Manufacturing & Precision Woodworking | THISisCarpentry

Have you ever ever questioned how a furnishings builder can replicate a number of items which might be all precisely the identical with out using any fancy CNC machines? Properly happily there’s a technique that gained’t break the financial institution, and may be carried out in an inexpensive period of time. All it requires is a few scrap wooden or MDF (your selection), a pencil and straight edge for marking strains, a French curve if you wish to get further fancy, blue tape, CA glue, and a router with two various kinds of sample reducing bits—one prime bearing and one backside bearing.

(Word: Click on any picture to enlarge)

On this instance, I’m going to display how I make the legs for a aspect desk undertaking, which I occur to be within the technique of constructing. I begin with a scrap piece of MDF that I’ll finally use as a template. The peak of the legs is eighteen in., so I mark two strains that decide the highest and backside of the leg.

Between these strains is the place creativity occurs.

The desk I’m making is a mid-century fashionable design, so along with a slight taper, I additionally add a delicate curve on the prime utilizing my French curve template.
In case you don’t have a French curve, one thing so simple as a twig paint may be very efficient. Have a look round, you’ll be shocked what you need to use.
With the strains laid out, I make some tough cuts. This may be carried out on the bandsaw, with a jigsaw, or my private favourite, the monitor noticed.

The form may be tweaked and perfected afterward with a sander—I like utilizing an oscillating sander (extra on that quickly).

To take away materials alongside the curved part, I exploit a jigsaw, however I at all times depart the road so I can see it and sand proper to it. There are a number of methods for making curved cuts.

Some of us make reduction cuts—which is vital for tight radiuses.
I’ve additionally seen woodworkers draw a collection of dashed strains in order that they by no means get too near the precise template line.
An oscillating sander makes curved work quick, enjoyable, and exact. I take small passes, and ease up on the pencil line.

I like utilizing 120-grit paper as a result of it’s coarse sufficient to take away materials shortly with out biting in aggressively, and with a gradual tempo it leaves a pleasant clean edge. The sides of a template should be excellent—clean as glass, so {that a} small router bit bearing can journey effortlessly with none hiccups. In case you’re out there for a cheap oscillating sander, this Ridgid sander is a good selection and may be discovered at large field shops. Whereas it’s not essentially the most highly effective, belief me, it’s efficient!

I at all times joint my materials completely sq. earlier than shaping—that approach it’s a lot simpler to position the template exactly on a straight and crisp sq. edge. This straight and crisp sq. edge can be known as “true north.”

The true north aspect is the flat fringe of the template—the sting that’s usually positioned in opposition to a fence; the sting you may pull angle from with a bevel sq. or a protractor.

For this step, I maintain the template securely in opposition to the workpiece and hint a line across the fringe of the template with a pencil or perhaps a marker.

That is only a guideline in order that I can take away a lot of the extra materials with the bandsaw earlier than making use of the template and reducing the sample with a router.

Like I mentioned earlier than, when reducing curves, typically it’s safer and extra correct to make reduction cuts, in order that the waste will fall out and make it simpler to comply with the lower line with a bandsaw or jigsaw; with out the blade binding. After getting made the reduction cuts, begin working the curve just a little bit at a time. Every time a bit falls free, there’s extra room for the blade to maneuver. Bear in mind, with the bandsaw, you must transfer the workpiece across the blade, so don’t dive in too deep or you could find yourself getting certain within the lower. Ease your approach in. You may at all times take off extra later, however as soon as the fabric is gone, it’s gone!

With the surplus materials eliminated it’s a lot simpler to chop the workpiece with a router and template. You may clamp the template to the workpiece, however clamps at all times get in the best way. And utilizing screws, or brads, and even making use of fast-acting glue on to the work will mar the wooden and require extra time to restore. Right here’s an excellent approach that’s turning into an increasing number of fashionable: apply blue tape to the workpiece and template, after which use fast-acting cyanoacrylate glue (CA glue) to safe the template. You may as well use double-sided tape.

To make sure the template doesn’t transfer, I exploit three strips of blue tape on the fabric, and three strips on the template. I apply a small drop of CA glue to every piece of tape on the workpiece.

