12 Ways to Dry Wood for Woodworking: Complete Guide

12 Ways to Dry Wood for Woodworking: Complete Guide

Need for drying a Wood

Get two planks of green wood, very moist, one in fir, the other in oak, and place them in an un-ventilated place. After a while, you will notice traces of heating

You therefore conclude that drying of the wood is necessary, whether it is soft or hard wood, and THAT THIS DRYING MUST BE RELATIVELY FAST.

Naturally, drying must take place BEFORE USE. Green wood from a recently felled log cannot be used; you understand that a work executed in green wood would not take long, as it dries, to deform, to warp.

Consequences of drying of Wood

The main consequence of drying is, as you already know, a MORE OR LESS IMPORTANT REMOVAL that the wood undergoes.

But it must be taken into account that A DRY WOOD CAN MOISTURE AGAIN, this humidification resulting in a SWELLING which can cause significant deformations.

As drying and swelling are irregular depending on the position in the tree of the flow considered, the degree of drying of a wood is therefore extremely important to know before use.

For example, for certain structural works: carpentry, shed, unpainted exterior carpentry, wood that has lost only part of its moisture is used. These woods are said to be only wiped; they give the touch of an impression of dryness.

In carpentry, semi-dry wood is also used for the openings: crossed, exterior beads.

Indeed, a window is exposed to the weather; if the wood is very dry, it will swell a lot and the window cannot be opened; if, on the contrary, the wood still contains water, it will swell less since, at a certain moment, it will no longer absorb the water and the clearance provided for the opening will be sufficient for the proper functioning of the structure . It is to curb this entry of moisture into the wood used that the works are covered with a protective coating, paint or varnish.

Note, however, that never re-wetted wood returns to its original dimensions: it takes smaller dimensions if it is re-wetted to the same degree of humidity.

Principles of drying

Have you wondered how moisture is evacuated? What were the different operations and the duration of drying?

Take again two green wooden boards, one in oak, the other in fir. Expose them to a fire. You will see that the boards have deformed:

  • that in oak has cracks: the drying was too fast; heat, having absorbed surface moisture quickly, caused abrupt removal of surface tissue while the internal tissues did not vary in size,
  • that in fir, more tender, therefore more porous, allowed the water to evacuate more easily and the withdrawal was carried out without risk of chapping.

It can therefore be said that HARDWOODS MUST DRY SLOWLY THAN SOFTWOOD.

Remember, moreover, that a soft wood generally contains less water before drying than a wood hard.

It should be noted however that the result would not have been the same if the surrounding air, very hot, had been also very humid. This is taken advantage of in the case of accelerated drying and in the manufacture of plywood. We will come back to it.

In practice, a wood is considered AIR DRY when it still contains a certain amount of water, when its MOISTURE RATE is around 15% of the weight that wood would have if it were completely without water.

Moreover, this moisture content of the wood is balanced with that of the surrounding air, generally more wet in winter than in summer.

Drying methods

Two drying methods are used:

  • natural or slow drying,
  • artificial or accelerated drying.

What is natural drying?

Natural drying is the evaporation of moisture by exposing the wood to the open air. It is slow because we generally admits one year per centimetre of thickness; so, for a board of 4 centimetres the drying would require 4 years, this rate can however be accelerated by rational stacking.

The moisture content of naturally dried dry wood, called AIR DRY, varies from 13 to 17%. He's never less than 13%, which is not enough for certain works.

What is artificial or accelerated drying?

Artificial drying allows moisture to be removed from the wood faster and more completely than by exposure to air. Currently, artificial drying is commonly used, to obtain wood having a degree humidity lower than the state of air dry wood, for example for certain works intended for very that require very dry wood to avoid warping.

Very dry wood has a humidity level of only 7 to 8%. But beware: placed in a workshop whose air is normally humidified it gradually absorbs moisture until balance is achieved by depending on the humidity level of the workshop. We must therefore hurry to implement it to avoid it regain its humidity.

Once used, this wood must be protected by a varnish; a cabinet table would be damaged if put for a long time in damp or unheated rooms. Thus, also thanks to bonding, its humidity not exceed 10% and there will be no deformation due to swelling.

Different processes are used for accelerated drying. We will study them in detail in a next lesson.

Slow or accelerated drying, which should we prefer?

The behavior of a wood depends on how it was dried.

Both dryings have their pros and cons; however, the former can be practiced by all craftsmen, while the second requires a large and expensive installation.

We will see in the following lessons how to conduct the drying of the different species and we will indicate the disadvantages and advantages of each method.

Summary

The degree of drying of the wood used must be given to the degree of humidity of the environment in which stay the work done: dry wood in a dry environment (interior); wood wiped outside.

Wood is said to be AIR DRY when its humidity is balanced with that of the air around it.

Natural drying

You saw in our last lesson that wood drying is done by two methods.

Let's study the oldest: natural drying.

How to conduct this drying

When you exposed your oak plank to blazing fire, cracking occurred; if you expose boards in the sun, you will get the same result. There will be a loss of wood in the flow as a result deterioration and disposal of a certain amount of material.

Should we then stack the boards on top of each other to slow drying?

You have already seen drying hay that you want to keep for the winter: we are starting to spread it in the open air so that it loses its humidity, then it is brought in when it is very dry; if it was brought in wet, it would heat up and mold. It is the same for wood: if we did not take the same precautions, it would heat up.

These two examples clearly show that the drying of wood must be carried out with caution.

What are the different operations?

The NATURE OF THE WOOD (hard or soft) and the DEBIT mode (in studs or in planks).

Natural drying takes place in three stages:

  1. a) Wiping which is the temporary exhibition at the sawmill of soft and resinous wooden boards, freshly sawn.
  2. b) Stacking, which consists of placing the wood to be dried in the open air; the wood remains in piles until it has become air dry, until it no longer risks damage on wood on wood.

