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THr OnIGINAL WooowoRKING RT.Ip Horue IUpnoVEMENT MRSRzINetil]t02>


Table Of Gontents??.,r**n.,,jFEATURES24Modular Wall UnitItant n.fitr ttrlrtriqucs artd yorr'll ltc n'ady tolnrild a cdbirtet.fitr your ardio/uisual qcar ttrtacklc arr crttirc runll unit.Wltatcucr yutr t c c d s, yrn r' I I ap p rcci arc il t c s t rai,qh tfitn,ardrtt r t st n rct i tt t r ttf- t I t i s c I c,qar r t n dp lc p nt_j er t.42Storage Made SimpleOlt'drr rrlt rltrtttr itt a rpcckcnd ruith tlrtst'sirnplc nrclatttirtt' ltoxts. Cn'at -fitr thc ,Erqq,:,c/tr.vt.s, Airlis roottr, o[licc, rtr lawtdr), arca,tltis ntodrilar s)tst('ttt c(1n lrc ddaptcd,firr.justoblt fi tu t )t s t ord.q(' si t I t dt i ot t.48Simple DivisionI)ttn't krrort, ruhat ttt do ruitlt tltost' ".jrrttk"drtut,r'rs irt 1,1111v ltorrsc? l:or a -fttu brtcks anda couplc ltttrrrs irr tht' sltop, yot carr kL'cptlrctrt undrr corrtrol rt,ith tltis rlL'uL'ri t r tt rlork i tr.q d rnucr diui dcr .s/.stu',,r.52Hardware Organizer()ivt' scrut,s, rtails, ntd bttlts a nctu lrttrrtt' irrtltis pittc dttd lnrdltoard slnp storaqc rcntu.Ifuilt likt: arr old-lasltiortcd alntln'rar), nbitrct,t I t i s p nt j crt rrraftrr .qo,rd tt-v' tf- rrta.s.s pro d u d i ttrttccl n t iq rc s n t d i r tcrr lnrlqt'nlilc part s.FF$;J=1#Storug,e Made Sinple - 42Modular Wall Unit - 24 Simple Division - 48Hardware Or$anizer - 52w()RKBENaTH ! JANUAnY LFEtlll.uAl{Y 200(}


(lQuestions &Answers- 72llao,,fl)sPlate loinery Easicsdiriisi ;GFCI Recentacles - 56DEPARTMENTS8Feedback & Follow-UpRcddcrs rcsportd to pntjL'cts, ntattrinls, nrtdtcclt rr iqucs -fiat rtrt d i rt Workbc rt clt.t2Questions & AnswersArlticuirtg n btrilt-irt looA - Scribi rlgrabittcts vs. frittrnitt.g ltascbttards.16Tips & TechniquesSinrplifj, harnrncrirr,q in ti,qltt sp()ts, plttsotltr:r tips-fttruttrkitt,q artturtd tltc ltttrrrc.20News & EventsFird orrt dborrt a rrcu kitrd tyl' MDF nradc.frottt tt ittrtrtt thnt ttti.qltt.i1117r1 i.il' 11r11.36Tools & TechniquesPIafc .ioirtcry frl-ric-t - Wc'uc gttf oilsLlcrs t()ytw r qr r c s t i tt r t s a bo t t th i s -ll c x i lil c t c c h t t i t1u c.56- 36How lt WorksLcant l.rnu clcctriml CFCI rtrcptadcscar I rcl p sl t ock- p rottf' 1,tty r I r o r n c.58Tools & Shop GearWith or tuithortt rord.s, SAi/is Drral-Sourrctoo/-{.qcl tht .iob douc.66Home & Yard ProductsWatlt to ltide your eleilrortic .qear an.d stilluse the remttte? We'ue -fitttttd a tpa),.72CrattsmanshipLearn about att atttioue t()(l tltat tilntstutirte irttLt ntpc ruitlt a-fbw sirttple truists.Feedback&Follow-Up- ICrafbmanship - 72wollKBENcrH ! JANUAT\y I FEBRUARy 2000


LETTERFROM THE EDITORA PIACE FOR EI'ERYI}IING ...ithout a doubt, storage is shown on pages 42-47. lt's madeone topic Workbench &om melamine, a white, resin-coveredreaders cant seem to get particleboard that's becoming veryenough of. I guess itt our natural common at lumberyards and hometendency to squirrel stuff away. We centers. I found this material surprisinglyeasy to work with.You canbuy and collect until we reach thepoint where all of a sudden everythinghas to be stashed somewhere. special edging tape and andress it up, too. All you need is someordinaryThat problem created the challengefor this issue: come uP withsome storage projects that not onlyhide things, but look good doing it.The maple wall unit on the cover isa great example of this. It's bothbeautiful and functional.But it was just as challenging todesign the simple drawer divider systemon page 48. These dividers aremade out of inexpensive "hobbYwood" and can be built in a Saturdayafternoon. This interlocking gridsystem will fit just about any drawerand can be easily switched around ifyour storage needs change.Though the maple wall unit isimpressive and the drawer dividersare simple, I think my favorite Projectis the modular storage systemRegular Mail:'WORKBENCH Magazinec/o August Home Publishing2200 GrandAve.Des Moines. IA 50312Subscription Questions:(S00) 311-3991clothes iron.'What I like most about themelamine storage system, though, isthat it starts out very simple. It's justa box with a hardboard back. Butwhen you stack a number of theseboxes together, they become a nicelookingcloset organizer, a kidk toycabinet, or a tool storage unit in thegarage. Adding a countertoP andbase to a couple ofthe boxes createsa work station for the laundry room.Finally, you can use the same boxesto make a small, practical computerdesk or study desk for the kidt room.'\X/hat we ended up with was anumber of creative answers to theclassic problem: Where am I evergoing to put all this stuff so"... everything's neatly in its place?"HOW TO REACH USLook for'Workbench onthe Web at:www.workbenchmag.comFind Great Project Plans at:www.pEnsnow.comE-mail:editor@workbenchmag.comvotuME 56 NUMBER 1ASIi0GIAIE EDIIORS Kerry GibsonDavid E. StoneASSISTAI{T HITTORS Bill LiNKKevin ShoesmithCOI{SUIflNG EDITOR Douglas L. HicksART DIRECIO Robert L. FossSR. IttUSfRAIORli Erich LageSusan R.JessenSR. GRAPHIC DHilGl{ER Paul F. StigersCREAIIVE DIRECIOR Ted KralicekSEtllOR PIIOIIIGRAPHER Crayoia EnglandPR0IECT O0ORDIMT(IR Kent WelshSllOP MAMGER Steve CurtisSHOP CRAFTSMAI{ Steve JohnsonPROIEGI DEYELOPER Ken MunkeiSEl{lOR PROJECT DElilGl{ER Kevin BoyleEIEC, PUB. DIRECTOR Douglas M. LidsterPRE.PRESS ltllAGE SPEGS. Troy ClarkMinniette JohnsonPREiIDEiIT & PUBIISIIER Donald B. PeschkeADVERflSIT{G SALES MANAGERSMary K. Day (515) 282-7000 ext.2200George A. Clark (515) 282-7000 ext.2207DIRECT RESPONSE ADVERfISI}IG SATESMAT{AGERLisaWagner (407) 645-5165TIIARIGTII{G OOM MUl{rcANOilS MAI{AGERTara Meier (515)282-7000 ext.2735PUBTISHII{GO]{SUITANIPeter H. Miller (202)362-9367FOR HELP WIil YOUR SUdIGRIPTION:WORKBENCHCustomer ServiceP.O. Box 842Des Moines, IA 50304-9961Phone: (800) 311-3991Fax: (575)283-04477On-Line: www.workbenchmag.comTO ORDER WORKBEiIGH PROIECTSUPPLIES:Call 1-800-311-3994FOR MORE lI{FORilAflO]{ ABOI'fHoME |MPR0VEI[E!{I, W0ODW0RI$1{G, GARDEI{II{GAr{D OOOtfll{G, VlSr ilE AUGUST HOiIE WEB SI[E:http: / /www augusthome.comAudit Bureauof CirculationsWORKBENCH ISSN 0043-8057) is published bimootNy(an., Mar., May,July, Sept., Nov.) by Augu* Home PublishingCompany,2200 Gmnd Ave., Des Moines,lom, 50312Itl\rkbuth is a regSstercd mdemuk ofAugust Home Publishing.Copyright@2000 August Home Publishing ComPanyAll rights resened.Subsciption ratesi Single copy, $3.99. One year subscription(6 issues), $15.94; vo year sub., $27.95; three yet sub., $39.95.Canadian/lntl.. add $'10.00 per year Periodicals Postage paid atDes Moines, lA and at additional ofices."USPS,/Perry Judd's-Heardand Div.Automauble Poly."Posmasteri Send address ch.nges to Wb*bekeh,PO Box 37272. Boone,IA 50037-02'72.Printed in U.S.A.6WORKBENCH tr JANUARY IFEBRUARY 2OOO


Feedback & Follornr-UpSuruey Says: Melamine is Vercatile, Affodable, and Easy to Use'When rve chose to build the storagesystenr ill this issue (see StorrlSc MarlcSirirplc on page 42) fioul urelatnine,we wele curious to firld ottt rvh:rtWorkbcrrclt readers knor'v ar.rcl tl.rinkabout this materill. To find out, weput a short stlrvey olt onr web site(www.workbelrchuug. cour).Surprisingly, 85% of PeoPleresponding to the survey rvere f:rnriliarwith tnelatliue. And close to halfhave used it on projects befbrc.We rrlso rsked about PeoPle's As you can see fiom the tableexperiences working rvith rlrelatnitle. below far mol'e PeoPle giveHere'.s whrt sonie folks l-r:rcl to say: nrehurine a thurlrbs up. Despite aferv shortcot.trings, it's still a greatPROs. "Cood.li,t' kittlrctt prcjcts.". "lt's lrt'dt.litr stora,qc attd cnbirtt'ts, urrtelirl for nrany proJects. It takesntore cltre to work with, but the payofFis,r l:rstirrg. elsy-to-cle.ttr project'i t's n' l at iuc ly i t r t'xPcr r s iuL" ". "l likt' it.fitr sltop cttbittt'ts and .ji.qs.". "Qrritc lt,rsntilc." Melamine:. "'l'ltr riltitt' strrtdccitns,t citau. i,rtriti Readef ReaCtiOnappr:drattrc. ". "Mclantittt' is .qrt',ttstttl, it'1t1t11 l111pt1l lHave you heard of melamine?Irort, to ltartdb it."."ll/itltYes.. ...85o/otr tttirtirttrrttt of' prunttiort' itt:rtts ('dsil)r rt,itlt mrbidt:-tilpcd tools. " No .....1t/"C0Ns. "lt's rtot rtt1, .first cltttitc, I prtit to trst',r',t1114tttd.", "lt's sotttttirttr'-r tolrq/t to,firtd irr stttall,loral Irnttbcrynvfl5.". "Ortttirt.q ttrclanittt' latrT .s/lnr1; l,ro/-s'brtt it drills tltutt qricklY.". "Ntr rlnflcr ltou, it's dn'sscd rrp, it's stillpnrtirlcbttdrd ."lHave you used melamine?Yes., ...460/oNo .....54"/"lHow do you rate melamine?# rut 14%ElePersonal Touches Gustomize a Workbench ProiectWhen we desiqn and buildI'lorft|t'rt./r plojects, we'krrow you'll problbly end up nrodifying thetrr to trieetyour specific r-reeds. That'.s rvl-ry we sperld a lot of tinretcllirru you rry'r1'wc do thirrgs. rlot jtlst /i()ll'.In r recetrt letter, subscribers l)eborah ar.rd l)hilip Sinrsshowed us how they changecl thc Classic Cechr Fertce(May{une 1999) to fit their yard lnd their br-rclgct'The Sims needed 2ft-ft. of feticc to cttclose thc'iryard. With tlte tnlqrzitre in h:rncl, thcy tllkecl to cor)-tractors about l-rrvirlg5 the ferlce built. tsids ratl :lbottt$3,000. So the Sinrs did it thenrselves.They built tl.reir lence fiotn st'eentreatedlun.rber, rnd printed it tor-rratch their l-rouse.The project took al lllllllllllilweek of spare time, and cost $400. Itlooks great, and shows how you cat'tnrake a prqect work for you. lllllill\lIf yotr've custonized a Workbadrprqect, send us photos (see Page 6)'Rather than pay a contractor $3'000 tobuild a fence, Deborah and Philip Simsmodified our Glassic Gedar FencelMay/lune 1999). Their cost $400.\u()l{KIIENCH !.IANUARY I FEBI{uAl\Y 2000


Plate loiner: Woodworke/s Best Friend, or an (herrated Tool?The modular wall ur-rit on page 24 isassembled with plate joinery - alsoknownas biscuit joinery. Thistechnique is r-rothing new, but wervanted to kt-row just how familiarWorkburclr readers rre with it, andwhat you thilrk about the tools. Tofind or.rt, we did an ou-line sttrvey atwww. workbetrchurag. cot-u.As we expected, over 90% ofthose who respor-rded kuew aboutbiscuit joiners. Arour.rd 60% haverused otte bcfore rrrd pl:rn tt-t ag:rin.Aln.rost half own one of the tools.Br.rt those nuurbet's don't tell uswhat the folks responding to thesr-rrvey really think. For that, wettrrned to the conrrrtcnts:PR0s. " ()trtstar t dirt,q tool. ". "Cuildtt't dtt ruitltottt ttrtc itt rtt), sltop.". ,'1000,%, r'asicr tltatt tut.1t tttlrcr rncatrsttf-.j oit r i ttt 11t1t1t d. ". "()rtc ttl-tItc sinrplrst, -{t,t)/r.qc-st.ioiril-s. "GONs. "Dort't st'c tlrc nct'd. Dorpcls rilll do."'"I prclcr tttortisc attd t(tt()tt or 11il)rctrad it ior t dl rttcthods. "' "Wlt), lnry 1l19 too/, tt-i'c )tottr r()ttt(r'". "lt's cltcatirt.q,Tltartks ftr Norrrt t/rc bi.rcttil.ioirtcr i5 p11g pf'tltt tttost ()uut11t(dt ottl s ttl' tt t tr .qct Icrdti o I t. "In the end, the over-whelmingmajority like biscuit joiners. And weagree. It nray not be the greatest toolever, but it docs have its place.Plate Joiner:Reader ReactionJ Have you heard of plate ioinery?Yes .. ...93"/"No.....7o/oaHave you used a Plate ioiner?Yes .. .. , 60%No .....4O"/"lHow do you rate plate ioiners?&rr* t*reProduct lnformation Number 197


