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The Ultimate Guide On How To Cut Formica

Formica is a form of a plastic laminate. Many DIY hobbyists like to work with this type of material as it is versatile. In addition, it offers a huge selection of colors, textures, and finishes. Whatever color and texture that you need for your project, you would be able to find it in Formica. Moreover, this material is easy to work with thanks to its durability. You can choose a jigsaw, a circular saw or a laminate router for cutting Formica, depending on different needs. For a thinner sheet of Formica, you can use a utility knife for the project.

Nevertheless, if it is the first time that you have to deal with Formica, you might get into some common problems such as getting cracks and flakes when you try to cut this material. Follow this guide below for how to cut formica without having to encounter such problems.

Tools that you would need for the project:

  • A pen
  • A tape measure
  • A ruler
  • A masking tape
  • A circular saw
  • A router with laminate trimming bit
  • A jigsaw
  • A utility knife
  • A belt sander or a metal file.

Note about choosing the right tool: As you can see, there are different tool listed here for cutting Formica. A jigsaw is used to have curved cuts. On the other hand, a circular saw is for cutting straight cuts. A router with laminate trimming bit is the tool that you would need when you want to cut finer and smoother cuts. Last but not least, for a thinner piece of Formica, you can use a utility knife for cutting.

The best blade to use is the plywood cutting one or the metal cutting one. They should have a lot of teeth to prevent the Formica from chipping while being cut.

Step by step of cutting Formica with a circular saw

Step 1: First of all, you need to measure the place where you want to install the Formica using a tape measure. Note down the dimensions.

Step 2: Place the Formica on a flat and stable working surface, ideally a working table. Be prepared to have a damaged surface of the working table afterward as the saw can cut through. You can consider placing a piece of plywood underneath the Formica to prevent the table from getting damaged.

Avoid putting the Formica on top of cement.

Step 3: Measure on the Formica which parts you want to cut it. Then use a pen to mark the cutting lines.

Step 4: Use a masking tape to cover the cutting line. This will help to prevent vibrations and make the cuts on the Formica as smooth as possible.

Step 5: Add an extra layer of masking tape on the starting edge of the line which you have drawn. In case when you cover the drawn line with the masking tape and couldn’t see the line, just take the measure again. Remark the point and line which you want to cut right on the masking tape.

Step 6: Use the circular saw or laminate shears for cutting straight cuts. Guide the blades of the tools towards the lines that you have drawn on the Formica and turn on the tool for cutting. Follow a steady speed. Slowing down the tool when you see smoke coming out from the cut.

Step 7: Place the cut Formica on the place that you want to install it to.

Step 8: Then use a jigsaw to trim the Formica. The jigsaw is also used for you to make curved cuts as well. Guide the jigsaw towards the edges of the Formica and turn the machine on. Move the blade slowly so you can cut the Formica accurately.

Step 9: Finally, use a belt sander for sanding the cut edges of the Formica. You can also choose a small metal file for sanding as this tool is smaller and easier to handle.

Step by step of cutting Formica with a router

Step 1: As I mentioned above, a router is used to trim Formica for finer corners. Hence, you should consider cutting big pieces of Formica with a circular saw first before using the router.

Step 2: After you finish cutting a big chunk of Formica, remove any remaining masking tape.

Step 3: Install the Formica onto its place.

Step 4: Use the trim router with a laminate cutting bit to trim the edges of the Formica to the shape that you want. Guide the leading edge of the bit towards the Formica.

Step 5: After that, use a belt sander or a metal file to sand off the rough cut edges of the Formica.

Step by step in cutting Formica with a utility knife

Step 1: First, you need to lay down the sheet of Formica onto a flat surface. Place that Formica sheet on top of a piece of plywood. If you do so, when you cut the Formica with a utility knife, you wouldn’t damage the surface of the working table.

Step 2: Use things with weight to keep the corners of the Formica’s sheet laying flat. Books will work well.

Step 3: Measure the place where you want to cut the Formica and mark it with a pencil. Use a ruler in order to draw a straight line.

Step 4: Use the masking tape to cover the lines which you have drawn on the Formica sheet. You should measure and draw another line on the masking tape if you don’t see the one you have drawn.

Step 5: Place the ruler along the line you have drawn and use it as the guide for you to cut the Formica. Guide the blade of the utility knife along the side of the ruler. Score the blade onto the drawn line for several times.

Step 6: After that, take the sheet of Formica up slightly. Slightly bend both sides and the sheet of Formica is cut nicely.

Notes for safety while you cut Formica:

  • Make sure that the blades that you are working with are sharp. Using dull blade is harder and less efficient. In addition, if you use a dull blade for cutting, you can get yourself into unwanted accidents.
  • In case you work with piece of powered machinery, make sure that you read the instructions on the manual books about how to operate them safely.
  • Last but not least, you should put on your personal protection equipment including your goggles and your ear protection to prevent dirt and debris from getting into your eyes

Generally, cutting Formica is one of the easiest tasks that you have encountered for any DIY project. Cracks and flakes can be easily avoided if you follow the proper steps for cutting Formica. You can use a circular saw or a laminate router in order to cut Formica, both of which have different steps and techniques. In order to cut curves or trim the piece of Formica for it to have smoother details, use a jigsaw. And for a thin sheet of Formica, you can use a utility knife to cut it. I hope that with all of the information above, you would be able to cut Formica without encountering any problem like chipping or cracking at all.

