Tom, one of our Eagle America woodworkers writes:
Finally I have found some time to get back into the basement to finish Adam’s rocker. In the last blog about this rocker I promised to show how I joined the cross pieces to the back support and the seat. Compared to the rest of the construction this was very simple.
A note here…the location and drilling of these holes for the back assembly was done BEFORE gluing the rockers to the cross supports. I show the bottom back support cross member in the last blog in its final drilled state. It would be very difficult to drill the holes if the rockers were glued to the cross supports.
I used dowel centers to locate the holes and ½” dowels to hold the parts together. I laid out the positions of the holes for the dowels in the 5 seat back slats and seat supports and drilled them. Although I tried to get them “properly” located, I did not obsess on getting the position exactly right. The important thing here is to get the mating hole correctly positioned in the cross braces and seat pieces. This was easy with the dowel centers. I clamped up the seat back slats using spacers to make sure the spacing was correct and then carefully pressed the cross braces on the center points of the dowel centers.
This required a little finesse, but with the use of a small combination square to check to make sure the cross pieces were square and even with the outside boards, it worked out. I chamfered the top edge of the holes to make the back and seat easier to assemble.
I cut 1” long dowels and glued them into the holes on the back slats.
One very important point, I did this on a drill press with a forstner bit. I would recommend this and would discourage trying to drill these kinds of mating holes by hand. There is too much room for error doing it by hand.
Assembly was easy. I started on the back by dry fitting all five vertical pieces to cross members, including the lowest cross member that is or will be glued to the rockers. (I glued that after drilling and before back assembly, but it could be done the other way, I think.) I rolled the back to a nearly horizontal position using clamps to hold the dry fit assembly together. I then removed two adjacent back slats from the assembly, applied glue one and reassembled that slat back to the assembly putting clamps in the missing slat position. I started with the middle slat and worked my way out using the same procedure for the other 4 slats.
The seat slats were done with their side supports in position on the rocker. Again marking the position with the dowel centers took a little finesse but turned out well. Gluing the seat slats to the supports was done with everything mounted on the rockers.
I apologize for no pictures on this part of the description. I got so excited that I was going to get this out of my shop, I forgot!!!
Dan Walter, Eagle America’s founder writes:
Well friends, it’s that time of year again. Each and every holiday that our country honors our military has a special meaning for me. Unfortunately some of the more serious ones turn out to be a great excuse for many retailers to offer you the opportunity to part with your money. Like many of you, some I have come to accept or embrace while others I have a hard time with. Such is the case with Memorial Day. A few weeks ago we celebrated Armed Forces Day. On this day we pay thanks to all those men and women who are actively serving our country. In November, we celebrate Veterans Day, where we pay thanks to those who have served on our behalf. Today, on Memorial Day, we pay homage to those brave soldiers who paid the ultimate price and gave their lives defending our great country in order to preserve our precious freedoms.
As a young boy I was in the high school marching band. Every year we would parade down the streets of our town and I would bang the big bass drum trying to keep everyone in step. As we passed the reviewing stand, the members would stand and salute our flag. At the end of the parade route was Memorial Park where we circled a big American Flag that always seemed to be blowing in the breeze. We played a march or two for the “old” soldiers that showed up that day to hear us play. After that, the town pool was open, summer had officially begun and we were on our merry way home.
Now I am one of those old soldiers, a proud veteran who served our country during a time when war was not popular or supported by our government or the general public.
I can go to cemeteries or memorial walls and see the names of friends of mine that died in combat. I am also the son of an immigrant who came here to this country before World War II. After being here for only a few years, Dad was shipped back to Europe in an Army uniform and fought in the streets of his childhood home town for The United States of America. He is no longer here, I miss him more each day, but I still admire his service to our country.
So on this special day, I ask that you just take a moment and think about all of those who gave their lives for your freedom. You can freely start up your barbeque, jump in a pool, watch a parade and listen to the marching band, or have a hot dog with your grandson at the ball park thanks to their sacrifices. In honor of those who served to keep our country free, all I can say is thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Just a quick reminder for you that Mother’s Day is fast approaching. This year it is on Sunday, May 8th so you better get cracking on making her something special. You are a woodworker, this is your chance to shine! Use your router bits, saw blades, Kreg jig, sandpaper, wood glue and finishing supplies to make Mom feel loved. Looking for some project ideas? We’ve got them! Click here for a few, we have the ideas and the tools for you to get the job done right.
Mary, one of Eagle America’s customer service representatives writes:
I have collected Wade figurines for 25 years.
It started innocently enough with the Rose Tea giveaways and now it has blossomed into a full blown obsession.
