Keyed Mortise and Tenon

Learn everything you need to know to craft this traditional, knock-down joint.

editor's note


Knock-down furniture makes a lot of sense. For starters, if you i can break a project down, it's just naturally easier to move and store when it's not being used. Second, as the joints become loose over time, it's a simple matter to tighten them up. The problem is the knock-down furniture that most people are familiar with is the flimsy, particleboard stuff you find at discount stores.

Ln tiiis issue we have two completely different types of projects that use knock-down joinery. The Quilt Rack featured on page 16 takes a traditional approach — keyed through-tenons. With this type of joint, a tenon extends through a mating workpiece and is held in place with a wedge-shaped key. Tap the key in and the joint is drawn together. Tap the key out and you can take the joint apart. Time-tested joinery that's simple, practical, and elegant.

For the Loft Bed on page 22, we took a heavy-duty approach. Here we needed a knock-down joinery system that was rock-solid when assembled. The solution couldn't have been simpler — carriage bolts. Inexpensive, sturdy, and easy to install. Now, these are two very different approaches. But with either one, you end up with a well-built piece of knock-down furniture.


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Dressing Mirror page 34

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Woodsmith Com

Miter Saw Dust Hood

The amount of sawdust created by my miter saw lias always frustrated me. The saw's built-in vacuum attachment just doesn't do its job well enough. So I designed the dust hood you see here.

! started by making a semicircular case with a vacuum port in the

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bottom. Then, to provide more stability, I made the base large enough to attach the saw to it, as you can see in the drawing below.

The dimensions fit my miter saw station. The hood fits behind the miter saw and leaves ample room to swing side to side. It stands 18" high, with a radius of about 10" from the back of the saw. You may need to adapt them to fit your particular miter saw.

To catch the dust behind the saw, I wrapped a piece of V

acrylic around the plywood base and top, as shown in the drawing. To better secure the acrylic, I attached it to upright supports along the outside diameter of the hood. To make it flexible to attach to the frame, [ used a hand-held hair dryer to heat the acrylic.

Now, with the hood connected to my shop vacuum, there's very little sawdust to worn,' about from my miter saw.

Ken Kroger Folsom, California


If you have an original shop tip, we would like to hear from you and consider publishing your tip in one or more of our publications. Just write down your tip and mail it to: Woodsmith, Tips and Techniques, 2200 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50312. Please Include your name, address, and daytime phone number in case we have any questions. If you would ¡ike, FAX it to us at 515-282-6741 or send us an email message at: [email protected]. We will pay up to S200 if we publish your tip.

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PUBLISHER Donald B. Peschke

EDITOR Terry J. Strohman

SENIOR EDITORS Vincent Ancona, Bryan Nelson


ASSISTANT EDITORS Ron Johnson. Mitch Holmes, Randall A. Maxey, Dennis Perkins




End cap secured in

Pop rivets

Tubes hang

Electrical Double Switch Rough

PUBLISHER Donald B. Peschke

EDITOR Terry J. Strohman

SENIOR EDITORS Vincent Ancona, Bryan Nelson


ASSISTANT EDITORS Ron Johnson. Mitch Holmes, Randall A. Maxey, Dennis Perkins

EXECUTIVE ART DIRECTOR Todd Lambirlh SENIOR ILLUSTRATORS David Kreyltng, Dirk Ver Steeg, Harlan V. Clark ILLUSTRATORS David Kallemyn, Peter J. Larson


SENIOR PROJECT DESIGNERS Ken Munkel, Kent Welsh, Chris Fitch PROJECT DESIGNERS/BUILDERS Mike Donovan, John Doyle

SHOP CRAFTSMEN Steve Curtis, Steve Johnson SR. PHOTOGRAPHERS Crayola England. Dennis Kennedy ASSOCIATE STYLE DIRECTOR Rebecca Cunningham


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Aluminum strip C/m-x Vs"-T)

ing on what 1 need to store. Plus, you can make the tubes as long as you need to. All you have to do is glue the caps on the ends with PVC adhesive.

The hangers I made for the tubes are easy to make as well. I used '/W'-thick aluminum strips and bent them into a "U" shape. Then, I attached the hooks to the tubes with pop rivets (detail 'a' below), joseph Mraz

Length of San Diem, California tubes vary °

for more flexibility

Rack secured to shop wall for stability

End cap secured in

Corner Storage Rack

As with many small shops, space is at a premium. I'm always looking for better ways to organize the room 1 have. One solution J found was to install storage racks in the corners of my shop where I keep my drill press arid band saw (see photo).

As you can see in Lhe drawing below, I built the racks by screwing some V2" plywood rails to the sides that are made from "orie-by" stock. For better stability, I added a plywood base and a middle brace to the rack, then attached the finished project to my shop wall.

