Sheets of plywood, particleboard, and hard – board are often heavy and awkward to carry. The carrier shown at left will make the load easier to bear. Rout a 1-inch-wide rabbet along one edge of a 12-inch-long board. Cut a notch out of one end of a piece of plywood, then screw a wood block across the end of the notch to serve as a handle. Attach the other end of the plywood piece to the rabbeted face of the board (inset). To use the carrier, simply hook it under the sheet and pull it up under your arm (left). Some woodworkers find it more comfortable to stand on the carrier side of the panel and use their other hand to steady it.
Switching on a table saw while balancing a large panel on the table can prove difficult. The addition of an overhead switch will enable you to start the saw when the main switch is out of reach (left). Locate the new switch so you can reach it comfortably with a 4-by-8 panel on the saw table just in front of the blade; screw a triangular bracket to the ceiling and attach the switch to the bracket at a suitable height. Run a length of non-metallic sheathed 12-gauge cable from the switch along the ceiling, down the wall, and across the floor to your saw. Have a licensed electrician wire the switch to the saw so that both it and the original switch are able to start or stop the machine; never disconnect the switch on the saw itself.
To cut chamfers on your jointer, use the simple jig shown above. Refer to the illustration for suggested dimensions. Begin by bevel cutting 2-by-2s for the V section of the jig. Position the two cut pieces on the base so they extend beyond one end by about 12 inches, with a ‘Ainch gap between them. Attach the two pieces to the base with countersunk screws to avoid scratch
ing the jointer table. To use the jig, clamp it in place with one end of the base aligned with the cutterhead-end of the infeed table. Lower the infeed table until the V section of the jig lies flush on the jointer’s outfeed table. Seat the workpiece in the gap of the jig, then feed it across the knives while holding it firmly in the V (above).
Finding the center of a circular workpiece is easy if you use the jig shown at right. The simple device consists of a piece of plywood with a 90° wedge cut out of it and a 12-inch-long l-by-2 mounted so that one edge bisects the wedge. To use the jig, seat the workpiece in the wedge and draw a line across its diameter using the 1 -by-2 as a guide. Rotate the workpiece about 90 ° and draw another line. The two will intersect at the center of the circle.
You can scribe a large circle using a set of trammel blocks like the one shown at right. Cut the pieces of the jig from solid wood, referring to the inset for dimensions; make sure the beam is longer than the radius of your circle. Cut an angled notch lA inch from the top of each block to accommodate the beam and a wedge. For the pivot, drive a nail into the bottom of one block, snip off the head, and file it to a point. Mount a sharp pencil in a hole bored in the bottom of the other block. Make sure its point is level with the nail. To use the jig, loosen the wedges and slide the blocks along the beam until the gap between the nail tip and pencil point equals the desired radius of your circle. Tighten the wedges, hold the pivot point steady at the center of the circle, and rotate the pencil point around it (right).
Consisting of an arm, an awl, and a pencil, the compass shown at left will allow you to scribe a circle of virtually any radius. For the arm, cut a l-by-2 a few inches longer than the radius of your circle. Bore a hole about 1 inch from one end of the arm, large enough to hold the shaft of the awl. Make another hole big enough to accommodate the pencil; the distance between the holes should equal the radius of the circle. Fit the awl and sharpened pencil into their respective holes, making sure the two extend from the bottom of the arm by the same amount. Use the compass as you would trammel blocks, holding the tip of the awl at the center of the circle and rotating the pencil around it to scribe the circle (left).
1 Making shooting boards
To smooth end grain with a plane, use a shooting board like those shown at left. The right-angle shooting board (left, above) is for planing straight end grain; a mitered version can also be built (left, below). Cut the pieces according to the dimensions suggested in the illustrations. Build the base, top, and mitered stop block from %-inch plywood; use solid wood for the lip and the square stop block. Screw the top to the base with the ends and one edge aligned. Then attach the lip to the base, making sure that the lip lines up with the end of the base. For the right- angle shooting board, fasten the stop block to the top flush with the other end of the jig. For the mitered shooting board, center the stop block on the top.
Finishing a shelf one side at a time doubles the time needed for this task. Using the simple stacking handles shown at left, you can finish both sides at once. Cut the handles from solid wood stock and mill a tongue in one face of each one. Make the handles at least / inch wider than the thickness of the stock you are finishing. Drive small nails longer than the handles’ thickness through them and gently press the protruding points into the ends of the workpiece before finishing it. Use the handles to turn the board as you apply finish; when you are done, the boards can be stacked, allowing air to circulate freely as the finish dries. When finishing a larger piece of furniture, set the piece on a set of drying supports (inset). These 2-inch-square wood blocks have small nails driven through their centers to support a workpiece at its corners.
