Woodworking

Focus on improving in the five areas mentioned below and watch your Woodworking projects amaze you!

Taking up Woodworking projects on you own is challenging. Just like with any other activity in the world, as a beginner, you will be sloppy, you will make mistakes, and you will take a lot of time.

Here’s my advice, don’t let these hurdles discourage you from finishing that Woodworking project you started.

Just like any other sport, or activity, there are few concentration points in Woodworking. If you will focus on improving in areas, even by as little as 1% a day, you will become better.

Following is a list of 5 most important Woodworking skills for beginners:-

1. Drilling holes

It doesn’t matter what you project is, you will drill. The most preferable drill to get is a cordless one. Why? Because it offers a lot of useful features, such as:-

  • They are mobile and can be anywhere
  • They last a long time
  • They are not very expensive

Drills will let you quickly tight screws and drill holes in your wooden materials.

Here are some tips:-

  • Don’t let your drill catch dust
  • Always mark correct depth before to drill
  • Drill with a firm hand

2. Material used for cutting

Wooden materials can be cut in a number of ways i.e. with the use of circular saws, table saws, and band saw.

For most of your mini projects, you should use jigsaws and circular saws. They are cheap and effective.

Tips on using the two saws:-

Jigsaws: Jigsaws have a reciprocating blade, which makes it an excellent saw for all your woodworking projects. You can cut any type of cuts and curves with it. Also, the blade is interchangeable and you can these saws to cut any material. Just get the blade for the material you want to cut.

Circular Saws: These saws are generally not for beginners, but I have included them to the list to acquaint you with it, as you would need in your polished projects. Circular saws make the best straight cuts. They cannot be used for cutting curves like the jigsaw and are dangerous for beginner’s to use.

3. Pick Screws over nails

In Woodworking jobs, you often have to connect two pieces of wood, metal etc. together. For doing that, use Screws over nails. Screws offer much better joins and can be screwed quickly with a drill.

There are four types of screws use can use:-

  • Wood screws
  • Sheet metal screws
  • Drywall screws
  • Machine screws

4. Sanding

Cutting and drilling holes in wood leaves behind unfinished surfaces and inappropriate burs and splinters. These are not going to give your woodworking project that professional look and feel. How do you get rid of them? You sand them away.

There are three types of sanding tools you can use:-

  • Hand sanders
  • Orbital sanders
  • Belt sanders

Among the lot, orbital sanders are the best as they can reach tight spaces and are quite useful in small electronic projects.

5. Painting

The final step of any woodworking mini project is painting it. There are two major types of paints available in market that you can use to give your project the color/glimmer you like.

  • Latex paints – these are water-based paints used for general application over the surface of the wood
  • Oil based paints – these are better than water-based paints as they adhere to the surface of the material far better than water-based paints. Also, if you will put more than one coat on the wood surface, this one will give a better finish.
Woodworking

Achieve high quality sanding on your Woodworking projects by following these 5 essential hand sanding tips

You don’t need expensive tools to get A-grade sanding for your Woodworking projects. With a few special tools and good sandpaper, you can achieve comparable results at a fraction of the cost.

This tutorial is designed for absolute beginners and will explain the art of sanding in an easy to understand manner.

Tip 1: Get three grit sandpapers instead of one

If you are going to do hand sanding on your projects, you should learn how to do it correctly.

First step here is to choose three basic sandpaper grits – 80, 120 and 220.

While using a power sander is definitely recommended, but to reach areas you will have to use hand sanding.

With these three basic sandpaper grits you can scrape away excess material from the surface of the wood, without spewing away any dust, and without making any noise.

Tip 2: Working on a flat surface? Use a sanding block

While it is tempting to just use plain sandpaper, it is recommended that you use a sanding block. Sanding blocks are cheaply available and will result in much better and smoother surfaces of your Woodworking projects.

The reason why Sanding blocks produce much smoother finishes is because it evenly distributes pressure across its body, hence the wood is scraped evenly.

Pro Tip: Don’t forget to change sandpaper in your Sanding block regularly.

Tip 3: Great sanding pads are obtained with foam pipe insulation and swimming noodles

When working with wooden furniture, you will often encounter curves and small spaces which are difficult to sand with regular sandpaper, or even with a sanding block.

How do you sand these tricky areas?

You use foam pipe insulation.

If you have a soft, flexible block of foam available at your home, you can use that as a base for your sanding paper. Wrap sandpaper around the foam and you can reach those tricky curves and spaces easily.