This degree of drying can be assessed by empirical methods, such as sound, but it is worth make better use of scientific processes, such as the electric hygrometer.

  1. c) Storage which aims to remove the wood from external humidity; the wood is stacked at the shelter in the stores for final drying.

Wiping

A wood is wiped when it no longer causes a feeling of humidity when the hand passes.

In fact, wiping is an artisanal process and generally lasts only a short time. Good stacking done is actually enough

Stacking of softwoods

When the saw falls, the planks are stacked so as to reduce the surfaces as much as possible. contact. It is a lame stack, on the ground (fig. 1) or against any support (fig. 2)

When the surface of the wood is relatively dry, the boards are mounted in hollow, triangular stacks (fig. 3) or square (fig. 4); this is the stack used by artisan sawmills

The piles are established on construction sites which are large pieces, in scrap wood but healthy, that is to say free from worms, so as not to contaminate the sawn timber.

Why are the sites of large section? They must be thick to avoid any contact of the wood with moist soil. The distance between the bottom plank and the floor should be 30 to 50 cm if possible.

  • Care must be taken to ensure that the sites are level.
  • Note that sometimes the sites are replaced by masonry dice.
  • Woods containing more than their water constitution are stacked in grids (fig. 5).
  • The structural parts, planks, bastaings, are piled up by beds (fig. 6).
  • The first bed rests on well aligned, well planed sites, spaced at a maximum of 1.50 m.

Why so many precautions? If the sites were not aligned, the wood, when drying, would deform; suppose the middle site lower than the other two; once dry, all the planks would be hollow.

The various beds are separated by soft wooden rods 15 to 20 millimetres thick by 30 millimetres in width, called a pin.

The pins, all of the same thickness, are always placed directly above the work sites to avoid deformations. They allow air circulation between the beds. Thick pins increase the drying speed; thin pins are used to slow drying.

The spacing between the pins varies from 30 to 60 centimetres depending on the thickness of the boards: the more boards are thin, the more the pins must be brought together.

Stacking of hardwoods

We know that hardwoods require slow drying. The stacking of hardwoods is different depending on the wood is cut into plots or planks.

  1. a) The logs cut into studs are reconstituted on well aligned sites. The first board, the lower back, is removed to give more stability to the stack.

The boards are separated by pins so that the air is renewed well (fig. 7).

Note the arrangement of pins at the end of the boards. Why ? By that a board dries faster at its end than in the middle, and you have seen that drying causes cracks.

The purpose of the pins is therefore to slow down the drying at the end, therefore partially avoid the drying slots.

Also note that the pins generally protrude a few millimetres at the end of the boards (fig. 7); this is certainly so that the drop shadow produced by the pins somewhat slows down the end drying.

For the same purpose, we also nail cleats at the end of the boards. Sometimes in the trays, we push pieces of iron in the shape of an “S” (fig. 7) in order to limit the drying slots.

Finally, the ends of the trays can also be coated with ordinary paint or paint containing emulsion waxes; this process completely removes the slots, saves nails and allows save a lot of time in manpower.

  1. b) The hardwoods aligned or edged are stacked by plank beds between which one spares space of 2 to 3 centimetres (fig. 8).

13-Fig. 8 Each bed is separated by pins placed directly above the construction sites. The stacks must only contain boards of the same gasoline, of the same thickness and cut at the same time to protect them from heavy rain and the sun, the batteries will be covered with a roof made of scrap boards.

Periodically, the boards can be un-stacked, the wood having stayed in the upper part passing to the lower part; we thus regulates the drying and one can notice in time alterations that may occur.

Wood partially dried in the open air is stored in a store, which must be dry and ventilated, however well closed, on paved or cemented ground; the openings must be oriented, as far as possible possible, so as to receive dry winds blowing in the region.

Hardwoods are stacked and pinned just like on the job site. However, when the woods are perfectly dry, it is sometimes advantageous for thin woods to remove the pins and stack flat. We can thus correct certain deformations occurring during drying.

SOFT AND SOFTWOOD TIMBER is often pricked upright. To facilitate the choice of planks, we can prepare them in such a way as to handle them pages of a book (fig. 9).

As, unfortunately, the ends of the boards are rarely square, their lower end is made to rest on a batten placed on the ground.

The smell from a store must be pleasant. One should never keep worm-eaten wood in store as it will contaminate healthy wood.

Summary

Drying requires a lot of care. It includes different operations: wiping, stacking, storage.

The stacking and storage of hardwoods and softwoods are different, the latter having to dry faster.

Accelerated drying

After natural drying, let's study the different drying acceleration processes that make up this also called artificial drying.

Desiccation

One of the advantageous methods consists in replacing the sap of green wooden logs with water: this is the desiccation, in other words the elimination of the sap.

In particular, its advantage is to eliminate the starch from the sap which would subsequently be eaten by insects and destroyed by fungi: the wood therefore keeps better.

Desiccation is done by floating before flow or by steam after flow.

By float before flow

This process is used especially for light woods, softwoods in particular. It is more difficult to use with heavy woods, oak for example; logs may sink.

Two methods can be used:

  1. a) Floating with hot water: the sap is soluble in hot water; however the temperature does not must not be too high, otherwise the sap coagulates. This process is little used.
  2. b) Floating in a river or pond: the wood is immersed in running water for a period of 15 days to 1 month or more, or in standing water for 1 to 2 months. The wood is then stacked for drying.

The water evaporates faster than the sap, which results in a certain acceleration of drying. But the practice shows that there is only an acceleration at the beginning of drying, but more thereafter, on the contrary. The gain of drying time is therefore illusory.

But a softwood log kept by floating has the advantage of being wetter when sawing; it is therefore easier to saw; then just use a saw with a large enough pitch.

Steam after flow: This is called TUBING.

The boards are stacked without pins in a well-closed chamber in masonry called an oven. We introduces steam so that the temperature is around 80 °. Wood softens, fabrics distends and is penetrated by the vapor which carries the severe water. The wood is dried up when the water, leaving the oven, no longer has any color.

