Woodworker's Journal

Woodworker's Journal Winter 2013

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

1 min.

A WOODWORKER’S BEST FRIEND Sorry Rover, but when it comes to a loyal companion in the shop, I think a router is actually a woodworker’s best friend. Whether you’re doing something simple like knocking off a sharp edge or milling a decorative profile, all the way up to complex half-blind dovetails or dozens of other types of joints, our routers and a slew of bits get these jobs done. That’s why we’ve combed our archives in this special issue for eight great router-based projects you can make. Whether you’re looking for a quick gift idea (see our Trivets or Tambour Box projects), a handsome heirloom piece like the Cherry Sideboard on page 46, or just some whiz-bang fun that will also elevate your routing skills — Ralph Bagnall’s Rolling Pin Jig…

9 min.
routers: picking the dynamic duo!

Is it possible for only two routers to do everything a woodworker would want a router to do? That’s a good question, and it’s one about which many woodworkers have strong opinions. Some say that the tipping point between a DIY home handyman and a home shop woodworker boils down to just one tool: the router. And that concept has some truth to it; you won’t find many highly motivated woodworkers’ shops without a router … or two, or three — and perhaps a lot more than that. I confess to owning more than eight. But it’s a legitimate question to ask whether I really need all those routers. So, I posed a challenge to myself and three other experts: If you could own only two, which would they be? Expert #1:…

7 min.
10 trim router techniques

It’s a sweet thing indeed when you get more than what you bargained for in a tool. Trim routers are a good example. They’re lightweight, surprisingly powerful and small enough to go places other bulky routers can’t. If you only use yours for trimming plastic laminate, think again. Here are 10 ways to get that half-pint router out of the cobwebs and into the action much more often. Trimming Shelf Lipping One of my favorite uses for a laminate trimmer is shaving solid-wood lipping flush on plywood shelving (top photo, right). The Festool MFK router shown here has an optional base that lets you flush-trim using a straight bit with the router resting on the shelf face for maximum stability. You can do the same thing with an ordinary laminate trimmer and…

1 min.
features worth shopping for in a trim router

If you have an older model laminate trimmer, it probably has a fairly limited range of features. It was, after all, designed for the singular purpose of countertop fabrication. You can still do a lot more with it, especially if the base accepts template guides. Maybe you’re out of the trim router “loop,” in which case you might appreciate knowing that there’s an evolution occurring in this category. Today’s newer trimmers are looking and performing more and more like mid-size routers. Soft start, electronic feedback circuitry to maintain torque output and micro-adjustability are some key improvements that are helping to make these machines more capable and precise. Plunge bases are also an excellent addition. Trend realized this years ago and offers a full-featured plunge base with their tool. I’m happy…

9 min.
weekend tambour gift box

My most satisfying and enjoyable woodworking projects involve making decorative boxes using a variety of designs, joints and colorful hardwoods. These boxes make attractive and unique packages for a wide variety of gifts and (I’ve heard) tend to outlast those gifts by many years. I have made them for friends and family members, and I’ve donated them to local charity fundraising events as well. They’re inexpensive, keep me busy in the shop honing my skills and help me keep my shop “scrap-free.” I have been intrigued with the idea of building one of my gift boxes with a tambour door, but I wanted something more attractive than the traditional halfround, breadbox type tambour you often see at local gift shops. Plus, I didn’t want to go to the time and expense…

4 min.
trammel-jig trivets

If it’s time to purge the scrap bin or you’re just looking for a way to turn your router into Santa’s mechanical elf, here’s a clever little project to try next holiday season. You may have seen “waffle” style trivets before, but we’re giving ours a twist by milling them with a router mounted on a pivoting trammel jig. Stopping the swooping cuts short of the edges of the trivets creates a “captured” one-piece design, or you can rout right through the edges of the blanks and wrap a frame around the routed core as seen above. I used a 1/2"-diameter spiral bit and 3/4"-wide spacers to form this pattern, but you could certainly experiment with other bits and spacer sizes to produce other unique styles. The only requirement is…