Workbench Weekly eTip
 

Archive for January, 2008

Speed Square Ensures Great Glue-ups

Friday, January 25th, 2008

When gluing and clamping a cabinet, it’s all too easy to rack the corners out of square. To prevent that, clamp a Speed Square in one corner to keep the cabinet square while you clamp it together.

The square is held in place with C-clamps that fit through openings in the square. If necessary, enlarge the openings with a file.

Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers
Online Editor
Workbench Magazine

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A Tale of Two Outdoor Glues

Friday, January 18th, 2008

When it comes to assembling outdoor projects, you have two choices: moisture-resistant wood glue, and polyurethane glue. And which one you choose will depend on the circumstances.

Polyurethane glue is stronger and more durable than moisture-resistant wood glue. Even so, moisture-resistant glue will work fine for most outdoor projects.
If you’re accustomed to working with yellow wood glue, then you might actually prefer moisture-resistant glue, as its application and drying time is the same as standard yellow wood glue.

Before using moisture-resistant glue, however, you’ll want to make a couple considerations. First, most woods used for outdoor projects (cedar, redwood, and teak) are high in oil content. Moisture and oil prevent the curing of water-based wood glue.

To get the best possible joint in woods high in oil or moisture, wipe the surfaces to be joined together with acetone (available at most home centers) 15 minutes before glue-up. Then apply the moisture-resistant glue and assemble the joint. Acetone is flammable, so have adequate ventilation for a large glue-up.

Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers
Online Editor
Workbench Magazine

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For Clean Jig Saw Cuts, Don’t Force It

Friday, January 11th, 2008

Making a curved jig saw cut is always challenging. As you cut the curve, the blade has a tendency to deflect and cut the edge so it’s not perpendicular to the face of the board.

This is often because the first impulse when making a cut like this is to force the jig saw around the curve by applying too much forward and sideways pressure. But forcing the saw in this manner works against the up-and-down motion of the blade. A lot of friction and heat build up, which bends the blade and causes a cut that’s not perpendicular to the face of the workpiece (see Incorrect Cut).

To avoid this, let the saw do the work for you. Rather than forcing the saw around the curve, gently turn the back of the saw in the right direction and push it along the workpiece at the speed it wants to go, taking care not to apply sideways pressure (see Correct Cut).

Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers
Online Editor
Workbench Magazine

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (12 votes, average: 3.42 out of 5)
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Tips on Cutting Aluminum

Friday, January 4th, 2008

Aluminum bar stock is a nice addition to many projects. But it takes a few tips to cut it on the table saw. A carbide-tipped saw blade will cut the bar stock easily. Still, you’ll need to take several precautions to make a safe, controlled cut.

First of all, install a zero-clearance insert in the table saw. This will prevent the narrow aluminum cutoff from falling into the opening beside the blade.

Then, to make the operation more manageable, attach the aluminum bar stock to a “carrier” with double-sided tape. (I use a wide piece of 1/4″ hardboard.) The carrier gives you plenty of material to hold onto when guiding the bar stock past the blade. Clamp the aluminum, tape, and hardboard assembly together in a vise to really make them stick together well.

Then, to hold the stock down securely as you make the cut, be sure to use a push block. In this instance, a scrap 2×4 with a narrow ‘heel’ cut into it works just fine (see Photo, below).

To rip thin strips of aluminum on the table saw, attach the bar stock to a hardboard “carrier,” and use a push block to guide it past the blade.

Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers
Online Editor
Workbench Magazine

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (17 votes, average: 4.24 out of 5)
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