Blade Helpers

If you are about to change the blade on your bandsaw, dig out your small spring clamps to make the job easier. A new bandsaw blade can have a tendency to slip off of the top wheel while you try to get it on the lower wheel. Use a pair of small clamps to hold the blade on the top wheel while you slip it over the lower wheel and apply tension. Remove the clamps from the wheel before you begin making final adjustments.
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Sawing Posts

Say you're building a deck in your yard and have to cut a 10-in. thick post in half. How do you do this with a circular saw with just an 8-in. blade? Make matching straight cuts on opposite sides of the timber. Set the thickness guide to just over half the woods width.
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Drill Propeller

Shavings can pile up around a hole being drilled, making it hard for you to see what you are doing. To prevent this, push the point of the drill bit through a 4-in. strip of masking tape, then draw the tape up the bit so it will clear the work. Fold the strip lengthwise to bring the sticky sides together. The tape "wings" will act as a fan to clear the surface.
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Glue Types

There are a many choices to make when choosing glue. Here are some of the most common: 1) White glue is the most popular choice for general purpose adhering. It's non-toxic, odorless, nonflammable and dries clear in under an hour. One drawback of white glue is that is has a low resistance to water, so it should not be used for outdoor projects. 2) Yellow carpenter's glue sets quicker and is more resistant to water than white glue. It won't be affected by solvents used in woodworking such as varnish, lacquer, or paint. Yellow glue dries to a translucent finish but can be sanded. 3) Hot-melt glue is applied with a glue gun. It sets almost instantly on wood, metal, cloth, and ceramics. There are several formulas available for you to match to your project. Hot-melt glues, however, do not adhere well to cold surfaces, so make sure that your workpieces are not cold. 4) Instant bonding glue is incredibly strong and sets almost instantly. It is ideal for non-porous surfaces such as glass, certain plastics, ceramics, and metal but can also be used to bond wood and paper as well. If you should accidentally drip some onto your skin, use nail polish remover to dissolve it. Instant bonding glue will dry inside the container very quickly so be sure to tightly replace the glue container's cap as soon as possible.
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Miter Box Saver

If you just bought a manual miter box, a simple modification will extend its useful service life. Insert and fasten a piece of 1x stock to the inside bottom of the box. The saw blade will then cut into the false bottom, without damaging the miter box itself. Occasionally move the wood back and forth, or turn it over, to spread out the wear. When badly cut up, just replace the piece.
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Portable Framing

A picture-framing vise, or miter clamp, has screw holes on the bottom for attaching to a workbench. But for occasional framing it can get in the way of other benchwork. A solution is to mount it on a wooden base that can be readily clamped and unclamped in your bench vise. The base can be of scrap wood, and made up so that the framing vise will be about chest high for comfortable working.
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Rip Cuts

Rip cuts are cuts that go with the woodgrain. After a proper measurement and marking have been made, carefully use your thumb to guide your saw with two or three short upward strokes. Once the cut is started hold the saw at a 60 degree angle to the wood and make smooth, full downstrokes. If you're making a long cut, use a wedge to spread the wood apart. This will help prevent any binding.
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Measure Together

When cutting up small pieces for a project, an easier way to doublecheck for accuracy is to measure a number of the pieces at once. If you have four pieces which should be exactly 8 in. long, lay them end to end and measure. This multiplies small errors hard to detect on only one piece. For example, if the four pieces measure 32-1/8 in. instead of 32, then you know that each of the pieces is 1/32 in. too long.
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Deck Nailing

When building a deck, always nail a thinner member to a thicker member. Hot-dipped zinc-coated nails are a good choice. For more holding power, consider using either ring- or spiral-shanked nails, or go with deck screws. If using screws, it's best to pre-drill pilot holes.
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Refinishing vs. Stripping

If you’re thinking of refinishing your project, take a close look at it first. Antiques (or potential antiques) deserve special consideration. Always try to restore the old finish rather than stripping down to bare wood. Stripping an antique can destroy the soft mellowed look wood gets with age (patina) as well as depreciate considerably its value.
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