How To: Increase Output in Your Woodworking Shop

Looking to increase output in your woodworking shop the smart way? Mr. Randy Sharp from Sawdust Inn recently conducted an analysis of a woodworking project to compare how much time was spent setting up machines to make cuts verses the time spent making the cuts. The results? Very surprising! See them here. Continue reading

Advertisements

Now Available: Cigar Humidor and Tabletop Liquor Cabinet Woodworking Plans

It’s been nearly a year in the making, but we are proud to announce the launch of two highly anticipated woodworking plans!

As you can see below, the cigar humidor box and tabletop liquor cabinet look great together as companion pieces, but each can also be the star of the show on its own.

49876-77-Room-Wide

Cigar Humidor Box

Our models were built of Alder wood, but you will be able to select the wood species you prefer to work with. The cigar humidor woodworking plan details the lining of the case and lid with ¼-inch thickness Spanish Cedar wood. You’ll love that the cigar humidor box is sized to hold 75 cigars! The hygrometer component on the outside of the box will indicate the optimum humidity to help keep your cigars fresh.

cigar-humidor-box

Tabletop Liquor Cabinet

We hope you’ll also enjoy the clever design of the Tabletop Liquor Cabinet, with its lockable cabinet and lazy susan turntable. Inside, you’ll be able to store 5-6 standard size liquor bottles or a few bottles with glasses and accessories – you decide!

tabletop-liquor-cabinet

The Bottom Line

I truly enjoyed designing these new woodworking plan products, and I am confident our Klockit customers are going to enjoy building them as well. Both the cigar humidor case and tabletop liquor cabinet make for very special gifts to family or friends.

Start yours today!

Click to view the details of the Cigar Humidor Box woodworking plan and Tabletop Liquor Cabinet woodworking plan.

Written by: John Cooper

John spent the better part of the 28 years he was employed by Klockit, designing hundreds of clock and furniture kits and plans and has continued with product design since his retirement in 2008. John’s love of clocks, his passion for creating furniture for his own home as well as for family, and his great appreciation for the beautiful finished pieces Klockit customers make from our kits and plans inspire him to continue to create still more new clock and furniture designs.

3 Easy DIY Halloween Projects

Looking for easy do-it-yourself Halloween projects? Then you’re in the right place! From Frankenstein to a pumpkin clock, here are three fun Halloween projects that are great for all ages.

(1) Pumpkin Clock

Build a great-looking Pumpkin Clock this Halloween with just a couple of Klockit components! First, select a pumpkin from your local farm stand or grocery store and carve out the insides. Then, install a clock movement and clock hands to the front of the pumpkin. Last but not least, carve or paint numerals on the face of your pumpkin clock.

View project:

http://www.klockit.com/products/sku-pumpkin-clock.html

pc-graphic

(2) Spooky Luminary Lantern

Easily create a spooky Luminary Lantern to add to your decor this Halloween season. Simply purchase and build our Luminary Lantern Kit. Insert our new Halloween panels on each side of the lantern. Last but not least, light up the spooky panels using our LED tealight and remote.

See project:

http://www.klockit.com/products/sku-spooky-luminary-lantern.html

sl-graphic

(3) Frankenstein Clock

Craft a scary Frankenstein Clock this Halloween with just three Klockit components! Purchase our bracket clock case and create a Frankenstein theme using green and black paint. Attach our rubber mounting ring to the white clock insert and mount into the clock case. Great weekend project!

View project details:

http://www.klockit.com/products/sku-frankenstein-clock.html

fx-graphic

DIY Halloween Projects

See all three of our DIY Halloween projects at Klockit.com: http://www.klockit.com/depts/halloweenprojects/dept-527.html

Keeping It Interesting

Is your project feeling more tedious than enjoyable? While I absolutely enjoy woodworking as business and a hobby, I have to admit that there have been times when my projects seem uninteresting.

BUT – I have come to the conclusion that the best way to ensure that woodworking projects remain interesting and challenging is to avoid falling into a “RUT”, where you use the same construction and finishing techniques.

Using different materials – like lumber and hardware – as well as different machining methods and wood finishing products will challenge your woodworking skills, plus provide a sense of greater satisfaction with your completed projects.

A perfect case in point is the cigar humidor and tabletop liquor cabinet plan models I have just completed for Klockit. I made the models with Alder, a lumber I had not previously used. While Alder is an affordable alternative to Cherry, it does present certain machining and finishing challenges.

These projects also provided me with the opportunity to re-saw ¾” thick lumber on my band saw for the first time…ever. The cigar humidor provided me with the challenge of edge gluing ¼” thick solid Spanish Cedar lumber panels. These new techniques and methods kept me focused and gave me a feeling of pride and satisfaction I had not felt on recent projects.

Written by: John Cooper

John spent the better part of the 28 years he was employed by Klockit, designing hundreds of clock and furniture kits and plans and has continued with product design since his retirement in 2008. John’s love of clocks, his passion for creating furniture for his own home as well as for family, and his great appreciation for the beautiful finished pieces Klockit customers make from our kits and plans inspire him to continue to create still more new clock and furniture designs.

