Posts Tagged ‘ The Woodwright’s Shop ’

## Motivation

In more than one episode of “The Woodwright’s Shop” Roy uses a gauge he calls an “Octoganizer”.  See this recent show at about 23 minutes in. He can mark a piece of square stock with the layout lines needed to plane off the four corners, creating an octagon. The tool has a pair of locating posts that straddle the work piece, and two scratch pins to mark the face.

These screen shots from the Woodwright’s 3613 episode show the antique Octagonizer and also Roy marking a stool leg blank. He made a point that the tool can follow a tapered leg blank.

Bottom side of the Octagonizer

Using the Octagonizer

Searching the internet reveals this is a common tool in the boat building business called a “Spar Gauge”. I don’t know what “Spar” is on a boat.  I thought it was something Texans carried in the back of their pickup. Many internet pages discuss methods of making this tool, here is one that uses a graphical method to locate the marking pins.

I decided to explore the concept and make one. Or two. Or three. It turns out one size doesn’t fit all.

## The Method

So exactly where do you drill for the scratch pins?

This is the necessary derivation:
In the following W = Width of stock, F = Width of a full facet, X = Width of an angled facet (to be removed).

Square stock layout

The full width W contains one full sized facet and two angled facets
$W = F + 2 * X$

Angled facets measure full width times the cosine of 45 degrees, which is $\frac{1}{\sqrt 2}$
$W = F + 2 * (F * \frac{1}{\sqrt 2})$
$W = F * (1 + \frac{2}{\sqrt 2})$
$W = F * (1 + \sqrt 2)$

Rearrange the last to solve for the full facet width:
$F = \frac {W}{1 + \sqrt 2}$
Plugging in the numbers and calculating gives:
$F = W * 0.4142$

But we really need to know X, the width of the angled facet, so we can mark the stock by measuring from an edge.
$X = F cos 45$
$X = \frac {W}{1 + \sqrt 2} * \frac {1}{\sqrt 2}$
$X = W * \frac {1}{\sqrt 2 + 2}$
Running that through my calculator gives:
$X = W * 0.2929$

So 0.2929 is the Magic Number!

Just to verify:
$0.2929 + 0.4142 + 0.2929 = 1$
Yes!

## Implementation

Locating posts on either side of the tool are a source of error because of their thickness. If the tool has to be skewed to a really steep angle, like using a four inch long Octagonizer to mark a half inch stick, the marks will be too close to the edge. In this exaggerated example with posts an inch in diameter, the scratch pins miss the thin board completely.

Error caused by post diameter

If the locating posts were infinitely thin this would not happen and the tool could always lay out an accurate octagon. Therefore we need to keep posts as small a diameter as practical and avoid steep skew angles. I’m going to use six penny nails for posts and eventually make several Octagonizers to accommodate projects of different widths. Practically though, for many uses octagon shapes don’t have to be perfect.

The Octagonizer I made doubles up on a 4 1/2″ piece of Osage Orange. The wide side will mark stock up to 3 3/4″ wide. I let the wide side scratch pins stick out on the side opposite the points, these form the locating posts for marking narrower stock up to 1 3/8″.

Dual Octagonizer front

Dual Octagonizer wide side

Dual Octagonizer narrow side

This photo shows the wide side marking a piece of 2 inch stock. I’ve enhanced the scratch marks with pencil for the photo.

Marking a blank with the Octagonizer wide side

I had a piece of Poplar about 1 1/4″ square, I marked it out with the Octagonizer’s narrow side. Here it is clamped corner to corner in the vise.

Planing a 1 1/4″ Poplar square into an octagon

The Poplar works down quickly. I left one facet uncut just to show how it works.

The first try, three facets planed

While working through the arithmetic to locate the six holes in this double sided tool, I had to carefully account for the radius of the nails. Six penny nails measured 0.116″ in diameter, not accounting for this would throw the accuracy off a lot. I sharpened the points before assembly by chucking the cut off nails in a battery powered drill, then gently spinning them against a grinding wheel. The points were tempered by heating them red hot, quenching in water, then cooking in a toaster oven for 20 minutes at 425 degrees. I used a machinists vise to press the nails through pre-drilled holes in the Osage Orange.

