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June 2014

Americas leading
woodworking authority

A Gorgeous
Coffee Table
5 Finishing
CNC Router
Civil War Style
Shaving Box
for Grooming Gear
(page 28)
(page 40)
(page 56)
3 Woodworkers Journal June 2014
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Professional Woodturner
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See the video from Glenns workshop at !
W o o d w o r k e r s J o u r n a l
22 Adjustable Turning Bench
By Ernie Conover
Follow the spindle from a seated
position with this bench made for
sit-down turning.
28 19th Century Shaving Box
By A.J. Hamler
Inspired by Civil War era styles,
this storage box has dividers to
hold grooming supplies, plus a
handy mirror.
34 Mudroom Bench
By JoAnne K. Liebeler
Adding a backrest and arms, plus
a distressed finish, transforms an
abandoned coffee table.
56 Full-size Mirror
By Chris Marshall
Highly figured wood, contrasting
dowel pin accents and through
tenons make this curvy mirror
frame a handsome project.
6 Editors Note and Letters
A fond farewell; plus, readers write
about projects from recycled wood.
12 Tricks of the Trade
Make a compass from T-track.
Readers share their shop solutions.
14 Questions & Answers
Origins of the quartering system
for lumber nomenclature.
18 Stumpers
Thats where youll find the
mystery tool solution.
20 Shop Talk
London family has been building
wooden boats for over 300 years.
40 Tool Review
Chris Marshall reviews 14"
steel-frame band saws.
50 Tool Preview
Sandor Nagyszalanczy introduces
you to the Handibot portable CNC.
52 Whats In Store
Power tools, workwear and more:
whats new for your shop.
62 Finishing Thoughts
Five finishing fixes youll find in a
professionals repertoire.
66 Hey ... Did You Know?
New department features curiously
fun woodworking facts.
J une 2014
Page 22
Page 28
Page 56
Page 34
4 June 2014 Woodworkers Journal
Vo l ume 38, Numb e r 3
For more information, call 1 800 551-4415
or visit
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High-performance, P-graded, open-coat aluminum oxide grain Cuts faster, lasts longer and resists clogging
Flexible and conformable to shapes and contours Makes sanding easier of various surfaces and hard-to-reach areas
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Outlasts Conventional Sandpaper
Our super-sharp abrasive and new coating method
make these sponges resist clogging, cut faster and
last longer than general sanding sponges and up to
5X longer than conventional sandpaper. The various
sizes and grit combinations offer maximum versatility
and flexibility for sanding curved, contoured or flat
surfaces of wood, metal, paint, plastic, and drywall.
A total program for all your customer needs.
Saint-Gobain Abrasives, Inc. 2013
June 2014 Woodworkers Journal
1,000 bd. ft. of old, old barn
wood. Made beautiful cabinets
and furniture out of it.
Jim Gier
Payson, Arizona
Just want to mention a potential
hazard when reusing and
recycling wood. If your machines
are connected to a dust collector,
and should you encounter a
Larry Stoiaken was hired by our founder and CEO, Ann
Rockler Jackson, to start a woodworking magazine. They
named it Todays Woodworker, and it became a
wonderful, project-based bimonthly magazine that
reached nearly 130,000 readers in its heyday. (We bought
the Woodworkers Journal in 1998 and combined the two
magazines.) Larry would be the first to tell you that he was hired for his editing
skills rather than his woodworking acumen (We didnt call him Mr. Bondo

nothing!) or for the fact that he looks a lot like Jerry Garcia.
Luckily for all of us, his editorial skill and well-honed insticts developed our
easygoing style, which has been well received over the years. Respect for the reader
was his core principle. He also said: Never use a hundred words where one picture
will explain it better, but take the time and space to explain the tricky parts. And keep
the editors who work for you [like yours truly] from getting too big for their britches,
or from being too goofy. His legacy is a highly respected and well-run magazine.
I say it is his legacy, because last January, Larry decided to retire. We will miss
him here at the Journal, but it is the nature of life that change is the only constant.
I have now moved into the publishers chair, and while there will be changes, I will
do my best to move forward building on his lessons and listening to our readers.
Rob Johnstone
JUNE 2014
Volume 38, Number 3
Woodworkers Journal (ISSN: 0199-1892), is published in February,
April, June, August, October and December by Rockler Press Inc.,
4365 Willow Dr., Medina, MN 55340. Periodical postage paid at
Medina, Minnesota and additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send
all address changes to Woodworkers Journal, P.O. Box 6211, Harlan,
IA 51593-1711. Subscription Rates: One-year, $19.95 (U.S.); $28.95
U.S. funds (Canada and other countries). Single copy price, $5.99.
Reproduction without permission prohibited. Publications Mail Agreement
Number 0861065. Canadian Publication Agreement #40009401.
2014 Rockler Press Inc. Printed in USA.
Change is a Constant
JEFF JACOBSON Senior Art Director
JOE FAHEY Associate Art Director
MATTHEW HOCKING Internet Production Coordinator
MARY TZIMOKAS Circulation Director
KELLY ROSAAEN Circulation Manager
LAURA WHITE Fulfillment Manager
Founder and CEO
Contributing Editors
Advertising Sales
ALYSSA TAUER Advertising Director
DAVID BECKLER National Sales Representative
(469) 766-8842 Fax (763) 478-8396
Editorial Inquiries
Subscription Inquiries
(800) 765-4119 or
Write Woodworkers Journal, P.O. Box 6211,
Harlan, IA 51593-1711
email: Include mailing
label for renewals and address changes. For gift
subscriptions, include your name and address and
your gift recipients.
Book Sales and Back Issues
Call: (800) 610-0883
Beds a Beaut
Having made several Murphy
beds over the years, I found
this one [Bed/Desk Combo,
February 2014] to be a beaut!
Clever is an inadequate
description! [In the same
issue], building a cabinet
around an old window
produced an excellent
example of what can be done
[Recycled Cabinet]. Several
years ago, I had access to over
Publisher Emeritus
Letters continues on page 8 ...
Jim Gier found
Februarys Bed/Desk Combo
to be a clever contraption.
June 2014 Woodworkers Journal 8
misplaced nail, chain, wire,
insulator, steel bullet, etc. (all
of which Ive discovered in
my lumber), there is always
the possibility of creating
sparks that will go directly
into your dust collection
system. Given that the
sawdust/oxygen mixture is
highly combustible, a very
explosion/fire could
result. Unless you are
looking forward to the
substantial excitement
explosions/fires can
create for your shop, be
very careful. Thanks. I
always appreciate your
Dean Santner
Alameda, California
My husband made two
bedside tables for me
for Christmas. He used
recycled shutters that
have been in his shop
for years and some
Letters continues on page 10 ...
cherry wood he had from
previous projects. He also
made a shelf for over the
bathtub from leftover walnut
he had in his shop. Both gifts
are beautiful and, while he
did spend hours making them,
he said his total cost was
something like $5.00!
Robin Seitz
Hailey, Idaho
I read with interest your
article on repurposing wood
[Recycled Cabinet] in the
February 2014 issue. I
recently visited a friends farm
and noticed some
13"-18" wide roof
boards that had been
removed from his
fathers house when
it was torn down. I
drum sanded them
just enough to
clean them up
some and to bring
out the beauty of
the wood; but not
enough to take out the saw
marks, nail holes and other
rough characteristics. I
constructed a simple chest
highlighting the full width
boards. I used simple hinges
and rope to give it an older
authentic look and plugged
the screw holes with plugs
from the actual wood. I gave it
back to my friend as a gift; he
was thrilled and felt I honored
his fathers memory.
Bill Myers
Muscatine, Iowa
Heat Off Sanding Discs
In regards to the Tricks of the
Trade Leave Sanding Discs
in the Dust [February 2014],
Woodworkers Journal
25 Outdoor Projects CD
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Just in time for SUMMER! With 25 proven outdoor projects, this CD is
full of great ideas for using your woodworking skills to enhance your
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at a picnic table, a wooden welcome mat and even an outdoor shower, this CD
has something for everyone. So keep your tools sharp and yourself active this
summer with this collection of plans. They are all readers favorites, and all
from Woodworkers Journal, a source you can trust.
A portion of this bedside table started out
as a window shutter. Combined with
leftover cherry, its a frugal reuse.
Mudroom Bench,
page 34
WJ and our readers have
reused coffee tables, windows,
roof boards and more to make
new recycled projects.
Letters continued
To order this CD, visit:
and click on the Store tab.
Go to your Rockler dealer today to see why
everyone is raving about the 14|Twelve
115 Volt, 1HP
Enclosed Stand
High/Low Rip Fence
Laguna Ceramic Guides
World Class Fit & Finish
Oversized Cast Trunnion
Worm Gear Rack & Pinion
Dynamically Balanced Cast Wheels
June 2014 Woodworkers Journal
house, so can I get there and
get help if I cut myself? The
answer was, NO!
I determined that I needed
two things to survive: First, a
signalling device. I decided
on a small, portable air horn
like the ones used in small
boats. It is loud, unusual and
attention-getting. A cell phone
is a good idea, but there is not
always service where you
might be cutting.
My second need is a first
aid kit. I purchased an old
army web belt and a
couple of ammo carriers
to attach to it. I can
wear it when I am in the
woods cutting. I put in a
touniquet and at least one
blood-clotting package (fairly
common in sporting goods
stores or online) and a
generous supply of large pads,
wrapping and some tape.
John Jonash
Alton, New Hampshire
CarveWright Big Enough
After reading Computers in
the Woodshop [February
2014], I felt it was necessary
to respond to the reference to
the CarveWright CNC Router
as slightly larger in size and
capacity than the smallest,
least expensive machines. I
have [made] 30" by 48"
signage as well as full-size
furniture on my CarveWright.
I felt that the small machine
reference did not give the
CarveWright the due justice
that it deserves.
Roger Tierman
Elcho, Wisconsin
Table Has History
My grandfather built a table
similar to Ernie Conovers
Queen Anne Candlestand
Table [February 2014] in
1935. He was my inspiration
in getting interested in
Bill Myers
Muscatine, Iowa
I have an even easier way to
get the disc off. Wave a heat
gun over the surface of the
sanding disc for a minute or
two, and the disc will peel
right off. No prying, no messy
powder to clean off, the
surface will be left ready for
the new disc.
Les Gaulton
Falls Church, Virginia
Chainsawing Safety
I read the article by Ernie
Conover on Chainsawing
Your Own Bowl Blanks
[February 2014] with great
interest. I was cutting on my
woodlot one day when a
thought occurred to me: I am
only about 100 yards from my
A reader has additional tips for chainsawing safety resources, taking into
consideration the sawyers ability to reach help if an accident happened.
Click through Quik-Link on our
website to find information on the
tools featured in these articles:
Tool Review (page 40)
Whats In Store (page 52)
Theres more online at
Check online for more content
covering the articles below:
Woodturning (page 22):
Adjustable sit-down bench for
woodturning (video) List of
resources for woodturners who
are disabled (PDF file)
Mudroom Bench (page 34):
Overview of an upcycled
project (video)
Tool Preview (page 50):

in action: the first

Universal Digital Power Tool
Small Shop Journal (page 56):
Three-part finish process for tiger
maple mirror (video)
Roger Tierman thinks
the capabilities of
the CarveWright CNC
are plenty big enough
for his needs.
The stamped name and date on Bill Myers
grandfathers table (above) are important
for family history. Bill continues and
recommends the practice.
Letters continued
11 Woodworkers Journal June 2014
Dries Natural
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June 2014 Woodworkers Journal 12
Tricks of the Trade
Getting a Better Grip
Tested and photographed by Chris Marshall
Full-size Miter
Gauge Handle
The knobs on the miter gauges
that come with many benchtop
power tools are too short to grip
comfortably, but theyre simple
to customize: just take a piece of
4"- to 5"-long dowel in a 1" to 1
diameter and drill a hole through
the center of it, lengthwise. The
screw threads of the original knob
are probably standard coarse thread
for a 1/4" bolt. Buy a carriage bolt long
enough to go through your dowel handle
and engage the threads in the miter bar, but
not so long that the bolt will drag in your tools miter slot. Drive the carriage bolt
through the dowel; the square portion under the bolt head will embed in the dowel
and fix it in place, so you can twist the handle for tightening or loosening. Install a
washer on the bolt, thread the new handle into your gauge and voila! A comfortable,
custom-made handle.
Robert S. Hall
Scarborough, Maine
Cheap Liner, Many Uses
Did you know that those dollar discount
stores often sell foam liner for kitchen
shelves that works every bit as well as
the mats we buy for sanding or routing?
For just a buck or so, I use these for
those purposes, but I also cut them into
smaller pieces to help unscrew stuck
lids on jars or to get a better grip on
screwdrivers. When they get dirty, just
rinse and dry them. Or, when they tear,
toss them out and buy another one.
Theyre so inexpensive, I wont spend
full price on a sanding mat again.
Tony McQuay
Little Rock, Arkansas
Better Traction on Slick Glue
Clamping is more challenging when the glue acts like
a lubricant, which it does until it begins to set. Heres
a simple way to get more traction: I put a few grains
of coarse salt or sand onto one of the mating surfaces
of the joint after Ive spread the glue. It takes very
little grit to do the job. The salt or sand bites into the
wood when you apply clamping pressure, preventing
the parts from slipping. Sprinkle the grit toward the
center of the joint for best success.
Charles Mak
Calgary, Alberta
$5 Assembly
Ive found a surprising
source for inexpensive
assembly squares: the
building hardware
section of my home
center. There, I found
Simpson Strong-Tie

CF-R concrete form

angle brackets. These
6" galvanized brackets
form a perfect square
corner, as measured
with my best
engineers square,
and their 16-gauge
steel is plenty sturdy
for clamping and
assembly jobs. At
around $5 apiece, they
could be a great value
to woodworkers.
Bill Wells
Olympia, Washington
Woodworkers Journal June 2014
For a store near you or free catalog: 1-877-ROCKLER Materials code 567
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Safety First Learning how to operate power and hand tools is essential for developing safe woodworking practices.
For purposes of clarity, necessary guards have been removed from equipment shown in our magazine. We in no way
recommend using this equipment without safety guards and urge readers to strictly follow manufacturers instructions and
safety precautions.
In addition to our standard
payment (below),
Serge Duclos of Delson, Quebec,
will also receive a RIDGID 3-piece
18V Hyper Lithium-Ion Combo Kit
(Drill, Impact Driver & Radio) for
being selected as the Pick of the
Tricks winner. We pay from $100
to $200 for all tricks used. To join
in the fun, send us your original,
unpublished trick. Please include
a photo or drawing if necessary.
Submit your Tricks to
Woodworkers Journal, Dept. T/T,
P.O. Box 261, Medina, MN 55340.
Or send us an email:
T-track Compass
A set of nice trammel points or
an oversized compass can be quite
expensive for the hobbyist woodworker that
I am. So, I made a big compass from mate-
rials I had on hand: a length of aluminum
T-track, two 1
2"-long T-bolts and knobs,
two 1 x 2" blocks of scrap, a pencil and a
screw. As you can see, the bolts and knobs
hold the blocks at any position along the
T-track, so my compass is completely
adjustable. I drove the screw through one
block to serve as the pivot point, and I
drilled a hole through the other block to
hold the pencil. A band sawn slit up to the
pencil hole enables the bolt and knob to
grip the pencil securely. Heres a sturdy
compass that will only be limited by the
length of your T-track.
Serge Duclos
Delson, Quebec


