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Table of Contents

Tips & Techniques4

Choosing and Using Oak8

Here's what you need to know to pick the right type of oak for your next project.

Selecting a Router for your Table10

Take a look at all the great features available on the current crop of routers.

Choosing the best router for your router table can be a difficult decision. The routers featured in the article on page 10 of Woodsmith No. 172 represent the current crop of mid-sized models from a variety of manufacturers. You can find most of them at your local home center or through the online retailers like Rockler or

An auxiliary on/off switch is a great accessory to have for your router table. Not only is it convenient, but it also provides safety by allowing you to turn off the router quickly in an emergency. The auxiliary switch is available from the Woodsmith Store and other retailers (see below).

Table Saw Alignment Jigs14

If you demand dead-on accuracy from your table saw, check out these alignment jigs.

The secret to a smooth-running table saw that produces great cuts is proper alignment. The article on page 14 of Woodsmith No. 172 highlights three great jigs that will help keep your saw cutting straight and true.

The A-Line-It jig is manufactured by In-Line Industries, while the SuperBar and MasterPlate are made by MasterGage. These jigs were purchased from Rockler, and are also available from the Woodsmith Store.

The TS-Aligner Jr. is made and sold by the Edward J. Bennett Co. (see below).

Letter Bin16

Tired of the clutter? Get your mail organized with this compact wall unit. It features graduated, lattice-panel compartments that give it a great look and provide a nice challenge for your woodworking skills.

  • Page 17: Text in Joinery paragraph
    Under the paragraph heading "Joinery", the second sentence should read as follows: These rabbets, which you'll find dimensioned in details 'c' and 'd,' will hold the plywood back that's added later.
  • Page 17: How-To, First Illustration
    The curve should start 1 5/8" from the edge of the notch, as shown in detail 'b' at the top of the page.

The letter bin shown on page 16 of Woodsmith No. 172 is a great way to keep your mail organized.  And building it won’t require any unusual hardware.

In fact, other than the screws, the only other hardware you’ll need is a pair of keyhole hangers to hang the bin on the wall. The ones I used came from Rockler (28837), but you can also get them from the Woodsmith Store.

High-Back Hall Bench22

The impressive look of this Craftsman-style hall bench will surely make it a standout in your entryway. Add storage, classic details, and shop-tested techniques to the mix and this project is a hard one to pass up.

  • Page 31: Supply list for Upper Assembly
    The length of Piece II is 4 3/4", not 4 1/4" as printed.
  • Page 31: Cutting diagram
    The diagram indicates 4 of part II, but only 2 are needed.
  • Page 30: How-to Bracket Details diagram
    The piece is 4 3/4" long, not 4 1/4" as printed. The placement for the hole to accept the T-bolts that hold the upper assembly to the bench is correct. The scale for pattern/layout shown is incorrect. Another row of grid squares needs to be added on the right side. This slightly affects the layout of the curve; see corrected PDF.
  • Page 31: Cutting Diagram
    Part Y is listed as plywood, yet shows up on the top board in the lower set. That part number on the board should be W. Also, parts DD and EE in the second board are plywood as well. There's no need for them to be listed on the board.
  • Page 31: Mirror Description
    Clarification: The mirrors used in this project were custom-made with a 1 1/4" bevel. The bevel size is a matter of personal preference, so choose what looks best to you.
  • Page 31: Cutting diagram, lower set
    Parts AA and BB should not be included in the second board from the bottom. The width of that board is printed as 7"; it should be 7 1/2" so as to include room for kerfs on parts Z. The board footage is correct.
  • Page 31: Cutting diagram, lower set
    Parts DD and EE, and two of the parts II, should not be included in the third board from the bottom. The width of that board is printed as 6"; it should be 6 1/2" so as to allow room for kerfs. Two AAs and two BBs should be included on this board; AA stacked on top of BB and another stack next to it. The board should be 60" long and the board footage should be 3.4.
  • Page 31: Cutting diagram, lower set
    The fourth board from the bottom of the page shows a part 'BB'. This is incorrect. It should be part 'LL.' This board also shows one long part 'HH'. There should be four shorter parts.

Online Extras

  • Stand-Alone Bench
    If you like the idea of a storage bench, but the high-backed design doesn’t suit your home or decor, you can build this modified version. The basic case is the same as shown in the original plan. But when it comes to adding the top there are a few changes.

The hall bench on page 22 of Woodsmith No. 172 is a great-looking way to welcome visitors into your home and keep clutter under control.

While I could get the screws and washers locally, I ordered most of the other hardware items from Lee Valley: the 3" no-mortise hinges (00H51.24), the T-nuts (00N22.16), and the threaded inserts (00M90.01). The coat hooks (02005910) came from Van Dyke’s Restorers.

Finish Information: For the Rift Sawn Red Oak finish we used a Woodcote stain, 2 parts Cherry Jeld, 1 part dark Oak. Note about Woodkote Jeld Stains - Be sure to allow stain to dry at least 24 hours or an applied finish may pull the pigment back out and cause finish problems.

Shop Notebook32

  • Page 33: Illustration 3
    For the letter bin, the screws should be #6 x 3/8" woodscrews, not 1/2" as shown. The Letter Bin article correctly says to use 3/8" woodscrews.

2-in-1 Desk Set34

Here's a small, "time-friendly" project with a unique look and function. It's a desktop stamp dispenser and letter opener all in one.

  • Page 39: Drilling the holes illustration
    The drawing on the left has a callout about drilling a 9/32"-dia. hole. It should be 9/64".

The desk set on page 34 of Woodsmith No. 172 will be the focal point of any desk it sits on. Most of the hardware used in making the project can be purchased at any hardware store.

I ordered the brass sheet (0.09"/ 11 ga. brass 260 H02 Sheet) from Online Metals. After clicking on the link for the brass sheet, just fill out the dimensions on the website.

To shape the brass, I used my scroll saw with a metal-cutting blade. I ordered the blade (MAB#3) online from BG Artforms, whose contact information is below. If you decide to use a jig saw and the table on page 32 instead, you can find metal-cutting blades for jig saws at hardware stores and home centers.

The desk set is also the perfect project to build with a specialty or exotic wood. I used bocote, a tropical hardwood from Central America, that I purchased from the Woodsmith Store.

Your local lumberyard might carry some interesting wood species, or you could contact some online retailers, such as Constantine's, Rockler, or Woodcraft to see what they have in stock.

Stub Tenon and Groove Joinery40

Here's a quick, easy way to make strong frame and panel assemblies at the table saw.

Mastering the Sliding Miter Saw42

Learn how to put a sliding compound miter saw to work in your shop.

Online Extras

  • Portable Miter Saw Station
    A sliding compound miter saw is a valuable addition to any shop. But like any tool, it can always be upgraded to give you better results and more convenient use. Building the workstation you see here will do just that. The workstation provides a sturdy base for your saw, as well as extended support for long workpieces. It can be incorporated into your shop as a permanent fixture, but at the same time it’s designed to be easily moved when necessary.

12 Must-Have Finishing Supplies46

Keeping your finishing cabinet well stocked will give you a big boost toward a quality finish.

Built-up Crown Molding48

Make traditional-looking crown molding with a few basic router bits and a simple technique.

Q & A50

Final Details52