Story Poles

When you need to duplicate multiple measurements on a larger project, it can be helpful to use a length of 1x2 or similar stock as a story pole. Cut or select a piece that is longer than the longest cut required. Carefully mark the height, width, depth and length of various parts onto the 1x2. The story pole will speed up marking for cuts, and matching parts will be cut the same.
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Wood Exposure

If you are about to start a carving or turning project, don't take wood from cold outside temperatures into your shop with high heat and low humidity and immediately start working on it. Give the wood a chance to equalize with your shop's climate, preferably for at least two weeks. Also don't leave large areas of end grain exposed to heat and low humidity. If the project can't be completed through a final finish, use some type of temporary sealer, such as paste wax or shellac, which can easily be removed before finishing.
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Blade Breaks

If a bandsaw blade breaks, it can be brazed or welded. But check for the cause. The most common causes include: 1) misalignment or adjustment of the guides, 2) either forcing or twisting a wide blade around a curve, 3) feeding in the work too fast, 4) dull teeth or not enough tooth set, 5) excessive tightening of blade, 6) top guide set too high above work being cut, 7) using a blade with improperly finished braze or weld, and 8) continuously running the blade when it is not used for cutting.
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Dowel Sizing

When using dowels, select a size half the thickness of the wood being joined. For example, for 3/4-in. stock, consider 3/8-in. dowels.; for 7/8-in. stock use 7/16-in. dowels. The length inserted should generally be three times its thickness. Thus, a 3/8-in. dowel should be about 2-1/2 in. long to penetrate into each member 1-1/4 in.
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Glue Temperature

The time needed to glue up wood in a cold workshop may be twice as long as in one at room temperature. Below certain levels, cold temperatures can weaken joint strength because the glue can't form a continuous film as it dries. If too cold, the glue may not work at all. For yellow aliphatic glues the minimum temp is about 40 degrees F.; for white polyvinyl acetate glues it's about 55.
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Outline Patterns

You can quickly make your own outline patterns from existing assembled wood parts with just a piece of white paper and an awl. Position the paper over the piece you want to duplicate and then rub around the edges. Remove the paper and lay it over your new wood. Next, following the creases, punch small holes into the wood with the awl. For straight lines, a hole at each end is sufficient. On curves, make holes closer together. Remove the paper, draw lines between the holes, and you are ready to cut.
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Plane Shelves

Having special shelves for your carpenter's planes will help keep them organized. But before mounting these shelves, rout a groove 1/2 in. deep into their top surface. Position the groove where the blade will rest when the plane is on the shelf. The groove will provide a slot for the blade and you won't have to retract it before storage.
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Removing Old Woodwork

Here's how to remove painted woodwork for refinishing. Score the paint with a utility knife to prevent splitting the wood. Gently begin to separate the wood using a dull chisel or flat bar. Then use a stiff putty knife and a prybar to remove the woodwork. Keep the putty knife behind the prybar as you work to avoid marking or denting the wood. Proceed carefully to remove the whole piece.
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