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by Steven D. Johnson
Racine, Wisconsin

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Wood Movement Gets Moved

Last month I promised to this month delve deeper into the subject of wood movement, but over the last forty-five days or so my research and study has produced enough material to fill a book. I know that's not what you want. After speaking with a number of woodworkers, it appears that what would be most helpful would be some simple "rules of the road" and "tells" that will indicate how and how much wood will move. And I think I've got it figured out. Next month I will outline a way to look at the end grain on both ends of a board and predict, with a pretty high degree of accuracy, how the board will move as you work with it and as it is incorporated into your project. This will be fun, but one word of caution… there is a lot more at work in wood movement than just humidity changes and unless you were around watching a tree grow for the last forty to one-hundred years, then harvested and cut it yourself, there could still be some surprises.

In this month's video raised panel cope and stick doors get glued up, holes are cut for cup hinges, and finish gets applied. We also start milling the lumber for the drawers, and yes… yes… they will be dovetail joints! But for the first time ever, I am going to use a jig. I got a new Leigh D4R Pro Dovetail Jig from Highland Woodworking and as soon as I get through the massive instruction manual, I will get to work. The last video in the Bathroom Vanity series is going to detail the steps to setting up this jig and my first machine-made dovetails. Why after all these years did I get a jig? Simple. I have a project coming up that has, at last count, 64 drawers. Woo, boy… that would have been a lot of hand cutting and chiseling. And really, the customer doesn't care… I asked.

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Steven Johnson is retired from an almost 30-year career selling medical equipment and supplies, and now enjoys improving his shop, his skills, and his designs on a full time basis (although he says home improvement projects and furniture building have been hobbies for most of his adult life).

Steven can be reached directly via email at .

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