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Chesshoard * Bead-Front Bookcase » Card Case » Candle Centerpiece Championship hessboard A Handcrafted Showpiece December, 2000 Publisher Donald B. Peschke Editor TerryJ. Strohman Associate Editors Jon Garbison Vincent Ancona Art Director Todd Lambirth Senior Illustrators David Kreyling Dirk Ver Steeg Harlan V. Clark Graphic Intern Jonathan Bike (CREATIVE RESOURCES Catoe Dict Tet Krosk » Poke Deseliper Ken ‘ute «Poet Deer Ret Wess» Shp ar See Cuts © Shop Grisman Sieve Jovan © Snir Proerophe: Cee Engh [SPECIAL PUBLICATIONS Brseutive Eat: Dogs L. Hicks * Senior Graphic eign Cis Gloves Anita tn Calg ersense, Joel A. Hess. «Graphic Ve Neve Waker ‘Sey Lele ‘CIRCULATION Sete Sie Da Sh te « Pra ‘Bk Jhon * Renewal lpr ge alco Mgr: Rebecca Ciné » ie Mag it Kee Scones» Aan Coe iy Ast Poa DeMncs«atSie proy Keane» Gopi Des ‘Mark ayes Robin Dowd ‘CORPORATE SERVICES Director of nance Mary K Scheves Conte: Robin ‘thine «Sr Aon aur Tomas Ace ‘Mary See Ate Restle Marg Pesan Pde Bie ere Cre cron Fag Don Dove MUister »Netork Amina Coe ‘Scan »Prepres nap Spec: Ty A Cl Minit ‘ans * Prod. Corto: Noelle Calle Now Med ‘Manager Gordon C. Gaippe, » Web Site Art Dinetor: ‘Gene Peden ¢ Technolgy Atal Carol Soepper © Web Content Monogers: Trey Walker, David Briggs HR Aun: Kirsten Kove » Pacis Mer Sula Fishe Admin. Asstt! Sher Ribbey” Receptionist ‘eae Jbison® Ml awe La Webber |WOODSMITH MAIL ORDER Operations Di Ba Baker » Ctr Sree Mg: ie Eos Walon Sup: Nancy Johnson » Buyer nds ‘Aut Newey Downey * Ont. See. “Fruckenbod, Asa’ Cox, Deborah Heh, April Revell, Valerie Riley. Lind Stepp» Warehouse: Sylvia Carey, Dan Spite, Shey! Kos, Al Voigt WOODSMITH STORE is — eee ean Ds Aaa fee dietieonaoris Pie Boden Br es ial "earner Rosen ot pot Eerie, {ecaiicndereocaahcs & ‘Seceueeat ‘idee hae eh on Prinedin S.A. Gea COLUMN wa SAWDUST back, we put together alist of jects that we were considering, for this special holiday “gift” issue, Several projects grabbed my attention right away. They are quick to build (always a plus as the holidays approach). But more importantly, each, one offers an interesting woodwork- ing challenge along with some unique design features. ‘CETERPIEG. The candle holder cen- terpiece that begins on page 26 is a good example. It’s made up of nine ‘small blocks that sit on a wood base. Each blockis drilled to hol a tealight candle. By cutting the blocks to differ- cent lengths, you can vary the height and create different looks for the cen- terpiece. Isa perfect gift that can be builtin an evening. UP-UID CARD CASE, Another small pro- Ject that makes a great giftand can be ‘completed quickly is the card case shown on page 32. This case features an unusual fliplid design, and it’s decked outwith fancy veneer. ‘STATEMENT OF OWNERSHIP, MANAGENENT AND CIRCULATION (Rsired by 99 USC.3589) ‘mt tf wipro ae Se caer mal pe tne er pe Gd ‘Soom 8 Rake he Wet ete esto ay apt er ee oes ‘Woodsmith inte Dama ee ae (HESSBOARD. Speaking of veneer, be sure to check out the chessboard on page 6. This heirloom project has a veneered frame that surrounds a raised playing field made up of con- trasting maple and walnut tiles. Be sure to take a look at our simple solu- tion for cutting the tiles accurately. BEAD-FRONT BOOKCASE. Finally, there's small bookcase that features frame and panel construction, beaded edges, and two drawers. 1 know it sounds like a long involved project. Bat don't let the details fool you. With its simple, straightforward design, you ‘can build the project in a weekend or two — just in time for the holidays. PS, We're looking for a woodworking editor to join our staff. See Sources on page 35 for more information. oem clue eae ‘See Tse er BEE AEF ie ¢ No. 132 Rubee NSIS CONTENTS Features GMleschogrOl tian veces meneriertneinias 6 Hardwood squares and a veneered frame matke for an elegant pro- ject tha’s sure to become a family heirloom. And whether chess or checkers is your game, the divided drawer unde the board holds everything you'll need for your next match Veneering Basics 14 Want to “dress up" a woodworking project? Try veneering. We'll ‘walk you through the basics (and more) step-by-step. Bead-Front Bookcase ... 220 We'll show you how to build this small bookcase in a few days. The joinery is simple. The drawers are straightforward. And all the bead molding is made with a single router bit. Candle Centerpiece ... 26 If you would like a unique gift to build this holiday season, take a look at this centerpiece. It's one project you won't be buming the midnight oil 1o complete. Top Ten Router Tips . 28 Fast, accurate setups, trimming plywood edging quickly, routing ‘without chipout — just a jew of the shop-tested tips that will come in handy when building your next project. Flip-Lid Card Case . 32 Any way you look at it, this flip-lid case is a good deal. It features veneered faces, a shop-made hinge, and a magnetic catch. Plus, ‘you'll be able to build it in no time. Departments Tips & Techniques ..........00..cccceeee 4 Shop Notes Sources ... No. 132 ‘Woodsmith FROM FELLOW AY oreo ean Tirs & TECHNIQUES = Featherboards for Coves I thought your article on from a previous cove cuting that appeared project) in issue No. 129 of Making the Woodsmith was well done. fences this wide Like you, I also use two gives you plenty fences when seting upto of room for cut a cove on the table clamping them saw. But I added a modi down to the fication to my fences to table saw. It also make them safer, as well provides a wider as improve the quality of base of support, the finished cove molding, making the I simply mounted a featherboards featherboard to each more stable. in the featherboards. _andthreaded knobs. fence to hold the stock Next, I made a couple Then the blocks are sim- With the featherboards. down firmly against the of mounting blocks for _ ply screwed to the fences _ in place, the depth of the ‘saw table, see photo. the featherboards. These flush with the edges, as cove is more consistent, started by making the are just two pieces of shown belowin Fig. 1. and Tcan keep my hands fences. These are just two “two-by” stock, about 8” found it