## Usage

In many cases you can set a marking gauge to Width times the Magic 0.2929, and just mark all eight lines with that.  If I had to make only one octagon I would use a marking gauge. If I had to make more than four, I might make an Octagonizer. A marking gauge will not encounter the error discussed in the previous section and you can lay out an octagon on a piece of stock any length, any width. It would not work though on tapered stock.

I plan to Octagonize a treated 4×4 for a porch support post.

Roy showed using the Octagonizer to lay out a tapered stool leg but laying out a short tapered octagon like a chisel handle, can also be done by marking both ends of a tapered blank, then using a straight edge to connect the dots. This is also a good method if you don’t want to see evidence of scratch marks.

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## Sliding Lid Pencil Boxes

“The Woodwright’s Shop”, Season 36, Episode 2 shows Roy Underhill’s method of quickly making many small wooden boxes for Christmas gifts.  The show is not really about boxes, but about jigs to make them.  I decided this would be a good project for the Dupage Woodworkers Club annual charity Christmas toy drive. Club members make a lot of toy cars which are most appropriate for boys. These boxes will appeal to girls or boys. I adapted the Woodwright’s ideas to mass produce boxes using a table saw, apologies to Roy, but my goal is to make 14 in a day.

### DISCLAIMER: Saws cut fingers as easily as wood. In many of these operations hands are very close to the blade. Pay attention, think through each cut before moving the wood,  and turn the saw off to clear chips. I will not be responsible if you injure yourself.

Small boxes can get away with mitered corners simply glued. Three things are necessary for a box to come together perfectly:

3. #### Mitered edges must be cut to a precise 45 degree angle

Given that standard pencils are 7 1/2 inches, the first boxes were designed for an inside dimension just under 8″. They are made from 1×3 stock from the local Home Center (really 3/4″ x 2 1/2″) resawn and planed to 5/16 thickness. I need 39 3/4 inches of stock to make one box and It’s possible to get fourteen out of three 8 foot boards. Dimensions are:

• Height: Full stock width 2 1/2″
• Front width: 2 7/8″
• Side length: 8 1/2″
• Top and bottom lid width: Full stock width 2 1/2″
• Top and bottom lid length: 8 1/8″

These dimensions were calculated to fit using 5/16″x2 1/2″ stock. See this paper for details.

The main tool is a table saw with a 3/32″ thin kerf blade to cut out the parts, and a standard 1/8″ thick blade to make the top and bottom grooves.  I resaw the 3/4″ thick boards with the thin blade. You could of course use a band saw but I don’t have one. Finally a lunch box planer cleans and thicknesses the resulting 5/16 stock.

You also need a miter gauge, or better (and safer) a crosscut sled, equipped with a flip down stop like this Rockler part. I made a stop from two pieces of hardwood scrap, two quarter inch bolts, and a makeshift T track.

I carefully adjust the fence to 90 degrees from the bar using an engineers square to satisfy the first rule above.

This is the dedicated crosscut sled I fabricated. A piece of half inch MDF core plywood and two pieces of leftover oak flooring. Did not take long to make, the critical things are the rear fence has to be flat and exactly perpendicular to the saw kerf. I used 3/4 inch pine for the two runners. The sled is now the only thing I’m using to cut the box miters. It is much easier to control than the extended saw gauge. I use the saw mitre gauge only for the vertical lid cuts.

This is a closer view of the flip stop. Placing the board against the rigid stop satisfies the second condition above.

And this is with the stop flipped up.

You also need a spacer block so you don’t have to reposition the flip stop to cut the shorter end pieces after cutting a longer side piece. The length of the spacer block is the difference between the long side and the shorter end pieces, 5 5/8″.

Because it takes time to set up each operation, every piece of stock is handled in parallel. In other words, if you are making 14 boxes from three 1″x3″x8′ boards, do step 1 on all boards before moving to step 2, do step 2 on all pieces before setting up step 3, etc.

1. all the 3/4″ boards are crosscut according to the cutlist
2. all the boards are resawn to half thickness
3. all boards planed to 5/16″
4. cut four mitered sides for every box
5. cut top and bottom plates for every box
6. cut grooves in each side to receive top and bottom
7. rabbit edges of each top and bottom plate
8. slice the half inch handle portion off the front piece

At that point you should be ready for glue.

Here is  a cut list for the project, also available as a PDF. It’s easier to resaw the 3/4″ stock if it is cut into shorter lengths.

Note: Drawings and files can be downloaded from Dropbox.