The boards are taken out of the oven and exposed to air for 1 to 3 months: this is wiping; we stack them then in stores.

In conclusion, desiccation makes it possible to have woods which dry more quickly at the start and which are rid of a large amount of nutrients that normally attract insects and cause the development of fungi. Thus, they keep better than dried wood naturally. Remember that saving drying time is not appreciable if you want to obtain by this process very dry woods.

Drying With Hot and Humid Air

With desiccation, there is another artificial drying process: drying with hot and humid air.

You have observed that wet soil dries quickly in summer. The reason is very simple: dry air and warm absorbs moisture. On the other hand, if the air is hot and humid, after a storm for example, the soil dries slower. Also, you may have noticed that a detergent can dry very quickly on certain days without sun on the condition that the air is dry, certainly faster than when the air is warmer but strongly wet. It is on these remarks that this drying process is based: the speed of drying depends not only heat, but the hygrometric state of the air.

The woods are stacked on pins in a dryer. A stream of hot, humid air passes between the boards and absorbs moisture from the wood. Thus, the rate of evaporation is tempered by the high humidity of hot air and wood does not tend to split as it would if the air was dry (remember the experience of boards subject to rapid evaporation). In practice, we start the ventilation with air that is almost cold and becomes all the more humid the warmer it becomes; then at as the wood becomes drier, the warm air is humidified less and less. We will only study neither does this process, for you will agree that it is very delicate; it is the work of skilled workers knowing their job thoroughly.

Advantages and disadvantages of different drying

Slow drying can be practiced by all, but it has the disadvantage of immobilizing important capital due to the huge amount of wood remaining on the site; moreover, it cannot provide sufficiently dry wood for use in interior carpentry, furniture.

On the contrary, accelerated drying is used by wood merchants and those who need more wood dry than natural drying allows because, building an expensive oven or dryer, it must be amortized by constant use.

Does wood experience different drying without damage?

Until recent years there has been a justified distrust of artificially dried wood; some had been mistreated in the dryers, had not been monitored during drying by staff insufficiently aware of the technique used, resulting in internal slits which adversely affected the flow solidity of the works and their conservation. The wood was not healthy enough.

BUT THIS CHALLENGE MUST NOW DISAPPEAR. Constant improvements in installations and the training followed by drying technicians and workers, the care and attention with which they are surrounded all drying operations are such that we can now, without second thought, use wood artificially dried.

You now know LE BOIS. You know that the tree is a living being, subject to faults and diseases. There are immense forests in the world which give various species in density, in color, in resistance.

The wood is cut according to different processes which vary with the species and its destination. In addition, in the In most cases, the wood must undergo appropriate drying before being used. The characteristics that have been given, the knowledge you have acquired will allow you to better study the material which was the first used by men.

The following lessons will be devoted to the study of tools for woodworking.

Source – http://www.lescopeaux.asso.fr/Rombauts/PDF/Rombauts_12.pdf

TedsWoodworking Plans and Projects

12 Easy & Fun Things to Build with Wood

12 Easy & Fun Things to Build with Wood

Woodworking is a really fun and productive hobby to get into, but it does come with a steep learning curve. If you are a complete beginner woodworker and want to build something, it is best to start with something simple and then work your way to more complex projects from there as you start to master the skill. In this article, we have compiled 12 easy & fun things to build with wood, ones that don’t require much skill or experience and can be worked on with just a few common tools.

1. Basic Wall Shelf

Tools Required:-

  • Power drill
  • Saw
  • Paintbrush
  • Measuring tape

Materials Needed:-

  • Screws
  • 1×4 Wood planks
  • 2×2 Wood planks
  • Paint or Stain
  • Sandpaper

Estimated Time Commitment: 1-2 hours

Making a basic wood shelf is one of the easiest woodworking projects you can do. To begin, start by cutting two 2×2 of appropriate length and position them vertically on the opposing sides of two parallelly placed 1x4s. Secure the setup in place with screws using the power drill.

Afterward, measure the distance between the two positioned 2×2. Cut another 2×2 plank of this length and fit it vertically at the bottom. Over it, place a single 1×4 and screw them for securing in place.

Drill large holes on the top on opposing sides. Afterward, use sandpaper to lightly sand the surface of your shelf and apply paint or a wood stain. Wait for it to dry,and you’re done!

Of course, this is just one way to build a simple wood shelf. You can also make a more standard one with a square opening to put items on or add more levels to it. The design choices at your disposal are endless. Checkout our free woodworking plans for more shelf ideas.

Note: If the cut-out faces of your planks are uneven, simply use sandpaper to level and smoothen them.

2. Sofa Shelf

Tools Required:-

  • Power Drill
  • Saw
  • Paintbrush
  • Measuring tape

Materials Needed:-

  • Wood Glue
  • 1×8 plywood
  • Screws
  • Stain

Estimated Time Commitment: 1 hour

This one is an even easier woodworking project but one that can immensely add to your convenience while sitting on the sofa. First, start by measuring the width of the sofa arm and then cut a 1×8 a widthone inch greater than it.

Now cut two more 1x8s of equal length and glue them vertically to the opposing sides of the primary plank. Once the glue has dried, secure them in place with screws. Sand away any uneven edges then apply the stain. Never again would you need to look for a place for hot beverages while seated on your couch.

3. Oriental Coffee Table

Tools Required:-

  • Power drill
  • Saw
  • Paintbrush
  • Measuring tape

Materials Needed:-

  • 2×4 wood planks
  • 4×4 wood planks
  • Screws
  • Paint or stain
  • Wood glue
  • Masking tape

Estimated Time Commitment: 1-2 hours

Here is one really extraordinary yet undemanding thing to build with wood – an oriental coffee table that will greatly contribute to the overall aesthetic of any room. Start by placing 624-inch 2x4s back to back at levels. Cut two 24 in planks of 4×4 and place them at a right angle to the 2x4s at the extreme sides. Secure the setting in place with screws.