Questions & Answers
Continues on page 16 ...
Contact us
by writing to Q&A,
Woodworkers Journal,
4365 Willow Drive,
Medina, MN 55340,
by faxing us at (763) 478-8396
or by emailing us at:
Please include your home
address, phone number and
email address (if you have one)
with your question.
I have seen, in a project
plan, the measurements
of 6/4, 5/4 and 4/4 and dont
quite know what it means. I
have asked around and have
gotten some explanations, but
am still confused as to how to
reach those measurements. Is
it that you have to glue boards
together to get the over-sizes?
And why would anyone want
to confuse the general public
with these rarely mentioned
measurements? Please
explain. Thanks.
Martin Heuer
St. Petersburg, Florida
These dimensions are
very common among
woodworkers and lumber
folks. A 6/4 board is called
out as six-quarter lumber,
which means the board was
2" thick when it was cut
from the green log. A 4/4
board is called out as four-
quarters, which was a 1"-thick
board when it was sliced from
the log.
Why? It goes back to the
sawmills. Sawmills that cut
the lumber from logs are
set up to increase the
board thickness in quar-
ter-inch jumps. When
the sawyer cuts the log,
there is a lever or handle
he/she can pull that ratchets
the log ahead of the blade.
Four pulls is four quarters, six
pulls measures out a 1
board, or six quarters.
They dont do 1/8" incre-
ments, and sawyers arent
interested in converting
measured fractions to carriage
clicks. You want a 1
board? Then you get 5/4 or 5
clicks on the log sled. Each
time the log returns to the
starting point after it has
passed the blade, the sawyer
pulls the lever and the log
advances across the carriage
to cut the next board off,
four clicks to the inch. For
efficiency, the handle can be
preset so the sawyer doesn't
have to count clicks each
time, but that is the basis of
quarter calling lumber.
Tim Inman
In reviewing the article on
cordless 18-volt circular
saws in the June 2013 issue, I
noticed that all but two of the
saws have the blade on the
left side of the motor. Most of
the corded 120-volt circular
saws that I have seen through
the years have the blade on
the right side of the motor. Is
June 2014 Woodworkers Journal
Cracking the Code of Quartering Lumber
What is the solution to the
quartering systems secret
code? Are the numbers meant
to confuse the uninitiated?
The secret goes back to the
Tim Inman is currently the
owner of Historic Interiors,
doing restoration and
reproduction work, a field
hes worked in for 45 years.
He also keeps bees.
Christian Coulis is
director of marketing,
product management for
Milwaukee Tool Company.
Jason Feldner is
a group product manager
for cordless power tools at
Bosch Tools.
15 Woodworkers Journal June 2014
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These are made
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For use when cutting softwood,
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This special bond of HCS and HSS ts
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An excellent value for your money.
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June 2014 Woodworkers Journal 16
For simply sending in his
question on the lumber
quartering system, Martin
Heuer of St. Petersburg,
Florida, wins a General
7-piece Deluxe 8" Dado
Blade Set (item 55-185).
Each issue we toss new
questions into a hat and
draw a winner.
Continues on page 18 ...
there a reason that most of the
saws reviewed in the article
have the blade on the left
side? As I am left-handed,
this would seem to make the
use of one of these saws more
natural, but most people are
right-handed. Just curious.
Dewey Lackey
Brentwood, Tennessee
Both types of saws are
designed with the most
frequent professional uses in
mind. Corded sidewinder
style circular saws are used
mostly on wood construction
projects, where the user is
cutting dimensional lumber
on a sawhorse. These users
prefer to keep the weight of
the saw on the piece they are
cutting to length and not on
the falling stock.
Cordless circular saws are
used more frequently with
lighter materials and sheet
goods like OSB. For these
longer cuts, more users prefer
the blade to be on the left side
of the tool so that it is easier
to see the cut line. The same
holds true with worm-drive
circular saws, which is why
their blade is also on the left.
Christian Coulis
In the Questions &
Answers section of the
February edition of your
magazine, Jason Feldner,
group product manager for
cordless power tools at Bosch
Tools, answered a question
about switching to lithium-ion
batteries in NiCad [nickel-
cadmium] tools.
In his answer, he said,
And the tool and battery
price is roughly equivalent to
what you would pay for a new
NiCad pack.
Why on earth does a pair of
replacement batteries cost as
much as a new tool, two bat-
teries, and a charger? This
essentially makes the tool
disposable. Apparently, one
gets about five hundred
charges on a battery while it
continues to weaken, and then
they are done. The tool itself
is fine, and all one needs is a
new battery. But they hold a
gun to ones head with inflated
battery replacement prices.
Please ask Mr. Feldner what
is the thinking behind this.
All of the manufacturers seem
to do it.
Jerry Egge
Bend, Oregon
Questions & Answers continued
Sidewinder, worm-drive;
right side, left side: Why
are some circular saws
set up with blades on the
left and some on the right?
Buying a set of power tools in a kit created by the
tool maker often lets you procure the collection for
less than if you made individual purchases.
17 Woodworkers Journal June 2014 | | 800-559-5065
Visit new customer forum:
Precision ground table for perfect jointing
Solid cast iron base gives vibration-free operation
Powerful motor
Extra wide base for stability
Stock helical cutterhead with long-lasting, quick change,
carbide insert
The starting point for any project
begins with a jointer but if the
tables are out of whack, your
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Oliver understands this critical
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8 Jointer
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June 2014 Woodworkers Journal 18
When you purchase a
cordless kit, the bundling
of multiple components
helps reduce the overall
price within the market,
given significant competition
at both the manufacturer and
distributor level. This drives
the overall price down at the
kit level. As a stand-alone,
the component is often
priced marginally higher to
compensate for the overhead
related to the singular item,
both for manufacturers to
produce but also for the
distributor where you buy the
pack to sell. Keep in mind
that distribution sets market
price, not manufacturers, in
most cases.
In the end, this also benefits
the customer. While you may
want to buy a replacement
battery only, this same compe-
tition creates significant
opportunities during peak
sales promotion times when
the latest technology drops in
price even more. This is where
I reference the opportunity to
purchase a brand-new lithium-
ion drill/driver kit (basic
duty), sometimes at nearly the
same price it would cost you
to purchase a replacement
NiCad battery.
The reality is that we all
want to serve your power tool
needs, and there are many
opportunities to step into the
latest technology in our com-
petitive market.
Jason Feldner
The two adjustable tram-
mels provide the inner and
outer diameters, said
Frank Levin of Hood
River, Oregon. Bruce
Turner of Whitman,
Massachusetts, said that,
like Vance Parkers, on
mine there are numbers one
through five on each side of
the center shaft.
This would be capable
of cutting a 10" outside
diameter gasket, noted
Gary Fortner of Lakewood,
Several people, like
Channing Walker of Santa
Rosa, California, commented
that, the arms should be
positioned on either side of
the center pivot. However,
that is only one option for its
use. As Gerald Zablocky of
Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania,
noted in his letter, the
packing and gasket cutter
still made by the Kanzawa
Company of Japan uses both
adjustable points on the same
side of the tool. The two
outer points are adjusted to
the width of the gasket and
cut the inner and outer
edges, while the larger point
is set to the radius of the
gaskets circle, explained
William Stoop of
Tuckahoe, New Jersey.
No one blew a gasket solving
this mystery.
Questions & Answers
This issues mystery tool belongs to
Robert Borgman of Sauk Centre,
Minnesota. He has no idea what it is
used for. Do you know what it is?
Send your answer to
or write to Stumpers,
Woodworkers Journal, 4365 Willow
Drive, Medina, MN 55340 for a
chance to win a prize!
Some of the best days of my
childhood, said Luke
Oswald of Dingmans Ferry,
Pennsylvania, were spent in
my grandfathers workshop
watching and learning from
[the late Herbert Nieder]. I
can remember getting answers
like tongue puller and ear
hair trimmer when I asked
what a tool was, so am not
sure how true it was when he
told me that this tool was a
gasket cutter, but at this
point it will always be a
gasket cutter to me.
Lukes grandfather wasnt
the only one who identified
Februarys mystery tool
belonging to Vance Parker of
Lewes, Delaware, as a washer
cutter, also called a circle
cutter or a gasket cutter, as
Russell Ellis of Springfield,
Massachusetts, said.
The cutter makes washers
or rings from materials such
as rubber, leather, copper or
any other type of soft material,
said Todd Polewicz of
Lockport, New York.
The center large spike is
held in a brace, explained
Steve Brown of New Castle,
Indiana. The operator of the
tool holds the handle and
rotates the tool like a layout
compass, added Gary
Gossard of Orrville, Ohio.
Woodworkers Journal editor
Joanna Werch Takes compiles
each issues Stumpers responses
and reads every one.
A Cutter of Rounds
Winner! Dizzy Swain of Newport, New
Hampshire, wins a DeWALT Cordless
Multi-tool Kit (Model DCS355D1).
We toss all the Stumpers letters
into a hat to select a winner.
Should a battery alone cost almost
as much as buying a power tool
and a battery together?
The internal paneling on this slipper stern boat is made from Canadian
yellow cedar: it has all the water resistance of red cedar; is harder; and,
when varnished, radiates a golden hue.
June 2014 Woodworkers Journal
bring in wrecks of classic boats
found in the mud somewhere,
hanging on by a few fibers,
and these craftsmen can
rebuild them as new.
Careful Wood Selection
I was shown around the
workshops by Peters son,
Richard, who, like his father,
was raised on the job. In the
shop, African mahogany is the
main material. Its durable,
workable and can be finished
to a high standard. Timbers are
selected both for resistance to
constant immersion without
deterioration of appearance,
and for color to achieve
striking contrasts. Cream-
colored obeche looks fine
in cockpits. Columbian
pine, or Douglas fir, is used
for structural work, ribs
and thwarts.
Freebodys replicates
yesteryears fashion of striped
decking based on the look
of old timber ships decks,
which were caulked with
pitch between boards and
constantly scrubbed flat to
swell the timbers and create
a seal. The modern replicas
Freebodys yard produces
the slipper stern craft, a
limousine amongst riverboats.
They reproduce and restore
electric canoes: a curious
fashion in the late 19th
century. They restore steam-
powered saloon launches, a
north Thames specialty. They
are also world authorities on
the upkeep and restoration of
the Riva, defined as the
Ferrari of the power boat world.
In addition, customers can
Shop Talk
n a tree-sheltered basin on
Englands River Thames,
near Windsor, is a family-
run, 300-year-old boatyard
internationally known for its
expertise with high quality
wooden boats. The area is
famed for smart leisure
boating, and the late Peter
Freebody said his forebears
could be traced back to the
13th century as bargemen and
ferrymen when the river was
Londons transport artery.
Freebodys boatyard restores all
types of wooden boats, from the
steam-powered saloon launch (a
party boat for the nobility) at left to
clinker-built dinghies like the one
pictured above.
The Peter Freebody & Co. boatyard
is the latest incarnation of a
family-owned company that has
been working in boating for over
300 years.
Family Has 300 Years of Boat Building Experience
An as-yet unfinished clinker-built
dinghy of Fijian mahogany was
Peter Freebodys last project.
Woodworkers Journal June 2014 21
are created with marine ply,
with grooves five to six
millimeters wide routed out in
stripes. A specialized sealant
is injected into the channels,
giving a hard but flexible
finish that can be smoothed
and varnished over.
To create the deep gloss
finish, a boat will be saturated
for days with paintable wood
preservative and, until
recently, finished with a
buildup of up to 14 coats of
yacht, or spar, varnish, which
has a large linseed or tung oil
component to assist flexibility.
Nowadays, several base coats
of West System