Easy Ways On How To Cut Lexan

Lexan is also known as Polycarbonate. It is a type of lightweight plastic that you can use for various DIY home projects, construction projects as well as backing board. You can also use Lexan as a layer to add extra insulation to a wide range of items, from your corrective lenses, protective windshields and bottles. Thanks to the nature of the plastic, it is quite easy to cut Lexan with various types of tools.

Today, we will show you how to cut Lexan with our step by step guide. Most importantly you need to think about the right tool for the project. The choice of which tool to uses depends on the thickness of a piece of Lexan, the patters you want to cut and the purpose of the project. Then you can follow the other steps on handling the chosen tool to cut Lexan nicely and smoothly.

What Are Lexan?

Lexan is a type of polycarbonate resin. This type of material is lightweight and durable as it is resistant against heat and electricity. It is even tougher than a cement board. It also has a high optical clarity. Last but not least, it can be easily bought from many stores with a very affordable price. That is the reason why this material is very popular among DIY hobbyists. If you learn how to cut it now, you will see that this will be really useful for your next projects in the future.

How To Choose The Right Tool?

First of all, you need to decide which tool that you would need in order to cut Lexan. The right tool will ensure that you can cut a piece of Lexan in a short time, resulting in clean and smooth cuts.

Here are 3 things that you need to consider when you choose the right tool- the softness of a piece of Lexan, its thickness and the pattern which you want to cut the piece of Lexan into.

  • Softness of Lexan: First of all, the best tool to handle of soft and fragile sheet of Lexan is a utility knife. And if it is tougher and stiffer, you can use other tools including hand shears or a circular saw.
  • Thickness of Lexan: In case a sheet of Lexan is thin and fragile, you should use a utility knife. For thicker Lexan, you can use a hand shears. For any piece of Lexan which is more than 0.125 inches, you can use a circular saw. In case of a sheet of Lexan which is more than 0.5 inches, you should use a table saw to cut the Lexan.
  • Pattern: For curved cuts on a piece of Lexan, you can use a jigsaw. This tool is also suitable for cutting other unique and original pattern. Provided that you want to cut only the middle of a sheet of Lexan, you can use table saw. This tool is able to reach for further areas without you having to cut through to it.​

What Are Other Things That You Need In Order To Cut Lexan?

Other things that you should prepare before cutting Lexan are pencil, ruler, duct tape and C-clamp. Pencil and ruler are used to measure and mark the cutting points and lines.. On the other hand, duct tape and C-clam are used for keeping the piece of Lexan stable and in place during the cutting process.

Steps To Take Before You Cut The Sheet Of Lexan With Different Tools:

These steps are applicable for all of the tools that you are going to use to cut Lexan.

Step 1: Lay the sheet of Lexan on a clean working surface. This surface should also be flat and stable. A stable working surface will ensure you have consistent cuts and avoid having edgy cuts as much as possible. You should also place another stable and flat board underneath the piece of Lexan if you don’t want the tool such as the utility knife to cut through the working table and cause scratches on the surface.

If you notice a thin layer of protective layer on the sheet of Lexan, don’t remove it. This piece of paper is there to protect the piece of Lexan and you should leave it there to have clean and smooth cuts.

Step 2: Use the ruler and pencil to mark the points or lines that you are going to cut. You should use a pencil instead of permanent marker as you can erase the marks later on. You can also use duct tape and place it on the sheet as an outline for your intended cut.

Step 3: In case you think that the working surface is quite slippery, you can use duct tape on the edges or cover the lines on the sheet of Lexan that you are going to cut. You can use C-clamps in case the sheet of Lexan is thicker to keep the sheet in place.

Note: Make sure when you use duct tape to fix the sheet of Lexan on the working surface, you don’t stretch the sheet too much. Otherwise, the cuts will be distorted.

How To Cut Lexan Using A Utility Knife:

Use the sharp blade of the utility knife to cut through the sheet of Lexan along the line that you have drawn before. Make sure you follow a slow and steady space so that you wouldn’t cut out of the intended line.

Check that you only a sharp blade. In case you use a blunt blade, not only will it take a longer time for you to cut, it also cause potential damages to yourself.

How To Cut Lexan Using A Pair Of Hand Spears:

Follow the lines that you have marked on the sheet of Lexan slowly and steadily to avoid wobbles and unclear cuts. For smoother cuts, instead of making two spears close completely, you should stop when they are just about to close.

Note: You can add extra drops of light machine oil on the blades as well as spears of your hand spears. This will help you to cut through a piece of Lexan quicker, having much smoother cuts as a result.

How To Cut Lexan Using A Circular Saw:

For a sheet which is thicker than 0.125 inches, you should use a circular saw for the best result. You should go for the blade with fine and even teeth. Make sure that the blade that you use is the sharpest.

Step 1: Turn on the circular saw and move it toward the sheet of Lexan.

Step 2: You don’t have to apply too much force. Instead, just let the saw cut the Lexan itself. Move it in a slow and steady speed.

Step 3: Stop the saw when you finally cut through the sheet of Lexan.

