Chop saw and miter saw are often mistaken for one another. And while it’s true that they have confusing similarities, these two tools have significant differences that make one a more effective and appropriate tool for certain purposes than the other. So, to set records straight, we’ll discuss in brief the basic similarities and differences between the two in terms of their appearance, characteristics, function, and, finally, their application.
Whether you’re a professional woodworker, a weekend hobbyist who enjoys do-it-yourself woodworks, a student working on a school project, or a homeowner toying with the idea of a one-board bench for your garden, the same rules in woodworking safety applies. And it won’t hurt to know the basic dos and don’ts in woodworking as much as it would if you didn’t.
Not convinced yet? Let’s look at the numbers.
In 2011, the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) published a report on woodshop machinery-related injuries, and below are the estimated annual statistics.
The numbers are undeniably big and the report only goes to show that woodshop accidents can and do happen. But the damages resulting from them may be significantly decreased, if not avoided, only if and when woodworkers are armed not just with the tools and machinery but also with the proper knowledge and safety gears.
If used the wrong way and without necessary safeguards, woodworking tools and machines can, in an instant, turn what’s meant to be an awesome masterpiece into an awful disaster. Severed fingers, blindness, deep cuts and wounds, and, in extreme cases, amputations are just some of the common injuries that result from improper handling of machines, and of passing up on safety gears.
Cutting a board in way that could result in a “kickback” wherein the board gets pinched and thrown back forcefully towards the body is one of the common woodshop incidents that cause injuries. Removing the blade guard, putting the hand directly behind the saw, getting sloppy with nail guns, and being careless with utility knives also made it to the list of small mistakes that produce big numbers of injuries.
Now, this article is not meant to scare you away or discourage you from developing and practicing your potential and artistry in woodworking. This is meant to increase your confidence when working with wood by sharing with you some of the basic safety rules that will allow you to create wooden furniture and art pieces without cutting your thumb, shooting a nail into your body, puncturing your eyes, or cracking your ribs.
As redundant as it may sound, safety gears are for your safety. And more than the thrill and satisfaction you’ll get from creating a wooden piece of artwork or furniture, your safety should always be your top priority.
Don’t run the risk of puncturing your eyes, losing a finger, or damaging your ears just because you’re too excited to get work but too lazy to wear your safety glasses, hand gloves, hearing protection, respirator, overalls, and other necessary safety gears. A little inconvenience can spell great difference especially when you’re working with huge planks of wood, blades, and nail guns.
Clothes that are too loose as well as dangling jewelry items like bracelets and necklaces can easily get caught in a saw blade or cutting head and put you in a dangerous position when working. Wear something that will not just allow you to move comfortably but will also keep you from getting entangled in cutting machines.
Drugs and alcohol are not something you want running in your blood when working with your power tools. Woodworking requires full attention and focus, which you cannot do if you’re intoxicated.
So, if you want to keep your wood shop an accident-free zone, make sure you stay away from substances that can negatively affect your state of body and mind, and keep you from giving your 100% concentration when working.
Disconnecting power tools from electricity source before changing blades is one simple rule that, unfortunately, many woodworkers tend to forget. One thing you can do to avoid forgetting this life-saving rule is to use one extension cord for your power tools that run on the same voltage. That way, you’ll be somehow forced to unplug cords when switching tools and be more conscious of disconnecting your power tools before changing blades.
Dull tools not only tear wood fibers and cause breakage but are also unpredictable and can run out of control, which can put you at risk of getting hurt. If you’re using a blade or chisel that’s not sharp enough, you’ll have to exert more force and effort so you can get your desired results. The trouble with it is that the more force you exert, the less control you’ll have over the machine or tool. And the less control you have, the higher your risk of getting into an accident.
Wearing safety gears and keeping your tools and machines in good working condition won’t be enough to keep you safe from harm if you don’t know how to position yourself and where to place your hands and tools while working. Generally, you should avoid standing and placing your hands directly behind the blade. Make sure also that there are no nails, screws, and other metals laying near saw blades as these can cause kickbacks and severe injuries when left unchecked.
This is very important not just for first-timers but even for professionals. Tools are designed for specific purposes and using them the wrong way will not only render them damaged and useless but also unsafe. So if you’re not sure how a tool or machine works, be sensible enough to consult someone who knows how to operate it or, at least, read the instruction manuals and do some research.
Now that you know the life-saving basics of woodworking, you can begin and finish your work safely, confidently, and hazard-free.
Wood is without doubt a very popular material in the construction and home decoration industry. From doors to tables, cabinets and picture frames, wood simply takes home the crown. But as the demand for it goes higher, so is the need to come up with methods and technology that can process it fast enough to meet the increasing demand.
Nonetheless, despite the high requirement for mass-produced wooden products and the efficiency that power tools and machines offer, the classic appeal of and craftsmanship put into hand-made ones leave a very good reason why it would be a shame to let traditional woodworking fade in the shadows of modern technology.
Traditional woodworking is a wood crafting and processing method that uses traditional hand tools like saw and chisel instead of power tools and machines like jigs, bits and routers. It puts a higher premium on quality and authenticity than on efficiency and a product’s commercial feasibility.
This is not to say that modern woodworking methods are inferior to traditional ones. Both have benefits and drawsides. And depending on the goal that you’re trying to achieve, either of these methods can very well serve your purpose.