uestionsa& Ans\MersScribe the Base Gabinet or Trim the Baseboard MoldingI'm building some stttrage cabinets_fitr my _family room, and Iwant the base cabinets ttt sittightly againsthe u'all.Wmt's tlrc bestLuq/ to deal with the base nrolding?DougWicksElnlurst,ILApply masklng tapeto side of cablnet.We faced the same problemwhen we built the modularwall unit (see page 24).-loachieve this built-in look, it cot'nesdown to whether you cut the baser-nolding to fit the cabinet, or cutthe cabinet to fit the base molding.The simpler option is to cut thebase molding, removing the sectionwhere the cabinet will sit. Becauseiti nearly impossible to cut thebaseboard in place on the wall, it'.sbest to remove the entire Piece,trir.n it to length and reinstall it.The molding should butt squarelyagainst the side ofthe cabinet.Cutting the molding nrakes senseif your rype of baseboard is readilyavailable - you can just tear offtheold stuffand install new molding tofit. I also recommend this method ifyou nright sorueday reuse the cabinetsin another location.Some cabinets are designed withthe back panel inset an inch or so.Use compass to transferbaseboard proflle ontoslde of cablnet.This allows you room to scribe thecabinet sides to the wall and basemolding for a custom fit. Using acompass, transfer the profile of thebase n-rolding and wall onto the sideof the cabinet (see drawing above).Then trim the cabinet with a jigsaw or coping saw to the line.Use this method if the baseboardcan't be removed without damagingthe molding or wall.This is especiallytrue for decorative, old moldingthat would be hard to replace. If theback panel ofthe cabinet isnt inset,however, cutting the baseboard maybe your only option.$I|ARE YOIJR OIIE$TIOII$!If you have a question about woodworking or home improvement,write it down and mail it to WORKBENCH Q&A,2200 Grand Ave., Des Moines, IA 50312.Please include your name, address anddaytime phone number in case we haveany questions for you. You can alsoreach us via Fax at (515) 283-2003 orby Email message ateditor@workbenchmag.com. If wepublish your question, we'llsend you one of our handsomeand fushionableWorkbench caps.Aucusr Hovrg Ptesident/Pubrishet: r)onerd Ir r)eschke '^Ff--fficorpotateservices:controller:l\obi1Hrrtchinson ' Senior Accountaur. LruraThorrras . -Accozzfs Payble: Mary Schtrkz'Accounts Receioable: Mtgo Petrus' ProductionDirector: Ccoryc (lhnriehrz ' Production Assistant: susrn l{ucve ' Network Administratol:clris SchwrDcbcck .New Media Manager: (;ordon GNiPPe ' Web Site Art Director: GeneI'e.lcrsen .WeD Site Product Specialist: Adanr lJest ' E-Commerce Analyst: C'atolI'jelz-schocppler . Benefh Manager: Kirstcn Koclc ' Administratioe Asistant: Julia Fish 'Receftionist: lcanne lohnson'Administratioe Assistant: slletrt lt-)bbey ' Mail,/Deliuery Clerh:Lon Webber . Building Maintenqilce: Ken Griflitll Citculation! Subscriber SeroicesDirector: SaDcly litnt . New Businm Director: c\cnda K Barrles ' New Brcines Manager:Tirdd Bierle . Creatiue Manager Melindr Hall'ircil Senior Grathic Designel: M^rk Hayes'P/omotion Manager: l\ick Junkins . Renewal Manager: Paige Rogers ' Billing Manager:llebecca Cunninghant' MarhetingAnalysL'Kris Schlemmer'.4ssistant Subscription Manager:Joy Krarrse . Bookst Executioe Editor: l)otg)as L Hicks ' Art Director: *eve Lteaet ' SeniorGrafhic Designen: Chris Clowacki, Cheryl Sirrrpson ' Grafhic Designer: Yt Nguyen 'Asistant Edito6: Joe lruin, Craig Ruegsegger Ptoducts Gtoip. Oferations Director: BobB^ket . Customer Seruice Manager: lennie Enos ' Warehouse Suferoisor: Nancy Johnson 'Buyer: Litda lones'Administratiue Assistant: Nancy Downey ' Customer SeruiceRepresentatiaes: Anna Cox, Tammy Truckenbrod, Dc"borah Rich, April Revell, I)avid Gaunrer 'Warehouse: Sylvia Carey, Dan Spidle, Sheryl Knox w'oodsmith Stotet Manager: Dave Larson. Assistant Managel. t'aul Schneid€r ' Sales Staff, Wenaell Stone' JiIn tsarnetc' Kathy Snrith'Larry Morrison Harold Cashrnan 'Ofrtce Manager:Vicki Edwards1,2WORKBENCH tr JANUARY I FEtsRUARY 2OOO


Offset String Line Helps Keep Fence Posts AlignedWhat's the best method for layingoutfence posts in a straightIine? l'ue had trouble with this,especially when replacing ltosts in anexisting fence.Allen OlsonCottage Crove, MN/,'String lineFraming squareStretching a string is thesimplest way to establish astraight line. Start at a cornerpost or one end ofthe straight runof the fence. Drive a stake in theground 72" away from the postlocation.To position the stake atBlace postin plumb position.the proper distance from the fence,align the long leg of a framingsquare with the existing fence.Then drive the stake at the 12"mark along the square's short leg.Repeat this staking process at theother end and tie a string linebetween the stakes.By offtetting the string line, yougive yourself room to work withouthaving the string get in yourway. Measure over from the stringto dig the post holes. Place gravelin the bottom of the holes and setthe posts in place. (Jse the stringIine to adjust the posts'position asyou plumb them in the holes.Stake the posts plumb, then carefullybackfill the holes around theposts, tamping the soil as you go.To learn more about settingfence posts, check out the articleon page 34 in the May{une 1999issue of Workbench.Prep SufaceBefore Recoatingwith PolyurethaneGasketGlogged Valve Seats leave Shower GoldThe hot water pressure in my Most single-handle mixers have abathroom shower is almost nonexistent,but the bathroom sink These hot and cold inlets haveball that fits over a pair of inlets.isfne.The showerfaucet has a ball-type valve seats (cup-shaped gaskets) thatmixing knob. Is it just a problem with seal against the round ball.the ualue or is it corrosion in the pipe? As you turn the knob, dimplesDave Caumer in the ball move over the seats andDes Moines, IA let water pass. Ifa seat gets cloggedor the dimple in the ball gets corroded,it slows or stops the flow ofBecause there's hot water tothe sink, I think the supply water. Install new valve seats andline is probably fine. So I d replace the ball, too, if it has limestart with the shower faucet valve. or scale deposits.What prep work should I dobeJore giving a table a new coatof polyurethane?Daue RockOmaha, NEStart by stripping any accumulatedwax, oil, and dirt.Scrub the entire table wellwith soapy water and a soft-bristledbrush, then wipe it dry.Next, sand it lightly with 220-grit sandpaper. Be sure to sand withthe grain. Sanding not only removesdeep scratches, it gives the new finisha way to form a mechanicalbond with the old finish.Wipe the suface down using arag dampened with mineral spiritsto remove dust and any remainingwax. Then reapply polyurethane,sandine betlveen coats.14woRKBENCH tr JANUARY IFEBRUARY 2000


Tips &TechniquesPrecut Doonvay Bottom Plate Before Raising Stud WallYour article on WaIl Framing Know-How in the Sept/Oct issue had lotsof good information. In it. youshowed cutting out the bottomplate in a doorway after the studwall is raised and nailed in place. Ithought I'd share a trick an oldcarpenter showed me that makes iteasier to do this.Lay out the stud locations onthe plate. Now make a crtt'/t"-deep in the lower face of the bottomplate at each side ofthe dooropening.Then nail the stud walltogether.That way, the plate stillstabilizes the door opening whenyou raise the wall. But when youmake the cut to remove the Plate,your saw stays well above the floor.You wind up with a cleaner cutin less time without sawing intothe subfloor.This method worksparticularly well when you'reComplete cut from topto lemove platefrom the door opening,remodeling and installing a wallover an existing finished floor.Robert MajorPace, FLPlugs Add Grip to End GrainI work for a decorating comPanyand we hang most of our windowcoverings on wood poles.To dressup the poles, we add finials to theends, but the screws dont hold wellin the end grain of the poles.I solved this problem by drilling a'/r"-dia. hole in the ends of thepole. Using a plug cutter, I cut facegrain plugs {iom the face ofa scrapboard, then glue the plugs in theends of the pole.When the gluedries, I screw the finials into theInstall face grain plugin the end of pole.A GIue Bottle with a TwistI usually buy wood glue in gallonjugs and fill up smaller botdes forregular use. Most glue botdes donthave a cut offvalve in the lid so thetips often clog up with dried glue.To get around this problem, Isaved a couple of 72-oz. mustardbottles that have a rwist-open tip.plugs where the screws'threads canget a good grip on the wood.Tbn VulloBrooklYn, NYThe tips don't plug with glue andyou can even use them to controlhow much glue flows out.Thebottles also have a wider mouth sorefilling them from the gallon jugis easier than a regular glue bottle.Willian lacyMarion, IASHARE YoUR TIPS,IIGS, AND IDEASDo you have a unique way of doingsomething? Just write down Your tiPand mail it to:Workbench Tips & Techniques2200 Grand Ave.Des Moines, IA 50312.Please include your name, address,and daltime phone number.If you prefer, email us ateditor@workbenchmag.com.We'Il pay you $75$200 and send you aWorkbench cap if we publish your tip.In addition, The Stanley Works issponsoring Tips & Techniques, andwill send an award for the tip in eachissue that best describes the creativeuse, care or application of tools.MAKE SOMETHI'{GREAT"16woRKBENCH ! JANUARY IFEBRUARY 2000


Best Tool lipSponsored By The Stanley WorksPipe and Rod Simplify Driving Nails in Glose QuadersThere are times when you dor-r'thlve much roolrr to drive a nail.For exanrple, recently I needed todrive a nail in the back corner of :rcabinet, but didn't have roor.r.r toswine the hammer.I solved the problenr u,itl.r apiece of '4" ID pipe anc-l rt '/,,,"-dia.steel rod. First, I slipped the nail inone end of the pipe, then slid therod in the other end. Holding ontothe pipe, I moved the end with thenail into position in the cabinet.Still holding the pipe, I tapped theend ofthe rod to get the nail startedar-rd a few heavier blou's drove ithome.To make my close-quartersdriver work even better, I used amagnet to magnetize the end ofthe rod. Now the rod holds the nailinside the pipe whilc yorr get thedriver in position.Bernard LutrrcsPlentl'traYtfl, 1473/'rc"4ia, steel lodStrike the steelrod to drivethe nail.In recognition of his tip,Woddond reader BernardLutnes wins a set of tools fiomThe Stanley Works. Send us your tip andyou could be a winner, too. ;The Stanley WorksNew Britain, GTwwustanleyworks.comUse f-Brackets for an Extra Hand When Installing SidingWhen I re-siclcr'l rrrt' ]-rousc, I lrlclto work alone nruch of the tinre.Tlyirrg ro hold :r l(r-Fr. lerrgth ofl.rardboard siding in place ar.rd nailit by myself was nearly impossible.To nrake tlrings easier, I made acouple ofJ-shaped blackets out ofsonre nretal strapping left over fronr:tnother plqect. TI.re long leg oferrch J is about 3" longer than thes,ic.lth of the siding (12" ir-r my case).the hook extends a little below thetop of the last piece of siding r.railedto the wall.When I pl:rce the sidingon the brackets, they hold it roughlvin position. Starting at one end, Islide the siding up into position andtack tl-rlt end down.Then I move tothe opposite end and tack that endof thc siding in position.With the siding tacked in place, Irenlove the brackets byI nail the top end ofthe bracketsto tl.re sheathing so the bottonr ofpulling thenails l.rolding thenr to the sheathing.The brackets cxn then be slid dowrrand out from under the siding.Finally, I go back to the first endand begin nailir.rg the sidine down atthe remaining stud locations, leavinga uniforr-r'r reveal on the board below.Allcrt OlsonCottagc Crouc, MNJ-bracketnailed to sheathingLift siding intoposition and tackin place.J-brackets hold siding in positionwoRKBENCH ! JANUAT\y I FEBRUARy 2000'1 1


Use A Framing Square to Locate Genter of GircleI recently bought a round-toppeddirrir-rg table at :rn aLlctioll that hadsonre dinss llorrs the edge of thetop. I figurecl I could rottt I cleatledge usirtg il trrlllll1el b:rse ou trlyroutet', but first needed to find thetable's cetrter.I rv:is :ibie to do tl-ris Llslllq afi'attring sclltare lncl I sitllplc scrrprvoocljig. To triake the jiu' I cttt Istrip of rvood thlt rvas l 1itt1e sholte'r'thrt.t tl-re tlblc's cliatrtetet'.Ncxt, I ch'illecl I hole l" tl-ottrcach errcl rrtcl ce'tttet'cd orl thc jig'swiclth.Thert I tlrelsttrccl :ltlcl ttlltrkcdtl'rc ccrttcrline of tl-re' .1ig's lc'ngthbetrt'cttr tl-re holes.Slippinu I rrril in c'rrcl'r holc, Ipllced thc jig rgainst thc tablc'TherrI laicl tl-re fl'rtrtitrs sclttnre rgrlinst thejig, lined it up rvith thc cctrtcrlirtcnrark, rrtrcl dlcrv I line oll thc trblc:rlonq thc cclgc of tl-re' scltlllre.After nrovitrtl the jig :rbor"it ltqrlarter of the waY arotttld tl'ret:rbletop, I drerv a secoud line rvithtl-re square.Wl-rere the trvo linesilrtelsect is thc ceuter ofthe table' Iused this poillt to lllotlllt the trrtlrnrelblse urd proceeded to give thetlbk'rt uerv edge treatlllellt.CrdiP (]lou'atkiBn'wrd. NCPosition jig with nails against table top'Align square withcentetline on iig and draw a linealong framing square'[--9n'"Move jig and draw a second line. Thelines intersect at the table top's centel'i--"-ffi, mrui. \ .rt'


Trash Gan Makes Glean Router BaseMy shop is snrall and Idor-r't leallv hrve roor-ntol l tl'ecstrnclinq routertrrble. Like the one you.houc,l irr tlrc NovzI)ccissue, nn' router table justclampecl to the top of niybencl'r. llut chips and sar,vclustu'cnt everywherc.('l--rtrirr- rn rft,.. ,r t"- ""'r - r """ tttltll)Ssessior.r, I got an idel th:rt IScrew eyetl'rougl-rt I would plss lkrrrs. I rellizedI had a reaclv-nr:rclc basc thatn.rs perfcct firr..rt. lrrrr{ the clripi- I .l{ t-g:lllorrr.rrlr c.rn.To secure tlre urter t:rblc to thecln, I fastencd scrc'n' eyes to thebottonr of thc t.rblc urc'l ticd tl'renroffto thc c;rn\ h:rnclles.A s:rndb:rgin thc bottonr oitl-re car-r helps stabilrzethc b:rse.Clnrlts lllakuia tlrt irrtL'rrrctSimple router tableTie screw eyeto handleof can.Pencil Keeps MiterGauge SlidingWhile I selclonr I'rrve a can of drylubricant close rt har-rd, I alwayshave a pencil in nry rplon pocket.If I notice the uriter gar.rsc in r-l1yt:rble saw sticking:r littlc, I blowout thc sawdust ancl "scribble" onsidcs urrd bottorrr of tlrc nritt.r'gauge slot with the pencil.Tl'regrlphite keeps things sliclinu frecly.ll.Il. HirttcsViurrta, ()Hdlfl'20 ycats of custon wutdutrkng.


