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1979 Celebrating Years 2019 Vol. 41/ No. 244


2 Layout Tools
No Shop Should
be Without
Sliding Dovetails—
3 Techniques for
Your Router
Vacuum Stabilizing—
Rescue Punky Wood
Sawdust EDITOR Vincent Ancona
ASSISTANT EDITORS Erich Lage, Logan Wittmer
One aspect of woodworking that I particularly enjoy is learning CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Bryan Nelson, Randall A. Maxey,
James Hamilton
the history behind a certain style or type of furniture. Sometimes, that history
has a direct bearing on the way a project is constructed. For example, campaign EXECUTIVE ART DIRECTOR Todd Lambirth
furniture was built to be easily transported during military campaigns. Other SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Bob Zimmerman,
times, the history of a project has more to do with how it was used than how it Becky Kralicek
was made. The shadow boxes on page 18 of this issue are a good example of this.
While we were designing and building this project, I did a little background
research on the history of shadow boxes. Although their exact origin is a subject PROJECT DESIGNER/BUILDER John Doyle
of some debate, shadow boxes were (and still are) used by retired members of CAD SPECIALIST Steve Johnson
the military to display their medals and insignia. These items would often be
stored in the shallow, top tray of the serviceman’s foot locker or chest. Then
upon retiring, they were placed behind glass in a similar type of tray or box
GROUP PUBLISHER Steven M. Nordmeyer
that could be hung on the wall. MANAGING DIRECTOR CLIENT SOLUTIONS Dean Horowitz
But there’s another aspect to this story that I found interesting. According to a
maritime superstition, when disembarking from a ship, it’s considered bad luck 800-444-7686 ext. 242
for a sailor’s shadow to touch land before he does. By carrying his identifying
insignia — a metaphorical shadow — in a box or chest, the sailor would ensure
that he touched land before his “shadow” did. Now, I don’t know if there’s any
truth to this, but it sure makes for a great story. Woodsmith® (ISSN 0164-4114) is published bimonthly by
Cruz Bay Publishing, Inc., 2143 Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50312.
WOODSMITH WORKSHOP. Switching from the past to the future, I’m excited to Woodsmith® is a registered trademark of Cruz Bay Publishing.
Copyright© 2019 Cruz Bay Publishing, Inc., an Active Interest Media company. All
announce our first-ever live woodworking event we’re calling Woodsmith Work- rights reserved.
Subscriptions: Single copy: $7.99.
shop. On September 30th and October 1st of this year, you’ll have the opportunity Canadian Subscriptions: Canada Post Agreement No. 40038201. Send change of
address information to PO Box 881, Station Main, Markham, ON L3P 8M6.
to gather with like-minded woodworkers for two solid days of in-person wood- Canada BN 82564 2911

working classes. You’ll learn from woodworkers Matt Cremona, Anne Briggs, Periodicals Postage Paid at Des Moines, IA, and at additional offices.
Postmaster: Send change of address to Woodsmith, Box 37274,
James Hamilton, and George Vondriska, as well as the cast of the Woodsmith Shop Boone, IA 50037-0274.

TV Show, Phil Huber, Chris Fitch, and Logan Wittmer. In addition to great food, Printed in U.S.A.

the event will be held at a great venue — Living History Farms in Urbandale,
Iowa. In order to ensure that you’ll have a chance to personally meet and talk
to the various speakers, attendance is limited.
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You’ll also receive Woodworking Essentials (our weekly video edition), all of our Des Moines, IA 50304-9961 Des Moines, IA 50312
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find more information on becoming a Woodsmith Unlimited member by going
PRESIDENT & CEO Andrew W. Clurman
Jonathan Dorn
AIM BOARD CHAIR Efrem Zimbalist III • 3
contents No. 244 • Aug/Sept 2019

weekend project
Shadow Boxes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
These shadow boxes contain a unique hidden feature.
The front frames can be quickly removed to allow you to
change out your display whenever you like.

designer project

18 Entry Door . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Solid-wood construction and insulated glass are combined
to create an entry door that is as strong as it is attractive.
Plus, we’ll give you some tips on installing it.

shop project
All-in-One Workstation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
This workstation combines three major power tools into a
single, mobile footprint. Its space-saving design makes it a
great addition to any shop — large or small.

heirloom project
Infant Cradle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
We’ve given this traditional project an updated look while
maintaining all the charm of the original. Loose-tenon
24 joinery simplifies the construction.

Reader Feedback . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
from our readers
Tips & Techniques . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
all about
Compasses & Dividers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
great gear
What’s New in Track Saws . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
woodworking technique
Vacuum Stabilizing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
router workshop
Sliding Dovetail Joints . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
46 finishing room
Crackled Paint Finish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64

4 • Woodsmith / No. 244


Expensive Tools Since I’m almost 80 years old, I years ago, in our sister publica-
Come on folks... $325 for a coping have limited my workshop time to tion. We felt it was worth revis-
saw (Woodsmith No. 241, p. 14)! “weekend projects” that require less iting these for the benefit of all
Blue Spruce please. RIDICULOUS! calculations or intricate shaping. those who may not have seen them
I’m severely disappointed! That’s Your expansion into video and when they originally appeared. In
a power tool for most people! digital media has been amazingly the future, we will cite the origi-
Craig Nickles informative and always a source nal source when using previouly
via Twitter for new projects. published projects.
John D. Ammon
Asst. Editor Logan Wittmer Burlington, Kentucky More Useful Projects, Please
replies: Indeed, the Blue Spruce I have been a reader and sub-
saw is top of the line and far from Setup Gauge Looks Familiar scriber since Woodsmith No. 19.
cheap. However, the same thing Echoing Mark Rhines’ comment In this time frame, I’ve built over
can be said of any hobby. Some in reader feedback about the 35 lasting pieces of furniture
people spend money on cars, edge sander in issue No. 240, I and keepsakes from Woodsmith.
horses, or Harleys. I spend mine see you’ve done the same thing The arrival of every magazine is
on high-end tools. with the setup gauge (Woodsmith greatly anticipated, since I look
No. 243, p. 42) which originally forward to see which project I
A Long-Time Reader appeared in ShopNotes No. 5. might want to build.
I enjoyed reading your 40th I agree with him that if you are Lately, I have been a little disap-
Anniversary Sawdust note going to rehash ideas, at least cite pointed in the projects that have
(Woodsmith No. 241, p. 2). I can- the old version and explain why been in the projects section. I can’t
not remember when I first started you updated it. think of anyone that I know who
subscribing to Woodsmith, but my I am a long time subscriber and will build a CNC router. Please go
first few issues were just two or I don’t mind a re-visit to old proj- back to projects that create enthu-
three pages. ects/ideas provided there’s a rea- siasm in the wood shop.
I tried to do four or five proj- son for it such as a better way or a Ray C. Weimer
ects per year, but my wife kept new way of looking at it. Palmyra, Virginia
reviewing your publications and Dave Wilson
saying, “I want you to build me Burlington, Ontario You may email comments to
one of those!” until I had lost Please
count. I usually follow your plans, Editor Vincent Ancona replies: In include your first and last name,
but often amend them slightly to the case of both these projects, the city, and state. Comments may be
fit a particular space in my house. originals were published over 20 edited for length or clarity.


Sponsoring Station Major Program Underwriters Additional Funding • 5

{ The rounded head on a modified

bolt is the perfect pull to release the
bolt and turn the lazy Susan.

Rotating Table Latch

A great way to save space in my
shop is to combine smaller bench
tools onto a rotating platform. I use
a lazy Susan bearing and plywood
to create my rotating tables. Holding
the table in position while I work can
be an issue however. The solution I
came up with is the latch seen here.
#6 x !/2" Fh woodscrew
SPRING-LOADED LOCK. The latch is a shop-made, spring-loaded
!/4"-20x 1#/8" NOTE: Centering pin
Rounded bolt is made from bolt's cut lock. A corner spacer is made in two halves and holds a slid-
for thumb toggle off threads ing bolt. Inbetween the corner spacer is a rear block that has
TOP PLATE a hole for a spring and cut off bolt (detail ‘a’ and ‘c’). The
(5&/8"x 5&/8") PLATFORM
!/8" roundover (21"-dia.) sliding bolt presses against the spring and slides between
the corner spacers. A top plate with a slot caps the whole
CENTERING PIN thing. A rounded off bolt is epoxied into the sliding bolt to
Spring 1!/4 (!/4"x 2(/16") act as a thumb post.
SLIDING BOLT To use it, you simply pull the post back, releasing the bolt
(1"x 2!/2") 12"-dia. lazy
Susan bearing from a notch in the lazy Susan. You can then rotate the lazy
!/4"-20 Susan and release
(1"x 1") with threads a. the bolt. The bolt will
cut off automatically engage
when you reach the
next notch position in
CORNER SPACER the platform, locking
(5&/8"x 5&/8") it in place.
Craig Turner
LAZY SUSAN SPACER Lafayette, Lousiana
NOTE: Top plate and b. c.
spacer are !/4"plywood.
Base and platform are
#/4" plywood. Corner BASE
spacer, rear block and (21"x 27")
sliding bolt are !/4" #/4"-dia. !/4"-dia.
plywood layered on through hole !/2" deep
#/4" plywood

1"-rad. NOTE: Through hole

located to install lazy
Susan bearing

6 • Woodsmith / No. 244

Band Saw Dust Collection
I love my band saw. What I don’t love is
the dust it makes. Even though it has a
collection port, it didn’t work well. So, I
came up with the solution seen here.
My idea was to build a dust shroud that
collects the dust from around the under-
side of the table. The shroud is made of
plywood and shaped to fit around the
saw trunuions. It has two layers. The
first is a spacer layer to create room for
dust collection. The second layer is the
base and it has a dust collection fitting
installed on it. With the shroud secured
in place with a bead of silicone, there’s a
lot less dust.
Jim Reinhart
Bloomington, Indiana

NOTE: Notch locations

may differ on your
a. SPACER band saw table
(6!/4"x #/4" SPACER
- !/2"ply.) (#/4"x 14!/4" - #/4"ply.)


(7"x 14!/4"- !/2"Ply.)

NOTE: Shroud attached 7

to band saw with
a bead of silicone 4"dust collection #8 x !/2" Ph
flange woodscrew


If you have an original shop tip, we would like to
hear from you and consider publishing your tip in
Woodsmith. Jump online and go to:
You’ll be able to tell us all about your tip and upload
your photos and drawings. You can also mail your tips to
“Woodsmith Tips” at the editorial address shown on page
3. We will pay up to $200 if we publish your tip and
one tip from each issue will be selected to win a Forrest
Woodworker II saw blade.
Congratulations to Richard Rosen,
the winner of this Forrest Woodworker II.

Illustrations: Becky Kralicek • 7

Scissor Jack Stand for Precise Control
When working with long boards scissor jack. After cutting off the on a cart and fine-tune the height
in my shop, I like to use outfeed metal top bracket, I was able to by raising or lowering it to match
support for extra control. One bolt on a plywood plate. On the whatever machine I’m working
day, I decided to build a univer- plate there are four-way rollers at. The four-way rollers mean
sal outfeed support for different to offer friction-free support. To it doesn’t need to be perfectly
machine setups. mount the jack, I attached it to a square to my machine to allow
JACK IT UP. This is the outfeed plywood base so I could secure the workpiece to slide.
stand that I came up with. It it to a cart. Because the jack has Richard Rosen
uses an ordinary automotive a lot of adjustment, I mounted it Denver, Colorado


Blade Tension Reminder. William Collett of Using Your Noodle. Larry Renalds of Ankeny,
Bettendorf, IA attaches a block and string to his IA found that when he was moving heavy sheets of
band saw blade tension arm. When he releases plywood around in his shop, he tended to damage
the tension, he puts the block on the table. the bottom edge. Annoyed by this problem, Larry
This way, the next time he goes to use it, he is found that a pool noodle slit along the length was
reminded to re-tension the blade. the perfect edge protector.

8 • Woodsmith / No. 244

(1"x 19!/2"- !/4"ply.) #6 x 1"Fh

1"-rad. 3

(20%/8"x 20%/8"- !/4"ply.)

19!/2 20%/8
(!/2"x !%/16"- 19!/2")


1#/8 !/2"-rad.

#6 x 2"Ph sheet
metal screw 20%/8

< The notch is

cut for the
power cord,
but can be
adjusted to fit
Benchtop Dust Filter your fan.
In my shop, I take dust collec-
tion seriously. I like to collect as a.
much dust as I can. Using a fan
with a filter is a trick that’s been
floating around for a while. However, it
was always a pain to attach the filter to
the fan. So, I built this bracket to hold
an electrostatic, reusable filter. The filter
can quickly be taken out and washed,
without the need to unscrew it or peel BY EMAILL
off double-sided tape. Now you can have the be est time-
The bracket is built out of plywood, saving secrets, solutions, and
and the back is sized to match the fan. techniques sent directly to
t your
The spacers along the edge are made email inbox. Simply go to o:
out of hardwood with a plywood lip. I
notched the bottom of the back to slip and click on,
over the power cord. The entire filter
holder is held to the fan with sheet Woodsmith eT
metal screws, screwed into the frame.
You’ll receive one of our favorite
Now, it’s much easier to keep the air in
tips by email each and evvery week.
my shop clean.
Dennis Volz
Denver Colorado • 9

& Trammels

I ink the seed for my woodworking journey

s planted in grade school. When we had to
get supplies at the start of the school year, one of
my favorites was a simple compass.
It was just a pair of stamped metal legs con-
nected by a pivot point. One leg held a sharp metal
point and the other held a pencil. Friction held the
legs in position (sort of) to adjust the compass for
drawing an arc or circle. And I drew a lot of them!
That basic compass continues to exist because
kids still need to draw arcs and circles. But it prob-
ably looks more like the one you see at the upper left
on the next page. It has a very small tip that’s safer
to use and it’s made mostly of plastic. Here again,
friction holds the setting.
I upgraded my compass years ago to one like
you see at the far right. Its all-metal design is more
durable and the legs are connected by a threaded
rod for precise adjustment. Instead of a pencil, one
of the legs holds a piece of drafting lead.
Regardless of the style of compass you may have,
you’ll find a couple of key uses to the right for get-
ting the best use out of it.

