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MkbbHOTvTEWRIGHT22titing for the Inng HaulTile offers dramatic visual resultsfor any remodeling project but asuccessful installation is more thanmeets the eye. Thankfully, modernmaterials are making the processeasier for doit-yourselfers.WoOoWORKING32Uo* to Build a VanityOur bathroom remodeling project included sixcabinets. By following along as we build the basecabinet you'll know how to construct any of theothers, or you can apply the techniques tobuilt-in cabinets of your own design.A0More BathroomCabinet IdeasHere are drawings for the fiveaccessory cabinets installed in ourremodeled bathroom.WeexEND PROJECT42 rcrt"t RefofitAdding "nCabinetslideout trays to yourkirchen base cabinets will bedownright pleasant when youfollow our construction andinstallation methods.WonrsHoP46Benchtop Saw StationImprove the performance of yourbenchtop sawwith our workstation on wheels. Sitting on alazysusan bearing, the saw efforflessly rotatesbetween crosscut and rip operations to takeadvantage oftwo oufeed supports.


frnteffi8 Qugsrrorus &AruswensL4rps &TEcnNISUESOvEn TnE FENce18N.*s and Eventsl=-+:MnrEnlRLs29 Ceranic Tile:Bunng SmartBefore leaping into yourremodeling project, spend sometime getting to know more abouttile and its enduring nature.IN.DEpTH REvIEW46Benchtop Saw RoundupPutting six benchtop saws throughtheir paces has revealed plentyabout tool design and the impact ofdownsizing.Snop IrupnovEMENTs6O N"* Tool OfferingsWHAT,S New66noau.tr ForYour HomeCnerrsMANsHIPT2Wrought kon BeautyA lowly metal aspires to longlastingartistic heights.


plete. Specifications and technical tolerancescan separate contenders fromthe also-rans, but what I really want isto learn how a tool feels in the hand,how it performs on the job, whetherit's got muscle to spare or is more shinolathan substance.Ofcourse, everyone needs facts andfigures before swapping hard-earnedcash for a new trinket. But when gatheringinformation, who do you prefertalking to abouttools? Or abouttrucks,and boats? Orfishing equip-\xmKBENcrITalking AboutToolsVolunlte55 NUMBER IEDITOR ChristopherA Inmanment? Or anything? Most guys I know ASSOCIATEDITORSWilliam LaHayhave the same answer - a friend withKerry Gibsonan opinion and firsthand experience.ASSISTANT EDITOR David E. StoneART DIRECTORRobert L. FossSR. ILLUSTRATOR Erich LageILLU TRATORSusan JessenSR. GRAPHIC DESIGNERPaul E. StigersEver since the woodworking and homeimprovement bug bit, IVe depended onreviews to help me make informed toolpurchases. IVe learned the importantnumbers - hp, amps, cutting capaclty,chuck size. etc. - and sometimesgained a little insight into using tools.Though this information has beenhelpful, I often thought it was incom-itI+Whor R.eviews Are . . .So, in a nutshell, our reviews emPhasizehands-on experience. We put toolsthrough a realistic regimen of tasks,things any of us do while workingwood or making improvements aroundthe house. After indMdually rating thehighs and lows of each tool underreview, we get together to air out ouropinions. From these lively discussionsemerge the strengttrs and weaknessesof each tool....AndAren'fBut defining which tool is "besf isnever simple. Occasionally, one toolrises above the rest, but more oftenseveral tools can be judged top performersdepending on what differentreviewers value (price, features, durability,balance, etc.). The best drill forsomeone boring a few pilot holes everyyear may not be the best drill for a prousing the tool every day.It's also important to consider thatmost manufacfurers are capable ofmaking exceptional tools, but verYfew of us are willing to pay $2,000for, say, a router. For manufacturers,then, the challenge is choosingcompromises that still yield aworthy tool at a price we can afford..!*Workbench, we're eager to tell youwhat we think of those compromisesand to offer solid insight into the toolswe handle. We'll declare our favorites,but it's important to bear in mind thatjust because a tool does wellin our review, ifs not necessarily the ideal tool for you.Think of us as a friend withopinions and firsthand experience, and go from there.Chris Inman, EditorCREATIVE DIRECTOR TEd KTAIiCCKSENIoR PHoToGRAPHER CrayolaEnglandPRoJECT CooRDINAToR Kent WelshSHOP MANAGER Steve CuTtisSHoPCRAFTSMAN SteveJohnsonPROJECr DEVELOPER Ken MunkelSENToR PRoJEcr DESIGNER Kevin BoyleELEC. PuB. CooRDINAToR Douglas M. UdsterPRE-PRESS IMAGE SPEcs. Troy ClarkMinniette BieghlerPRESIDENT & PUBLISHER Donald B. PeschkeADVERTISING SALE5 MANAGERSMaryK Day (515)282-7000ext. 2200GeorgeA Clark (515)282-7000 ext 2201MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS MANAGERTara Meier (515) 282'7000 ext' 2135PUBLISHING CONSULTANTPeter H. Miller Q02)362-9367FOR HELP WITH YOURSUBSCRIFTION CONTACT:\\TORKBENCHCustomer ServicePO. Box &12Des Moines. IA 503049961Phone: (800) 311-3991Fax (515)28&0447TO ORDER WORKBENCH PROJECT SUPPLIES:Call 1-80G311-3994TO SEND A LETTER BY E-MAIL:workbench@workbenchmag.comFOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUTHoME IMPROVEMENT, WOODWORKING,GARDENING AND COOKING, VISIT THEWORKBENCH WEB SITE:http://www.augusthome.comAudit Bureauof CirculationsWORXBENCH 0SSN 004$8057) is published bimonthlv0an., Mar., May, July, $pt, Nov) by August Home PublishingCompany, 2200 GmdAve., Des Moines, Iowa, 50312.Workberch is a regrstered trademark of August HomePublishing. Copfight@1999 August Home Publishing CompanvAll rights reserved.Subscription rates: Single copy, $3.95. One yearsubscription (6 issues), $15.94; two year sub., $27.95;three year sub., $39.95. Canadian/Foreign,add $6.00 per year. Periodicals postage paid atDes Moines, IA and at additional offices.'USPS/HeartlandPress Automatable Poly."Postmasten Send adclress changes to Wofibnth,PO Box 37272, Boone, lA 5A$74272.Prind in U'S"A-


Standoff Block Allows Usrng Rip Fence as a StopIn some of your illustrations,you show using the miter gaugeto rnake a uosscut while using the riffence as an end stop at the same time. Ithought I had read sornewhere thatusing the rif fence this way is dangerous.Why the disuepancy?Wally NouaMission Viejo, CAIt's not advisable to use thefence as a stop when crosscuttinga board because the cutoff portionbetween the fence and blade canjam and create a kickback situation.For that reason, we don't show thistechnique in our illustrations.We have shown a similar technique,however, in which a short piece ofscrap is clamped to the fence well infront of the blade. You index yourstock againsthis standoff blockButting stock againststandoff block createsclearance betweenstock and the fence.before making the cut. Then, as youmove past the block, you eliminatethe potential for binding because theworkpiece isn't butted againsthefence. Another similar illustration-.-----.---shows cutting dadoes. It's safe to usethe fence to index dado cuts becausethe blade doesn't sever the board -there's no loose cutoff to get wedgedbetween the fence and the blade.Preparation is Key for Lasting Garage Floor Paint JobI painted our concrete garagefloor a few months ago, but thepaint is already starting to peel. Whatkind ofpreparation work do I need todo and what paint worhs best?Doris RubleFt. Inuderdale, FLThere are several types of paintavailable, but preparation is thekey to success no matter which typeyou use. For the paint to bond, you firstneed to remove all the old paint andclean any grease or oil off the floor.Then scrub down the floor and let theentire surface dry.ln the past, it was common to usemuriatic acid or an etching compoundto dissolve a very thin layer of the concrete'ssurface. This not only cleanedthe concrete, but roughed it up to provide a good mechanical bond for thepainl These products, however, alongwith solvent-based strippers and epoxycoatings,were designed to be appliedby professional contractors.Today, most paint manufacturerscarry a line of strippers and cleanersthat are both easy to use and environmentallyfriendly.One relatively new productwe'veseen is a two-part, water-based epoxycoating from Epoxi-Tbch (1-88&6835667). Sold as a kil Epo>ryShieldincludes a degreaser, enough epoxy finishto cover 250 sq. ft", and small"chips" to scatter on the wet finish toadd color and skid resistance.United Gilsonite taboratories (UGL)carries a latex concrete paint and cleaningproduct as part of its Drylok line.You can reach them atl-80L272-3235.l0W'orkbench r January/February 1999


Automotive Products Provide Buffing AlternativesFor many years, I used a productcalled Duffu's Elbow Greaseto buff out the final coat of uarnish. It'sno longer aaailable, so any suggestionson what I can use as a substitute?Roy L. EwenCedar Rabids, IAShen I want an ultra-smoothfinish on polyurethane, I buffthe surface with a white Scotch-Britepad, then follow up with 3M Finesse-itII, a liquid automotive-type polishingcompound, and a buffing pad on myrandom orbit sander.A more traditional approach is touse mineral oil and a rubbing compoundsuch as pumice or rottenstone.A coat of paste wax adds luster, someprotection from moisture, and reducesfriction, which diminishes the occurrenceof scratches.Fiberglass Tapemay Help JointsThree years ago, u)e put anaddition on our 46-year-oldhome. The drywall joints in the ceilingwhere the addition and the originalhouse meet haue cracked and oPenedup. I know this is due to seasonalmouement and settling, but is there away to repair the joi,nt to preuent newcracks from forming?Bill McDonaldMinneabolis. MNYou can try using a doublelayer of fiberglass mesh jointtape, but chances are the crack willredevelop until the addition stabilizeswith the rest of the house. A moreextreme fix is to remove the drywallon either side of the joint to the neareststuds, and insert new drywall sothat it bridges the house-additionjunction. A simpler approach is tohide the crack by covering it withwood molding.ffilgffiFiberstass meshjoint tapeffiffi!!l|E /H#*----lffiWork jointcompoundthrough themesh and intothe crack.L2\Torkbench I January/Feb ruary 1999


Horsepo\Mer Ratings Can Be DeceptiveIn the Sertt/Oct issue, youresponded to Daae Milburn'squestion on table saw power by sayingthat a S-hp table saw will require 220aolts. My Crafisman 70" saw is rated at3 hp, but it runs on 110 aolts. Are thered,ifferent ratings?Marquis Brand,onPeru.INA 3-hp motor running at full load on110 volts will draw 30 to 35 amps,which is far beyond the safe limit formost shop circuits.If the motor can be adapted to operateon220 volts, however, you reducethe required circuit amperage by half.If you'd like to find out more aboutelectric motors, horsepoweratings,and amperage, check out the articleDemystffing Motors in the June 1997issue of Workbench,Horsepoweratings alone canbe deceiving because not allmanufacturers use the same ratingsystem. Such ratings also depend onwhat type of motor you're talkingabout - universal or induction.Universal motors develop morehorsepower for short bursts thaninduction motors of similar size andweight. Tool manufacfurers take advantageof this lightweight power by usinguniversal motors in portable powertools and some light-duty stationarytools where you typically run the motorfor only a few minutes at a time.For "continuous duty" applications,you almost always find an inductionmotor linked to the machine arbor bya V-belt and pulleys. Most inductionmotors have horsepoweratingsbased on sustained run times.Overload either type of motor, andthey will work harder - developmore horsepower - for a brief periodbefore they overheat and shut down.While technically correct, some manufacturersuse the terms "develops" or"peak horsepower" to indicate thismaximum output in an effort to makethe tools seem more powerful.A check ofyour sav/s model numbershowed the saw has a lVrhp inductionmotor. Your sawwill muster 3 hp inresponse to a momentary load, but itwon't be able to keep it up for longbefore its thermal protection breakerkicks out. And I1l bet the owner's manualsays the saw "develops" 3 hp.A more accurate power measure formotors is the number of amps a motordraws. Typically, a 11Gvolt, ll/rhpmotor running at full load ftut notoverloaded) will draw 12 to 16 amps.l||Product Information Number 172W'orkbench r January/Februaryr999trlkes, vou won'tit down!are the smoothest one-Buck ever! They featurehandles-in the hottest newfor 1999! And as always,are made of Buck sing steel.never strikes twice?HTA comes in two sizes,ned to fit your needslBf\*vt\sr$ \iCall for a Buck catalog(800) 21 s-2825or visit our web site at:www.buckknives.com


Tips & TechniquesShelf Standard Provides Adiustable Bench Dogsf was always having trouble holdinglworkpieces on my bench when sandingand routing. I fied one of those noslipsponge mats, but was forever pickingsponge out of my sander.I solved the problem with a simpleadjustable bench dog system usingtwo metal shelf standards. With arouter and a s/err-dia. straight bit, I cuttwo grooves into the top of my benchso the shelf standards would fit flushwith the top of the bench. Thesegrooves align with a wide dog I havemounted on my end vise.Now when I need to clamp a workpiece,I install a shelf support clip atthe appropriate position on the standardand tighten the vise. Tb keepshelf clips handy, I screwed a shortpiece of standard to one leg of thebench and install them there whenI'm not using them.Lewis A. LoweSumter. SCPeriscope Eases Guffer InspectionJSot tired of hauling the ladder outIeverv time I wanted to make surethe rain gutters on my ranch-stylehome weren't plugged with leaves. SoI built a simple periscope that lets mekeep both feet on the ground.First, I took two 8rllong pieces of1x6 and screwed them together at90o. Then I mounted a small mirror(that cost me $1 at a local discountstore) to the underside of one of the1x6's. Finally, I mounted the mirrorassembly to an 8-ft. long 1x2 handle.To use the periscope, I simply standon the ground and hold the mirror upover the gutter. It saves me time whenI give the gutters a quick check beforea heavy rain.Phillard, RydbergHallock. MNSI|ARE Y()UR TIPS,JIGS, AND IDEASDo you have a unique way of doing something? Just write down your tip and mail itto WorkbenchTips & Tbchniques, 2200Grand Ave., Des Moines, IA 50312. Pleaseinclude your name, address, and daytimephone number. If you prefer, email us atworkbench@workbenchmag.com.We'll pay you $5G$150 and send you aWorkbench cap if we publish your tip.In addition, The Stanley Works issponsoring Tips & Techniques, and willsend an award for the tip in each issue thatbest describes the creative use, care orapplication of tools.MAKE SOMETHINGREAT'r4'W'orkbenchr January/February 1999