convenientto further away from the pieces of %" plywood, long. Holes are drilled useplastic featherboards. _ blade (Fig. 2). about 5" wide. (I used a through each mounting They simply mount to the Donal Peck QQ) couple of scraps left over block to match the slots _ blockwithmachinescrews Warren, New Jersey ax Tie Prvoodserew infront of bade Installing Hanger Bolts Some time ago,Iwasmak- In order to create this use hanger bolts for alot screwed in place, I smply ingaprojet that called for tenon, Icame up with this of my woodworking prof remove the nut. ‘round tenon on the end simple method. ects. (These “bolts” have Horry Elis of a square piece of stock. I simply slipped the wood threads on one end ‘Melboueme, Florida workpiece into apiece of _andmachine screw threads PYC pipe. (A cardboard on the other.) The trick is tube would also work.) inserting them into the Then I rolled the work- workpiece without damag- y A A piece of PVC piece while making repeat _ingthe machine threads. ibe con be sed passes over a dado blade, _Tjust place an acorn nut ‘with atable saw t0 nibbling away the waste onto the end of the hanger wy ‘create a round unt Thad a round tenon. bok. This allows me to use tenon om square oF Hear Roelofs a Socket wrench to install rectangular stock. ‘Toning, Comecicat the hanger bolt. Once it’s 4 ‘Woodsmith Flush Trim Jig Recently I was building @ bookcase with several shelves. The shelves were al made out of plywood. But to conceal the front edge of the plywood, 1 ‘glued a hardwood strip nto each shel. NOTE: cut noter Toften use a lot of small tieces of lumber cut from, shortlogs or branches that Tobtain from the woods near my house. After sawing the log up and drying the boards, 1 famiter No. 132 wee te ate jig, 1 glued and edge to create clesrance Steer asiembly” Phweogscrew ae ‘ougesiot Runner SUBMIT YOUR TIPS If you have an original shop tip, we would like to hear from you and consider publishing your tip in one or more of our publications. Just write down your tp and mail it and Techniques, 2200 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50312, Please include your name, address, and daytime phone number in case we hhave any questions. If you would like, FAX it to us at 5152826741 or send us an email message ‘at: woodamith@woodsmith com. We will pay up to $200 if we publish your tip. The problem came when I tried to trim the edging flush with the shelf using my router and a flush trim bit. Because each shelf was only 34 wile, there wasnt a wide enough surface for my router to ride on, So I came up with a quick jig. This jig is really just a narrow “shelf” that clamps to the side of your workpiece and provides a ‘wide, flat support surface for the router base. To make the notch is cut in the front screwed two for the edging that will be pieces of #4" ply- trimmed. This notch can wood together tobe cuton a table saw. Gust create an "L” make sure you don't cut shape, asyou can through the screws) see in the draw- To use the jig, just ingatleft.A small clamp it to the side of the support bracket workpiece, flush with the is then screwed front of the edging, see need to rip straight edge on one side. Since I don't have a table saw, I've come up with a handy way ofripping a straight edge using my band saw. I first make ¢ runner : Woodsmith, Tips tocachend. photo above. Before using Je Pasey the jig, a shallow Olive Branch, Misissippi ‘out ofhardwood tofit in the miter gauge slot of my band saw. It needs to be the same width as the miter gauge slot but notas deep. ‘Then I screw the runner to the bottom side of the board I ‘want to trim, just like you see in Fig. 1. Of you don't want to board along a straight drive screws into the path as I push it through board, you can also attach the saw (Fig. 2). This the runner with double- gives me a straight edge. sided tape.) James Resdler ‘The runner guides the Fort Wayne, Indiana Saw Blade Protector Here's an easy way to pro- tion is inexpensive and tec! the teeth of my hand- lasts a long time. saws from accidental Haney Wie damage. (also works well, Areca, California to prevent any scrapes or ccuts while handling a sav.) Tanpty et tle nly of foam pipe insulation pipe (available at hardware ‘ulation ‘stores or home centers) and place the insulation 2 over the edge of the cay ‘Woodsmith io roignt agen in sw 6 CHESSBOARD From figured veneer and inlay to a board made up of individual squares, we've got the winning strategies to build this challenging project. WY icin you're just starting out, it's hard to look ata project like this and not feel a little amazed by all the fine details. Like the richly-veneered top and side panels, the inlay border around the top, and even the individually cham- fered squares that make up the top. But don't letall these eye-catching elements overwhelm you or make you reluc- ‘The truth is that even though this appears to be a challenging and complex piece, we've come up with the veneered, raised panels on the sides and drawer of cult to fit the veneer to the panel. But the trick is to veneer the piece first and then cut the panel afterward. DRAWER. One feature that I haven't really mentioned easy access to their playing pieces. There's a pair of ‘Woodsmith cleverly installed catches to keep the drawer from sli. ing out accidentally Inside the drawer are divided com- partments to store the chess pieces safely when they're not in use (see inset photo above). And even though ‘weve called this a chessboard, there are also compart meats inside the drawer to hold checkers (for those of us who can't ella rook from a bishop). ‘One more thing. The drawer (and ease) are designed so that they can be optional Ifyou want, you can build just the top and have an elegant chess and checkers ‘board that doesn't take up much space. This way, you still get a chance to try your hand at veneering, inlay, ‘and making the chamfered square “tiles” on the top without having to build the entire project. No. 132 Topis made up oF 6 indivtdusl squares Construction Details OVERALL DIensions: 18%4"W x 1834"D x 35%6"H_ epee oeson ore ee, eee ae se aoe Shey wien Sea ‘agaist eachother onside of case Drawer i pinned ‘corners for Incressed srength Soft felt ining on ‘rower bottom protects playing pieces eee ene sae Drawer an be crdating 3 ted playing fd MATERIALS, SUPPLIES, & CUTTING DIAGRAM A Squares (64) ¥ex 1%e- 1% HW Drawer Runners (2) Yiex Yo-17 © (2) Yo" x 19" Brass Knobs w/Studs B Panels(2) Yaply.