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 setups.

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.

Adjustable triangle

This tool is an absolute necessity in your Woodworking toolbox.


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 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.


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


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.