Furniture Making

Make Crown Molding

Nothing dresses up a room or a cabinet like the regal presence of crown molding. This classical accent defines a project the way a frame embellishes an oil painting. And with such a wide array of profiles available, there's a crown molding made to fit every space. Smaller profiles are used on furniture, casework and cabinetry (like the dentil crown shown at right), while larger moldings are used as architectural trim. So, why hasn't every do-it-yourselfer rushed to the lumberyard? Well, until now, installing crown molding really hasn't been a DIY project. Cutting compound angles and keeping track of inside and outside corners, all those splices and the molding's various orientations has been such a nightmare that most folks either call a pro, or balk at the cost of doing so.

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Beadlock Starter kit for Furniture Joints

 The most popular furniture joint - the tenon - just got a whole lot easier. The BeadLock System is a dream to work with and delivers perfect mortise and tenon joints every time.

Aside from their (patented) jig, the only tool required is a drill. You can now dispense with those chisels, mortising machines, table saw jigs and other endless supply or possible jigs and ideast. All that is needed is clamp the jig in place and drill a few holes, then insert a length of the specially designed , pre-milled tenon stock . It  is that easy !!

Why a loose tenon you ask? Well ... they are easy make, at least as strong as traditional mortiss and tenon joints just a whole lot easier to make. The only real drawback to them is that, depending on the situation, they don't look as good, or at least they don't "look traditional". Most woodworkers are concerned about their strength, but that can be answered best this way, the strenght of the wood, whether it be a traditional tenon or a loose tenon is the strength of the wood it is made from - nothing more, nothing less. the actual joint binding, i.e. the joints a glued into place - these parts of the joints will be as strong as the glue you use and if you have ever tried to break away woods that have been glued togother with any of the mordern glues, you will know these are VERY STRONG GLUES.


All loose tenons floats in the space formed by two opposing mortises, but bead lock version has a number of advantages over a standard squared tenon. The multiple flutes are, in effect, the equivalent of joining either three 1/2" dowels or five 3/8" dowels together. The innovative shape offers a large amount of side-grain gluing surface makes for an extremely strong joint because of all the glue surface.

The design also helps to  prevents the joint from wiggling from side to side and therefore working loose over time. The Beadlock System is quick, easy and strong .... a great new invention.

Copyright Colin Knecht

How to Save Money Buying Wood

 Buying wood is an expensive proposition. Once wood is used in a project it is gone forever so making smart purchases is very wise. Lumber is always expensive no matter what type or cut you are using. It is important to get the best value from wood because it is the "Woodworker's Consumable Product" and there are many ways of buying and using wood that can save you money and look good as well.

Buying Shorter Boards ... is a great start. Very often lumber suppliers end up with boards that are too short for "commercial" use and will discount shorter boards and boards with defects in them. And don't be afraid to ask if there is a discount for boards with defects, sometimes these are overlooked. This may be a time to look into buying a good router and a "finger splicing" bit like the Freud Variable Height Finger Joint bit.

Build parts that are less visible with lower grade lumber ... or use veneer strips where you can. Less expensive woods like plywood and composite boards are stable and adapt well glueing and veneering techniques.

Form a Buying Group ... this is much easier than it appears. Why not get together with other woodworkers and make a bulk buy. If you are not a member of a woodworkers club, this alone could save you huge amounts of money buying wood by meeting other woodworkers and sharing in bulk buys.

Watch for Sales ... lumber stores like all other stores have sales from time to time and the best time to stalk up on lumber is during these sales. Also, watch for "Woodworking Shows" or other similar events in your area. There are always good deals on lumber at woodworking shows, go their with that in mind and you will get some great deals.

Look For a Sawmill ... there are large and small sawmills (like Wood-mizer) all over the planet. Sometimes looking in the classified section of your local newspaper will help. Many of the smaller mills will sell rough cut lumber at very attractive rates. This is an excellent way to purchase wood, although if it is green you may have to wait a year or so for it to dry out.

Don't Forget Local Trees ... this goes along with the tip above. Urban areas always have trees that are blown down of cut down for various reasons. Sometimes people are looking for people to get rid of trees for them. Here is an excellent opportunity to purchase a raw log, take it to your local small wood mill and have it milled the way you want.

Become a Faker ... there is no reason that you can't stain less expensive woods too look like exotic woods. There is a plethora of different wood treatments and stains available and it's quite easy to make birch and alder look like cherry or ash look like oak. Check out some of the wood treatment options from Minwax and Deft. Browse the Internet ... there are lots of small wood-lots and mill operators who sell wood over the Internet. There are often some very good deals, just beware of shipping costs, of maybe you can find someone in your area.

Get The Most ... out of every board. This will mean you may have to plan you work before you start cutting. There are even some very computer software programs that can help you plan your projects.

So to get the most value for your dollar, try some of these options ... they can only help enhance your buying power.

Click here to securely order this book - "How to Season and Dry Your Own Wood" ...

Copyright - Colin Knecht

Using Antiques to Make NEW Projects

 The television series the "Antiques Road Show" has certainly captivated the imagination of a large audience, including myself. If nothing else, it has made me much more aware of different styles of furniture and variety of items, and creativity that woodworkers in by-gone years have developed. When this picture arrived in my email box, it definitely caught my attention. A writing desk, seldom seen these days, but much used many decades ago. I knew the writing desk was a new woodworking creation and not an antique, but I wanted to find out more so I emailed the woodworker back and here's what I found out ....

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