Interesting Woodworking Link

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Episode #52 - The Kreg Jig

The Kreg Jig & Pocket Screw Joinery

Special Announcement

Read below for details of a
special Folding Rule Show drawing!

Deadline April 30, 2008

We all have various tools and jigs in our shops that help streamline workflow. One tool that I am particularly fond of is The Kreg Jig. I have used this wonderful tool for a wide variety of projects ranging from outdoor construction to various pieces of furniture. Below I have a list of sample projects and links below to illustrate the utility of The Kreg Jig.

The simplicity of using this tool was obvious when I showed a group of Boy Scouts how to use The Kreg Jig to help build cedar planters for a service project. With minimal instruction the boys were making tight and accurate joints.

In a previous blog post I mentioned my interest in both hand and power tools. I am slowly working on honing fine hand tool skills. I say slow not due to desire but due to the learning process. I realize we have many choices as woodworkers in how we approach joinery and the process for each project.

I try to constantly use all the methods available in my shop while striving to widen my skill set.
When I decide to use pocket screws, the majority of the time I rely pretty heavily on the Kreg Jig K3 Master System. For larger jobs I will pull out the Semi-Automatic Kreg Foreman. I was fortunate to get an awesome deal on this machine from a local cabinet shop upgrading to a bigger machine.

This episode shows The Kreg Jig being used to install the bottom and top shelves in a cherry display pedestal. The pocket holes in the top shelf sub-assembly will be hidden by the glued-up 3/4 cherry top. The pocket holes in the bottom shelf will be visible only from underneath the cabinet. The joinery choices here include groove & tenon, sliding dovetail, loose tenon (router jig or Festool Domino), biscuits, dowels or pocket screws. I think I listed all the choices! Ultimately we make a decision based on aspects of the project and available shop tooling. I’ve used pocket holes in a similar situation on a previous project so that is how I decided to proceed.

Do you have a Kreg Jig?

If so, please send me a photo and description of your favorite project using the Kreg Jig. Be sure to include your name, mailing address and email.
This is just for fun. If I get enough responses, I will host a drawing on a future episode of The Folding Rule Show.
The winner will receive one of my spare (new in package of course) Kreg Jig drill bits and a jar of my beeswax screw lubricant. Those drawn second and third will also get a jar of my beeswax screw lubricant. This is just my way of satisfying my curiosity of what fellow woodworkers are doing with The Kreg Jig while providing some way of thanks for taking the time to send me your Kreg projects.

This is one of my first shop video clips. I was using The Kreg Jig to build a cherry display shelf for an art gallery in Central Oregon. The Kreg system allowed me to build the shelf quickly and accurately with minimal clamping. After seeing the shelf in the gallery loaded with works of art I felt satisfied with the project and building technique.

Some of my Kreg Projects
(click titles for links to individual projects)

Click for details: Bedside Step Stool

Click for details: Steamed Cherry Display Stand

Click for details: Cedar Privacy Fence with Pocket Screw Joinery

Cedar Planters – Boy Scout Service Project

Friday, March 21, 2008

Episode #51 - Shop Thoughts

Musings from my Shop

The most important tool in the shop . . .

Much has been said about this in the online forums. The responses vary between some special tool handed down by a father or grandfather to the newly acquired hand tool or power tool. Responses that I have found most interesting are not tools but references and mentors. I think the variety of responses reflect to some degree a woodworkers development and maturation in the craft.

One universal trait of all woodworkers is a love of tools, be it a hand or power tool. What woodworker can resist that wonderful tactile satisfaction of a well designed, well balanced and properly tuned and sharpened tool? Whether a nicely preserved or restored antique, or a similar well made modern version. There is something very satisfying in that indescribable neuro-feedback between the brain and hand. This is something I can identify with after rehabbing and tuning up an old Stanley bench plane that had been kicking around in the bottom of my carpenter’s box. This feeling soared to new heights after taking the leap and purchasing my first Lie-Nielson hand plane. Only a fellow woodworker can understand this experience.

I can’t identify for you my most important tool. The answer will depend upon my mood at the time. My love of hand tools is reflected in my growing collection. I also take particular satisfaction in power tools. Is it the Festoool Domino, the table saw, or router table? Perhaps the tool that is “center of the shop” provides the correct answer. Now, that could be the workbench, the table saw or the band saw depending on your focus.

One “tool” that I derive a lot of satisfaction from is a broad category that I will lump together as “references”. The center of this tool collection is a library of woodworking references that include woodworking periodicals (Fine Woodworking, Woodworking, Wood Magazine, Popular Woodworking, Shop Notes and Woodsmith), as well as, a focused collection of books on techniques and design.

I would also add to this growing list the various online woodworking blogs and forums. The age of the Internet has ushered in a unique opportunity for woodworkers to learn, collaborate and share. This “cyber connection” has also increased the access to mentors who kindly share their expertise and guidance. Some of these online opportunities have made a significant impact on my personal motivation and work. As I prepare to spend another satisfying day in my little garage workshop, I pause to give a quiet word of thanks to all of my cyber woodworking buddies that have touched my little part of the world.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Episode #50 - Cherry Pedestal

Cherry Display Pedestal – Part IV
A Photo Update

This episode will be a photo update of progress on the Cherry Display Pedestal. Things have been very hectic in our home with completion of reconstruction by our builder, some family visitors and a couple of bouts of the flu for me. In short, my anticipated construction schedule has been somewhat disrupted. The good news is that the project is making wonderful progress. This photo shows the frame and panel carcase. The cherry frames are joined with loose tenon joinery using a Festool Domino. The panels are 1/4" MDF hardboard with an outer cherry veneer and an inner maple veneer. The bottom shelf is 3/4" baltic birch plywood with cherry veneer.

