DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum

DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum (
-   Carpentry and Woodworking (
-   -   Woodworking tips. (

inspectorD 12-09-2007 08:01 AM

Woodworking tips.
I was talking to my 10 year old today, he told me he was reading one of my wood working books and learned something. Smart kid.:D
So I figured I will share his bits of wisdom to help someone starting out. First one was when you have a small nail and you are trying to get it started, use a piece of construction paper or cardboard and punch it through. This will hold the nail and save your fingers.
The second was when you have a really nice piece of trim you do not want to hit with the hammer...and leave that union stamp on your board. You can use a scrap piece of peg board with the holes in it to protect your piece. Just put the hole of the peg board over your nail...or drill a piece of quarter inch plywood and get the same results. He has more, but I thought these tips may help with those presents you are all trying to build this time of year.

Recycle that mustard bottle for your glue.:D

Daryl in Nanoose 12-09-2007 08:45 AM

Excellent tips think I will try them myself.

ToolGuy 12-09-2007 09:15 AM

I use needle nose pliers to hold those tiny nails while getting them started. ;)

Here's one for filling nail holes when the piece is to be varnished. Get all but the final coat of varnish on before filling any nail holes, then use wax sticks of matching color (find them in stores next to wood putty) to fill the holes. Very fine steel wool will remove the excess wax. By using a few different colors you can match each nail hole to the grain almost exactly. Apply the finish coat of varnish and the nail holes will be practically invisible.

I've got a lot of them, will post them as I think of 'em. This thread is a great idea! Thanks, inspectorD!

glennjanie 12-09-2007 06:35 PM

Hey "D":
I had not heard of the construction paper thing but my Dad used to make me hold finish nails until the head was down to my fingers. He said the wood was dead but my fingers would heal. He finally told me about the hole in plywood thing, only he had a different name for it.
Ted, the needle nose pliers make an interesting impression when you miss the nail and hit the pliers on the end, not to mention the sting that your hand gets.

ToolGuy 12-09-2007 07:05 PM

Glenn, I think were talking 1/2" wire brads. ;)

inspectorD 12-11-2007 06:46 PM

Another tip...
Beeswax for those tough screws and nails in hardwood.
Also if you hit the pointed end of the nail you use when nailing dulls the end and tends to split the wood less.
I also use a putty knife, thick and narrow to help remove fine trim. Put it behind the trim and pry it out. It does less damage to the wood and wall since the pressure is spread out.
These are things I just do without thinking, funny how they seem like no big deal to me, I have been trained well.:D

ToolGuy 12-11-2007 09:08 PM

When predrilling for nailing, use one of the same nails as a drill bit for the perfect size hole. Clip the head off the nail so it will properly seat in the drill chuck and not wobble.

ToolGuy 12-27-2007 12:08 AM

The more you measure, the more chances of making a mistake.

How many times have you marked 24 7/8" when you meant to mark 25 7/8"? Or marked on the 1/4" line when you wanted the 3/4" line? If you answered Never, then good for you. But if you're like most of us, it's happened at least a few times. With the ever increasing cost of lumber, that little mistake can be an expensive one. And measuring twice is always a good idea, but who's to say you won't mis-measure twice?

When ever possible, it's better to hold the piece up to the work and scribe your mark. Cutting a door to fit an opening? Prop the door against the jambs and scribe it. Running some plumbing? Hold a length of it (copper, pvc, whatever...) in place and mark it with your sharpie. Making several cuts all the same length? Use the first piece as a template for the rest. The less you use your tape measure the less likely you are to misread it.

inspectorD 12-29-2007 08:22 AM

Very nice idea
I would also add that if you are taking measurements...ALWAYS write them down on a scrap piece of wood or on the piece itself. I cannot count the times I am taken away to answer a question, only to go back and say...I have to measure again, then still cut it wrong.:eek:

Another thing is if you are cutting a bunch of the same length pieces you can make a stop board on the cutting fence,or project area so the same length is cut every time. If I am using the skill saw I usually set something up on a scrap piece of plywood and just screw some scrap boards to keep my pieces set in their holding area...and cut. If this needs more explaining, just ask.:D

ToolGuy 12-29-2007 10:05 AM

No explaining needed. A couple of times I had to cut lot's of pieces with my circular saw and set up a stop and slide system on my work table. Stops keep the wood in place, slide guides the saw through the cut.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:15 AM.