10 • Woodsmith / No. 244 Written by: Bryan Nelson

Knurled thumb-
HANDY USES Basic Compass Precision screw provides
All-Metal a secure grip
At its most basic, a compass can Compass
be used to lay out any portion of Friction
an arc. This basic ability expands pivot point
holds legs
into a wide range of uses — from Hardened steel
legs won’t flex or
dividing lines and angles to cre- Plastic legs bend during use
ating geometric shapes, such as may flex
during use
hexagons and octagons.
While you may run across the
need to use your compass for Spring-loaded
these things at some point, there tension knob
allows for precise
are a couple things I’ve found I Steel
Steel needle
pivot point
use my compass for on a fairly shortened point prevents
for safe use slippage for
regular basis. accuracy Replaceable lead
point can be
ROUNDING CORNERS. The first is to Replaceable pencil sharpened
ease the corners of a workpiece, is easy to remove
for sharpening
like you see in the main photo
on the previous page. It’s some- { The type and quality of compasses varies widely. The simple plastic model at
thing that shows up in many left is something you’d find in any grade schooler’s desk. For precision and
woodworking projects. For a longevity, the satin steel version can’t be beat.
consistent radius, you need an
accurate layout to guide you. It’s just a matter of using the the back edge of the cabinet or
That’s true whether you round pivot point as a guide to draw a countertop to match the wall.
a corner with a small radius by line parallel to each edge near the The key is knowing where to
hand using a rasp and sanding corner. Where they cross is the remove material, so things mate
block, or trim the waste away centerpoint you need to draw an perfectly. In the drawing below,
on a larger radius with a jig saw. accurate radius (main photo). you can see how to use a com-
The key to consistency is accu- SCRIBING. The other key task I pass to transfer the shape of the
rately locating the pivot point of use my compass for is scribing. wall to a cabinet or countertop.
the compass. Instead of grab- I’ve needed to install cabinets Once the profile has been
bing a rule and doing a lot of and countertops many times transferred, you’re ready to
measuring, it’s simpler to set the and it’s not unusual to have a remove the waste right up to
compass to the desired radius gap between the back edge of the line by sanding or trimming.
and use the compass to find your the cabinet or countertop due to Doing this matches the two so
pivot point. You can see how this irregularities in the wall surface. when you install the cabinet or
works in the photo below. For a custom fit, you can shape countertop, any gap disappears.


To fit a cabinet
to an uneven
wall, set the
dividers for the
widest gap

{ To locate the centerpoint for drawing an arc, simply A Perfect Fit. To fit a cabinet or countertop perfectly to a wall, set the
draw a line parallel to each edge using the steel tip compass to match the widest gap. Then scribe, or draw, a matching line on
as a guide. Where they cross is your pivot point. the cabinet. Finally, trim or sand to the line for a profile that matches exactly.

Illustrations: Bob Zimmerman • 11

Chamfered Spring washer provides
DIVIDERS holes in legs friction to hold legs in
While a compass can handle a add decorative place during use
touch and
lot of basic layout tasks in most Shop-Made make for
Divider easy gripping
shops, there’s another tool you’ll
want to consider when it comes
to layouts. It’s a close cousin to
the compass known as a divider.
As you can see in the photo Identical steel
legs sharpened
at right, a divider looks almos to a fine point
for accuracy
identical to a compass. It has
pair of legs connected by a piv
Pivot screw and
point. But instead of a pencil spring steel
lead as part of one of the leg head maintains
tension on legs
divider has an identical leg with
the same sharpened metal tip. Precision
SHOP-MADE. The photo at right Legs
sharpened Threaded rod
shows two types of divid- to a fine and knurled
ers — one shop-made and one point for knob adjust to
precision Hardened steel legs accurately
commercial. On the shop-made marking provide durability position legs
version, the legs are held together and accuracy
by a peened rod and spring
washer. Friction alone holds the
legs in place during use. { The divider shown at top consists of a pair of shop-made steel legs
The commercially made connnected via a friction pivot point. The lower model is connected via a
dividers feature a knurled spring steel head but adjusts via a threaded rod for precise work.
knob that not only allows for
precise adjustment of the legs, surface of the material. In most of shelf pin holes in a project. I
but also locks them in place cases, this isn’t an issue. But find it quicker and more accu-
so they can’t be inadvertently working with the grain can be a rate than using a rule and pencil.
knocked out of position. challenge as the tip may want to You’ll still need a rule, but only
follow the grain. And cross grain to set the spacing of the divider
BASIC DIVIDER TASKS marks may tear the fibers of the legs, like you see in the lower left
A divider can be used just like wood. But I haven’t found this photo below. Once the divider is
a compass to lay out arcs and to be an issue on the work I do. set one tip in place at the start of
circles. Instead of a pencil mark SHELF PIN LAYOUT. One task where the line of holes. Then press both
on your workpiece, the steel tip I find myself reaching for a tips slightly into the workpiece
scores the layout right into the divider is laying out small runs (photo, lower right).

{ As simple as they are, a divider is a precison layout tool. Setting { Once the divider is set, you can accurately lay out a set of
it accurately is easy since the fine points at the end of each leg fit shelf pin holes. Press the tip into the starting location and
perfectly into the etched lines on a steel rule. step off the following holes one by one.

12 • Woodsmith / No. 244

First, determine the size and number of tails and
pins desired, and mark off the distances as shown

!/2 Pin

Mark the Full

half-pin lines pin
on both sides Tail + pin

Dovetail Layout. To start your layout, first decide on divider, step off one set of the full pin layout lines, as in
the size of the pin you want. Then mark half-pin layout the left drawing. To set the other half of each pin layout,
lines at each edge of the workpiece. After adjusting the repeat the process from the opposite end (detail a).

To locate the third (and subse- of the equation and will work for end up with spacing I like in just
quent holes), pivot the divider any width workpiece and num- a few minutes without ever hav-
on one of the legs to “step” it to ber of dovetails. ing to measure anything.
the next hole. You can repeat this You can see how the process One last thing. Compasses and
process for any remaining layout works in the two drawings dividers take care of most of the
holes in the row. The nice thing above. What I like is how easy it tasks in my shop. When it comes
about using a divider is the holes is to dial the spacing in. You can to larger layout work, they come
pressed into the surface provide lightly press the points into the up a bit short due to their limited
a great starting point for the tip end of the workpiece to see how size. If have a need for laying out
of a drill bit. things look as you go along. large arcs and circles, check out
DEAD-ON DOVETAILS. Another layout If you need to tweak the lay- the box below.
task where a divider excels is lay- out, simply adjust the divider a Dividers have many other uses
ing out dovetails. This method bit and repeat the process. Using that you can find described online,
takes specific measurements out this trial-and-error process, I can so be sure to check them out. W


While you can buy bigger
compasses and dividers for large
layout work, they can begin to get
cumbersome. So when large radii
are needed, it’s better to turn to a
beam compass, like the one you
see in the photo at right.
The simplest way to create a beam
compass is to buy a set of trammel
points. Like anything else, the
points come in a wide range of
styles. The pair of trammel points
shown at right clamp to a
wood beam. The steel
points can be used for
layout work or one of them can be { A beam compass is a great way to create a
swapped out for a pencil to draw largge radius. Making one any size you need
directly on the workpiece (main simply requires a long wood “beam” (photo
photo at right). aboove) and a pair of trammel points (left). • 13

New in
Track Saws

T ck saws have risen in popularity over

last several years, and for good reason.
ey e portable, accurate, and, for some cutting
tasks, they hold an advantage over a table saw.
I had the opportunity to try out two track saw
systems at opposite ends of the cost and feature
spectrums. The first is the Kreg Adaptive Cutting
System. It’s a complete package that includes a
handy project table with accessories. The other saw
I looked at was the MLCS Track Saw System. You
can find out more about it at the bottom of page 17.

14 • Woodsmith / No. 244 Written by: Randy Maxey

The Kreg Adaptive Cutting g System
y Efficient dust Large
collection bag ergonomic Hex key
was designed to be a complete, handle storage
portable cutting station. The key
players of the system are the
Dust port
plunge saw and guide trrack. Arbor
Even though it’s inclu uded in Variable Depth
the Adaptive Cutting Sysstem, the speed control stop
plunge saw and guid de track
combo is worth a look on its Bevel
own. This combo is ideal for Fully-shrouded
breaking down full sheets of ply- 6!/2" plunge blade
Tracking Anti-kickback with riving knife
wood or MDF (lower lefft photo). control control Groove in Splinter
The resulting cut edge iss straight base engages guard
with track
and smooth, ready for assembly.
When purchased as a kit, the { The Kreg Adaptive Cutting System variable-speed plunge saw is engineered
saw/track combo comes with a to make smooth, accurate cuts in a variety of materials. Built-in safety
62" aluminum track. This allows features means you can use the saw with confidence.
you to crosscut 48"-wide sheet
goods. You can purchase addi- SAFETY. Unlike a circular saw, the PRECISION. Making precise cuts
tional track sections to combine plunge saw starts with the blade with the plunge saw is aided by
for longer lengths. above the workpiece. The blade tracking controllers. They elimi-
Additional accessories, like is never exposed during the cut. nate side-to-side play as the saw
the rip guides shown on the After plunging downward, you rides on the track. Set screws
lower right, make rip cuts easy can make a cut with ease. A riv- on the saw’s base adjust the
and accurate. Other add-ons are ing knife follows in the saw kerf squareness of the baseplate to
available from Kreg to aid in cut- to prevent kickback. the blade and ensure the blade
ting wide pieces to width. A knob on the base controls an tracks parallel to the track.
SAW FEATURES. The Kreg plunge anti-kickback mechanism. When CLEAN CUTS. The saw features a
saw is the heart of the system engaged, the saw moves freely splinter guard at the leading
and offers many features that forward. But when the saw is edge of the blade. This, in com-
contribute to its precision and forced or pulled back along the bination with the zero-clearance
safety, as shown in the upper track, a spring-loaded lever pre- strip on the track, prevents chip-
right photos. vents backward movement. out on both sides of the blade.

Guide bar
under track

{ The plunge saw and guide track combo provides a handy, { Accessories such as these rip guides make it easy to rip
portable solution for making straight, precise cuts. Connect two stock. Scales on the aluminum bars underneath set the
sections of guide track to rip full sheets of plywood to width. desired width of cut. The bars act as stops. • 15
The Kreg Adaptive Cutting System Repetitive
MDF table top
(ACS) Master Kit includes all of with dog holes stop guides
the items shown at right. What
makes the system really useful is
the project table and accessories
that go along with it. (Everything
in the Master Kit is also available T-slot in
for purchase separately.) frame

The foundation of the syste
the pproject table. It’s a comp Hinge for
guide track
portable workbench on hea
duty y folding legs. When it’s Versa-Stops Leg levelers
up for work, it creates a ro aluminum bench dogs

solidd worksurface. At the en

the dday, it folds up into a c { The Kreg Project Table serves as
pact package on wheels for e Heavy-duty the foundation for the Adaptive
fold up steel
storaage and transport, as sho n frame Cutting System. It includes a
in the photo at left. number of accessories to help you
HINGED GUIDE TRACK. Making cuts make a variety of cuts.
on thhe project table is a pre
operration thanks to the hinged accurate reference point. Kreg additional accessories. Each
guidde track. A pair of hinges includes a pair of tall Versa-Stops track features a pair of scales to
alloww the track to be elevated to and a pair of short ones, as you accurately set up cuts.
slip the workpiece underneath. can see in the inset photo above. The frame of the tabletop is
Then n you simply drop the track The Versa-Stops are used for made from a heavy-duty alu-
ontoo the workpiece. Anti-slip positioning a workpiece for minum extrusion with a single
ps on the track hold the ripping, 45° cuts, and crosscuts T-slot. You install the hinges for
work kpiece in place. (upper left photo on next page). the guide track and other acces-
NCH DOGS. You’ll notice that the
BEN Use them in combination with sories into this slot.
{ The project top of the project table is drilled other accessories to position the ADJUSTABLE STOPS. The table
table folds up with holes for bench dogs. workpiece for an accurate cut. comes with a pair of adjustable
into a portable, These holes are parallel with the T-TRACKS. Along with the dog Repetitive Stops that fit into the
compact track, and allow the dogs (Kreg holes, a pair of T-tracks recessed T-track in the tabletop (lower
package. calls them Versa-Stops) to be an into the top accept a variety of left photo). These are great for

{ Repetitive Stops slide into the T-tracks on the project { The Joining Bar connects the repetitive stops to create a wider bearing
table. Built-in scales make it easy to set up the desired surface to register the workpiece before making the cut. It’s especially useful
length or width of cut. when making crosscuts on narrow workpieces.

16 • Woodsmith / No. 244


{ Use the Extension Stop for making repetetive cuts up to 48”. The { The Miter Guide acts as a large protractor for making angled
long bar slides into the project table’s T-track and is adjusted using cuts. The base of the miter guide locks into one of the T-tracks.
the scales adjacent to the T-track. The stop locks in place with a cam. Adjust the fence to the desired angle and make the cut.

making multiple rip cuts. Mea- the table locks it in place. You register the workpiece against
suring scales adjacent to the register the workpiece against the fence, and make the cut.
T-slots make it easy for you to the flat edge of the head of the FIRST IMPRESSIONS. After spending
set stops for the width of cut. Extension Stop and Versa-Stops some time assembling all of the
To crosscut narrow workpieces before making the cut. components of the Adaptive Cut-
to the same length, a Joining Bar ANGLED CUTS. To cut 45° miters ting System, I put it through its
connects the stops to create a lon- on the project table, there are a paces. What impressed me the
ger bearing surface, as shown in couple ways to do this. The easi- most was the accuracy of the
the lower right photo on the pre- est is to use a pair of Versa-Stops cuts. Square crosscuts and rip
vious page. I found it best to use installed diagonally from each cuts were dead-on, every time.
the bar along with a pair of Versa- other in the tabletop. Then you The quality of the cut edges
Stops to register and support the can butt the workpiece against on hardwood and plywood was
workpiece for making 90° cuts. the dogs to make the cut. impressive. I could go directly
LONG & WIDE CUTS. To make cuts up The other way to make angled from cutting to glue-up.
to 48", the Extension Stop comes cuts is to use the Miter Guide. It’s The Project Table alone deserves
into play (left photo above). a protractor head that installs a spot in the shop as a versatile
It consists of a long bar that in one of the T-tracks, as shown worksurface. The complete sys-
slides into one of the T-tracks. in the upper right photo. Set tem, however, is ideal for making
A cam installed on the edge of the desired angle of the guide, precise cuts every time. W


If you’re looking for an inexpensive saw and > The MLCS Track
track combo for breaking down sheet goods, the Saw System is
Track Saw System from MLCS is one option (see a lightweight, Dust port
Sources on page 66). It features a small trim saw portable solution
with an auxiliary handle that makes the saw well- for making straight
balanced and easy to use. cuts in sheet goods
The system comes with 110" of aluminum and hardwood.
track in six sections with connectors. The edge of
the saw base has a lip that engages a slot on the
edge of the track. track Light weight
The saw comes with a 60-tooth high-speed reduces fatigue
steel blade for plywood and a 24-tooth carbide
blade. For portability and ease of use, the MLCS 4!/2" blade tackles most
Track Saw System is worth a look. stock breakdown jobs • 17

18 • Woodsmith / No. 244 Written by: Vincent Ancona; Project Design: Dillon Baker
Featuring custom frames and
a decorative painted finish,
these attractive boxes are a
great way to showcase your
prized collections.
There’s something about the three-dimensional
aspect of shadow boxes that I’ve always found
appealing. Unlike a painting or print, the curated
items in a shadow box have depth and dimension
that somehow evokes the feeling of looking at arti-
facts behind the glass of a museum case.
But the shadow boxes shown here are likely to
attract as much attention as the items they dis-
play. Each one features a unique, attractive frame
made from built-up moldings. The frames are
easily removed from the shadow boxes without
taking them off the wall, making it easy to change
out your display whenever the mood strikes you.
And to top it off, a crackled paint finish gives these
shadow boxes a distinctive look.
Traditionally, shadow boxes were used by retired
servicemen to store and display their medals,
insignia, and regimental col-
ors. Today of course, shadow
boxes are used to display all
sorts of items. And because of
this, each box in this trio is a
different size. This gives you
a little more versatility when
it comes to choosing the right
size for the items you wish to
display. Or if you wish, it’s
A crackled paint finish gives the shadow > a simple matter to alter the
boxes an antique appearance. Read how dimensions of the individual
to create this finish on page 64. boxes to suit your needs.

