Projects

WOOD WORKING BY DESIGN

I have several projects that I have completed over the years and I want to share them with you. We will be covering the following projects:

Tip!

You can click on any of the titles above to go to that particular project or just scroll down the page. At the bottom of each content you will see a blue arrow which will zip you back to the top of this page

Napkin Rings

The rig we are going to use for this project is detailed on the Rigs and Jigs page. If you have not read that page you should probably do that before we get started.

chisels
Photo 1. Napkin ring rig.

Dimension The Stock
The first order of business is we heed to dimension our stock. So let run our board through the planer so your upper and lower surfaces are parallel to each other. Parallel surfaces are crucial for the rest of our project. Be certain that your board is wide and long enough for all of the napkin rings you want to make. Drawing this out should give a board that is two napkin rings wide and six (or eight) napkin rings in length. See next photo below.

My napkin rings are 1 1/2-inches tall. No rhyme or reason for that dimension other than it just seemed a good height for my design. Your only real height limitation is the length of your Forstner bit. I allowed myself approximately 2 1/2-inches square per napkin ring. Why? Well, I use a 1 1/2-inch Forstner bit to bore my holes with and I like sides that are at least 1/4-inch thick. (I usually carve my sides, so 1/4-inch is a bare minimum for me.) Therefore adding those dimensions together gives us 2-inches. If our stock is 2 1/2-inches square, this gives us a bit of a safety margin in case we do not bore our hole precisely in the center of our stock. So your board should be at least 5-inches wide by a lenght which will accomodate your rings. In othr words, if you are making eight napkin rings your board should be 5-inches wide by 10-inches in length

Okay, we have a nice flat board and now we want to: (1) Draw a line down the center of its length, and (2), we want to mark off each length into 2 1/2-inch sections, and (3) we want to mark the approximate center of each section (this is where we will bore our center hole) and (4), we want to mark those small x's as shown in the next photo. I'll explain those small x's shortly.

chisels
Photo 2. Napkin ring stock layout.

Tip!

It would be wise to cut your marked stock in half length wise first. Looking at the photo above you would band-saw the horizontal line between the x's. This will make your hole boring much easier. It is difficult to hold a 2 1/2-inch square securly while boring a large hole in it. A longer board is easier to hold in place. The next photo shows my clamping method.

Drill The Center Hole
Doing this correctly is important for two reasons: (1) If we have a scared hole this will not impress people with our woodworking skill not to mention the fact that it just looks very bad and (2), a sloppy hole will fit loosely on our rig which leads to more problems.

Okay, about those small x's: If you place those x's against your drill press fence they will guarantee a certain degree of uniformity to your work. I did not mention the finishing of the legthwise outside edges or your board because you will be band-sawing this off, so why mill the surface if you are just going to cut it off? The band-sawed edge will work just fine for the following steps. Therefore, clamp your board tightly to your drill press fence as the photo above shows, then bore your first hole and repeat for the others.

chisels
Photo 3. Napkin ring board section with cleanly bored hole.

Band-Saw Your Sections Free
After you bore all of your holes it is time to separate each section with your band-saw or hand saw. Now, as a precaution, I would make a mark on the edge of each section so that you can orient each of them the same way when you bore the center hole. In other words, you could place the marked edge against your drill press fence then bore your hole. This will help make them all uniform after you bore your hole.

napkin rings
Photo 4. Finished Napkin Rings.

Veneer Hammer

The veneer hammer you see below I made because it was an easy project but also because is just seemed to be much better than those that I saw for sale. The white material that contacts the veneer is UHMW polyetheylene which is available from Lee Valley. It is ultra smooth and nothing sticks to it which makes it perfect IMO for veneer work.

veneer hammer
Photo 5. Veneer hammer with protruding wedge.

The hammer is nothing more than a piece of walnut, a 3/4" maple dowel for the handle, three 1/4" dowels to hold the UHMW material in place and a short piece of 1/4" UHMW stock. I also used a wedge to hold the maple handle in place.

veneer hammer
Photo 6. Finished veneer hammer.

