ShopNotes #71 2003-09-01

September 2003
Issue 71

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Table of Contents

Readers' Tips4

Shop-tested tips to solve common woodworking problems.

Stow-Away Router Table6

This space-saving shop essential has features some bigger router tables only dream about. It stows away when you don't need it and mounts to your workbench in less than a minute.

Online Extras

  • Adding a Switched Outlet
    Turning a power tool on and off is easy right? Just flip the switch. Unfortunately, it’s not always convenient or even easy to access a switch quickly — especially on a hand-held router that’s been mounted in a table. I found this out on the Stow-Away Router Table in Issue No. 71. To solve this problem, I added a switched outlet to the side of the table. With a switched outlet that’s positioned for easy access, you won’t have to worry about finding the on/off switch — especially if you need to get to it in a hurry.

Super-Strong Box Joints12

Cutting small box joints is one thing, but cutting them with fingers 2" long requires a little different technique. We show you how to do it with our step-by-step instructions.

Shop-Made Benchtop Vise14

Round stock, carvings, odd shapes -- this benchtop vise can handle it all. We've designed it with a variety of jaw faces and updated a classic design to meet today's needs.

  • Page 15: Materials
    List indicates that piece A - Front Jaw requires 1 3/4 x 4 1/4 - 11 but it should be 1 3/4 x 4 1/4 - 10 1/2. Note: an alternate fix would be to increase the length of piece E - Rear Jaw Face from 8 1/2" to 9". Change EITHER A or E, but NOT both.
  • Page 16: Figure 2
    Height of piece A - Front Jaw printed as 11" but it should be 10 1/2". Note: an alternate fix would be to increase the length of piece E - Rear Jaw Face from 8 1/2" to 9". Change EITHER A or E, but NOT both.
  • Page 17: Figure 3
    Possible issue with the width of the filler block (piece C) and the overall width of the base. If you cut everything according to the plans, the base comes out 1/16" too wide. The easiest solution is to cut the rabbets in the base runners (B) 21/32" wide instead of 5/8" wide. Alternate solution: Make the filler block only 2" wide instead of 2 1/16" wide, and leave the rabbets at 5/8" wide. This may result in the mounting bolt fitting a little snugly in the slot in the base. In that case, you'll need to sand the inside faces of the slot by hand to create some clearance.

Online Extras

  • Quick-Release Rear Jaw
    This quick-release allows you to rapidly open or close the jaws of the benchtop vise in Issue No. 71. It works just like the quick-release mechanism on a manufactured bench vise. Instead of turning the handle of the vise, all you have to do is flip a lever and slide the rear jaw to where you want it. Then flip the lever back to lock the jaw in position.

Working with Plywood22

Do you dread the thought of moving, storing, or cutting a large, heavy sheet of plywood? Learn a few of the techniques we use to make working with plywood hassle-free.

5 Plywood Shop Projects26

It won't take a lot of time, effort, or material to outfit your shop with storage, worksurfaces, and several handy accessories. Each project can be built from a single sheet of plywood.

Tool Chest32

Block planes have been around for a long time. But we've found one that incorporates some new features and accessories that are sure to make it one of your favorite tools.

Shop Talk34

Glue doesn't keep forever. Here's what you need to know to determine if it's "too old to hold" on your next project.

Scenes from the Shop36