Woodworking | Blog | Videos | Plans | How To https://www.woodworkersjournal.com/ America's Leading Woodworking Authority Fri, 05 Apr 2024 20:57:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.0.7 PROJECT: In-Drawer Knife Block https://www.woodworkersjournal.com/project-in-drawer-knife-block/ Fri, 05 Apr 2024 20:57:41 +0000 https://www.woodworkersjournal.com/?p=69486 Add custom storage to almost any kitchen drawer with a simple-to-make knife block.

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The best way to store kitchen knives is in a knife block. It will keep them organized and protect the blades from both getting damaged and perhaps even injuring you! While countertop knife blocks often serve as decorative accents in a kitchen, not everyone wants their cutlery on display. Or maybe you just don’t have room for another object on the countertop. A knife block that fits inside a drawer is a great space-saving alternative.

Gluing up blocks for knife storage
Face-glue and clamp three pairs of bottom inside dividers together, and do the same for the handle rest halves. Be careful to keep the part edges and ends aligned while the glue is still tacking up.

The two-level design I’ve come up with here is relatively easy to build and offers a wide range of customization options. The dividers are made from a combination of 1/2″- and 3/4″-thick solid walnut and mounted on a 1/4″-thick Baltic birch plywood base. But you can choose just about any species of wood, mix and match multiple species or even use Baltic birch plywood for all the parts, if you like.

Cutting the Parts

Look at the the Drawings and Material List to familiarize yourself with the knife block’s design and pieces. Start construction by ripping enough 2-1/4″-wide stock to make the bottom inside and outside dividers.

Then rip 1-3/8″-wide pieces for the top dividers and handle rest. Crosscut the bottom dividers, top dividers and handle rest parts 1/4″ longer than necessary for now.

Shaping the Dividers and Rest

Marking contour cuts on knife blocks with compass
Draw a 3-3/4″ radius on the top front corner of each of the bottom inside and outside dividers. Mark the four top dividers with 1-5/16″ radii.

Face-glue three pairs of bottom inside dividers together, and do the same for the two handle rest parts. Carefully align their edges and ends flush. When the glue dries, unclamp and crosscut the parts to final length.

Using band saw to round off knife storage blanks
Cut the divider curves to rough shape at the band saw or with a jigsaw. Saw just to the waste side of your layout lines.

Now grab your compass to lay out a 1-5/16″ radius on the sides of the top dividers and a 3-3/4″ radius on the sides of the bottom dividers. Then, use a band saw or jigsaw to cut just outside the layout line on each divider.

Sanding down sharp edges on knife storage block
For both consistency and effi ciency, the author clamped the top and bottom dividers into groups so he could gang-sand their curves to the layout lines.

I clamped the top dividers into a single group and did the same for the bottom dividers so I could sand their curves to the layout lines all at once. Next, use a hand plane, file or sanding block to shape a slight radius on the top of the handle rest. When that’s done, sand all the knife block parts to 180-grit.

Assembling the Knife Block

Shaping rest piece for knife storage block
Mark the top edge of the handle rest with a slight radius, and shape it with a block plane, file or sanding block.

Cut the plywood base to size as well as seven spacers for the top and bottom dividers from 1/4″-thick scrap. Place the bottom dividers upside down and insert spacers between them, aligning the back ends of all pieces. The spacers are narrower than the dividers to prevent them from contacting the base when the dividers are installed.

Clamping parts for knife storage block glue-up
Arrange the inside and outside bottom dividers together, upside down, and insert 1/4″-thick scrap spacers between them. Align the parts so the back ends of the dividers are even.

Clamp the dividers and spacers together. Apply a thin layer of glue to the bottom edges of the dividers only. Then flip the divider-and-spacer assembly over and clamp it to the base.

Using clamping caul to secure knife block glue-up
Clamp the bottom divider assembly to the knife block’s base so the back edges and sides of the parts are flush. A scrap caul can be helpful for pressing each divider down with clamps, as needed.

When that glue-up dries, remove the clamps and spacers. Repeat the assembly process to install the top dividers. Glue and mount the handle rest to the base where it best suits the handles of your knives.

Attaching handle rest to knife block assembly
Glue and install the top dividers on the bottom dividers with spacers in between. Mount the handle rest on the base with glue and clamps.

Finally, lightly sand all surfaces with 220-grit paper and apply a wipe-on poly finish to all surfaces. It will be foodsafe once the finish completely cures.

Click Here to Download the Drawings and Materials List.