epoxy resin is applied,
repeatedly rubbed down and
polished with a couple of
coats of varnish.
Take-up Creates Seal
Despite working with all the
splendid craft, Freebodys
staff expresses great affection
for the clinker-built dinghy,
the basic rowing boat you see
by rivers and pulled up on
beaches across the world.
Its construction has a
simple effectiveness: the
slight curve around the entire
hull causes the top outer
corner of each board to bite
into the board above. When
placed in the
water the first
time, a process
called take-up
occurs. Water is
absorbed into the
timber for several
days and swells
it. The bite
between the
boards compresses
together to form a
seal. Richard told me that the
Vikings would put fine
sawdust into the water, which
absorbed between the boards
to enhance the process.
The boards are fixed to the
ribs using roves: square-
shanked copper nails fit
through from the outside of
the boat into a conical washer.
When bashed together using
two hammers, a rivet is
formed. The flattened cone
develops compression. The
excess nail is clipped off and
the stub riveted over. During
take-up, the nail hole seals.
Peter Freebodys own
clinker-built dinghy sits in a
small workshop upstairs. No
one has so far had the heart to
finish it. Maybe one day,
said Richard.
Barrie Scott
Interested people constantly
surrounded the workbench
of Michael Dresdner as he
demonstrated finishing techniques
and answered questions.
Rob Johnstone of Woodworkers Journal enthusiastically greeted
customers at Rocklers grand opening in Seattle, Washington.
WJ Personalities Do Demos
Rockler Woodworking and
Hardware celebrated the grand
opening of their new Seattle,
Washington, retail store last
January. As part of the party,
Woodworkers Journal finishing
expert, Michael Dresdner, joined
publisher Rob Johnstone in
woodworking demos, where
they shared some great
woodworking tips like
finish firewood first. Visitors
also got to ask Michael and
Rob for advice.
I had a great time at the
opening, said Johnstone.
Woodworkers are the best.
Square-shanked nails fit through
conical washers to form a rove
Turning For Other than a Standup Guy
By Ernie Conover
June 2014 Woodworkers Journal
y plans this month
allow anyone to
inexpensively build a
suitable bench to work at a
full-size lathe but still not put
much weight on their legs. My
hope is that this idea can open
the joys of turning to people
who otherwise might not give
woodturning a spin,
particularly if they find
standing for long periods
difficult to impossible. Like
any idea, I am sure you will
instantly think of some good
improvements. Please feel free
to share those ideas with me.
My bench plans combine
inspiration from a couple of
different sources. First, as a
presenter at the 2007
Eighteenth Century Furniture
Conference at Colonial
Williamsburg, I had the
pleasure of turning on the
This adjustable bench (the kind you sit on) allows you to scoot along your lathe,
which is helpful if standing for long periods has become physically difficult.
Inspired in part by an 18th century
people-powered lathe (below), our
author built a turning bench that
will be helpful to those who can
no longer stand for long periods
of time.
great wheel lathe while
members of the audience
supplied power.
The lathe has a sort of
bench that is no more than a
4" square beam that you can
rest your buttocks on. I took
an instant liking to the
device: it took much of the
weight off of my legs but still
allowed side-to-side
mobility. I actually climbed
into the lathe, but pulling
the pin with the round knob
Woodworkers Journal June 2014 23
Bringing the spindle down to an ergonomically correct height is the
biggest challenge to sit-down turning. The cheapest solution is a mini-
lathe, for it is easy to build a table that just clears your legs when sitting.
However, a mini is not a perfect solution, because the lathe will still be a
bit high for most people. A rule of thumb is that the center of the lathe
spindle should be at the height of the turners elbow.
I found just three full-size lathes designed specifically for the needs of
sitting people: the ONEWAY 1236SD, the Vicmarc VL200 Sit Down and
the Robust Independence Lathe. The first two lathes take the approach
of building a cantilever stand and canting the lathe toward the operator.
The Vicmarc can be canted anywhere from 0 to 45 and has a 6" range
of height adjustment, allowing the center of the spindle to be anywhere
between 29
2 and 35
16 when canted to 45. The ONEWAY tilts from
0 to 90 and, in the latter position, adjusts to a center height between
4 and 37
4. The Robust has a host of useful features, but its
adjustment range of 42" to 50" means the spindle is far too high to be
ergonomically comfortable for sitting. It needs to be a foot lower.
on top allows you to swing
the beam out of the way to
walk into the lathe. This also
allows for positioning the
beam nearer or farther from
the lathe, as fits the stature
of the turner.
My second source of
inspiration is a weaving
bench. I am familiar with
them because my wife is a
weaver. A bench for a loom
has to allow the weaver use
of her feet to raise and lower
the shafts by stepping on a
series of pedals. On wide
looms, the weaver must also
slide side-to-side to throw
and retrieve the shuttle.
Therefore, many looms have
a seat that is canted forward
to make the treading and
sliding more ergonomic.
I have coupled the idea of
the great wheel bench with a
weaving bench in my plans
for an adjustable bench for
For a video of the author
demonstrating his
adjustable turning bench,
plus a list of resources for
disabled woodturners,
please visit
and click on the More on
the Web tab shown above.
With any of these lathes, a chair on casters allows turners with
some use of their legs to move laterally as the spindle progresses.
Those in wheelchairs simply need to reposition the chair with the
needs of the work.
Confined to a Chair? These Lathes are for You
Vicmarc VL200 Sit Down
Robust Independence
June 2014 Woodworkers Journal 24
Woodturning continued
The Bench
This is a straightforward
woodworking project within
the capacity of anybody. You
do need a strong wood. I built
mine from white oak, which is
very strong. Maple or hickory
would be other good choices.
Drilling the holes on a
perfect 1" spacing is a
challenge! I found that
building an indexing jig
helped with this process. (You
can see it in use in the photo
above.) Setup of this jig has to
be on the perfect center of the
piece. Since the drill may
wander in drilling this 2
deep hole, turning the piece
upside down on each indexing
will give much more accurate
results. You may still have to
run a drill through the three
holes you are bolting to
improve alignment during
Woodturning continues on page 26 ...
T x W x L
1 Seat (1) 1" x 5" x 33"
2 Legs (4) 1
4" x 2
2" x 35"
3 Feet (2) 1
4" x 2
2" x 25"
4 Lower Cross Member (1) 1" x 6" x 35
5 Adjusting Blocks (2) 1" x 2
2" x 8
6 Seat Supports (2) 1" x 4" x 5"
A short dowel embedded in a
scrap piece of sheet stock, plus a
fence, are clamped to the drill
press to index the hole spacing
when boring the benchs
adjustment holes 1" apart.
/4" Dia.
2 2
(Front View)
Seat Support
(Front View)
(Front and Side Views)
Exploded View
Adjustable Block
(Front View)
25 Woodworkers Journal June 2014


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June 2014 Woodworkers Journal 26
Woodturning continued
This job can also be laid out
well with dividers, as long as
you dont touch the adjustment
across the four layouts. An
error of only .005" can build
to .100" over 20 holes, which
is just under 1/8".
Another method, if you are
the only one to use this
bench, is to clamp everything
together, adjusted for your
height, and just drill the holes
needed. For solo use, this is
my strong recommendation.
Remember, the center of the
lathe spindle should be at the
height of the turners elbow.
For example, yours truly is 5'
10" tall, which puts my elbow
at 44". This is the height my
father and I designed the
Conover Lathe spindle to
reach (he was the same height
as me).
Mortise-and-tenon joints
made at 3/8" make for strong
legs. Do not make the tenons
bigger than 3/8" because you
are severely weakening the
trestles with a bigger mortise.
A good rule for mortise-and-
tenoning pieces of equal
thickness (1
4" in this case) is
that the tenon should be 1/3
the thickness. Clamping a
piece of the 1" stock (that you
use to make the stretcher and
seat supports from) between
the uprights during glue-up
will save much wringing of
hands once the glue dries.
I specify carriage bolt
lengths that are available from
hardware suppliers such as
McMaster-Carr. That being
said, it may be very hard to
find these lengths at local
hardware and box stores! You
can buy longer and hack saw
to the correct length once
installed. You can file rough
edges or uninstall and spin
the tip against a bench
grinder to yield the equivalent
of an out-of-the-box bolt.
The 3/4"- to 1"-thick by
5"-wide seat is attached to the
support blocks with deck
screws. The plans call for a
generous radius at the front
and back edges so as not to
cut into your legs. I simply
hand planed a generous
chamfer and find no
discomfort. I think the
important factor is to make
the bench fairly narrow,
because in use, I keep one
foot on the floor, with the
other swinging free.
Alternatively, I can rest both
feet on the shelf of my
Powermatic and still move
along the bench as a spindle
progresses. Much will depend
on your lathe.
As I stated at the outset,
dont be afraid to use my
design as a starting point, and
send me photos.
Ernie Conover is the author of
The Lathe Book, Turn a Bowl with
Ernie Conover and The Frugal
The photo above shows the legs being
clamped into their mortises. Note the 1"
stock between them. The bench seat
(narrow to increase functionality) is
attached with screws.
The author demonstrates the
proper use of the turning bench. It
is a useful piece of shop furniture
for those who find extended
standing a problem.
27 Woodworkers Journal June 2014
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3-Point Hitch
model too.
SELF-FEEDING saves time and energy.
Most branches can be dropped into the hopper
and will self-feed, instead of you having to force-
feed them.
TOP-DISCHARGING is standard on all models,
for easily collecting discharged chips in a container
or cart.
PRO-SPEC CHIPPER KNIFE is made of forged
alloy tool steel, making it exceptionally strong
with an excellent edge-holding ability.
powerful engines up to 18 HP.

