave a smooth surface.

When a tenon proves to be too thin, glue a wood shim on each face cheek to keep the tenon centered.Make the shims thick enough to allow remillingof the tenon.

Grab your sanding block again to shape a %0" chamfer around the tenon end. A chamfered tenon slides more easi[ into place as you put the joint together.


,rir.ri::1r,r ooking for a weekend l', project that will yield , .;.:'1i;*.;l: years Of OutdOOr Service? Here it is. This contoured, eye-catching bench derives its durability from rock-solid mortise-and-tenon joinery and decay-resistantcedar. It has just eight different parts, and we've included full-size curved seat rail and support patterns for your convenience. Better yet, you can build the bench from knotty-grade cedar posts and deck boards, yet achieve the knot-free appearance of clear-grade cedar at a fraction of the cost. To learn how, see the Builder's Note from our penny-pinching Design Editor, Jeff Mertz, ar right. 74

A low-budgetway to get clear cedar cedarrecently,you've lf you'vetriedto buy clear-grade item.To build discoveredthat it's a pricey,special-order this gardenbenchwith premiumstock,you wouldspend about$245,enoughfor mostof us to say uncle.But,for aboutone-thirdof this cost,you can get the same unblemishedlookthat I did usingreadilyavailableknotty-grade cedar(foundat homecenters)and workingaroundthe knotswhen layingout the pafts,as shownright.Of course, you'llneedto spenda littletimefindingthe clearestboards (ittookme about15 minutes), and you may needto buy an extraboardor two for insurance,as I did. But the savingsare significant My materialscost about Look over your stock to find the clearest the $85,including Then, lay out the parts with chalk, areas. boards. extra post DesignEditor

as I'm doing here on a 4x4 bench legs (A).

WOOD magazine

for the

June/July 2004

thickness and width for forming test patternson the WOOD Patternsa insert. tenons.(Our deck boardsmeasured1Zo" Set two of the copies aside for a seat thick. We planed them to 1" thick by support.Then, cut out and spray-adhere re m o v i ng equal amounts of materi al the remai ni ng copi es t o a seat r ail, from both faces.) aligning the applicable patterns' ends Startwith the legs form the tenons on the rai l s' with the tenons'shoulders.(You'll need 2To C r e n d s , w h e r e d i m e n s i o n e d o n to flip one of the patternsover to comI From a 4x4 cedar post 8' long, cut I f our c lear 18" -l o n g w o rk p i e c e sfo r Drawing2a, frt your tablesawwith a 7+" plete the contour.) Now, bandsaw and the legs ( A ) . Us ing y o u r j o i n te r, s q u a re dado blade, and raise the blade to s/ro". sandto the patternline. Using the rail as two adjacentfaceson eachpiece.Then, Next, attach an auxiliary fence to the a template,mark the contour on the other cut a 2t/+"-squareleg from each piece. saw's rip fence and an auxiliary exten- seat rail, and cut and sand it to shape. Mark the two best faces on each leg sion to the miter gauge as a backer to Remove the patterns. ) Cr for the outside. Then, lay out the preventtear-out.Positionthe fence so it f Lower your dado blade to Vq". Then, 3/ex2t/2"mortises on the legs' inside just touchesthe dado blade. Now, form tJ maki ng tw o passes,cut a 1" dado fa ce s ,wher edim en s i o n e d o n D ra w i n g1 , a 3/8" tenon 3A" lons on the end of centeredon the insideface of the bottom making sure you have mirrored pairs of your test piece, as shown in l e gs . Us ing a 3/ r " F o rs tn e rb i t i n y o u r Ph o to A . Test the tenon' s fi t drill pressand a fence to keep the holes i n th e l eg (A ) morti ses. If al i gned, dr ill t he t/s "-d e e p mo rti s e s . necessary,adjust your setup, I lec (The mortises are %" deeper than the a n d re t est.W hen you' re sati s(Leftrearshown) mating tenons' length to prevent glue fi e d wi th the fi t, cut the sq ueez e- outand e n s u re ti g h t-fi tti n g tenonson the endsof the rails j o i n t s . )Now, s quar eth e i r s i d e sa n d e n d s ( B , C , D ) . w i th a c his el. Q naise your dado blade ro 13/q Rout %" r ound -o v e rs a l o n g a l l o f 9 V2 " . Then. crosscut both Q tf the legs'edgesandends.Then,sandthe edgeson your testpieceto trim l egs s m oot hus ing 1 8 O-g rist a n d p a p e r. the tenon'swidth to2t/2".Check its fit in the leg mortises.Adjust Next up: the frame parts the bladeheight,if necessary. 21/z' to From 514 cedar deck planed boards achieve good a fit. Now, trim I I t o I " t hic k ,c ut t h e s e a tra i l s (B), b o t- the tenonson the rails. tom side rails (C), and front/back rails ill Wat<e four copies of the (D) to the sizes listed in the Materials T combinedseatrail (B) and 3/ax 21/2"mortises, List. Cut an extra piece with the same seat support (F) full-size half z/a" Forthe lumberand otheritemsneeded to build this project,see page 77.




3/ax 21/2"mortise, z/a"deep

Test piece


/a" round-overs on all edges and ends

Keepingthe end of your test piece tight againstthe auxiliaryfence, crosscut both faces to form a 7e" tenon s/d"long.

siderails (C), where shownon Drawing2. Now, cut two I " dadoesV+"deepon the inside face of the front/back rails (D), where dimensioned. f, Vtart the centerof the archeson the botlf tom side rails (C) and front/back rails (D), wheredimensioned.Then,benda fairing stick to these points, and draw the arches. (For a free fairing stick plan, go to u'orxlnraguzi nc.conrllairinu.) Bandsawand sandthe archesto shape. f Roundover the edgesof the rails (B, C, I D), whereshown.Sandthepartssmooth. flCut the stretcher(E) and seatsupports [r(F) to the sizeslisted.Then,retrievethe two copiesof the seatsupporthalf pattern, and spray-adherethem to a seat support, aligning them with the support's ends. Bandsaw and sand them to shape.Now, using this part as a template,mark the contour on the other seat support,and cut and sandit. Removethe patterns,and sandthe supportsand stretchersmooth.

Assemble the bench frame I I

To assemble the legs(A), seatrails (B), and bottom side rails (C), first refer to

Drawing 2 for the required orientation of the parts. Then, referring to the manufacturer's instructions, apply a thin layer of polyurethane glue in the mortisesof two legs,and assemblethe legs, a seatrail, and a bottom side rail. Clamp the assembly together,as shown in Photo B. (We appliedglue only in the mortisRepeatto es to preventsqueeze-out.) assemblethe other two legs, seat rail, and bottom siderail. !) Ctue and clamp the seatsupports Cr (F) betweenthe front/back rails (D), and check for square. Then, drill countersunk screw holes through the rails, centeredin their dadoes,and into the supports,where shown. Drive the screws. (We bought the stainless steel flathead screws for our project from McFeely's. Call 8001443-7937or go to the assemblyon a flat surfacewhile the glue dries. Q Ctue and looselyclampthe end 9 assemblies(A/B/C) to the seat

Using scrap t/+"hardboard strips to protect the legs (A) from marks, clamp together tl'1elegs, seat rail (B), and bottom side rail (C).

vrEW @ exeloDED

#8 x 1s/a"stainlesssteel F.H.screw



t/a"round-overs on all edges and ends



@reruoN DETATL

7sz"shank hole, countersunk

43" 1" dado th" deep

1" dado l/+" deep,

#8 x 21/2"stainlesssteel 7az"pilothole 1g/q"deep

7sz"shank hole, countersunk 451/q"

1" dadoes t/q"deep.. 1/a" round-over


nm1 ! 'l











#8 x2t/2" stainlesssteel F.H.screw

WOOD magazine

June/July 2004


Gutting Diagram listedin the MaterialsList. x 96" Cedar(4x4) *Planeor resawto the thicknesses 31/2x31/z

1lAa x 51/zx 96" Cedar (5/ x6)

1lAa x 51/zx 96" Cedar (5/ x6)

11Aa x 51/zx 96" Cedar (514x6)

1lAax 51/zx 96" Cedar (5/ax6)

regs 1 6 1 t l

B seatrails C bottom siderails 1u D fronVback rails



I,' V4





E stretcher





F seatsupports





G fronVback seatslats




47Vz' C H center seatslats 3/qu 2' redwood, orcypress. Materials key: C-choice ofcedar, polyurethane glue, #8x2t/2" adhesive, Supplies: Spray (12), #8x1%stainless steel flathead steel screws stainless (28). flathead screws set,/e"round-over Blades and bits; Dado-blade router bit,%"Forstner bit.

Withthe seatsupportassembly(D/F)on 1th"-tallspacers,glueandclampthe end (NB/C)to the fronVbackrails(D). assemblies

scraps Usinglc"-thickspacersand hardboard to positionthe fronVbackseatslats(G)on the frame,drillthe holes,and drivethe screws.

support assembly (D/F), as shown in I Before mounting the slats, apply a Photo C. You can avoid using extra-long A coat of waterproof penetrating oil wood sealer to the bench frame and clampsby clampingfrom the seatrails (B) to the seatsupports(F), as shown.Then, slats. (We used Behr Premium Clear glue the stretcher (E) in place between WeatherproofingWood Sealer & Finish, the bottom side rails (C), and tighten the availableat Home Depot.)To give the botclamps. Drill countersunkscrew holes toms of the legs (A) extra protection,soak throughthe bottom siderails, centeredover them in sealerin a disposablepie pan. their dadoes,and into the stretcher.Now, Q Wtren the sealerdries, position the tJ front/backseatslats(G) on the bench drive the screws. frame with their ends /+" from the legs (A) and their inside edge flush with the Add the slats and finish 3/+" legs' inside face, as shown in Photo D. elane cedar deck boards to 514 I I thick. Cut the front/back seat slats (G) T h e n , d ri l l countersunk screw hol es through the slats and into the front/back and center seat slats (H) to size. Round over rails (D), whereshownon Drawing2, and the slats' edges and ends, where shown on Drawing 2. Sand the slats smooth. drive the screws. woodmagazine.corn

Position the center seat slats (H) on the / 'tbench frame, inserting Vq"-thick spacers (not hardboard) between them and the front/back seat slats (G). Center the seat slats so they overhang the seat rails (B) %" at each end. Make any adjustments needed for uniform spacing. Then, drill countersunk screw holes through the seat slats and into the seat rails and seat supports (F), where shown, and drive the screws. Now, move the bench to your garden, kick back, and take some time to smell the roses. JF Writtenby OwenDuvall Project design: Jeff Mertz lllustrations: RoxanneLeMoine

Findmore great outdoor projects at 77

*J t t ,]F



beautyrThe ody problern is the time and effort required to precisely cut all those rnortises loy hand. Thatts where these machines corne to the rescue. Read on to learn which of seven machines bore best,

.., $




I Are vou readv for a beirchtop nlortiser?