Now cut out two 16-inches 4×4 and place them to fill over the remaining two extreme sides of the table. Cut four 7-inch 4x4s to serve as legs and position them with wood glue in the interior surface at the edges where the longer 4×4 plank meet. Secure ever with screws.

Lightly sand the surface and apply the stain. Alternately, you could paint the surface, using the masking tape as a means to create elaborate painted designs on the tabletop surface.

4. Wall Planter

Tools Required:-

  • Power drill
  • Saw
  • Pencil

Materials Needed:-

  • 1×8 wood planks (water-resistant)
  • Screws
  • Strings

Estimated Time Commitment: 30 minutes

Whether hanging on the exterior or interior, wall planters can certainly make a fine decoration to anyone’s home. Building one is super easy. Simply cut out two 2x8s of longer length and two 2x8s of shorter length. Screw them in place so that it forms a rectangle.

Now, form an outline of it on a wood plank with the pencil and cut it to serve as the planter’s base. Screw it secure and afterward, drill four holes, each on the top opposing sides of the longer length 2x8s. Attach strings, add dirt and plants,and you’re done.

Note: Driving a screw with a power drill through thin wood can risk causing it to splinter. Consider driving a pilot hole first to avoid such an issue from occurring.

5. Fancy Candle Holders

Tools Required:-

  • Power drill
  • Saw
  • Paintbrush
  • Pencil

Materials Needed:-

  • 1×8 plywood
  • Screws
  • Stain
  • Wood glue
  • Sandpaper

Estimated Time Commitment: 30 minutes

These candle holders can really look wonderful ones done and should make a nice decoration item for your bedroom, living room, or anywhere else. Begin by cutting 4 rectangular pieces of plywood of suitable lengths. Fit them together with wood glue to form a rectangular two open-sided box.

Now, place it over the plywood,draw an outline of the bottom and cut out the base. Secure it to the structure with wood glue. Once dried, sand the surface and apply the stain. You can either opt to place an existing candle inside it or choose to fill up its cavity with hot wax and insert a wick.

6.Tree Swing

Tools Required:-

  • Power drill
  • Saw

Materials Needed:-

  • 2×8 wood plank
  • Durable nylon rope
  • Sealer

Estimated Time Commitment: 30 minutes

If you have a tree in your garden, why not add a swing to it? Making a swing is a straightforward DIY project. To start, first cut a 2×8 of the desired length and drill four large holes near its four corners. Use a sealer to serve as a protective coating for the swing plank against the harshness of the outdoor elements.

Afterward, Insert the nylon rope into one of the holes on the side and take it out from the other.Knot that end with the rest of the rope near the plank swing so that it forms a triangle shape. Repeat on the other side. Now simply tie the end of the nylon ropes to a thick enough tree branch, and you are done.

7. Wine Holder

Tools Required:-

  • Power drill
  • Paintbrush

Materials Needed:-

  • 2×8 wood plank
  • Rope
  • Sandpaper
  • Stain

Estimated Time Commitment: 20 minutes

In need of a wine holder? Why not built yourself one?The design of the wine holder mentioned here is uncomplicated; it doesn’t even require you to cut anything! Just take a 2×8 of a suitable length and make large holes into it diagonally.

Afterward, make four smaller holes on the opposing four corners. Once that is done, sand the surface and apply 2-3 even coats of stain. Once it is dried, attach and knot two separate ropes for the purpose of hanging (make sure it is secure).  Hang it and in the larger holes, insert the neck of the wine bottles to hold them in place.

8. Pencil Holder

Tools Required:-

  • Power drill
  • Engraving tool
  • Pencil
  • Saw
  • Paint brush
  • Ruler
  • Sander

Materials Needed:-

  • 4×4 wood plank
  • Sandpaper
  • Stain

Estimated Time Commitment: 1-2 hours

This is a simple DIY that can make for a perfect addition to your work table or can be given as a gift to a fellow colleague. Cut a 4×4 of a suitable length and smoothen off the edges until it forms a squircle. Use a sander for the purpose, if possible,as doing so with sandpaper might really be a highly time-consuming effort.

Now using a pencil and ruler, on the top surface, make a 1×1 grid. Using a drill bit of the appropriate size, make holes at the center of each grid.  Once that is done, draw an interesting design on one or all four vertical sides of the block with a pencil. Use the engraver tool to etch them into the wood.

Afterward, lightly sand the surface and apply an even coating of stain. You’re now done!

9. Basket Stand

Tools Required:-

  • Power drill
  • Saw
  • Paintbrush
  • Ruler

Materials Needed:-

  • 2×2 wood plank
  • 2×6 wood plank
  • Wood glue
  • Screws
  • Sandpaper
  • String
  • Paint

Estimated Time Commitment: 1 hour

A basket stand can make for a perfect decorative item for your outdoors and it is incredibly uncomplicated to make. Cut two 2x2s and two 2x2s of three feet and one foot respectively. Glue the pieces together to make a rectangular frame. Secure firmly with screws.

Now cut a 2×6 that is at least 1 foot 2 inches long and on top of its surface at the center, glue one end of the frame and screw it in place. On the opposing end, make a hole at the center.

Lightly sand the surface of the wooden structure and apply 1-3 coatings of paint. Afterward, using a string tied to the hole, hang a basket or light planter in the middle of it.

10. Welcome Mat

Tools Required:-

  • Power Drill
  • Saw

Materials Needed:-

  • 1×1 wood planks
  • Rope
  • Sealer

Estimated Time Commitment: 3 hours

Make a stellar impression to incoming guests to your house with a beautiful DIY wooden welcome mat. Start by cutting 15-20 1×1 wood planks of suitable size. At two equidistant points from the center and the opposing ends along the length of the planks, drill a hole. Apply a sealer to protect the wood from the elements.

