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Featured Build Video: Kyle Toth’s Tuscan-Style Kitchen Cart

Kyle Toth's Tuscan-Style Kitchen Cart

As a fellow wood-turner, as well as furniture maker, I am naturally attracted to the work of Kyle Toth. For those unfamiliar with his portfolio, he is likely most well known for (or at least I discovered him because of) his work with segmented bowls and vases. In addition to his turnings, Kyle has some notable furniture builds (see his Walnut and Quartz Entryway Table or his Knot Table) and some exceptionally beautiful, smaller (and still sculptural) pieces (Redwood Burl Box).

Kyle’s latest build takes a lot of the elements of some of his previous builds, while taking it in a slightly different direction from his latest videos. In his Tuscan-Style Kitchen Cart video, he takes a design that could be very vanilla and plain, and spices it up with a few beautiful details, like the hand-carved gouging, and the subtle yet bold copper accents.

If you’re not already, please make sure to subscribe to Kyle Toth’s YouTube channel. Also, check out his Portfolio on his website, and hit up his Twitter, and let him know that I sent you! Let me know what you think in the comments below!

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Featured Build Video: Ben Brandt’s Programmable Box Joint Jig

Programmable Box Joint Jig

Lately, I’ve been focusing much of my energy on the woodworking side of Making. Wood is a versatile, forgiving medium, with a classical and timeless aesthetic. However, my history is in Computers and Electronics, and I still like to dabble in that world.

Ben Brandt has found a way to appeal to both of these interests. He has taken a Raspberry Pi 3 and some stepper motors to create a Programmable Box Joint Jig. By going to a web paged served by his Pi, he is able to configure and define the size of the boxes to be cut. He even built the jig to automatically advance after each cut.

Additionally, in a later video, he was able to show how the jig could be configured to cut boxes of variable width throughout the joint.

Having gone through the pain of trying to fine-tune box joint jigs, and the frustration of setting one up knowing that it will only work for that size joint, I am very much interested in seeing how this project turns out. Check out Ben’s YouTube Channel, websiteInstagram, and Twitter, make sure to subscribe and follow, and let me know what you think in the comments below.

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Herringbone Coffee Table Build

Final Assembly

Now I can cross one more item off of the honey-do list. This coffee table has been a long-time coming. I’ve been bouncing ideas off of my wife for some time now as to how we wanted this designed. In fact, this table is actually probably the first piece I’ve made where she has had such a heavy influence on the design.

We decided to go with a Herringbone pattern to add a little bit of visual interest, and we wanted different colored slats to lend some added dimension. The rest of the table is a very traditional design, with the legs attached to the apron with mortise and tenon, and the table top made with tongue-and-groove frame-and-panel joinery.

The table is entirely made out of red oak, with the exception of the plywood used for the panels. The stains used is the Minwax water-based wood stain, tinted for Onyx, Coffee and Whitewash. For the top coat, I used Minwax Polycrylic, with a Satin finish.

In the interest of brevity, I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking here. I will add some notes as to how I got to certain points. However, if you have any questions, or would like some more details, please leave a comment below.

Additionally, if you like the design, and would like to commission a similar piece, please email me at


Legs and Aprons

Legs and Aprons Assembled

I will spare you the details of milling the wood down to size. I made it easy on myself and bought wood that was already surfaced on 4 sides (S4S), so I need only worry about ripping and cutting my boards to length.

The legs are joined to the aprons with traditional mortise and tenon joinery. To cut the tenons, I used a dado stack in my table saw, set up for its widest kirf, and then used my miter gauge to cut the shoulders, and remove the material. I then later cleaned it up with a chisel.

To cut the corresponding mortises, I carved out a bulk of the material using my drill press, with a drill-bit slightly smaller than the desired width of the mortise. I then pared down the sides and cleaned the rest of the material out with a chisel.

Pieces for the Frame and Panel

Next part of the project was to work on the table top. As stated, the design is a frame-and-panel, with the herringbone pieces inset in to the panels. The pieces are joined with tongue-and-groove cuts.

Tongue and Groove Joinery

The panels are pieces of 0.25″ plywood, cut at 11″ square. The tongues are cut to the same thickness using the table saw with a dado-stack installed. I affixed a sacrificial fence to my table-saw fence, and raised the blade through the sacrificial piece. I was then able to dial-in how far the blade protruded from the fence, and, using the miter gauge, was able to batch out the tongues very quickly and accurately.

Frame and Panel Table Top Assembled

For the grooves, I again used my table saw with a dado stack. I dialed in the dado to match precisely the thickness of the panels/tongues. I then dialed in the position of my fence to match the position of the tongue on the frame pieces. This method proved very accurate and repeatable. When dry-fitting the pieces after they were all cut, I had to make very few adjustments to the cuts.