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Rare-earth Magnet Bit Holders https://www.woodworkersjournal.com/rare-earth-magnet-bit-holders/ Thu, 04 Apr 2024 17:13:15 +0000 https://www.woodworkersjournal.com/?p=69480 This simple shop storage tip will help you keep your screw driver bits handy.

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I screwed these countersunk rare-earth magnets to the back of the cabinet door where I keep my cordless screwdriver. They hold my most often used screwdriver bits at the ready. The magnets have about a 1/8″ projection, which makes grabbing the bits easy. If you adopt this trick for your shop, be sure to gently hand-drive the screws, since rare-earth magnets are brittle.

– Bruce Kieffer
Edina, Minnesota

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Festool TSV 60 KEB-F-Plus Plunge-cut Saw https://www.woodworkersjournal.com/festool-tsv-60-keb-f-plus-plunge-cut-saw/ Wed, 03 Apr 2024 21:19:59 +0000 https://www.woodworkersjournal.com/?p=69458 New corded track saw has a diamond-tooth scoring blade that delivers splinter-free cuts.

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Industrial-grade panel saws often have a smaller blade, situated in front of the main blade, to pre-score the surface of what’s being cut before the primary blade cuts completely through it. It’s a highly effective means of eliminating splintering on the face of the panel where the primary blade teeth emerge.

This sort of technology is never off ered on conventional table saws for home shops, much less portable track saws! That is, until now, with Festool’s revolutionary new TSV 60 KEB-F-Plus Plunge-cut Saw with Scoring Function.

Side profile of Festool TSV 60 track saw
While other Festool and competitor track saws rely on splinter guards to prevent tearout, the TSV 60 adopts a double-bladed panel-saw approach.

Typical track saws, including Festool’s family of other models, all rely on a flexible, replaceable splinter guard fixed to the edge of the guide rail to minimize splintering. There’s also often an appendage surrounding the front of the blade on the saw. Initially, the blade trims the splinter guard system so it forms a zero-clearance interface with the blade. That works great until the saw makes enough cuts to create ragged edges in the splinter guard. Then, splintering begins to happen anyway.

Diamond Precision

Festool TSV 50 diamond tooth scoring blade
A single diamond tooth on the scoring blade helps ensure that the top face of what’s being cut will be as splinter-free as the bottom face.

On the new TSV 60 saw, a 12-7/32″-diameter scoring blade with a single diamond tooth spins clockwise, just ahead of the blade. It creates a clean, shallow kerf that prevents the primary blade from lifting wood fibers or fragile melamine when the teeth rise up and out of the cut. This way, the bottom face of what’s being cut is cut cleanly by the primary blade as usual, and so is the more challenging top face. Festool aims this scoring feature at the most splinter-and-chip-prone materials, including plywood, chipboard of various sorts, high-pressure laminate panels and specially veneered and plastic-coated panels.

Other Standard Features

Making an angled cut with TSV 60 track saw
The scoring blade tilts with the saw’s primary blade housing, so bevel cuts also benefit from this splinter prevention feature.

Festool makes the scoring blade function both adjustable and able to be deactivated when needed, such as when making plunge cuts.

This saw also incorporates Festool’s proven dust collection provisions and unique KickbackStop feature, which electronically detects a kickback the instant it begins to occur and stops the motor within a fraction of a second.

Festool track saw and track

The scoring blade unit is integral with the saw’s main blade housing, so tilting the tool for making bevel cuts up to 45 degrees will produce splinter-free cuts on par with those made at 0 degrees.

Festool’s EC-TEC motor with constant feedback circuitry powers the saw to ensure consistent power delivery and blade speed regardless of the cutting load. It plugs into a standard outlet with a 13-ft power cord.

Angled view of Festool TSV 60 plunge cut saw off track

The TSV-60’s 6-5/8″-diameter, 42-tooth blade will cut through material up to 2-3/8″ thick, with the saw set to 0 degrees of tilt. And blade change-outs are easy, thanks to Festool’s FastFix spindle stop, which is found on all of the company’s track saw models. The saw fits other Festool guide rails as well, including the FSK Cross Cutting Guide Rail.

Nova Neptune

Motor: EC-TEC, 115-volt

Primary Blade: 6-5/8″-diameter thin kerf, 42-tooth

Scoring Blade: 1-27/32″-diameter diamond tooth

Maximum Cutting Depth: 2-3/8″

Power Cord Length: 13.12 ft

Weight: 13.23 lbs

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Too Much of a Good Thing? https://www.woodworkersjournal.com/much-of-a-good-thing/ Tue, 02 Apr 2024 15:51:19 +0000 https://www.woodworkersjournal.com/?p=69447 In this issue, Chris has some regrets, a food safe finish, a turning tip pluas plans for a printer stand and a desk.