-15%x15% 1 Frt.-to-Bk. Dividers (9) ¥ex1-16% + (2) Bullet Catches C Frame Pieces (8) %x1%e-18%4 3 Side-to-Side Dividers (6) ¥x1- 15% + (1) .032°-thick Brass (/2" x 6") D Case Sides (2) YUx2-17%2 *Also Needed: Apor. 3 sq. ft. of Carpathian + (4) #2 x 14" Fh Brass Woodscrews E Drawer Fr/Bk. (2) YXV7e- 16% eM burl veneer and 6 lin. ft. of inlay. 1) Felt for Drawer F Drawer Sides (2) Yex 17-17 '* (1) Posterboard for Felt y 15% 7 . va" ~dia. i G Drawer Bim. (1) Yéply.-1576%17 yore seuares pa) are rae fo (4) %4"-dia, Self-Adhesive Felt Dots Sey tavern = BEL tect . a x 51" 60" Walnut 2.3. No. 132 Woodsmith ore: Soures Top & Bottom wet it “Te one thing that makes this chessboard ferent than mostis the playing field. It’s made up of ‘sixty-four individual squares that are raised slightly above the surface of the border. Plus, small edge cham- fers set each square apart fromits neighbors. Together, these two ele- 4 Alemaing ments transform a flat playing sur- 15h Caimod) | maple and wal- face into a three-dimensional one. ruesquarermake ‘Bling the tp of this cheoe gre za ore peed up the playing board is a lot like installing a tile MOtfiing bose, ee Isrger than ery surface ofthis floor. That's because the individual cu wo pores ~~ assembled squares chessboard squares are glued down to a ply- ‘wood panel, just like you would with: floor tiles. Then once the squares are attached to the panel, a frame is constructed around them. SQUARES. The trick to uilding the top is to cut all the squares accurate- 1g: This males ita lot easier to keep the rows of squares aligned when it ‘comes time to glue them down to | the plywood panel. In order to make all the squares (A) the same size (end truly square), Fused ajig, a8 shown in Fig. 2. (For more informa- tion on this ig, see page 18) ‘Once all the squares are cut, you can rout the chamfers around the top edges. As you can see in Fig. 3,1 routed these chamfers on a router table, using a push block to saiely hold each piece while routing. After all the chamfers have been routed, you can dry assemble the ? ‘squares to determine how large to ‘cut the panel to which the squares will be attached, There's just one thing to mention here. To give the squares some “breathing room” 1 paced paper spacers between each ‘one. You can see how I used these | spacersin Fig. 4 PANEL, With the squares dry assembled, you can measure forthe panel (B). I cut iny panel 74" larger in both length and width than the dry assembled squares. If you're building the complete chessboard (with the drawer), you'll need tocut second panel fr the bottom. ASsemauy. Assembling the squares Snare cea isjust a matter ofclamping the fram- squoresso grain i ing square to the panel and gluing ee the squares down one ata time, lke you see in Fig. 4, The field of 8 Woodsmith No. 132 ‘squares should be centered on the panel,“ from the edges (Fig, 4a) FRAMES, Both the top and bottom panel are held in solid wood frames. ‘These frames are identical except for the fact that the top frame has ‘veneer and inlay strips applied toits surface (Fig. 5). Shop Note: If you're making jus the top, you only hhave to build one frame. To make the frames, start by tip- ping the frame pieces (C) to width (Fg. 5b). Then the top face of the upper frame pieces canbe veneered. (For more on veneering, see the article on page 14.) After applying the veneer, cut a ssToove on one edige of each frame piece to hold the panels, as you see in Fig. 6 You'll note in Fig, 6a that this groove is not centered on the thickness of the stock buts slightly ‘offset, This is to ensure the squares wil stand 14" proud of the frame. Once the grooves have been cut, the frame pieces can be mitered to length to fit around the panels. ‘Then all you have to do is add the inlay strips to the upper frame pieces. Thisisjusta matter of cutting a shal low rabbet for the inlay strip and gluing it in place (Fig. 2). After trimming the inlay stips flush with the ends of the frame pieces, you can glue the frames up around the panels. Once this is done, all that’ left to dois create the profile on the frames. FRAME PROFILE, To start. with, I used a band saw and some sandpa- per to round the corners of each frame as shown in Fig. 92. Next, a chamfer is routed on the top edge ‘ofthe upper frame and the bottom cecige of the lower frame, just lke you see in Fig. 8. You'll have to adjust the height of the router bit econo: Sue infay into ‘abbet and trim ‘ends fash, for each frame due to the thick- ness of the squares on the upper frame (Pgs. 8a and 8) Finally, a roundover is routed on the edge of the each frame, opposite of nlay the chamfer, as you can see in Fig. 9. When setting up to rout this Toundover, note that there's 2 14" shoulder between the roundover and the face of the frame (Fig. 2). =e Sa A Afier gluing the inlay strip in place, the ends are trimmed flush with chisel END VIEW % END VIEW iene cramer _ tower fame Woodsmith 10 Sides & Drawer So now you have these two framed panels — one for the top and one for the bottom. The next step isto build the sides and drawer that will be sand- wiched between them. SiBs. The sides ofthe case feature a raised field that’s veneered. But this isn't as difficult as it sounds. The trick isto veneer the whole face of the side first, then to cut the raised field afterward. 