In case you don’t have a powered circular saw, you can also use a handsaw. This tool will take much effort and time for you to cut through the sheet of Lexan. Still, it is also very convenient and will be a great substitute. Also choose a fine tooth saw blade and follow the same steps as above.

How To Cut Lexan Using A Jig Saw:

You can cut Lexan with this tool using the similar steps that you would take when you cut with a circular saw.

The blade that you are going to use with this jig saw is a metal cutting blade. Make sure that the blade that you use is the sharpest. Also check if the sheet of Lexan can stay firmly and stably on the working station. Use C-clamps for extra stability.

Turn on the jig saw and guide it toward the mark that you have drawn on the sheet. Move the blade slowly and steadily. You don’t have to force or push down the saw at all. Complete all of the cutting before turning the jig saw off.

How To Cut Lexan Using A Table Saw:

Step 1: First of all, you have to mount the table saw on the working table. Raise the blade so that it is about 0.5 inches higher than the surface of the saw table.

Step 2: After that, you can push the sheet into the saw. When the sheet makes contact with the blade, follow a slow and steady space.

For other tools, you don’t have to press the blade too hard into the sheet of Lexan. However, you should apply a moderate amount of pressure. Too much or too little pressure will lead to the cracking of the sheet of Lexan.

Tip: Instead of drawing the cut line on the sheet of Lexan with a pencil, you should use duct tape to cover the line that you intend to cut. Duct tape will prevent the Lexan from chipping when you cut it under high speed and pressure.

Warning: To make sure that you stay safe and avoid accidents from happening when you cut through these pieces of Lexan using circular saw, jig saw and table saw, you need to put on your safety glasses and dust mask. You should only work in a well ventilated area and avoid breathing in the fumes that are coming out of the saw blade. Be aware of your surroundings to make sure that you will not hurt anyone that accidentally passes by.

If you notice smoke coming out when you are cutting the Lexan, you should slow down the sliding until the smoke stops and then continue pushing the sheet of Lexan forward.

After Cutting The Lexan

When you finish cutting, you can use medium grit to sand and make the edges of the cut pieces to become cleaner and smoother. Sanding also helps to remove the residual crumbs after the Lexan is cut.

As you can see, it is quite easy for you to handle and cut a piece of Lexan. The most difficult thing here maybe is about how to choose the right tool for the project. Pieces of Lexan with different thickness and softness will require different cutting tools. In addition, based on your need to have straight cuts or curved cuts, you also need to choose the tool accordingly.

I hope with all of the guides and useful tips above, you would be able to choose the most appropriate tool for your projects. Follow all of the steps on cutting Lexan for different tools and I am sure that you would be able to have very clean and smooth cuts from Lexan.

How To Harden Wood – 3 Ways

A piece of rotted wood deserves a second chance. Do you know that sometimes, wood which seems to be such a waste as it is soft and rotted can be hardened and useable? If you know how to harden wood in a proper way, it can be firm enough for fixings as well as structural integrity. Take a look at the article below for some of the most effective methods you can use to harden a piece of wood.

Read more: Best Tool Sets 2020 – Are Corrosion Resistant Tools The Best?

Is It Worth Hardening A Piece Of Wood?

Sometimes a piece of wood is not really worth being hardened at all. So always check before you decide to harden any wood log. Use using your hand to remove any loose piece. If you can easily do so, it is not worth keeping and hardening this piece of wood at all.

In case you find it hard to remove any loose bit or couldn’t do it at all, or in case the piece of wood is only soft, you can harden it for your future woodworking project.

Here are all of the things that you can do to harden wood:

1. Using The Fire Hardening Method

This is one of the most common methods that you can use to harden a piece of wood. This method is called as the fire hardening method. While it is called this way, the element which helps to harden the wood is not the fire, but the heat.

The heat coming from the fire will extract the moisture out of the piece of wood. The wood grain inside the piece of wood will be tightened together as a consequence.

This method is quite hard to use. It requires you to be extremely careful to avoid yourself from getting burned. Also too much heat will damage the quality of that piece of wood. If you put the piece of wood too close to the heat and for a long time, the piece of wood can scorch or burn.

The key thing to this method is that you need to be very patient. You might even have to try several times before you can fully master this technique. You can use the fire hardening method for making spears or arrows.

Here are all of the steps to follow to harden wood with fire:

Step 1: Prepare a fire pit. If you don’t have one, you can dig a hole; place some rocks as well as pieces of charcoal in the middle.

Step 2: Light up the charcoal. Blow slowly and gently into the pit for the flame to become bigger.

Step 3: Continue to throw in some small pieces of charcoal to the fire until the flame is stable enough. The best flame that you should aim for is the one which is 6 inches high. It should also have a blue center.

Step 4: Hold the piece of wood over the flames for a few minutes. Make sure that you don’t put the piece of wood too close to the flame. There should be a gap of around 3 inches between the flame and the piece of wood.

Step 5: When an area gets just a little bit warmer, you need to turn that piece of wood around. You should change sides of the wood constantly to avoid a particular from being overheated.

Step 6: Stop once in a while to check the condition of the piece of wood. If the surface of such piece looks dry, it means that all of the moisture is extracted. That piece of wood is now harder than before.

Step 7: Place this piece of wood in a cool dry place for it to cool down. You now finish hardening a piece of wood using the fire hardening method.

