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Table of Contents

Tips & Techniques4

Convertible Coffee Table6

This beautiful coffee table converts from a traditional cofee table to one that's at a comfortable height for dining or doing homework. The secret is a unique lift mechanism that's built into its base.

Online Extras

  • Stub Tenon & Groove Joinery
    Like more on how to build a stub tenon and groove frame? The stub tenon and groove joint is quick and easy to cut. And the entire joint can be made on the table saw.
  • Machine-Cut Dovetails
    With a router and a dovetail jig you can cut a perfect-fitting joint in seconds. The trick is getting the jig set up properly.

To build the convertible coffee table, you'll need the "pop-up table mechanism," shown in the photo at right. The steel, spring-loaded frame is available from two sources: Rockler Woodworking (part no. 35460) and Van Dyke's (part no. 02002682). The phone numbers and web addresses for these sources are listed below.

KNOBS & PULLS. In addition to the table mechanism, you will also need quite a few knobs and pulls for the drawers (and false fronts) on the front and back of the base. I chose the "Marston Hardware" collection from Restoration Hardware. I used the 1"-dia. knobs (part no. 24030960) for the small drawers and the 31/4"-wide hood pulls (part no.24030958) for the large drawers.

Besides the knobs and pulls, the only other hardware that you'll need to get ahold of (other than woodscrews) is a roll of nylon glide tape, available from woodworking stores and the sources listed below.

NO-MORTISE HINGES & CHAIN. If you decide to build the coffee table without the table mechanism, you'll need a pair of no-mortise hinges and a short chain. These are probably available locally, but you can also order them from the sources below.

Shop Notes16

Outdoor Lanterns18

Here's a DIY project that will really put your home (and your woodworking skills) in a good light. And it's easy to make a whole set with our tips for cutting multiple parts quickly and accurately.

The electrical hardware was the key component to the outdoor lanterns on page 18, so I found all the supplies I needed before building the lanterns.

LIGHT SOCKET. The item that'll be the hardest to find will be the light socket. We purchased ours from Shore Holders. (You can call them at 800-442-6658 or find them on the web at www.shoreholders.com.) You need to order a single-contact, two-wire bayonet lampholder (part no. 4345-306).

The other supplies will be available locally. The transformer, outdoor cable, wire nuts, nylon bushings (shown in photo on page 35), and Plexiglas can all be found at a local hardware store or home center.

BULB. Your hardware store may not carry automotive bulbs, so you may need to make a trip to an auto supply store. The bulbs you need are 12-volt, single-contact bulbs. We chose 18-watt bulbs (1141) used for turn signals and back-up lights, but for lanterns that are less bright, you can substitute a 7-watt bulb (1155).

Finish information: We used two coats of Watco cedar oil stain and finish on western red cedar.

Dadoes and Grooves24

Cut a sloppy-fitting dado or groove? Never again. Here are the secrets and strategies for dead-on accuracy -- regardless of whether you're working with solid wood or plywood.

Display Cabinet28

Display your favorite collection or store your fine tools Either way, this cabinet is a great solution. Plus, there are several options so you can make its design the perfect fit for your home.

Online Extras

  • Tool Holders
    The display cabinet is sized just right to make a great tool cabinet for those special hand tools you want to keep accessible -- and protected. These are some of the ideas we came up with to hold our tools inside the cabinet.

For the small display cabinet on page 28, there's quite a bit of hardware. I ordered the glass from a local glass shop after the door frames had been built. The shelf supports, double ball catches, and wood plugs are all fairly common, and if you can't find them locally, you can order these or similar items from the sources below (listed as "Cabinet hardware").

SQUARE-RING PULLS. The "Pierced Rectangular Plate Hardware" was ordered from Lee Valley (see list at right). The square plate pulls (part no. 01A52.20) went on the drawers. The vertical ring pulls (part no. 01A52.61) were used on the doors. You can also order the 2" x 13/8" antique brass hinges from Lee Valley (part no. 00E11.07).

Storing Hand Tools34

Want to maximize every inch of your tool cabinet? Here's how we adapted the display cabinet for use in the shop, as well as some of the custom tool holders we came up with to hang the tools.

Final Details36