I do the resaw in three passes, raising the blade about a half inch each time, ripping both top and bottom edges. I first check the blade for exact squareness using a Wixey digital angle gauge and set up a feather board. If my saw had a bigger motor I could do this in fewer passes.

I always try to move my lunchbox planer to the driveway when thicknessing stock so I can clean up the mess with a leaf blower.  Since these boxes are destined to be unfinished gifts for small children, it’s not necessary to do a perfect planing job but any snipe or defective spots should be marked to go to the inside surface. Actually, in this cold weather, I have been planing most of the resawn boards with hand planes. It goes quickly and warms me up.

Once the 5/16″ stock is ready, the first step is to mitre one end. The saw blade is tilted to 45 degrees measured with my digital Wixey (love that thing) to satisfy the third condition above, and raised through an aluminum insert for zero clearance.  Note this is a left tilt saw.

Stock is positioned on the right side and aligned using the tilted fence kerf to cut the first bevel. The stop is lowered and adjusted for this set of boxes so the outside measurement to the blade is 8 1/2″.

Move the stock to the left side and make the second cut by holding it against the lowered flip stop. This completes the first long side.

Raise the stop, return the stock to the right side, and make a new initial bevel as before. The cutlist measurements are tight so it’s necessary to cut exactly on the previous bevel line.

For the second cut the spacer block is placed against the flip stop to create a 2 7/8″ end piece.

Repeat the above two operations to create another long side and another short end piece.  Cutting out the four sides of a box takes only a couple of minutes once the initial setup is done.

Cutting box sides sequentially from a single board lets the wood grain wrap around three of the four corners, a nice touch. To make that possible, the box has to be ultimately glued up in the same order as it was cut.  Turn the pieces in order bevel side up and mark each beveled edge with it’s mate. If you make marks on the bevel near the center, they won’t show when the box is assembled.  Use a dark Sharpie so you can see the dots through a layer of glue, (but not too dark, I found sometimes the Sharpie bleeds through to the outside face). In this photo, see a one dot corner and a two dot corner for box #5. Note how the grain flows through the three pieces.

Care in squaring the fence, setting the blade angle, and using a solid flip stop is rewarded with perfectly closed corner joints.

Finish the six box components by cutting out two plates for the top and bottom. Return the thin kerf blade to vertical, adjust the stop for an 8 1/8″ cut and make two pieces. That little bit is all that’s left over from one of the 40 inch boards.

Here are four box kits ready for grooving.

Next, set up the table saw to do eighth inch deep grooves at the top and bottom of each side piece. The same setup can be used to make eighth inch rabbits around the top and bottom plates.  I use a 1/8″ brass setup bar to help set the saw to just over 1/8″ height and spaced 1/8″ from the fence. The blade in the photo is one side of a Freud dado stack. It makes a clean cut and has the correct width.

Roy’s video shows cutting the groove before slicing off the beveled side pieces. With the table saw it’s easier to do this after the sides are cut out.

Here I am grooving a long side using a push block.

Grooving the short side. Have to be extra careful where you put your fingers.

Now all four sides of each top and bottom plate get rabbited. You need an eighth inch tongue on each edge that makes a sliding fit in the groove around the box sides. It may take some fine adjusting of the spacing between saw fence and blade to get the fit just right. The plate should slide easily in the groove but not rattle around.

Hold the pieces vertically, pushing them across the saw blade. Cutting the tongue with a single eighth inch blade leaves a thin sliver of material on the inside edge of the top and bottom pieces. You can eliminate that by adding a second Dado blade on the saw arbor to make a kerf wide enough to remove all the wood.  Or just break off the sliver.

Here I have added a tall fence to help guide the lid plates, and I’m using a push block for the end grain cuts. Even with the push block, the piece tends to wobble and cut unevenly, so I usually make two passes to make sure the rabbit is full depth. It’s best to do the short edges first, then the long edges.

Rabbiting the long side is straight forward. Again, fingers are close to the blade so extra care is needed.

The final milling step is to mark and slice one of the ends off a half inch down. I do this in an old fashioned wooden miter box with a saw that makes a fairly thin kerf. Pick the end that has the grain wrapping around both sides, this should be the end piece with one dot and two dots. You can clamp a stop block inside the miter box to speed things up if there are many boxes to cut.

Here is a completed set of pencil box components.

