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#129,JULY 2007

42 PatioTable
A sunburst top brightens any day!

MusicStand Steam-Bent
The ups and downs of learning how to bend wood.

Bending wood starts with a plywood box and a steam kettle.

Finding GreatWood
Look for low<ost lumber close to home.

r Pla ne M TioubleshootYou Dill's 70 Lindsey Fabulous Frames

6 common problems, solved. A young woodworker spices up easy-tc-make picture frames.


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Ouestion &Answer lO -r- \-/ Calm down a shaky grinder, rout WorkshopTips 14 r- rsafely with a starting pin and learn how to tighten a handscrew. Build an adiustable support table for your drill press, makJa no'slip tnit.r gauge face, store 'aerosol-can straws, fill a bifolddoor gap, make a toggle-clamp sanding block and assemble a pen using your lathe.


Well-Equipped Shop 99 -t-t Woodline dovetailingjig, Freud Fusion tablesaw

blade, Circle Cutters routerjig, CMT slot cutter set, Lignomat mini-Ligno E/D moisture meter, Microplane stainless steel sanding discs and Gizzly jointer,/planer combination machine.

30 My Shop 32 ToolNut 34 ToolTalk Lithium-lon ForThe Woodworker

A big, roomy underground retreat.

A treasured spokeshave and legendary radial arm saw.

LI batteries are smallea lightea and hold their charge longer than NiCads.

Wood 74Turning

TurnA ClassicWooden Bat

Step up to the plate with your custom-made bat.

BuildYour Skills B6Tips for Markingand Measuring

13 ways to make layout easier.

Unscramble different types, edge treatrnents, thicknesses and colors.

GlassforWoodworking Projects

96 9f,tr:Jdisaster



American Woodworker

JULv 2oo7

\A/hiteOak: A GreatAmerican Wood

Deep in the forest where I hiked as a kid and hunted as a teenager was a towering white oak tree. Measuring 4 ft. in diameter, with an expansive crown, it stood proud among a yollnger generation of slender poplar, aspen and maple trees. For some odd reason, it must have escaped the lumberman's saw decades earlier. \Arhite oaks can live for hundreds of years. One of the most famous, the Wye Oak of Maryland, was estimated to be 460 years old until a storm brought it down in 2002. It measured 32 ft. in circumference and held the record as the nation's largest white oak. White oak is the perfect choice for a wide variety of applications. Woodworkers admire the beauty of its quartersawn grain. Boat builders take advantage of its strength and rot resistance.The warship USS Constitution, launched in 1797, was nicknamed Old Ironsides because cannon balls bounced off her thick white oak hull. Completely restored in the 1990's, she still sails the Boston Harbor. Although only 15 percent of the ship's wood is original, the keel-l8-in. by 30-in. by 160 ft.-is made of the same four white oak timbers laid down over two centuries ago. That's a hard act to follow but in this issue you'll find two projects that also make the best of white oak's outstanding properties. The sunburst Patio Table (page 42), tough and rotresistant, is designed to survive many backyard barbecue battles. The Steam-Bent Music Stand (page 51) takes advantage of white oak's pliability in steam bending. And, of course, white oak's beauty enhances both projects.

aefi*RandyJohnson Editor
rj ohnson @americanwoodworker. com

HappyJuly 4th,


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Just received your American Woodworker Extra e-newsletterby signing up on your website's homepage. Is it free or will I be billed? John Anderson is free.Hopeyou Yes, the e-newsletter it! enjoy

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breaker panel to the receptacles from overheating, load not the applied. (load) Motor protection is or should be provided by thermal in overloads the motor

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you on a first-class e-newsletter. I subscribe to several. Your edition is by far the Let me compliment best, but the Quick Tips link will not work. Everything else is fine, mighty fine. Mike Mullzn You are correct;the Ouick'Ips link was bad. Lesson learned- "All is virtual in cyberspacebut the typos."

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or windings the motor starter. Jim, Wanen You offered good information '\lVhy do plugs vary" in the May issue. However, I thought that one on very important piece of information was left out. This is in regards to sizing circuit breakers. Since one of the main purposes of a circuit breaker is to protect structure wiring (in the wall) from an overload condition, this needs to be considered before changing a circuit breaker with one that has a higher amp rating. If a circuit breaker was installed ttrat had a higher amp rating than what the wiring in the wall was designed for, this could potentially lead to the wire overheating and possible fire. Joe Manner In the May 2007 Q&A ("Why Do Plugs Vury") you gave some rather poor advice. The purpose of a circuit breaker or fuse in any electrical wiring is to protect the wiring and not the device plugged in. According to the NEC, it is perfectly legal and acceptable to put smaller currentcarrying outlets on circuits with higher current ratings. Rich Flynn

received your recently I Extra eAmerican Woodworker newsletter and wanted to say how much I enjoyed it. I am just setting up my shop. The air scrubber article, which I received free for signing up for the newsletter, really came in handy. I subscribe to a number of In my woodworking magazines. opinion, American Woodworker has benefited me the most. Laird Bnitz

In May's Question and Answer department, you addressed the variety of 24G.volt plugs and recep tacles. The article mentioned circuit breaker "tripping to protect the motor from overheating". Load protection is not the circuit the

breaker'sjob. The circuit breaker's only purpose is to protect the con-

In trying to cram 4 lbs. of answer into 2 lbs. of space in "Why Do Plugs Vary?"we may have given some We did not mean wrong impressions. to imply that circuit breakersare designed to act as overload protection as for motors. The job of the breaker, several of you pointed out, is to pro' tect the wiring between the breaker and the outlet.The situationwe were trying to addresswas a fellow eyeing up a 30-amp clothes dryer outlet as a ready-madesource for 240-volt power for a new 12-ampjointer. ldeally, the primaryoverloadprotection in largemotors (overone HP) should be built into the motor or tool. Howevel not all motors come so equipped.Short of addingoverload protection to the motor, having a cirfor the motor's cuit wired specifically layer amp ratingcan add an additional of protection for that motor. That's the point we want to stress. lf the motor is largerthan one HB the NEC (National Electrical Code)requires overloadprotection,either built-inor f ield-installed. We recommend runninga dedicatcircuitto the tool (in ed, properly-sized the above case, a 15-ampcircuit). wire, This includesappropriately-sized somethingwe failedto mention in the originalanswer. lt is OK to turn your 30-ampcircuit into a 15-ampcircuit by changingboth the receptacle and the breakerbecauseit uses the gauge#10 wire in the wall. heavier The largerwire gauge is actuallya good thing as there will be less voltage drop over a given distancewith the largerwire. A few writers suggestedthat using an overbuiltcircuit is actuallydesirable

American Woodworker

JULY 2oo7

becauseit allows for future expantrue. However, sion.This is basically you use a 30-ampcircuitto run a 12amp tool, and you don't want to rely Just a note on your review of the solely on the tool's built-inoverload 'Rat for about WoodRat: I've had a protection,we recommendwiring protection sizedto the 12overload eight years, and would agree that safeguard amp tool as an additional the tool works in a different way for the motor. from anything else I have seen. It Another point raisedby some of does take a bit of adjustment to our readerswas the fact that we run one's way of thinking. low-amptools on high-amp12O-volt all the time. This is true.You circuits Having said that, I cannot imagcan run your 7-amptool on your 15ine working wood without one. amp circuit,but unlessthe tool has Heaven forbid, but if all my tools built-inoverloadprotection,there is somehow lost. I think after a were nothingto protect the motor from burnout,except the user.The applica- tablesaw, the WoodRat (and a ble code, 2005 NEC 430.32(D\(2), good router) would be the next allows 1 HP and smallermotorsthat tool I would buy. The WoodRat has to are "not permanentlyconnected" become central to my workflow. be protected by 120 V 15 or 20 amp Mortises, tenons, dovetails, finger breakersor fuses, with or without joints, router table work, you name runningoverloadprotectionfor the soecificmotor. it, I do it with the "Rat". Hundreds of articles have been published over the years, descrit> irg one miracle jig or another designed to make cleaner, more


accurate joints. The WoodRat replaces virtually all of those jigs by giving you complete control over the relationship between the wood and the router bit, in all directions. Personally, I enjoy building furniture a lot more than building jigs. The WoodRat lets me do that. It does just about every joint in the book, quickly and accurately (once your brain wraps itself around the whole approach) Thank you for the article on this relatively unknown but terrific tool. Jon Herron

Woodworker welcomesyour letters American website, andall ande-mails aboutour articles, lettersmay by Published thingswoodworking. editedfor styleand lengthand becomethe propertyof American Woodworker. to aweditor@americanwoodSende-mails Sendoostalmailto American Woodworker AW Mailbox, Drive, Suite180, Magazine, 1285Corporate Eagan M , N 55121.
American Woodwor-ker JULY 2oo7 9

in TSS issetting The new Laguna series a new standard TSS Table come complete Table series saw saws. Our American-made Baldor with10"or 12"blade capacities, The TSS features table saw motors, and optional scoring. table. a heavy-duty sliding foryour The new digital display saw precision positioning provides 0fyour repeatable ripfence, accuracy allowing tothe thousandth ofaninch.


with fiveindependently Fully indexed +/- to45degrees - exceptional positive ineither direction adjustable stops your Laguna forrepeatability. For with existing use fence' aluminum cut-'ff ..0otionar Accessories








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My grinder shakeslike crazy.Does this meanthatthe motor shaftis bent or the bearings are shot?

Your problem most likely lies with the A J- Iwheels, not the motor. They're probably out of round and unbalanced. common conditions of new or old wheels. Tiueingyourwheels perfectly round is a simple matter of routine maintenance. After trueing, your grinder should nrn with little vibration. But if you want your grinder to run even better, and produce a smoothe! more even finish on your tools, you can take the extra step of balancing your wheels. This requires purchas. ing a balancing kit (see Sources below). Before you true your wheelr, t y one simple trick to reduce vibration. Unplug the grinder and remove both wheel covers. Loosen the nut on one wheel and rotate the wheel I/4 turn, without turning the shaft (Photo 1). Tighten the nut, replace the wheel covers, plug in the machine and turn it on. If itvibrates about the same amount, try rotating the wheel another l/4 turn, and so on. Grinding wheels may be denser, and thus heavier, on one side. This procedure offsets the imbalance of one wheel with the other. but it doesn't always work. You'll need a pencil and a dresser to true your wheels. Many types of dressers are available, but a T: style diamond dresser is the easiest to use (see Sources, below). A common problem with trueing is not removing enough material to make the wheel perfectly round, so it's smart to mark your wheels first (Photo 2). Set your tool rest 90 degrees to the wheel, turn on the grinder and true with the dresser (Photo 3). Wheels wear down unevenly, so it's a good idea to repeat this procedure now and then. Balance your wheels, if you wish, after trueing them (Photo 4). Using a balancing kit is much more effective than rotating the wheels'to offset differences in wheel density. Sources Woodcraft 225-1 153, Diamondwheel , (8001 dresser, #124670, $15. (800) LeeValley, 871-81 58, Oneway balancing system, 1/2" shaft,#66804.24, #66804.25, $58,5/8"shaft, $58.

1 to reducevibration,try rotating one wheel ll4turn or I more on the shaft.Youmay find that the wheel runs smoother in one positionthan another.

Q Trueingyour wheel to make it perfectlyround is the lq best way to reducevibration.Mark the wheel'sentire circumference, rotatingthe wheel by hand.

Q Dressthe wheel to remove its high spots. Stop the J wheel on occasionand checkto see whether any pencil marks remain.Keepdressinguntilthey'reall gone.

the / Balance 'twheels with a specialkit to make y o u r g r i n d e rr u n even smoother. Two new wheel f l a n g e sa r e i n c l u d ed. Eachflange has moveablecounterweights to offset differencesin a wheel's density.

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American Woodworker

JULv 2oo7

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My router table came with something called a "starting pin."What'sit for?

A starting pin helps prevents kickback when using a bearingguided bit. It's an important safety feature. Using a fence is the best and safest way to rout, but a fence is impractical on curved or irregular-shaped pieces. That's when you need a startin$ pin. If your router table doesn't have a starting pin, it's a good idea to install one. When you begin a cut, use the starting pin as a fulcrum. Press the workpiece against the pin, then slowly rotate and slide it into the router bit until the wood touches the bit's bearing. Feed the workpiece an inch or so against both the starting pin and the bearing. Once you're confidently engaged with the bearing, you can rotate the workpiece away from the starting pin and ride on the bearing only.

Step 1
t I lusedhandscrews to laminate some V \t ooaros rogeTner, but the joints didn't come out tight. What went wrong? A /1,Chances are that the chmp's jaws weren'r
Adjust the rear handle first. Make sure the jaws are roughly parallel,then tighten the clamp'send on your workpiece. Unscrew the rear handle 1/2 turn, remove the clamp, then screw the handle 112turn backto where it was.

perfectly parallel when you ,tightened them. If they're not parallel, you don't get sufiicient pressure along the jaw's full length. Properly handscrews can be tricky, but these two steps at right show a clever way to do it. . adjusting

Step 2
Tighten the frbnt handle.The clamp'sjaws are now paralleland apply even pressure front to back. lf you need more pressure, tighten both handles an equal amount.

If you have a question you'd like answered, send it to us at Questign & Ansrel American Woodworkeq,1285 Corporate Center flrive, Suite 180, Eagan, MN 5512f or email to .lfndaCdamericmrroodrrorlrer.cottr-Sorry, but the volume of mail prevents us from answering each question individually.


American Woodworker

JULv 2oo7

Fnov G* ffi@tEADERS
editedh Brad Holden

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Press hble
Why doesn't a drill press come with an adjustable fence? My solution is essentially a two-part table. The fence (C) is attached to the top part, which slides on the runners (F) of the bottom part, which is fastened to the drill press table. Setscrews thread through T: nuts mounted inside the side rails (D) to lock the top in position. The bottom holds an insert (E) that can easily be replaced whenever it starts to look like Swiss cheese. Chris lrtain
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American Woodworker

JULv 2oo7

Tipq Worl{Ahop
Tool Givehwdy!
Wrx2007'sHorrESr Nrw Tool

Sendus your best original workshop tips:

Tipsthatsavemoney, time or space. Tipsfor gluing, clamping andassembling. Tipsfor measuring, machiningor finishing. Lookaround yourshop:Sendus everytip you havethatmakes your woodworking successful andfun.
16 Americari Woodworker JULv 2oo7

The editors of American Woodworker will choose their six favoritetips. The submitters of the top three tips will each receive a com-


pleteFestoolllomino package includingboth acces" sory stops and a Systainertull of llomino tenons-a $990 value! For complete information aboutthe FestoolDomino visit no.

Thesubmitters of the remaining threefavorite tipswilleachreceive theirchoice of a FestoolOFl400EQ Router($+OS value), a FestoolG12CordlessDrill ($gSO value)or a FestoolCT Midi Dust Extractor($g3O value). All othertipsthat are published in ourWorkshop Tipsdepartment willearnthe submitter $100.
To enter: E-mail your original tips with photos to toolglveaway@americanwoodworker.oom or mail them to WorkshopTips Tool Giveaway, AmericanWoodworkerMagazine,1285 CorporateDrive Center,Suite 180. Eagan,MN 55121. Submissionsmust be receivedby July 31,2007. Winnerswill be announcedin the October 2OO7 issue of AmericanWoodworkerMagazine.Submissionscannot be retumed and become our property upon acceptance and payment.

