Start a Woodworking Business From Home
The woodworker is forever needing to use one or other of a whole range of squares to variously test that lines, edges and faces arc at right angles to each other. The simplest square, known as a carpenters square, is simply a single piece of L shaped steel that is marked out with various measurements and tables. The carpenter's square is designed primarily to be used for large work - table tops, cupboard frames, doors and such like. The short arm is known as the tongue, while the long arm is known as the blade. Being made from a single piece of steel, a square of this character is just about as strong, precise and foolproof as a square can get. Better yet, the large size of the square - the tongue is 16 inches long and the blade is 24 inches long - ensures a high degree of accuracy. If you arc new to woodwork, and if you arc looking to get yourself a square, and if you
The crosscut saw is designed to cut across the grain. The teeth arc filed at an angle of about 65 degrees across the blade. In use, the crosscut teeth first severe the fibers by scoring each side of the cut, and then remove the waste by reducing it to fine particles. Most woodworkers will require a selection of crosscut saws to handle different size jobs.
Hand planes arc uniquely satisfying tools to use, producing instantly rewarding results of a smooth surface. Certainly electric planers are gaining popularity, and it is a fact that prepared lumber is readily available. But many woodworkers find it infinitely more rewarding to build up a stock of specialist hand planes and then to learn a whole range of traditional hand-planing techniques.
That done, only three important factors in the planing procedure remain the height of the bench, the depth of the cut, and the amount of pressure that you put down on the front of the plane. The height of the bench is something you will have to sort out to suit your own needs, but the other two considerations can be learned by trial and error. Most woodworkers start with the cutting iron set well up so that it doesn't cut, and then they repeatedly tweak the wheel very slightly clockwise and take a stroke until they are achieving the thinnest of paper-thin shavings. As to the question of how hard you should bear down on the front knob, the best way of finding out is to make test runs so that you can make a positive judgment.
The compass plane is an indispensable tool for woodworkers who want to produce curved work. Its the perfect tool for such projects as round-top tables, curved windowsills, curved cabinet construction, arched door tops, bow-fronted chests and all the other tasks that just can't be done with a flat-soled plane. Of course, you could use a drawknifc to shape large convex curves on traditional farmhouse pieces like Windsor chairs and round-top chests that benefit by having free curves, but for pieces of formal furniture that arc going to be worked with molding planes or perhaps veneered, there is no choice but to use a compass plane. Don't expect to save money by shopping for an old used compas plane They arc so fascinating and intricate and so altogether attractive to hold, that they have become highly collectable, with old planes costing more than new.
Moldings arc dccorativc three-dimensional profiles that draw their inspiration from classic architectural forms. For example, the curved profile that runs around the edge of a table, and the fancy architraves that run around doors and windows, the shaped headings that run around panels and shaped bannister rails arc all moldings that have their roots in classical Greek and Roman forms. Consequently, the molded shapes mostly have Latin names, like cavctto, ovolo, astragal, cyma reversa, and so on. From ancient times right through to the beginning of the twentieth century, all the moldings in woodwork were made with wooden planes. With each and every design or profile being worked in a whole range of sizes, it is estimated that the average nineteenth century woodworker might well have had 40-50 different molding planes. Most molding planes arc out of production and can only be bought second-hand.
Though it's plain to see that most traditional woodworkers prefer to avoid power tool options, the bench drill press is the main exception to the rule. The bench drill press has been around for so long, and it is so beautifully unobtrusively efficient, that it might almost be thought of as being a hand tooL If you need to bore a large number of crisp, smooth-sided, flat-bottomed blind holes, then you can't do better than to use a Forstner bit in a drill press.
There was a huge push to develop multipurpose iron planes. Remember, that at that time, the skilled woodworker had to have all manner of dedicated single-task wooden planes - a set of grooving planes, a set of hollows and rounds, and so on - for all the many grooving and shaping tasks.
