Monthly Archives

March 2018

Building Bird Nest Boxes is Easy With the Right Woodworking Plans

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If you are thinking about building some bird nest boxes for your home, I can tell you now it’s a great idea. I mean everyone needs a home that includes our feathered friends. There’s nothing quite like looking out of your window and seeing the birds enjoying your new nesting box creation. They are simple to make especially if you have some good woodworking plans.

You don’t need any expensive wood for building bird nest boxes, some cheap 15 mm exterior grade plywood will do the job nicely.

I’m not gonna try and explain the building process here because you really need some plans for that, but what I will make sure is that you are aware of some valuable tips for ensuring that your bird boxes make good homes for your garden birds.

One essential thing that many people forget when building a bird nest box is to make some holes on the bottom board. This will allow some much-needed ventilation and it will help keep the nest nice and dry.

To make a really professional nesting box the roof should be able to lift off. It’s best if you use two hinges at the back of the box which will enable the lid to easily lift up.

The entry hall can be anywhere between 25 to 32 mm in diameter, depending on what kind of species of bird you want to attract to the box. I suggest you do a little bit of research before making the entry hole. For tree sparrows and pied flycatchers, about 28 mm is enough. For slightly bigger birds like house sparrows and nuthatches the hole will need to be at least 32 mm.

Make sure you finish your bird box with a non-toxic exterior wood finish for the safety of the Birds and to avoid putting them off because of the vapours. It’s a safe bet to leave your box for a couple of days once you’ve applied the exterior wood finish.

Making a bird box is a nice quick project that will bring your garden to life.

Source by Allan Recio

Bunk Bed With Stairs Plans – How to Build a Safe Bunk Bed

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Bunk beds is one of the amazing ways you can save space on a room. However, the main concern with most people with this kind of bed is safety. A problem which I think can easily be remedied by using bunk bed with stairs plans.

Bunk beds has its purpose particularly when you are room sharing with somebody and you have limited space in your room. This also works particularly well in children’s room as kids absolutely love it especially when you customize the this kind of bed according to their preference.

However, there are some considerations in building this kind of bed of your own. More so if you are building these kind of beds for children. some things to keep in mind are:


Whether made for adults or children, bunk beds has to have some safety measure in place. You should be more meticulous about this if the bed is especially made for children.

With safety in mind, the upper bed should have guard rails in place. The rails should be higher if children are going to use the bed. Additionally, you should ensure that the person staying on the upper bed does not have any tendency to sleepwalk. Otherwise, it will be very unsafe for such person. Aside from this, you have to make sure that the stairs are stable enough and firmly installed.

Material and Size

For materials, there are many kinds of wood you can consider for this project. Hardwoods like oaks and cherries makes a very good material for this project because of its durability. However, other cheaper wood types can work equally as well.

Size of the bed would depend entirely up to you. This is keeping in mind some considerations like your preference and suitability to user’s size. You can be quite flexible with the bed size just as long as you make sure the bed you’re going to end up with is the kind of bed that you need.

Bunk Bed With Stairs Plans

Using quality bunk bed with stairs plans would almost guarantee your success in completing the project. Good plans will help not just during construction but also with the preparation as well.

If you ask me, I find that easy to understand instructions which even a woodworking beginner can implement is of top quality. And while you are at it, try going for a plan with elaborate graphics as well. This will definitely help you do away with confusion.

Source by Travis Montgomery

Wooden Covered Wagon Plans – How to Build Your Own Wagon

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Covered wagon makes a good transportation for crops. Small wonder why it is a nifty structure to have around in the farm. And it can be easily done too. If you have the time and inclination, you’ll just need wooden covered wagon plans and you’ll be set to start this project.

I have preference for the use of wood for this project for the simple reason that I find it easier to handle wood compared to other type of materials. Furthermore, wood offers a level of durability while remaining light weight.

If you’ve decided in building your own wagon using wood, here are a couple of things you need to consider and plan for:

Dimension of the Wagon

Way before you’re going to buy the materials you will be using for this project, yo need to determine the exact size of your wagon. The amount of materials needed depends on this one factor.

