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EDITOR'S NOTESiralrltr'5.}+sfi$.wrli.'r,$S$;iPUBLISHERDonald B. Peschkeflj$t:.:tis$$i, fffiEDITOR Tim RobertsonSENIOR DESIGN EDITOR James R. DowningSENIOR EDITORS Bill Link, David StoneASSOCIATE EDIT0R Wyatt MyersASSISTANT EDITOR Kate Busenbarrick,.fi1r:l;r:::l:i,,;.r'rp:!*l**:_${s1f.ffiiti$.t,r,*{}&$:#*Sffi*ffiffimffitART DIRECTOR Kim DowningASSISTANT ART DIRECTOR Kurt SchultzSENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER Doug ApplebySENIOR ILLUSTRATOR Erich LageSENIORWEB DESIGNER/ILLUSTRATOR Matt ScottSENIOR PHOTOGRAPHERS Crayola England, Dennis KennedyASSOCIATE STYLE DIRECTOR Rebecca CunninghamELECTRONIC IMAGE SPECIAtIST Allan RuhnkeCONTRIBUTING ILLUSTRATOR John Hartmant$W'W*l#S$'&S{il'*iiil iil' '' ^,'i :;;,:r,' .i'SAlWHmmCREATIVE DIRECTOR Ted Kralicek5R. PROJECT DESIGNERS Ken Munkel. Kent Welsh.Chris FitchPROJECT DESIGNERS/BUILDERS Mike Donovan, John DoyleSHoP CRAFTSMEN Steve Curtis. Steve Johnsontu;;ti:r:wADVERTISING SALES MANAGERS George A. Clark, Mary K. DayADVERTISING PRODUCTION COORDINATOR Troy ClarkADVERTISING COORDINAToR Kelsey Davis(515) 875-71 35wnw$mmffi fl**Kiilatili.i{t.iili:lffiffi ffiEDITORIAL DIRECTOR Terry.J. StrohmanEXECUTIVE ART DIRECTOR Todd LambirthWOKBENCH (ISSN (rrr1-l 8l)5?) is Dtrblinred birilonillv(l.r.. t\\'.r h!Ail!il$Honr( t\rl)lrhnrFZL ^,onru,u",,Ieb..Apill.JuIqAus.,lC) .ic;;;,r;i;;:',;,,',:;iilt:-,;;j-l;.1^l,:;;" ,I1il ili,','l'i,.1,1:;il'i jijf il';,lHoDr l,ubhJnrg (fnrpilry.All rights rescrued.Subscdption ratcs: Singl( eopr. 54.ee. ()D. ver {rb\cripror (6 i\{,e\), g::r rwo-veir ilrb., S3-1dt.e-vr$ {il,., 54{. (lirrdi,nr/hd.. ril Sll) per ycnr. l)erlxlicrl{ postigc prid ir Dcs Monres,Iowr, rnd ,t.rddtrioDil otI.cs. UsIS/ll.rN-Judd! H.rrtl.rDd l)i\'\nnr ,trtrorumbL.poly.Po$nu$er: S.nd iddr($ ching* ro llnilld,J, l'() Do\ 1727:, &xn)c. IA 50(r-17 l):71.C.nadi.n Srbscdpdons: (liD.kli ltrt Agrccnkrtr No. 1o(rl8:(rl. ScDd ch.nrge of.kldR'$bndnr,tioD t()r I)() tso\ 881, Snin r Mu), Mr.kh,rrr. ()N 1.31,8M6. PiDted in U.S.A.unurru.WorkbenchMagazine.comOIIILIIIIE SUBSCRIBER SERVICES. ACCESS your account. CHECK on a subscription payment. TELL US if you've missed an issue. CHAIUGE your marling or e-mail address. REIUEW your subscriptionr PAY your billClick on "Subscriber Servrces" in the list on the left side of ourhome page. Menus and forms will take you through any of theaccount-maintenance services you need.CUSTOMER SERVICE Phone: 800-31 1-3ee1SUBSCRIPTIONS EDITORIATMrlbcrrrlrCustornerService l,l6rttlcar/rMamzinePO. Dos 8ll,llur Crrnd Avc.Des Moincx, IA 50304-9961 Des Moines,lA 50312rrvrvWorkbcnchMrgazine.com email: Editor@Workbenchmag.comne of the more fascinating aspects of woodworking is turning aproject to shape on a lathe.Just ask 12-year-old Carson Downing,who is shown here making the chips fly. He's trying his hand atturning one of the gift boxes featured in this issue, and as you'd imagine, heis understandably proud of his wotk (Inset Photo).As it turns out, so is his father,Kim Downing, who happens to be our Art Director here at Workbench.Several years ago, Kim bought a lathe for Carson that was powered byan electric drill. It was a rough-running tool at best,but Carson quickly learnedthe basics.And with only that small amount of experience, he soon progressedto a mini-lathe and began turning pens, bowls, and other gift items.The point is,you don't need years of practice to turn a great-lookingprqect. If you haven't done much turning before, try experimenting withthe simple techniques for using a scraper shown on page 48.That will getyou started on the right track for making the turned gift boxes (page 50).As for the unique decorative inlay on the lid of each box, it's actuallyeasier to accomplish than it looks. All it takes is a scroll saw and someepoxy mixed with a readily available colorant.By the way, if you like the gift boxes but don't own a lathe, be sure tocheck out our tool review of mid-sized lathes beginning on page 62.You'llbe surprised at how affordable it is to get a good-qualiry tool.And the bestpart is, there's still plenry of time to buy a lathe, get a starter set of lathe tools,and turn some gift boxes for the holidays.4/l't/12woRKBENCH ! DEcEMnan 2005


FEATU RESUsing Lathe ScrapersAs sirnplc as tlrcy arc,latlrc scrapcrs arc amnzinglyucrsatilc tttttls. Lcant lntut ttt usc tlrcm to rough outd blarrk, slmpc n prttfilc, and set a smtttttlr-finislr.Turn an Inlaid Gift Box'!;| i i, ; i,:,' :,'; ;t'l ;1,,!:' iil;,, 7,',',1,,"'', \A latlrc atd a cotrylc scrapcrs hn,n tuttodtlrcttrirttttsontt:tlritrstltrri"t'.tll!/lrrjl i.\ jr'/1 li(ll;li,rii'r \r,/ r,,li'ir,',i,,Super Sawhorses.rr-rr\7'ltcscasy-to-kild sau,lutrscs,feature a stable-full ttf'ucrsatile -fcatures. Frttnr tuork platfornt tooutfccd stryporto stcpstool, tlrcy do it all.;;,a@rt) wTool Test: Midi-LathesAftcr nminq mtnrntains o;f shauings, the renlts ttftur midi-ldtltc test are in! Clrcck out the best - andtlrc rest - of tlrcse six contpact latlrcs before you buy.Dream Kitchen - Part 2Build your oLun cttstotll cabinets and you cAn sauetl'totlc)l, make the most o-f your space, and giueyour kitclrcn a style ),ou_justcan't buy.Butcher-B lock CountertopsUpdate yotrr kitclrcn h, installing butcher-blockcotnters and an undermount sink. Our pro tipsmake it surprisingly easy apf, ffirdable.wol{r(BENCH fl t)ECEMU;rr 2005


CONTENTSIN EVERYISSUEREADER'S WORKSHOP-tAL+ Panel Saw: One Day, Under $50Belieue it or not, you really can build your ownpanel sawfor crosscuttingfull shee* of plywood -without breaking the budget.WORKBENCH SHOP TIPS^r\J U faUle Saw Templates & MoreLearn how to cut perfect templates on a table saw,rout dead-on dadoes, bore accurate holes, andcrosscut thick wood slabs with a router.BENCH BASICSAT\*u n Guide to Buying RoutersTbday\ routers haue morefeatures than euerbefore.We'll help you sort out which ones are mostimportant, and what to know before you buy.THE CUTTING EDGEC).-)O L Spiral Jointer CutterheadsUpgrade your jointer with a smoother-running,cleaner-cutting spiral cutterhead.We show you threedffirent uersions of these innouative cutting tools.DEPARTMENTS8 Questions & Answers14 Tips & Techniques2A Finishing FundamentalsB6 Tool Close-Up9B Tools & Products104CraftsmanshipClose-UpU DEcEMBER 2005


ocluesfionsO(ANSWERSimprove o roubr withAN OFFSET BASEI'm new to using a router, and I sometimes hauetrcuble with the router tipping as I use it on the edgeof a workpiece.What can I do to preuenthis?Nancy MartinsonAtlanta, CAA An offset bose stobilizes the router to prevent it fromtipping when routing edge profiles. Mouni the routerwith one hondle in line with the end of the bose.Routers do tend to be top-heavy because themotor is located high up in the housing.Combine this with the fact that you have lessthan half the base on your workpiece when edgerouting,and it's no surprise that the router can tip easily.The results can be a torn-up workpiece and a racingheartbeat.Thankfully, there are ways to prevent tipping.Proper Position is Key -When routing by hand, itseems natural to hold the handles parallel to the edge ofthe workpiece.But this position makes it difficult to applyenough downward pressure without tipping the router.To avoid this problem, always keep one of the routerhandles over the workpiece. Push down on that handleto keep the router firmly planted, and guide it forwardusing the other hand.Add an Offset !45s -If you do a lot of edgerouting, it's a good idea to get an ofBet base.This is a flat,teardrop-shaped piece of plastic that mounts to yourrouter in place of the standard sub-base (Photo, top right) .The long base and handle give you great leverage,rnaking it easy to hold the router stable.And you can usethe offset base as an edge guide, too (Photo, right).You can purchase an ofiiet base for $25 or less.Somecome pre-drilled to fit popular routers, or you can use yourrouter sub-base as a template for drilling mounting holes.A By clomping o scrop-wood block onto the offsetbose, you con use it os on edge guide for routingdodoes ond grooves.wE HAVE ANswERs ! [H# 3:TJ3:l_H::lH:."^lnclude full name, address, and davtime phone number. You'll receive Forums: forums.woodnet.netone of our handsome Workbench caps if we publish vour ouestion Mail: Workbench Q&A, 2200 Grand Ave.,Des Moines, LA 50312woRKBENCH ! DEcEMnrn 2005


uild bookcqses overBASEBOARD HEATI'ue wanted to nnke a set oJ the built-in bookcasesyou;feanred in your Decentber 2004 issue (Photo,riqht), but the wall wlrcre I u,an.t to locate them lusa radiatrt ltaseboard heater. Is there any u,ay to install thebookcases ouer the heater?Bob Reeduia emailry'MilmtEru r '(tiililflbsx*"tltil-*"-r"'-r$l-DJ-l/Possible VentLocotionsl.As long as you provide adequate airflow aroundthe radiant baseboard heater, you can build thebookcases over it.A Modified Base Adds Airflow -To provide thatairflow, you need to modify the bookcases and the basethey sit on, as shown tn the Ilhstration at nght.First, put vents in front to allow cool air in. Thesimplest u'ay is to cut openings in the base front paneland through the trim boards that fir over it.Then addgrills to cover the openings.You can always removethem later ifyou need access to the heater.Next, cut an air outlet in the bottom panel of eachbookcase,just above and in front ofthe heater, to let thewarrn air out.Add a stop to prevent items on the lowestshelf from blocking the opening or falling on rhe heater.To nrake the bookcase base fit over the heater, replacethe base back panel with a wall-mounted cleat. Notchthe base supports, and attach them to this cleat.Inspect Before Building - Before you build overthe heater, inspect it and perform any service it may need,snch as straightening the fins, tightening the housing, andcleaning, r,vhile you still have easy access to ir.A Vent holes in the front of the bose unit ond on oir outlet in the bookcoseollow worm oir to flow into the room. Remove the vent grillsoccosionolly ond vocuum lint ond dust fiot occumulote on ihe heoter.go verticql toCUT A STEEP BEVETI The secreto this cut lies in!l knowing the angies your sawJ---l.can cut, and rhen applyingthe principle of complementary angles(two angles whose sum equals 90o).You can tilt the blade to 30o, which isA To cut o bevel greoter thon 45o, tilt the blode to the complement of 60o. So you canthe complementory ongle, ond stond the workpiece cut this steep bevel if you stand theon edge. Use o toll fence for odded support. board on edge (Photo and lllustration).I need to cut a 60" beuel on a wide board,but m1t yable sau'orrly tihs to45". Can you please explain hotu to do tltis?Keuin CourtnayHappy Valley, OR10 woRKBENcH tr DECEMeTn 2005


PRODUCTSBionic WrenchI6 WRENCHES IN IThe Bionic'Wrench ($29) fromLoggerheadTools just made searchingthrough your toolbox for the "right"wrench a whole lot easier.This wrench/plier hybrid automaticallyadjusts berwe en 7 / ft," and3/4' 1l|mm and 20 mm) when yousqueeze the handle, effectivelyreplacing 16 sizes of SAE and metricwrenches.The wrench applies grippingforce to all six sides of a nut orbolt for a solid, slip-free hold. It alsocomes with a lifetime warranty. Formore information or to buy a Bionic'Wrench, visit LoggerheadTirols.comor call 888-564-4374.vqcuumPUMPERImagine how much easier itwould be to clean up a wet basementwithout having to haul thevacuum drum upstairs every timeit needs emprying.That's possiblewith the new Craftsman PumpOut. This little pump connectsto the drain ofmost wet/dry vacsand pumps water and other liquidsat up to 10 gallons perminute - even up an incline ashigh as 40 feet.The Pump Out is available inSear stores or at Craftslnan.conlfor about $40.A No morehouling thedrum to emptyliquids out ofyour wet/dryvoc. When it'sfull, simply flipthe switch onthe Pump Outond let it dothe heovylifting.AO Sofety SelectSAFETY GEAR FOR HERMore than ever before, women aretackling home improvement projectson their own. For that reason,some manufacturers are tailoringproducts to the female market.One excellent example of that isa line of safery gear fromAO Safery.until now,women had to use productsthat were designed for men,100which often didnt fit them well.And ill-fittingsafety equipmentrarely provides the highest level ofprotection. The Safety Select lineincludes eye, hearing, and respiratoryprotection in smaller sizes tobetter fit female users.For more information, visitAOSaGtycorn or call 800-327-3431.Thatt right - HemiTools,This newline of 1S-volt tools is offeredby 83 Brands in conjunction withDodge. The line will initiallyinclude reciprocating, circular, and jigsaws, as well as a hammer drill, flashlight, batteries,and a charger. They're expected to beon store shelves by earlyJanuary 2006 and bepriced similarly to premium cordless brands.Look for hands-on testing of the tools in afuture issue of Workbench. In the meantime.visit DodgeHerniPowerTicols.corn or call 866-316-3232 for more information.woRKBENcH D DEcEMBER 2005


CRAFTSMANSHIP CtOSE.UPYoung WoodworkersShow Bright FutureFurniture projects designed and built by high-school students prove that young peopte nave a passionfor craftsmanship and are ready to stake their claim as the next qeneration of American woodworrers.f-1-!ake one look at these prqects, and you can rell the biggest woodworking trade shows in the nation.Thethey were creared by woodworkers with first-rate show gives these young people a chance to learn moreI design and building skills. So it might surprise you about woodworking as a hobby, or even a career. So theyto find out all three were built by high-school students. all win big whether or not they take horne a prtze.These talented students were all winners in the 2005 Of course,we can't show you all of the finalists andStudent Design Contest, a compecirion for high-school and winners here. But you can see thent in a book calledpost-secondary woodworking students held every rwo F rc sh Wo o d, Vol ume 2,available at Fresh Woocl2( X )5. cor r r.years by theAssociarion of Woodworking and Furnishings The next Srr.rdent Design Contest will be held in2007.Suppliers (AWFS).This year, 22 high-school students To learn how you can get your student or school involvedexhibited their craftsmanship at the AV7FS Fair. one of in this wonderful program, visit AWFS.org. tMEo1.04John Hamer fronr Prirrceton Day Meredith Smith from Cedar Josiah Whitney f ronr CedarSchool in Princeton, New Jersey, Rrdge High School in HillsboroLrgh, Rrdge High School in Hillsborough,won first prize in the "Creative North Carolina, took frrst prize in North Caroljna, walked away withChair" category wirh this rrnique "Traditional Table. " 5he created tlre an honorable rnentlon in theentry, also shown at fop. The seat colorful tree image in the top using "Creatrve Casework" category withand back are made from edge-glued marquetry Five different species ei this desk lt's made with bendablemaple slabs Walnut strips are bent wood veneer make L.rp the imaqe, wood panels, plywood, solid maple,and laminated to form the curved which she then applied to an MDF and several types of highly figr_rredlegs. The seat detaches from the substrate. The frame and gracef ully veneer. Those include sapelli, birch,legs for easy transport.arched legs are made from maple. Spanrsh cedar, and bubrngaWOIl.KBENCH tr I)ECEMNEA 2OO5