News & EventsMedium-Density Fiberboad from Gow ManurcNext time you're driving along acountry highway, take a minute tostop and smell the MDEThati right, cow manure is nolonger just for fertilizing lawns. It'snow being explored as a possiblesource of core material in mediumdensityfiberboard.According to the Iowa StateUniversiry scientists conducting thestudy, cow manure makes sense forseveral reasons. First, high fiber contentis a part of cattle's natural diet.Second, because the fiber hasalready been refined by the cows,less adhesive is needed to bond thematerial.Third, as a rapidly renewedresource, it can help ease pressureon conventional wood sources.And, apart from the occasional cowchip throwing contest, the stuffreally isnt in high demand.Yeah. but won't it stink? Notaccording to the scientists.Theyclaim a sweet,straw-like odor even aftermachining the material.Manure isn't the onlyagricultural ingredient inthe mix, though.The scientistsalso use a soybasedadhesive to bondthe sheets together. It's amore environmentallyfriendly option thanpetroleum-based binders.'When the "poopboard" may land in homecenters isn't certain.There's still a lotoftesting to be done, and the scientistsare currendy trying to findfunding to keep the project alive.Fair Exhibitorc Build Furniturc for GharityExhibitors at the 1,999Woodworking Machinery andFurniture Supply Fair teamed upfor a good cause this year - tobuild 100 sets of bedroom furni-Woodwodrs fior Ghildrcn founder lloug lftmp picturcd withone of lfll sets of firrnihrrc built by woodlo*ing faireilribilors. The furniturc wert to an at-risk youtt sheltenture for children. The furniture setswere donated to a center for at-riskgirls in California.The idea came from DougKemp, former president of theAssociation ofWoodworkingandFurniture Suppliers,which hosts the fair.Kemp organized thefair participants tomake componentsfor the bedroomsets while theydemonstrated theirmachines at the fair.In past years, materialswere made randomlyand oftenthrown away.The project iscalledWoodworksfor Children and isthe first such prograrnat any majorwoodworking fair.World Recod PourIn Fayetteville, AR, earlier thisyear, concrete workers set a newworld record for the largest placeand-finishconcrete floor.Theproject was a 556,000 sq.-ft.warehouse floor.Suppliers delivered concrete atthe rate ofnearly 39 trucks perhour (9 cubic yards every 90seconds).The crew workedcontinuously for 30 hours.The new warehouse will behome to Hanna's PotpourriCompany. Now that's a lot ofdried flowers.20WORKBENCH ! JANUARY I FEBRUARY 2OOO


Whll CabinetsBuitding cabinets isn't as tough as you may think, and these wall-mounted and base unitsproue it.Their good looks disguise the straighfonuard techniques that keep construction simple,hen you build cabinets,you're basically buildingboxes. Sure. cabinets arelarger, but their construction is aboutthe same - four sides and a back,but with doors instead of a lid,M"yb. that's oversimplifying, butnot by much. These wall-mountedand base cabinets are reallyjust buttjointedboxes (wetL-MoUNTEDand nASn CABINET CONSTRUC-TIoN vlEws). To strengthen thejoints, I added biscuits. For more onthis see PlateJoinery Basies on page 36.Other parm of the cabinets areeasy to build too, even the beveledmolding and frame-and-panel doors.Materials for this project are alsostraightforward. Sheet goods makeup the carcases, backs, and doorpanels.The door frames, edging, andmolding are all cut from solid stock.I built the carcases from mapleveneeredmedium derxity fiberboard(MDF).You could use cabinet-gradeplywood, but I chose MDF sinceitt very stable and flat. PIus, in myarea anyway, MDF is less expensive.I also had some crouble findingmaple-veneered plywood.One of the problems withMDf; though, is its weight.A firllsheet tips the scales at close to90-lbs. That makes the materialtough to handle. Ifyou decide touse MDf;, you'll need a friend tohelp carry full sheets and thecomoleted cabinets.MDF can also kick up prettynasty sawdust. So I recommend aa dust mask while cutting it.The steps in building eithercabinet are about the same. I'llguide you through the base unit.26H D TANUARY I FEBRUARY 2OOO


GABINET GONSTRUCTION VIEWSOVERALL SIZE - Wall-Mounted Cabinet: 43"W xOVERALL SIZE - Base Cabinet: 43"W x 34"H xWALI.MOUTTED GABINETBASE CABINET@ Sioe molding E=:t:@creat24s/+"Ht83/q"DG9Frontmoldlng@) |x !3r/z"D@wirrcabinetstlleQ rrbnt@Wel ratl_eMATERIATS IISTWALL-MOUNTED CABINETAA(2) Side Panels* 3/i', xll3li' x24"BB(2) Top/Bott. Panels* %" x7L3f 4" x381f2''CC(1) Divider* 3/q" x 703/t" x22yz"DD(2) Shelves* 31a' y,1gt12'1931a'EE (2) Cleats 3/4' x21/2'x39r/2*FF(2) Back Panel (ply) 1/4'xLgl/2* x39r/2'GG(1) FrontN4olding 310'yJlf2'x43'HH(2) Side Molding 3/4u x3t/2" x731f2"BASE CABINETA (2) Side Panels* 314,, x t73/4,' x3212"B (2) Top Panel* 3/4,, x 173 l4', x 3gr/2,,C (2) Bottom Panel* 3fa" xt7rf2" x381f2"D (1) Divider* 3/q' x !63/q' x27'E (1) Toe Kick 3/4,, x 4,' x ABlf 2,,F (2) Shelves* 3f4"y761f2"xl83fa"G (1) Cleat 3/4,'x2r14,,x391/2,'H (2) Back Panel (ply) yq" x261/t" x391/2"| (2) Countertop 3/4' x L8' x38y2'J (2) Web Rails 3f 4" xJ" x38tf2"K (3) Web Stretchers314,'x3,, x 12"L (1) Front Edging t1o, ylt12" x40,,M (2) Side Edging 314'xlr/2'xL83l4'D00RS (per cabinet)N (4) Rails 3/a" x3" x741/e'0 (4) Base Cab. Stiles 3f 4" yJ" x267 f suP (2) Base Cab. Panels 1/2" x 74118" x277 18'Q (4) Wall Cab. Stiles 310" x3" x2231s'R (1) Glass Stops fa" *sTru x 156" -cutto fit* Apply fa"-161sk x 3/4"-wide edge banding t0 the@ side panel(!)Top panelHARDWARE (for both cabinets)(8) 35mm Euro "Clip" Hinges(41 Lt1o"-9i6. Round Knobs {screws(50)#8 x 172" Fh Sheet Metal Screrrvsoo@ Bottom panel-f'@Toe kickNote: Use #20 biscuitsto loin cabinet parts.fiffiffiHW'stileN0TE: You can download cut.ting diagrams for this projectFREE frcm our web site. Go towww.workbenchmag.com andclick on(' !'L t Gr /r(iILVTSlf you don't have web access,send a stamped, self.addressedenvelope to:l,Vorkbench Gutting DiagramsAttn: Wall Unit2200 Grand Ave.Des Moines, lA 50312woRKBENCH tr JANUARy FEBRUARy 200027


d 7+" Hardboard--:.Clampingcall 7q"-thick edSle-Align edge guide3/a"-thick edelebanding stockGutting sheets to size is easiest with anedge guide. Mine's iust a straight stripof scrap wood on a hardboad base.Gut the base to width after assembly.Ripping the edging means you'll havenarrow strips captured between thefence and blade, Use a sacrificial pushblock to keep your hands clear.Use long woodScrape banding flush once glue sets.CUT AND EDGE THE PANETSThe flrst thing to do is lay ottt thecuts on the Ml)F With planr-ring,you can get ur entire base cabir]et:urd a wall-r-nouuted cabinet fi'ortttwo lull Ml)F shccts.Aftcr laying out the prtrels, ctttrhenr ro size (ease CABINET ELE-VATIONS ar righr, MATERIALSLtST orr p;rgc 27). I firrd it crtstest tocut sheet goocls on s:rwhot'ses, usitrga circnlar srw and a sl.rop-built ec-lgeguicle (rIcs. 1 ancl 1a).With the panels sized, work c:rt.rbegir.r on thc edge banding. Itisnrade by ripping thin strips off theeclr:es of rr piece of solid stock.Tb do this, prep:rre your eclslinustock by ripping both eclgcs parrllel.If you have a jointer', t'ttn each edgeacross it to ljet a fl:it, sllrooth sttrflrce.Next, set your tlble saw feuce',/.," fror.r-r the bladc, and rip rr strip ofedge bnding fi-ee (nIc. 2).Then fliptl're borrrd eclge-for-edge aud tnlkeanothcr plss.l\epc:rt tlri\ proccss. st:trrillq .ttthe jointer, Llntil you havc etrottshedge banding to cover tl.rc f}ontecige of all the cabinet partcls.Nowcrosscut pieces of edgebrndinq slightly lonqer tlt:rr ertcl-tplnel. ()lr-re thet'n in pllce nrrtkinesnre the b:rnding overhatrqs bot}r enclsanc'l erch frrce of the prncl (rtc. 3).After thc gluc sets up, scrxpe thebar-rclir-rg flush rvith the p:u'rcl, andtri)11 ii t^lPrr(rfllON TO THE JOINERYlJcfble assenrblir.rg tlre cabir.ret, younccd to r:rbbet the b:rck eclge of eachsiclc plnel to rcccpt the back panel(BASE CABINET ELEVATIONS).Nou' cut slots for the biscuits inthc' cabinct sides, top and bottottt,divider, ancl toc kick.Note thrrt the bottortr panel sitsflush with thc cabinet',s fiont edge.Thc divicler is sct '/''' brck fi-onr thcfiont edge lucl acts as a door stop.Both thc divider rnd bottont sit tlushwith the side p:tnel rabbets.Finally, the hard work is plyingofl-. ltls tiure to lssenrblc tl-re c:rbinct(ASSEMtILY VIEW).TIrii \rcp is ciriyif you fbllorv thc se'quencc' shownrnd dry-fit evclything beforc illuirrg.ASSEMBLY VIEWNOTE: Assemble carcaseface up on a flat surface.CLEAT CONSTRUGTION VIEWN0TE: Cut rabbetsand dado 1/2" deep.Step 1: Glue toekick to bottom.CLEAT END VIEWAttach cleat and backpanef with #8 x IVz" FhStep 2: Glue dividerbetween top andStep 3: Glue sides totop and bottom. Then| 3/q" II2y2".lTl@ll Ir"ayo" iiln Ial28WORKtsENCH tr JANUARY FEBIIUAI\Y 2()00


BASE CABII{ET ETWANONSL73/q"NOTE: Bottom panel (G) is 7+" narrower than top panel (B)jlirIlirii i -._Center dhlder'lt /(q) il{ on top andi'i;iitirIliliL;bottom panelsse42,,4WALT.MOUNIED CABINET EIilATIONSiiili --c.nt.' otto",AD i( on top andlf bottom nanelsll3/+"IJ"I tts/{(3/s"\-T-------l -,\_--J17" /2" 2"Vt"4la. 2Y""hole,3/s"4pec l=: 1":o-ro(AA) -;l t'i8Y2"NOTE: Screwmoldlng totop ofcabinet wlth*8xL1/2"Fh self-tappingsctews,7o+" Countersunkshankholesfor38V2"-l- l3yz"+MAKE THE CLEAT AND BAGKThe back ofthe cabinet is made up ofa cleat and a plywood panel.The cleatgives you something to screwthrough when you mount the cabinet.Thepanel helps prevent racking.Start by cutting the cleat to size(CLEAT coNSTRUcrroN vrEwand CLEAT END VIE\V). Then cuttongues on both ends to fit in the sidepanel rabbets.Also rabbet the bottomedge for the back panel. Finally, cut acentered dado to receive the divider.Then you can screw the cleat inplace. and cut a back to fit. I use selftappingsheet metal screws in MDFrather than woodscrews. The sheetmetal screws have nrore aggressivethreads that hold better.Next, drill holes for shelf supports(DRILLING SHELF PIN HOLES),ADD A COUI{TERTOPA countertop finishes offthe cabinet(couNTERToP CONSTRUCTTONVIE.W).You make it by gluing a webframe (made from scrap MDF) to anMDF panel (couNTERroP andWEB TOP VIEWS).Then cut and fitthe edge banding.To mount the countertop, drillholes through the cabinet top panelaligned with the locations of theweb rails.Then drive screws into theweb from belowMOIDING FOR THE TOP CAEINETWith the base cabinet done,l built awall-mounted unit. It goes togetherjust about like the base cabinet(werr-uouNTED cABTNET ELE-VATIONS).You do need to make atop molding, though. Each moldingpiece gets a 17o bevel (BEVELDETAIL), and mitered corners.GOUNTERTOP CONSTRUGTION VIEWDRIIIING SHETF PIN HOtETiCOUNTERTOP TOP VIEWItevf)(wALL-M0UNTED) Make plywood jigs to position7ll3/t"-1 the shelf pln holes. Then use afl- ,'/.8r;"1 : 1'=:bit and stop collar to ddll holesin the cabinet sides and dlvlder.,F?1',t I| | \ 73/a"lLl2V",' I IAttach countertop to cabinetwith #8 x 172" Fli screws,(BASE)WEB TOP VIEW7-173/t,-1381/2" Irf'i'| 18"II-woF.KBENCH tr JANUARy IFEBRUARy 2000 29


DOOR CONSTRUCTION VIEW BASE cABTNET DooR FRoNr vrEw wALL-MouNrED DooR FRoNr vtEw@Base cabinetpanell3' I@Base cabinetFI'@Panel2 layers of7+'Lthick plywoodilil1ilil1t$Ys".lL-J*..,.L@siire [--X |,@ a^l ---z r,' Stub tenonJI267/a"T F,1{| [q'i,;llilxnozlte"liIllil-t LlVz":Deepgroove, cutto fit panelLl/c"Knob13" I@|1.-Iil\F\7e'Lthickglassr-tlT@nritJ 72" Stub tdnonIIIl,^ ll l,'F^t illI-@stir.r! lr_IStubtenonRailBUILD THE DOORS\Vith the cabinet built, work canstart on the doors (DOOR CON-STRUCTIoN vIEw). They havesolid wood r-ails rnd stiles withgrooves that capture plywood panels.Thegrooves llso tnate with stubtenons in the rails to join the frat-ttes.The lest of this project is .tisctttbledwitl-r biscuit joints.Why not thedoor franres? lJiscuits would work,but I prefer stub tenon and groovejoints for a couple reasons.First, e:rcl-r rail and stile needs allroove to receive the door panels.And since you've got to cut a grooveanyway, why not take advar-rtage of it.Second, plate joir-rts need flat nratinssrirflices. That tueaus you d haveto cut stopped grooves on the stiles.MAKE THE PANETS AND FRAMESThe first step is cuttir-rg the rails andstiles (nesn and WALI-MoUNTEDCABTNET DOOR FRONT VIE.WS).Next, cut a celltered groove it-teach piece to receive the PlYwoodprnel. It'.s ersy to do this at the tablesaw if you keep two things in mind.First, '/," plywood usually hasveneer on just one face. I wantedtwo good faces on the Panels, so Igh.red two pieces back-to-back.And '/," plywood isn't quite afull '/r" thick. So cutting a '/."-widegroove means a loose-fitting panel.It\ e.rsicstt-r cttt thc groovc ilttwo passes using a '/r" dado blade inyour saw. Set tl.re dado blade tornake a '/,"-deep cut.Now grab solne scrap stock tl-resarrre thickness as yollr rail and stilerrraterial. Next. adjtrst thc rip fenccso the blade is slightly off center onthe edge of your stock. Then nukethe first cuttins pass (nrc. 4). Nor'vflip the borrd end-for-end andmake another p:rss (rlc. 5).Test fit r panel ir-r the groove. Ifthe groove is too trarrow, nudge theGnce away fror.n the blade ar-rd rrtaketwo l-nore passes. When the panelfits snug withoutbir-rding, you'reready to nrrchine the rrils and stiles.With the lllooves done, the stubtenons can be ctlt olt each rail.Though the tenot-rs are '/r"-1ong,the '/." dado blade can still be usedto cllt thellt.zFllp stockfor second pr@ :'Raise your dadoblade to make amake a pass through your rail or stile.Flip the boadend-for-end andUse a fuatherboad to hold the stock.A miter gaugeextension and therip fence suppodyour rails while cutting the stub tenons.30woRKBENCH tr JANUAI\Y FEBI\UARY 2000


