A Video Review by Hank Metz on April 21, 1999

Hands-On Series, Do It yourself, Inc.

Available from:

Do It Yourself, Inc. PO Box 2142

Blowing Rock, NC 28605

(828) 295-4610 (8 am - 6 pm EST) Email:roskind@y2kvideos.com

What I immediately liked about the series is that the presenters, Les Cizek and Avian Rogers, have the professional credentials in woodworking and restoration to validate what they say, and have a legitimate presence in this network quality video. Techniques like nailing proud followed by nailsetting to avoid rosebuds from the hammer face, dent raising using a hot iron, and the use of an offset stop block for tablesaw cutoffs, are key points that are reiterated but not made redundant, the trademark of a seasoned educator. Many terms that may be unfamiliar to viewers are explained in full before proceeding, thus giving the first time do-it-yourselfer a solid grounding in the fundamentals.

While most machinery operations are done on the Shopsmith MkV, such as ripping a full plywood panel, no one procedure is specific to this tool, and alternate methods can easily be employed and sometimes are. One observation that I have, being a sole proprietor who must work alone, is that it's easier to make rough sizing cuts on sheet goods using a portable saw. Then make the finish cuts on the tablesaw rather than try and feed a bulky 4 X 8 panel through such a tool, even if you do have a helper.

Carcase construction and assembly methods are elementary as nails, screws, and dowels are the assembly fasteners used. Other joinery methods like mortise and tenon are illustrated as well, and in particular the construction of cabinet doors is given careful attention. A shaper cutter mounted on the MkV creates the joinery for the stiles and rails- panels are shown being raised in tablesaw mode- but once again this process can be done on a router table, radial arm saw or table saw as well as a dedicated shaper machine.

Personal protection is preeminent at all times, and a comprehensive safety presentation is included at the end of the production. This series really does make one believe they can "Do It Themselves".



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