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and watch it chew up
5" thick branches!
June 2014 Woodworkers Journal 28
Getting Started
Ive chosen black walnut for this project, but feel free to use your
favorite hardwood. Mill your stock to the appropriate thicknesses
per the Material List on Page 31, then cut all the individual
workpieces to size, with the exception of the 5/8"-thick work-
piece for the mirror frame. When cutting the box ends, make an
extra one or two for some test cuts in a later step.
When cutting a strip of 5/8"-thick walnut to its 3/4" width
for the mirror frame, dont cut the individual pieces to length
uch a box was divided to organize razors, toothbrush and
brushing powder, small scissors, brush or comb, and perhaps
needle and thread. While there were several different styles
of shaving boxes, the one presented here is fairly typical. When
opened, the small mirror attached to the box lid rests against
the front of the box to keep it upright. You can adjust the box
sizing to suit your own needs and tastes, and feel free to alter
the dividers any way you like (perhaps even to accommodate a
modern razor).
Its obvious from 19th century photography
that people held personal grooming in high
regard. Back then, men often owned a
shaving box to store their supplies.
19th Century Shaving Box
By A. J. Hamler
Woodworkers Journal June 2014 29
yet. Its more efficient and safer to first mill the frames
rabbet with the workpiece as long as possible, and then miter-
cut the individual pieces to length. Follow the steps shown in
the photos above for cutting, then taping and gluing the frame
pieces together.
After applying the final tape, check your frame assembly for
square and allow it to dry on a flat surface.
When the frame is dry, lets strengthen those miter joints with
thin splines. Secure the frame in a workbench vise (or clamp it to
the edge of a worktable), and cut an angled slot in each corner with
a handsaw (1/4" deep is plenty). Now, glue a thin (about 1/16")
piece of walnut in each slot. Wipe off the glue squeeze-out, and
once the spline has fully dried, trim it off and sand the corners
smooth. Youll barely see these in the finished frame.
Go ahead and set the 3/4" headless brads theyre keepers
for the glass and mirror backing now to prevent scratching
the finish later. Tap them in just enough to set the holes.
Building the Box
Box construction here consists of rabbet joinery, although dove-
tails are also appropriate. With a dado blade in your table saw
(or rabbeting bit in your router table), set at a height of 1/4",
cut 3/8"-wide by 1/4"-deep rabbets on the ends of the two box
sides. Now install a 3/16" straight bit in your router table, set
at a height of 3/16", to create the dadoes for the box dividers
on the inside faces of the end workpieces.
These dadoes are pretty straightforward, but take your time
with the setup to ensure the cuts are perfect. In the photo on
After installing a dado cutter in your table saw, set the height at 5/16".
With the frame face upward, run the workpiece through to create a
1/4" wide by 5/16" deep rabbet on the back side.
To cut individual frame pieces, use your regular table saw blade,
tilted to 45. With the blade angle set, cut the frame sides and
top/bottom pieces to length.
Tape the outside corners of the frame pieces together in a flat, straight
line end-to-end, then arrange the components tape side down and dab
glue into each of the open miter joints.
With glue in all four joining corners, carefully lift and fold the frame
assembly closed, adding a last piece of tape to the remaining corner
to hold everything together.
1 2
4 3
June 2014 Woodworkers Journal 30
dividers are 1
4" from each end of the workpieces. To keep
everything straight, Ive taped an arrow on the outside face of the
workpiece denoting the correct orientation for each cut.
Rest the workpiece against the end stop with the inside face
downward. Turn on the router and slide the workpiece into the
router bit until it reaches the table stop, then pull it back. Set
the workpiece aside and make the same cut on the other work-
piece. Now, turn off the router and reposition the fence stop
(the walnut one here) so its 1
4" to the other side of the router
bit and clamp it in place. Repeat the cuts as before, making
sure to mind the direction of the taped-on arrows.
Recall that earlier I recommended you make some extra end
pieces? Do yourself a favor and make practice cuts on one of
these extras first, to ensure your setup is right.
Assemble the box by first dabbing glue into the rabbets on the
side pieces, then clamp the box sides and ends together. Check
the assembly for square, and allow it to dry.
The dadoes we routed in the box ends for the dividers have
rounded ends, so round the top edge of the dividers to match.
These dividers are thin, so the easiest way is to do the rounding
on a sheet of 150-grit sandpaper on a flat surface. Be sure both
dividers are flush with the box bottom. You can fine-tune this
once youve completed the roundover on the tops by inserting
both dividers into the box, turning it right side up and sliding
the whole thing over the sandpaper.
From Top to Bottom
Both the box lid and base have rounded edges; the base takes a
half roundover on just the top edge, while the lid edges are fully
rounded. Install a 3/16"-radius roundover bit into your router
table, and round all four top edges of the box base. For the lid,
first round over all four top edges, then flip it over and do the
four bottom edges.
The lid is divided into two sections, which you create by making
a cut 6" from one end. The 6" portion becomes the back of the
lid, while the 3" portion is the front.
Since the hinges essentially rejoin the lid we just cut, its most
efficient to merely fold the two lid pieces over on themselves
and cut both mortises at the same time on the router table with
a 3/4" straight bit set 1/16" high. Make sure to orient the work-
pieces for a continuous grain pattern before you proceed. Clamp
a stop block onto your router tables miter gauge or sliding fence
exactly 1
4" from the bit edge. Place the lid halves together
against the stop block with the cut edges down, and run both
over the bit at the same time to cut one complete hinge mortise.
Still keeping the two halves together, flip them around side-for-
side and repeat to cut the other hinge mortise.
While you have the 3/4" bit installed in the router table, raise
the height to 1/8". Now, with the stop block still in place on the
fence, create deeper mortises in the top/rear edge of the main
box for two more hinges. With the same stop block setup, these
will also position the mortises 1
4" from the box edges.
You can make spline slots a number of ways, but for a frame this
small, a handsaw is easiest and fastest.
Its a good idea to tap the mirror-keeper brads into place to establish
holes before applying finish.
Put glue into the slot and press the spline into place. Wipe off excess
glue and trim the spline flush once the glue dries. Sand the joints smooth.
page 31, right, you can see that Ive clamped stops on my router
tables sliding fence to control the size and location of the cuts.
Since the dividers are 1
8" high, you only want the workpiece to
travel 1
8" into the router bit. On the right side of the photo, you
can see where Ive clamped a poplar table stop to control the
forward travel of the fence to exactly 1
8" into the router bit.
On the left side of the same photo, you see that Ive also
clamped a walnut end stop onto the fence to position the
workpiece exactly 1
4" from the router bit: the dadoes for the
Cut rabbets on the ends of each of the side pieces. A sacrificial fence
protects the surface of the table saws existing fence when cutting.
Why double the mortise depth? Well, for the two-part lid we
wanted the hinge centered between the two lid halves. For the
hinges on the underside of the lid at the rear, however, we wont
cut mortises they mount flush and the deeper mortises in
the box keep the lid from raising the full thickness of the hinge.
Secure the two lid halves into your vise, mortise edges up.
Center your hinges over the back-to-back mortises, mark and
drill pilot holes, and screw the hinges into place.
Woodworkers Journal June 2014 31
T x W x L
1 Mirror Frame Sides (2) 5/8" x 3/4" x 7"
2 Mirror Frame Top/Bottom (2) 5/8" x 3/4" x 5
3 Mirror Back (1) 1/8" x 4
4" x 6"
4 Box Sides (2) 3/8" x 2
4" x 8
5 Box Ends (2) 3/8" x 2
4" x 6
6 Dividers (2) 3/16" x 1
8" x 8
7 Box Lid/Base (2) 3/8" x 7" x 9"
8 3/4" Brass Hinges (4) Brass
9 Brass Latch (1) Brass
10 Brass Washer #6S (1) Brass
11 Brass #6 x 1/2" Round-head Slotted Screw (1)
12 Brass #6 x 3/4" Flat-head Slotted Screws (3)
13 Brass #6 x 1" Round-head Slotted Screw (1)
14 Mirror (1) 1/8" x 4
4" x 6"
Final Assembly
Place the lid upside down and center the main box on the
upward-facing underside of the lid. With the box perfectly
centered, trace the inside edges of the box onto the underside
of the lid to indicate exactly where the open portion of the box
will be once the lid is attached. (See photo, top of page 33.)
Drill three countersunk screw holes in the top portion of the
mirror frame: one through the center/top, and one on each side.
Box End
(Inside View)
Box Side
(Top View)
Using a pair of carefully placed stops on your router table miter gauge,
create the dadoes in each end piece for the box dividers.
Exploded View
Mirror Frame
(End View)
Hold the two lid halves together to cut the hinge
mortises in both pieces at the same time.
With the lid halves clamped and held in a bench vise,
drill pilot holes and install the brass hinges.
June 2014 Woodworkers Journal 32
clearance with the box sides. Once youve done that, you can
remove the frame and set it aside. After adding a finish to the
rest of the box, well mount the glass and mirror backing, and
permanently reattach it to the box lid.
Install hinges in the rear mortises we cut earlier with the
knuckles to the rear, then place the inverted box atop the
lid/mirror assembly, lining the box up with your outline marks
from earlier. Mark the hinge locations on the underside of the
lid and drill pilot holes for the hinge screws. As before, insert
screws into the hinge leaves and double-check that they will
not extend through the lid; 3/8" screws, once paired with the
thickness of the hinge leaves, should be right, but check this
before installation.
Before attaching the box base, apply a finish to the inside of the
box and dividers. Shellac was typical for items like this. I chose
amber shellac to really bring out the color of walnut. Shellac the
dividers and box interior separately, taking care not to get shellac
on the bottom edge of the box where youll apply glue, then slip
the dividers into place when the shellac dries.
Install the box base with a combination of glue and nails: at
only 7" wide, wood movement isnt an issue here, so glue wont
present a problem. Apply glue to the bottom edge of the main
box and center it on the box base, and clamp up the assembly
till dry. Once the glue dries, reinforce the bottom with headless
brads (3/4" or 7/8") or pin nails. Note in the photo at the bottom
of page 33 that before gluing on the base, I traced an outline of
the box on the underside of the base to act as a nailing guide
place nails only in the dead center of this outline.
Installing the Locking Post
Drill a pilot hole in the front edge of the box for a #6 x 1" brass
screw that will act as the locking post for the box lid. Place the
Round over the top edges of the dividers to match the dadoes. Sandpaper
works fine, but you could use a very small roundover bit in your router
table if you like.
The box base gets a roundover on the top edge, while the lid receives a
full roundover on both top and bottom edges to form a bullnose.
The two side holes should be about 1/2" from the hinged edge
of the two-part lid. Be sure that all three holes are drilled in the
solid portion of the frame, about 1/4" from the outer edge,
avoiding the rabbeted section where the mirror goes.
Before attaching the mirror frame to the lid, slip your screws
into the holes so they are fully seated, then check the screw depth
against the edge of the lid: you do not want those screws going
through and coming out the top of the lid. If the screws are too
long, use the next shorter size.
Center the mirror frame in the marks you made on the
underside of the lid (you should have about 1/8" clearance on
the sides and a bit more at the ends) and screw the frame into
place. This step is just to set the screw holes and check the
To accurately place the mirror on
the underside of the lid, perfectly
center the box and then pencil in
the box opening to use as a
placement guide.
Woodworkers Journal June 2014 33
hole exactly in the center of the box edge, cen-
tered from side to side. Drive the locking-post
screw into this hole, but not too far. We need it
there to mark for the locking-post hole in the
lid and well drive it to final depth once the lid
is complete.
Attach the lid to the box via the rear-mounted hinges, and
close the box so the underside of the front edge of the lid rests
atop the locking-post screw. (Hold the lid flat while you do this.)
Press the front of the lid down firmly onto the locking post screw
to make an indentation in the underside of the lid.
Using the indentation as a guide, drill a 5/16" hole exactly
centered on the mark. Be sure to place scrap wood underneath
while drilling to prevent the drill bit from causing tearout on the
opposite side when it comes through. The lid should fully close
now, with the locking-post screw passing neatly through the
center of the hole. With this done, go ahead and apply finish to
the rest of the project.
Adding the Final Hardware
Theres still the matter of keeping the box lid closed when your
grooming tasks are finished. For that, its time to add the latch
hook. Latch hooks really havent changed over the last couple
hundred years. As long as you use one made of solid brass,
rather than brass-plated, any commercially available latch hook
is fine and will give your project a touch of high quality. I used
a 1
4" hook, but a 1" hook would work just as well. Latch hooks
typically come with a Phillips head screw, which is fine, but if
you want to hold to period authenticity, replace it with a slotted
screw instead.
With the lid closed, adjust the height of the locking-post
screw to allow you to slip the latch hook beneath the head with-
out binding too tightly. Hold the latch hook in place and make
a centered mark on the lid through the hooks top screw eye.
Drill a pilot hole on your mark. Insert the latch hooks mounting
screw through the hook eye, slip a washer onto the screw beneath
the hook, and fasten the hook to the lid. Adjust the latch screw
so the hook twists easily, but without any extra play in the action.
I used a #6 x 1/2" screw to mount the latch hook, and although
the lid is only 3/8" thick the combined thicknesses of the hook
and the brass washer underneath it were sufficient to make
it just right. As with every other instance of driving screws
through the lid of the box, check and double-check before
driving the screw.
The final step is to reattach the mirror frame permanently to
the underside of the lid with its three screws. Here, Ill offer a
bit of advice. Dont yield to the temptation of gluing the mirror
frame to the underside of the lid. If the mirror ever cracks,
youll need to be able to easily remove the frame from the box
lid in order to replace the glass.
A.J. Hamler is former editor of Woodshop News, and the author
of the upcoming book Civil War Woodworking, Volume II.
Center the mirror frame in your outline on the underside of the lid and
screw it into place to set the screw installation holes. Be sure to double-
check screw length to avoid driving a screw completely through the lid.
Glue and clamp the base to the bottom of the box. Note that the inner
surfaces are already finished its much easier to do the inside before
When the glue on the box base has dried, drive some small brads through
the bottom to add a bit of strength.
scarves, gloves and other accessories.
And the relatively shallow depth of 23"
doesnt consume much floor space.
space, a project was born: creat-
ing a mudroom bench out of a
coffee table.
Building a mudroom bench
from a coffee table isnt a huge
leap of project-logic. The coffee
table Im talking about is solid
wood and super strong. Its 17
2" height
is ideal for sitting comfortably to remove
footwear. It has drawers that can store
Sad and abandoned in the garage, this coffee table had
seen better days. With a little imagination and elbow
grease, it has started a new life as a mudroom bench.
June 2014 Woodworkers Journal 34
ts got dirty, back-door secrets.
Neglected and unseemly, its the
dumping ground for filthy footwear,
mismatched gloves and outerwear. Im
talking about the back entry, or what
architects call the mudroom.
Just about all of us could benefit from
some organization and tidiness in this
transitional war zone. So in an attempt to
bring some function and flair to this
By JoAnne K. Liebeler
This functional, cottage-styled
mudroom bench was repurposed
from an old coffee table. Heres
how we did it.
Mudroom Bench
Woodworkers Journal June 2014 35
I should also mention its mahogany, a
beautiful species of wood that deserves to
be buffed up, polished and shown off. With
structural bones like that, this coffee table
was ideal for recycling, repurposing,
rebuilding and repainting.
The idea was to clean up the mahogany
drawers, give it a two-step distressed
paint finish and build our own backrest
and arms. Im no fine
woodworker, but these
are basic techniques
and within anyones
grasp. Besides, by
reusing a piece of
furniture, this was an
affordable makeover.
The coffee table had
been languishing for
decades in a garage.
The finish was worn.
There were a couple
of dings and dents.
A family of mice made
a condo out of the
drawers. But there
was no water damage
or warping. So it was a
good starting base.
The first step was to
clean up the surfaces for painting. This
was a relatively easy sanding job since
they needed only to be residue-free and
smooth. A palm sander and 120-grit
paper did the trick.
Sanding the mahogany drawer fronts was
a little more intensive. It took three passes
with 80-, 120- and 220-grit sandpaper to
remove the old varnish and prepare them
for a new finish facelift.
The interior drawer bottoms were another
story. Their condition ranged from OK
to disgusting. Some sort of unidentified
gummy-gluey-gobs were stuck on the sur-
face and probably had been since the
Reagan administration.
Thank goodness for a cabinet scraper. It
was the tool for getting into those narrow
drawers to scrape out the gunk.
The last step on the drawers was dealing
with those chewed-up sides. A good 1/2"
to 3/4" was completely missing thanks to
some toothy little mouse. The solution?
Clean up and cut down all the drawer
side profiles so theyd match.
To do that, I clamped a pair of drawers
face to face and drilled two holes at their
intersection for jigsaw access. I marked
for the 3/4" cut and
clamped a straight-
edge to guide the
saws base plate. Just
a quick note about
that: I cant be
trusted to cut a
clean, straight line
without some help.
The guide was the
perfect solution.
All the drawers
were reshaped, with
the result that each
drawer side now has
a shallow, U-shaped
profile on its top
edge. Somewhere
in rodent world, a
mouse is laughing
at the extra work his
Coffee and Tea to an Almost-Settee
Of course, the most transformative part of
this project was to build a back and arms.
I used 3/4" plywood for the back panel
and got some help cutting it to size. Thats
because the table saw is a power tool I
still find unnerving. Plus, big old honkin
sheets of plywood are awkward. So its
nice to have extra hands for this. Next,
I measured for and cut angled corners.
Here, a shop-made fence was secured to
help make an accurate cut.
The angled corners were the beginning
of filling out some design details on
this piece. 1 x 4 pine was cut to
picture-frame the five exposed edges
of the back. To soften the hard lines and
angles, I gave a little bevel to the edges
using a sharp block plane. Then they
The author reshaped the top of the drawer
sides to remove rodent damage. She used a
Forstner bit to shape the ends of the new
profile, and then connected the dots with a
handheld jigsaw. Note the straightedge guide.
Sanding off the old finish cleaned off the
crud and corruption of years of abuse,
and also prepared the surface for paint.
For a video of the author talking about this project,
please visit and click on the
More on the Web tab shown above.
Mitered corners on the plywood back added
shape to a boxy project. A shop-made guide
ensured the cut would be made accurately.
June 2014 Woodworkers Journal 36
were glued and pinned in place, which
set the stage for the centerpiece:
mahogany slats. Talk about a misers
dream! I used 1/4"-thick lauan mahogany
plywood, which only costs $12 a sheet.
The slats were ripped to four-inch widths
and cut to length.
The arm assemblies were constructed
from 1 x 2 pine pieces (see the Drawings)
and screwed together as a simple box.
They got a decorative kiss with some
angle-cut 1 x 4 armrests.
Painting and Staining
The seat, back and arms were already
sanded to accept the two-step paint finish
a black undercoat topped by a basil
green color. The green complements the
mahoganys red tones, so its a nice con-
trast for the wood. It also has a muted,
neutral quality to it. That means it
should be able to withstand the shifting
winds of color trends over the years.
With a two-step distressed finish, you
dont have to knock yourself out painting
the undercoat over the entire structure.
Only hints of it will be revealed. So the
base coat painting focused on areas
where the natural wear patterns would
be: edges and corners.
For the drawer fronts and slats, I went
with a mahogany colored stain. That
rich, ruddy color is also beautiful. The
stain was flooded on and wiped off. The
job was finished with a topcoat of spray
of shellac followed by sprayed lacquer.
Staining and finishing before assembly
is a good practice. You know darn well
that fluctuations in humidity mean wood
expands and contracts. By coloring and
finishing all the pieces, you wont see
any telltale bare-wood lines when the
wood shrinks. Leave the tan line to that
kid in the old Coppertone

Putting it Together
Mahogany plywood might be affordable
and nice-looking, but its a bit flimsy.
Face-nailing the slats onto the back
panel wouldnt look great, so securing
the slats with glue was the only reason-
able option.
I played around with the spacing
opting for a pennys width separation or
so between each one then glued them
in place with yellow glue. To get good
adhesion, a 2 x 4 was laid over the top
of the slats with a brick or two on top
of it working as a clamp.
Once the glue was
dry, I secured the
subassemblies to the
base. The picture-
frame detailed back-
rest was held back 1"
so it could sit on top
of the coffee table
base and locate the
plywood accurately.
A few countersunk screws driven in
from the backside of the piece definitely
turned this former table into a bench.
Securing the arms provided rock-solid
stability. Even though it was awkward to
do, the armrests screws were driven in
from the underside, to hide the fasteners.
The author used spacers to get a regular
pattern between the back slats. When she
had figured the spacing out, she stained the
slats to match the drawer fronts, then applied
shellac from a spray can.
A mahogany stain on the well-sanded drawer fronts added life to the surface (left). A coat of black
paint, strategically placed, would provide the contrast to the green paint applied later. Then the
author would rub down through the green paint to expose wear patterns of the black color.
The arm subassembly was glued and
screwed together. Then it was secured to the
top and the backrest with screws. Finally, the
armrests were screwed in place.
7 7
Woodworkers Journal June 2014 37
Final Flourishes and an Almost-flop
That just left the final decorative touches:
hardware, a comfy cushion and distressing
the finish. I chose round, hammered iron
knobs to echo the undercoat color.
Youd think finding fabric for a cushion
would be rote, routine and dull as unbut-
tered toast. But it had to be carefully cho-
sen. I considered the design (traditional),
the colors (basil green and red wood tones)
and the design elements (mahogany as the
star attraction). A muted paisley-patterned
corduroy was the solution.
The last step was to distress the finish so
hints of the black undercoat would show.
The protocol called for steel wool and
denatured alcohol to gently take down the
topcoat. My first attempt didnt go well. The
topcoat seemed resistant to the alcohol.
So I slathered on more and rubbed harder.
When the topcoat finally began to dissolve,
it did so without grace. Blotchy, skunky
chunks of green paint came off. It even
got down to bare wood.
JoAnne Liebeler has been a host and
producer of TV shows such as Hometime,
Home Savvy and Passport to Design.
T x W x L
1 Back Panel (1) 3/4" x 22
2" x 51"
2 Panel Frame Sides (2) 3/4" x 3
2" x 15
3 Panel Frame Corners (2) 3/4" x 3
2" x 8
4 Panel Frame Top (1) 3/4" x 3
2" x 38
5 Back Slats (11) 3/16" x 3
8" x 17
6 Arm Top and Bottoms (4) 3/4" x 1
8" x 14"
7 Arm Stiles (6) 3/4" x 1
8" x 5
8 Arm Front and Backs (4) 3/4" x 1
8" x 6
9 Armrests (2) 3/4" x 3
2" x 17
10 Drawer Knobs (6) Rockler item #37413
Exploded View
Ill blame it on a combination of poor
technique and the wrong applicator,
because when I switched to a Scotch-

