Saturday, April 20, 2019

How to Make Wooden Hinges

I built a small cabinet with a door so I needed some hinges so I thought I would try make some wood hinges for the door. They will be made all of wood including the hinge pin.

They are very strong and work well. I will show you step by step how I built them.

In my wood pile I had some Brazilian cherry  stair treads. I like the look of cherry and since it is a hardwood I thought they would work well for the hinges. They will be cut to a width of 3.5".

I used my table saw sled to cut the blocks to the right dimensions for the 2  mounting parts of the hinge. 

I had to glue a couple of pieces together, this will give me  large blocks to work with. They will be cut and shaped later to make a nice looking hinge.

I clamped them and set them a side overnight. 

The pieces are marked and notched out carefully with the band saw. 


The pieces are tested for fit. They are not bad but I could have done better, although this does not matter when the hinge is complete.


The two pieces of the hinge are clamped together and holes are drilled  for the hinge pin. The hinge pin will be a 1/2 wooden  dowel. It is easier to drill them now and later round the ends of the blocks.


In order for the hinge to rotate the block ends have to be rounded. I did this first using the band saw then a  belt sander. To keep things as accurate as possible it is best to pencil mark the round end and clean up using a belt sander. 

To make the shape of the hinge it is first cut lengthwise and cleaned up with the belt sander. 

More shaping the hinge.

When all the pieces are sanded a half inch dowel is pounded into the hinge. It feels very tight at this point but will rotate easier in time. I also use a little bit of lubrication which helped a lot.


 Five holes are drilled in each hinge, this will be for carriage bolts.


                                          See video

I used spacers to center the door and then drilled and installed the carriage bolts. After the bolts were tightened I tested it out and it worked 

See Also:                                                                                  

    Tool Caddy                                           Spline Jig                                                       


Sunday, March 3, 2019

Make a Marking Gauge with Micro Adjust

Marking and measuring gauges are always handy in the shop. I came up with this idea of making a gauge with the pencil attached inside. This gauge is easy to adjust and micro adjust just by rotating the pencil.

It fits nicely in your pocket and now you always know where you have a pencil. Making one is very simple, all you need is some hardwood maple, dowel, knurled nut and allen screw. 

Here are a few of my other marking gauges. I use them all in my shop and there is a video about each of them.

To start I will cut a slot in a block of maple it will be the width for the pencil. The slot is cut first since the slot is the most important cut. After the slot is cut I will cut the block to the right dimensions.

I tested several pencils and and found 7mm. works best.  I slowly moved the fence and made cuts then tested the pencil each time until I got the correct fit. 

The next thing is to drill a hole for the dowel. A pencil will fit in this dowel and it will swivel so it has to be a tight fit. I will use a 1/4" dowel and the drill bit I will be using is 31/64th.

Cutting a small piece if 1/4" dowel on my band saw

The dowel is put in a drill and taken over to the belt sander. One end is rounded, this will help when is tapped into the hole.

The dowel was tapped in the maple block and the ends are cut on the bandsaw, later they can be sanded smooth. Be careful when tapping so you don't split the block, if it doesn't feel right ream the hole a small amount with the drill bit.

A 9/32nd hole was drilled into the dowel to fit a pencil. I tested several pencils and drill bits and found this size works best. Also when I finished the piece I swabbed the hole with varathane which helped me get the right amount of friction for a tight fit.


The pencil fits nice and swivels nice, I just have to trim the pencil down to the right length to fit in the gauge.

Here I am making a stop block. I used a pair of pump pliers to hold a small  block to cut it to the right shape. The pliers made it easy to cut and I did not risk cutting my fingers.

My wooden machine vise was used to hold the block to drill the hole for the allen screw.

To attach the stop block an allen screw and a knurled nut will be used. I used my homemade hex driver for the allen screw. The block was drilled slightly smaller than the screw so it would thread itself into the hole.

The marking gauge is complete and it works great. It adjusts and folds nicely.  I now have another tool for my shop and I know I will get a lot of use from it.

See Also:

      Large Bevel Gauge                                                                      Pocket Bevel Gauge


Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Bow Sander

A bow sander is a fantastic tool for sanding rounded contours, irregular surfaces, or radiused corners.

This design is very simple and easy to make, it uses a belt sander so you can quickly switch in and out the different belts when needed. Nice to hang on your tool wall and be ready for use  for a variety of sanding jobs

It is bow-shaped and has a long stroke which helps for fast sanding and comfortable to use. The narrow width strips lets you sand in tight areas.