Illustrations: Becky Kralicek • 19

NOTE: Magnets are
#/8"-dia. glued into holes
a. rare-earth with epoxy
#6 x #/4" Fh

NOTE: Splines are

Start with a CASE trimmed flush after
gluing in place

As I previously mentioned, there

are three sizes of shadow boxes NOTE: Sides are
in this set. The basic construction #/4"-thick
hardwood. Back is
is the same for all three. The only !/4" plywood Felt
differences are the overall length
and width and the profiles used
on the frames for each box. 1#/4
The drawings here (and
throughout the article) show
the smallest of the three shadow SIDE BACK
boxes. For the dimensions of the (3"x 12") (11!/2"x 11!/2")
medium and large shadow boxes,
refer to the drawings on page 23. The depth of the cases is the ASSEMBLY. I glued up the cases
Each shadow box is comprised same for all three shadow boxes. using band clamps. There’s not
of two basic assemblies — a case So if you’re making the set, start much to this, but you want to
that holds the items being dis- by ripping enough stock for all make sure that the miters are
played and a detachable frame three cases to finished width (3"). tight, the corners are square, and
that contains a piece of acrylic. Next, using a dado blade, I there’s no twist to the assembly.
I started by building the cases. cut a rabbet along one edge of SPLINES. Miter joints aren’t typi-
CASES. As you can see, the case all the parts for the cases. This cally known for their strength.
is simply an open box with rabbet will hold the back panel. So to help reinforce the miters,
mitered corners. A plywood With this done, you can miter the I decided to add some splines.
back is set into a rabbeted open- individual case pieces to their fin- To do this, I made a simple
ing in the back of the case. ished lengths. cradle jig to hold each case as I



(12"x 12"- #/4"ply.)

#8 x 1!/4" Fh Kerfs for Splines. To use the jig, set the table
woodscrew saw rip fence to locate the kerfs at the desired
FENCE position on the case. The case rests in the
(5"x 6"- #/4"ply.)
cradle of the jig while making the cut.

20 • Woodsmith / No. 244

cut kerfs through the corners for on the front edge of the case for
the splines. You can see the jig I some rare-earth magnets. The
used in the box at the bottom of magnets are glued into place
the previous page. with epoxy, but I waited to glue
Each corner of the case receives them in until after I was done
a pair of kerfs. The spacing for painting the entire project.
these kerfs is shown in detail
‘a’ on the previous page. After FRAMES
cutting the first kerf on all four The frame stock for each shadow
corners of the case, I reset the rip box is made by gluing up a pair K MOLDING
fence to cut the second kerf. of moldings. Even though all OGEE J
SPLINES. The splines are made three frames are different, they’re
from 1⁄8"-thick stock. I cut the all made up from just four sim-
splines oversized to begin with ple profiles used in different
and glued them into the kerfs. combinations. The photos at
After the glue is dry, you can right show the profile combina-
use a hand saw to trim them tions for each shadow box frame.
and then sand them flush with And the drawings below show
the sides of the case. how the individual moldings are
BACK. The last part to make for made at the router table.
each case is a back. The back In order to minimize tearout,
panel is nothing more than a I routed the deeper profiles in MOLDING
piece of 1⁄4" plywood cut to fit in two passes, removing the bulk ICOVE L
the rabbeted opening. of the waste in the first pass. MOLDING

I applied a piece of felt to the Then I increased the depth of

inside face of the back panel with cut slightly for the clean-up pass.
some spray contact adhesive. But Make sure to create enough
you could use another material of each molding profile so that
to line the back if you prefer, you’ll have plenty of stock for
or even just paint it. The back all three frames (if you’re build-
is simply screwed in place, but ing all of them). Then glue the
hold off on installing it until after moldings together edge to edge
you’ve painted the case. to create the frame stock. There
The last step before moving are a couple more steps before
on to the frames of the shadow you can cut the individual frame MOLDING
boxes is to drill shallow holes pieces to length though. L


1 2 3 4
NOTE: Position NOTE: Position
NOTE: Position fence flush fence flush
!/4 with bearing
fence flush with bearing
with bearing
1" core !/4" L
box bit I K Triple
!/4" beading J ogee bead
bit bit bit
1#/16 !#/16 1

Cove. Rout the cove profile Single Bead. To rout the Ogee. The ogee profile is Triple Bead. The triple bead
in multiple passes, raising the bead profile, set the router routed in two passes, raising profile is shallow enough
bit between each pass until table fence flush with the the bit to the final height for that it can be routed in a
reaching the final depth. bearing of the bit. the second pass. single pass. • 21
rare-earth magnet


(cut to length)


(10&/8"x 10&/8")

NOTE: Cut frame pieces
to length to fit over case

With all of the frame stock glued NOTE: Glue
up and in hand, you’re ready to 14#/4
oversize splines into
kerfs, then trim flush
start making the frames. Each
frame holds a piece of clear
acrylic (Plexiglas). So the first
order of business is to cut a kerf At this point, you can begin Like the cases, I rein-
on the inside edge of the frame mitering the frame pieces to forced the mitered frame with
stock for the acrylic (detail ‘a’). length. The rabbet on the back the use of splines. You can use the
The inside face of the frames are of the frame should fit loosely same jig as before to cut the kerfs
also rabbeted to fit over the cases. around the case. This will allow for the splines. After gluing the
(You can see this in the lower left for a layer of paint or finish with- splines in place, trim them flush
photo.) Rather than trying to cut out making the fit too tight. with the edges of the frame.
these rabbets after the frames are Once you have all the frame MAGNETS. As I mentioned ear-
assembled, it’s easier to cut them pieces cut to length, dry assemble lier, the frames are held to the
on the frame stock. So the next the frame and measure for the cases with rare-earth magnets.
step is to set up a dado blade in acrylic panel. With the acrylic cut Drill some shallow holes for the
your table saw to cut a shallow to size, glue the frame up, using magnets in the back of the frame
rabbet in the back face of all the band clamps to hold the pieces to align with the magnets in the
frame stock, as shown in detail ‘a.’ together while the glue dries. case. Just make sure to check the
polarity of the magnets before
you glue them in place.
The last step to complete the
shadow boxes is to apply a finish
(see the article on page 64) and
screw the back in place. To hang
the shadow boxes on the wall, I
used Z-hangers, as shown in the
near left photo.
Now comes the fun part of this
project — deciding which items
{ The frame is held to the case with rare-earth { The shadow boxes are mounted to the wall you wish to display and how to
magnets, making it easy to add or remove using a low profile, two-piece Z-hanger. This arrange them. But I’ll leave that
items displayed inside. makes installation a breeze. part up to you. W

22 • Woodsmith / No. 244

Medium & Large Shadow Boxes. opening on the back just fits over the avoid blowing out the front or back
The dimensions for the medium and front edges of the case, as shown in face of the frame molding. There’s not
large shadow box cases and frames details ‘a’ and ‘b.’ a lot of thickness at the edge of the
are shown below. Keep in mind that When it comes to adding the medium-sized frame, so you’ll have
the actual dimensions of your finished reinforcing splines to the frames, you’ll to take care when making those cuts.
frames may vary slightly. The key here want to center the kerfs on the edge Again, you can see this in details ‘a’
is to size the frame so the rabbeted of the frame as much as possible, to and ‘b’ below.

14 32 a.

16 (15!/2"x 13!/2") (15!/2"x 31!/2")



Materials, Supplies & Cutting Diagram

A Sm. Case Sides (4) 3⁄ x 3 - 12 H Lg Case Back (1) 1⁄ ply. - 151⁄ x 311⁄ • (14) 1⁄16" x 3⁄8"-dia. Rare-Earth Magnets
4 4 2 2
B Sm. Case Back (1) ⁄4 ply. - 11 ⁄2 x 111⁄2
1 1 I Cove Molding 3 3
⁄4 x 1 ⁄8 - 192 rgh. • (28) #6 x 3⁄4" Fh Woodscrews
C Med. Case Top/Btm. (2) 3⁄ x 3 - 14 J Bead Molding 3⁄ x 3⁄ - 72 rgh. • (1) 48" x 48" Sheet of 1⁄8" Acrylic
4 4 4
D Med. Case Sides (2) 3 ⁄4 x 3 - 16 K Ogee Molding 3⁄4 x 1 - 84 rgh. • (1) 1 yd. Felt
E Med. Case Back (1) ⁄4 ply. - 15 ⁄2 x 131⁄2
1 1 L Triple Bead Molding ⁄4 x 11⁄4 - 192 rgh.
3 • (1) 12" Z-hanger w/Screws
F Lg. Case Top/Btm. (2) 3⁄ x 3 - 32 • (1) 18" Z-hanger w/Screws
G Lg. Case Sides (2) 3⁄ x 3 - 16 • (1) 30" Z-hanger w/Screws

#/4"x 6!/2" - 72" Poplar ( Two Boards 3.3 Bd. Ft. each)
A A D 48" x 48" sheet of
C G F !/4" Birch plywood

#/4"x 7!/2" - 96" Poplar (5.0 Bd. Ft.) J K I L • 23

Entry Door
First impressions do count. There’s
nothing that will add character
to the entryway of your home
like a custom-made door. This
Craftsman-styled door is a classic
that will be around a long time.

O f all the architectural styles to choose

from for your home, the look that
arose from the Arts & Crafts movement is one
of the most enduring. The entryways of these
homes were often adorned with the no-non-
sense elegance of what’s known as the Crafts-
man style. The well-proportioned parts that
make up the door you see here are a perfect
example of the whole being greater than the
sum of its parts. You know — less is more.
But you can’t live on understated looks alone.
A lot of thought and planning has gone into
making this solid-wood door. So outfitting it
for a graceful life in the outdoors, as well as
indoors, is the next concern.
You have to keep in mind the stress and
temperature trauma that this elegant barrier
has to go through when guarding your home
from the elements. Equipping the light open-
ings with insulated glass is a wise decision. As
for a wood that would be worthy — white oak
seemed to be the clear choice. It doesn’t have to
be quarter-sawn, but take your time selecting
the material. What you see here is a standard
36" x 80"example of an entry door. If that size
works for you, then lets get building.

24 • Woodsmith / No. 244 Written & Illustrated by: Erich Lage

Project Design: Chris Fitch • 25

(6"x 31")
(6!/2"x 31")

b. c.

NOTE: All parts

are 1#/4"-thick hardwood

(5!/2"x 80")

(10"x 31")

Making the STILES & RAILS of business. And then, you need
to wait some more.
The bones of an entry door, like material, look for wood that’s It’s best to let all the mate-
most cabinet doors, are com- close to quarter-sawn. rial rest for at least another
prised of stiles and rails, as you ACCLIMATION. After the shopping week before repeating the plan-
see above. Here though, the scale was done, I stored the lumber ing process. Let the wood rest
is much larger. So different fac- on edge in the shop for several again. When proper thickness
tors are in play, starting with weeks before starting to work is achieved, you can cut all the
wood selection. with it. Doing this gives the parts to size.
As I mentioned up front, wood a chance to acclimate to MORTISE FIRST. Each stile has three
white oak is the wood of choice the humidity level in your shop. mortises to hold the tenons in
for this project. When shopping BE PATIENT. The ultimate goal is to the rails. As the drawing and
for the wood for this door, look end up with stable stock that is details above show, the mortises
for material as close to 2"-thick 13⁄4" thick for the stiles and rails. get incrementally shorter from
as possible. (The panels are This is the standard thickness the bottom up.
made from 3⁄4" stock.) To make of exterior doors. But getting to SADDLE JIG. These mortises could
this project a success, the stiles that final thickness takes some be done at the drill press with
that run the length of the door patience and planning. Planing some outfeed support. But I
need to be straight and stable. a small amount off both sides of chose to use a plunge router and
So when your picking out the all the material is the first order the jig you see on the next page.

26 • Woodsmith / No. 244

The jig slides over the edge This mortise isn’t hard to do. To allow for the split mortise
of the workpiece and clamps in First, rout the long shallow por- you made earlier, you have to
place. It’s designed to be used tion of the whole mortise. Then notch the tenon on the lower rail.
with a plunge router and a reset the jig stops and rout the Use a jig saw to do this. Sand and
roughing end mill bit. two smaller mortises at either clean the corners of the notch
BIG MORTISE BEHAVIOR. Here’s the end. Now you can set aside the when the cutting is done.
next hurdle when doing join- stiles and focus on the rails. MORE MORTISES. The rails need
ery on a large scale. Due to their mortises for the center stile
size, the cheeks of long mortises RAILS and mullions that you’re going
can become unstable and start The stiles are connected with to make shortly. Start with the
to open up, especially when three rails. Each rail is narrower large mortises in the bottom and
exposed to varying tempera- as you go from bottom to top. cross rail for the center stile.
tures like entry doors are. Speaking of the bottom rail, The mortises for the mullions
Detail ‘b’ on the previous you’ll need to glue up a blank for are wider than they are long. To
page shows the tenon and the that. Take a little time to match accomplish this, you need to first
remedy to this problem. By the grain in these two boards. adjust the fences on the jig. Then
splitting the long, lower mortise TENONS. I cut the tenons over set the stop to hold the router
into two smaller mortises, you’ll at the table saw using a dado bit in place. These mortises are
strengthen the walls of that blade. With the miter gauge routed in the cross and top rail.
area without compromising the supporting the rails, use the rip With that, you’re ready to move
joint. Detail ‘c’ shows the mortise fence as a stop to cut the shoul- on to making the interior parts of
that’s needed for this tenon. ders for the tenons. the door frame.


(1!/2"x 16#/4") SHORT STOP
(1!/8"x 6%/8") NOTE: The size of your base,
END CLEAT end cleats, and stops may
(1%/8"x 11#/4") vary depending on your
router base

(5"x 20")

#8 x 1!/2"
Fh woodscrew

Base flush to
inside face
of side
(3%/8"x 3%/8") (5"x 20") a.

