Workbench Weekly eTip
 

Archive for July, 2007

A Notepad That’s Always on Hand

Wednesday, July 25th, 2007

I always used to jot down measurements on whatever scrap piece happened to be lying around my shop. But I’ve found it’s more convenient to write them on a Post-It notepad attached to my tape measure with double-sided tape. These notes are easier to see — and harder to lose.

Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers
Online Editor
Workbench Magazine

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Simple Laminate Installation Trick

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

 

Attaching laminate to a narrow edge (like the front of a countertop) is not as easy as it looks. You need to cut it oversize (1/4″ wider than the edge it will cover), so it overhangs the gluing surface on both sides. And since contact cement (which I typically use in this situation) bonds instantly, there’s only one chance to get it right.

That’s why I use spacer blocks to align the laminate. These are just blocks with strips of 1/8″ hardboard glued to them. I stick these blocks to the substrate with double-sided tape to automatically register one edge of the extra-wide laminate. Then I set the laminate on the blocks and press it into place (see Fig. 1). Once that’s done, I remove the spacer blocks and trim the laminate flush as usual (see Fig. 2).

Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers
Online Editor
Workbench Magazine

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Fix Knotty Wood with Epoxy

Thursday, July 12th, 2007
An epoxy patch isn’t invisible, but it can keep a good board from becoming scrap.

If you want to salvage a knotty piece of wood to use in a project, the best way I’ve found is to fill the voids or stabilize loose knots with two-part epoxy.

Start by cleaning loose material and dirt out of the voids. This gives the epoxy a solid surface to bond with.

Next, mix up enough epoxy (the type sold in hardware stores works fine) to fill the void. To help the patch blend into the wood, color it by mixing in a small amount of sawdust from the same species. Pour the mixture into the void until it’s slightly over-filled (Photo, above). After the epoxy sets, sand it flush with the wood surface (Inset Photo, above).

Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers
Online Editor
Workbench Magazine

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (12 votes, average: 4.75 out of 5)
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Creating a Tile Top

Friday, July 6th, 2007

Few things can finish off a decorative table or other piece of furniture quite like a tile top. And installing tile is a lot easier than you might expect. Here are some simple tips that will walk you through a standard tile top installation:

Start by spreading mastic on the surface you intend to tile with a ¼” notched trowel. Cut cement backerboard to fit on the surface, and attach it using backerboard screws spaced 6″ apart. If you plan to cover the edges of the table with tiles, cover the ends and edges with backerboard strips as well. Align each strip flush with the top and attach it with mastic and brads.

 

Dry-assemble the tiles using spacers to ensure consistent grout lines. For the edge tiles, determine the space needed, and tape them in place. Chances are good that you may need to cut some of the tiles to fit. You’ll need to rent a wet saw or a tile scorer to do this. Spread mastic on the backerboard, and wiggle the tiles into it so they lie flat. Use a straightedge to check the tiles for a flat, even surface.

 

To install the edge tiles, apply mastic to the back of the tile and press it into place. Use tape to hold them in place as the mastic sets. The last step is applying grout. First mix the powdered grout with water to the consistency of peanut butter, and press it firmly into the joints with a rubber float. Finally, use a sponge and water to smooth the grout lines and clean the tiles. Move the sponge diagonally to avoid removing grout from the joints.

 

Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers
Online Editor
Workbench Magazine

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (14 votes, average: 4.86 out of 5)
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