To get to a preferable size for your wagon, you need to consider its main purpose. You need to consider aspects like the type of items frequently loaded in the wagon as well as its quantity.

A typical wagon of this kind would measure 4 feet wide and 12 feet in length. It is entirely up to you to decide if this dimension suits your purposes as well.


There are several materials you will need to prepare for this project. Now, the plan you will be using may have indicated its own list of materials, but usually, the most common materials used for this project are: wooden beams and planks, wheels, wooden pole, iron braces, nails, bolts, canvas, 2 axles and wooden lathes.

For the wheel, you have the option of buying or making your own. Since in my own experience, the wheel seems to be the most complex part of wagon building, I strongly suggest that you buy a ready made one. Also, be sure that the wheel is secured safely into the body of the wagon.

Wooden Covered Wagon Plans

True enough, you may have to invest time and effort in this project. However, if you have very good wooden covered plans to guide you for this project, you won’t have to go through unnecessary glitches. And thus, construction wouldn’t take overly long time.

To ensure that you use top notch blueprints, you have to opt for plans with excellent and easy to understand instruction. Add to that a complementary detailed working diagram and you can be sure to finish the whole thing in the least time possible.

Source by James McCloughry

Guide to Seven Power Tools for Beginner Woodworkers

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Those who have just started in woodworking should get tools that are designed for beginners. These tools are easier to use and safer for beginners who not yet have any experience in handling them. These tools may be designed for beginners but they have enough functions to complete anything that you want done in the woodworking project. The following are the top 7 power tools for beginner woodworkers.

1. Power Drill

Power drill is a L shaped handheld power tool with a replaceable bit at the end. The size of the replaceable bit can range from 1mm – 10mm. The bits can be various types of slotted/phillips screwdrivers, hex keys, and standard/masonry drill bits. Power drill can be corded which requires you to plug into a switch outlet. Corded power drill has more functions and they are also cheaper than the cordless version. On the other hand, cordless power drill operates on battery and can be carried anywhere. Near the grip, you will find the on/off trigger and the forward/reverse switch. The torque selection ring allows you to change the spinning speed of the power drill.

2. Power Jointer

Power jointer is used in flattening the faces and edges of a wood that has uneven surfaces. The jointer has an infeed table and outfeed table. Passing the wood through the cutter head will flatten the surface and the cut wood will be transferred over on the outfeed table. The fence serves as a guide when you are flattening a wood surface or joining board edges. You can adjust the fence to various angles. Power jointer is ideal for flattening rough lumbers and S2S wood board. S2S wood board refers to a wood board that only has 2 finished sides with the other 2 sides being not finished. Rough lumbers and S2S wood are cheaper compared to S4S wood which has all four sides finished.

3. Power Planer

Power planer is an electronic planer that can cut out wood board to the desired thickness. It is also used for flattening the up and down sides of the wood board. It has a planing platform that allows you to set the thickness of the board that you want to cut. The cut depth should be set prior to turning on the machine. The infeed roller will carry the board forward as it passes through the blades to the outfeed roller. With a planer, you can save money from buying wood that is readily cut to your desired thickness. You can buy wood with just about any thickness and cut it to the desired thickness yourself. You can also reuse wood from old furniture for your woodworking project.

4. Jigsaw

Jigsaw is a type of portable saw that can be used to cut curves on various types of materials including wood, metal, fiberglass, and drywall. Different types of blades can be fitted onto the jigsaws. Some blades are measured by TPI, which stands for teeth per inch. There are also special blades designed for cutting soft materials and tighter curves. To change the blade, you must turn the dial in the anti-clockwise direction. After you have fitted in the blade, you can let go of the dial and it will lock it in place. Cordless jigsaws allows you to turn the jigsaw at any direction without having to worry about pulling out the cord from the switch outlet.