Knot one end of a rope and insert it into one of the holes in the plank. Make another knot at the point the rope comes out from that hole and then insert the remaining rope through the hole on the next plank. Repeat the process with the rest of the remaining planks and then work the same on the other hole on the planks. Once you have completed that, you’re finished with creating your welcome mat.

11. Bookends

Tools Needed:-

  • Saw
  • Hot glue gun
  • Sander
  • Pencil
  • Paintbrush
  • Engraver tool

Materials Needed:-

  • 6×6 wood planks
  • Felt
  • Stain

Time Commitment Required: 1 hour

Bookends can be a great way to keep your reading collection more organized. Rather than purchase a pair from the market, consider making them yourself. Start by cutting a block 6x6x6 and make a line running diagonally between it. Cut it accordingly afterward.

Then, with your pencil, make designs on the surface of the two triangular blocks and engrave with the engraver tool. Lightly sand the surface and apply a coating or two of stain and wait for it to dry.

To prevent the blocks from sliding, we will need to attach felt to its bottom surface. Using ordinary glue doesn’t provide the best result so consider using a hot glue gun instead.

12. Basic Bench

Tools Needed:-

  • Power drill
  • Saw
  • Paintbrush

Materials Needed:-

  • 2×4 wood planks
  • Screws
  • Wood glue
  • Paint or Stain
  • Sealer

Time Commitment Required: 2 hours

Need a bench for your lawn, balcony, or terrace? Building it yourself can be both more fun and economical than purchasing one from the market. First, take three 5 feet 2x4s and glue them together so that their 2-inch sides to form the bench seat.

Afterward, on the underside, glue two 12-inch 2×4 at a right angle to the bench seat and at opposing ends equidistant away from the center to serve as support beams. Secure the entire structure in place with screws.

Now cut four 2 feet 2x4s to serve as the bench legs and glue them next to the support beams. Afterward,screw in place. Lightly sand the newly formed bench and then apply 2-3 coatings of paint or wood stain. Use a sealer to further add a layer of protective coating.

Which of these DIY easy woodworking project did you like the most? Have any ideas of your own on interesting things to build with wood? Tell us in the comments below. For more great woodworking tips and ideas, be sure to visit our home page or browse through our excellent list of DIY wood project articles by clicking here.

TedsWoodworking Plans and Projects

The Power Tool Guide: Miter Saw – Is It an Absolute Necessity or a Luxury?

The Power Tool Guide: Miter Saw – Is It an Absolute Necessity or a Luxury?

When it comes to woodworking, there’s an old adage, “you say sawdust like it’s a bad thing.” It’s a mess to clean up, yes, but it would surprise some of you to know that there are some machines designed specifically to create sawdust. While definitely not one of them, a miter saw is a great woodworking tool and an equally ‘messy’ tool as it creates a lot of saw dust.

A miter saw makes cutting wood a lot easier; whether it’s straight cuts, angles or even bevels.

Also known as a chop saw or the mitresaw in Europe, it’s a semi-stationary tool that every aspiring woodworker wants to have.  However, a debate as old as the tool itself has been going on between whether a miter is absolutely necessary or not, and is it a good investment? Table saws have less limitations, but are very costly.

Here, we shall address these questions and try to help you make a decision about the miter saw and whether you should invest in it or not.

Miter Saw – What Can It Do?

One of the quickest ways to make cross cuts and miter cuts is with the help of a miter saw. All it takes is placing your piece of wood at an angle and bringing the head down. On the other hand, you can also go with sliding your miter at an angle if it supports it, place your piece of wood down and viola; you have yourself a miter cut.

If you’re someone who likes to make picture frames or holders for your laptops, tablets, custom charging stations or other ‘square’ holders for your gadgets, a miter saw will go a long way in helping you out.

Function

The miter saw has a large blade mounted on its head – perhaps the most prominent part of the power tool – which has a spring behind it that holds it upright. There is a blade guard on the head that retracts automatically as you pull the head down.

This isn't just useful for protecting your hand but also to ensure that the saw dust gets directed away from you. You can use this to collect the dust and use it elsewhere. It is important to keep track of your hands when using the miter saw since it is more than easy to get hurt with the miter saw. That’s why it is considered one of the most dangerous power tools out there.

The best of miter saws has a ‘miter adjuster’ that can rotate the saw head to create angles up to 45 degrees in relation to the fence. You’ll see that the adjuster snaps at commonly used angles such as 10 degrees, 12, 15, 20, 25, 30, and 45. This makes it easier to ensure that you have the right angle.

However, the accuracy mostly depends on how you calibrate the saw when you buy it. You can find instructions on how to calibrate your miter saw in the manual included in the packaging.

The on/off button is on the handle which you have to squeeze tightly to turn the saw on. This is a rather useful application since the tightness means that it also actslike a dead man’s switch. And no, this isn't one of those alerts a website or software sends out after inactivity, but one that immediately shuts off power to the blade in case there is a lack of human operator.

The blade stops rather quickly, which means that in case of an accident, within a few milliseconds the blade is at a slow enough speed so as not to cut your hand but leave behind nothing more than a scrape or scratch. A rather deep scratch, though, so take every precaution you can before using it.

Sizes

Miter saws are measured by cut capacity and blade diameters. The cut capacity of most miter saws, even compound ones, is about a quarter of an inch less than the side of the blade. Using the wrong-sized blade on a miter is ill-advised, to say the least.

Miter saws usually come in three different sizes:

  • 7 ½ inches
  • 10 inches and
  • 12 inches

In our experience, the 7-inch miter saws are useful only for cutting pieces of wood with a width of up to 6 or 6 ½ inches – which is not much, really. We found that these saws are much more useful for those in the plumbing business, not woodworking.

