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Forum topic by Planeman40 posted 04-19-2014 05:07 AM 1936 views 4 times favorited 62 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Planeman40

472 posts in 1412 days


04-19-2014 05:07 AM

Topic tags/keywords: woodworking tips trick finishing

The one thing I have noticed we don’t have here on Lumberjocks is a place to trade tips and tricks pertaining to woodworking. There is a wealth of knowledge here and we need to share it. So I thought I would start a thread that each of us could share a little tip or trick they have devised or picked up over the years to help the rest of us. I’‘ll start it with some on painting with brushes.

I always buy the best brush I can and keep it in pristine condition. There are a number of brushes in my drawer that are over 40 years old and look close to new.

How to properly clean a brush:

If stiff with paint or varnish (obviously you shouldn’t let it get this way) soak it in thinner or better yet, a dedicated brush cleaner. I use a very small baking pan from the grocery store to wash my brushes. It allows me to use a minimum of expensive brush cleaner. I usually fill the pan with 1/4” or less of cleaner and then lay the brush down in it.

To speed things along and to get the crud out of the upper center of the brush, use a large sewing needle to pierce between the stuck together bristles and rake out the old paint. Treat the needle like a one tooth comb.

After the needle, use a trimmed down acid brush (just cut off the bristles leaving only about 1/4”of stiff bristles) to get the paint out of the bristles. With a little pressure you can make the brush bristles “fan” out so you can use the acid brush to get up into the upper brush bristles.

After the brush is thoroughly clean, including the metal part, pour the used brush cleaner from the pan into a small jar and save. Label it “Brush cleaner – Jar 1”.

Pour some new brush cleaner from the can into the baking pan and rinse the brush in it thoroughly. When finished, pour the contents of the pan into a small jar and label it Brush Cleaner – Jar 2”

Finish cleaning the brush by washing it with hot water in a sink with some liquid dish soap, massaging the bristles to wash out all of the brush cleaner. The hot water relaxes the bristles for the next step. Finish by “pointing” the brush to the shape it was in when brand new and just taken out from the packaging. Let dry back in the brush shelf or drawer. This last step is important. Your expensive brushes will be properly shaped, soft and supple for a lifetime.

As to the brush cleaner in the jars. When cleaning future brushes always begin with the cleaner in jar #1, the one with the most crud in it. Then move on to jar #2 for the rinse. When jar #1 becomes unusable, pour it out and transfer the contents of jar #2 to jar #1 and refill jar #2 with fresh cleaner from the can. At nearly $20 per gallon, I treat brush cleaner like gold.!

Another tip:

As all of you know, painting and varnishing can go on for a few days while waiting for that new coat to dry overnight. You don’t have to clean your brush every evening, just wrap it tightly in aluminum foil. A brush will stay usable for up to three days this way. Longer, and its back to step #1 above for brush cleaning!

Planeman

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!


62 replies so far

View TechRedneck's profile

TechRedneck

738 posts in 1508 days


#1 posted 04-20-2014 04:09 AM

This could be an interesting topic…

Many woodworkers (myself included) start out acquiring what we think are the essential tools. Once I acquired a working set of decent tools the “evolution” of this craft sets in. What I mean is, I became more interested in the process, the tricks, the jigs, the skills to make more than just stuff out of wood, but things of value that will last a long time and show some craftsmanship.

Some people never get past the acquisition of tools… and that is fine. Others get caught up in the idea of just puttering around in their shops and turning out a project every now and then. Here is one of the things I have learned and some of the mistakes I’ve made.

I read about miter saws and purchased a good SCMS. I spend a good deal of money and time dialing it in. It is very accurate and I use it a lot, but not in the way I thought. I don’t think there is a SCMS out there that is as accurate or effective as a well made table saw sled.

Now sometimes, even a table saw sled won’t shave that hair off an edge that you want for a perfect fit. For that I use a hand plane and a shooting board.

SCMS=good, Table saw sled = better, Shooting board and sharp plane = best.

-- Mike.... West Virginia. "Man is a tool using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.". T Carlyle

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

472 posts in 1412 days


#2 posted 04-20-2014 06:14 AM

Ah . . . what is a SCMS?

Planeman

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View lateralus819's profile

lateralus819

1388 posts in 540 days


#3 posted 04-20-2014 09:04 AM

Sliding compound miter saw. Speaking of which, a buddy taught me. If you push your piece into the blade, then leave it and make a cut, it’s about 1/32 to 1/16. Once you figure out the pressure needed into the blade you can take off slivers at a time.

-- Never confuse mistakes with failure. Kevin

View lunn's profile

lunn

206 posts in 959 days


#4 posted 04-20-2014 12:41 PM

The handiest thing i’ve come up with for making makeing panels with my pocket hole jig. I made 2 L shaped holders about 2 ft long for pipe clamps cut 5 v’s for different widths to hold the pipes. Used conduit clamps to hold the tail end. Clamp them to my table, the clamp ends stick out as far as i want. Sure is alot easier to clamp the wood top to bottom while screwing it together.

-- What started as a hobbie is now a full time JOB!