1 started by cutting two pieces of "hick stock for the sides (D) and veneer- ing both of them (Fig. 10). A two-step process is used to cre ate the raised field. Firs, roundover with a '4" shoulder is routed on the ends of each side, as you can see in Figs. 11 and 1a Next, a straight bit is used to cut a rabbet along the edges of each side, justasis shown in Figs. and 12a Before attaching the sides to the bottom of the case, I drilled a couple of holes in the top edge of cach side piece, like you see in Fig. 13. These holes are for some dowels that will be used later to help align and attach the top ‘The sides are simply glued down to the bottom frame. There are a couple of things to watch for here. First, you want the sides to be paral- lel so the drawer will slide smoothly without binding. Second, you want to make sure the ends of the sides are aligned with each other. To make this easier, I made a spacer out of 1" hardboard, as you can see in Fig. 14. This spacer is clamped in place to the bottom frame. The sides are set against the ‘spacer, flush with the ends, and then glued and clamped in place. Shop Note: To avoid accidentally gluing the spacer to the bottom frame, you'll want to femove it as soon as the sides are clamped in place. eawe. Because there are many other challenging aspects to this project (veneering, inlay, squares, etc) I decided to Keep the drawer as simple as possible. As you can see in Fig. 15, the sides are joined to the front and back with ordinary rabbet joints, Then a plywood bot tom is added «afterwards. eae Se oes Eee end of side Woodsmith No. 132 Like the sides of the ease, the raver frontiback (B) feature veneered raised panels (Fig. 15). So after cutting the front and back to size you can veneer one face ofeach piece. Creating the raised field is ‘even easier than on the case sides. Its just matter of routing a shallow (GA deep) rabbet along each edge of the veneered face, just like you sce in Figs. 16 and 160. ‘After creating the raised fields, the ends of the front and back can be rabbeted to accept the drawer sides, as shown in Figs, 17 and 17a. ‘The drawer sides (P) are cut from 'Yplahick stock, and the rabbets are sized to match this thickness. With the rabbets cut, the drawer sides and front and back can be slued up. Since the drawer battom isn't added until later, there isn't really anything to help keep the ‘drawer square. So while clamping it up youll need to check careflly to make sure it's square. Once the glue was dry, Irouted a ‘chamfer on the inside edge of the top of the drawer. You can see this being done in Fig. 18. Next, used a rabbeting bit to rout a rabbet all around the inside of the bottom edge of the drawer (Figs. 19 and 18a). The draaser bottom (G) is cut from a sheet of 14" plywood to fit in this rabbeted epening in the bottom ofthe drawer. I's just glued in place. ‘Shop Note: You'l need to round off the corners of the bottom to ft the rabbeted opening in the drawer, DOWEL PS. The final step to com pleting the drawer is to reinforce each corner with a couple of dowel pins, Taking a look at Figs. 15 and 15a, you can see that I érilled holes through the sides of the drawer into the front and back for some tia, dowel pins. There's just one problem here. 1 couldn't find any 14", dowels in walnut to match the wood used in the drawer. So instead, I cut my dowel pins from a '4"-dia, birch dowel. Then after gluing the dowel pins in place, I colored the ends with ‘brown felttip marker. Woodsmith u Hardware & Dividers At tis point, the construction of the chessboard is prety much done—all that remainsis to add a few pieces of hardware for the drawer and attach the top to the base BULET CATCHES. One ofthe neat fea tures of the drawer in this chess- board is the fact that it can be ‘opened from either end. But this also created a bit of a design challenge. Without any kind of back or drawer stop, how do ‘you keep the drawer centered when it's closed and prevent it from sliding out of the base when- fever the chessboard is moved? ‘The answer we came up with is to Dowel centers are used to posi- use a pair of bullet catches, tion the top on “The bullet catches ae installed in the base. the underside ofthe top. Then catch plates are attached to the top edges of the drawer front and back to engage the bullet catches when the drawer is closed. The trick to installing these catches and plates is tomake sure they line up correctly. ‘To do this, I started by driling a centered hole in the top edge of the drawer front and back, as you can see in Fig. 20. Then I placed dowel centers inthe holes in the drawer as well as the holes that were previous- ly drilled in the sides of the case (Fig. 21). The top is then carefully centered over the base and pressed iF down lightly on the dowel centers A While posioning (Gee the photos. lft) the top with the The dowel centers leave slight dowel centers (see impressions oa the underside of Photo above) you can we a square to check the align | mentoof the top with the base. to Sins She baler ches END SECTION EW Ey the top. These will help you to locate the holes for the bullet catches as well as the dowels that are used to align the top (Fig. 22). With the bullet catches installed in the top, the next step is to make and install a couple of brass catch- plates on the top edges ofthe draw- er. These are simply set into shallow notches that are cut across the top of the drawer front and back, 2s you can see in Fig. 23a, For more on this procedure, see page 18. Before adding the top, Icuta cou- ple of thin strips of wood and glued them to the bottom of the case, as you can see in Fig. 23. These drax- ‘er runners (H) raise the drawer up slightly Ce") and prevent the draw er sides from wearing grooves in the bottom frame of the case. After the runners are glued in place, the top can be glued to the case. Then I attached a couple of brass knobs to the front and back of the drawer, a5 shown in Fig. 23b. Finally I lined the drawer bottom with some felt _lued to a piece of posterboard and Tadded fet dots to the ease bottom. pivbeRs. If you wanted to, you could call the chessboard complete at this stage. But I decided to take it ne step further. I chose to add some dividers to the inside of the drawer to keep the checkers and chess pieces from rattling around. The dividers create individual com- partments for the chess pieces and ‘couple of spaces forthe checkers. ‘These dividers are nothing more than thin strips of wood joined with half laps and assembled inthe draw- er to create a grid (Fig. 24). To make the dividers, start by planing or resawing some 1"-wide strips, The trick here is getting the strips to the correct thickness. You want them to be as thick as the