woodworking tips

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when I was getting started in woodworking I was just like you guys I didn’t have a ton of money I didn’t have a ton of skills but I wanted to build amazing stuff and I wanted to do it right now acquiring those skills to build some of the beautiful stuff we all see out there on internet takes a while I don’t want you to have to search around the internet to all corners of woodworking to find improvements for your work so I’ve got a good Pub list of five things that you can do right now that’ll help you improve your woodworking without spending a ton of time and money so let’s get to it first tip that I think all beginners should be using is going to be the tool called a plug cutter or down you can buy dials in certain sizes or you can make them on your own this tool makes it super easy here we’ve got a butt joint we’ve got two super ugly looking screw holes on the outside here but I’m smart so I know that that hole is 3 8 of an inch I also know that this plug cutter is also a 3 8 of an inch and we’re going to put it in a handheld drill because we’re only cutting one but usually when you use a drill press it lets you cut plugs to match or to contrast so here we’ve got some Maple so I can just come on in and cut a maple plug that’s literally made out of the same material as the other end of the board that we just made that joint out of and this is great for like drawer boxes and honestly any joinery where you’re going to be face jointing something all you do now add yourself a little glue to the Joint put your plug-in if you want to go more professional you can match the grain which this grain’s going this way and obviously that joint’s going that way let that set up a little bit and in the meantime we’re going to drill a contrasting one out of some Walnut which I tend to be a huge fan of because I think the contrasting plugs are Super Rad and add a lot of cool contrast to the Joint same thing that’s a lot of glue that’s like way too much glue here now I Like Glue sets up I also want to make a suggestion for this dial cutter from dfm toolworks I made a tick tock as you can see right here it’s super easy you could take stock all the way from this which I think is 5 8 down to 1 8 on here you just hammer it through the hole they sell this for about 60 bucks and the plug Cutters are dirt cheap and super easy to find at your big box store if you want to get into it so now that these are set up a bit let’s cut them up and show you what this looks like foreign you know that Maple one matched so good with the grain you can barely tell it’s there and this isn’t that finish on it so an easy way to step up your woodworking add some plugs to your face screws you can really start to make things look cool and you don’t have to invest in a silly pocket hole jig bunch of us use it but it is using blue tape instead of double-sided tape with the addition of CA glue let’s say for instance I have all four of these boards and I want to make them all the exact same size well instead of making one and then trying to mimic and copy all of them we can do all that work at once all you got to do is take your blue tape you want to lay it out on the bottom of all of them in a relatively similar fashion so here you’re going to need CA glue an activator I like type bomb products but there’s a ton of other good stuff out there this is medium you don’t want to use the thicker stuff all you do give yourself a line down the one piece and then with the other piece spray the activator on the tape you’ll flip it on making sure you’re aligned get your corners and stuff aligned push it down wait a couple seconds and now these boards are stuck together but not permanent so we have two more over here I’ll do the same thing and then to make it simple I’ll just do it one more time to get all four pieces aligned so a good example something we like to do is like say you want to do a drawer pull right now all you got to do is Mark it out on this one piece and then we can cut it out in all four pieces will be the exact same all right it’s also a great way if you want to drill holes in something and have them all line up or be perfect or whatever pop them apart just and you can see it leaves no residue and it’s so much easier to remove than double-sided tape most double-sided tape is made for carpets it gets really gummy it gets really thick but all of these parts are now going to be the exact same and it’s way way easier and cheaper than buying double-sided tape for most applications this next tip is going to be for those of you out there that have a jointer and are looking to do better table top glue ups when I got started my first jointer was a Craigslist purchase and it wasn’t the greatest tool ever right I always had issues with glue seams not being tight on my table tops and panel gloves or whatever I always thought the jointer was just not that good in reality it’s really difficult to keep a jointer perfect so this tip regardless if your Joiner is set up perfect or not will give you a way better glue up first thing you’re going to do is lay out your boards in the order that you’re going to be gluing them up I like to mark mine in the corner and number them so we know one goes to two two goes to three keeping it simple let’s go over to the Joiner so this is a jointer if you’re not familiar it makes things flat on one side you have a cutter head a bed and a fence those are the three things I’m talking about here what you want to do is get your fences close to square as possible I keep these engineering squares on the jointer and you can see here it’s just slightly out right and so this happens from time to time and it’s quite common you’ll try to adjust it the best that you can but in reality it’s going to come out of square more often than not extreme example right let’s move it back into square here and I’m actually going to leave it a little bit out to show you guys how this trick works even even better when you’re jointing boards you want to Joint one Edge first and then rip the other Edge on the table saw typically this will give you a pretty solid glue up but if you do that and you’re not getting a solid glue up that’s where this trick applies so here’s the trick when you’re gluing these boards up it’s only thing that matters is the angle on this face to this face okay and so if I bring these two boards one and two together like this I can joint this whole piece right here at one time and it’ll give me a perfect joint because they’re going to be reflective of one another whether they’re in or out anyway I’m not going to join them at the same time because some might say that that is unsafe what I am going to do is make sure that I’m referencing the fence the same way so remember our fence is out of square we know that but I’m going to have the back of board one against the fence and then the face of board two against the fence [Music] now when these come together as you can see that joint is perfect and I showed you that on my Joiner the fence isn’t square and when I learned this trick it made my panel glue UPS