Finally the glue up which takes more time than cutting out the parts. Use a long open time adhesive like Liquid Hide Glue or Titebond III. I apply with an acid brush that has half it’s bristles clipped off to make it stiffer.

Here’s all my gluing tools. Bottle cap to hold a puddle of Titebond or LHG, wood stick wrapped with damp towel to clean grooves, cut down acid brush, burnisher to close corners, thin snap knife to cut lid handle free if it’s gotten stuck from squeeze out. The tools are sitting in a two sided tray I use to hold the box while assembling the parts.

Roy says to rubber band the parts so I made Red Neck glue clamps from something I have a lot of, punctured bicycle inner tubes.  Just slit a length of tube top and bottom. They will stretch about 25% so make the slit an inch or so shorter than the box. It helps if you use the two sided tray to corral the box parts while you’re stretching the rubber over the outside.

A 45 degree miter will be half end grain. To get good adhesion, I paint glue on the bevels in two stages,  I give each a first coat to fill the wood pores, then after a minute, another coat to do the joining.  Try not to get glue in the corners of the eighth inch grooves, it will stick the lid plates in place and you don’t want that. Make a groove cleaning tool by folding a damp paper shop towel around the end of a putty knife. Do NOT apply glue to the bevel area at the box front where the half inch handle will go.

Put the box together by inserting the top and bottom plates in the two long side pieces first (watching those Sharpie dots), then press on the end pieces. The half inch handle is not glued at this time but do put it in place to help shape the rest of the box.  Apply two Red Neck rubber band clamps, then fuss the side corners to get good miter alignment.  Also check that the miter joints are aligned vertically so the top and bottom edges are all in the same plane.  It doesn’t take much of a vertical mis alignment to make the sliding lid hard to seat. Finally check with a small square to see if the corners are 90 degrees.

Allow a few minutes for the glue to take hold, then pull the half inch handle off.  Slide the top plate out. If it won’t budge, you have squeeze out on the back corners. Get a pair of pliers and wiggle the lid until it lets go. Now apply glue to the end of the lid that will receive the handle. Press the handle on to the end of the top plate, centering it on the plate and clean up any squeeze out on the bevels.  Place one or two thicknesses of paper towel in the groove at the rear of the box top. This will force the lid plate into the handle groove. Push plate and handle back into the box against the paper towel, making sure the handle seats properly against the box sides. Slide the rubber band up over the handle.

Remove the Red Neck clamps the next morning, sand off any glue squeeze out, and lightly break sharp corners and edges with fine sandpaper. If there are any gaps in the miters, you may be able to close them by burnishing the two edges. The lid should slide smoothly. If it doesn’t, tune with sandpaper or a shoulder plane. For extra credit, plane the top and bottom edges flat. I use a 5 1//4 for this, the bed is long enough to use the opposite side of the box as a reference surface.

This has been a very satisfying project. Thanks to Roy Underhill for the inspiration. Here is the first crop in Poplar and Pine from Menards cut off bin.

Update 12/26/16

I had a few of the lids stick hard due to squeeze out in the back corners. Had to pull them out with pliers which runs the risk of damaging the wood. Now I’m nipping about 1/3 of each corner off with a chisel which gives squeeze out a place to go. I don’t nip the front corners of the top lid where it will be fitted to the handle piece.

Update 2/1/17
I typed up the page of arithmetic for sizing the box parts. Also made a spread sheet to do the calculations. All this and more is in this zip archive.

Update 2/11/2017
Trying an alternate design. These 4″ x 4″ x 4″ cubes are each made from a 24 inch piece of 4″ by 5/16″ stock which was ripped and resawn from a 1×10. Since the sides are square, I don’t need a spacer. Also learning more about Titebond Liquid Hide Glue, you do need to paint on two coats or the joint will be weak. And I’ve found that a small amount of warp is tolerable, because cutting the stock into short pieces means the warp in each piece is small. Warp can complicate resawing though, and if the board is cupped, you will have trouble with the glueup. A cupped board will not allow an accurate miter unless it’s forced down flat on the crosscut sled.

I made these 12 in one afternoon, glueups were done the following morning in the house where it’s warmer. I cut up my last bicycle inner tube to make shorter redneck clamps, using a paper punch to make a hole at the ends of each slit which should reduce strain at that point.