My collection had out grown its original antique medicine showcase so my darling, Mike, built a wall cupboard for me.
We designed it together and it turned out great.
I wanted a beaded board back for interest but we kept the stains light to highlight the figurines.
We added a cap at the top and bottom to soften the edges.
The clasp to hold the door tight are rare earth magnets embedded in the top of the door and the inside corner of the frame.
As you can see the new cupboard is full so I think he should get started on another one, don’t you?
*** This post is courtesy of Tom Iovino of Tom’s Workbench ***
The mortise and tenon joint is timeless. Classic. Functional. And, not as difficult to cut as you might imagine.
Oh, sure, if you have never cut one before, you might be scared senseless to start. I mean, don’t you need a shop full of fancy, expensive jigs and unitasking machines? Think about Norm Abram of the New Yankee Workshop. He cut mortises with special fixtures for his drill press or his dedicated hollow chisel mortiser. And, he had his special table saw jig that cut tenons on boards standing on their ends. If you build a lot of projects with numerous mortises and tenons, this is a good way to go. These tools offer a great deal of flexibility and convenience when cranking out these joints all day. But, I would contest that you have one of the best mortise AND tenon cutting systems in your plunge router. Equipped with the right kind of bit, these babies can crank out tight-fitting joinery with little effort.
For mortising, I like to equip my router with an up-spiral bit. Those bits resemble drill bits, with flutes that can eject sawdust from the joint you are excavating, giving you smooth walled mortises of a consistent width and depth. There are many ways you can go about guiding your router to give you the desired results. Here are just a few:
With a template. If you rout a slot in a piece of MDF or plywood at a width that can accept a router bushing, it will guide your router as you cut away. I usually cut a 3/4″ slot to accept a like-sized bushing, then use a 1/2″, 3/8” or 1/4″ bit to cut the appropriately sized mortise.
With a center-finding guide. Special base plates with carefully aligned bearings automatically center your bit on the work piece, locating the mortise in the ideal location for maximum strength.
With your edge guide. By using your edge guide, you can carefully place the bit anywhere along the piece, giving maximum adjustability.
With a table mounted router. Flip your router into a router table, adjust the fence to place the mortise where you want it and lower the work onto the bit and using stop blocks to control the final length of the mortise.
The tenon can be made just as easily with your router. You could cut it on a router table by pushing your work past a straight cutting bit, which is certainly a viable option. However, once I tried a four-faced tenon cutting jig – WOW. That has become my favorite way to cut tenons. Fast, accurate and repeatable.
The jig is very simple to build – it has a flat top piece with a window cut into the top for the router to plunge through. There is also a vertical fin that gets dadoed into the bottom of this top piece. And, finally, there’s a fence that the board you are routing sits against.
Set the depth on a rabbeting bit, and start the router. The length of the tenon is set by the plunge depth of the router, and the depth of cut is set by the guide bearing at the bottom of the bit. Jim McCleary of Proven Woodworking has an outstanding page featuring plans for the jig and videos of how it works.
Yes, the mortise and tenon is a great joint. And, now that you know how to cut both parts with your plunge router, what are you waiting for? Get out there and build!
*** Specials thanks to Tom Iovino, a true Shop Monkey, for this post. He will be providing posts on a monthly basis for Eagle America, check back again soon. ***
Today is your lucky day! Our St. Patrick’s Day Savings are starting early this year. Click over to Eagle America today and save on shipping right now. Need some new router bits, router accessories, saw blades or shaper cutters? Now is the time to order…but act fast. Our St. Patty’s Shipping Sale ends 3/20/2011. Tell your woodworking friends, they might just say you are the leprechaun that showed them the pot o’ gold at the end of the woodworking rainbow. OK, maybe that was a bit much…have a nice weekend!
We have given you the freedom to create your own Router Bit Build-A-Sets online for over a year now. Today we are proud to announce you can now do the same thing with our Shaper Cutters! So what is a Build-A-Set you ask? Good question, here is how it works:
- They currently are available for Door Construction projects only
- Let’s say you are making a raised panel door with your router
- Due to the number of router bit designs available, it would be almost impossible for us to guess what would look best on your kitchen cabinets
- Now all you have to do is click over to our site and it simply walks you through assembling your own custom router bit set on the fly!
- Not only do you get EXACTLY the bits that you want, but you also save money in the process. What a deal!
Our router bit loving fans have been using this functionality for the last year and our shaper cutter fans were jealous…not anymore! Click over today and give either of them a try.