Savr rHE Srnaw !

A can of lubricant is very useful around the shop, and so is the little red straw...if you can find it after the first use! I figured out that the straw fits in the groove in the top of the can, and you can still put the lid on. No more lost straws! Roesch

No-Slrp MlrEn GaucE Facr

Trimming miters used to drive me ctazy, because I couldn't hold the piece I was trimming securely enough against the miter gauge. The piece would alwaysslide away from the blade during the cut. I solved the problem by covering the miter gauge face with 120-grit PSA (pressure sensitive adhesive backed) sandpaper. One 5-in. disc will cover most gauges. I clean the face with denatured alcohol, to assure good adhesion. Then I simply cut the disc to fit the f,aceand press on the pieces. Rich Petnnhka

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I hated the black hole that appeared when I installed corner bifold doors in my kitchen cabinets. To get rid of this annoying gap, I decided to make the main door (the onewith the hinges) 3/4in. wider, so it would extend behind the second door. This alteration required cutting a pair of 3/4,in.deep notches in the main door in order for the hinges to work properly (these notches are only visible when the doors are open). I also had to measure from the inside edge of each notch to drill the bifold hinge cup holes. Ed Wood



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American Woodworker

JULY 2oo7


ToccLE Clavrp Br-ocr< SnruDrNG

I made this quick-release

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sanding block from four piecesof 1/2-in. thick birch plywood. The ,,-,n)i. top three pieces are glued together. Wrap a quarter sheet of sandpaper around the bottom piece and

slip on the top assembly. The toggle clamp ( #20787, $9) locks the top assemblyto the bottom. All four pieces measure 2-l/2-in. wide by 7-in. long. The toggle clamp mounts on the bottom piece. The secondpiece has a hole just large enough for the
i'ats': d" toggle clamp's base to fit through. This leaves a lip for the toggle to clamp onto. The third piece has a clearance hole for the entire clamp. The

fourth piece is the same as the third, and builds up the block so the clamp sits inside. I glued on pieces of cork to cushion the sanding surface and fortiff the toggle clamp's grip. Mark Thiel
18 American Woodworker JULY 2oo7

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Press fitting pen parts requires a deft tor-rch, bttt yon don't need a special clamp or vise to do the job: I use my lathe and a of 1-I /Z-in.-thick pair hardwood blocks. Each block has a 1-in.-cleep hole drilled in it, sized to fit snugly over the lathe's headstock and tailstock spindles. Remove both lathe centers and slip on the blocks. Mark the center of each block so you can precisely align the pen parts. Hold each part in place and carefully advance the tailstock. Jim Vasi

\ /e'llgive you

agred&okirg shirt foryulr UOn<sfWTip!

Plus, your tip will automatically be entered in our Worlslrop Tipc lbol GiYeryay!
(See page 16 for details.) Send your original tip to us with a sketch or photo. ffwe print it, you'll be woodworking in style. E-mail your tip to or send it to Workshop Tips, American Woodworker, I 285 Corporate Center Drive, Suite 180, Eagan,MN 55121. Submissions can't be returned and become our property upon acceptance and payrnent. We may edit submissions and use them in all print and electronic media.
One shin per contributor, offer good only while supplies lasr





JULy 2oo7


DyGeorge Vondriska

The new Route-R-Joint from Woodline USA, $179, is a unique dovetailing jig. Instead of handling a router on top of the jig, you invert thejig on top of your router table. The RouteR-Joint can cut hatf-blind and through dovetails, along with heart shaped and other unique corner joints. And there's an incredible lifetime warranty on the templates, even if you plow into them with a router bit. Wow! I like the stability provided by inverted routi.g. A hand-held router on a jig can tip and ruin your work. There's little chance of tip ping with the Route-R-Joint. The Route-R-Joint excels at providing lots of different corner joints in one package, for a pretty reasonable price. Setting up thejoint is a little bit fussier on the Route-R-Jointthan on conventional half-blind dovetail jigs, but it didn't take me too long to get used to it. The owner's manual for thejig is OK but the DVD that's included does a betterjob of explaining assembly and use of the Route-R-Joint. Standard equipment with the jig includes the required guide bushings, one dovetail and one straight bit, and templates for through and half-blind dovetails and heart shaped joints. Twelve additional template shapes are available, $18 per set. The jig depends on Porter Cable-sryleguide bushings mounted in the router table, so your table insert has to be capable of accepting them. The guide bushings are included with the jig.
Source Woodline USA, (800)472-6950, Route-R-Joint, $179, Additionat templates, $18/set,


The kit


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Amazing Cut Qpatity

The new Freud Fusion tablesaw blade, $99, provides a crosscut or rip cut, that's as smooth as a baby's... well, you know. Forty-tooth alternate top bevel (ATB) tablesawblades like the Fusion aren't new, but the Freud blade provides a really outstanding performance. Regardless of whether you're cutting solid wood, veneered plywood or even melamine, there's no need to swap out blades each time you change operations. The Fusion provides crisp corners on the top and bottom of
the material, and a silky-smooth edge. Source
FreudTools,(800)33441 07, www.f, FreudFusion, #F410,$99.

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Nicely Priced Moisnrre Meter

Unknown moisture content in solid wood can sure messup a project. A moisture meter is an inexpensive insurance policy that allows you to confirm the precise moisture content of your material before making the first cut. The mini-Ligno E/D from Lignomat, $125, offers a lot of buog for the buck. The E/D has an easy-tG read digital display, preferable to the analog display found on some meters. The measuring range is an ample 6Voto 45Vo. Two setsof pins are included with lengths of 3/l>in. and 7/lilin., plenty long enough to get an average moisture content reading on L-l/{in. thick material. The E,/D has nvo correction settings for wood species. A chart is included indicating which setting to use, depending on what species you're testing.A temperature correction chart is also included in caseyou test the wood above or below 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Source Lignomat, 227-2105, wwrv. {8OOl mini-Ligno E/D, #ED-O, $125.

Perfect CirclesWith Your Router

Need away to cut perfect circles? I'm pretty impressed with the new jig from Circle Cutters, Inc., $49.99. It's a simple device that usesyour router to cut a nearly infinite variety of diameters. It allows you to cut circles from Gin. to 4&1/16 in. diameter, in l/l6in. increments. That adds up to 674 circles! Made from 1/4in.-thick acrylic, the Circle Cutter is a sturdy router accessory that's based on a simple pivot system. hole in Just drill a l/lilin
'l,.:'-* Your blank, then use -. ::,., :t.*" the drill bit as a :-a.
. : ' . .

pivot point by inserting it through the jig and into your piece. The pivot holes in thejig are labeled with dimensions, so there's no need to measure.There are two scaleson thejig. One is used with a l/Z-in. bit, the other with a 7/lGlin. bit. The Circle Cutter comes with a plate to help you get your router perfectly centered on the jig. That's important, as poor centering would affect the accuracy of the built-ih scale. The jig is predrilled with a handfrrl of holes to match avaiety of router bases. The Circle Cutter is available directly from the manufacturer.
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Source CircleCutters, Inc, (2,19)306-1909, CircleCutter,$


American Woodworker

JULv 2oo7

Stainless SteelSandingDiscs
When I first looked at the Microplane stainless steel sanding discs I thought, "There's no way that can work. It'll just tear up the wood." But now that I've logged lots of hours of sanding with this product, I'm a believer. According to the manufacturer this product will remove wood five times faster than a conventional abrasive, while outlasting it seven times. This helps justi& th" cost - about $5 per disc, which would buy about three discs of conventional highquality abrasive. So, is it worth the investment? yes. Although I wasn't able to quantify the manufacturer's claim about the discs cutting wood faster, I would have gone through numerous changes of regular sandpaper in the same length of time that I used a single Microplane disc.

The discsare available in 40-, 8G, and 120-grit. on red oak and pine I found
the surface left behind by the l2furit disc slightly rougher than a conventional abrasive. The discs come in hook-and-loop, and attach to any standard 5-in. hook-and-loop sanding base. The discs will work with sanders that have through-the-base dust collection. Microplane discs are designed for raw wood only, not finished surfaces. Source Microolane (800) 555-2767, www. Stainless Steel Sanding Discs, for 2 discs. $9.95
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All-Inclusive Slot Cutter Set

CMT's slot cutter set, $160, provides a complete slot cutting package. With four arbors, seven cutters, and a of shims, this set can create slots with different depths and widths, handful tongue and groove joints, lock rabbets, and more. The four arbors allow you to stack the cutters in a variety of configurations. Mount a single cutter and bearing for conventional slot cutting or, using the longer arbor, stack up a seven bearings,

Introducing the NEW SunPorch Sunroom/Screenroom

'Convertsfromsunroom to screenroom.,.in iust seconds! 'Easy-slide windows & screens adjustto your comfort instantly! 'Mounts on yourexisting patioor deck without costly site-prep! ' Delivered direct-to-you...ready to assemble in iuit a weekend!

number of cutters for making a very wide slot. Using a countersunk bolt the cutters can be mounted at the end of the arbor to allow undercutting, as you would with a lock rabbetjoint. The cutter set includes one l/16in., one l/8-in., one 5/32-in., one 3/, and three 7/4-lin. currers. The four bearings range in size from 3/{in. to 1l/Lin diameter and can be used to create slots from 5/7Glin. to 9/lGin. deep. Source CMTUSA, (8881 268-2487, www.cmru sa. com SlotCutter Set,#82300'1, $160


American Woodworker

JULr 2oo7

Jointer 1Plarter Cornbo Machine

Students often ask me if they should buy a jointer planer first. Here's an opportunity to get both in one or

tool. Grizzly's new G0633 12-in. Jointer/Planer Combination machine, $1,795, does dual duty with one cutter head. At first blush the price tag may seem
high, but the economics are good when you combine the prices of a stationary induction-motor planer and j ointer. One big advantage to jointer /planer combos is that you get an



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Switching fromjointing to planing requires removing thejointer fence and flipping the jointer tables up out of the way which, according to Gnzzly, is an easy conversion that takes only about 30 seconds. Along with the 12-in. wide, three-knife cutterhead, this machine offers ajointer fence that's 39-3/Uin.long and a generous 5-7rz&in tall. Thejointer table is59-7/Z-in. long. The planer table is2T7/Tin. long. The jointer table is shorter than that found on most &in. jointers, but the fence length is comparable. Planer thickness capacity is &in. The machine is driven by a 5-hp 220-volt motor. If you prefer a carbide insert
spiral cutterhead, cutterhead. Source (800)523-4777, Combination, #G0633, $1,795, Grizzly lnternational, Jointer/Planer #G0634,52,295. w/carbide insertspiralcutterhead, Jointer/Planer Combination AmericanWoodworker JULY2oo7 29 have a look atGnzzly's G0634, $2,295. It's the same machine, except for the


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Woodworking SixteenFeetLJnder
I now live in Quebec, Canada, I developed my love for woodworking many years ago as a teenager living in Paris. Eleven years ago I finally decided to build my dream workshop. But according ro the city bylaws, my yard wasn't large enough for the 24'x34'shop I had planned. One day while I was lobbying at the city offices, a clerk jokingly said "Well, there are fewer restrictions when you build underground." I came back home thinking this was nonsense. I wanted my shop to overlook a beautiful lawn, with plenty of windows to let in the sunshine. So I announced to my young kids (4 and 8 years old) that we would be moving to a wonderful new, larger home in the suburbs. My enthusiastic presentation flopped. Both kids started crFng in despair. They were so emotionally attached to the only home they'd known that my heart couldn't take it... So here I am, many dollars later, in the same house. My shop is conAlthough

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American Woodworker

JULY 2oo7


of pre-formed concrete slabs and it's totally underground: Three quarters is submerged under my lawn; the remaining part extends beneath my solarium. A passage door allows entering from my house and a 4 ft.-wide exterior door provides outside access. The ceiling rises to l5-ft. at this end of the shop. Much of the wiring and all the dust collection ductwork runs underneath the shop's 12-in.-thick hollow floor. A dedicated 400-amp electrical panel provides power. Although my friends call it my "bunker shop", it feels more like a marvelous cavern to me. It's my sanctuary a quiet place for meditation and retreat. I can also work all night, using all of my machines, without waking anybody up anywhere. I just love it. Richard Ciupka

Tell us abovt your shop!

Send us photos of your shop, a layout drawing and a description of what makes your shop interesting.Tell us what you make in it and what makes your shop important to you. lf "My Shop" features yourshop, you'll receive $100. with digital E-mail your entry to photos attadred. Or mail your description with prints or digital photos on a disc to My Shop, AmericanWoodworker, 1285 Coryorate Genter Drive, Suite 18O Eagan, MN 55121. Please include your phone number. Submissions cannot be returned and become our property on acceptance and payment. We may edit submissions and use them in all print and electronic media.

American Woodworker

JULY 2oo7


FREE Tool Catalog

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My Uncle Vito was a man of few words. I didn't know much more about him than that he had come from a family of woodworkers and had worked in his father'sshop, the woodworkingindustry and for himself. He was incredibly skilled.Even now I feel like a woodworking dunce comparedto him. When my uncle died 25 years ago, I inheritedhis tools, which included a wooden spokeshave. lt's not much to look at-and weighs next to nothing.The blade is adjusted with a hammer.You tap one tang or anotherto make thicker shavings,or turn the tool over and tap the bladeto make thinnercuts.

The body is maple,but when the original sole wore out my uncle let in a new piece of white oak. He glued it endgraindown, which is very unusual. This new mouth hasonly recentlysplit, as you'd expect from runningthe grain in the opposite direction from the spokeshave'sbody, but the crack has not harmedthe tools performance. I use UncleVito'sspokeshave on nearlyevery's equallyadept at removing a lot of materialor a little. l've shapedOueen Anne legs and shaved chair back spindles with it. Whatever I'm using it on, I never fail to think of my kind uncle.and that makesit special. Albert DiBartolomeo
o TU

Lrvrrrrc THE LecEND

Old tools usually don't appealto me. I prefer furnituremakingto tool refurbishing, after all. But when I decidedmy home workshop needed a radialarm saw I didn't have much choicebut to reachback in time. I found some new 12 in. saws that met my quality standards,but they were expensive and took up too much space. I found some new smallersaws, too, but I think their lower quality makes them useless for precision work. I researched the Internet for a better option. The consensus was ovenruhelming: Buy a used DeWalt. lts qualityand accuracy are legendary. I soon pickedup a pristine9 in. model for $200 right in my hometown. lt was made in 1962 (the rlearbefore I was born). I also purchased "How to Master the RadialArm Saw" a greatbookwrittenalmost fifty yearsago by Wally Kunkel,better known as "Mr. Sawdust." lt's available on the internet at for $30. This book is invaluable in learning how to fine-tune a DeWalt saw. Based on how my saw performs, Wally'stune-up is definitelyworth the time and effort. The legend is reallytrue. Jeff Opett ..

