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Five Woodworking Tricks Every Beginning Woodworker Should Know

Updated on May 16, 2012

Whether you’re a beginning woodworker or you’re a pro, knowing these five woodworking tips and tricks can help a lot no matter what woodworking project you may be involved with next. While there are many woodworking skills that can be applied to many different projects, these five essential skills should be mastered by any woodworker because they can be useful for the majority of projects that you may run into in the future—whether it’s a beginning woodworking project or an advanced one. Use these five woodworking tips and techniques you can be sure you’re going to get the most out of your next woodworking project.

3-4-5 Rule

This is one of the easiest to learn skills and can allow you to make a true square no matter what the measurements of the material are. Simply make a mark on your project horizontally three inches, feet and even millimeters—just as long as it’s three. Next make a vertical mark four inches, feet, etc. Now measure between the two measurements diagonally and if the measurement equals five, then you have a perfect 90 degree angle for a true square.

Preventing Tear Out

When a saw blade isn’t sharp enough, it can tear out the cut, leaving a mess of splintered wood grains and gouges. Using a sharp blade can prevent some tear outs. But besides always using a sharp saw blade, tear out can also occur when using laminate materials that cover less expensive materials with a more expensive grade of wood veneer. To prevent this from happening, use blue painters tape over the cut and your cut will always remain tear-out free.

Keeping your Saw Dust

Whether you’re sanding with a belt sander or cutting with a miter saw, using a saw dust catch-all bag can help to keep your workshop mess free. But when you’re working with a project that requires you to fill in a few small nail holes with wood putty, it can be a bad match at best. Disguise nail holes by using saw dust from the project itself. Just mix a little Elmer’s wood glue with your saw dust and you’ll have the perfect matching wood putty for your next project.

Use the Right Brush

Finishing your next woodworking project is the final step with most projects. But without the right brush, you can be sure you’re going to get a mediocre finish at best. Never opt out for a cheap brush. When applying paints, stains, adhesives and sealants, it’s best to spend more and buy a good brush. Investing in a nice set of brushes and keeping them clean is the best way to get the best finish to your next woodworking project.

Perfect Centers

When you’re trying to find the center of your next project, measuring both sides and splitting the dimensions can be tough if you’re dividing odd numbers like sixteenths or thirty seconds. Instead, turn the tape measure slightly on a diagonal until an even measurement is displayed on the tape. Now you can easily find the center by dividing the now even increments easily.


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