And to make the rack even more useful and organized, 1 made some storage "tubes" out of PVC pipe. They are perfect to store smaller workpieces and dowels, and some hardware.

These tubes just hang on the rails of the rack. By hanging them on the rack (rather than screwing them to the rack), I can move the tubes around easily, depend

Pop rivets

Tubes hang

Circular Saw Crosscut Jig

openings in the sides. Saw guides are attached to the top of the box at a right angle. They're spaced to match the width of youi saw shoe.

Just align the layout mark on your workpiece with the kerf in the box to guide your saw during the cut.

Doug Thalacker Racine, Wisconsin

It's tough to get consistently square crosscuts with a circular saw. So I made a simple jig that guides the saw accurately, cut after cut.

The jig is a wood box that fits around a specific size of "two-by" stock. The workpiece slips through

Saw guides screwed to cutoff box

Space guides to match width of saw's shoe

Cutoff box made from '//' plywood


Saw's shoe fits between guides

Kerf for aligning cut


Size of opening determined by width of stock to be cut

Clamping Jig

I've always had a difficult time trying to use ordinary bar or pipe clamps to glue up small panels. The size and weight of the damps makes them unwieldy. So instead, I came up with a gluing and clamping jig that can be used for small projects.

The jig uses pivoting arms to trap the workpieces. These arms will equalize pressure along the length of the edges being glued.

Clamping pressure is applied by using a couple of wedges and dowels, as in the photo below. By moving the dowels to different sets of holes, you can clamp up panels of differ washers, and lock nuts. The lock nuts are not tightened down all the way, so that the arms can pivot freely on the base.

A couple of V>'-dia. hardwood dowels and wedges complete the small panel clamping jig.

Paul Murphy Sydney, Nova Scotia ent widths. Wax paper will prevent the glue squeezeout from gluing the workpiece to the jig.

The jig base is just a piece of %" plywood with some holes drilled in it. 1 built my base 15" square. To make it, first drill holes in two opposite comers for the hardware that is used to attach the arms.

Then, drill a series of holes in an arc pattern around each pivot hole. These are for the removable dowels that are added later.

Next, the two pivoting arms can be added to the base. The arms are nothing more than a couple of V hardwood pieces.

They're attached to the base with carriage bolts,



Drill counterbores on bottom of base for carriage bolt heads

Hardwood wedge -,

Woodsmith more tips from our readers Circular Saw Crosscut Jig

#8x1 Vá" Fh woodscrew

V2"x Va" rabbet

WetJdry sandpaper

Handle is glued and screwed in centered -iVdado


All parts made from Va" plywood

12' x 12" marble tile provides flat surface for mounting sandpaper

Soften corners

Quick Tipe


I like to line small drawers with flocking material for the added protection it provides. But it didn't matter if T sprinkled it or blew it into the drawers — I always created a big mess. Then I discovered a better way to apply the flocking, and it works great.

I spread a thin layer of glue on the drawers where I want the Hocking to go. Then, I place die drawer into a zipper-seal plastic storage bag and fill it with flocking.

Next, just shake the bag until the flocking has covered the glue area. Once that's done, take the drawer out and brush the unused flocking material back into the bag.

Brian Justice Delaware, Ohio


Instead of keeping boxes and boxes of all the great woodworking plans your magazine provides, I've stored all the articles I want to keep on a searchable database on my computer.

I just scan in each article and organize them on the computer. When I have enough of one category, I bum them onto a computer disk and label it by that category.

That makes it easier to find that special project 1 saw a few years ago that I'm now ready to build.

Jen Millard Montrose, Minnesota

The Winner!

Congratulations to Ken Kroger of Folsom, California. His miter saw dust hood was selected as the winner of the Porter-Cable router. His design gives him the powerful dust collection he needs and wants when he uses his miter saw station.

To find out how you could win a Porter-Cable variable speed router, check out the information on the left.



Sandpaper Sharpening Organizer

I like to use sandpaper to sharpen my chisels and hand plane blades because it hones those tools to a fine edge.

To provide the best results, the sandpaper needs to rest on a solid, flat surface. So, I decided to attach sheets of various grits of sandpaper to 12"-square marble tiles with spray adhesive.

I even took one tile and glued a piece of leather to it to use for stropping the edges of my tools after honing them.

While these tiles are flat and, best of all, inexpensive, such large tiles presented another problem. I needed a way to store and organize the tiles. I wanted a way to keep them all together in one place without them getting damaged. To accomplish this, 1 made the organizer you see here.

The drawing below shows how 1 built the organizer. The dadoes in the sides are oversize, so the tiles slide in and out without binding. A plywood handle in the middle dado serves as a way to carry the organizer and also keeps it square,

Riley Mnxey Radnor, Ohio

Win This

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