width of the kerf created by your saw blade (about 4"). This way, the mating pieces will easily fit together after you cut the half lap joints. Its better to make the strips a hair too thin rather than making them too tight and having to pound them together when it comes time to assemble the grid. Once you've determined the cor- rect thickness, you can cut the strips to length (Fig. 24a). You'l need nine froni-to-back dividers (1) and six side-to-side dividers (J). ater, ive ofthe long strips will be ccut up into ten shorter dividers) ‘Aue fence No. 132 When you have all the stripa cut the spacing of the half laps will be to length, you can start making the — identical (Fig. 24a). half lp joints. To cut these, [used Once you've cut all the joints, you ry fence on my miter can cut out the center section of five ‘gauge. A stop block camped to the of the long dividers to create ten fence is used to position the strips short divider pieces. The dividers while cutting the half laps, as you _are assembled into a grid inside the ‘can see in Fig. 25. drawer without using any glue. (The I stacked the strips up in order half laps lock the pieces together.) to cut the half laps, Not only is this Then you can add your checkers quicker, but you can rest assured and chess pieces! 1 oe D | oivoer ue Woodsmith Half apped sip of wood are inter connected to crea ‘aseparate stag compartment for each playing pie TECHNIQUE VVENEERING Basics Looking to give your next project a facelift? Veneer is the key. And as an added benefit, you'll learn a new woodworking skill along the way. A it takes is just one look at some of the beautiful veneers that are available to convince most woodworkers that veneering something prety special But aside from appearance, there are a couple of other great ressons touse veneer. For one thing, veneer- ing is economical. It allows vou to build a project with rare or expen- sive woods without having to take out a second mortgage on the house. And from a construction standpoint, a veneered panel made ‘ut of plywood or MDF is stronger and more dimensionally stable than ‘one made from solid wood. Despite this, veneer often gets a bum rap. Why? Well, I think alot of woodworkers believe that veneer- ing is messy difficult work, involv ing a large (and expensi press and lots of speci ment. This may have been true in the past, but net any more, Modern adhesives make it possible for just about anyone to do veneer their own shop, with a minimal investment in equipment. QUPHENT In fact, you may already have most of the items you'll need. First, you'll need a way to cut the veneer. A veneer saw (shown in the photo below) is the tradi- tional method. These can be pur- chased for about $10. The blade on this saw doesn’t have any set, so it makes a crisp, clean cut. But if you don’t have one of these saws, you can also use a utility knife or even a rotary cutter (see photo in margin ‘on opposite page). ‘Regardless of what fool you use for cutting, you'll also need a straightedge to guide the knife or saw. For this you can simply use a framing square or metal rule ‘When it comes to gluing the ‘veneer down, Iprefer to use contact, cement. A small (1" or 2"=vide) wooden roller comes in handy for pressing the veneer down. This kind of roller allows you to concen- trate the pressure on a smaller area. You'l also need a roll of veneer tape to join pieces of veneer together (more on that later). ‘VENER. I generally use traditional veneer (rather than foit-backed or seltadhesive types). These veneers are usually about ¥4e" thick and ‘come in a variety of wood species. Because it is fairly thin, veneer should be handled carefully toavoid ‘cracking or damaging it. Veneer is sold by the square foot, in random widths and lengths. If you want to cover a rge surface area, you'll need to create a larger sheet In order to get a good color and grain match, veneers are usually sold in consecutive sheets, as they No. were sliced from the log. This stack of veneers is called a “fitch.” ‘The fact that all the sheets in a flitch look nearly identical can be used to create some interesting and striking visual patterns, as you ‘ean see in the box below. CUTTING THE VENEER. The first step in using veneer is cutting it to size. For both the chessboard and the card box in thie issue, I cut the veneer slightly larger than the eee = eas piece I was covering. If you're 9 Tomakeacutwithihe grain, start My You can avoid splintering the sing a utility knife, make sure you Il by making a couple of ight scor- amedge when cutting across the Keep the blade tight against the ing cuts with the veneer saw before grain by simplyplacing a strip of mask- straightedge. Because the blade ie cuttingall the way through the veneer. ing tape over the veneer. so thin, it tends to follow the grain, Sel and can actually pull away from the A Arouary cuter straightedge. This isn't as much of (avalabl a fab- problem with the veneer saw, ric stores) can be since it saws rather than slices sued with a ‘way through the wood! fibers. straightedge for JOINTING THE VENEER. If you're going cuting veneers to be joining two or more pieces of veneer together, it's important to joint the edges to get a good, tight fit. To do this, I clamp the pieces between two staight boards so the Si 3 edges of the veneer are sticking #9 Tocreatea tghtjaint when join- gj Another way to create a smooth out about "Ae! or so. Then T sand 9 two pieces of veneer, over- SABjoint isto clamp the veneers or plane the eiges of the veacers lp the edges slighty and cut through between a couple of boards and joint duush withthe boards. both pieces atthe sare time the edges by sanding. VENEER PATTERNS Book Matching. Book matching is @ Herringbone. To create a heringbone Pinwheel. Fora pinwheel effec, use a common effec achieved by ining two pattem, cutstrips of veneer ata 45*angle template to cut matching triangles of | or more consecutive pieces 0f veneer to 0 the grain. Thon orient th strips 50 the veneer Thon pico th tranglstogaor create a minor image ofthe gain pattem. grain runs in opoosing directions. Contrasting woods highlight the effect. No. 132 Woodsmith 5 16 the