Tip Of The MonfhSponsored By The Stonley WorksEasy PVC Pipe Cut-off Guidep ecently, I installed some 4rldia. PVC drain pipe in my able to disassemble the pipe, so I didn't glue the jointsI\shop for a dust collection system. (Before anyone together. But to get tight fitting joints, I needed to cut theasks, yes, I made sure I ran a bare copper wire throughthe pipe so it was properly grounded to prevent a dangerpipeends squarely, a difficult task until I came up with asimple idea that works with pipe of all sizes. Using myous build-up of static electricity.) drill press and wing cutter, I cut a hole the same size asIn case of a clog, I the outside diameter of the pipe in a piece of 2x8 scrap.wanted to be (You could also use a jigsaw to rough out the hole, thenfile and sand it to its final shape.)Insert pipe through After fastening this stock to a cleat, I clamped thehole cut in guide block. cleat to the bench and slipped the pipe through thehole to the proper length. Then I used a hack saw tocut the pipe, keeping the saw blade flush with theguide block. The block also kept my left hand safelyaway from the blade while I sawed.Francis Herzing, lrLincolnton. NCThe Stanley WorksNew Britain, CTwww.sta n leyworks.comTirrn Buttons Key to Ceiling Dryvall Installation1.\ccasionally in my remodeling busi-Lfness. I have to install drvwall ceilings.Drywall lifts are to rentand just aren't worth "*p"n.iu.the hassle forsmall jobs. But that doesn't mean thedrywall is any easier to handle.The technique I use starts by mountinga2x4 cleat to the wall, leaving a 32rlgap between the top of the cleat andthe ceiling joists. This gives me a ledgeon which to rest one edge of the sheetof drywall.Tb support the other edge, I screw apiece of 1x4 with a 3/arr-thick spacerblock to the joists 49rr over from thewall. The 1x4 pivots like an oversizedfurn button.To install the drywall, I lift one edgeTurn button rotated-toonto the wall cleat, raise the oppositesupport drywalledge and rotate the turn buttons tohold the panel in place. Unlike a T- aligned with the joist and drive a pair of ends of the stationary boards, swivelbrace that you wedge under a sheet of screws through the turn buttons, the the turn buttons then screw the drywalldown. The few extra screw holesdrywall, my system lets you easily drywall, and into the joists. Afterreposition the drywall.removing the 3ftrr-thick spacer and get mudded like the rest.When I get ready to install the next installing the next set of turn buttons, IAl Stewardpiece, I make sure the turn buttons are lift the next sheet of drvwall onto theNew Hudson. MI\Torkbench r January/February 1999 r5


Chain Cuts Paintf.fere's an old tick I learned in theI lNavy for removing peeling paintfrom a metal pole or pipe.Take a length of chain, such as alog chain, and wrap it a turn or twoaround the pole. Pull the ends of thechain back and forth, moving up anddown the length of the pole, andwatch the paint chips fly.File Sandpaper Under 56P' - for FlatQ toring dandpaper in a drawer usedrJto drive me nuts. It seemed I wasalway digging through odds and endsto find the right grade of sandpaper.The new sheets were always on thebottom and I never knew when I wasrunning low on one type until I usedthe last sheet. I wanted a way to storethe sandpaper flat and to keep it organizedand accessible.My solution came from an officesupply store - an acrylic hangtngwall file. This inexpensive organizermounts on the wall and lets me storea variety of grits right next to mybench. Even half- and quarter-sheetsstay neafly stored and I can check myinventory at a glance.C. Scott Vi.ncentEast Falloutfreld, PAINTRODUCINGGerman Made Superlu Qua[tyo eru^/ Hz ldroduces a Nav TgtailRocydM Colrcryt TansttigTodat/s 9o-h-Youndftr!. RsTool frarcl"rlsa EuCnes OsnsgErrjoy Conplele fialnhq ad. h,y,SdladTnadeUsdadNs$/ Toold k fts lou/-Costfool Retailer ln Yun ltrlarlct!L6ISO 9M1 CERIIFIED COMPANYFor Cabinet Makers.Fumiturc. Caroenrv.Framine.'Claripins.Laminiting & GluingCall (800) 671-0838 for dealers near youProduct lnformation Number 183$(i'orkbench I January/Feb ruary 1999Product Information Number 192


Cut It Close.protects the car's roof.Ou, lin. of bandsaws is truly remarkable.Not only for the selection, with over a dozen? models to drool over, but for theamount of machine you get for@your money. We give you largerre-saw capacity, greater power,and bigger blade widths. ExquisiteEuropean craftsmanship built tolast and perform cut after cut.Buy the only bandsaw you'llever need from thelargest and mostexperienceddirectseller inNorth America,Laguna Tools.Consistently the choice for value, you can't buy amore dependable bandsaw. Backed by the mostcomplete customer support in the industry. Call our800 number today to receive your free demo videoand you'Il drool too.LAGU\|ATcIcILs2265 Lagtna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, CA9265I800-734.r976 o (949) 494.7006 . Fax (949) 497-1346E mail: lagunatools@earthlink.net . Visit our Website: www.lagunatools.comInner TubeTightens Tie-downslumber home on the rooffJaulingI lof mv car used to be a hassleuntil I found a little trick that protectsthe vehicle's paint and cinches the tiedownstight. Before I start loading up,I put a deflated inner tube on the roofof my car. Once I've got the lumbertied down with rope, I use a little 12-volt portable air compressor - thekind that plugs into the cigarettelighter - to partially inflate the innertube. This snugs up the ropes andWilliam WardGarden. MIBag Your Clampspioe-clamp storage in the shop is aI headache. but an even worse problemis having to haul them to anotherpart ofthe house for a repairjob. Iinvariably bang them into a door jamband gouge the trim.An old golf bag purchased for a couplebucks at a garage sale providedmy solution to this problem. Theclamps fit neatly in the bag, which hasa heavy-duty shoulder strap and pocketsI can fill with dowels, glue, pipecouplers and other accessories Imight need. Adding a wheeled cartoffers even more convenience.Bob SettichDes Moines.IAProduct Information Number 187Workbench I January/Febrrary 7999


News and EventsRdbol: First Retail Chain for Used ToolsCostconscious woodworkers havealways managed to save money bybuying used tools, but hunting aroundfor the good stuff is a hit-and-misspursuit. Once in a while you can stumbleonto a bargain at a pawn shop or agarage sale, but it still boils down tothe luck of the draw. So how abouthaving a reliable inventory of usedtools available from a local retailer?If a Minneapolis company has itsway, the answer might be closer thanyou think. Grow Biz International,which develops franchises and retailnetworks for used and consignmentmerchandise, has targeted the handtool and power tool market for its nextventure. Already the company hasfranchised hundreds of stores forother product categories, includingsporting goods (Play It Aeain Sports)and computers (ComputerRenaissance). GrowBiz hopes evenfuallyto franchise up to 500 ReToolstores nationwide.Inventories at the ReTool storesinclude hand and power tools forwoodworking, auto mechanic's tools,lawn and garden tools, constructiontools, and accessory lines. Used andconsignmentools are acquired fromthe public, and the stores also offerdiscounted new and factory-reconditionedtools purchased from manufacturers.Examples of typical pricingshow selling prices of used tools to beabout half of the cost when new.If you're selling tools instead of buying,a ReTool representative may beable to visit your shop to inspect andpurchase tools right on site. Again,this will vary with the types of toolsand the store locations.It's a sure be that most woodworkersand home improvement junkieswill like the ReTool concept for thesavings on tool purchases, but ifyouthink the franchise opportunity mightbe right for you, you can find out morefrom Grow Biz at (800)26M075.Cordless toolusers takenote. Powertool batteriescontaincadmium, atoxic metal, andthey pose an environmentalhazard. if discarded. The key tosafe handling of batteries isn't properdisposal, however - ifs recycling,and an industry-sponsored nonprofit18 W'orkbench r January/February 1999New Life for NiCad Batteriesagenry wants to make sure it happens.Rechargeable Battery RecyclingCorporation (IIBRC) is setting up anumber of programs to ensure thatconsumers have convenient ouflets totake spent batteries from power tools,cordless phones, video cameras, andother products. Dubbed the "ChargeUp to Recyclel" program, the effort iscreating drop-off sites at retail stores,businesses, and public agencies, andeven will be incorporated into existinghousehold waste collection programsin some cities. The extracted cadmiumwill be used to produce new batteries,and the nickel and iron go toproduce stainless steel.Actor Richard l(arn ('Al" on thetelevision show Home Improa ement),is the spokesperson for the program'spublic awareness campaign.To find a participating retailer ordrop site near you, you can contactRBRC toll-free at (800) 22&8379.


Snow Thrower Follow-ThrougftYou know that bittersweet feeling you get watching the season'sfirst snowfall? The air smells crisp and clean, the sounds of thestreet are hushed underneath a pristine white blanket - thenyou realize you're going to have four hundred pounds of thatsloppy wet stuff to clear from your driveway and sidewalks.My appreciation of winter usually skips town about then, andI disrupt the stillness with the sound of a snow thrower engine.It turns out, however, that IVe been too quick to park the snowthrower when I'm finished and ready to head inside for hotchocolate. The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEDadvises against leaving the machine as is when you're finishedclearing snow. Instead, they recommend a few quick maintenancesteps to make sure you and your machine are set to gowhen the next storm hits.Some of the chores are routine - checking belts for wear,fasteners for tightness, tire pressure, and so on. Others aren't asobvious. First, you want to run the thrower for several minutesto clear any residual snow that might freeze-up the auger orimpeller. Then shut the engine off and tackle any stubbornspots with a stick. Finally, top off the gas tank. Not only will thissave you the trouble next time when you want to get themachine going, a fuIl fuel tank forces moisture out and reducesthe condensation of water into the gas.27'x48' - $6,539$tz,760 valueSome other sizesavulableNLOWRLimited OfferSave UPckgs. incl. steel frames,endwalls, galv. sheeting,trim & complete assemblyinstructions.o 16 Contemporary Colors To Choose From. I.C.B.O. Approved Manufacturing To GovernmentSpecifications. Clear Span Widths From 18'-80' - Heights & LengthsAdiustable To Meet Your Needsffi nmcurnffis' 1 -900-6 63 -0 55320www.miracletruss.com Ftx6tz-544-1835 wBENProduct Information Number 188'Workbench I January/February 1999t7=q Econ-AbrasivesWE MAKE ABRASIVE BELTS ANY SIZE, ANY GRIT! /)ABRASIVE BEUTSBeft sAEJ6Sii-6-oTdTl6[6Eithabi-directional splice, specify grits.CABINET PAPER50/pk 100/pk 1X3O $.81 ea 3X24 $.9il ea60D $16.70 $30.00C 1X42 .81 ea 3X27 .96 ea80D 15.60 27.80C 1X44 .81 ea 4YC1314 1.06 ea100thru 150C 14,50 25.60C 2112(16 .85ea 4X24 1.10 EaFINISHING PAPER 3X18 .86ea 4X36 1.35 ea80A $ 11.1s $18.90C3X21 .90ea 6X4a 3.50 ea100thru 2804 10.00 16.70C3)@33/4 .93ea 6>€!, 6.24 eaOTHERSIZES ON REQAESTNO LOAD PAPERlwhitelHEAVY DUTY SPRING CI.AMPS00 thru 4004 $12.25 $21 .25Camps come w/PVC tips and grips."C" = 100 SHEETSSize PriceVelcro@ Vacuum Discs4' $lFeale oattern for Bosch sar6' 2.258' 3.50T # ,r**"@'JUMBO ROUTER PAD{24'x 36')5" 80 .46 li.il.t.Itwill not allow small blocks olwood5" 100 thru 320',,1r1''.4Sto slip out under router or sanding* Available in 5 hole pattem '* applications. ROUTERPADONLY $8.95ea.-wroe Eens'Flolls-F lao wheelstPump Sleeves*PSA Discs TUMBO BELT CLEANING STICKrRouter & Wood Bits*Wood Glue oNLY $8.80UiilSf^?l$iJii?i3;?i-?L?Bifi- Econ-AbrasivesoALL FoR FBEEoATALoGPo' Box 1628TX add appropriate sal€s taxFrisco, TX 75034=:lContinental U.S. shipping add $6.00 - | (972) 377-9779TOLL-FREE ORDERTNG L|NE (800)367-41 01Product Information Number 181


Tiling for theLong Haul*h,Tiling success depends on tkree tkings:quality tile, durable underlaytnent, and thoughtfulconsideration to layout in an inc/erfect rolm.J4'F/'1;rll tlr, rrr ttttglltrttot',,tts. I.vt'rtUrrnin.l,ilint. Iirrt. rvlt,'tt vott't't'tzrll


BattrroomConstructionViewRim Detail30 tb.builder's feltSingle bullnosetile at cornersDoorwayand screwsr$$F.6,sffiFkb,;i'*"di#:a;15Iire''hrBefore installing backer board,you'll want to check the floor forlevel and the walls for plumb. Thecloser your walls and floors are toperfecf the easier it will be to laythe tile. But how far off is too far?Tile Council of America guidelinessay a surface out of level or plumbby less than Trtt in 10 ft. shouldn'tbe noticeable. ln my opinion thafssetting the bar awfully high, especially for older homes - 3/8rr in 10ft. you should be okay. Surfacesthatwill be tiled do need to be flat.Floors and walls that are excessively out of whack will requiresome work. Sfipping the room tothe studs and joists will allowyou toshim the framing or install2r stockalongside the studs and joists tocreate plumb walls and level floors.Instolling Bocker BoordAfter inspecting my walls and floorswith a level, and making sure mysubfloor was screwed down adequately, I laid backer board on thefloor using latex-modifed thinsetmortar and screws (BathroomConstruction View). Be sure tospread mortar on the subfloorusing a Tnrr squaretoothed trowel,and drive Lr/E" or longer screwsevery 8rr in line with the joists.Specialized screws with a self-countersinkingfeature and rust-resistant coating are available for use incementitious backer board.Next ifs a good idea to staplebuilder's felt to the studs in the 'lvetarea'' around the fub. Hang it horizontally,working up from the bottom,and overlapping the pieces atleast 6rr. The felt will protect thestuds from water that might seepthrough the tile and backer board.After the felt is up, screw backerboard to the studs in areas youintend to tile, taking extra carearound the tub to make sure thebacker board hangs over the tub'srim @im Detail). On the remainingbathroom walls hang moistureresistantwallboard.Backer board seams need to betaped like wallboard joints - I liketo use Durock's heavy-duty fiberglasstape for backer board, beddingit with thinset mortar. Sincethese seams will be covered withtile, they don't have to be assmooth as typical wallboard joints.Once you have all the joints tapedyou can move on to your tile layout.Workbench I January/February 199923


