Greene & Greene Magazine Rack - my "own" design #7: Making the Blacker style leg indents and fitting the center panel dividers.

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Blog entry by Mike_D_S posted 06-12-2016 03:45 PM 3806 reads 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: Joinery 90% done and a quick dry fit to get a quick look Part 7 of Greene & Greene Magazine Rack - my "own" design series Part 8: Doing the finish on the case and shelves, case assembly »

So yesterday was mostly detail work. I started out by making up a jig to help cut the Blacker style leg indents. The jig is simple and pretty close to other ones I’ve seen to do the same thing. I’m not sure how much I’ll re-use the jig, but the jig is sized for 1.75” legs and I added a few accessory pieces. One of them is 1/4” insert that can slide in the side of the jig allowing me to use it for 1.5” legs. The insert is basically just a 1/4” x 1 1/2” hardwood strip that I notched the top to ride on the jig top cross bars and then trimmed down with my block plane so that the top is flush with the jig.

The second thing I did was cut a couple of small spacer pieces about 4” long and 1 1/4” wide. On each end, I cut rabbets to various depths. By slipping the different spacers under the top of the jig, I can adjust the angle of the jig to increase and decrease the length of the indent for the same bit depth setting. This also made it very repeatable to set the jig when moving it as I just slide the jig up where it bottoms out on the leg bottom, then lift the top and insert the desired spacer, then clamp everything down. Once I was done with it, I just screwed the spacers and 1/4” insert to the side of the jig for storage so I don’t lose them.

Here’ a couple of shots of the jig in use, a freshly cut indent and then another shot of a couple of the legs after cleanup and sanding.

On a side note, I’m using Peruvian Alder for the bulk of the case, but they didn’t have any Peruvian Alder in 8/4, so I went with a piece of regular Alder that had similar grain to some of the P. Alder. But the regular Alder is very light colored compared to the P. Alder. So you’ll notice in the pic above, I gave the normal Alder a wash of thinned brown transtint dye in order to bring it closer to the base P. Alder.

After finishing the leg indents and cleaning up the legs, I started on the vertical divider for the side panels. I cut the side rails with cloud lifts on the outside and square shoulders on the inside as I thought the cloud lifts on the inside wouldn’t fit well with all the square corners from the shelf intersections and other pieces. So in order to fit the vertical dividers on the side panels, I needed to cut the tenons with different height shoulders on the front and back.

I did this work with a handsaw, chisel and shoulder plane and it turned out pretty good. After I did the initial fitting, I took the pieces and gave them all a pass over the router table to round over the visible edges and then did a test fit.

Following completion of the sides, I then did some prep work on the shelf and top glue ups. Mostly it involved getting out the card scraper, giving it a quick sharpening and then cleaning up the glue lines in preparation for running then through the drum sander to get the surfacing mostly done. Tomorrow I’ll run them through the drum sander and then cut them to final length and width before starting the work to attach the breadboard ends on the top and starting on the ebony splines and plugs.

So that was it for Saturday.

-- No honey, that's not new, I've had that forever......

6 comments so far

View htl's profile


5119 posts in 1930 days

#1 posted 06-12-2016 05:54 PM

Going to be one nice Magazine Rack for sure!!!

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View CaptainSkully's profile


1613 posts in 4329 days

#2 posted 06-12-2016 06:21 PM

Nice! Now you just need to subscribe to American Bungalow magazine!

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View splintergroup's profile


3777 posts in 1993 days

#3 posted 06-22-2016 02:40 PM

Hi Mike,
I’ve been lurking here watching your process. I like the way you modify things on the fly without having to start over!

I’ve made the leg indents before and also researched the jigs to do it. One thing that struck me was they all used a router bushing. Nothing wrong with that, just that I had a hinge mortice bit (shallow straight-cut bit with a bearing guide on the shaft) that ended up being so much simpler to use.
I’m curious, do you use a router bushing with your jig?

View GR8HUNTER's profile


7545 posts in 1483 days

#4 posted 06-22-2016 02:50 PM

them legs are fancy looking hope its holding woodworking magazines LOL

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View Mike_D_S's profile


605 posts in 2985 days

#5 posted 06-22-2016 03:32 PM


I did the indents with a bushing. I have used bushings for jig work and setting offsets before so it’s just how I think about the problem. While using a bearing guided straight bit will obviously work as well, I see some pros and cons for both methods. If I put my logical reasoning hat on, I can see the following advantages of both.

1. Provides ability to set multiple offsets from the edge of the piece by mixing bushing sizes and bit sizes for the same jig.
2. Easier (for me at least) to build a jig with the sides lined up with the edge of the piece and design the offset with the bushing rather than trying to center a template with the offset built into the template.

Guided bit:
1. Capable of larger radius corners and requires fewer passes potentially as you could use a larger bit.
2. Capable of unlimited size adjustment as you can cut a new template to make whatever size indent you wanted rather than be restricted to the bushing/bit combinations.

I don’t think either method really probably produces a better end result. But when I build jigs I like to think about reusability and this is where the bushing approach helps. With the insert in place I can use this same jig to cut indents on 1 1/2” legs as well and the insert is easy to use. If you use a guided bit, then you could use a small strip to narrow the template for a smaller leg, but attaching that strip could be more difficult .

But to be fair, I plan to use the indent detail again as my wife has the Thorsen sideboard on the list of “honey build’s”, so I had an ulterior motive to make a reusable jig.


-- No honey, that's not new, I've had that forever......

View splintergroup's profile


3777 posts in 1993 days

#6 posted 06-22-2016 06:55 PM

Thanks for the lowdown Mike!

The ‘multiple offsets’ is interesting.

The jig I ended up using looks like yours except the end pieces are screwed on after the side pieces are in clamped to the leg. The overlapping top/bottom guides are then screwed to the side guides.

A guided bit then cuts the recess. Any desire to change the offset requires moving/re-aligining the side guides.
The side guides need to overlap the leg as a way to set the slope of the recess and of course provide the offset as the guided bit only has 1/8” between the bearing O.D. and bit O.D.

A bushing guided bit only requires swapping in a different bushing.

It looks like I’m in the same boat as you, She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed has ordered up a table that will require the same jig I used before, unfortunately I wasn’t as forward looking as you and committed the old jig to the wood stove 8^(

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