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Are you a Tool Nut, too? You'll get the new Leatherman ChargeAL aerospace aluminum multi-tool if we publish your story.
Send your tale to, or mail it to American Woodworker, 1285 Corporate Center Drive, Suite 180, Eagan, MN 5512f . Pleaseinclude digital photos of your tool if possible. For more on the Charge AL,


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JULy 2oo7


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b Bill Szydlo

ForThe dl
\ foodworker
Lithium-Ion (LI) batteries made quite a stir a few years back when they made their debut in the cordless tool market. Now that the dust has settled we thought it was time to take a look at what's on the market and ask which LI tools fit best in a woodshop? First a brief review: The LI battery was originally developed for the consumer electronic market; specifically cell phones, laptops, and other small electronic devices. Compared to nickel based batteries (NiCad or NiMH), LI's strongest assetsare compact size and low weight. LI battery technology is one of the m{or reasonswhycell phones haveshrunk and laptops have lost weight (unlike me). Electronics typically demand a slow but steady power drain. By
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that heat up the battery. LI batteries are especially sensitive to heat damage. Manufacturers have worked hard to overcome this hurdle and by all accounts, they have succeeded.

tools can demand heavy power draws

Lnnunr{oN's ADVAI\rrAGES
kss Weight - An l&volt LI battery weighs approximately 40Vo lessthan a NiCad or NiMH of the same voltage (Photo 1). This is largely due to the fact that a single LI cell holds 3.&volts while z


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I Lower weight is the number one advantageLithium-lon I (Ll) batterieshave over NiCador NIMH batteries. By deliveringthe same volts in a lighter package, Ll tools can be made really big (36-volts), or really small (3.6-volts).
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American Woodworker


NiCad or NiMH cell holds only l.2-volts.The more powerfirl LI cell makes it possible to build the tiny 3.Gvolt drill,zdrivers and the Sant 3Gvolt tools. Tools on both the large and small end of the scale, which were impossible with nickel based batteries, are now a reality. Fewer Dead Batteries - Another nice feature of an LI battery is its ability to hold a charge when not in use. While a NiCad batterywill lose2SVoof its charge after a month on the shelf, an LI battery will only lose 2Vo of its charge. I don't get in my shop as often as I like (who does?). When I do, there's nothing worse than reaching for my cordless drill only to find the battery drained. That scenario is a lot less likely with an LI tool.

Q Gooo news for the weekend woodworker: Lr batteriesonry lose of their charge sitting idle for a month. A NiCad battery on 4 2o/o the other hand, loses 25% of its charge.

LtrHlurv lotrt's DowrusloE

Higher Cost - The LI breakthrough into the cordless tool market has come at a price. Not only are the raw materials for LI cells more expensive, but the need for charge-, discharge- and heat-monitoring technology to protect the batteries from overheating adds to the cost as well (Photo 3 and 4). In short, it's hard to produce an inexpensive LI tool. Manufacturers I spoke to expect costs to decrease as LI takes hold among consumers. control Q fUicroelectronics r.,l charge/dischargerates to protect Ll batteries from overheating.The electronicsact invisibly to the user yet are capable of shutting down a hot battery until it cools.Some models includefuel gaugesthat show the charge level on your battery. 7l Fans,vents and micro-elec-f tronics in Ll chargersoptimize charge rates.Theyget the battery back in action as quickly as possiblewithout damage from overheating.

BuYrNc Aovlce
It's important to remember that an 1& volt NiCad has the same power and run time as an l&volt LI battery. What LI gives you is a lighter package. Some manufacturers use larger LI cells to increase run time at the same voltage (Photo 5). For example, Makita offers two sizesin their l&volt LI battery and Bosch offers two sizes in their 3Gvolt LI battery packs. They both have the same voltage (power), but the larger pack will provide twice the amplhours (run time).

( Bosch and Makita offer a choice between large and compact batr.-,ftery packs.Thedifference is in the cell's physical size, not the voltage or power.The larger battery pack has up to twice the run time or amp/hoursof the smaller.Either packcan be run in the same tool.

Covrwow Slzrs
Conlpecr3.6- 10.8-VolrDnllls ANDDnlvens Here's where LI batteries shinb. These drills vls vynzzinglysmall, yet powerful. The ' smallest 3.Gvolt drivers (Photo 6) are a good choice for jobs like applying drawer slides and cabinet hardware. They are so

A U technologymakessingle cell, 3.6-volt \,f drivers possible.Thesesuper compact drills work great for light duty jobs like applying hardware or drawer slides. Only the Hitachi comes with a removeable battery and a spare.


American Woodworker

JULv 2oo7

small and light your hand will never rire. Their low RPMs will keep you from strip ping out those teeny hardware screws. However, the 3.Gvolt drills lack the power and speed one would want to drive larger wood screws. For that task, the Bosch 10.& volt drivers are outstanding (Photo 7). They are bigger than the 3.Gvolt drivers, but still

a m" Bosch 10.8-voltPocket I Driue, is a stand out among the low-voltage crowd. It's small enough to fit into a tight spot, but powerful enough to drive #10 screws into solid oak. lts single speed is too slow for drilling most holes, however.

very compact. I was blown away by the power packed these two tools.

This is where the best balance of power and weight is found. These drills have the power to hang a cabinetwith 4in. screws.At the same time, you don'tfeel like you're lifting a dumbbell every time you pick one up. My favorite in this category was the Makita l&volt Compact LXI (Photo 8). Hrcn Volr 24- 36-VoLrTooLS Here at the high end of the LI tool spectrum we find the big, workhorse tools. These tools are primarily designed for the rigors of on-site construction work. For my money, the best tools in this category for
38 American Woodworker JULv 2oo7

Qfne Makita 18-voltCompact \J LXI has the best combination of power and size. lf you want one drill for the shop that can do everything,this is the one. lt has a high speed settingfor drilling and a low speed setting for driving screws.

Q ttt liberatingto use a jigsaw J without a cord. A cordless jigsaw like the 36-volt DeWalt, is a great woodshop tool. Ll technology provides the needed power in a manageable size.

r' MA'(E NONET ./ SAVEnONEf r' foP EAnflttGS

9O/ HSilERtEI Couhadffi!

Studies show 6096 of shoptime is spent sanding. That's 3 days outof a Sdayworkweek! Now youcando the sameworkin lessthan4 hours: a 9A6dffircy hrcrerrr,. 2/3 l.ess coclthn enqdye rlde{elt rdord "W(NDMAgfER Woodmaster's industialduty drum sanders fill the niche between slowhand methods andexpensive IDTnWI about 1/3 thecost. #WlqVole!' And nosacdfice in quality! - HneWodworking there's Prysfor ibdf-.Wltll Y0l,lFE m Magazine review vs. paysits ownwayandkeeps youin on paying Performaf & Grizlf. Quickly quality reduced production! labor costs, higher & faster

@ i BL"Hlil,:[ff]$ll"'l,g$'

| trYEsl Rucr FREE *'oio-"[r-*-ffi-'


the wood shop are thejigsaws. Both the DeWalt (Photo 9) and the Ridgid jigsawsperformed well. It was a real treat to cut arcs and curves on a board without having to constantly reposition an electrical cord. RE c ov T M E ND A T to N S Each voltage category has an outstanding tool or two for the woodworker. In the low-volt compacts, I really liked Bosch's nuo lO.&volt drills: The Pocket Driver and the I-Driver. In the Mid-Range, my pick is the Makita l&volt Compact IXT Lithiumlon l/2" CordleSsdrill driver. You can't beat the combination of price, power and size. In the High-Volt range, the tr,vojigsaws by Ridgid and Dewalt are a real improvement over the corded variety. Both tools perfomed well and would make a great addition to any woodshop. You'd expect a longer run time with the higher volt DeWalt, but the price on the Ridgid is hard to beat.


Panasonic Drill& Drivor, EY7410,$220

Skil,EVOCordless Uthiumlon DrillrDriver.

Metabo, DriluDriver BSZ12, $180 Plus:62986000 12-Voh

14,4- Volts
Blac*& Decker, Super CompaaDrill,Model #scl400, $130 (buihin batterv) Meabo, Drill/Driver, BSZ14.4, $190 Plus: 14-Voh Lithium,lon

Hitachi, DS18DL 12' DrilUDriver Kit,$280

20Cnftsman, 12in. drilUdriver, Sears itom #00928169000 t\,ffr. rnodel #28169. S270

Makita, BDF452HW (SumolLXI Compact Series 1Z-lnchDrilF Flaftatu lRtfyl Driver Kit.$210 Panasonic, Drill/Driver Makita,LXI 1n'Dnll Krt.EYZ|40LN?S Sin6o DriwrKit RDF/!51 $31n lrrlefiabo BSZ18 DrillDiwr Pbs-62A|84m018Wt
lithimkn Battw !l12fl

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Rilgid24rdt Lilon battery, cfnrger andtod bag, 919

* " t Metabo drills are sold with a NiCad battery. the LFlon battery must be purcfiased sep+ rately. The batteries are compatible with any'Cool Air'series drill of the same \rotta$. Kit includes ltattery Battery and chargr sold separatev. Ri@ll Max Select line can use botfr their l&voft NiCad Max Select battery pack or 24.\aoltXU battery pack.

Note: An prices are approximate street prices. Kits typicalv include 26atteris, a chargerand a carrying case. Becauseof all the lactors that go into any buying docision, it is importrant to check out the details of any sale includingshipping costs.

I Gallfor Entries!
Showcase Woodworker's
Hereis your chanceto shareyour best across work with fellowwoodworkers the countryand aroundthe world.
we loveto buildthings,but we also love As woodworkers, to shareour work and the ideasbehindthem.American is debutinga new department Magazine Woodworker for called"Woodworker'sShowcase." We're looking everydaypiecesto projectsthat rangefrom practical, artisticmasterpieces. one-of-a-kind
Here's how to submit your work! We ask that the pieceyou submitbe made prifor marilyof wood by your own two hands.Onlyhighqualityphotoswill be selected Check publication so makesureyou put some time and effortinto your photograph. tips on taking out our web page ( photographs good photographs. are prefenedbut slidesand color negatives Digital back,you must includea stamped,selflf you want your slidesor negatives are alsoacceptable. with your submission. envelope addressed joineryand the wood(s), of the piecethat includes Sendyour picturesalongwith a description finishthat you used. lt seemslikeeverypiecehas a story behindit - plmse feelfreeto share from you. yours.We look forwardto hearing or mailto: American Send entries to: CenterDrive,Suite180, Eagan,MN 55121. 1285 Corporate Magazine, Woodoworker

Cherry Gabinet Munkittrick byDave Wl River Falls,

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t ' s b r r i l t t o s t l t r t dl r l ) { ( ) t h < tn ' t ' t r l l r ( ' l s - .( )i t ' s p c ' r - I i 'Ir I i x t r p a t i o . p o r - c ' l( r ) l ' s l l l ) r o o n r .T l r c l l - i r r . t o l r t c : r t r r l c su s t r r n r r i r r gs r r r r l t t r l s tr ' : r r l i l rr lk'sign lrrrti -l'lrc sclrt.s li)ut' (.ont{irltaltlr. s t u l - ( h l ) l i s t ' t . r ) l t s t l - ll( 'l'ltclt"s tiotr rnakt:'s lirr' :r rrr<'k-solic lrltk'. t: tr ('('n1('rl r o l e f i r r ' : r r r r u r r l t r c l l u c ' : r r r o l t r:'r r r r l 1 ; l t ' n t v o l ' r . o o r r r berrt':rtlrlirr- t I rt' ('()ul I [r't'\\'t'i e'ht. I b r r i l t n n t a l > l to ' t r t r i f t ' o t - r ' t ' s i s l a r r Il t i t t ' o l r k l i t l r splinc'sarrcl q'r'oovt.s i n t l r t ' l u l ) l ( ' t ( ) l )1 l n ( l c l o n r ' 1 joil-rts i n t h c l c e s . I r ' l r o s t '( ' l ) ( ) \ \ l i r r s t l o n g . r r t ' l r t l r c r p r o o l ' .j o i r r t s .

l t r r r : r t ' l r i r r i rtrrg iil. I Il(' r r t ir l : r r r r l r i r i jg l)llui'r'il i r t r ; ri ri i , r r s t ' r l r r l o r r g r r i l l r : r s i r u l r l t ' i r ; r r i r r r r t ' ll o : r t . r ' r r n r l t , l r t t t : t c l r i r l (t 'l t ( ' l r r r s r c i u ' r t ' r l j o i l l : r ; i l i l r l l l i t ' s l r : r p t . r l s l l r t s : r r r rt lr i t ' r r l { l r t ' ( ) u l ( ' t | r r r g . i t r t l l 1 r i . i t , r r i t , rl t r r l l . l ' l l s l r r ) \ \ { ) l r l t o r r t o r r i l r k t ' rl i r i t r ' i , i } r l j . 1 , \l t ; : ij , r , 1 . , 1 } r t ' t()l)'s i r r { i r r r < ) u { i l i t ; r r t i i :1iiiii,:1-. 1tositiorr l):u't: I'lrt' l)li\(' nr:r\ rrl)t)r'llr lir;rlltrrgrirg tl lxrilrl. irril l ' l l l r l s , s l r , r r \ ( ) l r . r \ \ \ t ( ' r r r .r r s i r ) q . r i l r r i r' l ' r ; r - r l i r r ; r r - r I t ; t t r r l sr t c u ' s .l ( ) r i t : r l . t t .irt' ioll go rrrrt;t;tlrlr.



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1/4"D x 1/2"

1/4" x 1/2" sLoT (TYP.)

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1/4" x 1-1/4" LAG BOLT

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MarE THe PanrcnruBoano

The bestway to deal with the geometry and joinery of the tabletop is to draw it out on a sheet stock (Fig. B, 4x{ft. piece of 3/{in. page 46) I call it a pattern board.

Burlo Tur Ourun Rtruc

1. Measure the length (long point to long point) of a section of the outennost ring on the pattern board. Our measurement came to 11-13/16 in. but checkyours since it mayuary. 2. Cut the outer ring segments (A) to length on a sled (Photo l; Fig. C, page 46). 3. Dryfit the segments on the pattern board to make sure all the miters are tight. You may have to adjust the angle of the last miter. Ifyou do, mark the joint so it can be reassembled correctly. 4. Add backer blocks to support the inside edge of the outer ring (Photo 2). 5. Cut the cam locks on the drill press using a 2-l/2- in.dia. hole saw and a table that slopes l0 degrees (Photo 3). 6. Screw the cam locks onto the Pattern board so the short radius isjust shy of the spacer. The sacrificial spacers keep the cam locks from being cut as the ring is routed out in the following steps. 7. Cut the slots in the mitered ends of each outer ring segment on your router table. Cut splines (L) to fit the grooves from scrap oak. 8. Glue up the outer ring (Photo 4).

rrre tabte is built I from the outside in. Start by mitering the outer ring segments with a sled. Cut one end of each segment without the stop in place.Add the stop and miter the oppositeend. A shop made cam lock holds the piece in place.


Ory-tit ttre Q nng segh ments on a pattern board that has a full-size drawing of the top. Pin backer blocksbehind each segment.