How a mortiser drills square holes

The article on poge 68 shows three options for making mortises, and your need for speed may motivate you to buy a dedicated machine. Benchtop mortisers (sometimes called "hollow-chisel mortisers") cut mortises faster-and cleaner-than drilling a row of holes and cleaning up the mortise with a chisel. Drill-press attachmentswork fine for occasional use or for mortises smaller than .%", but most drill presses aren't designed to provide the pressureand leverage required to plunge a larger bit and chisel into hardwoods. Be aware, though, that benchtop mortisers (and drill-press attachments) fall short when it comes to boring throu-eh-rnortises. Despite our best efforts to control tear-out as the chisel/bit exits the wood, we've found the results unacceptably rough. Often, though. that tear-out will be hidden by the shouldersof the rnating tenon.

Y e s ,you can dri l la squarehol e w i tha roundbi t.H ere' show :A n a u ger-type dri l lbi t spi nsi nsi dea h o l lowfour-si ded chi selsecuredto the mortiser,The bit itselflocks i n toa dri l lchucki nsi dethe head o f the machi ne.W henyou pul l down on the mortiser'sfeed lever, th e b i t and chi selpl ungesi mul tan e o usl yi ntoyourw orkpi ece. L i k eal l dri l lbi ts,the augerbi t boresa hole and ejectsthe chips. Me anw hi l e, the four sharpedges of the chiselparethe wood aroundthe boredhole into a s q uareshape.The augerbi t removesthis waste,as well, th ro ugha chi pej ecti onsl ot i n the c h i s el To . l earnmoreabout bit/chiselsets and how to get the mo stout of them,see " 5 thi ngs you needto knowabouthollow mortisechisels"on page 100.



Hollowchisel withaugerbit housedwithin

slot Chip-ejection

5 key hoyi+g

consrceralrons I Motor speed.All of the machinesin our I testdisplayedarnplepowerto cut mortises,but somedo thejob fasterthanothers. The reason:Five unitsspinthe bit at speeds of about1.120rpm, while the Bridgewood HM-ll and S hop Fo x W l 6 7 l ru n a b o u t twice as fast, with speeds of 3,400 and 3,450 rpm. Some woodworkers disdain high-speed machines. arguing that the auger bit overheatseasier,causing it to lose its temper and not hold a sharp edge. In our shop tests, though, we measured little difference in auger-bit temperatures between high-speed and low-speed rnachines after boring a 4"-long mortise, as shown at right. We did find a significant difference, however, in the amount of time it took to make that same mortise with each of the machines. In hardwoods, the hi-ehspeedmortisers did the job in about half the time of the slow-speed machines. We noticed. too, that the slow machines were more prone to stalling in hardwoods, often caused by an effant wood chip getting trapped between the bit and chisel.

actiort. Here's where the )Plunging Er benchtop mortisers have it all over drillpress-mountedattachments.A long handle means more leverage, and Shop Fox's 22" handle is the longest in the test, followed by the 2l " handleson the General International

machines.These three mortisersalso have a horizontal "L" grip (shown on the ne.t/ poge), makin-e thern easier to operate through their fLrll range of motion. We also pref'er mr,rlti-position handles that you reposition to gain a more cornfbrt-

FASTER, 3,450RPMMOTORSWORK BUTNOTNECESSARILY HOfiERTHAN1,725RPMMOTORS SPEED Length of7s'wide, 11/2"-deep mortise.bored in30seconds (average of threetests) 0







TEMPERATURE mortise Bittemperature afterboring a 3u6" wide,1yz"-deep,4"-long (average tests) ofthree Pine 1700 1g60

3,450 RPM


1,725 RPM


Oak 2710 275(, -300-

Maple 275"




3,450 RPM 1,725 RPM Maple 3,450 RPM


1,725 RPM


I 1,725 3,450 RPM RPM

1,725 3,450 RPM RPM

1,725 3,450 RPM RPM

to loseitshardness Thesteelinthese bitswillbegin whenit reaches atemoerature ofabout500oF.


Withthe chiseliouchingthe workpiecE,the handleof the Bridgewoodmortiser(left)can be placedin any of four positions(every45")to suit your cofifort or to give you the best leverage,We preferihe siraight-up position tor starting.)With the two-position handle ot ths General (|,ght),ygur starting-position choicesare limitedto reachingbehindthe machineor makingonly a shallowcut. International startingpoint, regardable or advantageous less of the thickness of your workpiece, length of chisel, or depth of mortise. The photos above demonstratethe importance of thesehandles. All of the testedmortisersemploy a reliable depth stopto ensureconsistentcutting depth, but only three (the Fisch and both GeneralInternationalmodels) also have a top stop to limit upward travel of the head. That featuresavesyou both time and energy becausethe mortiser head doesn't have to return to its full height after eachcut. Incidentally, don't get too hung up on buying the longeststroke(plungedepth)in the test. Most hollow mortise chisels can

dimension.)However, in most cases,the fence height also dictates the minimum width of workpieceyou can mortise.Only the recessedfences on the Delta (shown below center) and General International mortisersallow the hold-downto go lower than the top of the fence. Workpiece hold-downs on nearly all of the mortiserswe tested are made of cast iron, a sometimesrough surfacethat can mar your workpiece. (Setting the holddown two thicknessesof paperhigher than your workpiece virtually eliminates the marring and still allows you to slide the workpiece as you lengthen the mortise.) The GeneralInternationalmachinesstand

cut only 4-5" deep,so any strokecapacity more than that is overkill. and hold-downs.A mortiser's QFtnttt tffence fixes the distance between the mortise and the edgeof the workpiece, and all proved reliable and squareto the tabletop. Fencelocks on the two machinesthat have microadjusters(Fisch and Shop Fox) were difficult to access,while Delta's rackand-pinionmechanismoffers fast, but not fine, fenceadjustments. The taller the fence,the betterit supports when you're mortising'theedge of a wide workpiece. (Becausea mortise is usually madein the edgeof a workpiece,we'll use the term width to describe the vertical


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GOOD:Bridgewood'sstock hold-down requires a hex wrench to secure it. And its 1%"-highfence providesaveragesupport. 80

BETTER:Delta'sfence stands nearly3" tall for extra support, yet the stock hold-down works with materialas narrow as 1".

BEST We liked GeneralInternational'sholding system because of its column-mountedhold-down, large locking knob, and handwheelstock clamp. WOOD magazine

June/July 2004

handyratchetinglock GeneralInternational's securesthe chisel.The restof the mortisers requirea wrenchor screwdriver.

Jet's long chuck key and wide-open access to the drill chuck (/eft) make it easy to secure bits. By contrast, Bridgewood's chuck (right) can only be operated from the right or front of the machine, and the handle of the chuck key hits the cover knob.

out herefor a couple reasons.First, the long "fingers" on the hold-down keep wide workpieces from twisting as you pull the chisel out of them. Second,the holddown locks with a large handwheelrather than a ratchetingknob or hexheadscrew. 1l Changing chisels and bits. The tlceneral International mortisers make this task as tool-free as possible (seephoto above),requiring only a chuck key to install

the bit. Delta's hexheadwrench is on one end of the chuck key, making that the only tool neededfor bit and chiselchanges.Jet's chuck key (shown above) is the longest, reachingeasily inside the mortiser's headto tighten and loosenthe chuck; Bridgewood's (top right photo) is the shortest,and a real knuckle-banger. EWort piece capacities.The true capacitf ties of thesemachinesare tough to nail

down, because hollow-mortise chisel lengths vary from size to size and brand to brand. The "Maximum Distance From Bushing to Table" column in the chart at the end of this article gives a comparative indication of each mortiser's true capacity. To leam a machine'scapacityfor a particular chisel, subtractthe length of the mortise chisel(our 3/s"chisel,for example,was4V+" long) from the dimensionlisted in the chart.

The highs, lows, and more of senenmortisers Highpoints I Thehigh-speed faster motorcutsmortises foundonmost motors thantheslow-speed othermodels. positions I Fourpossible handle for eachmortise themostcomfoftable allowtheuserto choose or advantageous one. points Low ? Shorthandle moremuscle is required to means or widermortises. ct-tt1/2" I Shortchuckkeymakes bitchanging difficult, is limitedfor left-handed users. andaccess price. ? Nochisels in purchase included I Theonlymortiser thatrequires a hexhead wrench to setthecutting-depth stop. ? Noonboard foradjustment tools. storage Morepoints butstrictlybarebones ) A goodperformer, to theothermachines. compared

Highpoints i Hexhead foronewrenchonchuckkeymakes toolbiVchisel changes. I Theunique fencemechanism rack-and-pinion to the makes forsilky-smooth adjustments fencelocation. provides I Largecast-iron a broad, table/base youto mortise stableworksurface, enabling intothefaceof wideworkpieces. I Cutout to work in fenceallowsthehold-down as1". withpieces asnarrow i Headrotates to mortise offthetable. I Onboard tools. storage foralladjustment price. I Fourchisels included in purchase Low points gripis notasergonomic ? Straignt handle as gripfoundonsomemachines. horizontal Morepoints hold-down riserblockandextra-long ) lncluded postadd13/q" whenyou of workpiece capacity fence needit, butdefeats therack-and-pinion wheninstalled. adjuster 81

Highpoints I Topstopondepthstoplimits travelof thehead,saving upward youbothtimeandenergy. I Onboard storage foralladjustment tools. Lowpoints gripis notas ? Straight handle gripon ergonomic ashorizontal someothermachines, I Stronghead-return springworks you,especially against whencutting deepor widemortises.

Highpoints i Thebestworkholding systeminthetest,witha hold-down substantial anda screwclamp. I Cutouts infenceallowhold-down to secure workpieces narrower thanthefenceistall. Thefencealsofeatures a scaleshowing its distance fromthecenterof themortise. I Besides a depth-of-cut stopanda topstopto limitupward headtravel, thismachine alsohas a mortise-length stop. I Longhandle for betterleverage andhorizontal gripforoperator comfort. price, I Fourchisels included in purchase Lowpoints I Two-position handle limitsyourchoice of pointsto optimize leverage. starting ? 0nboard storage for chuckkey,butnotfor tools. adjustment I Instruction manual is vague, assuming too muchknowledge onthepartoftheuser.