Mark jig to matchhinge specifications.stile-t4Check the specifications that come The hinge cupswith your hinges, then build a simple fit in a 35mm-dia.jig to lay out the plate mounting holes. hole. lf you don't haveIt lets you drill each hole consistently. a 35mm bit. a l%"-dia, Forstner works.Once the hinge cup and plates areinstalled, joining them together is asnap - literally. Then use the adjustmentscrcws to fine tune the doorTir set up to cut thc tc'rrons, flrstrrcljusthc rip fcncc irs l stop thrrt rvillcstrrblish the lcnqth of thc tonsucs.Norv ;rcljr.rst thc blrrclc lrciqht to scttlrc t,'rrtt:r tlrickrcii.Tir get .l\l)ug-lif-tins tcrron, st:lrt with tlrc bl:rdc lorv.ttttl.tte,tk tll) ()t) tltg r'()l'l'L('t lreiqlrr.Ar{.lilt. rr''r v()tlf scttl|\ itt \(ril[]stock. LJsirrq lr.r cxtcnsion olt vortrnritcr quur{c fil'support, butt ouc cn(lof thc tcst piccc uq:rinst the fcrrcc.Tlrcn nr:rkc thc flrst prss (nlc. 6).Sliclc thc piecc ulr,:rv t.i'orrr t]rc fi'ncc,lrncl ruakc rrrrothel puss to conrplctcthut f:rcc of thc tonquc. Ncxt, tulnthc stock ovcr :urcl repc:lt thc pl'()ccssto courpletc' thc' tonguc. Norv tc-st fitthe teuou in one of thc cloor stiles. Ifthe te'non tlts, nrlrchinc vclr.rl mils.ASSEMBLE THE DOORSl3efole eluing up :r cloor, itls :rgood idcr to clly rrssenrble thc r:rils,stilcs, rrncl p:rncl to chcck thc flt.Thcn apply qluc to thc tcnons lrrclrrrltins spots or) thc stilcs. Slip theprnel in, urrc'l cllrur;-r thc lsscrrrbly.Fol thc' rvall-nrountc-cl clbinctclools that hrrvc qluss, go ilhcilcl rlnclgluc up tl-re fl'runc. Tl-re n sccItrstnllirr.q (l/ri.s.i irr t/rt' ,f)oor:s bclorv.Vru crrn :rlso install thc cftror knobs.INSTALLIN GLASS IN THE DOORSTo install glass in a door, cut awaythe back shoulder of the panel groovein the frame. Wood stops will holdthe gfass. First, install at/2" bearingguidedrabbet bit in your router. Thenrout away the back shoulder in theframe (RG. Al. Make simple glassstops by ripping small pieces fromlarger stock (Flc. Bl, then fit thestops and nail them in place (Ftc. Cl.INSTALI THE HINGESEuropcrrn cup lriuqes kccp thc lookof thc cabirret uncluttclcd. Installinsthcnr is u str"rriqhtfirrrvrrlcl proccss.Stlrt by drillirrg holes in the c:rbirretfol the hinqc phtcs (rlc. 7). Ashop-built jig sirnplifics this proccss.Norv bore 35nrnr-cli:r. Irolcs inthc clool stiles (FIG. 8).Thcrr scrcwthc hinqe cup rrncl plrrtc iu placc :rnclsn.rp thenr toscthcr'(nfC. l;. tEffi-ilils/a,Glass stoPAdjust your router Spacer bitso the bit's bearingrides on the groove's front shoulder.Round over all four edges of a board,then kerf each edge. Next, lay theboard flat, and rip the glass stops free.Gut the stops to fit, mitering eachcorner as you go. Predrill the stops,and tack them in place with brads.w()t{KBENCH ! -lANUAT{y I FLBtr.uAl{y 2000 3I


Television CabinetThis handsome cabinet easily holds a 32" teleuision, aVCR, and stereo gear Plus it ofersstorage room to spare.The key to building it successfully it o well-planned asembly process'L aowthat you've got theI \ | hang ofbuilding cabinets,I \ this TV cabinet shouldntlook too intimidating. It's big, butit's built very similar to the wallmountedand base cabinets.Though it's deePer than the othercabines, it's the same width and usesthe same materials and joinery (seePlate Joinery Basia on page 36). Thisreally simplifies layout, since a lot ofthe measurements are the same'There are a few structural differencesthat help this cabinet bear theweight ofa TV (TV cABII.TET coNsrRUcrIoNvrew).They include asecond toe kick and a Pair of aluminumangle brackets, Plus morecleats than the wall-mounted andbase units to he$ resist racking.On the functional side, the TVcabinet gets drawers (mounted onfull-extension slide$ for videos andcompact discs. Adjustable shelvesbelow hold more audio/visual gear.DESIGN GONSIDERANONSI have a 32" TV, and I'm told that'scurrently the best selling size. So Idesigned this cabinet around thosedimensions. Most 32" sets I checkedwill fit with plenty of room for airto circulate and cool the TV'Of course, if you have a TVsmaller tharn 32",it will fit fine. For alarger set, though, you may need alarger cabinet. Be sure to measureyourTV before You start to build.CtTfTIilG TIIE PARTS TO SIZEThe first thing to do is get all theTVcabinet panels cut to size and edgebanded.Check the varnnrers usrat right, and use the Proceduresshown on pages 28 atd29.32woRKBENcH D JANUARY I FEBRUARY 2000


TETEVISION GABINET COilSTRUCTION VIEWOVERALL SIZE: 43"W x 8O"H x 25r/z"D@sHEtF tocAnoNs@ side panel-1/-trcs/+"F233/+"--------Tm-143/+",t"lT I30y2"IIIT"l.fT-6Y2"-6"?-----r-------FF-6"?2" 2-z@Slot for#20 Biscult)'1J7S%"AlumlnumangleLY2" xlVz" x23".q$ Flxed shelfMlddle backpanel@/Upper doorstlle@counteredglng@ Drawer falsefront@Doorall4" 4u193/+"III"/!"1Ft3" I'r)Shelf :plnholes l"::l=ltli1/q" xVz" Rabbet J83/c"L1/c" x3/c"Edge banding@lowei door35mm stllehingeMATERIATSLUMBERA (2) Side Panels* t/a,, y)Jz/a,, x7Q1/a"B (2) Top/Bottom Panels* 314" x233/4" x38r/2"C (3) Fixed Shelves* 314" x23t/2il x381/2'D (1) Drawer Divider* 3/4, x223/4', x61/2,,E (1) Lower Divider* s14' x22t1o" 119310"F (2) Toe Kicks 3/4" x 4" x3By2,,G (1) TV Counter z1;'x23" x38112',H (2) Counter Web Rails 3/1, x3,, x38t/2"| (3) Counter Web Stretchers t1a,, x3,, x 17,,J (1) CounterEdge Banding 3/i, x 1112,, x3812,,K (4) Adjustable Shelves* 3/4" x22114" x lg3/4,,L (4) Cleats,/0, x2t1r, y3gt1r',M (1) Upper Back Panel t1o" ^39r1r,, y Ll3/a"N (1) Middle Back Panel lf 4" x391f2" x32"0 (1) Lower Back Panel 14,, x39r/; x24'P(1) Front N4olding 310" xJ1l2" x43"Q (2) Side Molding 3/4" x3Y2" x251/2"R (4) Drawer Fronts/Backs 1f2" x 61f4" x l73fs"S (4) Drawer Sides t1r" y6t/a" x20"T (2) Drawer Bottoms (ply) t1o" y1'731t" yLgt/2"U (2) Drawer False Fronts 3/4" x63/B" x19lB"V (8) Door Rails 3lt' x3' x !41/euW(4) UpperDoorStiles 3lq" x3" x!45/a"X (2) Upper Door Panels 1/2" x141/8" x9s/8"Y (4) Lower Door Stiles %" x 3'' x 19%"Z (2) Lower Door Panels t12" x 14r1t" x 14s1t"*Apply '70"-161sk )(%'Lwideedge banding to these pieces.HARDWARE(8) 35mm European Clip Hinges(2) Pairs 20" Full Extension Drawer Slides(62)#8 x 1f2" Fh Sheet lVletal Screws(2) tr/z' x !y2" x23" Aluminum Angle Brackeh(6) 114"-p;3. Round Knobs with Screws(12)#6x3/i' Fh Wood Screws(8) #6 x 1" Fh Wood ScrewsROUTING THE WIRESGordacGessholelf cabinetback can'tbe cut to fitover a walloutlet, use apower strlpinside thecabinet.r1WORKBENCH tr JANUARY I FE]JI{UARY 2OOO JJ


GABTNET ASSEMBLY SEQUENCESIEP ft Screw the aluminum anglebrackets to the middle fixed shelf -the one that suppods the W. You canget the angle at most haldware storcs.Note that the brackets are set back%" from the shelf's fiont edge.Pre dilll bracket for#6 x3/+" Fh screws.Drawerdividersits 32"fiom fiontedBe.STEP 2; Now inseil biscuitsand glue the drawer dividerand the lower fixed shelf tothe middle shelf.SilEP 3: Install both toekicks on the cabinet bottompanel. Make sure thetoe kicks arc flush withthe shelf ends.Keep endsPositionSilEP 4: After the glue sets on the fircttwo assemblies, ioin them by gluing thelower dMder in place, Again, it sits %"shy of the cabinet's frcnt edge'BRING ORDER TO THE ASSEMBTYOnce you've got the carcase piecescut, edge banded, and slotted forbiscuits, you can tLlrn to assemblingthe cabinet.Since I don't have three hands, Iworked out a sequence that keepsthe process manageable (cauNrrASSEMBLY SEQUENCE).The key is assembling the lowerfixed shelves. dividers. and bottompanel before you join them to thecabinet sides.You can then join thisassembly to the sides with far lessjuggling ofparts.Of course, you'll still have to addthe uppermost fixed shelf and thetop panel. One person can do it, butit'.s easier if you recruit a friend.As always, itt best to dry assemblethe parts to make sure they fit beforeyou glue up the cabinet.Doing this will also make theglue-up go faster. Thati important.since you don't want the glue to setup before you get the piecesjoined.While the glue sets up is a goodtime to screw the angle brackets intothe sides.And you can bore holes thatallow electrical cords and cables torun befiveen the compartrnents (seeROUTING THE rVIRIS on Page 33).Next, go ahead and add thecleats, back panels, and top moldingwhile the cabinet is on it's side.Now you need to make the TVcounter and web, and add the edgebanding. I cut a r4" X '/'" rabbet onthe lower edge of the banding to adda shadow line (couNrER and wEBTOP VIE\VS, BANDING DETAIL).With the base cabinet done thedoors can be built, but leave themoff until you've got the TV cabinetin its final locationDRAWERN.xtl\\r@ DrawersideN0TE: Drawer front, back, and sidesareVz"- thick poplal. Bottomis 7+'Lthick plywood.GONSTRUCTION VIEW@DrawerfiontAttach false fiontwith #6 x 1"Fh woodscrews@Drawerfalse fiont(TOP VrEW)(cRosssEcroN)Align drawer slide.A-)+WORKtsENCH ! JANUARYIFEBRUARY 2OOO


STEP 5: Now rcst the rightcabinet side on sawhorceslsuppor{ it lengthwise with2x4s) and install the lowerassembly. Make sure thefront edges line up flush.SIEP 7: Now drup the other cabinet sidein place. You'll have to work quickly toget gilue on all the mating surfaces andget the biscuits in place. Glamp theassembly and check for squarc. You cannow add the cleats and back panels.STEP 6: Adding the upperfixed shelf and top is abit trickier, since youneed to hold themupright. Glamp a supportblock to each one, orhave someone hold them.BUITD THE DRAT,VERSNow tl-rat you've gotter-r throughbuilding the cabinet, buildins thedrawers should be fairly easy.They're just sinrple boxes rrade outof'/,"-thickpoplar. Mrple frlscfronts nratch the cabinet (DRA'WERcoNSTRUCTTON VrEW).To join the drawer boxes I usedlocking rabbet joints (DRAwERJOINERY DETAILS).Thcy're easy tocut using a '/r" dado blade in thetable saw. After you dado the drawersides, you can cut grooves for thedrawer bottor-ns.WEB TOP VIEWWRAPPING IT ALL UPAfter building the doors, what arethe final steps?First, let's talk finish. I gave this andthe other cabinets three coats of atung oil and urethane finish. It adds awann amber glow to the maple.Finally, yoll can turn yoLlr attentionto installation.l'houqh the cab-Once the drawer boxes are conplete,install drawer slides according secllre one or two of the cleats toinet is quite stable, you l-nay wxnt toto thc rrrlrntrftcrtrrets instnrctions. wall studs with 2'l:"-long screws.Check the Skill Builder below for an With *rat done, set in your TVeasy vlray to install the false fronts. and stereo gear. Then sit back andrelax.You've earned it. tffiW COUNTER TOP VIEWSKILT.BUILDERlnstalling False FrontsStart by driving mounting scrcws througfthe draw.er box from the inside so their tips stick out. Nowput the drawer box in the cabinet, Align the falsefiont with even gaps, and press it onto the screws.Remove the front, and drill pilot holes on the marks.Sgy2',4Coro r...r, no,ul@.^) ryr"cN0TE: Drill lVz"-dia. cold accessholes through the W counter and webassemblS then slip it into the cabinet.Transfer these holes to the shelf belowthe counter. Now remove the counterand drill holes through the shelf.woRKtsENCH ! JANUAI{Y I FEBl\uAl\Y 2001) 35


