Before applying any finish the surface needs to be smooth, clean and free of defects.
Make your finishing environment as dust free as possible.
When using finishes always keep the area well ventilated and free from sparks or open flame.
It's a good idea to use gloves and goggles when using finishes. Masks or respirators should also be considered.
If you want to shellac your projects don't use excessive brushing or else it will create tiny bubbles on the wood.
Use shellac only on projects not exposed to the elements of water alcohol or other chemicals.
When varnishing your projects, to remove bubbles and brush marks, hold your brush at a 90 degree angle and lightly brush long strokes.
Apply varnish first against the grain of the wood and then using only the tips of the bristles work in the direction of the grain.
If you're using softwood for your projects (such as pine) and you want to use a thin finish (like laquer), one or two coats of sanding sealer should first be applied sealing the wood. But sand only after the first coat.
Wipe-on finishes gives a natural look to the wood.
Runs or drips not caught when the finish is wet should be left at least several days before trying to sand them.
Want a simple way to rout designs on your wood projects? On ¼" hardboard, trace your design, cut out with a scrollsaw or a sabre saw. You now have a template to use with your router. Just clamp and rout.
Tabs from drink cans make excellent cleats for picture frames and plaques.
For a visual of what a finished board may look like and avoid unwanted surprises, apply the finish to scrap wood before applying to your projects.
When routing a board completely around, rout the end grains first then the sides in the direction of the grain to avoid end chipping. To rout only the sides, temporarily add a piece of scrap wood to the ends.
To drive a nail flush without denting or marring the wood use a bell face hammer.
Using good one side (G1S) material and a job calls for a sabre saw, place the good side face down to eliminate splintering.
Remove small dents in the workpiece by wetting it with small drops of warm water to raise the grain. Let it dry then sand the area flush with fine sandpaper.
Always make certain your tools are unplugged prior to changing of blades, bits, cutters, etc.
When drilling a workpiece, to prevent splintering to the underside, use a scrap block of wood beneath it.
To remove contact cement use nail polish remover.
Standard rough openings for most windows are at least 6" wider and 10" higher than the window glass size.
The rough opening for a door is 3 1/2" higher and wider than the door itself.
Doorknobs are usually 36 1/2" from the floor.
For general construction do not buy kiln dried lumber when air dried lumber is suitable and less expensive.
When using a portable circular saw mark the cutoff line to the right of the board for better support.
Making cuts with a table saw the blade should protrude about 1/8" above the stock that's to be cut.
Always keep your eyes focused on the path the saw is to follow. In your workshop, whenever possible lock the doors to prevent anyone from interrupting you while using machinery which may accidently cause you injury.
Keep walkways and aisles clear at all times.
When you're using an aluminum ladder watch out for overhead electrical wires.
As obvious as this is, many forget to follow the measure twice and cut once rule so here it is again.
Tole-Painting for Beginners
Preparing your wood... Fill imperfections with wood filler and let dry. Sand the wood smoothly along the grain, wipe with a tack cloth. Apply sealer and after it dries sand lightly with a fine sandpaper. Wipe again.
Never trace your patterns on your wood (especially softwood) with a pencil because it will indent the wood.
Need transfer paper but haven't got any on hand.. Make your own graphite paper by using a pencil to blacken the backside of your drawing. Then apply pattern and trace.
Always have a container of water nearby to clean your brushes between paints and for cleanup.
Use your pinky finger for support while moving it freely as you tolepaint.
To create dots use the wooden ends of your paintbrushes or for small dots use a stylus.
When the instructions call for highlighting, start each step of the highlighting in the same area that you want to be the strongest point.
When painting your projects to speed up drying time between coats, use an hairdryer.
After cleaning your brushes while they're wet, brush against a bar of soap and allow the soap to dry in the brush. Store them upright.
While on the phone, watching TV or just plain relaxing remember to Practice! Practice! Practice!
Around the House
To remove pen marks use rubbing alcohol.
Cold tea makes a good fertilizer for your house
To clean and polish your stainless kitchen sink and appliances at the same time use club soda.
Use a sheet of wax paper to cover the flaps of envelopes that have stuck together and press with a warm iron.
After you clean your paint brush, to keep it from hardening, wrap it tightly in a plastic bag and store.
Using a roller to paint your fence is just as effective as a brush but less time consuming.
To remove gum from your clothing, freeze the garment.
Before you chop onions, to avoid the smell getting on your fingers, dip your fingers in vinegar.
Pre-heat your oven to the temperature required before you bake.
Pre-heat your frying pan before adding the oil or butter.
Blood stains are easier to remove if you wash the article of clothing at once in cold water, and then soak it in hydrogen peroxide.
Before you chop your onions freeze them for approximately five minutes to avoid the tears.To clean and polish your stainless kitchen sink and appliances at the same time use club soda.