Archive for January, 2011

Woodworking Your Way To Paper Organization

The new year is upon us, and if organization of your paper clutter is one of your resolutions and you’re a woodworker, what better time than now to organize your home by applying your passion for woodworking? Start the new year off right by woodworking your own organizational apparatuses. This article will identify several projects that can assist you in achieving your resolution to be better organized and clutter-free. The fact that each can be woodworked with your own personal creative flair is an added bonus.

Our busy schedules frequently leave our papers and mail as a last priority for our valuable time. As a result, most office or computer desks tend to become quite cluttered and disorganized over time. Prevent your desk from being overrun with paper clutter by crafting stacking paper trays or a staggered paper filing station. Using basic supplies and materials, you can create a way to keep your papers sufficiently organized until you have the time necessary for reading, sorting, and filing or discarding them. This will help to maintain a presentable, organized, and uncluttered desk in the interim.

Other items, including home office supplies, also tend to make a desk look cluttered and disorganized. Pens, pencils, scissors, or paper clips are often just placed on the desk itself instead of appropriately stored. This problem may be compounded if the desk is of smaller dimensions and has limited or no storage, such as drawers or cabinets. This can be resolved by woodworking small, desk-setting containers. Varying sizes can be the perfect fit for particular office supplies, including pens and pencils, scissors, paper clips or staples. Consider shapes and colors that complement the established decorum of the home office.

If magazines are perhaps a contributing factor to the paperwork clutter in your home office, consider woodworking your own magazine rack. With minimal investment, you can use some basic woodworking supplies, including several uniform pieces of a sturdy wood dowel, to create your very own rack. Add a decorative touch by staining or painting the completed work a color that complements your home office while organizing in the process!

For the paper items you determine must be kept, consider woodworking a filing cabinet. This is a great addendum to your organizational equipment, especially if your home office or computer desk has limited storage cabinets or lacks them altogether. Determine the dimensions according to your needs. For example, if you have multiple ongoing projects, run your own business, or participate in a committee, you might consider making a larger-scale filing cabinet to accommodate considerable paperwork. However, if your clutter typically tends to be comprised generally only of your mail, such as bills, invitations, or newsletters, you might consider a smaller-scale filing cabinet. The cabinet can be made as free-standing or, if space permits, can be made to nest under the office or computer desk for easy access or to create a less cluttered appearance if the office (room) is small.

These are just a few ideas of how your woodworking passion can be made to work for you. Simple woodworking materials, such as wood, nails or screws, a hammer or screw driver, a hardwood dowel, sand paper, and wood glue, coupled with a minimal investment of time can help you achieve your resolution to be better organized and clutter-free during the new year.

About the Author: Dave Murphy is the founder and president of Good Wood, Inc., which makes a high quality wood dowel and the best hardwood dowel on the market. They also create wooden balls, wood knobs, wooden toy parts, custom wood parts, and more. They offer safe wood finishing, wood turning and can import from off-shore when necessary. Visit http://www.goodwoodinc.com for all of your wood product needs.

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Replacing Wooden Dowels in Chairs

Many furniture pieces tend to fall apart over time. This is especially common of antiques or any furniture which may bear the brunt of weight, such as chairs. This may be particularly true of chairs with backrests made of dowels. Certainly, when it comes to antiques, the goal is to maintain the unique, aged piece for as long as possible. And as it pertains to more modern day styles of furniture, the goal is to maintain each piece for as long as the style remains chic and to the owner’s liking, as well as to maintain it for as long as possible in order to conserve economically. Should mishaps happen to a chair’s backrest, however, you may be able to salvage it by replacing the wooden dowels on your own.

Start by removing the weakened or broken dowel. If the dowel doesn’t come loose on its own, you may have to use pliers, a claw hammer, or even a drill to loosen it, depending upon the original design and method used to secure the dowel. This will need to be done for the joints at both the top and the bottom of the backrest.