Veneer Once you have the veneer cut, you ‘ean glue it down tothe substrate. For the projectsin this issue, Tused both solid wood and plywood as a sab- strate. You could also use hardboard ‘or MDF. The important thing is that the surface is smooth and flat 0 that the veneer will adhere well, Gluing the veneer down is straightforward. First, contact cement is applied to both the veneer and the substrate, as you can see in Fig. 1. In most cases, youl need to apply at least two or three coats of adhesive, letting each coat dry before applying the adlitional coats, Make sure you roll or brush the adhesive on as evenly as possible so tat there won't be any imperiee- tions that telegraph through to the surface ofthe veneer. Once the last coat of adhesive has dried, the veneer can be placed onto the substrate. Since the adhesive wil grab on contact, make sure that you have the veneer centered over the substrate the way you want i. If you're working with larger pieces, you may want to take a look at the tipin the marginat right. ‘As soon as the veneer is in place, start rolling itoutas shown in Fig. 2. Inlay strips are a close cousin to veneer: ‘They are narrow strips of wood that are Center veneer ‘on substrate Applying an inlay is just a mater of ‘cutting a groove orrabbet in your work PVT} usually applied asa border oraccenton piece according to the width and thick- a project. Although you can use solid, ness ofthe inlay. Then the inlays glued ‘one piece inlays (called stringing) most in place. Once the giue is dry, the inlay inlays are crested from gluedup pieces can be sanded or scraped lightly to ‘of wood to create striking patterns. _ensure that its flush with the surface. L rim ends > ofiniay wen == irecessory rfl / Sunes mous Se ace” Cutting the rabbet. Size therabbet (or Trimming the inlay. Depending an the __ Scraping the inlay. After gluing the inlay groove) fo match the width ofthe inlay. pattem of youriny strip, you mayneed strip in place, use a cabinet scraper to | ‘But make the depth just a hairless than tocarefully miter the ends and match up _carefully scrape the inlay flush with the the thickness ofthe inlay. the mating pieces at each commer. surface of the project. ‘Woodsmith No. 132 Work from the center out toward the edges, rolling out any air pock- ‘ets. Contact adhesive forms a bet- ter bond under pressure, so don't he afraid to put a little muscle into it as you use the roller. TRINAING THE VENEER. Once the ve- neer has been rolled out, you can trim the edges flush with a utility Inf, just as is shown in Fig. 3 “Trim the end grain Grst and then trim the long grain edges MATCHING VENER. IF you're cover- jing a large surface, chances are that you will have to join two or more pieces of veneer together. ‘The key to doing this is to assemble the pieces before gluing them down to the substrate. That way you can make sure the joint Ines are nice and tight. To hold the pieces of veneer together, I use veneer tape. This “tape” i just lightweight paper with 2 gummed adhesive on one side. Holes in the tape allow you to see “through” it as you're placing itover joint. To use the tape, all you have to do is moisten the adhesive side and press it in place. If you take a Took at Fig. 4, you can see how sev- eral strips of veneer tape are used to piece the veneer together. Although the tape holds the sheets of veneer together, they can se veneer tape Backand "eedses ey pull apart slighty under the force of and clamp them flat fr a few min- and scraping or peeling it off (Pig. being rolled out. To prevent this, 1 utes while the glue dries. 6). Light scraping or sanding across like to glue the edges of the veneer Gluing the matched veneers the entire surface of the veneer, as together. At first, this may sound impossible, After al, the veneer is only fg! thicke Buti you tale alooke at Fig. 4b, you'l see how its done. Just fold the taped pieces of veneer back and brush some giue along the edges. Then fold the pieces back down to the substrate is really no different than gluing down a single piece of veneer, Just make sure to roll the veneer from the center out. ‘Once you've got the veneer in place, you can remove the tape by moistening it with a damp sponge ‘demonstrated in Fig. 7, will remove ‘any residual adhesive and prepare the surface for finishing. Just don't get carried away with this step. It's easy to sand or scrape right through the veneer, spoiling an otherwise perfect job. 1 ‘A Dowels can be used t0 prevent the veneer from con. tating the sub- strate until you have it positioned twhere you want it Fenove tape restive by serping lightly 2 | | | Tips From Oe: eS 504 ‘Tobuild the chessboard on page 6, Ineeded quiteafew VA"-square hardwood blocks — sixty-four in all The trick, of course, was getting the two cuts exactly the same (rippingthe piece towidth and crosscuttingit, a. ‘CROSS SECTION Hardboard) “exerts pressive bn blank Blonk for “muares— 8x 1%FH u-hick pardbosrd 7 Cutting Small Squares to Fength). But I came up with a method for making both cuts with one fence setting. The blanks are ripped to width first. Then they/re safely crosscut with a simple jig, using the rip fence asa stop, see photo. 14a, 6 owe! fandle 40 oe Gtsioni ndersizea Making & Installing a Catch Plate Most drawers close against stop or a case back, but the drawer in the chess- board opened from either end. So how do you keep it in place? T decided to use bullet catches. But the catches I found didn't have flat catch plates. So 1 decided to makemy own. BRASS STRIP. At a local hobby store, I bought a short strip of wide brass that was 032" thick bout "4o"). Then I used a hacksaw to cut two 1". Jong plates from this piece and removed the burrs on the ends with a file, DRILL HOLES. Next, three holes are drilled in each plate: a centered 3/'-dia. hole for the bullet catch and two small counter- NOTE: Predrl hole twist Mbreslate before ist mount 416. My jig was made from a 1¥A"thick block of hhard maple. (But there's no reason it coulda't be made from a 2x6 scrap.) Thisblock has a wide rab- bet cut on its end, The depth (height ofthis rab- bet matches the thickness ofthe stock. But the important