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Making a Splayed Leg Side Table

splay leg tableSome furniture pieces are timeless and such is the case with these little splayed leg side tables. They are still as popular today as they were decades ago and little has changed. They seem to fit many decors with their tapered legs and small size, they can easily fit in a blank corner, or become a stand or showcase for artworks, plants or pictures, and they are not difficult to build despite their somewhat complicated look with the splayed legs.
Like all small tables, these want to at a comfortable "sitting height" which puts them around the 24 to 25 inch height so they are comfortable to use for anyone sitting down, which is another reason they are often called side tables, as in a table beside a chair or sofa. Most of what I have seen have been a solid color for whatever the wood they were build with, but in my  case I decided to make something a bit more showy by making the legs and the top of different colors.

 

I stared off with the legs that were 25 inches long and 1.25 inches square. I set these up on my tapering jig on my table saw so that the blade would leave about a 3/4 ionch square at the bottom and disengage from the top at of the leg about 6 inches from the top. then carried on a cut all 4 legs with this taper.

Make a Bevel Cutting Jig for the Table Saw

bevel cutting jig for table sawThe table saw is easily my favorite tool. For me, it is amazingly versatile in what it can do and when you start adding jigs to it, the table saw can do some amazing things. I am currently on my fourth, and possibly my last table saw. Since none of my saw, including this one, hand the same fences, many of my jigs I have had to re-make, including this bevel cutting jig. Hopefully this version will also be my last because I am going to make it with a small amount of adjustability in mind. Something I neglected on my last versions. To be honest, the last versions of the Bevel Cutting Jig that I made, were all rushed together quickly to satisfy an immediate need. This one I am making without that immediate need and with the knowledge that I will be using it in the future.
The biggest problems I had in the past with this jig was - storage. All my jigs needed to be stored in an unheated outdoor shed. This means the wood moved a lot. In the winter it is cold and damp and the wood expands to around 14% moisture content. In the summer it's often hot and dry the wood shrinks down to 8%. Now all this is not huge, but when you are working with close tolerances, like on a metal table saw fence. A jig I make in the summer, will certainly not slide back and forth on the table saw fence in the winter, in fact, some won't even fit over the fence they have expanded so much.

This time I am going to select my wood carefully and make the part the slides over the table saw fence, slightly adjustable without having to take it apart and re-make it ...

Make a Wooden Sushi Tray with Sliding Dovetail Legs

sushi trayAnyone who knows their way around a kitchen will tell you that cooking and serving good food has as much to do with the presentation as it does with how good the food tastes. I think I would have to agree with that statement because when ever I find myself at any kind of a fancy eatery for whatever occassion it might be. The food is always served in a manner that makes it look as good as it tastes. Often this has to do with the combinations and colors of foods, but sometimes what it is served on makes a difference too.
And so it was that a recent trip to a favorite Sushi Bar inspired me to try my hand at  making serving tray for sushi, and well ... anything else that you might want to serve on it too, like pastries, vegetables or any combination of assorted foods.

What I wanted was something simple, but it still needed to have enough detail to make it interesting without taking away from the food, after all the tray is to enhance the food not distract from it.

To start off with I wanted to platten part to be thick as this is part of the detail. A piece of 3/4" board would have worked as well, but something that is one inch thick makes more of a statement. I thought about what kinds of legs or stands I could use for a tray like this ...

Making a Wooden Cash Tray

cash trayWorking with cash and making change, especially for people who don't work with cast daily, it can be a stressful time ... making sure you give the correct change and not keeping people waiting. One of the things that can be be done is just making your cash more accessible and easier to see and count, just the same way retail clerks give change from their cash registers ... with a cash tray.
These are easy to make, but they do take a bit of time because there are a number of components, and you don't want to make they too big. The best way to start off is to determine how many slots for cash bills you want, and what the size of your money is. The size of your money and how many bays you want will determine the size of your tray and keeping in mind you may also want some change bins in case you are dealing with coinage.

I mad mine 2-3/4 inches high and that was plenty, I think 2 inches would be a better height if I ever had to do it again. I decided on 4 bays for paper money which also meant 4 bins for coins as these were used for the spacing with of the box.

Make a Wooden Entry Door

I don't think there is wooden article that is more diversified than doors. There are thousands upon thousands of different doors in all shapes and sizes, with and without window, highly decorative and exotic to plain and funtional. For this project I am building a door for my outdoor storage and garden shed. I built the shed a couple of years ago and the only door I had that fit at the time was interior door which is not really suitable for putting a good solid lock on, so the goal here is to make a sturdy, functional door that also happens to look nice that can be used to replace that interior door.
For the wood, I will be using a reclaimed Douglas Fir beam about 10 feet look that should contain enough wood to make the entire door if I cut it properly. The beam has been planed flat on one side but otherwise is rough. Three of the sides have also been stained. I do not want to run any of the stained sides through my jointer or planer if I can avoid it. Almost all stains contain some form of dirt that is used for the coloring of the stain and this dirt can be very hard on blades and contribute quickly to their dulling.

The first order of business is to cut the beam to a rough length to make it manageable to handle. The door size is 76 inches by 28 inches so with that in mind I began by cutting the beam to lenght, then in order to cut some widths, it needed to be run through the joint to make at least one edge flat and straight ...

Making a Dowel Length Cutting Jig

dowel cutter jigIn woodworking, the making of jigs is a necessary element to help us work safer, quicker and more effectively. For some time I have been using the Dowelmax doweling jig and it has opened up a whole new world of woodworking for me because I can make things quicker, more accurate and just as strong as using mortise and tenon joints. One of the issues I face  on rare occasion is that the dowels I need to use are sometimes too long, which means I either have to re-drill holes, or cut the dowels slightly shorter. I hate re-drilling holes if I can avoid it because sometimes it can make the holes a bit looser than I like. I prefer the dowels to fit tightly in the holes to give me a better fit and to ensure I get an excellent glue contact. So ... the next issue is cutting dowels. I seldom have to tim more that about a dozen or so, but even that can take a while and cutting them by hand as I have been doing means they are often slightly different lenghts. I have been thinking about some sort of consistent dowel cutting device for some time and I finally came up with an idea that I like.


It is MUCH quicker than cutting the dowels by hand and each dowel is cut to the exact length and even better, it only takes a minute or so to set the jig up, which mean I will use it more often and get better results.