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Weekend Project: Build an Arts and Crafts Bookcase

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Of the many qualities that help define the Arts and Crafts style, perhaps the most apparent is straightforward and honest joinery. Wedged joints and through-tenons show the world how a piece was made. Quartersawn white oak, the quintessential Arts and Crafts material, was clearly the wood of choice for this bookcase.

Mortise-and-tenon joinery usually requires precise fitting; however, these long through-tenons need to be a bit loose to fit easily through the mortises. The wedges provide holding power at three locations. The back of the wedge pushes against the outside face of the side. This does nothing until the angled front of the wedge starts to press against the angled slot cut into the tenon. Then the wedge pulls the tenon through the joint until the tenon shoulders lock against the inside face of the case side.

Cut Mortises With a Plunge Router and Template
I cut the mortises using a plunge router, a 5/8-in. straight bit, a 3/4-in. template guide, and a mortising template . The template, made of 1/2-in. medium-density fiberboard (MDF), is milled as wide as my case side and with perfectly square ends.

With the template made of MDF (left photo), you don’t have to mark mortises on the case sides, just centerlines. Use a folded index card (right photo) to set your router depth so that the bit won’t blow out the opposite face. Pop out the thin waste with a chisel.

First mark the centerline of the template. On this centerline, lay out the mortises. Cut the mortises with a 3/4-in. straight bit on the router table, using a fence with stops clamped onto it. Cut the two outer mortises using the same stops and fence setting; flip the board over to cut the second one. For the center mortise, simply move the stops over to the proper position. If the template is square, the mortises will locate properly and be the same size. Finally, glue and screw a fence onto one end of the template.

Only the centerlines of the mortises need to be laid out on the case sides. Clamp a side to the bench, align the centerlines on the template with the centerlines on the side and clamp the template in place. Next, set the bit depth. Put a folded index card on the benchtop and rest your router on the edge of the case. Then zero the bit down to the card and set the turret stop on the router to its lowest depth. This setting will allow you to rout almost through the case side but without blowing out the mortise or marring your benchtop. Then set another turret stop for the center mortises, which aren’t through-mortises.

After routing, chop the mortise corners square with a chisel. I use a block of wood as wide as my mortises to check each for consistency. I also bevel the edges of the mortise with my chisel to prevent tearout when fitting the tenons.

Cut Tenons and Wedges to Fit Easily
Cut the cheeks and shoulders of the tenons with a plunge router and a straight fence. The fence rides tightly against the end of the board to locate the tenon shoulder. Cut one face of all of the boards about 1⁄16 in. deep and back to the tenon depth, then cut the second face so that the tenons will fit easily into the mortises. Next, on the bandsaw, rough out the waste between each of the tenons. Then reset your router bit to the full depth of the board and, in several passes, cut the shoulders between the tenons.

Router with a fence (left photo) cuts clean shoulders between tenons and an angled block (right photo) sets the bevel. First, bandsaw the waste between the tenons. Then with the template tipped 7 degrees, the router will automatically bevel the slot in the through-tenon to accept a tapered wedge.

I set up the router table with a fence to finish-cut the roughed-out edges of the tenons so that they slide easily through the mortises. Use a rabbeting plane to pare the tenons down on both their faces and edges. Work one tenon at a time until you can push all of the joints home by hand.

Dry-assemble the case, then mark the outside face of the case side onto each tenon. Be sure to locate the end of the slot for the wedges 1/8 in. in from this line so that part of the slot lies inside the face of the case side. If you cut the slot flush with the case side, the inside face of the slot will push against the wedge, preventing it from providing a totally snug fit.

Next, make a mortising template to router-cut the wedge slots in the tenons. The slot needs to be angled on its front edge, so glue a 7° angled block to the bottom of the template. Your plunge router will then rout at that angle. Rout each wedge slot with a 1/4-in. straight bit and a 5⁄16-in. o.d. template guide, and chop its corners square with a chisel.

To make all of the wedges the same size and angle, you’ll need to make a simple tapering jig for the bandsaw. Cutting out the triangular shape of the wedges on a 3-in. by 5-in. piece of 1/4-in.-thick scrap ply gives you a place in which to hold your wedge stock as you pass it by the blade. Move the fence over to the proper spot and cut all of the wedges. Next, plane each wedge edge until the wedge fits easily through the mortise. Then clean up the angled face until it just starts to snug up when it’s about 1 in. above the top face of the tenon.

Have a Plan Before Assembly and Glue-Up
The top rail doesn’t need the strength of a tongue-and-groove joint, so after the case is together, glue the rail onto the top with biscuits. To keep it from twisting, add two dowels to the case sides. These dowels fit slots cut into the ends of the top rail. For easy assembly, use the offcuts from the top rail and toe kick as clamping blocks when gluing up these two curved rails.

Shape the bottom of the case sides on the bandsaw and finish with a template router. Rabbet the case sides for the back on a router table. For a long-grain cut like this, a climb cut—one made with the rotation of the router bit—can help avoid tearout. File the shaped edges slightly round, then scrape and sand the entire case with 180-grit paper. Raise the grain with a damp rag and resand to get rid of any puffed fibers.