### Update 2/20/2017

Revised some photos and text to emphasize use of a crosscut sled. It really does work better.

### Update 4/3/2017

Nineteen pencil box sized “kits”. This batch was made from steeply discounted lumber and will bring my count to 110 boxes. I think that’s enough, I’m running out of places to put them.When I go through the production process I line up all the box parts on the bench to keep them together. After the last operation each is rubber banded into a package ready for glue. It’s still too cold to work liquid hide glue in my garage so these will be finished in the house.

And here are the 19 pencil boxes assembled, sanded and ready to go.

Also built several mongrels out of scrap. Making a box from bits of different boards has it’s own set of problems. I’m keeping these two and applying three coats of Watco oil.

I can’t stop making these things. Over 130 now. This batch is mostly mongrels, made from scraps but the four cubes on the right came from a single 24 inch 1×10 from Menards’ cut-off pile. The board was was 1.75 so less than 50 cents per box. Two Cherry cubes on the right have a center divider, both lids slide open. I’m keeping and finishing that nice grained Yellow Pine bottom center, and some of the Cherry boxes. ### Update 11/18/2017 I’m presenting my methods to the Dupage County Woodworkers Club next week and since I can’t fit a table saw into my car, have created a slide show. It is downloadable from dropbox at https://www.dropbox.com/s/c67c4xhlw3bata7/SlidingLidBoxes.zip The miter sled is upgraded to a real TTrack and there is a different setup for making the grooves. The calculations are now done with a spreadsheet. ### Update 05/17/2018 The spring 2018 episode 35 video from Highland Woodworking, about 22 minutes in, shows Doug Stowe creating mitered corner boxes using a crosscut sled and spacer block in a manner similar to mine. His method does not require a flip stop though. ## Frame and Panel Construction – Part 1: The Panel These 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″ each 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 molding on the inside edge. One episode of “The Woodwright’s Shop” contributed to my panel raising techniques. “Raising Panel-Zona” describes several methods, though my tools don’t match Roy’s. I have a small panel raising plane. It is unusual in that it has an adjustable fence, there is no nicker and no flat area near the fence, the cut is beveled all the way to the edge of the work. It may have had some other use in the past but it works for panel raising. I have since added brass strips at the main wear points. Making a cabinet door usually proceeds by constructing the outside frame to fit the target opening, then creating a panel to fit the frame. I have a number of frames made as practice exercises for a real job closing off the crawl space in my house. These were all based on square blanks cut from a length of 1×8 select pine from Home Depot. I used up all the spare lumber so for this weblog post I glued up some scraps and trimmed to 7 1/4 square. Panel blank glued up and trimmed to size The panel will have a quarter inch tenon all around the edges that seats inside a groove plowed around the inside edges of the frame. The first step is to define this tenon edge by measuring the frame face to groove distance so the panel will be flush with the frame. Subsequent operations will remove wood down to these lines. I darken the marked lines with pencil. Mark the tenon edges on the panel blank The panel raising plane fence has been set to an “about here looks right” distance from the cutter tip. I’m measuring this horizontal distance carefully, maintaining the angle of the bevel. Measuring horizontal length of the bevel cut I will be defining the inside line of the raised area using a cutting gauge. This is necessary, especially on the cross grain sides because the plane does not have a nicker. Here I transfer the measurement from the previous step to the gauge. Transfer bevel dimension to cutting gauge Cut the gauge lines deeply into all four sides of the panel blank. Cutting bevel extent lines Here I have darkened the lines with pencil. Bevel lines darkened One hand tool principle I have learned well is to remove as much material as you can with the blade that is easiest to sharpen. I block plane off wood down to about 1/16 inch from my two lines. Removing waste wood Now the panel raising plane does it’s work, starting with the cross grain edges. This plane works well across the grain because it has a steeply skewed blade. Which also means it is hard to sharpen. Using the panel raising plane Raising the center creates a shadow line which makes the panel look a bit smaller and lighter. Panel showing shadow line The final step is rabbiting the back of the panel to the line. This M-F 85 has the fence set to cut a quarter inch wide relief and the depth stop set to stop at my line. Since the raised portion of the panel is angled, the edge tenon is tapered so I will make this a little less than a quarter inch thick to make it easier to fit the frame groove. Rabbiting the back side The finished panel came out fairly well though I had trouble with the panel raising plane. I believe the blade is not bedding flat inside the body which causes the blade to flex slightly and chatter. The wedge also loosens too easily which causes the blade to fall out. I’m working on it. Finished panel And it does fit the frame. See how all those shadow lines make the panel look like something other than a flat board. Finished panel fitted in frame ## 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 Next the tenon shoulders are cut off. A bench hook supports the rail while sawing. 