Rocking Dino – Screw Hole Relief

Before my son was born I started building the rocking dinosaur project from Jeff Millers book “Children’s Furniture Projects”. Actually I started building two of them as the boards I could find in the appropriate dimensions included enough for two bodies and two sets of rockers. Since this was my first time building one of these I decided two complete both and give the nicer one to my son and the second one would go to my coworker whose due date was about a month after ours.

Well the best laid plans were destroyed by a project at work and now my goal is to complete the project before my IMG_0098son’s first birthday. Since I have not spent any time in the shop with week thanks to car shopping, a cold, and general laziness I decided I will compose a few posts on previously completed work for the rocking dinosaurs.

Today it will be something very boring, making the screw holes for attaching the legs to the body. I had previously used the drill press at TechShop SF to drill screw holes/countersinks for the legs but the drill bit included in the old countersink set was smaller than the screw shaft and I wanted to relieve the back side of the hole to make sure the screws would pull the pieces together tightly.

Since my cordless drill was long since dead, I pulled out my Miller Falls #2 “eggbeater” drill and secured the appropriate sized drill bit to make sure the hole in the leg was bigger than the screw (this will prevent the screw from binding on the leg and allow it to pull the leg into the dinosaur’s body).

 IMG_0089 IMG_0091 IMG_0092    Before                                             Action Shot                                               After

Now I used a dedicated countersink in my brace to cut a relief edge on the back side of the leg. When a screw enters wood it compresses the wood to make room for the screw but some of the wood is forced “up” and this can result in a small mound where the screw enters the wood (this effect is even worse when you use self-tapping screws without pilot holes like I am). This mound of wood can force the two pieces apart, creating a gap.


All of my prep work paid off and the joints went tightly together. After hammering in some pegs I cut from the same board I set it aside to dry and started on the second. Hopefully I can get this done in the next two months.IMG_0199


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