Sunday, September 10, 2017

Magazine File Box

I will show you how to build these strong and large file boxes. They are seven inches wide and can hold a lot of magazines. I will use my kerfmaker to make some of the dado cuts and snap it all together. Easy to build and very handy boxes for your files or magazines.

Here are some of my wood magazines in their file boxes, as you can see they are not holding up very well so I thought it is time to make some new ones and they will be made of wood. 

I used my dowel stop gauge and got some measurements from an old cardboard file box for making the new wooden box. I will use the same measurements for everything except the width. My new box will have a width of seven inches. This will hold more and it will not tip over which I found the problem with many other file boxes.

To make the box I will use the mini kerfmaker to help make some dado cuts. When the pieces are cut they will all snap together very nicely, but it will still require glue, this will make it very strong. 

The kerfmaker is put on the 3/8th plywood and the brass nut is tightened.

A stop block was clamped on my miter gauge, it was set along with the kerfmaker to the right distance to make 2 cuts on each of the sides. It is always a good idea to make a test cut and make sure everything works out.  

After the 2 cuts are made on each side  it is easy enough to use the table saw fence and cut away the center to make a clean slot.

The first 2 cuts are for the front and back of the file box. Now a bottom slot  can be cut. I put some tape on the ends to keep it from splintering or losing the small corner pieces.

Now that all the dado cuts are made, the curves can be cut. I used an old file box and traced it onto my pieces. It can be cut with a jigsaw or bandsaw. 

For the back I wanted a handle, so I used a 1 1/8" Forstner bit and drilled four holes. This will help when carrying since these boxes will be heavy when they are full. I also like the way this looks.

All the pieces are laid out. It is a good idea to test fit the box before glueing. Some sanding may be required for a good fit. When the box is finished you can do some fine sanding to take off any sharp edges.                                                   

I liked the box so much I built 4 of them, I filled one up and put it in my office right away and it looked great. I know I will get a lot of use from these and may have to build more. 

See also:   


              Box with decorative splines                                             Wood tray-birds mouth joinery

Friday, August 11, 2017

Kerf Maker

If your kerfs are not exact you are not alone. If you are starting out or advanced sometimes making precise cuts can be frustrating. You can buy a kerf jig, but they can be very expensive.

Here is an easy jig you can  make and get excellent results. It is very small but still opens to 3/4". I find this is all I need right now and I  have too I can always make a larger one.


You can use a dado blade but this will work if you're in a hurry or you don't want to switch blades. 
To see the tools I use visit this  page, any tools purchased through these links helps supports my channel.

I will start with a piece of maple and Brazilian cherry. Both are hard woods and are good for making jigs and will last a long time.

The blocks are cut to the right size and since everything is set up it is easy enough to make a few kerf makers. It's nice to own two and give away a few. 

A small slot is cut on the bottom block, this was done on the table saw. I just ran it through and moved the fence  a few times until I had the right size for a t-bolt.

Next thing to do is make a mark for drilling a slot. I used a pocket marking gauge to make a centre line. Now you can use a brad point drill bit and create a perfect slot.

If you don't have the right size T-bolt you can always make your own. Just grind down the head of  bolt. Take off just small amounts and measure until you get the right size to fit the slot.

The top block is marked and drilled for the bolt. Then a slot will be cut out for the brass knurled nut. 

The T-nut is put in the jig along with the brass nut,  then I used my  mini hacksaw to make a mark so I can cut the rest with an angle grinder.

A small piece of wood is glued to the bottom block, this will work like a stop block.

This is a very simple jig and these are all the pieces for the kerf maker.

The last thing to do is to trim the top block. The cut is the thickness of a standard saw blade which is 1/8".

First box I made I used  3/8" plywood. This was made as a test piece and turned out not too bad. I will test a few more pieces then move on to nicer projects.

The kerfmaker is complete and here is the second box I made in minutes. After I cut a 5 small pieces of fir I tried out the jig and made 6 kerfs on three of the pieces. The pieces snapped together very nicely. I later glued and sanded it giving me a very nice looking box. 


This  small jig can fit in your pocket or could even be made into a keychain.

Very easy to make and  easy to use. You can test and make some small boxes to start with because they can snap together easily to see what works. You can then move on to larger projects. 

If you need to make it larger to open more than 3/4" just make it a bit longer. 

I have a few projects in mind that I will be making using this jig.

What kind of Kerfmaker do you own?

You may also like:
           Bevel Gauge                                                                                Spline Jig

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Table saw fence and blade micro adjustment jig

When you have to tune up or adjust your table saw, a dial indicator will help do the job.  Dial indicators measure dimensional differences as small as .001". You just need a way to mount it. Here I will show you how to build this jig and show you three important ways you can use it for your tablesaw.

           Table saw Fence and Blade Micro Adjustment Jig

There are a lot of good tools and ways check your table saw alignment,  check out Patrick's Workshop-How to Align a Table Saw he gives a good explanation and demonstration. In his previous video he even shows you how to build it. 

Here is the Dial indicator and base I made years ago. This one is used  for moving the fence micro adjustments. It works just great but I want it to do more so I will show you how to make it with a few modifications so it will be even better.

 Purchasing via these links helps support my channel. 

