Completing the case

Storage & Lid

Tlie thing that makes the message center so useful is the storage areas inside the case. Three individual compartments contain a rack for file cards, a self-adhesive note dispenser, and a space to store pencils, pens, and other writing supplies.

Hie compartment for storing your writing supplies is already formed by the divider at one side of the case. So you can move on to building the card file rack next.

CARD Flli RACK. The card file rack sits in the center compartment and is easy to build. Just cut the front and back pieces to size and drill two holes in each of them (detail 'a' below). Then slip in the ]4" dowels that hold the file cards in place. Finally, glue the rack in position between the two case dividers.

The next thing you'll want to build is the dispenser that holds the self-adhesive notes. At first glance, this looks a little complicated. But it's really pretty easy.

HOTI DISPENSER. As you see in the drawing above, the note dispenser sits in the end compartment. It's made to hold and dispense a pad of self-adhesive notes. The note pad sits in a recessed area of the compartment and uses a spring-loaded platform to raise the notes so they can be easily accessed.



Magnet and washer are counterbored flush with face

Compression y spring o / X ® / / NOTE y y UFT PLATFORM


Vi"-dia. rare earth magnet

- tt4 x W woodscrew


"-Glue spring into hole with epoxy

Start by cutting three blocks from %" stock. These blocks form the tlrree walls inside the compartment at one side of the case. The walls create a small recess to hold the note pad and support the fixed and removable lids you'll build later.

Before gluing the walls in place, you'll need to drill a stopped hole in the middle of one of the blocks so you can screw a small steel washer in place. The washer provides a




NOTE: Card rack is glued in place

surface for the rare-earth magnet to hold the removable lid in place.

Next, cut the removable lid, platform, and fixed lid to size. These are made from i4"-thick stock.

These three pieces work together to help you dispense the notes from the pad. As you can see in detail 'a' above, the note pad sits on a platform with a compression spring pushing up from below. This keeps a note always in position to be used.

Two lids above hold the note pad in place as you pull the note from the pad. The fixed lid is glued in place. And the other lid is held in place by a magnet above and a steel washer below so it can be removed whenever you need to replace the pad. Bevels along the edges of the lids let the notes slide easily from the pad as the notes are dispensed.

Now you're done with the inside storage. You can next turn your attention to building a lid to enclose the storage compartments. It's made in three pieces — a front, top, and pencil tray I built the tray first.

MxWFh—-, brass woodscrew


lid front

" -— Layout a gentle— curve from center to sides

NOTE: Cut bevel on pencil tray after cutting ^ hinge mortises



#6x1"Fh 11% brass woodscrew n'/i letter trough back

20mm x 30mm brass hinges

Mortises cut to fit hinges




NOTE: Mortise half the thickness of hinge in pencil tray and lid

Center and glue parts in place -


PENCIL TRAY. The pencil tray is an important part of the lid. It covers part of the storage compartment and provides a surface for attaching the hinges for the lid. Page 31 shows you how I used my router and just a few simple steps to make the tray.

One tiring that will help you out when it comes to fitting the lid is to leave the back side of the pencil tray a bit wider. This way, you can dry fit the lid and the tray. Then you'll be able to trim away just the amount needed for the lid to fit perfectly.

After fitting the pencil tray, I used my router to cut two small mortises for each of the hinges. Finally, before completing the lid, I cut a bevel along the bottom front edge to soften the sharp corner as shown in detail 'd' above. This also provides more room to reach inside the case.

TOP AND fRONT. The rest of the lid is

you made the joints for V_

the storage case.

Just like the pencil tray, 1 initially left the bottom edge of the front piece a little bit wider. Here again, this lets you dry-fit the lid and then trim the front to the exact width to make sure the lid fits perfectly at the bottom before it's assembled.

With the lid front cut to final width, you can use your router to cut two small mortises on the back edge of the top. Then install the hinges and attach the lid.

To complete the lid, you'll need to add a lid lift on the front (detail 'c'). To make my lift, I used a small piece of leftover stock that I cut to the size you see in detail TV above.

UTTER TROUGH. The message center is almost complete. All that's left is to base at the back. Then you can glue the trough back to the spacer like you see in detail 'e' above.

Your desktop message center is now complete. Just stock it with a few pens and pencils, file cards, a pad of self-adhesive notes, and it's ready for you to use. &9

made by joining a top and a lid front with a tongue and dado joint like you see in the drawing and detail build the letter trough at the back.

Adding this final touch is simple. Start by gluing a simple spacer to the

You'll find everything you need to know to make this pencil tray in Shop Notebook on page 31.


End Table

Create the gracefully curved legs for this table using an easy, bent-lamination technique.

There are a couple of things about this table that catch your eye right away — the sweeping curve of the legs and the decorative, circular inlay in the round top. But if you take a closer look at these details, you'll discover that there's more here than meets the eye.

LAMINATED LEGS. For example, each of the legs looks like it's cut from a single piece of wood. But they're actually made up of thin layers, bent in a curve and glued together, The good news is, the laminating technique is pretty easy to master.

EPOXY INLAY. You might also assume that the decorative inlay is wood. In fact, it's colored epoxy. This creates a great effect without the hassle of fitting inlay pieces. It's just poured into a shallow, routed groove.

This project is a great opportunity to try both techniques. And the end result is an attractive table.

The key to bent-lamination is a solid bending form. The double layers of MDF on this form provide plenty of strength and lots of places to add clamps. The form also detaches from the base so it can be used with a miter gauge to trim the ends of the legs to their finished length at the table saw.

NOTE: Glue-up of curved legs shown on page 24

Final length mark

Cut leg template from va" hardboard

NOTE: Mark final size of leg on template

LEG TEMPLATE (1" squares)

Square off outer edge— of leg bottoms after cleanup

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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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