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Some words of warning: this project, although not particularly large, takes much time and many materials in order to complete.
While the glue on the shelf is setting, cut the mortises in the side skirts and the long and short aprons, and then the tenons for the inner top supports.
With the holes drilled, now is the time to dress up your base with decorative cuts and router details. The last step is to prepare and attach the 1" x 1" cleats that hold the butcher-block top with lag bolts.
Recreating the classic tumbling-block illusion using end-grain lumber is an exercise in precision. The one other item that really helped was the Freud LM72R010 tablesaw blade that I used to make the rip cuts. The top is made up of 84 hexagonal segments, each made of three rhombuses (or diamonds) laminated together to form the pattern. From your stack of ripped rhombus lumber, select one piece each of cherry, maple and walnut, and arrange them into a hexagonal bundle. Once you have all eight logs glued up and dry, you’ll need to true them using a thickness planer. Lower your cutter head in your thickness planer so it just contacts the face of your log, and then lower it exactly a half a crank (or about 1?32"). Using a fine blade in your bandsaw or mitre saw, trim one end of each log square before using a stop block to cut each log into 11 segments 41?8" long. The top is now ready for the kitchen; however, if you feel more comfortable with a finish that is kitchen-ready right out of the container, there are many products labelled “food-safe" that you can use.
While the tumbling-block pattern tabletop looks great, it can be quite challenging to build.
Once the blanks are dry, plane them down to 2" thick to even out the joints, then get out the glue again. This is the Workshop Toolboxes and Cabinets category of information.This Do-it-yourself projects category features a collection of DIY free woodworking plans to build many types of toolboxes and storage cabients from woodworking related web sites.
Tool Storage CabinetThis wall mounted tool storage cabinet features movable dividers on the center shelf to allow you to customize the space for your storage needs.
Air Compressor Cart Build this air compressor cart and keep all your accessories contained in one handy location that is portable. Air Compressor Cart Build this cart for your air compressor, nail guns, drills and other various tools as well as screws, nails etc. Air Compressor Cart PDF It is always handy to have a rolling cart when you are using your air compressor. Air Compressor or Welder Cart PDF Build this mobile cart perfect for containing your air compressor or your welder using this free tutorial.
Box, Shop Built Gear (PDF) Rugged plywood construction reinforced with aluminum angle means this gear box can handle any storage task, in or out of the shop.
Build a Carpenters Tool Box In days past, most carpentry and trim or finish work was done with hand tools, and carpenters carried their tools to the site in a handmade wooden box.
Cabinet, Apartment Size Workspace This mini-shop for apartments is tucked into a unit that looks like a modern secretary.
Cabinet, Mobile Tool So many bench-top style tools are available today it is easy to accumulate several, including table saws, jointers, sanders, scroll saws, planers and others.
Cabinet, Power Tool Storage Store away your power tools with this shelves storage plan. Cabinet, Storage (PDF) The drawers all ride on wood runners, so they slide nice and smooth. Cabinet, Toolbox Show off your skills, give your tools the home they deserve, and build a wooden toolbox designed expressly for a woodworking shop.
Cabinet, Workshop Tool A well designed tool cabinet organizes your tools so you can work efficiently.
Cabinets, Shop Here you will find a 10-step cabinet construction process that begins with cutting sheets of plywood and finishes up with installation details. Carpenters Toolbox This is a link to a Google 3D SketchUp drawing for a carpenters toolbox.
Cart, Planer When I got a new planer for my birthday, I knew I would have a space problem, so I would need some sort of portable stand for it.
Chest, Portable Hobby (PDF) Cutting diagram only for this project that appeared in the ShopNotes Issue 87.
Chisel Safe Storage When we designed the Craftsmans Pride Tool Chest, we lined the drawer bottoms with felt. Dado Case We pay a fair amount of money for a dado blade set and it made no sense to me to try and store them in the plastic blister-pack so many come in. Drill Press Accessories Cabinet This is a link to a Google 3D SketchUp drawing for a wall mounted, drill press accessory cabinet. Drill Press Stand This is a link to a Google 3D SketchUp drawing for a rolling drill press stand. Drill Storage Wall Cabinet This is a link to a Google 3D SketchUp drawing for a wall cabinet designed for holding your drills and your favorite cordless drills.
Fine-Tool Cabinet (PDF) This tool cabinet proves that a great-looking project can be easy to build and completed in a short amount of time.
Finishing Supply Rack PDF Build this wall mounted rack to hold all of your finishing supplies.
Flip Top Cabinet This is a link to a Google 3D SketchUp drawing for a flip top workshop cabinet.
