Weekend Projects – Aug 24, 2015

Box Joint Jig
Box Joint Jig

This was my project for this last weekend. I have a bunch of pictures. As you will find I am not much on writing and am still trying to get comfortable with the whole blogging thing. So hopefully you will stay with me and we’ll see if I get any better.

The plans for this project can be found at http://www.plansnow.com/. They were also in one of the back issues of WoodSmith mag. I don’t remember the issue number.

I did modify the plans a bit. I added a track for adjusting for miter slots. I may want to use this with my router table as well.

Now that I have finished this and have make some cuts. I am thinking I may make a different type that will only cut one size. This one will be great for making different size box joints. But I want one that I can just throw it on the saw and cut without adjusting it and just think about the project at hand.

So I will update you on next Weekends Projects. The plan is to make a wall mounted portable tape dispenser organizer. Along with a wood floor desk carpet mat for my office. What project are you going to be working? See you next week.

Here's where I started, with some scraps and a couple dollars of hardware.
Here’s where I started, with some scraps and a couple dollars of hardware.

More scrap and hardware.
More scrap and hardware.

More of some of the scrap wood I will be using.
More of some of the scrap wood I will be using.
I started with some Oak scrap I had from a desk I got for free and about $8 of hardware. I had the track that was a gift from my kids. Oh I did spend an additional $3.59 for some Oak trim for the backer boards.

 

I was going to use hardboard as the plans had. But the smallest I could find was 4’x8′ at around $15. I got a trim Oak strip 1-1/2″ x 48″ and cut them to size at 1/5th the cost.

Backer boards. $3.59 1-1/2" x 48" cut to 5" chunk and mount hole drilled
Backer boards. $3.59 1-1/2″ x 48″ cut to 5″ chunk and mount hole drilled

 

Dry fit Fence setting on base.
Dry fit Fence setting on base.

Dry fit movable fence setting on base.
Dry fit movable fence setting on base.

Dry fit both movable and non-movable fence setting on base.
Dry fit both movable and non-movable fence setting on base.

Dry fit on my saw
Dry fit on my saw

Dry fit on my saw
Dry fit on my saw

Dry fit on my saw
Dry fit on my saw

Dry fit test run
Dry fit test run

Dry fit test run
Dry fit test run

Test cuts
Test cuts

Playing around
Playing around

Playing around
Playing around

Playing around
Playing around

Finished and put together
Finished and put together

Finished and put together
Finished and put together

Finished and put together
Finished and put together

Finished and put together. With backer boards
Finished and put together. With backer boards

Finished and put together
Finished and put together

Finished and put together. Saw mounted
Finished and put together. Saw mounted

Finished and put together. Saw mounted
Finished and put together. Saw mounted

Finished and put together. Saw mounted
Finished and put together. Saw mounted

Finished and put together. Saw mounted
Finished and put together. Saw mounted

 




Mobile Router Center

This rolling router center has onboard storage for all your router components, folds into a tidy package, serves as an extra work surface and rolls out of the way when you’re done!

Use It!

Move It!

Store It!

Unfold It!

Organize It!

A router table is one of the most versatile tools you can add to any shop. Whether you’re making doors or moldings, router tables are do-it-all tools. This shop-made unit is a fully featured router table with portability, versatility and compactness. It’s perfect for any shop in which floor space is precious. The top has as much real estate as a full-size router table but, like a benchtop unit, the router center can easily be stowed when you’re done.The key to a flat, rigid table is the torsion-box design. A torsion box is nothing more than a crisscross frame captured in a top and bottom. It’s easy to build, dead flat and solid as a rock.

Build the top

Crosscut both sheets of plywood required for this project into 32″ long slabs (see the plywood cutting diagram, below).

1. Cut to size the ribs (A and B, Fig. A, below), ends (C) and top and bottom skins (D). Cut the hardboard top (E) 1″ larger than the top skin.

2. Glue and screw the torsion-box ribs together (Photo 1). Pin the top and bottom skins to the torsion box (Photo 2). Assemble the torsion box on your tablesaw (Photo 3).

3. After the glue is dry, rough out the cavity in the bottom of the torsion box and trim it flush with a router (Photo 4). Use a 1/4″ round-over bit to ease the sharp corners. Flip the torsion box and flush-trim the hardboard top to match the box’s top skin (D).