Morepoints fencemakesit easy ) Microadjustable location, to fine-tune a mortise but thelocking knobis awkward to use.

Morepoints mortises, or ) lf youdon'tneedto makeangled workoffthetable. thisisthebestinthebunch.




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1 2 1 1x+7 1 l z 75lax 12112 1 1x ' 1 4 1. NOTES:


Subtractthe lengthof the mortisechiselfrom 3. (Cl) this dimensionto determinethe mortiser'scapacity (MDF) Chisellengthsvary by diameterand manufacturer. (F) 4. Maximumplungingdistanceof the chisel. (R) (TR)

Cast iron Medium-densityfiberboard Fixedcolumn Columnrotates Columntilts and rotates



221H |


(H) Hoirzontalgrip (S) Straightgrip

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Withinthe rangecr the user'sreach.

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Excellent Good Fair Poor

Thesemachinesmortise to the max Although we prefer fast-cutting highspeed mortisers, we found the rugged constructionand user-friendlinessof the General International 75-050 T impossible to resist, so it's our Top Tool. True, it's the most expensivemachine in the test, and it lacks a multi-position handle.But the solid hold-down,fence


scale, front-mounted clamp, length stop, and tilting headare featuresnormally found only on industrial-grademortisersthat cost twice as much. And, aside from chucking the auger bit, every routine adjustmenton this machine is performed without the use of a singletool. Don't needthe tilting, rotating head?The GeneralInternationalT5-050

Ml is nearly the samemachine,except for thosefunctions, for $40 less. Our choice for Top Value was tougher, with a virtual tie betweenthe Delta 14-651 and the Shop Fox W1671. We like Shop Fox's powerful high-speed motor, with which we bored cleanly-and quicklyinto oak and maple without stalling. Figure

WOOD magazine

]une/July 2004

Highpoints I Notoolsneeded to secure fenceandhold-down. I Longchuckkeymakes tightening andlooseningthedrillchuckeasy. i 3"-long fingers onhold-down 1" areabout longer thanmostto better thick stabilize workpieces. Lowpoints ? Shorthandle means moremuscle is required to cuI1/2" or widermortises. gripis notasergonomic ? Straight handle asthe gripfound0nsomemachines. horizontal ? 0nboard storage forchuckkey,'but notfor tools, adjustment

Highpoints I Thismachine hasallthegreatfeatures foundonthe75-050M1:excellent stock hold-downs andfence; depth, top,and length stops; anda longhandle with grip. horizontal I Theheadofthismoftiser tiltsto make moftises, angled suchasthosein chairlegs (without alsorotates usingtools) foroff-thetable mortising. l Largecast-iron baseprovides a broad, stableworksurface. price. i Fourchisels included in purchase Low points I Samelowpoints International asGeneral 7 5 -0 5M1 0 . Morepoints I Thismortiser candoit all,anddoit well,so it'sourchoice forTopTool.




Morepoints to mortise offthetable,butthe ) Headrotates machine mustbeunbolted fromthebench to doso. riserblock($20)boosts workpiece ) 0ptional capacity by2".


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(B) Bushingfor 3/q"chisel ( H ) Hold-downextension ( R ) Riserblock (s) Lengthstop (SX) Spindleexiension (r) Toolcaddy









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5'6' 2








9',6', 2




(C) (T)

China Taiwan


50 $190 55 230

10. Pricescurrentat time of productionand article.s. do not includeshiPPing' whereapplicable.

on adding another$40 or so to the price to get a full set of chisels, though. Delta includes all the chisels you're likely to need, comes nicely appointedwith a rackand-pinion fence and riser block, and all routine adjustments are made with the chuck key. If you don't mind its slower speed,this mortiser is a great value. Q

Highpoints I Thehigh-speed motorcutsmortises faster thantheslow-speed motors foundonmost othermodels. i Longhandle forbetterleverage, andhorizontal gripforoperator comfoil. I Big-capacity machine: Bores to thecenter of an 8" workpiece, andtheheadandhold-down can pieces reconfigured bequickly to moftise about thatwide(bothbestinthetest). I Largecast-iron baseprovides a stablework surface. Lowpoints price. ? Onlyonechiselincluded in purchase Morepoints fencemakesit easyto fine) Microadjustable tunea moftise location, butthelocking knobis awkward to use, to mortise offthetable,butthe ) Headrotates machine mustbeunbolted fromthebench to doso.

youropinion Sharc of these mortisers in our InteractiveTool Review at woodma

Writtenby Dave Campbellwith Jeff Hall


Teknatoolof NewZealandstartedthe woodturningchuckrevoluiionin 1988.Shownaboveis the businessend ol its NovaTitanchuck.

When first introduced, fourjaw chucks were viewed by many as a luxury just for professionalturners, But they offer so many advantages that anyone from novice level on up would benefit from ornrnurgone, 84

ith prices ranging from about $35 up to $280,you'reprobably askingyourselfwhy you should buy a four-jaw chuck for your lathe. Here are someof the bestreasons: r Chucksprovidequick, accurate,and positive centeringof bowl blanksand standard turning squares. I There'sno needto glue a wasteblock to your turning blank or give up bowl-blank thicknessto accommodatethe screwsneeded to fastenit to a faceplate.

r When using a chuck to turn a bowl from greenstock,you can rough it out, removeit from the lathe, and then later remount it with greater ease and conveniencethan with faceplatemounting. I Accessorychuck jaws are available to hold work as small as a Vq"-diameter tenon on a miniaturevesseland aslargeasthe rim platter. of an 18"-diameter I You can turn a bowl and finish it inside and out with little or no traceof how it was held on the lathe. WOOD rnagazine

June/July 2004


(Chuck viewedstraight on looking towardtheheadstock)



The chuck jaws attach to the jaw slides with machinescrews, allowing the use of a wide variety of specialized accessory jaws.

How a chuck worlcs A chuckconsistsof a body, jaw slides,and jaws, as shownabove.Internalspiralgearing moves all four jaws simultaneously, keepingthem equidistantfrom the centerof the chuckbody. Thejaws operatewith twin leversor a singlekey. Lever actionrequires either the simultaneoususe of both hands, or temporarilylocking the lathe spindleto adjustthe chuck with one lever. Single-key chucks offer the advantageof one-hand operationwithout the necessityof locking the lathe spindle. One-handtightening or looseningleavesthe otherhandfree to control stock when mounting it or a finished piecewhen removingit from the chuck.

Bowl with


pointof contact Jawmotion =) yyor'piece

How a chuck grips

Chuckjaws eithercontractarounda turned spigot (round tenon) or expandinto a hollowed-outrecess.In contractingmode, the jaws commonly suppliedwith chucksgrip spigotsfrom |Vz" to 3" in diameter.These samejaws expandinto turnedrecesses from 2" to 3V2"in diameter. Iaw design There are two basicjaw designs,dovetail Becausechuck jaws form a circle when and serrated,as shown below. Most jaws completely closed, they make continuous for Vicmarc and Axminster chucks are of contactwhen contractingarounda spigotor the dovetaildesign.The flangedSuperNova expandinginto a recessthat is just slightly jaws are a variationof this design.Serrated larger than the diameter of the circle, as jaws are most commonon Onewaychucks. shown above. This provides the greatest

Dovetail jaws usuallyleave minimalor no marking on the finishedvessel, reducingthe need to remount it to remove any marks.

holding power and safestoperation.As the jaws approachtheir maximum open position they make only point contactwith the workpiece,as shownabove.Gripping only at thesepoints (eight in contractingmode, or four in expandingmode) is less secure and risks marring the wood. Manufacturers offer accessoryjaws to cover a wide range of gripping diameters. When turning, be careful of chuck jaws adjustedneartheir maximumdiameter.The fartheropenthejaws, the more they extend beyondthe chuck body, and if touched,the more likely they are to causeinjury.

Serrated iaws have great holding powe6 particularlywhen gripping end-grainstock, but leave marks that must be removed.


Turning a bord with a four-jaw chuck Start on the outside For r.uountin-q side-grainbowl blanks.rnany chucks corre with a screw center. To use this center, install it in the chr,rckby -erip-

pin,qit with the jaws. Drill a hole equal in diarneterto the root of the screw and sli-ehtly deeperthan its len-eth.centeredon the top face of the blank. Then thread the blank onto

the lathe tail center for the screw. En-ea-ee additional support while turning the rough shape of the bowl. Now tum the outside of the bowl. shaping its bottom to be held by the chuck jaws. as shown in the photo at 1eli.Screw-centermounting allows for easy removal and remounting of the blank while rnaintaining its centeredposition.

Shapethe bottom

With its exteriorshaped,this partiallyformed bowl was cut in half to show how the screw center secures it to the chuck.

Dovetail jaws contracting around a spigot: When forming a spigot at the bottom of a bowl, match the angle of the outside edge of the spigot to the angle of the jaws.


When shapin-ethe outside of a bowl, form its bottom to fit yor"rrchuck jaws so you can reverse the blank. -urrp it with the chuck, and fbnn the inside. For contracting dovetail jaws, form a dovetail spigot as shown belotr leli. Cut the inside corner where the spi-eotmeets the bowl body crisp and clean to provide a positive -erippingcorner for the chuck jaws. Leave a flat bearing surface for the jaw ends. Becausethe jaws pull in on the spi-eotas well as squeezingit. make the spi-eotslightly shorter than the jaw depth, so it does not bottom out. Sand and finish as much of the outside of the bowl as possible. The samejaws that contract onto a spigot also will expand into a recesshollowed out in the bottom of a bowl. as shown below. When planning the shape of your bowl, leave extra thickness in its bottom to accommodate this recess. Make it about t,/s-t/t"deep. cleanly cut, and with its edge following the sl'rapeof the jaws. Leave sufflcient

Dovetail jaws expanding into a recess: When forming a recess in the bottom of a bowl, match the angle of the inside rim of the recessto the angle of the jaws. WOOD magazine

June/July 2004

wood around the recessto support the outward force exertedby the expandingjaws. Gripping the bowl in this manner allows you to completely form the outside, including its bottom. With the outsideof the bowl formed, sand it and apply a finish. Generally speaking, contracting onto a spigot provides the gr eat es t holdin g p o w e r. However, for turnings of large diameterbut shallow depth, such as a large platter, expandinginto a recess gives better results. Regardlessof how the chuck holds the workpiece, be sure to periodically check its tightness.

