Often a project can go well except for one thing. A single screw, for example, that doesn’t want to go in, or time wasted constantly changing drill bits, can hang up an otherwise perfect project. Investing in specialty tools like those shown here can solve typical problems to help get jobs done right with less time and effort.
Carpentry Project Plans
When assembling furniture or other larger projects, some pros don’t use either the tops of their workbenches or the floor. Instead, they use two or more wooden boxes about 18 in. high, 24 in. wide and 32 in. long, set upside-down on the floor to span the project’s length. The project boxes don’t need to be fancy, just provide enough height to cut down on back strain. The boxes can also be stacked, or set on their sides or ends, to provide for varying heights.
To check on whether you need to refinish or just thoroughly clean older wood furniture, first try cleaning the piece a few times using a good furniture cleaner on a cotton cloth. Let it dry between tries. If the wood finish begins to clear, proceed with cleaning. If it remains dark, marred or alligatored, then refinish.
To help protect your wood projects from scratches during finishing, use carpet on one of your workbenches. Then make it a habit to keep all tools and fasteners off of the carpet. Carpeting can also be used in other places around the shop where finished work comes to rest.
Even on rough carpentry projects, such as laying out a wall or partition with a carpenter’s square, sharpen your pencil after every six marks. Using a blunt pencil could add as much as an inch to the overall dimensions over about 20 feet. This can throw the entire structure out of whack and make it difficult to fit wallboard, sheathing and other modular materials.
Using smaller tool boxes for individual projects can save you time and effort. Subdivide you larger set with just the tools needed for that project.
Occasionally, deck boards need to be replaced due to wear and tear. Using rustproof deck screws when installing the boards makes the task much easier and it is best to replace entire boards. For stability and safety, a deck board should span at least three joists.
A common shop repair is fixing spindles in a chair that have loosened up. When the end of the spindle is too small for the hole, a good fix is to simply wrap and glue thin veneer around it. To hold the veneer in place while the glue dries, use an automotive hose clamp. Once done, you can either rebore the hole or shave the spindle end for a snug fit.
You can quickly make your own outline patterns from existing assembled wood parts with just a piece of white paper and an awl. Position the paper over the piece you want to duplicate and then rub around the edges. Remove the paper and lay it over your new wood. Next, following the creases, punch small holes into the wood with the awl. For straight lines, a hole at each end is sufficient. On curves, make holes closer together. Remove the paper, draw lines between the holes, and you are ready to cut.