Archive for September, 2012

5 Tips for the Perfect Polyurethane Finish

Many woodworkers swear by the durability and ease of application of polyurethane to protect woodwork. Keep these five tips in mind to achieve the perfect polyurethane finish:

  • Use a good quality brush.
    The quality of the brush you use to apply the finish is a major factor in whether you achieve the beautiful finish you are looking for. A high quality brush will apply finish more smoothly and prevent loose bristles from adhering to the piece. You will also need to consider the type of finish you are using when selecting the brush. A synthetic brush is appropriate for water-based polyurethane, while a brush with natural bristles is better suited for oil-based finishes.
  • Make sure your polyurethane is stirred, not shaken.
    Shaking a can of polyurethane can create unwanted bubbles that affect the look of your finish. Gently stir your finish instead to prevent this problem. If you need to use polyurethane that has been shaken, simply wait about 24 hours for it to settle before use.
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Create Your Own Wooden Headboard

Furniture projects can be a fun way to personalize your home without spending a lot of money. Bed frames with headboards can cost in the thousands of dollars at furniture stores. By creating your own headboard, you can save money and ensure that the final piece is the exact style and color you’re seeking. You can also create a headboard as simple or as intricate and creative as you desire, giving you limitless options that you won’t find in any store.

By creating a headboard that attaches to or leans against the wall, you can personalize a bedroom without building an entire bed frame or taking up space in the room. An inexpensive metal frame can support the box springs and mattress while the headboard is propped behind the bed or affixed to the studs in the wall. Some considerations when planning your homemade headboard project are how (or whether) you will attach it to the wall, the size of the mattress, the desired height of the headboard and the style of other furniture in the room. The headboard can be short or tall and can extend beyond the width of the mattress, depending on the look you desire. Read the rest of this entry »

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Woodworking Joints that Stand the Test of Time

Most of us are familiar with Aristotle’s popular adage that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” While these words of wisdom often hold true in woodworking, joinery can make or break a piece of woodwork. The type and quality of joints affects the functionality and sturdiness of any piece of woodwork that is made up of more than one component. Knowledgeable woodworkers are familiar with numerous types of joinery and have the experience to determine when to use each type of joint. The most appropriate joint to use for a given task depends on several factors, including the intended function of the piece being fashioned and the woodworker’s skill level. Often, the strongest joints are also the most complex and difficult to accomplish. Beginner woodworkers may want to start out with simpler projects to learn basic joinery skills before attempting to create heirloom furniture pieces that will stand the test of time. Read the rest of this entry »

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