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Jim Morgans Wood Profits

Wood Profits by Jim Morgan

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This accessory baseplate for Porter-Cable routers collects the dust made by almost every kind of router operation (see Sources, at left). Once attached to your router, it's virtually a built-in system. You can use an edge guide with it, also. Too bad this superb accessory doesn't fit on other manufacturer's routers!

A built-in dust collection system for mortising and grooving is mighty convenient.You'll find this feature on DeWalt, Festo and Black & Decker plunge routers. DeWalt also makes an edge guide with a dust-collection port.

Inexpensive ($10 to $15) dust-collection accessories sold by many plunge router manufacturers are not quite as effective at capturing dust.Also, their molded plastic edges may obscure your view of the bit.

This nozzle attachment, from Leigh, is perfectly suited for use on a dovetail jig, but only somewhat effective for edge work. It fits most routers (see Sources, at left). For maximum efficiency, you can position the nozzle very close to the bit. Unfortunately, you can't use this attachment and an edge guide at the same time because the attachment fits into one of the edge-guide holes.

Sources

Black & Decker

(800) 544-6986. www.blackanddecker.com Plunge router, #RP400; $99.

DeWalt

(800) 433-9258, www.dewalt.com Plunge router, #DW621; $210 Universal edge guide, #DW6913; $40.

Festo

(888) 463-3786, www.toolguide.net Plunge router, #OF 1000 E-plus; $330.

Leigh Industries

(800) 663-8932, www.leighjigs.com Router vacuum attachment, #RVA I; $39.

Porter-Cable

(800) 32l-9443.www.porter-cable.com

Dust collector for Porter-Cable 5-3/4-in. sub base,

Question & Answer

Sawdust in the Garden?

Q. I spend as much time tending plants in the garden as making sawdust in my shop. Are there any problems with using die sawdust and chips in my dust-collector bag as mulch in the garden?

James Lindquist

To see a selection of project ideas and tips on how to construct different shapes using these joinery bits, visit our Web site and look at our 14-page instruction booklet for this product.

1 -800-871 -8158 or [email protected]

Shop online: www.leevalley.com

fXeeUdley & ueRftas®

Lee Valley Tools Ltd., 12 East River St., Ogdensburg, N.Y. 13669

A. Go for it! A one- to 2-in.-thick layer of shavings and sawdust is excellent mulch. It holds moisture well, keeps down the soil temperature and prevents weeds from sprouting. Cedar, walnut and treated lumber, however, contain chemicals that plants don't like, so avoid putting their chips or sawdust on the garden.

Contrary to popular belief, sawdust mulch will not leach nitrogen from the soil (and turn your plants a sickly yellow) as long as the mulch is left alone on the surface of your garden. It's true that the microbes feasting on your shop waste will seek an additional source of nitrogen to flourish, but they won't rob much nitrogen from the soil below if the mulch above is a separate layer. However, if you mix your sawdust with compost or dirt, or turn over last year's layer of mulch into the dirt around your plants, add some high nitrogen (21-0-0) fertilizer to prevent nitrogen leaching.

Bird s-Mouth Router Bits

Bird's-mouth 6 or 12 Bird's-mouth 16 Bird's-mouth 8

Bird s-Mouth Router Bits

Bird's-mouth 6 or 12 Bird's-mouth 16 Bird's-mouth 8

Historically used in the construction of masts and booms for wooden boats, the bird's-mouth joint is straightforward to make, stronger than a traditional miter and, with nesting joints, is easier to glue up without shifting.

These cutters simplify making multi-sided items such as chest lids, bird-houses/feeders, wooden water troughs, planters, pails, tapered legs and decorative columns, all of which can be left multi-faceted or planed/sanded round. Available in '/>" shank only. $26.00 each

Shipping and N.Y. sales lax exlra.

14 American Woodworker FEBRUARY2002

Question & Answer

Knocking Apart Loose Joints

Q. I tried reversing a clamp to pull out the rungs of an old chair that needed regluing, but I couldn't get all of the rungs out. What do I do?

Al Klemperer

A. Spreader clamps can be helpful, but the most effective weapon for disassembly is a heavy, hard mallet or a deadblow hammer (about $25 at hardware stores). Sharp blows are faster and more effective at separating loose joints than gradual tugs with a clamp. It's the sudden impact that counts.

The secret to success is to cushion the blow. Lay the joint on a sturdy worktable covered with a soft blanket. (A quilted moving blanket or old wool blanket are ideal, although a few layers of corrugated cardboard work okay, too.) Hold onto the part you want to remove, then strike as near the joint as possible. You can strike pretty hard because you're hitting straight down. Unless a nail is holding the joint together, a few blows should do the trick.

Thanks to veteran furniture restorer Bob Flexnerfor help with this answer.

14 American Woodworker FEBRUARY2002

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sander paper SEE ERFORMA

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Router Speed Limits

Q. I love my new variable-speed router but I haven't a clue about selecting the right speed for the job. Any tips?

Bill Martínez

A. Four factors determine how fast your router should go:

■ The rate at which you move the router or the workpiece.

For safety's sake, bit diameter is the most small-diameter bit, but your feed rate is usually quite slow. Slowing the important. Large-diameter bits must be slowed router often makes a mortise with smoother walls, down because their tips turn dangerously fast at Experiment on scrap wood to find the best speed for a particular oper-a router's normal speed. Select your router's ation. If the bit is burning the wood or leaving a poor finish, it's turning speed using the chart at right. The chart shows too fast. If the bit is chattering and leaving scallop marks, it's going too the maximum speed for your router, but to get the slow. With a little trial and error you'll find an ideal speed that leaves a best results, the right speed could be much slower. perfectly smooth finish.

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Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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