NorYform the inside With the outside of the bowl complete, remove it from the Although each manufacturer has a different name for this chuck accessory adjustable bowl jaws all screw center, and remove the work the same. Resilient grippers hold the bowl rim to the chuck jaws. Sets cost from $50 to $140. screw center from the chuck. To Sources hollow the inside of the bowl, remount it as Back to the bottom shown, oppositepage, bottom. When turn- For a bowl gripped by a spigot, reverse- Woodturning chucks. Woodworks. Call800/683-8876, orgoto ing the inside, take care not to catch the chuck it, gripping the rim with a shop-made Packard jam tool. Chucks do not hold turning stock as chuck or accessoryadjustablebowl Call8001523-4777, or goto securelyas a standardfaceplatewhere sev- jaws, as shown above.Then turn away the GrizzlyIndustrial. Penn lndustries. State Call8001377-7297, orgoto eral screwssecurethe blank. A bad catch spigot, and form a slight iecess in the candislodgethe bowl from the chuck.Once tom of the bowl. Whether using a jam CraftSupplies, USA.Call800/551-8876, orgolo woodthe final inside shapeand wall thicknessof chuck or a four-jaw chuck fitted with bowl the bowl have been achieved,sand it and jaws, support the workpiece with the tail Goming in issue 159. SeeWiseBuysinthis apply the finish. For a bowl gripped in a centerfor as long as possible.Finish-sand upcoming priced issueforreviews from offourchucks recess,simply removeit from the chuck. the turned area,and apply a finish. JF about$35to $235.

Meet the authots Chucksalso can grip most commonsizes of turningsquares. Becausesquarestock cannotbe held as securelyas round stock,hold it with the chuck and supportit with a tail center,as shown at right. Then turn a roundspigot on the tailstockend. Now flip the squareend for end, and grip the spigot in the chuck,once again supportingit with the tail center.When you cut squarestock for mountingin a chuck, make accuracy a priority;out-of-squarestock is difficultto grip securely.The slightlyrounded jaw cornersof Onewaychucksoffer the best designfor grippingsquarestock.

This articlewas producedwith the help of Kip Christensenand R ex B urni ngham. Kip teaches furnituredesign and prototyping Kip Ghristensen at BrighamYoung Universityin Provo,Utah. He frequentlydemonstratesturning techniquesat nationalsymposia and workshops. Rex Burningham Rex teaches turningat CraftSuppliesUSA,also in Provo.He exhibitshis work in galleries and craft shows,and has assistedsuch legendaryturnersas RichardRaffin, RudeOsolnik,Dale Nish,and Ray Key. lllustrations: Roxanne LeMoine


rrewrilfillHslfifiit 20rf4 rugge



GONTEST Readersroll outtheir mostinrrcntivesolutionsfor controllingclufter. |! |J e teamedwith Chevy Silverado and DeWalt Tools to rustle lf,t U U up the best storageideas in the nation during our 2004 "Rugged 'n' Ready Tool Storage Contest." After pouring through the many deserving entries, the judges (Bill Krier, editor-in-chief;Marlen t

Kemmet, managing editor; Kevin Boyle, senior design editor; and Jan Svec, projects editor) chose 13 winners: I grand pnze,2 runners-up,and ten judges' choice awards.Some are pretty, othersjust practical, but all offer creative solutions for workshop storage.

Tag-alongtool tote KevinHallof Tremonton,Utah,drew inspirationfrom a rollingcarry-onsuitcaseto create on-the-gostoragefor the toolsand supplieshe needsfor householdrepairsand chores outsidethe shop.Just like the airlineversion,his featuressturdywheelsand a retractable handle.The lid flips up and L-shapesidesswingopen wide to bracethe tote and provide accessto the tools and accessoriesinside.Customholderskeep evefihing in placewhile on the roll,and a removabletray holdsscrewsand hardware. We likedKevin'sidea so muchthat we'll bringyou completeplansfor our versionin the next issue.

Open the tote wide for easy access to tools and accessories ...


... latch the lid and doors for secure transport ...

... and slide down the locking handle for compact storage. UTOOD magazine June/July2004




Flip-up platforms for benchtoptools

RandyKough's12x16'shopin Deltona,Florida,quicklybecame crampedwhen outfittedwith a full complementof benchtoptools. To save space,he made hingedplatformsthat holdthe machinesupsidedown and out of the way underthe bench. Whenflippedup, a singleleg mountedto a straphingesupports each plywoodplatform.Sometimessimpleis best,and that'swhy Randy'slow-costsolutioncaughtour judges'attention.

Four-doorclamshell corner cabinet Dick Carlsonof Ridgefield,Washington,wantedto keepthe dust off his shelves,so he addeda door.Then his creativitykickedin, and he designedfour doors.Each holdstools on hooks,and everydoor is narrowerthan the next.They'remountedto a stairstep-shapeblockso each opensto a full 90'. He categorizedthe toolson the doors,makingthem easy to find. Over 250 tools now residein this cabinetthat takes almostno shop spaceat all.



o @ E o o (L

We knew we couldn't narrow the field to just three winners, so our judges awardedprizes to the 10 next best. Each of these lucky woodworkers gets to find storagespacefor about $500 worth of DeWalt tools.

I DW735 thickness planer

Bench-sidetool chest

i Multi-task tool organizer

Jeff Bradfordadded loads of storage i AoUReidgot tired of chasingtools and spacealongsidethe benchin his accessoriesall over his Savage, Seabrook,Texas,shop. But he didn't Minnesota,workshop,so he corralled stop there.Usingcarvingand intarsia, them in this cabinet.Drawersofferample he lurned the chest into a thing of beauty. storagewhilecubbiesaccommodate Made mostlyof mahogany(solidand portablepowertools.Bob wheelsthe plywood),the chestsportsa 11/2" maple organizerto any of his tools needingits butcher-block top. Jeff even includeda built-instocksupportroller. tote box that he can use to carrytools neededfor jobs outsidethe shop.

DW433KTbelt sander * DW618B3router kit

No-spill screwbox LarryMillerof Olympia,Washington, keepshis cordedand cordlessdrills,bits, and an amplesupplyof screwsin one portablebox that measuresless than 10x13x17".Mademostlyfrom scrap wood,the box housestwo traysthat rise on aluminumarms.The top tray nestson the lower unit and featuresa hingedlid to preventscrewspills. Continued on page 90


2 a c a) E

Right-height work table

Mobile tablesawcenter

RussellZirngibleof Owatonna,Minnesota,builthis rolling"do-itall table"to providestorage,an assemblysurface,and outfeed supportin one compactpackage.

caloutletsput powerclose at hand.

This heavy-dutysaw stationenablesDanielRabinovitzof to wheel his tablesawand accessories Murrysville,Pennsylvania, onto his graveldriveway, where he does i; most of his woodworking. The largepneumatictires make it easy to roll while 15 storagedrawo o a ers and compartments F o placeneededtools U withinreach.Daniel o even incorporated Y dust collectionand a E fold-awayoutfeedsupport into the design.

Race-readytool transport

Expandable workbench

MachinistFrankBuddellof Lansing, lllinois,createdthis racy lookingtoolbox for his son,Mike,to

BuddyRoseneof San Antoniocombineda cast-otfcard file cabinet,a coupleof piecesof old benchtop,and dining-table equalizerslidesinto a heavy-dutybenchchock-fullof functional storage.When he needs a bit more work space, Buddysimplyadds i one or two more leaves.The whole o o G works rides on a .9 mobilebase. =



are marked with various heightsfor quick outfeedsetup at variousmachines. Slide-outtrays store tools behindhardboard doors,and electri-




\ top. butcher-block Go-kartsuspension partscreatethe highperformancewheelset.


3 a dl

Rolling tool tower MarcAronsonof Chatsworth,California, fit a shopfulof small itemsinto a 2'-diameter,S4"-talltower.Toolsand suppliesmounton all four outersides while one side hingesopen to reveal slide-outtrays.On these,Marcstoresbits, blades,tool cases,and more.The tower featuresa lazy Susan that locks onto the caster-equipped base.



o (L

o o-

Standingtool cabinet

Traditional tool chest

John Boldtof San Antoniobuiltthis cabinet to househis handtools plus some that belongedto his fatherand grandfather. He used ten differenthardwoodsto create the cabinetand the custom-fitted holders within.One surprise:This cabinetrollson heavy-dutycasters.

Paul Gantherof Stephenville, Texas, designedand builtthis chestto hold a treasuretrove of hand tools inheritedfrom The chest resembles his grandfathers. ones that carpentersonce usedto house theirtools and showcasetheir craft.Paul's featuressix removableboxes (knownas tills)that hold smalleritems,plus largetool storagebelow.There's even a recessedcompartmentin the lid. All are coveredwith veneersand inlays.|l

o c c o (t)

o o 6 ll

E x' o E o

WOOD magazine



brush on aflawless

vatnish finish ost of us brush on oil-based varnish or polyurethane to beautify and protect our projects. (For the purposesof this article, we refer to oil-based varnish and oil-based polyurethaneas varnish.)However, we also know the frustration of seeing dust nibs, brush marks. and runs in those finishes. Rather than accept these flaws as part of finishing with varnish, adopt the following tips. They'Il pay off with a finish that feels smooth and looks terrific-guaranteed!

I Before you begin rrr In most circumstances, varnishdries slowly, providing a wet, sticky gatheringplace for dust. When the weather turns cold, drying time really sfretchesout, so warm your finishing areato 70 degreesF prior to finishing. Reduce the amount of dust in the air by making your finishing areaaScleanaspossible. Work in a room that's separatefrom your workshop,if possible.Cleanthe floor with a wet mop, placepaperunderyour project,and then clean the project with a shop vacuum and a store-boughttack rag or a cloth moistened with mineral spirits or naphtha.(Wear appropriategloves when handling solvents, and ensurethe spaceis well ventilated.)

Choosea high-quality brush with natural bristles and flagged (spliQ ends. Flagging increases the number of contact points, resultingin a smoother.application. The bristle end of the brush should have a V shape when viewed from the side. Make sureyou can seeexactlywhat you're doing. Place a light sourcenearby,at a low angleto the surface,as shown at right. Build your finish with two or threecoatsof glossy varnish. For the final coat, apply a varnishwith the desiredsheen,whethersatin or glossy.By following this procedure,you avoid the cloudinessproduced by several layersof satinvamish.

It's easy to miss a spot or overlook a flaw as you brush on finish under typical workshop lighting.Correctthe situation by placing a lamp or worklight to bounce light across the project toward you. Reflectinglight illuminates glare from wet finish and highlights runs, dust nibs, and other boo-boos.