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Chris Marshall photo

Early in my woodworking hobby, I got caught up in the desire to start stockpiling wood — especially when it seemed like a great deal. At the time, Joe, my mailman, would drive by the house and see me in my garage, busily working away on something or other. He could hear the whine of my woodworking machines and put two and two together.

“Hey, I cut down a walnut tree a couple of years ago and had it sliced into boards,” he informed me one day. “Want to buy some?”

It was the siren call I really didn’t need to hear, but her alluring voice was just too sweet to resist. The next afternoon, I was in his backyard shuffling through a stack of grayed walnut boards. The board price was low — around $1.50. Before long I was tossing boards into my van with almost reckless abandon. I bought to my price limit.

But reality sunk in when I got home. I had purchased far more than I could fit in my crowded garage, and looking at each piece more carefully, the bows, twists, cups, splits and loose knots I had failed to notice in Joe’s backyard were suddenly obvious. What had I done?

My thrill of a great deal turned out to be a humbling experience. In the end, I made a fair number of smaller projects from that walnut, and much of it was decent quality. Some of it was even exceptional! I relished every board that revealed beautiful heartwood, and I gained a new appreciation of all the creamy sapwood on other pieces. I still have a little of that walnut left today after all these years. It serves as a reminder to keep my enthusiasm in check … and to only put on my plate what I can actually eat.

Have you ever heard the same siren call? Please share your story and any lessons you learned from it!

Chris Marshall, Woodworker’s Journal

Food-safe Finish Options

Rubbing food safe finish on salad tongs
Bumblechutes’ Woodworker’s Oil and All-In-One Wood Conditioner are ideal for kitchenware.

Rounding Gouge Heels

Rounded gouge heel area
This reader’s tip will help you make a small adjustment to your turning tools to help give you more control during your bowl-turning endeavors.

Dovetailed Printer Stand

Simple desktop printer stand with shelf
This home office project will help you brush up on your dovetailing skills.

Mission Oak Desk

Mission-style desk with fold down desktop
Inspired by designs from 1910, our author built these knockdown desks for his daughters as they headed off to college. They save space and are easy to assemble and disassemble by college kids on the move!

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Benefits of Guild Membership https://www.woodworkersjournal.com/benefits-of-guild-membership/ Tue, 02 Apr 2024 15:00:06 +0000 https://www.woodworkersjournal.com/?p=69434 Readers share their experiences of being woodworking guild members.

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Last week, Chris wondered if you are a member of a woodworking guild. Several of you share those experiences. – Editor

“Your latest newsletter asked for the benefits of a local woodworking guild. I became a member of the Central Virginia Woodworking Guild a little over a year ago. Some of my thoughts about guild membership are tangible; however, many benefits are difficult to discern and place into words. Since I am of German heritage, I love making lists, so here goes: 1) Knowledge. Seeking and finding that elusive bit of information that solves a sticky problem. A solution that even YouTube videos have not provided. 2) An extensive email list of the members. There’s gotta be a couple of hundred fellow woodworkers on the list. I blasted out two emails to the group this past year. First one was to locate a woodturner who could turn an 8-ft-long wood column for a historic house. Found him. Second was to source a planer to replace mine that crapped out mid-project. Found an older 15″ Grizzly planer and had it chipping away within two days. Third time was a group email from a member who was shutting down his shop and offered tools to members. Nothing like getting first dibs on tools. 3) Inspiration. At each meeting, a few members will bring recently completed projects. We get inspired by others’ creativity. How they solved a problem. What worked for them and how their solutions could work for my projects. 4) Fellowship. I am not a particularly outgoing person. Turns out, many of the other members are not either. Many of us are wood geeks. We are entirely comfortable in our shop. Not as much around others. But a connection is there. And when we talk with one another we understand each other. Ever try to communicate your enthusiasm about a new tool to a non-woodworker? Notice how quickly their eyes glaze over? 5) Networking. All of us have goals. To achieve them, enlisting the group is powerful. Our challenges can be solved by group power. I am certain more benefits are there – just not uncovered from my mind.” – Kim Fischer