I have used this veneer hammer several times and it works perfectly. It is light and feels very good in use. What surprised me is that when I use it my hand grasps both the walnut head and the handle. It feels very natural in my hand.

Table Saw Sled

UNDER CONSTRUCTION!!!

Planer Bench

UNDER CONSTRUCTION!!!

Mortising Rig

UNDER CONSTRUCTION!!!

Router Bench Fence Stops

UNDER CONSTRUCTION!!!

Table Saw Feather Board

UNDER CONSTRUCTION!!!

Salt Cedar Sliding Doors

23 MARCH 2015 Monday
This is going to be a 'blog-like' experiment. I'm going to note all of my thoughts as I work through and complete this project.

Design
We had some tile laid in our kitchen and the original folding-doors in our pantry would no longer fit as they were now too long. So, we decided on a set of custom sliding doors to replace them. We also wanted them to have salt cedar reeds incorporated into the design as well. The reeds would take the place of the usual panels found in doors.

After we harvested the salt cedar, I noticed that nearly all of the reeds had a slight curve to them that I wanted to remove. This curve could make them difficult to attach to the doors. I tried hot water and this seemed to help a great deal, but only time will tell if this will be a permanent fix or not.

Before I began this project I did a great deal of research on using salt cedar for woodworking projects and found nothing that would serve as a guide. So I'll be making a lot of guesses as I proceed. No problem.

24 MARCH 2015 Tuesday
What you see below is my basic drawing of the salt cedar door I am constructing. The upper two panel pairs contain the salt cedar reeds. The lower panel pair will simply be book-ended wood stock milled as we normally wood for a door panel.

veneer hammer
Photo ?. Salt Cedar Door Drawing.

Looking at the drawing above, the middle two panels show the salt cedar in two different renditions: The one on the right is the one we will use. The one on the left requires salt cedar reeds that are very long. Keeping the reeds as short as possible helps us with the bending issue we talked about earlier.

25 MARCH 2015 Wednesday
Realized today that I will have to drive to El Paso tomorrow to get some more poplar boards to complete this project. I am also working on a large cabinet that will be used to store my tools in the the new shop. It is made of poplar as well so this trip will benefit both projects.

26 MARCH 2015 Thursday
Had a good trip to El Paso today. Drove down with the Boss and our dog Bella. We got some very nice varigated poplar boards. See image below. (The ruler is for scale and the small gray patch fastened to the clothes pin is for color correction purposes used by Photoshop to render the image to its normal color.)

Varigated poplar boards
Photo ?. Variegated poplar boards.

While the boards look very nice they also beg the question: Where do we use these nicely figured boards in our hanging door project? At the moment I do not have the answer to that question, but I do know that after we're done milling our stock, most of the figure we see may be gone. We'll see what we have tomorrow when we begin milling the stock down to the 1-3/8" thickness required for this project. The panels will be book-matched so perhaps we can use some of this figured wood there.

Today I also received Charles Neil's Pre-Color Conditioner. If you have a few minutes it would be worth your time to watch his video. The product will condition the poplar to receive the gel stain evenly and eliminate the splotches known to occur when staining wood. I will cover all of this in detail when I begin the staining process.

27 MARCH 2015 Friday
Spent the day cutting and milling the stock for one door down to thickness. Some boards are 2" thick. Will band-saw some of that excess off tomorrow to speed the process up. Have also ordered the General Finishes water-based gel stains: Light Brown, Cinnamon and Antique Cherry. They should be here next week some time.

Felt good being back in the shop in the thick of things. Days are beginning to warm up a bit. The evenings are wonderful. Half-moon tonight. Sky is full of stars. Life is good!

28 MARCH 2015 Saturday
Been a long day. First, we had contractor's show up to give us an estimate for a new roof and stucco work that has to be done. Then, I had to install a venetian blind for the west facing window in the shop. This window lets in a lot of heat in the late afternoon so I had to install the blind. It's a done deal, but it was not much fun. Then, finally, I got back to work on the door.

