File guide

■ A cabinet scraper is sharpened by burnishing (bending over) the edge. But before it can be burnished, the edge must be filed flat and square to the face. It's difficult to do this without rounding over the corner.

To avoid this, I use a file guide made from two pieces of scrap, see Fig. 1.

The scrap pieces have matching grooves that hold the file. When the file is in place, there's a gap between the blocks for the scraper blade. By running the scraper between the blocks, the file will always cut a perfectly flat, square edge, see Fig. 2.

Fred Jones Rock Island, Illinois

stop collar tip depth stops for router

■ When routing a single dado, 1 sneak up on the final depth by lowering the bit between passes. But when routing a series of dadoes to the same depth, I do something a little different

Instead of changing the depth of cut and completing one dado and then moving on to the next dado, I make a shallow cut in each. Then I proceed to cut a slightly deeper cut in each. And then continue this process until they are all cut to final depth.

The easiest way to do this is to add a set of auxiliary base plates to the bottom of the router, see Fig. 2. Note: Two of the plates are Vfc" Masonite, the third is VW plastic laminate (Formica).

To start out, adjust the height of the bit to the finished depth of the dado, see Fig. 1. (Once the bit is set, leave it alone.) Then carpet tape the auxiliary plates to the base of the router, see Fig. 2.

Now remove one plate at a time to lower the bit, see Fig. 3. The final pass will be a Vl6"-deep skim cut that leaves a clean dado at the correct depth.

Da vid A. Cole Goodlettsville, Tennessee








Steel drill bit stop collars prevent a bit from going too deep. But they can mark or burn the surface of the workpiece. To prevent this, I place a nylon washer under the stop collar.

Nylon washers can be purchased in a variety of sizes. Or you can cut your own from a plastic coffee can lid. Note: When setting the stop, remember to include the thickness of the washer.

Dan Armstrong Martinez, Georgia cutting biscuit slots

■ On a recent project, I used biscuits to join shelves to the sides of a cabinet. Normally the short slots for the biscuits are cut with a plate joiner, see Fig. 1. Laying out and cutting the locations of the slots on the ends of a shelf is straightforward. But setting up a guide fence for the plate joiner to cut the slots on the inside face of the cabinet sides can require a lot of measuring.

So instead of using the plate joiner to cut short slots in the

■ Clamping across two edges that aren't parallel is just about impossible to do with ordinary clamps. 1 recently faced this challenge when attaching edging strips around a table top shaped like a boat, see Fig. 1.

To do this, first I clamped a sides, I used the table saw and cut a stopped dado for the biscuits, see Fig. 2.

To do this, first mark the location of the center of each shelf on the sides of the cabinet. Then cut a dado centered on the layout line to accept the biscuits, see Fig. 2. After the slots and dadoes are cut, the biscuits are glued in the shelf slots, then the biscuits are glued into the dadoes.

Dennis Amy Burlington, Ontario pipe clamp across both sides of the workpiece. Then I hooked bungee cords around the clamps and stretched them around to hold the edging strips in place.

Charlie Beach Marthxisville, Missouri

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