“I’d like to tell you about my experience with the Florida Westcoast Woodworkers Club, of which I used to be a member. The club had around 100 members with several being snowbirds. On average, meeting attendance was usually between 20 and 30. We usually got better attendance at the winter Christmas party and the spring picnic. The club met in one of the club member’s shops, which was a large warehouse-sized shop. Our members ranged in age from their twenties to their eighties, and the wealth of knowledge and experience was extraordinary. The members’ experience consisted of flat work, turners, carvers, chip carvers, intarsia and more. One of the members created a jig that he patented and sells that will make a perfect sphere on a lathe. We met once a month as a group with additional skill-specific monthly meetings, such as for turners. The general meeting consisted of a short ‘business’ meeting followed by a presentation (more on that later). Then a break followed by ‘Show and Tell,’ where members brought in one or more pieces of their work and briefly discussed it. As the meeting drew to a close, we’d have a raffle and other giveaways for members. The heart of every meeting was the presentation. Many of the presentations were by club members, but we had outside presenters too. One annual presenter worked for Titebond (and he gave away samples). By the questions asked of the various presenters, it was clear that we learned something from most presentations. One of the other things the group did was to support the Manatee County Food Bank with their fundraiser each year. The food bank has local chefs who prepare their signature soups. The club’s turners created bowls that were given away with the soup. Those of us who were not turners donated other items for their auction. I donated a half dozen sets of coasters I make. The best part for me and, I think for most of us, was the camaraderie. The experiences, stories and help that we all shared with one another made the time I spent with the group invaluable. Unfortunately, due to family medical issues, we moved back to Pennsylvania from Florida last spring. I really do miss the group. My suggestion, if you’re considering joining a woodworking group, is to attend a meeting or two to see what the club has to offer you and what you can offer the club. Hope this helps.” – Barry Meyers

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Rounding Gouge Heels https://www.woodworkersjournal.com/rounding-gouge-heels/ Fri, 29 Mar 2024 15:00:19 +0000 https://www.woodworkersjournal.com/?p=69410 This reader's tip will help you make a small adjustment to your turning tools to help give you more control during your bowl-turning endeavors.

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As part of sharpening a bowl gouge, I have learned that occasionally grinding the heel is very beneficial, especially when turning deeper, smaller bowls. Without the sharper heel, I’m able to turn the gouge to a tighter radius as I’m hollowing out bowl interiors. If I place the gouge between the platform and the sharpening wheel with the heel against the wheel, then slowly rotate the gouge, I get a smooth and uniform grind to remove the heel.

– Howard Hirsch
Downingtown, Pennsylvania

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PROJECT: Dovetailed Printer Stand https://www.woodworkersjournal.com/project-dovetailed-printer-stand/ Thu, 28 Mar 2024 21:49:53 +0000 https://www.woodworkersjournal.com/?p=69384 This home office project will help you brush up on your dovetailing skills.

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Aproject doesn’t have to have “heirloom” potential to be worth building, of course, and that was the case for this little organizer. I simply needed a way to stack a printer, scanner and a ream of paper to take up less space on my desk. The stand’s through dovetails on top aren’t crucial, but they gave me a good reason to practice my sawing and chopping skills, which had gotten a little rusty. If your dovetailing could use a refresher course too, perhaps earmark this project as one to build before diving into a bigger dovetailing commitment.

Preparing a Long Panel

Marking cut lines for printer stand on wood panel
Laying out the project parts sequentially on a single long panel enables the grain to flow as continuously as possible from one side of the printer stand to the other, harmonizing the pattern.

There are only four parts on this stand’s Material List, so its modest lumber requirement provides a nice opportunity to try an exotic or figured wood you wouldn’t normally choose. I settled on a piece of swirly grained bubinga. Its irregular pattern and reddish color reminds me of marble more than wood!

Whatever species you choose, rip and crosscut enough 3/4″-thick stock to glue up a panel measuring 16″ wide by 48″ long. Joint and plane the boards carefully to minimize the glue seams as much as possible, then glue and clamp them up. When the joints dry and the panel comes out of the clamps, plane, scrape or sand any uneven glue seams flat, and sand the panel up to 120-grit.

Using marking knife to determine top side of printer stand
Set a marking gauge slightly wider than the thickness of the top panel, and incise a baseline around what will be the top end of each side panel. These will register a chisel blade later.

The reason for beginning with a single panel is so you can harvest the individual workpieces from it to harmonize the grain pattern. Square up the ends of the panel. Then, starting from one end, mark an 8″ length for one side panel, a 16-1/2″-long piece next to it for the top panel and another 8″ piece after that for the other side panel. Crosscut the parts to rough size. What’s left of the panel is the shelf. Trim it to 15-1/2″ wide and 15″ long. Finish up this step by trimming the sides to 7-1/2″ long and the top to its final length of 16″.