 

Build the case

The assembly of the case is very similar to that of the torsionbox top, with internal ribs that create the compartments in the case.

4. Assemble the case ribs (H, J).

5. Glue and screw the case skins (K) to the ribs (Photo 5).

6. Rough-out and flush-trim the router cavity on the inside of the case. Use a 1/4″ round-over bit to ease the corners.

7. Screw and glue the top (L) and bottom (M) to the case. Attach one layer first. Then add the second piece of plywood by screwing from below so no screws show on the top side of the double panels.

8. Cut the door panels (N) to size.

 

Add edge banding

Make all the edge banding 1/32″ oversize in width. After you glue it on, sand it flush to the plywood.

9. Make the banding for the case and door (Q), the double-thickness top and bottom (P) and the torsion-box top (F, G).

10. Cut, fit and glue the narrow banding to the remaining edges of the case and the doors and the wide banding to the top and bottom of the case.

11. Cut, fit and glue the extra-wide banding to the torsion box’s sides and long back edge. You don’t band the long front edge until after you install the T-track (see Step 13).

 

Finish the top

12. Use your router to cut the dado for the T-track (Y) in the top. Cut the T-track to length, file the sawn edges to remove burrs and screw it in place.

13. Cut, fit and glue the final edge banding to the front of the top.

14. Round all the edge-banded corners by handsanding or using an 1/8″ round-over bit.

15. Center the router plate on the top and rout the recess for it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

 

Make the legs

16. Prepare the leg material from solid wood. Cut the parts to final length with a 10° angle on the top ends of the box parts (R, S) and the bottom end of the adjustable foot (T).

17. Cut the leg tapers (Photo 6).

18. Cut the slot in the adjustable foot.

19. Install the T-nut in the leg. Glue and clamp the leg boxes together.

20. Bolt the adjustable foot to the leg box.

 

Put it all together

21. First, screw the hinges to the legs. Then, with the legs in place, screw the hinges to the bottom of the top (Photo 7).

22. Flip the case upside down onto a pair of spacers and install the casters and continuous hinge (Photo 8). The casters we’ve specified are double locking, so they don’t roll or swivel when locked.

23. Fold the top and case together, get some help and flip the case and top assembly upright.

24. Open the top and level it using the adjustable feet.

25. Drill and countersink the table insert and screw it to the opening in the top (Photo 9).

26. Screw the hinges to the door, and fasten the door to the case (Photo 10).

27. Attach the router table switch and chest handle to the folding top.

28. Using the same screws that hold the switch, fasten a bungee cord to the top. This acts as a retainer for one leg when you’re folding and unfolding the table. The other leg swings free so it drops into place when you unfold the table.

 

Make the fence

29. Cut all the fence pieces (U, V, W, X, AA, BB) to size. Tip: Make a handful of subfences so you have extras.

30. Rout the slots in the fence base and face and cut out the bit clearance notches (Photo 11). Long slots in the base allow the fence to skew on the table as you’re making adjustments. Slots in the face allow you to slide the subfences for the adjustable opening in the fence.

31. Glue and screw the face to the base and attach the support blocks and dust port (AA, Photo 12).

32. Cut the T-track and spacer (BB) to length and screw it into the face.

 

Finish it

33. There’s plenty of plywood and hardboard left to make drawers, trays, hooks and racks. Outfit your table to hold all your goodies.

34. Most routers can remain fastened to the top when the table is folded, and they’ll swing right into the cavity in the case. If your router bumps the back of the cavity, just cut that side out, as in Step 6, to provide clearance.

35. Apply a coat of finish to all the wooden parts. It’s not a must to seal the hardboard top, but a coat of paste wax will help your material slide across it better.

Project requirements at a glance

A router table is one of the most versatile tools you can add to any shop. Whether you’re making doors or moldings, router tables are do-it-all tools. This shop-made unit is a fully featured router table with portability, versatility and compactness. It’s perfect for any shop in which floor space is precious. The top has as much real estate as a full-size router table but, like a benchtop unit, the router center can easily be stowed when you’re done.The key to a flat, rigid table is the torsion-box design. A torsion box is nothing more than a crisscross frame captured in a top and bottom. It’s easy to build, dead flat and solid as a rock.

