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Ayers/Johanek Publication Design


COPY EDITOR Nancy Wallace Humes



CONTRIBUTING EDITORS B. William Blgelow Ernie Conovcr Mike Dunbar Nick Ensler Franklin H. Gottshall W. Cunis Johnson Simon Watts






33 E. Minor St.. Emmaus. PA 18098 (215) 967-5171 ADVERTISING SALES REPRESENTATIVE Renée James


James G. Elliott Company 714 W Olympic Blvd.. Suite 1120 Los Angeles. CA 90015 (213)746-8800





AMERICAN WOODWORKER (ISSN 8750-9318) is published sit limes a year in January. March. May. July. September and November by Rodale Press Inc., 33 E. Minor St.. Emmaus. PA 18098. (2IS) 967-5171. e 1989 bv Rodale Press. Inc Rüben Rodale. Chairman of the Board; Marshall Ackerman. Vice Chairman; Robert Teufel. President; Paul Wessel. Chief Financial Officer. SUBSCRIPTION RATES: U.S. one-year $27. two-year $54, Single-copy $4,50. Canada one-year $35. two-year $70 (Canadian funds;. Foreign, one year $35. two-year $70 (U.S. funds). U.S newsstand distribution bv Eastern News Distributors. Inc.. 1130 Cleveland Kd.. Sanduskv. OH 44870. SECOND-CLASS POSTAGE: paid at Emmaus. PA and additional mailing offices POSTMASTER: Send address changes lo AMERICAN WOODWORKER. 33 E. Minor St. Emmaus. PA 18098 CONTRIBUTOR GUIDELINES: available upon request. We will treat unsolicited material with care, but cannot assume responsibility for loss or damage. Send a stamped, self-addressed envelope for return of material.

Model 50-179


Plus the motor/blower generates an air flow four times more powerful than industrial vacuums. And the 35-gallon fire resistant drum can handle all the dust most any tool can dish out.

Now you can make a clean sweep with this compact, portable Dust Collector from Delta. Call toll-free for the name of your nearest Delta dealer. Delta International Machinery Corp., 800/438-2486.

Building On Tradition

A Pontair Company

kThanks to Delta, you won't.

Because here's a Dust Collector that comes with power, versatility and, of course, Delta quality. Everything but a big price tag.

It features a two-stage industrial design that separates heavy grit from dust. That way, the blower only has to handle the fine dust. So your Dust Collector will work better and last longer.

Model 50-179

Tho* joinii uxrf made using the new Incxa TempJatM with Incra Jig on the router table

Mitch Mandel Jim Owens Judi Davenport David Sloan Pat Corpora Karen Grossman Fred Matlack Bob Ayers Dave Sellers Nancy Homes Sharon George Suzanne Burke Michelle Peischl Angelo Caggiano Ardyth Cope Sally Ullman Fiona Wilson Carol Herring Susan Sroerker John iohanek ; Missing from photo: Judy Peek, Renée James, JoyceAnn DunKle, Jacqueline Neumeier

Now Available

For a free brochure and your nearest dealer, write to: Taylor Design Group. Inc. PO. Box 810262 Oallas. TX 75381 INCHA kmpures *itn rcww Krctoo* tn sett vwnttr from INCRA JIG


Tho* joinii uxrf made using the new Incxa TempJatM with Incra Jig on the router table

The intricate and beautiful pints sho-wn here are just a small sampling of the (lawless work that you can now readily accompksh wth the unprecedented performance and accuracy that this remarkable new tool puts in your shop No other dovetail |ig. regardfess of cost can even come close to maiching INCRA JIG'S precision and versatility,

But the INCRA Universal Precision Positioning Jig is much more tnan just a dovetail and finger jomt jig It operates in EXACT 1/32" steps as a precision fence or stop block on your router table, drill press, table saw. band saw. radial arm saw. and more. Over-all error is under 1/500". and you can instantly return to any former position with a repeatability error that is immeasurable



Set of 17 templates plus fi*-Sized plans for making all of these lOints plus hundreds of unique and beautiful variations. Just set INCRA JIG to the color-coded reference marks, and then rely on the precise of INCRA JlG's sawtooth positioning racks to lock each cut exactly into place for a perlectiy fitting joint.

Handbook has 100 illustrated pages with detailed instructions and tips on getting the most out of your INCRA JIG includes expanded sections on makjng sliding, half-blind, and THROUGH dovetails with ANY combination of p-n and tail spacing, using ANY dovetail bit ever manufactured Features a special section on mataig INCRA \ '


I have a suggestion for Joel Lipsey as a result of his question about filling nail holes (Q&A, July/August, 1989 AlV). I have had excellent results with mixing glazing compound, plaster, and the stain used on the wood.

Start with glazing compound about the size of a golf ball, and add a little plaster and stain. Then work it in your hands. Add more plaster and stain until you achieve the desired shade. If you get the mixture too dark just add more glazing compound. I like to punch holes in a piece of scrap and fill the holes to make sure I have an exact match. However, if you have a large enough hole to fill, it will take more than one application due to shrinkage.