Starting with Tails

Marking out dovetail joinery on printer stand with saddle squares
Clamp the side panels together to lay out the pin sockets simultaneously on both boards. Rockler’s 90-degree and 1:6 Dovetail Saddle Squares can make this layout process easier.

There’s no shame in cutting through dovetails with a router and a dovetail jig, if you’d rather do that. But I like the ability to create narrower pins than my dovetail jig will allow and the freedom to space the pattern as I choose — two big advantages of cutting dovetails by hand.

If you like the look of the dovetail pattern shown on the facing page and in the Drawings, we’ll start by laying out the tails on the two side panels. Grab a sharp marking gauge and scribe a baseline for the tails all the way around the top ends of both side panels. Set these scribe lines about 1/32″ wider than the thickness of the top panel (this way, the tops of the tails will protrude slightly above the top panel when the joints are assembled).

Using hand saw to cut out dovetail tails along marked lines
Sawing the angled layout lines that form the pin sockets/tails is often done freehand.

Now lay out the center points of the pins every 2″ across the tops of the sides. This spacing will create a half socket on both ends of the side panels and six pin sockets in between. I did this by first clamping both side panels together with their ends and edges aligned and their “show” faces pointing outward. That way, I could mark the center points on one board and extend the layout lines across to the other board so the sockets would align perfectly.

The tops of the pin sockets are 1/4″ wide, so mark those next on both sides of each center line. I then set the angles of the tails to 1:6 (about 10 degrees). It makes the bottoms of the pin sockets 1/2″ wide. Use a fine-lead mechanical pencil and either a bevel gauge or a dovetail saddle square to draw the tail shapes down to the baselines on both side panels. Unclamp the side panels and complete the tail layouts on their inner faces, too. Do yourself a favor right now, and mark the pin sockets with black Xs to avoid confusion later. These are the waste areas to remove.

Metal dovetail cutting guide
But a magnetic dovetail sawing guide, such as this one designed by David Barron, builds confidence.

You’re now ready to saw the tails down to the baselines with a dovetail saw, following your angled layout lines. Many will cut these freehand. But if you’re less than confident that you can saw squarely and accurately, there’s another option that makes the process very easy. A number of years ago, I tried out a clever and simple aluminum jig, designed by British woodworker David Barron, that guides the saw blade while making the tail and pin cuts. Rare-earth magnets hold the saw blade at the correct angle while you saw to minimize angle-cutting errors. You can learn more about it at Barron’s website, and on his YouTube videos.

Cleaning out dovetail pockets with fret saw
Remove the waste in the pin socket areas. The author saws the bulk of the material nearly to the baselines with a fretsaw equipped with a fine-tooth blade. The process goes quickly.

To use the jig, position its angled face toward you and rest the portion of the jig below the magnet on the tail board’s top edge. Carefully align one or the other angled edge of the jig with a tail line, hold or clamp the jig securely and set the saw blade against the jig’s magnetic face. Then start the saw cut with a long, gentle stroke and proceed to cut down to the baseline. Repeat this for every tail layout line on both side panels.

Using mallet and chisel to clean up dovetail sockets
The remaining pin socket waste can now be chopped away with a chisel and mallet.

Now remove the waste in the pin socket areas, marked with Xs. To do this, some woodworkers chop all the waste out with just a chisel. I prefer to saw the waste out with a fretsaw first, leaving just a bit of waste at the bottom of each pin socket. Then, I chop and pare the rest of the waste away with the blade registered at the baseline. I work carefully in from one face until about half the waste is removed. When I make these chopping cuts, I tip the handle of my chisel about a degree or two closer to me so I’m slightly undercutting the bottoms of the sockets. When half the waste is removed from all the sockets, I flip the panel over so I can remove the remaining waste by chopping in from the other face. Doing this prevents the chisel from chipping the bottom outer edges of the sockets.

Completed and cleaned dovetail sockets
Register the edge of the chisel in the incised baseline and remove waste to about the center of the side panel’s thickness. Then flip it over to remove the rest, leaving neat pin sockets.

When the sockets are cleaned out, make sure their baselines are flat through the thickness of the side panels. This will enable the pins to slide into them squarely when the joints are assembled. Check the baselines with the blade of a square extended through the sockets; it should rest evenly across them on the baselines. Pare away any remaining waste that prevents this from happening.