I sliced off the excess from the 2" thick boards and this really helped. I ran all the stock through the planer and all are now 1 3/8-inch in thickness. But, I still have a few challanges ahead. The first is getting the 7" x 27" boards to spec. My table saw sled only accomodates 25" boards, so I am not sure how I am going to get this done. My ancient Sears Contractor's table saw never had a fence to speak of. Not too long ago I toyed with the idea of purchasing a Saw-Stop, but there are so few times that I need a fence that I just keep putting it off. Now I need it. Life!

30 MARCH 2015 Monday
Did some work yesterday, so am catching up really.

Sunday afternoor I realized I had to have two 7-inch wide boards for the middle and lower door rails. Generally, I use my planer to trim my boards to spec. My DW735 only does 6-inches. What to do?

Cutting to the chase - I decided to see if I could make my old table saw fence work. First, I loosened the fence bolts so I could adjust it as necessary and waxed the blade side. I then loosely clamped it on, used a rule to get 7-inches from a right-leaning carbide bit on each end of the blade (blade raised to correct working height) and locked it in place. I then re-tightened the bolts firmly and rechecked the alignment. Now I needed a feather board that would keep the stock against the fence.

The Boss suggested I use the thick plastic inserts from one of her old binders. At first I thought this would not work but if I tripled them up and kept them somewhat short, they became stiff enough for the job. So that is what I did. I figured a rough angle, marked the board, then made the cuts on my band saw wide enough to hold the plastic strips snugly. When done I drove a screw in to hold each set in place.

Varigated poplar boards
Photo ?. Table saw fence with custom feather board made of plastic strips.

I have a LOT of respect for table saw blades and 230V 12-inch radial arm saw blades in particular. When I start my RAS I am on full alert and have a firm grip on its handle. I still have all of my finger's because of this respect. I take absolutely no chances when using these machines. All of that applies to this project as well.

Varigated poplar boards
Photo ?. Close up of the plastic feather board. Not pretty that's for sure, but it worked perfectly.

Time to test the setup. I ran a test piece of plywood through and measured both ends: 7-inches exactly. So far, so good. I ran a 3/4-inch piece of pine through and got the same results. Not bad. Then a little voice said, "You'd better run the actual board through with the blade down before you cut it." Glad I listened because when I did the board almost fell off the back of the saw. My old table saw only has 3 1/2-inchs of cast-iron table behind the blade. I am cutting 27-inch boards! Now what?

Varigated poplar boards
Photo ?. Yikes! Table saw rear support.

What you see above was done out of need ... desperation really. But it worked and that is all I cared about at the moment.

Okay, with my trash-can-cardboard support at the ready, I once again ran the 27-inch board through with blade down. My card board-trash can contraption held. Now, I was really set to go. I grabbed a push stick and a longer 'hold down' stick to keep the far end of the board down, put my safety glasses on and hit the switch. I carefully pushed the board completely through the blade and hit the kill switch. I lifted the board and grabbed my rule: 7-inches on both ends!! Hallelujah! It worked! I was strutting around the shop like Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder in Stir Crazy ... we bad, we bad ...

4 APRIL 2015 Saturday
Catching up again.

As of today, I now have about half of the fourteen mortise-tenon joints done. Made some dumb mistakes that did not come back to bite me, but I should have known better. I was lucky this time, but it was very poor judgement on my part.

Glue Up Plan
While designing a project you should keep your glue up process in mind, IOW's, plan your joinery so it will be as easy as possible to glue up. Just ask yourself this simple question: How will I glue all the pieces together? If you remember to do this you may be very happy you did so. Once you work yourself into a nightmare glue up you will learn, but that's learning the hard way. That simple question will keep you out of trouble every time. Once you have the glue-up figured out, you can move on with confidence.

About those dumb mistakes ... My door is basically two long outer stiles, three rails between the outer stiles and two inner stiles between the rails. (See photo below. There are two smaller half-rails towards the top, C1-C4, but these are not part of this issue.) The mistake I made was in cutting to 'spec' the two inner stiles. Why is this a mistake? Because there is no guarantee that when the joinery is done between the outer stiles and rails at D1-D2 and A1-A2 that the 'spec' length planned for the inner stiles will be one and the same when the joinery at B1-B2 is done. The joinery could result in the distance between rails to be different that you had planned for. Yes, you want to match your spec lengths, but it is much wiser to just do the stile-rail joinery as carefully as you can and then measure and cut your inner stiles to match, not the other way around as I did. As I mentioned above, I was lucky in that my lower stile fit between the lower and middle rails perfectly. Just dumb luck.

