Shop Talk Live - Fine Woodworking

Question 1: 

From Elijah:
I’m planning on building a floating media cabinet out of 5/4 cherry. The basic idea of the cabinet is an open box that looks like you can look through to the wall. However, it will actually have a false back made of 1/4” MDF painted the same color as the wall to hide all of the wires.
For this project I like the clean look of miter joints, but I am worried that it will not be strong enough. The cabinet will be about 48 inches wide, 10 inches tall, and 14 inches deep. Do I need to reinforce the miters somehow or will glueing in the false back strengthening it sufficiently?


Question 2:

From Reg:
I’m trying to make bird’s eye maple legs that have face grain on all four sides.  Unlike (for eg.) white oak laminated legs, the side grain on bird’s eye is obtrusively different and a lamination would be obvious if done in the white oak manner of laminating only on two sides.  So I think I need four-sided laminations, which seems to mean mitered laminations. What is the best way to go about this? I am assuming some core 4-square stock is the starting point. These are going to be Krenov-type legs, so thinly laminating finished leg seems out of the question.


Segment: All-Time Favorite Tool 

Mike: Holdfast

Ben: CNC used as a pin router

Anissa: Her marking gauges


Question 3:

From Dave:
What machinery can be bought vintage and what should be bought new(er_)? It seems as though this kind of discussion is all but exhausted when it comes to hand tools but I don't hear as much about the bigger purchases in the shop.
For instance, not much has changed for drill presses, so an old and stout model seems like a chance to save some money. Meanwhile, it's clear that table saws have improved dramatically with regards to safety and dust collection, so if a SawStop is attainable, I should budget accordingly. But what are your thoughts about bandsaws, jointers, planers, lathes, and the like? Are some types of shop equipment less vulnerable to the risks of buying used?


Question 4:

From Frank:
I am making several MDF plinths for an upcoming exhibit. They are 16" square. I mitered the edges so the only visible end gain is at the top. I’m looking for painting suggestions. Some videos say to use Zinsser BIN, and others say to just use regular drywall type primer, then lightly sand before applying primary color. Do you have any suggestions that would steer me in the proper direction?

Every two weeks, a team of Fine Woodworking staffers answers questions from readers on Shop Talk Live, Fine Woodworking‘s biweekly podcast. Send your woodworking questions to for consideration in the regular broadcast! Our continued existence relies upon listener support. So if you enjoy the show, be sure to leave us a five-star rating and maybe even a nice comment on our iTunes page.

Direct download: shop-talk-live-episode-197.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am EDT