BEST TIPS FOR
When it comes to tips for woodworking projects you will of course need to learn about boring stuff like safety, reading the tool manuals, taking your time on tasks and working in a clean bright ventilated area.
Since I don't want to put you to sleep by writing about what you already know, let's move on to the more interesting goodies.
Below you will find generalized woodworking tips along with a few tricks for cutting, gluing, clamping, sanding, coating, staining and painting of your woodwork.
If after reading this page, you only learn one new thing, in the very least it will be something you never new before.
For those who are interested you'll find a couple of links to sites that have a large amount of both free and paid for woodworking projects and plans. I saved them for last so you wouldn't miss all the good advice that follows.
- Draw up your own plans or thoroughly read the ones you've acquired, take notes if necessary. You don't want to be halfway through a job, having used the wrong screws or assembly instructions.
- Implement a budget, meaning either make a materials list or use the one that comes with the plans. Apply dollar values to each item on the list.
- Don't forget to include tools (buy/rent) and any other materials in your cost calculations. Otherwise you might be surprised by the price of that box of screws or bottle of glue (OK, maybe not the glue).
- Choose wood according to the amount of money you want to spend not in regards to what may be recommended. Ask your lumber supplier for cheaper alternatives if your project merits it.
- Wood that can't be cut by you can be cut by the lumber yard. It does cost more but the price is less than buying extra tools, building a bigger shop or re-attaching fingers.
- Join woodworking classes. Most local colleges have them and you would be amazed at the tricks and time saving skills you can learn.
- Teach yourself about the different species of wood and which type of wood works best for each particular project, or product being used.
- If you're a beginner start with simple tasks. Make some boxes first then maybe an end table or other smaller type item as smaller pieces tend to be easier to work with.
PREPARING THE WOOD
- Remember to sand with the proper sandpaper for the wood being sanded. Sanding eliminates dried glue and other imperfections from appearing after the wood has been stained or coated.
- Also, sand between layers of clear coat, primer or paint. Proper sanding with the correct sand paper removes roughness that a lot of homemade woodworking projects tend to have.
- Cut and sand wood with the grain when possible and use the correct (sharp) saw blade to get the job done. Cross cut plywood can be especially challenging causing the wood to chip or chunk out.
- Scoring or applying a small cut part way through your plywood as a starter cut or taping the cut line with painters tape can eliminate a lot of edge splintering or chipping.
- Sharp cut lines can also be had by using a router with a small cutting bit attached. Keep in mind though that hardwood can still be a problem for chipping if your bit is dull.
- Fill holes or cracks with a good quality wood filler. I like to use a product that's the same color as the wood or matched to the stain when the stain is dry.
- Most importantly, use a damp cloth to remove glue from your wood before it dries.
COATING THE WOOD
- Conditioning your wood in some cases eliminates blotching. You can take the risk of not using conditioner or apply some to a piece of the wood to see how beneficial the conditioner might be.
- Always test products on the same type of wood that you used to create your woodworking projects, including filling, gluing, conditioning, staining, clear coating, priming or painting.
- Follow all label instructions or advice given to you by your local paint store representative and home improvement centre regarding materials and products being used.
- Your wood surface needs to be clean, non-dusty and have no waxy build up. Be sure to sand, wipe and vacuum your wood surfaces prior to coating.
- Paint and coating manufacturers have websites that contain a ton of information including material safety data sheets and application or trouble shooting advice.
MATERIALS & TOOL FOR WOOWORKING PROJECTS
- Screws usually need pilot holes. Hard wood requires a hole half the size of the screw itself or a quarter the size for soft wood. Soap or wax can ease a screw into the wood if needed.
- Buy as many different clamps as is necessary. Clamps are one of the most important tools in a wood shop. Be sure to have the proper clamp for the task at hand.
- Rent tools or even space if needed. Buying a saw that you will only use once is not cost effective but renting a mini storage space for a day to cut sheets of plywood might be.
- When you do buy tools do your research and buy the best tools you can afford. You will find that the quality of your work can easily depend on the quality of the tools that you own.
- Have a good measuring tape and
learn how to properly use it
. Wood is expensive so measure as many times as is necessary so you only have to cut once.
- All the tool manufacturers have websites where you can find safety material along with down-loads for the particular tool that you may have lost a manual for.
PLANS FOR WOODWORKING PROJECTS
When you pay for plans you, of course, get a higher quality product including blue prints, material sheets for purchasing items, how to videos and an assortment of other bonuses. With that said, some of the free plans can be very well put together and easy to follow.
Teds woodworking projects
Woodworking projects 4 home.
Free woodworking plans
More free plans and projects
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