Planning Ahead: The Virtues of a Layout DiagramIn my bathroom, both the doorwayand the area in front of the tub werevisually prominent, so I wasn't surewhich one to emohasize with fulltiles. By drawing my tiles to scale onTile/Joint ListTile +Grout JointActualMeasur€mentLl2r/+"2 241/2'3 363/+'4495 6LL/+"6 73lz'7 8531q'a9a9 11o%'10 tzzLlz"tracing paper, thenmoving the paperover my room diagram,I found thebest layout withouthandling any tile.Creating a tile/jointlist, like the one shownat left, provides a quickway to figure out howmany tiles you'll needfor your room. Floor Layout - Compromise OptionFloor Layout * Option #1 Floor Layout - Option #2Loyout Decisionslaying tile is all about making compromises.Since almost every roomhas features that can derail an ideallayout, you'll have to be flexible asyou work through this part of theproject. Bump-outs, nooks, windows,doorways, bathtubs, andcabinets are typical obstructionsyou'll have to tile around. And, asyouVe probably already found out,you should count on out-of-squarecorners, unlevel floors, and wallsthat are out-of-plumb. On top ofthat, you may find that the size ofyour tile varies a little (especiallytrue of handmade tile).Your job is figuring out how to laytile in the most attractive way giventhese variables, which will, in turn,make the project more predictable.The first tool you need for determiningyour layout is a set of roomdiagrams - for the floor and eachwall you intend to tile (see PlanningAheaA. To keep the scale consistent,draw the surfaces on graphpaper, and include details that affectthe tile layout - nooks, bump -outs,the tub. windows. and doors.Once you have the surface diagramsready you can create a gridon tracing paper representing thetile. Scale this grid the same as thesurface diagrams. To proceed you'1lneed to know the size and type oftile you intend to install, and settleon the width of your grout joints.Grout joint widths range from 1,/ro"to Vzrr. Any wider and the grout justwon't hold up very well.Here's a helpful tip. To get adimension that's easy to compute,add the size of your tile to the widthof one joint, and call it yourtileljoint figure. My floor tiles are12rr square, and the groutjoints are1,/+rr-wide, so the figure I used was12t/4r (tile/Joint list). If yourtiles are rectangularyou'll need onetileljoint figure for the length and24\Torkbench I January/Feb ruary 1999


another for the width. Expandingyour list to include 10 tiles makes iteasier to draw the tile grid.laytng the tile grid over yourfloor diagram will allow you to findthe best layout. As you move thefacing paper around think aboutwhere it's important to have full(uncut) tiles. The common practiceis to choose visually prominentplaces - doorways or alongthe tub, for example. My bathroomoffered two equally important locations,so I tried each option, thencompromised between the two.This is also a good way to estimatethe quantity of tile you'llneed, although you should purchasemore than this number -you may break some tiles, or cut afew incorrecth MV rule of thumbis to buy 5-10% more if I'm usingoff-the-shelf tiles, and 10-15% moreif the tiles are special ordered. I'drather have extras than run short.Snop to AftenfionWith your layout settled you canstart preparing the floor. Keep inmind that the diagrams are excellentguides, but you won't want totreat them as gospel.The first step is to create a baseline that will keep your rows of tileparallel and square to a prominent,reliably straight feature in theroom. In my case, I found that thefront of the bathtub was straightand square to an adjacent wall.To position my baseline I settwo tiles in front of the bathtub,and placed Varr spacers betweenthe tiles and the tub as well asalong the tiles' opposite edge(Figure 1). Using tile and spacersis more accurate than measuring.Next, I snapped a chalk line nextto the outside spacers.Once you have a line, check thatit's square to an adjoining wall(Figure 2). A square corner isimportant because it's the startingpoint for laying the tile. If the lineand wall are out-of-square a little,you can usually hide the differencein the grout spaces at the edge ofthe room. ff they're out-of-squareby more than Trorr in 2 ft. you'llhave to consider a compromise -adjust the line a litfle or find an altogetherdifferent site for the line.Since I wanted full tiles at thedoorway, I also needed to makesure that the threshold was parallel{To crcab a baseline stailby setting two tiles against astaight fuature in the rcomffie bathtub, in my case),Placing spacen on either sideof the tiles allows tur grcutjoinb, then you can snap achalk line.Hairspray - A TilesettelsSecretWeaponChalk lines can disappear reallyfast in a work area, especiallyon floors where there's a lot offoot traffic. Take a tip from thepros and use hairspray tocover the lines.The spray willprotect the chalkwithout affectlngany meft8r-'of' . ;"',:ffiastfc d$fitf$g ';..ldfrgfJ.t ;."r il,'r, r,i,.i. :'itrtii:with the line. Here again, minorvariances would have been okay,but anything over r/til would haverequired a line shiftto avoid havingcut tile in this prominent location.After everything checks out thechalk line officially becomes yourbaseline. To keep the line fromwearing away, you might want totry a trick I've seen tilesetters use(Pro Tip).One final step before setting anytile is to cut the door casings toallow your tile to slide under(Figure 3). It s best to provideroom for the tile plus a little morefor the mortar.)Aligr one leg of afiaming quarc witrthe chalk line, thenmeasurc from thewallb fte other legat several places -a consistent figuremeans your line isquarc b the wall.A Cut ttre botbm of the door casing so thetile can slip under. Renting a casing saw(shown) is fine, though you can easily com.plete this step with a fine-toothed hand saw.lTorkbench I January/February 1999 25


After dry-setting tiles in the doorway (with V+'spacen) align astraightedge with the baseline and mark the second tile.Align tile marks with baseline and measurefor the cut tile in fiont of the tub.Mix dry latex-modified mortar with water,then let it stand br l0-15 minutes.Finol PrepqrqtionsAccording to my layout, puttingfull tiles at the doorway meant thatI'd have cut tiles in front of thebathtub. To find the exact size ofthose cut tiles - so I could startsetting tile here - I went througha multi-stepped process.First I set a full tile at the doorway,placing l,/ail spacers betweenthe tile and the threshold. Then Ipositioned more spacers and a secondtile, and carefully marked thatsecond tile (Figure 4). Then I setthis marked tile in front of the tub,aligned its marks with the baseline,and measured for the cut tiles(Figure 5).Cutting tile can be done usingseveral different tools, all of whichcan be rented (see Fiue Tools forFi,tting TiIe).As you prepare to set tiles, you'llwant to get everything you needclose at hand: plenty of tile, tilespacers, the snap cutter and niPpers, and you'll need an adhesive.For floors I always use dry (powderform) latex-modified thinsetmortar and mix it with water(Figure 6). Thinset mortar cansupport tremendous weight, andthe latex improves this ability evenmore, plus increases flexibility andadhesion far beyond what mostmastics offer.Mix a batch to a thick, puddinglikeconsistency, then set it asidefor 10 to 15 minutes so it absorbsthe liquid evenly - a processknown as slaking. You'll know youhave the proper mk if the mortarholds its shape on the trowel as itis scooped from the bucket.Seiling TileThe place to start setting your tileis at the square corner formed bythe baseline and the wall. For me,this meant laying a cut tile wherethe bathtub meets the wall.Since cutting a tile exposes asharp, square edge unlike themanufactured edges, you'll want toorient cut edges away from adjacenttile. This makes the cut edgesless visible.By the way, when pros need tomark a tile for cutting, they positionit next to an adjacentile (onethat's already set) to make theirmarks. This method eliminates thepossibility for errors that measuringinvites.Techniques for setting tile arepretty universal, whether for floorsor walls, indoors or out. FirstFive Tools for Fitting TileStraight cutting most tile is easyto do with a snap cutter, whichyou can rent for about $2O a daY(Fig. A). To use a snap cutter,grip the handle and press thescoring wheel against the tile,then drag the wheel across thetile's entire surface (including thetaper at each edge). Next, you'lluse either a second handle or thescoring handle to put pressurealong each side of the score lineto snap the tile in two.lf your tiles fail to break cleanly- the thickly glazed floor tile Iused were stubborn - make severalpasses with the wheel todeepen the scoring line. Save anYbroken tiles - you can recutthem for smaller spaces.Notching tile for fitting arounda corner or plumbing fixturebegins with a wet saw (Fig. B)or an inexpensive hack sawequipped with a carbide blade(Fig. C). Wet saws can also cutany tile, something snap cutterscan't claim. Renting a wet sawcosts about $5O a day (easilYworth paying if you're in a hurrYor have lots of cuts to make).26 \Workbench I January/February 1999


Sprcad 2-3 cups of molhr on $e floor, fiencomb it out wih tre towel's bofted+dge.Begin tiling in tre "squareo comer. Twistingtiles a little ensures good morbr corerage.Lay tile in small arcas, and be surc to check often that alltile rcmainsquarc to the first rcw along the baseline.Even the best layoub may rcquirc narrcwtiles. Hide them in inconspicuous places.Sprcad grcut with a float - diagonalpasses avoid liftingrout out of joinb.Clean excess grout off tile with cleanwater and a sponge. Change water often.spread mortar on a workable area,probably 3 ft. to 5 ft. square, andcomb it out with a notched trowel(Figure 7). The trowel you selectdepends on the tile and adhesiveyou're using - ask your tile dealerfor help here. As you set each tilefirmly in the mortar, twist it a littleto getgood coverage (Figure 8).Once you've made the sawcuts for a notch, snap out thewaste with a pair of tile nippers(Fig. D). lf a hole is required, youcan drill the tile with a carbidetippedhole saw (Fig. E). Bothtools can be rented.Continue laying tile a few squarefeet at a time, using spacers wheneverpossible (Figure 9). My compromiselayout did result in somenarrow tiles, but since I hadplanned ahead I knew they wouldoccur in inconspicuouspots - inone corner and behind the bathroomdoor (Figure 1O).Groufing the JoinlsAfter setting all the tile, wait 24hours before you remove the spacers- a needle-nose pliers makesthis easy. With that task out of theway you can mix your grout. Forwide joints (r/t" or more), be sureto use grout with a sand additive,and I suggest using latex additivefor the liquid portion of the mix.The ideal consistency for the mixfureis similar to peanut butter.Work the grout into the jointswith a float, making sure you fillthem to tull depth (Figure 11).Once they're full, you'll find thatworking the float square to thejoints tends to lift grout out, soalways drag the float diagonallyacross the tiles for the final passes.l,et the grout dry for 15 minutes,then wipe the floor with a dampsponge (Figure 12). You'lIhave torinse the sponge in clean waterand wring it out frequently, otherwiseyou'll just push the groutaround on the tile. Wait 10 to 15minutes more, then repeat theprocess, and keep this up until allthe grout haze is gone.W'orkbench r January/February 1999)7


Support wall tile with a straightedge. Align the top of thestraightedge with the location of the bottom edge of thelowest rcw of full tiles (measured off your level baseline).For support, put spacen aboveach tileas you move up the wall. This also keepsthe tile squarc to the straightedge.Install accenb the same way you do standardtile, though orffsetting these joinbfrom the othen is most appealing.Up rhe WollsBefore you begin tiling the walls,install all built-ins and wood trim.Working around these featuresrequires finesse, but guaranteesyou won't face daunting surprisesafter the tile is in.Setting wall tile is essentially thesame as tiling the floor, except forone thing. On the floor, gravityworks for you; on the walls, itworks against you. As sure as rain,tile will slide down unless it's supported while the adhesive sets. Tohelp with this, I recommend thatyou provide solid support for theIIIProtect walls from shower spray by tiling atleast 3" above the shower connction.Notch or ddll tile to fit arcund the fixturc.tile to rest on and use wet-dutyrated mastic - it's premixed andcures faster than mortar.Installing this support beginswith establishing a continuous,level baseline around the room.Like the baseline on the floor, thiswill become the starting point forsetting all the tile.The ideal place for the baselineis at the bottom edge of a row offull tile that will appear on everytiled wall. Refer to your layout tofind the best location, then transferyour mark around the room usinga long level. I put my baseline atthe bottom edge of a row of ropetwist accentile.From the baseline you can measuredown for the lowest row of fulltile on any wall, which is whereyou secure the straightedge support (Figure 13). As you workaround the room you can move thestraightedge into position.Spread mastic with a toothedtrowel over a small area, then lightlypress tile into position - twistthem a little to improve the bond.Place spacers between every tile tomaintain support as you work yourway up the walls (Figure l4').This goes for the rope twist tile aswell (Figure 15). To allow forshower spray, be sure to install tileabove the shower connection by atleast 3rr (Figure 16).After the mortar sets you canremove the straightedge and lay inthe lowest row of tile (Figure 17).Use spacers (or wood ripped tosize) to support this row off thesolid object below - the tub'sledge in this case. When workingin the tub area, be sure to allow forcaulk between the tub and tile.Wait at least 24 hours for themastic to dry, then grout the walljoints just like you did the floorjoints (Figures 18 and l9).l-et the grout dry for a day, thencaulk around the tub and brush acoat of sealant on the grout joints.Like the underlayment and layout,sealant is another unseen detail thatcontributes to a lasting tile project.In the end, everyone will see beautifulwalls and floors, but only a fewwill understand that the real effortlies in the hidden details.t[Once mastic on the full tile is dry, rcmove thestraightedge and set the bottom rcw of cut tile(supported with spacen set on the tub's ledge).Spread grcut mixed with lats( inb the joinb.Once the joinb arc full, work the float diagonallyto avoid pullingrout back out of the ioinb.Use morc buckeb of clean water and a spngeto rcmovexcess grout. Continue cleaning untilall the grcut haze is rcmoved.28 'Workbench r January/Februaryr999


Ceramic Tile:Buying SmartAaoid trendy loohs" is an old adage that applies tolnany things - clothw, hairstyles, and appliancesquickly colne to mind. But it gow double forceramic tile. Why? Because unlike most decoratiuesurfacw in your home, tile's seraice life is rneasuredin decades. Dwign profwsionalsay they uinge.r\'ii!.v Itu\rwhen homeowners use wallpaperor fabric swatches to pick outmatching tile. They know a qualitytile installation can endure for thelifetime of the house, so they recommendpicking your tile first,then building other decoratingchoices around it.As a homeowner formerly heldhosrage by a superb tile installationin a "Fffies pink" bathroom, Ihave to second this philosophy.Besides, color and texture are onlytwo variables in choosing the righttile, so don't lock onto a look untilyou find out something about theproduct's pedigree.Visiting a well-stocked tile showroomwill put hundreds of optionsright in front of you, from budgetgrades that sell strictly on the basisof low price, to hand-made, elaborate,and very expensive specialtytiles. Budgetary disciplinewill help narrow the field, butneither dollars nor designsense alone will do. As muchas any building material, tilehas to be chosen thoughtfullyfor the right application.Professionol HelpTo get some tile-buyingtips, I visited several tiledistributors and a coupleof home-improvementmegastores in our area. Inaddition, I spoke with atile industry associationspokesman, a tile manufacfurer,and even a manufachrrerof tile-makingequipment.From each of theseindusfy professionals Iheard a common refrain- you need more thanI January/February 1999 29