Building the turntable
Consisting of a base and top cut from %-inch plywood with a “lazy Susan” bearing fastened in between, the turntable shown above allows a piece of furniture to be rotated as it is being sprayed with a finish. Cut the base and top slightly larger than the base of the piece of furniture to be finished. Cut a hole in the center of the base to allow access to the screw holes for attaching the upper bearing to the top once the lower bearing is secured to the base. First attach the lower bearing to the base with screws. To fasten the jig top, set the base on top of it with the bearing sandwiched between the two pieces and flip them upside down. With the edges of the pieces flush, rotate the bearing so the remaining screw holes are exposed, then screw the upper bearing to the top (above, right).
Using the turntable
Make four small drying supports (page 135). Set the workpiece on the tips of the nails, then slowly rotate the turntable with one hand while operating a spray gun with the other (above).
A desk lamp attached to a bench dog as shown at left will enable you to position the light at any of the dog holes along the bench. To make the jig, bore a hole the same diameter as the shaft of the lamp into the head of a wooden bench dog (page 92).
A drawer-slide positioning jig
To help you correctly position commercial slides on drawer sides, use the jig shown here. Cut a rabbet in a scrap board; make the depth of the rabbet equal to the desired distance between the slide and the bottom of the drawer side. To use the jig, hold it against the bottom of the drawer side. Then set the slide on the drawer side, with the bottom edge of the hardware butted against the jig. Holding the slide and the jig in place, mark the screw holes, bore pilot holes, and screw the slide to the drawer.
steamer shown above. Cut a length of ABS pipe longer than the wood you wish to bend and about the same diameter as the spout of an electric kitchen kettle; use a kettle with a round spout. Connect one end of the pipe to the spout, making a tight seal with duct tape. Support the other end of the pipe at a slight angle on a notched piece of plywood clamped in a bench vise. To use the jig, bring the water to a boil, insert the workpiece to be steamed (above), and stuff a rag into the open end of the pipe to contain the steam. Let the workpiece "cook” until the wood softens; as a rough guide, allow 1 hour per inch of thickness. Refill the kettle as necessary, plugging the end of the tube temporarily to contain the steam.
Secure the workpiece edge-up in a vise. Mark the hinge outline on the stock and clamp the template in position, aligning the cutout with the outline on the edge and butting the fence against the inner face of the workpiece. Make the cut (right) by moving the router in small clockwise circles, then remove the jig and square the corners with a chisel.
Rounding a corner
Set your stock on a work surface with the corner to be rounded extending off the table by several inches. Place the jig on top of the workpiece so the lips are butted against the edges of the stock. Use clamps to secure the two pieces to the work surface. To make the router cut easier, use a handsaw to cut away the bulk of the waste. Then, using a top-piloted flush-cutting bit in your router, start clear of the corner and ease the bit into the stock until the pilot contacts the edge. Pull the router around the corner, moving against bit rotation and pressing the pilot flush against the edge of the jig throughout the operation (left).
Routing the joint
Secure the fence in a vise and rout the dovetail groove first, then the matching slide. For the groove, start by installing a straight bit in the router, attaching the tool to the jig fence, and adjusting the cutting depth. Set the groove workpiece face-down on the table, butting its edge against the bit. Loosen the wing nut at the slotted end and adjust the table to center the bit on the edge of the stock, then tighten the nut. Secure the workpiece with three feather – boards, clamping one to the table and the other two to the fence on both sides of the cutter. Make the straight cut, then complete the groove with a dovetail bit. For the slide, set your workpiece on the table and lower the table to produce a Vs-inch-wide cut. Make a pass on both sides, finishing each cut with a push stick (right). (In the illustration, the featherboard on the outfeed side of the fence has been removed for clarity.) Test-fit the joint. If necessary, raise the table slightly and make another pass on each side of the stock.
Preparing the tabletop
Cut a rectangular hole out of the tabletop’s center the same size as the inserts you will use for the tools (page 109). Then screw cleats to the underside of the top, forming a ledge to which the inserts can be fastened (right).
Preparing the electric drill insert
Bore a hole through the center of the drill insert slightly wider than the largest sanding drum or other accessory you plan to use. (The stationary drill is particularly useful for sanding.) Screw a commercial drill guide to the underside of the insert with the drill chuck centered over the hole (above). (You may need to drill holes in the base of the drill guide to fasten it in place.) The bit or accessory in the drill chuck should protrude from the top of the insert without the chuck being visible. Place wooden washers under the guide rods of the drill guide to adjust the height of the drill, if necessary. Fasten the insert to the cleats as you did the router insert.