Workbench Cutting Diagrams — Modular Wall UnitMATERIALS LIST — WALL-MOUNTED AND BASE CABINETWALL-MOUNTED CABINETAA (2) Side Panels* 3 / 4" x 11 3 / 4" x 24"BB (2) Top/Bott. Panels* 3 / 4" x 11 3 / 4" x 38 1 / 2"CC (1) Divider* 3 / 4" x 10 3 / 4" x 22 1 / 2"DD(2) Shelves* 3 / 4" x 10 1 / 2" x 18 3 / 4"EE (2) Cleats 3 / 4" x 2 1 / 2" x 39 1 / 2"FF (2) Back Panel (ply) 1 / 4" x 19 1 / 2" x 39 1 / 2"GG(1) Front Molding 3 / 4" x 3 1 / 2" x 43"HH(2) Side Molding 3 / 4" x 3 1 / 2" x 13 1 / 2"BASE CABINETA (2) Side Panels* 3 / 4" x 17 3 / 4" x 32 1 / 2"B (1) Top Panel* 3 / 4" x 17 3 / 4" x 38 1 / 2"C (1) Bottom Panel* 3 / 4" x 17 1 / 2" x 38 1 / 2"D (1) Divider* 3 / 4" x 16 3 / 4" x 27"E (1) Toe Kick 3 / 4" x 4" x 38 1 / 2"F (2) Shelves* 3 / 4" x 16 1 / 2" x 18 3 / 4"G (1) Cleat 3 / 4" x 2 1 / 4" x 39 1 / 2"H (2) Back Panel (ply) 1 / 4" x 26 1 / 4" x 39 1 / 2"I (1) Countertop 3 / 4" x 18" x 38 1 / 2"J (2) Web Rails 3 / 4" x 3" x 38 1 / 2"K (3) Web Stretchers 3 / 4" x 3" x 12"L (1) Front Edging 3 / 4" x 1 1 / 2" x 40"M (2) Side Edging 3 / 4" x 1 1 / 2" x 18 3 / 4"DOORS (per cabinet)N (4) Rails 3 / 4" x 3" x 14 1 / 8"O (4) Base Cab. Stiles 3 / 4" x 3" x 26 7 / 8"P (2) Base Cab. Panels 1 / 2" x 14 1 / 8" x 21 7 / 8"Q (4) Wall Cab. Stiles 3 / 4" x 3" x 22 3 / 8"R (1) Glass Stops 1 / 4" x 3 / 8" x 156" – cut to fit* Apply 1 / 4"-thick x 3 / 4"-wide edge banding to thefront edges of these pieces.Full sheet 3 /4"-thick maple veneered MDFCorrection:•In the magazine, the materialslist for the base and wallmountedcabinet shows a fewincorrect quantities. That listshows two (2) each for thetop panel (B), the bottompanel (C) and the countertop(I). You only need one of eachof these per cabinet, asshown above.Full sheet 3 /4"-thick maple veneered MDFNote:You will also need one 4x8sheet of 1 /4"-thick plywood tomake the the following parts:•back panel (FF) for the wallmountedcabinet•back panel (H) for the basecabinet•door panels (P) for the basecabinetPage 1 of 3


MATERIALS LIST — TV CABINETLUMBERA (2) Side Panels* 3 / 4" x 23 3 / 4" x 79 1 / 4"B (2) Top/Bottom Panels* 3 / 4" x 23 3 / 4" x 38 1 / 2"C (3) Fixed Shelves* 3 / 4" x 23 1 / 2" x 38 1 / 2"D (1) Drawer Divider* 3 / 4" x 22 3 / 4" x 6 1 / 2"E (1) Lower Divider* 3 / 4" x 22 3 / 4" x 19 3 / 4"F (2) Toe Kicks 3 / 4" x 4" x 38 1 / 2"G (1) TV Counter 3 / 4" x 23" x 38 1 / 2"H (2) Counter Web Rails 3 / 4" x 3" x 38 1 / 2"I (3) Counter Web Stretchers 3 / 4" x 3" x 17"J (1) Counter Edge Banding 3 / 4" x 1 1 / 2" x 38 1 / 2"K (4) Adjustable Shelves* 3 / 4" x 22 1 / 4" x 18 3 / 4"L (4) Cleats 3 / 4" x 2 1 / 2" x 39 1 / 2"M (1) Upper Back Panel 1 / 4" x 39 1 / 2" x 11 3 / 4"N (1) Middle Back Panel 1 / 4" x 39 1 / 2" x 32"O (1) Lower Back Panel 1 / 4" x 39 1 / 2" x 24"P (1) Front Molding 3 / 4" x 3 1 / 2" x 43"Q (2) Side Molding 3 / 4" x 3 1 / 2" x 25 1 / 2"R (4) Drawer Fronts/Backs 1 / 2" x 6 1 / 4" x 17 3 / 8"S (4) Drawer Sides 1 / 2" x 6 1 / 4" x 20"T (2) Drawer Bottoms (ply) 1 / 4" x 17 3 / 8" x 19 1 / 2"U (2) Drawer False Fronts 3 / 4" x 6 3 / 8" x 19 1 / 8"V (8) Door Rails 3 / 4" x 3" x 14 1 / 8"W (4) Upper Door Stiles 3 / 4" x 3" x 14 5 / 8"X (2) Upper Door Panels 1 / 2" x 14 1 / 8" x 9 5 / 8"Y (4) Lower Door Stiles 3 / 4" x 3" x 19 5 / 8"Z (2) Lower Door Panels 1 / 2" x 14 1 / 8" x 14 5 / 8"*Apply 1 /4"-thick x 3 /4"-wide edge banding to these pieces.Full sheet 3 /4"-thick maple veneered MDFFull sheet 3 /4"-thick maple veneered MDFFull sheet 3 /4"-thick maple veneered MDFPage 2 of 3


Note:You will also need two 4x8sheets of 1 /4"-thick plywood tomake the the following parts:•upper back panel (M), middleback panel (N), and lowerback panel (O) for the TVcabinet•upper door panels (X), andlower door panels (Z) for theTV cabinet•door bottoms (T) for the TVcabinetPage 3 of 3


Plate joiner>r BasicsAnytime you're thinking about buying a new tool for your workshop, you're sure tohaue a number of questions,A plate joiner is certainly no exception'icking up a tool for the firsttime can raise questions withA. Actually, they're the same thing.The name plate joinery comes fromeven the most seasoned its original German name, Lamellewoodworker. And a plate;oiner rs a - which means thin plate. At somelittle r-nore unique than other toolssince it is a relative newconer topoint. it was dubbed biscuit joinerybecause those little football-shapedwoodworking. Here are someanswers to the most common questionsI've heard about place joinery.Q. Wlut's the dfference betu,een platejoinery and biscuit joinery?splines look like biscuits.The nameshave since become interchangeable.Q. What's the basic idea behindplate joinery?A. It's pretty sin.rple really. All youhave to do is cut matching slots inthe boards you want to join. Thenglue the two boards together with abiscuit nested in the slots betweenthem (see illustration at right).Q. What are the biscuits made oJ andcan I just cut them out of wood?A. The biscuits are die-cut fromsolid wood, most commonlybeech. While you probably couldmake pretty good biscuit replicas36woRKBENCH tr JANUAI{Y FEBRUARY 2OOO


in your shop, you wouldn't be ableto stamp a grid pattern into themend cornpress them the way themanufacturers do.Both of those things are preffyimportant. The grid pattern helpsspread the glue evenly on the biscuit.Being compressed nreans they'llexpand when the glue is applied.Q. What\ the aduantage of plate.joinery ouer elou,els?A. With dowels, alignment is critical.If the holes clon't line up perfectly,you have to stxrt over.With biscuits,on the other hrnd, the r-r'rachine cutsthe slots just a little larger than thebiscuit itself. That nreans even ifaligr-rment isn't dead on, you canlnove youf workpieces around just a1ittle before the glue sets and knowthat the biscuit is in place.Q- Hou, small can pieces be and stillbe joined with a plate joint?A. One collrlron criticisrrr of platejoinery lrrs been that you're lin.ritedto how snrall you can nrake thenrrtinc pieces. Traditionally tl.rrt wastrue. Evcn r'vith l #0 biscuit, theworkpieces couldn't bc' snrallcr than2'lr" wide.But now Porter-Cable andIlyobi both offer small vcrsions ofbiscuits that can be used forjobs likeface frames and detail work. ThePorter-Cable machine allows you touse biscuits in workpieces as narrowas 1'/.". The l\yobi will work inr/*"-wide stock.Q. Are plate joiners hard to use?A. Well, they're easier to r-rnderstandwhen you've got one in your hands,but the illustrations at the bottom ofthis page should help.In FIG. A, you can see the joinerbutted against the wood just beforethe cut is made.Then, in FIG. B, thenrachine is plunged for-ward niakingthc cut. Finally. in FlG. C, the cut isconrplete and the blade is retracted.Q. Are tha'e any tricks to laying outanil cutting the two ntating pieces sothey .ioin to.qethefiA. Plate joir-rers seenr to have beendesigned with'4"-thickstock inmind. l3y sinrply setting the workpieceand the joiner on the same levelsuface, tl.re blade will automaticallybe aligned to cnt the slot in the centcrof thc stock. But don't thirrk for arninute that plate joinery is linrited to'/"'-thick stock or strlirlht-orr joirrts.As yor-r'll see in the next few pages,this is one of the nrost flexible, easyto-usejoinery techniques rvailable.First: Cutmatching slots.First, cut matching slots in the matingworkpieces. Second, apply glue insidethe slots and inseil a biscuit.STANDARD BISGUIT SIZES,'/#o biscuit rry;€Arcouil€stock atrooo 1r1.r, -14o#10 biscuitrequirestock atleast 2%r' wide.#20 biscuitrequirestock atleast 2'%e" wide.."4 6.V//,E7r/Y/--cuts slot topreset depth.Before cufting, the blade nests safely insidethe ioiner base. Since the joiner base restson the same surface when cufting both work.pieces, the slots should align.To cut the slot, plunge the joiner forward andthe blade emerges from the base into thestock. A preset depth stop on the joinerensures the slot will be the perfect size.When the cut is complete, pull the ioineraway frcm the workpiece. All that remains isto cut a matching slot, add some glue and abiscuit, and clamp it up.WOIT.KBEN(]H ! JANUAI{Y I FEBI{UAIIY 2000 37


LAYOUT CONSIDERATIONSsides back to backLay pieces that mirror each other edge'to-edge during layout for consistency.l" ,.' I/f .ztf Space around I' '- ',/' .'t' biscuit allows I1 ,,t positioning piecesfor best alignment.Thougfr carefulayout is impoilant'plate joinery allows a little margin forT.IOINTAfter marking one piece, lay the matingpiece on it and transfur the layout lines.Slot is slightlylarger thanen'on The slots arc longer than thebiscuit, allowing you to align the pieces.faying otrr platc joirrts isrti diffi-I--vctrlt. Jrrst lirre up thc rttrtingpieces, and m:rrk a line across thejoint.The key is having all the piecescorrectly positior-rc'd duling layor.rt.In other words, know lvhichcnd. c,lge. ol tltcc .rlt one pic, cneets the end, edge, or face of thenext. Anc'l mrke sttre you've eot thebest face of each piece aligned so itshorvs rvltcrc yott w:tttr it.It also l'relps to hy out sirnilarpieces lt the sattre titnc. For exattrple,hy cabinet sides thrt ntirtorerch otlrer with tlreir back ec.lgesrligned. Then hy out locations folnll the shclves orr botl-r pieces lt tl'resrune tinre using a stlaightedge.Whenevcr itis possible, Lrse theilctnrl picccs to be joinccl for yourlnvout, rathcr tl-ran a tlpc nieasllre orguicle boarcl. Aucl ort conrplicatedlssenrblies, hbcl lll picccs so yor-rclr) see rvhich ortcs tnate lttd hor,vthey frt togcthcr'.f Jicrlrc T-joittt ,rrrv-L,,f.rlrcr. tltc t'tttl rrrc.lgc ,ri rrrte pi11's i11k't--sects t]re f:tce of rtt.tothct'piel'q'. rrtt'h ls rvltt'rt joiltirrg:r shclt' to ,r c.rbittetside. The T-joint is sinrillrt() .r tolrque-anr]-gtoovejoint, but c':isier to cut.STEP 1: Align the matingpieces and mark the biscuitlocations. Before moving thepieces, mark the position ofthe bottom of the shell ontothe side piece. This line willbe used to align the slots.Also mark the shelfs topface for r€fercnce.SIEP 2: Glamp the shetf on top of the side piece. Align theshelf wilh the lower layout line on the side piece, making sureyou've got the top of the shelf facing up. Resthe ioine/sbase on the side piece and cut slots in the end of the shelf.STEP 3: Leave the pieces clamped together, and positionthe base of the ioiner againsthe end of the shelf. Plungethe blade into the side piece. Even if the slots aren't centeredon the stock thickness, the shelf will line up right'38w()l{KIIENCH Ll .l ANUAI{Y I FEul{UAll.Y 2000


FACE MITERT-ll:rtc ioirrt:,lrc llsoIJI qlc:rt [ol rrritcrcd pit'-tule frames. l,liscuits makealignnrent and clanrpineclsicr, lnd thcy :rdd:r lot ofstrcnqth to the joint. Notc:Tl-re ti:inre stock nrust b.at lerst 1"/,,,"-rvide to use astand:rrd #0 biscuit.STEP 1: 0n a face-miterjoint, mark the layout lineson each boad at a 90' angleto the joint line. In mostcases, you'll want to centerthe layout line on the widthof the joint. Remember, theslot is wider than the biscuit,so watch the alignment.Glamp piece to bench.Align ioinet reference0ffset slot from centerof joint when necessary,Hold fence againstface of workpiece.STEP 2: Glamp one piece on the bench with the milerrd endextending past the edge. Set the joiner's fence to center theslot on the stock's thickness. Now pr€ss the joiner againstthe piece and cut the slot. Repeat to cut the mating piece.NOTE: Sometimes you need to position biscuit slots off thejoint centerline. 0n this beveled molding, the slot is towardthe inside of the joint to prevent cutting through the bevelededge. You could also use a smaller biscuit in this case.FAGE FRAME\Vfith a flcc-fl'anrcVV joirrt, the' sl()ts irrccut ill thc cnci gmiu of()t)(' l\icL(. ,tttd tlt. e,lgcqr-,rirr oi.rrrrltlrer'. It rvtrlksgri';rl ()rt t':rlrirrt't f:tcetl.tlttt's .ttttl lloors. Aq;titt.tlrc slot is centel'ecl ourl-.,,,,i.1+1. ..irl-.- ;.-;,.*\,' L"r.Jr,"/1.STEP 1: Start by aligningthe pieces, making sureyou've got them in the correctpositions. You want tocut slots in the ends ofeach rail and the edge ofeach stile. You can alsouse this ioint to attachdividers in frames.Check orientation of pieceto match mating piece.reference line withslot layout line on stock,STEP 2: Gut the end grain slot first. Glamp the piece toyour bench so it extends past the edge. Then set the ioiner'sfence to center the slot on the stock's thickness. Line upthe rcference line on the tool and push in to make the cut.STEP 3: Next, clamp the mating piece to your bench, matchup the layout and rcfurcnce lines, and cut the slot. Doublecheckhow the piece joins its mating piece to ensure you'rcworking at the correct end and have the proper face up.w()llKllENcH I IANUAI{y FEtJt{UAl{y 200039


EDGE-TO.EDGE 'OINTlate joir-rts cm be ttsedto rlign the frces ofborrds in r glued-upp.rrrcl. Thc bisctrrts dorr'tstl'cr)qthcn tlre joiDt. btrtthey really hc'lp to :rlignbolr-ds rlr.rt lr-c bowc,l otwarped. Tl-ris cln ure:rtlysinrplify glue-up.STEP 1: Start by layingout the boads and examiningeach one lor anybowing or warping. Try toplace these boards alongsideflat boards in thepanel, Placing biscuits atthe bad spots will help pullthe boards into alignment.SIEP 2: Once you've got your boards ananged, mark acrossthem to show what order they go in (a large "V" works welll.Mark slot layout lines on the surface of the panel about 8"to 12" apart. Stay 2" in flom the ends of the boads.STEP 3: Clamp one of the boards to your bench so the layoutlines face you. Gut the slots the same as on a faceframe ioint. Repeathe process for all the boards. Thenglue and clamp the panel together.CORNER IOINTT) iscrrits hclp rt'irrlbl'ct'lJ..,r',.,- .j.irrts. Thisjoint crrn bc uscd tolrsscnrble a box, :r sct ofclrrrwcr"s, evcn a cltbinct.The conrer joint is sinuhrto a T:joirrt, but yourliqn the joinel usinu theteucc irrstercl oithe basc.STEP 1: First, mark slotlayout lines acruss the endgrain of one piece andonto the outside face ofthe mating piece. Keep thelines square to the stock.lFor drawers, the piecesmarked on the end grainare the drawer sides.lAlign backer board flush withSTEP 2: Gut the slots in the end grain first. Clamp the pieceto your bench so it extends a bit past the edge. Then holdthe fence of the plate joiner tightly againsthe face of thepiece and cut the slots, Make sure to plunge in completely.SIEP 3: Glamp the mating piece upriglrt against your bench.To pruvide extra support for the ioinerts fence, use a backerboard, llf the piece is too long to clamp upright' set it on yourbench and bring the ioiner down onto it as with the T'ioint.l40wc)l{Kr}ENCFI Ll IANUAI\Y FElll\uAl{Y 2000