Tile Anatomy Basics: A Dirt and Glass SandwichCeramic tiles have two maincomponents - the clay bisque(body), and the g/aze, which isboth decorative and orotective.After a bisoue is formed andpartially dried, it's sprayed withengobe, a bond coat that actslike a primer to prepare the clayfor the glaze, which consists ofpigments and powdered glassparticles. The tilemaker mustcarefully match these materialsto oroduce a successful tile."lt's not easy marrying glass todirt," was the way one industryrepresentative summed it up.Most tiles are single-fired -one pass through the kiln hardensthe clay and also melts andfuses the glaze. Additionalglazes and multiple firings aresometimes used to create otherlooks, but they add to the cost.Firing also reduces the clay'sporosity, making it more glasslikeand less susceotible to moisture.A nonvitreous or semi-vitreoustife absorbs 37o or moreof its weight in water, a vitreoustile less than 37", and a porcelaintile is nearly impervious, atless than 17". Because exteriorinstallation in many areasinvolves freezelthaw cycles thatwill swell (and crack) moistureladenmaterials, a tile's resistanceto water absorption canbe critical to its lifespan.good tile. Whatyou're installing is asystem, not a single product, and allof its components must worktogether. In fact, every one of mysources claims that the vastmajority of tile job failuresresult frompoor installation,not!r.'. -t1. lt" .T.*^c,defective tile. They stressed thenecessity of a sturdy substrate, andof matching the mortar or adhesivematerial, and grout, to the tile aswell as to the site requirements.a glazed tile's durability is the newISO 0nternational StandardsOrganization) Tile Standard. Thiszero-to-five scale rates a tile's abilityto withstand increasinglystressful wear conditions. Youdon't need to precisely match atile's rating to your intended use,but you should make sure that itMotch Gloze, Size To UseBecause a tile's durability factorsso heavily into its suitability for agiven use, one of its key ratings meets or exceeds that level. Here'sincludes the strength of the protectiveouter surface called thea quick rundown of the categories:glaze (see Tile Anatomy Basics). O - for decorative usesFor example, a tiled entry foyer (walls) onlywill see more grit and grime than 1 - lighfduty residentiala second floor bathroom surroundedby carpeted areas.feet or soft footwearfloors, suitable for bareOne objective measurement of 2 - general residentialfloors, including kitchens3 - residential entrlrraysand light commercial use4 - heavier traffic areas incommercial installations,including restaurants andoffice buildings5 - commercial areas withheavy traffic, such asshopping mallsFor residential applications, tile isoften divided into two basic categories:floor tile and wall tile. Withtheir thinner/weaker bisque orsofter glaze, typical wall tiles aren'tdesigned to stand up to foot traffic,so for a floor installation you canry 1999


olien rule out asizablt' shzrre ofthe sture's inventory.On tl'rc otherItartrl, lr9tr calt tlsefloor tilc.s on walls,and urauv pcolrlc do.Your proicct's scalealso liellts rrarrow theclroice.s. A iew ycars ago, at1,1tical l-kror installalion [c'a-Irrrc'rl Er'"8'r tilt's.'lirrlay, thezrverage llour tile size is 12rr '12". Ilrrt nrany nlrntrlacturersart' lrroclucing ('v('n largt'r liles- 1(ir' r 1(ir', 25'r , 25 t'vt'rr a'li't'hnicallycolossal 24r'"ll(j". stonc floor tilt' and thr' per ltii'ccspcal


Buildrflanitylooks cornofit genuinely is, butprojects are based on atechniques and a welldesign.This is especiallyaf built-ins, and my remodeledbathroom offers a perfect example.I built six cabinets into the room,all of which take advantage of thesame basic constuction. Once youknow how to build the base cabinetdescribed in this article you'll be ingood shape to tackle any of theothers (see page 40). So followalong for tips on design and workip,and perhaps learn thating face frame cabinets is fardifficult than you may think. Inwith a table saw, dado set, drill,a few common hand tools.you'll easily complete every step.A Few Design Notesany wood touches a sawblade there are a few design considerationsto think through.any built-in cabinet has to fitits intended space in the room$aniry Construction View). Thissounds obvious. but I know firstthenightrnare of wrestling acabinet into a space that was mismeasured. I alsoknow ifs very likelyyou'll run into wallsthat are out of plumbor have irregularhigh and low spotsthat make fitting acabinet a challenge.The answer is tomeasure carefullyand build the cabi.net with the installationin mind. A face


Vanity Construction View0VERALL SIZE: 33"H x 20"D x341lz'LI-evelerDetailFrame-andpanelassemblyUpper railDrawer slide supportsCarcase railsBack panel(Melamine)WBlocking is requiredto position levelersfor accessibility.LowerailFace Frame DetailsFrame-and-panelassemblyVt" reveal(Left side)Face framefiop View)frame that overhangs the sides ofthe carcase allows you to slip thecabinet into position without interference.Then you can scribe theface frame edges to follow the contoursof the wall.On the left side of my cabinel theface frame overhangs the carcase illto provide cover for the front edge ofthe frame-and-panel assembly that'sinstalled over the carcase side, andallow a L/+tt reved. (Face FrameDetails). A reveal hides minor irregularitiesin the fit between the faceframe and the carcase. The rightside of my face frame also overhangsthe carcase by lr. Thoughexcessive for scribing - /2rr is plenty- keeping the face frame symmetricalmakes all layout and assemblysteps much easier.Another note about face frameconstruction concerns the insidestiles. Tb make drawer fitting easier,I prefer to position these piecesso the edge facing the drawers isflush with the surface of the divider.Speaking of dividers, if a cabinetisn't properly designed, you couldend up with a divider interferingwith the sink's drop-in location. Sohave the sink. and all hardware forthat matter, on hand to avoid makingthis kind of mistake.Finally, a word about height.Typical bathroom cabinets are 33rltall, which puts the countertop surfaceabout 34'r off the floor (I)'picalVanity Dimensions). This is fine ifyou're of average heightorcompromising between many folks who'lluse the bathroom (as with a family).On the other hand, a vanity builtfor your height can make a real differencein the way your back andshoulders feel while using thecounter and sink. Try mocking up acountertop on saw horses andwood scraps to determine what theideal height is for you.TspicalVanitytt,1 |lr,jDimensio""llIThe ideal cabinetheight will allowyou to place yourpalms on thecounteftop whileyou are standing.What You'll Need*Lumber(l) 3/s'x 4 x8 sheet of cherry-veneered MDF(l) r/t'x 4 x8 sheet of melamine(34) bd. ft. of3/+ttthick cherry(45) lin. ft. of r/2" ,4rr soft maple or poplar(3) 8 ft. pieces of 1x4 pine or firHardware**(2) pairs of partial wrap around, no mortise hinges(8) sets of Accuride full extension drawer slides(10) knobs(4) cabinet lifting levelers(22)#8x 2rr flat-head wood screws(6) #8 r 1Vlrr flat-head wood screws(32)#8 xilr flat-head wood screws*Your design may call for other material and hardware indifferent quantities.**All hardware is available from RocklerWoodworking and Hardware (I-80G279.M4L).\Torkbench r January/February 199933


-Valance DetailNoTE: All hardware and lights are fromBockler Woodwo*ing and Hardware (1-800-279-M41)Valance Assembly$'ffi:**:'Valance assemblyrests onmedicine cabinets.Upper Storage CabinetMedicineCabinetFace frameFrame-and-panel doorI--.NoTE: Adjustable shell edges arebanded with solid stock,Fixed bottom panelIFEISide panelAdj.ShelvesLower StorageCabinetFixed boftom panel' Frame-and-panel assembly plus face frame.N0TE: Ihis construction was necessary in our bathroom remodel.Your site requirements may vary.


Cutting Sheer GoodsMuch of your effort building builtincabinets will be spent handlingand cutting sheet goods.Full sheets of MDF or plywoodare heavy and awkward to handle,so ifs easy to make mistakes. Eventhe best woodworkers have troublewith them.Tb get clean cuts without tearout,ifs important to use a sharp bladewith 50 or more teeth, maintain asteady rate of feed, and keep thestock pressed against the fencethroughout the cut.If you have ouffeed supports foryour table saw, I recommend youfirst cut pieces for your projectoversize by \/tr, then fim the panelsto final size once they're lighterand easier to handle (CarcaseElevations). Anyone who lacksouffeed supports can cut the oversizepanels with a portable circularsaw, then move to the table saw forthe final trimming.After cutting the panels to sizeyou'll want to cut the dadoes andrabbets. Even though you can getby with butt joints in this project, Ilike having dadoes and rabbetsbecause they offer big advantagesPlacing shims (metal,plastic, or even paper) betweenblades allows you to fine-tune thewidth of the dado cut.when it comes time to assemblethe carcase. Joints that go togetherin an abvious way help make theassembly less awkward and a lotmore foolproof.For dado joints, getting a snug fitis the key. So it's best to resist anyimpulse to install a 3[rlwide dadoblade and go to work. Instead, measurethe thickness of the panelsand setup your dado blade tomatch. With a wobble-type dadoblade, just dial the hub to that size.Astack dado blade mayrequire theuse of shims (above). Here again, asharp blade is a plus, and you canalso minimize tearout by puttingmasking tape over the line of cut.For crisp dadoes, keep the panel's edgefirmly prcssed against the funce as yousteadily push the stock thrcugh the blade.It's always wise to make test cutsto ensure a good fit at dado joints.Once you know your saw sefup isdead-on, you can confidently goahead and cut dadoes in the bottomand side panels (Figure l),then switch to a Vtrr-wide dadoblade and cut the rabbet along theback edge of each side panel.Roils, then AssemblyBefore you assemble the plywoodpanels to make the carcase, cutstock to size for the carcase rails. Iuse less expensive secondaryCarcase ElevationsF_1e%(FrontView)s1,,#Rear Rail%"-wide x i/+'Ldeep rabbetI19"I34 \Torkbench r January/February 1999


A saber saw makes quick and easy wolk ofcutting he nfrhes in he divider panels,ftough a handsaw can do the job, bo.Make surc you squarc the dividen b thecarcase rails before drilling countenunkpilot holes,Afbr sprcading glue in the dadoes, put the panels togetherand drive screws inb all the joinb. The scrcws will drawthe panels tightogether without the need fur clamps.woods (pine, fir or poplar) for hiddenparts like these. Once you'vecut the rails, lay out and cut thenotches in the dividers to fit them(Figure 2).fuiother set of pieces machinedfrom secondary wood is the drawerslide supports. These piecesposition the slides so they pass bythe outside stiles of the face frame.By cutting the front supports sothey're 34" shy of the top end ofthe side panels, you'll be able torest the front carcase rail on themto make strong, rigid connections.Assembly SequenceNow comes a step overeagerwoodworkers often skip becausethey think it's a nuisance.Whenever I'm faced with a complexglue up, I first put everythingtogether without glue to makesure all the pieces fit as theyshould. Who wants to discover amistake when you've got glue dripping from all the joints? Evenworse, that glue is setting from themoment it leaves the bottle, andany delay could jeopardize thestrength of the joints or make it difficultto draw the joints tight.Step 1: Slip the dividersinto the dadoes in the bottompanel and drill pilotholes for the screws.So without using glue, put all thecarcase parts together (see theAssembly Sequence below).Make sure you check everythingfor square as you proceed, especiallythe rail-to-divider joints. Clampthe carcase and drill countersunkpilot holes for all screws that willreinforce the joints (Figure 3).When you're confdent your assemblychecks out, take the carcaseapart, spread glue in the joints,then reassemble it all in the sameorder. Drive the screws after checkingagain for square (Figure ).Sbp 2:Position the side panels on the endsof the boftom panel, then drill pilotholes for the screws. Glue andscrew the rear drawer slide supportsto the side panels (their back edgesshould be flush with the rabbet shoulders inthe side panels). Add the rear rail to the assembly,check for square, and drill pilot holes for the screws.Step 3:front drawer slide supportsto the side panels (front edgesshould be flush). Position the front rail,check for square, then drill the pilot holes.Sfip the toe kick into position - 2L/c'back fromthe front edge of the side panels - and drill pilot holes.'Workbench I January/February 1999 35


Face Frame ElevationsJoinery Detail,r,,\*-tzw1Y2" I zy2" I| 1y4, | |Yrllilob: Make allbnom ilt" longand 1/l" UtlckDrawer rail. r3/t"t.l1"Face Frame Key1.- tyr"Once you've laidout the motises,clamp a fence byour drill presstable, set the depttrstop, and borc outas much of thewaste as you can.Gut each bnoncheek and shoulderwih a 1+'-widedado blade, guidingthe stock with themibr gauge andfence. Mounting awood hce will prctectthe ftnce fiomthe blade.Moke the Fqce FrqmeFace frame consfuction may lookcomplicated because there are somany parts, but I assure you it'snot. All it really boils down to iscareful layout and repetitivemachining steps (Face FrameElevations).I chose to use mortise-andtenonjoinery for making myframe. This joint is very strong andprovides the frame with great resistance against racking, a quality therelatively weak plywood carcasedesperately needs. Shoulderedtenons are especially beneficial inthis respect, and also cover slightA couple of chisels- a nanow onetur the width of themortise and awider blade forparing the sides - imperfections in the fit of the joints.make quick work There are two joints in this proof mortise cleanup. ject that have only one shoulder.They're located wherethe upper rail meets theoutside stiles (JoineryDetail). Had I left thetop end of these mortisesenclosed, in time thefittle bits of wood therewould probably havebroken out.Since ifs easier to cuttenons than it is to formmortises, I always com-plete the mortises first, then fit thetenons to them. Use a drill pressand a 3Aorr-dia. bit to clear most ofthe mortise waste, making sure tobore the holes Vrorr deeper thanthe length of the tenons (Figure5). This ensures the tenons won'tbottom out when fitted in the mortises.Use chisels to complete themortises (Figure 6).Now you can form tenons to fit,which is easily done on the tablesaw with a dado blade (Figure 7).Just be sure to cut test tenons inscrap stock until you perfect thesaw setup. With these tenons youcan cut the cheeks (the front andback faces) and the shoulders (theedges) with one saw setup.When gluing up the rails andstiles, check for square and makesure the assembly lies flat - aframe twisted duringthe glueupwillbecome difficult to work with.Once the glue dries and yousand all the joints flush, glue theface frame to the carcase. Be sureto check the carcase for squareand position the face frame carefully - it would be a shame toshortchange any well plannedoverhang, especially a reveal.36 W'orkbench I January/February 1999