Trimming printer stand panel corners with band saw
Cut off the tiny back half-pin socket waste and the longer front wastepiece marked with Xs at the band saw. Be very careful when setting the saw’s rip fence so these cuts will fall just to the waste side of the baseline. They should line up exactly with the baselines of the chopped pin sockets.

Carefully saw off the tiny half-pin socket waste from the back corners of the side panels and the longer front wastepiece. I did this at the band saw with each side workpiece registered against a rip fence and the blade cutting just to the waste side of the baseline.

Shaping the Pins

Using dovetail sockets to help mark out pin locations
Clamp each of the side panels on top of the top panel with their ends aligned (the author used a simple plywood jig to make clamping easier). Knife the tail shapes onto the top panel.

With the tails now cut to shape, rip the top panel to its final 14″ width. Clamp it to the edge of your bench with an end facing up, and lay the correct side panel over it on your benchtop.

Using saddle square to lay out dovetail pins
Scribe baselines across the faces and ends of the top panel, then extend straight layout lines down from the knifed tail lines to the baselines. This forms precise pin shapes.

Align the edges of both panels, and adjust the tail board carefully so its baseline is aligned with the inside face of the top panel. Clamp the tail board in place. Carefully transfer the angled tail pattern onto the end of the top panel to mark for the pins.

Marking waste to cut away from dovetail pins
Mark Xs in the large tail socket waste areas beside each pin to avoid confusion.

Use a sharp, thin-bladed marking or pocketknife to incise these lines into the top panel’s end grain. Then flip the top panel so its other end is up and repeat the pin-scribing process using the other tail board.

Cutting dovetail pins with hand saw
Saw straight down to the baselines, aligning the saw blade so the edge of the teeth just “kiss” the knifed pin lines. Accuracy here is crucial to how well the joints will fit together.

Grab your marking gauge, again set 1/32″ deeper than the thickness of the side panels, to scribe baselines across the faces and ends of the top panel. Then draw straight lines down from the knifed lines on the end grain to the baselines to complete the pin shapes. Mark the large tail socket waste areas with Xs.

Forming dovetail pins using a fret saw
A fretsaw with the blade turned sideways is the quickest way to remove waste from the tail socket areas.

Go ahead and saw straight down to the baselines to cut the angled faces of the pins. Again, my Barron jig helped me guide these cuts easily by flipping its orientation around for the pin cuts. Aim as accurately as you can to literally split these layout lines with the saw blade — it will help to minimize the amount of paring you’ll have to do next.

Using chisel to clean out space between dovetail pins
Saw nearly to the baselines, then chop out the rest of the waste.

Saw or chop out the large waste pieces in the tail socket areas. Effectively, the process is the same as when cutting out the pin socket areas, but there’s just more waste to remove. Use wider chisels to help speed the process along, and work carefully when you’re chiseling up to the baselines to keep them straight and evenly aligned with one another.

Test fitting printer stand dovetail joinery
If you’ve sawn and chiseled accurately, the dovetail joints might go together at this preliminary stage with light mallet taps. But don’t force them with excessive pounding if they bind, or you could crack the panels.

Now, fit the corner joints together, one joint at a time. If you’ve cut carefully, the pins and tails should engage one another snugly, right from the start. If they don’t, you’ve got some paring to do to improve the fit.

Trimming dovetail pins after test fit
For overly tight-fitting joints, rub pencil lead on the angled faces of the tails and tap the joints together to see where it transfers to the pins. Then carefully pare away only the lead rub marks on the pins to improve the joint fit.

The goal here is to pare away as little material as possible so the joints will close without creating gaps between the pins and tails. But, if you remove too little, the panels could crack when tapping the joints together. Pare only from the angled, inside faces of the pins, leaving the tails alone. Work slowly and carefully until the joints fit together.

Installing the Shelf

Routing shelf groove in printer stand
Plow a 1/4″-deep x 3/8″-wide groove along the inside face of the side panels for the shelf. Stop these grooves 3/4″ from what will be the front ends of the workpieces. Chisel the rounded ends square.

The dovetails are the hardest part of this project, so it’s downhill from here! Chuck a 3/8″ straight or spiral bit in your router table, and raise it to 1/4″ cutting height so we can plow a groove on the inside face of each side panel for the shelf’s stub tenons. Set and lock the router table’s fence 31-1/16″ away from the back of the bit. Identify the cutting limits of the bit by drawing a pair of long vertical lines on the router table fence to mark the bit’s position. This way, you’ll know where to begin and end these groove cuts accurately — they stop 3/4″ from the front ends of the side panels.

