For furniture making, the best, most stable stock has the annual growth rings intersecting each face at approximately the same angle, roughly 45º. Wood cut this way is referred to as quarter sawn. Milling quarter sawn lumber is a labour intensive process, which is why it costs more than plain-sawn lumber. The appearance of the grain will tend to be similar on all four sides. This makes quarter sawn lumber a great choice for table legs, rails and stiles of frame and panel doors, or for any part where two adjacent sides are visible.
Once the choice of species has been made, the hunt for the perfect boards begins. However, before heading off to the lumber dealer, it is best to do a little preparation. After years of board stalking, I've come up with a kit that I always take with me to the lumberyard. Now, returning to the lumberyard to pick up those 'one or two' extra boards, has become a thing of the past.
Like you, I too am benchless. I built the “Mozilla” Molson vice variant from last year’s issue (I forget which) and it comes in handy for a lot of operations. I clamp it down to a piece of plywood that I have covered with formica (actually, it’s two pieces that I have piano-hinged together for easier storage) laid across two sawhorses. As long as lateral thrust is not involved, this is a pretty stable way to work. I also have a Zyliss vise for working on smaller pieces. I’ve made do for nearly forty years with a radial arm saw and circular saw. I have only recently acquired a planer and router table (both on wheels) It makes the garage croweded because also sharing the space are two motorcycles and about 400 board feet of rough sawn Camphor. I currently attend classes in woodworking and this coming semester I’ll be enrolled in a class for handtools only (and sharpening).
To cut a 60 degree angle safely I built a jig. I simply nailed 1×4 boards together in a triangle shape. The back 1×4 rests flat on the miter saw fence. You can use the side that runs straight towards you as your new fence. Set the 2×2 board against the fence and slide it into place. Cut the angle at 30 degrees on your miter saw (it will actually cut it at 60 degrees because of your jig.
1: Table saw in place of a jointer. Any number of tips in previous issues address straightening edges of boards without a jointer. A jointer serves one purpose, but a tablesaw can serve many (just watch your local Craigslist for a decent one to come up.) The thickness planer is unavoidable, but until you can afford one, buy stock in the thickness you need.
First, build two boxes for each leg assembly. These are attached using wood glue and 2.5” pocket hole screws through the horizontal boards and into the vertical boards. You want your pocket holes facing the outside of the box on this part because we will cover them with another board on the next part. We used our K5 Kreg Jig for this part. We get asked ALL the time which Kreg Jig to start with. We always suggest the K5. We use it on almost every build. You can find it HERE on Amazon!
Ashworth College is unlike any other carpentry school online. Our Carpentry training focuses on the real-world tools, knowledge, and procedures used by construction professionals on residential and commercial building projects. Studying online in a way that fits your busy life, you’ll graduate with the carpentry skills employers demand, helping you focus on practical skills and turn your woodworking hobby into a true profession.
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We cut the decorative diagonal pieces to fit on this part. Mark each board with your pencil and cut them to fit exact. You can check out the video if you have questions about this part! We walk you through it. Cut the diagonal pieces to fit first, then mark and attach them to each other using wood glue and nails. Then, fit them in the box and attach them with wood glue and nails through the box and into each end of the X piece.
In the sixty years of woodworking I have found two tools of increasing necessity. One is a band saw. I can do most of my work with a band saw and hand plane. The second tool is a bow saw, or actually several bow saws. They will replace the band saw if required, though they are slow. One I made about twenty years ago has a one and a half inch wide rip blade and is about thirty inches long. I think the blade is from an old industrial band saw blade I picked up and sharpened into a rip saw blade. It works very well on ripping lumber, logs, etc. Though it tires me out to much to use it now.