Posts Tagged ‘ Stanley 45 ’

Frame and Panel Construction – Part 2: The Frame

These two WordPress pages document my method of constructing a frame and raised panel door. I need to make a pair of these about 30″ x 18″ to replace an ugly entrance to the crawl space in my home. Each door will be a single solid Pine panel, the frame will be about 2 inches wide with an Ovolo molding on the inside edge. An Ovolo is a quarter round with a small step. It creates a shadow line around the inside of the frame which softens the edge visually.

Completed practice panel

Completed practice panel

 

Another goal is to, as much as possible, use only hand tools in the project. A few years ago I acquired a small panel raising plane at an estate sale and it’s time to put it to work. This photo shows some of the tools used in creating a frame.

Hand tools used

Hand tools used in frame construction

 

Three episodes of “The Woodwright’s Shop” contributed to my techniques.
Raising Panel-Zona” describes several methods of making a raised panel.
Painless Panel Doors” where Roy constructs a mortise and tenon frame.
Simple Sash Restoration” shows how to join a frame with molding around the inside.

To understand and practice the procedure I’ve made several small framed raised panels. These will find their way into a box or maybe a lamp sometime in the future. This procedure builds a frame to house a pre-constructed panel though usually the frame will be built first, made to fit an existing opening, then a panel constructed to fit.


This, the second page of my frame and panel series describes the frame construction.  It turns out that making the frame, with a molded inside edge, is harder than building the raised panel.

My practice raised panels were cut from 1×8 pine, resulting in a 7 1/4″ square panel. The frame begins with two 10 3/4″ rails and two 11″ stiles cut from a pine 1×4 ripped down the middle.The stiles are longer than needed to make them more likely to survive the mortise chisel.

The raised panels have a centerline mark so the first step is to mark a centerline as an alignment reference on the frame pieces.

Center line used as reference

Center line used as reference

 

The stiles and rails are inspected. the best sides marked as face, and a position in the frame picked and marked.

Two stiles, two rails with face sides marked

Two stiles, two rails with face sides marked

 

The panel with grain vertical, and both rails are turned bottom up and aligned with the center marks. Four tenon shoulders must be located on the rails. These are aligned with the inside edge of the panel back rabbit but an allowance should be made for the panel expanding across the grain in humid conditions. I use a thick steel ruler as a spacer which results in about 1/32 inch extra. The 12 inch ruler is flexible and bent down so it butts up tight against the rabbit. Both left and right side tenon shoulders are marked on the rails. They are knifed later.

Marking for rail shoulders

Marking for rail shoulders

 

On the face side, the tenon shoulder is a quarter inch farther out to allow for coping the molded edge. Here the back side line has been extended up the rails side and I used a 1/4″ brass spacer to locate the face side shoulder.

Quarter inch spacer defining face shoulder

Quarter inch spacer defining face shoulder

 

This shows the offset shoulder laid out. The face and rear shoulder lines will be knifed to help with accurate sawing, the short side lines are not knifed.

Rail tenon offset to allow coping

Rail tenon offset to allow coping

 

My practice raised panels varied a bit in depth so here I am checking the distance between panel top surface and the bottom of the rear rabbit. Ideally the distance between the top surface of the panel and the bottom of the rear rabbit groove will be 9/16″ which will allow 1/4″ panel raise, 1/4″ panel edge thickness, and 1/16″ for the Ovolo molding.

Measure for tenon depth

Measure for tenon depth

 

Set the mortise gauge outside pin to exactly the depth measured above.  The separation between the two pins is set to exactly the width of my quarter inch mortise chisel.

Set bottom pin of tenon gauge

Set bottom pin of tenon gauge

 

Tenons are marked with the mortise gauge then penciled in lightly. Note here the face side line is scratched shorter that the rear side because of the offset shoulder.

Tenons outlined with pencil

Tenons outlined with pencil

 

Now to cut the tenon cheeks. As Roy shows, part from one side, part from the other, then clamp the rail vertical and saw down to the shoulder line.

Sawing tenon shoulders

Sawing tenon shoulders

 

Before the tenon shoulders are cut free, a groove to receive the panel is cut with a plow plane. The depth stop is set for 5/16″ a little deeper than the panel rabbit, we don’t want it to bottom out. he plane fence is carefully adjusted so the groove runs right down the center of the tenon.

Plowing the rail groove

Plowing the rail groove

 

Once the groove is done it’s checked for depth with vernier calipers. A dry fit of the raised panel confirms the groove.

Panel dry fit in freshly cut groove

Panel dry fit in freshly cut groove

 

Next the tenon shoulders are cut off. A bench hook supports the rail while sawing.

Removing tenon shoulders

Removing tenon shoulders

 

The frame groove defines the inside extent of the tenon but the outside is marked 3/8″ in from the edge. The cut will not go all the way to the offset tenon shoulder, it stops about 1/8 inch from the shoulder to create a haunch. The haunch fills excess space in the stile groove and it will be trimmed later to fit exactly.

Gauge outside tenon edge

Gauge outside tenon edge

 

I’m using a fine tooth dovetail saw to cut the outside of the tenon. It is important that the inside and outside edges be parallel but precise width is not critical. Saw in at the haunch then cut vertically on the line.

Sawing outside tenon edge

Sawing outside tenon edge

 

With the outside wood removed, these start to look like real tenons.  In this photo you can see the offset top shoulder and the short haunch left.

Sawn tenons with haunch stub

Sawn tenons with haunch stub

 

Nobody’s perfect and my tenon sawing technique needs a lot more practice. In the meantime I made a jig so I could true up the sawn surfaces with a router plane. I cleaned each face until the tenons measured exactly 1/4″ with my calipers. This also ensures that all four tenons are the same depth from the rail faces. The jig is just two pieces of 3/4″ MDF clamped to the table top with a machine screw. They support the router plane while it’s doing it’s thing.