thing is the rabbet’s width — it should be a hair narrower than the width of the squares you're going to cut. This way, when you screw a piece of 1" hard- board to the end ofthe ji, the hardboard will apply a litle pressure to thework- pieces, keeping them from slipping (detal'a) sunk holes for the #2 screws that will be used to attach it to the drawer. ‘Thetrick was holding this tiny piece while drilling. So Iset it on a small scrap block and clamped them inahandscrew (Fig. 1). ‘CUT MoRTIsE. Now shal- low mortises can be cut to hold the catch plates. (A. hole was drilled earlier in All that’s left is to add a dowel handle, and you're ready to cuta few squares, CUT squares. To make the squares, the first thing to do is rip several blanks towidth. (The chessboard squares were 1/4" wide.) ‘Then without moving the fence, slide a blank in the jig and set it on the sav, pushing the blank against the rip fence. (You may need to adjust the screws on the hardboard if the tension is tight or loose.) Now simply push the jig (and blank) through the saw tocrosscut the square, ‘Then remove the piece and sie the blank back against the rip fence. OY these edges for position- ing the top.) I decided to rout the mortise, using a hand-held router with a clamped-on support block, as shown in the photo on page 31. I didn't rout the entire mortise, however. cleaned up the ends with a chisel, carefully paring from the edges toward the center (Fig. 2). 9 Woealsmith Qa Miter Box For Small Pieces In order to build the card case on page 32, I needed to work with quite a few small pieces, mitering some at 45° and crosscuting oth- ors at 90°. For this project, I decided to use my hand- saw for these cuts. But I was a little stumped as to how I was going to make these cuts accurately? The solution was to build a scaled-down version of a ‘common miter box, asyou ‘can see in the photo, However, there were a couple improvements I wanted to make to the miter box. Firs, the keris needed to be sized to match the blade of my dovetail saw so there wouldn't be any “play.” And I wanted these keris to be adjustable so that as, these Kerfs widen over time they can be closed up and not lose any accuracy. ‘This really wasn't too difficult: I builta two-piece miter box, as you can see in Fig. 1. An adjustable H- shaped base is attached to a fixed base with machine screws, £0 you can adjust the gaps to match your handsaw blade and close them up when they get wider with use {ADJUSTABLE BASE To make the miter box, I started with the adjustable base. Its ust three pieces of py- wood glued together into aa Hshape. I cut a I deep dado through the side pieces to keep the center piece aligned, and in this center piece, 1 drilled four countersunk holes for a ¥/20 flathead machine serew. When ghu- ing the base together, I cit two extra pieces to support the assembly and rake sure the side pieces ended up square, 2s you can see in Fig. 2below. HXED BASE. One of the scrap pieces [used to sup- port the assembiy became ny fixed base. I trans- ferred the positon of the pilot holes to this piece and cut Sjo!-wide slots at these points. To secure the two bases, I added four wood adjustable 20x bul rom % plywood, except washer “washers” to the bottom. ‘ofthe fixed hase. These fit info a groove cut into the bottom of the fixed base, and they hold a“Tnut that ‘match the threads on the machine screw. (To keep the Tnuts from splitting the wood, mount them into along %4'-thick blank and then cut them into the 2Mong washers) MITER ADJUSTABLE BASE, At this point, you're ready to cut the adjustable base apart — two 45° cuts and ‘one 90° cut, as shown in shaped — ‘be’ Fig. 3. (1 used my table ‘saw but this could also be done with radial arm ‘saw or miter sav.) ATTACH BASES, Now the miter box can be assem- bled (Fig. 4). Because of the wood washers, thi almpst a one-handed oper- ation. Simply set the saw blade between the two pieces and tighten them down. As the gap widens with use, you can dose up the kerfs by loosening the screws and repositioning theadjustable base. BY fomitergauge 0 NOTE: ‘Assembly clamped Preventing = No. 132 Woodsmith > Ten | fateaor se 7 Filer sip oreneel TS ‘prevent Yes = 8 a \ More router in MI | rns | | | ee aN i [I rection iN ia 5. Setting a Straightedge Accurately When routing a dado To make this gauge, To use the gauge, align acrossa lange panel, gen- clampa scrap block tothe the dado on the gauge erallyclampa straightedge bench, as in Fig. 1. Then with thelayoutines on the tothepanelasatemporary clamp a thicker piece at _ workpiece. Then butt the fence to guide the router. one end ofthe scrap to act straightedge against the But this isnt as easy as it asatemporary fence. gauge and clamp it dawn sounds. Because the base Now, mount the bit for (Fig. 2), Repeat this proce- (oot the bit) rides against the dado, and rout across dure atthe opposite end of. thestraightedge, youhave the gauge, keeping the the straightedge and then to“offset”the straightedge router tight to the fence. double check the frst end fromthe layout lines. One (Mark the router base so again (w make sure it has ‘quick olution for thisis to it will always be oriented not shited). Now you're buildan alignment gauge. thesame, see boxatright) ready to rout the dado. 0 Ever ended up with a dado that was. slightly wider than the bit? Or had a small. ‘stepped shoulder inside the dado? This happens because the bit isn’t centered perfectly in the base of the router —and_ you'veused both edges of the base when routing (a different edge for each pass). To prevent this, all you need to do is. work off the same edge of the base L when routing against a straightedge, WE wcste willft@ | Andtremindmewichedge Tm sag ome, Seater | eres un router No. 132 ‘Woods 9 7. Perfect-Fitting Dadoes Routing dadoes for ply- UES. The guiles are wood isa hassle Plywood easy to make. For each is always slightly less than one, glue a straight hard- its nominal thickness. (For — wood fence to a 14" hard- instance, 3" plywood is board base, see Fig. 1. really about Y42"thick.) So ‘The base is trimmed to to end up with the proper width using the roaterand ‘Keep base atten fi.youhavetousea