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John Bailey

These pictures are by kind permission of John Bailey and Furniture and Cabinet Making, one of the UK's premier woodworking magazines. John has had an article published about building a curve-sided box in the March 2005 edition of F&C Making that features the use of a unique jig for the WoodRat. Not only has John made a superb job of the box and jig, he also has some novel methods of scraping. Please purchase the magazine for the full construction story.


border="0" Here is the box in all its glory. John says he doesn't know the wood but I am certain that its Iroko, not the easiest of woods with it's difficult grain. The wood was rescued from some reclaimed timber. He explained that he wanted to make something challenging and utilising fine box joints. I consider John to be a WoodRat King-- he has both little and large versions.
He used the "inch worm method" on the WoodRat using a 6mm spiral cutter. In difficult and thick wood this requires some patience and care. He progressed by gradually increasing the depth of each cut. border="0"           border="0"
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Here we come to the exciting bit!

 John made a replacement plate out of what appears to be Tufnel (a very tough board made of man made resin and cloth). To this he fixed two concave MDF rails as shown. With the router suspended on bars, its clear that it can now be moved N/S to cut a dished path. Gradually plunge the router until the full depth has been reached all the while moving the router N/S on the rails.

With E/W and N/S tracking a full concave face can be cut. He used  shallower profile rails for the lid. Very clever


Here is another innovation which is new to me, a wooden block to hold the scraper at the correct curve and a Stanley no. 80 set up in a jig for thicknessing the stringing. border="0"    border="0"
border="0" Note the home made scratch stocks purpose made for the banding.


I see no reason why wavy rails, pitched rails, angled rails, domed rails etc. couldn't be used. In fact a whole new dimension of working on the 'Rat has been opened up. John also has some spare original router plates that he has modified with larger openings to take bigger router bits.

John you have made a superb job, well done!

Apologies for the quality of the photos, they started life as high resolution 35mm slides but have had their file format changed a number of times including CMYK for print production and been through the innards of a MAC before F&CM sent them to me. It took me a while to get an acceptable colour profile.

Many thanks to John and the sub-Editor of Furniture and Cabinet Making. 3.45 issue99

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This page was last updated 18/03/2012 16:55:12