Affiliate links from Amazon

  Dial Indicator  $22.00 
  2 1/2" Forstner bit$ 35.99
  16 Piece Forstner Bit Set  $31.35

The new table saw adjustment jig will be able to:   
  • Align the blade
  • Align the fence
  • Micro adjust the fence
  • Perform different tasks on other machines

How to make

Oak will be used for the jig and since it is a hardwood it will be durable and  last long in the shop. I just cut a few pieces to L 5.8"x W 2.7 " The height will be 1.25".

After the two pieces are glued together I use a 2 1/2" forstner bit to cut the circle, this size will be fine for the dial indicator. The hole is drilled  0.65" deep.

A slot will be cut 4.6" in length  for the spindle and stem. Special measurements are taken to make sure the slot is the right width and depth. The width should be the a tiny bit smaller than the stem of the dial indicator since it will be a pressure fit. 

The best way to make the length  cut is to  use a stop block. Make a test cut  and move the block a small amount at a time until you get the right length cut.  I make a pencil mark  on the fence each time I move the block for a reference.

One end is slightly tapered this will sit nice on the table saw and make it easier for viewing. Make sure you cut it before glueing the runner. In the video I cut it after I glued on the runner. This way worked out but was a bit harder to cut.

A small Forstner bit is used to clean out the slot.  Also the center of the hole can be drilled out for the back post on the dial indicator. 

Now the dial indicator can be placed in the circle.  One more small hole has to be drilled out and this is for the thumbscrew. When it is at the right position it is marked and placed back in the vise and drilled out. 

Here you can see a runner that has been glued on. It does not have to be secured with screws, two pieces of wood glued together are very difficult to take apart. 

A 3/4" forstner bit is used to drill another hole, this will be for the magnet. Gorilla glue is used for the magnet. I have done this a few times and have had good results. 

Two coats of Varathane were applied and we are just about done.

The dial indicator stem is pressed into the front slot. I used the end of a screwdriver and swedged it in. I did this to the one I made many years ago and it has never moved. 

If ever you want to remove it just take a small flat screwdriver and pry it out and then use the screwdriver to put it back.

I won't go into the fine details  to do each task at this time but micro adjusting your fence is easy enough to figure out and use right away.  

Aligning the blade


Aligning the Fence

 Micro adjusting the fence

Making jigs to help you in your shop is very rewarding,  and if  it works well and has more than one use that is even better. This is an easy jig to make and will help you make fine adjustments to your tablesaw blade and fence.

 Cutting the bevel on one side makes it easier for viewing and the one  magnet works fine. It does not have to be strong for the tool to work properly. This tool will help you with your table saw adjustments and then help you make more precise cuts.

How do you align or adjust your table saw?

See also

     Pocket Bevel Gauge                               Dowel Gauge                              Make a large Caliper

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Dog Elevator

The last project was my scissor lift. I wanted to try something different and make a dog elevator to help my dogs get up on  the couch. To do this I would have change the position of the drill so I could reach it easier and from a different angle.

I have three dogs and they always want to go on the couch, I have some dog stairs but they don't like to use them. When I reach over to lift them they run away, so I thought an elevator may be the solution.


Since I will be using my Scissor lift from my last project I wanted to be able to make the new addition that was easy enough  attach and take off. Maybe I will have to build two of them.

This is the video for my Scissor lift ......


                                         Dog elevator video                      


 Pin Gears

To start I will make the gears. I first cut a circle from some plywood and using a caliper I divided it and drilled 10 holes for the dowels.  6 holes will be drilled into the smaller gear.

I used 3/8 inch dowels  for the pins. I cut 16 small piece dowels using my small bandsaw sled.  This goes very fast and  accurate. Since everything is set up cutting a few extra is a good idea.

A file is used to roll over one end of  the dowels, this will crush the wood a bit and be good for the glue to adhere.  

A slot is cut in the side piece. To do this I cut one side until it hit the stopblock, moved it over and cut the other side. Then the end was cleaned up with the band saw.

A couple of guides were cut and screwed onto the side then a small piece of 1/4 plywood is cut to fit exactly in the guide. Careful measuring and cutting the pieces makes everything move smooth. I find a caliper is best to make precise measurements.

These 2 -3/4" plywood  blocks are clamped and drilled, they will be used to guide the threaded rod and small gear.

The ends are rounded ......

....and screwed onto the 1/4 inch plywood slide. 

Two brackets are screwed onto the bottom and the side to hold the slide and gears. Removing the bottom screws of these brackets will make it  easy if ever you want to take off the side.

 Plastic gliudes are put on the bottom to protect the hardwood floor. 

A couple of nuts are used to adjust the height of the threaded rod. A large washer would be a good idea if this thing gets a lot of use.

I haven't checked the max weight it will lift but it lifts these tools and my larger dog no problem.

Molly sitting proud on the elevator. She does not understand it but is not bothered by the noise and she does get on the couch. With a little training I think it will be easier.


My dogs will go on this elevator but will take some training. The lift is very easy to take apart so I can use it in my shop as a work table any time I need too. 

Building slides and gears is fun and this project was very simple.

I hope this motivates you to build something creative.

What else can a lift be used for?

See Also


         Hovercraft table                                          Angle drilling jig                               Scroll holder