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.
Do you know how to find the best height for your workbench? In order to attain the perfect workbench height, first measure how far it is from the middle of your waist to the floor. This is the best height for a workbench.
Never skip sanding when it is necessary or think that staining hides imperfections in the wood. Wood with scratches, dents and nicks absorbs much more finish or stain than wood that is smooth. When you skip sanding or do not do a thorough job of it, the imperfections stand out even more because of the increased absorption.
Take advantage of several tools instead of trying to do all of your work on just one. A jig, a tablesaw, a bandsaw and a lathe all have their own uses. It is important that you know what each of these tools do and you use them accordingly while getting the job done.
Add some extra spring to your grip. Sometimes you might need a spring clamp, however you only have one hand available to use. These are tough to open up with a single hand. However, there’s a way to easily open them. Before gluing anything, first put clamps on scraps of wood. This will make it easy to use them with one hand.
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.
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.
Avoid becoming obsessed with tape measures. You can work into a cut by using a story stick. It’s recommended that you cut on scrap wood before cutting on the wood you plan on using so that you can test it out to see if it will fit. Having a variety of ways to plan out your cuts keeps you from mental boredom.
Give yourself ample time for a woodworking project. A project may look simple on paper, but in reality it can be multiple hours or even multiple days. Plan ahead to make sure that you are set in terms of the necessary time. If a project stretches on for weeks because of poor planning, it may end up never getting done.
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.