Known variously as a compound miter saw, a compound miter box, a saw miter-box and an adjustable miter box, this is the best tool for woodworkers who are involved in cutting miters. It is perfect for making picture frames and for cutting moldings for panel, door and window surrounds. In essence, it is simply a miter box with a built-in saw or at least a track for a saw. There arc any number of slightly different designs, but with most the procedure is the same. The workpicce is set against a fence and damped in place, the saw in its integral frame is swung around and set at the chosen angle, and then the saw is pushed backwards and forwards in its tracks. This tool wins on two counts The angle of the cut is fixed and sure and the saw blade is held at right angles to the face of the workpiecc. All these features add up to a tool that takes the sweat and aggravation out of cutting miters.
J Many traditional woodworkers favor the use of a skewed panel saw. The term skewed refers to the buck edge of the blade being dipped or curved along its length. The combined characteristics of a 7 point cut and a skewed back add up to an exceptionally easy-to-maneuver tool. Generally, a skewed panel saw is lighter in weight than a straight-back.
A good quality adjustable wrench is the perfect tool for the woodworker who needs to deal with the occasional large nut and bolt, and yet doesn't want to go to the expense of purchasing a whole set ol large-size open-ended wrenches. For example, a large wrench is needed on older style lathes to grip the drive shaft when the four-jaw chuck is unscrewed. And then again, it is
Overhand ripping is a technique that traditional woodworkers claim is easy on the back. The wood is first clamped flat-sidc-down to the bench so that the end to be cut is looking towards you. A few low-angle starter cuts arc made with the toe of the saw pointing away, the saw is reversed so that the teeth arc pointing away from your body, and then both hands are clenched around the handle to supply the thrust.
Although there is an increase in the amount, of steel and other metals used in farm machinerjr and equipment, there will always be a need for the farmer to make repairs and construct appliances involving the use of wood. It is a simple matter to become reasonably proficient in the use of woodworking tools, bccause woodworking, like most other kinds of mechanical work, is based upon a comparatively few fundamental tool processes or operations, like sawing and planing. Once these are mastered, one is well on his way toward becoming a proficient woodworker.
The bench is where it all happens the measuring, the planing, the joinery and just about all the other activities. And of course, each and every woodworker has his or her own views as to the perfect bench. Some prefer a small, neat bench with a tool well running down the center. Others like a huge bench with a flat top - there arc as many ideas on the perfect bench set-up as there are woodworkers. All that said, all woodworkers would agree on certain points A bench must have a sturdy frame - no shake, wobble, rack or creep. The surface must be firm and at a comfortable height - no springiness, no stooping or reaching. And the structure must allow room enough for the vise, the dogs, the stops, and all the other pieces of equipment that go to make up the perfect bench. Choose the biggest, best quality vise you can afford - preferably one that is several sizes up on your reckonings. And don't forget to allow for the wood faces that reduce the total opening width. You must also...
Before using a compass plane, first rough-out the profile with a how saw. Then secure the workpiece curve-sidc-up in the jaws of the vise. Take the plane and start by winding the cutter back out of harms way. Set the plane down on or in the curve and adjust the large screw until the sole of the plane achieves a comfortable mating fit on the surface to be worked. When working concave curves, some woodworkers prefer to have the adjustment set slightly acute so that the sole is fractionally tighter than the curve to be worked. That way the plane rocks in the direction of its length. When you arc happy with the set of the curve, tighten the locking screw and get ready for action. Check the grain direction, make sure that you are working with the grain, not against it, and then take the cut. Though its all pretty straightforward, the mistake that most beginners make at this stage is they try to twist or skew the plane - as they might rightly do when using the smoothing plane to make a...
The success of a technique depends to a great extent on the tools, so it is vital that you have good selection of quality tools. To this end, many woodworkers opt for working with old traditional hand tools, meaning tools that were made in the first half of this century. They claim that not only are such tools made to a higher standard when compared to modern hand tools, but better yet, they reckon that the shapes and designs of old tools arc more user-friendly, with wooden handles and lots of good-to-hold curves. Be that as it may, it is a fact that good quality second-hand tools can easily be obtained at a fraction of the cost of new ones.
