When I was a child, my grandfather had a workshop in his basement. He would supply us with wood, tools and hardware and we would create a myriad of imaginative crafts. If you have grown up with a love of woodwork, the tips below will help you master your craft.
Stair gauges may be just the ticket for crosscut guides. Match them to the rise and run of your stair jack, then attach them to the carpenter’s square. Then mark the notches. Put them on your carpenter’s square guide for a great cut.
When you make your budget, remember to itemize tools that you have to buy. This is easy to overlook if you are focused on the amount of wood you need to buy. If you don’t pay attention to these extra costs, you may find your project going over budget quickly.
Become more accurate by using a drafting square. If you need an accurate square that’s about 2″ to 3″, you have limited options. Drywall squares tend to be very inaccurate. With carpenter squares, you have to hook them onto your work piece’s edge. A drafting square can be easily used if you happen to have one lying around. If you don’t, they are pretty cheap to find at art stores. They are incredibly accurate and as useful as a tape measure.
When sanding a piece of lumber, a lot of sawdust and debris is produced. To help remove those bits of dust and debris from your project vacuum the area. Then, remove the remaining debris using a tack cloth. Wipe both sides of the lumber to remove all traces of debris for best results.
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.
Test the color of a stain before doing the complete stain on more visible areas. Wood is never predictable, so a stain may not look the way you expect or need it to when applied to the wood you are using. When you test the stain in a spot that’s not easily visible, you prevent having a project turn out badly.
Ear protection is important if you wish to delve into woodworking. Woodworking machinery is very noisy. Prolonged exposure to it can result in some loss of hearing. Get a pair of inexpensive ear plugs, or buy a great pair of noise canceling headphones. Regardless of your decision, make certain to always use your protection while operating machines.
Learn how to find the center in a piece of firewood every time. Mount some flat scrap wood to the lathe’s faceplate. Attach an acrylic piece to it using some double-faced tape. Chuck that in your lathe. Turn your acrylic to a disc. Using a 1/16″ bit in your tail stock chuck, drill a hole through that center-point. Scribe some concentric circles on to the disc at 1/2″³ intervals using a skew chisel. Position this center-finder over the end of your stock and adjust it until one of your circles is inscribed completely in a portion of the wood that is solid and usable. Using an awl or nail set, mark your center through the central hole in the disc.
If you can take your love of working with wood and pass it on to your kids, you will imbue them with skills that last a lifetime. Use these tips to give them the right advice when it comes to completing their projects. That will ensure that they are able to keep this hobby going well into adulthood.