EDGE MITERdge miters, like younright use on a cabinetbase, are essentiallyend grain joints, so theyarcn t very strong. Biscuitshelp align nriters, hold thejoint during glue up, andprovide more gluing areafor added strength.SIEP 1: On the edge.miter, mark slot layoutlines around the outside ofthe ioint onto the face ofeach piece, Keep themarks parallel to the edge.For wider pieces, usemultiple biscuits spacedevenly acrcss the joint line.Adjust joiner fenceto match facenear inside ofjolnt to preventcutting throughface of stock,STEP 2: Glamp each piece on end in a vise with the miterfacing up. llf the piece is too long, clamp it to the benchtop with the mitered end extending past the edge of thebench.) Tilt the lence to match the angle of the miter.SIEP 3: Adiust the fence to position the slot toward theinside of the ioint. This allows you to use a larger biscuitwithout worrying about cutting through the face of thepiece. You may want to experiment with scrap stock first.TROUBLESHOOTINGProblem: faces ofboards in panel'.5-'/


Storage Made SimpleFor about $100 and a weekend in the shop, you can organize a closet,Iaundry room,or nearly any room in your house with these simple, stackable melamine storage units.cant count the times I stoppedin front of the closet storage systemson display at my localhome center. My closets were a messand I imagined them transformedjust like the closet in the display'sdramatic before and aftet photos.Despite their appeal, I never seriouslyconsidered buying one ofthese closet systems. For starters, thestandard configurations wouldnt fitmy closets, so I had to pick andchoose from a long checklist ofseparatecomponents.To make matters worse. thechecklists dont include the cost ofeach piece.You have to track downthe price for each piece to knowwhat it's all going to cost you. It wasjust too complicated.Searching for a simpler solulion,I decided on some basic boxes thatcould be stacked together. By makingthem wvice as tall as they arewide. I could stack them both verticallyand horizontally, in variouscombinations. And with adjustableshelves to fit either orientation, theyoffered loads ofstorage options.After I installed the boxes in thecloset at left, I thought about thepotential of this system. Unlike mostof the dedicated closet systems,these boxes will work in other locati,onsas well (see page 46 for someother possibilities).MADE FRO]II MEIAiIINEOne feature I did borrow from thecommercial systems was the choiceof material. Melamine. a resin-coatedparticleboard, is easy to keep cleanand relatively ine4pensive. The firsttime I worked with this material, I42woRKBENCH tr JANUARY IFEBRUARY 2OOO


CUTTING DIAGRAMSTORAGE BOX CONSTRUGTION VIEWOVERALLSITE: L53 /a,"W x 16"D x 3L7 /2" HMake cutsshown inred first.@siae@Toplbottom@ eack(7a" hardboard or plyrvood) #ll xl"Wire brads#8xlVz"MDF screwShelf pinV+"- dia.hole,7a"deep@sue0 frro"Note:One 49rr x 97rr sheet ofmelamine yields two boxes. lf youcan't find full sheets, you can buy pre.edged panels in 16" nominal widths.quickly found out that nrelaniine isquite a bit heavier than regular plywoodand comes in slightly largersheets (49" x 97").ltt sold this waybecause the edges typically getchipped in shipping.These raw edgesare also sharp so consider wearinggloves when handling it and havesomeone help you move full sheets.(To learn more about melarnine andhow to cut it, turn to page 44.)The added weight and lack of acrisp factory edge mean you have todo a little prep work. First, I usedmy portable circular saw and anedge guide to divide the hearry sheetinto easier-to-handle thirds (Cur-TING DIAGRAVT and rtC. 1).Next, each of the three panelscan be squared up on the table sawStart by slicing off about '/:" to geta clean edge. With this newly cutedge against the rip fence, rip all rheside, top, bottom, and shelf panels tofinished width.Then square one endof each piece and crosscut them tofinished length (rrc. 2).MATERIATS LISTIUMBER: (FOR ONE BOX)HARDWARE: (FOR ONE BOX)A (2) Sidest1a" v 153 / a" x 3Lrl2" (12)#8 x 11l2" l\4DF screws V plastic cover capsB (2) Top/Bottom 3/4" x141/4'x75314' (8) Shelf pins to fit fa"dia. holeC (2) Shelves - Vertical 310" y 14' x 153/4' (18)#17 x 1" wire bradsD (1) Back Panel (hdbd) 110' y 75314" x3I1f2"E (1) Shelf* - Horizontal tlott '11521a" x293/a"*Optional (Horizontal box orientation not shown in drawing)Use a circular saw and an edge guideto cut a sheet of melamine into thids.Switch to the table saw to rip the boxpieces to width.Grosscnthe box pieces to unibmlength using a stop block. You can tumyour miter gauge bachrads to make iteasier to supporthe wide panels.WORKBENCH tr JANUARY I FE]]RUARY 2OOO 43


\-sand edging wlthdownward strokes only.Use a clothes iron set for ttcottontt tobond the edgp bandin& but keep theiron moving. Edge band the ends ofthesides firct, then band the fi,ont edeF.To trim the excess edge banding, firstlay the panel flat. Then use a utiliUknitu, holding the blade flat against thepanelb face, to slice away the excesa.To rcmove any sharp edg3s, use asanding block with 220-grit paper.Sand only on the down strcke so youdon't lift the banding fiom the edge.BAND IHE EDGESOne of the drawbacksto using melamine ishaving to cover up theexposed particleboardedges.The good news isthat there's edge bandingmade specifically forlf you build several boxes, this task.You dont needyou may want to buy a trimmerthat trims excess edge install it - just a regularany fancy equipment tobandingfiom both sides at clothes iron and a sharpthe same time.utility knife.Edge banding oftencan be found in 50- and 250-ft. rollsat the same place you bought themelamine.'What makes this stuff soeasy to work with is that it has a thinlayer of hot-melt glue already appliedto the back side. To attach it to theparticleboard, trim a piece extra long,position it on the edge, and run theiron back and forth a few times tomelt the glue (rtc. 3).The only trickis to keep the iron moving so youdon't scorch the banding.The banding is about t/r" wide soit overhangs both faces. (Ifit happensto slip out of position, simply reheatit with the iron and move it.) Oncethe glue cools, trim off the excess(Frc. 4 and ntc. 5).Start by banding and trimmingthe ends of the side panels first. Totrim the banding to length, fold thebanding back over the front edge.Once it's sharply creased, it shouldsnap offcleanly.'With the ends completed, repeatthe process on the front edge. Thatway the front banding overlaps thebanding on the end.The tops, bottoms, and shelvesare easier to deal with - you onlyneed to band the front edges.Just besure to band the edge you markedwhen you cut these pieces to length.DRItt IHE SHETF PIN HOtEIi'What gives these boxes much oftheir flexibility are the adjustableshelves. Because you can use theboxes vertically or horizontally, theyget shelf pin holes in the tops andbottoms as well as the sides.Each box has 34 holes. Thatsounds worse than it is, even if you rebuilding half a dozen boxes. And it'seasiesto drill the holes before theboxes are assembled so you can laythe panels down flat.Alignment and spacing of theholes is fairly critical - you dontSO IUST WHAT IS MELAMII{EIIn woodworklng chcles, people teferto the coated partlcleboard productshown at left as melamlne. Actually,melamine is merely a compoundthat, when mlxed wlth fomaldehyde,forms a plastic resln. Paper is saturatedwlth this tesln and then bondedto the partlcleboard under heatand pressure. The resultlng thin,tough skln resists scratches andstains, and $ves the particleboardmuch greater strengith. Ihat's whymelamlne is such a popular materlalfor cabinets and kid's furnlture.Those same propertles also make ltbrlttle, so chlpout can be a problem.Triple+hlp, caft ldetoothed melamlnecuttlng saw blades are ayallable fol$80 and up. You'll get good rcsultsand spend less wlth a sharp, flnetoothed cadlde blade that has analternatlng:topbevel (ATB) gdnd.Besides coatinEs, melamine lsalso molded for use as dlnnerwate(Melmac was a famlllar brand In the1960's) and added in powder formto palnts, insulation, and othet plaetics as a flame retardant.44WORKBENCH B JANUARY IFEBRUARY 2OOO


SHEI.F PIN 'IG EIEVANOilS(ToP IVIEW)Pencily*I II6"IIStop collar setfor 7e" depth.!1/e" 2"-_t(END VIEW)ItMa* the location of the first hole. lineup the jig and ligtrtly tap the two nails.Slide the jig so its end is over the sec.ond dimple, and tap the nails again.Using a drill equipped with a %" bit,drill the shelf pin holes. A stop collarhelps keep drilling depth consistentand prcvents thruugh holes.want shelves that are crooked orwobbly. Nothing works better toachieve uniform spacing for theholes than a layout jig.For this project, I built a simplejig that leaves a starter dimple at eachhole (Frc. 6 and snptr prN JIGELEVATIONS). You simply positionthe jig, give each of the nails a tap,then slide it down to mark the nextpair ofholes.The dimples help keep even aregular rwist-sryle bit from wandering.If you've got a bradpoint bit,you'll probably get a little lesschipout around the holes. I d alsorecommend investing in a stop collar.As careful as you may try to be,it's easy to have an attention lapseafter 200 holes and blow rightthrough the cabinet side.To keep the collar from markingup the melamine, I cut a disk out ofa plastic milk jug and slipped it overthe bit so it rides between the collarand the melamine (FIG. 7).ASSEIIBIE IHE BOXESNow that the shelf pin holes arecompleted, this project goes togerherquickly. Because glue wont bond tothe slick suface of the melamine, theboxes are simply held together withscrews. But because particleboard isprone to chip and split, you need touse screws with deep, coarse threadsand drill the screw holes correctly.Begin by marking the locationsfor the screws 3/rt' in from each endof the side panels. The outer holesare inset lt/zt' from the front andback edges and the other hole iscentered.Then clamp a top and bottompanel between two sides (nOXASSEMBLY STEPS).You want the screw threads todraw the sides tightly against the topand bottom. The screw head alsoneeds to be just below themelamine surface. The DRILLINGSEQUENCE below shows how tomake that happen. Once you havethe holes drilled, drive tne screws.Finally, add a'/,+" hardboard back.Apply a bead of glue along the particleboardedges, then tack the backin place with wire brads.If you made multipleboxes,they're now ready to fasten together.This keeps them from shifting andpossibly toppling. We used connecrorbolts for the various configurationsshown on the following pages. ffiBox Assembly StepsSTEP 1: Markscrew hole locatlonsSTEP 3: Drlll screw holes(see Drllling Sequence).Drilling Sequence\qZiA6,,| | covercao-rhi.rz')W",, H I IS.harkUHAEhole Pllot hole Counterclnk fll'wl^ srrp 4: Drive screws.lf you plan to use screw covercaps, countetsink the holes sothe screw head sits just belowthe melamine sufface. A goodway to check this is to tumthe screw upside down andcheck the head with the hole.woRKBENcH tr JANUARy I FEBRUARy 2000 45


Storage OptionsBy adding a toekick base, a countertop, and wall mounting cleats you can put the storagebox system to work in a uariety of ways. And the crisp, clean lines look good in any setting.l. vow I'11 be the first to admit| \ | that the melamine storageI \ bo*.t (pages 42-45) areeasy to build. But that's also the beauryof them.You dont have to investmuch time or money to get a bigreturn.And these boxes become evenmore versalile with a few enhancementsand in different configurations.ADD A BAIiE AND GOUI{IERTOPAdding a simple base (see the laurl-,.dry center on the opposite Page)creates a toekick sPace along thefront so you wont stub your toes. Italso lifts the boxes up to workcounter heieht. Construction issimple - two side pieces arescrewed between a front and back(oesE/couNrEn coNSTRUC-TIoN vIEw).The 3"-high base isbuilt to be flush with the boxsides. Metal L-brackets holdthe base to the boxes.Melamine's easy-tocleansurface also makes ita natural for countermaterial. A3"-widepiece of melamine createsa backsplash andhelps stiffen the counteragainst sagging as well.To provide additionalsupport and help keePthe counter positionedatop the boxes, add 1"-widecleats under thecounter along the frontand sides. The countersare 18" deep with a 1'la"lip along the front edge.To size the tops for length,measure the combined width of thesupporting boxes, plus any kneeholeopenings, and add 3" for overhang.clfArs Altow wAlJ- MouNnilGYou can't always stack the boxes toget shelf space where you need it.Screwing a cleat beneath the boxes'upper surface lets you mount themto a wall (wALL CLEAT DETAIL).Drivinga few screws through thetop or side firmly attaches the cleatto the box.'When you hang the boxeson the wall, you want to be sure tohit at least one wall stud. Connectorbolts hold the boxes together inall the configurations shown here(sPEcrAL HARDIx/ARE). U46woRKBENCH D JANUARY IFEBRUARY 2000


BASVCOUNTER CONSTRUCTION VIEWBacKplash=-g-#xl1/2"MDF screwsilecteat SPECIAI HARDWAREYou can screw or bolt the boxestogether, but I used connectorbolts llke the one shown atrlght (avallable fiom RocklerWoodworklng and Hardware,ta0o-27944411.Once you have the boxes posl.tloned, clamp them together,ddll a hole through both panels and Install the bottbefore removlnglthe clamp. Ihe bolt's low.proflle,washer-type head and matchlng nut let you draw theboxes tlghtly together wlth an Allen wrench.2" L-bracketEdgeband endV/ORKBENcH D JANUARY I FEBRUARY 2OOO 47


lISimple DivisionSimple shop techniques and interchangeable parts make this the perfect diuider to endclutteredrawers. Best of all, it will cost you just a few bucks and a few hours in the shop'or years now I've been usingone ofthose cheap plastic traysto "organize" the utensil drawerin my kitchen. The problem isthey never fit the drawer.They alwaysleave a lot ofspace beside them andbehind them. If you try to store anythingin those spaces it winds uPwedged underneath the tray and youcant open the drawer. I knew I couldbuild something better.The challenge was coming upwith an easy-to-build system thatcould be adapted to just about anydrawer. This divider does that andcan be built almost entirely with afew pieces of thin "hobby" wood.You can pick up this pre-sandedwood at most home centers. Thewidths and thicknesses you need forthis project are Pretty common. Ofcourse, you could cut and Plane thepieces out ofstock you already have.But thatt an awfril lot of time to spendon a small project, especially when thehobby wood is so affordable.Besides the hobby wood, you'llneed a little bit ofrln"-thick stock tomake the keeper striPs. You canprobably find what you need inyour scrap bin.DMDER DESIGNTo get a feel for how this dividerworks, take a look at the photo at leftand the DRAWER DMDER CON-STRUCTION VIEW.The divider hastwo side pieces that are 1/2" thick.Theret a rabbet in one end ofeachside piece to hold a partition at thevery front of the drawer. Both sidepieces also have dadoes spaced 3"on-center along their length. Thedadoes are cut to match the thicknessof the partitions.The %"-thick partitions havenotches cut in them at regular intervals,too. The notches allow you tolock the partitions together in a grid.Some of the partirions have anarc cut into them, that makes it easierto get your hand into the narrowsilverware compartments.In the kitchen or in the shop, thisdivider can help keep even the mostcluttered drawerc under cortrcl.48woRKBENCH tr JANUARY IFEBRUARY 2000