ANSWERS>A few strokes with ohond plone ore oll it toresto turn o rough-cut cylinderinto o round oost.turn q squqre timberINTO A ROUND POSTThe new porch rail I'm building calkJoround posts instead of conventional squareposts.The only problem is that I don't lmue a lathe to turn them, Is there a way tomake square 4x4s round u,ithofi a lathe?There is a quick, easy way to makea round cylinder from a square4x4. And all you need is a tablesaw, a hand plane, and some sandpaper.Start at theThble Saw - First,lay outa circle on the end of a 4x4. Then tiltyour table saw blade to 45o au,a), frornthe fence. Position the fbnce so the bladejust skims the arc of the circle.Then rr-rakefour passes to cut the corners {iour thepost (Frgs. 1 and 1a).Now adjust the blade to 2)t/zo a.ndreposition the fence to cut away most ofMike Zucouichuia emailthe remaining waste (Frgs. 2 and 2a).You'11make eight passes with this setup.Note: After the first few cuts, you'llhave only about 1/2" of flat surface ridingagainst the saw table and fence. But asiong as you keep firm pressure on thestock and your hands away from theblade, you can nrake these cuts safely.Plane,Then Sand - Now ciar.np thepost down and use a hand plane to knockdown the renraining high spots ber'"veenthe flats (Pltoto, above). After that, sand thepost smooth, starting with 100-grit paper.WOIIKBENC] H N I)EcEI\4BER 2005


orptethniquesclomp crqdle holdsWORK SECURELYOnc rvry to hold a workpiece flat as:rinst a benchtop isto usc bench doss and r vise. If your bencl-r docsn't havebench does, yoll c:1n use cl:rnrps.The only dlawback istl-rat clanrp hcacls often get in the way of yor.rr tools.My solution is to use a pipe chnrp rnd a shop-nradecradle tl-rat clanrps in the vise (Plrcto, right).This arransenrentl-rolds the work secr-rrely against the benchtop.Plus, it leaves the top clear of obstructior-rs.The crac'lle is a U-sh:rpecl rsser.nbly nrade up of twosides lnd :l spacer that is sarrdwiched betwecn thcnr(lllustratiorrs, 6cl()ut). And thereh aV-sroove in e:rch sideto hold rhc pipe clrrrrp sccurely irr tlrc cr:rdle.Just l r-rotc on sizing the crac'lle.Tl-re soal is to er-rd r-rpwith tl.re clanrp heads bclttu thc surfice of the workpreceso tl-rey're not in the way whensanclins or planine. Tl.re position ofthe clanip heads is deternrined by thelocation of tlteV-srooves in the sic-lesof the cradle. Another thine to takeinto account is the width of tl.re sides.T}rey nrust be l1arrcw enough so theydon't extend lbove the benchtopwhen restittg on the gr,ride r,ods of thevise. Rip the sides to width to allowl/.1" clearance below the benchtop.Serge DuclosDelson, QC, Canada. To secure o workpiece flot ogoinst o benchtop without clompsgetting in the woy, use o pipe clomp housed in o shop-mode crodle.Simply tighten the crodle in o vise, ond then clomp the workpiece.Clomp HeodNote: Size crodleto fit your viseNote: Crodle portsore uf s mode riluuc from ilgilt l/,3/a"-fhick stockV-grooveso clompheodssit belowworkpieceTIGHTER BUSHING$I can never get the guide bushingon rny router quite as tight as Iwant.And recently, the lock ringvibrated loose in the r.niddle of acut, damxging the bit and bushing.To make the lock ring stay put,I wrapped the threads of thebushing withTeflon tape.A coupleofwraps is all it takes to make thelock ring fit tight.For sending us this feature tip, SergeDuclos wins a new Rid{td MS1250LZ 12'compound mitet saw!Mail lips to:Workbench Tips & Techniques2200 Grand Ave.Des Moines, lA 50312Email: tips@workbenchmag.com),+ W()I{KBENCH L] r)ECEMuEI{ 2005


Sidelll/2" x31/2" x32")3/4"FenderWosherCotterPin7s" hole3/4" FenderWoshers5/e" hole5/e" Steel Rod,9" long:':;ii.,:n3/a"chomferSpocer(l"xl7z"x32")l " bevelSHEET STOCKIt sccrns tlrc olrlcr I get. tlrc lt;rrdcr it is to Itttx'e tirll sllcctsot'rrrlrrcri,rl .rrounti lrv rrn selt'. ()icotrt-se. tt ditcsrt't llelpth.rt sontc tvpcs ot'trt.ttcli:tl Jrkc r'1" tttetljttttt-tlctt:itrflbcrlro.rrd uciglr rrr :tt,tlrnost lt)( tlbs. l.ct-:ltcct. So ttrrrlrkc it errsier ttt tr.ll)\p()rt sltcct stock.I ltlrltle :t sirlrPlcturr-u Ircrlctl c.llt /1)i/()/(), /(.'/l/.l-lre t:rr-t consisfs of'.r irlir ot-lr-1 stdt's n itlt .t spltt't'rsrrndu iclrcd l.e tuee n to tiunt :trr opcrtirt{ tlt.rt ltolds rlreilrect /1/1rr.rtrirtrott, lL'lt1.Vrtr'll u:tttt to tttrtl


TECHNIGIUESlndexMorksquick setup forPOCKET.HOTE BITSOne of the few adjustments that must be made whenusing a pocket-hole jig is to position the stop coliar onthe drill brt (Photo, below).The collar determines the depth of the pocket hole.Ideally, the depth is set so the screw will be centered onthe thickness of the stock when it exits the workpiece.Since many of the projects I assemble with pocketscrews use woods ofvarying thickness, I frequently haveto reposition the stop collar.To do this quicklyPocket-Hole Bitand accurately, I made several index markson the drill bit (see Photo at left). Anindex mark for /2"-, /+t'-, and1,/2"-thick stock takes care ofmost jobs (Illustrations, right).Youcan file the marks on the bit, oruse a permanent marker.Pocket-HoleYaniv MatzaThmarac, FLSmooth operato?.This Heavy-Duty FlipTop RollerStand is strong and stable. Theheight is easy to adjust. And itfolds up for convenient storage.For this and more great products,visit Rockler.com or callf-800-279-444,. For the storenearest you, call l-877-ROCKLER.g*s.fix"+H*'Create with Confidence*Product Information Number 214


TECHNIGIUES'ffi,POlight-dutyWORKTABTEI use my portableWorkmate for all kindsof jobs around the house. To make iteven more versatile, I "topped it off"with a simple worktable (Photo,ilght).lnaddition to providing a light-duty worksurface,the table has a convenient trayto hold hardware and small tools.The worktable is a piece of 3/a" plywoodwith a handhold to make it easy tocarry theWorkmate when itt folded up.The tray is formed by gluing three stripsofhardwood around the edges and a narrowerstrip to the top of the worktable(Illustration, b elow ).It only takes a minute to attach thetable to theWorkmate.You simply fit acleat that's attached to the bottomOutside EdgingPZ"xl7z"x36"lbetween the adjustable jaws of theWorkmate. Then rotate a wood turnbuttonso it's perpendicular to the cleatto "lock" the table.To make this work, the cleat and turnbuttonare bolted together and securedwith a wing nut.You'll need to drill acounterbored shank hole for the bolt inthe cleat before screwing it to the table.Inside Edgingph" x3/t" x36"1Robert HelsethMinneapolis, MN("IsWorktoble{(3/" ply. x 24" x 36"}--4''32" counbrbore,%" deep, with%" shonk hole-CleolSave up to $200 on select JETproducts with JET Power Rebates!Purchases must be madebetween September 1, 2005and March 31, 2006 to qualify.X\a,-=- Turnbu$on/ \, l3h" xlvz" x'vz"lFor more details visit your nearestJET dealer or www.jettools.com.-II-TEUhI.jettools.comProduct Information Number 209woRKBENcH Lt DEcEMsrn 2005


','''.,:l.t*:a' a,,j'ol .)BUTCHER.BLOCK TOPSI rarcntl1, irrstdllcd d butchcr-block c(rttrtcrt()p.I,lltklr-fittilr sltorrld I rrst,to rttakc it sa,fb-fttr-fttod prcpdrdtion?Bryot 5,rr,,r,,tLakc ():ark, MOSeverrl finishes say "fbodsrfe"on the labcl, but thrt'.snrole of a nrrlketir-rg c'levicetl-ran a clescription of the finish itself.In reality, ary finisl.r is safc fbr fboclcontact after it'.s cr"rr-c.d (the rule ofthun.rb is to w:lit 30 day$.With this in r.nind, I'd reconrmendnsir-rg either :r polyurethanefinish or nrineral oil for a butchcrblockcountertop.Polyurethane -Of thcse twofirrisl-res, polyr.rrethrne is thc nrostdur:able, rncl it provicles the best protectionasainst Droisture. One of thcdowr-rsides, however, is it dries slowly,allowing drlst to settle in the firrish.Also, you have to apply it with abnrsh. so it crrrr bc clr.rllcnqirrq toset a snlooth finish.Gel Polyurethane -To ect thcadvantaEes of polvuretl-rane withont:rs much hassle, you can nsc l qclpolyurethane. Br-rtcher-block nranufacnrrerJohnBoos 0i:]ltrlloa!.Ealr)r.rrakes one called EZ-DO (Phoro,tniddlt ri,qht). Tl.rc finish rs easy toapply. Jr-rst load a rrs witl.r gcl, andwipe it in r circullr llrotion.Thell,in l cor,rple of nrinutcs, use l cle:rnra9 to rvipc' ofi the excess qel.You'll need to apply sevc.rrl cortso[ the gcl to gct a good br.rild. I3esllre to :rllorv e:icl-r coat to clry thorouqhlybcf


\AA)(ONWOODI'm thinking about using uax to fnish one of my projects. Are thereany tipsfor applying it to achieue a snrooth xnface and a nirc sheen?After the finish dries. lood 0000 steel wool witho loyer of wox, ond rub it lightly into the surfoce.John LochLake Shore , MN'Wax provides very littlemoisture and scuff protection,so it's best not to use itas an actual "finish." Instead, use waxafteryou apply the finish to create aglass-smooth suface and consistentsheen on the wood.To do this, coat a 0000 steel woolpad with wax. [Jse the pad to lightlyabrade the surface of the finish,working the wax into the finish ir.ra circular motion (Fig. l).After afewminutes (it varies a bit by rnauufacturer),the wax will start to film over.At this point, take a clean, dry cloth,such as a cotton rag, and buff thewax to an even sheen (Fig.2).I rypically use a neutral-coloredwax at this step, but a variety oftinted waxes are available if you dIike to slightly change the color ofthe finish.When the wox films over, use o cleon cotton rqgto buff the surfoce ond creote on even sheen.Using o shorp chisel, you con corefully pore clrun of dried finish off the wood's surfoce withoutruining the surrounding finish.))FLAWED FINISHI noticed sorne runs in apolyurethane -finish aJter itdried. Can I remove them?Vince CampiseColumbus, OHI use a sharp chisel to pareoff a dried run. To avoiddamaging the suface of thewood, hold the chisel as flat as possible,and carefully trim offthe run,as shown at left.Of course, you'Il still be able tosee where the run has marred thefinish. To fix this. you're going toneed to apply one more quick coatof finish. First, sand the piece onemore time. Use 220-grir paper, justlike you would between coats offinish, and sand a bit more aggressivelyat the source of the run tobuffout the mark.After sanding, wipe the sur{acefree ofdust, and apply another coatof finish.Any evidence of the dripshould be long gone.To prevent drips in the future,dont overload the brisdes with finish,and alway stroke the suface holdingthe brush at 45o to snlooth runs andbrush marks. It also helps to checkthe finish under a low-angle light forimperfections before it dries.woRKtJENcH ! DECEMBeT{ 2005


WORKSHOPeqsy-to-build pqnel sowoNE DAU UNDER $SOIt's never been eosier to crosscut o full sheet of plywood by yourselfthon with this shop-built ponel sow. Just slip the sheet in from the side.Then slide the corrioge thot holds your circulor sow down betweentwo guide roils. A removoble pin releoses the corrioge f/nsef PhotoJ.nrosscuttinga full sheet ofI plywood isn't easy. You\-/ either have to wrestle it ontothe table saw, or do the best you canwith sawhorses and a circular saw.And the results arent dways pretty.That explains why home centershave those fanry panel saws you'veprobably seen. They feature a verticalbed that supports the sheetwhile a circular saw slides down apair of rails to make the cut.Unfortunately, commercial panelsaws cost big bucks. So rather thanbuy one, Christopher Dromey ofProvo, Ul figured out how tobuild one that works great for lessthan $50.This panel saw has a large plywoodbed that mounts to the wall(Bed Assembly). A number of 1x4sadd rigidicy to the bed.And a thickledge near the bottom supports thesheet as you cut (Photo,Ief).Two verticalrails guide a sliding carriage thatholds the circular saut (Inset Photo).Begin with the Bed - Thefirst step is to cut the bed (A) tosize from %" plywood.To make surethe bed stays flat, you'll need to adda grid of reinforcing pieces. Thefirst piece is a backer (B), which iscentered on the width of the bedand screwed in place. In use, thecircular saw will cutinto this backer, soyou'll want to locatethe screws near theedges ofthis piece.Once the backer isattached, it's time to addthe top and bottomledges (C). Each ledgeconsists of two pieces,one on each side ofthebacker. Rip these piecesto width from 2x stock,and screw them to thebed.To provide a stablerest for large sheets, besure the fivo pieces ofthe bottom ledge arelevel with each other.24 voRKBENcH El DEcEMBER 2005


After installing the ledges, cut thehorizontal stiffeners (D) to lengthfrom 1x4 stock.Then screw them tothe bed, as shown.Guide Rails - The next componentsto add are two guide rails (E)made from 2x stock.The lunlber forthese guide rails must be straight.Otherwise, the saw carriage will bindduring the cut.You'll want to getthe straightest 2x6 you can find, andthen rip both guide rails from it.Once that's done, cut a rabbet inthe back inside edge ofeach ra1l (BcdAssembly).-lhese rabbets form a trackfor the carriage to ride in (TopWuu).A11 that's left to cor.nplete theguide rails is to drill the holes thatwill be used to nrount then.r to thepanel saw. Eventualiy each rail getsscrewed to a cieat, which is in turnattached to the top ar.rd bottontiedges. This requires drilling deepcounterbored shank holes for themounting screws (Tbp Victu).Although the guide rails are conrpleteat this point. its best to waituntil after you make the carriage toattach them. That way, you can Llsethe carriage to establish the spacingbetween the rails.Add the Cleats -There's noneed to wait to add the nvo cleats (F)though. Cut them fron.r 1x4 stock tomatch the height of rhe bed. rndattach them to the top and bottomledges.Two screws secure the cleatsto the bottom ledge. On the top,however, a single lag screw passesthrough an oversize hole drilled inthe cieat.This les you adjust the locationof the guide rails if necessary.Carriage Support Pin - Aftermounting the cleats, the last thingto do is to make a pin to supportthe carriage above the workpiece.The pin is a short steel rod securedin the end of a dowel with epoxy. Itfits into one of two holes drilled ineither cleat (Guide RaiI Detail).Usethe lower hole for 48"-wide sheetsand the upper hole for Baltic birch,which is 60" wide.t1o,' x2,'log Screw&74" Wosher-\#8x l/a" Fh \tWoodscrewfto" robbet,72" deepGuide Roilllth" x2Vz"x76Vz"lNOTE: Mount guideroils oFeryou mokecorrioge (poge 26)Woodscrew,lGY'Cleot1t1o', a312,' x7B',1BED ASSEMBIYl3Z" deep, L-Is/sz"shonk hole -l 7zcenlered inside\@Bqckerl3/l'x3Vz"x78"1Stiffenerl3h" x3Vzx22rh"lI L15Y2"IEdf I15Y2"(1) 4'x8' sheet of 3/a" plywood(1) 8'-long 2x6('l ) 8'-long 2x4(5) 8'-long lx4sWWW.WORKBENCHMAGAZINE. COM 25


sliding sow :1:[:HH:ff::T;il;;:;CARRIAGEat left, it has a recessAA circulor sow fits down into o recess in thecorrioge. Two L-shoped holddowns secure the boseof the sow. Note how the robbets in the guide roilsform o "trock" thot guides the sow corrioge.CARRIAGE ASSEMBIYs4a" holeRemovobleHold-Downtr;Knob)FixedHold-Down5/16"Wosher6)PressJ-re Borfl/n" hordboord x 174" x 6"1#8 x l%" -\Fh woodscrewSize holeio fit T-nutthat captures thebase of the saw. Two hold-downsapply pressure against the saw baseto secure it in the carriage.The carriage consists of trvopieces: a saw plate (G) and a backingplate (H), both made of 3/t" plywood(Carriage Assembly). A largeopening in the saw plate accepts thebase of the saw.A smaller opening inthe backing plate provides clearancefor the blade guard.Saw Plate - First, cut the sawplate (G) to size. Note that this platehas rwo tongues, one on each edge,that ride in the rabbets in the guiderails.To fornr the tongues,just cut arabbet in each edge.Once thatt done, it's time to layout the opening for the saw base.Thegoal here is to center tte blade (not thebase) on the saw plate.To do that,layout a line, centered on the saw plate.Then align the blade with this line,trace around the saw base, and cutthe opening with a jig saw.Ltr7 s/to" T-NvlSizeopeningio fitblodeguodY4"chomferBockinig Plocl3h" ply. x l3Vz"x l3Vz"l%c" robbet,3/s" deepNow test your saw to see if it fitsinto the opening. It's possible thatone or more of the controls (like thedepth control locking lever, forinstance) might be in the way. If so,notch the opening so the saw fits.Next, to accept T-nuts that helpsecure a removable hold-down(added later), drill two shallow counterboreson the back ofthe plate.Backing Plate - After installingtheT:nuts,you can cut the backingplate (H) to size. Center this plate onthe saw plate, and then lay out andcut the opening for the blade guard.Then rout a small chamler onthe leading edge of the plate. (lt willallow the carriage to slide smoothlyacross the bottom ledge ofthe panelsaw.) That takes care of the backingplate. Now just center it on the sawplate, and glue it in place.Hold-Downs - All that remainsis to add the fivo hold-downs. Theone near the leading edge ofthe carriageis fixed. But the rear hold-downis removable, so you can quickly takethe saw out ofthe carriage.Each hold-down has tvvo parts: amounting block (l) that attaches tothe carriage and a pressure bar (J)that fits against the saw. Here again,you may have to modify the size orshape of these parts to fit your saw.Finally,screw the f,xed hold-downto the carriage.Then thread knobsinto thef:-nuts you installed to securethe removable hold-down.26woRKBENcH rt DECEMSeR. 2005


instqll guide roils &SET UP PANET SAMThe accuracy of this panel saw, andhow smoothly it operates, depend onthe rails that guide the carriage.Theymust be straight, square to the bottomledge, and parallel to each other.To make sure the first guide railgoes on straight, snap a chalk lineon one clex (Fig. l).Locate this line3/+" in frorn the edge, which willcenter the guide rail on the width ofthe cleat. Now align the rail withthe chalk line, square it to the ledge,and fasten it with screws (Fig. 2).The next step is to install thesecond raiJ parallel to the first.An easyway to do this is to use the carrrage asa spacer (Fiq. 3). Start by clamping thesecond rail in place. Then slide thecarriage between the two rails tocheck that it moves freely withouttoo much play. Adjust this rail asneeded. and then scrcw it in phce.Install the Panel Saw - Oncethe rails are attached, it'.s dme to ntountthe panel saw to the wall.To be ableto slide in a full sheet of ply'wood, besure to allow at least eight feet ofclearanceto the side of one guide rail.Then level the bed, and drive lagscrews through it into the wall studs.To help support long sheets ofmaterial,mount an L-shaped support toeach side of the saw level with thebottonr \edge (Illustration , below).Before you make the first cut,check the carriage one more tirne. Itshould still slide smoothly betweenthe guide rails. If not, ioosen the lagscrews that attach the cleats at thetop, and adjust each rail as needed.Reference Kerf -The last thingto do is to nrake a shaliow saw kefin the backer attached to the bed.This kerf provides a handy w:ry toposition a sheet of plywood beforemaking a cut.You simply align thelayout line on the sheet with the kerf.To make the ker{, nrollnt the circularsaw to the carriage, and adjust theblade so it will cut l/s" deep ir.rto thebacker. Now fit the carriage betweenthe guide rails from the top, turn onthe saw, and make the cut. tMINSTAIL GUIDE RAITSA For o shoight guide roil, snop ocholk line on one cleot, ond olignthe edge of the guide roil with it.A Now squore the roil to theledge, clomp it olong the cholkline, ond screw it to the cleot.L-shoped srppo*'\to woll so it olions \with ledge on ion"l ,o*MOUNTING THENOTE: Align ledges onsuppori ond ponel sowA Before ottoching the secondguide roil, moke sure the corriogeslides freely from top to bottom.28woRKBENCH tr DEcEMern 2005