Glue up one side at a time. With one side in place but unglued, apply glue to the tenons of the other side, gluing only the long grain. Don’t over-glue these joints or you’ll have a mess to clean up.

After clamping, place the wedges and bang them home. I use a metal hammer for this because the sound it makes will change when the wedge is in far enough. Do not bang the wedge past this point. You’ll bust out the short-grain end of the tenon. This is why I left the tenon ends poking through the case sides at a relatively long 2 in. This much wood provides enough room to put in the wedges safely.

Excerpted from:
Shelves, Cabinets & Bookcases
Editors of Fine Homebuilding and Fine Woodworking

In just about any room in the house, it’s great to have some extra storage space to keep things organized and uncluttered. Whether you want to make a simple built-in or a high style bookcase, kitchen cabinets or a media center, you’ll find every last detail is here — with clear, step-by-step instructions and useful graphics.

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Published at Fri, 26 Sep 2008 04:00:00 +0000

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Uncommon Arts & Crafts

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There is a wealth of amazing Arts and Crafts design to be found outside the mainstream—away from the well-known and much-heralded pieces by the likes of the Greene brothers, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Charles Rennie Mackintosh. During the heyday of the Arts and Crafts movement, makers in shops throughout America and Europe drew on the philosophy of that movement to produce furniture that was personal, adventuresome, and distinctive. Here is a look at some of those pieces.

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Published at Wed, 05 Feb 2014 05:00:00 +0000

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A Short History of Built-in Furniture

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Although strictly an oxymoron, since by definition “furniture” in the woodworking sense is generally understood to refer to movable pieces, the term built-in furniture may be taken to mean fixed architectural elements that provide the same function as their movable namesakes. Sometimes, indeed, the term may refer to a separate piece of furniture that has been fixed in place and which now employs part of the surrounding architecture as an integral part of its construction, such as a wall that forms the back of a built-in cabinet.

The concept is not new, the earliest examples being wall benches, settles, and aumbries that date back to the Middle Ages, all originally built as architectural features, but which subsequently developed into stand-alone pieces of furniture.

Examples of contemporary furniture that may be usefully designed as built-in furniture include various shelving (see Cupboards), beds, benches, bookcases, cabinets, mirrors, and entertainment centers. Fireplace mantels can also be categorized as built-in furniture, in the sense that these can be constructed with the same joinery and tool techniques as a free-standing piece of furniture.

Note that some built-in furniture can by definition only exist as such, for example, window seats and closets.

Graham Blackburn is a furniture maker, author, and illustrator, and publisher of Blackburn Books (www.blackburnbooks.com) in Bearsville, N.Y.

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Published at Mon, 12 Sep 2005 04:00:00 +0000

Lateralus

Product Description
Everything about Tool’s fourth album (2001) is an experience, starting with the packaging, which consists of liner credits printed on a translucent plastic sleeve over the CD and a booklet that layers anatomical representations atop one another–the first page pictures musculature and blood vessels; the next, bones; the third, internal organs; and so on. It’s worth describing the packaging of Lateralus because it says much about the astonishing music within. Maynard James Keenan and company understand the expectations riding on this much-anticipated release and they’ve delivered the goods! While it remains in the Tool tradition of trance-inducing progressive metal, Lateralus is tighter, clearer, crisper, and all around a notch above their admirable previous releases. Aenima was marred by muddy production and a certain predictability. Undertow had a cleaner sound but wasn’t as confident or adventurous. With Lateralus, Tool have raised an already lofty bar still higher by coming up with a collection that kicks major ass.

Amazon.com
Everything about Tool’s fourth album is an experience, starting with the packaging, which consists of liner credits printed on a translucent plastic sleeve over the CD and a booklet that layers anatomical representations atop one another–the first page pictures musculature and blood vessels; the next, bones; the third, internal organs; and so on. It’s worth describing the packaging of Lateralus because it says much about the astonishing music within. Maynard James Keenan and company understand the expectations riding on this much-anticipated release and they’ve delivered the goods! While it remains in the Tool tradition of trance-inducing progressive metal, Lateralus is tighter, clearer, crisper, and all around a notch above their admirable previous releases. Aenima was marred by muddy production and a certain predictability. Undertow had a cleaner sound but wasn’t as confident or adventurous. With Lateralus, Tool have raised an already lofty bar still higher by coming up with a collection that kicks major ass. –Genevieve Williams

Price: $9.83

  • Artist: TOOL
  • genre: Popular Music
  • product type: Compact Disc
  • Release Date: 15-MAY-2001
  • Returns Accepted?: Yes
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Tables & Chairs

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Tables and chairs of all kinds—hall tables, dining tables, coffee tables, side tables, benches, dining chairs, Adirondack chairs—are a central part of our homes and our lives. Fine Woodworking’s Tables and Chairs is designed to inspire you and help you build them. This special collection features 12 projects you can build, with advice from experts such as Christian Becksvoort, Kevin Rodel, Michael Pekovich, and more. 

In addition to the furniture projects, you’ll get tips on finishing, dealing with wood movement, working with curves and angles, and a gallery of inspiring pieces. Be sure to consult our list of videos and step-by-step video workshops that make it even easier to build your next table or chair.