Rour THE Ouren Rlruc

9. Screw a l-in. thick pivot block on the center of the pattern board. 10. Chuck al/ 4-in. upcut spiral bit in your router and attach it to the trammel (Fig.D, page 46). Set the bit to cut 3/l6in deep. Hook the trammel on the pivot block using the 22l/&in. hole. 12. Turn the router on and plunge the bit ll. into Swing the trammel slowly the ring. around (Photo 5). Drop the carriage another 3/lGlin. and make a second pass.Repeatuntil there's about l/4,in. of material at the bottom of the ring. Importanc Don't cut all the way through the ring. You need enough material so the cam clamps can continue to hold the ring in place. 13. Move to the shorter pivot point and cut the inside edge of the ring in the sa.memanner as the outer edge. 14. Remove the ring from the pattern board. Use a jigsaw to remove the remaining

Q fuate eccentric cam locks on -, the drill press using a 2-112-in. hole-sawand a support.The angled edges of the disc act like a cam lock when screwed to a board.

7l Ctue and clamp -I the outer ring with slow-set epoxy and cam locks.Glue sacrificialspacer blocksto the ring so the cam locks won't get cut by the router in the next under the step.Tape splinedjoints prevents the ring from adhering to the pattern board.



Use a trammel to draw circleswith the following radii:3-112-in., 4-1l8-in.This marksthe radiusof the hub and the depth of the rabbeton the underside. Swing arcsat 19 in. and mark the outer ring. Swing one more mark at 23-in. to establish the long pointsfor your miteredouter ring sections. Sectionthe whole circleinto four equalquadrants (red lines)using a straightedge and a square.Use the squareto make a mark 12-11116-in up from the 9:00 mark on the 22-rn.ring. Make anothermark below the line. Repeat at the 12:00position.Then use a straightedge to draw the blue lines.From the 12:00positionon the 22-inradius,use a squareto measureout 5-7l8-in.and createthe blackline.

D r i l l h o l e si n t h e t r a m m e l f r o m the center of the router b i t h o l e .D i m e n s i o n s a r e b a s e don using a 114-in. s p i r a lb i t f o r t h e o u t e r r i n g a n d a 314-in. 22-1t9" 19-3/8' stright bit for the tongues and rabbets.

ll2" x1" x26-1/2"


LOWERRINGSEGMENT Centerone leg in each sectionof t h e b a s er i n g a n d d r i l l t h r o u g h holes for dowels and a screw on t h e d r i l l p r e s s .C o u n t e r s i n k the 5132-in. hole from both sides so a #8 screw will seat flush or slightly below the surface.


American Woodworker

JULv 2oo7

stockfrom the ring. Don't try to flush-cut the edges but leave a slight tab. 15. Remove the tabs with a flush trim bit (Photo 6). 16. Rout a centered groove all the way around the inside edge of the ring.


SLATS 17. Cut the table slats (B) to length. 18. Cut the tapered edges on the slas with the slat taper sled (Fig. C). 19. Secure a slat on the pattern board for routing (Photo 7). 20. Set the trammel on the pivot point through the l$3/&in. hole. 21. Swing the trammel to make the firstcut. Then flip the slat over and make the second cut to complete the tongue. Check the tongue's fit in *re ring's groove and make any necessary adjustments. Then rout tongues on all the slas. 22. Shape the tongue with a sander to match the arc of the shoulder. 23. Cut the rabbet for the half lap joint on the narrow end of the slat with the trammel T3/4,in. hole. Make sure the slat is set in t}:Le face-up for this step. 24. Dry-assemble the slats in the outer ring and measure the exact diameter of the center hub.

f, Rlunge-routthe outer ring using a trammel and a 1/4" spiral bit. at the bottom J Uafe several shallow passesbut leave about 114-in. of the cut or you'll lose the clamping pressurefrom the cam locks. to cut the outer edge and clockwise Swing the router counterclockwise for the inner edge.

jigsawingthe remaining waste from the edges of the ring.


MarE THe CgrurenHue

25. Cut and miter the four hub sections. Rout slots for splines and epoxy the hub blank together. 26. Draw a circle that matches the hub diameter you measured in Step #24. Cut the circle on the bandsaw and sand smooth. 27. Rabbet the underside of the hub (Photo 8) so the hub nestles into the recesscreated by the slat rabbets. Don't cut the hole in the center of the hub yet.

? ur" thetramI meltorouta

tongue on the wide end of each slat and a rabbet on each narrow end. Positionthe slat with the narrow end 3-112-in. from the pivot point. Securethe slat with plywood stops, a sacrificial spacerand a cam lock.

Guue Tne Top AsseMeLv

28. Chamfer all the top edges of the slats, outer ring and hub with a sanding block. The chamfer creates a detail that's visually pleasing while it disguises any areas where ajoint may be less than perfect.

American Woodworker

JULY 2oo7


Rabbet the center hub to fit the rabbeted s l a t s .C l a m p a notched, 6-in wide board to your router table. To cut the rabbet, contact the infeed side of the notch and rotate the hub into the "V'j Spin the disc until the rabbet is complete.

29. Mix about 4<>2. <>fslow set cp()x\,' (see Sources, pagc 49). Cllue the slats to thc outer ring fir'st. Re strle to \\,ct both tl're slctl ancl outer telt()lt bcf<rr-e inserting. Scoolt up anv squeeze-()ut that is I'rarcl to set at rvitl-r a Q-ti1t :rncl tht-.r-r rvipe tl're :rr-e:rn'ith :tcetolle. 30. (krat the rabbet^s on the slals and the l-rtrb u,ith ep()x)'. (larefirlly position the I'nrb in the r:rbbet.s. Thcr-r clarnp it in position with a scrc\{ (Pl-roto 9). 31. Aftcr the epoxv h:n thonrtrshh' cured aclcl the stnlts zrnd brztct-.s(D, E ancl F)t() thc undcrsicle o1'top (Fig. A). 32. Use zr hole sA$r to clrill u 2-1,/,{-in. hole: throush the center of the hub.


j:*../ lN

Glue the slats into the outer ring.Align the center of every other slat with a joint on the outer r i n g . E y e b a l lt h e gaps between s l a t s .G l u e i n t h e center hub and drive a screw through the middle to act as a clamp.

33. N4ake a hzrrclb<t:u'd pattern of'a b:rse rins sesnlent (Fii4.t, page 46). Use the parter-n to trirce fbrrr- pierces or-rto the stock. 34. (ltrt the rniters on a rnitel sarv and bandsan the crlrves. Placc tl-rc fotrr sections togcthcr ancl cl-rcck tl're fit. 311. Rout a pair of | / Lin. slols in e:rch miter. F.poxv the rins toget-her witl'r splir-res. 36. Once the epoxv has sct, s:rncl thc inside of'the rins rvith a sanding drlrm ancl thc outer edse with a belt sander. Label the top and bottorn of the rir-re.

37. Lay orrt the lee positions on




tht ring arrddrill holcr lor


1/l fj\



38. Mzrkepattcnts for tl-reupper ar-rd kxver lees (Fig.E). Rotruh-crrtthe leqs with tlten athch a pattern ancl rcxrt 1,ourb:rndsau, nith :r pattern bit. 39. Olarnp a pair- of hanclscfetvson the lorver ring alor-rs the lce layout lir-res. Slip an uppcr leg sntrqlvbetu,eenthe hanclsct'ervs. Use an l/8-in. bit to clrill a pilot hole into the uppcr lee, trsinethe 5r/32-in. hole in tl-re ring as a guide. 40. Lock the lee in place rvith :r #tt x 3ir-r.screrv.
: ' :r':

' ttt't'

4I. Drill trvo 1/Z-in.-cliax l-in.cleep clou,cl holcs into the uppcr


r\rncrican \{trorlu'orker-

JULr 2oo7

leg (Photo 10). 42. Remove the upper leg but keep the handscrews in place. Insert the lower leg, secure with a screw and drill the dowel holes. Repeat the process for each set of legs. 43. Cut your dowels l/&in. shy of the total depth of the hole. Sand a slight flat on one edge to give the excessepoxy an escape route. TIP: If your dowel stock is a little tight, try spinning the dowel in a drill as you sand lightly with SGgrit paper to narrow the diameter. 44. Dry fit a lower leg on the ring with dowels. 45. Drill a l/4,in. pilot hole all the way through the ring and the lower leg for the lag bolt (Photo l1). 46. Remove the lower leg and repeat the process for the upper leg using a 3,/lGin. bit. Do not drill all the way through. 47. Use a Forstner bit to drill a 3/4,in. dia. counter bore in the lower leg that's deep enough to hide the lag screw head and washer. 48. Mix the epoxy and fasten one pair of Iower and upper legs to the ring. Be sure to wet each hole and dowel. Drive a lag screw from the lower leg through the ring and into the upper leg until it draws tight. Repeat for all the legs and let the epoxy fully cure.

I f lDrill dowel I \-t holes into the legs using the holes in the ring a s a g u i d e .A screw in the middle holeand a pair of handscrews holds each leg in place. D r i l l h o l e si n o n e upper leg and one lower leg at each location.

I I hole for a lag screw through the smallhole in the ring and through the lower leg.The leg is temporarily held in place with dowels and no glue.

t shank I I o r i ta

Frruel AssEMaLv
49. Cut tabletop fastener plates from l/& in. thick steel. Prime and paint the fasteners with a rustproof paint like Rusto-leum. 50. Attach the steel brackets (K) to the tops of the upper legs, then flip the leg assembly upside down and drill pilot holes for the lag bolts. Attach the top with lag bolts and washers. 51. Mount (Photo 12). the tabletop to the base

I Qnttach the L 4 top with lag bolts and washers.Thelag bolts allow you to easily remove the top for winter storage.

52. Apply your favorite outdoor oil finish and set the table for company!

David Radtke is a custom cabihome designconsultant netmaker, in and restoration specialist Minnesota. He enjoys Minneapolis, woodturning, archerybowmaking, and cyclingwheneverhe's not behinda tablesawor sitstanding ting in front of the drawingboard.
Sources: Wall Lumber 800-6334062,wwrar.walllumber.comwhite oak lumber,5/4 white oak, 8/4 white oak,$??/bd.ft., $??/bd.ft., com T-88 Rockler 800-2794441 www. rockler. Structuralepoxy #20647 $19.99

DIMENSToNS. 29-314H x 44" Dnueren Ovrnar

ThxWxL Dimensions A B
12 Ring Segment 24 Top Slat 4 Hub Segment 4 Strut 4 Outer Brace 4 Inner Brace Lower Ring Segment 4 4 Upper Leg 4 Lower Leg 4 Steel Bracket 24 Spline 1"x4"x11-15/16" 1" x4-314"x15-7/8" 1 " x 4 - 1 1 2 "x 8 - 1 1 2 " 1-5/8"x 1-518" x18-112" 1 " x 1 - 5 1 8x "2 1 - 7 1 8 " 1"x1-5/8"x5" 1-5/8"x5-114"x 12" 1-5/8"x4"x11-112" 1 - 5 1 8x ' 4" x22' x6" 1/8"x 1-112" 114"x5"x1" Long Pointto Long Point


Long Pointto Long Point Long Pointto Long Point SeeTemplate SeeTemplate SeeTemplate Cut and drill (Seedrawing)

I ntter many years together, my I flimsy music stand and I experiencedthe ultimatefalling out. Ratherthan buying another utilitarian stand, I got the crazy notion to design and build one that would, somehow,visually represent the music I play.

yrruch o,s

A bending jig and a pair of drying forms are crucial for success. Their curves must be smooth and consistent. Thejig and forms I used for this project came from the scraps of 3/4"thick exterior grade ply,vood .that were left after I built my steam box. I laminated nvo pieces of plyuood to make some of the curved parts; others arejust one piece thick. Once the wood comes out of the steam box, it begins to loose its flexibility in a minute or less, so you need to work fast. It's best to engage a friend's help and choreograph all of the steps by making dry runs. This music,stand requires onlyfive board feet of lumber, but I recommend buyrng at least four times as much, so you can practice and refine your bending techniques. I resawed 8,/4 stock to make all the parts.

Ql Orewfull size 4 sketchesto find inspiration.I wanted the stand to echo the blues music I love, so I decided to bend the wood, just like those soulful blue notes.Thisseemed the perfect opportunity to try steam bending, something l'd always wanted to do.



Q t uritt a steam box r-.f to experiment. I quickly learnedto wear gloves: Steamed wood is extremely hot. I also learned you have to work fast to bend it. Once the piece is removed, its flexibility lasts lessthan a minute.

Taron Youn Drsrcrv

While dreaming up and designing my stand (Photos I and 2), I made some critical decisions. To simpliS the construction, I decided the stand would be non-adjustable. Then I decided it would be used when I was seated. Finally, I adjusted its back-




E F a f
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ward pitch to suit my playrng posture. The bending jig and drFtrg forms can be easily modified if you want to make aesthetic changes.

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Mv Brc Bnrar
A W first attempts at -f bending steamed pieceswere disasters. Every time I tried to bend and clamp a piece over a form, the fibers on the outside face tore apart.What was I doing wrong? At first, most of my bending experiments failed (Photos 3 and 4). The turning point came when I discovered Lee Valley Tools' Veritas strap clamp and instruction booklet on stenm bending (see Sources, page 56). The booklet shows how make bendingjigs and d.yrrg forms to use with the strap clamp. These tools, along with my steam box and kettle made all the difference (Photo 5).

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BEwo THELEc Buarurcs
I started by sawing a bunch of leg blanks (Fig. A, right, Pars A and B, and Cutting List, page 57). I planned to use some of them for test-bending and I wanted to have more than three bent blanks to choose from for the base. I'd already built a steam box (see "Simple Steam Box" on page 58), so next I built a bendingjig for the leg blanks and a pair of d.Frg forms (Figs. B and C, page 57). I cut the cuwed profiles on the bandsaw and used my disc sander to smooth the curyes. Then I screwed and glued the curved block and stop to the base. After experimenting with different lengths of time, I settled on steaming each leg blank for one hour. To maintain the recommended 2O0-degree temperature in the steam box. I had to refill the kettle 23 times per one-hour cycle. Once the blank was removed from the steam box, I learned that every second counted. The faster it was bent and clamped onto the jig, the better it conformed. Taking one minute longer made a huge difference in the amount of springback (the tendency to straighten out) when the blank was removed from the jig. I discovered I couldn't work fast enough to successfully bend the leg blanks by myself, so I enlisted a partner. While the first blank was steaming, I fastened the bendingjig to my workbench and set up the strap


114"W x 7/16'D DADO(TrP.)

Frcunr A ' Vrew Expr-oogo


Drmn l TnayAND FENcE

Dernt 2 Srnvs


American Woodworker JULY 2oo7





that I needed f, I Oiscovered r ; l a s t r a pc l a m p a n d a d e d i cated bendingjig to successf u l l y b e n d t h e t h i c k ,k i l n d r i e d p i e c e sI w a s u s i n g . T h e strap clamp (see Sources, page 56) wraps the steamed pieceand keeps its fibers from stretchingand tearing apart as it's bent.The bending jig must be securely fastened to a work surface.I a l s o m a d e d r y i n gf o r m s t h a t matched t h e b e n d i n gj i g , s o I c o u l d b e n dt h r e e l e g b l a n k s i n a s i n g l ed a y . ftBending the steamed \,f 1sgblanksis definitely a two-personjob. We neededto work efficientl y a s w e p u l l e dt h e b l a n k from the steam box and c l a m p e di t i n t h e s t r a p clamp. So we rehearsed t h e e n t i r eb e n d i n g processfirst, to choreog r a p h o u r s t e p sa n d m a k es u r ea l l t h e t o o l s we neededwere close at hand.

clamp so it was less than 7/4in. longer than the blank. We made sure we had clamps, gloves and everything else we needed before we removed the blank (Photo 6). Pre-setting the strap clamp paid immediate dividends, because tightening it only took a couple of twists with the ratchet. Our dry-run do-sidos through the bending process also paid off, because clamping the blank to the jig and completing the bend took only seconds (Photos 7 and 8). Occasionally, we had ro reduce the strap's clamping pressure as we bent a blank around the form, to keep the curve from buckling. We also had to make sure the blank stayed seated on the base of the bending jig. If it rode up on the curved block, we whacked it back down with a mallet. After an hour, we took the bent blank off of the jig, removed the strap and immediately clamped the blank to one of the drying forms (Photo 9). As we'd started steaming another blank as soon as the first one was bent and clamped, we were ready to repeat the bending process. When all three blanks were bent, we headed to the golf course: The blanks had to stay in the forms for three days to stabilize.