To get started all you need is a piece of 2x4 and sanding belts. You don't need glue or screws or any other parts, you just have to make a few cuts on the table saw and band saw.

A slot was cut 1 inch deep in the 2x4. This will be for the belt to fit in. The 2x4 was long enough to make to bow sanders.

Here I roughly marked the bow and handle. The bow should be marked slightly larger than the length of the sanding belt. Later the ends will be sanded to fit the belt.

First I cut it on the bandsaw then hand sanded the piece smooth. I also sanded the handle and the ends round to get the right fit for the belt.

3"x21" belts are used. Of course larger belts can be used for a larger bow sanders. I would like to make larger ones and see how they work.

The sanding belt is cut  into roughly 1 inch wide  strips.  To do that the sandpaper is clamped down between a few blocks of scrap wood. Doing it this way will help so the belt won't kink or crease. 

 The belt is now ready to be put on the bow. There is a little flex on the bow but still needs to be worked on to get it in place. This is good because it will have good tension on the belt.

These sanders are so easy to make so  I made a second one. This is a good project for beginner woodworkers so I kept it simple. It would be nicer if hardwood was used. 

I tested my sanders out and they work great. One had more tension than the other so remember to cut the bow larger than the belt and slowly test the belt, sand a little and test again. Keep doing this until you get the perfect fit.

See Also:

             Moisture meter                                                   Make a Bevel Gauge                                                    



Sunday, December 23, 2018

Wire wheel angle grinder with adjustable height

Angle grinders come in handy in the workshop. They can be used for cutting, polishing or bushing and more.

Wire wheels are useful for removing rust and debri from a variety of items. This system allows you to set the height of the grinder to get the desired action of the wire wheel. The weight of the grinder keeps it quite solid on the base. The grinder on the base helps to control the polishing action.  Wire wheels leave a scratch pattern so you can always use a brass wire wheel.

See the video here: Angle Grinder Build

Here I will show you step by step how it is made.

The first thing to do is to make a base, since I don't have a piece of plywood thick enough I glued two pieces of plywood together to give me a piece 1" thick. 

After the glue is dried the piece is trimmed on the table saw. This will make everything look clean and will be a good solid base. It is 1'x 17.5".

Here I am cutting a piece of 1/2" plywood to 4"x8". It will be the back for the grinder. Blocks will be added to this back and this will be for the guides. 

The side handle slot for the bolt is angled so I used my mini bevel gauge to get the angle for drilling a hole for the bolt.

I used a block to set the height to get the approximate angle for drilling.

The back fits nicely on the grinder and the bolt angle is correct. Two maple blocks are cut out, they will be screwed onto the the back and will hold the metal pipes which are the guides.

Two blocks for the guides are clamped and drilled for the pipe. Clamping and drilling together is very important to make everything precise.

The block is clamped to the table to get ready for drilling the base. Everything has to be precise to make make the guides work.

 I used a forstner bit and tapped it with a hammer to make marks into the base. 

Pipes and bars where purchased at my local metal shop. The diameter of the bars are 16mm. After I cut the pieces the pipes are 10" and the bars are 14".

The base is drilled with a 15mm forstner bit for the bars.

Cutting the pipes to length, 10".  


Glueing and screwing the blocks onto the back.

Two slots are made in the back for a pipe clamp. They are about 1/4" long. I did this on the drill press. I marked the slot then drilled several holes and then used the drill bit as a router to finish up to  make the slot.    

A pipe clamp and the bolt hold the grinder secure to the back.

The pipes were very tight in the blocks so a Dremel tool was used to ream the hole to get the right fit. If I hammered them with force the maple block may have split. 

To keep the pipes secure set screws are made simply by using screws and cutting them to the right size and screwing them in until they touch the pipe, this is all they need to hold them in place. 

A stop for the grinder is made using a threaded rod. To adjust a nut and wingnut are used. 

To secure the threaded rod a nut was inserted in the plywood base. To do this it was first marked, chiseled out and then pounded in.

When the grinder back is placed on the bars it will rest on the top of the threaded rod, now it is easy to make the mark for the threaded rod.

This hole can be drilled free hand since it will be for a stop and not a guide.

To help preserve the base I found a piece of  metal in my scrap pile, cut it to size, then drilled and countersunk the corners. 

I tested the grinder and found it worked great. Setting the height was very effective for the pieces I was cleaning. 

I know this will come in handy in my shop. It is easy to make and I know there are many uses for it.

See Also:                                                                            

mini kerf maker                                

              Reciprocating sander