The satisfaction you’ll get from creating something unique with your bare hands is the most compelling reason why you’d want to do it the old-fashioned way. Here are the basic steps to get you started.
This is used for keeping your wood in place for planing and sawing.
This is used for removing rough stock and jointing board edges.
This is used for trimming joints and end grain, and for putting champers on edges.
These are used for rough dimensioning lumber.
Use the dovetail saw for cutting joinery along the grain, the carcass saw for cutting across the grain, and the tenon saw for making deeper cuts.
These are used for making accurate and square or angled lengths.
This is used for removing waste from dovetail joints and for rough cutting shapes on the board.
A high quality bench chisel set would be worth spending for. You can use it practically for any project and can last for years.
This is used for chopping rectangular holes on the side of your board for tenon insertion.
You can use this for checking the accuracy of your squares, and for scribing joints.
Get a good quality metal try square ranging from 9 to 12 inches, which you will need for scribing square line on the face of your board.
This is also known as the bevel gauge that is used for scribing angles on your piece.
Also known as dividers, compasses are used for taking and replicating measurements on a work piece.
A good marking gauge will help you transfer measurements with ease and accuracy.
A folding rule is used for taking rough measurements when cutting boards.
Marking knives are used for making accurate marking lines for your cuts.
Using dull tools will only waste your time, material, and energy so be sure to have sharpening supplies to help you keep your tools sharp.
This is used for hitting your chisel when cutting joints.
A large shoulder plane will help you cut most sizes when trimming tenons, cutting rabbets, etc.
You’ll need clamps to hold joints together until the glue hardens.
One benefit of traditional woodworking is you won’t need too much space for your work and storage area. A small loft, basement or garage will do as long as you can keep your work area quiet and clean and have a safe storage for your hand tools.
This requires discipline but if you’d be patient enough to do this, you’ll save yourself a great deal of time and money in the long run.
The more knowledge you gain about the different types of wood, the defects you need to avoid, the possible sources of lumber, and the lumberyard language, the higher your chances of getting the perfect wood for your project will be. So, take time to learn.
Practice makes perfect. Marking, measuring, cutting, and fastening are just some of the basics you’ll need to learn and keep on practicing in order to sharpen your woodworking skills.
Here are some helpful tips for beginners.
Apart from wood and tools, you’ll need knowledge, skills, patience, discipline, and practice. But if you’re up to the challenge, then your traditional woodworking adventure would be nothing short of an exciting and fulfilling one.
In any woodworking project, you’ll always have your work cut out for you. That’s because even small projects would require skill and knowledge of the craft. Cutting the wood to right size, placing joints properly and accurately, and prepping the surface for finish are just some of the things you need to master for your projects to be successful.
For many projects, a low-priced table saw, a piece or a couple of hand planes, a chisel or two, and an orbital sander would do. However, as your skills grow and your projects become bigger and more complex, you’ll need larger, more powerful, more efficient, and more expensive tools.
The following woodworking tools should be enough to get beginners started:
As you keep practicing your craft, your skills and experience grow, and the size and scale of the projects that you’d like or need to do also increase. This is when you should consider investing in upgrading your tools. Your budget and available space should also come into play when making a decision to upgrade.
A bigger miter saw or table saw, a small jointer and planer are some of the power tools that most woodworkers would initially look for when upgrading. A miter saw would increase your speed while a table saw, which takes longer to setup, can make superior cuts. Routers and sanders are also some of the most common benchtools you’ll find in woodshops.
A track saw, which is ideal for making rip and cross cuts on plywood, are compact and handy. They can cost as much as a table saw.
Small jointers are useful for straightening edges while small planers help you clean up glue joints or prep rough timber quickly and easily. Getting a small floor model or bench model drill press would also be a good thing to consider as you can use it for most woodworking needs without much hassle.
If you do a lot of resawing, a bandsaw would be of good use to you. Getting a sturdy and powerful one would be necessary if you’re working with wide boards. Band saws can also cut faster and are safer for use than tablesaws although a table saw rip is generally smoother than a bandsaw rip.
If purchasing more advanced hand tools and machines would expand your capabilities and meet your needs and goals for your next projects, then going for an upgrade would be a wise decision. However, you should also weigh carefully whether a machine or just skill is needed for the project.
Finally, if you have tight budget and feel that you can still improve your skills and do much with your hand tools, then you may consider saving more money and waiting a little longer until you’re capable of purchasing and using more powerful tools and machines. Interim-sized ones don’t help much in improving skills and efficiency so it’s better to go for the bigger ones if and when you decide to go for an upgrade.
Got books laying around your room and piling up on your desktop? Maybe it’s time you make your own bookshelf. Here are a few easy steps to help you build one that would perfectly fit your style and space.
Before you get too excited about cutting your wood, you need to do the preps.
The next step is to choose your wood . The appearance, durability, and the cost of making your bookshelf would depend on the type of wood you’ll use.
Once you have your design, measurements, and wood, you may start cutting your wood. Here are steps on how to do it the right way.
After you’ve cut your wood and bore necessary holes on your board, you can start assembling your bookshelf. Here’s how it’s done.
To make your bookshelf look more inviting, inspiring, and exciting, consider these cool styling ideas. Browse over the list and pick those that would best reflect your personality and match your home’s interior.
Books are treasures. And with this bookshelf-making ideas, you can create for them a place in your home where you can keep, organize, and showcase them in a fun, simple, and stylish way.