TIPS FROMTHEdeqd-on dodoes -GUARANTEED!The plywood cases for the kitchen cabinets fuage 68) reassembled rvith sinrple dado joints. Simple to cut n.raybe,but trickier to get the piece that goes irlo the dado to fitsnug. It'.s the old "nominal-thickness-versus-actual-thickness"dilemma (3/a" plywood is actually 23l::" thick).Because of this,you can't use a 3/+" straight bit to cut adado for 3/a" plywood, as it r.nakes for a sloppy fit.A better solution is to nrake two passes using a smaller,I/2" straight bit and a pair of edge guides (Plrcto).Byrouting along the fence of one guide and back down tl-reother, yor-r get a perfect-fitting dado.Reference Edges -The key to nrakinq this work isto crexte a rclircnrc crlpc on each gr"ride that indicates wherethe bit will cut. On one gr"ride, this refelence edse alisnswith the l:ryout line for the dado (Usht.q tlu: Cuirlr,s).Thesecond guide is positioned by buttir-rg its lcference ec'lseagainst a spacer.Just be sure the spacc'r ln:rtches the thicknessof the prqect part that's going to fit into thc- dado.Making the Guides - So how clo you establishthese reference edges? Itt acconrplished :ruton.ratically inthe process ofnrakins the guides.Strrt with an extra-wide piece of r/a" hardboald forthe brse of each glride. (A 6"-wide piece should be fine.)': Thes edge guides moke it eosy to rout tight-fittingdodoes for plywood using o stondord stroight bit.Then glr,re and cl:rn-rp the fence to the blse. Note: Positionit so tl'rerci about l/.1" ofn'raterial that nee& to be trimnred.Now nrount the sarrte strrigl-rt bit you'll be using to cuttlre dadoes in the router, and trini off thc waste (Makin,qthc Cridcs).The ec.lge that'.s cut is tl.re reference edge.Note that on sonle routers the bit isn't perfectlycentered ir-r the base of the ror-rter. So ntake a nrark onthe router base, lnd keep that nrark :ig:rinst the fencewhen trinrming the waste off the ecige g5uides ardwherr cr-rtting the cladoes (Making & L/-sir4g tlrc Cuidcs).USING THE GUIDESMAKING THE GUIDESNota Makelwo auldee -Keep markagalnalfenoeFencePA" x1\x4b").,Referenae Edge30 woRKBENCH D DECEMne n 2005


TIPS FROMTHEplrnge-cut q perfectSINK TEMPLATEAn undernrount sink provided a practicaland attractive solution fbr our kitchenrerrrodel (pagc 7q. But installation of thisrype of sink isn't as forgiving as a traditionaldrop-in sink. Since the sink oper.ring will bevisible, the edges and corners ofthe openingr.nust be per{ectly straight and square.To acconrplish thlt, I nrade a %" htrcTboardtenrplate of the oper-rine rncl ther-rused a router equipped with a euidc bushingand a straight bit to cut it. Of course, tl.risnreans the opening in the tenrplate llso hasto be straight and square.That's easy to doorr a tlble saw.You sir-r-rply nrake l series ofplunge cuts by raising the blacle throughthe terr-rplate (PIuttos, abouc).Layout - 9g111 by using the papcr pattern(included with sir-rk) to lay out theopening on the template. I n-rlde mine l/.1"lorrgcr :rucl wider rhlrr thc p.lttcrll tonccolrnt for the guide br.rshing. Extend thelines all tl.re way to thc edges of the ter.nplate.I3efore cutting the opening, you'll needto deterr"nine where to begin and end thecut. An easy way to do this is to ntark a"start" and "stop" line on rn auxiliary fenceattached to the rip fence (Illtstration, below).Just a note abor-rthe auxiliary fence. It'.salso nsed to hold the template down againstthe table sf,w as yolr raise the blade. So attachit 1{" above the table to provide clearancefor the tenrplate to slidc underneath.Take the Plunge - To cut the firstside of the opcning, lower the saw bladealrd slide the tenrplateunder thear-rxiliary fence.Position it so thefront llyor.rt linealigns withthc.srart lr:lrK (I-lq. I,abouc). Now tr.rrnthe saw on, andraise the blade allthe rvay Llp throughthe ternplate. Atthis point, slide thetenrplate forwardr-rntil the backlayout line alignsCUTTING THETEMPTATEwith the "stop" r'nark (Fig 2) Then turnthe saw ofl, and lower the blade. Repositionthe ter-nplate, and repeat the process to cutthe last three sides.To prevent the cLltoltt from shifting -and possibly binding - against the bladeon the last cut, I used dor.rble-sided rape roattach hardboard "keepers" around the threesides of tl-re openine that are already cut._ 1::::':"::":Rear Layoul,LlneTemplateF|R9T: 5et auxlllary fenca agalnat' blade, and mark'atatt' and"atoT- llnee,9ECOND: Lower blade and allgn frontlayout llne on template wllh "atarA' markTHf RD: Turn eaw on and ralae bladelhrough tcm?late.FOURTH: Mwet1;mptat,- fo1g,ardunttlrca?layoutllneall4newtth"etop" markMAKING SMOOTH. ACCURATE CUTS IN THICK PIECESThe bufther-block counter in our kikhenprolecl't o 1t/2"-thick slob mode ofhord mople - too hqrd ond thick to cutwith o circulor sow. 5o lo get o cleon,crisp cut, I used on edge guide ond oroufer equipped with o spirol bit. (l usedo bit with o 2"-long cuiling edge ovoilobleot WhitesideRouterBits.com)Set the counter on o piece of plywoodio support the cutoff when it follsfree. Then clomp on on edge guide(page 301 ond moke q series of progressivelydeeper pqsses fFig. t/. Nowreset the edge guide to moke o finol,fuff-depth cleon-up poss (Fig.2).tr t lr/tl' ll. Jl _:\t\STEP 7: /Make a aerlee ofle" deep aute32 woRKBENcH ! DEcEMnrn 2005


TIPS FROMTHSolignment iigs forHAND.DRILLED HOLESThe speciol fosteners we used to the butcher-blockcountertop sections (poge 76) require occurotely olignedholes. These holes hove to be bored with o hondhelddrill, so we mode two simple iigs to ensure precision.)fLreadaaDrawOoIlTd'hola,2T/2" AaaiNTERTOP-\\/.-'tft | \\fr L--g)ll/lgllIG.1 .\


RIGHT ROUTERir/i r{ ,1r.. i i iiL ilirtjPii:r KITSI llr)iil,l,{-irl1l', ii;,ti',,i,ii i,' rr.lt.rii lr ,t ir'1 1,1r]i,,. 1'1;;1>lrlnIto nrilttcl rvh,rr kirrd oiwoodr'vorkirtg5you clo, you crn'trur:rke it fiu'clown the list oflnlrst-h:rvL' tools rvithout ir-rcluclins alouter. It'.s perh:rps thc nrost versltrlcof :iny rvoochvolking tool becluscit does cvclythinr: f.ionr shape sinrplceclee prrfilcs to cut conlplex joir-rery.selectins the' r'ight onc clifllcr.rlt untilyou unclelst:urd thc rell benefits ofthosc fertrlrcs.Wc'll sort it rll ont over'thc next ferv prrees, strrting with :ilittlc' basic rmrton)y.Router Basics - At its t'or-c, :rloutcr is just rn electric nrotot withnrotor'lrolding a bit.Tlie nrotol nc'edsto be scculccl in rr blse that holc'ls itat l 90o :rngle to thc- wolkpiecc rrndl-r:rs rr flat bottonr to riclc on the wooclas you cr-rt.This b:rse is rvhat clefinesthe type of lor-rter.The Fixed-Base Router -Thesirrrplcst \v:ly to s('curc thc r-orrtt'r i:witl-r a base tl'rat cl:rrtrps oltto thenrotor.A router eqr.ripped tl-ris r,vly iskuowtt as l-lirrd-l,l-rc nrodel.Yon c:u'rsec- one in detrril on page -{1.Th:rt nanre iurplies thlt thc baseclt orrly bc lockcd irr orrc positiorr.but thrt\ r)ot tnrc. tsy slidir:q rhcInotor Lrp lnd clown or rotating it ir')tl're base, you can raise or lowel the bit.You can only do this when theloLlter is l'lot crlttine, tl-roueh. So tochrnsre clltting depth, you have toshut the loutcr off, and then adjusttlrr' [r,rsc. l)ltrs t]rt' bit :rlw:rys plojecnfiorn the bottonr of the base, nrakingit tor,rgh to start rt cut thatt locatedI3ut if youi'c tryinq to br,ry yourflrst rollter - ol yonr scconcl or tl-rird rrwuy tiorrr ,llr edLlc. )iuch.ls J nlortisc.- yon'vc cliscovclecl that tl-relc ar-e The Plunge Router - fi11nLlnicl'ous ruotlcls :rv:rilablc u'ith uvariery of cli1L:rcnt fl:rtrues.That nrakesirrvt':rtivc \voo(lworkcr cvcrrrulllyfiqured out thilt if you nrortnt thenrotol' on :r pair of colnnrns withsprir"res inside, tlren you cor,rld slideit np uncl clown easily.Aclcl r lockine nrechanisnr and aclcpth-stop systenr, ar-rcl you couldnrake acljusturents as you cllt. Plus,you could rxise the bit above the base,tllrn on the router, lnd then ph-rngel clevicc on orre enc'l of the sh:rft c:rllcclr collet that l.rolcJs the bit.We'll cliscusscollets fr"rrther on pagc 44. borrrcl.Tlris becanre known x a phulqtthe spinninu bit into the middle of aAlonc, thoush, thc.r-ctl be no '"vrry router, arlso shown on page ,11.to ur:rke :l conttollecl crlt with just :l Factor In Other Features -Afic'r str-rdyir-re the' basic anatonly,you c:rn can lerrn, starting on page'{2, irbor,rt other irnport2rnt routerconsiderations. Most apply to eitherr fixecl-brse or plunge rJllter, or evento the latest lollter craze: the cor-nbokit, shown in the Sir/cbnr at left.Most of thcsc corrsidcr:rrrons at'cinrpolt;rnt whethcr you :irc usingthe router handheld or nrounted ina loLlter table. But in this article we'llconcentrate nlore on h:rndheld use.In thc end, u,e'll boil it all down tohelp yor,r decide which of the tworypes is the right router for you.w()r\KuENcH ! I)F-cEMBEn 2005


\\-_if.SpeedControlKnobFine AdlustmentKnob for DepthQuickAd justmentLever 1Power-;;;;;hMotorHousingRouter BosePowerSwitchBoseClompDepth-Stop /Lock KnobPlunge RodShoft lockColletAssemblyaDepth-5topRodRoulrerBoseFIXED.BASEDepth-5topTurretPTUNGE ROUTERwww. w() I{ li lll N( 11 NIA(; {/ I N E. (:i)\i 41


POWERAll routers :rre rated by horseporver (hp).You'11 trndnlodels that ranse from lrlt to 3r,/2 hp.While yor.r nraybe tenrpted to purch:rse the nrost porverfulrouter possible, rententber th:tt poweladds size and incrcases weight.Trke thc trvo nrodels shorvn hcle.Tlre big one (lqfi)is ratc'd at 3r12 hp rnclrveiqhs close to lfJ lbs.Tlre snrallcr 1rl1-I'rp nrodel (riqlrtl u,ciehs less thirn 13 lbs.That nreirns theret a big diffelence in horv c.asy it is tocontrol the tool 'uvhen usins it in a handheld positron.Think AboutYour Bits - Rrthel thtn ttkine the"biggcl is better" philosophy, yor"r sl-rould exrnrinc thekind of rvork yor.r'll do, ancl therefore thc- rypes and sizesof bits the louter will neecl to spin.If your woodworkine involvcs lrsins a lot of e.lqeprofilebits, snrall str:risht bits, anc'l anythins r,virh r I/+"shrnk, i,ou'll get by fite r,vith a '1 I/2- to 2-'p router.()n the otl-rel hnnd, if you pl:ur to cut deep lllortlscsu'itl-r r/:"-clia. or l:rrger stnight bits, or wor-k rvitl-r extrcnrclyharcl woods, t]-ren get n rolltel' wit]t lt least 2 hp.Lrrge-cliluretc'r bits end tl-rose '"vith biq cuttcrslikc prurel-raisine birs, r'lil-ilnc-l-stile sets, :rnc'l nrolclingcutters lll denrlnc'l cvcn lllore porvcr. If yor.r'll uscthcnr only occrrsionally, r niicl-porvcr- r


ililW Iil AIJJIJST DEPTH OF CUTF'IXILJ BA5E, FIXED.DEPTHIn order to rout accurately, you need to be able tocontrol the depth of cut. And to make a deep cut, youusually have to make several shallow passes. In bothcases, the ability to adjust the bit! depth ofcut accuratelyis critical. On a fixed-base router, the adjustnents are easyto make, but precision can be hard to achieve.Get It in the Ballpark - Making large adjustmentsto the bitt cutting depth is a simple, if somewhat crude,operation.You first open the clamp on the base thatlocks the r-notor housing in place.Then nove the ntotorhousing up and down, or rotate it in the base, dependingon the router design. Once you get the bit close to thedesired position, you're ready for fine tuning.Fine-Tirne the Cut - Most fixed-base routers nowhave a fine-tr.rning mechanisrll that you calt use to dial intlre depth exactly (PI ut ttt s, nglr t). These micro-adj r-rstr n entsystenr move the Inotorjust a fraction of an inch with eachturn. Scales on the adjustments are meant to help youdial in the exact depth change desired, but measuring thebit before and after you close the base clamp works best.Rotaf trrrll I I ,/ ,r f-r!l ",rtilitlir'1'1PLUNGE BASE, VARIED DEPTHPiunge rolrters use complex-looking systenls to makechild's play out of depth-of-cut adjustments. Best of all,they allow you to preset n.rultiple depths before youbegin routing and then move benveen thenr without evershutting offthe router as you work.Sophistication & Intimidation -The adjustmentmechanisr.ns on a plunge router might look confusing.especially in comparison to those on a fixed-base router(Photo, right). But the system is easy to understandRather than rotating in a base, the rnotor housingslides up and down on a pair of rods. A lever adjacentto one of the handles allows you to lock the housing atany point on the rods (Inset Photo).Attached to the motor housing is a long depth-stop rrcd.As you plunge the housing down, that rod evencually bottomsout against one of several stops attached to the base.These stops sit on a rctating device calied a turret.Adjusringthe position ofthe depth-stop rod and height ofthe rurretstops allows you precise control of cutting depth.Repeatability Is Automatic -This abiliry to lockin exact settings comes in handy any time you need tomake multiple passes for a deep cut.Just set the maximumdepth, lock the stops, and make progressivelydeeper passes until the depth-stop rod bottoms out.43