NOTE: Jig is made

from #/4"plywood 1#/4

The length of your jig is deter- as needed. To make the narrower Due to the depth of the mortises
mined by a combination of the mortise for the mullions, adjust the on the stiles and rails, it’s best to
longest mortise, and the base of fence and the short stop. rout them in multiple passes.
your router (upper left drawing). To The Router Setup. A plunge Before moving on, I squared up
control the length of the mortises, router and a roughing end mill all the mortises with a chisel at the
move the position of the short stop bit (detail ‘a’) is what I used here. end of the milling session. • 27
Next up:
a. At this point, you’ve got a strong
frame made for your door. It’s
time to fill out the space within
E that frame. This involves a pair
MULLION of mullions, a center stile, and
(1#/4"x 19!/2")
two panels. The panels that you
see here are thinner than the
stiles and rails. This will provide
subtle visual depth to the door.
You’ll make grooves in the stiles
and rails to house the panels in a
little bit. For now, let’s look closer
at the mullions and center stile.
MULLION. A mullion is a verti-
cal member in a door that adds
rigidity and divides the space
between the two upper rails.
b. They can also support decora-
tive elements of the door. Here,
the two mullions are dividers
for three insulated glass panes
that are held in place with stops.
CENTER STILE. The other vertical
G part is the center stile. The cen-
(10&/8"x 40&/8") ter stile is joined to the cross rail
and bottom rail with tenons.
The stile holds the inner edges
of the wood panels.
stiles and rails, the mullions and
center stile should be fully accli-
mated by this time. So, you can
jump right in by cutting them
NOTE: Mullions and
center stile to size. Over at the table saw,
are made from make the tenons on each end
1#/4"-thick hardwood.
Panels are #/4"-thick in the same manner you did on
(5"x 46") the rails. When you’re finished
with that task, the panels are
NOTE: Thickness panels
to fit snug in groove the next order of business. As I
mentioned, the panels are held
in place in grooves in the stiles,
rails, and center stile.
c. DRY ASSEMBLY. To make this
groove, you have to dry assem-
ble these parts, holding them
together temporarily with
clamps. The drawing at the top
of the next page (and detail ‘a’)
shows this in action.

28 • Woodsmith / No. 244

Stackable slot
cutting bit set for #/4"

I used a stackable slot cutting THIRD: Square corners

after disassembly
bit with the bearing on top, in
a hand-held router. Like every-
thing else with this door, this is SECOND: Rout groove
a big groove. So make the groove for panels
in shallow cuts. If you don’t have
FIRST: Clamp door frame
a bit this big, you can make mul- together with out
tiple passes with a narrower bit. glue
SQUARE THE SLOT. After knocking
apart the frame of the door and
stowing away the clamps, take
a moment to square the round
inside corners of the groove
with a chisel.
PANELS. The panels you see in
the drawing and detail ‘c’ are
wide enough that they need to
be glued up from two pieces of
3⁄ "stock. Match the grain here
like you did for the bottom rail.
These panels are going to float
in the grooves of the door, so
you’ll want to stain them before ASSEMBLY You can see this being done in
installation. With that, it’s time Because of the large size of the the box below. It’s pretty straight-
to bring all the parts you’ve door parts and joinery involved, forward, but I want to mention a
made to this point together. it’s best to glue up the door in few things about each step.
stages — three stages to be exact. RAILS & CENTER STILE. Working from
the center out, I started by glu-
ing the bottom rail, center stile,
ASSEMBLING THE DOOR and cross rail together (using a
waterproof glue). A good way to
ensure that the parts are square
NOTE: Use stiles to align
bottom rail and cross rail and spaced properly is to use the
stiles to confirm that the rails are
aligned properly (top drawing).
SECOND: Glue the mullions and top rail to the
FIRST: Glue top rail and
together the bottom mullions to cross rail. Again, use the stiles to
rail, center stile, and cross rail
cross rail ensure everything stays aligned.
It’s critical that the parts ulti-
mately join to the stiles perfectly.
It’s time to bring the pan-
els and stiles together with the
Align top edges parts you’ve just glued up. Start
of top rail
with top of stiles by sliding the (stained) panels
THIRD: Insert panels in place. I didn’t use any glue in
without glue. Glue stiles the groove for the panels. Letting
in place and confirm
door is square them float is okay.
Finally, glue on the stiles. This
should be no trouble at all since
the stiles have been used all
along to align the rails. For good
measure, confirm that the door is
NOTE: At each step confirm flat and square. With that, you’re
that the work pieces are
flat and square ready to add some final details
and insulated glass to the door. • 29

(2"x 28")

Start with center dentil

and work out from there

(1!/2"x 2")

NOTE: Ledge is made from 1!/4"-thick hardwood.

Dentils are #/4"-thick hardwood

Adding the
You’ve finished all the heavy lift- of the door (drawing and details After cutting them to their over-
ing of joinery and assembly on above), along with a support- all size, I tilted the saw blade to
this project (other than installing ing cast of dentils beneath each. make the bevel that runs along
the door). So now you can focus You’ll follow this up with stops the top. When the bevel was cut
on dressing out the door. that hold insulated glass panes on both pieces, I set them aside
This starts with beveled ledges in the openings. and cut the blocks needed for
that act as decorative accents. LEDGES. The most efficient the dentils to size.
These are glued to both each face way to start is with the ledges. The box to the left shows the
best way to install the ledges and
dentils. You’re going to glue all
GLUING THE LEDGE TO THE DOOR the parts to one side of the door
at a time. To begin, I raised the
door off the surface of the work-
SECOND: Clamp cleat to bench with some spacers. This
door for ledge alignment
provides plenty of clearance for
the clamp heads on the under-
THIRD: Glue ledge to door side of the door.
FIRST: Lift door off
of workbench with As you can see in the draw-
ing, I clamped a cleat to the
door to position the ledge. Next,
slip a piece of wax paper under
Ledge the cleat to prevent any glue
squeezout causing trouble.
paper Now you’re ready to glue the
ledge to the door with clamps
through the window openings.
2x4 This allows you to get direct
spacer clamping pressure.
FOURTH: Install DENTIL DETAILS. There are seven
dentils beneath ledge
dentils that are glued to the
door underneath the ledge. As
you’ll notice in detail ‘b’ above,

30 • Woodsmith / No. 244

the gap between each dentil is
the same as its length. So while NOTE: Each
stop is cut
cutting them to size, make an to fit then
extra one to use as a spacer. pin nailed
in place
Starting from the center, I NOTE: NOTE: Box
glued and clamped each dentil Insulated below shows
glass can how to align
in place. This doesn’t take long to be purchased stops to
online or openings
do and when the dentils are dry, supplied 17!/2 in door
you can repeat the process on by a local
glass shop
the other side of the door. When
you flip the door, you’ll need to
double-up the spacers this time
to compensate for the ledge you
just installed.


The last bit of work to be done on a.
the door is to install the glass. To NOTE: Stops
hold the glass in the door, I made are made from
&/16"-thick hardwood
the beveled stops you see in the
drawing to the right. STOP
THE BEVEL YOU SAY? Yeah, I know (&/16 x !/2")
beveling the top of the stops is
a small detail. But it does play
well with the bevel on the ledge, SECTION VIEW
don’t you think? To make this
bevel, I started by planing the
stock to the proper thickness base that has two layers of well placed beads of silicone is
(detail ‘a’). Then I tilted my plywood attached to it. These in order. Follow this up with cut-
saw blade to rip the stops. A additional layers locate the stop ting and nailing the remaining
little sanding was in order, and evenly in the opening. stops to hold the glass in place.
I decided to stain all the stop Now you can flip the door This is a perfect time to finish
material ahead of installing it. and install the glass. First, place the door. I used an oil-based gel
To mark, cut, and install each a bead of silicone on the inside of stain and a top coat of poly-
stop, I made a simple jig (box the stops. Then insert the glass in urethane. Now it’s time to hang
below). The jig is just a plywood the openings. Another series of your door.


NOTE: Base is #/4" plywood. Support is glued up from J
one layer of !/2" plywood and one layer of #/4" plywood
#8 x 1!/2" Fh woodscrew
(7!/2"x 17#/8") J
(10"x 19") #/8
Stop spacer

NOTE: Cut each stop to fit.
Pin nail in place as you go • 31
NOTE: Confirm proper clearance
of door at all points of door frame


Head Jamb THIRD: Cut door length to match
Confirm at the bottom of the door. Install
that top and new sweep or weatherstrip
bottom of
door is square Old door
to the hinge FIRST: To transfer hinge location, align
side of door the top and hinge side of the doors
Strike Jamb to each other

NOTE: Hinge
side of door
frame needs Strike
to be plumb plates
and stable
SECOND: Transfer
Hinge Jamb NOTE: On hinge locations
occasion, a new to new door
entryset can
Replace be aligned
hinges with to existing
ball bearing This strike openings
hinges that is a good of door frame a.
are the same time to
size replace
or door



Installing the DOOR

The existing door I’m replacing
Th The types of thresholds in
#10 x 3" Fh woodscrew works just fine in its door frame. entryways can vary greatly.
I came to that decision based You’ll have to do some home-
on the inspection that is shown work to make sure you have an
in the left side of the drawing air-tight fit for your new door.
above. The steps shown here Now you can remove the old
are done with the old door still door, along with the hinges and
hanging in the frame. handset (dead bolt also). Use it to
FRAME INSPECTION. The inspec- transfer the door size and shape
Drill for tion always starts at the hinges. to the new door.
after When working with doors and SIZING THE DOOR. As the drawing
door is their frames, the backbone of above shows, the top corner on
the operation is the jamb that the hinge side of the door will
the hinges are attached to. So be the point of reference for all
you need to confirm that the measurements. Confirm the
door to hinge jamb is plumb and stable length of the door on the hinge
wall framing
behind enough for the new door. side. If the new door needs to be
door jamb Next, you’ll want to exam- trimmed, you’ll most likely do
with long
screws ine the gap between the door it at the bottom of the door. But
the hinges and the other three sides of the wait to do that until confirming
frame. The gap should be consis- a few more things.
tent between the head and strike DOOR PROFILE. You’ll want to use
jamb. Not only when the door is a framing square to confirm
closed, but as you open it, the the old door is square at the
door shouldn’t touch the frame. top and bottom. If not, transfer
The threshold at the bottom of the angles to the door (again,
the door is a different matter. this will most likely be on the

32 • Woodsmith / No. 244

bottom of the door). Once those For simplicity,, I
are confirmed, compare the chose new hing ges
lengths of the two doors on the the same size as thet
handle side of the door. old ones. I replaced
BEVEL CUTS. Use a circular saw the hinges wiith
and shop-made straightedge to high-quality, b all
trim the door to size. Scoring the bearing hinges. UseU
cut line with a utility knife first the square to transffer
helps reduce chip out. And add- how far in the hin nge
ing a slight bevel (5°) to the cuts sets on the door edgge.
will allow the door to open and Then use a chisel ((or
close without binding. small router) to cut the mortises { The sky is the limit when it comes to the hardware you
When making the beveled so the hinge sits flush. select for your new door. The entryset shown here requires
cuts, you want the outside of HINGES. To avoid stripping out a jig to drill the mortise in the edge of the door.
the door to be smaller. To finish the screws, you’ll have to pre-
this phase, ease any of the edges drill the holes for the hinges in MOMENT OF GLORY. Have a friend
you’ve cut and seal them with this white oak door. Moving to help hang the door. If it rubs
stain and top coat. the door frame, use one of the anywhere, a little planing or
HINGES. The ideal way to trans- hinge leaves to confirm that sanding should remedy that
fer the location of the hinges to they set flush in the jamb. Then problem. To finish this fine proj-
the new door is to use a com- you can install the hinges. Use ect, install the entryset using the
bination square to lay out the at least one long screw in each manufacturer’s instructions. W
width and depth of the hinge on hinge leaf to secure it to the Thanks to House of Antique Hardware
the edge of the new door. jamb framing. Inc, for providing the entryset for this article.

Materials, Supplies & Cutting Diagram

A Stiles (2) 13⁄4 x 51⁄2 - 80 F Center Stile (1) 13⁄4 x 5 - 46 • (3) Insulated Glass (71⁄2" x 173⁄8")
B Bottom Rail (1) 13⁄4 x 10 - 31 G Panels (2) 3⁄ x 107⁄ - 407⁄
4 8 8 • (3) Ball-Bearing Hinges w/ screws
C Cross Rail (1) 13⁄4 x 61⁄2 - 31 H Ledges (2) 11⁄4 x 2 - 28 • (1) Exterior grade Entryset and Dead bolt
D Top Rail (1) 13⁄4 x 6 - 31 I Dentils (14) 3⁄ x 11⁄ - 2
4 2
E Mullions (2) 1 x 13⁄4 - 191⁄2 J Glass Stop 7⁄ x 1⁄ - 310" rgh.
16 2

#/4"x 6"- 84" White Oak (Two Boards @ 3.5 Bd. Ft. Each)


#/4"x 4"- 96" White Oak (2.7 Bd. Ft.)


1#/4"x 5!/2"- 60" White Oak (4.6 Bd. Ft.)


1#/4"x 5!/2"- 84" White Oak (6.4 Bd. Ft.)


1#/4"x 6"- 84" White Oak (Two Boards @ 7.0 Bd. Ft. Each)

1#/4"x 7"- 96" White Oak (9.3 Bd. Ft.)

C D H • 33

{ A bundle of drawers (main photo) offers storage for nearly { The workstation has a built-in router table. The router is
everything you need in your shop. The large drawer beneath housed inside the cabinet, which offers a large surface to rout
the table saw creates the perfect storage space for those long workpieces. An adjustable fence with integrated dust
large, bulky items like portable power tool cases. collection attaches directly to the top of the station.

34 • Woodsmith / No. 244 Written by: Logan Wittmer; Project Design: John Doyle
Get the most out of your
shop space by combining
tools into a compact station.
This workstation packs loads
of storage and tools in a
mobile bundle.

T hinking back to my first shop, it was

set up in the garage of my house. Liv-
ing in the Midwest, weather often forced me
to move my tools out of the way to make
room for vehicles. I must say —when I was
in the middle of a project, it was a big hassle.
I would have to move everything from my
bench to my table saw. Not to mention clean-
ing up all the dust and power cords that I had
strung all over. When I first saw the design for
this workstation, and all the features packed
into the compact footprint, I realized how
much easier my life could have been.
photos to the left, you’ll notice this mobile
workstation packs (at least) three tools into
one. On one end, a benchtop table saw sits
on a low table. The main worksurface of the
station acts as the perfect outfeed support
for the saw. On this worksurface, there’s
an opening for a router plate that turns the
top into a router table. Finally, opposite
the table saw is a flip-top with a thickness
planer mounted to one side.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE. One thing that you
might not think about as you look at the
mobile workcenter is the size of the worksur-
face itself. It’s the perfect canvas for assem-
{ By attaching
hi a tooll to the
h flfli
flip-top section
i off the
h workstation,
k i you bling projects and serving as your main or
can quickly and easily rotate it into working position. A pair of auxiliary workbench. That’s not to mention
shop-made latches lock the top in position for use. It’s a perfect the vast amounts of storage packed below
option for those heavy tools that you use often. the top in the form of drawers and shelves.

Illustrations: Dirk Ver Steeg • 35

(30"x 27")
(20"x 27")
#8 x 1!/2" Fh D


E 13!/4
SHELF 4#/4
(11!/2"x 20")
(30"x 72")
(30"x 27") c. d.