Tuning tenons

Tuning tenons

 

Now the completed tenon outlines have to be transferred to the rails to define the matching mortises. I dry fit the grooved rails to the panel and lay that assembly on the rails. Everything is rear side up in this photo and the rails are aligned with the panel using the center line marks.

Dry fit to locate mortises

Dry fit to locate mortises

 

The tenons lay flat on the blank rails making it easy to mark where the mortise edges will go.

Transferring tenon edges to rail

Transferring tenon edges to rail

 

Here you can see both tenon edges are traced on to the rails.

Tenon edges traced onto rails

Tenon edges traced onto rails

 

I use an engineering square to bring the marked mortise edge lines around to the sides of the stiles. Then the mortise gauge defines the sides.

Gaugeing mortise sides

Gaugeing mortise sides

Pencil in the gauge lines and the stiles are ready for the mortise chisel.

Marked mortise locations

Marked mortise locations

 

My mortise chopping technique is straight from Roy’s video. Chop from the far end to near going deeper with each eighth inch increment, reverse the chisel and chop back near end to far. Straighten the edges and in this soft pine you will be half way through. Turn the stile over and repeat, chopping all the way through.

Chopping one side of a mortise

Chopping one side of a mortise

I

I use an engineers square to check for true inside edges. Trim with the mortise chisel if not.

Checking straightness of mortise edges

Checking straightness of mortise edges

Once the mortises are cut and dry fit successfully, I plow a groove in the stile. If all measurements were good, the groove will go through the center of both mortises.

Plowing a groove in a stile

Plowing a groove in a stile

 

This is a face side dry fit of all four joints. It’s looking like a real frame now. If the tenon shoulders were carefully cut, it will be square.

Dry fit to check squareness

Dry fit to check squareness

 

Molding the inside edges starts with cutting a thin rabbit on the inside edge. I use a Miller Falls 85 for this with the fence set to a quarter inch width and the depth stop is set to 1/16″. This should leave a quarter inch square shoulder on the inside which will be rounded over.

Planing board set up to rebate

Planing board set up to rebate

 

It took about a dozen strokes with the rabbit plane to make the 1/16 inch step.

Rabbit plane defining Ovolo

Rabbit plane defining Ovolo

 

In this photo you can see the shadow line created by the small rabbit.

Small rebate defines Ovolo

Small rebate defines Ovolo

 

To begin the Ovolo round over, I chamfer the edge with a block plane. This makes it easier for the molding plane as much of the wood is already removed. It’s a woodworking principle to always use the tool with an easily sharpened blade first.

Roughing in the Ovolo shape

Roughing in the Ovolo shape

 

I have this small hollow plane, it has a 5/16 cutter. The round edge is smaller so it takes some fussing and finally a few swipes with sandpaper to get the curve correct.

Hollow plane smoothing Ovolo molding

Hollow plane smoothing Ovolo molding

 

When all four pieces are molded, the frame is dry fitted and the edge of the rails Ovolo step carefully transferred to the stile.  I also transfer the outside edge of the rail to the stile but since the end (horn) of the stile will ultimately be cut off, that’s not really necessary. The molded edge between the two marks is removed.

Marking stile molding for removal

Marking stile molding for removal

 

I carefully chisel out the molding of the stile between the marks. The rail’s longer tenon shoulder will fit into this recess.

Removing stile molding

Removing stile molding

 

The next step is to cope the rounded molding on the rail. It will fit over the stile molding and give the illusion of a 45 degree miter. This procedure is right out of “Simple Sash Restoration” and begins by using a template to precisely miter the corner of the rail molding.

Trimming rail molding with miter template

Trimming rail molding with miter template

 

A close up of the mitered rail molding.

Mitered rail mouding

Mitered rail molding

 

Now the mitered bit is coped. a small scribing gouge is used to remove the wood visible when you look straight down at the miter. This gouge is a little too big for this job but it’s all I have.

Coping the rail molding

Coping the rail molding

 

This photo shows the coped corner.

Close up of coped Ovolo

Close up of coped Ovolo

 

The coped joint is dry fit and trimmed to fit closely. Trimming might require fine tuning the cope, planing one of the tenon shoulders, and trimming the haunch. Sometimes it helps to undercut the shoulders a bit. If the shoulders were planed, check the assembly for square afterwards.

Dry fit coped Ovolo

Dry fit coped Ovolo

 

Success is a dry fit of all four joints with no gaps.

Dry fit all four pieces

Dry fit all four pieces

 

With the panel inserted you can see what the final product will look like. Since the whole reason for separate frame and panel construction is to allow the panel to move a bit, the panel must be finished before the assembly is glued up. Finishing the glued up frame would be easier but would risk an unfinished line appearing at the panel’s long grain edges in dry weather.

Panel inserted - front

Panel inserted – front

 

The back side doesn’t show anyway but the rear of the assembled frame and panel should be flat if everything was done correctly. The protruding horns on the stiles and tenon stubs will be sawn off and planed smooth after the final glue up.

Panel inserted - rear

Panel inserted – rear

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Frame and Panel Construction – Part 3: The Real Thing

Parts one and two of this series showed construction of a small frame and panel assembly. I made a half dozen of those as learning exercises for the final project, rebuilding the entrance to the crawl space in my tri-level home. This may be way over engineered but the old doors are truly ugly, made from thin paneling covered with contact paper, and besides, I wanted to learn how to make raised panels with hand tools.

Most of the techniques I used came from the Woodwright’s Shop episodes mentioned in part 2, this part 3 will document differences needed to complete the larger scale crawl space entrance.

I built a new outer frame from 2 inch pine to fit the existing opening.  I have to admit not using hand tools for that as I recently acquired a Kreg K2 jig and wanted to try it out. Also the rails on a butt jointed frame would be four inches shorter than a mitered corner frame which worked out much better with the 72″ stock I had.

Pencil study for cut list

Pencil study for cut list

The outside dimension of the doors is determined by the inside edges of the outer frame so I propped up the outer frame and centered the stile pieces leaving about 1/16″ gap at the sides.