2. Using A Strengthening Epoxy

When the fibers of a piece of wood become loose, you can apply a strengthening epoxy to the surface of that wood to make sure these fibers remain bound together. After you apply the strengthening epoxy, you would be able to even hammer it with nails or do anything just like what you do with firm and sturdy pieces of wood.

This method is easy to apply, even for an amateur at woodworking. A strengthening epoxy is also widely available at very reasonable prices. However, be prepared that for large pieces of wood, it will take several days for them to reach the hardness that you want.

Here are all of the steps you need to do to harden wood with a strengthening epoxy product:

  • Step 1: First of all, you need to remove all of the dirt and debris on the surface of the piece of wood. This will prevent them from sticking permanently on the surface of the pieces of wood when you apply the strengthening epoxy.
  • Step 2: Mix the ingredients of the strengthening epoxy with the ratio recommendation from the manufacturer in a bowl. Each strengthening epoxy has a different ratio and way to mix with water. So make sure you follow the instructions carefully in order to achieve the best results.
  • Step 3: Stir the bowl well until all of the ingredients are mixed together and the liquid becomes thicker. Don’t use the liquid yet when it is only as thick as glue. However, the thicker liquid like paste wouldn’t also be effective.
  • Step 4: Then use an applicator brush and apply a layer of the mixture on the wood. Spread the mixture evenly over the soft section which you want it to be hardened. You are going to throw the brush after this project so go for a disposable one.
  • Step 5: Wait for the strengthening epoxy to penetrate deeply into the wood and the remaining solvents to dry up. For a small piece of wood, it only takes just a few hours. However, for a large piece, it will take even up to a few days.
  • Step 6: For a much harder piece of wood, you might consider adding more layers of strengthening epoxy to the wood. After the first layer dries, apply another layer following the steps above.

Tips:

  • When you apply the strengthening epoxy on the surface of a piece of wood, use as much as you can.
  • In case you have to deal with a very soft piece of wood, drill a hole into the middle of the wood and fill it with a strengthening epoxy. It also applies in case you need to harden a large piece of wood. With this way, the epoxy can penetrate much quickly into a vast area of the wood.
  • As I mentioned above, it would take quite a long time for the strengthening epoxy to penetrate and the solvent to dry up. You can quicken the process by placing the piece of wood you are working with a dry place. Temperature is also a key factor here. The lower the temperature, the quicker the strengthening epoxy can help to harden your piece of wood.

3. Using Polycryl

Polycryl is a form of wood fortifier that helps to harden a soft area of a piece of wood. It is safe, cheap and easy to use. Not to mention that it is quite a safe product. After a piece of wood is hardened with this product, the appearance of the wood will not be altered.

Here are all of the steps to harden a piece of wood using Polycryl:

Step 1: Most of the time when you buy Polycryl on the market, it comes in a concentrated form. If it is the case, you need to dilute it with water. Follow the instructions on the label of the Polycryl for the recommended ratio of water and Polycryl. Mix water and Polycryl in a bow. Stir well.

Step 2: Remove all of the dirt and debris on the surface of the wood. It will prevent these particles from sticking permanently onto the wood.

Step 3: Use an applicator brush and soak it into the mixture of Polycryl and water.

Step 4: Then apply a thin layer of Polycryl on the soft areas.

Step 5: Place the piece of wood aside in a cool and dry place. You need to wait for a couple of hours for the solution to penetrate deeply to the piece of wood.

Step 6: After step 5, if the piece of wood is not as hard as you want, continue to apply more Polycryl.

You can use all of the steps above to harden a small piece of wood. For a big piece of wood, instead of brushing Polycryl, you can soak the entire piece in the Polycryl solution.

The main problem with this type of solution is that Polycryl is water soluble. Hence, if you want to use a piece of wood which is treated with Polycryl, you need to apply a finish layer. This layer should be waterproof in order to protect the wood well.

Here are 3 most common methods that you can use to harden a piece of wood. You can use a fire to harden the wood. You can also use a strengthening epoxy or Polycryl. Using fire is a quick and efficient method but it will certainly take a long time. On the other hand, using chemicals such as a strengthening epoxy or Polycryl is easier. However, it will take time, especially if you work on a big piece of wood. The choice of which method to use depends on your needs, preferences, and your skills. Or you can attempt all of these 3 methods to see which one works the best for you.

How Are Matches Made? What Wood Are Matches Made From?

Matches are probably the cheapest and most convenient thing that you can use to ignite a fire. You can easily create fire with matches, especially when you want to make big fire from chunks of wood logs. Not to mention that they are super compact and portable. Undoubtedly, matches are the invention that hugely impacts our daily civilized life.

Like other big important inventions along the course of human race development, there had been different materials, chemical ingredients as well as designs which are used to make into a match. However, the best and greatest option was finally developed in around the 1800s by a Swedish chemist.

If you want to know more about this wonderful invention and are currently seeking for answers such as “what wood are matches made from?” or “how are matches made”, take a look at this article here for the ultimate answers to your questions.

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All You Need To Know About Wood Glue – The Ultimate Guide

Wood glue is not as simple as you might think. While the main purpose of wood glue is to help you to glue pieces of wood, there is a wide selection of types and brands that you can find on the market Each types of wood glue is made from different materials. As a result, their characteristics of these glues are different. There are different pros and cons for each type as well.