look so much better and while we’re at the jointer here’s a bonus tip I have a 10 inch wide jointer but my first jointer was six inches so what I’m going to do is I’m going to shrink this down here to six I’m going to show you guys a tip for doing boards wider than the width of your Joiner first you’re going to want to remove your fence and we’re doing what’s called a face joint here if you’re not familiar this is the face of the board and this is the edge in order to get a square board you have to prepare both of those we’re focusing on a face joint right now it’s our board as you can see is only going to cut and leave an edge on this side so we’re going to face joint this board and then I’m going to show you our previous tip and a tip with the planer on how to make this board perfectly square and flat still [Applause] so you can see here the jointer left a lip so what we’re going to do is now Mount this piece of wood to something that’s perfectly flat like this MDF here and I’m going to use the exact same double-sided tape trick that I just showed you guys there we go now these two are mounted together the next thing you need is a planer something important to note is that I have a super wide planer but if you only have a 12 inch planer I’m going to make sure the overall width of your board and your sled are under whatever the width of your planer is most Planters nowadays are up to 13 inches now I’m going to do is run this through the planer give myself this flat side [Music] [Music] now we just pop it off we run it back through [Music] and just like that you have a perfectly flat board bonus tip the fourth tip or technique that I wish I knew when I was getting started was using blue tape to help me with layout now if you’ve watched my content for a long time you’ve probably seen me bust out blue tape to cut dovetails and to do some basic joinery but this is like I guess I don’t know one of the most abundant opportunities to use blue tape in the shop let me show you a few examples here let’s act like we wanted to cut a mortise in this block right here if I was going to do that I’d probably initially establish the width of the block let’s just make our mortise one inch from each side okay now how long do we want to make it let’s just say we’ll make a three inch mortise additionally what would be the next steps as a woodworker is you’d want to come in with your marking gauge like this set it to that line you come in you mark it flip the piece you mark it and you come back Mark that end mark that end and then you’re going to go and start mortising out the material but here is how I’ve started to adapt and do it that I think just makes it so much easier you’re going to do the same technique I’ll come back and what I’ll do is I’ll put Blue tape right on that line before I start cutting I’ll do the same thing on the other side then I’m going to put a piece on this side I don’t care if it matches the line and a piece on this side and I’ll come back with that same marking gauge I’ll mark that line Mark that line now we already established that we’re going to have that line underneath so and we’ll pull off from here and now what we have is a much clearer representation of where we are cutting the blue line is so much more of a difference in the wood you can go about whatever method you prefer whether you want to take this out with forstner bit with a router you guys have seen me hand cut bow ties into a lot of my work I use this exact same technique Works amazing in this application I highly suggest it you get way way way way cleaner results but what if we want to cut a joint well here’s a good example say I want to cut a dovetail joint on this piece of wood and then scrub it over here to this one set up my blue tape on the edge of this board where I’m going to be cutting the dovetailed more or less lap joint okay all right center we’re going to measure ourselves an inch out on each side there we go etch awesome so this board’s three inches wide I’m going to set the depth of it to two inches here now I’m going to take my bevel gauge I’m going to set to 7 degrees I’ll come in here you’re going to take that same marking knife now cut that there come back other side we’ve got our Point here and our Point here fantastic so you always want to leave the blue on the part that you’re keeping so for me what this has done it’s really changed my ability to visualize my joints because I’m going to remove the blue tape I’m going to be able to perfectly see the part that I’m cutting perfect I can come back and make that perfect if I want [Music] [Music] [Music] all right so come back in over here so for a pretty quick joint that’s not that bad but say you have gaps just like these ones because none of us are perfect so you’re looking here and you’re looking here but when I was getting started I thought the only solution for that was to be better or use wood filler you don’t need any wood filler a better option for gaps in your glue UPS is simply going to be putting some glue into the joint that was an excessive amount of glue but I want you guys to be able to see it on camera unplug the dust hose okay and just sand away [Music] I use this technique on dovetail joints I literally just used it on the three levels end table I built for the boxes it just makes it look way more seamless I wish I knew this when I was getting started because it’s such a simple fix such an easy way and it keeps the sand dust the same color as whatever you’re working on now I will advise this if you’re staining something the the glue won’t stain so just be aware of that I don’t stain a lot of my furniture but this is an awesome way to build confidence in your hand cut joinery in any of your joinery also if you have a gap in a tabletop glue up try this trick it’s way better than using wood filler and while we’re on the subject of sanding here’s two more bonus tips for sanding first and foremost as a beginner I was using my DeWalt random orbit sander and I was just using the bag that came attached to it get rid of the bag and plug any sort of shop vac or hose that you can get into it it will remove the debris from the surface and you’ll get much better and much more more consistent results tip number two while sanding get yourself a light this is just a job site light and rake it across your surface as you sand what that’ll do is show you any swirl marks because it’s going to create Shadow lines on what you’re sanding it’s something super simple you can use a light like this you can use a little flashlight out of your pocket if that’s all that you got they make things like this for using on cars and in big shops but more or less if you could shine a light across your work it’s going to show you swirl marks and give you a better chance of getting a better finish and that’s going to be a wrap on this one I hope these tips are something that you can use today to improve your game when it comes to woodworking let me know if you’ve got any tips leave those down in the comments below and then let me know what are we going to build next …

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