Varigated poplar boards
Photo ?. Door with mortise-tenon joints marked. There are also a few salt cedar sticks to show where they will be placed in the door.

Just how does this problem come about?
The simple answer is this: It is nearly impossible to (1) Mark all of your mortises exactly the same and (2) Rout all of your mortises exactly the same.

Note!
I neglected to mention at the beginning that I was going to use floating tenon's for this project. This is why I referred to marking the mortises as I did above. All of my joinery entails routing mortises first. I then insert the tenons to complete the joinery. To learn more about floating tenons see the Joinery page.

7 APRIL 2015 Tuesday
Back to the problem at hand: For the sake of argument, lets say that you clamp both outer stiles together and carefully mark where you want your 3-inch (in this case) tenons to go. Fine, we now know where to rout our mortises. But - and this is a huge but - you must take into account where - within the thickness of each board - you will rout your mortises. IOW's, it is very difficult to rout your mortises precisely in the center of each board. So what happens is that the mortise will nearly always be closer to one side of the board than to the other, perhaps not much, but enough to make a difference when the joint is complete. To overcome this I mark one side of the project stock with tape. This taped side always faces me when I rout the mortises of each member piece on my mortise rig. If I routed each mortise from different sides at each joint, then the boards would be offset on one side or the other. This is the result of the mortise not being centered in the board. Routing the mortises from the same side eliminates this problem, if you are aware of it in the first place, that is.

Varigated poplar boards
Door stile on mortise rig. Note the two short strips of tape on the board.

21 APRIL 2015 Tuesday
Catching up again. Made another trip to El Paso this morning to get some more poplar for the book-matched panels. I made two great panels but ruined one when removing the glue. Had some tear out that was too visible on the face of one panel. But - I did not have more stock to match these two panels, so this may have been a blessing in disguise. I'm much too picky to have the doors with non-matching panels. These panels may be usable in the cabinet I am building. Not certain of the dimensions yet, but they may work just fine at least I hope they will.

Also today, I mixed up some of Charles Neil's pre-stain wood prep and coated a thin piece of waste poplar. I coated a 6-inch section with the Antique Cherry without his prep coating yesterday. Today I coated another 6-inch section with one coat and another 6-inch section with two coats of his prep. It will dry overnight per his directions and will coat both with the Antique Cherry tomorrow morning. You know, I have never really cared for staining wood because of the smell - stink really- but this General water-based stain has no odor that I could detect. Anxious to see how it looks tomorrow. Am hoping that the AC will match the kitchen cabinets and will not have to mix the Lt. Brown and Cinammon stains per Charles's research based on the cabinet photos I sent him. We'll know more tomorrow.

The circular door pull I thought could be installed by making its opening with a 2-1/8 inch Forstner bit but I was wrong: The pull fit too loosely. I had to use my trammel rig and the Bosch to make the correct size hole. The correct opening is slightly less than 2-1/8 inch, but we're good to go now. Hope we can use the Forstner's on something else later on.

Now for the REALLY BIG NEWS: I ordered the Festool TS 75! This all began because my Bosch was hanging up on plunge so I begain looking at the Festool 2200 router. I really like it and may still order it. But while looking and learning about the Festool gear I realized that I could really put the TS to work now, so I ordered it instead. Now I have to build a bench to connect the tracks and all of the other accessories that it comes with. Bought it from Hartevilltools and they shipped it out this morning. Should be here next week some time. This will be great for truing the doors. I had no idea how I was going to do that. I could never do that on my table saw. Way too dangerous to do that. The idea is to take the tool to the board (or door) rather than taking the door to the tool. Very anxious to put this tool to work in the shop.

