ROGOWSKI is a professionalfitrniture maker and teacher in Portland, OR.


I always do a dry run before glue-up, to make sure all my joints are accurate. Half-laps are simple to make, but they require a variety of clamps to glue up properly—bar clamps to pull the shoulders tight, and C-clamps to pull the cheeks tightly together. (Sec right photo, below.) I use the half-lap offcuts as clamping pads; since they're the same size as the joints themselves, they distribute the pressure evenly.

After the glue has dried, I remove the clamps and plane any proud surfaces flush with a smoothing plane. If you're careful, you can also do this leveling and smoothing work with a belt sander and clean up the scratches with a random-orbit sander.

The next step is to cut and rout the top rail's outside curvc. As with the inside curve, I cut away most of the waste on the bandsaw, then attach the template and rout the curve to its final form.

Any other edge work can be done now as well, such as rounding the edges or routing a decorative edge. I just bevel the edges V8 in. with a block plane or a spokeshave—a nice but restrained detail.

Before you install the mirror glass, you

Template routing the top rail.

With the hardboard template taped securely to the work, rout the inside curve using a flush-trim bit in the router table. You'll rout the outer curve later, after glue-up.

For beautiful back up your abrasives with simple shop-made blocks by William Tandy Young

Smarter sanding.

Custom-made sanding blocks are easy and inexpensive to make, and they'll reward you with faster, finer results.

I'm all for power sanding. Unfortunately, there are times when you'll have to sand something by hand. There's no denying that hand-sanding is tedious. But if it's done well, the control hand-sanding allows can make a dramatic difference in the appearance of your work, giving you results that you couldn't duplicate with any random-orbit sander.

My formula for effective hand-sanding is simple: Pick the right sandpaper for the job, and back it up with a good sanding block. I select my sandpaper by matching the sanding assignment to the right grit size and abrasive type. (See chart, page 6.V) To hold the paper as I work wirh it. I rclv on a wide sclcc-

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