', a ^ As soon as my part/ I n e r c l a m p e dh i s e n d of the blanldstrap clamp assemblyto the bending jig's curved block,I immediatelystartedthe bend. Every second counts. He quickly a d d e d a n o t h e rc l a m p t o h e l p t h e b l a n kc o n f o r m to the curved block.

Q O n . " t h e b l a n kw a s Llclamped to the stop, we could relax. T h e e n t i r eb e n d i n g process,from removi n g t h e s t e a m i n gb l a n k t o a p p l y i n gt h e l a s t clamp, takes lessthan a minute.

TunruTHEBlarurcs rNToLEcs
I squared up the three blanks I'd chosen to use for legs in two steps. First I jointed one edge (Photo 10). Then I planed the opposite edge. I left both front leg blanks L/16" oversize in width. I milled the back leg blank to its final width. Next, I returned to the jointer to create flat gluing surfaces on the top portion of each blank (Photo 11). After jointing, the top ends measured about 11l1Gin.-thick. The last step was to get rid of the black stains left by the metal strap clamp. I used a hand-held scraper.

Qntter an hour in the r/ bendingjig, I transfered the bent leg blank to a drying form.This way I could immediately reusethe bending jig. After transferring the second blank to another drying form, I left the third blank on t h e b e n d i n gj i g .

Burlo rHE Basr

When I glued the front two legs together,I aligned the terminus points of their jointed faces (Photo l2). I removed all the squeezed-out glue before it dried. Then I marked and trimmed the feet (Photo 13). I trimmed the front leg assembly to is final height and then hand-planed it to final thickness, making sure to create a flat gluing surface for the back leg. To determine the stand's tilt, I clamped the back leg so it extended l3-in. above the front leg assembly (Photo l4). After cutting the back foot, I glued the back leg to the front assembly,taking care that it remained centered. I used a level to make sure it was plumb. After the glue had dried, I shaped the base by planing, scraping and sanding. My belt sander was particularly effective! I aimed for uniformly smooth arcs and curves.

I Vthe bent leg blanks had to be edge jointed, because they were always slightly twisted.To joint a perpendicularedge, I had to swivel the bent b l a n ka s I m a d e t h e cut, while keepingits outside face flush againstthe fence.

that 1 nldiscovered

1 | tcreatedaftat I I gluing surfaceon each leg blank by jointing the top portion of its outside face, above the bend. I made the same number of passeson each blank,so their remainingthicknesses matched. Becauseof the bend, each pass lengthened the jointed surface.

lrusrelL THE Lenpnn AND Tnev

After milling the ladder (C) to size and length, I used my dado set to cut t}re l/Lin-wide modate the dadoes that accomstays. The distance between dadoes decreases from bottom to top, so the spaces between the stays are graduated.

L &the two front legs together,I marked the points where their jointed surfacesended. I alignedthese marks when I clampedthe legs,so they would splay equally.

1 gBeforelslued

1 2fo mark the front I r-lassembly's feet for trimming, I turned my bench into aTsquare.Thelast thing I wanted was a leaning stand! I positioned the assembly so the legs' splay was the correct width at the bottom edge.ThenI alignedthe shaft with a perpendicular strip of masking tape. 1 A Estabtishingthe I lfstand's backward tilt was another head-scratcher.My solution was to clamp the back leg in position and allow it to fall behind the table. When the tilt angle was correct, I marked the bac* leg for trimming.

NextI notched ttre trayblank (D) to fit around the back leg (Fig. A, Detail l) and dadoed the fence blank (E) to accommodate the tray. I shaped both pieces by bandsawing and sanding and then glued them together. To install the tray assembly, I let it rest on top of the the front legs as I slid it around the back leg. Then I glued on the ladder, with the tray assembly sandnot glued-in benveen. After the glue had dried, I removed the wiched-but tray assembly to finish shaping the top of the stand.

BeruD THESrevs
I milled a boatload of stay blanks (F-J) so I'd have enough to experiment. I used the slots in the ladder to gauge their thickness-I wanted a snug fit. They required only about 15 minutes in the steam box, not nearly as long as the leg blanks. They didn't require the strap clamp for bending, either. I managed to waste a bunch of them at first, by trnrg several times to bend them all together on the same form. Finally, I gave in and made four bending forms, one for each stay (Photo 15). Here are their radii: 24in.,2&in., 4&in. and 45-in. I still steamed the blanks together to save time, but I removed each one separatelyand clamped it on its own form. I learned that I only had to leave these blanks on the forms overnight

Frruau AssevlBLY
Using my tablesaw's crosscut sled, I notched each bent stay blank to fit the ladder. After trimming each blank to lengttr, I shaped its back edge (Photo 16

L.-, uated arcs I wanted, I had to bend each horizontal stay on it's own form. I discovered that quickly overbending each stay before clamping it to the form minimized springbac*.

1 Kto setthesrad-

and FigA, Detail 2). Then I sanded the stays and softened their sharp edges. After gluing in the tray assembly, I installed all the stays at once (Photo l7). For the finish, I sprayed on three coats of lacquer from an aerosol can. It was much easier than wiping or brushing. For a super-smooth finish, I sanded lightly with 28Ggrit sandpaper before spraying the final coat. Sources: (800) LeeValley, 267735, Veritas Steam-Bending Instruction Booklet, #05F15.01, Free Veritas Strap Clamp for 1-U4"Material, #05F10.01, $63.00.

Frcunn B Benorue Jre

1 Al decidedto lightI \Jen the appearance of the stays, becausetheir rectangular shape made the stand look top-heavy. Shapingtheir backsand graduatingtheir lengths did the trick.

1 n<."ping the stays I I in the sameplane was vital, so my sheet music would lay flat.To make them coplanar,I had to fully seat all their slip joints in the ladder. Clampingwith a flat board did the trick. Now my music soars,but my sheet music stays put!

Frcune G Dnvrruc Fonna


DMENSIoNS: 24"D x 24-112W x M-112"H 0venan



Front Leg BackLeg Ladder Tray Fence Top Stay SecondStay Third Stay Bottom Stay

1 " x 1 - 1 2 "x U " 1 " x 1 - 1 1 2x " 54" x13" 518" x1-114" x2-58" x22" 5116" A 1 6 "x 2 " x 2 2 " 114" x1-1/8"x22" 1/4" x1-"1/8" x22" 1/4" x1-118" x22" 1/4" x1-1/8"x22"

1" x 1-18"x cutto length 1" x 1-38"x cutto length x13" 5/8" x1-3116" 5116" x2-5/8'x22"* 5116" x2" x22" ** 114" x1-118" x21-114" *x 114" x1-118" x21-112" 114" x1-118" x21-314 ** 114" x1-118" x22" xx

15" 15"

24 28" 43" 45"

*Tray tapers to 1-1-4"wide, see Fig.A, Detail 1 **Stays all taper to 5/16"wide, see Fig.A, Detail2

"Ire,vrtingto b(nd zilood, wit/t stea,m takes

j^t likt Plryi"Sa,vl'instrument." practhe,

American Woodworker JULY 2oo7 57

Simnle StemBoD(
Dr Seth Keller

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Steam passesfrom the kettleto the box through a p i p e i n s e r t e d i n t o t h e k e t t l e ' ss p o u t . T h e k e t t l e must be refilled now and then during the steaming process;two guide blocks help position the pipe when you re-insertit in the hole.
58 ,\nrt'r'i< irrr \,\irorhrrrr-kt'r' JULI 2oo7


o F


uilding a steam box fbr bendins wood only requires exteriorgrade plywood, waterproof elue and an electric tea kettle. I bought my kettle from Lee Valley (see Source, below). It came with an aluminum pipe to direct stearninto the box. Any electric kettle with a cylinclrical spout for inserting a pipe or attaching a hose will do. Most kettles,such as this one, don't have a large capacity. You'll need to refill the kettle three or four times per hour for a box this size. Tongue and groove joinrs help seal the box's sicles (photo, below right).

Forrn the tonstre by milling a3/lGrn. cleep by 3/8-in. rvide rabbet along the box's sides. Use #8 screws, l-l/2-in. lone, and a w?rterpl-oofgltre, strch as Titeboncl III, to :rssernblc the box. After the sltre sets,clrill ()r cut a hole 's for-the kettle pipc. The pipe enters at an anele, so m:rkc the hole <lblong (pl-roto, below left). Attach guicle blocks to help direct the pipe into the holc alier you refill the kettle. Drill twcr l/4 in. holes zttone end of the box to allow condens:rtion to drain. Drill rn()re l/Lin. holes for dowels to support your bendins stock. Drill a tiehtfitting hole for a meat therrnomcter near or)e door. The therrnometer isn't

essential, but it allows you to check the box's temperatrlre. above 200 desrees [t should remain the


steamir-rg cycle. Attach 2x4 less to elevate the box ensrlre that condensation

above tl're kettle. One end shotrld be l-risher to flows to the drain holes. To accommodate the Lee Valley kettle, I proppecl one end of'the box on a block 9 in. high ar-rclthe other end on a block 8l/2 in. high. Then I attached the legs. Aclcl two-piece doors to the ends.

One piece is a cap; the other is a plug. Stezrm will catrse the plug to swell, so nrake itl/8 -in. smaller than the opening. I trsed larse brass hinges to hans hooks to the doors. Acld screen door

keep the doors shut as you steam away.

Cutting List (without Overall size legs): 7" x 8" x 56" Part Oty. ThxWxL Side 2 314x6-112"x56" Top, bottom 2 3/4" x 7" x 56" Door 2 314"x7"x8" Door pfug 2 314 x5-112" x6" Leg 4 2x4x 15" Guide block 2 314" x 1-314 x 5-112"
Source L e eV a l l e y(,8 0 0 ) 871-81 58, Kettleand pipe, #05F14.02, $37.50.


Constructing the box is very easy.Screwedand glued tongue and groovejoints keepthe box'sseamstight. Supportdowels allow steamto circulate around the wood. A plug on the door helpssealthe box'sends.
Arncrir':ur \Airodworker JULY 2oo7 59



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Arnerican \Aloodworker JULy 2oo7


To HoME.

When I built my solar kiln (see, "Solar Kiln", AW Issue #724, Oct. '06, page 55), I needed to scour up a steady sollrce for green wood to dry. Turns out it wasn't as hard as I thought. I live about an hour outside of a major metropolitan area and a little digging in the Yellow Pages turned up a wealth of green wood sources. I found everything from ordinary basswood to spectacular maple crotches, to enormous walnut trunks (some of these can be seen in the original solar kiln article). All were at unbelievable prices. I began my search in the Yellow Pages with calls to custom sawyerswith portable sawmills. They put me on to a couple of good sources for green wood, which included private tree services and municipal maintenance departments. They have a ton of wood and some of it is quite amazing.

Finding green wood may take a little digging, but you'll find your sources will grow naturally. My first contact quickly blossomed into several other contacts. Before I knew it, I was reluctantly turning down offers for wood because I simply had no place to store it.

Cusrovr Sawyrns
I visited a small custom sawmill, Dan's Wood Service, located in western Wisconsin. I was looking for an easy-todry wood for the a test run in my solar kiln. Dan offered me some clear basswood for seventy cents per bd. ft. That's about a third of the cost my local lumberyard charges for kilndried wood. I took a friend along for help with the stacking. When we got to Dan's place I was surprised to learn that


I SOmegreen wood for my kiln but.never dreamed the wood I ordered would be cut on the spot. Dan is a custom sawyer who specializesin small orders. He has a small woodlot where he harvests trees like this basswood. His portable sawmill can travel to you and your tree wherever you are.

for lwas looking

C) Oan cut the felled tree into 8-1t2ft.lengths for the 4 sawmill. He left a large shoot growing from the stump. A basswood shoot will grow to become a mature tree that can be re-harvested in another 10-20years.

mywood was a standing tree in his woodlot! Dan harvested it in no time (Photo l). The tree trunks were then cut to tengttr (Photo 2) and transported to *re nearby sawmill on the property (Photo 3). Sizeable tree trunks are really heavy and present the most difficult material-handling dilemma for folks like you and me. Fortunately, most custom sawyers like Dan are set up to bring their mill to your tree so there's no need for skid loaders, huge trucks and big cranes. The bandsaw mill made quick r-vork of our tree (Photo 4).An in-line ripsaw took care of the bark edges (Photo 5). Soon we had the wood stacked in the trailer and were on our wzly back to the kiln (Photo 6). Believe it or not-from tree to trailer took less than two hours. I was amazed.


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We checked out a local tree service's boneyard to see what was available. Thee services and municipalities are no longer allowed to burn their trees or take them to landfills. 'Commercial mitts aren't interested in trees from populated areas where human activity leads to buried nails in tree trunks that ruin a sawyers' day. So where do all those trees go? They go to the boneyard, where most are chopped into mulch. It's kinda like an animal shelter for trees. If no one comes to take them away,'s the chipper. Boneyards toss out an amazing 4mount ofwood every day (Photo 7).Alittle poking around yielded spectacular finds including maple, oak and walnut (Photo 8). The service was reluctant to let us bring a mill onto their property for liabil, ity reasons. However, they were amenable to dropping the logp off at my shop where a mill could be brought in later. Now my biggest problem is finding a place to store all this wood. I better start building some furniture! cantimrcd, an.nzrt page


loaderpicksup and carries the heavylogsto a Qn smO Foroff-site r-f portablesawmillset up on the property. work, Danbringsthe sawmillrightto the tree.




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f 1tnebasswood logs are cut into boards on a bandsaw -Tmill. I found several sawyers with portable mills like this in theYellow Pages.

American Woodworker

JULY 2oo7


f, e ripsaw removesthe bark edge leavingtwo straight r-,f edges.Thismakes stackingfor drying a lot easier becauseyou don't have the uneven bark edge to deal with. You can use your own bandsawto remove a bark edge, too.

was bound for the chipper.

live right in the heart of the ciry. By accident, I found great wood right under my nose, in the midst of a

bustling metropolis. My first adventure as an urban lumbe{ack began with a phone call from a friend telling me that an old red oak in his backyard was struck by lightning and
buddy and I load the boardsonto my trailer.ThebassAtU \,Iwood went from tree to trailer in less than two hours. Greenwood can deteriorate rapidlyso we wasted littletime getting backhome in order to stackthe wood for drying.

j-fn, following week we stopped at a local tree service I boneyard where a constant stream of trucks brought in a ton of brush and branchesand more than a few prize logs. I wished I could have cut them up on the spot to see what kind of great wood was getting tossed out.