Tip 4: To reach tight corners, stick sandpaper to a putty knife

The putty knife, which is a multi-purpose Woodworking tool, can also be used as a sanding tool. By sticking sandpaper on it, tight corners become accessible to sanding. It is difficult to sand tight corners without risking the adjacent wood. Hence, simply wrap a sanding disc over the edge of putty knife, trim the sandpaper and flush to the edge of putty knife, just like you would do with a utility knife.

Tip 5: Buy a ‘clog-resistant’ sandpaper for sanding surface with paints on it

Painted surfaces pose a real challenge to the sanding process, as they clog on the sandpaper and make it less effective. To avoid this, special ‘clog-resistant’ sandpapers are available in the market. These sandpapers are designed to adsorb paint and resinous material slowly. They are coated with a soapy film called ‘stearate,’ which sheds when you sand painted surfaces. Clog-resistant sandpapers can be easily identified by mottled-grey or coloured surface.

Woodworking

Follow the safety tips mentioned in this manual and always be safe while working at your Woodworking projects

Do you know how many people get injured every year while operating a table saw?

The number will shock you!

Over 35,000+ people get injured every single year due to their lack of knowledge on how to operate a table saw safely. Out of these, nearly 4,200 have serious finger amputations.

We don’t want anybody to get injured while pursuing this amazing Woodworking hobby. This is why we have compiled this manual on how to use a Table Saw safely.

Here are the things you must ensure:-

1. Always shield your face while using the saw.

2. Always wear safety glasses, or goggles

3. Wear a dust mask, if cutting the wooden article results in dust

4. While operating the table saw, you should NOT wear gloves. Use your bare hands to strongly grip the saw.

5. Always ensure that you are not wearing any clothing material that could get caught in the blade. Avoid wearing long sleeves, ties, and any dangling jewellery.

6. Wear anti-skid slippers – If the grip between your feet and the ground is strong, you will be able to apply stronger force on table saw

7. To cut stock that is 150 cm or less in width, use a push stick

8. Set the height of the stock only a slightly lower than the blade. The gap between the two should never be less than 6 mm. This precaution is taken to ensure that even if, by accident your hand slips, you are only going to get a cut and not a limb amputation.

9. Always keep posture firm. Stand straight and avoid any awkward movements. You should learn the perfect posture of sawing and ensure that you do not accidently slip or skid.

10. Do not be distracted while you are operating a table saw. Pay attention to the work being performed. So if a friend comes to you and begins a conversation regarding the football game last night, stop the work and tell him that you are busy.

11. If the blade is still in motion, and has not stopped turning, do not reach behind or above it.

12. Before doing any adjustments to the table saw, ensure that the blade has stopped turning.

13. Use rip fence of mitre gauge to guide the stock towards the blade. Never try to make free hand cuts.

14. Never operate the table saw when its throat plate has been removed. Also ensure that throat plate fits perfectly before starting the operation.

15. Prior to cutting the wood stock, be doubly sure that the stock does not have any nail, screws or any other piece of metal inside it. You do not want table saw’s blade grinding against the metal piece and creating sparks.

Woodworking

Setting up machinery at your workshop or a client’s workshop? Here are few tools that will ease the process.

Setting up machinery requires an accurate measurement of specifications, space and alignment. If these things are not taken care of, the machine may not perform at their best. Here are some tools that should help you with your machinery setup.

Combination square

Combination square is a multifunction tool that can be found in many Woodworking stores. It is used to scribe a line across the wood stock. Its head alone offers multiple features. You can set it to 45/90 degrees on a mitre gauge; table saw blade or a jointer fence.

It can also be used to check distance from router bit and router table fence when the head is locked into its position.

Combination squares are available from several brands at a range of prices. Generally the price of a combination square is a good indication of its quality. Starrett 12″ model is the one used in most of the wood shops. If you’re planning to scale up and you don’t have a thickness planer yet, make sure you do your research before buying one. There are a lot of options out there but I feel that PlanerReviews.net can help you narrow down your options.

Adjustable triangle

This tool is an absolute necessity in your Woodworking toolbox.

Why?

Because not every angle measurement amount of 45/90 degrees.

With adjustable triangle, you can measure angle between 45 and 90 degrees.

