Newspaper recycling box

Stay organized and look great with this newspaper recycling box

By John Sillaots

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If you’re a great newspaper fan and have one delivered every day, along with lots of junk mail fliers, a tide of newsprint is probably rising around your reading chair and coffee table. This project is the solution. It gives you a place to neatly store all that reusable fibre. And when it comes time to take it outside for pick-up, a quick pull of the cord and a granny knot bundles the papers for the recycling truck.

Start by cutting out all the required parts and prepare them for drilling. Although this is a simple project, success depends on precisely located dowel holes. If the holes aren’t drilled square to surrounding surfaces, or evenly spaced, the project will be a flop. A drill press is your best assurance of success. Remember: Measure twice, drill once.

Assemble the base frame using glue and small finishing nails. Make sure the completed base is square before setting it aside to dry. Mark the location of dowel holes around the perimeter of the base, then drill. Don’t assume that a 3/8″ hole is ideal for your 3/8″ dowels. Dowels can vary in size considerably and it’s quite likely you’ll have to go 1/64″ to 1/32″ larger or smaller than 3/8″ for an optimum fit. Test on a piece of scrap first. A brad-point drill bit will create a hole with crisper, cleaner edges than that produced with a twist bit.

Assemble the top frame with glue, reinforcing its corner joints with dowels, miniature biscuits or finishing nails. Set the top frame down on the base frame so the all-important hole locations you’ve already marked on the base are transferred precisely to the top. Use dowel centres, available at any good hardware store, to mark the holes. After drilling both frames, fasten the twine tongue to the underside of the bottom frame.

Before you connect the top and bottom frames permanently with dowels and glue, consider prefinishing all parts. Besides making it much easier to sand between coats of sealer, prefinishing before assembly will protect the wood from staining caused by glue squeeze-out. A simple wipe with a wet rag will remove all excess glue easily.

Add the screw eyes to the underside of the top frame, add twine and let the stacking begin.

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