LIJ J J UJ \Z I UJ a LL (tt UJ (E f O

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found some amazingtrees destinedto get chipped Q*" LJinto mulch.A little bargainingcan land you some fantastic deals on some fantasticwood. lt just takes a little poking around to get the ball rolling.We had Dan saw up some of the logs we found here.
62 American Woodworker JULv 2oo7

)Let the fun begin! Gettingthe log up the ramp L and onto the sawmill was a bit of work, but once in place, sawing the log into planks was pretty simple. lt's about 10 minutes per slice,though.


"Do you want it?" he asked. "I'll be right over", was my reply. I borrowed a Logosol portable sawmill from a friend and headed over to my buddy's backyard. Once word got out that I could turn doomed trees into useful lumber, I had more offers for free wood than I could handle.
D.u Seth Keller q A friend calledme about a red oak tree he had to take i down.The main trunk was nine feet tall, weighed over 1500lbs. and was about to hit the ground when I arrived with a portablesawmill.

$ This log was over 26 incheswide! c".F Eachcut was like opening a present: I never knew what to expect, but I was never disappointed. lt was particularlyfun to see quartersawnpieces emerge from the log.

For more on portablesawmills,see "BackyardSawmills? AW lssue#112, January2006,page70. For help on being an urban lumberjack, checkout this book: Harvesting rbanm ber, www.harvestingu Urban Ti, $24.

Within a week of sawing my first tree, I got a ,r'$ s*'call about a downed birch.Thistree had some amazingfigure, especiallynear the base.Everytree I cut is a treasure.I never lose that sense of wonder as a beautifulplank is cut loose from a tree that would otherwisebe destinedfor the chipper.

Sources: not included) Mill, $2,400(chainsaw, M7 Woodworker's Mill, (877)564-6765, LogosolPortable Chainsaw 82, Wood-Mizer Portable BandsawM ill, (800)553-01
American Woodworker JULY 2oo7 63

PnaclcAl soLUTtoNS To 6 coMMoN pRoBLEMS
en a plane is working right, it can produce a silky-smooth surface that absolutely glistens. When it doesn't work, you get an ugly surface covered with blemishes. The problem can be your sharpening, your technique, or the plane itself. Quite often, it's the plane. A handplane can be a mysterious tool. These troubleshooting tips should go a long way ro clearing up how a plane works and how to tune it up. Most Stanley, Record and similar types of planes certainly require a tune-up. You'll probably encounter every problem addressed here. Premium planes, such as a Lie-Nielsen, Veritas or Clifton, usually don't need much tuning at all. Beforelaunching into troubleshooting, let's identifya plane'sbasicparts.I cut open one of my No. 3 Stanley planesto give you a better look at how the parts fit together.We'll start at the bofiom and work our way up. o The sole is the full lengthof the plane'sbottom. o The frog holdsthe bladeassemblyat a 4bdegreeangleto the sole. o The frog adjusting screw moves the frog forwards or backwards. e Movingthe frog effectivelyopensor closesthe plane'smouth, the gap in front of the blade. . The uppermostpart of the bladeassemblyis the lever cap. r The middlepart of the bladeassembly is the chip breaker. lt's screwedto the blade. . Pushing down on the lever clampsthe blade assembly to the frog. o Thisclamping pressure is regulated by the lever cap adjusting screw. r Turning the depth-of-cut adjusting nut rocks the "Y" adjusting lever, which slidesthe blade and chip breaker up or down the frog. o Pushing the lateral adjusting lever side-to-side levelsthe bladewith the sole.





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64 Anrerican Woodworker JULv 2oo7

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American Woodworker

JULY 2oo7


the beginningor end of a board,but not in the middle. The plane's sole may not be flat.
Rule out some simpler causes first. Testthe board's flatnesswith a longstraightedge. lf it's hollowin the middle, the problem is with the board,not your plane.Similarly, test the flatness of your bench.lf it's hollow the board will bend as you plane. llme to flattenthe bench.But if your boardand bencharejust fine, and this mysteriousbehaviorpersists, chancesare the sole of your planeisn't flat. A plane's sole must be extremely flat for the bladeto removecontinuous, thin shavings the full lengthof the board,your ultimategoal. Test your sole by placingthe Flattenyour plane'ssole using sandpaper. A flat sole planeon a veryflat sure n a b l e sa p l a n et o m a k e l o n g ,t h i n s h a v i n g s . face, such as a tablesaw's cast iron wing. Tryto slidea thin stripof paperunderneath it at variousplaces.lf it slipsunderar any (a machinist's point,the sole isn'tflat needslapping term for flattening). The easiest way to lapis usingself-adhesive sandpaper on a rigid, flat surface, suchas plateglass.(You a tablesaw's cast ironwing, a jointerbed,or a longpieceof 114-in. can also use regular sandpaper anda low-tack sprayadhesive.) Youmay haveto removea lot of metal, so it helpsto havea variety of gritsavailable, from 80 to 220.The surface and papershouldbe at leasttwice as longas the plane's sole. paper(photo, Retract the bladeand startlapping with 120 or 150-grit above). lf the sole is convex, grip the planeas shown to avoidrocking it. Inspect the bottomaftera few strokes(photo,left).The newly sanded areasshouldbe easyto see. lf thereare lots of low spots,switchto coarser paper. grityou startwith, keepsanding Whichever untilthe entirebottomis scratched with sanding marks. The arearightin front of the mouth is very important; it must be flat to preventtearout.Don't worry aboutthe sole'sextremeends,though. or old scratches from previous use.Oncethe soleis flat,work up to 220 grit or moreto polishit.

Mark your sole with a felt-tip pen to help revealthe low spots. Planeswith corrugated (grooved)soles have less metal to remove than planes with smooth-bottomed soles, so they're easier to flatten.

to take a lightercut.Theplaneworks fine for a while, then (play)in the plane's There'sbacklash adjustmentmedranism.
Always set a blade'sfinal depth of cut by adjusting the bladedownwards, deeperinto the wood. lf your bladecuts too deep,backit out untilit cuts a verythin shaving or not at all.Thenadvance the you want. lf you overshoot, bladebit by bit untilthe shaving is the thickness startover again. To understand the "why" behindthis procedure, let's backup to the problem. original You'veretracted the blade,and eventually it stops cutting. What's happenedis that the blade has slowly crept back up the frog. lf you removeyour plane's levercap,you can see how this works. Turnthe adjusting nut clockwise to advance the blade,then counterclockwisetwo turns to retractit. Hold the bladewith your fingersand pushit up the frog (photo, left).lt will move by at least1l32in.That's why the bladestoppedcutting. Now turn the adjusting nut clockwise again, two full turns,to advance the blade.Try movingthe bladeup the frog with your shouldn't budge. ("Backlash" Backlash is the problem. is the playbetweenmechanical parts.) playin two places. In a plane, there'softensignificant First, there's play between the adjustingnut and the "Y" adjustinglever'sfork. Second, there'splaybetweenthe top of the "Y" leverandthe slot in the chip breaker. Some planeshave more playthan others,but there must be some playin any planeor the partswon't move. lt's usually impractical to alterthe planeto removebacklash, so the best strategy is to learn to livewith it.
66 American Woodworker JULy 2oo7
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lFystops cutting.When you take it apaft, Wedgedbetweenthe blade and chip breaker. There's a gap betweenthe,bladeand chip breaker.
First,lap the chip breaker'sbevel, locatedunderthe breaker's leading edge (photo,below left). The angleof this bevelis important. point,not its heel, lt must be steepenoughso that the bevel's touchesthe blade. With most chip breakers, if you keepthe screw holealigned with the sandpaper'sedge,the bevel's anglewill be just fine. Keeplapping untilyou feel a wire edgedevelop along the chip breaker's entirewidth,just as in sharpening a blade. The secondstep is to roundthe top of the chip breaker. Youcan use a file if the chip breaker is quite blunt,but sandpaper usually works well enough.Use a rollingmotionto createa rounded (middle photo). edge,endingup at about45 degrees Keepsanding untilthe wire edgeyou formed is gone,then alternately earlier sandboth the beveland the top untilthe chip breaker is sharp. When you'redone,holdthe chip breaker firmlyagainst the blade, as if it the two were clamped together by the levercap (rightphoto). Sightfrom behind the chip breaker. Thereshouldbe a slight gap at the heel,but no lightshowingbetweenthe chip breaker and blade.

To eliminategaps betweenthe chip breaker a n d b l a d e ,b e g i n b y l a p p i n g the bevel underneaththe chip breaker's leadingedge. Keepthe chip breaker's screw hole alignedwith the sandpaper's edge to form the bevel at the correctangle,

R o u n dt h e t o p o f t h e c h i p b r e a k e r to create a sharp edge. Lift the cap i r o n u p a s y o u d r a g i t a c r o s st h e sandpaper.

Squeeze the blade and chip breaker togetherto inspectfor gaps. No light should be visible betweenthem. In addition,the chip breaker'sheel s h o u l d n ' tb e t o u c h i n gt h e b l a d e .

Itfeels like its bouncingup and down as it cuts. Your blademay not be clampeddown tight enough,or your frog may not be flat.
Trysimplefixesfirst.Yourblademay be dull,or set too deep,or yourchipbreaker may haveslipped over the blade's edge,so it's tryingto do the cutting.lf you ruleout these causes, try the following: pressure First,increase the clamping on the blade. This is controlled by the levercap adjusting screw (photo,left).This screw isn't somethingyou fiddle with every time you plane,though. Adjustingit is a matter of findingthe sweet spot that puts lots of pressureon the blade,but not too much.lf you overtighten you won't be ableto turn the the screw,applying too muchpressure, largebrasswheel that controlsthe depth-of-cut. To find the sweet spot,loosen the levercap andtightenthe screw 1/8turn. Re-tighten the lever cap.Turnthe brassadjusting nut to move the bladeup and down the frog. lf it moves very freely, loosenthe lever cap again and tighten the lever cap screw another1/8 turn. Re-fasten the levercap. Repeat this procedure untilthe adjusting nut is somewhathard to turn with two fingers,but not too hard. Once you've found the best settingfor the screw leave it there. You shouldrarelyhaveto re-adjust it. A secondcauseof bladechattermay be a frog that's not flat (photo,right).To check your frog, unscrew it from the plane'sbody and removethe levercap screw. Lap the frog on sandpaper. Youwon't be ableto lap the entiresurface because the Y leversticksout the top, but Your bladewill also chatterif your that'sOK. Flattening the first two to three inches'worth frog's top surfaceisn't flat. Flatten is good enough. the frog with sandpaper adheredto a flat surface.

Your blade will chatterif the lever cap doesn't provide enough pressureto c l a m p t h e b l a d et i g h t t o the frog. Adjust the lever cap screw to provide more pressure,if needed.

American Woodworker

JULY 2oo7


leavestrackson a board'ssurface. The bladeisn't level,or its cornersare too square.

First, make sure the tracks you see aren't ridges causedby a nick in the blade.lf the tracks look like shallow steps (drawing,left), one side of the bladeis cuttingdeeperthan the other. Raking light or chalk used flat-side down clearlyrevealsthese tracks. You'llhave more successavoiding your bladeif track marksand leveling you round it (photo,bottom of page). This prevents the corners from digging in. Rounding a smoothing blade's profileone way or anotheris an old tradition. Here's how I go about it. First,I round over the blade'scorners on the grinder. I do the rest of the roundingwork when I hone, by rocking the honingjig to one side or the other on the pull stroke (photo,above right).This createsa camberededge and a transition to the rounded corner. lf you're new to planes,I recommend you camber the blade's full width.The amountof curvature to aim for is verysmall. To checkit, I holdthe bladeuprightand lay the fat side of a smallsquareon the blade's edge.The blade'scenter should be higherthan the edges by about the thicknessof one or two piecesof paper. lf you're more experienced with a smoothing plane, it's better to leave the majority of the edge straight across, and only camber the outer edges;that is, round 1/8 to 114in. of eachside.Thiswill createa flattersurface than the previous method. but the blade will be moredifficult to level. To level your blade,make a narrow shavingusing the outer 112in. of the blade'sleft side. Make anothershaving usingthe rightside (photo, below. Compare the thickness of the two shavings. Adjust the laterallever until the shavingsare equallythick. Back off the blade, re-adjustits depth of cut, and you're good to go.


Shallow steps are causedby a plane bladethat's not set perfectlylevel.One corner is d i g g i n gi n . A c o m m o n l y used method to minimize this problem is to round the blade'scorners,and maybe its entire profile.Thisproduces a surface with extremelyshallow valleys, which are leveledby scraping or sanding.

Round a blade'sprofile by rolling the jig sidewaysas you hone.Favorthe right side,then the left side on alternatepull strokesto produce a curved profile.

R o u n da s m o o t h i n gp l a n e b l a d et o a v o i d m a k i n g steps on a board'ssurface.Thecorners of this blade are rounded off, and the area in between is cambered(that is, very slightly curved),or left straight.

L e v e ly o u r b l a d eb y c o m p a r i n gs h a v i n g sm a d e with each side. Hang the plane off the edge of a board and make a narrow shaving using only the blade'sleft side.Turnthe plane around and make another narrow shaving using the blade'sright side.Adjust the laterallever until these shavings a r e e q u a l l yt h i c k .

1132" TO1/8' 1-




American Woodworker

JULv 2oo7

eventhough the bladeis sharp. The clrip breakeris set too far back,or the plane'smouth is too large.
First,adjust the chip breakercloser to the top'right). Second, end of the blade (photo, move the frog forward to close the plane's middleright). mouth(photo, you'retryln general, the finerthe shaving should ing to cut, the closerthe chip breaker be to the blade'sedge. A 1132in. setbackis but when you get idealfor most hardwoods, to within tearout,try movingthe chip breaker 1164in. or less of the blade's end. This will (ln to push,however. make the planeharder soft woods, like pine, where tearout isn't an up to issue,you can adjustthe chip breaker 1/16in.backfrom the blade to makethe plane easier to push.) To move the frog, remove the lever cap, loosen the two bladeand chip breaker. Slightly bolts that hold the frog to the sole. Reinstall To reducetearout,adjustthe chip breaker the bladeuntilit assembly andadjust the blade closerto the blade'sedge.A projectionof 1 l 3 2 i n . i s n o r m a lf o r m o s t h a r d w o o d s , but barelysticks out of the plane'ssole.Turnthe frog adjusting screwwith a longscrewdriver to to beat tearout you may have to go down to mouth.Onceyou havecreatclosethe plane's 1164 in. or less. ed the desired opening, remove the blade assembly and tighten the bolts that secure the frog. lighten each one a littlebit at a time. likea car'slug nuts. Movingthe frog may skew it, however.On most planes,you can only eyeball the frog to make sure it's f ront end remains oarallel to the plane's mouth. Frogs on Stanley planes manufactured in the Sweetheart Era. '1935, To further reducetearout,move the frog forward by turning the roughly1920 to frog adjustingscrew.Thisclosesthe plane'smouth. Normally,the ,o a r e s e l f - a l i g n i n gs m o u t h s h o u l d b e a b o u t 1 / 1 6 - i nw . i d e . Y o uc a n r e d u c ei t d o w n t o skewing isn't a prob1164 in. lem (bottomphoto).