  Purchase your copy  of our Tables & Chairs special issue today.

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Published at Wed, 30 Dec 2015 05:00:00 +0000

Walnut Hollow Basswood Country Plank Extra Long, 23-inches for Woodburning, Home Décor and Rustic Weddings

Product Description
Made from Basswood, this long version of the Country Plank measures 23-Inch. The rustic, natural bark is very popular in home decor settings. Use for sign making, woodburning and woodcarving techniques. Made in the USA.

Price: $13.99

  • Width between 7.00-9.00 inches
  • Solid Basswood
  • Retains the natural bark
  • Ideal for wood burning, carving or routing
  • Made in USA
  • Width between 7.00-9.00-Inch
  • Ideal for wood burning, carving or routing
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Oxford Inspiration for Homemade Balustrade

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A balustrade at Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford, England, captured Fred Ziegler’s imagination when he studied there in the 1960s. The interlocking arches intrigued him and the design rattled around in his brain for years. Decades later, he finally excised the pattern by incorporating it into a balcony in his new timber-framed home.

Ziegler crafted the columns from reclaimed 100-year-old factory beams made of Douglas fir. He turned the arch segments on a 36-in. faceplate lathe. The challenge was to adapt the original limestone design to wood and master the geometry of the intersecting arches. Watch the slideshow (click on the button above) for details on how he completed the project.

Old Cook's MillThe balustrade is just one of many notable fixtures on Ziegler’s property. He and his wife retired to West Virginia and bought an 1857-era water-powered mill (left). They’ve since worked to turn the Old Cook’s Mill  into a center for traditional crafts. They installed woodworking equipment in the mill itself, set up a forge building for metal work, and are preparing another outbuilding for weaving. Ziegler houses his collection of antique woodworking tools in a fourth outbuilding.

Photos: Steve Brightwell, Beckley, W Va.

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Published at Mon, 21 Apr 2008 04:00:00 +0000

Aenima

Product Description
With its heavy-duty distortion, weighty rhythms, and cynical lyrics, Tool is a heavy metal band for the ’90s. Rather like Metallica circa …And Justice for All, the sound is focused heavily on texture, with vocals and guitars layered one atop the other, and heart-pounding drums underlying everything. There’s not a whole lot of variety on Tool’s second full-length album–most of the songs start off fairly low-key, kicking into high gear for the chorus, and repeat–but Maynard James Keenan’s distinctive voice, the prog-rock stylings over a heavy metal base, and a supremely unhealthy dose of vitriol make this the perfect album to bang your head to.

Amazon.com
With its heavy-duty distortion, weighty rhythms, and cynical lyrics, Tool is a heavy metal band for the ’90s. Rather like Metallica circa …And Justice for All, the sound is focused heavily on texture, with vocals and guitars layered one atop the other, and heart-pounding drums underlying everything. There’s not a whole lot of variety on Tool’s second full-length album–most of the songs start off fairly low-key, kicking into high gear for the chorus, and repeat–but Maynard James Keenan’s distinctive voice, the prog-rock stylings over a heavy metal base, and a supremely unhealthy dose of vitriol make this the perfect album to bang your head to. –Genevieve Williams

Price: $8.26

  • Artist: TOOL
  • genre: Popular Music
  • product type: Compact Disc
  • rating: PA
  • Release Date: 1-OCT-1996
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How I Make a Rocker

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Take a look back at this classic article from FWW #42, in which the celebrated furniture maker Sam Maloof explains how he makes his timeless rocker designs.

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Published at Wed, 10 Feb 2016 05:00:00 +0000

Fonder Mols Unpainted Natural Round Blank Wood Slices (Pack of 50)

Product Description
· Looking for a unique and extraordinary craft idea?
Create your own unique necklace or Keychain! Draw or paint -do it as you like!
· We offer top quality original natural unpainted wood pieces.

Specifications
Wood Dimensions: Diameter betwween 3 to 5cm

Warm Tips
Keep it away from water.

Price: $16.88

  • Our Wood Slices Dimension is between Diameter 3 to 5 cm.
  • Pre-Sanded And Ready to Draw or Paint. Draw your love on it. Diy Work, Do It By Yourself to Create Unique fabulous arts with our wooden pieces.such as Necklace and Keychains. Excellent Craft Idea.
  • Made of Natural Cinnamon Tree Wood Pieces with Tree Bark and Its natural shape and texture are almost different from each case.
  • Just feel free to contact us if you have any problems with your order, retrun and refund will be authorised without any questions.
  • We also have larger size for our customer to choose:dimention between 6-8cm, dimention between 7-9cm, dimention between 10-13cm, just contact us for more information if you have interests on it.
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Build a Beautiful...

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Free Furniture Plans from the Pages of Fine Woodworking

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Our collection of six free woodworking plans offers a variety of furniture articles from the pages of Fine Woodworking magazine—from coffee tables and beds, to a classic six-board chest, and even a dedicated sharpening station for hand tool enthusiasts—you’re sure to find a woodworking project that inspires.

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Published at Fri, 15 May 2015 21:02:06 +0000