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 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 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 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 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 The tenons lay flat on the blank rails making it easy to mark where the mortise edges will go. Transferring tenon edges to rail Here you can see both tenon edges are traced on to the 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 Pencil in the gauge lines and the stiles are ready for the mortise chisel. 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 I I use an engineers square to check for true inside edges. Trim with the mortise chisel if not. 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 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 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 It took about a dozen strokes with the rabbit plane to make the 1/16 inch step. Rabbit plane defining Ovolo In this photo you can see the shadow line created by the small rabbit. 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 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 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 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 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 A close up of the mitered rail molding. 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 This photo shows the coped corner. 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 Success is a dry fit of all four joints with no gaps. 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 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 ## 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 There were a LOT more shavings than in part 1. Working the two panels took most of an afternoon. 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 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 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 And this is the raised panel side. 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 Check out the shadow lines in this photo. 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 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! This is what it used to look like. 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. ## Notes on the Roubo Bookstand A Roubo Bookstand is made from a single piece of wood. It opens as pictured or folds flat. The design is actually much older than Andre Roubo (he wrote in the 1770s), it is a traditional form for supporting the family Quran. Searching the Internet for “Roubo Bookstand” will keep you busy for many hours. Here is plate 331 from Roubo’s book. Plate 331 from “L’Art Du Menuisier” The project is based on a “Woodwright’s Shop” episode from season 31, 2011-2012. Many thanks and credit go to Roy Underhill. You can view it here or here and you should to fully understand the material in this post as I won’t show steps here that duplicate Roys. There is a downloadable plan here which references an almost identical book stand in episode 2205 which aired in 2002. The PDF plan differs only from the more recent show only in the shape of the hinge pockets. A much earlier episode, 1986 Season 06 ep. 3 has an example similar to the plan, using straight cuts for the hinge pockets, also see Season 20, ep. 5. Woodwright’s DVDs are no longer available, but you can view them with the Popular Woodworking streaming service. I’ve made this my hand tool project for 2014 and done several in soft wood for practice. In this web page I document methods and tools, especially where they differ from Roy’s. I used construction grade 2x4s or 2x6s for practice pieces. The 2×6 version makes a fine Roubo IPad stand, the 2×4 size makes a dandy Roubo stand for a cell phone. 2×6 version Roubo Tablet Stand 2×6 version with a 7 inch tablet in place I use this stand every week watching “Ask an Engineer”. 2×6 Stand with Nine Inch Tablet I don’t own a smart phone but I borrowed one for this photo of the 2×4 version. 2×4 Roubo Cell Phone Stand In the the next picture you can see two modifications I made to Roy’s plan. Both changes make the stand sit more upright making reading easier, and less likely to tip over. I shorten the front feet about 25%, and also inset the hinge pockets a bit, 3/32″ on this one inch thick stock. That keeps the stand from opening to a full 90 degrees. 2×6 Roubo Ipad version In this page, I’m making a pair of cell phone sized stands from a 14 inch piece of Red Oak. The hinge pocket inset requires angling the chisel when chopping out the pockets. I draw layout lines tangent to the hinge barrel circle just as Roy shows in his video, then add lines inset 3/32″ towards the center line. 1/16″ pilot holes for starting the saw cuts that define the hinge barrels get drilled along the inset line, not on the tangent line. Hinge shoulder position is changed Here I have drawn a line from the inset to the barrel tangent. The pocket must be chiseled out along this angle, about ten degrees. Angled Cut Line With the hinge layout complete, the next step is to saw down between the individual barrels. I tried Roy’s modified hack saw blade but got poor results so I acquired a jewelers fret saw. The problem is, these saws have a fairly narrow throat so can’t be used here in the normal way. I had to turn the blade 90 degrees so the fret saw could be held sideways. The nose fitting on this saw