All the frame members have been planed flat and square and the surfaces have been scraped smooth. As I mentioned in a previous episode, the panels are pre-finished to prevent exposure of unfinished wood due to any seasonal movement. The photo above shows an interior corner with a small flat molding pin nailed along the bottom shelf.

The middle shelf is cherry veneered 1/2" baltic birch. After coming out of the press it will be edge banded with 3/16" cherry. The edge banding was cut with my Thin Stock Ripping Jig. The vacuum press is getting quite a workout on this project! This photo shows the middle shelf in the press using breather mesh and some black foam squares to protect the vacuum bag from the corers of the pressing package. The lower platen is a 2 foot square piece of 3/4" scored melamine. The scoring allows the vacuum to be pulled all around the contents of the vacuum bag.

Close Up of Vacuum Bag Fitting

Glue Up of the Top (approx. 18 x 26)

Working Out the Finish Schedule

Middle Shelf & Cherry Edge Banding

Middle Shelf & Cherry Edge Banding

Door & Drawer Stock

Episode #49 - Cherry Pedestal


Cherry Display Pedestal – Part III
Veneering – Layout & Cutting Veneer Panels

This episode covers the layout and cutting of veneer for the panels. Keep your eye on the veneer design elements! These 4x8 sheets of 2-ply veneer were a bit difficult to manage single handed so I had to resort to pulling out my extra heavy-duty 175 pound bench clamp to help cut the veneer for the panels!

I suffered from the "headless woodworker" syndrome on this episode . . . I figured the veneer was better to look at than my ugly mug!

During the Cherry Pedestal Veneering episodes I had some technical problems with my microphone, so please accept in advance my apologies for the poor audio quality!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Episode #48 - Special Shop Visitor

Kelsey Visits the Shop

One of the best experiences for me is when my kids spend some time in my shop. It is a chance to spend some real quality time. I have been under the weather with a bad virus so I thought this would be a fun shop update since I have been too sick to do any woodworking. In a future episode I will share some of my son Matthew’s woodworking.

Kelsey's Concept Shop Drawing
• Top Drawing - Dunking Chair
• Bottom Drawing - Iron Maiden

My daughter Kelsey is a high school freshman and a marvelous dancer. The video intro music is a little up beat in honor of my favorite dancer. The video is an impromptu shot while Kelsey was using the bandsaw. She is working on a school project for Global Studies. They are studying the Salem Witch Trials. Part of her group presentation is to make a small demonstration of the torture devices of the period . . . not my cup of tea but what can you say when your daughter asks for help and wants to do a “wood project” for school. She is making a model of a dunking chair and an “Iron Maiden”. We started off by beginning construction of the Iron Maiden. Kelsey is doing all the work with some careful guidance and a very occasional extra hand. We had a friend join us for the evening, our dog Tenaya. I have to say I am pretty proud of my daughter!

Kelsey at the Bandsaw

Our "Shop Dog" Tenaya
(Australian Cattle Dog)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Episode #47 – Cherry Pedestal

Cherry Display Pedestal – Part II
Veneering - Preparation

This episode covers the initial veneering considerations for the panels. The panel substrate is 1/4 MDF hardboard. MDF is and excellent veneering substrate because it is dimensionally stable and very flat. The outer veneer is flat sawn 2-ply cherry and the inner veneer is flat sawn 2-ply maple. The 2-ply veneer, ordered from Veneering Supplies at Joe Woodworker, comes in 4x8 sheets. I took care to carefully select and center the best grain pattern on the panels. In this case the cathedral patterns were the “design elements offered up” by the cherry veneer sheet. Now, I think I’ve heard that statement somewhere before! After seeing how these panels turned out I am glad I paid attention to optimizing this design element.

Breather mesh is a plastic mesh fabric that allows air to flow away from the project being pressed and towards the vacuum bag port. The mesh is used in place of a top platen allowing even distribution of vacuum pressure throughout the vacuum bag.

I had some technical problems with my microphone, so please accept in advance my apologies for the poor audio quality!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Episode #46 - Cherry Pedestal

Click Here for High Resolution Version


Cherry Display Pedestal – Part I

Design Considerations

A new project has been underway in my shop putting the modified New-Fangled Workbench temporarily on hold. The bench is operational and I have been using it for this project. What a absolute pleasure to be working on a stable work surface with lots of clamping options!

This first episode on the Cherry Display Pedestal reviews the evolution of design considerations from the initial FAXED build request to the final full-scale shop drawing. Thanks to design input from Neil Lamens at Furitology Productions, this project pushes me outside my usual flat and square construction used with blanket chests to incorporate moldings and reveal lines to add a sense of lift to the pedestal. In designing the pedestal, I kept in mind its function. The pedestal elevates and offers for display a piece of artwork, in this case a bronze. In other words, the focus is the artwork and not the pedestal.




The construction will be traditional frame and panel with loose tenon joinery. The panels will be veneered 1/4” MDF hardboard. MDF is a flat and stable substrate that lends its self well to veneering. The stability of MDF will minimize wood movement within the frame. The veneered panels will have flat sawn 2-ply cherry on the exterior and flat sawn 2-ply maple on the interior. The lighter colored maple will offer a nice contrast with the cherry and serve to lighten the interior of the cabinet. I got this idea from an article in Fine Woodworking.



I have been focusing on completing the project but I did get a chance to turn the shop camera on a few times during construction. The next set of episodes will go over veneering the panels.

Links For This Episode

Furnitology Productions
Furnitology Blog

Fine Woodworking Article