?As you brush rrr To keep your finishing material as clean as possible, pour a small amount of varnish from the can into a jar that's wide enough for your brush. For the first coat, add an equal amount of mineral spirits (paint thinner). This mixture producesa thin coat that dries harder than unthinned varnish. making it easier to sand away the first-coat roughnesswithout clogging the sandpaper. The second and third coats can be slightly thinned or applied full strength. 92

However, when the temperature is 90 degreesor higher, fast drying becomes a problem. As a result, air bubbles solidify instead of popping, leaving bumps in the finish. Use a mix of 20 percentmineral spirits and 80 percent varnish for each coat to slow the drying and let the bubblespop. Now, brushon the varnishasshownin the sequence of photos opposite, top. After each coat dries, sand lightly with 320-gnt sandpaperto remove nibs and level the

surface.If you don't seesignificantflaws, rub with 0000 steel wool to improve bonding of the next coat. (Substitutea synthetic pad if finishing with water-base.) Moistena a cloth with mineral spirits or naphthaand wipe the surfaceto remove the residue. Apply three or more coatsto a tabletopor any surface that will get lots of hard use. Other surfaces need only two coats, and intricately detailedareaslook best with just two coatsof a 50/50 mix. WOOD magazine

June/July 2004


On a tabletop or other flat horizontal surface, brush varnish from one end to the other in overlapping strips. Begin each strip about 3" from one end, as shown above, and brush to that end. Then return to the starting point and brush to the opposite end.

Eliminate ridges and bubbles by tipping off. First, press the bristles against the jar edge, or squeeze them with a paper towel to remove most of the varnish. Then hold the brush straight up and draw the bristle tips lightly over the wet surface with the grain.

tf you can't reposition a vertical surface t6 lie flat, use cross'brushing to minimize runs. Load less varnish into the brush, start at the bottom and work up, brushing horizontallytoward each edge from the middle. Tip off with vertical strokes from bottom to top.

3 After the finish cures .., For a professional-quality finish, take another step after applying the final coat of varnish.Allow the varnishto cure in normal conditions for at least two weeks, and then rub it out as demonstratedin the sequence of photos below.

Rubbing eliminatesany remaining flaws, createsan even sheen,and makesit possible to adjust the sheenof either satin or glossy varnish from flat to satin to somewhat glossy-it's difficult to.rub most varnish finishes to a high gloss.

Do a thoroughjob of rubbing on tabletops and other flat horizontal surfaces that are highly visible and often touched.The other areasof your project, such as legs, require only careful sanding or modest rubbing with 0000 steelwool. fl

After the final coat cures, sand again as you did between coats, using 320-grit stearated sandpaper alone or 320-grit weVdry sandpaper plus mineral spirits as a lubricant. Sand just enough to levelthe imperfections and wipe off the residue with a cloth.

After sanding, use 0000 steel wool to create a soft satin sheen. Press a thick piece of steel wool flat with your hand and rub firmly in long, straight strokes with the grain. Wipe off the residue on the workpiece with a cloth dampened with mineral spirits or naphtha.

For a higher sheen, rub in a fine rubbing compound, such as those forind at an autosupply store. The lamb's wool applicator shown here lets you use two hands and apply even pressure. Pick one up at a home center or hardware store.



i13 the



indchIreS leasingto the eye and soothing to the ear, this project assemblesso easily, you'll want to build one for yourself and several morc as -eifis. We provide a soLlrcefbr the chime kit. and even show how yoll can make your own dowels.

Form the body For the body (A), cLrtaJrh"-longpiece of I I l"-dianreterdowel of a weather-resistant species, such as cedar. cypress (shown), rnaho-9any,redwood, walnut, or white oak. (Can't find dowels in these species?Check out the sidebar, opltosite.) Drill a centercd %.+"hole 7+" deep in each end of the dowel. Vtate a V-block at least Jt/:." longout of I AYt"-thick rnaterial.and draw a ternplate alignment line along the length of the dowel, as shown in the photo. riglt. Then make a copy of the hole drilling ternplatein the WOOD Puttentsa insert. and cut it along the lines. Now apply spray adhesive to the template and spiral it around the dowel, where shown on Drawing 1. -;/s"Forstner or brad-point bit in QChuck a 9your drill press. and adjust the f-enceto centerthe V-block underneaththe bit. Place the dowel in the block, and drill t/:"-deep holes at each of the nine ternplatelocations. Install a 90" V-groove bit in your table'f/ mor-rntedrouter. and adjust the f-ence%" away fi'orn its center. Clamp a stopblock to the f-ence.where shown on Drawing 2, and chamf'erboth ends of the dowel. Then move the stopblock, and ror"rtV-grooves, where dimensioned.Finish-sandthe dowel.

Add the arms and finish nine piecesof '%" dowel 3" long of I Cut I the same speciesas the body (A) fbr the arrns (B). (To make the ./s" dowel, see the sidebar. opposite.) Using the V-block to center the anns under the bit. drrll a t/r," hole located-y'+"from the end in for"rrarms. and t,/+"from the end in five arms. where shown on Drawing 3. Note: For u vert' ltail v'ood, suclt as v'ltite ouk, clrill lot" lrcles. %0" chamf-erson one end of each I Sand Adowel. and then flnish-sandthem. Glue the arms in the holes in the body. Make sure the dowels with the t/tr," holes located y'+" from the end go in the Llpperfor-rrholes. and


Holdingthe dowel in a V-block,guide your pencil along its edge to draw a template referenceline on the dowel. those with Zo" holes located /+" from the end -eoin the lower five holes. the glue dry, install 7s" screw eyes. QWittr af wlrere shown on Drawing 3. Then apply several coats of an exterior oil finish. (We chose Watco Exterior Wood Finish.)

String up the chimes I Hang the body assernbly at a conveI nient working height. Starting with the lon-eestchime and the topmost arm (B), thread the end of the stainless-steelcable (included with the chime kit) down through the hole in the arm, through the chime, and then back up through the arm. Adjust the cable loop to position the top of the chime l%" below the bottom of the body. Press a #l8x-%" brassescutcheonpin into the hole, wedging the cable in place. Stop when the head protrudes about t/tr.", and twist the cable around it twice. Pressthe pin in flush, and trim the cable. Repeat with the other eight chirnes, hanging them in order of decreasinglen-qth. the windbattler grommet over the I SliOe Cr cable attached to the wind catcher, where shown on Drawing 4, resting it on the srnall ferrule ah'eadycrirnped in place. Add the clapper. Then thread the cable through a large ferrule, through the lower screw eye, and then back throu-eh the ferrule. Adjust the len-sthof the cable so the clapper hangs abor.rt6" below the body (A), and crimp the ferrule with pliers. Hang the chimes, and relax to their soothins melodv. * WOOD magazine

June/July 2004

Il reupnrE PLAcEMENT

5/e" brassscreweye E gxplODED VIEW

Positionthe top of the templateflush with the top of the dowel.


t/a" V-groove



#18 x s/a"brassescutcheonpin


Te" dowel


t/z" deep

3" long

Ta"from end, dowels # 1 ,# 2 , # 3 ,# 4

Dowel#1 Referenceline on dowel Aligntemplate referenceline with dowel referenceline.


7oa"pilot hole 3/4"deep


%0" hole

lZ" from end, on dowels #5, #6, #7, #8, #9

Dowel#2 7a"brass screw eye

%o"chamfer Stainlesssteelcable

rimpon ferrule



%"brass %"dowel, spray adhesive, Supplies: 1"dowel, pins. brassescutcheon screw eyes,#18x%" dowrouter bits(formaking Bits: t/2"and3/e"round-over bit. router orbrad-point els),90"V-groove bit,%"Forstner Wind catcher

Source powder-coated Chime kit. Setofnine%"-diameter steelcable, 10'ofthree-strand stainless tubular chimes, gromwindbattler windcatcher withattached cable, clapper, ferrule. Kitno.KWT,$25.Add$20for met,andcrimp-on kit.Shipping viaUPSincluded, add$5per eachadditional Musical 3782 kitforshipping viaUSPS. Jacobs Chimes, Ave.,LosAlamitos, CA90720. Call800/627-5840. Cerritos

Written by Jan Svec Projectdesign:Jeff Meftz lllustrations:Roxanne LeMoine

on a router table Md<e your ovvndor,rrels Otten when buildinga project,you'll need just a few short lengthsof dowel,or a dowel of a speciesthat isn't commercially available.The first case hardlyjustifiesa specialtrip to the hardwarestore,and the secondleavesyou high and dry. Don't worry.With wood scraps,round-overbits, and a table-mountedrouter,you can make your own. Here's how. Cut stock 3" longerthan the dowel lengthneeded,plus 6" for a test piece. (lf the length-plus-3" dimensionis more than one-halfthe lengthof your routertablefence,clampon a longerauxiliary fence.)Jointand planethe stockinto a squarethe same dimensionas the diameter of the dowel needed.Cut off the 6" test piece. woodmagazine.corn

lnstallin the routera round-overbit whose radiusis one-halfthe diameterof the intendeddowel.(Forthe 1" and 3/e" dowelsneededin this project,use Vz" and 3/0"round-overbits.) Positionthe bit with the pilot bearingflush with the fence and the bottomof the radiusflush with the table.Rout 1" in on each edge of the test piece,and check its fit in a hole of the desireddiameterdrilledin scrap. Adjustyour setup as needed. Stick maskingtape on the table, and draw a start line 1" to the left and a stop line 1" to the rightof the bit center.Now with the left end of the stock at the start line,and the rightend againstthe fence, use a pushstickto plungethe stock into the routerbit, as shown at right. Feed the

stock past the bit until the trailingend reachesthe stop line. Then pivotthe trailingend away from the bit. Repeaton the other three edges. Cut the dowelto length,trimmingboth ends. 95

After a simple glue-up and a quick turn between centers, you'll have one strikingly beautiful tool in no time. And with its supple ash handle and super-dense morado (Bolivian rosewood) head, you can expect a lifetime of service.

Joint and plane a 2x2xl2" ash turningsquareto l%x1-7s".Then joint one edge of a 3x30" piece of 514densehardwood.(We used morado.) Plane this piece to 1/8" thick, rip it to 2t/2" wide, and cut it into four 7" lengths. Glue and clamp the four piecesto the ash, in the configuration shownat right.