abrasive pad, the results were

much more controllable and attractive. It
enabled me to get that gently distressed
finish that Id envisioned from the begin-
ning of the project.
So at the end of the day, heres how this
coffee table transformation stacked up: It
took about three days to complete. The cost
of supplies and materials was under $100.
And as a solution to a problem area, its
pretty and practical. Best of all, a beauti-
ful piece of mahogany craftsmanship was
rescued, recycled and given new life. I
hope it inspires you to find an old piece
of furniture and use your skills to give it
a second chance. Its fun, practical and
affordable. You cant beat that!
T x W x L
Arm Assembly
(Side View)
June 2014 Woodworkers Journal 38
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June 2014 Woodworkers Journal
Tool Review
14" Steel-Frame Band Saws:
Big Resawing for Any Shop
By Chris Marshall
The benefit of steel-frame rigidity is now extending to many smaller
band saws that run on 110 volts. How well do they work? We find out.
he downside to traditional 14" band saws with all cast-iron frames is that many are limited to
about 6" of resawing capacity. Todays next generation of steel-framed band saws solve the
problem: their box-style spines are tremendously rigid to withstand the high tension required
for a wide resawing blade, and their frames are extended for tall resawing. Lately, the category of 14"
steel-framed saws is growing. Even better, theyre equipped with 1
2" to 1
4"hp motors that run on
110 volts! No need to rewire your shop for 220 in order to resaw the really wide stuff. But, is sub-2hp
and household current really enough? I rounded up six different 14" models and put them to work on
12"-wide hard maple to find out. And the results? Very pleasing! Heres how they tested.
Top-shelf Resaw Blades
Woodworkers Journal June 2014 41
Resawing demands a blade with sharp teeth and deep
gullets to shovel out copious sawdust produced during
cutting. So, for this resaw test, I used a new 3/4"-wide
Timber Wolf silicon steel resawing blade (from in each saw. They feature two to
three variable-pitch teeth per inch in a positive hook
configuration. That aggressive design no doubt helped
these smaller horsepower saws cope with the dense,
12"- wide hard maple used for my cutting tests.
A foot brake (left),
common on larger
band saws, makes
quick stops for safety
possible on Generals
90-170B. No matter
how modest your
shop, if you have a
110-volt receptacle,
you can run this saw,
and all others
featured here. Motors
(right) are prewired
for a standard outlet.
Continues on page 44 ...
reinforced by an extra support
arm and lock knob in back.
This saw comes with an
Excalibur T-square style fence
that, thanks to bearings, rolls
smoothly on its front rail for
ripping or resawing. A curved
resaw attachment bolts on to
provide workpiece steering,
for coping with any blade drift
issues during resawing. I wish
the accessory were taller than
2", though: for the maple
resawing test, I wanted taller
backup support, so I used a
shop-made resaw jig instead.
With the exception of
Laguna, General and the
other test saws come with
ball-bearing upper and lower
blade guides a more
heavy-duty solution than the
cool blocks youll still find
on some traditional 14" band
saws. Dual side bearings and
a face-mounted thrust helped
keep the 3/4"-wide resawing
blade tracking straight on the
90-170B, and they adjust
pretty easily too. The side
bearings turn eccentrically
with a screwdriver for fine
adjustment, while either an
Allen screw or a smallish
thumbscrew locks them.
But, getting a wide blade
into position in the first
place is fussy work here.
Blades load through a side
slit on the table, then must
be turned 90 in a small
throatplate opening, while
threading it in through a slit
in the saws yellow upper
blade guard and between the
guide bearings. Once the
blade is on the wheels, the
lower left guide bearing is
difficult to adjust without
tipping the table up first. Its
all doable, of course, but it
could be easier.
A cast-metal quick-release
lever on top tensions the
blade by twisting it down
and that will come in handy
for de-tensioning between
uses, too. Once powered up,
this Generals 1
2hp motor
helped it steam through hard
maple, slicing six 24"-long
veneer sheets with ease. Two
4" dust ports in the bottom
flywheel case kept dust to a
minimum when connected to
an 1,100 CFM dust collector.
I also appreciate the foot brake
that stops the cutting action in
only about 1.2 seconds.
At nearly $1,600, this saw is
amply featured, but its priced
high relative to most of the test
group. Blade-change fuss
aside, it performed solidly.
June 2014 Woodworkers Journal
Tool Review continued
General International
General Internationals
90-170B, along with
all six of these test
saws, did a fine job
of general rip- and
curve-cutting with a 1/4"
blade. But, a saw made for tall
resawing as well as general
cutting needs to satisfy three
main criteria for me: the
blade guides should be easy
to adjust (since youll want to
switch back and forth between
wide resaw or narrow blades);
the rip fence and features
should aid in resawing; and
the motor must be gutsy
enough to keep the blade
spinning through wide stock.
In most of these respects,
the 90-170B has a lot to offer.
It sports a generous, 16" x
20" cast-iron table, and a
sturdy upper blade guide post
moves smoothly up and down
on rack-and-pinion gears to
adjust its cutting height. The
table sits on a pair of double-
walled trunnions that enable
it to tilt and lock securely,
and when tipped, the table is
Street Price: $1,594.99
Motor Size: 1
2hp / 12.5 Amp
Table Size: 16"W x 20"D
Weight: 293 lbs.
Resaw Capacity / Throat Width: 12" / 13
Blade Length, Width Range: 112", 1/8" to 3/4"
Web/Phone: / 888-949-1161
General International
For a store near you or free catalog: 1-877-ROCKLER
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For a penny under
$1,900 street, JETs saw
will be a shock to the
pocketbook of most hobbyists.
But thats my only criticism of
the JWBS-14SF. It was in all
regards a pleasure to set up
and use. Heres why. Back to
my initial criteria, JET has
done its homework to make
both upper and lower blade
guides simple to adjust. Large
knurled knobs control
eccentrically moving
double bearings on top,
so they set without tools.
The lower guide
bearings are also easy to
adjust: theres ample room
under the table for both
hands, and even the rear rim-
oriented thrust bearing has a
control knob in front where
you can grab it.
Blades thread straight in
through a front slit in the
table easier than saws with
side-slit styles and a
hinged upper guard opens for
wide blade access. Once a
blade is threaded, the saw has
a three-position quick-release
lever in back for tensioning.
Viewing windows in the upper
flywheel case, plus a large
tensioning scale, help you
keep track of blade settings at
a glance with the door closed.
JET equips the 14SF with a
phenomenal rip fence. The
base casting is hefty and locks
with a large ratchet lever, and
a beefy, 6"-tall extrusion
provides plenty of backing for
tall resawing or flips down to
a second low position when
cutting thin stock. The
fences micro-
adjust control is
another helpful
asset here.
A large
opening with
milled aluminum
insert, durable knurled
door latches and
oversized hand wheels
are thoughtful, quality
details. Even tilting
the table is made
easier, thanks to a
geared crank lever
and polished handle.
When I fired this
machine up, I learned
that it performs as
well on the track as
it sets up in the pit.
There was plenty of
power for resawing
wide maple, while
only about a
tablespoon of dust was
left inside the lower
flywheel case
afterward. Two long
metal dust ports
hook up to 4" hoses
for cleaner cutting.
While shelling
out top dollar
always buy
top quality,
in this instance, I think JETs
JWBS-14SF will prove to be
money very well spent.
Laguna 14-Twelve
Laguna has created an
enticing package in this
recently minted 14-Twelve
band saw. Its 1
4hp motor and
balanced, cast-iron flywheels
drove the wide resawing blade
through maple without
June 2014 Woodworkers Journal
Tool Review continued
Street Price: $1,899.99
Motor Size: 1
4hp / 15 Amp
Table Size: 16"W x 21
Weight: 356 lbs.
Resaw Capacity / Throat Width: 13
2" / 13
Blade Length, Width Range: 125", 1/8" to 3/4"
Web/Phone: / 800-274-6848
JETs tool-less blade guides (left) simplify adjustments. The
hefty 6"-tall resaw fence (right) comes with a threaded
micro-adjuster for setting up precision cuts. Our author
found it to be the best rip fence of this test group.
bogging down under steady
feed pressure. A single 4"
dust port in the bottom case
kept dust to an absolute
minimum. Heavy stock wont
shift the table off its tilt
setting, either, thanks to two
oversize trunnions that lend
solid foundation below. This
saws infrastructure seems
made for heavy-duty cutting.
Laguna outfits the 14-
Twelve with ceramic blade
guides: four strips sandwich
the blade at both guide
locations, and two pucks
provide rear support. Their
aluminum housings slide
along tracks in the guide
mounting blocks for easier
lateral adjustment, and plastic
knobs lock them without
tools. One gripe: the bottom
blade guide area is cramped.
Despite its side-loading
table, blades are still quite
manageable to install, thanks
to an oversized throatplate
opening and a hinged top
blade guard. A quick release
flips up for blade tensioning,
and you can check blade
tracking and tension through
two viewing
windows up top.
I like Lagunas
robust rip fence and
the 5
2"-tall resaw
facing for
supporting wide
boards. The fence
can be adjusted for
both parallelism and
squareness if
needed, although
mine was spot-on
from the factory. It
has no micro-adjust
provision like JET.
A bare bones
14-Twelve doesnt
include the halogen
task light ($99) or
wheel kit ($149)
shown here, but
theyre worth it. The
light offers broad illumination
of the cutting area, and
Laguna provides a built-in
receptacle to plug it in. Thats
helpful! The three-wheel
mobility system makes this
saw pleasant to roll around.
All in all, the 14-Twelve is
straightforward to set up, and
it bests tough cutting jobs.
Oliver 4620
Side by side, its hard not to
see some similarities between
Olivers 4620 and General
Internationals machine: Their
table systems, rip fences,
blade guide components and
tensioning provisions are
virtually carbon copies, with
the exception that Oliver
Woodworkers Journal June 2014 45
Street Price: $1,097 w/o task light or mobility kit
Motor Size: 1
4hp / 14 Amp
Table Size: 16"W x 21
Weight: 258 lbs.
Resaw Capacity / Throat Width: 12" / 13
Blade Length, Width Range: 114
4"-116", 1/8" to 3/4"
Web/Phone: / 800-234-1976
Street Price: $1,400
Motor Size: 1
2hp / 12 Amp
Table Size: 16"W x 20"D
Weight: 304 lbs.
Resaw Capacity / Throat Width: 13" / 13
Blade Length, Width Range: 113
4", 1/4" to 1"
Web/Phone: / 800-559-5065
Oliver Machinery
Dual-port dust collection
(top) kept Olivers lower
flywheel compartment clean.
A box-style, welded spine
(bottom) contributes added
stiffness to these steel saw
frames to withstand high
tension from resaw blades.
Lagunas $99 task light (left) shines bright light over
the whole table area from above. Widespread
trunnions (right) form solid table support below.
Blade quick-release levers (left) are good
standard features on all of these saws. RIKON
provides a hefty flywheel spring (above) to help
the saw withstand greater forces required for
tensioning wide blades.
June 2014 Woodworkers Journal 46
outfits the upper
guides with single,
rather than double,
bearings. Olivers
frame is taller, too, by
a couple of inches.
This saw includes a
full-size miter
gauge, which is a
convenient, useful
feature. It has no foot
brake. The slitted upper
guard, small throatplate
hole and side-loading table
make blade changing finicky.
Given their common traits, I
expected the 4620 to perform
similar to Generals machine.
But, when I pitted it against a
chunk of 12"-wide maple,
Olivers 1
2hp, 12-amp rated
motor seemed to struggle to
keep the blade spinning. I
backed off to only gentle feed
pressure, and I was able to
slowly resaw six slices of
veneer, but if I applied feed
pressure consistent with the
other saws resaw tests, the
blade slowed to a stall again.
Consultation with Olivers
technical department helped
me diagnose the problem: one
of the lower drive belts that
tensions the flywheel pulley
was overly loose from the
factory. Its not an adjustment
youd expect to make on a
new saw, and it wasnt
inordinately loose, but adding
more tension fixed the glitch.
Powered back up, the saw was
able to resaw at a feed rate
consistent with the others,
helping Oliver finish my
cutting tests with a good
showing here.
RIKON 10-325
Seven years ago, RIKONs
10-325 won our Best Bet
honors among a group of 14",
mostly cast-iron framed band
saws. Now, after testing this
tool again, I recall why. Its
sensibly designed, capable
and easy to use.
Its guide bearings single
side and rim-mounted thrust
move with knurled knobs
and tighten down easily with
Allen screws. The lower guide
bearings, hiding in table
shadows on some machines,
are easy to see and reach
here. I love that the thrust-
bearing knob is forward facing
on this saw. No need to tip the
table to adjust these guides.
Blade installation is easy,
thanks to a front-slitted table
and hinged blade guard. A
left-right moving quick-
release lever in back provides
blade tension, and viewing
windows in the top case help
you see what youre doing.
RIKON provides a fat
spring for upper flywheel
tensioning a good provision
for withstanding wide, stiff
resaw blades. The 10-325
also has a sturdy rip fence
with a fairly short fence beam
and resaw bar. So, in the tall
resawing test, I opted for a
much taller shop-made
resawing guide instead.
Other amenities include
a geared lever for tilting the
table, a spacious storage
compartment and shelf below
the saw and a flexible task
light to brighten the table.
In testing, the saws 1
RIKON-built motor muscled
through hard maple, and most
of the dust was whisked away
Continues on page 48 ...
Street Price: $999.99
Motor Size: 1
2hp / 14 Amp
Table Size: 16"W x 20
Weight: 251 lbs.
Resaw Capacity / Throat Width: 13" / 13
Blade Length, Width Range: 111", 1/8" to 3/4"
Web/Phone: / 877-884-5167
Tool Review continued
47 Woodworkers Journal June 2014
Bench Dog

