Posts Tagged ‘dowel rod’

How to Build a Bench

Building a bench is a good way to get your feet wet with furniture making. It is a relatively simple project that uses several basic woodworking techniques and tools. Bench building is a project that can reward you with not only a great seat that could be in your family for generations, but also with a sense of accomplishment that only comes with doing something productive, creative and worthwhile.

The frame needs to be strong enough to hold three adults. 2”x4” boards make a sturdy frame and are relatively inexpensive to purchase. You’ll need three to four 6’ boards to start. Determine the length and width of your bench. Use a miter saw, table saw, or a handsaw to cut four pieces that will make up the front, back and sides of your frame. A standard size for a sitting bench is about 4’ long and 18” wide. Secure the four boards together using screws, framing spikes, or nails long enough to penetrate the receiving board by 1.5”.

Now you basically have a rectangle. You can use plywood or an 18” wide board for the seat. I like to use a thicker stain-ready board so that the seat lasts longer and looks beautiful. Cut the board so that it has about a 1” overhang when placed on top of your frame.

You can practice your joinery skills to attach the board to the frame. The type of joint that you’ll use is called a “stub mortise”. This is a shallow mortise that does not go all the way through the wood. Start by drilling holes into your base at the same diameter as the selected wood dowel. A hardwood dowel will be stronger than a softwood dowel, in general. Inset the dowel pegs and secure them with wood glue. The height of the dowel pegs should all be equal. Mark each one with chalk and center the bench seat over them. Follow the chalk marks on the bench seat and drill your stub mortise holes on the marks. Use more wood glue in the holes and around the top edge of the frame to secure the seat. Use clamps and let the seat dry for a few hours.

For the legs of the bench, you’ll want to use cabinet grade plywood. I generally use the same wood that I used for the seat so that everything matches. Use a nail gun or drill out holes for screws to avoid splitting the wood when you attach it to the base. You can make your bench whatever height you wish. Standards are around 18” high. The side panels should fit underneath the lip of the bench seat. Brace the two panels on each end together by attaching a 2”x4” board underneath. It should brace the legs so that they cannot splay out or bend inward.

When you’re done, sand and stain the bench. Use tung oil, varnish or lacquer to protect the finish and give it the desired look that you want. Don’t forget to sign and date your work in an inconspicuous area when you’re done!

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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Woodworking with Dowel Rods

All woodworkers should be familiar with dowels. They are easy to work with and can make a lot of woodworking endeavors less complicated. They can add beauty and strength to many different types of projects. Just imagine all of the things that you can do and create. Dowels should be staples in your wood shop or garage. Learn about the different types of dowels and their uses.

1) Dowels can be used to create hanging rods, flag poles, toy parts, and many other wood crafts. They aid in joining wood together in bigger projects, like chair building and making shelves.

2) Choose the type of dowel that matches the rest of your project. Pine, birch, and cherry wood dowels are very light in color. Birch and cherry also come in darker varieties. Some darker types include maple, oak and walnut. Any hardwood dowel can be stained or painted to match your project.

3) Over time, you may see that you need a variety of diameters as you practice your trade. Some manufacturers can carve specific diameters for you. They can even use your materials to make your dowels if you have something that is hard to match.

4) Dowels are great for turning spindles or decorative poles on a lathe. They are essentially a blank for starting projects that require poles for decoration or functionality. They are great for getting in lots of practice on the lathe without investing a lot of money or time. People most often need spindles for doll house decoration, chair backs, stair railings, candlesticks, or on deck rails. You can use spindles to create decorative easement accents, table legs, drawer pull hardware, and more.

5) Dowels are commonly used in making toys or toy parts. You can use them to make axles in toy cars, jump rope handles, monkey bars, game pieces, and more. Many woodworkers like to advance their skills by taking on small projects. Creating toys is a fun and easy way to test your limits and learn new skills, without investing the type of money that it would take to say, build an armoire. Toys are generally quick and simple. You can practice your carving skills, create decorative accents, and create an heirloom quality piece that could be treasured for generations.

The more you work with wood, the more you’ll start to appreciate the things that make your projects more predictable and less time consuming. A wood dowel is handy, inexpensive, and can be useful in a multitude of applications. You can choose softwood or a hardwood dowel, paint or stain, hand carve or use the lathe. Woodworking provides you with a variety of ways to accomplish a task based on your skills and personal tastes. Dowel rods can help you to keep that flexibility without starting from scratch when it’s not necessary.

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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Woodturning Techniques

Woodturning is a way to make wooden projects using a lathe. The wood is generally turned by a motorized lathe while a tool us used to shave, gouge, and shape it into different objects. Woodturning is commonly used to make bowls, furniture, bats, instruments, wooden toys, game pieces, spindles, chair or table legs, and plates. Of course, as with any woodworking hobby, woodturning can be used in a lot of different ways. The project is only limited by the imagination and skill of the woodturner.

Projects usually start with a blank piece of wood. For spindles, toys, tool handles, doll house parts, and other small projects, you may be able to start with wooden dowels. This can simplify the process for you. If you don’t start with a dowel, you will need to use a woodturning tool designed to get the blank into the basic shape that you want to work with.

Most projects start with a roughing gouge to round the wood blank into a spindle. The spindle can be smoothed using the razor sharp edge of the skew chisel. However, if you are making a bowl, which is the most popular woodturning project, you will need a special bowl gouge that is designed to turn the inside and outside of the bowl. You may also need a hollowing tool to cut out the deep sections of the bowl, especially if the bowl is narrow, or you’re turning something like a vase. A tool called a bowl saver is popular because it allows you to cut a smaller bowl out of a larger one, saving your wood pieces for later projects.

You can work with a blank while the wood is still wet or green to more easily get it into the basic shape that you want without having to wait for the entire block to dry out. Turning on wet wood is actually easier and creates less sawdust than dry wood. However, you may not want to turn your whole project while the wood is wet. This technique of cutting on wet wood is usually used only to get the wood into the basic desired shape so that it will dry out faster. Wet wood that is turned will distort a little as it dries and shrinks. You want to make sure that you have enough wood thickness left to work with so that you can remove the rough exterior and any distortions once the wood is dry. Drying out large pieces of green wood can result in cracks, so many woodturners prefer to rough turn their pieces while the wood is newly felled.

There are many different styles of woodturning that can help you to create artistic and functional pieces. Pool cues, wooden eggs, candle holders, and platters are some other commonly turned items. You can use dowel rods of varying thickness to get you quickly started on a lot of different projects. Research which type of wood is better for your project before you order or make your dowels. You can purchase birch dowels, maple dowels, red or white oak dowels, cherry dowels, poplar dowels, ash dowels, or walnut dowels, giving you a large selection of woods to choose from for your woodturning project. Some companies will even turn wood that you provide into custom diameter dowels so that you have complete creative control over your project.

About the Author: Dave Murphy is the founder and president of Good Wood, Inc. which manufactures wood products in Ohio. Good Wood, Inc. makes dowels and dowel rods, wooden balls, wood knobs, wooden toy parts, custom wood parts, and more. They offer safe wood finishing, wood turning and can import dowels from off-shore suppliers when necessary. Visit http://www.goodwoodinc.com for your wood product needs.

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