A Gaggle of KerfMakers

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Project by Sandy posted 12-07-2009 01:43 AM 7302 views 21 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve never posted on here before, so I thought that it would be appropriate to have my first post be a project which derived from the site. Therefore, with thanks to BobTheBuilder for the original simplification, along with SimonSKL, who seems to have a knack for getting down to the nitty gritty of what’s important, I hereby end my lurking and submit as my first post a series of KerfMakers which were made from maple and walnut scraps which were in my shop.

Basically, I ripped the pieces, which were about 3/4” thick, into 1 1/4” widths (on my Delta Unisaw). I cut them in half on my 30+ year old Craftsman Radial Arm Saw. At the router table (which I designed), I took each half and cut a 1/4” wide rabbet along one edge, raising the router bit slightly until the height of the rabbets allowed the two pieces to lay flat with their respective rabbets in sliding juxtaposition (OK, I’m a patent attorney and I actually use words like “juxtaposition”).

With the two pieces assembled as pairs, I cut them into lengths approximately 4 1/2” to 5 1/2” without being too picky, but making sure that the pieces in each pair were the same length. I took the remaining scraps and a bit of glue, and I pin nailed them to the end of one piece of each pair, making sure they were oversize in each direction. On the other piece of each pair I used one of my three Shopsmiths as a drill press, and I drilled a 1/4” hole with counterbores for the fender washer on one side and the head of a 1/4” hex bolt on the other side. The fence on the Shopsmith, along with “stop” blocks insured that all of the holes were aligned and concentric. I made sure that the fender washer would overlie the joining piece so it would be trapped when the wing nuts were tightened after assembly.

Using a stationary belt sander I trimmed the end pieces, and sanded them all smooth. Then, back to the router table for 1/8” roundover edging. I then finished the disassembled pairs with Tung Oil and drilled and screwed in the #8 by 5/8” metal screws (used for kerf adjustment). The pairs were then assembled with fender washers, 1/4” hex bolts, and wing nuts.

I actually made 7 of them in my initial “run”. One of the two in the first photo took off to become a “Secret Santa” gift, so it could not wait for the group photo of its six other siblings.

I just finished a cherry toy box for my eight month old (first) grandchild, Ian, so I now have some scrap cherry, which is destined to become more KerfMasters in the near future. I have now posted Ian's Cherry Toy Box and my Homebrewed Router Table, which I used to make the rabbets.

As I received a number of messages about the exact techniques I used, if there is any interest in a “how-to” blog, let me know.

9 comments so far

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 5379 days

#1 posted 12-07-2009 02:22 AM

Sweet. A gaggle huh, I always thought it was a bevy. :)

Good job, they will be sweet sock stuffers.

I want to see the toy box,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View a1Jim's profile


118334 posts in 5074 days

#2 posted 12-07-2009 02:30 AM

View Sandy's profile


249 posts in 5421 days

#3 posted 12-07-2009 02:41 AM

SPalm, I just posted Ian’s Toy Box. Thanks for the comments. I actually live in Atlanta at the epicenter of a Rockler’s, Woodcraft, and Peachtree Woodworking (within about 4-5 miles of each), and I’m friendly with many of their employees, so I expect to use these as seasonal gifts for the “guys”.

View Diamondback's profile


88 posts in 4636 days

#4 posted 12-07-2009 04:15 AM

Simple and nice and functional. For some reason I like these and all those other kerf makers. It’s just such a simple and great idea and something almost anyone can make. Yours are much like mine. And thanks for submitting, I enjoy your writing style. It juxtaposes nicely with your pictures.

-- Oshkosh, Wisconsin

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27248 posts in 5319 days

#5 posted 12-07-2009 02:54 PM

Sandy, this is a pretty nice group of kerf makers and will make nice gifts as well. It is great to not only get in some shop time and find a use for those offcuts that we just can’t bear to part with, but also to make gifts for other people while doing so.

And thanks for the detailed description of how you constructed these.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View PaBull's profile


970 posts in 5162 days

#6 posted 09-17-2010 04:02 PM

Not bad, Sandy, actually they look very nice, but I just like mine just a little better….. ;-)

-- rhykenologist and plant grower

View kimball's profile


323 posts in 4794 days

#7 posted 06-13-2011 05:49 PM

Well Sandy, Those are a couple of nice looking patent infringements that you have there.
Ps I have made a couple also.

View Sandy's profile


249 posts in 5421 days

#8 posted 06-13-2011 07:21 PM

@ Kimball,

Hi… FYI, I happen to be a Registered Patent Attorney, and I know of no patent that was infringed by anything I made. Do you know otherwise?

View Greg D's profile

Greg D

238 posts in 3448 days

#9 posted 05-02-2013 02:28 PM

Nice work Sandy! I can’t believe how useful they are in the shop.

-- Greg D, Cen. CA, "Keep it on the Level, Do it Right the First Time!"

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