Skip to main content


Preventing clamp stains [short tip]

The metal bar of a clamp can be strained by adhesive that drips during gluing operations. Dried glue can also interfere with the ratcheting action of some clamps. To eliminate the problem, use a hacksaw or band saw to cut a roll of wax paper into 2-inch-wide mini-roll. Then, each time you apply a clamp, tear off a strip pf paper to wrap over or under the bar.

And then, different problem - similar solution:

Recent posts

[Tips and tricks] One-handed hold-down and more tips

I carve a lot of spoons. Most of the post-bandsaw shaping takes place with the work secured in my bench vise. However, sometimes I need more positioning  exibility. It turns out
that a spreader bar clamp is just the thing. You can remove its reversible jaw in order to slip the bar through a standard  "-dia. dog hole. Replacing the jaw in its normal orientation— but below the benchtop—then creates a very e ective bench hold- down. It can be operated with one hand so I can quickly and easily reposition a workpiece as needed to  nish shaping and smoothing it. —Bob Poling,
Parkersburg, West Virginia

No-spin dowel sawing
Most woodworkers know that crosscutting dowels on a miter saw can be dicey because the blade can grab the piece and spin it out of your hands. To prevent this, you can secure the piece in a sandpaper-lined wooden V-cradle, or temporarily a x self-adhesive sandpaper to your fence and table. However, I’ve found that the quickest approach is to simply press the dowel in plac…

Antique woodworking - how to give a new piece of wood an antique look

If your dream of owning handcrafted furniture is a little out of your budget, this guide will help you give any wood item an antique faux finish for that old-world charm. Step 1: Sand the woodSand the wood to allow the paint to stick. Use a fine-grit sandpaper. Smooth corners and uneven areas to create a distressed look.TipUse an electric sander to make the process easier.Step 2: Add marksAdd dents and scratches using a hammer, screwdriver, and chisel to give the wood character and add an illusion of wear and tear.Step 3: Start with a dark base colorUse a paintbrush to apply a dark base color sparingly and in a sporadic pattern to convey aging and time-induced water damage. Wipe away any excess paint before it dries.TipThe dark base shouldn't cover the wood completely -- just hit the high areas that would see the most damage.Step 4: Apply your main colorApply your main paint color from the top of the wood toward the bottom. Allow the brush to run dry to create a worn appearance. Us…

Woodworking tips and tricks #1

Dressing bandsaw, guide blocks I replaced my handsaw's steel guide blocks with graphite·impregnated phenolic blocks (Cool Blocks). For accurate operation, the blocks' faces should be routinely dressed to remove regular wear. I tried freehand filing and sanding, but had a hard time keeping the ends square with the edges.
To solve the problem, I made this simple jig. It's a 1j.)( 2 )( 6H scrap of hardwood, with a notch sawn in the end to snugly accommodate a guide block. A 1/8-thick end-strip screwed to the scrap secures the guide block in place. (If necessary for a snug fit, wrap the block with masking tape.) To smooth and square the blocks, position them in the jig so that they project just a bit from the bottom and rub the whole thing over ISO-grit and 220-grit sandpaper until the ends are flush with the bottom of the Jig, It's
best to do this on a dead-flat surface, like a saw or jointer table. To dress guide blocks with a 45° face. I bevel-cut the opposite end…

How to buy Sawmill Hardwood and Save (Part 2)

Read the beginning of the story How to buy Hardwood lumber and Save.Mill talk made easy (differences between big wood trading home centers and lumber sawmills)The contrast between the big-box home centers and a sawmill requires explaining. When you go to a big-box store, you'll likely find kiln -dried red oak lumber and poplar planed or surfaced on two sides in 3/4 -thickness(nominally referred to as 1'” thick) in standard widths that include l x2, lx3. lx4, lx6, 1x8, and lx12 . Lengths extend to 12', but you can have boards cut to shorter lengths upon request. All of it is edged to remove wane.
At sawmills, rough stock comes in random lengths and widths and in several nominal thicknesses, such as 4/4 ("four/quarters" or 1~), 5/4
(1';.") , 6/4 (1'/")' 8/4 (2'), and so on. These thicknesses, though, 1 are designated and the board footage calculated before drying and surfacing. You pay retail for the original green thickness, though…

Lumber Grades At A Glance

Domestic hardwood lumber found at sawmills meets different quality levels or grades as specified by the National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA). The basis for this wood grading is the number and size of defect-free clear cuttings in a board, as summarized below, Thickness is not a consideration, though with some species worm holes, gum pockets, and stain are acceptable.
FAS (First & Seconds) lumber grade. This premium grade represents the finest lumber yield in a log. Generally, the minimum size board is 6" wide by 8' long which yields a minimum of 83 1/3% clear cuttings on its poorest face.
F1F (FAS One Face) lumber grade. The best face grades as clear FAS; the worst, as #1 common, containing some knots.
Selects lumber grade. Close to a FAS board. A Select board must be a minimum of 4" wide and 6' long and yield a minimum of 83 1/3% clear cuttings, but only on one face with #1 common on the worst face.

#1 Common. An economical choice for wood furni…

How to buy Sawmill Hardwood and Save (Part 1)

When you visit a home center to purchase hardwood lumber, more than likely you'll encounter limited quantities, limited species, and through-the-roof pricing. In some cases, you're paying for that shiny cellophane wrapper. Before you sell your tools and steer toward a different hobby, you need to check out the benefits of shopping at a lumber sawmill.
While some mills service only the commercial building industry. make pallets, or ship woods overseas, many gladly sell to the local woodworker. Here is where you'll find great variety and huge savings. If the special lingo and ways in which sawmills sell hardwood have kept you at bay, let us help you shop like a pro.First things first: finding a sawmill.While your local yellow pages will yield results when you look under "Sawmills” or “Lumber-Retail," members of 10 cal woodworking clubs, woodworking friends, or woodworking specialty stores may serve as better sources for locating a sawmill.
Other sources: your…