Category Archives: Questions

Portable Spray Booth & Combination Square Video

I’ve had a couple questions about my spray booth when it appeared in a couple blog posts a while back. Before I tell you about my booth, let me tell you how I sprayed in the past.

For a short time – about 11 months – I had an actual spray booth. Before that I confiscated a room, installed an overhead fan that was ducted nearly ten feet to an outside wall vent and called that my spray room. (The exhaust fan wasn’t much help.) And when I began woodworking in my two-car garage, I used a 20″ box fan – it wasn’t explosion proof, either – set in a window. Also, none of these so-called booths had an explosion proof light. No, I’m not flirting with danger, I just do not think all the safety crap is necessary.

Today I have 1500 square feet to work in and my booth is a setup toward the front of my shop. (You can see it in the opening photo.) Still no explosion proof light, and no direct exhaust fan. What you do see is an old aluminum show booth to which I have packed the curtains away and hung inexpensive tarps to keep over-spray to a minimum.

You can see light streaming in from the right-hand side of the booth. That is a larger overhead door that I can open or closed depending on the temperature and weather condition. I also have a 48″ drum fan to clear the shop of unwanted fumes – I’m in an industrial-type setting.

If you’re interested in a booth like mine (who wouldn’t be) you can pick up the entire boot for around $217. You would need four 8′-0″ uprights ($15 each), four base plates at $64 and three adjustable drape supports that would run you $26 per support. The supports allow you to setup your booth between 6 feet and 10 feet wide. The same sizes are possible in depth. Three 8 x 10 tarps are maybe $15. Oh! I need to add in a set of shower curtain rings to hang the tarps. That pushes up the price a bit. Hey, it beats a cardboard box.

At the beginning of August, I wrote about a #21 Combination Square. Read the blog here. In the blog, I included that I had purchased one of these squares and would share video sometime in the future. This is the future and below is the video. Enjoy.
Build Something Great!



Filed under Design, Hand Tools, Questions, Shop Tips, Shop Tool

Self Promotion & Follow-up Information

This week I am using my blog to promote an upcoming class at The Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking (CVSW), and to provide additional information on past posts.

Beginning July 23, 2012, I am teaching a week long class at CVSW titled “Get it Done! Efficient Joinery Techniques with Glen Huey.” The project is a hanging wall cabinet that, by itself, is a great woodworking project. The case is a dovetailed box with an applied, beaded face frame. There is also a raised panel door and small drawer in the mix. That covers most woodworking techniques. If you conquer those techniques you could build almost anything.

But we are not just covering those techniques. During the class you’ll produce hand-cut dovetails and learn how to speed up the process without sacrificing appearance, discover secrets to better and more efficient face frame joinery including half-lap and mortise-and-tenon joints, uncover the tricks to perfect sliding dovetails and learn shortcuts to produce raised panel doors. In other words, we will “fast-track” your abilities in the shop and eliminate the need for allowing experience to be your teacher.

There are a few openings in the class, so contact Bob Van Dyke at the school and sign up.

Follow-up Information

In a May blog post, it was suggested that I setup a page on the site dedicated to woodworking questions. You may have noticed a new page as you landed on my homepage. I began the page with the blog entry from May 13. 2012 and have added a couple new questions and answers. It is worth stopping by this page every once in a while to check out what is new. And by the way, please continue to send me questions. As you do, the page fills and information is shared. Also, if you take issue with my answers, please leave a comment. I am always interested in different and new ideas, too.

Finally, I want to direct you to my May 21, 2012 post where powdered shellac is discussed. I have added new information at the end of that post that talks more about powdered shellac. Click here to jump to that post.

Build Something Great!


Filed under Finish Techniques, Questions, Shop Tips

Woodworking Questions

My email address is not secret. Many of you send questions to me once in a while. Most ask for information or help. Others wonder what the hell I’m doing. I like the questions, so if you need information or have a question about a project I’ve built, please contact me. Below are questions and answers that I thought were good information that should be passed along.

That Tricky Rabbet
I have started on a slant front desk based on the New England Secretary in one of your books. I have one question as I prepare the sides; what is the distance from the top of the writing surface to the start of the slant? It looks to be somewhere between 3/4″ and 1″, but I am not sure and it is not shown in the book.

John S

That’s a question I get a lot. The answer depends on the thickness of your lid – more exactly, on the thickness of its rabbeted edge.

