My woodworing ideas and tips

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Blog series by Betsy updated 04-18-2010 05:42 AM 18 parts 48162 reads 133 comments total

Part 1: What to do, what to do

06-28-2008 01:23 AM by Betsy | 4 comments »

OK you guys know by now that I am having to limit my woodworking to small hand tool stuff, if that. That’s going to drive me nuts! I’ve thought that I would start doing some of my needle work with the idea of incorporating them into boxes, or other woodworking projects in the future when I’m feeling better. Tonight, being Friday, I thought it would be as good time as any to bring out the thread and material and get started. Then….. I went past my little bedroom shop an...

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Part 2: Fixing small opps....

06-29-2008 06:22 AM by Betsy | 12 comments »

OK—- so here’s my first tip. I was reminded of this little tip when I saw a similar little “defect” on my bed rail. So let’s suppose, just to humor me, that you have been commissioned to build a new royal throne for Queen Elizabeth. And not only that, but you’ve been given the grand honor and immense responsibility to build this new throne out of the last remaining piece of Transalvanian Ugbuga wood. This is a very rare wood indeed. Can’t screw thi...

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Part 3: Sand paper and cheapskates

06-30-2008 03:20 AM by Betsy | 4 comments »

So there I am in my little bedroom shop pondering the future and what projects I’d like to build when I’m feeling better. Hummmmm should clean up this mess. Once cleaned maybe it’ll stay that way – until I start working again anyway. So here I am cleaning up, picking up tiny pieces of wood, shavings, etc. Underneath it all is this miserable looking piece of sandpaper. Here’s my tip for the day. No matter what brand/type of sandpaper you use—- don̵...

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Part 4: Plywood thoughts

07-01-2008 02:57 AM by Betsy | 6 comments »

sitting here thinking of things that I was taught when I first started woodworking took me to plywood. We all seem to use a lot of it when we first start out. So here are some of my thoughts and tips for those who are new to using ply for their projects. 1) It’s important to recognize which face is the best face. Sometimes this is difficult to decide depending on the sheet you pick. In this instance you need to decide which is the one you want facing out and mark it clearly so you do...

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Part 5: Measuring thoughts

07-02-2008 02:32 AM by Betsy | 14 comments »

Tonight’s tip runs along to something we all do, no matter if we are hand tools nuts, power tools maniacs or a combination of both. We measure, mark and cut. How we do that is important. One of the most important things in measuring, marking and cutting is consistency. Lack of consistency can lead to multiplication of errors along the way. If you learn nothing else, and you should something else, learn this——use the same measuring tool throughout your project. When you a...

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Part 6: Marking and cutting

07-05-2008 08:58 PM by Betsy | 15 comments »

OK – this is probably going to be very simplistic at best for most, if not all, of you. But I’m really trying to keep my head in the woodworking game. I’m thankful for the support my fellow LJ’s have been giving me by reading and responding to my blogs. So onto today’s “tip.” As we all know making/marking a line to use as a guide to cut your board to final length is quite important. If you don’t mark the piece, you have no idea or are just...

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Part 7: The lowly butt joint

07-06-2008 09:18 PM by Betsy | 7 comments »

In my continuing effort to show that woodworking can be simple and easy I present my next “tip.” I appreciate your looking/reading and your comments/input. The butt joint is probably one of the most degraded and misunderstood joint in woodworking, yet it is the easiest to make. It can also be a very strong joint if done properly and used in the right application. A butt joint generally is one board’s edge placed against another’s face. A butt joint ...

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Part 8: Hand planes and their many uses

07-12-2008 09:01 PM by Betsy | 15 comments »

So I’ve been sitting here thinking and thinking and thinking about woodworking. An amazing hobby to be sure and certainly a great way to make a living if you so chose. But honestly, it’s the pits as far as a hobby when you find yourself sidelined and unable to use your tools. They just sit there mocking you, calling your name, making noise to get your attention and yet to no avail. You can’t use them. Well at least I can’t – not just now. Come this Fall though, w...

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Part 9: My mind set and woodworking

07-14-2008 01:20 AM by Betsy | 7 comments »

Some say my mind is set—- in other words – I’m stubborn. So say they. I prefer to think I have a mind set. In other words – I think a certain way about certain things. Safety is one of those things that I have a mind set about and my mind is set on. I’ve been thinking about this today as I sit here, yet another day on the couch, unable to go to the shop and do what I would prefer to do. I’ve been thinking that maybe if I just do this little something ...