28 APRIL 2015 Tuesday
Catching up once again. The photo below tells you how far we have progressed to date. I just installed the panels this afternoon. Made one stupid mistake that I can fix when the door is glued up which will be tomorrow sometime. I have a difficult time putting mistakes behind me. I really hate making dumb mistakes and whether they are part of woodworking or not, I just abhor making them.

pantry door with book-matched banels
Photo ?. Pantry door with book-matched panels installed.

The photo above does not tell the whole story because I have also dadoed the opening on the backside of the door where the salt cedar will rest. That was pretty iffy going because this process made it very, very easy to make a serious mistake and ruin a door menber or the whole door. As I mentioned above, I did make a dumb mistake and this is where I made it. Luckily for me it was not serious and can be fixed and hidden from view.

Tomorrow I have several things to do on this door before I glue it up. The first item on the list is to stain the panel edges in case they shift after glue and final staining. It would be a mistake not to do this and then have the panel shift exposing bare un-stained wood. This will not take long and is great insurance. The second item on the list is to glue the door up. This must be done in sections, the entire center section will be glued up first. Then the stiles will be glued and I'll be done. I am going to give the door the entire night to dry. The rest of the afternoon will be dedicated to starting the next door.

On Thrusday, when the door is dry, I will true the ends with the track saw and take it into the house for a fit test. This will tell me whether the door will fit as it is or whether I need to trim it in some way. When the fitting is done, I will add the hardware and hang it on its track. The door without the panels weighed 59 pounds, so it's probably around 65 pounds now the the panels added. The salt cedar will add still more weight. Anyway, after the door is fitted and hung, then back to the shop it goes for final sanding. I have never liked sanding, but because of the staining that is to follow, the door must have all of its ridges - from the figure of the wood - leveled as best as is possible. This is not a difficult process, but I still do not enjoy it. When the sanding is finished, the door must be blown clean of all the embedded sanding swarf. I'll do this with my air compressor. Once this is done then I will apply Charles's blotch control stuff and let it dry. This takes two coats so this will probably take up another day just to be certain that it is dry. Then I will apply the gel stain which should be a real joy to do. I will also have to apply two coats of the stain. When this is dry, then I can get to work on the salt cedar.

29 APRIL 2015 Wednesday
Another long, sanding day. There is something to be said about not writing too much on your boards - because all of that pencil lead has to be removed later on. Fact is, we have to make marks on our wood for all sorts or reasons. That said, I think it best to use a soft carpenter's pencil whenever it is prudent to do so. I used to use an eraser until I realized that some erasers just embed themselves in the grain and that is not any help at all. Anyway, all the marks are now gone.

Hollowing Out The Joints Before Gluing
I found this to be very useful for dovetails and have begun doing this on my larger joints as well. The point here is that I think it is very poor practice to have bonded joints with an unsightly gap in them. Sometimes we clamp as best we can and still end up with these ugly gaps. To prevent that from happening I gouge out the surfaces to be joined just slightly to remove any high spots on the mating surfaces. Do not, whatever you do, touch the outer edges of either board because if you do so you have just made the matter worse. Leave the outer edges as they are. Just slightly hollow out all the surface between these edges. In my experience, if you dry fit your project two or three times checking and double-checking all the details, after the glue has dried you should have nice tight joints.

The door is now ready to be glued up. I will do that first thing tomorrow morning.

4 MAY 2015 Monday
Catching up. And not a good day at all

The door has been glued up, fitted to its opening and stained. Sort of.

Pantry Door Glue Up
I will describe this later.

Pantry Door Fitting To Opening
I will describe this later.

Pantry Door Staining
This did not go very well at all. Let me explain.

I thought it best, since this is a large object, to just stain one stile or rail board, wipe off the excess and move on to the next board. The problem was the stain overlapped edges. The whole door side could have been soaked then the excess wiped up. I think. The problems with this concept is (1) Could I wipe off the excess before it began drying? and (2) I was concerned about run off onto the other side of the door which I had no way of seeing and (3) This seemed like a very sloppy way to stain the door. In hindsight, I now think that I may have been able to cover the door completely very quickly with a dripping wet rag and then wipe off the excess. But the run off would still be a problem. Slapping the stain on like this would really make a mess, which I think I could have prepared for, but all this chat is just 'next time' posturing.