smaller straight bit you plan to ost, iameter bit and take two use, see Fig. 1a. Now the noetdecess “POC? passes. But thisjob gets a base equals the width of width off base Ioteaserifyou faves pair the router base from the ce ofsimple guides,asshown — outside edge to the bit. direction of router inthe photo below. Note: I ike to mark the base of the router so I can alvays keep the same fedze against the fence. (Gee the box on page 28) GUIDE SETUP. To use the suides, first lay out one edge of the dado on the piece. Then clamp one of the guides along that line. cut from the same ply- To rout the dado, allyou Now to size the dado wood that will it into the have to do is run the ‘exactly, luse a spacer to dado later (Fig. 2). (You router lettorright along setthe second guide. The can also use a scrap piece one guide and then back key is that the spacer is thesamethickness)_alongthe other Fig, 3.1 Use same bit to ‘rim base and ‘oUt Sadoes ‘comp guides fete econ, (ot scrap trom workpiece) 8. Preventing Chipout Oneofthe mostirustraing get around the chipout chipout. All you need to So when the end grain is sroblems when routing is problems to routthe end do is temporarily camp a routed, the chipout will chipout. It happens most grain first. You'l still get scrap of wood to the side end upon the scrap —not aften at the end of a pass splintering at the end ofa of the workpiece so it’s on the workpiece. ‘when routing across end pass (Fig. 1). But as you flush with the end, as After the profile has grain (Fig. 1). rout the sides (which are shown in the photoat left. been routed, the serap can AAs the bit exits cut along the long grain), ‘The scrap piece backs be removed and discard- the wood, it you'll remove the areas up the wood fibersat the ed, leaving: a clean ede splinters the that are chipped out, as corners of the workpiece. on the workpiece. 1 fibers on the shown in Fig. 2 edge of the — However, when routing piece. That's end grain, you stil want to because there minimize chipout,so don’t isn't any more set the bit for a full cut. wood left to Instead, take light passes. keep these SUPPORT SCRAP. If you're S ‘ A Alding ascrap blick is fiberstogether. not routing. all the way | resting ‘outing along ‘one way to prevent chip- ENDS FIRST. around a piece, there’s | 22% énd arin ress OLS TENE ‘out at the end of the cut. One way. to _ stilla way you can prevent 30 Woadsmith No. 132 9. Stopping Chamfers Stopped chamiers routed on the inside and outside ‘ofa frame soften the edges and give ita finished look, asyoutcan see in the photo at right. The only trick is getting the chamfers to start and stopin the right places. ‘A pair of stop blocks clamped to the workpiece will stop the chamfer bit. But there's still a small problem. The point where the bearing guide hits the stop blocks is different from where the bit actual- ly stops cutting. However, aquick modification to the blocks takes care of this. Start by clamping the stop blocks to each end of a longer scrap piece, as shown in Fig. 1. Now set the chamfer bit to the proper depth and rout the inside corners formed by the stop blocks and the long scrap piece. At this point, the stop blocks are ready to be used. The first thing to do is mark the start and stop points on the workpiece, as in Fig. 2. Then clamp the stop blocks in place so the routed chamfers line up with the stop marks on the workpiece (Fig. a). Now the chamfers can be routed on the work- piece. Note: This same technique can also be used to-rout other stopped molding profiles, 10. Stabilizing Router Cuts When using a handheld router, there are plenty of times Td like some addi- tional support. [don't want the router to tip and ruin the profile or ct), SUPPORT BLOCK ON ROUTER You can stabilize a router cut in a number of ways, depending on the situa: tion, Sometimes, the solu tion is as simple as fasten No, 132 ing a support block direct ly tothe base of the router, ‘as shown in Fig. 1 ‘To make the support block, cut or plane a piece of scrap stock to match the thickness of the work- piece. Then tape the block to the router base with doublesided carpettape. ‘ROUTING ON fD6E. Routing along the edge of a work piece (as when rabbeting a bookcase or cabinet for a back panel) requires a different solution. Here, you have a couple options. ‘CLAMP-ON SuPPoRT. Ifthe ox or case is constructed in such a way that clamps will reach around it, I ‘lamp on a2x4 blocs flush with the edge to be rout- ced, as in the photo above right. This provides an extra 124" of support for the router base. AUXILIARY BASE. The sec- ond method is to add an auxiliary base to the router (Fig. 2). The base Woodsmith ‘A. One method for adding support to @ rower isto clamp a 2x4 flush with the edge of the case serves as a bridge span- ning across the case tothe ‘opposite side. I make this auxiliary base from a piece of " hardboard Alter drilling a hole in the platform for the bit to come through, I use dou blesided carpet tape to stick the auxiliary plat- form io the plastic base on ‘my router. Then, I rout as, usual with the new base spanting across both edges of the case, 31 Fup-Lip CARD CASE An easy-to-build project with veneer and a simple shop-built hinge? Deal me in. his is one of those projects Hlove to .get my hands on — literally. About ‘the size ofa paperback book, youcan comfortably holditin one hand. And with the flick of a finger, the lid fips ‘open and out of the way, swinging on The striking padauk veneer ‘on this cas is realy easy to apply. So if you've never ‘Build this projec nome evening and light up the hollays or years to come. You won't need much in the way of time or materials Complete plans fortis simple eft project begin on page 26, > Chessboard & Card Case. The only thing better than receiving one ofthese beau projects asa gifts ulding it Both the chessboard (page 6) and card case (page 32) give ou an opportnity to do some simple veering. A. Beaal-Front Bookcase. Small details make a ip be differ- ence. A bead profile, ew easy-to-ld drawers, and frame and gh ana construction — they all ad up toa project perfec fo the badrom, bathroom, den or kitchen. Insmuctions set on page 20.