Archive for February, 2012

Getting Started with Woodworking

Getting into woodworking can seem overwhelming if you’re just starting out. There are thousands of tools and projects to consider. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and just want to know the basic items that you’ll need to get started, you’re in the right place. We’ve compiled this list of basic items that you’ll need to help you get started. Once you’ve completed a couple of simple projects, you’ll have a much better idea of what specialty tools and accessories that you may be interested in. Getting into woodworking does not have to be difficult. Get started sooner than you thought and with less money than you thought possible.

1. You’ll need tools for marking and measuring your work. A measuring tape, a level, and a corner square are sufficient for getting you started.

2. You can make your straight cuts with a standard circle saw. Get an attachable wood guide to ensure that your cuts are straight.

3. A jigsaw is great for making curved cuts. You’ll find a lot of uses for this tool as you get into woodworking.

4. Shaping your wood can be done with a block plane. A router is also a handy tool to have for finishing edges and joints.

5. For drilling holes, you can use a standard cordless drill. If you can, go ahead and invest in one with a higher voltage so that you don’t run out of drilling power when you need it.

6. You will need a way to smooth corners and edges. A manual sanding block is good for small jobs and a power sander is relatively inexpensive and easy to use on larger surfaces.

7. You will need a way to glue pieces of your work together. Clamps are inexpensive and give you a lot of control over how your project turns out.

8. When you’re ready to move up to larger machines, you can choose from table saws, band saws, jointers, drill presses, planers, and more. These tools aren’t totally necessary to get started, but you may eventually want to upgrade.

9. Your first project may be building your own wall storage and work bench. You will find great uses for a vice on your workbench. It holds pieces that you’re working on right near your work surface.

10. You will need safety gear. Make sure that you invest a little in appropriate protection for your chest, eyes, ears, hands, lungs and feet. Woodworking is very enjoyable, but can also be very dangerous. Practicing good safety habits will help you to ensure that you enjoy woodworking for a lifetime.

11. Finally, you’ll need wood to work with. Do a little research to determine which types of wood will be the right density to be durable enough for your purposes. For pegs and joints that match your projects, consider using wood dowels that are made from the same material as your project. Hardwood dowels are great with furniture because they give joints a lot of strength and also take stain and finishing the same as your project.

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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Basic Safety Equipment for Woodworkers

Safety equipment for woodworking generally falls into two categories; protecting you from all the by-products of what you’re doing, and helping you to handle the tools correctly to avoid accidents. We’ll start by discussing protective gear starting with the head and moving down.

Respirators and “airshields” are meant to protect you from the dangers of sawdust and airborne agents used in wood and finishes. You will most likely need a dust collection system for your work area, as well as a separate respirator or airshield. These filter the air that you’re breathing to keep the dangerous, nearly invisible particles in the air out of your body.

Protecting your hearing with specialty “ear muffs” or noise reduction ear plugs is very important when working with power tools. Many people do not think about the permanent damage that they are causing to their ears when they use power tools unprotected.

Safety glasses are also a must at all times. Polycarbonate lenses offer high impact protection from flying debris and tools. Make sure that your safety glasses are made for woodworking. They should completely cover any access to the eye, including side shielding. Being adjustable, fog-free, and scratch resistant are also a plus. Some are magnifying to help you see what you’re doing when you’re working on smaller details. Some people prefer a face shield instead of safety glasses, especially if they wear prescription glasses already.

Your torso and arms should have some sort of protective clothing or shield. A woodworker’s apron made of a heavy canvas or leather is great for protecting vital organs. Long sleeves and long gloves are great for protecting arms. Gloves are always a good idea for protecting your hands. You don’t want too much bulk, so choose gloves that fit properly. Also make sure that your gloves are made of a thick material, such as leather. You can also protect your hands by using tools designed to help push wood through the saw feeds, assisting you with downward pressure and inward pressure at the same time.

Protect your feet by shielding them from accidental drops and spills. Close toed shoes are a must. Steel toed boots are even better. You can also protect your joints from the hours that you may be standing on a hard surface by using a cushioned “fatigue” mat. These take a lot of the pressure and impact off of your joints so that you can enjoy your craft without sustaining static injury.

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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Wood Turning Safety Guidelines

Safety first! You can fully enjoy your wood turning projects if you protect yourself from injury. Here we’ve compiled a checklist of basic safety equipment so that you can see why each piece is helpful, and make sure that you’re fully protected during your work.

Safety glasses are very important. You will be using your eyes a lot to do your project, so respect them by protecting them. The soft tissues of the eyes can be easily damaged. Look for shatter-resistant safety glasses that cover the front, bottom and sides of your face. There can be a lot of debris while you’re turning wood, so choosing the right glasses is essential.

With any woodworking project, you should wear long sleeves and long pants. Make sure that you do not have on any loose fitting clothing that could get pulled into a rotating machine. Overalls and aprons help to keep your shirt tail from being exposed. Thick canvas or leather material is great for taking the impact of flying pieces to protect your body.

Many people are injured, even killed, by power tools each year. Check your manuals and make sure that you are following the safety guidelines set forth by the manufacturer. When turning on a lathe and using freehand tools, use the tool rest to guide you. This will prevent the tool from being flung from your hands into the air. You may choose to wear a shatterproof face shield just in case this happens.

Use the lowest speed that you can on the lathe. Larger wooden dowels and bigger pieces of wood require a slower turning speed than a small wood dowel or other intricate piece. Set the speed on the lathe before you turn it on. Adjusting the speed with a dowel or other piece on the lathe can send the piece flying.

Many woods are dangerous if inhaled. Think of the sap and allergens entering your lungs. A respirator is definitely a necessary piece of equipment for woodworkers. Dust masks are fine for some types of wood, but when in doubt, wear a respirator. This will ensure that microscopic irritants do not enter your lungs. Some things will cause an immediate reaction while others can lead to long-term disability and disease. Don’t risk it, use a respirator.

Following these rules will keep you relatively safe. Use common sense and don’t work when you’re tired, frustrated, or in a hurry. Be careful and wood turning can be a very satisfying hobby.

About the Author: Dave Murphy is the founder and president of Good Wood, Inc., which makes a high quality <a href=”http://www.goodwoodinc.com/”title=”Wood Dowel”>wood dowel</a> and the best <a href=”http://www.goodwoodinc.com/”title=”Hardwood Dowel”>hardwood dowel</a> 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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