4″ Engineer’s square

It is a tiny little tool that will easily fit in your apron’s pocket. It is much smaller in size than regular square and thus can be used to check hard to reach work piece edges. An engineer’s square is a fine to tool to have while setting up machines. It can also fit below or a band saw or a miter saw blade guard.

Long straightedge

Due to aging and moving machine around often, a signification defect in alignment occurs at the surface of machine. The plane surfaces of machine become uneven. For example, tables and extension wings sag due to rigorous use. A long straightedge proves quite beneficial in spotting these alignment issues before they interfere with performance of the machine.

Pro Tip: Use a long metal rule along with long straightedge to uncover gaps and irregularities under its narrow edge

Dial indicator

Dial indicators are tools that will help you get superfine measurements. It shows increments as small as 1/1000″. These tools are used in machines where absolute precision is of more importance. Dial indicators come at a variety of prices, but if you are a hobbyist, you can decide to go for a cheap one.

Pro Tip: Buy a Super bar to get more accurate readings from your dial indicator

Alignment plate

For taking measurements and taking setups that provide longer and truer surface than a saw blade, alignment plates should be used. Alignment plate can be mounted in place of saw blade of a table saw, mitre saw or even radial-arm saw for accurate measurements.

Refinishing

Refinishing Wooden Furniture: A Beginner’s Guide!

It takes only a few dedicate weeks to learn the valuable skills of refinishing wood furniture.

What should you do when your food furniture begins to show signs of aging?

Replace it with something new and fancy, right? WRONG!

If you don’t have a ton of money just lying around, replacing furniture is a really poor financial investment. Within a few years, your new furniture will become old and you’ll have to replace that too.

So, no, replacing furniture when it gets a bit aged is not the correct answer. The right solution is to refinish it.

You can get a professional to do it for you, or simply get into the garage one weekend and take refinishing your old furniture as a hobby project. It’s not that difficult, plus this is a skill that you will need your entire life.

hardwood-floor-refinishing-mr-hardwood-atlanta-ga

There are several benefits to learning how to refinish your wood articles:-

  1. You save a ton of money
  2. It is a nice hobby to keep you busy during free time
  3. You can unleash your creativity by carving out extravagant patterns on your furniture
  4. It’s always nice to have a shiny living room

Okay, so let’s get down to business.

Step 1: Get rid of the old finish

This step is the most time-consuming and tiresome. You have two options:-

  1. Use an orbital sander to remove the old finish
  2. Use chemical strippers

Sanding

With an orbital sander with 80/100 grit sandpaper, most of the finish is removed. Once you’re done with that, switch to a higher grit and remove rest of the finish. If there are areas that are hard to reach, use sanding block, or a small piece of sandpaper. This part is tricky, but if you can get it right, it will result in a much smoother refinishing later.

Chemical Strippers

Unlike Sanding, Chemical stripping requires you to take some precautions:-

  1. Do chemical stripping in well ventilated areas
  2. Use rubber gloves
  3. Wear proper eye-protection gear

Pro Tip: Use a gel/paste-based chemical stripper instead of paint-bases strippers as they are more effective

Apply the stripper on your furniture and let it do its work for manufacturer recommended time. Once your putty knife becomes able to cut through the layer to the wood, remove as much paint and varnish as possible.

Step 2: Prepare the wood (only required if you use chemical stripping)

Once you’re done with chemical stripping, next step is to prepare your wood furniture by sanding it. Use 120 grit papers to clear off remaining finish. After that, sand it again using a 220 grit paper.

Step 3: Fill the grain

This is an optional step depending upon the kind of wood your furniture has. If your furniture has wood with tight grain, you can skip this step, but if it has oak/mahogany wood, which has open grain, filling in the grain with filler material will result in better finish later on.

Pro Tip: Use a filler whose colour compliments that of your furniture

Step 4: Apply sanding sealer

This is the last step to preparing your wood furniture. Apply a heavy coat and let it soak. After about 30 minutes, wipe off excess sealer, and lightly sand the surface.

Step 5: Paint the furniture

Use any of the water-based, oil-based, or gel-based paints to paint your wooden furniture. When applying the paint, stick to paint manufacturer’s instructions, and keep a solid hand.

Step 6: Finish

As there are several finishing options available in the market, choose the one which best fits your requirements. Depending on the area where you will keep your furniture and how durable finishing you want, pick one and refinish.

That’s it!

I hope this article has given you a basic idea of how to take up a wood refinishing job. If you any doubts about the above procedure please leave a comment in the comments sections below.