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When we have no other criteria to judge things on, we always select the cheapest product. Well, most of us do. Isn't it always true that once we know some things to look for in the products and services we purchase, we are all willing to pay more if there are benefits to the more expensive product. This is always the case with the lowly paint brush. I have done it myself. There I stand in front of a rack of paint brushes, they all look pretty much the same to me sitting their in their packages and priced from $1.99 up to $24.99 ... so, what do I do, I purchase the cheapest one.
Then when I get home and start clear finishing my woodworking projects and find that I am really making a mess of an otherwise great project, and something I spent a lot of time making, and how the finish I am putting on is looking like crap. What's the first thing I blade ... the can of finish. BUT little did I know the real culprit was ME by selecting a cheap paint brush in the first place.
I can honestly say that when it comes to purchasing paint brushes, the more you pay the better quality you are going to get. But like all things, when you are armed with knowledge it makes all the difference in the world, and so ...
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In the scheme of things, there are not many actual "tools" when it comes to finishing of wood projects. Sure there are paint brushes of various types and sizes and large selection of spray type tools and attachments but other than that, there is not a lot avalable.
One of the challenges of so many of who use paint brushes to apply stains and final coats is trying to finish an entire project in one session. That often means having to finish all the sides that "show" without having to worry about the finish being marred. In most cases we have to do the finishing in 2 sessions, which contributes to making the finishing process long and tedious.
Thankfully someone has addressed some of the finishing challenges that woodworkers encounter while finishing and have invented some products to help meet these challenges.
The first product is the Veraspin 360. Nothing particularly high tech about this unit, it is basically a plastic turn table that comes in 2 sizes, 11" and 16". True, it spins around in a 360 degree circle nicely, but the real benefit to the Veraspins' are the built in little "nubs" on the top surface. These little nubs are used to help hold 2 other products that attach on top of them to make a great finishing platform.
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Finishing woodwork projects is the last step in a labor of love so it's critical that the finish show off the hard work, and the details of the wood . Add this to the fact that I have always tried to use products that are eco friendly and the list of finishing products starts to diminish signficantly. The only problem is that in many cases, the eco-friendly products I have tried have not given me anywhere near the kind of finish I wanted ... or expected ... until I discoverd OSMO.
If you have never heard of the word OSMO, don't be too alarmed. It is wood finishing product developed in Germany about 30 years ago. Sadly, it has taken many, many years to hit the North American markets.
One of the biggest advantages of OSMO is that it is eco friendly, and that is because it is made primarily from natural, renewable sunflower oil and plant waxes. In many countries in Europe, with their very high population density, their laws and restrictions on finishing products is quite advanced. OSMO is often a preferred product as it is so safe that it is even approved as a finish for children's toys! Originally created as a floor finishing product, OSMO has since been adapted for use in other ways, but knowing that it is used as floor finishing material helps to understand just how durable this product can be.
For woodworkers, the benefits are numerous, The product will not chip, flake, blister or peel, it has an enormous coverage which means it is not expensive to use. Best of all, it is easy to apply and makes a great finish, AND if it is being used in situations where "finish wear" is a concern, OSMO can be re-finished over top of it'self with only moderate sanding or roughing of the area to be re-finished. It reall is a remarkable product. OSMO comes in both an interior and exterior grade. The main difference with the exterior grade is the addition of UV inhibiting charcteristics.
IT IS VERY IMPORTANT to understand the OSMO is NOT applied to woodworking projects like many of the finishing products you may be accustomed to using. OSMO is NOT a product for the spray gun, nor is using it with most standard paint brushes recommended. OSMO must be applied with a very thin coat, which means it requires special application.
We were very lucky to know expert woodworker and finisher Phil Makin of Frameworks Services, who kindly took the time to explain OSMO to us and take us through the steps of finishing with OSMO. We wish to acknowledge Phil for his time and recommend him for your wood project requirements, sample of which are posted in the second part of this article.
OSMO Intro - Part 1
PLEASE CLICK THE "READ MORE" BELOW TO SEE PART 2
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Making boxes with the router is argueably one of the most fun things you can do with a router table. Not only that, you get to turn out objects that almost everybody loves and can use ... and it makes you look great. The other thing with boxes on the router table is by taking a design like this and modifying the sizes a little bit, you can make a whole range of different sizes, with or without hinged tops and all sorts of different and unique add-ons. Boxes are one of the most popular items for many people because they look great and are functional. They can be varied in so many different ways, different woods, contrasting woods, stains and dyes, final finishes, glossy, satin, matte, or by making them from laminated veneer woods and highlighting with contrasting wood, the variables are endless.
In this article we are making what we call the One Piece Box because it can be made from on piece of wood. The finished box is 4 inches square and if you can make it either with a routed lift off top as shown in the video, or you can leave the top on and cut it off on your table saw, then use hinges to open the lid. To make the 4 inch by 4 inch box, you need to start off with a board that is at least 26 inches long and 4 inches wide, by three-eighths of and inch thick.
In terms of tools, you will need a router and router table with a fence and you will also need a rabbeting bit that can be set for 3/8" (this is normally done by selecting the correct bearing on top) and you will need a spiral bit, you can use a 1/4" but will find that a 3/8" spiral bit is slightly more forgiving when it comes to cutting the top off the box. The 1/4" will work fine, just make sure you are absolutely correct with your cuts.
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We often don't get the opportunity to see "behind the scenes" tours of businesses that we deal with on a regular basis, but today, we are making an exception. We have not only a behind the scenes look, but and actual guided tour of a bit and blade sharpening business called "The Edge". We get to see what the machinery looks like that sharpens our bits and blades and how it is use.
In this video you will get to see a variety of sharpening machinery and tools and in some cases we will get to see how they work and what they do. Our tour guide is sharpening expert and The Edge Owner, Tom Saxby, who has a remarkable sense of what it takes to provide sharp blades for specific needs at competitive prices. In this video we will get to see what a spiral sharpening machine looks like and how it work, we will see how blade sharpening machine for jointer planers works and including a variety of blade sharpening machinery.
There are two very fascinating machines that are particularly interesting. One is the CNC saw blade sharpener the other is a machine that actually makes shaper type blades.
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Learning the tricks of how to use tools can make your woodworing life so - much - easier. The router is one of the perfect tools for making multiple, identical parts or components. Of course, you normally would need a router table with this as well, but depending on the part and the size, these can be done free hand, as long as the parts are held down firmly, and it's a great opportunity to use a "starter pin" to ease the wood into so that it makes a smoother transition.
In terms of a bit, a flush trim bit all that is needed. There are a few versions of these bits in both 1/4" and 1/2" shanks. You can get bits with bearing at the top of the bit, or at the bottom of the bit and you can even get some with bears at both top and bottom. The bits with the two bears are best because it gives you more options.
The actual template material that works best is 1/4" hardboard which is readily available at most hardware and wood supply stores. Although there is also a 1/8" version, which is also painted white on one side and is very nice for drawing your template outline on, the thinner version means more risk of running off the template which can ruin it, and your work piece.
The finished wood products from using this pattern making method are smooth well shaped products that are ready for the next step in the production of the finished product. Pattern making can be used for a variety of woodworking projects but one of the best uses is in making "blanK" inserts for your table saw.
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