Build the top

Crosscut both sheets of plywood required for this project into 32″ long slabs (see the plywood cutting diagram, below).

1. Cut to size the ribs (A and B, Fig. A, below), ends (C) and top and bottom skins (D). Cut the hardboard top (E) 1″ larger than the top skin.

2. Glue and screw the torsion-box ribs together (Photo 1). Pin the top and bottom skins to the torsion box (Photo 2). Assemble the torsion box on your tablesaw (Photo 3).

3. After the glue is dry, rough out the cavity in the bottom of the torsion box and trim it flush with a router (Photo 4). Use a 1/4″ round-over bit to ease the sharp corners. Flip the torsion box and flush-trim the hardboard top to match the box’s top skin (D).

 

Build the case

The assembly of the case is very similar to that of the torsionbox top, with internal ribs that create the compartments in the case.

4. Assemble the case ribs (H, J).

5. Glue and screw the case skins (K) to the ribs (Photo 5).

6. Rough-out and flush-trim the router cavity on the inside of the case. Use a 1/4″ round-over bit to ease the corners.

7. Screw and glue the top (L) and bottom (M) to the case. Attach one layer first. Then add the second piece of plywood by screwing from below so no screws show on the top side of the double panels.

8. Cut the door panels (N) to size.

 

Add edge banding

Make all the edge banding 1/32″ oversize in width. After you glue it on, sand it flush to the plywood.

9. Make the banding for the case and door (Q), the double-thickness top and bottom (P) and the torsion-box top (F, G).

10. Cut, fit and glue the narrow banding to the remaining edges of the case and the doors and the wide banding to the top and bottom of the case.

11. Cut, fit and glue the extra-wide banding to the torsion box’s sides and long back edge. You don’t band the long front edge until after you install the T-track (see Step 13).

 

Finish the top

12. Use your router to cut the dado for the T-track (Y) in the top. Cut the T-track to length, file the sawn edges to remove burrs and screw it in place.

13. Cut, fit and glue the final edge banding to the front of the top.

14. Round all the edge-banded corners by handsanding or using an 1/8″ round-over bit.

15. Center the router plate on the top and rout the recess for it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

 

Make the legs

16. Prepare the leg material from solid wood. Cut the parts to final length with a 10° angle on the top ends of the box parts (R, S) and the bottom end of the adjustable foot (T).

17. Cut the leg tapers (Photo 6).

18. Cut the slot in the adjustable foot.

19. Install the T-nut in the leg. Glue and clamp the leg boxes together.

20. Bolt the adjustable foot to the leg box.

 

Put it all together

21. First, screw the hinges to the legs. Then, with the legs in place, screw the hinges to the bottom of the top (Photo 7).

22. Flip the case upside down onto a pair of spacers and install the casters and continuous hinge (Photo 8). The casters we’ve specified are double locking, so they don’t roll or swivel when locked.

23. Fold the top and case together, get some help and flip the case and top assembly upright.

24. Open the top and level it using the adjustable feet.

25. Drill and countersink the table insert and screw it to the opening in the top (Photo 9).

26. Screw the hinges to the door, and fasten the door to the case (Photo 10).

27. Attach the router table switch and chest handle to the folding top.

28. Using the same screws that hold the switch, fasten a bungee cord to the top. This acts as a retainer for one leg when you’re folding and unfolding the table. The other leg swings free so it drops into place when you unfold the table.

 

Make the fence

29. Cut all the fence pieces (U, V, W, X, AA, BB) to size. Tip: Make a handful of subfences so you have extras.

30. Rout the slots in the fence base and face and cut out the bit clearance notches (Photo 11). Long slots in the base allow the fence to skew on the table as you’re making adjustments. Slots in the face allow you to slide the subfences for the adjustable opening in the fence.

31. Glue and screw the face to the base and attach the support blocks and dust port (AA, Photo 12).

32. Cut the T-track and spacer (BB) to length and screw it into the face.

 

Finish it

33. There’s plenty of plywood and hardboard left to make drawers, trays, hooks and racks. Outfit your table to hold all your goodies.

34. Most routers can remain fastened to the top when the table is folded, and they’ll swing right into the cavity in the case. If your router bumps the back of the cavity, just cut that side out, as in Step 6, to provide clearance.