5. Random Orbital Sander

Random orbital sander is a power sander equipped with a disk that rotates at various axis. The random orbit action prevents the same scratch pattern from being produced. It prevents marks such as swirl marks and cross grain scratching from appearing on the wood surface. Many random orbital sanders have speed switches for adjusting the sanding speed. If you want to sand professionally, you must keep changing to progressively finer grits. Therefore, before you purchase it, make sure your supplier or other nearby hardware stores have various sizes of grits for your power sander model. You should look for a model with a hook-and-loop system so that it is easy for you to change the quarter sheets.

6. Router

Router is a tool that can hollow out an area on the surface of a hard wood. Nowadays, power router is more common than traditional hand router. Power router has a spindle that is powered by an electric motor. A good router will have a variable speed control and plunge base for affixing it to a static position. Router with soft start feature is safer to use because it allows the motor to start slowly and progress to higher speed gradually. For safety purposes, you should always check to see if the switch is off before turning it on. When working, make sure you hold the machine with two hands. Router has many uses including dove tail joints, routered edge, and template cut.

7. Circular Saw

Circular saw is a type of electric saw with a round spinning blade that can cut various types of materials including wood, plastic, masonry, brick, and metal. There are different types of blades for making different kinds of cuts such as rip cuts, and cross cuts. The blade on the saw is held in place by the arbor nut. Whenever you want to change the blade, you must remove the arbor nut. The blade is protected with a blade guard when it is not in use. The foot plate allows you to work on your project steadily. You can adjust how deep the blade will cut. There is also a bevel adjustment for adjusting the tilting of the foot plate to make bevel cuts.


In conclusion, the list of power tools above are the essential tools that every beginner woodworker should have. They will help you a great deal in your woodworking projects. They are affordable and can be easily purchased from your local hardware store.

Source by Zirkon Kalti

Basic Equipment You Will Need to Start Woodturning Projects

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While it is easily understood that a wood lathe is needed to begin woodturning projects, there are a few other necessities before starting. Many of these are already found in the typical woodworking shop while others will need to be purchased.

The basic wood lathe comes with one or two faceplates for bowls and other large work; a spur center and tail center for holding spindle projects; and a couple of tool rests for different sized work. No cutting tools are generally supplied with the lathe.

While experienced turners will purchase individual tools, it is advisable for the beginner to get a beginning set. This will contain the necessary tools for spindle work. Usually this will be a roughing gouge, a couple of spindle gouges of different sizes, a couple of skews of different sizes, a couple of scrapers of different sizes and a parting tool. Such a set should be high speed steel, not carbon steel which is cheaper but does not hold an edge very long compared with high speed. Later on bowl and faceplate tools can be purchased or made. If the beginner is anxious to begin turning bowls, a one quarter inch bowl gouge will get them started and different sizes can be purchased later on.

Once the tools are purchased there needs to be a means to sharpen them. Woodworkers new to woodturning will be amazed at how often turning tools need to be sharpened. The usual means to a good edge is a grinder however most shop grinders have wheels too coarse to give a good edge on high speed steel. An aluminum oxide wheel of appropriate size should be purchased. It should be around eighty grit and a wheel dresser to keep it round and clean is really a necessity.

While some turners consider a sharpening jig to be a luxury, for a beginner it is almost a necessity. Sharpening woodturning tools freehand is a skill in its own right if not an art. Learning it at the same time as trying to learn woodturning is difficult and learning to turn with dull tools is almost impossible. A jig should be purchased or made at the very beginning.

One of the things that makes woodturning special is the ability to much of the time sand and finish a project on the lathe. Sandpaper in grits from eighty to two hundred twenty is usually found in the workshop but some turners like to go as high as two thousand grit for some projects. Generally up to three hundred twenty will be fine. Danish oil and similar finishes work well for most woodturnings and again is a typical supply of most shops.

Safety is an important part of any woodworking shop and work around a wood lathe is no exception. A face mask to protect from flying wood is a necessity as is a dust mask to protect the lungs from sanding. Hearing protectors are good to have. Most lathes are fairly quiet but saws, drills, sanders and dust collectors as well as other shop tools can cause hearing problems.

