Ten years ago, our family moved from the Minnesota to central Ohio. We had young kids, I was transitioning from a 9 to 5 publishing job to full-time freelancing and let’s just say, the budget was really strapped. I needed a workbench for cheap. I also didn’t have a lot of time to build it. So, I tabled those dreams of a fancy bench and drove to Lowe’s to buy my bench supplies. That amounted to a pile of 2x4s, two sheets of 3/4-in. MDF and a piece of subflooring. Oh, and some casters. I didn’t even have a clear plan for what the final bench would be, just a bigtime need.
Chris Marshall shows us around his Ultimate Miter Saw Station, featured in the June 2010 issue of Woodworker’s Journal magazine.
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EDITOR’S NOTE: Due to the enormous amount of interest in this project, we have made the Ultimate Miter Saw Stand (including the plans for the entire project and the optional Scrap Bins, as well as the Cutting List) available as a Downloadable Plan in our online store. Click here to purchase and receive the plan immediately!
For the June print issue, I’m building a big plywood shop project. Several pieces in the project include some rather thick edging strips, which can be difficult to clamp tightly in place. Especially when they’re on the ends of an 8-ft. sheet of plywood.
I’ve used thicker edging before in a few projects, and each time I’ve wondered about those funky C-clamps made for jobs like these. They’ve got three screw jaws instead of just one—the most helpful being the third that runs through the spine of the clamp, perpendicular to the other two.
Well, last week I took the plunge and bought a half dozen to give them a try.
With the exception of Baltic birch and its various likenesses, where the plys are generally uniform and pretty enough to show off, we don’t want to see those “bad” plys on most projects. Particleboard edges are just as much a faux pas to leave bare. You can get away with it on a shop project, but not on a finished cabinet. At least MDF edges, which are generally left au naturel, kind of blend into their surroundings unnoticed.
Depending on how you look at them, they could be the best or worst part of flipping the calendar to January.
Here are my plans for 2010: instead of vowing to drop 20 pounds or remodel my basement—both of which are equally unlikely—I’ve made a couple of woodworking-related resolutions this year. The first one should be easy to pull off:
1. I’m gonna tame my tangled mess of air compressor hose.
Sounds ridiculously easy, doesn’t it? Right now, it lays on the floor in a pile where it gets in my way, because the hose has a memory to it and doesn’t coil up easily. I kick it around and shove it here and there, but I need a better solution. Retractable? Maybe hung from the ceiling? This year I’m going to figure something out. (Advice anyone?)
Regardless of the situation, when the going gets tough there is nothing like a tried-and-true friend to get you where you want to go. Recently, I was building a pretty basic piece of woodworking for the print magazine. Building a project for a magazine is a little different than building for yourself in a couple of ways. First, rather than simply coming up with the simplest and fastest way to get the job done, I try to include techniques and tools that our readers will find interesting and useful. Secondly, when you are done with the project, about a quarter million people will have a chance to check out your work (and often share their opinion of said work). So, when it came to deciding just how to plow the dadoes for the Modular Bookcases in the December 2009 issue, I went back to basics and built a copy of a jig that hung on the wall of my dad’s cabinet shop “back in the day.”
Earlier this spring we received some good feedback about the “Fold-down Outfeed Table” project that ran in the February 2009 issue (p. 50). Glad you folks like it! But, if you’re planning to build one for your table saw (or if you’ve already completed it), be sure to add a simple modification sent in by fellow reader Doug Green from Wellington, Colorado. Doug installed a couple of screw eyes and a wire cable between the bottom of the table and the leg to keep the leg from swinging free when setting the table up. In case you missed it, he sent in a few photos of his version of the project, and they appear on p. 12 of the June 2009 print issue in “Letters.”