Drawer Construction ViewWith a V+'-widedado blade, cutgrcoves fur thejoinb (sidesonly) and thebottom (sides,fiont, and back).DrawerJointDetail= vz, f-/.'+| l 1BottomGrooveDetailKeep the VlLwidedado blade raisedVl"bfoim thebngue at each endof the drawer fiontand back, Cut abst bnon first bget the fit dght.SHALLOW DAWER DIMENSIONS:FronVback Zz" x 4" x 10Y2" (soft maple)Sides: /2" x 4" x 18" (soft maple)Bottom:7+" x10/2" x 1772" (melamine)Fafse front 3/+" x 43A" x 1178' (cherry)DEEP DRAWER DIMENSIONS:Fronllback:l2" x7lz" x 10/2" (soft maple)Sides:'/2" x 7Vz" x 18" ($oft maple)Bottom: 7n" x 10V2" x 1772" (melamine)Fafse front 34" x7/a" x 117/e" (cherrylDrowers Are Next iliary wood face clamped to yourDrawers mounted on slides expe table saw fence (Figure 11).rience little resistance or wear, so Raise the blade to rL/rcn (fsr 3/arthicktongue-and-groove joints are finehere (Drawer Joint Detail). stock), and trim all fouredges of each false front. SandingSize the drawer parts first makingsure to allow for the slides - is easy with a sanding block and Use a positioning jig (scraplywood will do fine) b supportoff the small "tongues" that remainthe Accuride slides I used require 100 gdt paper. With this system I the drawer slides while you ddve the mounting scrcws.l/zu of space on each side of the get perfect Vro" gaps every time.drawer. Then machine the joints The consistency of the false(Figures 8 and 9). Since you havethe dado blade installed, cut thegrooves for the bottom at the sametime (Bottom Groove Detail).Installing the slides is a snap ifyou make a plywood positioningjig that locates the slides exacflywhere you want them in the cabinetfront sizing makes fitting them inthe cabinet very easy. With thedrawer boxes installed, put double-facetape on the back surfaceof each false front. Next. set theminto the openings without pressingthem againsthe drawers, and slippennies into position to center(Figure 1O). Starting with the each front in an opening (Figure Tdm %0" off each false fiont edge (blade raisedhighest location, install the slides, 12). When everything's set, press 1Yro9, then sand off what rcmains (inset phffi).then trim the jig for the next highestthe false fronts to the drawers solocation. and so on.When it comes to cutting and fittinginset drawer false fronts Ihave a couple of tips to offer. Tobegin with, instead of trying to calculatea consistent gap aroundeach false front, cut your fronts tothe tape holds. Now you canpull out the drawer assembliesto drill pilot holes for thescrews and knob hardware.Position the false front thathides the sink using the techniquedescribed above, thenOnce ifs posfioned,put prcssurc on thefalse fiont so thedouble-face hpeholds. Then pull thefit the face frame openings exactly screw blocks into place that drawer asembly out- don't forget to cut a front for overlap the back of this piece b ddll pilot holes andhiding the sink. Then bury all but[6rr of the blade's edge in an auxandthe face frame.pemanently mount$e fionb wiilr scrcws.'W'orkbenchr January/Febnnry 1999 37


Frame-and-PanelConstruction ViewTop rail@0ubidestle@stlle(B l-Oubidestile@eodom ra[@,f'i 'llFrame-and-Panel Elevation


Door Construction Viewstile@Top rail @Panel@scribing is the valuable*fiQskill thatmakes this possible.The first step is to level the cabinetin its installed position (Figure16). The leveling hardware in myvanity made this a snap. All I had toafter everything is assembled, all do was slip a screwdriver throughexposed areas will appear uniform. the access holes (drilled in the bottompanel) and turn the machineAnd one more thing. Never gluesolid wood panels in the grooves. If screws. Shimming the bottomyou do, the panels may crack as edges of the cabinet also works.changes in humidity occur. Once the cabinet is level, setyour compass for the widest gapFinql Detqilsbetween the face frame's edge andSecure the frame-and-panelthe wall, then mark the contour ofassembly to the carcase by driving the wall on the stile (Figure 17).screws from inside the cabinet. Now shape the face frame edge toMake sure you screw into the this line using a block plane andassembly's frame, not the panels, cabinet files. A belt sander will alsoor you may restrict the panels' abilityto move once again.steady, seasoned hand. Anglingdo the job, though it requires aA gapless installation is one sign the edge back a few degrees willof genuine craftsmanship, and make the final fitting easier.Complete the scribing steps, thenreposition the cabinet and screw itto the wall studs (Figure 18).Countertop choices abound, andtheir installation requirementsvary. I chose a solid surface materialcalled Galaxy (shown above),manufactured by Avonite (1-800-428-6648) and supplied by NorthStar Services (1-800-383-9784).Solid-surface countertops lookgreat and are easy to maintain.But, they're available only to certifiedpros who machine and installthem for you.Understanding how to build abase cabinet will help you designand build built-ins throughoutyour home. The methods I'vedescribed aren't the only options,but they're tried and true, andoffer great results using just a fewcommon tools. UWih the cabinet in position, adjusthe lwelinghardwarc (or shim the cabinet level).Then you can scribe the face fiame.Use a compass b transfer the conbun ofhe wall b the face fiame stile. Then shapethe stile's edge b the line fur a scdbed fit.After scribing the face frame, reposition the cabinet againstthe wall, check it for level, and drive scrcws thrcugh the sidepanel and back nil into the studs. Use shims to fill the gaps.'Workbench r January/February 1999 39


Recessed StorgeCabinetT12Y2"l40Fixed top panel'Dividers letinto /+"-deep dadoes.Fixedbottom panelDividerDetailW'orkbench I January/February 1999More BathroomCabinet IdeasN0TE: All panels made of 34"-thick veneered MDF.Band exposed edges 0f panels with solid stock.In a typical bathroom, the basecabinet is the center of attention.But as far as cabinetrygoes, there's no reason youhave to stop there. ln my bathroomI managed to fit in five more cabinetsfor lots of o


KitchenCabinetRetrofit*-* -JS--ry #l:!1, .,.-t='--.,..,My kitcken basecabinets looked great onthe outside, but that tidy facadeconcealed an unrwly jwrnble of potsand appliances. This rness was duein large part to the cabinets'inaccessibility.The stile dividing eachopening made it awkward to get inand out of the cabinets, and havingto get down on my knees to see intothe unlit cabinets was always a pain.Despite their shortcomings,though, these cabinets were wellmade,and less than five years old.So replacing them would have beencostly andwasteful. Thatleft me puzzlingover mv onlv remalningoption - retrofitting them withpull-out trays. There's nothingexceptional about this solution, butthe way I built them is unique.You see, I built a box to fit neatlyinto the cabinet compartment,then I built two slideout travs to fitthe box (Retrofit ConstructionView). This approach allowed meto do nearly all the work in theconvenience of my shop, avoidingthe trouble of hauling tools to thekitchen and turning it into a constructionzone. I also avoidedspending most of one day strugglinginside the tight, dark quartersof the cabinet - the fateawaiting me had I site-built thetrays in the usual piecemeal way.42 Workbench I January/Feb ruary 1999


Retrofit Construction ViewBottom spacer@FulFextension slide(Accuride Series 3832, 20")A Big OpeningI began by carefully sawing thestile from the cabinet. Then Isanded its ends and attached it toone door (Figure 1). This techniquespared me from having tomatch the finish on a new piece ofwood. However, your cabinets maynot lend themselves to thisapproach, in which case you'llhave to make a piece from scratch.Now measure the height of theopening and the cabinet's insidedepth, allow 1,/rorr clearance bothways, and cut the box sides to size.To get the length of the foursfretchers, measure the width ofthe opening, subftact the thicknessof the two sides you just cut,and take off L/rctt for clearance.Mock up the assembly and drillcountersunk pilot holes so you canscrew the box together (Figure 2).Then test-fit the box in the cabinet- a perfect fit will allow a little playas the box passes through theopening. Provided the fit checksout okay, back out the screws, addglue to the joints, then send thescrews home permanently.While the glue sets up, installspacers in your cabinet (ifyou havea faceframed cabinet) to fill thegaps between the cabinet sides andbottom, and the box (Figure 3).With my cabinets, the side spacersended up 3/nrr thick and the bottomspacers were t/+tt thick. Yourcabinets may require spacers ofdifferent thicknesses.Materials Listlnsert Box:A (2) Side panelsB (4) StretchersC (4) Side spacersD (2) Bottom spacersl/zn ,23t ,2lr/zr3/ar x 2r/2n x 26t3/q' ,3'" 2|1/zx7/4tt x 3tt , 17r/+tTrays:E (2) Fronts3/atr xlr/2n x2SnF (4) Sidesr/z' ,2r/zu ,221/2"G (2) Backs L/zn r24r/ztl"2t1rnH (2) Bottoms r/an x221/an "24r/ztHadware:(2) Slide sets Accuride #3832,2011(18) Flat-head screws#8" lr/qtl(8) Flat-head screws#8x illAftercmoving the stile, screw it b theback of one cabinet door. lt will fill the gapbetvtreen fte doon when ftq/re closed,Scrcry $e box bgether (no gue) and slip itinb he cabinet b double check ib widtr,height, and depth - a little play is ideal.Using #8 x 1'flat head scnws, fasbnspacen b he cabinet, To awid splitting,Rrst ddll counbnunk pilot holes.W'orkbench r January/Feb ruary' 199943


Slide Mounting DetailsPosition upper slidebased on height ofitems stored below.I


Box Instqllofton'With the trays installed, you're justabout home free - mounting thecompleted retrofit assembly inyour cabinet is the quickest andeasiestpart of this project. Removethe trays to make the box lighterand to give you full access. Stdethe box into the cabinet and makesure it's seated firmly against allthe spacers (Figure 5). Thendrive screws through the box intoeach spacer (Figure 6). When thebox is secure, install the hays byreconnecting the slide halves. Ihad the entire installation done inabout 10 minutes.Following one more check onthe fray slide operation, the laststep in the project is remountingthe cabinet doors (that is, if youeven had to remove the doors at allfor this project). This should be asimple operation since the hingescan be remounted using the originalscrew holes, though you mayhave to adjust the hinges slightlyto get the stile into just the rightSfide the box into the cabinet - your spacen should cenbr Ddve two #$xl\c'screws trrough trethe box in the opening, Too much play? Try spot-gluing box sldes inb each side spacer b anchorpaper shims (playrng cads arc ideal) on the spacels. the bor In fte cabinet.orientation. I'm pleased to say that,with the doors closed on mv cabinet,ifs hard to tell the stile wasever removed and reattached.I was even more pleased afterloading the ffays. Gone are thedays of getting down on my kneesand reaching awkwardly into thecabinet to hunt in the dark forsome hard-to-find item.Based on this success I built apair of trays to go under mykitchen sink (Under-Sink TrayConstruction View). Althoughthis system is different in severalrespects from the first, I'm includingit as an idea that may be bettersuited to some of your kitchen cabinets.The basic tray conshuctionis the same, but the cabinefs stilestays intact. A cleat mounted to thecabinet floor behind the stile supports the inboard-mounted slides.As home improvement projectsgo, installing trays ranks high onmy impact scale. It transforms adaily hassle into a pleasant task.Cost, in terms both of hours andmoney spent, is low - a rare combinationindeed. In time, I'll addsimilar trays to all my kitchenbase cabinets.tfUnder-Sink Tray Construction ViewCleat coverT+"x1lz" x18"Vz" x2Vz" x16lz"Center cleatl/2"x21/4"x18"NOTEI Water supply anddrain lines may affecttray location and size.Full extension sllde(Accudde Sedes 3832, 16")Workbench r January/February 1999 45


ta-/,n-rf t.rt-nL)-t/,.7Jf t-nat"po, raw cutting Power and hair-splittingL' accucracy, you just can't beat a cabinetsaw. With massiae cast iron tables andthree belts driuing the blade, they alsocruise along as smoothly as ylur AuntSally's big ol' Buick on a, stretch offresh blacktop. It's no wonder this type of sawholds sway as the top tool in most woodworkingshops. Unforfunately, these saws also seem totake on car{ike dimensions when you try to parkone in a small shop. And take it to a job site?Don't even think about it!For small shops or on-site work, benchtop tablesaws provide a compact, lighter-weight, andaffordable alternative to their bigger cousins. Byusing a circular saw universal motor for powerand substituting aluminum and plastic for castiron and steel, manufacturers whittle the weightand dimensions down to portable proportions.But we wondered just what you sacrffice for thesmaller package, so we put six popular l0rrbenchtopsaws through their paces. Rather than workthe saws over with a micrometer to measuremachining tolerances, we concentrated more onusing the saws the way you might - ripping andcrosscutting framing stock and sheet goods.In generating piles of sawdust, we found ouranalysis logically broke into four main categories:table tops, motors, fences, and controls. Andwhile there's no denying these sawsoffer compact portability, we foundcompromises in each of these areasthat directly affect performance.less Weight, More VibrotionVibration was the single biggest problemwe encountered. The heaw castirontop on a stationary saw - cabinet and contractor'salike - provides a flat, stable cuttingsurface that absorbs vibration like a sponge. Thesaws tested have cast aluminum tops which lackthe heft to soak up vibration.Similarly, the cast-iron arbor support assemblyon stationary saws holds the blade steady in relationto the top, and trunnions lock it solidly in anupright or tilted position. In the Delta, Skil, andPro:Tbch benchtop saws, the motor mounts to astamped steel saddle that pivots on a pin to raiseand lower the blade. We found that these bracketsflexed during cuts, adding to the vibration.\Torkbench r January/February 1999 47


i__!i;;ri;,.,uri5Motor RPM: .ffi e;i40 lbs ,3"@9O";z1/2" @ 45"\;iWarrantlr:about $180) Wtren we tried to raise the blade onthe Delta, we got a surprise - the crankhas a left-hand thread so you turn it"backwards" (counterclocltwise) to raisethe blade. The tilt-lock lever was alsoawltward to operate,The DeWalt, Hitachi, and Makitasaws' motors mount to a cast aluminumbracket that rides up anddown on a pair of tracks or rods.These saws felt more solid - andsafer - and their beefier motormounts definitely reduced vibration,though they still lacked contractor-sawsmoothness. While thesix saws' price fags reflect thesedifferences. we found other factorsworth considering.Testing frcm the Top DownExcept for some minor assemblyand adjustments, these saws cameout ofthe box ready to run - eventhe blades were installed. Weadded the hand cranks. bladeguards, and assembled the fences,then checked the factory settingsand made necessary adjustments.As mentioned, all the saws havecast aluminum tops, primarily toretain strength while reducingweight. Most of thesaws have ribs or anopen gridwork moldedinto the top for sawdustclearance.Only the DeWalt hasa continuous, smoothsurfacedtop, part ofthe reason this sawweighs almost 65 lbs.- the most of any sawtested. In addition.DeWalt gives thisheavy-duty top a nonstickcoating similar tothat found on fryingpans. Boards glideover it, though, forsafety's sake, there were times thesurface was a little too slick.Makita makes its top with slightlyraised ribs running parallel withthe blade, and the aluminum surfacehas a smooth coating so woodslides easilv across it.A Ddu mounb the motor to a stamped steel bracketthat hinges on a pivot pin. This bncket and similarones on the Skil and PpTech can't prcvent vibration.The Hitachi has a three-pieceribbed top - a lgY2rlwide centersection and two 71/4tt-$nde wingscreatingthe widest cutting surfaceat 34rr. But its finish was rough andthe sections were hard to align andkeep level during assembly.48\Torkbench r January/February 1999


