Tips & Tricks: Issue 71

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This article is from Issue 71 of Woodcraft Magazine.

Hinge as a drawer stop

Hinge as a drawer stop

When I make a project with simple wooden drawer guides, I like to add an outward stop to prevent the drawer from accidentally being pulled all the way out and spilling its contents on the floor. Of all the techniques I’ve tried, one of the simplest and most effective is to screw a hinge to the rear edge of the top rail. Locating the hinge so that only part of the lower leaf extends below the rail creates an effective stop that can easily be lifted up out of the way when you want to remove the drawer.

—James Hoyt, Lexington, Nebraska

drill press angle

Drill press angle platform

It’s a hassle to tilt my drill press table for boring angled holes, so I devised this workpiece platform to do the job instead. It’s nothing more than a couple of plywood panels hinged together, with a T-track installed in the bottom panel. A bolt and cap nut in the T-track hold the panels apart at the desired angle, with the bolt locked in place with a wing nut. A cleat along the hinged edge of the top panel registers a workpiece to hold it in place for drilling. The jig is easy to make, simple to use, and allows infinite adjustment within a 5° to 45° angle range. Simply slide the bolt assembly to whatever location holds the top panel at the desired angle. For quick setup, I mark the bolt locations for commonly used angles.

Don Winslow, Indian Trail, North Carolina

clamp and rule curve layout

Clamp-and-rule curve layout

One traditional way to lay out fair curves is to trace against a thin strip of wood bent to the desired shape, with the ends of the strip clamped or tacked in place to the workpiece. This approach works okay, but it can be a bit fussy to get the curve just right, and wood doesn’t always bend as perfectly as you might like. I find that a much better approach is to use a thin steel rule, squeezing it into the desired bow between the jaws of a bar clamp whose pads have been notched to prevent the rule from twisting. This allows great control of the curve shape, and holds the rule very firmly for use as a tracing guide.

Alejandro Balbis, Longueuil,Quebec

No-spin dowel crosscutting

Crosscutting large dowels with a power mitersaw can be a dicey operation. If the workpiece isn’t held firmly, the blade can grab and spin it in a flash, shocking you out of your slack-handed reverie. To make sure that doesn’t happen, just stick a couple of self-adhesive sanding discs on your saw at the intersection of the fence and table.

—Lonnie Gaye, Baltimore, Maryland

Plane iron chisel

I had built a small box, and needed to pare away some dried glue squeeze-out from the inside corners. Too bad all of my chisels were too long to fit inside the box. Standing there wishing for a short chisel, I suddenly realized I could just steal the blade from my block plane, which proved to do the job just fine.

—Anthony Warren, Las Vegas, Nevada


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