7/ax 21/zx 7" morado head laminations

How to glue resinous woods Gluingresinouswoods,suchas bubinga,cocobolo,teak,and the moradousedfor the mallethead,posesa dilemma.Dueto theiroilysurfacesshouldyou use regular glueor epoxy? woodworking As it turnsout, bothsuitthe need.Althoughepoxyis foolproofand fillsgaps,it'smessy and moreexpensive. We choseTightbondll for our mallet.Withthe gluesurfacesof the four moradoblocksjointedand planed,we wipedthemwitha cleanrag and lacquer thinner.Thenwe immediately with8O-gritsandpaper, sandedtheirsurJaces takingcarenot to roundthe edges,and gluedand clampedthe assembly,as shown,aboveright.After lettingthe glue dry overnight,we turnedthe mallet.We subjectedit to five days of smackingchiselswhilecuttingdovetails,morlises,and otherjointsat a woodworking class,followedby six monthsof routineshopuse.The gluejointsshowno signof failing. 96



WOODmagazine collector'sseries handtools at woodma ndtools

WOOD rnagazine

June/July 2004

Make a copy of the mallet full-size template pattern on the WOOD Patternsa insert. Adhere the pattern to a piece of Vt" hardboard with spray adhesive.Then bandsaw or scrollsawand sandthe templateto shape.

r Tool: Roughing gouge r Tool rest: At centerline r Speed: 600-800 rpm r Tool: Parting tool r Tool rest: At centerline r Speed: 800-1,200 rpm Find the centers by drawing diagonals on both ends of the blank, and mount it between centers on your lathe. Use a 3/+"


roughing gouge to turn the mallet headto a - diametercylinder. 33/e" Lay the templateon the mallet head with the top of the templateeven with the top of the blank. Mark the locations of the head critical diameters. (The lsAo"-diameter gauging cut marks the bottom of the head, even though some morado will remain to the right of this mark.) Using a parting tool and outsidecalipers,make gaugingcuts to

the diametersindicatedon the template,as shownbelow.Do not makea gaugingcut on the mallet headto the left of the 3Vq"diameter shown on the templateandthe drawing, below left.

the headto 37e" Tailstockcenter

Drive center


gaugingcut 1s/ro"-diam.

the locationsof the criticaldiameters,and make the gaugingcuts. @ tvtart<

r Tool: Roughing gouge r Tool res$ At centerline r Speed: 600-800 rpm r Tool: Parting tool r Tool rcst At centerline r Speed: 800-1,200 rpm Use a 3/q"roughing gouge to tum the handle to a 1Vz"-dtameter cylinder, working as

close as possibleto the morado portion of the blank. Remove the morado to the right of the lsAo"-diametergauging cut with a parting tool, extendingthe lVz" diameterof the handle to the bottom of the cove. Form the stairstepshouldersat the bottom of the head, where shown on the template and as shown at right. Align the templateand mark the handlecritical diameters.Make gauging cuts with a parting tool. diameter. Q true the handlelo 11/2"

ni i fr


ll3!'j',l"n1l,n frtt o lE#"'ll?J::fi1",+:ii ",o @ Removethe waste,formingstairstepshoulders. , - l i - - i : - - - l

^ . .


Using a 3/s"spindle gouge, shapethe head andthenthe handle.On eachpart of the mallet, work downhill from the largerdiameters to the smallerones.At the stairsteptransition from head to handle, use a %" roundnose scraperto form the cove, as shown at right. Make light cuts to avoid tear-out.Widen the Vz"-diametergauging cut at the end of the handlefor more working room, and usea 32" skew chiselto form the bead.

r Tool: Spindle gouge r Tool rcst: Just below centerline r Speed: 1,200-1,600 rpm I Tool: Roundnose scraper r Tool rcst: Just below centerline r Speed: 800-1,200rpm r Tool: Skew chisel I Tool rest: Just above centerline r Speed: 800-1,200rpm Q Snapethe head.





.', ,. OSt "o" \\ //


identhe gaugingcut. @forr

r Tool: Skewchisel r Tool rcst: Just abovecenterline r Speed: 800-1,200rpm r Tool: Partingtool r Tool rcst: At centerline r Speed: 800-1,200rpm

the bead.

hold the endsbetweenyourthumbandforefinger. Do not wrap the wire around your fingers or hand. Remove the wasteat the top of the mallet with a parting tool, leaving a Vz"-diameter tenonconnectingit to the spurcenter.Form

the domedtop of the mallet with a 7a" spindle gouge. Remove the mallet from your lathe, and trim away the waste with a finetooth handsaw.Finish-sandthe ends with a random-orbit sander, and apply several coatsof an oil finish. Jl

r Tooll Spindlegouge r Tool rcst: Just belowcenterline r Speed:1,200-1,600 rpm Sand the finished portions of the mallet, progressing from 120-grit to 400-grit sandpaper.Using your template,mark the locationsof the burn lines'on the handle with a pencil. Cut t/tz"-deepgrooves at each mark with the point of a 3/q"skew chisel, as shown at near riglzr.Now, with the latherunning,hold a pieceof 22-gauge wire or a .026" wire burner in eachgroove until it is singed black, as shown at far right. (For wire burners with wood ball handleslike the one shown in the photo, seeSources.)Sandover the grooveswith 400-grit sandpaper. Caution: Whenusingordinary wire to burn the grooves,cut a piece about 8" long and thewaste. @ Remove

burn|ines' 9 llT:ll",r$il3["r%the

@turn the end down to r/2"


@aurn the grooves. -wlre

Written by Jan Svec Projectdesign:Jeff Mertz lllustrations:Roxanne LeMoine

Sources pieceof ashandfour Wood kit, One1s/ax1s/axl2" 7/ax21/2x7" ppd.or pieces Kitno.W-156, ofmorado. $22.95 ppd.Heritage 205 Building fivekitsfor$89.95 Specialties, MN56537. Fergus Falls, Call800/524-4184. N.Cascade, (setofthree WireBurners Wire burner. KCSpindle 115302, .016", .026', and.039")no. burners, 6"-long orgoto Woodworks. Packard Call800/683-8876, $9.95. www. WOOD magazine

June/July 2004


and bits

f, thingsyortneed

r, to knoul about

\,4 1.,*'.#'**t"


mortise chisels o matterhow much you spendon a hollow-chiselmortiser-whether it's a benchtopmodellike thoseon page 78,a low-doughdrill-press-mounted A businesscard betweenthe chisel and mortiserhead establishesthe proper bit clearance device,or a monstrousstationarymortising during installation.The wood scrap protects your fingers from the chisel'ssharp points. machine-you'll get the bestresultswith English-madeClico hollow mortisechisthe right hollow mortisechisel,properly QYour bitsneedtime to chill. Heatis the you'll of any high-speedsteelcutter, tJenemy so ground different angle, to a els are used. installedand suchastheseaugerbits, becauseoverheated for those. needthat company'ssharpener A hollow mortisechiselconsistsof an bits don't hold a cuttingedgewell. If you bushingon the end of the The replaceable augerbit nestedinsidea four-sidedchisel. havea lot of mortisesto cut, go graba cup guides the chisel. it into Clico sharpener As you plungethis drilling duo into your -2942, of coffee every third or fourth mortise,and (8001221 Wade Garrett of the removes most workpiece,the auger sellsboth the chisels wastewhile the chiselparesawaythe Continuedon page 102 ($6G$70 each)andthe sharpener($8e;. cornersand squaresup the hole,pushing the wasteinto the auger,whereit is ejected. Give the bit a tiny head start. The After yearsof experiencewoiking with heightrelationshipbetweenthe auger them in the WOODomagazineshop,here's Goneshaped and chiselis crucialto the set'sperforwhat we've learnedaboutgettingthe most grinding sharpener mance.If the augerleadsthe chiseltoo cutters. from thesesquare-hole stone t much,it can stray,prematurelywearingthe you start; bit and-in extremecases-causingthe bit I Sharpenthe chiselbefore to break;if the bit leadstoo little, the chisel I then keepit sharp. Foftunately,a cuts beforethe bit, requiring more force to shownin the coupleof specialaccessories, plungeinto the mortise.Mortisermanufacphotoat right, makesharpeningthe turersrecommendanywherefrom t/to"to concavebevelinsidethe chiselopening 3/0" clearance betweenthe bit and chisel. virtually foolproof.Lee Valley Tools the lessclearancethe But in our experience, (800/871-8158, sellsa pair better,so long as the bit doesn'trub on the of diamondgrindingstones($7, part no. chiselin whichit's seated. most makesof 17J81.20)for shaqpening Here'show we setup our hollow mortise hollow chisels.After removingthe auger '* -t -* ,*r chiselsfor minimal clearance:Mount the bit, chuckthe 51oconeinto your cordless chisel,sandwichinga businesscardbetween drill and turn it slowly into the end of the it and the headof the mortiser,as shownin chisel;switchto the 50ocone,and repeatto the photoabove.Now chuckthe augerbit makea microbevel.This processcreatesa into the mortiser,holdingit snugagainstthe slightburr on the outsideof the chisel, Cone-shapedgrinding wheels put a sharp which we removedby lappingall four sides bottomof the chisel.With the auger edge on the businessend of a hollow secured,loosenthe chisel,removethe adheredto glass. with 800-gritsandpaper moftise chisel held in a vise. The fluted Clico (As a bonus,this final stepmakesthe chisel businesscard,then seatthe chiselagainst sharpener(at left in photo) works only on that brand of chisels. the headandtightenit. easierto pull out of the wood.)



WOOD magazine

June/July 2004




ffifv *z:?,::i5';"

0nly$1 89", 8 Straight Bits 5 DovetailBits 3 Core Box Bits 3 RoundnoseBits 2 FlushTrim Bits 3 MortisingBits 1 PlungingPanelBit 1 LaminateTrim Bit 1 BevelBit 3 90 V-GrooveBits 2 RomanOgee Bits 6 RoundoverBits I Point Cutting Roundover 1 Ogee With Fillet I Plunging Roundover W Bead

1 Double RomanOgee w cove 1 Plunging Roundover,-{ 1 SteppedCove 2 EdgeBeadingBits I MultibeadingBit 1 Bowl&TrayBit 1 KeyHole Bit 1 Double RomanOgee 1 ClassicDouble Roundover 1 FlatBottom 60 V-Groove 'l Standard60 V-Groove 3 Rabbeting/ Slot Cutters 4 ChamferBits 6 Cove Bits

and bits

allow the bit to cool in between.While the bit is still warm (but not hot), dip the end in paraffin wax, which will travel up the flutes with your next cut and aid with ejectionof the wastechips. /lfane full cuts at both endsand par=tial cuts in between.Bore the endsof your mortisefirst, and then make a series of barely overlappingcuts in betweento clear the remainingmaterial,as shownin the Mortise Boring Sequencedrawing, below. Removingmuch lessthan a full bite can increaseside-to-sidedeflection and the likelihood of auger-bitbreakage, especiallyin Vq"chisels,so takeasmuch wasteas vou can with eachcut.

