Workbench Weekly eTip
 

Archive for April, 2009

Super-Strong Steel Dowel Joints

Friday, April 24th, 2009

If you’re building an outdoor project, a unique way to join pieces together is with a steel dowel joint. It fits together like a standard dowel joint, but the steel pieces add extra durability.

Steel dowels are incredibly strong, but you won’t find them at your local hardware store. One solution is to cut them from threaded rod (Fig. 1). Or, you can purchase 3″-long threaded rods at McMaster.com (Part No. 95475A636).

Even though they’re steel, the dowels are only as strong as the glue that bonds them to the cedar. We used polyurethane glue for that (Fig. 3). This type of glue is activated by water, so mist all contact surfaces before applying the glue. Also, be sure to wipe off any glue squeeze-out. It foams as it cures, and the hardened foam is difficult to remove.

Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers

Editor, Workbench

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (8 votes, average: 4.13 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...


Taking Lumber from Thick to Thin

Friday, April 17th, 2009

If you need wood that’s thinner than 3/4″ for a project, it’s not that difficult to make it yourself. The answer is to use a table saw to resaw your own custom-thickness stock out of thicker boards. But before you begin, there are a few things you need to know about resawing.

First, the board you’re cutting sits on edge instead of on its face. So you need to keep it pushed firmly against the saw’s rip fence for a consistent cut.

Second, if the stock is wider than about 2″, you can’t cut all the way through it in one pass. You’ll need to make a pass on each edge.

Even then, you don’t want to cut all the way through the board. The cutoff piece could pinch the blade and kick back. Instead, the idea is to cut almost all the way through using the table saw (Fig. 1), complete the cut with a handsaw (Fig. 2), and then smooth the surface (Fig. 3).

Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers

Editor, Workbench

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (14 votes, average: 4.79 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...


Sander Stopper

Friday, April 10th, 2009

Waiting for a random orbit sander to completely stop can be a nuisance. Luckily, it’s easy to make this sander stopper from scrap material.

Just screw a 3-pound coffee-can lid loosely to a plywood base. Make the hole in the lid slightly bigger than the screw, so the lid moves freely as the sander slows to a stop. Before assembling, wax the mating sides of the lid and base. Non-skid tape on the bottom of the base prevents it from sliding around.

Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers

Editor, Workbench

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (77 votes, average: 4.19 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...


Reuse Sealant with a Foam Straw

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

Polyurethane foam sealants are handy — except when you are left with a half-used can. That’s because the applicator cannot be reused after sealant has dried inside it. Here’s a tip on how to save that leftover sealant for another day.

After using the supplied applicator on a project, twist it off and discard it. Do not clean out the nozzle. Let the sealant dry completely.

To use the sealant on another project, clean out the nozzle by twisting a drill bit by hand into the dried foam and gently pulling out the “plug.” Then attach a drinking straw to the nozzle. The straw can be taped on to secure it. Or, if it is the right size, it can be simply pressed on. Using a bendable straw lets you aim the foam into hard-to-reach openings.

Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers

Editor, Workbench

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (14 votes, average: 4.50 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)