Mission McCoy Dining Hutch – full inset doors

The upper portion of the Mission style McCoy Dining Hutch is nearly ready for final finish.

Even with the shop hitting 90F today, a fan and some natural breeze made the 7hr day bearable.

test fitting the inset doors
test fitting the inset doors

The six full inset doors were cut, routed, glued, trimmed to match fit, sanded, and stained.

There was just enough down time to tear apart one palm sander which had been over heating. It turned out to be clogged from years of fine grit sanding. I suspect the humidity didn’t help either.

In the photo, the far right door has its hinges set in place. Before final finish, all the hinges will be fitted to insure there is the necessary 1/16″ gaps on all sides.

Rails and stiles with a single router table

One of the challenges to creating rails and stiles for furniture doors is getting the complimenting cuts aligned in all three dimensions. Large shops have separate dedicated stations.

It’s not difficult to do all of rails and then do all of the stiles. However, all it takes is one mistake and you have to swap setups. Getting the alignment correct to match all of the prior work is tedious and a lot of trial and error.

two inserts for the router table
two inserts for the router table

While I would love to have multiple router tables, I’m not that busy yet. I do have multiple routers. My compromise is to have multiple inserts for my table. I can setup one router for rails and another for stiles. I get each aligned and then I just drop in the setup I need. I can swap between rails and stiles reasonable quickly.

I had some old scrap plexiglass so I cut it to match the size of the original insert. I then taped them together and cut the center hole. I did not match drill the mounting holes since those are specific to the router and my routers are different. I used the second router’s base plate to find the right locations to drill and counter sink the three mounting holes.

Now it’s back to making sawdust.

What’s It #22?

I doubt very much anyone will get this as it is an obscure item. I will say it weighs about 11 pounds.

what is it

what is it

Material handling in a one-man shop

I’m not a big fan of unitaskers but when it comes to protecting my health in the shop, I’m not opposed to having the right tool for the job, even if it only has one purpose. That is the case for the Gorilla Gripper.

the Gorilla Gripper grasps the top center of a plywood sheet
the Gorilla Gripper grasps the top center of a plywood sheet

It has the clever ability to hold a 4’x8′ sheet of plywood without unnatural stretching or reaching.

I’ve tried rolling handles and other means of moving large awkward sheet stock and nothing has been as consistently easy (and small).

So there you have it. A unitasker I’m not ashamed of having in my shop.

BTW: the other unitasker I have is a fire extinguisher!

Sanding “makes sawdust”

Question: “whatcha makin’ in the shop?”
Answer: “sawdust”

This has been a frequent exchange over the past few weeks. While it may sound like I’m avoiding the question, the truth is in the answer.

sand planing at 60, then orbit sanding at 60, 80, 150, and 180

sand planing at 60, then orbit sanding at 60, 80, 150, and 180

The first task this morning was sanding down two 21″x16 glue-ups.

90 minutes of work and a pile of sawdust.

Cutting a 2 degree taper

Most cabinet work is square but often furniture has tapers. If you cut tapers often then you likely have a tapering jig. I created a small one but nothing that can handle a 4ft long piece of wood.

taper guide taped to the finish wood
taper guide taped to the finish wood

One trick is to cut the taper – in this case 1.5 inches over a 46 inch length – in a piece of scrap. The starting width can be anything as long as the width is 1.5 inches more after 46 inches. I used an old piece of plywood and screwed a straight edge guide into it, following the needed taper. Then I cut along the guide with a portable circular saw.

Once I hade the taper, I taped it to my finish wood. I marked the narrow width on the finish wood and then set my table saw fence so the blade would match the starting mark. The result is a perfect taper – and it is reusable.