Outer frame with door stiles

Outer frame with door stiles

Each pair of stiles was checked for parallel with pinch rods. Everything came out OK with very little tweaking. Stiles were marked top and bottom where they touched the outer frame.  Then I centered the rail blanks on the stiles and marked where they touched the rails left and right. Those four lines define the dimensions of the doors.

Checking stiles for parallel

Checking stiles for parallel

Here you can see tenons laid out on the four rails. These were sawn, tuned, and outlines transfered to the stiles as in part 2. Mortising the stiles, then grooving and molding the inside of each piece proceeded as in part 2.

All four rails with tenons laid out

All four rails with tenons laid out

I glued up two panels a couple months ago but had to square them for fitting in the frames. Could not hold the panel steady against the miter gauge so I built a miter gauge helper from a piece of heavy aluminum angle and a toggle clamp, should have done that years ago. The panel surfaces were planed with a Stanley 4 1/2.

Straighten and square the panels

Straighten and square the panels

Each completed door frame was laid over the square glued up stock. I aligned left and bottom panel edges with the inside of the frame, marked the top and right edges of the inside opening on the panel stock, then ruled a line one half inch farther out on the top and right. This allows room for a 1/4″ tenon all around the finished panel. I then trimmed the panel top to my ruled line on the table saw using the miter gauge as in the previous photo.

Next, the panels had to be trimmed to width. They are too tall to use the miter gauge, so I got out my standard homemade saw fence, a four inch oak timber. I used the line on the cut off top piece to adjust the fence to the proper width.

Setting fence to rip long side of panel

Setting fence to rip long side of panel

A deep breath moment.  I had been putting off cutting these panels to exact size because I was afraid of screwing up the measurements. In the end, they fit well.

Panel ripped to final width

Panel ripped to final width

As in part 1, I struck a line with a cutting gauge to define the panel step, then removed wood with a block plane to 1/16″ of the line.  Raising the panel actually means lowering the edge. It depends on your point of view. In this photo, the cross grain ends have been lowered and I’m ready to work the long grain edges.

Roughed in panel bevel

Roughed in panel bevel

The panel raising plane lowered the bevel to the edge line and created the top step as in part 1. This took a while as the panel raising plane was acting up and I took time to tune it. I believe the bed under the blade is not flat so the blade doesn’t fit properly.

Completed raising of both panels

Completed raising of both panels

There were a LOT more shavings than in part 1. Working the two panels took most of an afternoon.

Shavings from panel raising

Shavings from panel raising

The last operation on the panels is creating a rabbit all the way around the rear side. Always cut the cross grain ends first then the long sides. Knifing the cut line with the gauge is mandatory on the ends, the spur on this MF 85 sticks out way too far. I also used a sharp knife to relieve the wood at the left end of the rabbit before planing to reduce tearout there. There was a small amount of fuzz which I cleaned up with the wooden shoulder plane.

I had more trouble with the sides than the ends, the grain was not with me. Home Depot pine does not have a strong grain pattern and it’s hard to see how it’s running. Waxing the plane about every fifth stroke helped.

Rabbit the back side of panels

Rabbit the back side of panels

Checking the tongue for fit in one of the rail piece grooves. I want a good fit to keep the panel from rattling around if it shrinks. I found a web site that calculates wood movement, these 14 inch wide panels could move with humidity variations as much as an eighth of an inch.

Test fit of panel with one of the rails

Test fit of panel with one of the rails

Finally, the completed panels fit with very little tuning. I sawed off the frame horns and am happy with the results. This photo shows the back side of the assembled doors.

Rear view of panels assembled into frames

Rear view of panels assembled into frames

And this is the raised panel side.

Front side of assembled doors

Front side of assembled doors

The sawn off horns were rough so I converted my workbench and planing fixture into a shooting board.

Shooting a top edge

Shooting a top edge

Checking the frame and panel doors for fit in the frame is awkward as I don’t have an area in the garage that I trust to be flat. I had to trim 1/16″ from the left bottom, the rest fit well. There will be a final tweaking after the hinges are installed, and a final-final tweak after the glue up, and a final-final-final after it’s nailed onto the crawl space.

Checking the doors for fit

Checking the doors for fit

Hinge position is somewhat arbitrary. I used the bottom of the panel field as a reference. A steel ruler is held against the raised line and the outer frame marked. This sets the outer edge of the hinge gain.

Marking hinge position on outer frame

Marking hinge position on outer frame

Laying the hinge on the marked frame defines the inside of the hinge pocket. Both marks were squared across the inside with a knife and deepened with a chisel. I chiseled every quarter inch along the area to be removed then used a Stanley 71 to remove wood. Clamping boards to the sides gives the router plane has something to sit on.  A Stanley 71 1/2 that doesn’t have the wide gap at the front would work better for this.

The hinge plate measured .060″, I cut the pockets to about .080″deep to narrow the gap between door and outer frame.

Routing a pocket for the hinge

Routing a pocket for the hinge

I use a small Vix bit to establish the hinge screw position then pilot each hole with a 1/16″ drill so the screw doesn’t wander in this soft pine grain.

All four hinge gains were cut in the outer frame, hinges screwed in, then the doors were re-inserted and marked where the hinges touched. Those marks were knifed square across the outer stiles and incised with a chisel.

Preparing to seat a door hinge

Preparing to seat a door hinge

I was able to clamp my router support fixture on the doors. It forms a reference surface for the router plane and also furnishes a square outer edge to locate the hinge.

Router support fixture

Router support fixture

Here the hinges are seated and the doors dry fitted back in the outer frame.  The doors closed OK with a small amount of planing on the inside vertical edge. There will be a final fitting after the door frames are finished and glued up.

Completed frame with doors dry fitted

Completed frame with doors dry fitted

Tenon cheek cutoffs are perfect for trying out different finishes and I have 16 of them. I made several samples using Minwax Jacobean, Dark Walnut, and English Chestnut stains plus a few samples with various mixtures. I also experimented with Minwax Pre-Stain Conditioner which produced much more even results. Most of the wood in the house near the crawl space entrance is very dark and I thought the Jacobean would be the best match, but the wife overruled and picked the English Chestnut sample which is much warmer.

