• MLCS Woodworking

8 Woodworking Tips That You’ll Never Want To Forget

By: Chelsea Rodgers

We know woodworking tends to have a lot of thinking involved, and sometimes you’re in a jam or just can’t find that tool you need. These 8 woodworking tips will make things a whole lot easier. Keep these in mind for all your woodworking projects!

1. Measuring Odd-Widths With Ease

Dividing odd numbers like 11 3/8 (or any difficult number) into equal parts not exactly your favorite? I think it’s safe to say that goes for most woodworkers, but now you won’t have to! All you need to do is angle your tape across the workpiece until it reads an easily divisible dimension and make your marks with the tape angled. Say you want to divide an 11 3/8 in board into three equal parts. Angle the tape until it reads 12 in, and then make marks at 4” and 8”.

2. Blade Height Gauge

Not sure what height you want your saw blade at? Take a block of wood, and cut into each of the sides with the blade set at a different height for each side. Label each side with the height. The next time your trying to determine what height you want to set your saw blade to, grab your block to use as a visual aid to help you decide.

3. No T-Bevel? No Problem!

Working on a project that you need to make some angle cuts for, and you go to reach for your T-Bevel and it’s nowhere to be found? Take a scrap piece of metal plate and screws holes in it like pictured. Attach to a scrap piece of wood with a screw through one of the holes, set your angle, then screw in another screw through another one of the holes to lock the angle. Use the plate as a template for to m ark the rest of the pieces that need the same angle.

4. Use Tape To Align Angles

Clamping mitered edges can sometimes be a little frustrating because they never seem to line up correctly. Next time try painters tape. You want to set your pieces so the outer edges are facing up first. Then tape them edge to edge. Flip over the pieces so that the beveled edges are facing up and glue them together. Tape the last two edges together and let them sit to dry. When they’re dry, the tape will remove with no problem and won’t leave behind any marks or residue.

5. Visual Aid for Sanding Even Surfaces

With an orbital sander or our Oscillating Handheld Spindle Sander (MLCS item# 9557)and good sandpaper you can smooth wood evenly and easily. Next time your flush-sanding solid edge-banding, try draw a squiggly line across the joint before sanding. The edge-banding will be slightly proud of the plywood veneer, so the pencil marks provide a visual aid to make sure that you’re sanding flat, and that you don’t sand through the plywood’s veneer.

6. Make a Stain Index

Tired of opening a half dozen paint cans to determine which stain you need? Make your very own stain guide. Section off boards of your favorite woods into squares with masking tape, and apply the different stains across the width of each wood type (pine, oak, birch, etc.). When the stains are dry, brush on lengthwise your regular finishes—polyurethane, water-based polyurethane, oil, orange shellac, etc. You’ll be

able to tell how each stain looks with each finish. Label

each one.

7. Miter Fix

There is nothing more satisfying (and eye appealing) than a perfect miter. Fix your miter openings by rubbing a screwdriver along the miter at a steep angle from both sides of the joint. You’ll be the only one who knew it wasn’t perfect from the start!

8. Simple Circle Layout Tool

Drill a 1/8-in. hole through every inch mark on a ruler or yard-stick. To draw a circle, place a pin through the number “1” into the center of your board. Add 1 in. to the radius of the circle you wish to draw, and insert a pencil into this number. Using the pin as a pivot, rotate the pencil to mark the circle. You’ll have a perfect circle every time!

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