Cedar Mini Decorative Planters/Boxes Using Interlocking Dovetail Joints Having a cedar mill within an hour of my shop allows me to work with some very nice wood. While cedar can be brittle, it is wonderful to work with and makes putting these decorative boxes together a breeze. When working with cedar I am always looking for pieces that have what is known as “heartwood”. This is the red portion of the wood. When first planed or sanded, this heartwood is almost pink in color but takes polyurethane or spar finish well giving a vibrant dark red when applied. If left untreated, cedar will turn gray in direct sunlight and a dull red color from normal household light. These boxes have been treated with a wiping polyurethane mix that allows me to apply it with a cotton rag instead of a brush. It’s faster to apply, doesn’t run and dries fast enough to apply two coats in a day. So applying 5-6 coats only takes 2-3 days to accomplish. I assembled the boxes using a dovetail joint which provides both strength and decorative at the same time. A fan shaped tenon that forms a tight interlocking joint when fitted into a corresponding mortise. The dovetails on these boxes are shown on the length of the box and not the end where the handles are located. I use a dovetail jig and a router to make these joints which is more efficient. Depending on how the client will use the box I may or may not drill two holes in the bottom of the box. If they are built to be used as outside planters then I drill 2, half inch holes in the bottom for water to drain. If they are to be used inside as a table center piece or fireplace mantle decorative box, then I do not drill the hole. In the end they are strong, durable and beautiful no matter how they are used.
For all of your wood cabinetry and joinery tools and supplies, Infinity Cutting Tools has got you covered. We offer joinery tools and accessories for making box joints, finger joints, pocket holes, dowel joinery, dovetails, and mortise-and-tenon joinery. When it comes to installing cabinet hardware like knobs, pulls, and hinges, check out our cabinet hardware installation solutions.
After all slots are cut, stand each board on end and coat the edge of jointed side with wood glue. Next coat the biscuits with glue. Insert biscuits in one side only of each board, then insert glued biscuits in the empty joint of the next board. Assemble planks in order until the top is complete. Don't worry about small gaps. Next, carefully lay the top down and attach pipe clamps at roughly 1' intervals. Slowly tighten each pipe clamp in a consistent fashion until the gaps disappear*. Small amounts of glue can be removed when dry; scrape up any puddled glue with a plastic putty knife. To minimize sanding later, avoid working glue into the top of the wood. Let the top set overnight.
If your skill level is not yet high enough to tackle a difficult design, you need to get more practice by doing more basic designs, which teach you the techniques you will need for the harder jobs. It is rightfully said practice makes man perfect and you should do lot of practice to master this skill.
For this project you need a table base. An old table with no top would be perfect. The idea is to create a new wood top with an original design. Since this project is for an outdoor table, you can also include an ice bucket in the middle. Find some large pieces of wood and put them together to make a top. Make a hole for the bucket if you want one and insert it. Then, to make the edges of the table, use a belt sander. Get creative until you’re happy with the results and, at the end, stain the table.{found on thehuntedinterior}.
Probably the handiest shop accessory in this list would be the woodworker's bench, complete with a vise. The bench is a stable-based table with a thick, hardwood top. In the top are a series of holes that are designed to accommodate bench dogs, which are little more than pegs that can be moved from hole to hole as necessary. The end of the bench has the aforementioned vise that works in concert with the bench dogs to hold pieces steady for the woodworker.
The Bosch Max FlexiClick 5-in-1 Drill/Driver System has one tool and five attachments. That means it can perform all kinds of tasks, like: screw-driving, drilling, right angle drilling/driving and offset driving close to edges. This tool/tools isn’t going to replace a deck builder’s 20v impact driver and drill, but it might be a great option for those smaller project that require a bunch of different operations, like knocking off a punch list at the end of a build-out. If you’re moving around and don’t have the space to haul around a bunch of dedicated tools this might be just what you’re looking for. The Bosch 5-in-1 Drill Driver System is available online and in home centers for $199.00.
Your monster of a table is going to be HEAVY, so I strongly recommend moving it to its final destination in two pieces–lay a blanket down in your dining room, put the top on it upside down, then the frame upside down on top of that. Attach a couple 2×4 supports across the frame for good measure, then begin the frustrating process of centering the frame on the top. Once you have the top centered, attach your brackets–I did two on each end and three on each side.
Now that you have the tools, you can build anything you want whenever you want at a fraction of the cost. Install molding, update your window casings and trimwork, build a custom closet, some laundry room shelves or whatever! Not to mention, now you can start making gifts for friends and family or building a small business. The opportunities are set by your imagination.

An assortment of chisels should be part of every workbench. Chisels are not just for wood carvers. Any woodworker will need chisels to clean out joints and saw cuts. Look for chisels made of high-alloy carbon steel or chromium-vanadium alloyed steel. Hardwood grips are best, especially if they have metal caps on them. This will keep the end of the handle from becoming malformed when you hammer on it.
