Carving has traditionally been the exclusive domain of artisans wield­ing hand tools. But, armed with a router and one of the jigs shown in this section, you can produce carvings similar to hand-wrought works.

Although most plunge bits can be used in router-caning, some cutters have specific applications. With their capac­ity for removing large quantities of waste, bowl bits, for example, are ideal for relief carving. A V-bit can be used for pro­ducing serifs in lettering, while veining and lettering bits, excel at creating the lines typical of incised letters. It is easi­est to feed the router with a pulling
motion, rather than pushing it along, so set up your operations accordingly.

There are few hard and fast rules in carving, so it is a good idea to practice your cuts on scrap mater...




5 top collar.







Shelf-drilling jig


Drilling holes for shelf supports

Cut the side panels of the bookcase to width and length, then set them inside-face up on a work surface. The commer­cial jig shown above enables you to bore two parallel rows of holes in the side panels at 1-inch intervals and ensures that cor­responding holes will be perfectly aligned. Clamp the jig to the edges of one panel; the holes can be any distance from the pan­el edges, but about 2 inches in would be best for the secretary. Fit an electric drill with a bit the same diameter as the sleeves
and install a stop collar to mark the drilling depth equal to the sleeve length...




A marvel of green woodworking, the white cedar bird shown in this sec­tion seems to defy logic. Made from a single piece of cedar, its wing feathers form a 3 14-inch-wide fan that stays in place without a single drop of glue.

Using a technique developed by the late Chester Nutting, Edmond Menard of Cabot, Vermont, crafted the white cedar bird shown at left. Sliced from a single block of fresh wood, the bird’s feathers spread out easily when the wood is wet, but lock into place when the wood dries. Menard has made more than 50,000 birds since 1976; he can carve a bird in under 10 minutes.

The key to success with this technique is to use freshly cut white cedar, which is pliable as long as it stays moist...




1 Making the columns

Cut a blank several inches longer than the finished length of the columns, and wide and thick enough for the number of quarter columns you need. Rip the blank into quarters, joint the inside surfaces of the pieces, then glue and clamp them back together with newspaper in between (inset, top). This will enable you to pull the columns apart easily. Once the glue is dry, mount the blank on a lathe. Mark two lines on the blank for the length of the column and indicate the waste with Xs (inset, bottom). Drive screws through the waste sections to hold the quarters togeth­er. Adjust a set of outside calipers to the desired diameter of the column, then turn the blank into a cylinder as you did for the finials (page 131)...



MAKING THE FALL-FRONTOnce the frame for the fall-front has been assembled and hinged to the desk unit, the leather top can be glued to the inside face. The leather should be cut slightly larger than the recess. Use contact cement, hide glue, or thick wallpaper paste to attach the material to the surface. Trim it to size with a craft knife, then smooth it down with a hand roller, as shown at left. The leather should be treated with glycer­ine saddle soap once a year.





Fall-front frame stock

Shaping the frame edges

Cut the four frame pieces for the fall-front from a single board. But before making these cuts, shape one edge of the board...




This section features two time-test­ed methods for permanently joining legs to the rails of a piece of furniture: the mortise-and-tenon joint and the dowel joint. Two more contemporary ways are also featured; both involve using knock-down leg hardware—suitable for furniture that must be taken apart and reassembled periodically.

To some extent, the type of leg will dictate the way you join it to the rails. You would be unlikely, for example, to use a hanger bolt to fix a cabriole leg to a fine ffame-and-panel cabinet. A mor – tise-and-tenon joint would be a more appropriate choice.

There are several techniques for mak­ing the mortise-and-tenon. You can use a table saw to cut the tenons (page 104);

the mortises can be bored with a router (page 50) or a drill press (page 106)...



straight. The most common element of cabriole legs is the S-shaped curve, which is meant to suggest the grace and ele­gance of a horse’s leg.

The design shown below will yield an attractive, well-proportioned leg strong and stable enough to support a piece of furniture. You can alter the pattern to suit your own project or copy the design of an existing leg that appeals to you. However, do not exag­gerate the curves too much or you risk making the leg unstable. Before cut­ting into the block of wood, perform this simple test on your design: Draw a straight line from the top of the leg to



Designing a cabriole leg

For a template, cut a piece of stiff cardboard or hardboard to the same length and width as your leg blanks...




Making push sticks and push blocks

Push sticks and push blocks for feeding stock across the table of a stationary power tool can be made using %-inch plywood or solid stock. No one shape is ideal; a well – designed push stick should be comfortable to use and suitable for the machine and task at hand. For most cuts on a table saw, design a push stick with a 45° angle between the handle and the base (right, top). Reduce the handle angle for use with the radial arm saw. The notch on the bottom edge must be deep enough to sup­port the workpiece, but shallow enough not to contact the saw table. The long base of a rectangular push stick (right, middle) enables you to apply downward pressure on a workpiece...




Shaping and assembling the many parts of the nutcrackers shown in this section may be time-consuming, but with a methodical approach, the process is not difficult. And as the pho­to at left shows, the results are well worth the trouble.

Most of the parts are produced on the lathe; in tact, all the major components— the torso and head, the arms and the legs—are turned from only three blanks, which makes assembly simpler and more


precise. Sawing all the arm parts from a single spindle turning, for example, helps ensure that the arms will be of uniform size and that the elbow joints will fit together well. Once the major parts-are done, the hands, feet, and nose can be carved to fit and individualize the figure.

Choose a soft, easy-to-shape wood like basswood for ...




Most jigs that hang from the walls of woodworkers’ shops typical­ly provide a shortcut to a common task, from boring mortises to edge-gluing panels. As the previous chapters have shown, the most popular jigs are those that make a job easier and more accu­rate, or improve a tool’s performance. But even the most mundane of work­shop chores can benefit from a helping hand, whether you are moving large sheet materials around a shop or throw­ing some light on your work.

This chapter covers a collection of such shop aids. Some devices, such as feath – erboards and push sticks (page 125), are indispensable for every woodworking shop...