Flip Top Tool Stand This flip-top tool stand holds two tools at the same time and by flipping the top over you can use each tool in turn, but you are only occupying the space of one tool. Front Slant Tool Cart This is a link to a Google 3D SketchUp drawing for a front slant tool cart with five drawers of varying heights and a removable four-drawer tool chest.
Hand Tool Cart This is a link to a Google 3D SketchUp drawing for a rolling hand tool cart. Hardware Cabinet PDF Build wall-mounted hardware cabinets and get your workshop organized. Heated Workshop Cabinet If you live in a climate where it gets cold perhaps you need to build a heated wall-mounted cabinet for your glues, paint and finishes.
Woodworking wwa, Woodworking at the wwa is a great starting point for woodworking enthusiasts jumping onto the web.
Having a really nice workshop seems to be a dream for lots of folks, but workshop design can sometimes be tricky. The bottom line is a workshop in a single story barn would be perfect, but for many of us that is simply not possible. Todd Fratzel is the editor of Tool Box Buzz and president of Front Steps Media, LLC, a web-based media company focused on the home improvement and construction industries.
Those who attended the Canadian Home Workshop Show this past March may have seen this butcher block on display in the Master’s Workshop area, where I spent the weekend building a second one for showgoers. In fact, I dubbed this butcher block an “a lot” project, as it took a lot of precision, a lot of wood (more than 80 board feet), a lot of glue (almost a gallon!), a lot of time (about 150 hours) and a lot of patience. Once the bottom shelf is dry, scrape, sand or plane the surfaces to remove any glue squeeze-out, then mark and cut the tenons to fit through the mortises in the side skirts.
If you do the math, it adds up to a lot of dowel holes that need to be drilled in precisely the right places. An end-grain block is the hallmark of a professional chef, as it preserves sharp knife edges far better than a cross-grain or acrylic board. This blade is made specifically for rip cuts in thick hardwood; as the lumber we are using needs to glue up perfectly right off the saw, this blade is a good investment. In order to make these segments, I started by assembling eight hexagonal “logs” 48" long, cutting them to length later.
It is imperative that all of your lumber is exactly the same thickness to ensure there is no deviation between boards.
Set your tablesaw blade to 30° from square (creating 60° bevels on the wood) and double-check the angle. Flip and rotate your pieces within the bundle to get the grain direction of each piece perpendicular to the ones beside it for the best illusion.
Scrape off any squeeze-out, then label the sides of each log, at both ends, using the numbers one to six. Take four blocks and slice them in half on your bandsaw, cutting down through the point of the maple and through the seam between the walnut and cherry to form the filler blocks for the short ends of the top, then slice the maple diamonds in half (down through the point) for the 10 half-segments that make up the long edges of the top. You will see that the board is made up of eight staggered rows of 10 full blocks, with half-blocks filling in the edges of the cutting board. The hexagonal shapes make alignment and clamping difficult, the sheer size and weight of the assembly makes shifting individual pieces tough, and the limited open time of the glue meant I had to work quickly to get it all together. Small ones are most easily filled with two-part epoxy dribbled into the cracks, left to harden and sanded flush.
There are “food-safe" finishes available, but there is also the argument that most hardening finishes are food-safe once cured; it is the solvents that are toxic, and these evaporate during the drying process. The wood requires careful placement of your pushsticks on the stock and extreme caution as you cut because a large portion of the stock remains unsupported by the table due to the previously cut angle.
If you’d like to create a more traditional (and simpler) butcher-block top, opt for a checkerboard pattern. Glue and clamp pairs of blanks into two larger ones, measuring 2" x 24" x 38", ensuring they are aligned perfectly.
The woodworkers construction information found on these sites range in quantity and quality.
At the link you can download the free plan, watch the video, or follow along with the tutorial. Inside each drawer there are plenty of compartments to help you keep all your hardware separated and organized.
You will need the SketchUp software to download this drawing and its freely available online. This project starts with the traditional end-grain butcher-block design, but I added colour and shapes to inject more visual interest. Although I’m a big fan of handcut joinery, quite frankly, the thought of handcutting the 16 through mortises and laying out and drilling 144 dowel holes for what would ultimately be a utility piece of furniture didn’t appeal to me. Make the cuts on your bandsaw and clean up the saw marks with a few passes of a block plane or sandpaper wrapped around a sanding block. Apply tape over the mid part of the tenons and over the dowel holes, then prefinish all of the individual pieces. For your top, you can choose to reproduce my pattern, or you can go with a simpler arrangement of one or two species.
