Woodworking Tools – Woodcraft Ninjas http://www.woodcraftninjas.com Mon, 18 May 2015 23:19:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.6 Accurate Measuring Tips For Quality Woodworking http://www.woodcraftninjas.com/accurate-measuring-tips-for-quality-woodworking/ Thu, 16 Apr 2015 21:12:41 +0000 http://www.woodcraftninjas.com/?p=578 Striving For Perfection
The professional woodworker and the novice alike stand to achieve the best project results by simply getting the measuring right every time. Consider these simple tips and tricks of the trade as a way to experience higher quality finished results. From building cabinets to sizing drywall or making children’s toys, detailed and accurate measurements are essential. Make no mistake about it; carpentry requires accuracy. Having the right kind of measuring tools is at the very core of measuring for professional as well as amateur projects.

The Tape Measure
Selecting the most appropriate size tape measure is important. Go with a tape measure that is a good fit for the job at hand as well as the size of your hand. Remember that accuracy will likely be degraded when using the wrong type of tape measure. For example, a 25-foot tape is not the best choice for measuring a few inches on a small woodworking project.

Good Inside Measurements Are Essential
Choose a folding rule for getting the most accurate inside measurements. This is a good woodworking technique that will result in better accuracy. Select a folding style rule with a brass extension for the best results. Mark the wood directly from the metrics on the rule for the best results. Tool selection is an important factor that should never be overlooked.

Measurement Transfer
The best way to transfer measurements from a tape measure is to simply press down upon the edge of the metal tape to allow the measurement marks to come into contact with the wood. This woodworking tip combined with a sharp pencil will produce the best results. Drawing two lines outward from the tape measure mark to create a “V” shape is the standard procedure.

More On Effective Markings
The accuracy of any measurement in quality woodworking is only as good as the marks made and the writing instrument used. For example, a mechanical pencil is a great choice for creating precision woodworking marks. Careful and deliberate markings will always improve accuracy. These woodworking tricks and techniques are a great way to get the most out of your next woodworking project.

Tools Used in Woodworking and Woodcrafting http://www.woodcraftninjas.com/tools-used-in-woodworking-woodcrafting/ Thu, 19 Mar 2015 17:00:26 +0000 http://woodworking.bmagz.com/?p=113 Woodworking or woodcrafting can be a labor of love, but at times it can be just that: a labor. It involves activities such as cutting, drilling, carving, fitting, nailing, screwing, gluing, sanding, staining, finishing, etcetera. But a lot of the labor can be reduced (or at least enjoyed more) by using the right tools for the job.

For the most part, tools usually fit into two broad categories: hand tools and power tools (what some parts of the world would call “woodworking machines”). The choice as to when to use each relies on a variety of factors. Hand tools are usually smaller, simpler to use, and less expensive than their powered counterparts, be they electric, gas, or pneumatic. Things everyone is familiar with like a hammer, screwdriver, hand saw, and so forth fall in this group. When you need to do a relatively small, quick task, or if what you’re trying to do is intricate work, these are most often the appropriate choice.

While hand tools can be more economical than power tools, easier to store, easier to move, and so on, they can quickly become an impediment to your project if what you’re trying to do is larger. Trying to cut a huge sheet of wood with a rip saw or crosscut saw could take hours, something that would take less than a minute with a circular saw. Trying to round the edges of a board with a rasp and sandpaper would seem to take forever. A good router could knock out that task lickity-split. Sure, lugging out a big table saw, if you’re not lucky enough to have a permanent place for it to remain setup, can take a while, but you will save that time and more just by using it.

I’ll go more in-depth into each type of tool in a future posts, too avoid this being too huge of an article. Look for more coming soon on:

  • Hand saws and power saws
  • Hammers, nail guns, and staple guns
  • Screwdrivers, drills, and drill presses
  • Clamps and vices
  • Files and planes
  • Knives and chisels
  • And many more!
Saws Used in Woodworking and Woodcrafting http://www.woodcraftninjas.com/saws-used-in-woodworking-and-woodcrafting/ Thu, 19 Mar 2015 15:32:40 +0000 http://www.woodcraftninjas.com/?p=426 As discussed in a previous post, there a times to use hand tools, and times to use power tools. I intend to go more in depth into each of the individual tools mentioned below in future posts, but let me start with a general overview of the many types of saws that exist and some of their functions:

Hand Saws

Common multi-use hand saws include a ripsaw for cutting with the grain of the wood, and a crosscut saw for cutting across the grain. You may hear each of these sometimes called a carpenter saw, though there is sometimes a debate as to whether a carpenter’s saw is unique from either of these. A more specialized type of saw, still used for a variety of jobs, is the backsaw. What makes a backsaw unique is that the back edge is reinforced for additional stiffness, offering better control and more precision for cutting dovetails, tenons, and miters. Another type of multipurpose saw is called a utility saw, which often has a blade configuration to cut on both the push and pull strokes. A coping saw is designed to be used to cut away extra material where two pieces will meet at a complex angle, such as in framing or molding, but is also often used to cut an interior shape out of wood by removing the blade and passing it through a pilot hole, then re-attaching the blade to cut out the shape, which is actually what a keyhole saw is designed to do. A compass saw has a narrow triangular blade for cutting curves. An aggress saw has an aggressive tooth configuration intended to remove a lot of material quickly. A door jam saw is used to cut away the base of a door jam or other obstacle to allow flooring to fit underneath. Although usually used to cut metals, a hacksaw is occasionally used (with the right blade) to cut things like wooden dowels. While most saws are designed to cut on the push stroke, some saws, called pull saws, are designed to cut on the pull stroke, while still others cut on both the push and pull strokes.

Power Saws

Probably the most common power saw is the circular saw, with different blade tooth configurations for cutting various materials, both with and against the grain. These blades, or similar, can also be mounted in a chop saw, used for doing exactly that, chopping a piece of wood, a miter saw, used for cutting complex or compound angles, or a table saw, where the saw remains stationary and the material being cut is fed through it. Some table saws can also stack multiple blades together, possibly with spacers, in what’s called a stacked dado configuration. These are usually for making a wide grove in one surface that is not intended to penetrate all the way to the opposite surface. A band saw is a long looped blade that moves continuously in one direction, usually over a pair of wheels, and therefore often delivers a nice, clean, consistent cut. All of these saws are available in a variety of sizes and configurations, some of which are more portable than others. Power saws for hand use include the reciprocating saw, a good multi-use tool with a variety of blades available, and a jigsaw, a power tool used for hand cutting that includes curves or complex shapes, possibly including a bevel where the blade is not perpendicular to the surface. Occasionally, woodworkers misuse the term scroll saw when they mean jigsaw. A scroll saw is actually a blade mounted between two arms, one above and one below the work surface, keeping constant tension on the blade and resulting in a cleaner cut than a jigsaw can accomplish.

Again, look for more detail in future posts on each of these types of saws.

More Tools Used in Woodworking / Woodcrafting http://www.woodcraftninjas.com/more-tools-used-in-woodworking-woodcrafting/ Fri, 18 Feb 2011 08:18:08 +0000 http://woodworking.bmagz.com/?p=107 Whether you just want to make some furniture for your own house, or you want to start your own wood products factory, then there are some tools and equipment that will make the process faster, easier, more fun, and produce a better result. In previous articles I’ve discussed both hand tools and power tools for woodworking projects, and gave several examples, but I left out a few. To be honest, I could go on for days and not have an exhaustive list of the variety of woodworking tools and equipment available. So here are just a few more, used to shape a piece of wood or join two pieces of wood together:

Biscuit joiner: A biscuit joiner, also sometimes called a plate joiner, is used for creating a strong, stable joint between two pieces of wood. This is especially useful when two pieces of wood meet edge-to-edge, where the use of screws or nails wouldn’t really be possible. A small circular blade is used to cut a slot, called a mouth, into each piece of wood to be joined. A small “biscuit” of wood, kinda shaped like the silhouette of a football, is then glued into the slots where the two pieces of wood meet. The end result can be quite precise and sturdy.

Chainsaw: A chainsaw is a power tool, driven by electricity or gasoline, with its cutting teeth set in a chain that moves around the edge of a stationary blade. The typical woodworker doesn’t usually think of a chainsaw as a woodworking tool, but there are several woodcrafters who would beg to differ. If your woodworking project includes the use of whole logs or branches, you can collect some free wood for your projects by felling a tree (where you’re legally allowed to do so), and/or cutting limbs from a tree. There are even true artists who use a chainsaw as a carving tool to create some incredible statues or sculptures.