I began staining the door from the bottom up with the door laying horizontally on the bench. As soon as I realized the overlapping problem I moved quickly, stained the upper half of the door and wiped off the excess. That went well but the lower half of the door did not look good at all. I tried to 'blend in' the overlapped edges and what it all came down to was that I was piling wet stain on top of wet stain, which did not help anything, but I did what I thought was prudent at the time.

I then took to sanding off some of the excess stain which may have helped but I will not know if this is the case or not until tommorrow. I was sucessful in removing some of the excess stain, but this did not help the doors appearance any. I then thought it wise to just let the door dry overnight and then reaccess the situation tomorrow. Some parts of the lower door half felt a bit 'tacky' which I hope is not the case tomorrow. We'll see how that turns out as well.

Now, for some reason, I am not too concerned about this because I think the door will be fine when all is said and done. I know that if push comes to shove, I can use steel wool to remove whatever stain needs to come off and begin the process again. I am also cognizant of the fact that the staining may also have a few more surprises in store for me. So be it.

I am also considering spraying the stain on the door. This could make it all super easy or super messy. If I stood the door upright then sprayed on the stain, gravity would help by allowing the excess stain to just run down. It could also make the upper half lighter than the lower half since the lower half would be getting many coats of stain with the upper half would only be getting one coat. This does not sound too wise to me. I would still have to wipe it down quickly and working alone that is a lot of surface to clean up before it dries. I will add that this would take care of the run off problem and would allow me to stain the door in one pass. However, I am not sure what will hold the door up while all of this is going on. The door would rest on two small sticks to keep the stain from being absorbed by the door bottom. The door could not be held either because it would end up having fingerprints all along its edges. Nice! So how do I hold the door vertically in place? Securely.

Or is staining on a horizontal plane superior to the vertical method? I will have to sleep on that.

6 MAY 2015 Monday
Well, cuttin' to the chase - I ended up using my spray gun to lay on the third coat of dye stain. I laid the door on a 4' x 8' PW sheet covered with heavy plastic. The PW was placed on two small outdoor tables what were low to the ground making the spraying very comfortable. I did not fiddle with any of the spray gun settings. The gun was set last for spraying 2-lb shellac and I felt that this would work for the dye stain. Luckily, I was correct because I had no spraying issues at all. It was so easy to just soak the surface and the edges of the door. I should have done this from the beginning. This would have eliminated the edge streaks this door has. Anyway, I have learned another valuable lesson and that is a good thing.

Now for the details: The edges of the other side of the door were protected with blue masking tape. The door, as I mentioned above, was soaked with the dye stain and I used my already-used stain rag. The rag, I have found, is a very important part of all this. It soaks up most of the excess dye stain and lets you squeeze out the dye stain on other areas that are beginning to dry. So I just kept wiping with the grain while being very careful at stile-rail intersections to not leave dye streaks going cross grain. This is not too difficult to do. You really just have to move fast and keep looking for any mistakes you have overlooked. I did use paper towels to soak up the excess stain that had accumulated in the troughs around the panels. And again you have to go with the grain and avoid making or leaving any grain-stain smudges as I refer to them.

pantry door laying on spray bench
Photo ?. Pantry door laying on the low spray bench.

pantry door with dry third coat of stain
Photo ?. Pantry door with its third coat of dye stain.

Book-matched Raised Panels

18 APRIL 2015 Saturday
Making book-matched panels for doors is a great way to add that extra touch to your project. But, they can be a bit tricky if you are not careful. I say 'tricky' because you do not really know what figure you will find after to band-saw your board in half. A little experienc will go a long way to making some great looking book-matched door panels.

book-matching door panel
Photo ?. Book-matching one of the door panels. Note the figure in these boards. These will make great book-matched door panels.