Tools to ready the wood for the lathe will likely be already in the shop. Bandsaws and table saws are often used and a chainsaw is a part of most woodturner’s arsenals of tools.

A quick look at a woodturning catalogue will convince any aspiring woodturner that bits and pieces can be acquired for years to come but these should get one started. Certainly a lot of enjoyment are contained in these few simple items.

Source by Darrell Feltmate

Templates and Jigs

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Whenever we do a project that has the potential to be built again, or if the design is somewhat difficult, we'll spend the time to build a jig. This is a process that pays back big dividends, and has been practiced for hundreds of years. In the first instance, it makes sense to speed up the process of duplicating it. This results you from having to record all the dimensions and engineering that went into the piece.

A very big time saver. In the second instance, I would rather make a mistake on a piece of plexiglass or MDF, than on an expensive piece of wood. (wood does not grow on trees you know). Mentally, it's easier to create a shape on a piece of plexiglass, or MDF, simply because it's "only a jig". Somehow, that seems to take the pressure off. Cutting the final piece can keep you from moving forward on a project, because you fear making a mistake. I know that sounds silly, but it's something I've witnessed, (and done), on many occasions. Jigs give you the confidence to move forward, knowing it's right.

It's much like seeing a person go from helper to mechanic over night. Same person, same knowledge and experience, just a new attitude. They just did not realize, they had the talent and knowledge. It really is amazing to watch a person's transformation because they finally realized they knew how to do it. Now they're working with confidence, instead of fear. They stop second guessing themselves, which leads to less mistakes. Once the jig is created, and it's perfect, making the final piece or duplicating it, is a breeze. The fear of mistake is eliminated in the jig making process.

This is especially true when trying to duplicate something a couple years after the first one. The toughest part there, is remembering you have a jig for it, and where it is! Jigs can be templates, or can be a method of holding the work piece to allow carving or machining. Jigs designed to hold things can be altered to make the jig itself more useful. As the project progresses, new ideas come to mind, which brings about change to the jig. It's a case of building the project and the jig together, as you move forward. If you're not already doing so, you should add jig and template making to your woodworking repertoire.

Source by Lee Jesberger

Adirondack Chair Plans – Create Outdoor Comfort

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Nothing looks quite as classic on a deck or patio as an Adirondack chair. The beautiful wood, the curves, and solid construction just look perfect outdoors. While building your own chair using Adirondack chair plans can be quite easy, choosing the wrong plans can have you struggling quickly.

Many free Adirondack chair plans do not spell out exactly the tools, materials, and equipment you will need to make the chair properly. Suddenly you’re sitting there with a pile of lumber, scratching your head on exactly how you’re supposed to lay out the cuts, and how you should be putting all the pieces together.

Did you choose the right materials? Since this project is for outside, you’ll either need to be using pressure treated wood, or be planning on weather proofing your chair in another way. This is another area where professional plans won’t let you down. They will specify exactly what types of materials you should be using, and making the recommendations on the proper sealants for the best weather resistance. It would be very disappointing to spend all your time on this woodworking project to only have it falling apart from decay after one or two seasons in the weather.

With proper Adirondack chair plans, you can just carry the material list into your local lumber yard and they will gather all the proper pieces for you, and you’ll be on your way. Without a complete material list, you’ll be scouring the plans trying to determine exactly what you need for each step of the construction, and probably making numerous trips to the lumber yard or hardware store to complete your project.

Good Adirondack chair plans help to make sure the chair is strong enough for your heaviest friends, and exceedingly comfortable. Finishing the chair to only hear that sickening cracking sound as one of your guest sits down can be gut wrenching. You’re not only worried about your chair, but also about the safety of your friend. Professionally designed Adirondack chair plans take into consideration the strength of the chair to make sure you have a solid and reliable piece of furniture.