If you’re looking for a miter saw that can be a good companion for all your woodworking plans, we recommend going for the 12 or 10-inch saws. However, one of the major factors to consider when buying these blades is the cost of blades.

12-inch blades are much more expensive than 10-inch, while 7-inch are the most cost-effective options. However, as mentioned above, 7-inch won’t be of much use to you.

Is It Really Necessary?

Compound miter saws have a head that tilts so that you can use bevels easily, making crosscutting, miter cuts and bevels a lot easier. Most saws you’ll find out there are compound miter saws. However, they have one major limitation; the head size dictates how wide your cuts can be.

To cut pieces of wood longer than the blade’s diameter, you need a sliding miter saw – which is nothing short of expensive. Table saw expensive. These miter saws have a rail on which the head slides to reach farther.

While miters are safe, table saws have more utility.

At the same time, for those of you on a budget, you can make all the cuts a miter can help you make with a simple saw – even bevels! It’ll take you some time, but with a little grit and dedication you’ll get the job done and make the most out of your woodworking plan.

So, while the miter saw is a helpful and powerful tool, it isn’t an absolute necessity. However, we won’t go as far as to say that it’s a luxury either. It’s a tool that if you can afford, you should buy it – but not one that you should go out of your way to buy.

If you think we’re wrong or simply would like to share your thoughts with us, we welcome you to leave a comment below!

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Top 20 Professional Wood Carving Tools for your Next Woodworking Project

Top 20 Professional Wood Carving Tools for your Next Woodworking Project

Working with your hands can leave you feeling fulfilled and accomplished. There is a silence and peace that comes from hand skills like wood carving. This traditional skill involves using cutting tools on raw wood, resulting in beautiful works of art, from wooden figurines to large statues, doors, furniture, and ceiling decorations. Also known as whittling, wood carving can be artistic or non-artistic. Carving wood can be a worthwhile hobby to relieve stress and provide an immense sense of satisfaction. There are many wood carving tools for sale to cater for both beginners and pros. If you are not sure what to get, many starter kits offer a decent collection of cutting tools and accessories. The essential beginner’s set has a chisel, spoon carving tool, whittling knife, and chip carving knife.

20 Best Wood Carving Tools: Let’s Get Started!

Purchasing a wood carving toolset is advisable because it saves money and ensures you have the right tool for any project you are working on. Having a kit with different blade shapes ensures you have the right tool for your needs. No matter what your skill level is, these hand wood carving tools possess the versatility to take on any woodwork project. When choosing the right carving tools, you need to consider the quality of the handles and the blades. Most blades are made from carbon steel, but their hardness levels differ. The strength of the blades you pick determines the type of wood you’ll be able to work with. Use and maintain them as recommended by the manufacturer. With proper maintenance, certain brands keep their razor-sharp edges for more than a decade. If you’re a beginner, it’s advisable to start with manual tools because they’re easier to master.

1. Elemental Tools 9pc Wood Carving Tools Set

This whittling kit is ideal for first-time carvers. It includes a hook carving knife, Sloyd knife, detail knife, polishing compound, and strap, cut resistant gloves, and storage box. The package includes a wooden spoon blank so you can start carving right away. After you’re done, you can move on to more complex projects. Each blade features high carbon steel with sturdy walnut handles. The convenient bamboo storage box keeps the tools safe and organized, making this kit a perfect gift idea for anyone who’d like to try their hand at wood carving.

2. BeaverCraft Wood Carving Kit

A perfect choice for adult beginners as well as children, this starter wood carving kit contains two wooden blocks (cherry and basswood), a sharp wood carving knife, a birdie cut out with safety tape, leather strop kit and sandpaper. With a convenient booklet and a video tutorial, these tools are ideal for carving out a comfort bird that brings relief for people suffering from anxiety, physical or psychological trauma. Get one for your teen or get two and enjoy the hobby together!

3. Gimars Upgrade 12 Set SK5 Carbon Steel Wood Carving Tools

For the discriminating buyer, this kit has 12 different tools that are guaranteed to help you fall in love with wood carving. Everything a beginner might need is here, including a deep gouge, medium gouge, shallow gouge, narrow straight chisel, wide straight chisel, four angled chisels, parting tool, and pinpoint tool. The sharp blades are made of high-quality SK5 carbon steel with a protective coating. These Japanese wood carving tools are ideal for working on all types of wood, clay, or soapstone, and can be used for all sorts of projects like stencils, patterns, touching up antique furniture or figurines. With sharp blades and comfortable wooden grips, this fantastic set will serve you for years.

4. BeaverCraft S15 Whittling Wood Carving Kit

Perfect for delicate whittling, this wood carving kit from BeaverCraft is equally suitable for beginners and experienced carvers. Everything you might need is here – a whittling knife, roughing knife, chip carving knife, leather strop, and polishing compound, along with a convenient pouch to pack everything up when you’re not using it. These fantastic knives have ergonomic wooden handles for those who appreciate comfort when working on wood. The razor-sharp tips allow for precision cutting and detailing on totems and ornamental crafts.

5. Enlow 4pc Carving Tool Set and Carving Faces Workbook

These professional wood carving tools are endorsed by Harold Enlow, one of America’s woodcarving masters. The boxed set includes 5/16 bent #8, 9/64 bent V, 5/32 Bent U 1/4 skew, and W-1 tool steel Rockwell 58-62. Each sharp tool has a hardwood handle. The gem in this set is the workbook by Enlow, packed with tips and techniques that are guaranteed to help you carve breathtaking, lifelike faces.

6. Angle Grinder Disc Woodworking Tool

This woodworking blade is made of tungsten carbide and is ideal for rapid removal and shaping of convex and concave areas (curved work). The tungsten carbide coating has hundreds of sharp teeth that remove residue instantly. This blade is ideal for carving, shaping, polishing, and grinding. It is more effective and more durable than hundreds of sandpaper pads, saving you time and effort. Ensure you use the appropriate wood carving tools for angle grinder attachment.