6 Woodworking Tips and Tricks

Throughout my career at Klockit, I have learned many tips and tricks from customers that have greatly assisted with the success of many projects. While I am extremely fortunate to learn something new on any given day, I also believe it is important to pay it forward. Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to offer some of the best tips and suggestions that have been passed along to me.

As a final note, I am always looking for additional tips and tricks in all aspects of woodworking. Feel free to post a reply comment if you have a tip or trick you would like to share.

1. Use stronger miter joinery glue-up

45-degree angles are typically cut on the ends of a board and result in the glue-up of porous end grain of wood pieces. End grain acts like a straw by absorbing the glue into the wood, which minimizes glue and compromises the strength of mitered joinery. In some cases, additional assembly aids can be used to re-enforce the miter joinery (cross-splines, etc). For smaller/thinner frame assemblies, however, this may not be an option. In these instances, consider re-enforcing mitered joinery with glue.

Begin by applying a thin layer of glue to the mitered end of all frame pieces and allow the glue to dry. This initial layer of glue will help to seal the porous end grain. Once the first coating of glue has dried, apply a second, thin layer of glue to each mitered end and allow that layer to become slightly tacky. Join the frames together, apply clamping, and check for square. Make certain to remove any excess glue and allow proper glue drying time.

2. Rub candle wax on screw threads

Ever have a screw that does not want to drive into a wood piece, even though your pilot hole is the correct size? Did it ever loudly “creak” or “squeak” as you tried to drive it in?

Before you break that screw, back it slowly out. Rub the threads on a candle. The candle wax will gather in between and onto the threads and work as a lubricant of sorts, which will also help to prevent any possibility of screw breakage. This is especially helpful with dense woods such as oak.

3. The least expensive drill stop

Drilling a screw pilot hole to a required depth is the perfect task for a drill press. But what if you don’t have a drill press? You could purchase special drill stops and what not, or you could make your own drill stop using masking tape from around the house.

Measure the required pilot hole depth on the drill bit by measuring up from the tip. Wrap masking tape around the drill bit at the required depth. Typically, the masking tape should wrap around several times so that the wrap is larger in diameter than the drill bit itself. Now you can drill.

Once the edge of the masking tape touches the wood surface you are drilling into, you’ll know you’ve hit the target depth. Just remember to remove masking tape periodically to prevent adhesive residue build-up on the drill bit.

4. My Wood Surface Needs A Shave

When removing glue with a water-dampened cloth, many woods will react by absorbing the moisture left behind. As the wood grain absorbs the moisture, it swells. This can produce a rough surface, almost as if the wood had the stubble of a 5 o’clock shadow. This is referred to as “grain raise”, and it needs to be removed before stains/finishes can be applied.

The fix is to allow the wood surface to dry completely. Once dry, sand the rough area lightly with 220-grit sandpaper until it is again smooth. Grain raise can be a big problem when working with water-based stains and/or finishes as well.

For water-based stains/finishes, consider wetting the wood preliminarily with a dampened cloth. Do not soak or drench the wood, but apply enough moisture to force the grain to swell. A dampened cloth will typically only allow the top layer of grain to swell, which will be the layer the water-based product will “stick” to. Once dry, gently sand with 220-grit to smooth the surface once again. Be careful not to over-sand. If you sand through the layer of grain, you will expose wood grain, which did not raise and you may see a re-occurrence of grain raise once you apply your water-based product.

5. Dowels aren’t just for assembly

Wood dowel stock comes in a variety of diameters and can be found at many hardware/lumber store. While dowel stock can normally be used to help support joinery, create straight spindles, etc., dowels can also be quite useful for sanding some end grain profiles (coves, for example).

One should always sand with the grain of the wood, but this can be complicated for the profiled ends of a wood piece. The problem is that sanding against the grain on profiled ends can create cross-grain surface scratches that become highly visible once finish is applied.

The solution? Select a wood dowel diameter that will fit the profile. Wrap sandpaper around a wood dowel and tape it taut in place. Simply spin the sandpaper-wrapped dowel to ensure you sand in the direction of the wood grain and prevent cross-grain scratching.

6. Don’t vacuum your wood piece

I cringe when people tell me they have tried vacuuming sanding dust from their wood surfaces. I can only imagine the surface scratches left behind, or the possibility of attachment bristles that may have broken off and lodged in the wood surface.

Removing sanding dust prior to staining and finishing is a MUST, but the most efficient and effective way to remove sanding residue is to use a clean, lint-free cloth dampened with mineral spirits. Since the cloth is damp, it will pick-up and remove sanding residue from the surface like a magnet, plus quickly evaporate and leave behind a clean, dry wood surface that is ready for stains and finishes.

Best yet, mineral spirits will not cause grain-raise, surfaces scratches, or result in over-looked attachment bristles that could become highly visible once finish was applied.

Written By: Chris Akright

Chris is responsible for the kit, plan, and finishing technical support, which he has provided to Klockit customers for over 14 years. Chris also contributes new product designs, composes written/illustrated assembly manuals, and works to develop new kit and plan products for the Klockit catalog. Chris’s experience is the culmination of years of training under his mentor, and Klockit Designer, John Cooper.