DRAWER DIVIDER CONSTRUCTION VIEW @lHffi'@Blade divider@ Wood dowele@Wood knobKeeper@ stripPlyrvood. bottom@Partitions*6x3/+" Fhwoodscrew@side pieceqDrawerfront,/KNIFE BTOGK MATERIATSLUMBER:A (1) Handle RestB (5) Blade DividersC (1) Plyruood BottomD (1) Wood KnobE (1) Wood Doweltt f6" v!" x53fa" Note: Leng;ths are not listed for LUMBER:1'x3"x 117/e" most drawer divider pieces F (2) Side Pieces r1r'x2'1f4,,x53f 4" x 175f6,, because drawer size willG Partitions t1o" x2"3/q' 'dia.determine their final length. H (3) Slvrwre. Partitions r/i'x2,,x9y4"3/ro" - dia. | (2) Keeper Strips 3l4n xelrcilItDIVIDER MATERIALSThe divider isn't glued tosether.Just six woodsclcws holcl the w}roleassenrbly into thc dr:rwer. And sinceitis a dry assenrbly, you c:ul reconfigurethc divider anytinre you want.BUITDING THE DIVIDERStart by nnkinq thc side pieces.W'orkwitl.r wood that is a little longer thanthe drarver (you'll cr.rstom fit it later).Aficr the pieces lre cur to size. set upto cut the row of dadoes in eachpiece. Make sollc tcst curs in scrapwood and adjust the thickness of thebiade untii the partitions slide easilyinto the dadoes.Now you can get going on theactual srde pieces (EIG. 1). First, cutthe rabbets. Set the table saw up tomake the first cnt, and use a stopblock to n.rark the position. Thatway you can just put the second sidepiece ir.r place and nrake an identicalcut. Now reposition the stop blockto cut the rernaining dadoes.You can use the same stop blocktechnique to cut the notches in thepartitions (nrC. 2).You'll have to raisethe blade in the table saw ro curhalfivay through the partition. Notcha couple pieces and test fit thellrtogether. The top edges of the partitionsshould be flush with each other.Space notches3" on{enterN0TE: Notch oneend only.Because of the consistent spacing youcan actually make tryo cuts at each setupblock position. Rabbet only the front end, though.Set the blade to half the height of thepartition. Use each stop block position fortwo notches by flipping the wood end.for-end after one cut.wol{KBENCH ! JANUARy I FEBRUAIT.y 2000 49


6" Radius,3/c" deepe.The radius of the arc doesn't have tobe exact on the silverware partitions.Anything with about a 6" radius willwork as a template. Measure in fromeach end of the partition and make amark to help you position the tem.plate. After you've cut and sanded onepadition, use it as a pattern.To make thekeeper strips, firstol a piece of stock with a rctdenSILVERWARE PARTITIOI{SThe silverware partitions are tttadefrorn %"-thick stock, just like thcregular plltitiorrs. But yott'11 havcto cut thcnt to lenlath beforcnotcl-ring tlrc encls.Lly out lbout a (r" radius rrc otlone of the silvcrware partitiorts.Yotlcrrt do this by tr:rcing thc bottoni ofa five-gallon bucket or l wrrstcb;rsket(ntc. 3). Arrothcr optiott is t,rrurake a carclbolrcl pattel'lt for thcarc. [Jse il conrptss to ciraw a ] 2"-clirnreter circle otr tl-re calc-lboarci.Now cr.rt it out :rncl trlce it ottto thepartition blank.(lut the arc ollt of the prrtitionwitl'r a jigslr'v or batrdsrw rttd srtttdit to its fin:rl shlpe. Now usc thispartition .rs a P:itterlt to lrry otlt thercst oI rhe ri]vt'r-w.tre P.lrtitiolli.I(EEPER STRIPSThc last pieces you rrec'cl to tttake:u'e the kcc'pcr strips. Theyi'c prettysirrrplc, but thcy tlkc rl li"uv stcps.Start with :r piecc of t/.,"-thickstock tl.rat is slightly lorrscr tl.)itrryour clrlwer. This bllrrk should llsobc widc cr.rottqh tl-rat yor.r can safelyrip lt lcast ilvo stt'ips thrtt :irc "/,,'"-widc flonr it.Chirnrfcr both cclqcs of tl'rc bhnk(FIG. 4). I cut tl.rc chattrfcr with Iroutc'r rrttcl a chltttrler bit, btrt yor.rcor.rld clo it pretty crsily on the tlblesl'v as wcll. ()ncc th:rt's c'lortc, ripthc cl'ranrfc'rc'cl eclgcs ofFthe bhnk tonrakc the strips (uc. 5).INSTALLING THE DIVIDERl)uttinq thc cliviclcl toscther is crsier"to clo than it is to cxphin.Thc bestplace to start is with tl.rc side pieces.Cut tl-renr to lcr-rstlt lrtcl flt tl-rertrin thc cltawer.Ncxt, ct"tt soltte p:irtitiorts to fittl-re'lensth and width of the clr:rrvct'.The size of thc' c1r:rwer lnay rttc:rl)cuttinq thc partitions itt betwecllnotches. If so, cut nc'w notches xttl're cncls of thc partitions so theywill still lock into thc grid.Tiy tl.rc clivicler in c.liftercnt configur.lti()ns.Witl) sottte expcritttcttt;ttitltt.yor,r'll find tl.rc setup you'rc lookirrgfor. Finrlly, cut the kecPer stliPs tolenEh and sct theln in phce. Fristertthenr to tl-re sidc's of thc clrlver witl-r#(t x'/"' woodsct'crvs (FIG. 6).Norv you lnny w:utt to build :rknife block. The divider is conipletervithout it, but adding one l.relps protcctyoul' knives froni d:rnuge. tffiSet your fence %." away from theblade when ripping the keeper strips.That will make the strips slightly widerthan the side pieces.'i f-T IDrawerPre-drill andt-'f;] [ s]uecountersink holesbefore screwing thekeeper strips to the drawer sides.50w()tl.KrJENCH n JANUAI{Y I FEBI\UAlr.Y 2000


Optional Knife BlockWhether built to fit in the drawer diuider or to standalone, this knfe block's unique design makes it aworthwhile project foryour kitchen,l-l-1h. blade dividers on thisknife block space the knivesI so they re easy to grasp byany size hand. A sloping handle restaccommodates a variety of differentlength knives and keeps them fromsliding back and forth every time thedrawer opens and closes. Since theblock isn't fastened to the drawer orthe divider, it can be removed forcleaning.A simple wood knob makesit easy to lift out of the drawer.Get started on the kniG block byripping and gluing together '/2"-thickpieces of wood for the blade dividers(KNIFE BLocK ELEVATIoNS). Leavethese pieces a little long until the gluehas set and then cut them to length.ChamGring the ends and edges addsa finished look and makes it easier toinsert the blades (ntc. a).Now glue up a blank for the handlerest. Make the blank a litde largerthan necessary so you can cut matchingangles in rwo passes instead oftrying to make one perGct cut (rtC.B). Glue and clamp the angled piecestogether (FIG. C).Cut a plywood bottom to sizeand glue and clamp the handle restin place. Now add the bladedividers. Spread glue on eachdivider and then space them evenlyacross the plywood bottom. Fastenthe wood knob onto the dividerKNIFEETEVATIONS (END(roP vrEW)BTOGK 7+" Wooden knobwith adowel andglue to completethis "sharp" storagesolution.t[vrEW) I 1" fl%"Blade dlvlderGlamp the bladedlviders togetherSeparate the pieces and rout the edges.Set the table sawblade to 20'andcut the handle rest intwo passes to make mating pieces.Glue and clamp the handle rest together,There nay be a small rldge wherethe pieces neet (blue line). Sanding orplaning will remove the ridge quickly.woRKBENcH tr JANUARy I FEBRUARy 2000 51


Flardware OtganizerEuen though it has lots of handy drawers, this sturdy pine shop storage center isIeasy to build, thanks to some mass prodwction techniques and interchangeable parts.MATERIATS LISTn a recent trip to the hardwarestore, it took less thana minute to locate a bolt Ineeded.This impressed me since I djust wasted the previous hour in nryshop, digging through boxes andcans of assorted fasteners searchingfor the same size bolt.Thedifference was organtza'tion. A rack with rows and rows ofsmall drawers held the store'.s entireinventory of fasteners, yet the boltwas easy to find because each drawerwas clearly labeled. I decided asmaller version of this hardwarestorage rack was just what I neededto bring sorne order to my shop.If you look at the completedproject, you'll notice that four of thel6 drawers are wider.This gives younrore room to store commonly useditenrs you buy in bulk, like drywallscrews. Other than width, however,the drawers are all identical sobuilding them is easy. It's simply anlatter of mass producing parts.CTTTTING DIAGRAMLUMBER:A (2) Ends 310" v7r1o" '1 12t1r"B (3) Shelves 314"x61/2"x321/4"C (2) Rails 310" x23f a" x32rf r" LxB 1s1o" x71/q"l - 8' ffil Common PineD (1) Back Panel (hdbd) ya" x8" x32yq"E (1) Dividers (hdbd) y4" x35/s" x6r/2"F (8) Lg. Drawer Frt./Backs 31ou x3" x57 f a"G (24) Sm. Drawer Frt./Backs s 1o' x3' x2t /6'H (4) Lg. Drawer Bottoms t1o' x5z1t" xltla" Lxl 1s1o" x71/q"l' 8' #2 Common Pine| (12) Sm. Drawer Bottoms t1o' v2s1t" xlz/a"J (32) Drawer Sides (hdbd) tla" v!" x53la"HARDWARE:(24)#8x 15ls" Fh woodscrews(16) Brass card holder pulls with screws tx9(192)#17 x 3/4"1t1o" x71/c"l' 8' {*i! Common Pinewire brads (12 per draweOAlso needed: One half-sheet (a8" x 48") of 7+" hatdboatd52woRKBENCH tr JANUARY FEBRUARY 2000


BUILD THE CABINETThe cabinet consists of three shelvescaptured ben'veen dadoes cut in thefwo ends. The spacing between theshelves is uniform so the drawers rvillbe interchangeable between tows.To do this, the two encl piecesneed to be r-nirror images of eachother. l3egin by cutting them tolength fiorr 1x8 stock.To nrake bothpieces exactly the saure size, I r"rsed astop block on the trrble saw (nrG. 1).l3efore s."vitching to a dadcrblade, go rrhe:rc1 and rip the threeshelves, nvo rlils, and the hardboardback to rviclth. Then use a stopblock to cut all these pieces to aunifornr length of 32',/r" (FIG. 2).Now you're ready to cut the shelfdadoes ir-r the end pieces. Start bylaying out the top daclo on one endpiece (naoo LAYour and nrc.3).Set up your daclo blac.le to rnatch thethickrress of your '/," stock. (l like totest this rvith rr piece of scr:rp first.)To position the dadoes the exactsame distance fi'on-r the top and bottomof the workpiece, use the tiplence as a stop (rIG. 4). Once thesedadoes are cut, lay out and cut a thirddado for the center shelf halfrvaybetwecn the first two.After shaping a radius on the frontcorners of eacl-r end piece, the laststep on these pieces is to cut a groovefor the rails and back panel (nC. 5).CABINET GONSTRUCTION VIEWOVERALL SIZE: 7r /q" D x I2r /2"H x 33r / q" L#8x15/s"Fh woodscrews#8 x ts/s"Glamp a stop block to the rip fence. Setthe fence so the block's lace is 12Y,"from the blade. Butt the stock againstthe stop to cut the ends to length.@ eacrTo cut the shelyes, rails, and back all tothe same length, clamp a stop block toan auxiliary funce attached to yourmiter gauge. Then cut each piece.@oivioerht*M-qffi[x|lof end.\-),.l' .''and cut bottom dado.-.,- 1/+" x1/+', Stoouefor raif s,and back paney'7>-< 7DADO LAYOI'T'zo tr-:*3/q"q?ADadoGarcfully lay out the location of the topdado on the face and edge of one ofthe end pieces. You'll align the dadoblade with these lines in the next step.Using the funceas a stop, cut thetop and bottomdadoes. Then lay out the center dado.Use scrap to setthe fence (insetl,then cut a gnnve forthe back and rails in each end piece,woRKtsENcH tr JANUAtl.y FEtst{uARy 2000 53


SHELF ETEVANG{S AND CUTNNG DETAII.SIq.Ii'"-li'"-li'"-lF'"-lf '"-l['"-lNote: All dadoes shown are %"'wide x 1/q"'deepAuxiliary fenceRaise the %"dado blade tocut a rabbet in one edge of each rail.Allow %" ior the dado in theend panel. Use a spacer to layout the first dMder dado. Gttt thisdado in all three shehes. Wth the saw tumed off'set a dado in one of theshelves over the blade. Thenrcposition and lock the fence withthe spacer betrveen the fence and worftpiece.rail for the back panel (nlc. 6).Thencreate a tongue on both ends ofeachrail to fit into the groove in the endpieces (nIc.7).DAIrc FOR IIIE DIVIDERSFor the drawers of each size to beinterchangeable, the dividers betweenthe drawers must be evenly spaced.Todo this, I used a 3"-wide l.rardboardspacer as a layout and setup gauge.First, use the spacer to lay out thedado closest to the right-hand end ofone shelf (SHELF ELEVATIoNS andCUTTING DETAILS).Then align thelayout lines with the dado blade andbutt the rip fence agair.rst the errd ofthe shelf. With thc fence set, cut the"first" dado in all three shelves (dadoboth faces of the nriddle shelfl.Here's where the spacer cotttesinto play as a setup gauge. By usingit to reposition the fence after erchseries of cuts, your dadoes will bespaced exactly the same.Once you've cut dadoes for thesnrall drawer dividers, lay out and cutthe dado between tl.re large drawers.To lay out this dado, allow for the'/u" that fits into the end partel.Thensplit the renrair-rir-rg space in half.WORK ON THE RAITSNow work can shift over to the rails.l3egin by rabbeting one edge ofeachASSEMBLE IHE CABINETIt'.s easiesto assemble the cabinet ina specific orcler (CARCASE ASSEM-BLY VIEIJV). First, apply glue to thedadoes in the end panels and clarnpthe shelves in place between thetlr.Next, apply glue to the groovesin the end panels and slide the bottornrail in from below. Tl.rer.r slidethe back and top rail into place fromabove. (You nray need to loosen theclamps slightly to get the back piecesinto place.) With the clamps still inplace, dril1 colrntersunk screw holesrnd screw the back and end panelsto the shelves.DRAWER GONSTRUCTION VIEW@Front/backcBottomCsioeCard holder pullwith screws#17 x3/+"Wire brads@Front/backWith the drawerfront/tack blankripped to width, cut agrcove for the drawer bottoms.54wotTKBENCH ! JANUAIT.Y I FEBRUAI{Y 2000