View stnich's profile

stnich

108 posts in 1575 days


#5 posted 04-20-2014 01:35 PM

Don’t burn an 1” on your tape measure can can lead to mistakes. I almost always burn 10”.
It’s less likely to create mathematical errors.

View Iwud4u's profile

Iwud4u

354 posts in 180 days


#6 posted 07-18-2014 04:25 PM

I use electrical wire nuts on my unused caulking tubes.

-- It's far better to be criticized by a wise person than applauded by a fool --

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

472 posts in 1412 days


#7 posted 07-18-2014 04:33 PM

”electrical wire nuts on my unused caulking tubes”

Great idea! I have an open caulking tube sitting on my bench that needs this.

Planeman

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View Mosquito's profile

Mosquito

4682 posts in 943 days


#8 posted 07-18-2014 04:41 PM



Don t burn an 1” on your tape measure can can lead to mistakes. I almost always burn 10”.
It s less likely to create mathematical errors.

- stnich

I like that one… the number of times I’ve screwed up the burn an inch thing is almost embarrasing…

Either that, or someone should make a tape measure that starts at -1 lol

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist - www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods

View TiggerWood's profile

TiggerWood

197 posts in 257 days


#9 posted 07-18-2014 04:58 PM


Don t burn an 1” on your tape measure can can lead to mistakes. I almost always burn 10”.
It s less likely to create mathematical errors.

- stnich

I like that one… the number of times I ve screwed up the burn an inch thing is almost embarrasing…

Either that, or someone should make a tape measure that starts at -1 lol

- Mosquito

If I had a dollar for…........

Great advice!

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

2195 posts in 2197 days


#10 posted 07-18-2014 05:02 PM

I have secret tips and tricks, but it will cost you money to get them out of me :)

Aaaah, just funnin with you. Actually I have already given out all of my tips and tricks as I am an open book, basically I don’t think I have any real tips and tricks, at least none I can think of right now. It is wood after all right?

But if anyone has a problem with something and I have been there and done that and can have an intellectual answer, I am happy to assist.

-- Jerry Nettrour, San Antonio, www.topqualitycabinets.net

View TiggerWood's profile

TiggerWood

197 posts in 257 days


#11 posted 07-18-2014 05:09 PM

Whether it be your table saw, drill press, or scroll saw, when squaring up your equipment, use the square on both sides. I find that on both, my drill press and my scroll saw, that there is a very slight gap at the bottom on both sides. If I hold my square to only one side I may be off by as much as half a degree. That may not sound like much to some people but, when it comes to miter or doll joints, it is huge.

View Iwud4u's profile

Iwud4u

354 posts in 180 days


#12 posted 07-18-2014 05:10 PM


But if anyone has a problem with something and I have been there and done that and can have an intellectual answer, I am happy to assist.

- Jerry

OK Jerry,
I got a deposit to start a job, but my bills are due. Should I use that money to pay my bills and hope I get the job I have now finished so that I can get paid and use that money to start the next job??
:)

-- It's far better to be criticized by a wise person than applauded by a fool --

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

472 posts in 1412 days


#13 posted 07-18-2014 05:34 PM

O.K., I’ll throw out another one.

Storing cyanoacrylate glue. Many of us use this stuff and have sizable (and costly) bottles that eventually go bad. Some say put the bottle in the refrigerator to keep it, but the REAL trick is to cut it off from moisture. Moisture is the catalyst that sets off the reaction. So store your bottle in a large jelly jar with the cap on tight. In addition, put some silica gel (a cheap and readily available desiccant – that’s a moisture absorbent) in the jar with the glue to suck all of the moisture out of the enclosed air. Silica gel is easy to obtain. It is often found in packages in small bags to absorb moisture. You can buy it on the Internet too. And if it gets saturated, you can dry it out by putting it in an oven at a temperature a little over 212 degrees to drive out the moisture and reuse it over and over.

I have kept a large bottle of CYA glue like this on my work bench for over three years now and it is still like new.

And one other thing. If you want to be very precise in applying the “watery” type of CYA, put the tip of a hypodermic syringe on it. These tips just pull off the syringe and fit snugly onto most bottles of CYA. I cut the sharp point off using a small cut-off wheel in a Dremel tool. And, yes, the needles will often clog. No problem. Just hold the tip of the needle over the flame of a butane cigarette lighter for a second and it will open right up!

Planeman

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

5624 posts in 2079 days


#14 posted 07-18-2014 06:01 PM

Tip 1, when gluing to end grain, I put a small amount of glue on the end and rub it in with my thumb. That seals the grain and prevents a glue starved joint.

Tip 2, Direct or mechanical means of measurement is always superior to a tape.
Here’s one I use a lot for inside measuremnts.
A 123 block and several sizes of Key way stock be exceptionally useful, as well. My key way stock goes from 1/8” to 3/4” in 1/16” increments and are invaluable for setting dado blade and router bit heights and fence distances.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

14110 posts in 989 days


#15 posted 07-18-2014 06:09 PM

When planing rough lumber. Do not do all of one side at a time. Keep flipping the board over. It will give you the flattest boards.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

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