Pocket Push St|ck

This pocket-sized push stick s|ips
into your too| pouch or pocket so you
can go from [ointing, to sawing, to
routing without ever having to search
for a push stick. It's portab|e enough
to bring to any [ob site and features
durab|e po|ymer construction and a
rubber hand|e for comfort. For more
detai|s, head to
Look for Bench Dog products and dealer locations at
Keep safety close at hand!
Bartley Classic Reproductions
Quality Kit Furniture
Large and Small Kits
for a Variety of Skill Levels
In Beautiful Solid Wood.
Item #44753 .... $89.99
50155G Hybrid
Chris Marshall is Woodworkers
Journals Senior Editor.
June 2014 Woodworkers Journal 48
through a lower 4" dust port.
For just shy of $1,000, RIKON
continues to provide a solid
value for the money here.
Steel City 50155G
Steel City calls this saw
a Hybrid, and thats
because, in truth, its
an evolution of sorts:
the frame is elongated
cast-iron, with the bottom
half nestled in a steel cabinet
that opens for lower flywheel
access. The design allows
the saws 1
2hp motor to be
moved down to the rolling
base for more stability. And,
the wheels/caster are a helpful
standard feature for moving
this machine around.
Steel City has been off of
our tool review radar for a
number of years, so I was
anxious to try this saw and see
what it would have in store.
The 50155Gs webbed
framework is designed for
12" of resaw capacity. Blade
guidance was assisted by
double side bearings and
face-oriented thrust bearings
that can be adjusted with
knurled knobs and
thumbscrews. Its a good,
tool-free design. The bottom
guides are tucked in close to
the trunnion casting and
table, where I found the left
bearings adjuster hard to
reach. But, at least the guides
dont require squeezing a
wrench or screwdriver into
that space while youre at it.
Steel City equips this
Hybrid with a thick, granite
table thats dead flat and rust-
proof. Blades load through a
slit in its side and must be
turned 90 at the throat
opening. When installing wide
resaw blades, youll also want
to remove the two screw-
mounted blade guards.
I like the saws 6"-tall
steel resaw bar that mounts
to the saws rip fence. I used
the fence system with good
success for the resawing test.
And, after tensioning the wide
blade with the machines
quick-release lever, the
50155G chomped through
wide maple in good stead.
A gooseneck light up top
brightened the work area.
The saw also comes with a
circle-cutting attachment.
One concern about cutting:
when visually following a
pencil line, the red blade
guard partially obscured my
line-of-sight to the blade.
A plastic window is there to
peek through, but it created
a distorted view of the line.
Dust collection through a
4" port in the bottom kept this
saw running clean throughout
my cutting trials.
Coming in a tad under
$700, Steel Citys Hybrid is
quite long on features and
easiest on the budget here.
Best Bet No Easy Pick
JET has a standout saw in the
JWBS-14SF, but its pricing is
steep. So, I think the sweet
spot in this group centers on
Lagunas 14-Twelve and
RIKONs attractive 10-325.
They ran a dead-even heat in
terms of resawing capability,
but my hat tips slightly in
favor of Laguna. Its stout
build quality testifies to
Lagunas long history of
engineering industry-leading
band saws. The tall fence,
rugged trunnion assembly and
pro quality blade guides are
substantial and well designed.
That said, RIKONs 10-325
has real appeal: it is nicely
equipped and an excellent,
budget-conscious choice too.
Tool Review continued
Street Price: $699.99
Motor Size: 1
2hp / 14 Amp
Table Size: 16"W x 21"D
Weight: 291 lbs.
Resaw Capacity / Throat Width: 12" / 13
Blade Length, Width Range: 105", 1/8" to 3/4"
Web/Phone: / 877-724-8665
Steel City
Small-shop owners
will appreciate Steel
Citys three-wheel
mobile base (left), if a
band saw must be
moved in and out of
position for use. A
slab of polished
granite (right)
provides a flat, sturdy
and corrosion-free
sawing surface for
this machine.
Quik-Link takes you directly
to the web page on which
these products appear! No
navigation necessary ... just go
and click on the Quik-Link
icon shown above.









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If You Buy Tools Anywhere Else,
You're Throwing Your Money Away
How does Harbor Freight sell great quality
tools at the lowest prices? We buy direct
from the same factories who supply the
expensive brands and pass the savings on
to you. Its just that simple! Come in and
see for yourself why over 25 million satised
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one of our 500 Stores Nationwide and use
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products*, plus pick up a Free 1" x 25 Ft.
Tape Measure, a $6.99 value.
We Will Beat Any Competitors Price
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100% Satisfaction Guaranteed
Experts Agree Harbor Freight WINS in QUALITY and PRICE
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1" x 25 FT.
ITEM 69080
Item 69080 shown
Item 60238
8", 5 SPEED

REG. PRICE $99 .99
LOT NO. 44506 /60238/38119
2.5 HP, 21 GALLON
LOT NO. 67847

$219 .99
Item 67847
"The Perfect Compressor with Powerful,
Quiet and Consistent Airow...
Plus we Love the Low Price"
Street Trucks Magazine



REG. PRICE $249 .99
REG. PRICE $34 .99
REG. PRICE $199 .99
Item 93454
Item 44914

LOT NO. 68048 /69227/62116

REG. PRICE $159 .99
Weighs 74 lbs.

$99 .99
Item 97181 shown
4" x 36" BELT/
$649 .99
44", 13 DRAWER
"We Are Impressed With the Quality...
The Price is Incredible"
Car Craft Magazine
Super High
Gloss Finish!
2633 lb. Capacity
Weighs 245 lbs.

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70 Gallon Capacity

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12" x 33-3/8" WOOD LATHE

REG. PRICE $12 .99
LOT NO. 66126
June 2014 Woodworkers Journal 50
Handibot: Smart Machine
of the Masses?
By Sandor Nagyszalanczy
Tool Preview
A portable, automated routing machine that makes short work of
cutting and shaping tasks in the shop or just about anywhere else.
f theres one machine thats
had a revolutionary impact
on modern woodworking,
its the CNC router. These
computer-numerical controlled
(CNC) devices use computer
programs to direct the
mechanized motions of a
router (or other motor-powered
cutter) in three-dimensional
space. CNC routers can do
just about anything traditional
the desktop models found
in more and more small
woodshops, had one thing in
common: they were stationary
machines that rout workpieces
clamped onto a worktable,
with the size of the workpiece
limited in size by the capacity
of the machine itself.
But one CNC manufacturer
has changed that, creating a
small, portable machine called
the Handibot

Smart Power
Tool. Its designed to sit
directly atop the workpiece.
This allows you to bring the
machine to the wood, which can
be practically any size: a long
board on a benchtop, a wide
plank or slab set on sawhorses,
a large panel on a vertical wall,
or even a beam spanning a
ceiling (yes, itll even operate
upside down!). Smaller than a
portable thickness planer, the
37-lb. Handibots high-density
polyethylene chassis has built-
in handles that makes it easy to
move to wherever its needed.
ShopBot, the Durham, North-
Carolina-based company that
builds the Handibot, calls it
the first Universal Digital
Power Tool (UDPT): a smart
machine thats ready to tackle
automated routing tasks on the
jobsite as well as in the shop.
Simple Automation
To operate the Handibot, you
must connect its control box
to a PC computer with a USB
cable. The computer runs
special software that drives
the routers movements in
three axes: left to right, front
to back, up and down. High
woodworking machines
and traditional woodworkers
can do: cut out parts,
engrave signs, create joinery,
carve decorations, shape
scrollwork, bore holes, rout
pockets for mounting
hardware and lots more.
Up until now, all CNC
routers, from the giant mass-
production machines churning
away in furniture factories to
For a video of the author
putting the Handibot
portable CNC router into
action, please visit
and click on the More on
the Web tab shown above.
Despite its small (6 x 8) work
area, Handibot can be accurately
repositioned, allowing you to rout
much larger workpieces.
A DeWALT compact router handles
small carving, cutting and shaping
chores. Its 1/4" collet accepts
regular router bits or end mills.
Woodworkers Journal June 2014 51
quality stepper motors
control the routers position
precisely, with an accuracy
of +/- .00025". To power its
cutting, Handibot uses a
DeWALT DWP611, a 7-amp
compact router with a 1/4"
collet that accepts both
standard router bits and
machinist-style end mills
used for cutting and shaping
foam, plastics, aluminum
and other materials. Using
popular CNC programs like
PartWorks3D and VCarve
Pro, Handibot can be
programmed to do all the same
kinds of cutting, shaping and
machining operations that
any other 3-axis CNC router
can perform.
To rout a part with the
Handibot, first set it atop the
work surface and either clamp
or hold it in place (its own
weight is enough to secure it
for light cutting operations,
such as engraving). On a
computer connected to the
machine, load the file for the
desired operation into
Handibots control program.
Once a router bit has been
chucked in place (top photo
at right) and zeroed to the
work surface, pressing a start
button (either in the software
or the actual green button
atop the unit) launches the
Handibot into action. Red
LED lights flash a warning as
the machine is active, jigging
and jogging through its
programmed routing routine.
Hooking it up to a shop vac
sucks up at least some of the
dust. The router shuts off and
the warning lights turn green
when the task is complete.
Even though the Handibots
work area is only 8" long and
6" wide (itll cut up to 4"
deep), you can rout much
larger areas by relocating the
unit to another section of the
work surface (bottom photo at
right). Indexing holes and
slots on the machines base
make it relatively easy to
register the machine
accurately relative to the
previous cut.
Kickstarter and Handibot
But Handibots unique design
and portability are only half
the story. Just as remarkable
is how the tool was funded on
the Internet through
Kickstarter, a popular website
which promotes funding
proposals for all manner of
projects, events and business
ventures. These range from
making a film or recording a
CD album, to staging a
festival or fashion show, to
creating jewelry or sculpture,
to designing a new childrens
toy or type font. People who
sign on as backers can pledge
money at various specified
levels. Depending on the
pledge level, backers may
receive a premium, like a
ticket to the proposed concert
or show, or a completed CD or
piece of jewelry.
Shopbot launched their
HandiBot funding campaign
in July 2013, with a proposed
goal of $125,000 to fund
the first manufacturing run
of the machine. Not only did
they meet their goal, but by
the end of the pledge period,
theyd raised nearly
$350,000, contributed by
more than 350 individual
backers. Those who
contributed at the $1,995
pledge level (or higher) were
rewarded with one of the
first-run Kickstarter Edition
units which shipped in late
2013. ShopBot plans to
launch a series of applications
(apps), small programs that
will allow the Handibot to be
run from a smartphone or
tablet-style computer, like the
iPad. But their long-term
plans include even loftier
goals: to create a web-based
system that enables anyone to
participate and collaborate in
open-source development of
apps, as well as in the further
development of hardware and
accessories for the Handibot.
Whether or not ShopBot
achieves its goals, its clear
that the Handibot, and smart
tools like it, are going to have
a significant impact on the
way small-shop woodworkers
make sawdust in the future.
The Handibot Developer
Edition currently sells for
$2,795 and is available online
at: .
Sandor Nagyszalanczy is a
contributing editor to Woodworkers
Journal. His books are available at
Although its built much like a
full-sized CNC router, the
Handibots small size and light
weight make it easily portable.
Stepper motors and precise mechanical components control
the motion of a compact router as it shapes two- or three-
dimensional parts with great accuracy.
Diablo Universal Sanding Discs
June 2014 Woodworkers Journal
iablos new Universal
Sanding Discs have
a 12-hole pattern that
allows for fast, precise align-
ment when mounting to either
an 8-hole or a 5-hole disc
sander: its a one-size-fits-all
design. Made with a premium
ceramic blend, these discs
offer fast material removal and
a long sanding life. A Clog-
SHIELD high performance
stearate coating reduces
pitch buildup and clogging
for maximum productivity.
A Hook and Lock

produces continuous secure
connection of the disc to the
sander. The Diablo Universal
Sanding Discs are sold in
packs of four, 15 and 50 pads,
as well as two seven-piece
project packs. Pricing ranges
from $4.97 to $19.97.
Rockler Woodworking and
Hardware is now offering
Barn Door Hardware kits for
interior rolling doors. Available
in black and stainless steel,
the hardware kits contain two
latches, five wall brackets, a
center guide, two floor stops,
two end stops and a 6" track,
offering quiet performance and
a door thats easy to roll. The
hardware will support doors
Whats In Store
Contact Information
Affinity Tool Works
Center for Furniture
Why We Make Things and
Why It Matters (ISBN 978-1-
56792-511-1) is published
by David R. Godine and
is priced at $24.95.
The Portamate PM-7500
Deluxe Miter Saw Stand from
Affinity Tool Works has
20" quick-release universal
machinery mounts that snap
securely to the aluminum top
for quick tool changes to
support benchtop planers,
band saws, scroll saws, miter
saws and more. The stand
measures 49" wide but
expands to 8 feet for cutting
long pieces. It can support
up to 500 pounds and has
NOTE: See Quik-Link at
for web links to all of these
Rockler Barn Door Hardware
New Tools for Your Shop
up to 250 pounds in weight,
while the solid aluminum
track provides strength that
minimizes warping, bending
or dents. The hand-forged
brackets are available in
shapes including horseshoe,
spade, rectangle and round
stick. Prices for the kits
(item 57686) range from
$289 to $549.
In the book Why We Make
Things and Why It Matters:
The Education of a
Craftsman by Peter Korn, the
author takes the reader along
on his personal journey
toward finding meaning in
creative work. Korn is the
founder of The Center for
Furniture Craftsmanship in
Maine and, prior to that, was
an instructor at the Anderson
Ranch Arts Center in
Colorado, a self-employed
furniture designer/maker and
a carpenter. The book visits
each of those aspects of his
life and explores questions
such as how the making of
objects shapes our identities
and how the products of
creative work inform society.
Why We Make
Things and Why It Matters
53 Woodworkers Journal June 2014
Construction Pant
Drill/Driver with a tool-less
chuck and variable speeds
ranging from 0-350 or 0-
1,500 rpm. The kit includes
both 4.0 amp/hour (PCC685L)
and 1.0 amp/hour (PCC680L)
lithium-ion batteries, plus
accessories. Suggested retail
price for the Four-Tool Combo
Kit is $239.