The doors were removed and completely disassembled for staining. A raised panel can not be finished in place because if it shrinks, an unfinished area would appear at the edge. So at least the stain has to go on with the panels outside the frames.  I did separately the door frames, then the panels, then the outer frame as I did not want to let the stain set too long without wiping off. The Chestnut stain did not color evenly though the conditioner did help. This photo shows the two door frames, one of the panels and the outer frame.

Stained doors

Stained doors

With every frame piece stained and both panels stained all the way to their edges, it was finally time to glue up the doors. I dry fitted the everything together again, reattaching the doors to the outer frame with the four hinges for a final fitting.  I noticed the hinge screws were loosening up after being removed three or four times so following a tip in a recent magazine, I drizzled super glue into the screw holes. It seems to help quite a bit.

I propped one door open, removed the center stile, pulled out one rail at a time, applied liquid hide glue to the hinge side tenon and plugged the rail back into the hinged stile. Because I did one rail at a time, the panel could remain in place. Both rails then got the inside tenon buttered with LHG, and the inside stile installed.

Since the doors were still hinged to the outer frame I could check for racking before the glue set up. I clamped the doors in the outer frame, using thin wedge shims inserted under the hinges to even the pressure.  After 2 hours for the glue setting, I did the second door the same way.

Clamping the glued up mortise and tenon joints

Clamping the glued up mortise and tenon joints

The next day, I removed the doors yet again and took the outer frame to the crawl space for a fitting around the opening. A little dry wall trimming was all that was necessary. Minwax semi-gloss poly was next, two coats applied to each door and to the outer frame.

Panel with Poly applied

Panel with Poly applied

Check out the shadow lines in this photo.

Detail showing frame molding

Detail showing frame molding

There were a bunch of cutoffs from ripping original stock down to two inches. I planed, stained, and varnished some of them.  These will form a lip around the inside of the crawl space opening. One of the original specifications was that the doors be insect proof.

Cutoffs to be used as seals

Cutoffs to be used as seals

Finally it was time to install the frame and assemble the doors.  There are only four 8d finishing nails, one at each hinge, holding the frame on in this photo. I may put more nails in the top and bottom rails after the wood acclimates but for now the doors close without rubbing anywhere. One of the finished strips was screwed to the inside edge of the left door with a quarter inch protrusion, so the right door holds the left door closed and theres no visible gap. The old doors had two magnetic catches, I reused one at the bottom of the right door.

Installed!

Installed!

This is what it used to look like.

Crawl space entrance Before

Crawl space entrance Before

This has been a four month long project with much of the time spent learning how to use hand tools to create the raised panels. I couldn’t have begun without inspiration and education from Roy Underhill. Three episodes of “The Woodwright’s Shop” contributed to the project.
Raising Panel-Zona” describes several methods of making a raised panel.
Painless Panel Doors” where Roy constructs a mortise and tenon frame.
Simple Sash Restoration” shows how to join a frame with molding around the inside.

Portable Planing Board

Lately I’ve gotten much more interested in using hand tools. I don’t have a real bench though, just an old office desk and there is not a good way to hold a board down flat to work on it. Holdfasts just don’t work well with an office desk, and the desk doesn’t have any structure to support a tail vise.

So I made an 11×48 inch planing board. It clamps easily in the bench front vise, or in a Work Mate out in the driveway. The bed is made of 5/8 Birch plywood, with 3/4 inch holes every 2 inches down a rigid spine, and there is a wide stop screwed to the left end. I researched several different methods of constraining a board. The most promising was the Veritas “Wonder Pup” but it looks awkward to tighten, is 3/4 inch tall, made of plane blade unfriendly metal, and is not cheap.

I worked out a cam arrangement to secure the work but found it takes a pair of cams to cover the 2 inch range.

In this photo the larger cam is lying on the bench at rear along with the plywood spanner wrench used to torque the cams. A pine board is locked by the smaller of the two cams which has a range of 1 to 2 1/4 inches.  The larger cam has a range of 2 to 3 1/4 inches.

Planing Board

The Planing Board on the Bench

 

In the next photo, you see the small cam locking a board. There is an aluminum follower that slides underneath.  A tapered wood wedge is screwed to the face of the follower which helps to keep the cam from loosening.

I initially thought I could just use the cam against the work piece. It would tighten (with some difficulty), but if the work wiggled even slightly the cam would rotate and release. Next I made the aluminum cam follower captured by the central peg, which worked better but still loosened too easily. Finally I added a ramp to the follower. It changes the point of contact so clamping force tends to tighten rather than loosen the cam. This works much better, though the thickness of the follower does add a bit to the half inch height of the cam.

The spanner wrench is just quarter inch dowels in a bit of scrap. The wrench has two sets of pins at 90 degrees to each other because the cams have about a 225 degree swing.

The Cam Lock

The Cam Lock

 

I don’t have to use the left end planing stop, I can put a 3/4″ peg in any one of the holes and pin the work with the cam.  The next photo shows a board locked cross grain using the larger cam.

One problem is the large cam overhangs the edge in some situations, possibly interfering with the plane. If I had to do it over, I would build the spine an inch closer to the sled center. I have also added many more holes for additional short pegs, see later photos.

Large Cam Working Against a Pin

Large Cam Working Against a Pin

 

Showing the whole planing board. I spent a lot of time drilling holes, then sunk a 2 inch screw between every pair of holes for strength. It is quite rigid when the vise is snugged up, and more importantly, FLAT.

A Board Pegged in the Sled

A Board Pegged in the Planing Board

 

Here you can see the cam follower, large cam upside down, spanner wrench, small cam, and a peg in one of the holes. I made two sets of cams, one works clockwise, the other counterclockwise. This photo shows the counterclockwise set but I mostly use the clockwise arrangement. Sometimes switching the cam sense will work around a plane interference problem.

