There are three essential things to keep in mind when buying wood for Intarsia: grain/figure, machine ability and color/species—all of these are interrelated. It may be that you are looking for an exotic redwood only to realize too late that your saw won't cut it and when planning an intarsia pattern, the two most crucial points are wood color and grain relationship. That is you will need to balance the technical problems of dealing with different species against the artistic flow of the wood.
Grain / Figure
Use grainy as opposed to figured woods since the latter tend to be a money pit. For the parts of your project where you want to depict direction or action, go with grainy woods like ash and oak and for any metallic surfaces, opt out for non-grainy wood like maple or basswood.
The only exception for opting for a figured wood is when you're looking to feature interesting knots or other defects, as it were in a unique position in your pattern.
Milwaukee Tools have been around for quite some time ... actually ... well over 100 years. Several years ago they were purchased by Techtronic Industries (TTI), who also own Ryobi, AEG, Homelite and others. The Milwaukee brand in the complex of businesses is considered to be the serious tool owners preference because of the high quality of Milwaukee tools.
If you get a chance to look at their website ... if the quality of their tools is anything like the high quality of their website you will be in for a treat of having a well made tool. Not only do they describe all their tools on the website (the same as everyone else) they ALSO provide excellent information on parts ... too bad others don't take this hint.
We tested some of the components of the M12 System which is their 12 volt cordless system, which consists of a drill, a driver, recip saw, rotary tool, inspection and camera viewers, lights, temperature measuring guns, a palm nailer, PVC shearing tool, a multi tool, and even a very cool radio/MP3 Player (that can withstand the rigors of a construction site).
The tools we looked at primarily were the drill and driver as we felt these would be among the most popular tools in the lineup. The 12 volt system is NOT for everyone. The power is ... well, 12 volts, which is great for driving smaller nuts and bolts and screws, or for drilling a smaller number of holes. The 12 volt system is not going to drill multiple holes though 2" fir beams if you happen to be running new power feeds from your 110 electrical panel. The 12 volt system is perfectly suited for smaller applications of drilling multiple smaller holes, or driving screws into a woodworking project. What we liked was that the 12 volt system is light but still packs enough punch to drive larger screws into Oak without any difficulty.
What was of particular interest is that these new tools are all using the same lithium ion battery system which recharges in something like 30 minutes.
Many woodworkers dream of making woodworking their livelihood, and many do, but there is also a whole universe of opportunity out there for part-time-woodworking jobs. I know ... in an ideal world we would all get to use our own woodworking tools and make lovely furniture and sell it for a nice profit and make a living. Sadly, reality says - this isn't going to happen to most of us - SO what are the alternatives.
One industry that I have always felt there was extra a good part-time business in, is the CNC woodworking business. For those of you who need a quick refresher, a CNC machine is nothing more than a computer controlled router. On a computer you create some sort of a graphic, like lettering for a sign for example, send that information to the router through the computer and in a while the exact same thing you input into the computer is reproduced on a piece of wood for you.
There are a number of different types of CNC machines and they have different capabilities and sizes of wood that they can accommodate, so there can be some restrictions. For example, all CNC routers will go back and forth and up and down, but some have even more control, and could for example turn the bit to 90 degrees or more to actually make three dimensional items. But all that is detail, for now we want to look at the business of creating a CNC router business.
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 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.