Once you have your orientation picked, apply a coat of top-quality, water-tolerant glue, such as Titebond III, to the mating faces with a small roller, and bring the pieces together into a hexagonal log. You have planed half of the faces now, so you will need to lower the cutter head again by the same amount as the initial adjustment (half a crank) and then plane Sides 4, 5 and 6.
So, take a breather, get all of your supplies together (including bar clamps), plan out your assembly and jump in.
I did the same with the next piece, and then set it into position against the preceding one.
If you end up with a larger gap or two, cut a tapered wedge in matching wood the same width as the crack and slightly thicker, put some epoxy down the crack and tap in the wedge until snug. Because I used three species of wood with different (although similar) expansion rates, I wanted to seal the wood as thoroughly as possible to avoid movement issues.
It applies easily, buffs to a nice shine, is non-toxic and makes the shop smell wonderful when you apply it.
By incorporating the existing design I had seen, with my own modifications, this is the result. What none of them realized was I had designed the layout using a 3D model and input from several really good wood workers.
We are building a house, and we put 2? foam board (pink board) on the outside of our poured basement walls before back filling.
This version includes an optical illusion known, as a “tumbling-block pattern,” on the top surface.
If you don’t have access to lumber that thick, laminate thinner pieces to achieve the required size.
First, I marked a line 9" up from the bottom of each leg to show the location of the top of the side skirts. With the holes drilled, you can glue and clamp the cleats in place on the inside faces and flush with the tops of the aprons and top supports. Prefinishing is far easier than finishing the nooks and crannies that appear after assembly.
Whichever method you choose, stick with the tighter-grained hardwoods such as hard maple, cherry or even purpleheart.
For measuring the angles, I went digital with the Wixey digital angle gauge to set the critical saw blade angles. I then pulled the wood back from the blade and measured the width of the newly sawn face with my digital calipers, comparing that measurement to the width of the first angled cuts I had made previously on all of the boards. The low-angle, bevel-up blade slices the end-grain cleanly, and the heft of the plane helps plow through the wood. To do this, I set out to fill the straw-like cells that make up end-grain as fully as possible with a curing finish.
You could glue these strips into wider blanks, but the 12" width is good because it fits through benchtop thickness planers. Not all drawings have the measurements displayed but you can use the measurement tool in SketchUp to easily and accurately determine the dimensions of each lumber part. For most people the first obstacle is having a space large enough, which is capable of supporting a shop full of power tools. By using a three-dimensional model I was able to design several options before I ever pounded a single nail. Although the tabletop appears to be made of a collection of cubes, it is actually a series of diamonds strategically placed to achieve the effect.
I used a combination of jig-cut through mortise-and-tenon and dowel joinery to make a strong, good-looking base. With the legs cut, plane 5?4 lumber to 1" thick for the rest of the base components and cut them to size. These cleats allow you to attach the top later, and the oversize holes allow for the inevitable seasonal wood movement in the top. I used three coats of Deft spray lacquer on my base, but tung oil or polyurethane are good options as well. Cut all of the first edges in one session to avoid moving the fence and introducing inaccuracy. If there’s any difference in width between the first round of cuts and the second, adjust the fence and make another trial cut. Multiple wraps of the cord generate a tremendous amount of clamping force at just the right angles, pulling the assembly together.
I then built the subsequent rows in the same way, clamping each row individually as I went, quickly moving on to the next row, nestling each piece into the row preceding it. If you are at all uncomfortable with this process, modify the design into a simpler checkerboard pattern. Most drawings do not have instructions, its assumed you can build it based on the completed drawing provided.
Unlike Norm most of us just don’t have a handy old barn kicking around for a world class workshop. But you can choose to use just one or the other style of joinery; just be sure to take into account the differences in the part lengths required for alternative joints and adjust your stock size accordingly. The FMT (Frame Mortise and Tenon) jig uses a set of guide plates to cut matching mortises and tenons precisely in your workpieces. These instruments allow you to achieve a high level of precision, and help to make sure everything goes together at glue-up time. Repeat this procedure until the width of each face of the strip is identical, then proceed to rip all of the required strips.
Wipe the board off, set it aside to dry, then repeat the process on the other side of the board. We are still building the house, so we do not have any insulation or framing on the interior of the basement walls yet.
Continue in this manner until all the blocks and half pieces are in place, then remove your clamps and wrap a band clamp around the entire top. I created two tenons on each end of the inner top supports and corresponding mortises in the aprons.
Tighten the clamp as much as you can, and adjust the pieces to get the top as gap-free as possible.
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