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Part 10: A thought on the basics

07-28-2008 03:17 AM by Betsy | 3 comments »

Not long ago I asked for some ideas to blog about to keep my head in the game while I wait for my recovery to be complete—- you guys really came through. As you know I’ve been working on (and exposing my lack of knowledge and ability) on blogging about Sketchup. Will keep that up for sure – I am learning. However, I need to go back and work on some of the other ideas you gave me to give myself a break from Sketchup and keep myself sane. Trying to figure out the program is h...

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Part 11: Making miter corners

10-14-2008 02:43 AM by Betsy | 12 comments »

In response to Woodworkinaspirations’ forum entry about making miter corners – I thought I’d take a stab at explaining how I make my corners. The caveat on this is that my saw blade really, really needs cleaned and sharpened and my sled needs a new fence—- all this to admit that I have some tear out on the corners. But with that said, this should help aspirations to see ONE method to do box corners. So for me I start by cuting ...

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Part 12: Making a box tutorial

10-16-2008 02:23 AM by Betsy | 5 comments »

Oldfolks – aka – John asked me about making a table saw sled for his new saw and if I could do a tutorial on how to make a sled like the one I have. Unfortunately, I’m not quite physically able for such a big project yet. However, I told him that I would show him how to make a great box using his miter gauge and just some scraps from his shop. So this blog is for John and I hope it will help him learn to make boxes and will help others to see that you do not need all those f...

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Part 13: Making a box continued

10-18-2008 09:16 PM by Betsy | 3 comments »

So I left off having made a test cut on piece of scrap. Now it’s time to move onto actually setting up a “fence” on the miter gauge to make a box. Setting the blade to just above the height of my material. The next few shots are from the back of the saw just for clarity. A word or two about measuring – measure from the inside of the tooth toward the saw fence. You have to take into account the “set” of the blade’s teeth. I tried to get a ...

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Part 14: Making a box tutorial continued - left out something

10-21-2008 03:53 AM by Betsy | 1 comment »

As anyone who has tried to write a detailed blog knows, you can’t think of it all. Seems I missed an important part of setting up your miter gauge to get a good miter corner. Someone IM’d me and said he was having trouble getting a good corner. The trouble may be that the miter gauge is not set corectly. The gauge has to be set 90 degrees to the blade. 1) use a square and make sure your blade is set at 90 degrees. 2) move your gauge/fence up toward the blade. 3) lay a square...

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Part 15: Box making tutorial continued - doing the bottom

10-23-2008 03:35 AM by Betsy | 3 comments »

Time to put the bottom in the box. On a typical box project, I cut the bottom groove before I cut the mitered ends. The reason for this is just safety and ease of pushing through the blade. You can see here that the chance exists to pop the piece off the table – it the miter were not there, that chance would be eliminated. This picture is exaggerated as it’s hard to make the piece do the flip at the same time as taking the picture. The box material I’m using is small ...

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Part 16: Keeping track of that pesky little part and a little sanding tip

03-03-2009 04:04 AM by Betsy | 7 comments »

Sometimes I have to remind myself just how much common sense goes into making my woodworking enjoyable and less tedious. As most of you know I’m making a small cabinet for a friend’s Wii/TV set up. Well, I’m going to finally use that set of CMT rasied panel cutters. That, of course, requires a 1/2” collett for my router table. The bits and the router table were quite easy to find (once you clear away the dust). That pesky 1/2” collet, however, was not. In fact...

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Part 17: Tearing it down to put it together... just a musing

08-15-2009 07:24 AM by Betsy | 8 comments »

This is just a little rambling on my part – trying to make a little sense of something I stumbled onto that has helped me a bit in my woodworking adventure. Recently, I’ve been reading lots and lots of “feel good” books and books on how to lift your own spirits and those warm fuzzy books and articles to help a person get a grip on things. After my accident, I allowed everything to turn very negative and blah in life. So I decided to turn that around and just inundat...

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Part 18: Pattern routing and using carpet tape

04-18-2010 05:42 AM by Betsy | 7 comments »

Well – it’s been six months or so since I’ve been able to work in the shop. So I thought I would start with a project that I am very familiar with and knew I’d could do and be successful. Alas——another set of Adirondack chairs. I need a new set anyway. So I’m getting all my stuff together and remembering that the last time I made the chairs I had some trouble with my tape not always holding all the way through a pattern cut. You know how it works, ...

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