COLTET-'-lA"ToperMolor\shofrWith all the other features you need to payattention to, ith easy to ovellook the intportanceof the coliet. It seems like a rtrinol coruponent,but it I'ras a big job: holding the bit.The Squeeze Play -The collet sclueezesthe shank of tl.re bit, n.ruch like a drill chr-rck.'Weall know, tl.ror.rgh, that c'lrill chucks tencl to slipeasily.That\ inconvenient with a drill bit, but rt'sdownright danserous witl-r a r-outer bit.To grip the bit elfectively, a mter uses rhreepalts that work together.Tl.re rol/c/ is l cylinderwith a selies ofveltical slits and an inside dilnreterof ) / q" or | /1" (Illtrstrutiott , lcfi).Tlte outside.of the collct is tapered to fit a matcl-rins tapcr inthe slnli of the r.notor. Tigl.rtenir-rg r rrrrt forcesthe collet deepel into tl.rc- shaft, which closesthe slits to squeeze the bit.To work we1l, thesep:rrts have to be well-nrachined.And, as a generalrule, nrore slits cquirl a better collet.Change Should Be Easy -'While a firmglip is clitical, the collet also has to release thebit easily. Look for a router witl-r a "self-releasins"collet. As you loosen the collet nr-rt, rhis fypeopens the collet to break its grip on the bit.Routers used to reqnire two wrenches totighten or loosen the collet. But now nrost havea shali lock, so you only need one wrench (P/rotcr,bdort lc-fi).A few routers even have "autortratic"locks that sinrplify trit chanqins in a tablenrotrntcdroutcr (,|)ioftr, br:Iort, rtqltt).LItt to Lork'lr,f iiri lllrr i i ,,,irrlirl,, ,ri i r\ I rr\/r],ill1rOne area where plunge and fixed-base routersvary greatly is in the types of controls theyhave, and their placement. With either rype,though, good controls are essential for safe use.Plunge Keeps Controls In Hand -Because you can adjust cutting depth as you cutwith a plunge router, the plunge lock has to beaccessible with your hands on the handles(Photo,-far leJt).Usually, the power switch islocated on or near one of the handles, as well.Fixed-Base Controls Require a Reach -The nrotor housing and base are separate unirson fixed-base routers, so the power switch can'tbe located on a handle.This makes the switch difficultto reach when you have both hands on thehandles. One great solution is to add an optionalD-handle with a trigger switch (Photo, near left).44'woRKBENCHn DECEMTER 2005


KEEPS IT CTEANOne trait all routers share is the ability tomake a large mess in a big hurry.This is no surprisewhen you consider that most router bitstake two good-sized bites with every rotation.Yetmost manufacturers have done iittleto integrate any sort of system into routersthat will effectively collect these chips.There are a few exceptions, however, snchas the rolrter in the P/roto at right that can beconnected to a dust-collection hose.As more woodworkers are beconring awareof the hassies and health risks associated withwood dust, though, they are outfitting theirshops with dust-collection systems. So it's likelythat we'll see integrated chip collection builtinto a greater nurnber of routers as demandfor this feature grows.In the meantime, there are :r number ofways to add dust collecrion to routcrs, r:urgirrgfrom shop-built solutions to ;rdd-on acccssoriesthat can be hooked to a sl-rop vacllunr(Photos, r1glrt). These can be anything fronlsimple hoods that hang below tl.re router baseto replacement sub-bases that have intakes snrroundingthe bit opening.Of course, with either an ir-rtegrated or addonsystem, you do have to contend with ahose as you work.-"{I/t,il ntIuritl-r$.r,;ll:l{tri,lii: ONE RIGHT ROUTER{- Now you should have a prery good The New School -These days,I understanding ofwhat fixed-base the rules have changed.Plunge router-r+' ; 1 and plunge routers are, the dif- prices have plummeted while capabiliryand quality have grown. Prices!1.. {F, Ierences oenveen tnem. ancl tnelr':yfeatures. But this still doesn't tell on sonre basic plunge models rivalyou which of the two types you what you'd expect to pay for a fixedbase0version. So if you'll own onlyshould buy first.The Old School - The one router, we say make it a plunge.answer used to be simple:A fixedbaseThe Buy-Two School -Therouter comes 6rst.They're ultinrate solution, of course, is totless expensive and easier to own a f,red-base and a plunge router.understand. Then, when you're But it can be difficult to justifyready to tackle more complex owning two routers.projects or try your hand at cutting This explains why combo kitsjoinery with a router, you make a (page 40) are the hottest routersmajor invesfment in a plunge router. around right now.With one, you cansimply slide on whichever base ismost appropriate for the job.But even the best combo kitsoften involve a few conrprorrrises.And they don't give you all theadvantages that having two totallyindependent routers can bring.You'lI quickly understand this thefirst time you want to rout any rypeofjoinery that requires nvo diflerentbis, such as through dovetafu, tongueand-groovej oints, or cope-and-stickjoints. Instead of having to switch bitsand dial in setups repeatedly,youjustput one in each router, dial them in,and youie ready ro go. tF46 woRKtsENCH ft DEcEMBER 2005


*l*u!:#.44:t)"'lrhen it r,vas tinre to tLlfnthe holicLry gift boxes fortl'ris issr.re (scc p,rgc.l0),scr:lpcfs \\'crc tlrc n:rtrlr;ll tool forthc 1ob. Tltc rc;rsons firr tiris arcsirrrplc. First, scr-.rpcls :rrc:rnonq tlicelrsicst l:rthc tools to usc.Anrl scc()r)d,thcy're vcrseftlc cnough to h,trrdlclltnost cr.crv lsPcct oi:r snr:rll trrrnirrgprojcct - fioru nxrghirrg out rr blmkfr\ -. lln --.......r rlir(' .. it t, . ' rlr ....r rtr,. Io q(.tilnq .lqlass-srnooth flnish.Scr:rpcr Atratomy - A rcr:rpcl is:ur inclcdiblv sinrplc fool jr.rst rrdrick stccl bhcle u itlr .r sholt bevcl orrthc cncl. Scrrt;rct-s rtrc lr'.rilrrblc in ;rv:trictv of- pnrfilcs, Lrrrt rvc uscrl justtr.l,o firl otrl ttrrnccl boxcs: nlrrrrl-rrosc:ttttl sclr-rrtt-c-crttl scmpcls (pa,qt I91.ll.csurcllcss of thc protilc, r,r.h:rtrnakcs rr scnpcr ('ut is :l burr- (orhook)thutls firrrrrcd r'r'lrcn volr qr-intlthe bcvclcd cncl.-flrc bur-r is tlrritcslttlt't. s,r it lirrtit' tltt' rlt'1'tlt ol't rrtvotl clrn nrlkc.-fhis rrrrrkcs l scrilpersnfe ancl prcdict:rblc to use. (Thc boxon prgc J9 shc>n,s hou, to qrinrl :rscr:lpcr t() qcf :l slr:rrp blrn-.)Tool Rcst Height - l3ut.justhlrving :t slt:rr-p bun' ciocsn't rrcccssltrilynrcrrn tlrlt thc scrrrpcrs qolnqto cut rvcll.'Thc scnpcr h:ts to bc'positionctl corrcctlv to gct the bllrl'to cr.rt.-['hlf dcpencls in prrt olr the)hci{-rht of thc tool rcst.'Whcn tru'ninq the orrlsldc of :rborvl (or.pirr.lle). the idc"r is to grositionchc tool rest so thc crlttillg blllris slightly lrcloll thc ccntcllinc of theworkpiece (Outsidc Cttr, pa.qc 49). Inthrs posiritlr. tlt.' icr'.rpcr' \\'()r) t"cirtch" becatrse there'.s r-ro nrlterirIclirectly belorv the burr'If yor-r're scrirpinll thc- il.iidc oi:rborvl, rdjust tl-re height of the toolrest so the burl cr.rts slishtlv ,lrolcthc centerlinc (lnsidc Crrt). Hele!q()RKBENCll fl l)LCLN,l 8Ei\ 2ll()5


a\:rq.un. rrotice hou, tlteclclt r:tn i'c1.. n.'.rtlr tlrc lrr.rn' Prc\iclttsthc st r-:rpt'r'flortr tlrgqirtg irt.Using thc Scraper'- ()rcc tlreILro] i-cst ircrg)rt is cst:rblislrc.l. ttrrr) ()11rlre l:rt]re..uttl se t tltr' st rlrpct-ott tltetool rcst. l)osition -r otrr lrltttcls u'itltrorrr tittttr[r .ibor'.' t]rc st'ntpcl- .11111vlrr irttlcr flrgcr- irt tlrc reccss irclouthc tool rt'st. ,rs slr


sually, it's hard to resist opening the lid on a smallbox to see whatt inside.Thatt not the case withthese turned gift boxes, however. The intrtcateinlays on the outside are what grab all the attention.Epoxy Inlays - Now I know, you're plobablythinking that making these inlays is a tedious, tinreconsumingnlatter. But itt really a sin.rple two-stepprocess. First, the openings are cut on the lid wich ascroll saw (Inset Plrcto, right).Then these openin*s are filledrvith a colored epoxy. Once the epoxry cllres, turninq thclid to shape reveals the decorative inlay (Plrcto, rigltt).(For information on the coloring agents and tl-re epoxywe used, see the Box below)As the Box Turns - Making the inlays is l.ralf thefun of these unique gift prqects.The other half is turninqthe boxes to shape.The good news is you don't ueecl tobe an expert to do this. A11 three boxes can be turtteclusing a few sirr-rple lathe tools (a round-r-rose scrxper, asquare-end scraper, ar-rd a parting tool) and sotne stniqlttforwardscraping techniques (scc pa.gc 48).Endless Possibilities - As you carr see in the P/rolcrat left, I rnade three boxes.The iustrttctiot'ts fbr turrtirrqthe box with the dragonfly on the lid begin on thcnext page, and dir.nensions for all three are on p:rgc 55.(Full-size box p rofi les are at -W!ul-br:u rJ-r Vl,$,tz iu:.,-r l,t t. )Keep in r-nind, however, that you don't havc to lllakcany of the three boxes shown at left. The beauty ofturning a prqect or.r a lathe is that the possibilities forcreativiry are virtually lir.nitless. Using our instrr.rctionsin this article, yoLl may want to experirttent with tl'reshape and size of your own turned box. Slnall chattsesin the shapes and diurer-rsions can r.uake a big differer.rcein the appearance ofthe box itself.Picking a Pattern - As for patterns, the dragonfly,stalks of wheat, and symbol for love or-r tl.re lids of thcboxes at left are shown at 50% or"r page 55 and full-sizeat !V0$-b!.UCLIMrtg;tzittc.eottt. But here again, you nraywant to use another pattern altogether.Buying Blanks - That takes care of everythil.rgexcept for the wood. To match the color and figurebetween the lid and the box, I cut both pieces fi'onr rsingle blank.This requires a thick piece that you're notlikely to find in a scrap bin, so I would recommendpurchasing some turning blanks.I bought 3"x6"x6" turning bhnks fror-n CraftS up p lies, U SA ( Wo r-rrll-tt-!-!-r-!u,tLilnl-9+l,\.-u-r-Lt; 800 - 55 1 -8876). Not only were these thick enough to cut t1.re lidand box from a single blank, but they had anr:rzitrgfigure and were very stable. I made the box with the"love" symbol from bubinga, and the box rvith thestalks of wheat from figured'Western rraple.As for thedragonfly box, iti made from a thick chunk of 12l4quartersawn white oak.These box lids stort on thescroll sow, where the pottern iscut out with o series of piercecuts. After filling in with coloredepoxy, turning the lid brings thedromotic inloy to life.You con use o voriety of ogentsto chonge the color of epoxy.The scrop pieces shown, belowright, represent iust o hondfulof the mony colors you conoroduce.I got good resultsby using tempero It-powders (ovoiloble Iot croft stores). Andttff tfliquid ond powderlnMtints designed for useEl'!-8gt!r,with epoxy ore ovoiloblefrom Bonstone ll..-71800.425.2214;Bonstone.coml.The epoxy I used is o 30-minute epoxy from o hobbyshop. lt cures slowly, so youcon mix in the color ond pourthe epoxy into the lid cutoutsbefore it sets'B:Tf"l:& Glitter[iquidTintE/bw {r,';*r:\ffigtIatuY H,tvrN ' -"_iRri;:iTintt'"'Temperoto*'""fO,-,bliquid Tint& Metollic Floke.-)51r{.: 'l qd*.


lid Potlern(ot 50% on poge 55,or full-size atWo*be n ch Mo g o zi n e. co mJBoxBronk4!l2l/4" x6" x6"l |rNOTE: Lid ond box \rblonks cut from one3" x 6" x 6" turning blonka.-+$* P'fli-3? f-r fl }^t nL,: '* {" E A t],.: !.;. .1{". " 'il ii{} t, Y $fl'# fl.F:iAs mentioned on page 51, both the lid and box portionsof this gift box are made from a single wood blank(Illustration,lefi).Tttts ensures consistent color and grain patternbetween the lid and the box on the finished oiece.Separate Lid from Box - Once you select a blockof wood, the first step is to separate the lid blank fromthe box blank.To do that, use a band saw to slice a 3/+"-thick piece from the blank (Lid Blank Detail). Set thethicker box blank aside for now.Apply & Cut Pattern - That done, select a patrernthat you like, rnake a copy of it, and apply it to the topof the lid blank with spray-on adhesive.The nexr srepis to cut out the pattern with a scroll saw.To cut eachopening, you'll have to make a "pierce" cut.This requiresdrilling small holes (1/6" or 3/32") rn each section, so youcan insert the scroll saw blade before attaching it to thearm of the scroll saw. (l used a #9 skip-tooth blade tomake these cuts cleanly.) Then cut out the openings asshown in Frg. 1.Mix Epoxy -Once the cutouts are complete, youcan focus your attention on the colored epoxy mixturethat will fiIl them. First, nrix about 2 fl. oz. each of epo>'yand hardener together.Then add the colorant. It doesn'ttake much - just about a half-teaspoon of powder or\iquld (Fig,2).Fill Cutouts - Before pouring the mixture inrothe cutouts, place masking tape over the back of theiid blank, so it won't leak through.Then fill the cutoutswith the epoxy mixture (Fig. 3). As you're pouring, besure to smooth and even out any voids in the epoxy witha small scrap piece. Don't worry about being too neatand tidy here, though.You'll clean up the surface whenyou turn the lid to shape.I To cut the pottern on the lidblonk, moke "pierce cuts" on thescroll sow. Corefully cut eochopening before moving to the next.f Add o holfteospoon of colorontto 4 fl. oz. of epoxy, ond mix well.Stir slowly to prevent bubbling,ond pop ony bubbles thot form.A Pour the colored epoxy mixtureinto the openings in the lid blonk,ond then use o smoll scrop os oscroper to smooth the surfoce.52woIIKBENCH fl DECEMBER 2005


turn theLID TO SHAPEOnce the epoxy has fully cured (give it about!2 hours),you're ready to turn the lid to shape.The lid blank can't be attached direcdy to the faceplateon your lathe. This is because the holes for themounting screws would be visible inside the finished lid.So you'll need to attach it to a wood block (a glueblock), which will mount to the faceplate instead.Theglue block I used is a scrap 2x6 that's cut to match thesize of the lid blank.To establish the center of the block,mark diagonal lines from corner to corner on one face.Then glue the lid blank to the opposite face.When the glue dries, cut the lid blank and glue blockround on the band saw (leave them slightly oversize).Then mount the faceplate as shown in Flg. 1, and threadthe faceplate onto the spindle of the lathe.Turning the Lid - The first turning operationyou'll want to take care of is truing up the edge of thehd (Fig.Z).This step is done at slow speed (about 500RPM). Note: ReGr to page 49 to see how to establishthe height of the tool rest.Next, move the tool rest, and clean up and flatten thetop of the lid (Fig.3), so you'll have a clean slate forturning the lid profile. Set your speed at around 2,000RPM for this and the remaining steps.Once the lid is flat, use a round-nose scraper to begincreating the curved profile of the lrd (Fig. 4).A cadboatdtemplate of the completed shape comes in handy here.You can make one using the profile on page 55.Once you're satisfied with the lid profile, cut a rabbetin the base of the lid with a partingtool (Fig.5).Thisrabbet forms a lip that will fit inside the box later on.With the rabbet cut, sand the lid smooth on thelathe. Then separate the lid blank and glue block, asshown in Fig. 6,and sand the underside of the lid.AUsing the diogonol lines on theglue block os o guide, center lhefoceplote on the glue block, ondottoch it with screws.ATurn the lid blonk ond glue ATo remove the poper ond ePoxy residue, os wellblock to o rough cylinder with o os flotten the lid, move the tool resto the front, ondround-nose scroPer. Work Your work your woy from the outside io the center, mokingwoy ocross until it spinsmoothly. cuts olong the piece with o squorsend scroPer.A A round-nose scroper mokes A Use o porting tool io cut o l,/4" lTo seporote the lid blonk from the glue block, usequick work of the lid profile. Work x 1/4" robbet olong the bottom o porting tool to cul down the "glue block" side offrom the outside in, ond check your edge of the lid' This robbet forms the ioint line. Cut into the block until the lid is olmostwork with o cordboord templote. o lip thot fits in the top of the box' seporoted, then use o hondsow to complete the iob.WWW.WORKBENCHMAGAZINE.COM53


Hq"erru f"try* hmx t*ffiF*EHffi# Tffiffi L$ffiNow you can ftlrn your attention to the box the lid willfit onto. Like the lid, the box blank needs to be gluedto a2x6 glue block, and then cut to a rough (and slightlyoversize) cylinder on the band saw. (Here, use a compassto establish ^ 53 /4" circle on the blank.) Then cenrerthe lathe faceplate on the glue biock, screw it in place,and thread it onto the lathe spindle.As with the lid, start by roughing our the box (at lowspeed) and flattening the top (at medium speed).The nextstep is to hollow out the center of the box.To do this, makea "dished" hole by working from the outer rim of thehole and cutting in and down toward the center. Theobjective here is to establish the depth ofthe box (Fig. 1).Create an Opening - In order to create a seamlesslook benveen the lid and box, you'll need ro turn rhemtogether.To do this, first cut a shallow recess for the lidacross the top of the box with a parting tool.You wantto create a recess that matches the depth of the rabbet onthe iid (1/a"), so the lid can fit tightly into it.'When younear the outer rim,"sneak up" on the outside lip of thebowl (Frg 2).Then stop the lathe, check the fit ofthe lid,and expand the recess until the lid fits tighdy (Fig.3).Turn Lid & Box -With the lid taped in place,move the tool rest to the outside of the box, and turn thebox and lid together to create a seamless profile berweenthe two. Start near the bottom of the box, and workyour way toward the top, gradually rounding the side witha round-nose scraper (Fig. 4. Once you're satisfied, switchto a square-end scraper to begin smoothing. Pay closeattention to the seam berween the lid and the box, asyou'll want this to be as smooth as possible (Fig. 5)Complete the Inside - Now you can remove thelid and continue hollowing our rhe inside of the box.Again, work from the outer rim toward the cenrer,gradually enlarging the opening (Fig, 6).'When youreach the lip for the lid, turn the inside so it follows thecontour of the outside of the box. Also, enlarge theopening just a hair, so the lid can be removed moreeasily and won't jam.Then flatten the inside bottom ofthe box with a square-end scraper.All that's left now is to sand the box, and then partit from the glue block just as you did with the Iid (page53).Then apply a finish (wiping varnish or spray-onIacquer work well), and this box is ready ro give.I Once the box is trued up, flot, ond spinning A Next creote o wide, shollow I Once the lid fits tightly in thissmoothly, stort by hollowing the center with o roundnosescroper. Stop frequently, ond check your "sneok up" on the lip untilthe lid tope to it, ond stick it firmly inrecess to fit the lid. Groduolly recess, opply some doublesidedprogress with o combinotion squore.fits nice ond tight.ploce on the box.A Now use o round-nose scrooerto turn ihe side of the box ondlid together. Moke sweepingmotions to shope the box.54AWhen you're sotisfied with theprofile, switch to o squore-enoscroper ond begin smoothing outthe side of the box.A Finolly, move the tool rest bock to the inside, ondcontinue hollowing out the inside of the box. Notehow the tool rest ongles in to supporthe round-nosescroper os closely to the work os possible.woRKBENcH tr DEcEMBER 2005


This "drogonfly"box wos turnedfromo6"x6"piece of 12/4ook. Epoxy withblock colorontforms the inloy.5Y4"53/tuty4', xVA',robbef onbottom of lid(The figuredgroin in thismople gift box ishighlighted by o"wheot" inloy ofepoxy ond redtempero powder.Diomelers(below):5t/q'3110,, x3/16',robbet onbottom of lid'' The oncientsymbol for lovedecorotes thisbubingo box. Theepoxy for theinloy is tinted withblock coloront.Diometers(below):4t/a"4Y2"3116r x3/rctlrobbet onbottom of lid\\ \q \i', \T,.C) I\ K I] E N (' H M A G A Z I N E. C O M 55


®INLAID GIFT BOX PATTERNSIssue 292 Volume 61 Number 6 December 2005Dragonfly Pattern 100%Page 1 of 3Copyright 2005, August Home Publishing Company.All Rights Reserved.