*** This post is courtesy of Tom Iovino of Tom’s Workbench ***
So, you have a router. Great. It’s a very useful tool, allowing you to cut joinery, shape moldings, thickness boards and a host of other uses. Maybe yours has an ultra-smooth plunge action. Perhaps a soft electronic start. A massively useful edge guide. Go ahead. Open the case on your router and breathe in the multitasking goodness. Take your time. I’ll give you a minute…
Oh, wait, there may be one little detail you have overlooked, isn’t there? That’s right – the router itself has to be paired with router bits to do its woodworking goodness. Without router bits, your router is really a high-tech, tricked out paperweight.
So, what can you do to remedy this situation? There are two different routes you can take. First, you can buy bits one at a time as the need arises. But, if you do that, there’s a chance you’ll be mid-project without the bit you need. The other option is to buy a set of bits to have the basics on hand. In this scenario, you’ll discover that you use some bits until their carbide is about to fall off while others sit idle in the case. I’ve approached the router bit buying routine from both sides as my woodworking skills have developed and have arrived at a third avenue of choice. That would be to ask your woodworking friends what bits they use the most and pick those most useful up first.
What are my most used bits? I’m glad you asked. They include:
A 1/2” straight cutting bit. If you are going to route dadoes or rabbets, you could do a whole lot worse than this workhorse. If you are working with material thicker than ½”, you can cut your dado and then use the bit to rabbet the material being inserted into the groove so it fits the channel. This bit can also be used to set your router table up as a jointer using an offset fence.
A 3/8” up-spiral bit. Your plunge router makes a very handy and effective mortising machine. Since I frequently use 3/8” mortises when joining ¾” material, this bit gives me the dimension to shoot for. The up-spiral bit helps eject the router shavings effectively while you are plunging the router.
A 1/2” top bearing pattern following bit. If you want to ensure that identical project pieces are truly identical, cut a template from an inexpensive sheet material such as MDF and pattern-route the pieces to shape. A very cool technique that will improve your woodworking. A bonus use – you can run this bit against a straight edge and cut dadoes in sheet goods.
A 1/2” round over bit. Cut pieces of wood have very sharp edges on them. Easing these edges makes your projects more comfortable to handle and the rounded over edge is less likely to splinter if handled roughly. You can adjust how much is cut by changing the amount of bit that’s exposed for cutting.
A 1/2” cove bit. This bit cuts the mirror image of the round over bit, scooping out an area of wood. Combining the round over and cove bits creatively can allow you to cut some very cool looking moldings with basic bits.
A 3/4” chamfer bit. In addition to knocking a 45 degree edge off of projects and moldings, you can also use this bit to ensure mitered project parts are accurately milled to 45 degrees, ready to be joined into perfect, airtight miters.
A 3/4”, 14 degree dovetail bit. When you buy a router jig to cut dovetails, you probably won’t be using this bit to do your cutting. Most jigs require different sizes or diameters of bits to work properly. However, this bit can allow you to master another awesome joint – the sliding dovetail. Once you learn how to cut one, you’ll be hooked.
You can imagine how excited we were when we stumbled across this blog post at KimbertonWoodWorks.com. He did an amazing job creating hardwood bowls & trays with his router and our Bells bowl & tray template. Take a look at his results:
Making bowls & trays with your router is fun, easy and rewarding. We have a large selection of templates for you to choose from, as well as all of the router bits and router accessories you will ever need to get the job done right the first time. Click over to www.EagleAmerica.com today and start making bowls tomorrow.
Simply put, woodworkers are busy people. If woodworking is your profession (you lucky dog!) then you practice the craft from 8am to 5pm all week-long and often on weekends. If woodworking is your hobby, you probably work all week and try to carve time out for your projects at night and on the weekends. Long story short, you probably don’t want to slow down to sharpen all of your tools…especially your router bits. This recent post on LumberJocks.com caught my attention…and since we are “The World’s Router Bit & Woodworking Source” it really caught my eye.
As the article illustrates, you should really own a set of Pocket Diamond Honing Stones as pictured above. Our 4-Piece set is available for only $29.99 and they are well worth the investment since they can be used to quickly and easily sharpen your router bits, shaper cutters, hand chisels and other woodworking tools. We take pride in our router bits, both our domestic Eagle America brand as well as our imported PriceCutter line, and think you would benefit greatly by keeping them in tip-top shape. All cutting tools, be they table saw blades, router bits or shaper cutters, are designed to give you optimal performance when they are nice and sharp. Will you make a Woodworking New Year’s Resolution to sharpen your tools every time you are done using them? It could be just a quick pass or two with the honing stones, it doesn’t have to be hours of work. That way your tools are ready to go the next time you need them. Is that practical or just wishful thinking? Let us know what you think.