Adding tenons to end of shelving with table saw
Mill stub tenons on the ends of the shelf to fit the grooves in the side panels. One option for cutting them is to use a wide dado blade buried partially in a sacrificial fence facing, as shown here.

Mark the outside faces of the side panels so you can stop the groove cuts accurately. (We’ll be routing these panels with their bottom flat edges against the fence.) Go ahead and plow grooves, then square up their rounded ends with a chisel. When that’s done, cut a 3/8″-thick stub tenon on each end of the shelf. I did this step at the table saw with a wide dado blade buried partially in a sacrificial fence. Trim the front corners off the tenons, shortening their width to 15-1/4″.

Dry-assemble the sides, top and shelf to make sure the dovetail joints close fully with the shelf in place and the sides are square to the top.

Adding Curves and Finishing Up

Smoothing curved foot for printer stand with spindle sander
Draw arches on the front end and bottom edge of the ganged side panels and cut these contoured areas out. Fair and smooth the curves on a spindle sander or with a sanding drum in a drill press.

Disassemble the project so you can use double-sided tape to stick the side panels together in a stack with their inside faces touching. Mark one side panel for the large arch that forms the stand’s 2″-wide “feet” on the bottom edge. I made the apex of this arch 2″ and used a large French curve to create the shape. Draw the smaller curve from the front half pin socket down to the front edge of the side panel 4-1/4″ up from the front foot. Saw these curves into the ganged side panels at the band saw. Then sand the curves smooth and fair.

Installing shelf in printer stand body
Glue up the dovetail joints, then plane the protruding pins and tails flush and final-sand the project. It’s a good idea to prefinish the interior and shelf before gluing it in place. Topcoat the exterior last.

Give all the stand’s parts a final sanding before assembling them. Spread glue on just the dovetails, and clamp up the project with the shelf dry-fitted in place. This way, you can remove the shelf after the glue dries to prefinish it and the interior surfaces of the project next. My bubinga certainly needed no stain, so I simply sprayed it with three coats of aerosol satin lacquer. Once that was done, I flattened the protruding dovetail joints, glued the shelf into its grooves and sprayed the outer surfaces of the project.

Finished printer stand with printer and paper sitting on it

Allow a week for the finish to cure, then this office machine stand is ready for use. And you’ll have another hand-cut dovetailed project under your belt!

Click Here to Download the Drawings and Materials List.

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Bumblechutes Food-safe Finish Options https://www.woodworkersjournal.com/bumblechutes-food-safe-finish-options/ Wed, 27 Mar 2024 15:00:34 +0000 https://www.woodworkersjournal.com/?p=69379 Bumblechutes' Woodworker's Oil and All-In-One Wood Conditioner are ideal for kitchenware.

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If you could use an eas-yto-apply finish to keep cutting boards, wooden bowls, butcher blocks and other utensils protected and looking new, but you’re concerned about their food safeness, New Hampshire-based Bumblechutes has two new options. Its Woodworker’s Oil is a wipe on/wipe off solution made of 100 percent pure fractionated coconut oil, vitamin E, mineral and lemon oils. It soaks in to revitalize dry-looking wood to help preserve its rich color and off er some stain-inhibiting and UV pro-tection properties. The thick liquid can simply be flooded on and allowed to soak in for 30 minutes, then the excess wiped off. Or, submerge the object for up to 8 hours for deeper grain absorption. All-In-One Wood Conditioner is a soft paste made of premium-grade U.S. beeswax, organic carnauba wax, vitamin E oil, zinc oxide and lemon oil. It contains no petroleum solvents. Bumblechutes says All-In-One Wood Conditioner has “deep penetrating power to saturate and seal wood fiberseff ectively,” which will protect against moisture swelling, chipping and cracking.

Containers of Bumblechutes wood oil and conditioner
Bumblechutes offers two worry-free wipe-on fi nishes for maintaining wooden kitchen utensils.

It applies with a cloth and, after the excess is wiped off , dries on the surface in about 20 to 30 minutes. Bumblechutes recommends that the paste be reapplied every two to four weeks. It can be used as a stand-alone finish or to improve the moisture resistance of surfaces treated with Woodworker’s Oil.

Both products have a pleasant, lemony smell when first applied. Rockler sells Woodworker’s Oil in 8.45 oz bottles. All-In-One Wood Conditioner comes in 4 oz glass jars.

