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Woodworker's JournalWoodworker's Journal

Woodworker's Journal Winter 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.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Rockler Press, Inc
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$11.95
6 Issues

IN THIS ISSUE

access_time9 min.
buyer’s guide to routing products

THE ROUTER MARKET IS FLOODED WITH PRODUCT OPTIONS THAT CAN CONFUSE A “NEWBIE.”FEELING LOST? HERE ARE SOME TIPS FOR WHAT YOU REALLY NEED. If woodworking has a wonder tool, I’ll say it’s the router. Pages and pages of bit catalogs are dedicated to the many lovely coves, chamfers, ogees and other decorative shapes it can make with the right bits. Need to whip up a bunch of identical parts? A router can follow a template of nearly any shape using a piloted bit or a guide collar attached to the base. It can cut intricate recesses for inlay one day, then muscle through raised panels the next. Want to make dovetails, rabbets, mortises, box joints or dadoes? Here’s a tool that can produce them all. But, how in the world do you…

access_time12 min.
ten must-have router bits

EVERY BIT CHANGES A ROUTER INTO A DIFFERENT TOOL, MAKING IT THE MOST VERSATILE MACHINE IN TODAY’S SHOPS. HERE’S ONE WOODWORKER’S CHOICE OF 10 ESSENTIAL BITS. It’s a router bit jungle out there. The various profiles alone would account for several score, but considering that each router bit you’ll find comes in a range of diameters, lengths, angles and other variations, the number of available bits increases exponentially — there are literally hundreds. If your routing needs are decorative, you’ll find numerous bits that create attractive edge treatments, moldings, panels, fluting and millwork. Likewise, if you look at your router as an essential joinery tool, you’ll find bits for dovetails, dadoes, rabbets, locking miters, finger joints and more. And if you have some other way to use this tool, consistently cited as…

access_time9 min.
nontraditional dovetail jigs

ARE CLAMP-IN, TEMPLATE-STYLE JIGS THE ONLY WAY TO ROUT DOVETAILS? NO. HERE ARE FIVE UNIQUE ALTERNATIVES. Generally, there are two approaches to making dovetails: using hand tools or a “clamp-in” style template jig and a router. The second approach has plenty of fans, and there’s a glut of router jig systems available on the market. Personally, I’ve had my struggles with some of them (readjusting bit depth, tweaking template offsets and fiddling around until finally arriving at the right combination for a satisfactory joint). There are, however, other less typical styles of router dovetail jigs available. I’ve seen most of them demonstrated at trade shows. Watching someone who’s made hundreds of dovetails with their jig move effortlessly through the routine, though, isn’t the same as setting one of these units up and…

access_time6 min.
mortising with a simple jig

YOU CAN CUT MORTISES ACCURATELY WITH A TEMPLATE GUIDE, STRAIGHT BIT AND A SIMPLE SHOP-MADE JIG. There are many ways to make mortises — and just about as many tool options. A plunge router is one of the best choices, because you can accurately control the depth of cut, and the machine delivers clean and precise results. Here’s a simple, dedicated jig you can make quickly for cutting mortises of a specific dimension with your plunge router. Step 1 This mortising jig is dedicated to a specific-size mortise, so laying out your mortised workpiece is the first step in building the jig. Everything follows from the mortise proportions. Mark the length and width of your intended mortise with a square, and extend layout lines a short distance onto the adjacent (un-mortised) faces of…

access_time6 min.
dovetailing with a router and jig

OUR AUTHOR TAKES YOU STEP-BY-STEP THROUGH THE PROCESS OF ROUTING THROUGH AND HALF-BLIND DOVETAILS. Among the many different joint variations you can cut with your router, dovetails are certainly fair game. Cutting either half-blind or through dovetails will require a jig outfitted with a pair of rigid templates or a set of moveable guide fingers. There are dozens of these commercial jigs from which to choose. Some jigs will cut both styles of dovetails by switching from templates to guide fingers. Other jigs are dedicated to one style of dovetail only. Regardless, you can usually buy a variety of templates or guide fingers to cut dovetails of different sizes and spacings, to suit everything from small drawers and boxes to large chests. Dovetail jigs vary considerably in their features and operation, and…

access_time7 min.
three tongue-and-groove routing options

YOU DON’T NEED A DADO BLADE TO MAKE TONGUE-AND-GROOVE JOINTS... JUSTA ROUTER TABLE AND A FEW COMMON BITS. Tongue-and-groove (T&G) joints form sturdy, interlocking connections with lots of glue surface area for all sorts of woodworking applications: cabinet door joints, self-aligning shelf edging, web or face frames and even carcass assembly. There are DIY applications for this joint too, such as V-groove wainscot or wood flooring. Cutting the narrow centered groove and the corresponding tongue to fit into it doesn’t take a dado blade and table saw. You can do it all at the router table quite easily with three different cutter approaches. Here’s how. STRAIGHT BIT AND RABBETING BIT Step 1: Generally speaking, it’s easier to cut the groove of a T&G joint first, then mill the tongue to fit the groove.…

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