THERE'S NO SINGLE SURFACE in my shop that's the ideal height for every job. With my adjustable-height sawhorses, I can quickly set up an outfeed table, drawing table, or assembly table at different heights as the need arises.
My sawhorses are the folding, gal-vanized-metal kind, but any type will do. Cut 2x4's to fit on the sawhorse's top surfaces. Make a 3/4" wide x 3/4" deep groove down the center of each 2x4. Fine-tune the groove's width so that a 3/4" thick piece of plywood will fit snugly. Then, screw the 2x4s to the sawhorses. Cut 3/4" plywood inserts to raise or lower the tabletop to whatever height you need. —Craig Kortz
My task: 28 kitchen drawers of different sizes, all with hand-cut dovetails. The thought of laying these out was overwhelming, so I designed a jig to simplify the process. To make the jig, carefully lay out and cut a piece of 1/4" hardboard as if it were the pin board for the tallest drawer. Glue and nail the hardboard to a 3/4" plywood backer. Fasten a stop on each side.
Place an actual pin board into the jig with the outside face against the backer board and one side against either stop. Clamp the whole thing into a vise and use a chisel to mark the end grain, defining the pins. Scribe a depth line, and use a square to mark saw lines and cut the dovetails as usual. Since my drawer heights and my dovetail spacing were in 1/2" increments, the jig worked for all the drawers.
I'VE HAD TROUBLE making square and smooth edges on face frame parts, but this planer jig solved all my problems. It produces accurate and consistent results. For the jig's base, cut T-slots in a 3/4" x 11" board that's a little bit longer than the planer's bed and extension tables. Use T-bolts and wing nuts to fasten two 1-1/2" x 1-1/2" aluminum angles to the jig. Adjust the angles to fit tight around your board. Clamp the jig to the planer's bed, then feed your stock between the angles. Use smaller or larger angles for different widths of stock, being careful to ensure your planer knives come nowhere near the angles' top edges. —Douglas MacKay
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