#8 x 1!/2" Fh


NOTE: All parts

are made from
#/4" plywood

NOTE: All dadoes, grooves, and

rabbets are !/4"deep and sized to
match the thickness of the plywood
see the jig and how it gets used
with a router in the box on the
next page.
THREE ZONES.The mobile work- After laying out the joinery, I
Building the CASE station can be divided into cut the dadoes in the base for the
three areas — the table saw backs first. Then, I repositioned
One of the things I like about base, the router table, and the dado jig to cut the grooves for
this mobile workcenter is that the planer section. The router the case dividers. These grooves
it’s made mainly out of ply- table is the center of the whole start and end in the dadoes for
wood. This means in a short operation, so it’s a good point the backs, so be careful as you
amount of time you can have to build out from. start and finish these cuts.
all of the panels cut and ready After cutting the bottom, While I had my router in hand
to tackle the joinery. planer back, and table saw back and was working on the base, I
When breaking down ply- to size, I wanted to tackle all of went ahead and cut the rabbets
wood sheets, I use a shop-made the joinery needed to connect for the planer and table saw
guide with my circular saw. But everything. The joinery consists sides. Here again, these rabbets
a track saw like the one on page of a series of grooves, dadoes start and end in the dadoes. Now
14 could easily do this job. and rabbets in nearly every part set the base aside while you work
I started the workstation by of the case. on the backs.
first tackling the main case of To cut the dadoes and grooves SHELF HOLES & GROOVES. Both of the
the cabinet. This is simply a in the large workpieces, I backs get a couple of grooves
bottom and a series of dividers decided to use my router with cut in them for the case divid-
and partitions. a shop-made dado jig. You can ers. Also, there’s a dado in the

36 • Woodsmith / No. 244

(Inside Face) (Outside Face) (Inside Face)

!/4"-dia. shelf
pin holes,
#/8"-deep B B
1#/4 2

1#/4 #/4

13!/4 13!/4

4!/4 4#/4

11!/4 11!/4 11!/4 11!/4

(Outside Face)





28 28

backs and one divider for the those holes next. Use some tape a good bead of glue in each
router table shelf (see main or a stop collar to keep from of the dadoes and grooves,
drawing). Again, I cut these drilling through the back of the then drive some screws home
with the router and guide. panels. Finally, a hole is drilled to hold everything tight. At
Now you can trade your in the table saw back that you’ll this point, I flipped the cen-
router out for a drill. On the feed the router’s power cord ter assembly over so I could
opposite side of the router shelf, through later. install the bottom. An extra set
there’s a series of shelf pin holes ASSEMBLY. Now you’re ready to of hands will help in position-
that will hold pins for adjustable assemble the backs with the case ing the bottom before gluing
shelves. Take care of drilling dividers and router shelf. Use and screwing it in place.


Fence 1 Align base to

edge of layout
(3"x 30")
line and clamp
in place
#8 x #/4" Fh
(6!/2"x 30")

NOTE: Trim base of jig

with router before use

Rout Next. Use a router with a 3⁄4" plywood bit Router Jig. To cut the dadoes and grooves in the panels, first lay out
to rout the dadoes and grooves. Rout left to right, the position of each one. Clamp the guide along one side of the layout
cutting the grooves and dadoes in one pass. lines. Rout the dadoes and grooves in one pass, from left to right. • 37
to attach the top that will be follows suit from the planer end.
Add the SIDES added later. The sides are cut and installed
With the parts cut, you can using screws and glue. A pair of
With the core of the workcen- install them on the case. Here cleats, similar to the ones you just
ter complete, you can turn your again, everything is glued into installed, connect the two sides
focus to each end. On one end, the dadoes and rabbets and (upper drawing, next page).
a short case and drawer will installed with screws. The sides MAKE IT MOBILE. After finishing
support a top for your saw. On are screwed from the bottom and and installing the side panels
the opposite end, a large cubby along the inner edge (details ‘b’ on both ends, you’re done driv-
makes room for the flip-top with and ‘c’). ing screws through the bottom.
attached planer. Below that, a CROSS BRACES. Cut four cleats for Now you’ll add a pair of hard-
smaller drawer offers some stor- the center of the case. To install wood support strips along the
age. The first thing is to finish the them, drill a pair of pocket holes bottom edge. These help sup-
ends in preparation for the tops. on each end and attach them port the weight of the cart, add
PLANER WALLS. Focusing on with screws. See the drawing rigidity, and provide a mounting
the planer end first, I cut the below for the final positioning. point for a set of casters. You can
sides and shelf to size. Then, These will also be used as attach- see these in the illustration on
I cut the dadoes in the side ment points for the top. the next page. After gluing the
panels for the shelf. Here, I strips in place, install the cast-
used my router and the same TABLE SAW PLATFORM ers with a handful of lag screws
dado jig from before. The last Now move to the other end of (detail ‘a’ on the next page).
thing to do with the panels is the workcenter. Here, you’ll ADD STORAGE. With the founda-
to drill pocket holes along the work on the platform for the tion of the cart in place, let’s
top edge. These will be used table saw top. The construction talk about storage. Keeping

(3!/2"x 19!/2")
NOTE: All parts
are made from
F #/4" plywood
(23!/4"x 27")

Pocket holes
for attaching
2 top drilled b.
8!/2 before


(23!/4"x 29")

#8 x 1!/2" Fh

38 • Woodsmith / No. 244

NOTE: Case supports are
made from 1!/4"-thick hardwood.
All other parts are #/4" plywood

SAW SIDE (3!/2"x28!/2")
(28"x 14") J ADJUSTABLE
L (11!/4"x19#/8")



#8 x 1!/2" Fh
NOTE: Case supports
are glued to case bottom
and also attached with
caster lag screws 5"
everything close to where you TABLE SAW DRAWER After cutting a groove for the
work is a good idea. With that The drawer on the table saw side bottom, the bottom will need
said, there are a few storage of the cart is quite large. How- a little work to slide into place.
options here that will make ever, the joinery is simple tongue This is done by cutting a rabbet
your work in the shop easier. and dado joints. The only quirk around the lower edge of the bot-
The first, and easiest, is cutting is the bottom, which I beefed up tom panel at the table saw. Now,
a pair of shelves for the cen- using thicker plywood to help the box can be assembled and
ter section. These rest on shelf hold the extra weight of the items installed. It’s mounted on metal
supports that you can position that will inevitably get stacked in slides (detail ‘b’), and the false
where you’d like. the deep drawer. front is screwed in place.

NOTE: False front is made from #/4" plywood. a.

All other parts are !/2" plywood

(12"x 24")

6" plastic
pull N
(12"x 27!/2")


DRAWER FALSE 24" full-extension
FRONT 7!/8 drawer slide
(14!/4"x 29#/4")
(23!/2"x 27") • 39
NOTE: False front
is made from #/4" plywood.
Bottom is !/4" plywood. a. c.
All other parts are !/2" plywood

(3"x 18")

(3"x 10")


drawer slide
(9!/2"x 18") (4%/8"x 20#/4") pull

A few more DRAWERS wrenches, and all the other PLANER DRAWER. The drawer
accessories you need close at below the planer cubby is
There are a few more draw- hand while at the router table. fairly shallow, but is the perfect
ers to take care of before you The construction of these mim- place for extension cords and
switch gears. A series of drawers ics the joinery used on the table other small accessories. It’s
sits below the router table, and saw drawer. built using the same construc-
a large, shallow drawer lives The front and back of the tion as the drawers you’ve
under the planer. drawer have a tongue cut on already built. All of the joinery
A TRIO OF DRAWERS. The three each end. These fit into dadoes is easy to cut at the table saw
drawers under the router that are cut in the sides. Again, a using a dado blade.
table are up to bat now. These groove is cut around the bottom After the drawer is built, install
are the perfect size to edge to hold the bottom. Here, I it with slides, as shown in detail
store router bits, found it helpful to make all the ‘a’ below. The slides are installed
insert rings, drawer boxes first and install flush with the front of the case
them. Then, you can position and slightly off the bottom of the
the three false fronts for even cart. Once you have the drawer
spacing and attach them in place, position the false front
with screws before with double-sided tape and
22" full-extension
drawer slide installing the attach it with screws. The final
pulls. thing is to install a plastic pull on
the front of the drawer.
(3!/2"x 22") a.
(21!/2"x 27")

6" plastic
NOTE: False front pull
is made from #/4" plywood.
Bottom is !/4" plywood.
All other parts are !/2" plywood
(3!/2"x 27") (5!/4"x 29#/4")

40 • Woodsmith / No. 244

(10%/16"x 13")
35mm European
hinge NOTE: Doors
are made
from #/4"

1%/8 #6 x #/4"
Ph woodscrew


Z pull

(10%/16"x 27!/4")

FOUR DOORS The construction of the doors DOOR INSTALLATION. With the hinges
Before starting work on the couldn’t be simpler. They’re just installed on the doors, they’re
different worksurfaces, you’ll plywood panels cut to finished ready to mount on the case. I like
want to wrap up the doors of size. The only thing that takes a to position the door and mark
the workcenter. You’ll have a little bit of attention is drilling the the screw locations with an awl
total of four doors to make. Two recesses for the European hinges and then predrill them. Just
smaller doors are on the router used to mount them to the case. pay attention to where you’re
side of the workcenter and they Here, a jig is your best bet. It’ll installing the door, as you don’t
enclose the router when it’s help you locate the hinge posi- want it to rub on the top once
installed. On the opposite side, tion so you can accurately install it’s installed. After getting the
a pair of tall doors hide the the hinges. You can see how the handles in place on each door,
adjustable shelves that you’ve jig is constructed and how it’s you’re ready to start tackling the
already installed. used in the box below. top of the workcenter.


NOTE: Top is #/4" hardboard.

1 35mm Forstner a.
Cleat is #/4"-thick hardwood

3 6

Align jig
!/2 flush to

-dia. Hinge Pockets. With the door clamped in a vise, position the jig over the
#/4 hinge location and secure it with a clamp. Then, use a Forstner bit to drill the
hinge pockets, using tape on the bit shank as a depth indicator. • 41

NOTE: Laminate overhangs

edging and is trimmed flush
before routing chamfer


NOTE: Cut edging

to fit around top

NOTE: Top is made BB

from three layers of EDGING
!/2" MDF. Edging is EDGING
(1!/2"x 28!/4") B B (1!/2"x 32")
made from
#/4"-thick hardwood

(28!/4"x 30!/2")

Adding the FIXED TOP form a sturdy platform. After MAIN & FLIP-TOP.The next two
gluing the layers together, I tops are the main top and the
The tops for the workcenter can cut it to size using a circular flip top. These are glued up as
be broken into three sections. The saw, due to the weight. Then, I one assembly and are then cut
first is the table saw top. Next, is installed some hardwood edg- apart. Before slapping some
the main top that has the router ing around the three exposed MDF together, take a look at the
plate installed. Finally, there’s the edges (see main drawing). drawings to the right on the next
portion of the top that holds the Before installing the top, I used page. To create the pivot point
planer and rotates to reveal an spray adhesive to attach a piece for the rotating top, you’ll want
additional worksurface. Up first of plastic laminate and cham- to cut the middle layer into two
is making the table saw top. fered the edge with a router. The pieces. This creates a channel
MDF LAYERS. I used three lay- top can be installed with screws through the top that the pivot
ers of MDF glued together to through the cleats (detail ‘a’). rod can be installed in. I simply


(#/4"x !/2")
1 Push a.
Hole drilled block
and tapped for
Threaded !/4"-20 threads
(!/4"-20 x %/8")

%/16 4!/4 Dado

!/2 blade
#8 x 1!/2" Fh Edging Grooves. At the table saw, use a dado blade to cut
2#/4 Sliding bolt woodscrew
(!/2"x %/8"aluminum a wide groove on the inside of a long piece of edging. After
#/4 bar stock)
the dado is cut, you can rout the through slot.

42 • Woodsmith / No. 244

(30!/2"x 50")



{ The sliding bolt rides in aluminum Access

channel. By sliding it in place, it hole for CC
jig saw
locks the top in both positions.
used the rod as a spacer while (save for flip top) a.
gluing the top together and 2 21&/8
removed it after the glue dried.
CUT IT APART. After the glue is dry,
NOTE: Drill
you can split the top into the !/2"-dia. hole in BB
two different sections, but first edging to match 10!/2
channel position
edge the three sides as shown at
right. Then, use a jig saw with a
straightedge guide to cut the flip
section loose. The back edge of
the flip section will get trimmed
down a little bit, so you can drill CC
a couple holes in the corners to a.
help you make the turn with the
saw. Once you have the flip top
free, set it off to the side for now. channel
GROOVY EDGING. Now you can Edging with
slot and groove
add the remaining edging to (see previous page)
the top. This edging is grooved
to receive the latch mechanism
#8 x 1!/4"
that locks the flip-top in place. Fh woodscrew
I cut this groove with a dado Threaded
blade, and then used the router knob
table with a straight bit to cut a
through slot into the edging.
Before cutting the edging apart laminate
and installing it, make the slid-
ing bolt mechanism and install
it. The box on the previous page a.
shows how to make the bolt. The Waste

channel is screwed to the top, and

the bolt slides into the channel. NOTE: Laminate
A knob is threaded into the bar is applied oversize
then trimmed flush
through the slot in the edging. To before routing
finish the top, add laminate with chamfer
spray adhesive. • 43
NOTE: Recesses in top cleats
are cut out prior to attaching top.
Top is installed before cutting
router plate recess

Miter slots
routed after
mounting saw

#8 x 1!/2" Fh
woodscrews for
attaching top

Top cleats

#8 x 1!/4" Ph woodscrew
for attaching top


At this point, you can install the top cleats (detail ‘b’). Finally, you the base — I simply cut between
main top onto the workcenter. can use a couple of fences and a two holes I had drilled to form
There are just a few more details dado cleanout bit to form the the ends. Then, after cutting
to take care of before you start rabbet for the router plate. the brace angles with a jig saw,
putting it to use though. ROUTER FENCE. The fence for the I assembled the fence with glue
ROUTER INSERT. With the top router table is next. It consists of and screws.
installed, I positioned the router a base, face, and a pair of brack- To attach the fence to the table,
plate and marked the location ets. After cutting the face and I drilled holes in three different
(detail ‘d’). Then, it was a simple base to size, I cut the notches locations in the top and installed
matter of using a jig saw to cut with a jig saw. threaded inserts into them. That
the main opening for the router. While I had my jig saw in way, I could use studded knobs
But first, you’ll have to size the hand, I used it to form the slots in to attach the fence to the top.
Dust collection BRACKET a.
!/4"-20 x 1!/4" port (2#/4"x 3!/2") FENCE FACE
studded F F (3!/2"x 23#/4")
knob E E

!/4" washer

(6"x 23#/4")
4 #8 x 1!/2" Fh b.
NOTE: All 6#/4
parts are !/4"-20
#/4" plywood threaded