®INLAID GIFT BOX PATTERNSIssue 292 Volume 61 Number 6 December 2005Wheat Pattern 100%Page 2 of 3Copyright 2005, August Home Publishing Company.All Rights Reserved.


®INLAID GIFT BOX PATTERNSIssue 292 Volume 61 Number 6 December 2005Love Symbol Pattern 100%Page 3 of 3Copyright 2005, August Home Publishing Company.All Rights Reserved.


t!-,'t,/\-1(Jl 1)1r)l( r l\ i|\t(1(' ilt( \it()ir,lll(l,ir()rrrr ifi r{JLt\(. I^,1 l]ltrl jtloLr-lt lLr tlr'l lr\ \,, it]t,,trt,t qootl\( l ()l\.t\\]totr,r ] tL'lt,t,i 'Lttt.ll rt.f:.L,Lttlr.r .rll tull.,lLrLri lLr Lrr'tli:l)Lr. rIr]r'. \r)lltr' \\t tL llilt'r. otltt't-:(oLr ltL,,\ \. lIl(1 l'\r'lt llt(' q()()(t ()t)r'\r'\r'rtt,tll\ !.(rt L(J() lrt..tt Ll]) l() \.1\r'\,, | '1,, t,1,,1 to il.'1;r, .1\r't tll.lt\rLrLrlLl lrL'stIi,.lr. i.t.r ,r 1oIq tiIte..tnLl.,t[,otr' .r]l, lr,'. l,. rt.r'r,ttllr,. lJrrt tlterlr.r,l 1,, l., r'r.t L1 lrLrilrl.1.1r.,1,i.' .,,,.tll' \ r( \,1\\ lt()i\r''. r)()t lit||ntrrt\ i)illi'ru'rrt Solt ol' I[()r'\c -\\'ll.rr I \.llrtr' Lrl) \\rtlt,il't t]tr' r,tt]ttt',lill.'r',rt l,,i,Lillg lti,r',r r()| \((llt'lt'.( )l (()1il\r'.lltir 1'1111,1lll.l]l flt(t,r:L: rLrI rl L r|1 11 111r111 \,1\\ ll(rl\(\ll t li.r ,. lt,r,.,.'.,.frr'lfr' lr'llLil(\ tlt,rt It.rl,t tltt't]l l.u'rIt()r! \r'r'\.rlrL( tIt,rrI Lrtilirt.rr-r ltot'st's.{\-'q' .ri,'.: iriJi..J'trBi-a5(,


A Sure-Footed Base -Thisversatiliry starts with a pair of baseunits shown in the Con.structionDetails,below.These base units standjust 17" tall, so rhey're quite corttpact.But they house sliding panelsthat adjust up to 29" high to matchthe needs ofthejob at hand.Saddles - If that job involvescuttine boards,you can bolt a pair of"saddles" to the adjustable paneis(pdge 59).These saddles work as sacrificialtops that you cf,n cut into'"vithout tearing up the horses.Outfeed Support -When youneed to cut lonq boards on the tabiesaw,just bolt on an adjustable ourfeedsupport. It's shown on page 60.Work Platform - The mostunique feature of these sawhorses,though, is the long work platform(Photo, page 56). It sis on the bases andelevates you to the right height forworking on ceilings. The platforn'rlocks in place thanks to "pockets"cutinto the underside that mate withthe adjustable panels (Inset,page 56).To make the platform strong yetlightweight, I used "stressed-skin"construction.The Illu stration-s belowand on page 61 will help you understandhow it works.The platform consists of a solidwoodframe between two outer"skins" that are made from 1/+"plywood.The skins are attached withconstruction adhesive and 1" brads.This creates a featherweight structurethat won't twist or flex but hasheavyweight load-holding abiliry.Glued Panels Aid Assembly -I built the sawhorses from pine. Butrather than glue up panels, I boughtpre-glued versions at the homecenter.You can make one base froma single 3/+" x 20t' x 96t' panel.Therest of the parts come from ordinarylx6 and 1x8 pine boards.CONSTRUCTION DETAII.SPlotformsits on top of sowhorseboses to orovide onelevoted scoflold or work tobleStressed-Skinconstruction mokes plotlormsturdy but lightweightAdiuitubleOutfeed Supportmounts on odiustobleponel ond con befine+uned to exoct heightNokhlets you roisethe odiustoble ponelwith your footAdiustble Ponelslides up from sowhorsebose ond locks in ploce olseven different positions,up lo 29" highTFeetgive sowhorses,solid footingWWW.WORKBENCHMAGAZINE. COM 57


5 STURDY BASEThe heart of this sawhorse system top pieces (D), and adjustable panelis the base, shown in the Photo at (E) on a single pre-glued pine panel.'Withleft. Each one is made up of twothe parts cut, set up a dadotapered ends that arejoined by a pairof fixed panels, rwo feet, and a top(Base Assembly, below). An adjustableblade in your table saw, and then cuta shallow groove in each foot.Thisgroove captures the end panel topanel slides up and down between prevent it from warping.Then drillthe fixed panels, allowing you tochange the height of the sawhorses.When raised, the adjustable panelrests on pins that fit through holes inthe fixed panels (Inset Photo, Ieft).Rough-Cut Parts -Start by cutting all of theholes and screw these parts together.You'll notice that I used 2"-longscrews to assemble the base. Thosemay seem long, but because thescrews are driven into end grain, theextra threads on these long screwsadd a lot of holding power.base parts to size. Ifyou lay Install Channel -With the endsthe pieces out carefully (asshown on the online cuttingdiagram found atWorkbenchMagazi ne. corn),and feet assembled, the next step is toadd a piece of aluminum channelto the inside face of each end(Channel E Panel Detail).This channelyou can fit the end panels(A), feet @), fixed panels (C),(available in hardware stores) actsas a guide for the adjustable panel.ARoising the odiustoble ponels is eosy using thetoe of your shoe, ond then the hondle (obove).Hitch pins supporthe ponel once it's roised /inset/.END PANET PART VIEWBASE ASSEMBIYTopsl3h" x3lz" x2lVz"l#8 x2" Fh ..-.--Woodscrew i@ End PonelPZ" x 16"x l6ys")It6 xVz" Fh Woodscrew32" AluminumChonnel,16" long32" AluminumChqnnel,(3/4" x 16" xl97/a"liI#8x2"FhWoodscrewwoRKBENcH tr DEcEMBER 2005


You'1l need to cut the channelto length. (l used nry rniter saw to dothat.) Then drill countersunk shankholes for #6 x 1/2" flathead woodscrews.Next, center each channelon the width of the end panel, andthen screw it in p1ace.That done, drill countersunkshank holes in the end panels forscreu-s that mount the fixed panels(End Panel PartView).Brt don't installthese panels just yet.Notch & Drill Panels -Next,each fixed panel needs two rows ofhoies for the pins the adjustable panelrests on. Plus, there are notches in thebottom edges that let you sliP thetoe of your shoe in and raise theadjustable panel (Photo, top left),Thenjust grab a handhold and pull it up.To make sure the holes andnotches align. lay everything out onone panel, and then clamp the otherpanel to it.Then drill the holes, anduse a jig saw to cut the notch inboth panels at the sanre time.This is also a good time to completethe adjustable pane\ (AdjustablePanel & Saddle Assembly). It gets anotch at the bottom and a pair ofvertical slots, which are used forsecuring the outfeed support. Toform each siot, bore rwo end holes,and then cut berlveen them with a jigsaw. I created the handhold the sameway, but I eased the opening with a1 /4" roundover bit (Han dlrcld Detail).Finally, attach a piece of aluminumchannel to the top edge ofthe slidingpanel. It protects the exposed endgrain and prevents warping.Assemble the Bases -Nowyou're ready to assemble the bases.Just butt the fixed panels against thealuminum channel, and drive in thescrews. Next, slide the adjustablepanel into place, and position thetops on the sawhorse base beside it.Leave enough clearance for theadjustable panel to slide, and securethe tops with screws.Saddle Up - Next, I made apair of saddles that slip over theadjustable panels (Photo, right).Theyconsist of two sides (F) and a spacer(G).1joined them with glue only, sotherei no danger ofhitting a screwwith a saw blade when cuttingboards on the saddles.ADJUSTABIH $$dtr.\{r$j {,tVt"Woshera,\lolr"t/{-20T-Knob-.."-'srtc"lThe tops of sowhorses olwoys get chewed upwhen sowing boords. But reploceoble "soddles"protecthe odiustoble ponels on these horses.Hole#6 xVz" thWoodscrewV--"tSide!1s14" x3Vz" x193/c"lA,-,,.U0"'20x3"Corrioge BoltSoddle Spocer(/s" x1V2" x193/t"l,-Vluroundoveron width of ponelAdiustoblePonell3/l' x 193/{x 163/t"lWWW. WORKBENCHMAGAZINE. COM 59


WORK PLATFORMThe next accessory I added to the Keyed In - The platform ishorses is an adjustable outfeed support(Photo, left). lt's just a length ofsimple to put on or remove - it justrests on top of the sawhorse bases. ItPVC pipe mounted on an assembly is held securely in place by a simplethat straddles the adjustable panel( O u tfe e d S upp o rt As s embly ).Start by cutting the crossbar (H)and risers (I) to size.The risers eachget a shallow dado that allows themto clear the top of the adjustablepanel (Outfeed Support Detail). Nso,the upper end ofeach riser is beveledat 45o to cradle the PVC pipe.Establish a Solid Platform -The last. and certainly most unique,accessory for these sawhorses is thework platform. It acts as a scaffold,allowing you to work a couple of"locking" system.Look at the PlaformAssembly andthe Pocket & Key Detail on page 61.,and you'll see theret a "pocket" inthe undenide ofthe pladorm.To lockthe platform in place,6rst raise theadjustable panel to its lowest stop, andthen insert the locking pins. Now slipthe pocket in the platform over theexposed top ofthe adjustable panel.Note:You should only srand onthe platform when itt sitring directlyon the sawhorse bases.You can raise theplatform higher for use as a tool station,but not to make a taller scaffold.feet off the ground. And you canlThe outfeed support lends o helping hond when walk back and forth on the platform Stressed-Skin Panel - Earlier,working with long stock. lt mounts to the odiustobleas you work instead of continually I described the "stressed-skin" constructionof the platform. Ifyou takeponel ond con be set to the exoct height you need. moving a stepladder around.another look at the lllustration onpage 57, you'll recall that itt just asolid-wood frame covered by two562" hole,counlersunkfor #8 screwc,9,u,l3A" xlVz"xl94/t"lOUTFEED SUPPORT ASSEMBLY]ti#8x3"Fh Woodscrew5/sz" hole,counhrsunk45" bevelth-20x3"Corrioge Boltthin pl1'wood skins.The secreto its strength lies inthe fact that the skins are seamless,and attached securely to the framewith construction adhesives andbrads.You might think this essentiallyhollow panel can't be strongenough to hold a person, but it can.In fact, it supported two 770-lb. guyswithout sagging when I tested it.Yl"-20T-Knoby4uWosher,flhdscrewtp,13h,, x2,, x8,,160 woRKBENCH ! DEcEMnrn 2005


PTATFORM ASSEMBLYeWide Support Blockl3/att y ts/stlx 197/s"llnnerShekher1t14" x112"x 6lVz"lEnd Roill3/l'xlVz"x 197/s"lSkin Ponell/a" ply.*2131s" x72"1IlL_---, -Get Framed - $1x11 buiidingthe platfornr by cuting the rwo innerstretchers (J) and four end rails (K)to size. Next, make a two wide andrvvo narrow support blocks (L, M).'While you're at it, also cut two outerstretchers (N) to size.Note:'Whenyou attach thenarrow support block to the wideone, you need to align one edge ofeach piece.This rneans the oppositeedges are offset, which forms thepocket discussed earlier (Pockct & KeyDetail, top right).After cutting the frrnre parts.justcut the plylvood skins (O), and you reready to begin assembly (Figs. Athrough D, righ t).When attaching theskins, use construction adhesive, anddrive a brad into the fi-ame every 6".Finally, finish up the platform byrouting through the plywood skin tocomplete the pockets. tffiNOTE: Assemble plotform foce downStep l:Screw endroils toinner strelchersStep 2:----=-Glue wide supportblock to naftoy,/'i.tri,r^Q'/lheovleredges flush\ZSlep 3: Screw wide supportblock to end roilsponels withconstructionodhesive ondbrods\#8x2" FhWoodscrewI'IzStep 4:Glue onStep 5:Glue onouter stretchersSfep 8: Rout firoughskin in two posses72" Flush-Trim Bit.(82) #8 x 2" Fh Woodscrews.(321 #6 xVz" Fh Woodscrewso(g) #8 x l%" Fh WoodscrewsWWW.WORKBENCHMAGAZINE.COM61


MATERIALS LIST®SAWHORSESIssue 292 Volume 61 Number 6 December 2005MATERIALS & HARDWAREPart Qty T W L MaterialSawhorses (Two)ABCDEEnd PanelsFeetFixed PanelsTopsAdjustable Panels44442#/4"#/4"#/4"#/4"#/4"16"3 !/2"16"3 !/2"19 #/4"16 !/8"16"19&/8"21 !/2"16 #/4"Pre-glued Pine PanelPre-glued Pine PanelPre-glued Pine PanelPre-glued Pine PanelPre-glued Pine PanelSaddles (Two)FGSidesSpacers42#/4"&/8"3 !/2"1 !/2"19 #/4"19 #/4"PinePineOutfeed Support (One)HICrossbarRisers14#/4"#/4"1 !/2"2"19 #/4"8"PinePinePlatform (One)JKLMNInner StretchersEnd RailsWide Support BlocksNarrow Support BlocksOuter Stretchers24222#/4"#/4"#/4"#/4"#/4"1 !/2"1 !/2"3 %/8"2 #/4"1 !/2"61 !/2"19 &/8"19 &/8"19 &/8"72"PinePinePinePinePineO Skin Panels 2 !/4" 21 #/8"72" Pine Plywood(82) #8 x 2" Fh Woodscrews(32) #6 x !/2" Fh Woodscrews(8) #8 x 1 !/4" Fh Woodscrews(2) #8 x 3" Fh Woodscrews(1) #/4" x !/16" x 72" Alum. Channel(1) 1 !/2" PVC Pipe(120) 18-gauge Wire Brads(4) !/4" x 2" Cotterless Hitch Pins(4) !/4"-20 x 3" Carriage Bolts(4) !/4"-20 T-KnobsNLINEExtrasSawhorse Cutting Diagram WorkbenchMagazine.comCUTTING DIAGRAM!/4" x 48" x 96" PlywoodOOPage 1 of 2Copyright 2005, August Home Publishing Company.All Rights Reserved.