The onepiecebrushed aluminum topson the Delta, Skil, and ProTech givethe illusion of wings with a gridworkof openings along either side. Theseholes prevent sawdust from accumulating,but also can pinch yourfingers when adjusting the fence.One additional feature worth notingis the throat insert. Only DeWaltand Makita use a taditional throatplate that fits completely around theblade and adjusts flush with thetable. The rest have small, rectangularplates that fit only along theright side of the blade, leaving gapsthat can catch your workpiece.While dado inserts are available,the maximum dado width for all buttwo saws is l/zu or less - theDeWalt and Makita accept a dadoset 13/1utt-*16".Circulor Sqws qt HeortManufacturers keep these sawscompact by using the same type ofdirect-drive universal motor foundin helical-gear ("sidewinder")portable circular saws. The motorsin most of the saws are rated at 13amps, although Makita and Hitachiuse beefier 15-amp motors.When you throw the switch onany ofthese saws, prepare yourselffor an awakening - the highpitchedmotor slams the blade toA The rack-andpinionfence onthe DeWalt isexcellent, rivalinghigh-priced aftermarketfencesavailable for contractorsaws.A OeWatt molds a handyblade and wrench storagerccess inb the base.operating speed in a fraction of asecond. It's a jarring contrast tothe quiet belt-driven inductionmotor, like the one in a cabinet orcontractor's saw, that spins theblade smoothly up to speed.Butwhenyou furn off mosttablesaws, including the belt-driven varieties,momentum keeps the bladeAmps:VoltsrMotor RPM:Dimensions:265/e"W x 221/q,D * 't3,,p1, )r,Weight:64 lbsStandard Blado: :goT car"bieilb'Depth of Cut: 3y8" @ 90"2L/4," @ 45"'|Rip Capaclty; ,,r;,, ;,i; "(Right of Blade) 24yz'(Left of Blade)':'" I:5y2nWarranty:2 yrsFactory Settings: Minoradjustments needed to 90"stop, blade, and fence.Street Price: about $5OOspinning for several seconds - stillplenty of time for an accident tooccur even though the saw is "off."That's why our testers appreciatedthe electric blade brakes found onboth the Makita and Hitachi saws.The brake in the Hitachi was especially positive in halting the bladeonce the power was shut off.'WorkbenchI January/February 199913, rd6li3,65049


S{ The C10RA has a T-slot miter gauge,but the slots have tabs instead of a continuousgroove. This makes it difficultoalign the blade parallel to the miter slot.{ To adjustheblade tilt, push inthe height adjustmentcrank toengage a rack-andpiniongear system.Onc engaged, turningthe crank will tiltthe blade.Amps:Volts:Motor RPM:Dimensions:34,'W x 2Ir/8'DWeight:Blade:Depth of Cut:Rip Capacity:(Right of Blade)(Left of Blade)Warranty:151155,OOOx I21/e"H56 lbs(w/o stand)36T Carbide3" @ 90"2r2" @ 45"74y2"741/2"2 yrsFactory Settings: Adjustmentsneeded to 90" & 45" stops, blade,and fence.Street Price: about $3OO (w/stand)To test the saws' power, wemounted identical SGtooth combinationblades on each saw andripped 8/4 oakand "wet" pressuretreated2x stock. While we had toslow our feed rate, none of thesaws stalled or tripped the resetbutton. However, as mentionedearlier, the Delta, Pro-Tech, andSkil saws vibrated when we rippedthe oak. In fact, the Skil chatteredso badly we bought a second sawto confirm our test, and the resultswere the same.Because the motor bracket inthese three saws pivots on a singlemounting point, the bracket canflex. Under load, this flexingallows the blade to "bounce" upand down slightly, creating arough cut and a dangerous situationfor the operator.Chances are you won't be ripping much 8/4 oak, and thesethree saws did perform somewhatbetter on the pressure-treatedstock. You can improve that performanceeven more by investingin a decent thin-kerf blade whenyou buy the saw. Just don't expectto rip a clean edge.Fences Run the GqmulWhen DeWalt introduced theDW744 nearly two years ago, thefence system was like nothing elseon the market. and that's still thecase today. It locks solidly with aflip of a lever, and the rack-and-pinionadjustment lets you dial in thewidth you want - all the way outto an amazing 24r/zu rip capacitythat is unmatched in this class.50 \Torkbench r lanuary/Februarv 1999


Amps:Volts:Motor RPM:Dimensions:27"W xWeight:Blade:Depth of Cut:151 15 l*s4,60022"D x It7/8"H40 lbs36T Carbide3eha" @ 9021/2' @ 45"Rip Capacity:(Right of Blade) 12(Left of Blade) t2Warranty:I yrFactory Settings: Minoradjustments needed to fence.Street Price: about $325D ttre Makib's mobrmounbbacasthousingthat ddes up and downon steel rcds. This dgidq6tem prcduced littlevibration andoperabd verysmodily.All the other saw fences lack afine adjustment feafure - you simplynudge them into position withyour hand. The Makita 2703 has awell-built fence with a positivelocking cam lever, but the fixedscale indicator means you mustslide the rule attached to the tableto fine-fune the scale setting.Delta includes a steel-bodiedfence that stays square and locksfirmly in place. Though similar indesign to Delta's, the fences on theSkil and Pro-Tbch saws have aluminumbodies. We found it difficultto keep these fences parallel tothe blade. And the fence lockingcam on the Pro-Tech saw had atendency to creep loose - anaggravating and potentially dangerousflaw.Hitachi uses an older stylescrew-down clamping system onits aluminum fence. The handlesticksstraightout, wherecan catch your clothing and get inyour way. The fence also won'tslide smoothly unless the extensionwings are perfectly aligned -a task not easily accomplishedsince the support braces tend to"twist" the wings when you tightenthe wing mounting bolts.Confrols Need AftentionAll the saws have similar cuttingcapacities at 90' and 45", but thequality of the controls you use toraise and tilt the blade varies greafly.To raise the blade, all the sawsemploy a crank handle. These handlesall turned relatively freely,until we tried the Delta saw. It hasa left-handed thread so you turnthe crank counterclockwise toraise the blade. When weI The outerim of the heightadjustment crank turns independentlyand operates the Makita's blade tilt.unpacked it, the crank had beenturned clockwise until the mechanismhad jammed, requiring awrench to loosen the retaining nut.Once free, the crank operatedsmoothly, but I invariably forgotwhich way was "up" - a smallproblem, but one that kept cropping up every time I used the saw.Delta's not alone, however,when it comes to "backward" controls.The tilt-lock lever on the SkilW'orkbench I January/Febrrary 19995r


Amps:Volts:Motor RPM:Dimensions:6"WxWeight:Blade:Depth of Cut:Rip Capacity:(Right of Blade)(Left of Blade)Warranty:137204,800I75/8"Dxl-l-t/4"H40 lbs44T steel3" @ 90"2r/2" @ 45Lrl/4"l-Lr/4,1yrFactory Settings: Minor adjustmentsneeded to 45" stop andfence.Street Price: about $1403400 has a left-hand thread sowhen you think you're tighteningthe ratcheting handle, it's actuallygetting looser (There are arrowsshowing which way is tight, buthabit and instinct are hard to overcome.)To compound the problem,the lever's also too long, so it'seasy to bang your knuckles intothe underside of the top.Adjusting the blade tilt on mostof the saws, including the DeWalt,is an inexact science at best. Youloosen the lock and manually pullthe carriage into position. Just asthey offer more power and a bladebrake, Hitachi and Makitaaddress this shortcoming.A On-Uoard storage for the miter gauge dle switch on the DeWalt as anand wrenches were nice additions to the excellent safety feature. You canPro-Tech 4106.flick it off with a quick swipe ofyour hand - important if you wantHitachi gives you a crank adjustmentfor tilt, but requires you toto shut things down in a hurry.push the spring-loaded crank handleinward to engage rack-and-piniongears. Loosen your grip andthe handle pops back out at you.Makita offers the best solution- an independent crank adjustmentthat fits around the outside ofthe blade height crank. It also usesrack-and-pinion gears like theHitachi, but the action is quicker,smoother, and easier to operate.Switch placement varied fromsaw to saw, but all were readilyaccessible. While some of theswitches are too small for my liking,I can single out the large pad-A The fence stores neatly under the top. Inoperation, the Pro-Tech's cam-lever fencelocking mechanism was prone to creep loose.Miter GougesFor the most part, the miter gaugesfor these saws are too light, tooshort, and fit sloppily in the tablegrooves. Only the DeWalt saw isbuilt to accept a full-size 3['Lwidemiter gauge bar (and standardaccessoriesuch as featherboardsand hold-downs).Delta and Hitachi provide T-slotmiter gauges, but the HitachiC1ORAs table doesn't have continuousslots. Instead, sections oftheslot sides are bent upward. Thesetabs keep the miter gauge from tipping up, but they catch the end of52'Vorkbench r January/Feb ruary 1999


the bar and make it difficult to usethe slot to align the blade.The angle scales on all thegauges are coarse, but then youshouldn't consider using thesesaws for cutting precision-fit miters.Delta and DeWalt do provideadjustable stops for 90' and 45'.Should You Buy One?The greatest benefit these sawsoffer is portability. Their compactnessand light weight makes themwell-suited for job site work, especiallyif you have to use a car ortruck to reach the project. Andbenchtop saws will get the jobdone. With any saw we tested youcan rip, miter, crosscut, and performany standard table saw operationyou could want.If, however, you're after a saw forbuilding furniture or doing precisetrim carpentry, I suggest lookingseriously at a contractor's saw.These benchtop saws are okay forrougher work, but generally theylack the accuracy to produce consistentlyfine cuts, especially thethree lower priced models.Among the six saws we looked at,the nod has to go to DeWalt. But I'dhave to think long and hard aboutspending that much money for abenchtop tool. Its fence and rippingcapacity put it in a class by itself, butat roughly $500, it also costs threetimes what the Pro-Tech. Skil. andDelta saws sell for. One fellow in ourshop said buying the DeWalt wouldbe much easier to justif if the pricewas closer to $400.The Makita 2703 provides anothersolid option even though it fallsshort of the DeWalt in overall performance.The model tested wasan early production version with aA Blade alignmentand tilt stopscrews are easilyaccessible fromabove on the Skiland several othersaws.I The tong lever and left-handthreads made the the Skil's tilt lockdifficulto operate."suggested retail price" of $349. Ifthe street price is $325 or less, Ithink you'll get a lot for yourmoney with the Makita.Despite having a great motor,blade brake, and a nice blade tiltfeature, the Hitachi falls short ofthe mark. To be in the hunt, thissaw needs a better-designed, onepiecetop and an improved fence.The benchtop saw category isstill young, so it's likely innovationsare yet to come. Though I doubtperformance will ever match that oftheir cast-iron cousins, these sawsare sure to find a place in many toolarsenals, mostly as job-site saws forremodeling pros andhome improvemententhusiasts.tMAmps:Volts:Motor RPM:Dimensions:265/e"w xWeight:Blade:Depth of Cut:Rip Capacity:(Right of Blade) 12(Left of Blade) 12Warranty:I yrFactory Settings: Minor adjustmentsneeded to 90" and 45"stops.Street Price: about $160t


BenchtopSaw StationOur reuiew of benchtof table saws sti,rred up some debateand plenty of nostalgia among the Workbench staff. Someof us came into the craft when names like Oliuer and Yates-American still aPpeared on machinery dealer i,naotces.These industrial-duty iron workhorsesdripped with horsepowerand heft, and woodworkers luckyenough to use them quickly gotspoiled. Who cared that they outweighedthe average merchantship and cast a shadow the size ofWisconsin?Now, in the wisdom that onlymiddle age and a benchtop sawtest can bring, we've realized castiron comes at a price. No one candismiss the classic smoothnessheavy metal provides, but theextra pounds sure snuff any hopesof having a truly portable machine.But light weight also bringscompromises. The six compactsaws we tested (see page 46) alluse plastic composites and aluminumto keep weight down, andeach offers portability and reasonableperformance for the cost. Thebenefits are genuine, but the saws'limitations still ride shotgun.We can't boost their horsepoweroutput, but this workstation helpscure some of the other shorffalls.First, the retractable ouffeed supports lend a hand for both ripping>4W'orkbench I January/Febrrary 1999


Wheel block1" x3lz" x 4"Saw Station Conshuction ViewLocking pin (1),'%x3"Turntable (1)3/4" x26" x26"_ _:(plywood).//12" lazy susanEnd cap (1) -\bearing (1)Tray bottom%" x4" x151/2"eE-et/ Saw mountingbolts (4)s7r5', x 21/z',.- Ye" Fender Washers (8), Baseplate (1)(plywood)Nylon glides (4)0utfeed supportassemblies (2)See page 59Snw SrRrroruA kit has been assembled for thisproject that includes the requiredfasteners. hardware. UHI\{Wplastic, and casters.Order number3310100......... S54.95To order. call Workbench at{800) 31 1-3994.tIlfD-\".-r:Ir&IIF,,,tffcasters (2)AJ'/2Rail DetailsBaseplate support rails (4)1" x23/q" x24yz"4")Hex bolt (4)s7r6" x 2/2"(1" t 72"


