Questions tagged [technique]

How to accomplish a task, good and safe ways, and faster simpler ways to do the same thing.

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39
votes
9answers
66k views

When using a hand saw, how do I cut a straight line?

When I'm using my hand saw to make various cuts, I find it extremely difficult to make a straight cut. Where am I going wrong, what I am missing that the pros seem to have down?
28
votes
8answers
20k views

What is the recommended height of the blade on a table saw while operating?

I have been watching a lot of videos lately about table saws. In those videos I usually see cuts are being made with the blade just barely clearing the piece. For example: Image from HammerZone ...
27
votes
4answers
1k views

Routing boards without burn

It seems when I utilize routers, they always seem to burn the edge of the board at some point in the cut. I believe I am cutting at a relatively even speed (though this is obviously subjective). My ...
21
votes
4answers
2k views

How do I sharpen a chisel/plane blade?

I'm getting started with woodworking and am looking to refine my technique for sharpening chisel/plane blades. Currently, I just have a cheap double-sided water stone, but am now looking to get a "...
20
votes
6answers
7k views

How do I make a drill hole the same depth every time?

My drill press doesn't have a "stop". How do I make a drill hole the same depth every time?
18
votes
3answers
3k views

Perfect miters every time

I'm using a table saw to make picture frames with mitered corners. It turns out that even tiny inaccuracies in the miter angle or the lengths of the frame pieces cause gaps that make a frame look ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the simplest joint for a non-experienced woodworker to start with?

I would like to start designing some boxes based on an idea that I have. But I've never worked with wood before and I have no woodworking tools so I would need to purchase whatever tools are required. ...
16
votes
3answers
4k views

How can I create artificially spalted wood?

According to Wikipedia: Spalting is any form of wood coloration caused by fungi. I am most interested in spalted maple, as shown in this image: Source: Bell Forest Products How can I create ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I make a mortise and tenon joints by hand

I am starting a new project and intend to use more joinery techniques. I am going to make a chair, and I was hoping to create some mortise and tenon joints for the chair that I am making. I do not ...
14
votes
5answers
45k views

How can I cleanly cut a large circle out of plywood?

How can I cut a large (3.5' - 4' in diameter) circle out of a 4x8 sheet of plywood. The preferred method would be one that doesn't leave any holes/marks in the circle's plywood surface. It needs to ...
14
votes
7answers
30k views

When are pocket holes an appropriate joinery technique?

I have come across a lot of designs and plans for things like outdoor furniture, kids' furniture, etc., that call for the use of pocket holes. I can appreciate why this is enticing to a lot of people ...
14
votes
6answers
5k views

How can I ensure my threaded inserts go in straight?

I'm putting threaded inserts into a MDF base. When I start to screw the insert in, the thread digs in at an angle and pulls the entire insert in at that angle. I thought it would straighten out when ...
14
votes
2answers
30k views

Finishing schedule for live edge walnut slab

I'm working on a live edge walnut slab coffee table. This is a photo of the bottom side of the table before any finish is applied sanded to 220 (for reference the holes are for threaded inserts that ...
13
votes
9answers
28k views

How to cut the centre out of a large round of wood

I have a large round of wood (horizontal slice of a tree) which is about 20 inches across (circle diameter) and 8-9 inches deep. I want to take the centre out of the wood, either by cutting a circle ...
13
votes
10answers
76k views

Dealing with knots “bleeding” through paint

I'm sure that people have seen this where you would be painting something white or lightish colour only to have the resin from the knots bleed through paint sometime later. Similar to what you see in ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Best way to flatten boards by hand

I'm trying to process 4/4 soft maple rough stock into 1/2" thin boards, ready for use in furniture and I'm having a real hard time getting them flat. Here's my process so far: Crosscut a 18" piece ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

Why does direction matter when using an electric router?