Peg holes are 3/4 inch blind drilled 2 inches deep, then 1/2 inch drilled through.  This stops the pegs but lets shavings fall through. You can also stick a screwdriver up through the half inch hole to push out a stubborn peg.

The Parts

The Parts

 

This is a picture of the clockwise cams, the profile was refined using this spreadsheet: Cam. If you decide to build a board like mine, you can scale and print this as a pattern. Shape and size are not critical as long as there is sufficient range (> one inch) between smallest and largest radials.  The range of the two cams overlap a small amount.

Cams

Large and Small Cam
Large Cam 5 3/4″ x 4 5/8″
Small Cam 3 7/8″ x 2 7/8″

 

And here is a photo of the clockwise cam follower. It is made of aluminum cut from a box lid from my junk pile.  the two legs are 3/4″ apart, they straddle the cam dowel so the follower is constrained to move mostly in the direction of the work but can still angle a bit to conform to a board that isn’t square.

Cam Folower

Cam Follower
2 3/4″ x 5″

 

Here you can see how the plywood wedge attached to the follower works. It moves the point of contact between cam and follower to a point just past the centerline. Back pressure from the work then tends to rotate the cam in the direction that tightens. If the wedge was not there, the point of contact, because of the spiral shape of the cam, would be just before the centerline and the cam would tend to loosen from back pressure.  Also there is a fair amount of friction between the cam dowel and spine holes which helps keep the cam in place

Cam and Follower

Showing Cam Follower Offset

 

The fixed planing stop protrudes 3/8 inch above the sled surface at the left end. It is held with screws and can be moved to the right end if necessary. To plane stock thinner than 3/8″, I put hard board spacers underneath the work.

The Planing Stop

The Planing Stop

 

In this bottom up photo, you can see the spine made of two 2 inch strips of 5/8″ thick plywood laminated together.  It provides overall rigidity, meat around the peg holes, and gives something for the bench vise to hold on to.  The spine is fastened 2 inches back from the edge to allow room to set clamps.

The small bit of darker wood at rear is a spacer the same width of the inside vise jaw so the board bears directly on the edge of the bench, which helps keep the far end from wiggling.

Bottom of the Sled

Bottom of the Sled

 

Since I made the planing board, several improvements have been implemented. The first was, I drilled a bunch more peg holes, and cut a handful of 3/4″ pegs in various lengths to fit the job. This photo shows the bottom of the board.

Planing Board Bottom

Planing Board Bottom

 

Each added hole has a slot routed in the bottom to accommodate a steel pin screwed into these short pegs. The pin helps keep the peg from wobbling in the relatively thin plywood. For most jobs though, it is sufficient to insert a peg in the top of the board. Note I have planed a flat spot in the side of each peg and the steel pins align the flat.

Pinned Pegs

Pinned Pegs

 

Planing along a board edge was a problem because the larger cam sticks out far enough and high enough to interfere with the tool.  I can raise a work piece by putting spacers underneath, but my Stanley 45 fence hit the protruding cam. The solution was to provide a long, thin spacer between the cam and the work. This is made of a half thickness of maple flooring, with a milled slot that accepts a carriage bolt. I loosely fit the bolt through one of the spine holes and it keeps the spacer from buckling.  Planes now have plenty of clearance.

Spacer in Use

Spacer in Use

 

This photo shows a work piece locked in by the large cam using the hardwood spacer.

The Cam Spacer

The Cam Spacer

 

A close view of the spacer. The slot is wide enough for the carriage bolt head but has a narrower bottom so the bolt won’t spin when tightening the wing nut.

Spacer Componants

Spacer Components

 

In the four years since it was constructed, I have used this planing board a lot. I consider it one of my more successful projects. Nowhere was it used more than the Eleven Grooved Box project. Every piece goes on the board for smoothing and grooving.

This photo shows stock for the box sides getting the last of three grooves. The Stanley 45 has to reference it’s fence against the vertical edge of the work which I have aligned with the edge of the planing board. You can see how the long spacer block just behind my left hand keeps the cam far enough behind the plane fence that they don’t interfere.

Groove three

Groove three

 

Here, the thin board which forms the top or bottom of an Eleven Grooved Box is getting rabbited so it fits into it’s eighth inch groove. I could not do this operation without clamping in the planing board. Again, using the spacer block so the cam doesn’t interfere with the fillister plane.

Rabbit end grain edges to 1/8 inch

Rabbit end grain edges to 1/8 inch

 

Finally, this is an interesting use of the board. The edges of the thin Eleven Grooved Box lip strip have to be planed down until the strip fits tightly in it’s groove. I stick several pegs in the planing board and weave the strip through them. The strip stays put and planing the edge square is easy with a big Stanley number six. It’s very quick to pop out the strip to test it’s fit.

Preparing to trim lip strip

Preparing to trim lip strip

House for a Homeless Stanley

This page documents a White Oak box I constructed in early 2011 to house a Stanley 45. It features a hard wood spine designed to hold the plane securely in place which I will describe in detail.

As far as I can tell, this particular 45 dates from the late 50s. Almost new!  It was a Christmas present to myself. Actually, I already had a 45 but dropped it onto the concrete garage floor. In a fit of despair, I bid on this 45 on EBay and won.  Meanwhile I was able to repair the cracked main stock on the first 45 so now I have two of them working.

Neither came with an original box which was likely cardboard anyway. Hence this project.  Guess I will have to build two of them.

The first photo shows the plane side of the spine. The peg at left hooks the front of the skate on the 45. The plane then is lowered till the skate sits on the horizontal wooden ledge. Three magnets grab the main stock skate while the bottom of the wooden fence sits on a thin strip of Oak underneath the spine.

Finished Box Spine

Finished Box Spine

A Stanley 45 has sort of a turned up nose on the skates. That fits under the peg.  The flat strip of Oak under the Rosewood fence is necessary and is cut away at the front because the front tip of the fence pivots down a bit while hooking the plane under the peg, and needs additional clearance there.