It's easier to get accurate results in your frame assembly ifyou mark the dado layout on both rail simultaneously.Cul the Frqme JoineryFor consistency, I clamped theside rails together, inside faces up,way to set up the fence (or a jig) toindex each cut, so I lined up mylayout marks visually and guidedsupports as well (Tool TrayDetails). Some of these partsrequire a Varr-wide groove toand marked the dado locations on the stock using the miter gauge accepthe pegboard bottom of theboth at the same time (Figure 2). (Figure 3). Note that near the tail tool tray - easily done with a fewMark the edges as well.Cutting the dadoes will introduceyou to another limitation ofend of each rail you need to cut adouble-wide (2rr) dado to accepttwo support rails.passes over a standard blade(Figure 5). In addition, you cancut rabbets in the wheel blocks tobenchtop saws - most accept a As long as you have the dado form the tongues (Figure 6).dado width of only abott 7/rc".That means it'll take three passesblade installed, you can use it to cutthe sawhorse notches in each rail. Assembling rhe Fromefor the 1rr-wide dadoes in the side But first, drill a Yzrr-dia. hole at the Once I had all the parts machinedrails. With the small table size of end of each notch layout, then for the frame, I set them in placebenchtop saws, there's no easy remove the waste between them - minus the tool tray and wheel(Figure 4). The radiused inside blocks - on my workbench andcorner this technique creates helps brushed glue in the dadoes in oneDouble-wide dadonear tail end.prevent splits from occurring. side rail. One piece at a time, II chose closet rod for the handle positioned the crossbraces, tableof the frame because the roundprofile allows me to shift my gripeasily while moving the workstationaround. For a secure mount, Icounterbored a 13/srr-dia. hole(Y+"-deep) in each side rail for therod, then drilled a Ysrr hole at eachcounterbore's center for a screw.Set the rails and handle aside fornow and cut your crossbraces tolength. You can cut stock for thetable support rails, the end cap,the wheel blocks, and the side trayTool Tray Detailssupports, and closet rod, anddrove screws through the siderails to secure them (Figure 7).With that done, I fastened all theparts for the tray assembly andadded the end cap (Figure 8).Building the Sow PlotformWithout a doubt, the most userfriendlyfeature on this workstationis the pair of ouffeed supports thathelp you handle long stock.Squeezing all the advantage out ofA small saw table makes it hard to set stops for the dadoes,so align the layout marls by eye and use the miter gauge.,t-\-l+" x%" I lllsroove I tllltllll1{11i2"IIT--ITlll# l'r"ilt !t2"1After drilling %" holes to define the ends of the sawhonenotches, cut the waste from the center with a dado blade.Cut a groove in the end cap and tray supportrail to accept the tool tray bottom.Attach a backup lence to the miter gaugeto cut the rabbeb on the wheel blocks.56'Workbench r January/February 1999


lthem, however, requires another Leave wheel blocla andinnovative feafure - a rotating saw tray eomponenls offmount that works for both rippingand crosscutting.Iary susan hardwaremakes it all possible.First, cut the plywood turntableand baseplate to size (Baseplateand Turntable Details). My 26ttsquareturntable is large enoughto hold any of the saws in our testgroup. Once the panels are cut tosize, draw diagonals on them tofind their center, then jigsaw a 4rrdia,hole around these points(Figure 9). The holes allow at Having all the crcss-memben of the frame nest in dadoes makes accurate assembly much easier. Justleast some of the sawdust to fall glue the ends into both rails, snug everything up with clamps, and drive screws to lock it all together.through, and they provide accessfor dust extraction if you want to As for the turntable, you'll needhook up a shop vacuum. to install bolts (with full-thread1\e lazy susan bearing is fairly shanks) for mounting your saw tostiff, but there can be some deflectionof the turntable along its out-the turntable in a way that makes itthe turntable. I fixed these bolts toside edges. To remedy this, I easy to remove and reinstall theinstalled a set of nylon glides - saw when necessary.one halfway along each edge ofthe You'll have to counterbore for thebaseplate - to provide extra sup bolt heads so they don't interfereport of the turntable.with the rotation of the turntable It's simpler to fit the tool tray assembly together fiom theSo far, so good. But here comes (Figure lO), then you can drill end, then fasten the end cap to close evefihing up.the hitch. 1\e lazy susan bearing through-holes for the T:nuts.creates a3/a" gap between the panels,but the pad on these nylonHammer a T-nut into each holeglides is only \/qn(from the top face of the pl1'wood), Drlll stader holethick. So you have then thread the bolts up from br jlg saw cut.to make up the difference some underneath and cinch them tighthow. My solution was to drop a pair with a socket wrench. These boltsof /rtt-1.6. fender washers over the are now fixed mounting studs, sonail shaft of each glide before drivingthem into the baseplate. them and add washers and nuts.later you can just fit the saw overThe only remaining step to completeon the baseplate in prepara-handy, bore the four 3/srr holes inWhile you've got your drilltion for the lazy susan is to drill the turntable - one at each cornermounting holes for the screws. - to accepthe locking pin. Jigsaw a hole in the center of each plywoodpanel for help with dust control.Baseplate and Turntable DetailsF- 24"---BaseplatetNylon glidewith washers( #8 x-attach2" woodscrews tobaseplate to frame.Il26"IlI-;)Iffrounting norcsJLZiI26"Isl6" nylon lock nutDrill counterbored holes in the undenide ofthe turntable for the saw-mounting bolb,s7r6" x2/2" full-thread bolt\Workbench I January/Feb rrary 799957


fnstalling the W Susan BearingAt first glance, lazy susan bearings prompt some head-scratching. lt appearsthat fastening one of the bearing plates blocks access to the other plate. Butif you look closely, you'll see some simple features that solve this problem.First, a plate'X'of the bearing has a smaller inner diameter, so its rimAPlate Xl((i( \,\\\VAccessPlate YAlion hole for lJatt^"n rnattachingto V baseplateturntable--: ---=---lLo first.extends inside plate'Y'. This provides clearance to get screws into its mountingholes. Second, the 'X' plate alsohas a larger 13/a"-dia.) access holethat lines up with the ring of mountingholes in plate 'Y'.Before the bearing is fastened toeither panel, you have to mark thelocation of this access hole on thefirst wood panel (in my case thiswas the baseplate) for drilling a 3/+"-dia. hole (Figure A). Once the holeis drilled, align the lazy susan ('X'side down) on the baseplate andfasten it (Figure B), then screw thebaseplate to the workstation frame.For the turntable to work properly,you need it centered exactly on thebaseplate. First, screw a pivotingstop block to the f ront baseplatesupport rail, then set the turntableagainst the block and clamp it flushwith the frame sides (Figure C).With the workstation supported on apair of sawhorses, the turntable willnest right where it's supposed towhile you drive the first mountingscrew through plate 'Y'from underneath(inset drawing below). Pivotthe stop block down and remove theclamp so you can rotate theturntable a quarter-turn. Replace theclamo and block to drive anotherscrew, then remove to spin the tableand drive the rest.Attach the tumtableby driving screwsthrcugh the accesshole in the baseplate(from below).Put Some Spin On lrWith the saw-mounting hardwareinstalled, it's time to give theturntable its final and biggestengineering boost - adding thelazy susan bearing. Minus thishardware, the plywood panels willstill rotate against each other withoutrequiring a Herculean effort,but I wanted something better.The easier it is to change fromcrosscutting to ripping, the morelikely I'll take advantage of this featureon a regular basis (Installingthe lnzy Susan Bearing).Adding Outfeed SupportThe final steps of this projectinvolve building and fitting the outfeedsupports (Out'eed SupportAssembly View). The frame ofeach support is a simple assemblyof glued and screwed butt joints. Toget close to the correct height, theframe stiles on the support assembliesshould be 4rr longer than theheight of your saw from base totable top. At the top of each frame abeveled strip of UHX/flV (ultra-highmolecular weight plastic, a densepolymer) provides a slick surfacefor workpieces to ride on. The finaltweaking of the UHMWs heighttoget the runners flush with thesaw table - is done by adding ashim. Both support assembliespivot down and out of the way whennot in use. This requires carefulinstallation - one at a time - toget the alignment right.First, add rest blocks to the siderails (Oufeed Support Detail).Then clamp the ouffeed supportassembly inside the frame andflush with its top edge (Figure 11).Using the predrilled holes in theside rails as a guide, drill throughthe ouffeed support frame (PivotDetail) and install the bolts, washers,and locking nuts that securethem. Tighten the nuts so that firmhand pressure is required to raiseand lower each assembly.Now you can swing the supportframe up and fit the pivot blocksagainst each stile. (Note that the58 W'orkbench r January/February 7999


-UHMW runner (2)3/a" 713/a" x237/s,,SupportAssemblyBevel at 3S".Note: UHMWis 3/+" thick.OuffeedSupport DetailsPivotDetail5" tiltNOTE: Stile length varieswith saw table height.Bottom brace (2)1,'x13/t" x21Va"blocks have a 5' taper to help balancethe support frames in the up1"A.l*-t7y/,__ 1position.) Use clamps for a test fit,then glue and screw the blocks to top face of each UHMW strip. Now at the right rear corner and intothe side rails. Repeat this procedurewith the second ouffeed sup-support frames (with the shims inclamp the UHMW in place on the the baseplate below. Now you canport assembly.between) and drill a 3/to'Ldia.install the locking pin. (I also tied aclearancehole in each counterbore. tray so it doesn't get lost.)cord to tether the pin to the toolThe UHMW plastic for the runnerscomes in square-edged strips, Screws secure both the UHMW With this workstation, one goodbut with the help of a simple jig you and the shim (Figure 14). turn does deserve another. Yourcan machine the bevel on your One final touch: With the benchtop saw helped build thetable saw (Figure 12). Careful - turntable aligned on the frame, project. Now the project can lend athe plastic is very slippery. drill through the locking pin hole hand back to your saw.tFTo determine the final height forthe supports, you need to mountyour table saw on the workstation.Place the saw on the turntable andsecure it to the mounting bolts.Then clamp a long straightedge tothe saw's table, and clamp the runnerson top of their ouffeed support frames. Now measure the gapbetween the straightedge and theUHMW to find the thickness of theshims you need (Figure l3). Using the frame rail holes as guides, drill Cutting the 35" bevel on the UHMW stripsMachine the shims, then drill through the outfeed support stiles so you is safur using a jig. Thi setupfour s/stt-6iu.shrouds thecounterbores into the can bolt them in place, Clamps help here. saw blade and helps push the workpiece.when the outfued support assemblies are bolted in place, set them upright and use astraightedge to find the gap (for shim thickness) between the table top and the runne6.Clamp the runnen and shims in place atop the outfeedsupport frames and secure them with screws.\W'orkbench I January/Feb ruary 1.999 59


NewTool OfferingsBridge City Debuts Super Ruler and Siglrature MedallionsBridge CityTool Works has a reputationfor making top-quality woodworkingtools without being afraid tocharge what the company thinks thetools are worth. Bridge City's tools arealways functional, but they're oftenprized as much for their beauty ofform and melding of wood and metal.The new RS-18 Ruler System maynot have any wood in sight, but it stillshows great attention to design. And,it fits right into the company's apparentquality-justifies-price philosophy.The RS-18 starts off as an l8rllongtriangular extrusion of hardened aluminum.It then receives a proprietaryblack coating claimed tohave zero glare. White markingsetched into each face of the bodyread right-toleft and left-to-right,with graduati ons in 7 /zztt, | / rctt,and millimeters.Accessories for the RS-18include adjustable "storyboard"indicators, an end cap for hookrule use, and an axle and wheelassembly that allows you to roll theruler for marking parallelines.This "basic" rule sells for $125.Trammel points are optional, asare five additionall8rllong sections that canbe combined to make aS4rllong rule.Also new from BridgeCity are SignatureMedallions that provide aunique way to personalizeand identify your projects.These lrldiameter byTsrr-thick medallions arecut from cherry, walnut,maple, or rosewood. Youprovide Bridge City with asignature, logo, or design,and they laser-engrave it into as manymedallions as you desire. You just drilla hole in your project and glue themedallion in place. You can locatethem inconspicuously, but with theright design the medallions make anattractive project accent.A one-time fee of $17.95 for a signatureor $35.95 for a logo gets your artworkset. Medallions cost 32.50 to 33each, depending on wood and quantity.For information on The RS-18 orSignature Medallions, contact BridgeCity at (800) 253-3332, or on the webat www.bridgecitytools.com.New L4.4-Yolt Drill from HitachiHitachi touts its new 14.4voltcordless driver drill (modelDSl4DV) as a tool filled withpremium features at a competitiveprice. But you might notnotice the features at first blush.There's no cushioned grip,on-board bit storage, or flashygraphics. Of course, Hitachi haslong catered to professionalsconcerned more about performancethan bells and whisfles.Ifs when you slip a bit in thechuck and take it for a spin thatyou'll notice the drill's feafures.The chuck is a Yzrr-capacity60'Workbenchr January/February 1999keyless single-sleeve modelwith shaft lock. You tightenthe chuck with one hand, thenclick the chuck's outer sleeveback to lock it. so the bit can'twork loose.Driving the chuck is a rareearthmagnet motor that developsup to 305 in. lbs. of torqueat 0-350 rpm in low range, or0-1,200 rpm in high, and it'sreversible. A 22-position clutchhelps tame the torque, while asensitive trigger switch providesexcellent speed control. Withthe drill in low range and theclutch set on drive (no slippage), the motor delivers somuch power that I couldn't stopthe chuck's rotation by hand,even at very slow speed.The DS14DV comes with twobatteries, a one-hour charger,and a nicely built carryingcase. Street price forthe kit should be around$225. Call Hitachi at(800) 59&6657.