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Group Dynamics https://www.woodworkersjournal.com/group-dynamics/ Tue, 26 Mar 2024 14:09:05 +0000 https://www.woodworkersjournal.com/?p=69372 In this issue, Chris talks about the benefit of guilds, a new lathe, a routing tip plus two plans for your workshop.

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Chris Marshall photo

Are you a member of a woodworking guild? There’s one in my city, but I haven’t gotten involved with it yet. I probably should, especially after learning about a special guild in Greenville, South Carolina.

If you’re a subscriber to the print magazine, you’ve probably read our April “Shop Talk” article about the Greenville Woodworkers Guild. To say that it’s a unique organization is an understatement. These folks share a 20,000-square-ft shop space that would be the envy of any technical college! Highly organized, their mission involves three tenets: educating members, educating the public about woodworking as an art and charitable works. They take all three commitments very seriously. And for $150 per year, plus initial shop training, members have full access to the facilities with all its amenities. But even better, they have the opportunity to share in woodworking as a community activity.

How has being a member of a woodworking guild benefitted your hobby and your life as a woodworker? I’d love to hear about it, and I’m sure fellow readers would, too! Maybe that would give me the nudge to attend the next guild meeting where I live and expand my horizons.

If you’re a subscriber and haven’t read the “Shop Talk” article yet, please do! (If you’re not a subscriber, you can pick up a copy of the April issue at Rockler stores or at www.rockler.com.)

Chris Marshall, Woodworker’s Journal

Nova Neptune Lathe

Nova Neptune lathe with digital display
This “tweener” lathe is unique in design and concept. It fills an important space in the industry, delivering easy-to-use advanced technology.

Adjusting Height of Long Bit

Scrap board adds height to router table top
If your router bit is too long for the project on your table, this reader has a tip for lowering the bit by raising the height of your table.

Table Saw Outfeed Table

Outfeed table and storage for workshop
Taking advantage of some great lumber and highly functional hardware, maker Matt Cremona creates a multipurpose super shop helper!

Track Saw Jig

Track saw cutting guide
No room for a table saw? A track saw enhanced with this easy-to-make jig may be just what you need!

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SawStop Patent Feedback https://www.woodworkersjournal.com/sawstop-patent/ Tue, 26 Mar 2024 14:00:47 +0000 https://www.woodworkersjournal.com/?p=69361 Readers weigh in on SawStop's intent to eventually release injury mitigation technology patent to the public.

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Last week, Chris informed you about SawStop’s intent to eventually release an injury mitigation technology patent to the public. Several of you have left us comments. – Editor

“This new regulation is being pushed by SawStop as their patent on their technology expires in nine years, and they want to cash in on it prior to their patent expiring. They quashed Bosch when they came out with a similar type of technology, and they will go after anyone else who may develop a similar technology. They are just looking to cash in on this government overreach, which they are pushing. This will put the price of table saws and contractor saws out of reach for the average hobby woodworker and construction workers. A SawStop 10” contractors table saw is $2,257, the Jobsite table saw is $1,600. You can get a Bosch Jobsite saw for around $600 or a SKIL worm drive for about the same price, the DeWALT saws run a little less. You can bet SawStop will not give this technology out to help woodworkers, they will instead charge a pretty penny for it. So they are NOT pushing these CPSC rules out of the goodness of their hearts, they want to cash in before their patent runs out. I agree with you that anything that can improve safety for a tool that can be dangerous, but when only one company has the technology and they are pushing for regulations that would only benefit them monetarily, it’s not right. I can only hope that the other tool manufacturers get off their combined backsides and start working together to develop an alternative safety device to prevent this money grab by SawStop.”  – James Wirtz

“It wasn’t too many years ago, SawStop and another company were in a heated courtroom battle about patent rights for the SawStop abilities. I don’t have a clue on the particulars other than SawStop won and the other company had to discontinue making their model. That being said, a couple of months ago it was time to retire my Craftsman saw — it was making too many noises. The arbor was shot and I had it rebuilt and couldn’t get it to stop making noise when on. I decided to pull the trigger on a SawStop. It truly is an investment for the future. Twenty-five plus years ago I did put my thumb into a blade. Thank God it wasn’t bad. I figured the difference in price would be made up with one trip to the ER for stitches. It truly is a nice saw besides that, and I look forward to many years of safe sawing.” – Lorne Sievers

“Does this mean we might see the excellent Bosch Reaxx safety accessory come back for sale?” – John Matthews

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