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  • Smallpatch

    Its been shown before but still questions

    By Smallpatch

    this is not the same box but is the way I start building one.   I have to print out 10 exact patterns. The tenth one is just solid with no holes for drawers.     All the pieces  I cut out for the drawers are later glued together except for the front of the drawer and the back of the drawer. I use dowels to line up everything . If I don't use the dowels when clamping two pieces together it could slip just a hair one way or the other and cause lots of extra sanding or cause for the trash can. Each set of holes has to be in a different place than the next side of the pieces. And you can't drill the next side until  the first side is marked and drilled and glued. Drawers are somewhere around 5 1/2 to 6" deep.   The body being one solidly glued up mass with no cuts joining each drawer keeps it all from warping from season changes..   I use brasing or stainless steel rods for drawer pulls before I start spraying the clear  lacquer so they will stay looking good and not tarnish.    I also put a wider drawer front on to cover up the possible gaps from sanding and creating a back looking mess. And here also the dowels help to line up the drawer fronts.  So far, all the sawing was with the scroll saw so the reason I call my boxes scroll saw jewelry boxes.    Now before I glue the front of the drawer on and the back of the drawer on I first mark where the cavity of the drawer will be and cut that area out with a band saw. Then using the dowel holes I first pt in the pieces I can now glue the on and they will have bee lined up before the cavities of the drawers were sawn in...   Its not a good idea to be drinking beer when all this is taking place for all these holes I drill has to have a stop set on the drill press or else...  There is way more preparation in one of these boxes and a few more weeks involved.. I cut the last 4 boxes I made out outside my motor home while sitting in an rv park in Colo.. I had all the wood glued together for each piece I needed and would only glue on one pattern one at a time as I started to scroll saw each piece out... Gluing a pattern on two or three days before the sawing takes place the pattern will shrink and stretch  and some might ruin to not be usable.  I always took two or three extra patterns and pieces of prepared wood just in case... I have also found two different printers will make different size patterns even though I use the same pattern in two different printers..Not good when I am having to make multiple patterns and needing some more away from the printer I first used.   When cutting out this many of the same thing and needing them as close to each other as I can get them, I find I have to start my scroll saw cutting from the same place and go in the same direction on all the pieces... Going two different directions on two different pieces a person has a tendency to lean or push the wood just enough to make differences and I get get bad line up problems and then add that many more pieces it gets too wild....Yes it ruined my very first wide box because of this...   Using the dowel system where at least 3 dowels and most of the time 4 dowels on each side of all the pieces I can get things more manageable when its time to sand it all smooth on the inside and the outside and all the drawers.. All these have to stay in line as to how they were sawn so lots of marking goes on and off. Don't even know if this is understandable or not??   And I can sure see the difference in my sawing from starting in the morning or just before I quit at night. Those lines can sure get wavy.     Jess
    • 1 comment
  • John Morris