When choosing your Adirondack chair plans, make sure you know whether you want to also have a foot rest along with your chair. It is very easy to build a foot rest right along with the chair if your plans include the option for one. It’s a great addition to your woodworking project, one which you’ll enjoy when you’re lounging on the deck with your glass of lemonade.

Not only does a great set of Adirondack chair plans make your construction job easier, it also insures the project is going to look great when it is finished. The best feeling from any project is when your friends and family members stand around commenting on what a great job you did. While your Adirondack chair plans won’t guarantee success, it will guarantee a higher chance of success, and with your skills thrown into the mix, you’ll soon be enjoying a great relaxing evening on the deck.

Source by Mike Hamlin

Free Guide on Router Bits – An Introduction to the Basics of Router Bits – Woodworking

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There is no doubt that if you are a novice to woodworking and are taking it seriously then you have been gaining a tremendous amount of knowledge. Much of that relating to your equipment and tools no doubt. You most likely have learned it does not take long when it comes to using up the budget buying all of the equipment you need and what you think you need.

Most likely you are in store to purchase a router. Along with that purchase, you are going to have to consider buying some router bits as well.

The bits that you can use with your router all serve a specific purpose and no doubt you are going to want to expand your collection of bits as you progress into your woodworking hobby.

Your router is the device that simply turns your bit. It is the bit that's going to give you the desired results.

Most of the bits that are available are carbide tipped. This is because of the hardness of the material and what it is able to end. It's very much like a diamond and it has many advantages to it. For one thing, it always stays sharp and it resists heat. The drawbacks to these carbide bits are they chip easily because they are brittle and they are not cheap. It's for this reason only the tip is made of carbide and not the entire bit.

There are high-speed steel bits and theses HSS at one time were the only type you could get. They are still available and are OK for occasional work. They are less expensive than a carbide bit but they will become dull quite fast. You will need to keep getting them retargeted otherwise they burn the surface of the wood. Sometimes you will find that these bits have been coated with Titanium Nitride. This does help them stay sharper for a longer period of time, but even this coating will wear off.

You are going to find two types of bits Pilot and Non Pilot. The pilot bits have ball bearings to keep them a specific distance from the wood. Then there are safety bits called chip-limiting bits. It reduces the chance of kickback.

The most common bit sizes are 1 / 4in., And 1 / 2in.This is the part that fits into the router. Always use the required bit for the project to ensure your safety.

Be sure to clean the pitch and tar that builds up on your bits from the wood regularly. Also regularly inspect your bits and collets to make sure they are in good condition.

Some of the terminology that you are going to see associated with your router bits are solid bit, pilot bit. Arbor, collet, shank, high speed steel, carbide, cobalt, titanium nitride, and hook and rake. Take your time and research the meanings of each of these to get the most from your bits and router. Although there is a great deal to learn about woodworking, it is a hobby that is most enjoyable. There are risk factors for accidents where tools are involved. Make sure your tools are kept clean and in good working order.

Source by Ryan Henderson

How to Assess the Value of Used Industrial Woodworking Machinery

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If you operate a small woodshop that you dream of converting into an industrial woodworking operation, the biggest obstacle to your success will probably be the cost of industrial woodworking machinery. While no woodworking machinery is cheap, industrial woodworking machines can easily cost six figures. As a result, some woodworkers surrender their goal of industrial woodworking-a decision that’s premature if you haven’t investigated how much you can save by buying industrial machinery used.

While everyone wants to begin a new operation with new machinery, purchasing used woodworking equipment often brings new machine quality at a used machine price. Due to its superior construction, industrial woodworking equipment commonly has a useful lifespan of 30 years or more. However, just because a machine offers a lengthy lifespan doesn’t mean that its former owner didn’t reduce the lifespan by improperly maintaining a machine. As a result, it’s best to carefully assess the quality of a used woodworking machine, regardless of its age.

If you search the Internet for tips on evaluating used woodworking equipment, you won’t encounter much advice. That’s because, as with any purchase, the tendency is to view a new purchase as deserving the most assessment, when really it’s the other way around. Below, we list four steps that will help you arrive at a used woodworking machine that offers new machine quality at a used machine price.

