Two to sell -- or give as gifts!
Here are two easy-to-build projects with strong appeal to craft show buyers and Holiday gift recipients alike.

JULY/ AUG 2001
Volume 44 /  Issue 4

Project Articles
Butcher Block/ Microwave Oven Table
Gourmet Bird Feeder
Recipe Box and Interlocking Play Logs

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Copyright 2001.
Shopsmith, Inc.
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For generations, children have enjoyed playing with interlocking logs to build log cabins, barns, fences and similar structures. These simple toys give many children their first taste of how to be creative, while keeping them occupied for hours on end. This simple Interlocking Log project can be built with scrap wood that might otherwise go to waste. We've included drawings for four different sized logs (having one to four notches)...but you can easily make 5-notch, 6-notch or even 8-notch logs and larger roof trusses, if you like for those really big buildings. We used 3/4" poplar for our logs, but any soft wood that doesn't splinter easily such as pine, fir or spruce would work just as well.

View Plans &
Assembly Drawing

Roof & Chimney

We started with 1" X 4" X 4' stock that actually measured 3/4" x 3-1/2" x 4'. Lay out the logs for crosscutting and notching according to the plans.

CAUTION: It's best to start by cutting your dado notches across wider pieces of stock, then ripping the logs off to the 3/4" x 3'4" dimension since short, narrow pieces are difficult to hold while notching and doing so will increase your risk of personal injury. Once you've notched your logs, you can cut the pieces off to the lengths Use a dado blade set-up to cut the 3/4" wide x 3/16" deep connecting notches. Make your dado cuts in one side of the log, then flip it over and make the opposing notches in the other side. A miter gauge indexing fixture such as Shopsmith's 24" Extension with Stop Block will make the job go faster. Don't forget to leave space for your saw kerfs.

Once you've made all your connecting notch cuts, set up your rip fence and rip off your individual logs to their 3/4" widths. Use a Fence Straddler type pushing device to keep your hands out of harm's way during the ripping process. Next, set up your Shopsmith Molder with a 1/4" & 1/2" Combination Quarter-Round Cutter to round-over the edges of your ripped log lengths. Use a featherboard for safer handling. Crosscut your logs to length. Again, Shopsmith's 24" Extension with Stop Block will help you maintain consistent log lengths.

Use a bandsaw to resaw stock for the 1/8" thick roof planks. While your bandsaw is set up, resaw a few different sized logs in half (top-to-bottom). These logs with flat, un-notched bottoms are great for the bases of cabins and similar structures. Next, cut out your roof trusses (different length trusses can be made to match-up with different length logs). These trusses can be made to be the same lengths as some of your logs...or longer to extend out beyond the edges of your structures. Just be sure the lengths of their angled sides are made to match-up with the widths of your roof planks. Notch a few chimneys to match the angles of your different roof truss tops.

Finally, stain your logs and roof pieces using a mixture of food colors, then apply a non-toxic cover finish such as our salad bowl finish, non-toxic oil finish, or Beeswax Salad Bowl Finish.

Bill of Materials...
View Plans & Assembly Drawings: Logs, Chimney & Roof
Recipe Box Project