can be rotated a quarter turn, but the handle clamp is fixed. I found however, that I could clamp the blade in a sideways position. If you look closely below, the blade teeth are pointing towards the top of the photo, not out. Modified fret saw So now the fret saw can be used off the side of the work, though it still has to be carefully supported at both ends of the blade. There is enough range to cut hinges in the 2×4 or 2×6 version but I’ll have to get a bigger fret saw for larger stands. In the photo below you can also see half inch deep cuts across the end grain to start the lengthwise ripping that ultimately separates the two parts of the stand. These initial cuts were done with a Tom Fidgen-esque kerfing plane. Cutting Hinge Pocket Slots This Red Oak example is laid out two up. A pair of bookstands will be cut from a single long board, Roy mentions Roubo’s writing on this in the Woodwright’s episode – “to avoid the great loss of wood”. The two tall back sections are laid out overlapping and separated with a frame saw after removing part of the overlap. My frame saw is a Craftsman originally intended as a wall decoration. I bid on it in a moment of weakness and seriously regretted when UPS dropped it off. The blade was coarse with way too much set. I have since changed to a nicer blade cut from an old rip saw, and made special blade supports to use with this project. At this stage I will saw down to about a half inch from the hinge layout, leaving enough wood to absorb the stress of chiseling hinge pockets. Frame Saw in Use You can see in the photo above that the frame is held at an angle so it’s behind, not directly over the cut. I have made steel blade supports and twisted them 15 degrees. The modified saw works well and produces a fairly clean, straight kerf with not too much effort, even in this hard wood. Angled Frame Saw Blade Bracket The result after separating the pair of blanks and shortening the part that will form front legs. Two Roubo Stands I chose to lay out the top and bottom curves at this time. This can wait until the stand is officially open but is easier while the blank is still a solid block. I use three templates, one for the top curve, one for the rear foot ogee, and a shallower ogee for the shortened front foot. The templates have half the desired curve. The vertical edge is aligned along the stands center line, half the curve drawn, then the template is flipped and the other half traced. Symmetry is assured. I added masking tape in this photo so I could draw with a Sharpie for the camera. The top and rear leg profiles can be cut at this time with a coping saw but the front leg profile has to wait until the stand is fully open. I’ll wait and cut them when I need a break from chiseling. Ogee layout Chopping out the ten hinge pockets is done per Roy’s brute force method – firmer chisel, followed by paring chisel, followed by sharp knife. The inset hinge shoulders mean there is less room for the chisel but it can be done. In the next photo I am using a small bevel gauge to help guide the chisel to the necessary 10 degree angle. Chiseling hinge pockets After all ten pockets are cut, the last half inch of the dividing wood must be removed. Roy called this “going flat” and he clamps the piece in an end vise. I only have an iron shoulder vise so that’s where it goes. I found clamping a pair of hardwood blocks at the hinge tangent line makes it easy to tell when to stop sawing. Sawing the Final Half Inch After an hour and a half of tweaking, paring off spots that were binding it finally opens all the way. It helps to open it as far as it will go then hold the saw kerf up to a strong light and look into the hinge pockets. You can see places that are not completely separated or are binding. Don’t use force, the wood will splinter. Just work with it gently until both parts are moving independently. In this photo you can see another Secret Weapon. Utility knife blade that have the corners cut off. These are tough enough to be pounded into the hinge pocket with a ball peen hammer. Finally Open I’ve been cleaning up the saw marks with a low angle block plane or my trusty Stanley 5 1/4 followed by coarse sandpaper but on this hard Oak I used a card scraper after the plane. Because the stand doesn’t open to a full 90 degrees, planing these surfaces is hard on your knuckles. When the stand is opened, it will sit on just the inside edges of the feet so its a good idea to bevel them. It’s also a chance to tune the feet to eliminate any wobble. My procedure is to clamp the stand upside down in the vise, then plane a few strokes on each corner with a slicing motion. The plane has to be long enough for the bed to rest on the opposite foot for reference, so I’m using the 5 1/4 in the next photo. Check the stand often on a flat surface to see if you’ve eliminated all wobble. For extra credit, tape a sheet of sandpaper to a flat surface and slide the stand across it a few times. Beveling the Feet I like to stain Oak projects with Minwax Golden Oak. That will be followed by three coats of Watco Natural applied with my sandpaper spit shine technique, then paste wax. First Finish Stain ## 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. Finished Eleven Grooved Box. Red Oak from Home Depot. 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.

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.

Second attempt at a spline groove jig

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

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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