Knuckle headed Woodworking mistakes/advice - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-14-2009, 02:48 AM Thread Starter
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Knuckle headed Woodworking mistakes/advice

Please feel to add your own.


Use wood screws. Don't use any other type of screws. They will split your wood!

For pete sakes, use a t-square.. Check every cut if it's square.

Use clamps that screw. Those quick grip ones are horrible. They come loose with vibrations, so they're useless when you're trying to cut with a machine or rout. Mine came loose and there's a slight angle in my edge.. I had to square out the edge with nothing but wood filler.


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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-14-2009, 03:06 AM
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I've almost been injured by those quickgrip style clamps several times. You just can't try to clamp something really tightly with them or they break and launch flying plastic. Use pipe clamps if you need heavy clamping force.

If you have a router table, use it. One time I decided to free hand route a very small piece of wood. I ended up cuting off my entire fingernail and some flesh. The doctor didn't think it would grow back but luckily it did.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-14-2009, 03:28 AM Thread Starter
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Oh, that's a good one... Don't free-hand route small pieces of wood.

gonna add another one since you brought up your fingernail.

When you keep making mental mistakes, step away from the power tools. Take a break.

Knock on wood.. I haven't had a power tool accident to my body yet. I had a hanging clamp fall on my head.. That hurt and had a little blood.


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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-14-2009, 03:43 AM
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What I learned...

Use the right tools... hand saws only go so far...

Most of the time should be spent planning.

Make sure you have all the materials in one go. Finding out you don't have enough material midway through is kind of frustrating. Especially when you need to make a Home Depot run just for a few more screws...

Measure and visualize the cuts!

Wear shoes!
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-14-2009, 07:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dekstr View Post
What I learned...
Make sure you have all the materials in one go. Finding out you don't have enough material midway through is kind of frustrating. Especially when you need to make a Home Depot run just for a few more screws...

Measure and visualize the cuts!

Wear shoes!
C'mon - six trips to Home Depot and three to Lowes is half the fun!

Also, disagree on the woodscrew comment. I don't like them cause they're made out of a softer metal than a good drywall screw.

And, both will split wood (although I honestly believe a drywall screw has less of a chance cause it has a smaller diameter).

The REAL trick here to avoid splitting wood - is DRILL A PILOT HOLE (about 20% smaller than the diameter of the screw) that removes some of the wood. It's that "extra wood" that the screw's pushing out of the way that causes splitting.

- Jeff
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-14-2009, 07:23 AM
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And one more thing...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dekstr View Post
Use the right tools... hand saws only go so far...
It depends on your skill level - my wife can build a house with a screwdriver, old steak knife, pliers and a mini ball peen hammer...

I seen her do it, and still don't know how it was done...

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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-14-2009, 09:08 AM
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Wear safty glasses! One of the most important rules of using power tools. Once got a piece of cast iorn imbeded in my eye, Doc scaped it out with a hypodermic needle. Ouch.

Allways let power tools come to a complte stop before you set them down or start to adjust them.

Dont wear loose clothing, make sure the strings on your hoody arnt going to get caught up in the table saw.

An dont forget your ear pluggs, your grankids will be embarassed if they have to yell at you in public, cause thats the only way you can hear them.

Pretty basic rules, but very good ones to follow.

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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-14-2009, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taekwondodo View Post
Also, disagree on the woodscrew comment. I don't like them cause they're made out of a softer metal than a good drywall screw.

And, both will split wood (although I honestly believe a drywall screw has less of a chance cause it has a smaller diameter).

- Jeff

You're wrong about drywall screws. Drywall screws are brittle and easily snap and also are prone to rusting in moist environments. They are harder but not stronger. Drywall screws are fine to use in a situation where it will be dry and will not be subjected to a heavy shearing force.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-14-2009, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoyalFizbin View Post
You're wrong about drywall screws. Drywall screws are brittle and easily snap and also are prone to rusting in moist environments. They are harder but not stronger. Drywall screws are fine to use in a situation where it will be dry and will not be subjected to a heavy shearing force.
I agree here, but he was right about the pilot holes. You can get pilot hole/countersink drill bit packs at HD or Lowe's that cover all your basic sizes, these things are money when it comes to woodworking. I do however think drywall screws are your best choice in 2x4s and other framing wood (assuming you are like me and can't drive a nail straight to save your life lol). Your design should never allow for a fastener to be in shear, so this should never be an issue.

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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-14-2009, 02:14 PM
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Brass alloy wood screws all the way.

They might corrode eventually, but they are so much easier and stronger (not harder, but stronger) than most other screws.

Failing that, stainless steel.
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-14-2009, 03:00 PM
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You're (somewhat) right about a drywall screw's ability to break, but I've had way more brass/zink screw tops strip out than I've had drywall screws break. And, from my perspective, there's never been a more all-purpose-built screw than a drywall screw... :p

If the "brass alloy" are the new "gold" drywall-like screws you find at home depot, those are quickly becoming my favorite. I built my last stand with those (and biscuits).

- Jeff
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-14-2009, 04:06 PM
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I have got a few probably really knuckle-headed advices, not coming from a professional woodworker, but from own experience

- Do not use black marker to mark things on surfaces that might be visible
- Make sure to pre-drill and glue the correct sides, if there is a top and bottom side
- Make sure to drill pilot holes and countersink all screws in plywood or it will split
- Plywood quality becomes apparent when cutting it
- Two thinner sheets of plywood might be cheaper than one thick one
- One 2x4 is cheaper than two 2x2
- Having a detailed cut plan and design drawing is priceless
- Plywood slipping out of your hands and hitting the floor leads to less than perfect corners



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Last edited by Wasserpest; 01-15-2009 at 09:33 PM.
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-14-2009, 04:52 PM
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The eight commandments for safe woodworking:

1. Have a well stocked first aid kit.

2. Know your blood type.

3. Use eye and hearing protection. If you plan on having children, consider wearing a cup.

4. Memorize "911"

5. Avoid using finger-slicing-off tools alone. Trying to keep pressure on a wound while driving is tough.... especially if you drive a stickshift.

6. Don't Drink and Saw.

7. Tie small streamers to each finger. If one goes flying, it will be easier to trace its flightpath.

8. If you DO drink and saw, store your beer in a small ice chest so you already have the ice to store your departed digit while driving to the hospital.

In case you are wondering why eight commandments, it is one for each of my fingers.
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-14-2009, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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^^^ nice.


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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-14-2009, 07:04 PM
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Figure out your cuts so you don't waste material. When using plywood check out this free program for laying out your cuts.

http://www.delphiforfun.org/Programs/CutList.htm

Brian
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