Woodworking Tools Videos

Band Saw Setup and Tuning

band saw setupBand saws are one of the safer woodworking tools and because they are so versatile, they are also one of the most popular tools. A band saw can make cross cuts as well as ripping cuts and of course all sorts of round and semi round cuts. And one of the most popular uses of band saws is in cutting thin strips of wood or veneers, that are used to enhance many woodworking projects.

But band saws have one inherent problem, and that problem is that most of them will tend to "drift" when they are cutting through wood. What this means is that if you are ripping a piece of wood, and following a marked line, there is a very good chance your band saw will develop a mind of it's own and start cutting off that line. This drift is caused by a variety of elements like the grain of the wood, they type band saw blade you are using (and how sharp it is), the tension on the blade and even whether or not the blade is running true on the 2 band saw wheels. It is often possible to reduce drift but in most cases you have to learn which way your band saw will drift and take that into account when you are cutting wood.

Another inherent feature of all band saws, particularly when they are ripping wood, is that at the beginning of the cut the saw will cut quickly but as it is cutting through the wood the speed at which the wood is cut is noticeably slowed.  Again this is typical of almost every band saw, small or large, so if you find this happening with your saw ... it is not "your saw" it is all saws that have this quirk.

Setting up a band saw is an important step in order to get the best cuts and help preserve the life of your blades and your saw. It is important that power to the saw be turned off before any setup is attempted. The first step is to set the BLADE TENSION, which, on most 2 wheel band saws is done by RAISING the top wheel with the appropriate adjustment knob or wheel on your band saw ....

Making a Sandpaper Storage Cabinet

Sanding is one of the necessary but often most hated parts of woodworking. I have seen many different woodworkers go to great lengths to try to avoid sanding and sandpaper ... and I'm one of them. I know how important sanding is because I can see and feel the results on my projects, I just HATE sanding ... the noise ... the dust ... the repeated sandings and most of all the trying to sort out my pile of sandpaper grits, all contribute to this dreaded job.
I don't have any fancy sanding machines so all my sanding is done by hand and almost always outside so I can keep the dust away from  my lungs and the rest of the shop.

Today I have decided to at make a new effort at trying to organize my sanding sheets, sanding discs and my sharpening sheets. I store these in all different locations then have trouble finding them so end up leaving them all piled on a small shelf in front of what is my slot shelves for sand paper. It's just not working.

 

Somewhere in one of the Woodworking Mags, I saw a drawing for a long tall box with multiple shelves for storing sandpaper and that is what this project is about, making that cabinet. My chance I found a half sheet of corrugated plastic at a "use building materials" store I frequent (Habitat for Humanity's "Restore") I like supporting them by contributing and purchasing product from them. This was a 2' x 8' sheet for only $4.00 and I though would be perfect for the shelves. Nice and thin, easy to clean and slide in and out of slots in the cabinet to make higher and lower openings.

Setting Jointer Knives

Setting jointer knives appears to be universally every woodworkers worst duty. When I talk to woodworkers, the one thing they hate doing most is setting jointer knives (although many also hated setting planer knives, but that`s another article).

One of the biggest problems is many did not know what height the knives should be set at. Many woodworkers believed that jointer knives should be set at the exact height of the outfeed table. Which in theory would be correct but in practice is not the best idea. I even had some woodworkers who adamantly believed the jointer knives should be even with the infeed table. This is the WORST thing you can do if you EVER want to get straight, flat boards.

If you set jointer knives BELOW THE LEVEL OF THE OUTFEED TABLE, the boards you run through your planer will be bowed like the lower runners of a rocking chair. The more you run them through the jointer the more bowed they will get ... to the point, the only way to correct the bowing is to mark a straight line down the length of the board and run the board through a table saw - freehand. THEN adjust your jointer knives correctly and start all over again runing the board through the jointer.

 

Using a Stacked Dado Set

Woodworking is filled with "special tools" that are only good for one or two jobs. The only problem is they do such a good job for their special design that using alternatives can be tedious at best. Such is the case with dado blades. They are only good for taking out huge chunks wood, but in most cases trying to do this other ways takes so much time, most of us would not bother.

There are basically two kinds of dado blades. The Stacked Dado set is the most popular because in most cases is does the best job of cutting dados and rebates, but there is also something called a dado wobble wheel blade which can also be used for making dados and rebates. The problem with the wobble wheel is that the bottom of the cut is arced somewhat, and more arced as the dado cut gets wider. The problem with this arcing effect is it makes for a less than perfect fit.

Cutting dados using a stacked dado set is not difficult, at least seemingly. The idea with any dado cut is that the piece that is to be fit into the dado cut should fit snugly in order to make it structurally sound and for the glue to work as best it can. It is IMPERATIVE that you make test cuts with your dado set before making the final cuts. If you don't you risk making cuts that are too large, and then you will a whole bunch extra work trying to make up for the mistake. The first time you omit the test cut will be the last time you omit it.

The best way to figure out the width of the cut you need to make is to measure the thickness of the shelf or other structure that you will be inserting into the dado cut. BUT DO NOT take this as the last measurement, make the test cut, try our the fit and work from there. Using a tape measure, will, in most cases not be sufficient enough to get the fit you will need, You will need a more precise measuring instrument.
Selecting a dado set can be agony for many woodworkers. There are many to choose from of varying qualities and with different features ... here are some of the things to look for ...

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