Latest Posts

Could this be the best way to get woodworking magazines?

I have to watch how many monthly subscriptions I sign up for. Such things can add up to a lot of monthly $$$. From Spotify to my Adobe Acrobat monthly charge, the list can quickly become too much. But there is one woodworking related subscription which is money well spent and I think few people know about: Apple’s News+ service.

News+ is just that, a news service with a premium option allowing the viewing of a multitude of magazines and newspapers. Of interest to woodworkers are Wood, Popular Woodworking and Woodsmith magazines. And a magazine with an occasional woodworking article is Popular Mechanic. I only wish Fine Woodworking was a part of News+ but it isn’t. The monthly fee is $9.99. A great value when I add in all the other publications I read like, Car & Driver, Motortrend, Road & Track, Racer, Southern Living, Traditional Home, Architectural Digest, etc. etc.

Just a few of the magazines I read via Apple News+.

Magazines appear in one of two formats. Some are specially formatted for Apple devices enabling the user to tap on an article title from a contents page. The article is then formatted so you can scroll through it enabling the user to skip advertisements. Or you can swipe left to right to move through the magazine including ads.

The second format shows images of each magazine page while. Advertising appears just as it does in the print version of the magazine.

Magazines like Wood are formatted so you can scroll through an article.
Woodsmith and Popular Woodworking are presented in full page images.
Illustrations from Woodsmith, Popular Woodworking and Popular Mechanic are clear and easy to use.

The only way I know of to print what you see in your News+ app is to take a screen shot and print the image.

You can view your News+ subscription on your iPhone, iPad or Mac, but Windows users are out of luck. From what I see, you can’t access News+ from your Windows PC.

Just a tip for you guys. I get no financial or other support from Apple for writing this.

Kitchen Cabinet Reno, Part 6

I have mentioned before that I do a lot of driving in my day job. I’m in flooring sales and I travel from city to city visiting customers and such. This gives me a lot of time to think. Sometimes I use this drive time to come up with woodworking solutions. It was during some of this drive time that I came up with my method for creating my kitchen cabinet doors.

The construction process is unique. In fact a woodworker friend asked me about my method since he would have never thought to make doors this way. He found it unusual that I would add the groove for the door panel after the door frame was assembled. The reason I chose this sequence of assembly comes from the thought that I wanted to minimize joinery where one part fit into another. For these doors specifically, I wanted to avoid any fussy joinery for the door frame. All joinery can be fussy I guess, but I see pocket screws as the most simple way to join two boards.

I can join the door frame with pocket screws, cut the panel slot with my router, partially disassemble the frame, insert the panel with glue and then put the frame back together.

In our small kitchen, we have three sets of upper cabinets. At this point, I have finished the new cabinet space and added new doors for two of the uppers. In this post, I will complete the third set of upper cabinets which I am calling the fridge uppers. The new space in this cabinet will have four doors and there will be four new doors for the existing space. Let’s take a look at my unusual door process…

The panel cut to fit into the grooves in the door frame.

In the photo above, you can see completed door frames on the right and a door which has been partially disassembled. The MDF panel’s corners need to be rounded so they match the curved corners cut by my router’s slot cutting bit.

Doors completed except for the beads and edge profile.

Once the panel is glued in place, I reinsert the pocket screws, spread some glue at the joint and drive the screws homme. Next I add plugs for the pocket screws and plane the plugs flush with the frame.

The strength of the door comes from the glued in place panel. I felt uncertain that pocket screws alone would be sufficient for long term strength. I wondered if after, lets say 10 years that these screw joints would sag and open up under the weight of the door. The glued in place panel keeps this for happening.

Fitting the beaded trim.

Something that has kept this big, repetitive project from becoming boring is the use of hand planes. I use a block plane to trim the pocket screw plugs and in the photo above I’m getting a precise fit using a hand plane to trim the 45 degree ends of the beaded trim. I cut the beads at a 45 degree on my miter saw, leaving them a little long, then sneak up on the needed fit by planing away a small amount of material using my shooting board.

Beads in place and here I’m cutting the cove edge profile with my trim router.
One more set of upper cabinet doors completed.

Years ago, I used a similar method (not using pocket screws though) to make frame and panel doors so I already had the slot cutting bit. So, this process is not totally new to me. This process is so unique that I really don’t expect many others would ever create doors this way. This is a nice thing about woodworking – I have a somewhat unique situation needing to make a lot of doors as fast as possible. And I want to do it as inexpensively as possible (meaning I did not want to buy a rail and stile router bit set up). This solution helps make woodworking rewarding.

Above you see the completed doors minus final paint. Next up is a custom profile crown molding to finish off the top of the three sets of upper cabinets (visible in the SketchUp image at the top of this post). A project that I am a little stressed about since I’ll be cutting a broad cove using my table saw, which I have never attempted before. Stay tuned…

Kitchen Cabinet Reno, Part 5

One of the reasons I put off this project for so long is that this is more than a woodworking project where I am replacing the kitchen cabinet doors and drawers. I have already talked about the demolition undertaken along the top of the sink wall cabinets. There has been partial removal of popcorn ceiling. And now, as I work to complete the same set of upper cabinets, I need to replace a light fixture.

I consider electrical work as a doable task, at least for basic replacing fixtures, etc. I once needed to add some circuit breakers to my electrical panel and I decided that was a chore for someone else. Some electrical work I’ll attempt while others frankly intimidate me.

The old light fixture being over the sink was a single row, 24″ florescent light. It was just the fixture and the florescent bulb with no cover to make it look nice. Depending on your location in the kitchen, it was out of view, blocked by a piece of wood with a decorative cut out which served as a valence of sorts. See below…

This is the official “before” photo. Note the light over the sink.

My wife does not like me to show photos like this because the kitchen isn’t neat and orderly. But I took this photo as I was moving things on the counter to get started on demolition.

The location of this light made it very difficult to work on. I had to contort my body into odd positions just to reach the light (the sink being below it made this a tough job). I eventually replaced the fixture with a new LED light (similar to this one) which has a sleek cover and is much nicer to look at.

New light in place, new profile of the wooden piece which hides it and I have primer added to the cabinet doors.
A close up of the new sink light valence. Old profile above and new below.

The Stove Wall Uppers

My plan has always been to build out the new space for the upper cabinets, add the doors and apply a primer coat of paint to them. Then, move to the next set of cabinets. We plan to have our house painted and I want the painter to actually put the finish coat of paint on the completed kitchen cabinets. So, mounted primed doors is what I consider a finished cabinet. I still need to add crown molding which I’ll make and add later.

Stove upper cabinets during demolition – top plywood panel removed.
This is a good comparison of the old door design (left) and the new design.
Demolition complete including removal of popcorn texture on the ceiling.
New face frame and some new doors in place.
The stove upper cabinets mostly complete. We will replace the stove hood, new counter tops and back splash also.

Door Construction

The construction process for the doors is the same as shown in this post. I did do something different to help speed up my work flow. I bought a trim router. This makes three routers I currently operate. The reason for the purchase is I now have a dedicated router (my plunge router) to cut the panel grooves, a router in my router table which is dedicated to cutting the bead material and now a trim router which I’m using to cut the cove on the outside edge of each door. This means I don’t have to change bit set-ups in each router and allows for a better, production style process for the doors.

My new trim router and a close-up of the cove it cuts.

I chose this Ryobi trim router mainly because I have adopted other Ryobi battery powered products and I can use the same battery on this router. The router has worked fine, but using it deserves a lot of respect. I consider it to be a more dangerous tool than say my plunge router.

So, making some good progress on this massive project.