    Project Introduction

    By John Morris

        My name is John Morris, and I am the founder of The Patriot Woodworker. Our community was founded on the principles of sharing, mentoring, and learning from fellow woodworkers, and above all, we have one thing in common, we all support the men and women who serve our nation. And we pretty much take on any task or challenge for our veterans that is asked of us, with the help of our sponsors. Recently I was asked by my own daughters (Patriot Tigers) if The Patriot Woodworker's could support their high school club efforts to host a dinner for the faculty of their school disctrict, of whom are also veterans. I asked them what can we do for them, contribute funds to help offset the costs of food? Or possibly myself and some fellow local Patriot Woodworker's could stand at the entry way and welcome the veterans to the event? How about a valet? None of the above! DUH! Dad, build us some plaques, your a woodworker! "That's right!" I stated, I almost forgot! Thus the project began. We are building 32 each, 7" x 9" x 3/4" solid hardwood plaques. Sounds easy right? Well it is, but there is a good amount of time it takes to construct simple squares of wood that feel perfect to the touch, and are flawless to the eye. To start off, one of my daughters and myself took a drive into town to pick up some lumber for the project, we ended up at Reel Lumber of Riverside CA. I like the store, it's a small mom and pop outfit in appearance, but it has a pretty big backing in the actual company. We go there frequently for our hardwood and exotic purchases, and the staff is tops. With a very keen eye on the part of my daughter, we spent about an hour at the store looking for the boards that were "just right" for her. And we came away with some nice 4/4 walnut, figured maple, and birch. We had the gentleman cut the boards in half so we could fit them in our small Toyota Corolla with the rear seats folded down. (Note: Last year our neighbor totaled my pickup truck, and we have not been able to replace it, as luck would have it, the driver was uninsured!) We came home and stacked the boards on my workbench and let them set for a week before I commenced the project. To the right is Walnut, center is the Curly Maple, and left is Birch.   I was able to get out to the shop and get the boards cut and sized, edges chamfered, and all the plaques sanded to 150 for now. Later I'll work through the grits up to 600 in preparation for wipe on varnish.   I used a 45 degree 1/2" shank chamfer bit chucked up into my router table. My table is made by an outfit in Canada who sell the RT 1000 series router table, you can't beat the price, and the table is built very well, I have had mine for about 10 years now. The following image is the stock photo of the exact table I have.     When I route any edges on any project that involves routing all four edges of a board, the long grain, and the end grain, I always start by routing the end grain first, the reason is it is possible that you may have some kick out at the tail end of the pass as you rout the end grain, and if that happens, you can always clean it up when you shape the long grain edges. It's just a simple process that gives you a second chance instead of destroying a perfectly good board by not planning ahead for mistakes. The image below does not show the board in the proper position for end grain routing, I took the image as is, but when I fired up the router table I rotated the board 90 degrees to hit the end grain edges first.     After a few passes with the 32 boards (plaques) I now have something resembling a stack of plaques, ready for sanding.     Whenever possible I gang sand boards, just as I gang plane boards, the more the merrier, and it cuts down on the work considerably, not too mention it's just better on your sanding pad as well, it's always better on the sander pad when you can sand a flat area instead of sanding on edge, it's less stress on your sander and keeps your sander pad from wearing on the edges.       After a couple hours of sanding to 150 grit, I finally have some fine looking plaques that are shaping up to be something special, for some very special people. Later I'll take the boards to 600 before I use my wipe on finish.     A word about our supporters: I'd like to thank our sponsors for helping us offset the costs of the lumber, our sponsors as shown on our home page, they pay money to have their advertising displayed in our community, and we in turn use those funds for projects like this, and much more, such as helping disabled veterans acquire machinery, tools and supplies for their own workshops, but this time we are leveraging sponsor's funding to fabricate some wonderful awards of appreciation for some men and women of a Southern CA school district, who served their nation.     For this project we also have a new helper, Anady's Trophies and Engravings. They are a top notch outfit, and they adore our military and veterans as do we, so we are a perfect match. Anady's has come waaaay down on their costs to help us procure some wonderful engraved brass plates to mount on the plaques, the plates will have a thank you message, and the name of the veteran. Anady's is instrumental in making this project a success, and we'd love to thank them for their support. I'd also like to ask anybody who needs trophies, engravings, or supplies, to look up Anady's, they'll ship to you. Their name has a lot of history in our valley, and they are a top notch outfit to work with. And the staff is so polite and professional.   Related Links: The Club who asked us for help has their own website, please see them at Patriot Tigers Club. The school district that employs our veterans, and who the event is being held for is San Jacinto Unified School District.          
  • lew

    Part 1- the concept

    By lew

    The Pastor’s Table or I Think My Sister Is Trying To Buy My Way Into Heaven -  (borrowing a title concept from Rocky and Bullwinkle) Part 1: I think my sister believes my past transgression’s slate can be, at least in part, wiped clean by building furniture for the church she attends. The latest installment is a kitchen island/work table for the church’s kitchen. The pastor emailed me a picture of a table he thought would work but wanted something larger and with slightly different construction techniques.   Using Sketchup and the free Sketchup viewer, we worked through the major details of the build and ended up with this concept-   He chose to use poplar for the frame (which would be painted), soft maple for the two shelves (polyed) and hard maple for the top (oil/bee’s wax). The overall dimensions were 72” long x 30” wide x 36” tall. The top was to be made as a butcher block style using edge grain (rather than end grain) and 1.5” thick. He also wanted the top pieces to be random lengths scattered through the field. We originally thought about 1” “wide” field pieces but then went with approximately 1.5” wide pieces. That reduced the overall number of strips across the top. The legs were a full 4” square glue ups. All of the frame joints are mortice and tenons. The only hardware used was to secure the top to the frame (lag bolts/washers) and the shelves to the stretchers (wood screws/washers). As the build progressed, it became obvious this could be another china cupboard fiasco. The final assembly would have to take place outside of the basement shop. So… if you are up to it, follow along…
    • 1 comment
  • lew

    Part 3:

    By lew

    Part 3: The work space in my shop is so small that I needed to build this project in stages. With the top finished, it was time to move on to the legs of the base. The entire base frame is made from poplar and the minister is going to paint it white. His specs were for full 4” x 4” legs. I suppose I could have gotten 16/4 poplar boards but those pieces would have been so large and heavy that I don’t think I could have manhandled them through the milling processes. I started with 5/4 boards and milled enough stock for a 4 x 4 glue up. I finished out the planing/ripping the boards a little over sized in thickness and width to allow for shifts in the glue up process.     Gluing up the blanks was straight forward     Space and number of clamps dictated gluing one leg assembly at a time.       Once all of the legs dried, the jointer and planer brought the blanks square and to the correct dimensions.       Cutting the legs to length was up next. I opted to use the table saw for this operation. I have a chop saw but it is one of the very early models with a 7.5” blade- it wasn’t going to make the cut in one pass. The table saw wouldn’t make the cut in one pass either but I felt I’d have a little more control using it. I set up my cross cut sled and squared one end of each leg. Next, I added an extend stop block set for the leg length. One pass, roll the blank over, second pass- done.           At this point, it was time to layout and cut the mortices in the legs. To make certain the mortices were properly oriented, I labeled everything.         Some practice slots with the hollow chisel morticer.         Twenty-four mortices later.   The minister added the chamfer detail around the top so I thought it would look OK to continue that detail throughout the build. I would have added the chamfer around the leg feet anyway to prevent tear out if the table was slid across the floor.       Some sanding left but the legs are finished.  
    • 1 comment
  • lew

    Part 5:

    By lew

    Part 5:   As “Norm” used to say- “We’re gaining on it now.”   Time for the first dry fit to make sure all the mortice and tenons fit together.     Had to futz with a few of the tenons but overall everything went together nicely. You can see why I’m limited to the size of my projects. This is the only assembly space available- add clamps around a piece and things really get tight.   There were still a few more things left to do with the apron and shelf supports. I wanted to carry the chamfer detail along the bottom of each piece. Router table took care of that.       The shelves need to be secured to the frame. I decided to use wooden “clips” and a dado in the stretchers           The “clips” are cut from an “L” shaped piece of poplar       I made a long blank for the clips and then just cut off about 1 ½” piece. I drilled an oversized screw hole through the thicker section (oversized to allow for expansion/contraction). The thinner part slips into the dado on the back of the stretchers and screws thread into the underside of the shelf.   The astute observer will notice the mistake in the pictured blank. The wood grain is running parallel to the blank length. The little tabs (fitted into the dados) will snap off as soon as any pressure is applied. Not sure where my mind was when I cut this, anyway, I made new ones with the grain running perpendicular to the blank length (just forgot to take a picture).   The final bit of frame construction was to create a way to mount the butcher block top. The frame (with 2 shelves) will weigh in at close to 100 pounds. If the completed table is moved, lifting it by the top, quite a bit of stress will be applied to the connection between the top and frame. It took me a while to come up with an idea that solved the problem.   I added three cross supports that were dovetailed into the side aprons.             The dovetailed supports were let into the apron using blind dovetail techniques. I used a trim router to hog out the majority of the materials.     Then I chiseled out the remaining material.         The dovetail shape, in addition to glue and screws at each dovetail location, will provide enough support to keep the top from breaking free of the frame.     Finally, l  drilled oversized holes thru the cross supports to receive 1/4" lag bolts to connect the frame to the top.   Now to tear it all apart to work on the shelves!  

Part #1 The Starting Concept

While I was building the humidor, a friend mentioned he had acquired a shotgun. He wanted a protective case but not the typical soft sided type.  We measured his gun and calculated what size the case it would take. Not too large but enough room for a couple of accessories. Using Sketchup, we eventually came up with an appropriate design. While he hadn't decided on the hardware, I now had enough information to begin working. The box is solid walnut with inside dimensions of 10" x 32" x 3 1/8". All stock is 1/2" thick. The top has a raised panel. The interior will be filled with FastCap Kiazen Liner. There was enough walnut left from the humidor to make all the necessary pieces, with the exception of the bottom. The bottom is actually two thinner panels glued together. The design of the bottom installation hides the seam.   My friend wanted the sides/ends joined with dovetails. The bottom and top will set in dadoes.  In the next part- layout and cutting dovetails.