®SAWHORSESIssue 292 Volume 61 Number 6 December 2005CUTTING DIAGRAM#/4" x 20" x 96" Pre-glued PanelAACCEBBDD#/4" x 20" x 96" Pre-glued PanelAACCEBBDD#/4" x 8" x 96" PineNNKKJJKK#/4" x 6" x 96" PineL L M MHIIII#/4" x 4" x 60" PineFFG#/4" x 4" x 60" PineFFGPage 2 of 2Copyright 2005, August Home Publishing Company.All Rights Reserved.


very tinle I flip through :r toolcatalog, it seenrs there's yetanother new nridi-lathe onthe market. Tl-rey're calledmidi-lathcs becruse their rurrringcapacities are about nildway berweennrini-lathes, which are ued primarilyfor turning pens, bottle stoppers, andother small items, and full-size lathes,which can tul'n everything fi'ornenormolts bowls to porch columns.So why the sudden populariry ofnridi-lathes?There are a few relsonsF^. tL"+^-r"-11..First is their compact size. Unlikea freestanding lathe, which requiresits own dedicated space in the shop,midi-lathes are relatively unobrrusive.Theyrequire little more than acorner of the workbench.And eventhough they're a bit heavier thanmany benchtop tools, iti not out ofthe question to store them awaywhen they're not in use.Another reason is the affordableprice of these lathes. Consider thatthe top performer in this test sellsfor iess than $300, comparcd to rwiceor three times that for rnany fuil-sizeIathes, and this is a very economicalway to get started rurning.The third reason is capaciry. Rightout of the box, many of these lathescan turn a bowl as large as 10" indiameter and spindles as long 14",15", and even 19". (Con-rpare this to1"2"- to 16"-dia. bowls, and spindles40" or longer on a full-size lathe.)Additionally, rnost of these lathesoffer the option of bolting on a bedextension, which can as much astriple their spindle-turning capaciry.62wor{KBENCH ! t)ECEMntn 2005


Power Switch Quill Lock TailstockHandwheelFaceplateTool RestBase(Banjo)\ , HandwheelLivetQuill I ILS_G_ ;Tool RestHeadstocktUpperPulleyDoorI\BaseMotor Lift LeverAnd it's worth noting that almost allof these lathes can accept the sameaccessories (chucks, centers, and faceplates,for example) as their full-sizecounterparts.So, in short, for relatively littlemoney, you can own a lathe thatrequires less space to begin with butcan expand right along with your skills.All of this. of course. still doesntanswer the question of which midilatheis the best choice for your shop.So to help make that decision a litdeeasier, we tested six popular models.HOW WE TESTEDTo find out which of these midilathesperformed the best, we startedby turning the largest bowl eachlathe could handle.This test quicklyrevealed which lathes were adequatelypowered, the amount ofvibration in each tool, and how easilyeach tool rest adjusts.Flowever, bowl turning told usnothing about tailstocks and all therelated components. So we also spentsome time turning spindles to evaluatethe "far" end ofthe lathes.Anatomy of a Lathe - In thecourse of our testing, we discovereda number of important factors thatdifferentiate one lathe from another.I've already touched on a few (power,vibration, and tool-rest adj ustment).But differences in the individualparts, such as the centers, spindles,and quills, also proved paramount inour final opinions. In order to betterunderstand how these factors affectthe performance of a lathe, it's a goodidea to bone up on the anatomy ofa rypical lathe (Photo, above).WWW.WORKBENCHMAGAZINE. COM 63


POWER & PERFORMANCEHowever much these lathes mayresemble one another, we startednoticing important differences assoon as we started turning bowls.Power, or lack of it, was the firstdistinction we found. The Jet andDelta performed admirably by poweringthrough 1/2"-deep cuts withoutslowing. The Fisch and Generallathes couldn't quite match thatpower, but still performed respectablywith cuts up to 3/s" deep. Both theGrizzly and the Turncrafter provedslightly underpowered by stalling onanything beyond a l/s"-deep cut.At the same time, we foundvibration to vary quite a bit in thesetools. Not surprisingly, the lightweightGrizzly was the worst shakerin the bunch. We felt a moderateamount of vibration in theTurncrafter, while the Fisch shimmiedonly lightly. As for the Jet,Delta, and General lathes, all threewere rock-solid without so much asAThe most common meons of chonging speeds on a shudder under maximum load.these lothes is to odiusthe position of the belt on the Heavier tools, of course, tend topulleys. The Fisch (shown here) mokes thot especiolly dampen their own vibrations, buteosy with o lorge occess door over the pulleys. weight alone isnt enough to make atool run smoothly. In the same waythat a misshapen arbor on a table sawcan cause blade wobble, the spindlesurfaces on a lathe must be flawlesslymachined, or the tool will vibrate.To see how much these factorsinfluenced our experience with thetools, we measured runout on theinside of the spindle and on theshoulder (Tbp Photo, page 65). Asexpected, we measured more runouton the tools with the most vibracion(see table on page 67).COMPONENT QUALITYPower and vibration, of course, arentthe only factors that differentiate thesetools from each other. Differences inthe design and qualiry of the componentsof the lathes also weighedheavily on our opinions.Those differencescan be easily divided intothree key areas on the lathe: the headstock,tailstock, and tool rest.Headstock - Most of theseheadstocls follow the same basic template- a handwheei on one side, aspindle on the other side, and a beltand pulleys on the inside. Grizzly isthe one variation on this theme. FirstPENN STATEINDUSTRIESVirtues: Heavy; Power{ul; No vibration; Large capacities;Good fit and finish; Wide range of speeds; Affordably priced.Vices: The belt was so tight that speed adjustments weredifficult to make; Chips collected on top of the motor.Verdict: This is an impressive lathe from head(stock)totail(stock). lf it had a looser-fitting belt and a chip deflectorover the motor, we'd dare call it perfect.www.JetTools.com800-274-6848Virtues: Heavy; Above-average fit and finish; Excellent price.Vices: Slightly underpowered; Axial movement in thetailstock; Limited speed selection; Light vibration under load.Verdict: In light of the affordable price, we were willing togive it a pass on a few of its shortcomings. lts not a topperformer; but it3 an affordable way to get started turningand still have money left to buy turning tools.www.PennStatelnd.com800-377-729764woRKBENcH n DEcEMBER 2005


of all, theret no handwheel. Second,this lathe has electronic variable-speedcontrol, so the belt-and-pulley systeminside the headstock is quite different.On each of the other lathes, youchange the speed by moving the belton the pulleys (Tbp Photo,page 64).These seemingly smali differencesactually make quite an impact on howthis lathe works.The electronic variable-speedfeature is a plus, providedyou dont mind giving up a bit of topendspeed. The missing handwheel,however, turned out to be a liability.First of all, having a handwheelmakes it much easier to turn theworkpiece slowly when you'remeasuring, marking, or inspectingit. But the bigger issue is how nothaving onechanges on this lathe.complicates setupOn each of the other lathes, yousimply push a knock-outbarthrough the center ofthe handwheelto dislodge the drive center (Photo,below).Bt no handwheel means noplace for a knock-out bar. Grizzly'ssolution is to use a nut that threadsonto the spindle (Photo, below right).When you want to remove the spurcenter, you have to loosen the nut(continued on page 66)A Runout in the spindle ond/or misoligned centerscon couse vibrotion in o spinning workpiece. Weused o diol indicotor to check runout on eoch lothe.AThe typicol method of removing spur centers to chonge setuPs is toinsert o knock-out bor through the hondwheel to push the center out.LGrizzly's less convenient methoduses o nut to push the center out.raDELTA LA-2ooVirtues: Heavy; Powerf ul; Smooth-ru n ning; Quiet Goodcapacities; Above-average fit and finish; Easy speed changes.Vices: Rough quill movement; Chips collected on top ofthe motor; Side-to-side movement in the tailstock.Verdid: This rs an excellent lathe with just a few bugs. lfyou can work around them, you'll have no problemturning out great work.www. Deltawoodworking,com800-223-7278FISCH rceo-looVirtues: Heavy; Powerful; Chip deflector over motor; Easytailstock and tool rest adjustments; Good speed selection;Easy belt access.Vice*; Rough thread on spindle; Moderately rough finishinside the spindle; Quillock fits poorly.Verdict: Despite a few issues with the fit and finish, this isa quality lathe with adequate power and excellent setupcha racteristics.www.Fisch-Woodworkino.com724-663-907265


2 CENTER SryLES3/r"x l0 TPISpindleSpur Cenbr#1 Morse Taperl"x8TPI#2 Morse TaperlThe quilltrovelon the Generol Internotionol loiheis quiie long, moking it ideol for horizontol drillingin workpieces like pens ond pencils.to push it off. I guess you're on yourown ifyou forget to replace the nutbefore installing the center.And while we're on the subject ofcenters, we might as well take issuewith Grizzly for those, as well.Presumably as a cosr-savingmeasure, Grizzly opted to use #1Morse Taper centers and a spindlewrth%" x 10 threads per inch (TPI)(Illustrations,left). Every other lathe inthis test uses a #2 Morse Taoer anda 1" x 8TPI spindle.'What this means to you is thattbe Grizzly won't accept most aftermarketcenters, faceplates, or chucksbecause they're all designed for thelarger taper and thread.Think of this like router collets.A #1 Morse Taper is like a 1/4"collet. In many cases, this is goodenough. But there are times whenbigger really is better. In the sameway that you'll never find a panelraisingrourer bit wirh a 1/+" shank,many valuable lathe accessorles areavailable only in a #2 Morse Taper.Thilstock - Moving to the farend of the iathe, we come to thetailstock. Despite similarities rn nameand appearance, this is actually quitedifferent from the headstock.Fint of all, the tailstock is adjustablealong the length of the lathe bed, soit can support workpieces ofvariouslengths.And although the handwheelon the tailstock looks just like theone on the headstock, its purpose isquite different. In this case, the handwheelextends and retracts the quill.The quill accepts a live center, whichis what ultimately makes contact withand supports the workpiece.A good tailstock will movesmoothly and accurately along thebed, lock down securely once itt inposition, and have a smoothlyadjusting quill with plenry of travel.The Jet and General bothreceived high marks on all scores.The General in particular impressedus with nearly 4" of adjustment inthe quill (Photo, leJt).That can comein handy anytime a turning prqectrequires horizontal drilling.The Fisch. Delta. andTirrncrafterlathes all suffered from axial play intheir tailstocks (the tendency for thetailstock to move side-to-side as youadjust it along the bed).This makes itGENERAINTL. 2s-rooVirtues: Heaviest in the category; Excellent capacities; Quiet;Easily accessible belt; Long quill travel.Vices: Limited speed selection; Rough mill marks on bedand spindle shoulder; Difficult to change belt position onlower pulley.Verdict: This is a sturdy tool with some excellent features.Unfortunately, it demonstrated slightly less power and a fewmore glitches than much lower-priced models,66www.General.ca819-472-1151GRIZZIY G86eoVirtues: Easy speed control; No axial movement whensliding the tailstock; Very affordable.Vices: Underpowered; Noisy; Lightweight castings;Difficult adjustments throughout; Significant vibration;Small swing capacity.Verdict: Although it doesn't compare well to the otherlathes. this could still serve as a very affordable pen lathe aslong as your turning ambitions don't go beyond that.www.Grizzlv.com570-545-9563woRKBENcH fl DEcEMBTn 2005


almost impossible to align the centers,which is one more factor that cancause vibration when you're turning.One additional black mark forthe Delta was the incredibly roughadjustment of its quill.Tirrning thewheel required a bit too muchmuscle, and the actual movement ofthe quill was halting at best.The Grizzly had no axial play,but the fit of the tailstock to the bedwas so tight that we had to strongarmeven the smallest adjustments.This lathe also has the shortest quillrravel atjust 1" (average for the othermachines is just over 2").Tool Rest - The tool rest is, toborrow a modern term, the intefaceof a lathe.This is where you connectwith the tool for every single functionof turning.And whatt more, itta constantly changing interface. Asthe size and shape ofyour workpiecechanges, the tool rest must be repositionedfor the safest, most effectiveapproach to your work.Clearly then,we were looking fortool rests that slide smoothly alongthe bed, lock solidly in position, andhave an adequate range ofadjustrnentfor a wide range of workpiece sizes.The Jet, Delta, Fisch, andTurncrafter lathes all received superiormarls for their tool rests.'Withoutexception, the rests slide smoothly,lock solidly, and feature well-designedlevers that are large enough to oPerateeasily, but not so large that they interferewith adjustment.AToilstocks ond tool rests need to slide smoothly, hove on odequoteronge of odiustment, ond lock down securely if you're going to getthe best results in your turning.The General fared slightly worsebecause the tool rest didn't slidesmoothly.And some of the handleson this tool are a bit undersized.The Grizzly tool rest was just all-solid construction, qualiry components,and smooth, powerful performance,we found nothing at all tocomplain about. And all of this comesat a very a$ordable price.This lathe ranaround poor.The fit was so tight that away with our Editort Choice award.we nearly had to disconnect the clamp The Penn State Industriesto move the rest. And the large lever TurncrafterPro, at just $160, is anand knob were often in the way as we impressive bargain.You do sacrifi cetried to reposition the rest. It also lost a little in the way of power, but youpoins because dre tool rest couldnt be can compensate for that with sharPlowered enough to position the tool tools and a less aggressive turningbelow the centerline ofthe workpiece. sryle. Otherwise, the Turncrafter hascastings, components, and fit-andfinishthat rival lathes costing twiceFINAL RECOMMENDATIONSThroughout the testing, the JetJML- as much.All of that adds up to aToP1014 set the standard. From its rock-Value award in our book. ffiPriceMotorSpeed Range (RPM)weight (lbs)Morse TaperSpindle Thread SizeBowl CapacitySpindle CapacityRunout*PowerVibrationSetup & AdjustmentFit & Finish$2s07z HP, 5 amp500-3,97572lbs#2'1" x 8 TPI10"14".001"/.001"HighNoneExcellentExcellenttl607z HP, 8 amps00-3,20068 lbs#21"x8TPI10"'t8".000s"/.001"LowLightGoodExcellent*Spindle runout dimensions ore shown os: inside toper/shoulder$2s0VzHE6.6 amP500-3,70071 lbs#21"x8TPI10"14112'.0005"/.00125"HighLightGoodExcellent$3407z HB 5.8 amp500-3,70070 lbs#21"x8TPI10"15".00425"/.001"ModerateSevereExcellentGood$3507z HB 3.5 amp480-4,02396 lbs#21"x8TPI't0"'t5".00"/.0005"ModerateNoneExcellentGood$160% HB 3.1 amp0-3,02s35 lbs#13/+" x10TPl19".00't5"/.001"LowSeverePoorPoorWW'W. \VORKBENCHMAGAZ I NE. CO M 67


-o! *\ti**-rT-- ::iEQnll t'lpF\ ,.tFEi&- il,tffi,,:r,,'7r,gg1lIII.l;,Flanffilm-Ji:::1Il-4'\ili! ilful:jTrItr'r- bLriltlinq tlre"l )n'.rnr Isl.rn,1" in tlrt't t, )"r ' "lr 1,,11. ,'1I I i,; I /,, ir, /r. onlr.lne,ltr.rllr :Lr ltrlr set ofr'u\t()nr r'.tl,inetr rrorrlrl tlo iil'tlti:kit, lrerr. IJLrt er t'rr u rtlroLrt tlrerrrttc lrinq rsl.rrtl. t]telc ,lle\()in(.( ()llrpcllirrgrL,l\o1rs tirr- bLriltlirrq cusr()llrc.rbrne t: in torrr ou n krtclten.Frr-st oirrll. bLrilrlirrq ( ust()nl c:rirint't::rllou s \'()u to trrlor- thcnr ttr\'()tll- l]('l S()ll.ll t.l\t('\. tlle Stt le ol l 0ttt-]rorle..ur,Ltlre ir lrr r,ru s ork in t]rr'kttclrr'r. A: r'ou nt.t\' l'r'(.rll. t]t()\r'rrt't'e :tll inrIry1-1.11r1 clrter-ru tirr tlrisI'tttlrt'n. u lrit lr lr.rrl to s.rrislr /r, r .ont(ltll\,\ril\r1slL. iltrl /,, rlli.,tr,,rrfirr rttor-r tr'.r.litron:r] stt lirs.lJr tlre s.n. it ,,ou ,1or't h.rve .rcop\' ()itlre ( )ctLrber- issuc. thc "l )rc.utrIsl:rrt.1";u'rjcle irjll lre :rr';ril.tLrlt' firr :rlirrrtctl tirrc rt lr() (()\t O1l rttu- rrelt-\ltc.',Antl siilt r' ltt:ll)\ ()f tlrt' tlt't.tih oltlresc t'.rbint'tr.u'e rtleltrt.rl frt tlro:t' tnrlrc r:l.Lntl. r,rLr'll rr,llt tll.tt .lt'u( lr'lr.nr.lr ii'rorr pl:rn to l.Ltiltl .l \et ()ftltt':r' t.rlrinet: lirl rotrl orr n I'irr']rt'rr.All rrithc tr't'lrritlLre: .rirtl tip' rrru'llne t'tl clur be firLrntl in tlre r t.\. r,'r rlr. 'l',. r'i. ,lirr', rr'r"r'. ,'ttlre:c c.rlrirrets. tlrort' .Lre.rlsrr,rr.ril.tblt'onlint' .rs:r tlce ,lorr rlo:r.1.11.1c l.l.lr.ln thi: :rlticlc. rl."ll rlrori rrlr l)rlr.rr itlt ' t, rr ,rrrrl'l. ttr, ,ltll, rtr, 'rr. r, '(r8\\ Llrl ! l