William Blades Laurel, DE


I read Curtis Johnson's article on Woodworking Glues (September/ October. 1989>HV) with great interest since glue is one of my favorite subjects. The article itself was one of the best I've seen, and the sidebar on "Glue Joint Mechanics" was easily the best short explanation of how glue works that I've ever seen. There was, I thought, only one weakness in the article. Since it concerned my specialty, hide glue, I thought I'd make some comments.

It doesn't matter how hot you heat hide glue. The old shops couldn't really control the temperature that closely in the double-boiler type glue pots. Higher temperatures will only cause the glue to deteriorate (cook like meat) faster. But it takes many days of cooking to destroy it. I often heat it up to just under boiling when I need more working time, such as when I'm hammer veneering.

I don't agree that hide glue is "unsuitable for complicated glue ups." More difficult, perhaps, but not unsuitable. Can you imagine anything more complicated, for instance, than an 18th-century Hepplewhite sideboard or a 1900 rolltop desk? Both were glued with hide glue.

Room temperature can make a bit of difference in how the glue works, but it's not necessary to maintain a temperature of 70°. Warm the wood, instead, by placing it near a heater or using an electric hair dryer.

Liquid hide glue is hide glue with enough gel depressant and preservative added so that it stays liquid at room temperature and lasts about a year before deteriorating. In spite of manufacturer's claims, I've found it softens on hot, humid days so that the joints can actually be pulled apart. Also, many museums use liquid hide glue expressly because it is weak, allowing joints to break down before the wood splits.

I agree with you, though, that hot hide glue is "impractical for the average woodworker." Other glues are just so much easier to use. But hide glue has the one great advantage of reversibility, a quality that I am convinced is the reason that so much of the old furniture survives.

Bob flexner Norman. OK


I wish to compliment you on the handling of the "Elephant Puzzle" correction. It was prompt (just prior to my cut ting some high-grade cherry), to the point, and the legs-up, dead elephant photo was great humor. I hope other readers spotted this subtle comedy.

I'm a long-time woodworker but a new subscriber, so I am elated to realize I'm dealing with people who can properly handle man's greatest shortfall—announcing and correcting a mistake.

Jerry Jewell Onsted, MI


I found Raymond Levy's article "Wooden Mechanisms," in the September/October, 1989 issue of AW to be one of the most interesting that I have read in recent years. Perhaps, because my father was a research physicist, and I grew up with various demonstrative models around the house.

Thanks to Mr. Levy for his efforts in making the recent issue an enjoyable one.

Lloyd d. ubf.r El Cajon. CA


To add my 2 cents to the "fine furniture vs. short projects" [debate]—I am more likely to undertake short projects and would like to see more, but I enjoy reading and learning from the descriptions and illustrations of fine furniture. May I suggest a six-issue scries of projects, beginning with a simple project requiring basic skills and adding one or two new skills in each succeeding project. The last project should be an interesting, but not overly complex, piece just short of fine furniture.

Carroll J. Brantley Stone Mountain. GA


I was going to cancel your magazine! In the past it had too many articles and projects for the beginner and hobbyist. I feel there are enough magazines that cater to this spoon-feeding approach to woodworking. I believe it is the responsibility of a "journal of the trade" to promote new ideas, as well as communicate events, and express and explain new ideas.

I consider your magazine informative with good potential. I liked your last issue (September/October. 1989 yttV) espcciallv the article on "A Woodworker's Tool Cabinet." Please continue feeding us higher-end woodworking. I know, when I was a beginner, it was the challenge and inspiration of the high-end articles and work that kept my interest in woodworking.

Steven L. Goedert Central Valley, CA


I loved your article on "Surfacing with a Scraper" (July/August, 1989 AW). I have a set of commercial scrapers, but the one I use most is a good-quality 1-in. putty knife.

Simply put the burr on the knife, and you can get right into those square corners with a scraper that even has a comfortable handle! It's super on panel doors and panel sides of antiques that have cross-grain sanding marks!

ED tlbke New Salem. ND

Setid your comments, compliments, complaints and corrections to: Editor, AMERICAN WOODWORKER, 33 E. Minor St., Emmaus, PA 18098.


Big Circle Cutters

Ql'tti planning to make some 6-in.

• dia. wheels for wooden toys on my 8-in. Delta drill press. The big circle cutters I'w seen call for a maximum spindle speed of around 250 RPM, but the slowest speed on my drill press is 620 RPM. What do you suggest?

David Ogden Visalia. CA

A The circle cutter you probably

• saw has a single, adjustable cutting bit that spins around the tool's axis. This type of cutter, called a "fly cutter," is inherently dangerous at high RPMs. The speed and unbalanced bit create an extreme tendency to chatter and throw the w workpiece out of position.

The only safe way to use a large fly cutter is to reduce the drill-press spindle speed—100 RPM or less is good. You can slow down your single-speed drill press by adding an auxiliary jack shaft with step pulleys. Always clamp the stock tightly to the drill-press table.