Herringbone Pieces Stained and Glued-Up

The most time consuming part of this project was the herringbone panels. The thought here is to secure the herringbone pattern on to new pieces of plywood, which would then be glued to the panels already inset in the table-top frame. This was an easier and more manageable way to work on these panels.

I resawed the oak to be the same thickness as the distance between the top of the plywood panel, and the top of the frames, minus the thickness of the plywood. This would leave the table flush across the surface.

Once they were resawed, cut and sanded, I stained them all individually. I then attached them to the plywood panels with both wood glue and CA glue. The CA glue allowed me to get an instant bond while the wood glue cured. I assembled the pieces so they would overhang the panels, and then went back later to trim them back.


Before attaching the individual panels to the table top, I had to glue-up and stain the base and the top. It was then just a matter of dropping the panels in to place, and securing it with wood glue.

To attach the table top to the base, I used the Rockler Table Top Fasteners. With this design, I don’t anticipate there to be much wood movement in the top. However, this method will allow me to break the table down later, if I need to do repairs or refinishing.

All said and done, the table turned out great. The only thing I would do differently is I would spend more time milling up the wood for the herringbone slats to make sure they are all the same thickness. There is probably an 1/8″ difference between the thinnest slats and the thickest, which means there are few uneven spots. Let me know what you think in the comments!

Finished Coffee Table In Place

Final Assembly

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Featured Build Video: DIY Creator’s “How to Make a Display Case”

Whether you’re a collector, or an enthusiast, or have some family heirlooms, most of us have at least one item around our house that we are proud of, and would like showcase. For Glen over at DIY Creators, its his shoes. In the video, he’ll walk you through the steps on How to Make a Display Case, one he plans on using in his closet.

I picked this video for my Featured Build, because the design of this case is so simple and elegant, but really looks like something you would find in a museum or high-end art studio. Furthermore, as is the case with all of the DIY Creator videos, the techniques and tools for this build are very accessible, even to the beginner maker. In fact, he is working on a series of videos dedicated to Limited Tools. At the time of writing this, he’s only a couple videos in, but what I like about it so far is the focus on using a small set of easily accessible tools to build tools and jigs that will help you get the most out of a modest shop.

Please, check out the DIY Creator channel, subscribe, and go through some of his video catalog. He has many builds that I wouldn’t hesitate to include as a Featured Build.

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Core77: An Introduction to Wood Species

Core77 Logo

Core77 is a great blog and magazine for those interested in Industrial Design. I was made aware of the site because of their on-going relationship with Jimmy Diresta, whose work I follow very closely. This is the first post I’ve made linking to Core77, but it will likely not be the last.

Recently, I stumbled onto a fascinating series of posts published on Core77. The series is called “An Introduction to Wood Species”. It was originally started by Rain Noe in 2013, and included 10 installments. Earlier this year, it was picked up by Shannon Rogers (also known as the Renaissance Woodworker) and of WoodTalk Podcast fame. He has been releasing additional posts every two weeks or so, and there are now 20 different species discussed in detail.

For the wood nerds out there, I would strongly recommend you check them out. Follow the links below for the whole series (current through July 14th, 2016).

Original Series
An Introduction to Wood Species, Part 1: Properties & Terminology
An Introduction to Wood Species, Part 2: Pine
An Introduction to Wood Species, Part 3: Oak
An Introduction to Wood Species, Part 4: Maple
An Introduction to Wood Species, Part 5: Walnut
An Introduction to Wood Species, Part 6: Cherry
An Introduction to Wood Species, Part 7: Mahogany
An Introduction to Wood Species, Part 8: Rosewood
An Introduction to Wood Species, Part 9: Ebony
An Introduction to Wood Species, Part 10: Teak

Newer Installments
An Introduction to Wood Species, Part 11: Utile / Sipo
An Introduction to Wood Species, Part 12: Sapele
An Introduction to Wood Species, Part 13: Alaskan Yellow Cedar
An Introduction to Wood Species, Part 14: Poplar
An Introduction to Wood Species, Part 15: Jatoba / “Brazilian Cherry”
An Introduction to Wood Species, Part 16: Spanish Cedar
An Introduction to Wood Species, Part 17: Hard Maple & Soft Maple
An Introduction to Wood Species, Part 18: Western Red Cedar
An Introduction to Wood Species, Part 19: Afrormosia
An Introduction to Wood Species, Part 20: White Oak
An Introduction to Wood Species, Part 21: Red Oak