Decoration

Some Woodworking Techniques Explained

The beauty of Crafting

The following woodworking techniques are essential to almost any woodworking project that you will complete. From cutting to finishing, these techniques are fundamental to every woodworking project and carry over from small projects like carving a spoon to larger projects like building cabinets.

Milling

Milling is the process of taking rough lumber and making it into geometrically precise blocks. Milling starts at the jointer, where you first flatten one face of the board. Then, move to a planer to make the opposite face of the board smooth. Finally, use the table saw to cut (or “rip”) the remaining edge to be parallel to the other. Milling prepares the wood for joinery.

Jointing & Planing

Jointing is the process of flattening one face and one edge as part of the milling process. In special circumstances, the jointer may also be used for rabbeting, beveling, and tapering. Planing is a technique used to smooth and remove excess material from wooden surfaces. The planer is used to smooth lumber to an even thickness after one face has been flattened with the Jointer. Depending on the project, you may choose to plane by hand or using an electric planer. Hand planes are quieter and easier to direct for fine details and create less dust in the woodshop. Electric planers work well for removing large amounts of material from the surface of your wood quickly.

Jointing & Planing

Sawing

Almost every woodworking project starts with cutting down wood using a saw. There are many different types of saws used for different types of projects. Always wear safety glasses and a respirator when you are working with a saw or fine particles. Earplugs or hearing protection are necessary when working with saws and loud equipment. Stay focused when using equipment and tools and clear any distractions out of your way.

Sawing

Drilling & Boring

The drilling process creates a hole in the wood, while the boring process removes material to enlarge a pre-existing hole. Attach the correct bit to your drill, depending on the desired size and material. Drilling is done on either a stationary drill press or using a handheld drill driver. Handheld drills are convenient while stationary drill presses provide more precision and power.

Drilling & Boring

Routing

The router is a very versatile power tool used both handheld and mounted on a table. Depending on the bit mounted in the router, it can be used to add edge treatments, create grooves, follow patterns, and much more. It is an expensive machine and is great for a smaller space or just beginning to build out a woodshop.

Routing

Gluing & Clamping

When you glue together two pieces of properly prepared wood, the glued joint is stronger than the wood itself. There are three main types of glue for joining wood together.

White and yellow interior glue is the most commonly used type of wood glue. It is not water-resistant, and therefore should not be used outside. Exterior glue is used for outdoor projects because it is water-resistant.Epoxy is used to fill gaps and increase the strength of a piece.

Gluing & Clamping

Shaping & Molding

Shaping is the technique of carving wood into non-rectangular shapes. Molding is a strip of solid wood with various decorative profiles used to cover transitions between surfaces. You have likely seen molding on the walls in older homes or on antique wardrobes. Woodworkers also work with steam to artfully create bends and curves in thin pieces of wood.

Shaping & Molding

Lathe Turning

Woodturning is the art of shaping wood into cylindrical shapes on the lathe. The Crucible’s Woodturning classses teach you how to use a lathe to turn a rough piece of wood into a mallet and bowl. In this class, you learn the basics of turning, sharpening, wood selection, preparation, and finishing techniques.

Lathe Turning

Veneering & Lamination

Veneering is the art of decorating a solid piece of wood by gluing thin slices of wood to the surface. This technique is also used in marquetry. Lamination is the process of binding together layers of wood using glue and pressure. These techniques are used to create skateboards. In The Crucible’s Youth Skateboard Building, students can design and build their very own custom skateboard from seven layers of hard maple veneer.

Veneering & Lamination

Sanding & Filing

Sanding and filing are two methods of shaping wood. Sanding is the finishing technique to smooth the surface of the wood using sandpaper, often applied in a sequence of grits. It is the process of scratching up the surface with finer and finer grits until the marks they leave are too fine to detect. Grit is graded indicating the number of particles per inch, so higher numbers are finer.

Filing is the process of shaping wood to remove rough spots and shave wood in hard-to-reach angels. Files are hand tools made of hardened steel with a wooden handle. Rasps are similar tools which remove material faster, but leave a coarser finish.

Sanding & Filing

Finishing

Most types of wood will easily pick up scratches, dings, and dirt, and oil and liquids will always leave marks. Wood can also shrink or expand in response to the moisture in the air. Finishes, to varying degrees, protect the wood from all of the above, either with a protective layer over the top, or by penetrating the surface and hardening there. Additionally, most finishes will accentuate the grain, and when a number of coats are built up make it really shine.

Penetrating finishes are oil-based and absorbed by the wood. They are easier to apply than surface finishes and give the wood a more natural look.

Surface finishes dry on top of the wood to create a protective coating. Paint, polyurethane, and shellac are all examples of surface finishes. They offer durable protection and are a good choice for wood pieces that receive a lot of wear, like exterior furniture or a frequently used countertop.

Pro tip: Because finishes seal the wood, be sure to always apply the finish to the hidden parts also, to ensure that the wood reacts to changes in humidity uniformly. A coat or two is enough in the hidden areas.

Finishing is a large topic, with strong opinions in every direction. This guide provides an overview of the basic finishes and techniques and then gives some basic recommendations and instructions as a good starting point.

(Source: The Crucible)

Finishing the woodpieces

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