Drill: A drill is a rotary tool that spins a drill bit, used for making holes in wood (or metal or whatever). With various sizes of bits, making various sizes of holes, they can be used to create pilot holes for nails or screws, or for pins or dowels that may be glued into place.

Nail gun: Of course nails are one of the many choices for joining two pieces of wood, but if you have a lot of nailing to do, then using a hammer may get tedious and tiring. A nail gun uses power, be it from electricity, compressed air, propane, or butane, to drive a nail at the pull of a trigger. With many nails in a magazine, on a strip, or on a roll, the speed at which you can drive a lot of nails makes the nail gun a popular choice among carpenters, woodworkers, and woodcrafters. (Not to mention the fact that you don’t have to worry about hitting your thumb with a hammer!)

Router: A router is a power tool with spinning blade, or “bit”, set either downward from the center of a two-handed tool, or upward from a tool mounted under the middle of a table. With an endless variety of bits, it is used for several purposes including putting a decorative edge on wood, cutting out (or “routing out”) a section from the interior of a piece, forming tongue and groove edges for joinery, and so on.

Sander: To give a piece of wood a smooth finish, or to prepare it for staining or painting, there are a variety of options, from just a piece of sandpaper in your hand (offering the most control, but the most time consuming method), an emery board, sanding block, sanding sponge, or a wide array of powered options. A belt sander, whether handheld or benchtop, makes quick work of smoothing a surface, but can leave streaks if you’re not careful. To address that possibility, an orbital sander (sometimes called a random orbit sander, or ROS sander) moves a disk of sandpaper in short, quick, random directions across the surface. A sheet sander operates in a similar manner, but in a circular motion, and using a standard square or rectangular piece of sandpaper. A disk sander (or disc sander) simply spins a circular piece of sandpaper in a circle, which could leave circular streaks or semicircular gouges in a surface. A detail sander usually has a small triangular sanding pad, although other shapes are available, and vibrates that pad either in a circular or side-to-side motion, depending upon the model. A drum sander, usually mounted under a platform, spins a cylindrical sanding drum, especially handy for smoothing curved surfaces and edges. Finally, a lot of benchtop sanders combine several of these into one tool, like a disk sander, belt sander, and/or a drum sander all mounted on one base.

Rotary tool: For fine detail work, a rotary tool allows both power and control. There are a variety of rotary bits available for anything from cutting, grinding, sanding, carving, engraving, cleaning, polishing, and so on. The shear versatility of this tool makes it a must-have for almost any woodworker or woodcrafter.

Look for more articles coming soon with more detail and ideas on using these tools and many others!

Woodworking Jigs http://www.woodcraftninjas.com/woodworking-jigs/ Thu, 17 Feb 2011 23:36:50 +0000 http://woodworking.bmagz.com/?p=1 The quality result of any woodworking or woodcrafting project is entirely dependent upon the precision and skill utilized in executing that project. The slightest error in measuring, cutting, or shaping a piece may ruin the finished product, especially if there are several pieces that are supposed to be identical, but aren’t. Woodworking jigs help eliminate such mistakes, especially when a specific task is repetitive.

Jigs are not new. They’ve been in use even before the existence of power tools. They are used to hold a piece of material in place, and quite often include guides to ensure cuts or shapes are placed identically from one piece to the next. A jig may be a metal rail, a piece of scrap wood, a template, or a combination of these to allow exact replication from piece to piece.

A jig could be as simple as a stop block attached to the table surface to ensure crosscuts are all the same length down a board, without being as time consuming and error prone as measuring and marking each piece. Or they could be a board with two holes to ensure dowel holes are evenly spaced from one to the next. A more complex, but even more essential, example is a dovetail jig. If each tooth of the dovetail is not precise, it won’t fit together correctly.

Another possibility is what’s called a router jig. A lot of edges and groves would be impossible to do uniformly if they were attempted freehand. A specially shaped jig, attached to the edge or center of the piece being worked, would allow for straight lines and smooth curves that are aesthetically pleasing.

Similarly, a tenon jig can be used to ensure the depth and angle of a tenon matches the mortise into which it will seat. A tenon jig could be used with a router or a saw, and would often be attached either to the table or to the piece itself.

Basically, jigs can be inexpensive (or even free, if using scrap wood), and can provide a higher quality product in less time. Before you begin any project, think about how making jigs first can save you time and frustration.