I was watching an episode of the Wood Whisperer on YouTube, and he was making a frame for a mirror. At one point in the video he was going to put a round-over on the frame and was using an electric ...
12
votes
5answers
10k views

Strong joints to use when making custom frames

I found this large 4' x 3' mirror in the garbage. It is a heavy beast. I plan on making frame for it but I'm worried about the joint. I only have experience with miter joins and splines which seems ...
12
votes
3answers
4k views

What are some efficient and effective ways to remove rust on old hand saws?

I have quite a few hand saws that I have bought from antique stores, garage sales, and ebay. They all have some amount of rust, ranging from occasional spot rust to full-on rust on the entire saw ...
12
votes
3answers
6k views

How can I cut a 90 degree angle with a table saw?

Before I start I would like to offer the obvious solution is to use some sort of sled, like a crosscut, that would give the perpendicular fence that would allow the cut. The problem with that is I was ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

How do I know when my lathe speed is wrong or could be better?

I'm about a year into learning to turn on an inexpensive mini-lathe. I mostly turn small lidded boxes or bowls. With both boxes and bowls, I like them big, so I'm often within an inch or two of the ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

How to make a long shallow cut on a narrow piece of wood with a circular saw

I am using 5.5 inch wide cedar fence board as lapboard style siding on a chicken coop. The roof is a ~22 degrees shed style roof. I'm having trouble making the long cuts which touch the roof. The one ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Leveling a finish/finishing the finish

I'm using Emmet's Good Stuff (poly gel varnish that you wipe on) as a finish on a walnut slab. I've read a lot about finishing online, but am a little confused about "leveling the finish." As I ...
11
votes
6answers
11k views

Should I do many shallow quick cuts or a single deep slow one with my router?

Most cutting tools have a certain removal rate of material at which they should operate. You don't want to go too slow because it takes forever. And if you go to fast the tool heats up too much. ...
11
votes
7answers
8k views

How can I accurately cross-cut a board that is too wide for my table saw?

I have some 0.75" x 14" wide boards that I'm trying cut to lengths in the 50-60" range. It's important that the cuts be precise, and true. However, 14" is too wide for any of my sleds or miter slides ...
11
votes
6answers
4k views

How to cut Plexiglas on a table saw?

I'm building a router bit box to store all my router bits of various sizes (¼ and ½). I want to have a see-through closing lid. In order to do so, I will frame a sheet of Plexiglas (1/8" thick) in ...
11
votes
5answers
33k views

How do you make mortise and tenon joints using power tools?

There is already a question about making mortise and tenon joints using hand tools. It would be nice to also catalog the various ways of making mortise and tenon joints using power tools. Wherever a ...
11
votes
4answers
9k views

How can I cut plywood in a straight line on a smaller table saw freehand?

I have, what I'm sure is, a job site table saw and am having difficulty cutting a straight line in plywood. Since my saw table is smaller than to wood I cannot use a fence to guide me. Currently I ...
11
votes
6answers
69k views

Can I speed up stain drying with a hair dryer?

Can I speed up stain drying with a hair dryer or a heat gun? Is there any reason not to? If it matters: In my case Minwax Wood Finish or Varathane brand, oil based, not gel, referring to all coats ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

How can I make an inset cutting board handle?

How is this cutting board handle possible? The only way I can think of is that it was done by hand with a gouge, but it looks too clean for that. Can an inset handle, such as the one pictured below, ...
11
votes
1answer
607 views

Router tears wood, leaves streaks

I bought a router and am practicing. When I cut across the grain (actually, it does not matter, see "conclusion") I noticed that sometimes it tears bits of the wood out. For example, here are two ends ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Quick corner joints in practice

I'm practicing building drawers, quickly and on the cheap. The drawers I'm making now have sides that are 3" high x 7/16" actual thickness, decent quality birch veneer plywood. I know this is really ...
10
votes
4answers
33k views

How do I drill a hole exactly in the center of a circle?

I have a 2" diameter, 11" length dowel. I want to drill a 5/16" hole exactly in the center of each end, 2" min depth. It needs to be precise because it is for axles that the dowel needs to spin freely ...
10
votes
6answers
5k views

Easiest way for a beginner to reduce a pine board's width by 1/2"?