A layout square, or combination square, comes in 6” and 12” sizes. Most woodworkers use the 6” model, simply because it’s easiest to carry around. Also, most of the stock you’ll use will be no bigger than 6” wide, so 12” is overkill. The layout square is a triangle that you can use to mark square cuts on stock. Once you measure the length of the cut, you line up the layout square with the edge of the board. The short side will give you a straight, square cut across the end grain. You can also measure off angles with the layout square. This helps when you’re trying to measure for a bevel on a table saw, or marking a cut for a miter saw. You can even use your layout square to determine an existing angle. Just be sure to buy one made of metal. The plastic ones are not only fragile, but they also can warp, making them pretty useless. 

Another fairly inexpensive option for making a table top is using a stain grade 3/4″ plywood. cut the 4 x 8 sheet in half (2- pcs, 4 x 4). Spread wood glue one and place and clamp the other on top. Once the glue has dried, it can be cut with a jig saw to the round shape, or if you have access to a router, make a “circle cutter” by mounting the router on a thin piece of wood, (1/4 x 6 x 60″) and putting pivot hole at a distance of 1/2 the diameter of the desired table. (from the side of the router bit to the pivot hole. Put a small hole in the underside of the table top as close to the center as possible. (not all the way through) and use something like a nail as a pivot. Use a straight bit and cut a perfect circle. The stain grade plywood usually has a pretty good stain surface and the construction of the plywood makes it pretty stable. After cutting the edge may have some minor voids, which can be filled with wood putty and sanded nice and smooth. The results can be a nice stained or painted surface.
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Thermal imaging systems work great at finding water leaks, electrical hot spots, and insulation gaps in walls. But until recently, thermal imaging systems were not a practical tool for the average contractor because they cost thousands of dollars and were the size of a microwave oven. But now this extremely helpful technology is accessible. FLIR’s new C2 compact imager is pocket-size but has most of the same important features as larger models. The touch screen controls are intuitive to use, and it acts as a regular camera as well, which helps when pointing out to homeowners or coworkers where exactly the trouble spots are. They also make models that work with your smartphone.
Now it’s time for one of the trickiest parts–attaching the side rails to the legs. I did this part on top of the tabletop, because it was the flattest surface I could find. We got the rail perfectly straight and I had my wife stand on it to keep it steady as I drilled the pilot hole through the leg and into the rail. Then we screwed in the 6″ lag screws. And I just about broke my arm trying to use a power drill with a socket to do this.
I’ve got two sets sitting under heavy books right now drying overnight. Thank you so much for this! I bought the 8 planks of wood like you said but when I put them together it was uneven so I used 3 wide and 2 small for a perfect 2ft square table. Because of the extra I have enough for another set! I’m so excited I’m just starting to get into food photography so I found your blog just in time . Thanks!!
Taking cabinet building to the next level I wanted to take another step in my building and see if I could build a cabinet without the use of screws. My wife found the plans in an old Woodsmith Magazine and asked me to build the largest bookcase of the set. My plan was to build the entire cabinet using dowels instead of screws, dado slots instead of pocket hole joinery and biscuit joints. Using rough oak purchased from a local lumber mill, I milled and sized the lumber to the specifications to create this book cabinet with 5 shelves. It was time to replace a number of older pine book cases in the house. Instead of using the traditional pocket hole joinery, the sides, shelves, doors and face frame were all joined using 3/8” dowels,biscuit joints, dados and glue. I used tempered glass for the doors for safety which I was able to purchase locally. The glass vendor recommended using silicone caulk to secure each pane before applying a few small mirror catches on all the sides. The doors were each hung with 3 Ball-Tip Full Back-to-Back Wrap-Around Inset Hinges. Finished with Minwax English Chestnut and homemade wiping polyurethane, this cabinet will stand the test of time and hopefully become a keepsake that is passed down through generations. *DISCLOSURE: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you chose to click through and make a purchase I will earn a commission but there is no additional cost to you. It helps compensates the business for the time spent creating these posts. THANK YOU!
OK, the Long Ranger’s been around since Marconi. But we love it. Simply put, this Long Ranger III Remote Dust Collector Switch is a remote system for turning on your dust collector out in the shop from whatever tool you’re operating. It plugs into the wall, you plug your dust collector into that and you’re done. Push the button on your remote and it fires right up. It’s saved us about two years and 1,300 miles of walking back and forth to the dust collector switch.
Consider building your tabletop out of boards about 6" wide (1x6 or 2x6), or close in size (I use x4 and x8 boards on occasion). If you go smaller, you'll be adding more joints, which means more pocket holes and more sanding. If you go with a wider board, the board itself may cup over time, creating high and low points on your tabletop. I personally find x6 boards to be that happy medium.
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