Hooking the Skate Under the Peg

Hooking the Skate Under the Peg

The main stock side of the oak spine has to be relieved to accommodate the slitter stop and the depth gauge and there was minor chiseling near the dowel to get everything to fit.

It was my goal to not have to disturb the plane’s settings just to put it away in the box. Usually that succeeds, though the fence does have to be close in and in the higher of it’s two positions.

Main Stock Side of the Spine

Main Stock Side of the Spine

This is the “new” Stanley 45 plane nestled in it’s docked position. It’s snug and the magnets hold it down pretty well.

On this plane, the tote and fence are Rosewood but not the fence knob.  Stanley stopped using Rosewood about 1960, so this plane was probably made during that transition. The 45 was not made after 1962. I have not yet attempted to de-rust or otherwise clean this plane. Its clean enough to use. I’ve made a lot of Eleven Grooved Boxes with the two 45s.

Docked

Docked

Box joints for this project were cut with my lead screw box joint fixture, which is documented elsewhere on this Blog.  Grooves for the top and bottom pieces were cut with a Lee Valley Box Slotting bit  which works really slick.  It cuts a 1/8″ slot so needs two passes to get the 3/16″ groove I needed.  The July 2008 issue of  “Wood” magazine had an article (“Box-Slotting Bits”, Page 24) on using this bit, but unfortunately, it does not seem to be accessible on line. You just set up the slotting bit in a router table, dry fit the box with strap clamps, then set the box over the bit and run it all around the inside.

The next photo shows completed sides and bottom with inside components attached. There is a double grooved block on the bottom which holds the longer set of rods. Button magnets keep the rods in place and there will be more button magnets inset in the bottom to retain the two removable depth stops, and the cam. I made seperate thin sided boxes to hold the cutters, these are screwed in place along the sides.

Box Dry Fit

Box Dry Fit

And this is the Stanley 45 nestled in its new home.  I should have made the box a quarter inch longer, had to relieve the panel on the right side to allow the tote to seat all the way. The sliding top fits well enough that the plane can’t move much once the box is closed.

Dry Fit with Stanley

Dry Fit With Stanley

I did the glue up in the house as the garage was so cold that PVA wouldnt work.

About 120 box joint pins have to be coated with glue and the whole thing assembled at one time. I use Titebond 3 extend which has a long open time. You get at up to 15 minutes but that still means careful preparation and rehearsal is needed to get the thing together before the glue sets up. 15 minutes is used up very quickly.

I did stain all the interior surfaces prior to glue up as it would be difficult to get into all the corners later. Also liberal use of masking tape inside and out to control glue squeeze out.

On removing the clamps I noticed the box had racked a bit.  Next time I will use strap clamps with corner cauls on the panels. It will be much easier to check for and correct errors.

Clamp Time

Clamp Time

The box is finished and assembled.  It has had one coat of straight Minwax Golden Oak stain, two coats of 50/50 Golden Oak and Watco Natural, and a final coat of Watco Natural alone. After the Watco cures, everything gets several coats of paste wax.

You can see the cutters inserted in the two side boxes, long rods stowed at bottom left.  The cam and one of the depth stops are tucked away at top left, and the tongue stop stuck to a magnet at bottom right. Button magnets work well to control those little parts.

Finish Applied

Finish Applied

This is the docked position of the plane.  One of the medium width cutters is installed to check the fit and you can see the skates hooked under the dowel at the front.  Later I learned to store the cutters pointed end down. Please don’t ask how I learned that.

Stanley in New Home

Stanley in New Home

All the White Oak material was obtained from inch thick cutoffs. It was resawn on my table saw, thicknessed to 3/8″ using a lunchbox planer, and glued up into panels.

The lid slides in a 3/16″ groove which was made with the box-slotting bit. There is a 3/8″ inch radius sanded on the rear corners of the top plate to match the size of the slotting bit  A small lip at the front of the lid gives a better purchase for the brass latch.  The box bottom has a similar design.

That brass latch was way more trouble that it was worth….

All the Parts

All the Parts

The box can now be considered finished.  I let the finish cure for a few days then applied several coats of  Butchers Bowling Alley Wax.

Final dimensions are 6 3/4″ x 7 1/4″ x 11 1/2″.

The Money Shot

The Money Shot

It’s now May 2012 and I  finished a box for my second Stanley 45.  This one is made of Jatoba – a hard tropical wood with twisty grain which makes it a real pain to smooth out.

Jatoba Box

Jatoba Box

The second box is pretty much identical to the first but is 3/8 inch longer.  Please Don’t Ask Me Why the first box is shorter.  Also I made the cutter holders longer on the right side, and used more magnets in the long rod holder.

Second Stanley At Home

Second Stanley At Home

This Family Shot shows the new Jatoba box next to it’s older White Oak brother.

Two Stanley 45 Boxes

Two Stanley 45 Boxes

The following photos have dimensions added.  Most of my projects are Ad Hoc and if you build something based on these, make sure it fits your tools. I have noticed the two 45s I own are slightly different.

Outside Dimensions

Outside Dimensions

The spine has cutouts for the main and slitter depth stops. Two button magnets and a magnet from an old hard drive inset.

Spine Details

Spine Details

At the nose end, the spine has an extra piece glued on. The peg that constrains the hook on the front of the skates is inset in that piece.  This is a critical part and needs to be positioned so the skate has enough clearance to hook underneath but is captured securely.

Spine End

Spine End

There is a thin spacer underneath the spine. It has a cutaway at the nose end to allow clearance for the fence when the plane is hooked under the dowel.

Spine End

Bottom Spacer

Finally, a close up of the dowel in the spine. You can see where I had to remove material to clear parts of the plane body.

Box Spine Nose Close Up

Box Spine Nose Close Up

The Eleven Grooved Box – Tools

I am a big fan of Roy Underhill’s “The Woodwright’s Shop”.  Last fall was the 32nd season, and he’s still wearing the same hat.  The second episode was titled “The Eleven Grooved Box”, a project Roy uses in his woodworking school. You can see it here.  I was attracted to this project because he uses Stanley 45 combination planes to make all eleven grooves.  I have a Stanley 45 and have been looking for an appropriate project so I am trying to duplicate what Roy does as closely as I can.