In case you are looking for a guide on how to use wood glue or seek for some questions such as “How long does wood glue take to dry”, the answer would not be the same for all types of wood glue. In fact, different types of wood glue would have different time for it to dry. In addition, other factors such as the weather and the humidity of the wood can affect the time a type of wood glue takes to dry.

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How To Sharpen Planer Blades

If you own a planer at home, you would know that cleaning and maintaining the planer are very important if you want this piece of machinery to perform well. In addition, when your planer is in good condition, it will last for many years. Among all of the parts in the planer, the blades of the planer are some of the most important parts. They help the planer to do its job properly and prevent unwanted accidents when you use the machine.

And in order to maintain the planer blades, you need to know how to sharpen them. This task is not difficult at all if you know which tools to use and which steps to follow. Read this guide below to see how to sharpen planner blades in the most effective way.

For this method, you should use a whetstone in order to sharpen the blades of a planer.

• Pros of this method: For this method, you don’t have to create any complicated jib in order to do the job. You can also use this method for all type of planers, whether they are floor standing planer, lunch box planer or benchtop planer.

• Cons of this method: However, this method requires you to be more careful with the blades in order to prevent the sharp blades from causing damage to your body.

Step 1: First of all, you need to prepare the blades for them to be sharpened. Take the guide out and place it onto a clean and even surface. Then place the blades of the planer out and place it to the guide. Position the blades carefully so that they are in the bevel side down position.

Step 2: Apply a thin layer of tapping oil on the whetstone. Tapping oil will help to clean off metal more effectively.

Step 3: Use the coarse side of the whetstone in order to remove any nick on the blade of the planer. Push the whetstone along the blade. Don’t pull the whetstone in order to prevent burr on the edge of the blades.

Step 4: After you get rid of the nicks on the blade, move whetstone on the blades to sharpen them. Remember that you should only apply the stone onto the areas at which there is no vibration. If the blades move rigorously during the process of sharpening, it will lead to a curved edge on the blades of the planer.

Step 5: After you sharpen the blades of the planner with the whetstone, use the medium and fine grit to further sharpen these blades.

For the second method, I am going to use a sharpening jig for sharpening the planer blades

• Pros of this method: This method is more effective in term of sharpening the planer blades. Another great benefit of this method is that you don’t have to take the blades out for sharpening. As a result, it is safer for you.

• Cons of this method: This method only works for floor standing planer. It doesn’t work for some lunch box and benchtop planer.

Step 1: First, you need to set up the sharpening jig. Take the look at the picture below to see all of the parts of this sharpening jig. The type of wood which can be used is the dense and hard type of wood like maple.

Alternatively, you can buy a ready-made sharpening jig at any local store. This planer sharpener is made to help you to hone as well as sharpen both sides of the planer blades without having to take off the blades. Some products also come with coarse and fine grit.

Step 2: Place this sharpening jig on the top of the cutterhead. Adjust the cutterhead so that the bevel side of the planer blade is placed under the stone. Make sure that it also points toward the center of the sharpening stone as well.

Step 3: Lock down the cutterhead. This will prevent the blades from moving and causing frictions. There are 2 main ways you can use to lock down the cutterhead. The first method is you can clamp the belts of the cutterhead to the pulley. The second method is clamping the cutterhead with a wedge.

Step 4: Move and tilt the sharpening jig forward several times to sharpen the blades of the planer.

Finally, here are some safety precautions to take note when you deal with the planer and its blades:

  • 1. Before you sharpen the planer blades, make sure you turn off and unplug the machine.
  • 2. Since the blades are rough, even the dull ones will be sharp enough to cut you, you need to be careful. Never brush up against these blades. Some blades have two sharp sides so be careful whenever you handle any blade.
  • 3. Apply a lot of pressure on the planer blades and the sharpening tools. It will help to keep the blades away from vibrating.
  • 4. Remember that you need to check the blades of the planer frequently to make sure they always stay sharp and flat. You can check for the conditions of the planer blades by tilting them toward the light. If the planer blades are in good condition, they would look flat.
  • 5. There are several sharpening tools that you can use as well. For example, you can use the coarse grit, the waterstones which are from 1000 to 8000 grit, sandpaper or oilstone. The choice of which sharpening tools to use is purely based on your personal preference.

Here are all of the steps you should follow in order to sharpen planer blades. It is critical for the machine to keep up the good work if you keep sharpening the blades frequently. You can use a whetstone for this task. Alternatively, you can set up a sharpening jig so that you can sharpen the blades without taking them out of the machine. I hope that with all of the information above, you would be able to find the best and most suitable way to sharpen the planer blades. Remember the safety tips as well and you will never fail on sharpening planer blades.

How To Straighten Wood With Easy Steps

When a piece of wood, such as a board wraps, it means that it is not straight with flat surface anymore. There are several reasons to explain why wood wraps. The main reason is that when that piece of wood becomes dry, some parts will dry out more quickly than some other parts due to the uneven distribution of moisture inside the wood fibers. All of these occurrences make wood less straight.

Luckily, there are several ways you can use to straight wood. It can be as simple as cutting or more complicated as restoring the moisture nature for the wood fibers. Each of these methods will require different steps and techniques.