, the
jeans company, now
offers the RIGGS

Construction Pant.

fabric is engineered
to blend with cotton
for maximum strength
without sacrificing
comfort. The WORK-
WEAR pants have
reinforced back
pockets, a right side
hammer loop and a
patented leather tape
measure reinforce-
ment on the right
front pocket. An
abrasion test con-
ducted using 800-grit
sandpaper showed them to
last twice as long compared
to the average of 10 other
North American canvas fabric
brands. The pants come in
mens regular and big and tall
sizes, with suggested pricing
of $63.50.
Portamate PM-7500
Deluxe Miter Saw Stand
Ion Four-Tool Combo Kit
Integrated expanding base
extensions add up to 29"
left to right of additional
workpiece support and retract
to 18" wide when not in use
to maximize the tools compact
size. A clear lower guard
creates an unobstructed view
while a form-fitting trigger
handle provides intuitive
cutting and ambidextrous
use. The CM8S is powered
by a 12-amp, 5,600 rpm
motor and has a suggested
retail price of $469.
MAX* Lithium Ion Four-Tool
Combo Kit (PCCK614L4)
includes their new 4.0
Amp/Hour MaxPack

Ion Battery with an extended
runtime. All the tools in the
20V MAX* line will work
interchangeably with either
this battery, or the original 1.0
amp/hour battery.
In the Four-Tool Combo
Kit are three of the
newer tools added to the
line: the 6
2" Circular
Saw (PCC660B) with
8" cutting capacity at
90; Reciprocating Tiger

(PCC670B), a
lightweight (4.4 pound)
option for cutting wood
and metal in tight
areas; and a Pivoting
Flashlight (PCC700B)
with four LEDs that
deliver 120 lumens for
visibility. Also included
is a PCC601 1/2"
a 32" work height, as well as
a four-outlet onboard power
center and LED worklight.
The stands four legs fold up
for storage or transport. The
Portamate PM-7500 Deluxe
Miter Saw Stand is priced
at $259.
The Bosch CM8S 8-Inch
Single Bevel Sliding
Compound Miter Saw weighs
only 37 pounds while offer-
ing the same cutting as a 10"
miter saw. Its maximum cut-
ting capacity is 12
4" cross-
cuts at 0, 8" miters at 45,
4" upright bases and 3
max crowns.
Bosch CM8S 8-Inch Single Bevel Sliding
Compound Miter Saw
Woodworkers Journal June 2014 54
For product information in the blink of an eye, visit and click on the
Tools & Supplies tab.
ADVERTISER Page No. Web Address ADVERTISER Page No. Web Address
1-800-BunkBed 38
Abrasive Resource 55
American Fabric Filter Co. 38
American Steel Span 39
Armor Crafts 15
Badger Hardwoods of WI, Ltd. 38
Bainbridge Manufacturing, Inc. 25
Bartley Classic Reproductions, Ltd. 47
Beall Tool Company 38
Bench Dog Tools 47
Briwax 19
Cabinets Quick 38
Cherry Tree Toys 25
Christian J Hummul Co. 39
CMT USA Inc. 15
CNC Shark 13
Colonial Saw 55
Cook Woods 47, 55
Cooks Saw MFG, L.L.C. 39
Country Home Products 27, 55
The Craftsman Gallery 38
Epilog Laser 3, 38
Freud 68
Fuji Spray Equipment 11
General International 11
Gorilla Glue 11
Grex Power Tools 15
Harbor Freight Tools 49
JET Tools 2
Laguna Tools 9
Leigh Industries, Ltd. 55
Lignomat 27,
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Norton Abrasives 5
Oliver Machinery 17
Osborne Wood Products, Inc. 3, 38
PanelPro 38
Quick Screws 25
Ready2Rout 27
Rikon Power Tools 7
Rockler Woodworking
and Hardware 38, 43, 55
SuperMax Tools 63 55
Tormek 3
Tub OTowels 55
Wagner Meters 17
Williams & Hussey Machine Co. 63
Woodworkers Source 15 55
Woodworking Tools & Supplies Index
June 2014

55 Woodworkers Journal June 2014

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Gentle curves, repeated throughout this project, suggest
a delicate stature, while the figured maple and
contrasting dowels add striking details. Subtle antique
brass pivot bolts keep the emphasis on the wood.
June 2014 Woodworkers Journal 56
f, like me, you have teenage girls, you know
the value of a mirror. Full-length? Bonus!
But its equally handy for everyone in the
family, too.
While you could pay to have your mirror glass
specially cut at a glass shop, you could also pur-
chase an inexpensive full-length mirror at a depart-
ment store: use the mirror glass, discard the frame.
I happened to have an old wall mirror in need of a
better frame. Whatever your source of mirror glass,
be sure to adjust the Material List dimensions for
the mirror frame rails and stiles, as well as the
length of the stretcher, if your glass differs in size
from the 14" x 54" mirror (piece 1) we specify here.
Exquisitely figured tiger
maple, contrasting dowel pin
accents and through tenons
give this curvy mirror frame
real heirloom potential.
Small Shop Journal
by Chris Marshall
If you recycle an old wall mirror as our author did, first remove the
backing from the frame and extract the glass. Measure its dimensions
carefully so you can modify the mirror frame and stretcher sizes if your
glass differs in size from ours.
Whitesides ( 7/8"-dia. carbide Ultimate Combination
Flush Trim/Pattern Router Bit (inset) tamed any tearout on this figured
maple when used to template-rout the mirror frames curved rails.
Rout a 3/8" x 3/8" rabbet around the inside back edge of the mirror
frame. Be sure the rabbet will enable the glass to fit down easily into
the frame. Chisel the curved outside corners of the recess square.
Cut the deep stopped mortises on the ends of
the mirror frame rails with a mortising machine
and 1/4" hollow chisel, or with a drill press and
a 1/4" Forstner or brad-point bit. Square up the
mortise ends, if necessary.
Woodworkers Journal June 2014 57
Building the Mirror Frame
Since the mirror frame rails and stiles (pieces 2 and 3) will be in
full view every time someone looks in this mirror, select this stock
by prioritizing consistent grain pattern and color, with no visible
defects. Rip and crosscut straight blanks for the parts, then lay
out 1/4"-wide, 3/4"-long mortises on the rails. Position them
3/8" in from the part ends. Hog out the waste to a depth of 1
with a mortising machine and a hollow-chisel bit, or with a drill
press and 1/4" Forstner bit. Flip the rail workpieces end-for-end
once the mortises are roughed in, and make a second round of
passes to center the mortises exactly on part thickness.
Square up the ends of the mortises and clean up their walls,
if necessary, before you head to the table saw to cut matching
tenons on the ends of the stiles. These tenons have 3/8"-wide
shoulders on their ends and 1/4" shoulders on their broad faces.
After theyre cut to shape, check their fit in the mortises to make
sure the joints close fully and the frame remains flat and square.
If everything registers properly, glue the pieces together. Drill and
install four short dowel pins (pieces 4) to lock these corner joints.
We used walnut dowels throughout this project to add dashes of
punctuating contrast to the figured maple.
You could form the gentle curves on the ends of the frame one
at a time, laying them out with a flexible batten, but a template
will guarantee uniformity. Draw a grid on a piece of scrap thats a
few inches wider and longer than the frame rails, and trace the
arch by bending a batten of thin plywood or Masonite

. Cut the
template to shape, and smooth its curved edge carefully on a
sander. Now use your template to draw the arches: position it so
the curves will leave 1
2" of stock on the ends of the rails. Cut
the curves with a jigsaw, sawing about 1/16" outside your layout
lines. Then clamp the template to each rail so it is aligned with
the layout line, and use a bearing-guided flush-trim or pattern
bit to refine the curves to their final form.
All thats left to do on the frame for now is to rout a 3/8" x 3/8"
rabbet around the inside back edge to make room for the mirror
glass and back panel. Rout this recess in two or three deepening
passes to minimize tearout, and chisel the corners square.
T x W x L
1 Mirror Glass (1) 1/8" x 14" x 54"
2 Mirror Frame Rails (2) 3/4" x 3" x 16
3 Mirror Frame Stiles (2) 3/4" x 1
2" x 55
4 Mirror Frame Dowel Pins (4) 1/4" Dia. x 5/8"
5 Stand Legs (4) 3/4" x 9" x 41"
6 Splines (2) 1/4" x 1" x 12"
7 Upper Leg Dowels (12) 1/4" Dia. x 3/4"
8 Stand Rails (2) 3/4" x 3
2" x 14"
9 Lower Leg Dowels (12) 1/4" Dia. x 2
10 Stretcher (1) 3/4" x 6
2" x 16
11 Floating Tenons (6) 1/2" x 1
4" x 2"
12 Stand Rail Dowels (6) 1/4" Dia. x 1
13 Plywood Back Panel (1) 1/4" x 14" x 54"
14 Glass Retainer Clips (8) Rockler 26884
15 Mirror Swivel Hardware (1 pr.) Rockler 31623
June 2014 Woodworkers Journal 58
Small Shop Journal continued
Mirror Frame Joinery
(Front View)
Leg Spline
(Front View)
Stretcher Joinery
(Front View)
Mirror Leg Pattern
(Front View)
Full-size Mirror Hard-to-Find Hardware
Swivel Mirror Screws, Ant. Brass (1 pr.) #31623 ....... $15.39 pr.
Glass Retainer Clips, Ant. Bronze (1 pack) #26884 ... $5.39 pk.
1/4 Walnut Dowels, 36 Long (2) #20982 ................... $3.19 ea.
To purchase products online, visit
and click on the Store tab. Or, call 800-610-0883 (code WJ1433).
6 7
Each square = 1"
Woodworkers Journal June 2014 59
Making the Two Leg Sets
With four long, narrow legs like these, making them perfectly
uniform not only prevents construction challenges but also
ensures that the leg shapes will look great: youd be surprised
how little the deviation on a curve needs to be before your eyes
can pick up the inconsistency! So, make a full-size leg template
from void-free plywood or MDF, following the gridded drawing
on page 58. Sand it carefully to fair the broad curves, and make
sure youre happy with its shape before you proceed.
Trace four leg shapes (pieces 5) onto your stock, laying out
their locations so the grain pattern on each pair of legs will
harmonize across the joint when you assemble the legs. In this
regard, its ideal if you can at least make each pair of legs from
the same piece of consistently grained wood; even better, make
all four legs from one board. Then cut the legs out slightly
oversize. If your stock allows for it, leave an inch or two of extra
material along the top narrow edges of the legs for now (see top
photo, this page). The excess material here will make handling
the legs safer while youre routing the spline slots in the next big
step. Fix the leg template to each leg with double-sided tape.
Template-rout the legs to shape up to, but stopping at, the (for
now) extra-wide top ends. Remove the template.
Set up a 1/4" straight or spiral bit in your router table to mill
a 1/2"-deep, 12"-long spline slot along the flat inside edge of each
leg. Start them 2" down from the top curved ends of the legs. Mark
the outer limits of your router bit on the router table so you know
where to start and stop these slot cuts accurately. Mill them in a
series of two or three deepening passes, flipping the workpieces
from one face to the other each time to center the slots. Once
the slots are done, square up their ends before trimming off
the remaining waste material from the top ends of the legs and
template-routing these final narrow areas to shape.
Now lay the leg pairs together with the slotted edges butted
up. Do these edge joints form flat, airtight seams? If they dont,
run the splined edges over your jointer for a pass or two to flatten
them completely. Next, plane a scrap piece of solid hardwood,
about 1/4"-thick by 2
2" wide and 16" long, down to fit snugly
in the spline slots. You want a good friction fit for these splines
(pieces 6). Rip and crosscut the two splines to size, and carry out
a dry fit of both leg pairs to be sure the joints close correctly. If
they do, glue up two sets of legs, clamping the narrow top ends
until the glue cures. In a couple of hours, scrape or sand the
splined joints flush and smooth.
Follow the locations on the Drawings to locate and install
six decorative dowels (pieces 7) near the top ends of each leg
assembly. Use a self-centering doweling jig to align these holes
evenly, and drill them with a sharp brad-point bit to avoid
tearout around the rims of the holes. Dab glue into the holes,
tap 1"-long dowels home and trim off the excess with a flush-
cutting saw or a multi-tool. Sand the dowel areas smooth.
Milling the leg spline slots is a drop-cutting process. Mark the edges
of your bit on the router table so you can locate these cuts accurately.
Leave extra waste stock at the narrow leg ends to make routing safer.
Spread glue into the spline slots and over the exposed areas of the
splines, then clamp the legs into pairs. Make sure these flat-edged
joints meet in tight seams for strength and best appearance.
Use a template to scribe bottom arches onto the rail workpieces. Leave
these workpieces overly long so you can drill them for clamp heads and
in order to trace the exact shapes and locations of the leg positions.
June 2014 Woodworkers Journal 60
Small Shop Journal continued
Machining the Arched Rails
The arched stand rails (pieces 8) that join the legs at the floor also
deserve consistent curves, so take the time to make a template
to establish the shape of these two curves. Then use it to help
lay out two overly wide and long blanks that will become the
rails. Notice that, in the bottom photo, previous page, there are
a couple of reasons for using oversized stock: first, it will allow
you to bore a pair of large holes below the curves of the rails to
make the final glue-up easier when installing the clamps. Plus,
the four angled ends of the two rails may not turn out to be
exact matches, depending on how the leg stock has reacted to
machining and assembly thus far: the legs might
have moved slightly, making the length of each
rail specific to its leg pair. The best way to
account for this is to lay each leg set on top of
its long rail blank and trace along the bottom
inside edges of the legs with a sharp pencil to
mark the ends of the rails accurately. Label
each rail and leg set to keep their pairing clear.
One of the distinctive and beautiful aspects of
this full-length mirror are the six through tenons
that join the sides of the mirror stand to the
bottom stretcher. Your rails are nearly ready to
cut out, but dont do it before milling the three
through mortises in each rail. Theyll be easiest to clamp in a
jig while still rectilinear and overly long.
The mortising jig (see Drawing above) I made for the task is
simple in design: its just a plywood blank with three, 1
3/4"-wide slots cut through it and spaced 7/8" apart (2
8" from
center to center). These slots will enable you to rout the actual
mortises in both the rails and the ends of the stretcher using a
3/4" O.D. rub collar and a 1/2" spiral or straight bit in a plunge
router. Trim the jig so the slots are exactly 3/4" from one edge:
this will position the rail mortises 7/8" down from the tops of the
rails. Screw a long, 1
4"-wide scrap fence to this edge of the jig: it
will register the top edges of the rail workpieces during routing
(see top photo, this page). One final note: youll also want the three
slot sizes of the jig to match perfectly. I made a second template
with just one slot, using a 3/4" straight bit, and that became a
master for flush-trimming the three jig slots to final, uniform
shape. Sometimes it takes a template to make a template!
Clamp the final template to each rail, and rout the three through
mortises in progressively deeper passes until the bit passes
through each rail. When thats done, cut and sand their angled
ends up to the pencilled layout lines, and glue and clamp the
rails between the legs. After the glue cures, drill and install the
12 long dowels (pieces 9) that reinforce these joints. Wrap up
the leg pairs by rounding over their long outer edges with a 1/4"
bit and the inside edges with a 1/8" bit. Bore a 5/16" through
hole, 1" down from the top, for each pivot bolt.
A slotted template with attached fence made it easy to clamp each rail
securely and rout the three through mortises accurately. This prevented
any mismatching mortises during final assembly of the stand.
Cut the ends of the rails roughly to shape, then carefully sand up to your
pencil lines. Glue and clamp the rails between the legs, let the glue dry
thoroughly, then drill and insert long dowels across these joints (inset).
By installing a long clamping board, the same rail-mortising template,
rub collar and router bit can do double-duty for routing matching
mortises in the ends of the stretcher (shown clamped in place here).
Mortising Jig
(Top View)