GARGASE ASSEMBLY VIEWStep 4: Addsclews toends and back.Step 3: Slide backpanel and upper railin from theStep 1: Glue shelvesbetween end panels.Rabbet both endsof the rails to fiorma tongue. Make testcuts so the tongue fits the goove.Step 2: Slide lower railin from the bottom.The tlnal step is to install thedividers. Chances are the shelveswill have bowed slightly, so measurethe height of the outerrlost dividerlnd cut thcrrr all ro this sizc.To install the hardboard dividers,turn the carcase on its back andapply a snrall ar.nount of glue toeach dado. Then slide the dividersinto place, leaving theru flush withthe front edge of the shelves. If rrecessary,you can clanrp the shelvestogether to close up any gaps rharappear above or below the dividers.MA!|S PRODUCE THE DRAWERSWiththe cabinet completed, it'stinle to trlrn your attention to thedrawers. Arrd herci where it rerllypays off to ltrove into a mass productionmode.For me, the key to mass producingsr.nall parts is to start by ripping longblanks to width. From these blanks,yoll then crosscut the parts to consistentlengths using a stop block setupand the miter gauge.Before cutting the drawer fiontsand backs to length, though, you'llwant to cut a groove for the bottomsdown the lengths of these blanks(FIG. 8).That's a lot easier than cuttir.rga groove in the 32 smaller pieces.Once you've grooved the blanks, cutthe pieces to length (FIG. 9).There are a couple nlore cuts tonrake before the drawers can beassernbled. First, cut a rabbet on bothends of the front and back pieces(FIG. 10). Then create a tongue oneach end of the drawer bottons bycutting a'/," x'l." rabbet (FIG. 11).Finally, assemble the drawers withglue. I used wire brads to hold thesides to the ends and bottoms whilethe glue dried. That elirninated theneed to clamp up each drawer.flNAt STEP!iTo protect the organizerfror.r-r shop grime, I appliedtvvo coats of oil finish. Afterthe finish dries, card holderpulls can be screwed to thefront of each drawer. Onceagain, I used a sirnple jig (acright)to position all thepulls unifornrly.Like most organizers, thisone only works ifyou use it.But with valuable shop timeat stake, you shouldnt needrnuch incentive. tm-A simple iig centerc thecad holder pulls.Install the pulls withscrcws to keep themfirmly fastened to thefiont of the drawen-- Wldepush blockUse a stop block on your rip fence tocrrsscut the drawer ends to uniformlength. Use the same technique for thebottoms and sides.Use a wide pushblock to firmlywhen you cut the rabbet for the sides.Rabbet each endof the drawer bot.The tongue should be %" thick.WORKBENCH tr JANUAI{Y I FEBRUARY 2OOO 55


GFCI ReceptaclesWhy do you need ground fault circuit interrupters - those electrical receptacles with thesmall "Tbst" and "Reset" buttons -fyour house already has circuit breakers?,lr a'āllANATOMY OF A GFGI REGEPTAGLECircuitryLoad terminal(use to connectmultiplelocationprotection wiring foroutgoing power)[ine terminal(use to connectincoming wiresfrom the circuit)ou've probably seer-rground fault circuitinterrupters (GFCItin the bathrooms and kitchensof newer houses. You r-nighthave also wonderedthey'r'e llecessary. Afterwhyall,don't circuit breakers provideenough plotection against electricalprobler-ns in your home?Not really. A circr"rit breaker protectsyorlr house - not you. It'.sdesigned to trip if there'.s too muchelectricity flowir-rg through thewires.This may prevent an electricalfire, but it wor]'t protect you againstMountingyokeMountingyokePower indicatorlight (optional)Reset buttonTest buttonHot outletslotNeutral outletslotGroundingholeelectrical shock. Thatt the job of aGFCI. To truly appreciate a GFCI,you first need to know hou, it rvorks.ETESTRICAL WATCHINGElectricity tmvels throughout ahouse in a giant loop called a cirruit,sirnilar to how water flows throughpipes. Current enters the outlets,srvitches, md lights through "Hot"rvires. Then it returus to a breakerbox thror.rgh "Neutral" wires, beforeflowirrrl irrto tlte ground.Sonretinres a frayed cord orpoorly insr.rlated wires provides aplace for electricity to travel outsideits norr.nal path. If you touch anappliar.rce that's been energized bystray cllrrent, you becot-ne part ofthe elcctrical circuit.Orclinar ily youl body is a poorconductor of electricity. tsut ifyou're st:rnding on a wet sttdace,current can z p through your hearton its way to ground. All it takes isl/.-amp - enough current to lightrr )S-w:rtt bulb - to causc seriousinjury. Only a GFCI can resPondquick enough.Inside a GFCI is a device called adillerential transforr-uer that constantlycornpares current flowingfronr Hot to Neutral. If there's anyinrbalance, a sensing circuit instantlyopens an internal switch and stopsthe flow of current. It happens soqr-rickly, you nright only feel a mildshock - like a pin prick.WHERE GFGIS ARE NEEDEDIn new construction, GFCI receptaclesare required by electrical codein areas that are damp or that haveplumbingfixtures. This includes56woI{KBENCH tr JANUARY I FEBRUARY 2OOO


kitchens. bathrooms. and all outdooroutlets. You should also protectgarages, shops, crawl spaces, andunfinished basements.When it comes to GFCI protection,you basically have rvvo options.You can replace an ordinary outletwith a GFCI receptacle, or install aGFCI circuit breaker in the servicepanel (see DffirentTypes oJ GFCI$.GFCIFor outside outlets, I suggestcircuit breakers. They lastlonger than outdoor receptaclesbecause they're located inside thehouse, away from the weather.GFCI receptacles work fine forinside locations. They can be wiredto protect a single outlet or multiplelocations on the same circuit.There are a couple of importantthings to remember about how aGFCI should be used in a circuit. AGFCI receptacle will only offerprotection downstream from theGFCI to the end of the circuit. Itwon't protect outlets that are locatedbetween itself and the circuitbreaker box (see drawing at right).Plus, the more outlets a GFCIprotects, the more susceptible it is to"phantom tripping" - shutting offpower because of tiny, normal fluctuationsin current flow.REGULAR GHECI(UPSGFCIs should be tested at least oncea month.You don't need any specialequipment, and it's simple to do:1. Press the "Test" button on thereceptacle. This will cut power, andthe "Reset" button will pop out.2. Plug an appliance into thereceptacle to check for power. If theappliance doesn't come on, theGFCI is working fine.3. After the test, press the"Reset" button to ready the GFCI.Replace any faulry GFCIs rightaway. GFCI circuit breakers alsohave "Test" buttons, which shouldbe checked regularly.If your home isn't protected byGFCIs, a licensed electrician who'sfamiliar with your local electricalcodes can add them for you.EUSING A GFGI IN A GIRGUITI GFCIs can be Iocatedand wlred to protect anenthe chcult (top) or aslngle outlet (bottom).I To protect an entirebranch clrcult, the GFGImust be the fhst receptaclefrom the clrcultbreaker box. 0utlets onthe clrcult downstreamfrom the GFCI wlll alsohave protectlon.I In slnglelocatlon setup,only the GFGI receptaclewlll be protected.0ther outlets upskeamwill not have protectlon.DIFFERENT TYPE!i OF GFCISGFGI RECEPTACTEGFCI receptacles replace standarduplex outlets andcan be used ln homes protected by either circuitbreakers or fuses (in the case of many oldel homes).GFGI receptacles should be installed by a qualifled,licensed electrlcian.GFCI CIRCUIT BREAIGRA GFCI circuit breaker protects widng just like astandard circuit breaker. lt also provides ground faultprotection. A GFCI clrcult breaker, howeyel, costsmore than a GFCI receptacle ($5G$60 vs. $8-$10).A circuit breaker must be reset at the breaker box.PORTABTE GFCIPortable plug-in and cordset (shown) GFGIs arehandy when working outside with electrical tools orwhen you can't connect directly toa GFGI receptacle. Neyet use aportable GFCI in place of a permanentone. And be sure to testthem before every use.M UITIPLE-IOCATION PROTECTIONSINGTE-IOCATION PROTECTIONGroundwlrewoRKBENcH ! JANUARY I FEBRUARY 2OOO 57


Tools & Shop GearSkil Dual-Sourcet Godless Drills withBatteries and GodsWhat do you do when the batterieson your cordless drill run low?With the Dual-Source drills fromSkil Power Tools you don't have towait for them to recharge.All tools in the Dual-Sourceline come with a battery chargerthat doubles as a power supply. Anadapter plugs into the tool wherethe battery normally goes.Whenthe battery runs low, plug theadapter cord into the charger topower the tool.The batteryrecharges while you're using thecorded backup.Dual-Source Drills are availablein 9.6-, I2-, and I4.4-volt models.Prices range from around $90 to$130. Contact Skil PowerTools(877)754-5999 or check outwww.skiltools. com on-line.Gut Round Tenons for Rustic Furniturc Without a LatheRustic furniture is both beautifiiland functional.And making it canbe a lot of fun. Not many peopleattempt it, though, because of thejoinery problem. After all, how doyou make tree branches and rwigslook like you just pulled them outof a pencil sharpener?One way is by using PowerTenon Cutten from LeeValleyTools.These cutters will turn the ends ofvarious-size branches into smoothtenons with radiused shoulders.Simply chuck a cutter in your drill,clamp a branch to your bench, andpull the trigger.The cutter body is made fromaluminum, and the cutter blade isadjustable so you can fine-tune thesize of the tenon for a perfect fit inyour mortises.Small cutters (5/a"- to l"-dia.)make tenons up to 23/4" long formost rustic furniture projects.Larger cutters (11/2"- to 2"-dia.)produce 4L/4"-long tenons and canbe used for larger connections suchas rustic bed frames.Prices range from $52.75 forthe smaller cutters to $61.75 forthe larger ones. Contact LeeValleyTools at (800)267-8735 or checkout the company's web site atwww.veritastools. com.58woRKBENCH tr JANUARY IFEBRUARY 2OOO


llUider is Better When Talking TapesStanley has introduced the Fat Maxruler, which should make measuringlonger distances easier. The 25-ft.tape has t 71/+" extra-wide bladethat will extend to 11 feet withoutcollapsing.The Fat Max also featuresa heavy spring inside for smoothblade recoil and a unique bladehook that catches objects from thetop, bottom or side.Suggested retail price is $21.99.Contact Stanley at (800)782-6539or visit the companyt web site atwww.stanleyworks.com.I II ITough Workbench That's Also FunctionalLooking for a workbench that canstand up to tough environments butis still practical? Well, you mightwant to consider the two-drawersteel-frame bench &om WaterlooIndustries.'With built-in drawers andshelves to keep tools within reach,this workbench is as functional as itis durable.The workbench has a 36" workheight, and measures 23" x 54uoverall. It includes a 7l/+"-thick,extra-large work suface. Plastic sidetrays come in handy for holdingsmall parts, tools, and even beveragesnext to the work area.Power tools along with otherbulky supplies can be stored on thefuIl-depth bottom shelf.The steelframe is good for clamping ormounting a vise.Suggested retail price for theworkbench is around $280. Contact.Waterlooat (800)833-8851 orcheck out the company's web site atww w.waterlooindustries. com.DIY Drnvall KilsGot a small drywall job to comPletearound the home, but dont want toinvest a lot of money in tools Youwont use often? Then take a look attvvo new DrywallTool Kits fromNu-Pride HandTools, part ofMarshalltown towel Company.Each kit contains a 10" mudPan,a triple edge knife, a corner tool,and a flat knife.You can also choosefrom either a drywall sandingsponge or a traditiond hand sander.When youte done, store the toolsin the mudpan until next time.Retail price is around $6 foreither kit. Contact Marshalltown at(800) 987-6935 or visit the companyon-line: www.marshallto!\r'n.com.60woRKBENCH D JANUARY I FEBRUARY 2000


OXO Gets a Good Grip on the Hand Tool MarketlJnless you do a lot ofcooking,you may not be familiar with acompany called OXO (pronouncedox-oh) International. Until nowthe company was best known forits Good Grips line of kitchen andcleaning tools.Now OXO is expanding with aline of hand tools based on theconcept ofuniversal design - theidea that products should be easyto use for a wide spectrum of thepopulation.That's why you'll seepadded, ergonomic handles onOXO's screwdrivers, hammers, tapemeasures, utiliry knives, and pliers.Great handles alone, however,aren't enough to make a good tool.So OXO added other fearures rothe line of tools such as chromevanadium steel in the pliers andscrewdrivers, tool-free utility knifeblade changing, anti-vibrationhammer handles, and nylon-coatedtape measure blades. Prices rangefrom $3 to $24.You can contactOXO at (800)545-4411 or go towww.oxo.com on-line.Porter-Cable Takes a Gut at the Saw Blade MarketPorter-Cable's Riptide blades cantackle a variety of tasks ranging fromgeneral purpose wood cutting tometal cutting for steel studs.According to Porter-Cable, theblades are manufactured anddesigned to provide smooth cutswithout loading your machine. Eachblade features a thin kerf that he$sminimize waste.This also produces acleaner, faster, and cooler cut.Another thing you'll noticeabout the Riptide blades is that thealternating top-bevel configurationof the teeth causes the blades toenter materials as if theyie slicingrather than chopping. Because oftheaggressive bite, a chip limiter behindeach tooth prevents the blade frombogging down while you're cutting.This feature also helps eliminatedangerous kickbacks.Riptide blades are available in thefollowing sizes'. 71 / +" (s/a" arbor), 6u(1/2" arbor), and 41 /2" (3/a" arbor).E4pect to pay between $9 and $40,depending on the type ofblade youpurchase. Call (800)487-8665 orcheck out Porter-Cablet web site atwww.porter-cable. com.62WORKBENCHtr JANUARYIFEBRUARY 2OOO


Home &%rd Pro&lmsHide the Electlonic Gear and Still Use Your RemoteWhen we designed theWall Uniton the cover. we used wood dooninstead of glass for the TV cabinet.We chose these doon to hide theVCR and stereo ftom view andprovide a nice, clean look. But whathappens when you want to use yoirrremote control?Well, we've found away to hide the electronic gear outof sight and still be able to use theremote control.RocklerWoodwo'hqgandHardware, a mail-order retailer,,sellstwo small infrared receivers th* reada normal signal from any remotecontrol.The comrnands are thenretransmitted to yourVCR ot sterreocomponene inside the cabinet.The Hidden Link ($74.99) isabout the size of a garage dooropener.The Micro Link in the insetphoto ($139.99) can be concealedin a/2"-dia. hole in the cabinet.Call Rockler at (800)279-4447 orgo to wwwrockler.com on-line.Quick Mask Prcducts Speed Painting PrcparationPainting isnt high on my list of"fun-things-to-do." I guess it's allthe prep work I really dont like.That's why painting products suchas Quick Mask from HomeRightmake a lot of sense to me.The idea behind Quick Mask isreally pretty simple -protectivepaper or poly drop cloth andmasking tape rolled into one.The tape is attached along oneedge of the paper or cloth. SimPlyunroll Quick Mask to cover thesurface you want protected, adherethe tape to the trim, and you'reready to paint away.When You'redone painting, peel off the taPe andthrow the Quick Mask away.You can get Quick Mask productsin six different combinations.Prices range from $4-$10. ContactHomeRight at (800)264-5442 otvisit the company's web site atwww.homeright.com.66woRKBENcH D JANUARY IFEBRUARY 2000


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