Construcfion DetoilsShortUpper Cobinet t(33" Wx 16" D x30" H)Norrow Drower Cobinet(14V2" W x23Vt" D x34Vz" HlToll Upper Cobinet(30"W x16"Dx 42" H)Blind Corner Cobinet(42" W x 23t/q" D x 34V2" HlBefore You BuildIl eppliances -select new appliances well ahead ofbuilding your cabinets, so you can build the cabinetryto fit their dimensions.E utiliti"r-The location of your sink, stove, andrefrigerator will largely be dictated by the location ofthe utility connections in your kitchen, though it maybe worth relocating the utilities if it helps make betteruse of your space.E Accessories - Kitchen organizers, like those featuredin the October issue of Workbench, are designedto f it standard cabinet sizes. This isn't to say theywon't work in custom cabinets, but double-check thespace and structural requlrements of any accessoriesyou plan to include.Frome-ond-PonelEnd Assemblycovers exposed1 cobinet endsSink Cobinetl3V/2" W x231/l'Dx34Vz" HlWide Drower Cobinet(3072" W x23h" Dx34V2" HlDecorotiveleg Frontsmotch legson kitchenislond {belodthe island plans,we were able to bringthe defining sryle elemens ofthe islandto the cabinets. Those include theCrafsman-inspired legs, the hardwoodledge, and frame-and-panel doors,drawer fronts, and end assemblies.We'll also touch on the uniqueaspects of the six cabinets we built forour kitchen. In the end, you'll beable to mix and match the cabinets,and even resize thenr, co maxintizeyour kitchen space.Six Cabinet Desigrrs -Whileit's true that we built six distinct cabinettypes to fill our kitchen, they arejust variations on rwo basic themes:lower cabinets and upper cabinets.For instance, the lower cabinetsinclude a sink cabinet, a wide-drawercabinet, a narrow-drawer cabinet, anda blind-corner cabinet (ConstructionDetaik).The uppers are even simpler.Here, we built one tall upper cabinetand ftvo short upper cabinets.Each cabinet fills a specific purposeand differs from the others in thedetails. But fundamentally, they arethe same.They share the same casework,the same drawer construction,and the same door assemblies. Theonly meaningful difference is size.tllrimately, of course, the dimensionsofour cabinets can serve only xa guideline for yours. For a trulycustom fit, you'll need to measureyour kitchen and adjust the size ofyour cabinets to best fill the space.And as you make those calculations,you'll have to factor in the variablesoutlined in BeJoreYou Build, above.&The kitchen islond, feotured in the October 2005issue of Workbench, defines the style of this kitchen.WWW.WORKBENCHMAGAZINE. COM 69


A The "legs" onthese cobinets,which ore octuollyiust decorotive legfronts, ore modeby ripping onextro-wide blonkinto thin strips ondthen cutting ondrouting the detoils.70- -- {-lliJStul i frfilf :qi:CASE CONSTRUCTIONThe structure of the base cabinetsis the same for all four of the variationswe built. Each cabinet is asimple case made up of plywoodsolid-wood toekick fills the spacebelow the bottom of the cabinet.One unusual element of the sinkcabinet is that the stretchers have athe whole works back together intoa single piece (I*g, below lefi).From there, we had only to cuteway a small section of the leg tosides, a bottom, and a back assembled relief cut in them that runs almost provide clearance for the ledge.Thatwith rabbets and dadoes (BaseCabinet Construction Vlew).Solid-wood stretchers add rigidityto the top of each cabinet, and athe full width of the cabinet.Thesecuts are necessary because we builtthese cabinet slighdy shallower thannormal, so the ledge and legswouldn't extendleft us with two pieces that getapplied to the cabinet separately.Thisis a bit of a variation from the waywe did the island legs, but it doessimpli$' the final assembly.past the edge of Cabinet Spacers - One additionalthe countertops.That means thesink is positionedcloser tothe front of thecabinets than istypical. So therelief cuts makea little room.challenge we had to overcometo adapt the legs to the cabinets wasto make space for them. If we hadsimply positioned the cabinets sideby-side,the legs would haveencroached on the door and drawerspace. Our solution was to use spacersbetween the cabinets. On the endcabinet, a frame-and-panel assemblyLegs - As and some filler strips provided theyou may recallfrom the kitchenadditional mounting surface weneeded (Corner Detail,far right).island article, EndAssemblies - The layout ofone of the moststriking featuresofthat project isour kitchen meant there would beone cabinet with an exposed end(Main Photd.So rather than leave thethe legs. We case side uncovered for the world towanted the samefurniture-likeappearance inthese cabinets, sowe applied thatelement here, aswell.In this case,though, we onlysee, we built a frame-and-panel endassembly,just like on the island.Theassembly consists of hardwood railsand stiles that are assembled withstub tenon and groove joints (EndAssembly). Each frame piece has agroove cut in the inside edge, whichaccepts a hardwood panel stop. Aplywood panel is glued to the stops.had to make Filler Strips - To build up thedecorative leg fronts, since they'repurely an aesthetic element ratherthan a structural one, as on the island.However,when it came rime to addthickness of the end assembly, weapplied hardwood filler strips. Thisensures that the leg side aligns withthe decorative leg front.the frame-and-panel end assemblies, Leg Sides - The purpose ofthewe did apply two plain leg sides tocomplete the illusion of legs on thecabinets.leg sides, along with two small fillerblocks, is to continue the illusion oflegs from the front of the cabinets.We made the leg fronts for the Ledge -14" SquorcNext comes the ledgeRecess,cabinets precisely the same as we did that wraps around the front andt/q" dqfor the island.W'e fint ripped an extrawideexposed ends of the cabinet. Thisblank into thin strips.Then we has been simplified from the islandr:"::d decorative details and here requires only machining it%,,-wide:u:,*d:hrin the individual stripsSr*;,before gluing to size and mitering it to length.%" deepwoRKBENcH ft DEcEMnrn 2005


BASE CABINETCONSTRUCTION VIEW1"r^'TSINK CABINETLedge1314" x ll{a",mitered iolengthIShekhers notchedfor sink cleoronceBockl/r" ply.x37"x 3072")SpocersllVz" xllz" x34Vz"lStrekher1314tt x3Vzt' x29Vz"lWIDE DRAWERCABINETFrome & Ponel--------:-\" xSVz" x36V7"lflA" ply. x 30"Leg Sup'port Block1314" x2V1' x34lz"lEd9in9l3/q" x3/t"x36Vz"lBotfroml3h" ply, x22Vt" x36th"lNOTE: All dodoes ond robbets shown ore374" wide ond %" deep.See Robbel Deloif obove, lor robbets for bock ponelEND ASSEMBTYTop/BottomFiller Strip(314t xs/trx231h"lSideFiller Stripl3/l' x3/n"x29"1Norrow Stilel3/l' x21/q" xlSlz"lSide PonelStop (/4" xV2"7a" Stub Tenon,%" long (cenlreredl\- ftlVa" xlh"groove I llJl(centered)WideStilex3x l87z"lBottrom Roill3/4r x3Vttlx23th"lToekickl3h x4 x29Vz"lTop & BotfromPonel Stopl/n" xVz" x 18"1ledge1s14" x lV4'l 1ilx24Vz"lWide leg Sidel3/t" x 3"x34lz"lFiller Block1t14" x 1V2"x 4")Norrow leg Side1t14" x2V4" x34Vz"ll3h" ply. x2'.x29Vz"l#8 xlrh" ./Fh WoodscrewWideLeg Sidel3/t" x 3"x34Vz"lWWW.WORKBENCHMAGAZINE. COM 7l


DRAWERS & DOORSWith all the casework and appliedmolding complete on the base cabinets,the next step is to build thedrawers and doors.Drawer Boxes -Although weused a variety of drawer sizesthroughout our kitchen, they allfollow the same basic constructionpattern - hardwood boxes dovetailedtogether, a plywood bottomnested in a groove, and a false frontapplied to the assembled drawer box.A couple of the wide drawers,however, have one more feature thatdistinguishes them fiom all the others.As you can see in the Photo,left, andA The lorge lower drowersin the bose cobinets the lllustration, below, these drawerscon be dlvided with simpleportitionsto moke the accept partitions, so you can dividemost of your storoge spoce.the space into smaller comparments.The partitions themselves aresimply 1/a" hardboard panels that arecut to fit into dadoes in the drawers.Cutting the dadoes can be done onthe table saw, router table, or evenwith a handheld router before theboxes get assembled.False Fronts - You may havealso noticed by now that we usedrwo different sryles of false front onthese drawers. The top drawers arefaced with a plain hardwood falsefront, while the lower drawers eachhave a frame-and-panel facade.The plain false fronts are simpleenough -just cut them to size, andattach them to the drawer boxes withscrews. The frame-and-panel falsefronts require a bit more work, butDrower Bockl/2" x43/s".Drqwer Bolloml/2" ply. x 2lVz" x 2V/z"lDRAWER ASSE'vIBIY(for wide-drower cobinet)Drower Sidel/2" x43/g" x2l'/s"ll//s"263/a"I "-dio.Finger.HoleVl'dodo,Folse Frontl3h" x 5" x283A"llY2"Portition02" Hordboordx9Vz" x2lt/tPonel Stopl/t" xVz"x length o fitfDrower Sidel/2" xl0Vz"x215/e"l22" BlumFull-ExlensionDrower Slide74" grooYe,%" deepPonell/a" ply. x233/a"x 613/c"lffi'o'uNickel PullFolse Front Roill3h" x2Vz" x24th"l7a" sfub ienonr ln" long72l3h"x2Vz"xIIs/re"lwoRKBENCH tr DEcEMnEn 2005


you should recognize this construc-tion from the end assembly. Althoughsmaller in scale, this is the same stub-tenon-and-groove frame with panelstops and a plywood panel.plywood panel is glued in behind thestops. Finally, at each corner of theframe, a wood peg adds a touch ofCraftsman sryhng (Photos, right).These are easy to create by simplyDrawer Installation - After drilling a shallow hole with amountingthedrawerboxesinsidethecabinets (the drawer slide locationsare shown inthe lJlustrations onpage72),you can attach the false fronts toForstner bit. Then chisel out thewaste to make the square mortise.Finaily, glue in a short piece of 3/s"x 3/s" stock, and sand it flush.their respective drawers. (Jse spacers Upper Cabinet Doors - Whileto create consistent gaps berlveen theit may seem a bit like putting thedrawer ftons - pocket change always cart before the horse to discuss theserves nicely for this. Then tem-porarily affix the fronts to the drawerboxes with double-sided tape as youdrive screws from inside the drawers.doors for the upper cabinets (whichbegin on the next page), they'reenough like the base cabinet doorsthat we thought it best to cover themBase Cabinet Doors - The at the same tirne. There are reallydoors on the base cabinets are iden-tical to those on the kitchen island.The hardwood frame is built withonly a few small differences.In the short upper cabinets, wetraded the plywood panel for a glassmortise-and-tenon joints (Door panel.The only change this createsAssembly). Panel stops get glued intois that the panel is attached with silgroovesin the frame parts. Then aicone adhesive instead of wood glue.DOOR ASSEMBLY(for sink cobinet),.-:. up-??! nojl_^. ./ l3A x2Vz" x153/s"lt-ffiCeniered'tvr|-lonstile I ll- ;#9s'Thick-DoorCenbred - i _ -_-T Clip-TopHingerJnKOI tt]l$ll;ll,|(-sys"BrushedNickelPullDoor Ponell/a" ply. x 127/s"x lfi/a"lINOTE: Forblind-cornercobinet, usevJ- Lrrp-rophingeDoor Stile1t14" x2V2"x223A"lThe tall doors are a bit moreinvolved because we used both a plywoodand a textured-glass panel inthese.The doors are just tootall for a single panel ofany kind.And sincewe had to dividethem anyway, wetook the opportunityto add thisattractive design element.This does, however, affect theway these doors are built. Thedivision means the additionof a center rarl (UpperCabinet5page 75).This rail isassembled withmortise-andtenonjoints, just likethe upper and lower rails.You'lI also need to groove both edgesof this center rail since there will bea oanel installed above ard below it.t/2"_1...-\_ J):3/s"A Foux pegs otthe corners ofthe fromeondponeldoorsore simple tocreote bydrilling ondchiseling osquore Pocketond thengluing in oshort peg.3/8"-squoremorlise,%" deepPonel Sopl/n" xVz"i length o35mmHole,Vz" deepWWW.WORKBENCHMAGAZINE.COM73


CONSTRUCTIONWoodworker's Hardwarc Rockler800-383-0130 800-279-4M1Rocklcr.comDrawer/door puIls, slides, hingesCabinetParts.com800-857-8721CeblnrtPartr.comHinges, Dnwet slidesThe upper cabinets, while sharingmany of the same constructiondetails of the base cabinets and island,bring in a few elements that wehaven't dealt with up to this poinr.The case construction remainspretty much the same - plywoodboxes held together with dadoes. Acouple of small differences here arethe mounting cleats attached to theback ofthe cabinet and the shelfoinTexnrctJ glass, hinges, tlrawt'r slidesBLI Lighting Specialists800-279-4441BudgetLlghtlng.com2AW, l?a'Vctlt pwck lightsholes in the sides ofthe tall cabinets.These holes accommodate anadjustable shelfthat comes a bit later.Drill the shelfpin holes before assemblingthe cases, then add the cleats asthe last step in the case construcrion.Adjustable Shelf Theadjustable shelf in each of theseupper cabinets is simply a plywoodpanel with a wide piece of hardwoodedging applied to the frontedge(ShelfEdging Detail).wideWe used theedginghere for a fewreasons. First,these shelves willbe in plain viewthrough the glasspanels inthedoors, and thewider profile justlooksSecond,nicer.theextra width addsstrength to theshelf. Finally, byattachingthisedging so that itextends beyondthe top andbottom of theshelf, it creates aledge that preventsaccidentalunloading oftheshelf. In otherwords,you wontknock the pancakemix offthe shelf when all youreally wanted was the cereal.To attach the edging, we usedbiscuis for extra strength and to helpkeep things aligned as we glued andclamped the pieces together.Face Frames - fu1efie1 6sx11-ingful difference in these cabinets isthe addition of aface frame. But differentdoesnt mean dificult.We keptthese simple by assembling theframes with pocket screws.Then weused biscuits to attach the frames tothe cases. The biscuits add a bit ofstrength, and they're a huge help inkeeping the assemblies aligned whileyou glue and clamp them.There is, however, one importantsidenote about the face frames.'Wherever the side of a cabinet buttsup against an adjoining wall, the stileon that side of the frame should becut extra-wide to allow for scribing.An extra 1/a" is ttlpically enough,but you'll want to check for anylarger irregularities in your wall,justto be safe.Door Support - We alreadycovered building the frame-andpaneldoors on page 73. But beforeyou can mount the doors in the cabinets,there are a few supporr piecesthat need to go on first.The cup hinges that we used toconnect the doors require a pretfysubstantial mounting suface insidethe cabinet.The thickness ofthe faceframe alone isnt nearly enough, sowe added a small hardwood block ateach hinge location to create thenecessary surface. These are simplyglued and clamped into the cabinet.Next, we needed door stops tokeep the flush-mount doors fromswinging too far in when they'reclosed.Those are also just small blocksinside the cabinet - one at thebottom and a larger one at the top.Finishing Touches - The finaltouch on our upper cabinets was toadd lighting to the bottom ofthe shortcabinets (Under- Cabinet Light Panel).The first step was to drill a holein the cabinet bottom for the wireto feed through.Then we attachedcleats, which were also drilled forthe wiring, to the bottom of thecabinet. Next, we cvt a 1 / 4tt plywoodpanel to size and drilled holes in itfor the puck lights. After threadingthe wire through the holes in thepanel, the cleats, and the cabinetbottom, we attached the panel withglue and screws. ffi74 woRKBENcH u DEcEMsEn 2005


UPPER CABINETS(toll cobinei shown)Foce Frome Stilel3h" x2" x 42"1Top Foce Frome Roill3/4', x4', x26,'lDoor Stop(l"x2"x 3Vz"l7n" ShelfPin Hole,3/e" deepToPl3/t" ply. x 15" x 2872")Mounting Cleoi1110" a1t/2" x2g'rlUpper Door Roil1s1a" x2V2" x lS/0")he "+hickReeded Gloss #36983173/a" x lStt/t!'lBockl/t" ply.x29V2" x42"1Door Stile131a" x2Y2" x 353/n")Middle Door Roil1s1a" x2V2" x l@/e")Door PonellA" ply. ^Vs116" x9V2"lFoux Peg57a" BrushedNickel PullBottom Door Roil1214" x2V2" x 105/ro"ls\#20'BiscuitsBoliom FoceFrome Roill3/n" x2" x26"1Hinge Blockll" x3Vz" x3Vz"l95'Thick-DoorSidel3/a" ply' x lith"x42"1(3/4"x1"x28")CobinetUNDER.CABINETTIGHT PANETl "-dio.holej*"/o"\ Fh WoodscrewNOTE: Toll cobinet doesnot hove %" plywood ponel.NOTE: Flush trim edge of focefrome when cobinet side is exposed.W \VW. WORKBEN C H M AG A Z I NE, CO M75


ar, "$. : l).."*J.,t;'f\\.t.. \r|.IWOIIKBENCH N DECEMBER 2OO5


OVERVIEW:How To lnstqll Butcher-Block Counters,rll fa\/t '=re / \Counterbores & Edge HolesBiscuits olign countertop ----- receive counlertop fosteners (poge 78) 45'Chomfer fi / \ n-T--.sec'onsor^,,")y;oround sink opening echoeseLlFtbeuel on sink rim (poge 79)\W-/'\B\\\ -/u fI ffi-l!, v Robbet routed oroundunderside of sink openingrecesses sink into thickcountertop (poge 79)./ - p Counterlopa:\ '[Fosteners- (poge 78)Oversizeinq Holesewood movement*...;....q,*t\#10 x l7z" Ph'SheetMetol Screw,,,/ ,4.// /t/SinkKohler K-3.l 60-HKohler.com;800-456-4537\\,,,,Undermount',r'l''A6,SinkSeolont#10 x 3/a" PhSheet Meiol ScrewPocket Foro ron off the kirchen cabinets onpage 68, I wanted countertops thatwere elegant and durable, with aclassic look that compiemented thecabinets. But I didn't want to break thebudget with stone or solid surfacing. Idecided that maple butcher-block counterswould be the best choice.At first, I figured I d just build the counterrops.But the idea of cutting. jointing,gluing up, and sanding all those strips ofhard maple into perfectly flat slabs was abit daunting. Plus, a quick count proved I'dhave to make a major investment in barclamps to have enough for the job.Using Pre-Made Tops -ThattwhenI arrived at a per€ct compronrise: Id buythe countertops, and then install them mysel{For the tops, I turned toJohn Boos andConrpany (lghlrDoes.ead.The maple topsI used are 11/2" thick and come in 2- to72-foot lengths. Plus, they're economical atIess than $4 per square foot.In some situations, you may be able toorder countertops in the exact length thatyou need. More often, though, you'll orderthem extra long and then cut them to fit.A Quick Overview - Installing thetops was really a straightforward process.The Illustratiort above shows what's involved.The big challenge here is cutting the longnriters where the rwo sections meet. But arouter and shop-built guide make it easy(page 78).Two more jigs simplift installing theunique fasteners thatjoin the secfions.I also added an undermount sink. whichrequired clean, accurate cuts and a decorativeedge (Sink Detail).Aeain, a router andtemplate keep the process simple (page 79).After that, it's just a matter of mountingthe countertops to the cabinets.This is likeinstalling any other countertop, except themounting holes are oversize, as shownabove, to allow the countertop to expandand contract with changes in humidity.77


PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHERStep l:Miter motingends ot 45'S|r;p2z/Cut slots for #20 biscuitsused to olign sectionsSlep 5:Cut couniertopsto lenqthI'l---,Step 8:Glue up countertopsections ond thenmount to cobinetsSrep 6:Test fit countertop ond scribeedges to motch wollStep 3:Drill counterbores ondedge holes for fostenerseCounfertop fi nsfmllatinnSequerr*eMibr Joint#20BiscuitsEven when using pre-made countertops,you'll still have to fit them to the cabinets.Just what's involved depends on your countertoplayout. But the basics are detailed inrhe Installation Sequence atleft.A Mighty-Long Miter -An L-shapedcounter requires long miters to mate thetwo sections. Adrnittedly, the thought ofmessing up this step had me sweating a bit.That's because any gaps in that jointwould be very visible.And I knew it wouldbe tough to cut the hard, thick maplecleanly using a circular saw.For these reasons, it's a good idea to cutthe miters before doing anything else. Ifthe nriters are "off" a bit, you'll have plenryof extra material to retrim and try again.A Rout to Tighter Miters - To getthe cleanest, straightest rniters possible, Icut them using a router and a spiral bit(and the advice on page 32). Use an edgeguide to rnake sure the router moves in aperfectly straight line (Fig. 1).After mitering both sections, rnake surethe joint fits together tightly. If necessary,retrinr the nriters before uroving on.Bring in Biscuits -You'll use mechanicalfasteners to secure the miter joint, butthe countertop manufacturer reconrmendsadding biscuits to strengthen and align thejoint (Biscuit Detail).1 used rwo rows due tothe thickness of the countertop (Fig.2).AAfter loying out the miter ongle, clompon edge guide in ploce to guide therouter. Moke 1/t" deep posses, holdingthe router tightly ogoinsthe guide fence.78ATwo rows of #20 biscuits help olignthe moting edges of the tops. Cut slotsfor ihe biscuits 1/2" from eoch foce ondbetween the fostener locotions.lAfter boring holes for the fosteners,dryJit the slobs to moke sure they drowtogether tightly. A lorge noil or noil setis used to tighten the fosteners (lnset).woRKBENCH tr DECEMBER 2005


Finish Up with Fasteners -Tojointhecountertop sections, I used Tite Joint fasteners(available from Rockler.com). Theyhave sleeves that fit into counterbores in theunderside of each countertop section. Drawbols span berween the sleeves through holesdrilled in the edge of each ptece (FastenerDetail).To simpli$' aligning these holes, Imade a pair ofjigs, shown on page 34.After installing the hardware, dry-fit thejoint to test the fit (Fig.3). Snug down theAsteners, but don't glue up the joint yet.CutTo Length,Then Scribe -'Withthe countertop temporarily assembled, youcan measure and cut each section to length.Like the miters, this is best done with arouter and spiral bit.That done, temporarily position thecountertop on the cabinets. Chances aregood that you'll notice gaps berween theback edges of the counter and the walls. Ifso, you'll need to scribe the back edges tomatch the contours of the wall, and thentrim them to fit. (See the October 2005issue of Workbench.) Now disassemble thesections to make sink instaliation easier.Sink Into the Opening - I outfittedmy countertop with an undermount sink,so the opening had to be straight and square,with clean edges.A router and spiral bit arethe tools of choice, once again. But insteadof using an edge guide. I cut a hardboardtemplate and equipped the router with aguide bushing. See page 32 to learn more.Once you complete the template, attachit to the countertop with double-sided tape.Then rout the opening (Figs. 4 and 4a).The sink I chose has a polished, bevelededge around the rim (Photo,nght).I decidedto echo this design by routing a chamferaround the opening (Figs 5 and 5a).Next, I laid the counter face down androuted a rabbet to recess the sink in theopening (Figs, 6 and 6a).Many rabbeting biswon't cut a 3/+"-wide rabbet. But I founda Superabbet bit from Amana (#49360,AmanaTools.conr) with enough capaciry.The sink rnounts with U-shaped clipsthat span between the sink rim and thecountertop (Illustration, right). Llke the sinkitself, the clips are recessed into pocketsaround the sink opening (Fig.7).That done, you can bore holes for thefaucet. Locations for these vary, so use thetemplate included with the faucet as a guide.Finish & Install - Now reassembleand glue up the sections before sandingand applying finish.Y/hen it dries, mountthe sink and install the faucet. Finally, screwthe countertop to the cabinets. tMlA chomfer on the edge of the sinkopening echoes the beveled sink rim.5inkInstollotion{frorn underside}NOTE: Apply obeod of siliconeseolont inrobbet beforeinstolling sinkMoveroulerMoverouiermultiple 7a " -deep posses%" HordboordSink TemploteRout multiple 7a " -deep-\posses lo ochieve 72" chomferNOTE: Rout chomfer withcountertop lying foce upRemove bulk of wosc by boring twocounbrbores wifi 70" Forstner bitWWW.WORKtsENCHMAGAZINE.COM


98 1/226 1/437 1/2 30 1/21 1/2B642 1/4B1 1/2CC2 1/413 183629A22 1/4 55 1/4628 1/222 7/834 1/2SECTION C-CSECTION A-AA4SECTION B-BREVISED JULY 27,05WORKBENCH 291 Kitchen Upgrade Downing 1


2423 1/41/2 2 1/4TOP VIEW65 1/463 3/41/42231/21/21/227 3/436291/21/461 3/81 3/81/44FRONT VIEWEND VIEWWORKBENCH 291 Kitchen Upgrade Downing 2


1/4 x 18 x 18"rift oak ply(2) 3/4 x 3/4 x 23 1/4"filler strips3/4 x 9 1/4 x 23 1/4"3/4 x 3 x 6"(2) 3/4 x 3/4 x 29"filler strips3/4 x 2 1/4 x 6"1/4 x 1/4 x 17 1/2"stop3/4 x 1 1/4 x 24 1/2"1/4 x 1/4 x 18"stop3/4 x 2 1/4 x 18"3/4 x 3 x 18"3/4 x 3 1/4 x 23 1/4"(2) 3/4 x 1 1/2 x 4"filler blocks3/4 x 3 x 27 3/4"3/4 x 2 1/4 x 27 3/4"WORKBENCH 291 Kitchen Upgrade Downing 3


3/4" rabbet,1/4" deep1/2" rabbet,1/4" deepto house 1/4" back panel3/4" dado,1/4" deep1414 1/2Assemble carcaseusing #8 x 1 /4" FHWS1/43 1/223 1/423 1/423 3/43 1/23/4 x 3/4"edge bandA3 1/25 1/4185 1/41334 1/221 3/419 1/234 1/2233/430 1/23/4418A2 1/414 1/2 42 37 1/2430 1/2SECTION A-ACutout as needed for sinkLARGE DRAWER BASESMALL DRAWER BASECORNER BASESINK BASEWORKBENCH 291 Kitchen Upgrade Downing 4


22A1/222B1212 3/41/4SECTION A-A5/163/8Center all drawer guideson drawer sides, top tobottom1717 3/41/43/8A1/23/83/412 3/41/2SECTION B-B5/164 3/855B3/83/417 3/421 5/84 3/85522C21 5/8Drawer SlidesBlum #3487622" whit epoxycoated28 28 3/41/23/85/161/23/828 3/4CSECTION C-C4 3/8521 5/8REVISED JULY 27,05WORKBENCH 291 Kitchen Upgrade Downing 5


B1/46 1/27 1/81 3/81/22713/82121 1/49 15/169 1/2101/4AA1/4281/421 1/2SECTION B-B5/16SECTION A-A5/16B2 1/2 23 3/4 2 1/29/16221 1/82 1/2 7 3/4 2 1/23/81/22221 5/83/86 5/162 1/211 5/1610 1/22 1/211 5/1621 5/828 3/41/412 3/41/4REVISED JULY 27,05WORKBENCH 291 Kitchen Upgrade Downing 6


3/8 x 3/8" mortise1/4" deep3/8 x 1 1/2"mortise, 1 1/4"deep3/8 x 1 1/2" tenon, 1/4" longHINGESBlum #55879thick door, inset3/8 x 3/8 x 1/4" plug1/4 x 1/2" panel stop12 7/83/41 1/8A3/41 1/43/161/23/83/81/22 1/21/21/41/43/81 1/41/4" groove,1/4" deep1/42 1/21/41/41/41/4" plywood panel22 3/417 3/418 1/42 1/217 3/41 1/41/41/41/41/22 1/23/163/83/161 1/2A17 7/8SECTION A-A1/23/81/2WORKBENCH 291 Kitchen Upgrade Downing 7


99 1/2A1/2 3/4sealant52 1/225DETAIL ASCALE 1 : 13A1 7/8A1 1/2SECTION B-B1/2 1/211/8SECTION A-AWORKBENCH UNDER-MOUNT SINK Downing 1


36.00 65.00 29.0042 1/22 1/222 1/222 3/828 5/822 5/822 1/428 1/222 1/43215 13/1629 1/214 9/162 1/229 1/214 9/16237 5/837 7/843 7/8212 5/162512 5/161/8


IlIDIointers haven't changed rnuch over the last fewdecades. But recently, several ntanufacturers have' borrowed an old woodworking concept to makea jointer a better, cleaner-cutting tool.To understand this concept, think about using a handplane. Conventional wisdom says to skew the blade atan angle to the workpiece.The result is a shearing cutthat leaves a snoother suface and prevents tearout.Dire Straights - unfortunately, most joinrers don'rallow you to cut this way.This is due to the design ofthejointer cutterhead - it has straight knives that chopin a motion that's perpendicular to the edge of theboard (Illustration, below left).Thrs can cause tearout, especiallywhen you're working with highly figured wood.Evidence of this chopping motion can also be seen inthe tiny wood chips straight knives produce.The Spiral Solution - Recently, the concept ofskewing a hand plane at an angle has been incorporatedinto the design ofjointer cutterheads.'With knives thatwrap around the cutterhead in a spiral, these tools shearthe wood fibers, rather than chopping them (lllustration,below right).The result is a smoother cut that produceslonger shavings - and requires a lot less sanding.To the Test - This distinction became especiallyclear when I compared a straight-knife jointer cutterheadwith a spiral cutterhead.To truly push their capabilities,I set the depth on the two jointers for aggressive, 1/s"-deep cuts.Then I jointed the edge of a 1,0/ 4 maple boardon the two machines. The results shown in the Photobelow speak for themselves.Turn to page 84 for an overview ofthe spiral cutterherdsyou can use on yourjointer.Shoight Kniveschop wood,cousing chotlerteoroutSpirol Knivessheor wood foro smoother surfoceSTANDARD SPIRALCUTTERHEAD CUTTERHEADA Edge groin wos gougedseverely ofter o poss over oiointer wiih stroight knives. Spirolknives left the some edge smooth.WORKBENCH f] DECEMSTN 2OO5


EDGESPIRALHIGH-SPEEDSTEEL KNIVESHELICALCARBIDEINSERTSdtSPIRAI CUTTERHEADS: THREE NEW OPTTONSWhen it comes to replacing a srraighr- dull just as quickly as standard highkrLiGjointer cutterhead, there are tluee speed steel knives (especially in mandi{Ierentoptions: spiral high-speed ufactured materials Like plywood andsteel (HSS) knives, staggered carbide MDF). And if you hit a nail, you'Ilinserts, and helical carbide inserts need to replace (or resharpen) the(Photos, aboue).Each sryle is available entire knife. The upside is the reaonboth 6" and 8" cutterheads (as sonable price:9140 for a 6" head andwell as longer heads for professional $220 for an 8" head (800-929-4321;models) to fit the jointers of mostStrnlrillMrchiner):conr).major manufacturers. Staggered Carbide - One ofSpiral HSS - The spiral HSS the carbide cutterheads we looked atcutterhead we tested came fror.n was fronr'Woodtek (top ntiddle), ItSunhill Machinery (top le;ft),It fea- has dozens of individual carbidetures flexible knives that twist around inserts staggered along the length ofthe cutterhead.The height of these the head in aV-shaped pattern.knives is pre-set in the cutterhead These carbide inserts stay sharperby the manufacturer. If you need to longer than high-speed steel, whichreplace them after installing the cut- is a big plus if you're working withterhead (see Box belour), the knives a manufactured material such asare self-regrstering.melamine or MDE Plus, if the insertsThese knives produced glass- ger dull, you simply rorate rhem asmooth cuts throughout our testing. quarter-turn. Considering that eachThe only downside is that they will insert has four separate cutting edges,this extends the cutting life of eachinsert significantly.Each carbide insert has a countersunkhole in the middle, whichmakes it self-registering.A mark onthe face of each cutter keeps youfromgetting mixed up whenchanging inserts.The only drawbackis the price: $320 for a 6" head and$400 for an 8" head (800-645-9292;Wooclrvolke r-.conr).Helical Carbide - The thirdspiral cutterhead is r.nanufactr-rred byByrdTool (top rlqht), It also has carbideinserts, but the edges of theseinserts align with one another as theywrap around the head. This slightdesign di{ference rnakes the Byrdhead excel. Even when cutcing highiyfigured woods like birdseye maple,the "eyes" don't tear out.The 6" headis $350,and the 8" is $450 (800-441-2973; ll),'rclTbol.corn).INSTALLTNG A CUTTERHEADOutfeedTobleInstalling a new spiral cutterhead can be done fairly easily usingthe directions supplied with the curterheads. But be preparedto devote at least a couple hours to the installation.Changing Cutterheads - The lllustration at left provides abrief overview ofwhatt involved in changing cutterheads.Thefirst steps are removing the blade guard, fence assembly, andpulley guard.Then you'll need to lower both tables to access thecutterhead, remove the pulley, and remove the bolts that holdthe cutterhead in place.With the old cutterhead removed, reverse the steps to installa new one.Then reset the table heights, and you're ready to joint.woRKBENcH - DEcEMBTI 2005


TOOrget o gripON YOURWORKFeatherboards are invaluable formany table saw operations. But mostfeatherboards I've seen have one limitation- they only exert pressure inone direction (either inward againstthe fence or downward againsthesaw or router table).The new Grip-Tite 2000 systemeliminates this probler.n. It featurestwo featherboards that apply pressureinward and downward at thesanre time (Photo, right). Here'.s howthe systern works.An extremely strong magnet isbuilt into the base of each featherboard(lnsct Photo).This rragnet letsyou secure the featherboards quicklyand easily to a steel auxiliary fence(included with the package) thatattaches to the rip fence (Photo,abouc).The actual pressure is applied bya roller guide, which is attached toa flexible plastic arrn. An abrasivesleeve covering the roller helps togrip the workpiece.Downward Pressure -Ji sxs1lpressure dou'nward, the arm that holdsthe roller guideworks like a spring.The idea is to positionthe Gatherboardso the arm is slightlycompressed as youGed a workpieceunder it. That way,the roller guide pushes the piecedownward againsthe table saw.Inward Pressure -The secondjob of the roller guide is to applypressure inward against the fence.Tosee how this works, look at the TbpView below. Note that the roller isangled slightly toward the fence.Because it's angled like this, the rollerguide gently pulls the workpiecetoward the fence as you make a cut.That's especially handy whenworking with large sheets of materialthat have a tendency to drift awayfronr the fence.The Grip-Tite 2000 Systen.r isavailable from MesaVista Designs for$150. For nrore information. go to(lrip-Titc.conr or call 800-475-0293.{r**61{,tbnor[,Guide>To opply pressuredownword,odiusthe feotherboordso the ormholding ihe rollerguide is compressed/SideViefl. The rollerguide is olsoongled inword,which mokes itsteer the workgently toword thelence (Top View).Workpiece . oownworo paessuneRollerGuideis ongledb pullworkpieceiowordthe fenceVo*piec,f€eddirectionI86woRKBENcH tr DEcEMesn 2005


Tools",iff'ffiPRODUCTSColt Pqlm RouterTAMINATE TRIMMERBosch recently updated their line oflaminate trimmers with severalenhancements over the previousmodel. The new line of trimmersbears the name Colt Palm Router.The enhancements include amodest power increase (5.7 amps upfrom 5.6) and a higher top speed(35,000 RPM compared to 30,000RPM). Additionally, a variable-speedmodel ofthe trimmer is now available.which is a 6rst for Bosch rrinrnrers.A number of comfort featuresand ergonomic improvements arepart of the redesigned trrmmer, aswell. For better comfort and control,Bosch added finger-support"pockets" to the trimmer base, anda soft-grip body to the variablespeedmotor (Photo, aboue).Several accessories are availableto complement the trimmer,including an offset base co extendthe router's reach (Plrcto, niddle right)and a tilt base for trimrling laminatesat an angle (Photo,bottom right).Prices for Colt Palm Routersrange from around 9100 for thesingle-speed model up to about 9250for a complete laminate installer'skit that includes the offiet base, tiltbase, edge guide, and carrying case.Visit BoschTbols.conr or call 877-267 -2499 for more information.{ An optionoloffset bose ollowsyou to work rightup ogoinsthewoll ond trim obocksplosh.

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