Tearout Preventing



W h e n t h e c h i p b r e a k e ri s s e t b a c km o r e t h a n 1 / 3 2i n . f r o m the blade'sedge,fibers may b r e a ko u t a h e a do f t h e b l a d e ,c a u s i n gt e a r o u t .

M o v i n gt h e c h i p b r e a k e r closerto the blade'send forces a shavingto rise at a steeperangle.This reduces tearout.

When the plane's mouth is wide open,with a largegap in front of the blade,fibers may split out betweenthe blade and the sole.

C l o s i n gt h e p l a n e ' s mouth by moving the frog forward a l l o w st h e p l a n e ' s s o l et o push down on the fibers, which helps preventtearout.

yourplane's Rub solewith a few squiggles of paraffin or canning wax every ten strokes or so.This yourplane helps glidemuchmore smoothly.

lf you move the frog forward, you must double-check that it hasn't wiggled side-to-side a n d b e c o m es k e w e d .M a n y o l d e r S t a n l e y p l a n e sh a v e a n a l i g n m e n t a b t o p r e v e n t skewing,which is an excellentfeature.

American Woodrvorker

JULY 2oo7


D_r Linclsev Dill and Torn Bockrnzrr-r ast fall, ru'h'.Bockrtran, mv shop te:rcher-,presentccl plzrns fbr ser. erzrl n,oochvor-king projects to mv clzrssancl askecl us ezrch to choose orle to builcl. The one I likecl best nas callecl "Fab Frzrmes", rvhich appeared ir-rthe October. 2006 isstre of American \\Icrodn'orker M:rs:rzine (#124). The fi'zrr"nes \\'et-e covel'ecl rvith routecl flutes that krokecl arvcsonre. Tlie stor-r' saicl making vztli:rtions \\':ls c:1s\':rncl thzrt vorr corrlcl rnakc lots of'fl-anres at the sallle tinre. Pltrs, tl-rev didn't have to be miterecl. That sounclecl greatl

[Vln. ffioilt{i'"tAr!'s C r-tsLLF rd Gil

Follorving tl'rc step-br.ste1t clirections ir-r the storv tllztde ther ltroject take t<to lons fbl- otrr oneiour s h o p c l a s s e s .S o Mr. Bclcknran askecl if I coulcl col"ne up
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pieces that hacl to lte altrecl together, u,hich I thotrght rvas sillr'. I rnacle rnv form bi' ctrttins a sinsle piece to size ancl then rotrtinq out the center (see rrriclclle rieht pl-roto, page 72). Mv f r r r m m c : r s r l r e s 9 - i r - r .b r ' 1 1 - i n . a n d i t s c e r r t e r o p e n i n e i s 4 - 1/ 2 - i n . 6 rotrtecl each fl-ante and 6-l/2irr., perfcct for 5x7 photos. After I'r'e renroved it fi'orn the fbnn, I lout :r rabbet alound

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Lindsey D i l l s h o w ss o m e o f t h e f r a m e st h a t s h e m a d e i n h e r w o o d w o r k i n g c l a s sa t P r e s c o t H t i g h S c h o o li n P r e s c o t t , rizona. A
70 -\rrrer-icurr \\iroclrr'olkcl JULr 2ooT

the insicle opening, fbr the pl-roto.

Lin clsel,'s .jigs make it easvto create fraines with straisht,

curved or wa\ni patterrls.
I thought of my second change after following the directions to rout the flutes in a frame blank. The directions called for using the router table and a fence to do this job. The fence had to be precisely set up to rout the first flutes and then had to be adjusted several times to rout the remaining flutes. Bor-ing! And after completing a few frames, I was frustrated, because I could only rout flutes in straight lines.

Mv Flnsr Jlc
After discovering rhat I could make war,yflutes with a template and a handheld router, I designed a jig with rows of evenly spaced holes to index the template. (see "My FirstJig", page 72). Cutouts securely hold the frame blank vertically and horizontally. I use straight bits or core box bits to create the flutes.

Mv Srcoruo Jrc ts MonE Vensanlrr

What if I could move the frame as easily as I could now move the template? Then I could rour flures diagonally across the frames. I tried drilling the jig's indexing holes in a circle around the cutouts, but I couldn't get the spacing right. So instead of spinning the template, I decided ro spin the frame. By this time I was tired of drilling holes, so I figured out how to get rid of them, roo. My secondjig has a rotating circular insert and a T: square fence (see "My Second Jig", page 72). This time the rouring templates attach to the fence and the fence clamps to thejig.

Lindsey's problem-solvirg and imaginative solutions have made her fabulous frames a popular " student project choice.
-Tonr Bocknran PrescottHigh School rvooclworki n g i nstructor
American Woodworker JU:Y 2oo7 71

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My f ir s tjig allowsr o u ti n g fl u te sh o ri z o n ta la ly n d v e rti cal l y. I can routstrai ght, V - s haped cu rv ed, or w a v y fl u te s ,d e p e n d i n g o n th e shapeof the templ ate. I l i ke mak ing t he r ows s li g h tl y a s y m m e tri c as l ,o I fo l l o wt he templ ate w i th the corner of a s quar e- bas ed la mi n a te tri m m e r.





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To fit in my jigs, the frames all have to be the same size.I attach oversize blanks to a Drec i s e l y - s i z e df o r m . A f t e r m a r k i n g and rough-sawing the frame's center cutout, I rout each blank to match the form.

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My s ec ondjig is m o re v e rs a ti l eT . h e T -s q u a re fe nc e c lam psat any p o i n t,s o I c a n v a ryth e fl u tes 's pac ing. A ll o f m y te mp l a te s fi t, s o th e , n d th e fra m e ro ta te s , fl u tesf ollowany pa tte rn a so I c an r out f lut esa c ro s si t a t a n y a n g l e .




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of designing, building and frustrations You know the rewards your chance to helpothers Here's a project. and finishing and we'll put it Tellus what you'velearned buildtheir skills. For more information on in print(someconditions apply). your stories for publication, emailus at submitting

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American Woodworker

Lrnnru How ro BEan rHE CHanrER
he crack of a baseball against a wooden bat is a wonderful heard today. Too often sound seldonr it's been ..ei

TUrnA Classic
"clink"of replaced by the metallic
an aluminum bat. Baseball has .ffi' its roots in balls, gloves and shoes made from animal hides, and


bats made from trees. It seems an odd place for high tech equipment to intrude. Making a wooden bat returns you and your kids to the sound and feel of
reat. oto_ilil1e r-F.

The Ri.qht Wood

Almost every common wood has been used for bats at one time or another. However, a few species dominate the history of the sport. Traditionally northern ash has is a neckA few
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been the wood of choice, but currently-at least in the pros-it and-neck race with hard maple.



'.' '

bats are still made of hickory and beech. For this project, I suggest buying a blank of ash or maple that has been graded for bats (see


F I G .A
. ecause Note:These n u m b e r sa r e o n l y g u i d e l i n e sB of the e v e r c h a n g i n ga n d s o m e t i m e sl o c a l i z e d n a t u r eo f b a t r e g u l a t i o n s ,i t ' s b e s t t o c h e c k w i t h y o u r l o c a l l e a g u e for specific officials b a t d i m e n s i o nl i m i t s .

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{ lf you're starting I with a purchased round blank,mark the center on both ends with a plastic center finder. On a s q u a r eb l a n ku s e a ruler acrossthe diagonals to find the centers.

"Sources", p.78). performance,

The reason is not only superior

but also safety. A bat made from a

graded bat blank is less likely to break in use. Bat blanks are graded differently from regular furniture grade lumber. First, only straightgrained wood from slow-growing trees of moderate size make the grade. The blank must have tight, evenly spaced growth rings and be free of flaws like knots. The best blanks are often split from the log rather than sawn in order to follow the grain perfect$ Extra care is taken in the d.Fng of bat blanks to create an even distribution of moisture throughout the entire thickness.

QTrue the cylinder's lentire length with a spindle-roughing gouge.Thisstep is necessarybecause t h e b l a n km a y b e warped, or your center marks aren't perfect.Takelight cuts. You don't want to remove too much stock. Q Sizethe bat with rJ calipersand a parting tool.Transferdiameters from a drawing or an existing bat (calleda master)onto the blank. Lightly push the calipersinto the work as you reducethe diameter with the parting tool until the calipers just slip over the cut. a spindle'/lUse t r o u g h i n g g o u g et o "connect the dots'j The goal is to join and blend the different guide diameters to create a smooth cylinderthat tapers towards the handle.

Tools And Srpplies

To make a full-size baseball bat vou will need a lathe that can handle lengths up to 3Gin. between centers. For Little League bats a lathe with shorter capacity will workjust fine. It is best to have a live center at the tailstock end, and drive with either a spur or cup drive. If you are duplicating a bat, you will need to fabricate a simple V-block system to hold the master bat (the one being duplicated) directly behind your blank (Photo 3). The bat can be turned with three tools: a spindle-roughing gouge (l-l/4rin. to l-3/{in.), a parting tool (1/4,in. wide) and a spindle/detail gouge (3/8-in. or l/2-in.). If you are comfortable using a skew,a large one (l-in. to l-l/2-in.) can be added as an option for smoothing the shape and rounding the end of the barrel. Complete your supplies with a pair of locking outside calipers. Make sure the caliper's points are fully rounded smooth. Sharp points can catch when used to sizeyour bat. Round the poina with a file and smooth with sandpaper.A pair of dividers is helpful-although optional- for sizing the knob's width. A plastic center finder is helpful in locating centers on round bat blanks (see "Sources").

Prepare the Blank

FTake light cuts rf and create level transitionsas you approachthe final shape of the barrel Work from the large diameterto the s m a l lt o m i n i m i z e tearout. Determine the type of the bat you intend to turn: Major League, softball or Little League. This can be based on an old favorite you'd like to duplicate or from scratch using a drawing based on regulations dimension (see Fig. A, p.74). The blank should be 1 to 2 inches longer than the finished bat to allow for waste at both ends. Mark the centers on the blank (Photo l) and mount it on the lathe. I place the barrel end of the bat at the tailstock. Then I true the cvlinder to the axis of the lathe (Photo 2).


American Woodworker

JULv 2oo7

Shape the Barrel

Shape the widest part of the bat, called the barrel, first. You want to preserve the thick diameter on the blank as long as possible to avoid chatter from vibration. Start by making guide diameters on the first third of the blank with calipers and a parting tool (Photo 3). Set the calipers about 7/8-in. wider than the desired diameter to allow for final shaping and sanding. If you're duplicating a bat, place the master directly behind the mounted blank. Next is a process of connecting the guide diameters with the spindle-roughing gouge (Photo 4). Shoot for smooth transitions between the guide diameters (Photo 5). Go ahead and roll over the end of the barrel at this time (Photo 6).

1! Roll over the end Lf of the barrel with a detail/spindle gouge. Shoot for a smooth, gradual curve like the master has. Leave by 2about a 112-in. in. diameterwaste area near your live center for now.

Shape the Handle

Mark and shape the middle third of the bat in the same way you shaped the barrel. When you reach the last third of the bat, remove some of the waste material towards the knob end first to give you some working room. Spindle work is best done from larger to smaller diameters because it produces the least amount of tearout. As you reduce the diameter of the bat, you will experience chatter. This usually shows up as spiral marks on the surface of the wood (Photo 7). To reduce chatter, use a sharp tool and keep it firmly planted on the tool rest. Take light cuts. Avoid pushing hard or you're bound to get chatter from the flexing blank. Even with all these tactics, you will need added supThe traditional port as the handle narrows. method is to support the narrow area with your hand (Photo 8). Another option is to employ a steady rest (Photo 9). I use a steady rest when I get to about the middle of the blank. Continue the process of cutting and connecting the guide diameters working from the large diameters on either end towards the narrowest point on the handle (Photo 10).

or chat] Spiraling I ter is a big challenge for the bat m a k e r .S p i r a l i n g results from the wood flexing, or the t o o l b o u n c i n go r a combinationof both. As the bat gets thinner,the problem becomesmore pronounced. QSupport the work (Jwith your hand to reducespiraling. This is a safe and common practice. Make sure there is little gap between the tool rest and the wood. Keepyour hand pressureon the backof the blank. steady rest is QA rJ an alternatrve to the hand-support method. lt virtually eliminateschatter and spiraling because the work is supportedon three sides at once.A steady rest requiresa smooth area for the wheelsto run upon. { flwork the area | \rf to the right of the knob. Cut from t h e l a r g ed i a m e t e r towards the small d i a m e t e r( a l s o known as cutting prodownhill).This ducesthe smoothest cut with the least tearout.

Shape the Knob

As you approach the end of the bat, go ahead and lay out the knob area. Establish the knob's width and diameter (Photo 11). Then reduce the diameter on the knob's right side, blending into the handle. Leave a 1/2-in. to l-in. length of waste material past the end i. fh, of the knob. ed, finish ' After the handl e area is completoff the knob by rolling with the corners gouge (Photo l2).

the awav rpindle/detail

American \Aroodworker JULY 2oo7 77

rl rt Establish the I I width of the k n o bw i t h a p a i r o f dividers. I keep the wood on either side of the knob as fat as possible u n t i lt h e h a n d l ea r e a i s a l m o s tc o m p l e t e . T h i s h e l p sr e d u c e spiralingfrom a flexing blank. .l .lRoll the knob lZusing the s p i n d l e / d e t ag i lo u g e . Start at the widest portion of the knob and ride the bevel of the gouge down to t h e h a n d l eo r w a s t e block. The open or U-shapedportion of the gouge facesthe directionof the cut. ,l QSand your bat I rJwith the tool rest, steady rest, and master bat removed. Start with 100 grit foll o w e d b y 1 2 0 , 1 5 0a n d 180 grit paper.

Finishirg Touches
Sand the entire piece, working through the different grits up to 180 (Photo 13). Turn the waste material on both ends down to slightly larger than your lathe centers. Remove the bat, cut the waste off with a handsaw (such as a smallJapanese saw), and finish sanding the ends of your bat by hand or a disc on the lathe. Most bats have brands to indicate how the bat should be held. Always swing the bat with the label up to reduce the chances of breakage. The goal is to hit the ball on the radial grain, or what some woodworkers call the edge grain-rather than the tangential or face grain. So, put your brand on the grain that looks like chevrons rather than the edges of plywood. Use a woodburning tool to put whatever name or symbol you wish to use as your brand (Photo 14). I recommend finishing your bat (Photo 15). A finish gives the bat a nicer look as it brings out rhe grain. Plus it offers some protection from moisture. All types of finishes have been used for bats, including shellac, lacquer, varnish (water-based or oilbased). For this bat I am using a wipe-on poly; three coats is sufficient. Some players prefer the handle area to be free of finish-for better gripping and applying pine tar. Now, it's time to hit the field! Sources (888) Ambrosch International, 641-5966,


look to your bat b y b u r n i n gi n y o u r own brand.The brand is always placedon the face grain portion of the bat (see inset)to give the hitter a point of reference for posit i o n i n gt h e b a t .