7. Dremel 2050-15 Stylo

This versatile electric wood carving tool makes a great choice for wood engraving, glass etching, leather burnishing, jewelry making, and polishing. The slim lightweight design offers maximum control for precise etching, engraving, polishing, and sanding applications. The rotary has a variable speed of 5,000 to 22,000 RPM. The Dremel wood carving tool has a quiet and compact motor and a recessed collet lock to change accessories conveniently.

8. Hide & Drink Leather Thumb Guard

This handcrafted wood carving accessory is made from soft full-grain leather, and it’s just as important as any other tool you might need. You wear it over the thumb to protect it from injury when cutting wood. The high-quality leather is durable and guaranteed to keep your thumb safe from cuts when working with sharp blades. Made in Guatemala, this finely hand-stitched leather thumb guard comes with a 101-year warranty. With time and use, the leather ages gracefully with a beautiful and unique tarnish.

9. BeaverCraft Wood Carving Gouge Chisel 7L/22

Perfect for cutting deep recesses and hollowing out wood, this wood carving chisel is a fantastic choice for creating beautiful bowls and spoons. It’s ready to use straight out of the box and doesn’t need sharpening. The blade features high carbon steel, and the comfortable handle allows long woodwork without blisters and wrist fatigue. Purchasing any BeaverCraft woodworking tool provides access to free e-books and other useful resources.

10. Flexcut Right-Handed Carvin’ Jack

This folding multi-tool for woodcarving has four tools built-in for right-handed carvers. The six sharpened tools include a chisel, carving knife, hook knife, V scorp, gouge scorp, and a straight gouge. The carbon steel blades have black aluminum handles with wood inlay. They securely lock in when they are in the open or closed position. Also included are sharpening strop, a durable tan leather belt sheath, and Flexcut Gold polishing compound. Portable and convenient, it’s a perfect choice for hobbyists as well as professionals.

11. VonHaus 16pc Wood Carving Tool Set

This complete introductory wood carving toolset is ideal for novice woodcarvers. With five short palm wood knives, seven long shaft carving tools, two 12. files, a sharpening stone, and a mallet, it has everything you might need at an affordable price. The high-quality chrome vanadium steel blades are heat-treated for superior strength and durability to tackle intricate and demanding tasks. Each tool has an easy-grip octagonal wooden handle for ultimate control when cutting and shaping. After you’re done, pack everything up in a convenient black canvas case with elastic holders and elasticated top pockets.

12. BeaverCraft Sloyd Knife C4 3.14″

This fantastic wood carving knife has a thin pointed tip for delicate wood cutting, making it a perfect choice for detail-intensive work. The blade has a rounded part that can cut in hollow areas, make rolls, or slice cuts. The high carbon steel blade is sharp and polished, and the ergonomic hardwood oak handle prevents fatigue. Ideal for softwood and hardwoods like oak or walnut, this Sloyd knife guarantees smooth and shiny cuts.

13. Mikisyo Power Grip Carving Tools

These Japanese wood carving tools are primarily used for hand-chiseling and carving. Included in the set are 3 mm #9 gouge, 6 mm #8 gouge, 7.5 mm skew chisel, 7.5 mm straight chisel, and 4.5 mm v-parting tool. Each piece has a 4½” wooden handle and the laminated steel blades measure 1¼”. These sturdy tools are sharp out of the box and work well on softwood. The handle shape and the short blade length allows holding them like a pencil for perfect, precise control, and the set is packed securely in a convenient storage box.

14. BeaverCraft Wood Carving Hook Knife SK1

This handy knife is ideal for carving out spoons, bowls, cups, kuksa, and other personalized functional pieces, making it a perfect introductory woodworking tool. This crooked knife curves out quick, accurate cuts, allowing for edge engagement and hand clearance. The high-quality carbon steel blade is sharp enough to cut oak and walnut. While this hook carving knife is designed with beginners in mind, even seasoned carvers will be able to put it to good use.

15. Waycom 24pcs Professional Chisel Set

This professional wood carving set is also perfect for beginners to help develop their skills, offering tools that can meet any woodworking requirements. The blades are made of carbon steel with electrolyte coating. With different blade sizes of curved knives, flat knives, oblique knives, circular knives, lying round knives, an angle cutter, and bending knife, this kit can easily meet all your needs. Offering great value for money, it’s also a perfect gift idea for any hobbyist.

16. Wen 2305 Rotary Tool Kit

This versatile power wood carving tool has the power to carve, cut, grind, deburr, engrave, shape, drill, and polish all types of surfaces. Packed with over 80 accessories with a wide variety of bits, sanding discs, polishing pads, and mandrels, this rotary tool makes a perfect addition to any toolbox. With a variable speed of 8,000 to 30,000 RPM, you’ll be able to create intricate designs and reach tight places with ease.

17. BeaverCraft S14 Wood Carving Tools

Featuring a spoon knife, whittling knife, and a long bent gouge, this set is perfect for carving wooden spoons, Kuksas, bowls, cups, and scoops. The oak handles feature an ergonomic design for reduced fatigue, as well as a linseed oil coating. The blades are razor-sharp right out of the box and should be used with protective gloves to prevent accidental cuts. These sturdy tools are corrosion resistant and ready to create beautiful, unique objects.

18. Fycooler 17pc HardWood Carving Tool Kit

With eight different types of knives, this fantastic set is sure to meet all your woodcarving needs. The kit also includes nine auxiliary tools, cleaning cloths, sandpapers, sharpening stones, and a cleaning brush. The blades are made of SKS7 carbon steel, which is more durable than SK2, for easy hollow carving, chip carving, and relief carving.