If you're making just a few wheels, cut them out with a scroll saw. Otherwise, I suggest investing in a 6-in. dia. Lenox Hole Saw (available from Service Sales Corp., 2 Hinckley Rd.. Hyannis. MA 02602) and a Quikijex Arbor (available from Parent Distributing Co., P.O. Box 5129, Essex Junction, VT 05453) to eject the cut-off hole centers.

Doug Kenney

Model maker South Dennis, MA

Mitered Joints in Plvwood

QI'm working on a project that in-

• \vl\vs assembling a !+-in, plywood carcase with mitered corners.

I 'm having trouble getting the corners perfectly aligned, and I need some tips on gluing and clamping miter joints.

david nimberger San Antonio, TX

A Either a lock-miter or splitied-

• miter joint is a natural for this application. If cut accurately, the corners will be in perfect alignment.

The lock miter is cut with a shaper or router using a special "lock-miter bit" (available from Cascade Tool Co., Box 3110, Bellingham, VVA 98227). Registration (alignment) is usually excellent.

I make the splined miter with a router and a s/i6-in. or '/4-in. wing slotting cutter, which comes in three parts —the shaft, cutter, and bear

Setup for routing a splined miter.

ing. Mount the bearing on the shaft aboxv the cutter. This way the bearing can ride against the stock.

After cutting your plywood to length and mitering the ends, clamp two pieces face to face as shown in the drawing. Run the router base over the face of one miter while grooving the face of the other. Flip the stock to make the other cut.

To assemble the joint, make a 1-in. wide plywood spline the same thickness as the slot and the length of the joint. The spline should be a snug fit.

Paul Levine Cabinetmaker Sherman, CT

Microwave Wood Drying

QI read an article recently about

• curing wxxhI with a microwaw oven. Do you haw any information on this process? Is it safe?

George L. Vaughn Jr Copcmish, MI

A Interest in using a microwave

• oven for drying wood has been growing recently. The only real advantage is speed —microwave drying is much faster than air drying, but it's probably not worth it to buy a microwave oven for drying wood.

My own experience is limited to drying green-turned bowls in a microwave oven. I've found that a thin bowl of '/a-in. thickness can be dried in about 25 minutes instead of a day to dry in the air. An inch-thick bowl can be done in about three hours as opposed to up to three months in air. Thin green wood is very pliable when emerging hot from the microwave oven and can be bent or shaped easily.

Not many guidelines have evolved yet for this new practice, so try it yourself to see what works for the wood species, shapes and sizes you're using. I would suggest the following tips:

• Use the defrost mode rather than full power.

• Take the wood out of the oven about every ten minutes before resuming microwave drying.

• Stick to objects with a maximum thickness of about an inch (though this can vary with species).

• Do a trial drying run with scrap before committing a valuable piece of wood to the oven.

• When running a trial, weigh the piece often to see how much water is lost, to get an idea of the drying rate and to tell when it's done.

Michael O'Donnell

Woodturner and Author Caithness, Scotland

Got a woodworking question for the experts? Sefid it to Q&A, AMERICAN WOODWORKER. 33 E. Minor St., Emmaus, PA 18098.


Bearing rides on wrtical mitered edge.




Setup for routing a splined miter.

Bearing rides on wrtical mitered edge.

Wood Worker

Rip along ' center Him.

Jointer Stand

To keep the jointer shavings off the floor, we built an enclosed plywood stand for our 4-in. Delta jointer. The shavings fall into the stand, and at the end of the day, we open the door and vacuum them out.

The top of the stand is made of two layers of V»-in. plywood and the sides are 3/«-in. ply joined at the corners with 2 x 2s.

Alice & Robert Tupper Canton, S.D.

Gluing up can be a pleasant experience, or a nightmare. Clamp arrangement and planning ahead can mean the difference between success and failure.

I've developed a saw-horse type clamp rack that holds 3/4-in. pipe clamps upright and at equal spacing during glue ups.

To make the tops of the racks, I edge-glue two 5-ft. lengths of 2x6, then drill equally spaced, 1-in. dia. holes down the center. Then I rip the piece down the middle.

Lee Maughak Panaca, nv

Hot Glue for ^ Clamping Blocks

Whenever I need a temporary clamping block, such as in the assembly of picture frames, I attach the blocks with hot-melt glue. It works fast, attaches securely, and the blocks are easy to pare off with a sharp chisel.

Lee Maughan Hot Klu« clamping Panaca. nv blocks in placo. . .

Tacky ^o^y Cure for ^^ Edge-Glue Alignment

When edge-gluing boards, it's hard to keep the boards from shifting out of alignment when you put on the clamps. Dowels and biscuits solve the problem, but why go to all that trouble when an edge joint's plenty strong without them.

Instead of messing about with dowels or biscuits, I drive a couple of 3/4-in. brass nails into one edge and nip off the head with a wire cutter. The '/< in. or so that protrudes from the surface sticks into the mating board and the boards don't shift.

Lazlo Spectrum

Tucson, AZ

Know a better way of doing something? Designed a clever jig? Send your woodworking tips, along with a sketch or a snapshot to: Tech Tips, AMERICAN WOODWORKER. 33 E Minor St., Emmaus, PA 18098. We'll pay you S25 if\\\> publish your tip.



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