A s h B a t b l a n k s$ , 7 - $ 1 9M , a p l eB a t B l a n k s$ , 18-$25. CuttingEdge,(800)790-7980, www.cutinged Centerfinder,#400-800-2875, $8, W o o d b u r n e r s$ , 55to $125. Alan Lacer. Spindle s t e a d y ,$ 1 1 0 .

ltrApplyafinish I t/to give a richer look to the bat as well as some protect i o n a g a i n s tm o i s tu re.

Alan Lacer is a woodturner living and playing ballin western Wisconsin. His web site( has a variety of articles, videos,tools,and histeaching schedule.

American Woodworker


TipsforMarking andMeasuring
13 methods to makelayouteasier
Wnrre WrrH
Lay out "cut here" marks on rough lumber with chalk.Chalk marks are easy to read, even on the scruffiest surface. Unlike ink, pencil or crayon, chalk marks are easy to erase if rTou changeyour mind.(loftendo!) Just scrub the marks with a stiff wire or bristle brush.


Setting a compass to draw small arcs or circles can be a royal pain, so I cheat and use a plastic template instead.You can generallyfind one at an office supply store.

SHop-Maor SrnercHTEDGE
Every shop should have a long wooden straightedge. It's got a hundred and one uses,but I primarily use mine for checkingjointed and sawn edges,and for guiding my router. This 4-ft. one is pretty fancy, I admit, but there are good reasonsfor going to the extra trouble. Most of it is pine, so it's ligftweight. lt's laminated from strips, so it will stay straight for years. I added a hardwood strip to the bottom to prevent dings. The holes are for hanging this beautifultool on my wall.

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When I lay out door panels,drawer fronts or other highly visible parts, I want to see what they'll look like before I cut. I make a window from two L-shapedpieces of cardboard taped together to find the perfect grain pattern. lt's easy to re-adjustfor different sized parts.



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American Woodworker

JULy 2oo7

Marcr CnrsPER Geucr Lrrues

I love a wheel-typemarking gauge for laying out tenons and dovetails.lts round cutting wheel must be super-sharp to make fine l i n e sa c r o s st h e g r a i n .S h a r p e n i n g thistiny object looks nearly impossible,but it's really quite easy. First,unscrewthe cutterfrom the gauge.Placea piece of 320-gritor finer sandpaperon a flat surface, such as 114-in. thick glass.Placethe cutter on the sandpap e r ,f l a t s i d e d o w n , a n d p u s h i t a r o u n d i n c i r c l e s . T h i s is hard to do with your finger, but it's a cinch when you use the eraserend of a pencil.Don't mess with the cutter'sbevel side. Instalt l h e c u t t e ri n t h e g a u g ea n d m a k e a l i n e a c r o s s t h e g r a i n .l t should be as crisp as one made by a razor-sharp knife or chisel. Source: (800) gauge, LeeValley, 871-8158, Veritas wheelmarking 0 5 N 3 3 . 2$ 12 ,7.50.

Rulrs Anr Enstenro Reao M e n r W r r u A C H I S E L Sanrru

lf you're thinking about buying a precisionrule or square,check its lusterfirst.Toolswith a satin or matte finish are much easier to read under all light conditions,especially their teeny-tiny 1164-in. divisions.Glare is a big problem with brightly-finished rules.Thelight must be just right to easily read them. Source: (800) Woodcraft Supply, 225-1 153, 4" satin-f inish double square, 04P56, $35. A sharp chiselmakes an excellentmarking knife becauseit has a single bevel.Doublebeveledknives have to be held just so in order for one bevel to snug up againsta square.A chiselhas to be handledthe right way, though. Pull the chiseltowards you, with the handle leaningaway. lf the handle leanstoward you, y o u ' l l g e t a r a g g e dl i n e .

Brrur-SlcK ARcs
Bendinga thin stickis a quickway to lay out an arc.Trouble is, it takes two hands to bend the stick.How are you going to draw a line around it? The answer is to use two thin sticks,taped together at the ends. (My sticksare 1/8-in. thick and 314-in. wide.) Placea spacerof any length betweenthe sticksat their centerpoints. Now your hands are free to draw the arc. Adjust the spacer'slength to make arcs of differentcurvature.Shiftingthe spacer off the centerpointscreatesasymmetricalarcs.

Use A Pexr Ow DanKWooD

U s e a b l u e b a l l p o i n tp e n t o m a r k dark woods, such as walnut. lts ink is far easierto read than a p e n c i ll i n e .


American Woodworker

JULv 2oo7


No-ManH Snw Serup

So, you've got a big, squarehunk of wood that you want to turn on the lathe.You figure sawing off the corners first will save a lot of work. How do you correctly position the saw's fence? I t ' ss i m p l e .U n p l u gt h e saw and tilt the blade45 degrees.On a left-tilt saw, move the fence well to the right, away from the blade.On a right-tilt saw, remove the fence and put it on the left side of the blade. Next, lean the blank againstthe blade.Move the fence to touch the blank'soppositecorner (Photo,above right). Plug in the saw, place the blankflat on the table and rip eachcorner (Photo,below right).
90 American Woodworker JULv 2oo7

Flnrrrru Youn MnnKtNG Gnuce

A marking gauge is a very precisetool to lay out mortises.To work well, the tool's head must be flat.The brasswear strips on many new gauges are proud of the wood (presumablybecausethe wood has dried and shrunk sincethe tool was manufactured) a,n d s h o u l d b e l e v e l e d . To do the leveling,I use a 1/ lapping plate and sandpaperaffixedwith a spray adhesive. This gauge needsa lot of work, as you can see from the shiny high spots, so I staftedwith 150grit paper and continuedup to 320-9rit.

Register todayto receive the FREE e-newslette4 American Woodworker Ertra, and get 3 of our Bestshopprojectptans FREE! Logon to

www.americanwoodworker, com/freeplans
4,4-*r" 6 4,.*

SraruoYoun Rulr OruEocr

l ' m a n o l d f a n o f f o l d i n g r u l e s .U n l i k et a p e m e a s u r e st,h e y don't have a hook at one end that may requireyou to start at the one-inchmark for an accuratemeasure.Boy, have I made some embarassingmistakesthat way!There'sa trick though. For precise to using folding rules accurately, m a r k i n g ,s t a n d t h e r u l e o n e d g e r a t h e rt h a n l a y i n gi t f l a t . Thisplaces t h e d i v i s i o nl i n e s r i g h t o n t h e w o o d . I really like this new-stylerule, which is made from plastic.The joints are cleverlyconstructedso that every division line runs down to the wood, even at the joints. On old-stylewooden rules,the metal fittings at eachjoint prev e n t m a n y d i v i s i o nl i n e sf r o m r u n n i n gt o t h e r u l e ' se d g e .


The quickestway to set the angle on a grinder'stool rest is to use a shop-madeblock.Draw a line 114-in. from the block'sedge. Saw, file or sand two angleson the blockthat intersectwith the line, one at 25 degreesand one at 30 degrees. I use the 25-degree end to grind general-purpose chisels, which I hone at 30 degrees.I use the 30d e g r e ee n d t o g r i n d m o s t p l a n ei r o n s ,w h i c h I h o n e a t 35 degrees.

(800)523-4777, 6' foldingrule, H3695,$20 Grizzly,

American Woodworker

JULY 2oo7


Calling all Tool Nuts!

I really drills, sevenrouters don't needfive cordless handplanes, but I can'thelpit. or 24 antique you? l'm a toolnut.Are
just because it Haveyou everboughtan old woodworking machine my looked Tried cool? a new tool andsaid,"Wowl Thisjust changed machine how in the world lifel" Useda big,industrial andwondered you couldsneakit intoyourshop? We'd liketo hearyourstories. So e-mail or sendus a letterabouta gets you excited. We'll sendyou a new tool or machine that really your story.Please AL multi-tool if we publish Leatherman Charge include image, but a slideor a photograph, too. We'd prefera digital print is OK.Visitour Web site, for someexamples of what we've got in mind. E+nailyour entry to too Inut @am ericanwoodwo . or,writeto us at The ToolNut, AmericanWoodworker Corporate CenterDrive,Suite180, ,Magazine,1285 ' E aganM , N 55121.

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Plnrc Glnss Vs. T T M P E R E D G l n s s

Plate Glass
We're most familiar with this of glass . Plate glass is available at hardware stores and home centers in thicknesses from 3/32-in. to 1/Lin.It is commonly used for windows, glass doors, door panels, tabletops and shelving. Art glass is often 1/8-in. plate glass. Textures or patterns are added by running the molten glass under an imprinted roller. The texture or pattern is on one side so the glass can still be cut in your shop.

Tempered Glass
Tempered glass can take a hit. It has turice the impact resistance of plate glass. However, this is tme only on the face of the glass.Tempered glassis actually more prone to shattering when stmck on is edge. That's why tempered glass is not recommended for shelving even though it can carry four times the weight of plate glass. Use tempered glass for large doors, or doors below counter height that are susceptible to impact. Tempered glass can be used for frameless glass doors, as long as they are fully inset, so the edge is protected when the door is closed. Tempered glass costs nvice as much as plate glass.It must be special ordered from a glasssupplier and cut to size before the tempering process. Tempered glass cannot be cut so it's best to have the glass in hand before you build. Art glass cannot be tempered because of the trapped air bubbles from the manufacturing process.

Plateglassshatters into razorsharpshards when it breaks.

When temperedglass does breakit crumbles into cubes.

CHoosE THE RrcHr P

ne Glass THIcKNESS

1/8-in. Plate Glass

3/16-in. Plate Glass

Plateglassthat is 3/16-in. thick is readily availablefrom hardware stores or home centers. Glass this thick can be trickyto cut so it's best to leaveit to the pros. When it comes to glassdoor panels, weight is a major consideration. That plateglassa good makes3/16-in.-thick choice for large (over 3 square feet) door panels. Evenso, argeglasspanels are heavy. lt's often necessaryto add an extra hinge to accommodatethe additional weight. You might consider 1/B -i nch tempered gl ass for l arge frameddoor weighs less,but also costs twice as much.

:lthiCt<,' atso' bbttec

"doublestrength"glass,is the thinnest plate glass you
shouldever use in cabinetdoors.lts use should be restricted to door panels glassis easy under3 squarefeet. 1/B-in. to cut yourself and readilyavailable at most hardwarestores and home centers. Most colored or textured glass is 1/B-in. thick. B ec a u s ei t i s re l a ti v e l fra y g i l e ,1 /B i n. glas s mu s t a l w a y s b e u s e d i n s i d e a f r am e .P l a teg l a s sth i n n e rth a n 1 /B -i n. is often referredto as "single strength" glassand is too fragileto be used in furnit ur e .l ts mo s t c o m m o n u s e i s i n oi cture frames.


Arnerican \Aloodworker

JULv 2oo7

Cuoosr Arv
Cut glass has sharp, rough edges that need some kind of treatment if it is going to be left exposed. Two common edge treatments available at most hardware stores are the pencil grind and the flat grind. Both grinds can be polished to a gloss or left with a satin look. Specialized glass suppliers offer more dechigh orative edge treatments, such as bevels, ogees, and other molding shapes.Some of these shapes can only be dor-re on glass thicker thanl/4 inch.
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Sources forWoodworkers. 800-588-7435, Source Glass Outwater Plastics Industries, Inc., 800-63'1-8375, Ed Hoy, Spectrum Glass, 425483-6699, Wissmach Glass Company, 304-337-8800, Kokomo Opalescent Glass, 765457-81 36, Your Local Yellow Pages, under Glass, stained and leaded. (Outwater and Think Glass sell directlyto the public. Other sources will refer you to someone in your local a r e a w h e r e y o u c a n p u r c h a s et h e i r p r o d u c t s ) .

1 l4-in. Plate Glass

Plate glass that i s 1 /4 -i n . th i c k i s al so re a d i l ya v a i l a b l el.t i s m ost o fte n u s e d fo r fu l l g l a s s d o ors, s hel v i n g ,ta b l e o r d e s k to p s .A 1 1 4-i n. t hic k g l a s ss h e l f c a n s u p p o rt5 p o unds per s q u a re fo o t o v e r a 3 0 -i n . s pan. T h a t ' sa b o u t 1 5 - l b sf.o r a s t a n d a r d1 , 1i n . - d e e pu p p e r c a b i n e t- e n o u g h f o r m os t d i s p l a ya p p l i c a ti o n sl.t' s a l ways bes t to c o n s u l ty o u r l o c a lg l a s ss u p pl i er to help size your glass shelves appro p ri a te l y .

3/8-in. or 112-in Plate Glass

The best choicefor large glasstabletops is 3/Bplate glass, in. or 112-in. if it is only supported at especially a few points. Make sure your base the l oad.A t over 6 l bs.per can handl e ft., this is heavystuff! sq. The exposed edges on tabletops require some kind of treatment. There i s a much broader range of on edge treatment profi l esavai l abl e gl assthi s thi ck.

American \4boclrvor-ker JULY 2oo7



After reading abotrt the l-realth hazards of microscopic drrst particles, I clecicleclto retrofit mv olcl dtrst collector rvith a canister filter. Tl-ris rvas its second uperade: I'cl alreadv lvired my collector to autornatically start whenever I tumed on one of my stationary machines. I removed tl-re collector's top bag to get a precise rneAsrlrelnent of tl-remetal ring tl-recanister rvotrlclfit on. Then I phonecl the cle:rler, confirmecl that the canister r,r'oulcl fit perfectly on my old collector and placed rny order. Tilo or three da,vs later, I went out to the shop t() trlm some leqs on the lathe. As trsrral,startins tl-relathe autornaticallv turned on the dtrst collector. Yikesl J'd forsotten to reattach the bag! In seconds m)' sl-rop was er-rveloped in a dense cloud of' red dust, all of the sandir-rs residue from rny previous project, a set of cherrl kitchen cabinets. Holdine rny breath, I groped to shtrt off the power and rar-r for the door. I returned a half hour later to find everythir-rg covered b,v a thick layer of red dtrst. Even after a thorough cleaning, I'm strre I'll be finding red dtrst fbr 1'earsto come. Dnn Hund,ruft








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u Make your woodworking mis takespay! Send us your most memorable "\44ratwas I thinking?" blunders.You'll receive$25 for each one we print. F-mail to oops@americanwoodworker. com or send to AW Oops!, American Woodworker, I 285 Corporate Center Drive, Suitel8O, E.g*, MN 55121.Submissions can't be returned and become oru-property upon accepranceand payrnent. We may edit submissions and tne thern in all print and electrouic meclia.

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Nothing happened when I pushed the green "start" buttorr on my brand new 220vjointer. I knew the powerwas on, because my tablesaw worked rvhen it was pluggecl into the same outlet. When I oper-red the trnplugged jointer's back panel, I saw that the wiring didn't match the diagram in the manual. So I callecl the help-line for assistance. The person on the other end had me change the rvires to match the diagram, btrt myjointer still wouldn't start. He said he would have a technical expert call me the followins dar,. The expert had an "upclated" wirins diaeram, btrt it onlv matched the way the jointer was orisinall,v wired. We were about to sive up when he asked, "Did you happen to rotate the red "stop" button a quarter tum to re-activate the magnetic switch?" Aatrgh! One reason I'd purchased this jointer was its two-step safe-start rnechanism. I wished rotating my red face a quarter turn wotrld re-activate my brain. Daui,d.Nkrgookqhan

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J|)LY 2OO7