I don’t discover the necessity to use an accelerator spray, but it surely does velocity issues up. Skipping the accelerator permits me just a little further time to regulate alignment.

I begin routing with a 1/4-in. top-bearing bit, which follows the template.

Once I plunge the router for this go, you’ll discover I’m eradicating solely half of the fabric inventory, which is why I end the method with a bottom-bearing bit.
No matter which bit sample I exploit, I at all times run the router in opposition to the rotation of the bit, which ensures extra management and a smoother lower. In case you’re undecided which route your bit rotates, take a more in-depth search for the arrow in your router. In case your router doesn’t have an arrow on the bottom, draw one with a Sharpie!
With one aspect of the workpiece completed, I fastidiously pry off the template with a pointy, skinny, flat bar.

A 5-in-1 painters instrument works, too. Something that gained’t mar the workpiece or injury the template. The glue and blue tape really break away pretty simply, and the very best half is, there’s no residual glue.

After I’ve run the top-bearing bit on all of the legs, I swap to the bottom-bearing sample bit—actually only a flush-cutting bit. In fact, you probably have two routers you may full every leg at one time. The underside bearing rides on the graceful edge lower beforehand by the top-bearing bit.

Within the {photograph} above, it might seem just like the template remains to be hooked up to the workpiece, however that’s simply the uncooked edge that hasn’t but been lower by the bottom-bearing bit.

The top result’s three legs which might be all similar in each approach—as in the event that they have been lower by a CNC machine, and all by utilizing simply ONE easy template and two router bits!

In fact, extra instruments are at all times higher. In case you have a bigger router or a router desk, you need to use bigger bits to take away the inventory. However I do know plenty of woodworkers, like myself, with restricted house and restricted budgets, which makes this method accessible to everybody.

In case you loved this brief article, please let me know! It’s my FIRST printed article. Any questions, don’t hesitate to ask within the feedback part!



Twenty-four yr outdated Tommie Mullaney is a end carpenter and customized furnishings creator. Regardless of having solely 5 years of expertise within the end carpentry subject, and one yr in customized furnishings constructing, his ardour and love for woodworking runs deep. The second he began reducing wooden on the miter noticed, and nailing trim, he acknowledged a world had opened up for him, and it’s a world he belonged in.

Confronted with many challenges alongside the best way, Tommie took them head on, counting on YouTube and quick access to a broad vary of nationally acknowledged tradespeople and craftspeople. 4 years into trim carpentry, he noticed a wonderful aspect desk referred to as “The Borg,” created by customized furnishings builder, Jory Brigham, and determined to attempt his hand at replicating the desk.

That undertaking taught him a useful lesson: he was able to nearly something he put his thoughts to.

Late nights, weekends, holidays—his tiny little storage store started to really feel like dwelling. Work grew extra critical, and so did the instruments: investing income in new equipment, upgrading outdated instruments, and feeding a Festool behavior.

Tommie realized early on that high quality instruments might assist obtain high quality work.

After creating Mullaney Woodworks in July of 2018, Tommie turned extra acknowledged within the woodworking neighborhood on social media. Now he enjoys displaying his work and sharing his woodworking course of. It’s not about having 100k followers. It’s about high quality, not amount, and high quality means having fun with each second.

Whereas it might sound misplaced for a twenty-four year-old to speak about “giving again,” after studying TiC for years, Tommie needed to succeed in out and encourage different younger craftspeople—NOT to “comply with your ardour” however to pursue alternative, to develop a ardour for the craft. If you’d like one thing unhealthy sufficient, you’ll do no matter it takes to get there.

Expertise are the important, however ardour is priceless.

As Mike Rowe says, “Simply since you’re obsessed with one thing, doesn’t imply you gained’t suck at it.”

If you wish to be taught extra in regards to the distinction between “following your ardour” and onerous work, take a look at Mike Rowe’s video.

If you wish to attain out to Tommie Mullaney, you’ll find him on Instagram @MullaneyWoodworks, until he’s on the ice or strolling his canine, Bentley.

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