19. Augsun 20pc Wood Carving Knife Set

With 12 carbon steel carving knives, a whetstone, carpenter pencil, wooden ruler, sandpapers, and wipe cloths, this knife set has everything a beginner woodcarver could wish for. The ergonomic wooden handles measure 4.3″ for a comfortable, reliable grip. The high-quality carbon steel blades and a wide variety of knives ensure you’re ready for any woodcarving challenge. The kit also features a convenient carry case. These tools are ideal for carving, sculpting, cutting, modeling, graining, and scraping on wood, soapstone, and clay.

20. Arteza Hobby Knife Kit

This kit comes with 13 assorted blades, a self-healing cutting mat, and three anodized aluminum handles for precision, trimming, and cutting. The protective storage container has a magnetic strip to keep all the SK5 steel blades secure and organized. The blades are made from high-quality tungsten Japanese steel while the handles feature corrosion-resistant anodized aluminum. This kit is ideal for general cutting, carving, correcting, stenciling, fine-angle cutting, stripping, and trimming.

Conclusion

We hope our selection will help you make the right choice, as the wood carving tools above are exceptional in terms of material as well as customer ratings. There are many tools out there at various price points.

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15 Best & Easy-to-Use Tools for Woodworking

15 Best & Easy-to-Use Tools for Woodworking

Woodworking can be a whole lot of fun, but you’ll only be able to truly enjoy it if you have the right tools for it. There are so many tools for woodworking that consist of a combination of hand tools and power tools. Each serves a specific purpose and is distinctive from the other in terms of usage, design, size, and function.

If you are a keen hobbyist and wish to learn the art of woodworking to perfection, you must be well-equipped with some of the basic supplies for woodworking and know how to use them. You will also notice that having the required tools brings great ease and accuracy to any wood-based project or work.

To help you get started and familiar with woodworking equipment, here is the ultimate woodworking tools list that will help you create beautiful objects without anyone’s help. Whether you follow free woodworking plans or are taking paid courses online, these tools for woodworking are an absolute must-have.

Here are some easy to use Tools for Woodworking:

Utility Knife

Perhaps the most basic yet vital of all tools is a utility knife that’s commonly used for cleaning and cutting joints. They often come with disposable blades that make storage very easy as the blades slide inside the tool.

Chisels

This is of the most important tools for wood turning, without which you aren’t likely to get a lot of work done. Woodworking chisels are basically hand tools with a long blade, a handle with a mallet or hammer, and a squared edge that is mainly used for cutting wood as well to refine the edges of the final product. You can also use wood turning chisels to carve the wood that you’re working with.

  • Mortise Chisels

These are a special type of woodworking chisels that are used to remove the wood waste. They are also used to chop mortises and insert a tenon onto the wooden object.

Clamps

These are super versatile tools for woodworking that are mainly used to hold together wooden pieces in place. Woodworking clamps help hold freshly glued joints well in place till they’ve completely dried up. Given the usefulness of these tools, it is said that one can never have enough wood turning clamps!

Claw Hammer

Making wooden objects without a claw hammer is like baking a cake without flour. In other words, a claw hammer makes for an extremely important tool for woodworking, and it’s primarily used to drive nails into an object or to extract nails from an object.

Saws

Woodworking requires a lot of cutting to get the right-sized pieces of wood, as well as wood pieces that are in the right shape. There are so many different types of woodworking saws, each of which is used for a unique purpose. Here are some of the most basic ones:

  • Traditional Handsaw

This is one of the most commonly used wood turning saws and comes with a wedge-shaped blade and features a pistol grip handle. The best part about this tool is that it has a sturdy grip with an ergonomic design that minimizes the risk of slippage. The design also speeds up the wood-cutting process.

  • Backsaw

One of the most noticeable features of these woodworking saws is the stiffening rib located on its upper side. This particular feature of the backsaw gives it better control and allows for more precise and accurate cutting compared to other types of saws.

  • Coping Saw

With a thin blade encompassed within a D-shaped frame, the coping saw is one of the most simple and useful woodworking saws out there. It allows you to cut intricate pieces of wood. This type of saw can also be used to cut up pieces of wood roughly as well as to remove wood waste from the joints.

Jigs

The main purpose of woodworking jigs is to make sure that the cuts on the wood are straight and accurate without having to measure them repeatedly. For instance, if your project requires you to cut the same-sized hole multiple times, using woodworking jogs will help you mark the size that needs to be cut without measuring it each time.

Some common types of wood turning jigs include template jigs, sandwich jigs, table jigs, leaf jigs, and angle-plate jigs, to name a few.

Joints

You can’t refer to woodworking joints as actual tools, but they are an important part of the wood joinery process. There are different kinds of wood turning joints in a woodworker’s arsenal, each of which is used for a distinctive purpose. Also, it is said that that mastering these wood-joining concepts is a sure-shot way of becoming a proficient woodworker.

Some common joints include the basic butt joint, half-lap joint, mortise and tenon joint, and mitered butt joint.

Carpenter Square

This woodworking equipment is characterized by a square-shaped piece of steel that is mainly used to lay out your project before it’s time to cut or assemble it. The square shape allows you to get perfect 90-degree angles by measuring and drawing straight lines with precision.

Block Plane

This is a small hand-plane that’s made of metal and features a blade with the bevel up. Its main purpose is to perform touch-ups or the finishing on the final product, as well as to smoothen out the edges and end of projects that have been dovetailed together.

Jack Plane

Also known as a general-purpose plane, the Jack Plane is typically used for rough stock removal and to prepare the wood according to the correct size for edge jointing.

Router Table

This piece of wood turning equipment is an extremely useful power tool that helps create the most accurate slots and edges. Router tables have numerous helpful features and can even double up as workbenches.

Final Word

The above list of tools for woodworking isn’t exclusive as there are so many other essential tools that this craft requires. However, these are some of the easiest and the most common types of woodworking equipment that will help you get started with your next woodworking project.

If you are new to the art of woodworking, the ideal way to begin is by following some free woodworking plans, getting basic beginner’s tools, and then creating simple wooden masterpieces from scratch!

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