11GrooveBox

Finished Eleven Grooved Box. Red Oak from Home Depot.

11groove2

The finished box opened up. About 6″x8″x4.5″. Golden Oak stain and Watco natural oil.

You should watch the half hour video to see how Roy makes the box. I am going to document how I do it, and pass along some things I learned, and in particular, show how I made those #$%@! spline grooves.  Each corner of the box has to have two matching grooves plowed for splines, without these the box would be very weak.  You can see these in the corners of the lid in the photo.  Cutting those spline grooves with an old  Stanley 45 might be easy for Roy but for everyone else it’s a pain.  A millisecond of inattention and the sides of the groove are ripped up.  So like any self respecting woodworker, I made a jig.

My grooving jig for the Eleven Grooved Box

After almost giving up on this project, I sat down and analyzed what is happening. When plowing the grooves, you have to hold the plane perfectly perpendicular to the 45 degree mitered surface. The fence on the Stanley plane rides on the reference surface. But the skate is captured in the plowed groove! If you let the plane roll to the right, the fence lifts off the reference surface a bit and not much happens. But if you let the plane roll to the LEFT, the fence digs into the reference surface and pulls the blade to the left. The result is a horribly shredded edge on the left side of the groove. In the video, Roy has an Iron Arm and holds that Stanley perfectly aligned through the whole operation. My arm is made of rubber so I knew I had to make a jig to get the plane to behave.

V1.0 – My first jig attempt was a piece of 2×6 cut off at one end at 45 degrees, with a stop block attached. The stop block helps control tear out at the end of the cut and makes it easier to initially align the work piece with the plane. It did not help with the left side shredding problem, in fact made it worse.

V1.0

First attempt at a jig for cutting spline grooves

V2.0 – Added a second 45 degree cut at the end of the 2×6, creating a 90 degree angle at the tip. That spaced the work piece farther away from the fence face. I reasoned that the longer roll radius would pull the blade over less if I let the plane drift off axis. It helped a little but still not satisfactory.

V2.0

Second attempt at a spline groove jig

V3.0 The third revision adds a second reference surface for the BOTTOM of the plane fence.

.V3.0

Third attempt at a spline groove jig

The fence is now constrained by hard surfaces in the down and right directions, and in the up and left directions by my left hand. It can only move back and forth like it’s supposed to.  The whole thing gets clamped in a bench vise for the plowing operation, just like in the video.

45onJig

The Stanley 45 in working position on the V3.0 jig. The fence is riding on two reference surfaces

The bottom reference surface is constructed at the rear of the jig by screwing on a 3/4 piece of scrap cut off at 45 degrees at the top. That 45 degree surface is 90 degrees from the fence reference surface of the jig. The two screws are in elongated slots so the added piece can be adjusted up or down, which in turn moves the small block of hard wood up and down the fence reference surface. I made a one time tweak so the plane is level and aligned with the work piece bevel at the beginning of the cut and tightened the screws.

FenceBottomSupport

Showing the jig with added fence bottom support

There is a small block of hard wood on which the plane fence actually rides, that sits loosely on top of the added piece.

JigSpacer

The hardwood block in working position

The hardwood block has screws inserted in each end so it won’t slide off the jig when the plane is working.

FenceBottomSupportSpacer

Hardwood spacer block showing screws that keep it from sliding away

I start the cut with one light pass at the end so I can see where the plane is plowing, then knife down the grain like Roy does. With that, and the v3.0 jig I’m getting perfect spline grooves in the mitered surface.

Finigroove

An end piece with groove cut using the V3.0 jig

Stanley 45 tips for the Eleven Grooved Box

1. The eighth inch wide inch cutter needs to be as sharp as possible. I use one of the cheap “Eclipse Style” honing guides. I had to file the rounded jaw slightly to get it to grip the small cutter firmly. Use a simple wooden stop gauge to set the cutter for a 35 degree sharpen angle. Then the problem is, the narrow cutter can’t keep the gauge from wobbling during the honing process. The local hardware store had nylon bushings exactly the same diameter as the guide roller, with an ID the same as the guide screw shaft. I pulled the knob off the screw shaft and hacksawed a screwdriver slot across the end. With the knob removed,  I can put a nylon bushing on each side of the guide and they act as outriggers to keep the whole thing true to the stone.

CheapGuide

Modified honing guide with eighth inch cutter and outrigger wheels

To be really sharp, you have to flatten and polish the back side of the cutter as well. This is complicated by Stanley having made the 45 cutters slightly curved. You can use the Charlesworth ruler trick but you will need a thicker than usual ruler because of the curve. I found it good enough to just free hand polish the back by putting a lot of finger pressure on the tip.

2. Use a good ruler and measure the distance between the fence and the skate at front and back. Mine is typically wider at the rear, which causes the skate to bind in the groove. Loosen the fence rear lock screw and push it around until the measurements are the same.

3. Wax (Paraffin from a candle) the face of the fence, the bottom of the fence, the bottom and side of the skate.

4. Don’t overtighten the cutter lock bolt. It doesn’t take much to hold the eighth inch cutter in place.

5. Use an eighth inch drill bit to set the depth stop. When the groove is finished, lay the drill bit in the trench and if it sticks up above the beveled surface, back off the depth stop and cut a little more.

Glue up tips for the Eleven Grooved Box

1. Glueups have to be rehearsed.  Make sure you can get the box assembled before the glue starts to grab.

2. I’m using Titebond III which has a little bit longer open time than Titebond II. I don’t have a Roy Underhill style glue pot.

3. Use an acid brush with the bristles cut off to about 3/8 inch to apply glue.  Avoid applying a lot to the inside edge as squeeze out is difficult to remove there.

