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Showing posts from October, 2009

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…

4-Step Antique Finish

Create a fool-the-eye timeworn look.Some projects, like wine server for your wood cabinet, are not unlike a pair of blue jeans, Both look better after a few years of regular use.
To create that well-worn look wood finish, I have come up with a finishing schedule that can add a century's worth of character in less time than it would take to stonewash a new pair of Levis.
At first glance, this four-step finish might appear demanding, bur keep reading. As you'll soon learn, this special finish amounts to little more than
a combination of a few basic techniques you've probably used before. The “pickling" and - “highlighting” I use aren't much different than whitewashing a fence. Simply brush on the color and then wipe some off until it looks good to you. And after each step you'll apply a quick-drying seal coat to save your work.
Besides providing an additional decorative element to your work, antiquing has some practical advantages. Adding color to the…

Country French Wine wooden Server

Create old-world charm with a few weekends' worth of work.
There's something about a glass of fine wine that evokes visions of France. So when I was asked to design a server to store 24 hottles, my decision to create a piece that resembled a well-loved French antique was a no-brainer.
As you'll see, this piece combines form and function. Featuring special moldings for storing glasses and a drawer for winerelated accessories, this server is sure to be a hit with the wine connoisseurs in your social life.
Beginning woodworkers will appreciate the straightforward construction process. Despite its appearance, you can easily build this piece using plywood and solid stock available in most home centers. The rustic hardware, carved feet, and grape onlays are only a phone call away. Once you build the server, try a surprisingly easy finishing technique that adds years of character with just a brush.
Start with the sides
Using your table saw, cut the side stiles (A), top r…