ShopNotes #90 2006-11-01

November 2006
Issue 90

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Table of Contents

Readers' Tips4

Using a Plunge Router8

A plunge router is a versatile tool. Learn what you need to know to get the most out of it.

Online Extras

  • Plunge Router Mortising Jig
    One of the best ways to get the biggest bang from a plunge router is to put it to work routing mortises. The technique, explained in Shopnotes No. 90, is easy to master and the results are topnotch. And the clincher is that, from setup to completion, the whole process takes only a few minutes. The key is the simple-to-build and easy-to-use mortising jig you see here.

Tool Steel12

Does the type of steel in your chisels or plane irons really make a difference? Here's the answer.

Several sources are available for ordering chisels and plane irons made from the different types of tool steel described on page 12 of ShopNotes No. 90.

Hock Tools, Lee Valley, and Tools for Working Wood all carry replacement irons made from O1 and A2. Lee Valley and Tools for Working Wood carry chisels as well. Tools for Working Wood also carry chisels made from D2 steel.

"Ultimate" Drilling Guide14

Accurately installed hardware or perfectly spaced shelf pin holes -- it's a snap with this precision drilling guide.

When it comes to installing hardware, accuracy is the key to getting the best results. And anything that speeds up the hardware installation while still maintaining accuracy, well, that’s a bonus.

The True Position Drill Guide highlighted on page 14 of ShopNotes No. 90 combines both speed and accuracy. You can get the guide and all its accessories from the manufacturer, Precision Casewerk, or from Mockett Hardware. The contact information for both companies is listed below.

Shop Short Cuts16

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

Roll-Around Work Cart18

A "shop-in-a-box" perfectly describes this roll-around work cart. With eight drawers and open shelves with easy access, everything is right where you need it. Plus, the large worksurface comes in handy for all kinds of shop tasks.

  • Page 18: Cutting diagram
    The callout below the middle illustration (showing cutting diagram for pieces NN and OO) should say 48" x 96" x 1/4" Plywood.

Online Extras

  • Roll-Around Work Cart (Baltic Birch)
    If your shop is anything like mine, there are two things you can’t get enough of -- storage and work surface. That’s why this roll-around work cart is a welcome addition. You can construct this cart from 5' x 5' sheets of Baltic Birch.
  • Roll-Around Work Cart
    If your shop is anything like mine, there are two things you can’t get enough of — storage and work surface. That’s why this roll-around work cart is a welcome addition.

The roll-around work cart on page 18 of ShopNotes No. 90 requires quite a bit of hardware. The nice thing about this is you can find most of it, including the EMT conduit used for the handles, at a hardware store or home center. But there are a few items that you'll probably have to order.

The heavy-duty, 1-1/4" x 5" locking swivel casters (WC-88) came from Reid Tool. For the drawer handles, I used extruded aluminum pull material from Woodworker's Hardware (KV0822). It comes in 8'-long pieces that you simply cut to the length you need.

The full-extension drawer slides can be obtained from Rockler. You’ll need four pairs of the 14"-long drawer slides (32474) and four of the 18" slides (32490) as well. You can also order these drawer slides from the Woodsmith Store (see below).

Gluing Up a Panel26

Take the hassle and worry out of gluing up a flat panel with our simple, five-step process.

3-in-1 Multi-Tool28

This router table packs a lot of big-time features into a compact package. Using an ordinary palm router, you can accurately rout, mortise, and joint both small and large workpieces.

  • Page 30: Figure 1
    The 1/4" threaded insert should be set in 1" from the side of part D (top), not 3/4" as printed.
  • Page 31: Figure 3
    The dimension shown for the location of the hole for the carriage bolt in part "J" (Plate) should be 2" from the top edge, not the 3 1/2" as originally printed.

Online Extras

  • 3-in-1 Multi-Tool
    A palm router packs a big punch into a compact size. This makes it easy to use and gives you more control and great visibility. But sometimes it’s easier, and safer, to bring the workpiece to the router. So I gave my palm router an upgrade and built this multitool.

The multi-tool on page 28 of ShopNotes No. 90 will make your palm router more versatile. Before you start building, there are a few parts you’ll need to order.

The first thing I did was pick up a 12" x 16" sheet of 1/4" phenolic material from the Woodsmith Store. But you can also order it directly from Leecraft (BK-2). The only thing to be aware of is the color may vary depending on when you order.

Most of the other parts came from Reid Tool: the tapered knob (DK-913); the 1/4"-20 T-knob (DK-222); the 1/4"-20 x 1", three-point knobs (RK-305); and the 1/4"-20 threaded inserts (EZ-12).

The brass strips can be purchased at most hardware stores or arts and crafts retailers. Finally, Rockler carries the bit guard (67157) for the fence.

All-Purpose Layout Tool34

Featuring a set of replaceable keys, this layout tool serves a wide range of uses -- whether you're laying out dovetails or mortises, or checking the thickness of freshly planed stock.

Finding the materials to build the all-purpose layout tool on page 34 of ShopNotes No. 90 should be pretty easy. You may be able to pick up all of the material you need at a local hardware store.

The only problem I ran into was finding the brass strips and the knurled thumb nuts. If you can’t find them locally, McMaster-Carr can help you out.

For the brass strip, ask for part number 8859K91. And the knurled nuts are part number 92741A160. The company’s contact information can be found below.

Instead of using knurled thumb nuts, you could switch to brass wing nuts, which are a common item in most hardware stores.

Putting Air Power to Use in the Shop38

Tired of tangled and in-the-way air hoses? Make using your compressor more efficient by piping your shop for air. Here's what you need to know to set up a compressed air system.

  • Page 38: Lead photograph
    The quick-disconnect fitting connecting the snubber hose to the valve is installed backwards. It should quick disconnect from the valve not the snubber hose. A couple of the other fittings need to be reversed to make this work, but just knowing the quick-disconnect needs to be installed the other way will force you to install the other fittings correctly.

Outfitting your shop for compressed air isn't all that difficult. You can find the copper pipe, fittings, and wall mounts at a hardware store or home center.

You should also be able to find the filters and air hose fittings at those locations as well. 

5 Space-Saving Worksurfaces42

Need an extra worksurface? We feature five ideas that will work in any size shop.

Tough Cuts Made Easy44

Cutting small parts on the table saw can be quite a challenge. These tips and techniques provide solutions for doing it easily and safely.

  • Page 45: Miter jig end view illustration
    The height of the front piece (shown on the right side of the drawing) should be 1 1/4", not 2 1/4" as printed.

20 Cool Tools for Under $5048

You're sure to find the perfect gift in this collection of stocking-stuffers.

Scenes from the Shop52