When you are looking for a new hobby, look no further than woodworking. This amazing pastime combines skill building with the creation of items you can actually use around your home. If you want a hobby that allows you to do something good, the tips below will help you join in.
Woodworking can be expensive. The actual wood is one of the most expensive parts of any project. The rest of the cost is usually labor, glue and hardware. Sometimes you can save some money by buying a cheaper grade of wood for areas of your project that are not visible. Areas like drawers, backs and bottoms are excellent places to use this 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 cutting a narrow wooden piece, do not use fingers like guides! Use a piece of wood to assist you in pushing the cut through. It will help you to maintain the use of all ten fingers on your hands.
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.
If you are trying new skills, make sure that you practice on some wood that has no value, like some scraps. You don’t want to waste an expensive piece of wood before you know exactly what you are doing. Once you have mastered your new skills, you can move to a better piece of wood.
Understand the features of different wood types prior to selecting it for a project that is to be stained. Paint grade refers to low quality wood, for instance, while stain grade refers to better gain pattern used for staining. If using veneer or particleboard, understand that particleboard absorbs a lot of stain while veneer will not absorb as much. Choosing the correct piece of wood helps turn the project you work into something special.
Many people use utility knives to cut veneer. This can be very dangerous; however, take heart, there is a better way. When cutting veneer, consider using a rotary cutting tool. These inexpensive tools can be purchased in your local fabric shop. Rotary cutting tools allow you to trim veneer to the perfect size.
Do you lose drill press key chucks often? A good way to keep them within reach is to drill a hole somewhere on the drill press they fit. On top of the press is a good place, where you can see it. Drill a small hole the exact same size of the chuck’s crossbar and it will fit in perfectly.
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.
These ideas aren’t all new, yet they’re all worth reading. Those which are new to you will serve to better your techniques. Those which are old hat are reminders that you should continually pay attention to how you are working with wood. Together, they will build you into a master wood craftsman.