Workbench Weekly eTip
 

Archive for April, 2008

Flame-Polished Plexiglas: A “Hot” Shop Tip

Friday, April 25th, 2008

Occasionally, I use Plexiglas in my woodworking projects. Although it cuts easily on the table saw, the blade leaves a rough, unfinished edge, not clear like Plexiglas ought to be.

To restore it to its original transparency, I sand the edge smooth and “polish” it with a plumber’s torch. The idea is to “brush” the flame quickly across the edge for a few seconds. As it heats, the plastic regains its glass-like appearance. Be careful, though – too much heat will cause it to bubble.

Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers
Online Editor
Workbench Magazine

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (13 votes, average: 3.85 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...


Foolproof Method for Cleaning Dirty Brushes

Friday, April 18th, 2008

I’ve known woodworkers who have used the same brush for years. Their secret is taking a few extra minutes to clean it. Here’s a surefire four-step approach to getting almost any brush completely clean.

After wiping off excess finish, rinse the brush in thinner several times. Then wrap the brush in a towel.

Remove the towel, and squirt some dish soap onto the brush. Rub it in your hand to work up a lather.

When the brush no longer feels slimy, rinse it in water, then spin it between your hands to dry it out.

Finally, straighten out the bristles with a comb, and wrap the brush in a paper towel until it finishes drying.

Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers
Online Editor
Workbench Magazine

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (16 votes, average: 4.44 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...


Car Jack Rescues Warped Deck Boards

Friday, April 11th, 2008

Try as I might to pick all straight deck boards for a project, a few inevitably warp before I’m ready to use them. However, it’s possible to straighten a warped board – even when working by yourself – with the aid of a scissor-style car jack.

A 2×4 cleat screwed to the supporting joists allows you to exert enough force with the jack to straighten the board. Then screw the board in place.


Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers
Online Editor
Workbench Magazine

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (14 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...


Finish Fix Makes Invisible Repair

Friday, April 4th, 2008

One of the greatest finishing challenges when fixing a scratch on a piece of furniture is matching the repair to the surrounding wood. The first challenge is matching the stain color, and the second is duplicating the original finish.

A nasty scratch such as this one presents two refinishing challenges: First, matching the stain color, and second, duplicating the original finish.

Stain the Scratch – If the scratch has penetrated the finish and changed the color of the wood (Photo above), then begin by restoring the color. The easiest way I’ve found to do this is by using a stain marker (Fig. 1). Eight colors of stain markers are available from Minwax or Olympic. Sometimes, a combination of two colors will do the trick, so you may want to experiment on a scrap piece.

Replace the Finish – After letting the stain dry for four hours, the next step is repairing the finish. The idea is to carefully “paint” a fine line of finish directly on the scratch (Fig. 2). Wipe off any finish that lands outside the scratch.

Match the Sheen – When the polyurethane dries (4-6 hours later), chances are the sheen of the repair won’t match the table exactly.To address this, apply a thin layer of finish to the entire tabletop (Fig. 3).

If you can still feel the scratch, lightly sand the area while the finish is wet to smooth it out (Fig. 4).

After smoothing, take a cloth and remove as much finish as you can from the tabletop. The thin layer of finish that remains creates a nice, uniform sheen on the entire table.

Once you find a color match, rub the tip of the stain marker along the scratch. Use a cloth to remove excess stain. When the stain has dried, use an artist’s brush to apply Minwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane to the scratch.
To match the sheen of the repair to the table, wipe a thin layer of Minwax Wipe-On Poly over the entire tabletop. With the finish still wet, gently sand the scratch with 600-grit sandpaper to smooth it. Then remove excess finish.

Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers
Online Editor
Workbench Magazine

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (15 votes, average: 4.47 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...




Subscribe to Workbench eTips

Archives

© 2014 August Home Publishing Company
Magazine Customer Service - Privacy Policy - Terms of Use - Contact Us
Entries (RSS)