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We find this slight-overlapmethod about50 percentfasterthan the cornmon practiceof taking a seriesof nonoverlapping cuts, and then boring out the materialin between.The latter method does,however,result in virtually zero side-to-side deflection,and we'll sometimes useit for Vq"mortises.Regardless of which methodyou use,when the main cutting is complete,go back and cleanup the mortisewith a closely spacedseries of full-depth cuts. QPrt your money where it makesthe 9most sense.Not surprisingly,we've found that premium-pricedhollow mortise chiselsperform better than lowercostones.But, at about$70 per chisel, you can quickly spendmore on chisels than you spendfor the mortising machine itself. Pay the premium if you'll make a lot of one sizeof mortise,or if you routinely ctJtVq"mortises.Machining mortisesputs a lot of stresson smaller bits, and the less-expensive bits break more easily.(We've evenseena /+" augerbit unravelin the middle of a cut.) If you make mortisesonly occasionally, buy an inexpensives4" hollow mortise chisel for $9-$30. It should serveyou well if you're careful to keep it sharpand not overheatthe bit. Buying hollow mortisechiselsin a small setfurther lowers your


WOOD magazine

June/July 2004




youworkfaster, smarter, andsafer Helping

Gonvertspiderweb place to stbragespace I discovered a simple wayto makeuseof the my spaceunderneath workbench topand theskirtwithout behind the re-engineering basefordrawerboxes. To usethespace,I storage builtdrop-down as compartments, shownat right,to hold smalltoolsandto myfasteners. organize Thehingesattached betweenthe backapronand the plywoodbaseallowthe to dropdown. compartments Chains,securedto the benchtopand the box sides with screweyes,limitthe depthof the drop.A locking haspfirmlysecuresthe storageunitsout of the way. -Dan Opper, Lawrence, Kan.

Like most of us-regardless of the sizeof our shops-Dan Opper wantedto squeezeevery bit of storagefrom his space."One day, I was looking at my bench," saysthe retiredtelephoneengineer,"and I thought,there'swastedspaceunder this benchtop.What can I do with it?" After a little pondering,Dan cameup with the idea at left, and we think it's a dandy.We namedit our Top ShopTip for this issue.

Screw eyes

Screw and washer secure chain to box side.

How to Grround flying r6indeer I made severalof WOODa magazine'sreindeerlawn ornamentsbut had troublewith themtryingto takeflightandjoin Santa'ssleighwhenevera strong windblew.To put a stopto their I anchored5' aerialambitions, lengthsol3/q"rigidelectricalconduitto theirhooves. For eachoutdoorornament, buy one 10' lengthof conduitand the cut it in half.(Spray-paint pipe if you want it to blendinto the surfaceit's sittingon.) Next, drillsmallholesthroughyour reindeer'shoovesand securethe conduitwithplasticcabletiesor wire.Thesepipeswill keepyour reindeerfirmlygroundedin even the strongest windsand the methodis mucheasierthan drivingstakesintofrozenground. -RichardHedges, Woodstock, lll. 104

Dan will have to clear more room in his shop for the Makita L5122012" mitersaw we're sending his way.

Continuedon page 106

Describehow you've solveda workshopdilemma,and you'll get $75 if it appearshere.And, if your tip earns Top ShopTip honors,you'll alsowin a tool prize worth at least$250. Sendyour best tips, along with photosor illustrationsand your daytimetelephonenumber,to: Shop Tips, WOOD Magazine, I7L6 Locust St., GA-3L0, Des Moinesr IA 50309-3023.Or e-mail tips to: Rememberto include your contact info in the e-mail as well. Becausewe try to publish only original tips, pleasesendyour tips only to WOOD magazine.Sorry, but submittedmaterialscan't be returned. WOOD magazine

June/fuly 2004

shop tips Contain the shower of lathe shavings with a curtain Turningwoodin my smallshoppresented me witha few problems.I was foreverwipingwoodshavingsoff my shelves,nearby benchtools,and out of nailbins.Also,becauseI turngreen wood,my othertoolsendedup gettinga or semi-green rust-making showerfromthe wet shavings. My solutionwas to hangshowercurtainsfromthe ceiling joistsand aroundthe lathe.I screwedJ-hooksintothe bottom of the ceilingjoiststo holdthe curtainrodsand to makeit easy to take down my littletent.The curtainscontainthe waterspatter and forcethe shavingsto dropto the floor,makingcleanup my othertools. easierand protecting -Kip Stratton, )tego,N.Y.

Effectiverouter dust

collector for just pennies

DR.IVES4 g,tzEg OF NAItSWffiH NO EFF I Comfortable Hgonomic Stylingwith Cushlimed ttlon-Slrp



Althoughmostof my toolshavegood dustcollection, capturing debrisfroma routerwhilemakingedgecutswas a big problem.To makemy routerdust-free, hoseadapter I createda dust-collection usinghoseclampsand two 10"aluminum gutterspikes. ring-shank First,I slightlybentthe spikesabout3" fromthe end.Then I insertedthemin the holesof the routerbase, edge-guide securedthem with screws.and usedthe hoseclampsto strapon a 4" flexible hosethat connectsto my dust collector. Withthe hoseend positioned about1" fromthe routerbit,this setupgrabs almostall the dustgenerated. -Roger Schoenhals, Lake)rion, Mich.

rftigger and Suface Safety Locfts. .NonMarring Bunpr,

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WOOD rnagazine

June/July 2004


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It takes a thick skin to hide your boo-boos Wh i l ebuilding oak k it c h e n -c a b i ndeoto rs ,| , jiggedup my drillpressto borethe 35mm : hi n geholesin t he doo rs ti l e sa n d s ta rte d dri l l i n gaway .A f t ert he s e c o n dd o o r,I s u d - : t hatit m a tc h e dth e fi rs td o o r , denl yr ealiz ed a l i ttl et oo well- l' d jus td ri l l e dth e ma s i f theyweretwo leftdoors,insteadof leftand , rightlWith no extraparts,and no way to plugthe holesand havethe doorslook ri ght,I r ac k edm y br ai nu n ti lI c a meu p w i th thi sso lut ion. First.froma oieceof oak the same as t he botc h e ds ti l e ,I re s a w e d d i mens ions patchand sandedit to a slightlyover-thick e xa c t ly7e' - t hicus k ingm y d ru ms a n d e r. Next,I set up my tablesawto cut 7a"deep, positioned the fenceto cut alongthe railjointline,and m a d eth e c u t. a nd-s t ile t th e w i d th Fi nallyI, r es ett he bla d eh e i g h to of the stile,and movedthe fenceto take 1/a"oll the backof the stile,and again, ma det he c ut ,t hist im ew i thth e d o o ro n edgeand a tall auxiliaryface mountedto my fence.Thesestepsresultedin a1/a"-

d e e pra bbeti n the backof the dooras wideas the stile-a perfectmatchfor the p a tc hI m adeearl i er. Afte rg l ui ngthe patchi ntopl ace,I ranthe d o o rth ro ughthe drumsanderagai nto c l e a nu p thej oi nt.W i ththe mi spl aced holesnow well-hidden, I againboredthe hingeholes-this time in the correctside of the door!


wide as stile Cut 1: 7e"deep

-Ray Walton, viae-mail

Corttirtueclott lxtge 108



shop tips Hotmelt veneer adhesive out of a bottle




-.*-\ \

OualitYtools' educatton, s e r v i c ea n d v a l u e . Fvnont


m o r ef r o m K R E G , t h e l e a d e ri n P o c k e t Holetechnology.

by coatingbot hyour t Y ou can makeyourow n hotmelveneer w orkpi ece and a pi eceof veneerw i tha goodqua lit ywoodwor king the nir onit on like gl ue.(l useTi tebondl l .) Let i t dry compl etel y, you w oul dw i thnormalhotmelw t oodtape.l t w ork sam azingly w el l ,and al l ow syou to veneerareasl argerthanyou can wit h veneerlape' -Don west, Ariz. Phoenix, Don, we checkedout your tip with Dale Zimmermanat Franklin lnternational(makerof Titebondwoodworkingglues),and he saysyou're right on the money.Dale told us that you can let the glue dry for "as long as a coupleof days, but the longerit dries, the more heat it takes to reactivatethe adhesive."He says five hours or so of dryingis about right for Titebondll. Dale suggests using the "cotton"settingon your iron, and keep it moving to prevent scorchingthe veneer. -W00Do magazine

Fagten.. No waitingfor the glue to dry. 5tr''.ngen.. Screwsput unmatched clamppressureon the joint line. 5irnplen-. Drillpocketholesin only one workpiece.Alignfor assemblywith a singleclamp. Fasterassembly,stronger Eetter! joints,fewer headaches. Giveit a try todayl

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WOOD rnagazine

June/July 2004

Tip your hat to this pivoting outfeedtable Having a rollerstandin theshopis almost levelsit out,andtherollerstand person likehavinganother around to help willremain standing. -J. D.Stanley,Cleveland youworkwithlongandcumbersome Heights,Ohio material, butroller Center-\ standsalsohavea frustrating flaw:lf the material is warpedor droopy,you'llprobablyknockoverthe standbeforeyouget helpfromit. Thetiltplatform, ingplywood shownaI right, virtually eliminates thisproblem. To useit withyour tablesaw, setthe levelplatform height to matchyourtablesawtop,andthentilt theplatform toward thesaw.Whenyou feedtheboard through, it catches the platform and

Seea new Shop 1ip of the Dayat 109


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SanFranciscowoodworker BarbaraButlercreatesthe stuff of kids' dreamswith her fun, colorfulplay structures.



o o

Bold colors, fanciful designs, and complex shapes take Barbara's play structures several steps beyond the ordinary. Each custom piece exhibits its own personality.

arbaraButler got into the decksketchingthe design.Careful measurements building businessto help pay the ensurethe structureswill conform to bills during her starving-artistdays. changingterrain and fit well amongother A skilled craftsperson,shealso created landscapeelements. carvedfurniture in vibrant colors.Before Barbaraand her team entirely build each long, shecombinedher talentsto develop structurein her shop."I use second-growth uniqueplayhousesand backyardstructures redwoodfrom certified sustainableforests." that attractkids like candy. i shesays."It's beautiful,greatto work with, Today, Barbara,below, and her crew of and lastsfor yearswithout chemicalpreser10 designand build about40 of these vatives." Sheusesjigs to simplify creating backyard-adventure structuresper year. The complex shapesand insistson tight tolerthemed,multi-level masterpieces fetch from ancesand furniture-gradeworkmanship. With constructioncomplete,the partsget $6,000to six-digits, and they are shipped and installedall over the country. numberedthen disassembledfor staining and finishing. During this time, Barbara Greating fantasyworlds addssuchdetailsas cutoutsand carvings. Barbarabeginsthe processof building a Next, the crew rebuilds the structureto customstructureby meetingwith the double-checkworkmanship,then prepsit prospectivebuyer, surveyingthe site, and for shipping.Theseprocesseseat man hours-a playhousemay take 70 hours to build-and the attentionto detail shows.

blends(basecolors come from Woodburst stains:425| 433-0899; Applying threeor four coatsof clear exterior tung oil finish sealsin the color. Seethe Shop Tip on page I 12 for more exterior stainingtips. Finally, Barbaraensuresthe sffucturesgo togetherproperly on site by either installing them herself,supervising,or providing wriffen instructionsto a qualified contractor.

