Commonly available look alikes
Butternut, willow, red gum
White Oak, Ash, Chestnut, Elm
Phillipine & African Mahogany
Indian Rosewood, Cocobolo, Pau Ferro, Morado
Rule 1 - Use a sharp saw or bladeto make the cuts;
Ask three or more woodworkers the above question and you'll probably get three different answer: right away, after a few minutes and after the glue had dried. Chances are equally good that the person who gives you any of the three answers will have a rationale that seems plausible. In short, the subject of glue squeeze-out is one that's sure to generate some good discussion among anyone who has worked with wood.
A little glue squeeze-out — a few tiny droplets or dribbles along the joint — is a sign of a good glue application job. No squeeze-out means you might have applied too little glue, creating a "starved", potentially weak joint. All the experts agree on this point.
We agree to disagree somewhat with both Snider and Duncan regarding use of a damp sponge or rag. We're convinced that the combination of moisture and pressure can indeed push some glue into the pores of the wood. Sanding will remove the glue at the surface, but perhaps not all the glue that was forced down deep. Why take a chance and wait maybe a couple of days for the wood to reach an equilibrium state before you can sand off the residue?
Let Glue Gel
Clean up excess glue after it has gelled a bit but before it has hardened. Follow Snider's advice and wait 5 to 10 minutes (or longer) after clamping. At this point you'll be able to slice away the "cottage cheese" with a dull chisel or other type of scraper.
How To Avoid Excessive Squeeze-Out
• Check that joint parts fit well by clamping together before gluing. Open pores of wood by sanding.
Brief History of Oak
Uses in Woodworking
Chances are you won't actually use the tool before you buy it, but you can learn a lot about it while at the store. Try changing bits. Is it easy to get your wrench on the collet nut or does the bases interfere? Does the collet let go of the bit with a single turn of the wrench, or does it take two or three bites? Does the router have a flat top so you can stand it on its head for bit changes?
While cost, horsepower, and collet size are the big three considerations in selecting a router, you should also be familiar with the following:
Which type is best? It's a matter of preference, but my experience is that small spherical knobs can cause cramps in your hands. For that reason I prefer a huskier grip such as arms or a pair of D-handles. For freehand work, I like the handles low on the router so I can rest my arms on the work for better control.
What isn't so fun is trying to decide which one to buy?
As I've been telling you in previous article "Having a specific place to do your woodworking" , i'll continue with a series of tips planning your woodworking place:
Most people know that tool manufacturers produce more than one line of a product for varying consumer needs. What they may not realize is how these tools differ in their manufacture, and what it is that makes one drill, for example, cost $25 and another "similar" one cost $125. We explain some of the points of difference here.
Design. The professional power tool is designed to be more powerful, last longer, and perform better under continuous-use conditions than consumer models. For occasional, around-the-house situations, you may prefer a less-expensive consumer woodworking tool.
Electrical cords. On most consumer tools, the electrical cord is 6 feet long or less. With the professional models, 8 and often 10-foot cords are the norm. With this length of cord, a worker doesn't have to use an extension cord in most situations.
Cord materials vary, too. With woodworking tools designed for professionals, who may have to work outside, it's important for the cord to remain flexible during cold weather. To protect the tools, natural rubber or high- cost elastomer jackets are used. Less-costly cords are sheathed with polyvinyl-chloride (PVC) material.
In addition, on the pro tool the cord protector leading into the tool is separate from the cord to facilitate replacement. On the consumer tool, the protectors are molded onto the cord.
Switches. Dust and frequent usage are the enemies of tool switches. Since woodworking professional tools are subjected to more of both, switches need to be heavy-duty and protected from dust.
Motors. Professional-quality woodworking tools have motors designed to generate more power and sustain overloading for longer periods than consumer tools. At the same time they must be light enough for trades people to use for a long time. To guard against short-circuiting at high temperatures and speeds, manufacturers coat the windings of better-quality motors with epoxy.
More-expensive woodworking tools have copper windings rather than aluminum ones because, while copper costs more, it makes the motor more powerful.
Precise positioning of the carbon brushes, which transfer electricity from the electrical outlet to the motor, also sets professional tools apart from consumer tools. On the former, the brushes are held by close- tolerance brass holders rather than by the high-impact plastic ones on the latter.
Another difference is the type of bearings used. Generally, consumer tools have sleeve bearings. For pro tools, manu-facturers use better-quality ball bearings to a greater extent to reduce the amount of lateral movement and vibration.
Gears. Often, a heavy-duty tool has wrought-steel gears, which are heat-treated to harden the metal. With some consumer tools, powdered-metal gears are used because they're less expensive.
Housings. Unless you know plastics, it's difficult to tell the difference between the materials used on pro tools and their consumer counterparts. Super-tough nylon often sheathes the former, and consumer tools have a less durable plastic covering.
Metal housings differ, too. The professional has mating surfaces that have been machined to fit against the motor housing. The consumer model is diecast with minimal machining.
Assembly. The major components of pro tools inter¬lock with one another. With consumer tools, the components often are held together with one set of screws.
Safety. No matter which type of equipment you buy there are certain maintenance procedures you'll want to follow for safety as well as extended tool life.