Step 1: Only Buy from a Professional Seller of Used Woodworking Machinery

Only buying from a professional seller means avoiding buying from online auction sites and company auctions. When buying from these sources, the risk isn’t in being cheated; it’s in trusting that an unknown merchant or company official will possess the expertise to assess the dependability of a machine, which means everything if you’ll be using it for a high output operation.

Step 2: Research a Seller’s Reputation at the Better Business Bureau (BBB)

It’s amazing how easily consumers can assess purchase risk by checking with the BBB, where sellers that don’t please their customers receive customer complaints on their record. If a company cares about their customers, they resolve these complaints. Otherwise, the complaints become classified as “unresolved”, which is bad for business. The rule on this one is simple: avoid sellers that have unresolved customer complaints.

Step 3: Request a Copy of a Machine’s Official Maintenance Record

Also known as a logged service record, a machine’s official maintenance record offers a valuable look into its future reliability, with machines that receive irregular maintenance offering the least dependability. If a machine doesn’t have an official maintenance record or has a record that reveals spotty maintenance, don’t buy it.

Step 4: Inspect a Machine Firsthand

Have you ever visited a house that looked terrible in person despite looking great on a realtor’s website? The same thing can happen with woodworking equipment. If you’re shopping online, you can assume that sellers will post the best pictures of a machine, which could disguise its true wear. Therefore, it’s best to inspect a machine firsthand before buying it, or have an expert third party inspect it for you.

Source by Mike Barone

As Seen on TV Kreg Jig Review

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For the woodworker, nothing is easier than pocket hole joinery using the Kreg Jig K3 System. Since the debut of this system in 1990, the Kreg jig has been the choice for affordable and easy to use pocket hole joinery.

What is pocket hole joinery? The simplest process, all it involves is drilling a clearance hole that is angled and a counterbore in wood. Using another piece of wood, the first one is attached to the second one with a screw. The bottom (the pocket hole) of the counterbore is back far enough from the edge to which it is being joined to allow room for the screw head. The clearance hole sets the screw at an angle so it can hold the wood without popping through.

When it comes to the best pocket holes you will do no better than the Kreg K3 System. The jig is a versatile tool which includes these features:

* You no longer have to reach around to clamp, which is awkward. The clamp is on the front side which is much easier to reach.

* When you need the pocket holes in a specific place, the drill bit guide has three fixed holes for guiding and placing them for narrow, wide and widest.

* The dust collection shroud is a new feature that eliminates the wood chips falling all over the workbench and will make the drill bit last longer.

With added height adjustment, the K3 allows screws to enter material from ½ inch to 1 ½ inches thick. The innovative material support stop will place the pocket holes in alignment on all the pieces you are working on so you have the best pocket hole drilling available.

The system includes a portable base, drill guide block, material support stop, 3/8 inch step drill bit, Allen wrench, dust collection shroud, premium face clamp, depth collar, screws, a carrying case and instructions.

The most uncomplicated way of joining materials perfectly and with the accuracy needed so that the parts of the joint line up precisely are accomplished by the Kreg Jig K3 System. Instead of a set-up that you do not understand or having to measure, and dry fit joint the whole thing can be taken care of in just a few minutes. This is as simple as using a drill.

The Kreg Jig K3 System has a portable case for taking along wherever you need to work or for storing when it is not in use. With more features than any other hole tool sold today, the system is preferred by those working in cabinet making, picture frames, decks, stairs, windows and door jambs and attaching leg rails to perfection. The sky is the limit when it comes to the uses for this jig.

When it comes to strength, independent testing that has been done shows a remarkable difference between using this jig and the old way of using a mortise and tenon joint. The pocket screw joint when subjected to a shear load failed at 707 pounds and the mortise and tenon joint failed at 453 pounds. For a 35% stronger pocket screw joint, the Kreg Jig K3 System clearly came out the winner.

Source by Brandi Yates

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