Take a look at the photo. You need to start with your writing surface laid in, then determine the rabbeted area of your lid which would be 1/2″ on a 3/4″-thick lid if you are using a 1/4″ lip. Create a setup similar to the one shown in the photo to determine your length. My longer rule is attached at the edge of the desk top. The two rules are set to form a 90 degree corner with the 6″ rule measuring the thickness of my rabbet. (You can see how this figure could change based on your rabbet, lid and lip dimensions.)

Another method is to figure the distance algebraically using A squared + B squared = C squared where the measurement you’re searching for is C and the rabbet of your lid is both A and B. Using 1/2″ as the rabbet thickness results in a slightly under 3/4″ measurement. (Again,  you can see how the size shifts given the thickness of your rabbet.)

Build Something Great!

Tall Clock Dial Size
Hi Glen,

I have a year old copy of your “Building Period Furniture” that now looks like 10 year old copy (well used). I have two block fronts about 90% complete, two secretary bottoms about 50% complete. I like to build two at a time. While I am waiting for some more mahogany I am drawing the bench rod for the Pennsylvania tall case clock.

To keep proportions as perfect as they look, I am wondering what is the dial size you used in this clock and who is the supplier. Looking at suppliers here in the UK the the largest dial seems to be 280mm x 395mm. which seems too small. I bought your “Finishes that Pop” DVD just before Christmas. Great informative DVD.

Thank You,
Northern Ireland

Greetings Alan,

I’m glad to see your book getting such use. You are taking on very nice projects. I enjoyed building them, as well.

You are correct on your assessment of the dial sizes. Your dials are undersized as to what I use and what is a common size here in the States. The dial for my clock was 12.5″ wide (317.5mm, if my conversion is correct) by 17.625″ tall (447.675mm).

The movement  I used for the clock in the book was produced by David Lindow (Click here to visit his web site). You can get more information, movements and dials  from Mike Siemsen’s web site (Click  here).

Best of luck on your projects and …

Build Something Great!
Glen D. Huey

What is That Finish?
Hi Glen,

I am familiar with your aniline dye/shellac finish for a deeper tiger maple finish.  I always seem to get  a finish that is too shiny. I noticed that you recommend a ” dull-rubbed” lacquer. Is that the name of the kind of lacquer, a rubbed out lacquer or what?


Hey Bob,

When using shellac, I generally use either of two options to knock down the sheen. I either rub-out the finish using #0000 steel wool (sometimes I use wool lube to make the work a little easier), or I topcoat my project with a pre-cat lacquer from Sherwin Williams with a dull-rubbed effect sheen. The low sheen finish is made so by adding flattening agents to the lacquer. Sherwin Williams sells this product through its commercial divisions, not in the regular paint stores.

Another option that I am just beginning to explore is to use a water-based urethane in a satin finish, such as General Finishes Enduro-Var Satin. With this product, you apply a single coat, then after it’s dry lightly rub with steel wool.

Build Something Great!

Small Diameter Router Bits

I am a home shop woodworker who makes reproductions of American Colonial furniture.  I am having trouble finding a way to make 1/16” vein line for string inlay.  Is there a 1/16″ router bit available or how else does one prepare for a 1/16” string inlay.  I have previously used a 1/8” bit to inlay 1/8” string inlay and that worked very well, but in some pieces a 1/8” string inlay is too thick for the piece at hand.

I bought two of your books and have enjoyed studying them and using some of the demonstrated techniques on the pieces I have reproduced.

Several of the pieces I have made were from Lester Margon’s 1949 book “Construction of American Furniture Treasures”.  It’s a great hobby!!

Montgomery, AL

Hey Henry,

I’m glad that you found a few ideas in my books to make woodworking better for you. I, too, have spent many hours looking through Mr. Margon’s book – it’s a great woodworking book.

There are 1/16″ router bits to be found. If you visit there is a section that has router bits used for inlay work. The site also sells inlay and banding in many different configurations. I especially like the router bits because they are longer than many other 1/16″ bits available – as such, they reach past patterns and get to the workpiece. These bits have an 1/8”-diameter shank, so you would also need to purchase a  sleeve (shown in the middle) unless you have an appropriate collet for your router or are working with a hand-held rotary tool such as a Dremel.

Bosch has 1/16″ bits, too. These bits have shorter cutting lengths which could require that you set-up differently in order to use them for inlay as it is more difficult to reach past patterns.  The Bosch bit has a  1/4”- diameter shank.

I would suggest that you pick up a couple bits when and if you order. Bits this small tend to break more easily than larger diameter bits.

If you have additional questions, please contact me again.

Build Something Great !
Glen Huey


Filed under Design, Finish Techniques, Power Tools, Questions, Routers, Shop Tips