Threaded inserts are much easier to install if you first tap their insertion
holes for standard threads, then screw them in using a machine bolt
and doubled-up stop nuts. A little wax on the wood threads helps, too.
Woodworkers Journal June 2014
Assembling the Stand
Rip-cut the stands stretcher (piece 10) to width, and cut it to
length. Make sure to account for the overall width of your mirror
frame, plus the thickness of the threaded inserts that protrude
beyond the mirror frame for the pivot bolt hardware (see center
photo, this page). Then grab the rail mortising template again
and screw the end of a 3/4"-thick, 2-ft.-long scrap inside the
template, flush against its fence. This way, you can clamp the
template and the stretcher together in a vise vertically in order
to mill three mortises on each of the stretchers ends (see bottom
photo, previous page). The clamping board also centers the
mortises on the stretchers thickness. Rout them 1" deep. Use a
3/8"-radius bit to round over the long edges of the stretcher.
Your careful efforts at template mortising pay off now: if you set
the stretcher between the leg pairs, the rail and stretcher mortises
should line up exactly. If they do, youre ready to prepare some
long, solid stock to make the floating tenons (pieces 11) that
will fit those mortises. Surface it carefully so it will slide into
the mortises like a piston. Rip-cut the tenon material into three
sticks that are exactly 1
4" wide, and ease their long edges
with a 1/4" roundover bit in the router table. Then, round over
the six ends of these sticks with a file and sandpaper before
crosscutting the six 2"-long tenons to length.
Clamp the stretcher vertically to your workbench, and position
a legset on top of it. Spread glue into the deep mortises, and
insert the floating tenons. I used a bar clamp to push them all
into place. Repeat the process for the second legset. Finally, drill
three centered holes down through the tenons from the top edges
of each rail, and peg the rails and tenons together with glued
dowels (pieces 12) to complete the stand.
Finishing Up
Install two threaded inserts in the mirror frame,
centered on its length, then soften the back and
front edges of the frame with 1/4" roundovers.
Cut a back panel (piece 13) to size. Apply stain
and finish. When it dries, install the mirror and
back panel with glass retainers (pieces 14). Youll
need to shorten the pivot bolts (pieces 15) with a
hacksaw so the threaded portion is 1
2" long. Slip
the mirror frame into the stand, and thread in the
pivot bolts to complete the project. Now you can
check your daily wardrobe choice, and admire
your craftsmanship, for many years to come.
For a video explaining the three-part finish
used on this mirror project, visit and click on the
More on the Web tab shown above.
Assemble the leg sets and stretcher with six
floating tenons. They started out as three long
sticks (see inset), rounded over on their
edges and ends, then cut to length. Spread
glue in the mortises, and press them into place
with clamp pressure instead of hammer blows.
Install the mirror and back panel in the frame
recess, and secure them with glass retainers
and screws. Thread the pivot bolts through
the stand holes and into the inserts to mount
the mirror frame in the stand (inset).
Chris Marshall is Woodworkers Journals Senior Editor.
Five Fixes Used by Finishing Pros
By Michael Dresdner
mateurs and pros alike
can create high quality
finishes, but there are
some tricks of the trade more
common to professional shops.
Here are five useful ones to
make life easier for all of us.
are really small, sanded out).
Dents consist only of crushed,
unbroken wood fibers, and can
almost always be raised up
without sanding or filling.
Put a couple of drops of
water into the dent, and let
it soak in for a few seconds.
Add another drop or two, just
enough to fill the dent with
water. Take either a damp
cloth or a thin piece of
cardboard, place it over the
spot, and press the area with
a clothes iron set on high.
The water will seep into the
crushed fibers and the hot
iron will turn the water to
steam. As the steam expands,
it will push open the crushed
fibers and leave the surface
level. The damp cloth or thin
cardboard is simply to prevent
the iron from leaving scorch
marks on the wood.
Steam dents as soon as you
see them, before sanding the
Finishing Thoughts
Its never a mistake unless you cant fix it and when you do run into a finishing
problem, one of these fixes may just be what the doctor ordered.
Steaming Dents
During glue-up and handling,
youll often get dents or
gouges in the wood. Gouges
are areas where wood fibers
are torn or removed, and must
generally be filled (or, if they
Michael Dresdner
is a nationally known finishing
expert. He shares his expertise on
the DVD The Way to Woodwork:
Step-by-Step to a Perfect Finish,
available through the store at
A hot iron turns water droplets into
steam, which expands to open wood
fibers and level out a dent.
Does this putty look too light for this wood? Thats something you can fix as you go on. Most people err by starting
out with putty thats too dark. Pick one with your woods lightest color value or slightly lighter.
As you touch up a patch, your goal is to paint a picture of that particular
wood onto the putty. A fine, sharp-tipped brush provides control as you
paint in grain lines, moving from dark to light.
63 Woodworkers Journal June 2014
area. If you are not sure
whether its a dent or a gouge,
try steaming it first. You wont
do any harm, and you may
make the gouge smaller. Once
youre sure its a gouge, reach
for the putty, but first read the
next section.
Hiding Putty
The key to hiding putty starts
with choosing the right color.
Ill tell you upfront that almost
everyone goes too dark. Look
at the wood carefully and find
the very lightest color value in
it. Match your putty to that, or
go a shade or two lighter, but
never darker. When the putty
is dry, sand it level so that the
original outline of the gouge is
visible. Dont worry; I know it
looks far too light now, but
were going to fix that.
Planning to stain the wood?
First, test the dried, sanded
putty with the stain you intend
to use to see how it absorbs
color. Some putties absorb more
stain than the surrounding
wood, and some less. Put
some putty on a scrap of the
same wood, sand it, stain it,
then adjust your putty color
before using it on the real
project. It should match the
lightest value of the wood
after staining.
After the first sealer coat of
finish, pull out your touchup
Contact us
with your finishing questions by
writing to Woodworkers Journal,
4365 Willow Drive,
Medina, MN 55340,
or by emailing us at:
Please include your address,
phone number and email
address (if you have one)
with your thoughts or questions.
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Model 206
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64 June 2014 Woodworkers Journal
kit and blend the putty patch
to the surrounding area. Need
some help with that? Read on.
Touchup to Fool Them All
Its easy to touch up darker,
but almost impossible to touch
up lighter, since that will leave
an opaque shadow. Since
we chose our putty wisely, we
have a spot that only needs to
go darker.
I use dry pigment powders
in a wide range of colors, and
mix them with dewaxed
shellac using a piece of glass
or mirror as my mixing board.
Very fine #1 or #0 round, red
sable brushes that end in a
sharp tip provide both springy
fibers and a controllable point,
allowing me to create fine
grain lines.
The goal is to paint a picture
of that particular wood onto the
putty patch. Start by painting
in the largest, darkest grain
lines, then move on to the
finer ones, remixing colors on
the glass palette as needed.
Often the grain lines alone
will hide the spot. If you need
to darken the background,
apply a thin, semitransparent
wash, made by mixing only
a tiny amount of color into
the shellac.
Custom Color Stain
While you can mix several
stains together to make a
custom color, not everyone
wants to keep a shelf full of
basic colors on hand. Besides,
were not all adept at mixing
colors by sight. Heres a
quick trick for easy custom
color stain.
At your local paint or home
store youll see a wall of color
chips covering every hue
imaginable. Choose the color
you want the stain to be, and
have the clerk make up a
sample jar in latex paint.
Most companies now offer
four-ounce sample jars, but
if you need a lot of stain, buy
a quart.
Thin the paint with an
equal amount of water
more for a weaker color and
less for a stronger one
and wipe it on and off as you
normally do with stain. The
resulting water-based stain
is compatible under all the
common finishes we use.
Layers Banish Blotch
Stain once, whether with dye
or pigment, and the wood
grabs the stain where it
chooses, sometimes absorbing
too much in certain areas and
leading to a blotchy look.
Adding a second (or even
third) layer of pigmented stain
a day later can help even out
the color and hide the blotch.
When applying a pigment
stain over dye for the purpose
of making it more uniform,
its a good idea to seal the
dyed wood first. Use a very
thin application of Zinsser


or dewaxed
shellac, reduced to a watery
consistency. That step is not
necessary if your first color
application was a pigment
stain, since pigment stains
partially seal the wood all
by themselves.
To avoid going too dark,
make all the stains lighter so
they add up to the final color
you want. After the first
staining, you can adjust the
color of the second stain to get
exactly the right tone. Creep
up on the final color; the more
coats of color you divide your
staining operation into, the
more uniform it will look.
There you have it. They say
knowledge is power; hopefully,
you now have the power to
be a more efficient and more
confident finisher.
Finishing Thoughts continued
Latex paint is your secret start to a custom color stain. Thin it with water
to your desired shade, then wipe it on and off.
Creep up on the color you
want by adding several thin,
light colors of stain over a
few days. The more coats
you apply, the more uniform
your color will be.

Reported by J. Page
Chicago: Board-certifed physician Dr.
S. Cherukuri has done it once again with
his newest invention of a medical grade
ALL DIGITAL affordable hearing aid.
This new digital hearing aid is packed
with all the features of $3,000 competitors
at a mere fraction of the cost. Now, most
people with hearing loss are able to
enjoy crystal clear, natural soundin
a crowd, on the phone, in the wind
without suffering through whistling
and annoying background noise.
New Digital Hearing Aid
Outperforms Expensive Competitors
This sleek, lightweight, fully pro-
grammed hearing aid is the outgrowth of
the digital revolution that is changing our
world. While demand for 'all things
digital caused most prices to plunge
(consider DVD players and computers,
which originally sold for thousands of
dollars and today can be purchased for less
then $100), yet the cost of a digital
medical hearing aid remained out of reach.
Dr. Cherukuri knew that many of his
patients would beneft but couldn`t afford
the expense of these new digital hearing
aids. Generally they are not covered by
Medicare and most private health insurance.
Proudly assembled in the USA
from Domestic & Imported Components.
45 DAY
A study by Johns Hopkins and National Institute on Aging researchers
suggests older individuals with hearing loss are signicantly more likely to
develop dementia over time than those who retain their hearing. They
suggest that an interventionsuch as a hearing aidcould delay or
prevent dementia by improving hearing!
Can a hearing aid delay or prevent dementia?
The doctor evaluated all the high
priced digital hearing aids on the market,
broke them down to their base components,
and then created his own affordable
versioncalled the MDHearingAid

for its virtually invisible, lightweight
Afordable Digital Technology
Using advanced digital technology, the

AIR automatically adjusts

to your listening environment-prioritizing
speech and de-emphasizing background
noise. Experience all of the sounds you`ve
been missing at a price you can afford. This
doctor designed and approved hearing
aid comes with a full years supply of
long-life batteries. It delivers crisp, clear
sound all day long and the soft exible
ear buds are so comfortable you wont
realize youre wearing them.
Try It Yourself At Home
With Our 45 Day Risk-Free Trial
Of course, hearing is believing and we
invite you to try it for yourself with our
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not completely satisfed, simply return it
within that time period for a full refund of
your purchase price.
Satised Buyers Agree AIR Is Best Digital Value!
I am hearing things I didnt know I was missing. Really amazing.
Im wearing them all the time Linda Irving, Indiana
Almost work too well. I am a teacher and hearing
much better now Lillian Barden, California
I have used many expensive hearing aids, some
over $5,000. The Airs have greatly improved my
enjoyment of life Som Y., Michigan
I would denitely recommend them to my patients with
hearing loss Amy S., Audiologist, Munster, Indiana
For the Lowest Price plus
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Mini Behind-The-Ear hear-
ing aid with thin tubing for
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Advanced noise reduction
to make speech clearer

Feedback Cancellation
eliminates whistling

Wide dynamic range
compression makes soft
sounds audible and loud
sounds comfortable

Telecoil setting for use
with compatible phones,
and looped environments
like churches

3 programs and volume
dial to accommodate most
common types of hearing
loss even in challenging
listening environments
Chicago Doctor Invents Affordable Hearing Aid
Outperforms Many Higher Priced Hearing Aids
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66 June 2014 Woodworkers Journal
Did You Know?
Submit your
own trivia ...
Your Trivia Test:
Send in a curious fact about
your favorite topic and ours:
woodworking. If it is selected
for use, you will win an
awesome prize!
Two common waxes are made
by insects. One, mentioned above,
is beeswax. What is the other, and
what insect makes it?
S h e l l a c w a x , m a d e b y t h e i n s e c t
l a c c i f e r l a c c a . I t i s t h e s e c o n d
h a r d e s t o f a l l t h e w a x e s .
What Does It All Mean?
A quick guide to terms from
the world of woodworking.
Gib Screws: Screws used
to hold blades in place in
a cutterhead
Batten: A thin, flat board or
strip of wood often used to
cover the joint between two
parallel boards or as a caul to
apply even clamping pressure
Frog: Angled section of a
hand plane body that supports
the blade
Douglas fir, which is not a true fir,
was named after Scottish botanist
David Douglas (1799-1834), but its
botanical name, Pseudotsuga
menziesii, honors a rival botanist,
Archibald Menzies. The term
Pseudotsuga means
false hemlock.
John Lutin of Manalapan, New Jersey, will receive a
Senco FinishPro 23SXP 23-ga. Headless Pinner,
1 Gallon Finish & Trim Air Compressor (model PC1010N)
and pack of 23-ga. Pins (item A101009) for having his
contribution selected for the Trivia page.
A n s w e r
Animal, vegetable, or mineral? Wax comes from all
three. Beeswax, the softest one, is made by insects;
carnauba, the hardest, comes from a plant (a palm);
and paraffin is a mineral wax. Paste wax is often a
mixture of two or more waxes.
The Great Seattle Fire of 1889, which
destroyed the whole city and its wharves,
was started by woodworker John Back when
his hide glue pot boiled over. It was low
tide, so not enough water was available to
feed the wooden-piped hydrants.
A transitional or transition plane
has a wooden body paired with a metal
top containing blade adjustment
hardware. Some say they bridge the
gap between antique wooden hand
planes and modern metal ones.
Woodworking trivia: a hot topic
Submit your Trivia to Woodworkers
Journal, Dept. Trivia, 4365 Willow Drive,
Medina, MN 55340. Or send us an email:





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