ShopNotes #86 2006-03-01

March 2006
Issue 86

Read Online

Subscribe to ShopNotes magazine

Subscribe Today

Subscription Options

Get a Digital Subscription

Contact our Customer Service

Table of Contents

Reader's Tips4

Routing Dadoes & Grooves8

Perfect dadoes and grooves with a hand-held router? It's easy with these tips and techniques.

Working with Plastics10

Add a new dimension to your projects by using plastics in your shop.

Small plastic sheets can be found at many home improvement and hardware retailers. If you need larger acrylic and polycarbonate sheets, you’ll probably need to order them. The sheets used in the article on page 10 of ShopNotes No. 86 were ordered from Regal Plastics and United States Plastic Corp. You can find contact information below. Plastic supplies can also be ordered from McMaster-Carr.

Brazing Band Saw Blades12

Broken band saw blade? Don't pitch it -- fix it with a handy brazing kit.

If you want to repair band saw blades using the brazing technique featured on page 12 of ShopNotes No. 86, you’ll need to find a blade brazing kit. These kits are available from a number of sources. The blade brazing kit I used came from Woodworker’s Supply (897450).

Shop Short Cuts14

Shop-tested tips and techniques to solve your woodworking problems.

Router Bit Storage System16

Misplaced router bits a problem? This handy storage system keeps them organized. Plus, it expands easily as you add more.

Top-Notch Results with MDF22

MDF is a very versatile material. Here's what you need to know to get the best results.

Wood & Brass Center Finder24

Finding the center of a workpiece doesn't have to be a hassle. Build this center finder in the morning and start using it in the afternoon.

Jig Saw Secrets for Flawless Cuts26

With just a few simple tips and techniques, you can turn your jig saw into a precision cutting tool.

The straight-tooth jig saw blade (12520-5) featured in the article on page 26 of ShopNotes No. 86 is made by Porter-Cable. Other good quality blades can also be found at most hardware stores and home centers.

Thickness Sander28

Powered by your table saw, this thickness sander will sand panels up to 16" wide so they're perfectly smooth and flat.

  • Page 31: Figure 2 detail b
    The measurement between piece F - Height Adjustment Support and piece G - Rub Block is printed as 2 3/4" but it should be 2"
  • Page 31: Materials & Hardware
    Two corrections. 1. Part U dimensions should be 4 5/8 x 6 1/2 - 3/4, not 4 9/16 x 6 1/2 - 3/4. 2. The list indicates that you need a 6" x 48" sanding belt but it should be 16" x 48".
  • Page 37: Figure 10
    Part U dimensions printed as 4 1/16" x 6 1/2" but should be 4 5/8" x 6 1/2".
  • Page 31: Materials list
    (Clarification) Piece H (Roller End Plugs) should be cut to fit inside the PVC pipe. There may be some variation in the actual dimensions of the PVC. The instructions on page 32 mention the need to cut to fit, but the materials list states a specific size.

Online Extras

  • Thickness Sander
    It's not often you can save time and money -- this heavy-duty, shop-built project will do both. Powered by the motor on your table saw, this machine can quickly sand panels up to 16" wide so they're flat and smooth -- whether it's a 3"-thick workpiece or a strip of veneer only 1/16" thick.

You’ll find much of the basic hardware needed to build the thickness sander on page 28 of ShopNotes No. 86 at your local hardware store or home improvement center. But some items, like the steel shafts and pulleys, might be a little more challenging to find.

The 1/2" steel shaft (8920K15), 3/4" shaft (1346K32), bronze sleeve bearings (6391K212), 5" x 5/8" 4L belt pulley (6245K47), 2" x 5/8" 4L belt pulley (6245K16), and 4L440 V-Belt (6191K37) were all ordered from McMaster-Carr. I was able to get the handle for the conveyor (6473K77) and the 3/8" studded knobs (5993K43) from there as well.

The two pillow blocks (PRB-156) were ordered from Reid Tools. And the 3/8" through knobs (23820), as well as the magnetic catch (29280), came from Rockler.

You’ll also need sandpaper for the conveyor and the drum. I used a 16" x 48" 100-grit sanding belt (WB51410) for the conveyor belt. Rolls of sandpaper to wrap the drum roller come in a variety of grits. I got these from Klingspor.

I picked up a piece of 1/16"-thick polycarbonate at a local plastics dealer to make the cover for the dust hood. You can also find it available from suppliers of plastic listed below.

What's New in PVA Glue38

It's not plain-old yellow glue anymore. Here are some new twists on an old favorite.

Outfeed Supports40

Learn more about the latest stands for supporting stock safely while you work.

A support stand like those featured on page 40 can be a big help when working with longer materials. I was able to pick up the flat-top roller stand made by Ridgid (AC9933) at Home Depot.

The Ultimate Roller Stand (50U01.01) and the roller bearing stand (17U12.01) were ordered from Lee Valley. And the heavy-duty Flip Top Roller Stand (43399) and the roller support with universal clamp (64194) came from Rockler. The last two support stands are also available at the Woodsmith Store.

Never-Fail Splined Miters44

Want stronger miters? Here's a simple technique with guaranteed results.

Top Choices for Mallets & Hammers46

Whether you need finesse or heft, you can find a hammer or mallet that's right for the job.

Having the right hammer for the job can really make working in the shop a lot easier. The picture framing hammer (05K9923), Cabinetmaker’s Mallet (05E1501), Veritas Journeyman’s Brass Mallet (05E1401), and Pocket Hammer (50K3701) I used in the article on page 46 of ShopNotes No. 86 are all available from Lee Valley. The Warrington pattern hammer is available at many woodworking and retail stores as well as from Lee Valley.

Quick & Easy Shelving System48

Customize your shop or garage with this inexpensive, but adaptable shelving system.

Quick and inexpensive shelves like those on page 48 of ShopNotes No. 86 are a great addition to any garage or shop. I was able to find the Fast-Mount Shelving at a local home center. You can also order this shelf system from Lee Valley and Garrett Wade.


Scenes from the Shop52