I have a small 20" x 24" x 1" pine board that happens to be 1/4" to 1/2" too wide for my needs -- the 20" side needs to be more like 19.7". What's the easiest/cleanest way for a beginner like me to ...
10
votes
5answers
4k views

Removal of hardware from drawer front

I am refinishing a bedside table that my late husband made many years ago. I have just realized that when he assembled the drawer he attached the hardware to the front plate with screws and then he ...
10
votes
10answers
2k views

Setting precise depth on a table saw with no depth gauge

My table saw doesn't have a depth gauge. What is the quickest way to set it to a precise depth for e.g. cutting slots or dados or clean looking rabbets? I tried using calipers to measure the blade ...
10
votes
3answers
9k views

Creating additional boards from thick lumber

I have boards that are ~ 2" thick, ~15" wide, and x feet long. I would like to divide these boards in half. I do not have the funds to buy a large bandsaw or other power tools. I'm looking to trim ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Cut, then Sand? Or Vice-versa

I have a rough-sanded red oak panel (120 grit). I need to make a small circular cut with a jigsaw for a grommet. I plan on sanding the panel with 150, then 180 grit, in preparation for either staining ...
10
votes
2answers
86k views

Issue sanding between coats of polyurethane

So I am playing with finishes for the first time and experimenting with polyurethane. My problem involves quoting the instructions on the can and giving some background into my process. Bear with me. ...
10
votes
6answers
3k views

Drilling a straight, centered hole down square-cross-section bar stock?

I'm trying to drill a centered, straight hole in a piece without a big drill press and a bunch of clamps and brackets, which seems to be the usual way to do it. I can manage straight, but centered is ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

What is a good method for laminating pallet wood/reclaimed lumber?

So far I have dismantled six pallets, cut the wood into pieces which range from 10" to 19" in length about 1 1/2" wide and are approximately 1/2" thick. My goal is to laminate these pieces together. ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I chisel against the grain without splintering?

I've been practicing chiseling lately. I had to cut a corner out of a 3/4" thick piece of pine and I was feeling good so I gave it a shot. The position of the corner meant I had to cut against the ...
10
votes
2answers
109 views

How to cut a parallel groove on three dimensional profile

I'm trying to build a replacement for a coffee table drawer that went missing years ago. I remember the drawer front matched the profile of the skirt on the table, so I was able to make a template ...
10
votes
3answers
11k views

Recommended technique for applying oils

I'm not sure if different oils have wide varying techniques as far as application goes. Yes some might take longer to cure/dry but I figure in general the approaches are the same. If I am wrong then ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Turning a railroad tie into a bench, how to make a cut?

I have a couple leftover railroad ties from a retaining wall I built and I would like to turn them into benches. Rather than sit on the old tar covered exterior though I would like to cut a bit of it ...
9
votes
5answers
6k views

Making a small indent/crevice/depression for a ball

I am making my own wooden board game. The game pieces have ball-shaped bases. I want them to move around the board and rest in small indentations. Something like this: What kind of tools and ...
9
votes
9answers
8k views

Efficient paint removal from rough sawn wood

I have some rough sawn timbers in my house that were painted over by the previous owner of the house1. I believe the timbers are a softer wood like fir as they are more decorative than structural. ...
9
votes
5answers
4k views

How to clamp where clamps cannot reach?

The jaws and throats of most clamps don't allow much space for securing deeper on larger panels, boards or pieces. Sure, toggle clamps can be placed anywhere but you need to damage a surface in order ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

Drilling a hole parallel to the face in a tight area, right angle drilling?

I need to drill a precise hole into a small cavity which happens to the parallel to the face of the piece of wood. To better illustrate this I made a simple diagram to be absolutely clear on what I'm ...
9
votes
5answers
4k views

How can I make this cribbage board peg compartment?

I'm making a peg cribbage board and want to make a peg compartment with a sliding door. It looks almost like it would require a Dremel tool, but was wondering if anyone has any techniques for ...