Woodworkers must take a natural material and cut and shape it to best effect. To this end, the woodworker must appreciate that woodworking is an equal partnership, a coming together of tools, techniques and wood. Its no good trying to work wood with a dull tool, or to plane against the grain, or to run a chisel into end grain or in any way bully the wood into shape. The success of each and every procedure and technique hinges on the woodworker's understanding of how the inherent natural properties of the wood -its hardness, toughness, elasticity, durability and so on - can be used to best effect.
Char there is an adequate, well-balanced mix of' natural light - from windows and top glazed doors - and artificial light from electric ceiling lights, wall lights and portable lamps. The overall aim must always be to have adequate lighting without hard shadows or glare. In a home workshop, most woodworkers prefer to work in front of a window, with a fixed light at top center, and with the option of using a swing-arm lamp if conditions require. The key to successful shop lighting is flexibility. The difficulty is that certain specific tasks require specific lighting options. For example, working at the lathe requires an overhead light to illuminate the whole area, and an additional directional light - usually coming in at the side - to shine onto the point of cut. Sometimes, such as when you are turning or drilling hollows, it may be helpful to have an additional light that can be precisely positioned to the interior of the work. Most important of all, from one task to another, and...
Whether or not your planes are stored on shelves, in cupboards, boxes or whatever, the main need is to protect the blades from impact and abrasion damage. To this end, planes should always be set side-down between tasks. So when you quit planing to answer the phone or have a cup of coffee, then all you do is lav the plane down on its side. As to how to store the tool between jobs, some woodworkers leave the plane on its side, while others claim that it's best to release the cap lock and withdraw the cutter iron, then set the plane flat-down on its sole.
Part of the joy and adventure of working with wood is the fact that no two boards - even from the same tree - are exactly the same. That means the piece of wood you selected might well have cost a great deal of money, and it might look and smell good, and the specialist at the lumberyard might have described it as top quality. But for all that, there is no saying that once the wood is opened, that it wont reveal a flaw that renders it totallv useless The best a woodworker can do, is to minimize
Although the term texture refers primarily to the size of the cells within the wood - for the average woodworker it has come to mean the texture of the grain as it affects workability and finish. From the woodworkers viewpoint, a smooth-grained texture is smooth to the touch and shiny to the eye, while an open grained texture is rough to the touch and matt to the eye.
When sawing in the vise you can minimize vibration and chatter by keeping the workpiccc as low as possible. But unfortunately what sometimes happens is that the workpiccc is positioned to one side of the screw, potentially putting the mechanism under damaging strain. In this situation, its good practice to equalize the strain and maintain balance by setting a piece of scrap to the other side of the screw. Some woodworkers keep a selection of off-cuts specifically for this purpose.
The smoothing or smooth plane has been described variously as a good starter plane, a good all-purpose plane and the plane to buy if you plan to get just one large plane. Although the smooth plane won't finish an edge as well as a jointer plane, and it won't handle end grain as well as a block plane, it is still more versatile than any other single plane. The metal smooth plane has a sole 9-10 inches long and a cutter that is ground square. However, there is some dispute about how precisely a smoothing plane iron ought to Lk-ground and honed. Some woodworkers prefer the edge to be straight with the corners sharp and at right angles, while others opt for having the edge straight but the corners slightly rounded. Thev maintain that the round corners avoid making scratches and ridges in the workpiece. If you are a beginner, the best approach is to start out with the straight edge and then if you run into problems try rounding the corncrs.The one sure-fire rule about using a smoothing...
The technique of using a plane to take the surface of a board to a level flat finish, is termed smoothing. The aim of the operation is to prepare the surface for the final scraping. Most woodworkers would agree that smoothing is a pivotal technique that needs to be mastered. If you can smooth up a surface with a plane, then you can go straight from smoothing through to scraping without the wearisome surface-blurring chore of sanding. Though it has been said that the use of milled lumber negates the need for the smoothing plane, the simple truth is that most so-called prepared wood is full of ripples, ridges and scuffs.