5. Apply glue to all the miters and grooves then wait a minute for that to soak into the end grain. Then apply another coat of glue and insert the splines. An easy way to apply glue to the splines is to lay a sheet of foil or waxed paper on the bench, make a puddle of glue, and roll the spline around in that.

5. Don’t forget to insert the top and bottom panels. DAMHIKT.

Eleven Grooved Box Step by Step – Part 1: The First Three Grooves

The First Three Grooves

See the original “Woodwright’s Shop” video here.

I’ve made about a dozen of these now and will document the next batch here with photos.  Most of the boxes I’ve made lately are in Cherry or Walnut and are pencil box size, 3″ x 8″.  These next few will be larger, sized to hold 3″ x 5″ index cards.

The lumber for this project is leftover tongue and groove wainscoat paneling from my fathers house circa 1974. These were milled 5″ wide and 11/16″  thick. He never finished the basement so after 35 years, some of the stock was available. The Cherry had darked quite a bit and that had to be planed off to get an even color on both sides of the boards.

I cut 24 inch sections and resawed to produce a 3/8″ slab for the box sides, and a 3/16″ part for the top and bottom.  Should be a great grain match. The first board was resawn by hand with a good old Disston rip saw but I did not like the results.  It’s too hard to get a clean line and is a LOT of work.  The other boards I resawed on a table saw.  All were cleaned up and thicknessed with a Dewalt lunch box planer.  That will be the last power tool used on this project, all hand tools after that.  I suspect the lumber Roy uses in his classroom and the video comes from Lowe’s (it is 3 1/2″ wide) so I don’t feel bad about preparing the stock with power tools. Planer scallops and snipe were removed from all faces with a #4 smoothing plane.

The thin strips in the center of this photo were ripped from another piece of cherry. They will form the box lips.

Lumber

wid Cherry cut to make four boxes

The boards still have parts of the tongue and groove machining which had to be removed.  Here I’m using a 100 year old Stanley 606 to shave off the unwanted projection.

Planing edges

Cleanup edges

My planing discipline is not that great.  I admire people like Roy and Bill Anderson who can unerringly carve off a perfect 90 degree edge free hand.  I have to cheat. I have this little Stanley 95 edge plane that is made for truing up board edges.  A couple of passes is all it takes.

Truing edge

Truing edge

The workbench in my shop is a recycled office desk, is not very flat, and no end vise, so some time ago I made a flat plywood planing board. It has a cam arrangement to clamp the workpiece. For these thin pieces I have to raise the work up to clear the stops. I use old printed circuit board material under the workpiece.  With the 3/8″ material clamped and aligned with the planing board edge, I can cut the first 1/8″ groove.  This will hold the bottom of the box and is cut against the grain of the lumber.  The Stanley 45 does not seem to mind grain direction much.

Groove One

Groove One

Groove number two is also 1/8″ and is made by flipping the workpiece 180 degrees, and plowing the other edge.  This will hold the top of the box and is cut with the grain.  I have switched to the short rods in this photo.

Second groove

Second groove

Groove number three is a wide 5/8″ and will ultimately hold the lip.  I can cut this with the same board set up as groove #2 which is why groove 2 is set up with the grain.  Groove 3 is spaced down far enough so 3×5 cards will stick out a bit from the box bottom.

All these grooves are started far end first and gradually worked back to the near end. This technique gives the front of the skates a channel to follow as the groove lengthens and deepens.  To minimize skate dragging against the side of the groove, It’s important to check during set up, that the skates are parallel with each other and parallel to the fence. Waxing the skates with paraffin once or twice during the operation helps a lot.

Groove three

Groove three

For the lip groove, I’m using both depth stops as Roy does in the video, each set to 1/8″ depth. Here I’m checking groove depth with a 1/8″ brass block.  A set of these gauge blocks is very handy.

Depth check

Depth check

Eleven Grooved Box Step by Step – Part 2: Fitting the Lip Strip

Fitting the Lip Strip

See the original “Woodwright’s Shop” video here.

In the center of the first photo in Part 1, you see narrow strips of Cherry.  These must be precisely fitted into groove #3 before the board can be sliced into four box sides.  The strip forms the lip around the inside of the box bottom that the lid seats onto.  Roy glosses over this step in his video, he uses a strip already planed to width.

I was using a “Moxon” style vise wide enough to clamp a 24 inch strip for planing but found it didn’t hold securely enough to work the edges. Also it was a pain to insert and remove the strips. The strips are flexible enough in the wide dimension to bend and cause trouble while you’re planing.  That’s probably why Roy skips over this step. I now have a better method using the dog holes on my nice flat planing board.

I insert pegs in the holes at about a 6 inch interval then weave the thin strip around them.  This has several advantages:

  • holds the strip edge flat against the planing board
  • provides a wider surface for the plane so you get a truer planed edge
  • off and on in seconds for a trial fit in the groove.

The photo shows one of the strips and the board it will be fitted into.  I’m using the #6 Stanley which has a bed long enough to nicely ride the curved strip.

Preparing to trim lip strip

Preparing to Trim Strip

It takes many tries to get the strip to fit tightly. Sometimes part of the strip fits but in other places it’s too wide, then a block plane is best to shave a small area.  It’s not fatal to have the strip a bit loose in a few spots. It just has to stay in place during the next planing operation, and while slicing the board into four mitered side pieces.

At this point, the strips project above the side stock about 1/16″, I tap them in with a rubber mallet to make sure they’re seated in the groove.

Four lip strips fittec

Four Lip Strips Fitted

Next, the fitted strips get planed down level with the grooved board.  I use a thick set block plane to remove most of the protrusion, a longer bed 5/1/4 plane to get it almost even, then a #4 smoother over the whole surface until the strip is perfectly flush.

Four lip strips fittec

Leveling Lip Strip

At this point if there is some tearout to clean up, I scrape and sand the entire surface as it will be awkward to smooth after it’s sliced up into side pieces.  I sand to 280 grit because I have a lot of 280 paper.

Sanding the inside surface

Sanding the Inside Surface