3 19#/4

44 • Woodsmith / No. 244

NOTE: Laminate is
Plastic applied oversize and
laminate trimmed flush before a.
chamfering edge
(1!/2"x 28") FLIP TOP
(21"x 26!/4")


!/2" washer

Hand holes b.
are cut after 10!/4
laminate is
applied to top
!/2" x 28"
steel rod


Materials, Supplies & Cutting Diagram

A Base (1) 3⁄ ply. - 30 x 72 DD Fence Base (1) 3⁄ ply. - 6 x 233⁄
4 4 4
B Planer Back (1) 3 ⁄4 ply. - 30 x 27 EE Fence Face (1) 3 1 3
⁄4 ply. - 3 ⁄2 x 23 ⁄4
C Saw Back (1) 3 ⁄4 ply. - 30 x 27 FF Fence Brackets (2) 3⁄ ply. - 23⁄ x 31⁄
4 4 2
D Case Dividers (2) 3 ⁄4 ply. - 20 x 27 GG Flip-Top (1) 1
1 ⁄2 MDF - 21 x 26 ⁄4 1
Now you’re
E Router Shelf (1) ⁄4 ply. - 11 ⁄2 x 20
ready to finish the flip-top
F Planer Sides (2) 3 ⁄4 ply. - 231⁄4 x 27 • (1) 1⁄2"-dia. x 36" Steel Rod
that you set aside earlier. The 3⁄ ply. - 231⁄ x 29
G Planer Shelf (1) 4 4 • (4) 5" Casters
first thing to do is trim the top 3 1 1
H Top Cleats (4) ⁄4 ply. - 3 ⁄2 x 19 ⁄2 • (16) 5⁄16"x 13⁄4" Lag Screws
down to final dimensions and 3⁄ ply. - 28 x 14
I Saw Sides (2) 4 • (2) 48" x 96" Plastic Laminate
make a little more edging with 3⁄ ply. - 31⁄ x 281⁄
J Saw Cleats (2) 4 2 2 • (66) #8 x 11⁄2" Fh Woodscrews
a groove in it. After attaching
K Case Supports (2) 11⁄4 x 31⁄2 - 72 • (7) 4" Plastic Handles
some aluminum channel to the 3 1 3
L Adjustible Shelves (2) ⁄4 ply. - 11 ⁄4 x 19 ⁄8 • (2) 6" Plastic Handles
outside edges (main drawing 1
M Saw Drawer Side (2) ⁄2 ply. - 12 x 24 • (1) Router Insert Plate
and detail ‘a,’ above), the edg- 1 1
N Saw Dwr. Frt/Bk (2) ⁄2 ply. - 12 x 27 ⁄2 • (6) 1⁄4"-20 x 11⁄4” Threaded Inserts
ing can be installed.
O Saw Dwr. Bottom (1) 1⁄2 ply. - 231⁄2 x 27 • (2) 1⁄4"-20 Studded Knobs
After mounting laminate on
P Saw Dwr. False Fr. (1)3⁄4 ply. - 141⁄4 x 293⁄4 • (1) Dust Collection Port
both sides of the flip top and rout- 1 1
Q Router Dwr. Sides (6) ⁄2 ply. - 3 ⁄2 x 10 • (3 pr.) 10" Full-Extension Drawer Slides
ing the chamfers, the final thing 1
R Router Dwr. Frt/Bk (6) ⁄2 ply. - 3 x 18 • (1 pr.) 22" Full-Extension Drawer Slides
to do is cut a pair of hand holes. 1 1
S Router Dwr. Bottom (3) ⁄4 ply. - 9 ⁄2 x 18 • (1 pr.) 24" Full-Extension Drawer Slides
Define the ends with a Forstner
T Router Dwr. False Fr. (3)3⁄4 ply. - 45⁄8 x 203⁄4 • (1) 1⁄2" x 3⁄4"-12"Aluminum Channel
bit, then remove the waste with 1⁄ ply. - 31⁄ x 22
U Planer Dwr. Sides (2) 2 2 • (1) 1⁄2" x 3⁄8"-10" Aluminum Bar Stock
a jig saw. Then, you can install 1⁄ ply. - 31⁄ x 27
V Planer Dwr. Frt/Bk (2) 2 2 • (2) 1⁄4"-20 Threaded Knobs
the top by sliding in the pivot
W Planer Dwr. Btm. (1) 1⁄4 ply. - 211⁄2 x 27 • (8) 35mm European Hinges
rod with a pair of washers and 3 1 3
X Planer Dwr. False Fr. (1) ⁄4 ply. - 5 ⁄4 x 29 ⁄4 • (8) Shelf Supports
plugging the holes with a dowel. 3⁄ ply. - 105⁄ x 13
Y Router Doors (2) 4 16 • (18) #12 x 3⁄4"Ph woodscrews
With the top finished, the
Z Cabinet Doors (2) 3⁄4 ply. - 105⁄16 x 271⁄4 • (2) 1⁄2" Washers
workcenter is ready to punch
AA Saw Top (1) 11⁄2 MDF - 281⁄4 x 301⁄2 • (2) 1⁄4" Washers
the time clock. Now of course, 3⁄ x 11⁄ - 278 rgh. Also needed:
BB Edging 4 2
Three 48" x 96" sheets of #/4" Baltic birch plywood
you’ll have to mount your tools.
CC Top (1) 11⁄2 MDF - 301⁄2 x 50 One 48" x 96" sheet of !/2" Baltic birch plywood
We designed the flip top for a One 48" x 96" sheet of !/4" Baltic birch plywood
planer, but any tool that you Three 49" x 97" sheets of !/2" MDF
#/4"x 5" - 96" Hard Maple (3.3 Bd. Ft.)
want to store out of the way
would be the perfect candidate
to install there. However you 1!/4"x 7 !/2" - 72" Hard Maple (2.2 Bd. Ft.)
utilize the flip top, this worksta-
tion is the perfect space-saving
solution for your shop. W • 45

Infant Cradle
Skip the treetop. The gentle,
rock-a-bye swing of this cradle is
sure to keep a little one slumbering
peacefully through the night.

W e keep a running list of project pos-

sibilities. In addition to staff sugges-
tions, the list includes reader requests. Based on
that, this heirloom-quality cradle is going to satisfy
quite a number of people.
It’s what I call a generational project. Shortly after
learning of an upcoming birth, a woodworking grand-
parent (usually) starts thinking about building some-
thing special. When the little one comes home, there’s
a hand-made gift waiting. After serving its purpose,
the cradle can be passed along to another family mem-
ber or treasured until the next baby. In time, the origi-
nal occupants may use the same cradle for their own
children — continuing the tradition.
Understandably, most of the attention will be on
the baby inside, but the cradle should still look the
part. This one is made primarily from beech with its
understated grain and mellow tones. The cherry pan-
els along the sides add a pleasing contrast that will
only improve with over time.
Considering that you may not have a lot of time to
get this project completed, all the parts are assembled
with router-cut, loose tenon joinery. And the process
is pretty straightforward. { Custom-made brass pins slip through the legs
and into the ends to keep the cradle from
rocking. The caps are turned on the drill press.

46 • Woodsmith / No. 244 Written by Phil Huber: Project Design: Dillon Baker
{ The cradle swings on a pair of matching pivot
pins. A keyhole in each end of the cradle slips
over the pins for a secure connection.

Illustrated by: Dirk Ver Steeg • 47

Solid-wood ENDS
NOTE: Ends are
It’s a bit of a chicken and egg made from
#/4"-thick stock
dilemma whether to construct
the stand or the cradle first. I
settled on making the cradle
first if for no other reason than
to see the project take shape a
little quicker.
GLUED UP PANELS. The two end (18"x 25")
panels that you need are pretty
large (upper drawing), so they’ll
require gluing up from several A

narrower boards. Go for the best

look and keep an eye on the joint
lines to make them as seam-
less as possible. This is where I
appreciate beech so much. The !/8" chamfer
grain patterns are subdued and
easy to match up. NOTE: Mortises
Another nice feature of the are routed
before shaping
wood is how pleasant it is to
work with. From running it
through a jointer and planer
to hand planing and sanding,
beech responds well without 2!/4"-rad.
burning or tearing out.
the panels and cutting them to 5!/2"-rad.
overall size opens the door to
a little joinery work. The join-
ery approach here is for loose 1
tenons. What I like about this is
the simplicity. You cut matching
mortises in the mating pieces.
Then, a custom-made loose
tenon is glued into the mortises
to secure the connection.
While the end blanks are still
square, you can rout a set of mor-
tises along each edge of the ends.
(The unshaped blank provides
better support for the router.)
The box on the opposite page has
the details for creating a routing
template to ensure accurately
sized and spaced mortises.
Throughout the project, you’ll 1"-rad.
use the same technique. The only
difference is that the length of
the mortises will vary to suit the 85°
size of the parts. A plunge router 3!/8
makes this system work best.
Take care to align the tem-
1!%/16 2!/2
plate accurately so that the line

48 • Woodsmith / No. 244

of mortises runs at a slight angle Template
(6"x 20"- !/4"Hdbd.)
along the edge. I found that Routing Mortises. You’ll make
marking a centerline on the tem- a few routing templates in the
plate and on the blank helped. course of building the cradle. The
LAYING OUT THE FINAL SHAPE. The one for the ends is shown here.
lower drawing on the previous All the templates are designed to
page provides the road map work with a 1⁄2" outside diameter
for shaping the ends. How you guide bushing and a 3⁄8" straight 13!#/16
travel it is a little up to you. One bit. It’s good practice to rout
option is to lay out the details on mortises in steps, lowering the 9#/16
one of the blanks. You can shape bit with each pass. This puts less
that one, then use it as a pattern stress on the router and gives you
for shaping its twin. smooth, consistent mortises.
However, if you think there
are other cradles in your future, 1
I recommend creating a tem-
plate using hardboard or MDF.
The template can then be used End
for layout and flush-trimming
Plunge router works
accurate ends time after time. best for mortising
Once the layout is complete,
step over to the band saw to cut
out the profile. (Let me just say
that if you don’t have a band
saw, you can use a jig saw for
this cradle, just as well.)
The saw marks need to be
smoothed out and the curves
blended. For me, this is hand-
work using a spokeshave, files, the cradle to the stand. Figures 1 all the edges — don’t forget the
and sanding blocks. and 2 in the box below walk you keyhole. In fact, this chamfer
KEYHOLE. At the top of the end, through that process. details shows up a lot. So if you
you’ll notice an upside-down The work on the ends wraps have a second router, keep the
keyhole. This is used to connect up with a slight chamfer around chamfer bit ready for action.


1 a. 2
Blend key
1" Forstner hole profile
bit with a file
Auxiliary table
prevents tearout

Drill First. The keyhole at the top of each end is really just a pair of intersecting Now Blend. A half-round file is just the
holes. For curved edges, drilling the shape rather than cutting gives you better results. right shape to transition from the curve to
Forstner bits work well here since they aren’t likely to drift into the adjoining hole. the straight sides of the hole smoothly. • 49
(3"x 10") NOTE: Rails and
C stiles are #/4"-thick
beech. Panels are
#/8"-thick cherry

D (2"x 33")

(3&/8"x 10#/4")
Loose D
NOTE: Rout end D
mortises after gluing D
up side assemblies

a. C

B d.

2 1&/16 NOTE: Loose tenons are

#/8"-thick hardwood


Frame & panel SIDES
The frame and panel side assem- them with the same router bit
blies shown above are more you use for the mortises.
involved than the solid ends. MORE MORTISES. Continuing our
However, you’ll find that they theme, the rails and stiles are
build on the work (and skills) joined with loose tenons. The
you’ve already completed. box on the top of the next page
In one sense, the work here shows the jig you’ll need for this
is a little easier. The rails and step. This jig is used in a slightly
stiles are straight, square parts, different way. A pair of hard-
as shown in the drawing above. wood fences centered on the
The inside edges of these slot straddle the workpiece to
parts have a groove to house locate the mortise consistently.
the unique panels, as in details Details ‘a’ and ‘c’ help you posi-
‘b’ and ‘c.’ You can cut these tion the jig on the stiles and rails.
grooves at the table saw with a TWO-PART PANELS. Before you
dado blade. Or since the grooves tackle any assembly, you’ll need
match the mortises, you can cut to create the panels. Rather than

50 • Woodsmith / No. 244

(6"x 8"- !/4"Hdbd.)
#8 x #/4" Fh
woodscrew 1 2 Extra-long
1%/8 loose tenon blank
!/2" O.D.
guide bushing
NOTE: Center
slot between

(#/4"x 2"- 8")
Clamp jig #/16" roundover bit
to workpiece

a. a.
Jig & Tenons. The template required for joining
the side assemblies is smaller than the first one.
The fences attached to the template trap the
workpiece in place for consistent placement
(Figure 1). When making the loose tenon
blanks, round the edges to match the ends of
the radius of the mortises.

a typical solid panel, these are to allow them to expand and mortises throughout the project.
made in two halves (detail ‘d’ contract with seasonal humidity. Since the ends of the mortises are
on the previous page). They’re However, to prevent a gap from rounded, round over the edges
planed to match the width of randomly appearing between (Figure 2 above). Cut the tenons
the grooves in the stiles and the two panels, I spot glued them a little short so the they won’t
rails. The mating, inner edge together at the ends. bottom out and prevent the joint
of each panel piece is curved to MAKING TENONS. You’re ready for from closing.
create small openings. some assembly. All you need JOIN THE ENDS. Once glued up,
With as many panels as you are the loose tenons. I resawed you can form mortises on each
need, making a template can and planed oversize blanks to end of the side assemblies and
speed the shaping process. The match the mortise width — aim join them to the cradle ends.
inside edge of each panel is also for an easy press fit. You’ll use the same template
chamfered. Solid wood panels From here, rip the blanks to and add fences to locate the
like these aren’t glued in place match the length of the various mortises, as in the box below.


(from pg. 49)
1 Rout mortises
in several passes



(#/4"x 2!/2"- 20") Matching Mortises. Attach a pair of fences to the cradle end template
to rout mortises in the ends of the side assemblies. • 51


FRONT 1#/4"-rad.