Once you have the work properly secured, set the plane's cutter and blade depth for the merest skimming cut and then start work. 'Test that the shavings arc paper thin - this is most important - then start at the far end of the board and skim off the high spots. Work with a skewed, drifting stroke, all the while backing up along the length of the board. When you think that the surface is nearly smooth, set a straightedge across the width and rake a sighting to sec if light shines through. If you still sec light, procedure. It's all pretty straightforward, as long as the blade is set for the lightest of lightest cuts. And just in case you think that the need for a fine cut is a lot of blather, some old-time woodworkers finish up with the plane so exquisitely tuned that the final smoothing is more like polishing than cutting.
The woodworker is forever needing to make holes in wood for screws, dowels, nails, bolts and for many other reasons besides. The traditional hand brace has, to some extent, been dropped in favor of the portable power drill, and certainly the electric drill press is good for boring large diameter holes. But that said, just about every other hole-boring operation that you can think of can be performed with more accuracy, sensitivity and speed with one of the hand drill options. If you want to achieve maximum control with minimum effort, then you need to get yourself one or two inexpensive hand drills and bone up on a few easily learned techniques.
The woodworker's brace has, in various guises, been around for about 400 years. Used to bore holes in wood, the brace is a wonderfully efficient tool that is just about as foolproof as a tool can get. In form, it is a crank-shaped tool that has a pad or head on one end, a handle at the middle of the crank and a chuck with a set of bit-gripping jaws on the business end.
Surform tools have replaced the more traditional rasps and files for some woodworkers. In form they appear to be a combination of files and planes. Though the open-toothed structure of the surform allows the user to easily cut and shape the wood without worrying about the teeth clogging, this means that the surform needs to be used with care and caution.
The first thing you have to understand here is that the term stock doesn't refer to the vvorkpiccc, hut rather it is the older term that describes the piece of shaped wood that goes to make the tool. The scratchstock, sometimes also called variously a scratch tool and a scratch gauge, is usually a homemade tool used for shaping small-section headings, profiles and groows. It consists ol two identical I. shaped pieces of wood that arc screwed together to sandwich and contain a steel cutter. The cutter is tiled and ground to the reverse section of the desired molding or groove. Many woodworkers make scratch stocks from old marking gauges. To use the tool, the wooden stock is butted hard up against the workpiece and then run backward and forward with a scraping action. It's perfect for cutting grooves lor inlay bantiing and for shaping short lengths of small-suction moldings.
Known variously as a scraper plane, a scraper shave, a cabinet spokeshave scraper and one or two other names besides, this tool is designed to scrape and polish, as in cabinet work. Many woodworkers arc so skilled at using the scraper plane that they go from using the smoothing plane straight through to using the scraper plane without the need for sanding. If you have a close-up look at a well-tuned scraper plane in action, you will sec that it produces the finest paper-thin shavings, leaving a finish that is glass-smooth. The tool is held like a spokeshave or a plane, depending upon the design, and then run with the grain at a slight angle for a shearing cut. This is a tl that favors hard, dense wood.
Although the need to hold, secure and otherwise stabilize a piece of woodwork is crucial to woodworking success, it is surprising how many projects catastrophically fail and come to grief at the assembly stage. What usually happens, is that the woodworker takes the various assembly and fastening techniques for granted - the nailing, gluing or whatever - to the extent that the workpiece splits, warps, stains or is otherwise less than perfect. At a time when there are many more sophisticated assembly techniques than ever before, it is most important that you keep up with current techniques.
The claw hammer - usually called a carpcntcrs or joiner's hammer - is the hammer o use for driving large nails. Usually these hammers come in three weight sizes, a 16-oz., a 20-oz., and a 24-oz. These hammers are characterized by having a hickory handle to absorb the shock of the blow, a striking face that is both hardened and polished, a head that is softer than the face, and a claw shape that enables the woodworker to draw out even the most awkward nails. If you have a choice, choose the socket-head type. As for the choicc of handles - they're available in wood, steel, fiber glass and other hybrids - most woodworkers prefer to go for hickory. They claim that wood absorbs shock without being overly springy.