Selecting Your Board For Book-Matching
This is really the key to making pleasing book-matched door panels. If your interior board figure is random and lacking any pattern whatsoever, then you have chosen the wrong board for book-matching. Looking carefully at the exterior of an 8/4 board you can usually tell what the interior will look like. If both wide exterior sides of the board display the same relative figure then the interior should reflect the same figure pattern.

Prepping The Board For Book-Matching
After you have selected your board for book-matching you have to get all sides true. I begin by truing a wide side on my jointer and then truing the two narrow edges on the jointer as well. Make certain that your jointer fence is true to your jointer table. Once this is done run the other wide side through your planer to true it as well. Now your board should be completely flat and all of its edges true to each surface. You want your board perfectly true for the following reasons: (1) You need one narrow edge to be exactly 90-degrees or perpendicular to its opposing wide sides because this will be the edge that will rest on your band-saw table when you band-saw it in half. If this surface is not exactly perpendicular to the band-saw blade you will waste a good board because your cut will not slice your board exactly down the middle. One side will end up being wider than the other and both will be oblique. Proper board prep and machine setup will prevent this waste. And (2) you want both wide sides to be flat and parallel to each other because these will be the surfaces that will be used to flatten the book-matched surfaces when you run them through your planer to true them.

Band-Sawing The Board
It is imperative that you use the sharpest band-saw blade you have for this next step. I always use a new never-used blade for this cut. A dull blade will never accurately follow your scribe mark which results in a wasted board. That said, we now must scribe the very center of the long edge of our board and it also helps the scribe the board ends as well. These latter scribe marks will tell you how good of a job you did after you have made your cut. If your cut followed the scribe marks you have done the best you can. I hold the board down firmly as I guide the board through the blade. I make this cut free hand and just follow my scribe mark as I run the board through the blade slowly.

book-matching door panel
Photo ?. This is an 8 1/16-inch tall board just sliced in half on the band saw.

Laying Out And Cutting Our Biscuits
First we have to bandsaw our stock to get our book-matched boards

book-matching door panel
Photo ?. Laying out the biscuits on the door panels. The poor figure in these boards is not suitable for a good book-matched panel.

Gluing Up Our Boards
First we have to bandsaw our stock to get our book-matched boards

Glue Removal
First we have to bandsaw our stock to get our book-matched boards

Dominoed Plywood Cabinet Door

Plywood is a great building product for woodworking projects. But, I hate seeing plywood edges in finished projects be they shelves, cabinets or whatever. That said, anyone who has ever tried to join plywood sections and hide the edges faces the same dilemma: How do you hide those ugly edges and not spend a month in the process?

Great question. I'm working on a Plan B which I am going to share with you. Whether it works or not we will both find out soon enough. So just what is my Plan B? Read on.

My Plan B is going to utilize the functionality of two Festools - the Domino and the Track Saw, to build a cabinet door for one of my shop wall cabinets. The 3/4" plywood door dimensions are as follows: 25" (width) by 38" (height) by 3-3/4" (depth).

The first step is to dimension each side member and the door face. The door face will be 25" by 38". All of our stock is cut to spec. Great.

Now Step 1 of the tricky process. (Once the door is done I may look back and think that the process was not as tricky as I am now thinking it is. We will know about this soon enough.) Step 1 is to 'build' the door by standing the sides vertically as they will go when assembled. (Marking each member at this time is a good idea so that you will know where each member goes later on.) Then we place the top over the sides and align carefully. (I put a heavy weight on the top to keep all the members in alignment.)

Okay, we have our door setup correctly and now we want to mark - across the edge of the top and the side members, where we want to plunge each domino around the edges of our door. I used five dominos on each side. This was just my choice and nothing more. Whether I could have used more or less dominos is something that we will know later on. Keep in mind that the more dominos you use the more difficult the glue-up is going to be. Five domino's per side means that when the top is glued on you will have to deal with twenty domino's at once.

Assumng that all of our domino markings are completed (and correct!), we now want to plunge each mark with the Domino. Plunging the domino into the sides of the plywood requires a very careful plunge. I think that I will need to plunge the sided to a depth of 5/8". This will leave 1/8". I am aware that this is very shallow, but the domino has to have some glue area and I think this will work just fine if I work carefully.