All electrical power cables should be in good repair, without frays, breaks or loose plugs. If your home workshop outlets aren't the three-prong type, always use a grounding plug adaptor.
If the woodworking tools aren't self-lubricating, follow the instructions in the manual to lubricate them at regular intervals.
And keep blades sharp. Dull blades can be dangerous as well as ruinous to work.
If you build, your own, no matter what its finished size, use sturdy materials and strong fasteners that results in a durable, steady work surface.
• Storage for tools and liquids as well as many of the other supplies you'll accumulate is a must. Otherwise, they'll quickly clutter up the shop and make any project more difficult. Store small hand tools within easy reach on a rack made of perforated hard board. Use inexpensive plastic organizers to hold screws, bolts, and other hardware. Flammable and toxic liquids, such as thinner, glue, and paints, as well as power tools, should be stored in locked cabinets or other safe places away from curious young ones.
• Plan for proper lighting. Have one or two overhead lights for general illumination and several more concentrated fixtures for task lighting.
• A minimum electrical supply for power tools and lighting is one 20-amp circuit with ground fault protection. Larger shops should have one circuit for power tools and another for lighting. Position outlets around the shop so power is never far away.
An exhaust fan capable of changing shop air every four minutes provides adequate ventilation. Determine the size fan you need by figuring the cubic feet in your shop (length x width x height). You'll welcome this addition when gluing and finishing.
• Keep emergencies in mind. For warning against fire, you'll want to install a smoke detector. If one starts, have a good-size ABC-rated fire extinguisher handy. Battery- powered lights should be within reach in case of power failure. And a fully equipped first-aid kit will help you deal with injuries should they occur.
• Keeping the shop clean adds to safety and work efficiency. A broom and large dustpan are minimum. A shop vacuum is better. You'll also need a metal trash container with a tight-fitting lid to hold all the waste material you'll generate from project to project.
• A pair of sawhorses is a necessity for supporting bulky sheet goods and lengths of lumber while sawing or measuring. If space will be at a premium, consider buying the hinged, metal leg horses or the metal bracket type, both of which are easily disassembled for storage. You can build your own of scrap wood easily, and they'll be sturdier, but they will take up room.
• Lumber, hardwood, and sheet goods require storage, too. All wood should be kept off a con¬crete floor or it will take in moisture. Construct flat racks for your woods if you have the space. Otherwise, sheet goods can stand on edge, file card fashion, if propped so they won't bend or bow. Floor space may be limited, so look above for the possibility of overhead storage.
Once set up with the basics, you'll be able to work comfort¬ably and efficiently, adding touches as you go along to complete your workshop.
Having a specific place to do your woodworking makes sense.
As with any other hobby, you'll need an area that's convenient, comfortable, well-organized, and with sufficient space for work and storage. Depending on your experience level, the number of tools you have, and the size of most of your projects, that space can be great or small, basic or elaborate, but you'll need a definite area for a workshop to call your own.
Finding the available space, and your needs, will dictate where to locate your workshop. The most likely places are basements, garages, and seldom - used rooms, but even closets and attics can be candidates. A basement, though, has several distinct advantages over other areas. It's out of the normal family traffic pattern, so your work won't be disrupting. More often than not, it has lots of unused space that can be put to immediate service as well as allow for expansion. And, basements make a comfortable working atmosphere - cool in summer and reasonably warm in winter.
There are, however, two limiting factors in using a basement: accessibility and dampness. First, you have to be able to get materials in and out without much difficulty. And if you can't control dampness by waterproofing or dehumidifying, you'll have to locate other workshop space.
Planning For Your Needs Once you've found the site for your shop, take some time to plan on how to best equip it. The following pointers can help you decide on what to include, space permitting, of course. Selecting the right workbench for your situation is an all - important step since it will be the center of your woodworking activity. Full-size workbenches typically measure 6' to 8' long and from 24" to 36" deep, with a height between 32" and 42". Because of space limitations, a bench in these sizes may not work for you. Or, standard heights may prove uncomfortable. So, obviously, you'll have to do some tailoring. A good rule of thumb to remember is that working height should be about even with your hipbone, but decide what will be best for you.
You can either buy or build a workbench that suits your needs. Ready-built ones, in kit form, are available from the simplest made of steel and particle board to the most elaborate of joined oak or maple.
As a home woodworker, you know the satisfaction you can derive from creating things with wood in your shop. What you may not know is that you're involved in a hobby that is quietly sweeping this country. Woodworkers are literally everywhere, and they're producing a lot of surprisingly good-quality work. We are all part of a renaissance of interest in quality, in things made by hand, and in the self-satisfaction that can come from doing things yourself.
The goal of all of us is to heighten your enjoyment of and increase your abilities in this fascinating hobby. We'll do this by providing you with lots of well designed, useful projects and shop-tested woodworking techniques ... all presented step-by-step ... and a host of other material designed to enlighten, inform and entertain.
I do need your help, though. I'd like to ask you to share with us and the rest of our readers your favorite shop tips, slides of some of your woodworking efforts, humorous experiences you've had while woodworking, and suggestions for articles you'd like us to present in “Woodworking plans for furniture”.
Once again, welcome to “Woodworking plans for furniture”! Here's to a long and satisfying woodworking relationship between us.
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