This guide below will provide you with more details about these two methods on how to straighten wood in the easiest and most efficient steps.

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How To Cut Hardboard – 3 Common Ways

You might have to use hardboard more often than you might think. This is one of the most common materials that you would use in your house to decorate various items. You can use hardboard for covering floors, doors as well as cabinets and panels. You can also use it for siding. You can replace it for plywood to save cost as well. This material is also the favorite choice of many DIY beginners as it is easy to deal with. The smooth surface of a piece of hardwood is ideal for any painting jobs.

Because hardwood is so common in many woodworking projects, it is understandable that you know how to deal with this type of material well- including cutting it. In case you are searching for the best ways to deal with cutting hardboard, the guide below is for you.

Read on to see the best way you can use to hardboard for your projects.

Things you need to know about hardboard and cutting hardboard:

  • Hardboard is cheap and widely available. It is also a very durable material.
  • This type of material has no grain. It can be cut in any direction.
  • You need to place the neater side of the piece of hardboard upward. The side with texture should be placed downward.
  • When you cut hardboard, make sure you finish the cut in one go. If you cut and then stop in the middle, you will damage the hardboard and cause cracks on the surface of the board.
  • Consider putting on a pair of safety goggles to prevent the small particles from getting into your eyes.

Tools you would need for the project:

  • A piece of hardboard
  • A pencil
  • A measuring tape and a ruler
  • A table saw/ a circular saw or a jigsaw. These tools need to have a sharp blade with a lot of teeth. The most suitable blade for a table saw or a circular saw is a carbide blade with fine and even teeth.

>>> If you want to cut straight lines, you should use a table saw or a circular saw. On the other hand, use a jigsaw if you want to cut curved lines.

Steps on preparing the hardboard for cutting

Step 1: To prepare the hardboard for cutting, you should place it on a flat and stable working surface. Make sure that the piece of hardboard would not move when you cut it. Consider clamping it down with clamps.

You should place the clamps as close to the point where you want to cut the hardboard as possible. This will ensure that the vibrations will less likely to occur during the areas where you are going to cut. Vibration is the thing that you want to avoid if you want to have the smooth cuts from the hardboard.

Moreover, the bigger the piece of hardwood is, the more clamps that you should use to make sure the hardboard can stay stable.

Step 2: Use the measuring tape to measure how much you want to cut with the hardboard. Use the pencil to mark down the cuts that you want to have. Use a straight ruler to draw a straight line on the piece of hardboard.

Step 3: Cover the other side of the drawn lines with tape. This is not a compulsory step but it makes sure you have the cleanest and smoothest cuts, especially when you use a table saw to cut hardboard. When you operate the table saw at high speed, the blade of the table saw can lead to torque and rip off edges of the cut pieces. With the tape covering the drawn lines, the blade would cause fewer vibrations. Hence, the cuts would be cleaner and smoother.

1. How to cut hardboard with a table saw:

Read more: 10 Best Table Saw for Woodworkers 2020 – Buyer’s and Guide

Step 1: As I mentioned above, install the carbide tipped saw blade into the table saw before you cut hardboard. The blade should have many teeth so that the cuts can be smooth. Go for a blade that has around 80 to 100 teeth.

Step 2: Set the measurements of the fence at the levels which are suitable for the dimensions of the piece of the hardboard.

Step 3: Adjust the hardboard so that the blade of the circular saw points towards the line that you have drawn on the hardboard for cutting.

Step 4: Turn on the table saw. Use both of your hand to move the hardboard so that the blade of the saw can cut into the drawn line. Move in a slow and steady speed. Slow down if you think the motor has a straining sound.

2. How to cut hardboard with a circular saw:

Read more: The 8 Best Circular Saw in 2019 – How to Pick Right!

Step 1: Install the carbide tipped saw blade into the circular saw before you cut hardboard. The blade should have many teeth so that the cuts can be smooth. Go for a blade that has around 50 to 60 teeth.

Step 2: Make sure that the piece of hardwood is clamped down firmly.

Step 3: Point the circular saw’s blade towards the point at which you want to cut the piece of hardwood.

Step 4: Turn on the circular saw and guide the blade of the saw along the drawn lines on the cutting board.

Step 5: After you cut the hardboard, consider sanding these edges of the cut hardboard to make these edges become smoother.

3. How to cut hardboard with a circular saw:

Read More: Best Mini Circular Saws – The 4 Best Options For 2020 Review

Step 1: Use a sharp blade and install it to the circular saw. Choose the one with the most teeth as possible. The more teeth a blade has, the smoother the edges of the cuts are.

Step 2: Clamp the piece of hardboard down firmly. You should place the clamps as close to the line you want to cut as possible. It would help to prevent vibrations in these areas.

Step 3: Turn on the circular saw and guide the blade of this saw along the lines you have drawn on the hardboard. Make sure that you don’t push too hard on the circular saw. Just guide the blade lightly and let it do its job.

Here are all of the steps that you can do in order to cut hardboard. As you can see, it doesn’t require complicated or powerful machinery in order for you to cut board. For straight cuts, you can use a table saw or a circular saw. And if you want to have curved cuts, choose a circular saw. As long as you pick up the right tool and having a proper knowledge of cutting hardboard, I am sure that you would be able to finish your project in a short amount of time.

