Highlight surface flaws

Sanding marks, small scratches and dents and other minor surface flaws can be very difficult to detect—until you apply your wood finish, when they show up with glaring clarity. To spot these surface imperfections before applying your finish, use a desk lamp or other low lamp source (a 60-watt bulb is about right). Set the lamp next to the surface so the light hits it at a low angle. From the opposite side of the workpiece, view the surface. Even slight scratches and flaws will be highlighted by the shadows created by the light. Mark flawed areas with a light pencil mark, sand them away, then check again.

Sanding & Finishing

After spending hours, days or even months of labor on a workshop project, don't let an incorrectly or hastily applied finish spoil all your hard work. Take the time to prepare the wood for the finish by sanding thoroughly with a sequence of finer-grit sandpapers. Make sure all screw plugs are securely in their counterbores and flush with the wood surface. Don't let the project sit for more than 48 hours between final sanding and finish application so that it has time to attract dust. Then, choose the finishing products that best meet your needs: both in terms of protection and appearance. And once the finish is applied, patch up any dents, nail holes or small cracks with tinted wood putty.

Choosing the best finishing products can be very daunting. There are dozens upon dozens of paints, stains, dyes, varnishes, penetrating oils, lacquers and countless other finishing products on the shelves of most building centers. Deciding which to use is a matter of learning a little bit about the products. Don't rely too much on the claims youH see on the labels—look for basic information on the composition of the product and see how it fits into finish selection charts. But with today's labeling practices it's sometimes difficult to determine exactly what kind of product you're examining even after reading the label top to bottom. In such cases, don't be shy about asking the store clerk for information. And whenever you decide to try a product you've never used before, always test it out first on some scrap.

Sanding strategies

Outfeed Table Saw PlansOutfeed Table Saw Plans
Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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