While we are in the 21st century, the fact is that age old crafts still create the best results. For example, working with wood allows us to build durable, gorgeous furniture pieces incomparable with those offered at retail outlets. To better your woodworking skills, check out the tips below.
Always apply a pre-stain conditioner to the wood you want to stain. Using this conditioner will reduce the amount of blotching or unevenness on your finished project. It will also help to improve the appearance of the wood itself, as wood has a natural grain and the conditioner fills it in to some degree.
Organize your shop’s extension cords to keep your shop safe and tidy. You can make your own cord keeper with nothing more than a scrap piece of wood. Simply cut a piece of wood in the shape of an I and wrap each of your extension cords around the wood.
If you will be re-coating an existing finish, be sure that the surface is clean and free of any wax or oils. Then, let it dry completely, and lightly scuff the surface with a 220-grit sandpaper so that the finish you are applying will have something to hold onto.
When working with wood, it is important that you have a lot of patience when it comes to the finishing process. This is just as important as the actual woodworking. Things like gluing edges and sanding the wood down take time, and you will only mess things up if you try to rush through this process.
Whenever you start a new project, consider involving a wood you haven’t used before. It can create an entirely different look and feel for the item, plus it gives you experience with something new. Research how to work with the new wood so you can understand how it functions.
Make sure your grip has sufficient spring. Do you need to apply a spring clamp with a single hand? It’s hard to open those kinds of clamps with one hand. There is a method for making things a bit simpler. Prior to starting a glue-up, be sure to arrange all necessary clamps on a piece of scrap wood first. That way, they are almost at full capacity and can be maneuvered with just one hand.
When applying stain, work in a well-lit and well-ventilated area. When you make sure your project is under the strongest light in your work area, you more easily spot drips, runs and any spots you missed. Ventilation is also important to protect your health, and even on small projects, strong fumes can affect you by making you feel sick or giving you a headache.
Take baby steps when first starting out with woodworking. It’s a lot of fun to learn, but woodworking is also pretty dangerous if you get too cocky too soon. Even when you feel like you know the basics, keep practicing them. And always where safety gear. You are much better off.
Only cut using sharp tools. Older and dull tools result in tear-outs and even chipping, which is frustrating and a waste of time. Sharp tools means you get clean cuts quickly. You’ll also spend a lot less time sanding things to get just the right look and fit that you need.
Never cut any pieces of wood without checking for nails, screws and other metal. While donning a pair of goggles keeps your eyes protected, you are still at risk for other injuries. Inspect every piece of wood whether you are re-purposing it or using new lumber. You are better safe than sorry with this safety tip, and checking the boards only takes a few minutes of your time.
If you want an exciting hobby with concrete rewards, woodworking is it. The ability to go back to the old school methods of creating whatever it is you need builds skills which will better your life in many ways. Take what you’ve learned and make your next project into a reality.