How To Drill Into Stucco

It is a nice touch for the front of your house if you install and hang a wind chime. And I am sure that there are a lot of things that you can do with your wall stucco such as train vines to grow up to along lattice panels attached to the stucco. At first, it seems easy to do these tasks. All you need to do is to drill a hole, insert the anchor and then hang the wind chime from it. However, there are a lot of things that you need to learn in order to drill into stucco- including the right tools, right steps and also helpful hints and tips for an easier job.

Take a look at this article below and I will guide you through all of the steps of how to drill into stucco and what other tips that you need to know for the project.

First, let’s check this video below to see how easy it is to drill into stucco:

So what is stucco? It is a wall covering. It is made from a mixture of sand, Portland cement, lime and water. Additional additives are added into the stucco including fibers to make it stronger and more flexible.

There are two types of stucco – the cement based stucco, which is the traditional type. The second type of stucco is the synthetic one that has the full name of Exterior Insulation Finishing System.

  • The synthetic stucco is acrylic based product which is used for covering a layer of foam insulation. If you tap on a wall covered by this material, it would feel kind of hollow. This kind of stucco is also known as modern stucco.
  • On the other hand, the traditional cement based stucco is tougher. Instead of covering a layer of foam insulation, cement based stucco is used for covering a regular wall sheathing. When you tap on a wall covered by this material, it would not feel hollow at all.

Here are some of important facts that you should know before deciding drilling into stucco:

  • Cement stucco is super tough. It is not an easy task to do for any DIY beginners. Do consult experts if you aren’t sure whether you are able to do this project on your own.
  • If you are going to drill a hole into modern stucco aka synthetic stucco, you need to check about the condition of its warranty. The warranty would possibly be voided if the wall covering is drilled unauthorized or not in the ways which are specified by the manufacturer.
  • Since cement based stucco is durable, it can handle a huge amount of weight. The nail also has a good grip and you will be able to hang a lot of heavy things. However, the acrylic based is weaker. If you hang a heavy object, overtime, the hole you drill into the stucco become larger and water will be able to get into the wall. As a result, mold will develop.
  • Always wear safety goggles and hearing protection equipment before you start drilling into stucco.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and make sure you follow all of the safety precautions to prevent yourself and other people from getting hurt.
  • Make sure you don’t drill into any electric wire or water line. Check the building plans if you have them in hand.

Drill Into Stucco – Guided Steps

You need to have the right tool for this tough job. And nothing can do it better than a hammer drill. You don’t need a very powerful drill to do the job well.

  • You can either choose to buy a hammer drill or rent it from a rental store. However, if you intend to have other future project, it is a great idea to invest in a hammer drill along with various drill bits.
  • Invest in a cordless hammer drill for the ability to drill into stucco at various heights.
  • Choose the appropriate masonry bit for the hammer drill. The size of the bit should match the size of the screws you are going to use. If the masonry bit is smaller, you might have to force to get the screw into the stucco, further damaging it. On the other hand, if the masonry bit is larger, the screw will not be able to stay onto the stucco wall. You can use a caliper to help you determine the right size of the masonry bit.
  • Consider buying a kit that has different types of anchors. Go for stainless steel screws as they are more durable and will not rust over time.

Here are the steps on drilling into cement based stucco:

Step 1: Use a measuring tape and a pencil to measure and mark where you want to drill the hole on the stucco.

Step 2: Put the chosen masonry bit into the hammer drill and tighten it.

Step 3: Hold the power drill tightly by both hand place the tip of the masonry bit against the marked point. Turn on the hammer drill trigger and push the machine firmly forward. Don’t push the drill too hard. Instead, only keep moving forward when you feel there is no resistance at all. Stop occasionally to check the hole and to check if you are going to come across any electric wire or water line.

Step 3: Drill only as deep as necessary. In most of the cases, only drill 1/8 inch deeper than the screw or the anchor. Don’t drill too deep into the stucco or you might damage the electric wire or water lines.

Step 4: Blow out any dirt from the drilling with a turkey baster. You can also use a can of compressed air to blow the dirt. Don’t use your mouth to blow out dirt. If you do so, the dirt might get into your eyes.

Step 5: As I mention above, you should use stainless stain instead of the screws which come from the anchor bolts. Hence, you should take the screws inside the anchor bolts out and use the stainless steel screws instead.

Step 6: Apply a small amount of acrylic caulk into the hole before you insert a plastic anchor bolt in it. Make sure the anchor bolt fits snugly into the hole by tapping lightly on it with a hammer. Don’t tap the hammer too hard or you might break the caulk.

Your job now is done. All you need to do next is to hang the decorative items onto the nail. Remember to clean the mess- including dirt and debris.

As soon as you gather all of the tools and pieces of hardware needed, along with the sufficient information from this article, you can start on this project immediately. There are a lot to learn but I am sure that you will soon be able to drill into stucco without any difficulty. After just a project, you will see that it is very easy to drill into stucco. Keep in mind all of the safety tips and you will safely handle this task.

How To Cut Wood With 5 The Most Effective Methods

How to cut wood? This is a simple and short question. But it is indeed a very broad topic with a lot of possible answers. In fact, you would need different tools and different kinds of saw for cutting various types of wood. In addition, there are different methods for these tools.