NOTE: All parts

made from LEG
1!/8"-thick (4"x 30")
hardwood E

(4!/4"x 30")
#/4 FIRST: Join
leg to foot !/8" chamfer SECOND: Glue
1!!/16 stretcher
leg assemblies
#/8"-dia. E FOOT
(4"x 20")
3 F

LEG Loose
E tenons

14!/4 2!/2

1!/2 VIEW

Stout & stable BASE

There are a few details left to take make a template if you plan to on the next page shows the tem-
care of on the cradle, but you can build more cradles.) plate details you need.
hold off on that for now. It’s time After cleaning up the edges, Figure 1 shows the setup for
to make the other major part of rout a chamfer all around. Don’t routing the mortise on the face.
the project — the base. This por- forget the bottom edges as this The key is centering the template
tion creates a pivot point for the will create a nice shadow line on the leg. Also, note the depth of
cradle and raises it up to a more where the leg meets the feet, as the mortise so you don’t acciden-
comfortable height. shown in detail ‘c.’ tally plunge completely through
The base consists of a pair of There’s also a pair of holes to the leg (detail ’c’).
leg/foot assemblies joined by a drill. One is near the top for the For the mortise cut into the
stretcher — pretty simple. Keep- pivot pin. Then another about bottom of the leg, you’ll need
ing up with the theme, you’ll midway up the leg holds a stop a slightly different-sized slot.
spend quality time with your pin that keeps the cradle still. And you’ll need to attach this
band saw and router to create MORE MORTISES. Joinery on the template to a pair of fences to
the parts and join them together. legs consists of routing a pair position the template correctly
LEG. The legs come first. Cut of mortises. One on the inside on the leg, as you can see in Fig-
these to shape using the front face connects to the stretcher, as ure 2 on the next page.
view in the left margin above. shown in detail ‘a.’ The other is MAKE THE FEET. With the legs com-
(Here’s another opportunity to used to attach the foot. The box plete, you can shape the feet in

52 • Woodsmith / No. 244



#/4 8

#/4" rad. 2!/2



the same way that you made the previous page. Go easy on the the same chamfer detail (main
legs. The drawings above show glue to avoid a lot of squeezeout drawing on the previous page).
the important dimensions. The that can be tough to remove in By now, you should have
feet have a chamfer routed on the small chamfered area. an idea of what comes next —
all the upper edges. Then you LONG STRETCHER. The stretcher mortising. Using the template
can use the template with the spans the leg assemblies and from routing the face of the legs,
fences to rout a mortise in the sits just below the cradle. The attach fences and rout a mortise
top of the foot. stretcher features curves cut in each end of the stretcher. Then
At this point, you can join into the upper and lower edges you can cut a pair of loose ten-
the legs and feet with loose ten- to complement the curves on ons to fit. Finally, glue and clamp
ons. The dimensions for these the legs and feet, as in the draw- the stretcher in place. Your focus
are shown in detail ‘b’ on the ing above. These edges receive here is keeping the legs parallel.

3-IN-1 SADDLE JIG 1 Secure template

with double-
sided tape

#8 x 1" Fh
3!/8 woodscrew
!/2" O.D.
(6"x 8"- !/4"hdbd.)
Leg Face Mortise. Clamps can interfere with the router, so use
double-sided tape to secure the template to the workpiece.

(6"x 8"- !/4"hdbd.) a.

to fences so
the slot is
centered on
1!/8 workpiece
(#/4"x 2"- 8")
Add Fences. With a snug fit between the fences and the workpiece,
an F-style clamp easily secures the jig to the workpiece. • 53
Plans for a jig to make
the pivot pins are avail-
H able at
(1!/4-dia. x 3%/8") a.
1!/8 chamfer

1 SECTION 1 1!/4

Use hole in leg !/2

to drill hole 3%/8
LOCK PIN CAP in end. Then
(1"-dia. x 1!/4") chamfer hole


#/8"-dia. x 3%/8"
brass rod

Wrapping up the DETAILS

There are only a few final parts PIVOT PINS. The pivot pins come gluing the pivot pins into the
that you need to make for the first. To make these, I glued up legs. Use the holes in the base to
cradle. However, these pieces thick blanks. The blanks are left drill stopped holes in the cradle
offer some interesting challenges extra-long for turning them on a ends to house the lock pins.
and a change of pace from your lathe. Detail ‘a’ above shows the LOCK PINS. Since the lock pins
earlier work. First up are two dimensions you’ll need. are smaller, I used a piece of
sets of pins. One set is made I realize that not everyone has brass rod for the shaft. How-
from solid wood and forms the a lathe. So the online extra at ever, I thought a brass or plastic
pivot points the cradle rocks on. has instructions cap wouldn’t look right. So I
The other pair are stop pins that for making a table saw jig to cre- made a wood cap to match the
prevent the cradle from rocking ate the pivot pins. rest of the project. This process
— a handy feature. These have Once the pins are complete, is detailed in the box below. It
a wood cap with a brass shaft. you can fit the cradle to the base, starts with making a round end


1 Extra-long a. Cap is epoxied

to brass rod

!/2" roundover bit Half-round file

shapes cove on the
lock pin cap

Cap Blanks. Make short roundover cuts on a long piece. Then Shape Caps. Install the pins in the drill press and use files to
drill a hole in the end and cut the cap to length. shape a cove and chamfer. Smooth the surfaces with sandpaper.

54 • Woodsmith / No. 244

#/4"-dia. BOTTOM
(11!%/16"x 33")
on an extra-long blank using a K NOTE: Cleats are made
roundover bit in the router table from #/4"-thick hardwood.
Bottom is made
(Figure 1). Drill a hole in the end 3
from !/2" plywood
to accept the brass rod and cut
the cap to length.
After gluing a piece of rod in 3 6
place with epoxy, you need to
shape the cap. For something
small like this, I usually “turn”
to my drill press. 4!/2
Set the drill press speed pretty CLEAT
(!/2"x 33")
high — 1,500-2,000 RPM. For the J

shaping, files work better than

lathe tools. The round side of a
small half-round file forms the
cove of the cap, as illustrated in a.
Figure 2. Flip the file over to cre-
ate a small chamfer on the end.
Polish things up with some
sandpaper. And while the cap
is still spinning, I like to finish
pieces like this with some bees-
wax for a pleasing satin sheen.
I drilled an array of holes in the
CRADLE BOTTOM bottom to provide airflow for the b.
The bottom of the cradle is a foam mattress. Speaking of the
piece of plywood. It rests on a mattress, I purchased one online
pair of cleats screwed to the side (refer to sources on page 66).
assemblies (detail ‘a’ above). The cradle is then ready for the
Both the cleats and the bottom finish of your choice. Now it’s
are beveled to match the angle only a matter of waiting for the
of the sides of the cradle. baby to arrive. W

Materials, Supplies & Cutting Diagram

A Ends (2) 3⁄ x 18 - 25
4 !/2"x 4!/4" - 72" Cherry (Two Boards @ 2.1 Sq. Ft. each)
B Rails (4) 3⁄ x 2 - 33
4 D D D D D D
C Stiles (8) 3⁄ x 3 - 10
D Panels (12) 3⁄ x 37⁄ - 10 3⁄
8 8 4 #/4"x 6!/2" - 48" Beech (2.2 Bd. Ft.)
E Legs (2) 11⁄8 - 4 x 30 C C C C ALSO NEEDED:
One 24"x 48" Sheet
F Feet (2) 11⁄8 - 4 x 20 O of !/2" birch plywood
G Stretcher (1) 11⁄8 - 41⁄4 x 37
H Pivot Pins (2) 11⁄4-dia. x 35⁄8 #/4"x 5" - 84" Beech ( Two Boards @ 2.9 Bd. Ft. each) H
I Lock Pin Caps (2) 1-dia. x 11⁄4 B C C
J Cleats (2) 3⁄ x 1⁄ - 33
4 2
1⁄ ply. - 1115⁄ x 33 J
K Bottom (1) 2 16
#/4"x 5" - 84" Beech ( Two Boards @ 2.9 Bd. Ft. each)

• (1) 3⁄8" x 11⁄2"- 16" Loose Tenon Blank A A A

• (1) 3⁄8" x 2"- 16" Loose Tenon Blank
• (1) 3⁄8" x 21⁄2"- 6" Loose Tenon Blank 1!/8"x 4!/2" - 60" Beech (2.3 Bd. Ft.) I
• (1) 3⁄8" x 3"- 6" Loose Tenon Blank G F
• (2) 3⁄8"-dia. x 35⁄8" Brass Rods
• (8) #8 x 11⁄4" Fh Woodscrews
1!/8"x 4!/4" - 84" Beech (3.1 Bd. Ft.)
• (6) #8 x 3⁄4" Fh Woodscrews
• (1) 2" - 12"x 33" Cradle Mattress • 55


O ver the last few years, I’ve been splitting and

drying firewood at home. One of the things I
enjoy is seeing the amazing color that can come out of
wood that’s been sitting out in the elements for a few
years. I’m talking about spalting of course — the begin-
ning stages of rot and decay in wood. But the blacks,
grays and creams that give spalted wood its attraction
can also be a drawback. Often, the spalting can leave
the wood soft, light and otherwise too “punky” to use.
That is, unless you stabilize it.

56 • Woodsmith / No. 244 Written by: Logan Wittmer

WHAT IS STABILIZING? As you may wood — there are other reaso ons
suspect, stabilizing wood to stabilize wood as well.
means making the structure of Stabilizing reduces the effeect
the wood more stable. But what that moisture has on woo od,
does that entail exactly? Well, meaning it will expand an nd
here I’m talking about vacuum contract less with changes in
stabilizing — using a vacuum humidity. It’s great for item ms
chamber to infuse a piece of that will be exposed to occca-
stock with resin. The process sional moisture, like kniife
sounds somewhat mystical, handles, utensils, or game callls.
until you start to delve into it. Another benefit of stabiliz-
Wood fibers are like a bun- ing wood is the ability to add
dle of straws. When the wood a dye into the resin and infu use The stabilizing
is green, those fibers are filled stock with color. This has been na resin I’m using here is { Adding a dye to
with water. In dry stock, the favorite of turners making gam me non-toxic and cleans up p easily
y the resin allows
fibers are full of air, along with calls (see the photo at right). with water. To see where I got you to achieve
a small amount of water. It’s also worth noting that mine, refer to Sources on page 66. solid colors, as
When the wood is placed in stabilizing makes the wood To cure the resin, you’ll want well two-tone
a vacuum chamber, the air in heavier. It adds weight and an oven that can hold a tem- colors such as
the fibers of the wood is drawn durability to items like mallet perature between 185-200°. A emerald and gold.
out. Once the vacuum is turned heads and tool handles. toaster oven works well. Even
off and the valve is opened, the THE NECESSITIES. To stabilize a piece though the resin is non-toxic,
pressure differential causes the of wood, there are a few things avoid putting chemicals in any
resin to be forced into the wood. needed that you may not have oven you use for food prepa-
WHY STABILIZE? I’ve already men- in your shop. The photo below ration. In addition, I’d suggest
tioned that soft, spalted wood shows the necessary items. The picking up an inexpensive oven
benefits from stabilizing to main things are a vacuum cham- thermometer so you can accu-
harden it and make it more dura- ber, stabilizing resin, a vacuum rately monitor the temperature
ble. But it’s not only for punky pump, and an oven for curing. of the oven during the curing.

Stabilizing resin
Toaster oven



{ A home stabilizing setup

requires a few pieces of Vacuum
specialized equipment, but
the options that it opens up Vacuum
can more than offset the cost. weight
See Sources on page 66 for
where to find these items.

Illustrations: Bob Zimmerman • 57

Certain types of >
resin can be
reused. Stored
in a plastic
container with a
lid, it has a shelf
life of up to one
year after mixing
in the activator.

THE PROCESS INFUSE THE RESIN. After your blanks The resin comes in two parts
As far as blanks go, any porous are dry, let them cool in a sealed (lower right photo, previous
material can be stabilized. The bag until you’re ready to place page). A small bottle of acti-
biggest thing is to make sure it’s them into your vacuum cham- vator is mixed into the resin
dry. A moisture content of 10% ber. Weight is needed to keep before adding it to the blanks.
or less is necessary, but for the the blanks from floating in the Add enough resin to the cham-
best results, dry the blanks in resin. The chamber I used has a ber to cover the blanks by one
your oven for 24 hours at 220°. friction fit plate that keeps them to two inches. Then you can
Your goal is to get the blanks as submerged, but a steel plate open the valve on the lid and
close to 0% moisture as you can. works as well. place it on the chamber.
Turn your vacuum pump on
and slowly close the valve. The
blanks will start to bubble, and
the resin will foam up. Cracking
the valve back open will reduce
the foaming. It will take a few
minutes for the foaming to get
under control, so pay close atten-
tion during this time so you don’t
suck resin into your pump.
Once the valve is closed
and the chamber is under full
vacuum, let the vacuum pump
run until the blanks stop pro-
ducing bubbles. This can take
anywhere from 6 to 15 hours,
depending on the blanks.
After the bubbles stop, open
the valve to release the vacuum,
then shut off the pump. The
blanks now need to remain in
the resin, as this is when they
actually absorb the resin. Keep
{ To cure the blanks, wrap them in foil and bake them in a toaster oven between 180°-200°. The foil an eye on the resin level and
helps contain any bleed out that can happen as the resin cures. As an added precaution, I wrap the add more as needed (make sure
lower tray with aluminum foil as well, catching any resin that seeps out of the blank packets. the blanks are always covered).

58 • Woodsmith / No. 244

The rule of thumb is to soak the
blanks at least twice as long as
they were under vacuum.
TIME TO CURE. With your blanks
sufficiently soaked, you can
pour off the remaining resin into
a plastic container (top photo on
the previous page). It has a one-
year shelf life after adding the
activator, so save it for later use.
Now you need to cure the
resin in the blanks. To do this,
turn your toaster oven on and
set it to 200°. The resin must cure
between 185-200°, so monitor it
closely. Anything above 200° will
cause excess bleeding of the resin.
Be aware that a little resin will
bleed out no matter what, so
wrapping the blanks in foil will { Stabilizing wood dramatically increases the weight of a wood blank. As
contain most of the mess (lower you can see, the spalted maple blank weighs 101 grams before stabilizing.
left photo on previous page). After stabilizing, the blank is now 275 grams, or nearly three times heavier.
After your blanks have cooked
for an hour and a half to two a finish like raw wood, but the options that stabilizing opens up
hours, you can peek in the foil resin allows it to take a polish are worth noting. As a turner or
and make sure there’s no liquid like a dream. Sanding to 2000-grit knife maker, you’d benefit from
inside. If they’re dry, you can and friction buffing with a little adding a wood-stabilizing setup
remove them. Just be aware that bit of beeswax is about the nicest to your shop. Being able to use a
once removed and cooled, they finish I could hope for. special piece of wood and use it
cannot be re-cured. So, I’ve been FINAL THOUGHTS. Is adding a sta- without worrying about the
baking them longer — some bilizing setup for everyone? structural integrity is a treat. W
larger blanks I’ve left in the oven Maybe not. But, I haven’t had
Thanks to TurnTex, LLC for providing
for up to four hours. Longer this much fun with one single the vacuum chamber, resin, and dyes for
won’t hurt them. aspect of woodworking in a this article.
WORKING THE BLANKS. One thing very long time.
that a lot of people are curious When making specialty items
about is how well stabilized like pens, game calls, or knife
blanks machine? Honestly, sta- scales, I wouldn’t want to work
bilized wood turns easier than with them any other way. The
anything I’ve ever worked with. durability, versatility, and
The resin in the wood creates
more friction, so they turn a little } Stabilized blanks have numerous uses. Pen makers
warmer. Likewise, burnishing enjoy the ability to add color to blanks and stabilize
a turning with chips or burlap the thin wood bodies of pens for turning. The added
produces more heat much faster moisture resistance make stabilized blanks perfect for
than raw wood. items like shaving kits, game calls, or knife scales.
As far as milling with power
tools goes, such as small flat parts
like knife scales, besides a little
extra weight, you won’t notice
much of a difference.
One of the things I’ve been
pleasantly surprised with is
the way that stabilized wood
finishes. Not only does it take • 59