62Second-Generation DigiTape DebutsWhen the original DiglTape from LS.Starrett Co. made its debut in 1994,Iwas inffigued, but not persuaded totoss out my conventional tape for onewith a digital display. Now Starrett hasdeveloped the DigiTape Plus equippedwith some new features that promptedme to takeanother look.The DigiTape Plus shares the featuresof the original, including displayreadings in inches, feet-inches, orcentimeters, measurement memory,and adding case length to measurements. The display now reads in fractionalor decimal increments, and canbe flipped to read frorn either side ofthe tape case. Memory has beenincreased to three measurements(from one), and the frpe can even bepatched into a computer fordownloading data.'I\e25-ft. carbon-steel blade is 1'-wide, and has a special coating toresist ulffaviolet fading. Starrett spatented Tru-Lok blade lock holdsthe blade at your desired setting.A DigiTape Plus will set you backaround $50. To learn more, youcan contact LS. StarrettCo. on the web atwww.lsstarrett.com. orZ1 call (978) 24$3551.Feahrre-Packed Porter-Cable JigsawThe venerable jigsaw is a tool that'shard to live without, but it hasn't gottenmuch respect until recenfly. Manymanufacturers have added feafuresand sophistication to jigsaws in thelast few years, leaving those withold-style saws to play catch-up.Porter-Cable was one company leftbehind the curve on jigsaw technology,but with the new featureJadenmodel 9543 jigsaw, the company hascaught up.Blade changing - formerly anawlnvard task - now requires onlysqueezing a blade clamp and pullingout the old blade. Base-tilt adjustmentis tool-free as well, thanks to arefractable handle. Positive stops at0o, 15o,30o, and 45' in both directionstake the guesswork out of settingexact angles. Even tilted, ablade guide keeps blade deflectionin check. A 6-amp motor powers theblade through a lllong stroke,while four orbit settings let youadjust the blade's aggressiveness.'Workbenchr January/February 1999Other highlights include metal andplastic sub-bases, an anti-splinterinsert, and dust blower. An edgeguide and a dust collection kit areavailable as accessories. Inok for asheet price around $180. Call Porter-Cable at (800)487-8665, or checkwww.portercable.com on the web.Dremel Goes ProHigh sp6ed rotary tools, such as theDremel MultiPro, have always beenpopular irmong craft project buildersand hobbyists, but have seen morelimited use :rmong professionals.Now Dremel has intoduced theProfessional High Speed RotaryTool, designed to deliver the performanceand durability demanded bypros. It also offers features that acasual user will find valuable as well.To me, the tool's best feature isthe fan-cooled motor with elecffonicspeed control. Like the speed confrolsused on routers, it boosts currentsupply to the motor in responseto load. This helps prevent boggingand stalling. Combined with softstartand a 5,000-30,000 rpm speedrange, the tool now has greater staminaand power. Onloff and speedconfrols are now separate as well.The Professional High SpeedRotary Tool is available in kits witha variety of accessories, carryingprices from around $110 toS150. You can check outDremel's web site atwww.dremel.com. orcall (800)437-3635for information.


Cordless Circular Saw from Ryobi Packs l8-Volt PunchIVe got to admit that I've become addicted to cordless power tools. Other than a drill,my favorite of these tools is the portable circular saw. Jobs such as cutting roof sheathingin place or cutting plywood sheets are much easier with no cord to drag around.One of the newest cordless saws is an lS-volt model (R10730K2) from Ryobi. Its combinationof features and price should make it a contender in this growing market.The saw uses an 18-tooth carbide-tipped blade with an ultra-thin Yroil kerf' Bladediameter is SVzrr, glving it a le/rc" depth-of-cut at 90" - just enough to get throughframing lumber. These minimalist blade dimensions help decrease loads on the saw'smotor, and should yield longer run times per batterycharge. kft-side blade mounting makes viewingthe cut easy for us right handers.All of these features are nice, but the bestone may be price. Currently, the saw is availableonly in a combo-kit with an 18-voltdrill. The drill has a reversible two-speedmotor, r/ztt capacity, and 24-positionchuck. The kit also includes two batteriesand a one-hour charger, all ina plastic case. At $279, it's pricedwell below many other 18-voltsaVdrill sets on the market. Youcan contact Ryobi on the web atwww.ryobi.com, or call (800) 525-257 9.With a Wood-Mirer!o Cut logs up to 28rlo Extra bed sections8180* with purchase ofAll Products Video @ $10.Wood-Mizer\flest 10th Street Dept. 8B86Indianapolis, lN 462L 4-2400www.wooomzef.comAbrasive Belts, Sleeves, and Rolls zrtallabl€in all Grits and Sizes. Call for Quote'S?'orkbenchI January/Feb ruary 1999Product Information Number 195


Products For)bur HomeQuick-Connect Ladder StabilizerIIIIOver the last year I've spent alot of time on an extensionladder restoring my home'ssecond story windows.Working at heights is fine, butwhen I'm 20 ft. in the air. I liketo feel as secure as possible.That means making sure theladder's feet are well-planted,and using a ladder stabilizer.While I like to use a stabilizer.I've never been fond of thelow-tech mounting system forthe one I own - a combinationof U-bolts, plates, and wing nuts.The QuickClick ladder stabilizerfrom Werner ladder Co. is different.I checked one out at theNational Hardware Show lastyear, and was impressed withhow it works.On the QuickClick, a standardU-shaped stabilizer ismounted to a frame that slipsover two adjacent ladder rungs.When you slide the QuickClickin place, a spring-loaded latchautomatically locks it in place.The process is quick andreduces the possibility you'llinstall the stabilizer incorrecfly.Removing the QuickClick isjust as easy - release thelocks and slide it off.At around 360. theQuickClick is pricier than otherstabilizers, but it offers greatconvenience and peace ofmind. One model fits most aluminumand fiberglass extensionladders. Contact Wernerladder Co. at (724) 58&8600.Remote Control Ceiling FanCasablanca Fan Co. has introduced a new line ofComfortTouch ceiling fans that allow you to control fanoperation in ways you might not have seen before.Most noteworthy of these new feafures is a wirelessremote control. It allows you to furn the fan on and oficontrol its speed, and reverse fan direction. You can alsoturn on, ofi and dim the fan's light with the remote.In addition to remotecontrol, Comfort Touchfans feature a thermostatthat can automaticallyincrease or decrease fanspeed or shut the fan offin response to temperaturechanges. A modecalled Home-Safe willswitch the fan's light onand off in irregularsequences, making yourhome appear occupiedwhen you're away.ComfortTouch fanprices start at about $400.Call Casablanca Fan Co. at(888)227-2r78.Etchings Liven up SinksNew Kitchen Exclusives Distinction sinks from SterlingPlumbing offer the durability and easy cleanup of stainlesssteel with a bit of added flair. The sinks are available withfive different decorative patterns (rope twist, ivy, hearts,flowers, and links) etched into the rear ledge and sink rim.All are available with single or double 8rldeep bowl styles,and they're undercoated to reduce sound and condensation.Prices range from around $190 to $300. For moreinformation you can call (800) 783-7546, or check SterlingPlumbing's web site: www.sterlingplumbing.com.\Torkbench r January/February 1999


Minwax SprayTo simpffi staining and finishing ofhard-to-reach and inticate areas,Minwax has inffoduced Wood Finishstains and Polycrylic top coats inaerosol spray cans. Stains are availablein standard Minwa< colors, topcoats come in satin or gloss. Antl.S-oz. can costs under $10.Contact Minwax at (800) 52&9299 orDecorative Caps Add Style to PostsWhen building a wood fence, ileck,or porch rail, I'm often stymied byhow to treat the tops of the posts.Square-cut post tops add no visualinterest, and the exposed end graininvites premature rot.One way to eliminate theseproblems is to adddecorative post caps,such as the newmodels offered byDesign House.Six caps areavailable inwesternredcedar ortreatedpine.foramid stylesinclude plain wood, plasticcovered,or my favorite, copper-clad.A ball-topped cap and a flat top completethe selection. All caps havemoldings ihat form a pocket underthe cap, allowing the assembly to slipover a standard 4x4 post. You thensecure the caps to the posts withconstruction adhesive.The caps carry a lifetime warrantyagainst defects, and range in pricefrom around StZ to SZO each. Formore information, you can contactDesign House at (800) 55&8700.tloulcNer--lt---,Drop by HouseNet'sOnline Neighborhood fiorHome lmprovement TipsLive Chot RoomsInleroctive Proiecf ColculotorsWoodworking HintsVisir Us Two Woys:www.housenel.comAOL Kelnrord: housenel9:$DRUM SANDERr.,-Quickly Pays For ltself!.Saves tours 0f tedious hand sanding!Ghoose from 2d'and 38'Single 01 llual Drum Models!Craftsmen everywhere areusing ther Woodmaster DrumSander to save hours ofvaluable shop time...you can,too! In a matter of seconds,you can produce a satinsmooth,absolutely level surfaceimpossible with handmethods. No more low spots,waves or cross grain marks!SEE WHY WOOD]ilASTER OUTPERFORIIS THElil Att!Woodmaster' s patented design includes infinitely variablefeed rate and a superior dust removal system for longerpaper life. Call or write today for free facts on how youcan try this precision machine in your own shop for onefull month without risk. Made in U.S.A. S-Year Warranty.Easy Terms.1-800-821-6651 ext. RA70Woodmaster Tools, Ine.1431 N. Topping Ave. Dept. RA70Kansas City, MO 64120'\?'orkbench I January/Feb ruary 1999


I-ock Your Door with Remote ControlI used to think a keyless remote forcar locks was gimmicky. Then I got acar with one, and I've grown accustomedto locking and unlocking mydoors with the touch of a button.Now this same technology is availablefor home entry door locks, withAccessOne Remote Keyless EntrySystems from Titan locks (a divisionof Kwikset Corp.). Again, I greeted theidea with skepticism. But who knows,remote locks may prove just as handyat home as they have on my car.Accessone locks receive signalsfrom a small keychain remote thatlocks and unlocks the door from upto 30 ft. away. A beep lets you knowwhen the lock is secured. The lock ispowered by four AA batteries thatshould last about a year. A key alsooperates the lock in standard fashion.AccessOne remotes use "rollingcode" technology, sending any one offour billion possible signal codes witheach use. Another button on theremote can control Genie Intellicodegarage door openers (an adapter isavailable for other openers). Titanhopes to partner with automobileremote makers to add car door lockcontrol to the remote as well. Anotherpartnership will make sun visors withAccessOne controls available as afactory option on many new cars.Other features include a light on thedoor interior that indicates when thedoor is locked, plus a safety relockoption that automatically relocks thedoor after 30 seconds, and a guaranteedlifetime finish. The lock comeswith two reprogrammable remotes,and additional units are available.AccessOne deadbolts sell foraround $100, and complete handlesetsrun about $180. You can callKwikset at (800) 527-5625..Save Money on Tools,Machinery & Supplies. See Hands-On Demonstrations. Attend Free Workshops. Meet Other WoodworkersxxxVISIT THE SHOW NEAR YOU!***. Atlanta . Los Angeles. Baltimore . Massachusetts. Charlotte . No. California. Chicago . North Jersey. Columbus . No. Virginia. Detroit . San Diego. Houston . St. Louis. Indianapolis . Tampa. Kansas City c plus others!RESTORATION SIMPLIFIED"Paint stripping products"Mrster boat restomtion (Jm Nonon-Gren Lake.M)andM$ter fimiturc resomtion ( Mel glwn - wffhingrol\PA) instructors have endorsed Dm Swett's StrippitrgProducts as the gratest paint stripp€r s.vstem they ttsveEver used. It.clms wood, all metals. Iib€rglss. boat Ooltoms,bdghfwork , teal), hadwood flmrs (on sding, nodust, no water nunralization). There is "NO" methlrenechloride, caustics or acids which make il enuronmentallvfriendly to the uer. You cm stnp 1-our proicct and immediatelyrefinish it the same day!!l DOES NOT DESTROYTHE PATINA. Distributor inquiries uelcome.Star 10. Inc.lg05 6u'St MmufacrweN'lusLegon. M'1.ofl(6t6)126-1319Fax(616)'12'7414'lDan Swett'sStripperProducts mdSvstemshttp://w'.sunen.comProduct lnformation Number 177IT WORKS!Habitat for Humaniry a nonprofitChristian housing ministry, worksin partnership with people in needto improve the conditions in whichthey live.68Product Information Number 179W'orkbench I January/February 1999Product lnformation Number 201TaV tfabi t at I o t H um amit yll ll Internalional121 Habitat StreetAmericus, CA 31709 -3498


I-ead Test KitIf your home was built before 1978,chances are it contains lead-basedpaint. And if you plan to removepaint, it's a good idea to test it first.l.eadCheck swabsfrom HomaxProducts Inc.offer a way to dothis without expensivepaint analysis.The swabs containnontoxic, leadreactivechemicals.Rub the swab on apainted surface and,if the swab's tip turnsred, it means there'slead in the paint. Theswabs are also usefulto check for dust that may havebeen missed during cleanup. A twopackof swabs sells for under $8.Call Homax at (800) 729-9029.!n[$EIT!il\ r\r\r rn1iln ( t5 rRl:trNl'(llltr lni4rlo',,,. rt,,..,, r,,l,uttt't.l'\,, , li,tr',1\lrtLINtERtoR 'lLuir Lr$91$rrtcslLyNc rAI{Ceiling MagicPainting an interior ceiling alwaysinvolves working overhead, andmost times means painting whiteover white. All this makes it easy tomiss spots and get uneven paintcoverage. Ceiling Magic latex paintfrom Quality Paint Products won'tmake reaching overhead any easier,but does aim to simplify the challengeof getting even coverage.Ceiling Magic is formulated totemporarily change color when youmix in a dye the company callsColor Guide. It turns the paint lightblue, causing it to stand out fromthe ceiling's previous coat of whitepaint. With exposure to natural orartificial light the blue dye fadesfrom the paint over several hours,leaving just the white color behind.Color Guide dye works only withCeiling Magic paint, and stays activefor about one week once mixed inthe can. After that, the paint is stillusable, but can't be redyed. The dyeis nontoxic and cleans up using soapand water, as does the paint.Bright ceiling white is currentlythe only color available, but the companyis working on tintable paintsthat will accepthe Color Guide dye.A gallon of Ceiling Magic (with dye)sells for under $20 from QualityPaint Products at (800) 98G0822, orwww.qualitypaint.com on the web.Odorless, Non-Toxic PVC CementIf you've ever assembled PVC pipeand fittings, then you know thecement used to join them is messy,and it's made up of toxic chemicalsthat give off nasty fumes and make itpotentially dangerous to work with.The folks atThe Gorilla Group(makers of Gorilla Glue for wood)wanted an alternative to standard PVCcement, and developed Gorilla PVC.This cement is nontoxic. odorless. andcleans up (prior to curing) with water.Gorilla PVC is also designed towork without a primer, but can beused with primer if required by localbuilding codes. The cement is compatiblewith PVC drain, vent, and watersupply pipes, plastic gas line and electricalconduit, and irrigation hose.Of course, there is a price to payfor the attributes foundin Gorilla PVC. A 16-oz.can carries a suggestedprice of $12.95, asopposed to around $4 forthe same amount of standardPVC cement. But ifyou're looking for a nonhazardous,user-friendlyway to join pipes, theprice may be worth it.You can get more informationfrom The GorillaGroup at (800) 96G3548,or on their web site:www.gorillaglue.com.Brush StuffMy least favorite part of paintinghas to be cleaning brushes androllers. Brush Stuff Brush andRoller Conditioner,new from The FloodCo., should simplifythis chore. Workthis gel into a brushor roller before youstart, and it stopspaint from bondingto the bristles orroller. Brush Stuffalso makes bristlesmore pliable. Itworks with latex,oil-base, and acrylicpaints, and won'taffect paint color oradhesion. Each6-oz. tube containsenough gel for 100 applicationsand costs about $6 retail. For moreinformation, you can contact TheFlood Co. at (800) 321-3444, or onthe web at www.floodco.com.70 \Torkbench I January/Feb rtary 7999

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