Woodworker's Journal

Woodworker's Journal Summer 2014

Woodworker’s Journal is the magazine for people who love to work with wood. Woodworkers of any skill level will find top-tier plans to build great projects, expert reviews of woodworking tools, and a ton of woodworking tips and techniques. Get Woodworker's Journal digital magazine subscription today and get inspired and motivated.

United States
Rockler Press, Inc
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6 Issues

In this issue

4 min.
a jig for all reasons

To a non-woodworker, a bin of scraps or coffee can full of odd hardware is probably fodder for next week’s trash. But these sorts of tidbits are like gold nuggets to a woodworker — they’re the stuff jigs are made of. While it’s true that our woodworking machines are chock-full of helpful features, they only take us so far. Once you move beyond basic machine operations, jigs are virtually indispensable. Most projects involve at least one unusual or “advanced” operation that requires a bit of modified technique or machine use. When these instances come up, it’s time to reach for a good jig. Improving Accuracy and Repeatability If you’re just starting out as a woodworker, welcome to the world of jigs! You’ll probably cobble together as many jigs as you do projects…

5 min.
adjustable tenoning jig

The cleanest way to cut tenons on a table saw is with workpieces standing vertically. To do it safely, you need a tenoning jig that holds parts upright and offers precise adjustability so you can cut tenons of many sizes. This jig satisfies both goals in spades. Its upper carriage slides back and forth across the base on a pair of beveled guides, and the lateral travel is simple to fine-tune with a carriage bolt and knob in back. A toggle clamp and backstop anchors the workpiece. To save the backstop from blade carnage, I’ve added a replaceable strip that fits onto a sliding dovetail. This is a must-have jig for any shop, so here’s how to build one for your saw. Assembling the Base and Carrier Plate Cut the base, carrier plate…

4 min.
cylindrical and round object drilling jig

Boring an accurately placed hole into a round piece of wood, either a cylinder or a sphere, can be a tricky feat to accomplish. Cylinders and spheres are hard to clamp securely because they don’t have many (or any) flat surfaces. Thankfully, the solution to the problem is called a V-block. It’s just a thick chunk of wood with a deep V-groove cut into it. The “V” cradles the cylinder, allowing it to be clamped securely in place. But, once made, the block only properly fits cylinders of a set size range. If what you need to drill is too big or too small, it’s time to make another block. And what if you want to drill a round object? The answer is to cut two V-grooves at 90 degrees to…

3 min.
benchtop fixture for the belt sander

Most woodworkers are the frugal sort, always looking to get the most use out of the tools they already have. So am I, which is why I created this simple base fixture that transforms a standard portable belt sander into a small horizontal benchtop sander. The fixture is simple to build and lets you use your sander to accurately shape, trim and smooth small parts safely without holding the machine. To build the fixture shown in the Drawings on the next page, start by cutting out a base plate from 1/2" or 3/4" plywood or MDF that’s 14" wide and 6" to 8" longer than the length of your belt sander. (It’s important to note that we’re providing the actual dimensions of my jig, but you’ll need to adjust them to…

4 min.
shop-made band saw fence

This shop-made band saw fence adjusts for drift and it has a handy extension for ripping longer stock. It is easily removed, and it can be used on either side of the blade (necessary when making beveled cuts). You can adapt it to any band saw, but the dimensions given here are for a 14" Delta. You may have to vary them to fit your machine. Any straight, stable hardwood will do for making the fence. But before you start, create a flat surface on the front and rear of your saw’s table, if needed. Make two 3/4" battens and bolt them to the front and rear of your saw. This may change the length of pieces 1, 2 and 11 in the Material List, because it might require your fence…

5 min.
miter gauge clamping jig

By itself, a miter gauge offers limited accuracy for cutting angles. You’ve probably discovered how difficult it can be to hold workpieces tightly against the gauge’s short fence without them creeping out of position as you push the cut through. This clamping jig will help solve your angle-cutting problems, because it applies pressure against the miter bar to hold workpieces securely (see the project’s in-use photo on page 26). Start building this jig by ripping a 30" length of hardwood for the rails (pieces 1) to the dimensions shown in the Material List on page 26. Plow a groove with slightly angled walls in one of the wider faces (it takes three passes on the table saw) and then crosscut the rails to length. Make the fixed stiles (pieces 2) and sliding…