Next, remove any residual of the original glue that remains in the dowel joint. You can use rubbing alcohol or a water and vinegar mixture to soften the remaining glue. If the dowel joint is large enough to allow it, use a cloth to remove the residual glue by wiping it away. If the dowel joint is too small to allow that, however, you may use a drill with a small 1/8 drill bit to gently drill away the residual glue. As with removing the dowel, this will have to be done on both the top and the bottom of the backrest, anywhere wood glue residual is observed.

Use the dowel you’ve removed to gauge the approximate width and length of the wood dowel you will need to replace it. Depending upon any breaks or other defects, this may not provide an exact measurement, but can certainly assist in a useful estimation.

Once the replacement dowel is measured, cut, sanded, or any combination of these preparatory actions, apply wood glue on either end. Also, apply a nominal amount of wood glue into the joint in which the replacement dowel will be inserted.

Then, carefully insert the replacement dowel into the joint. Use a damp cloth to remove any excess wood glue that may spill over once the dowel is inserted. You may use a clamp to secure the replacement dowel until it dries completely.

Once the replacement dowel is completely dry, tested as secure, and the clamp removed, paint the new dowel with the same or a highly similar color as the remainder of the chair. If the chair is stained, stain the new dowel with the same or a highly similar finish.

With minimal investment, a hardwood dowel can be used to salvage your chairs and any number of other furniture pieces which might cost a considerable amount if replacements are purchased. A dowel’s versatility and a woodworker’s imagination can make so much using so little!

About the Author: Dave Murphy is the founder and president of Good Wood, Inc., which makes a high quality wood dowel and the best hardwood dowel on the market. They also create wooden balls, wood knobs, wooden toy parts, custom wood parts, and more. They offer safe wood finishing, wood turning and can import from off-shore when necessary. Visit http://www.goodwoodinc.com for all of your wood product needs.

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Organizing Your Dowel Rods

A new year has rolled around, and with it, you may have grand ambitions for woodworking projects you’d like to accomplish. But before you proceed with them, perhaps your first pursuit is to organize your woodworking supplies. After all, a well-organized woodshop can only add to the efficiency quotient of each project you tackle. Of the many supplies used in woodworking, dowel rods are perhaps one of the most difficult to store and organize. Complete these easy steps, and produce a great way to store and access your dowel rods.

1. Using varying diameters, cut PVC pipe to several lengths to accommodate various sizes of dowels.

2. For each diameter used, trace the inside of a scrap piece of PVC pipe onto plywood. Be certain the plywood’s thickness will accommodate the holes that will be drilled into the PVC pipe in step four.

3. With a jigsaw, cut out the outline of the various sizes you’ve traced.

4. Approximately one-half to one inch from the bottom, drill three evenly-spaced holes around the perimeter of each piece of PVC pipe.

5. Take the cut plywood plugs and insert them into the corresponding sizes of PVC pipe. Be certain that each plywood plug sits flush with the circumference of the PVC pipe. Then, use screws to secure them.

6. Arrange the PVC pipe on a plywood base, being certain to distribute as evenly as possible the weight of the PVC pipe as based on the cuts made for each.

7. Trace the outer ring of each size of PVC pipe onto the plywood base.

8. Drill a hole through the center of each circle that was traced.

9. Using a vice, clamp the base.

10. Starting with the bottom-fitting pipes and working upward toward the top-fitting ones, drill each PVC pipe into place from the underside of the base through the plywood plugs.

Once the project is completed, use each PVC pipe as a means to contain any wood dowel you may have on hand for woodworking projects.

This is a relatively quick project that can produce just the efficiency you desire as you begin a new year full of new woodworking projects and challenges. The various sizes you’ve included will allow for easy storage and access of various sizes of hardwood dowel. And there will be plenty of room for continued additions to your containers that may come from future projects, too.

About the Author: Dave Murphy is the founder and president of Good Wood, Inc., which makes a high quality wood dowel and the best hardwood dowel on the market. They also create wooden balls, wood knobs, wooden toy parts, custom wood parts, and more. They offer safe wood finishing, wood turning and can import from off-shore when necessary. Visit http://www.goodwoodinc.com for all of your wood product needs.

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