The debateover doing more Barbara'sbusinesskeepsher pacehectic, with 80-hourweeksa nonn, but sheshuns getting lessinvolved or mass-producing products."We could have our stockpieces built overseas,sell them cheaper,and sell more, but that's a hassleand not the way I Continued onpage114

Building to last

Barbara demands quality materials and construction to create safe, lasting structures.


Craftsmanshipremainsapparent in suchdetailsas fasteners and hardware."I use stainlesssteelscrewsand bolts to withstand the weatherand preventrust stainson the wood," saysBarbara.All steel parts feature a tough baked-on finish that sealsthem against the elementsand softensany sharpedges. Good materialshelp the structurelast, and careful finishing preservescolor. Every piecereceivesexteriortung oil stain,usually in severalof the Barbara's structures often intermingle closely with trees, 50 customcolors Barbara sometimes even tying them directly into the design. WOOD rnagazine

June{uly 2004


craftsmen otherwoodworking,below.And shesimply enjoysproducingprojectsthat help drive kids' imaginations.To learnmore,visit ll or call 4151864-6840.

want to do business," she says. "We have recently begun offering plans for a few playhouses, and may produce more." Even with her busy schedule, she finds time for

Keep outdoor



BarbaraButlertellsher clientsthat they may haveto sand and restain theirstructureseveryfour years.But manydon'tfeelthe needfor seven or eightyears.Here'sher advicefor creatingexteriorfinishesthat last: f Applystainliberallyto outdoor projects.The stainwill weatherto an attractiveappearanceafter a year or two of exposure,and then continueto lookgoodfor anothercoupleof years beforeneedingto be restained. I Cleanthe structureat leasttwice each year by scrubbingwith a stiff bristlebrushdippedin a mixtureof soapand water. biodegradable

Walls of the Country Cottage playhouse bear Barbara's whimsical flowers and vines along with birds, bugs, and even a few fairies.

Barbara returns to her roots by crafting about 10 custom furniture pieces per year. "That's my art now, my escape," she says.

I Protectthe stain by refreshingthe topcoateveryyear or two. Use a clear, penetrating-oil exteriorfinishthat containsultraviolet(UV)lightinhibitors.


WOOD magazine


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These woodworking warespassed ourshoptrials

Ghangerouter bits in a snap,without tools For years,routerand accessory makers havesearchedfor the Holy Grail of routerdom: a safeand effectivecollet requiring no wrenches.Craftsmanfinally unearthsthe answerwith the QuikRoutSystem. The systemconsistsof a quick-release connectorand adaptersthat mounton t/+"-or /2"-shankrouterbits.Align the red index markson the connectorand adapter, and with a little pressurethe adaptersnaps into place.Pull backon theconnector's collar, andthe bit popsout.The mechanism was a little stiff when I first startedtesting. but it brokein nicely. Althoughthe adaptersusetwo different methodsto hold the bit (the r/2"adapters havea colletsimilarto the onethe connector replaces;the /+" versiongrips the bit with setscrews),both sizesfit into the Vz"connector.That meansyou can switch from a t/2"btt to a t/t" bit-and back-in an instant.I alsofound I could setup matched bits,suchasa rail-and-stile set,andswap thosebits back and forth without havins to test-cutandheight-adjust eachtime. Installingthe QuikRoutconnector couldn'tbe easier.Simplyremovethe nut

and collet from your Craftsman router (there's one version fbr current models, another for pre-2003 machines, and a third version fbr Porter-Cable routers), then thread on the connector where the collet nut used to be. It takesjust seconds. Becausemoving the individual adapters from bit to bit defeats the purpose of the system,I'll keep a set of QuikRout adapters on my most-usedbits. (The t/z" krt comes with four t,h"-brtadapters,and additional adapterscost $10 for a set of three.) For

rarelyusedbits, I'll eitherkeepan extra adapteron hand,or temporarilyreplacethe connectorwith the router'sfactorycollet. The only downsideI found is that the %" QuickRoutSystemaddsabouts/s"of cuttingdepthto the router,which canbe a problemwith long bits. For example,with a 2r/q"-longstraightbit in my fixed-baseP-C 690, I couldn't cut any shallowerthan3Ao". With the 690 in its plungebase,however, that bit retractedcompletely. -TestedbyJohnCebuhar Craftsman%" QuickRoutSystem


Performance Price


AtSears stores

Bridgewood cabinet saw boasts beefiness At first glance,Bridgewood'sBW-10LTS 3-hp,lefltilting, cabinet-style tablesaw didn't look like anythingspecial.But one glanceunderthe tabletold me this saw providesa lot of meatfor the money. It appearsthat Bridgewood'sdesigners marriedthe massivebox trunnionsof a Powermatic66 with the stouttrunnionmountingbracketsof a Delta Unisaw.The resultis a powerful,vibration-freesaw, whosefencescaleremainsaccurate throughoutthe full bevelrange.(Most tablesawsvary in blade-to-fence distanceas you tilt the bladefrom 0" to 45".) Out of the crate,the miter slot of the BW-l0LTS was within .0015"of perfectlyparallelto the blade,which is excellent.And I would rate the cut quality as aboveaverage. The front-lockingBiesemeyer-style fence fell shortof the restof the saw,however.It deflectedan acceptable.008"at the arbor

r location when ripping a hefty sheet of medium-density fiberboard (MDF), and I found it easy to make the left face parallel to the tabletop using the two top-mounted hexhead screws.But with the left face perpendicular, the right face tilted /r6" out at the top. And the left face showed signs of scoring from where it was machined at the factory.

If you're a safetynut like me, you'll like theBW-lOLTS'spowerswitch:Oncethe saw hasbeenshutoff, you must rotatethe switchone-halfturn beforeyou can turn it back on. -TestedbyJohnCebuhar BridgewoodBW-l0LTS Performance ***** Price 3 hpwith50"fence,$1,300; optional laminate extension table& legs(shown), $100 Wilke Machinery 800/235-21 00, Continued on




Blast gatesautomatically fire up your dust collector


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The POCK'IT JlG" KIT is available at these dealers: r AMMON.COM 800-635-5140 ! EAGLEAMERICA 800-872-2511 r HARTVILLE TOOLS 800-345-2396 I WOODWORKERSSUPPLY8M4t$9292 r MCFEELYS8OO-M3.7937 T WOODWORKERSWAREHOUSE 800-767-9999 r PRTCECUTTER888-288-2487 r WOODWORKERSCHOICE 800-892-4866 r wooDcRAFTSUPPLY 800-225-1153 r ROCKLERTOOLS 800-279-4441 To recleve your rebate, clip & mail us this ad with proof of purchase. (Your sales slip or package bar code will do the trick) Inc. zt BertelAvenue,Mount Vernon,NY 10550 PRODUCTS SIMP'L Web Site: E-Mail:


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If you have a centraldust-collectionsystem,you know the value of blast gates("valves" on the ductwork that you open or closeto direct suctionto the tool in use).After a long day in the shop,you probablydo the "blast-gateboogie" in your sleep:Open the gate, walk to the dust collector,turn it on, walk to the tool, make the cut, walk to the collector,shut it off, walk to the tool, closethe gate, and so on. PennState'sLong RangerMultiGate Switch Systemsavesyou stepsbecauseevery time you open a blast gateon the system,your dust collector comeson automatically.When you closethe gate,the collector powersdown. No weak suctionfrom gatesleft open;no hunting for a remotecontrol. The aluminumgatesthemselvesare spring loaded,so they slam closedwhen released.That loud "snap!" is disconcertingat frst but didn't appearto causeany damage.When you open a gate,you must shift it slightly sidewaysin its track to engagea stoppingpin. The first few times I operateda gate,I jammed it by either pulling too far or shifting it too much, but I quickly got the hang of it. Installationof the MultiGate systemproved super-simple,and I mountedand wired four blast gateson my 4" PVC-pipe systemin lessthan an hour. The gate assembliesnicely fit both the PVC and the 4" flexible hosebetweenthe gateand tool. Oddly, thereare no keyhole slots or mountingtabson the relay box to which all the gatesare wired, so you're on you own for whereto put the thing. I usedsomeself-stickhook-and-loopstripsto attachthe box to the wall nearmy collector. , For $50, you get one MultiGate blast gate, 100'of low-voltage wire, a bag of wire connectors,and the relay box. Additional blast gates(part no. LRGATE) cost only $l I each,so I did my whole shopfor under$100. Long Ra-ngerMultiGate wh-enyou order,be System Switch suretospecify ****Yi P e r f o r m ance your dust whether Price $50 collector operateson PennStateIndustries I l0 or 220 volts. -7297, -Testedby0wenDuvall 8001377

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butonlyfiosefiat eamat leastfiree oftoolsandaccessories, Wetesthundreds ftis Ourtesters inthissection. makefie finalcutandappear starsforperformance andW00tb JohnCebuhar teacher woodworking retiredhigh-school issueinclude: magzineprojecbeditorOwenDwall.Bofi areavidwoodworkers.l

Inc.1001 W. OneidaAir Systems, WOOD rnagazine

June{uly 2004

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Modular entertainment center. . . andmore project! Hereit is:Ourspecial 20th-anniversary Youcanbuildand piecesin thiscollection arrange thefurniture to suita TVof nearly anysizeandshape. Betterstill,its basedoubles asa coffeetable, andyou'llfindmatching endtables, too.


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Seehow16 gluesperform in ourtests Wantto buytoptoolsat rock-bottom prices? of strength, opentime,andwater 0f courselProducts editorDave resistance, amongotherthings. Campbell showsyouhow.


Guideto air-tightjoints

yourwoodworking lmprove


Uncover thesecrets to precise Takethisfunquizto learnhowmanyhabitsof G a l R g= joinery, youhaveandhowto E machineor hand-cut aswell successful woodworkers B = : assimplefixesforcommon flaws. masterthoseyoudon't. F E o )

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WOOD rnagazine

June{uly 2004


Wood #156