60 • Woodsmith / No. 244 Written by: James Hamilton

It’s a wonder that the sliding
dovetail joint hasn’t made the
dado a relic of the past. They’re Choosing a Bit.
stronger than traditional dados, When selecting a
their mechanical properties dovetail bit to rout
make casework assembly virtu- the socket, choose
ally clamp-free, and they have a bit that is slightly
the look of true craftsmanship. !/2"
narrower than the
But don’t let their good looks thickness of your
fool you. Sliding dovetail joints mating workpiece.
aren’t difficult to make. And { You’ll use
once you master them, you’ll the same router bit
never look at a traditional dado to rout both halves of the
the same way again. sliding dovetail joint.
Sliding dovetail joints consist
of a dovetail-shaped socket in For 3⁄4"-thick material, a 1⁄2" I replace the straight bit with
one workpiece and a matching dovetail bit is a good choice. a dovetail bit (set to the same
tongue in the mating piece. In The angle of the dovetail is a depth) and use it to complete the
this article, I’ll walk you through matter of personal preference. I dovetail shape of the socket, as
the creation of three variations prefer a steeper angle for a more shown in Figure 2.
of sliding dovetail joints — stan- dramatic look. This extra step may seem
dard, tapered, and shouldered. unnecessary, especially if you’re
A SIMPLE SLIDING DOVETAIL JOINT using a robust dovetail bit that
JOINT SIZE & BIT SELECTION The first step in any sliding dove- is unlikely to break. But this will
There are no strict rules when tail joint is to cut the socket, which also clear the chips more effi-
it comes to choosing the size of is little more than a dovetail- ciently, reducing heat that may
your sliding dovetails. But there shaped dado or groove. Unless prematurely dull your bit.
are a few guidelines to follow you’re working with very small One way to speed up the pro-
for achieving the strongest, best- workpieces, it’s unlikely your cess is to use two routers; one
looking joints possible. router table has the fence capac- with a straight bit and another
While a dovetail socket as shal- ity for this step. A better choice with a dovetail bit. Just be certain
low as 1⁄8" will produce a durable may be a hand-held router and that the baseplates on both rout-
joint, sockets that are one-half to a straightedge guide. ers are identical in size so both
two-thirds the thickness of the WASTE FIRST. To reduce the stress cuts align perfectly.
workpiece produce stronger, on the bit, I prefer to first cut a Often, routing sliding dovetails
more attractive joints. simple dado with a straight bit can cause chipout on the edge of
The width of your dovetail that is no wider than the neck of a workpiece. The box on the bot-
bit must be less than the thick- my dovetail bit (Figure 1). Then, tom of the next page has tips for
ness of the mating workpiece. without moving the edge guide, dealing with this problem.

1 Straight bit a. 2 a.
should be
no wider
than the
neck of the
dovetail bit

Position Second pass

Straight- guide to is done
edge center bit with the
guide on slot layout dovetail bit

Start With a Straight Bit. With a straightedge guide Move On to the Dovetail Bit. Leaving the straightedge guide
clamped to the workpiece, rout away the bulk of the waste in place, swap out the straight bit for the dovetail bit and
from the slot using a straight router bit. complete the slot.

Illustrations: Bob Zimmerman • 61



NOTE: Set height of bit

to match depth of dovetail
slot in mating workpiece

Create the Tongue. With an auxiliary fence mounted to your router table, set the dovetail bit to the same
height as the depth of the socket. Take light passes on both faces of the workpiece, slightly moving the
fence away from the bit and checking the fit in the socket until you sneak up on a good fit.

ROUTING THE TONGUE The tongue is cut with the on each face, holding the work-
The second part of the sliding same dovetail bit you used to piece firmly against the fence.
dovetail joint consists of cutting make the socket. The height of Check the fit, then move the
a dovetail-shaped tongue on the bit must be set precisely to fence back a small amount to
the mating workpiece. Because match the depth of your socket expose more of the bit and
of the orientation of the cut, a or the joint will not fit together repeat the process until the joint
router table with a tall fence is correctly. A good depth gauge or slides together smoothly. The
the best tool for this job. combination square will make tongue should fit into the slot
If your router table fence this an easy task. with light hand pressure only. A
is less than six inches tall, SET THE FENCE. The initial position joint that fits together too tightly
consider adding an auxiliary of the router table fence is less will be difficult to assemble once
fence to the front to provide critical for this part of the pro- glue is applied.
adequate support for your cess because you’ll be sneaking
workpieces to prevent them up on a perfect fit rather than TAPERED SLIDING DOVETAILS
from tipping during these cutting the tongue all at once. A standard sliding dovetail like
critical cuts. Check to be sure Figure 3 shows the process. the one I just described works
the face of the fence is square Begin by setting your fence so best on fairly narrow work-
with the top of the router table, just the tips of the dovetail bit are pieces. The wider the workpieces
shimming as needed. exposed. Then you make a pass are, the more difficult they are

NOTE: Attach
NOTE: Trim waste block with hot glue NOTE:
to eliminate tearout or double-sided tape Attach
blocks Tall
to both auxiliary
edges of fence

Sacrificial Sacrificial
block block

Extra-Wide Workpiece. One way to Add a Block. If your workpieces are A Clean Tongue. The same technique
tame tearout is to start with a wider already cut to finished size, you can glue works when routing the tongue. Just
workpiece, trimming the piece to final a sacrificial block to the back edge and be sure the sacrificial block is the same
width after routing the dovetail slot. trim it off after routing the slot. thickness as your workpiece.

62 • Woodsmith / No. 244

to assemble. Not only does fric- I like to draw a line along the the spacer to create a taper on
tion work against you, but the edge of the straightedge guide, one face that’s equal to the taper
glue will swell the fibers and all then use a 1⁄16"-thick spacer to you put in the socket. The result
the pounding in the world won’t precisely position the end of will be a joint that goes together
get that joint together. the guide back from the line (left loosely at first, but tightens as it
This is where tapered slid- drawing below). This spacer comes together.
ing dovetails come in. In this will come into play again later. THIRD VARIATION. One other form
variation, both the dovetail and WHICH END? Which end of the of sliding dovetail that I often
the socket are slightly tapered, edge guide do you offset? employ is a shouldered dove-
making assembly easier. They’re Since the dovetail shape of the tail. This joint has the benefit of
ideal for large casework and only joint will be skewed where the additional strength, as well as
require a bit more effort to create taper begins, I prefer to put that an attractive appearance. You
than a standard sliding dovetail. side on the back of the project can read more about it in the
CREATING THE OFFSET. The joint where it won’t be seen. This box at the bottom of the page.
begins with a narrow dado way, you don’t have to worry In their various forms, sliding
that is widened into a dove- about your router bit striking dovetail joints are both strong
tail shape as in the previous and tearing out the cut when and versatile. But I like them for
joint. But prior to removing the you begin routing. a more selfish reason — they
straightedge guide, you’ll off- When it comes to cutting make my projects look like they
set it at one end by 1⁄16". Then, and fitting the tongue, use the were built by a true craftsman.
make another pass with the same multiple-pass process as Try one in your next project and
dovetail bit to create the taper. before. But this time, you’ll use see for yourself. W

FIRST: Rout straight dovetail slot

SECOND: Move one end of the

fence !/16"and make another Tall
pass with the router Fence auxiliary !/16"
fence spacer
Attach the spacer
to one end of the
Workpiece Pencil line workpiece above
the cutting zone

The offset
creates a dovetail
dado that is !/16"
wider at that end. NOTE: Fence must be long enough
to allow full contact with the
workpiece through the entire cut

Tapered Dovetail Slot. To taper the slot, start Tapered Tongue. To create a tapered tongue, attach the spacer to
by creating a straight dovetail slot. Then, shift the one end of the workpiece and then rout the tongue by removing
straightedge guide slightly to create an offset and material from both faces until the tongue fits into the slot. Note that
make another pass with your router. only one side of the tongue will be tapered.


Strong & Attractive. The shouldered sliding dovetail a.
is a stronger, arguably more attractive variation of the
sliding dovetail. It’s made by first cutting a shallow
dado in the slot workpiece. Once you’ve done that,
the rest of the joint is accomplished by following
the previously detailed sliding dovetail technique.
The resulting joint is made stronger because of the
shoulders on either side. • 63

Creating a
Crackled Finish
ne of the easiest ways to getting started, I’d like to empha-
give a project an aged size that if you’ve never tried this
or antiqque look is by applying a finishing technique, it’s a good
crackleed paint finish. This sim- idea to experiment on some
ple proocedure creates a maze of practice boards first, just to get
tiny cracks and fissures in the a feel for the process.
surfacee of the paint, mimicking BASE COAT. The first step is to
the lookk of a piece that’s decades apply a base coat of latex paint
old. Thhis technique was used to (upper left photo on next page).
finish the shadow boxes you see A satin or eggshell sheen is best
above and
a on page 18 . for this coat. I like to choose a
Crackling was traditionally color that contrasts well with the
A crackle > done u using hide glue (see box final layer of paint. This contrast
medium makes
m on next page). But you can also helps the cracks to stand out
it easy to get use a crackle medium designed better. Simply apply it like you
dramatic results specificcally for this purpose, like would any paint, and let it dry
when creating a the onee shown at left. (Refer to thoroughly (at least 8 hours).
crackled finish. page 66 6 for sources.) CRACKLE MEDIUM. The second step
Creating a crackled paint fin- is to apply the crackle medium.
ish is a three-step process, which Start by stirring the product to
I’ll walkk you through. But before mix it, but don’t thin it.

64 • Woodsmith / No. 244 Written by: Vincent Ancona

1 2 3

{ Start by applying a base coat of latex { After the base coat is dry, apply an even { Apply an even coat of a contrasting flat
paint to your project. A satin or eggshell coat of the crackle medium to all the latex paint, taking care not to overbrush.
sheen works best here. surfaces of your project and let it dry. The cracks will begin to appear immediately.

Spraying the medium on will a top coat of paint. Here again, — which doesn’t result in the
yield the most consistent results, use a latex paint. But for this most interesting appearance. In
but a roller or brush (which is coat, a flat sheen works better. order to create a more random
what I used) will also work. Just There are a few tips when it crack pattern, apply the paint
avoid overbrushing. Aim for comes to applying the final coat. with cross-hatch brush strokes.
even coverage over the entire First, it’s important to apply Like magic, the paint will
surface (middle photo above). A the paint in a single stroke with begin to crack almost immedi-
thicker layer of the medium will a brush that is well-loaded with ately, exposing the base layer of
yield larger cracks. paint. Avoid back brushing or paint below (right photo above).
Allow the crackle medium to back rolling the paint, and avoid Once the paint is dry, you can
dry to the touch (at least 45 min- the temptation to go back over leave it as-is or apply a clear,
utes). However, for best results, painted areas. Doing so may pre- non-waterbased finish to seal it.
you’ll want to apply the final vent the crackling process from Not only is crackled paint a
coat of paint within six hours of working to its full effect. great way to give your next proj-
applying the crackle medium. If you apply the paint in long, ect a distinctive look, it actually
FINAL COAT. The third and final straight strokes, the cracks will turns watching paint dry into an
step of the process is to apply tend to run in one direction only exciting experience. W


Crackled finishes have been around for
decades. Before there were commerciallyy
prepared crackle mediums like the one we w
used, the process was traditionally done
using hide glue. In fact, liquid hide glue is
still used for this purpose today.
The process is essentially the same. Yo
start by applying a base coat of latex paint
and let it dry thoroughly. Then brush on a
coat of liquid hide glue. (You can thin the
glue down with water to make it easier to t
apply, but just don’t add more than 50% %
water.) Once the glue is dry, apply your top
coat of paint, taking care not to overbrush { The hide glue absorbs moisture from the top
your strokes. The crackle effect will occur layer of paint. This causes the paint to pull apart,
almost immediately. leaving behind a maze of cracks. • 65
Most of the materials and supplies you’ll need to build the projects are available
at hardware stores or home centers. For specific products or hard-to-find items,
take a look at the sources listed here. You’ll find each part number listed by the
company name. See the left margin for contact information.

MAIL COMPASSES & DIVIDERS (p.10) • Amazon To finish the workstation,

ORDER Compasses and dividers can B. B. Hinges . . . . B075VWKZR4 I sprayed it with multiple
SOURCES be found at most office supply • MSC Direct coats of spray lacquer. The
stores, or at 1⁄ " Roughing bit . . . . . 91192161 remaining hardware for the
Project supplies may 2
be ordered from the Before purchasing the entry- workstation is available at
following TRACK SAWS (p.14) set for the craftsman door you most local hardware stores.
companies: • Kreg Tool need know swing direction and
Woodsmith Store Master Kit . . . . . . . . . . ACS3000 handle side of your door. The CRADLE (p.46)
800-444-7527 Plunge Saw & Kit . . . . ACS2000 hardware provider will help • A Baby
• MLCS you with your selection. Custom Cradle Mattress. .Varies
Rockler Track Saw . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9661 The craftsman door was To finish the cradle, I started
800-279-4441 finished with General Finishes with a coat of wiping varnish to
SHADOW BOXES (p.18) “Candlelite” oil-based gel warm up the color of the beech
A Baby
877-552-2229 • MagCraft stain. The door was sprayed and cherry. Then I applied a Rare-Earth Magnets . NSN0732 with multiple coats of UV-rated couple of coats of satin lacquer. • Hangman Products polyurethane.
12" Z-hanger . . . . . . . . . . . Z-12 VACUUM STABILIZING (p.56)
General Finishes
800-783-6050 18" Z-hanger . . . . . . . . . . . Z-18 WORKSTATION (p.34) • TurnTex, LLC. 30" Z-hanger . . . . . . . . . . . Z-30 • McMaster-Carr 6" Vacuum Chamber . . . .Varies
Hangman Products The shadow boxes were painted Threaded Knobs . . . . . .2454K62 Cactus Juice Resin . . . . . . . Varies with a base coat of Benjamin 10" Drawer Slides . . .11435A11 Resin Stabilizing Dye . . . . Varies
Harbor Freight Moore “Amherst Grey.” After 20" Drawer Slides . . 11435A26 • Harbor Freight applying the crackle medium, 24" Drawer Slides . . 11435A28 2.5CFM Vacuum Pump . . . . 98076
House of Antique Hardware a coat of Benjamin Moore “Bone • Rockler
White” paint was applied. Grommet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57058 CRACKLE FINISH (p.64)
5" Casters . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37138 • Amazon
Kreg Tool ENTRY DOOR (p.24) • Amazon Crackle Medium . . B000I1QDBQ
• House of Antique Hardware 4" Plastic Pulls B00N3UMSDQ
MagCraft Entryset. . . . RS-05EM-3508-HEX 6" Plastic Pulls . . B07R9K8ML7



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66 • Woodsmith / No. 244

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