ShopNotes #95 2007-09-01

September 2007
Issue 95

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Table of Contents

Readers' Tips4

  • Page 6: Shop-Made Gauge Block
    Clarification: The reader who submitted this tip sent an email containing considerably more detailed information after publication. Please view the article detail screen for complete information.

Spiral Bits8

Get great-looking results without tearout when routing dadoes and mortises.

Most router bit manufacturers make spiral bits. The bits shown on page 8 of ShopNotes No. 95 are a 3/8" down-cut (46214) and a 1/4" up-cut (46248) from Amana. Amana bits are sold at the Woodsmith Store.

Water-Based Finishes10

Learn more about these durable finishes that are quick to apply and easy to clean up.

There are times when a water-based finish is the best choice. Clean up is easy and the durability of water-based finishes has improved greatly.

General Finishes, Old Masters, and other manufacturers all make water-based finishes. Check their websites for more information.

Jig Saw Upgrades12

It's a snap to upgrade the performance of your jig saw with these handy accessories.

Getting more out of your jig saw will be easy with the accessories beginning on page 12 of ShopNotes No. 95.

If your saw doesn't have a splinter guard, check a few retail outlets that carry your brand.

The Slick Saw adhesive overlay can be cut to fit your saw's shoe. R Boog Industries sells the overlays through specialty woodworking outlets. The company's website has a list of distributors.

The Milescraft SawGuide edge guide is available at hardware stores or home centers. We ordered it from Woodcraft (147761).

The EasyCoper will turn your jig saw into a power coping saw. You can purchase it from the Woodsmith Store, or you can order it from the manufacturer (listed below).

5 Handy Chisel Tips and Techniques14

These easy-to-learn techniques will help you get more from your set of chisels.

High-Tech Tool Chest16

Learn how to rivet aluminum angle and lightweight plywood into a strong and sturdy chest for your tools.

  • Page 51: Tool box hardware
    The rivet setter can be obtained from McMaster-Carr ( The part number is 6663A14. (Source was not included in the issue.)

Online Extras

  • High-Tech Tool Chest
    It seems like every tool chest I've ever had was too heavy to move around once it was loaded up with tools. Well, that's not the case any more. With just a little "high-tech" aluminum riveted to some 1/4" plywood, I was able to build a lightweight chest that was portable and heavy-duty.

Most of the hardware used to make the tool box on page 16 of ShopNotes No. 95 is available at your local hardware store or home center, but some items may be harder to find.

The aluminum angle (88805K57) and folding pull handle (1647A31) came from McMaster-Carr, as did the 3/16" x 5/8" low-profile, universal head rivets (97490A247), the #8 washers (90126A512), and the rivet setter (6663A14)

The lid supports (HG-7752), recessed pull handles (NSH-10), and draw latches (NSH-2271) came from Reid Supply.

Shop Short Cuts24

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

Shop-Built Mallets26

Laminated construction is the key to making these handy mallets that will last a lifetime.

Shaping the mallet on page 26 of ShopNotes No. 95 is easy with a router. To get a smooth finish, I used a bowl and tray bit.  The bit (1376) is available from Just visit their website for details (listed below).

Secrets to Perfect Pieces32

You can cut perfect, identical parts with these easy-to-follow tips and techniques. All you need is a template, band saw, and router.

Multi-Purpose Table36

Build the ultimate, portable workstation with built-in storage, handy hold-downs, and auxiliary slide-out worksurfaces.

Online Extras

  • Multi-Purpose Table
    The table you see here is like a workbench in a kit. Slide a panel here, twist a knob there, and it converts from a portable "briefcase" to a sturdy workstation for your hobbies. But don't let its small size and portability fool you. This table is designed from the ground up to provide a solid, stable platform for working on hobbies and crafts.

The multi-purpose table on page 36 of ShopNotes No. 95 is designed to provide a solid, stable platform for working on hobbies and crafts.

The hardware used in this project, including the T-track (12K79.34) and rare-earth magnets (99K37.01), can be purchased from Lee Valley. The insert knobs (DK-82), drawer knobs (DK-77), leg knobs (DK-86), threaded inserts (EZ-14), and suitcase handle (AHC-4) were purchased at Reid Supply. The holddowns (21912) and flange bolts (34771) are from Rockler.

The rich tan color for the leather top can be achieved with Fiebing's leather dye and Tan-Kote protective finish. These products are available at most shoe repair stores or you can check Fiebing's website for a store in your area.

Tool-Saving Tips42

Stop rust on your hand and power tools dead in its tracks with these quick and easy tips.

Keeping rust at bay can be a battle in the shop, but there are products designed to keep rust off tools.

Boeshield, Sandflex Rust Eraser blocks, and other rust preventatives are available at The Rust Store (listed below). You can also find LPS Heavy-Duty Rust Inhibitor at (below).

Assembly Tables44

Make the most of your limited shop space with these three ideas for assembly tables.

Crosscutting Wide Panels46

We'll share some first-class secrets for crosscutting wide panels on the table saw.

Festool Domino48

Check out this joinery system that makes mortises like magic. Learn how this new tool works and how you can put it to use in your shop.

Online Extras

  • Festool Domino
    Ten seconds -- that's about all the time it takes to create and assemble a solid, long-lasting joint using the Festool Domino you see here.

The Domino Joiner is another great tool added to Festool's line. You can purchase it directly through Festool's website. It’s also available through the Woodsmith Store.

Scenes from the Shop52