Woodworkers are forever needing to use pliers and grips for pulling out tacks, for holding tacks, for shaping wire, for making running repairs to tools, for straightening this and for bending that. You can't always know what type of pliers or grips you are going to need the next time around, but the following will give some idea of the options.
Known as Cuban or Spanish mahogany, this wood is yellowish-white through to red-brown, with straight grain, and a close, relatively uniform texture. Mahogany is the traditional choice for furniture and interiors. Because mahogany is an endangered spccics, woodworkers are being encouraged to use look-alike alternatives. (C. Amcr., S. Amcr.)
F you ask a hundred woodworkers to define the term good finish, you will get a hundred different definitions. And then if you ask the furniture-buying public to define good finish, you will likely get even more definitions. Some may have to do with such notions and terms as smoothness, gloss and French polish perfection. It doesn't help too much either to l
If you are one ot those woodworkers who is always on the lookout for drift wood, special sticks in the hedgerow, little sticks or crutches from the mountains and woods, then you may be looking for a good traditional fold-up pocket knife, a knife that can be used for a wide range of tasks. This is the one. A genuine Swedish slovd knife is a must. Made from the famous laminated Mora steel, the blade can easily be sharpened to a razor edge. Many woodworkers, especially those who like-to whittle figures, spoons, bowls and the like, claim that this knife is the best of the best.
The size, shape and the grain pattern of the wood that the woodworker gets to use in his workshop is, to a great extent, determined by the way the tree is sliced up or milled. There are many traditional ways of milling lumber The log can he plain sawn to make a stack of planks, or it can be cut radially into quarters, and so on. Sometimes a single large-diameter log is first quartered, and then each quarter is sawn in a different way. The diagrammatic illustration below shows four methods of
Though the all-metal hand vise - also called a drill press vise or a machinist s vise - is bv rights a metal working tool, many woodworkers consider them a usehil addition to their woodshop. The hand vise has a heavy metal base plate, a pair of grooved and notched jaws that arc set in a track and a handscrcw. The workpiece is either set horizontally or vertically in the jaws, ind then the screw is tightened.
Traditionally the woodworkers first job when he had attained sufficient skill was to build two tool chests - a large chest with sliding trays and compartments for his Tool chcsts arc a wonderful idea on two counts The woodworker is able to spend time designing and building an item that is bv its very nature a skill-testing challenge, and l ettcr yet, it is the best way of ensuring that a tool collection is stored, protected and shown to best advantage. This means, if the tool collection is heavy on planes, or gouges, or woodturning tools, or whatever, then the woodworker can tailor the size and shape of the chest to suit.
What if the rabbet plane did have a fence that could be set to control the width of the cut What if it had a depth stop as well, and perhaps a little vertical blade to sever cross-grain before the skewed iron shears it out This is the moving fillister, and many woodworkers get more use out of it than out of almost any other plane.
S sanding is the procedure of using a variety of sandpapers, rasps and scrapers to produce a finish. Certainly, for many woodworkers, the primary technique relates to using abrasive papers and hand scrapers to create a super-smooth surface, but there are all manner of traditional abrading techniques that have to do with such exciting and dynamic areas of woodworking as sculpting, shaping, texturing and grain enhancement. Though silicon carbide or silac carborundum is almost as hard as diamond, woodworkers claim it breaks down more readily than garnet paper. Its use is limited to polishing super-hard woods or in finishing applications.
For a screwdriver to successfully perform its task, the tip needs to fit the head of the screw, and the handle needs to tit your hand. Most woodworkers agree that you can't do better than the traditional cabinet pattern, with its oval- section wooden handle. 1 lowcvcr, there arc currently so many screw types on the market -
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