35. Apply a coat of finish to all the wooden parts. It’s not a must to seal the hardboard top, but a coat of paste wax will help your material slide across it better.

Project requirements at a glance

Cutting List

Fig. A: Exploded View

Plywood cutting diagram

Sources

(Note: Product availability and costs are subject to change since original publication date.)

Woodworker’s Supply, woodworker.com, 800-645-9292, Taper jig, #825-014.

Peachtree Woodworking Supply, ptreeusa.com, 888-512-9069, Small Router Bit Guard, #1049; 24″ T-track with one knob and bolt, #1018; 48″ T-Track with two knobs and bolts, #1019.

Highland Hardware, highlandwoodworking.com, 800-241-6748, Four casters, #084050; Router table switch, #104903.

Home Center, two sheets 3/4″ x 48″ x 96″ oak ply wood; one sheet of 1/4″ x 48″ x 96″ tempered hardboard; two pair 1/2″ overlay self-closing hinges; one 48″ continuous hinge; one 3-1/2″ chest handle; two 6″ strap hinges; miscellaneous hardware.

Amazon, amazon.com, JessEm 03100 Rout-R-Plate.

1. The router table topis a torsion box, which guarantees a stiff, flat surface. Assemble it with glue and screws, holding the edges flush. Brad-nail the parts first to hold them in place while you drill and drive the screws.

 

2. Pin the top and bottom skins to the torsion box so they don’t shift during clamping. Avoid the T-track locations so you don’t rout into a brad later. It only takes a few brads to hold the parts in place.

3. Glue the torsion-box on your tablesaw. The surface of the saw virtually guarantees a flat top. Place the hardboard face down on the saw, spread a uniform film of glue on the hardboard and lay the torsion box on it. Weight the sandwich with sandbags.

4. Flush-trim the cavity in the bottom of the torsion-box assembly. Use a jigsaw to remove most of the waste first.

5. Assemble the case using glue and screws. Use layout lines to correctly locate the skins on the ribs.

6. Taper the sides of the legs using a taper jig on the tablesaw. The leg sides must be cut to final length before you taper them.

7. Screw the leg hinges to the bottom of the router table top. The legs should bypass each other when they’re folded.

8. Attach the top assembly to the case using a continuous hinge. Use a pair of 2-1/4″ spacers under the case to make it level with the top.

9. Drill and countersink eight holes through the table insert, and fasten it to the top with flat-head sheet-metal screws. This ensures your router won’t tumble out when you fold the table top down.

 

10. Screw the self-closing hinges to the door and fasten the door to the case. It’s easier to drive the screws if you first *** the plywood using a scratch awl.

11. Cut notches in the fence using a jigsaw. After the fence is assembled, the notches provide clearance for router bits.

12. Assemble the fence with glue and screws. Make sure the face and base are dead square to each other.

 




Miter Gauge Fence

Using a miter gauge without an auxiliary fence is like
wearing a pair of trousers without suspenders (or a belt) – you just don’t get the support you need.

And while it’s pretty easy to just screw a piece of wood to the front of your miter gauge, I think it’s worth taking just a couple minutes to make an adjustable auxiliary fence. This way, you can move the fence as close to the blade as you want, even when mitering, see Fig. 2.

JIG CONSTRUCTION. The “adjustable” part of the fence is made up of two sliding pieces, see Fig. 1. A rabbet cut on each piece allows the two pieces to interlock.

The top piece has a couple of threaded inserts so it can be attached to the miter gauge with machine screws, see Fig. 1a.

The bottom piece “floats” under the top one (until the two machine screws are tightened). By sanding the top piece 1/32″ thinner than the bottom, it will “pinch” the bottom piece in place, see Fig. 1a.

A replaceable face is screwed to the front of the bottom sliding piece. This way, when the fence gets chewed up, you can make a new one.

STOP BLOCK. To make the fence even more useful, you can clamp a stop block to the face.




Crosscut Sled


The miter gauge that comes with most table saws is fine for crosscutting narrow pieces. But if you try to use it to crosscut a wide panel, you’ll quickly discover how inadequate it is.

It rocks back and forth in the slot or bumps into the edge of the table saw top, making crosscutting not only difficult, but potentially dangerous as well.