  • Blog Entries

  • Blog Comments

    • You do gorgeous work! Thanks for showing it to us!!
    • And the first part of building the boat dock started when Tony said he and some friends were going to the lake so I said good so you can take the trailer full of beds and furniture we will be putting in the cabin.... and before you guys launch the boat there is a pile of trash I want burned ...and don't leave until the fire is out. Well they thought they had the fire almost out so they went and launched the boat and as they were coming back to the cabin they could see smoke so about 100 yards or feet from land Tony jumped out of the boat and ran across the water and grabbed a water hose before the boat ever got to land...This was what the friends told me. My son never ever mentioned the fire but he could not figure out how to tell me about half the trailer burned up and all the furniture on it and one side of the cabin was embers....... This was when I decided a boat dock needed to be built.   So Sherri the rest of the story took about three or four more years of all kinds of things happening and I will have to think for a good while. I do remember where all that oil field pipe came from...Our business,  a go-cart track and a mini golf and some more things and about once a week this big Harley came up and a one legged guy and his girl friend came to ride the go-carts...They seemed to have enough money often to enjoy life and have some fun and it made me curious. The first thing I asked what kind of business he was in and he said buy and sell oil field pipe...Well, I could use a few stick of 2 3/8" upset tubing sometime. I'll remember that and they went in and started playing the video games. I still wanted to ask how he lost his leg but got busy with riders that night. A few days later here they came again and this time he said you still need some pipe. Yep, Well I got a truck load and need to drop off the pipe some where so I can go get another load tomorrow morning so how many joints you want, oh  I don't know maybe ten or so.. I said what is a truck load and he said 100 thirty foot joints...I'll make you a bargain if you buy it all..and that is why we came in the truck instead of on the Harley.....Oh my, after looking at a truck load of pipe, I couldn't use that much in 20 years...If you buy it all tonight I''ll take 10 bucks a joint, thats 1000 dollars. I thought this sold for more than that. He said it does ,30 dollars a joint is the going price when I got more time but I need an empty truck for in the morning and its 9 already tonight. Thirty dollars a joint is the going price for a few at a time...I said just unload it any where you want on the parking lot... My son went with him and pointed right there and it unloaded it self in about 1 minute. rolled on the grass next to his house. By the way how did you loose your leg. His girl friend said an accident on that Harley we ride all the time. So with that pipe I built a 40 x 60 foot building with a 12 foot ceiling and 3 -40 foot walk ways for a 26 x 36 or 46 foot boat dock.. and enough pipe for three sides of the house some frames for covered decks.  See there I can't even remember the size of the boat dock and I am on it ever day or two.    Oil field pipe is 1/4" thick kinda tempered steel....It will build into anything a person wants ... One sprayed on coat of rusty primer by Rustolium in 1990 and still no rust on 99 % of the pipe.. but from the water down is another story........   The next question I ask the pipe guy was what happens when you come up to a stop light and loose your balance...........his girl friend says, we don't loose our balance...The rest of the story, the dock being built on one end of the go-cart track parking lot and the house mover hauling the dock 240 miles to the lake and getting it from the boat launch about 4 miles to the cabin was some harry stories...Maybe later...
    • Sherri that boat dock thingy took too many years from the first end of the story to the end end and my memory gets hijacked somewhere in the middle and who did you say you are and how did you know about it?
    • These are fluorescent and don't get very warm, Gerald.  And to me they were pretty inexpensive.  My daughter spent about $80 for the backdrop cloth, stands, umbrellas and stands, and all the related gear to stow it away in a neat and tidy carry bag.  When she moved out few years ago she didn't want to take it with her so she gave it to me.  It's always hers to me and if she wants it I'll package it up but she used it once and I've used it hundreds of times.  The lights aren't very bright but the setup is nice for shadow-free photography.   David
    • David I see you like the umbrellas. I am kinda a cheapskate and go with cloth filters and cannot leave all that setup. Have now been looking at using LED lighting. At the AAW Symposium in 2016 there was a session on photo and they recommended LED lights. The same reflection problems as other lights but less heat and more color temps available. 
    • I've never tried Rapid Resizer because I'm cheap.  Just ask my wife.  I'm still using an older version of GIMP.  Doesn't everyone cook with one of those nuclear reactors? 
    • Gorgeous work!   Thanks for the explanation.
    • Not a problem, Jesse. I still find myself reaching for the floor shift every once in a while.  

Who We Are

Operation Ward 57 Challenge Coin Display Project

We are a woodworking community with an emphasis on sharing and learning the skilled craft of woodworking and all of its related disciplines. Our community is open to everyone who wishes to join us. We support our American veterans and active duty, being a veteran is not a prerequisite to join. Join us now!


Air Force Command Center Plaque

Of course just like most online woodworking communities we are centralized in the arts, crafts, and trades that are woodworking. But, we have another focus in our Patriot Woodworker community, we are the only woodworking community that was founded on our care and concern for our disabled veterans.


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The Patriot Woodworkers are an all volunteer community, from the staff and hosts who run our online woodworking community to the members who frequent our forums, you'll find volunteers in all of us. We are not on a payroll, unless you consider the spiritual rewards gained from volunteering, as compensation.



One of the many projects we are working on is a wiki for our online community. A wiki is a great way for woodworkers and enthusiasts to share their knowledge to others, and to impart their knowledge for others to learn from, and utilize as well for their own benefit. We hope you'll consider being a wiki contributor.