Hardwood Hardwood MDF
1/2' x 4" x 8" 3/4" x 4" x 14" 3/4" x 1" x 14" 1/2" x 2-1/4" x 6"* 1/2" x 1-1/4" x 6"
6 Glue the long rails to the assembled end frames. Keep the dovetail groove opening faceup (that is, down on the bench) on the long rails.The grooves on the lower rails face the opposite direction to hide the dovetail joint.
Miller Dowel Joinery System
The Miller Dowel system combines the strength of wood joinery with the ease of a screw. Drill the hole, add the \
glue, tap the peg and you're i|ji ribs finished. The secret to the dowel's success lies in its stepped design. The shoulder y®
on the head of the dowel seats before the other shoulders do, driving the parts together much like a nail does. Horizontal ribs on the dowel absorb moisture from the glue, causing the dowel to swell in the hole and lock in place. The head of the dowel serves as a plug in the hole, but unlike traditional plugs, the Miller Dowel leaves dark-looking end grain exposed for a decorative look after the plug is sanded and finished.
Miller Dowels are available in three sizes and a wide variety of species. A companion stepped drill bit is specifically designed for each size of dowel, (see Sources, page 69).
'* 7 Rout the tails on the ends of the brace and the seat spread-» ers. Stabilize the stock using a push block with a slide attached. Fasten the slide so it runs along the top of the fence. Clamp the stock to the slide so it butts against the push block.
8 Glue the spreaders and the brace to the bench frame. Slide the dovetails together by hand as far as possible. Use a rubber mallet to tap the joint home. Alternate tapping each end to prevent binding.
9 Install the slats to the bench frame using Miller Dowels. When the first board has been doweled, use a 1/4-in. spacer to set the gap between the slats. Clamp the end of each slat as you drill and dowel, working your way across the bench.
18. Rout the curves in the spreaders, as done on the seat rails in Step 11. Make sure to use the centerline for reference. Unlike the rails, the spreaders will have short flats on each end of the curve (Fig. A, page 66).
19. Sand the seat spreaders and the brace.
20. Glue in the spreaders (Photo 8). Then, flip the bench and add the brace.
21. Shape the seat slats on the router table with a 1/4-in. round-over bit.
22. Lay out all dowel locations on the seat slats (Fig. A).
23. Attach the seat slats to the bench (Photo 9). First clamp an outside slat so it overhangs the leg by 1/8 in. Run the drill at the maximum rpm level with a slow feed rate to prevent tearout around the hole.
24. Use a framing square to keep the slats' ends aligned.
25. Trim the dowel heads with a flush-cut saw.
26. Sand the slats to 180 grit.
27. Finish the bench with an outdoor finish to preserve its color and appearance or skip the finish and let it age naturally to a silver-gray color.
Sources Steve Wall Lumber Co., (800) 633-4062, www.walllumber.com Select 4/4 mahogany, $4.30 a bd. ft. Select 8/4 mahogany, $4.60 a bd. ft. • Miller Dowel Co., (866) 966-3734, www.mlllerdowel.com 1X Miller TruFit drill bit, $18. 1X mahogany Miller dowels, 100-count bag, $35. • Rockier, (800) 279-4441, www.rockler.com 5/8-ln.-dia. x 14-degree dovetail bit, #91034, $13. • Woodworker's Supply, (800) 645-9292, www.woodworker.com 3/4-ln. double-flute straight bit, #04-140, $17. • Amana Tool, (800) 445-0077, www.amanatool.com 1/2-in.-dia. x1-in. flush-trim template bit with upper ball bearing, #45460, $23. 1/2-in-dla. x 1-1/2-in. flush-trim bit, #47124, $25.
Great Reas To Own a by Sclli Ki ller
Plunge routers go where no other router can he plunge router deserves a place in every shop. Routing chores, such as mortising, stopped dados and inlay pattern work, are safer and easier to perform using a plunge router. Its unique base allows the motor housing to ride up and down on a pair of posts fixed to the base. The plunge mechanism is spring-loaded so die motor housing always wants to spring up to the top of the posts. A lock/release lever allows free up-and-down movement of the router housing or locks it in place at a given depth. The depth of cut can be preset, allowing you to position the router over the work and plunge tire bit to an exact depth. The depth stop works much like the stop does on a drill press.
Plunge routers have been around for years. Some diehard users of fixed-base models may argue that a fixed-base router can do everything that a plunge router can do, but they don't realize what a great, unique tool the plunge router is. Here are eight things a plunge router can do with ease that present a challenge for a fixed-base model.
Great Template Routers
Template routing with guide bushings is trouble-free when you use a plunge router. Just set the router over the template, turn it on, plunge the bit to the preset depth and rout. The plastic bowtie inlay template, shown above, would probably have a few battle scars if a fixed base router had been used. You may get away with tipping it into the cut for a while, but sooner or later that template would be nicked.
A plunge router is a must when it comes to sophisticated jigs, such as the WoodRat (see Tool Talk, page 34) and the FMT by Leigh (see photo, above). These jigs cut mortises, tenons, dovetails and a whole lot more, but they simply can't perform all their operations without the use of a plunge router.
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