WOOD Magazine

WOOD Magazine April - May 2015

Every issue includes clear, fully illustrated plans for all types of projects from gifts to furniture, skill-building tips and techniques, and hard-hitting tool reviews. Get WOOD Magazine digital subscription today for helpful videos that bring the pages to life for woodworkers of all skill levels.

United States
Meredith Corporation
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7 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
make it. make it yours.

Like them or not, social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are here to stay. I love them because I get instant feedback on the projects we publish. Case in point: We posted a photo of last issue’s Loft Bed (March 2015) on Facebook and within a day or so had more than 100 comments about the plan. Most (thankfully) praised it, but one reader’s remark really jumped off the screen at me: “Should be painted.” So, paint it. When we design a project for WOOD® magazine, we always put our best foot forward, from function and proportion to the materials and finish. We try to present each project in a way that inspires you to build it. But there are no absolutes. For example, we chose cherry and cherry-veneer plywood to build…

2 min.
sounding board

Fantastic plastic: Reader prints backhoe in 3-D For Father’s Day, my wife and kids got me a kit to build the Construction-grade Backhoe Loader (issue 226, July 2014). Wanting to explore my new 3-D printer’s capabilities and expand my modeling skills, I decided to make all the parts for the loader from ABS plastic instead of wood. After replicating all the components in SketchUp, I put the printer to work. Eighty-one hours later, I had all the pieces ready for assembly. Though there are a few things I would have done differently—for example, printing the buckets with brackets in place instead of welding them on with an acetone/ ABS slurry—I thought it turned out well for a first attempt. Thanks for the inspiration! —Christopher Finke, Chanhassen, Minn. To download the plans for the Construction-grade…

3 min.
out screwheads

1. Place them out of sight Perhaps the most obvious way to hide screws is simply locating them where they can’t or aren’t likely to be seen, such as the underside of a cabinet top or tabletop [Photo A], or on the back face of a cabinet. OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND 2. Cover them with other parts If screws must be used on the visible faces of a project, take time during the design process to find or create locations where a length of molding or another part of the project will hide them [Photos B and C, Drawing]. Just remember that once covered, the screws will be difficult, if not impossible, to access, so make sure you don’t need to reposition or disassemble any parts before applying the concealing piece. NOW YOU…

2 min.
cut perfect rabbets with a router bit

Virtually every cabinet you build uses rabbet joinery somewhere: for lock-rabbet drawers, on inset doors, as a recess to house the back of a bookcase, or to rest glass in a door. A rabbeting router bit helps you make them all, and cuts rascally rabbets on curved edges, such as an arch-topped door—something not possible with a tablesaw. ANATOMY OF A RABBETING BIT Bearings give bits versatility Rabbeting bits typically come in one of two diameters—1 1∕4" or 1 3∕8"—and can be purchased alone or with a set of replaceable bearings that alter the cutting width of the bit. Quick Tip! Check the spin of the bearing before using a rabbeting bit. Some bits use stepped washers between the bearing and bit, as shown at left, and if installed upside down, will keep the…

3 min.
a look at pre-cat lacquer

If you love lacquer but wish it was more durable, take a look at precatalyzed (pre-cat) lacquer. It retains the best qualities of traditional lacquer but provides a harder surface that better resists abrasion, thanks to a catalyst (think of two-part epoxy) that initiates a chemical reaction as the finish dries. Lacquer thinner remains the vehicle for pre-cat, but the resins vary from traditional lacquer formulations. “Pre-catalyzed” means the manufacturer or dealer adds the hardening agent before you receive the product [photo, next page]; you would mix post-catalyzed material in your shop. When to use pre-cat lacquer Versatile and durable pre-cat lacquer makes a great finish for indoor furniture and cabinetry. Think of it mainly as a big-project finish (see A question of quantity, page 16). Once dry, pre-cat lacquer rates safe for…

3 min.
embrace the slop to eliminate the slop

When you first imagine a design you want to build, it is perfect in its form. You sketch it on paper or draw it on a computer. Its dimensions are flawless. All of its joints are tight. Then you go into the shop, and all of that perfection slips away into the irregularity of reality. You can spend a lot of time and effort trying to cling to that perfection, or you can just figure out the best place for the slop. Hide it One of the most useful outcomes of a design is figuring out where to hide the slop. For instance, the seam between a table frame and the top is rarely tight. You don’t need to spend time making it so because the top usually overhangs the frame, and…