ShopNotes #108 2009-11-01

November 2009
Issue 108

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Table of Contents

Readers' Tips4

Routing Slots8

A router table makes quick work of making stopped cuts. Learn the tricks to getting great results every time.

Tools for Working with Metal10

Working with sheet metal requires just a handful of tools. Here’s what you need to get started.

Several styles of general purpose sheet metal snips are available at most local hardware stores and home centers, as well as a few of the sources listed below.

  • McMaster-Carr
    Sheet Metal Snips3902A6

Perfect Mitered Edging12

Wrapping mitered edging perfectly around a panel can be a challenge. Here's a straightforward technique for flawless results.

Sheet Metal Bending Brake14

This easy-to-build bending brake opens up a whole new avenue for making projects out of sheet metal. You'll even find a few project ideas to get you started.

Online Extras

  • Quick & Easy Sheet Metal Projects
    Working with sheet metal isn’t difficult — if you have the right tools. All it takes to make the items shown here are some basic tools, a pair of tin snips, and the metal brake featured in ShopNotes No. 108. You’ll also need the patterns for laying out the cuts and bends.

The angle iron and steel bar stock needed for the bending brake can be found at a local hardware store or home center. A few of the sources listed below also stock these products.

The hardware required to build the tool box includes blind rivets, a rivet gun, and a continuous hinge. You can find these items at most hardware stores or at some of the sources listed below.

Shop Shortcuts22

Check out our shop-tested tips and techniques for solving your woodworking problems.

Hobby Bench24

Every hobby needs a dedicated space and an ample worksurface. This bench provides just the right solution for a wide range of hobbies.

Online Extras

  • Hobby Bench
    Most workbenches are great for building furniture. But, they’re often too large for smaller hobby activities. Plus, they often lack storage for both large and small items. That’s why I really like this hobby bench. Its small size allows you to put it anywhere, but it features a lot of storage options.

Hand-Cut Tenons32

Cutting tenons with a hand saw is a great way to build your hand tool skills. Here's the step-by-step process for doing it right.

Super Sawhorses34

These sawhorses are beefy enough for the most demanding tasks in your shop. Best of all, they'll only take a weekend to build.

Fast Fillers -- Flawless Coverups38

Flaws are a fact of life. But with the right filler, you can make them disappear

You'll find a wide variety of wood fillers at hardware stores and home centers and from a few of the sources listed below.

Through Dovetails40

Cutting dovetails on the table saw doesn't seem possible. But with a simple jig and step-by-step process, you'll be cutting great-looking dovetails in no time at all.

You should be able to find a saw blade sharpening shop in your area that will custom grind your blade for cutting dovetails. Or, if you prefer, Forrest Blade Company offers dovetail saw blades for either left or right tilt table saws. The blades are available with a 7°, 9.5°, or 11.5° bevel angle. Materials for the blade cover and runner are available from McMaster-Carr. They could also be made out of hardboard or plywood if you prefer.

Table Saw Dovetail Jig46

This shop-built jig makes it easy to cut both the tails and pins to create a snug-fitting dovetail joint that’s quick, easy, and accurate.

The Latest Cool Tools48

These products deserve a place in every shop. Take a look at the latest tools that caught our eye.

Lee Valley offers a complete line of Maxi-Cut Forstner drill bits, as well as drill bit extensions.

  • Rockler 800-279-4441
    Bench Cookies26357
    Red Tape Measuring Tape39387
    Note: As of February 2010, availability of this product has been limited. See the Red Tape site for more information.
  • Hartville Tools
    Tri-Blade Accessory32917

Q & A 50

Have a woodworking or shop-related question? Send it in and we'll answer it here.

Scenes from the Shop52