That’s why I like to use a crosscut sled when cutting large panels. This jig works like a giant miter gauge, allowing you to crosscut wider pieces.

The large, flat base of the sled provides plenty of support for wide panels. A pair of runners guides the sled and the workpiece smoothly through the saw. And a fence on the trailing edge of the sled ensures that every cut will be square.

CONSTRUCTION. To build the jig, start by cutting a piece of 3/4″-thick plywood for the base. (I made mine about 16″ x 30″.)

Next cut a hardwood runner to fit in the miter gauge slot of your table saw. Size the runner so it slides smoothly in the slot. Then glue and screw it to the bottom of the base.

To keep the jig aligned, a second runner is added to the bottom of the base. This one rides against the edge of the table saw extension wing, see photo.

Once both runners are attached, place the jig on your saw and trim off the right edge of the base.

FENCE. For the fence, I used a piece of “2-by” stock with a chamfer routed on the bottom edge for a sawdust relief, see Fig. 1a.

To position the fence so that it’s square to the blade, use a framing square, see Fig. 1. Then just screw the fence to the base.




Push Block


I’ve seen a lot of push blocks or push sticks that are thin and narrow. This allows you to maneuver the push stick between the blade and the rip fence when ripping thin pieces.

But I find that trying to guide a workpiece through a saw with one of these push sticks is a little like trying to push a brick with a straw. This is one case where wider is better.

That’s why I like this push block design. It’s nothing more than an 8″-long block with a shallow notch cut on the bottom, see Fig. 1. The notch fits over the back edge of the workpiece that’s being cut.

The wide profile of the block gives you plenty of control. And instead of fitting between the fence and the blade, this push block is designed to ride right over the blade, see Fig. 2.

After a while, the bottom of the push block will get “chewed up.” When this happens, just throw it out and make a new one.




Strip Cutting Gauge

Thin strips should be cut on a table saw with the wide board against the fence and the fence moved in for each cut, however it is difficult to accurately adjust the fence for each strip to be the same thickness. This gauge allows you to simply slide the fence over until the stock hits the guide. Because there are so many different types of table saws I have not given any measurements for the lengths of the parts, this should be obvious when the strip is in the miter slot.

Cut a stip that fits snugly in the miter slot of the table, with a 5/8″ spade bit drill a pocket for the bolt head about 1/8″ deep, then drill 1/4″ hole for bolt. Cut a slot in a piece 1″ wide hardwood that is long enough to extend to line up with the saw blade, round the outer end. Fasten the two pieces together with a 1/4″ carriage bolt, washer and thumb screw.

Mark the width of the strip to be cut on the material, set fence, then place gauge in miter slot and adjust guide to touch material. Remove gauge, make the cut, insert gauge, with material against fence, slide fence over until material touches gauge, remove gauge, cut, continue in this manner.




Tablesaw Miter Jig

To build this jig, first place one miter-slot guide into each slot on your saw table. Align the 1/2″ plywood base on top of the guide, long edges perpendicular to the miter slots. With the plywood resting on the table saw surface, drill 5/32″ shank holes through the plywood and into the guides just far enough to mark their positions. Remove the plywood and guides and drill 7/64″ pilot holes through the guides. Reposition these pieces on the table saw, and attach the guides with countersunk #8×1″ brass wood screws. Drive the screws about halfway through the guides, and lift the assembly off the table. Drive the screws completely, and sand off their protruding tips. Again, place the jig onto the table saw surface, turn on the saw, and cut a kerf about halfway across the width of the plywood.

The key to this jig’s accuracy is installing the miter fences precisely at 90ý. The drawings below take you through the first two alignment steps. Use this process to temporarily attach each fence with two #8×1″ screws. Test the fences for accuracy by cutting four sample pieces, each about 1″ wide and 4″ long. Hold them together with a rubber band and check for any gaps at the miters. Adjust the position of the fences as necessary by tapping them with a hammer. Once you’re satisfied that the fences are in exactly the right positions, attach each of them with two #8×1″ screws. Finally, to help hold your workpieces steady against the fences during cuts, attach adhesive-backed 100-grit sandpaper to the fence aces where shown in the photo above.

Installing the Miter Fence