If you pick up the right tool, you would be able to cut wood in a quick and efficient way, leading to very accurate results. Follow this article for the ultimate guide on choosing and using the right tools to cut wood.

Safety First

Before you choose the suitable tools and equipment and start on your project, there are several things that you need to know in order to maintain the best level of safety. It also helps to prevent yourself as well as other people from being injured.

  • Know that it is no easy to work with powered tools and equipment in order to cut wood. These tools can be harmful. Hence, you need to make sure you fully understand all of the features of a tool or machine before you work with it.
  • Make sure that you read the instructions from the manual book of the tool and equipment that you are going to work with.
  • Only work with a sharp blade. If you work with a dull blade, not only it is inefficient, it can cause significant damages and accidents to you.
  • You need to wear your personal protective equipment including your eye protection and gloves. This will help to prevent dirt, debris and wood chip from getting into your eyes. In addition, if you have to work with loud machinery, you should also put on a pair of ear protection.
  • Be aware of your surroundings, especially when you are handling the large projects.
  • Make sure that the working table is as stable as possible. Also, you need to secure the piece of wood with clamps for that piece to stay securely when you use both handsaws and power saws.

Cutting Wood With a Handsaw

This tool is the most basic type of saw that you can use to cut wood. It is safer and simpler to use in comparison with other tools. However, the power and energy that you can put into the handsaw will determine which type of wood you can cut. If you are strong enough, you would be able to cut hard pieces of wood easily with a handsaw.

Here are the steps of cutting wood with a handsaw

  • Place the piece of wood on a flat and stable working surface.
  • Position the wood so that there is an open area underneath the area you want to cut off. This would help to prevent you from cutting into the working station and damaging anything that you don’t want to.
  • Mark the line that you want to cut on the piece of wood with a pencil.
  • Use a utility knife with a sharp blade to score along the line that you have drawn on the piece of wood. In case this piece of wood is thick, score for a few times.
  • Hold the handsaw’s handle with both of your hands. Guide the tip of the blade towards a point on side of the piece of wood that you want to cut.
  • Make a few strokes on that point on the outer side of the piece of wood. Move the handle outward so that the blade can turn backward.
  • When a groove is formed, you should keep moving the handle of the handsaw backward and forwards. The stronger you put onto the handsaw, the deeper you can cut into the piece of wood.

Cutting Wood With a Jigsaw

This tool is suitable for cutting timber or any type of hardwood such as plywood and hardboard. With this tool, you can cut straight and curved pieces of wood.

Here are the steps on cutting wood with a jigsaw:

  • Place the piece of wood on a flat and stable working surface.
  • Position the wood so that there is an open area underneath the area you want to cut off. This would help to prevent you from cutting into the working station and damaging anything that you don’t want to.
  • You should also place the piece of wood in a way that the neatest side of the wood would be placed downwards. Also, place the side of the wood which is coated underneath.
  • Place the jigsaw onto the point where you want to cut the wood and turn on the machinery. Slowly squeeze the trigger and then push the blade of the jigsaw down. You don’t have to put in too much pressure, just let the jigsaw handle the job.
  • When the sharp edge of the jigsaw could be able to rise up from the piece of wood, it means that the cut has gone through.
  • Guide the jigsaw at a slow and constant speed until you finish cutting through the piece of wood. Twist the back of the jigsaw against the direction of the blade.
  • Use the dirt and dust removal feature of the jigsaw to clean up the mess you left behind after you cut wood.

Note: If this is the first time that you use a jigsaw, you can change the speed of the jigsaw to work with the speed that you are the most comfortable with.

If you hear a straining sound, you should slow down the jigsaw to prevent the blade as well as the motor from being overheated.

Cutting Wood With a Circular saw

This tool is suitable for cutting timber wood as well as block board and plyboard. You would also use a circular saw when you need to make direct line cuts.

Here are the steps on cutting wood with a circular saw:

  • Place the piece of wood on a flat and stable working surface, possibly a saw table or sawhorses.
  • Position the wood so that there is an open area underneath the area you want to cut off. This would help to prevent you from cutting into the working station and damaging anything that you don’t want to.
  • You should also place the piece of wood in a way that the neatest side of the wood would be placed downwards. Also, place the side of the wood which is coated underneath.
  • Place the circular saw to the point where you want to cut the wood. The right-hand side of the blade should point toward such point.
  • Then guide the notch so that it points at the point that you want to cut the wood.
  • Turn on the machinery. You don’t have to put in too much pressure. Instead, just guide the circular saw lightly along the line that you want to cut the wood into
  • When the sharp edge of the circular saw could be able to rise up from the piece of wood, it means that the cut has gone through.
  • Guide the circular saw at a slow and constant speed until you finish cutting through the piece of wood. Keep the base of the circular saw flat on the surface of the wood. You don’t have to push so hard or else binding would occur on the blade.
  • After you finish cutting, check if the lower blade guard is at its original position.

Note: A circular saw can be paired with different types of blades with different cutting availability.

For example, if the wood you are going to cut is thin, you should use a fine tooth blade to make sure you have the smoothest cuts on the sides of the wood. The 6 ½ inch saw can be used to cut ripping lumber, plywood or composite material. On the other hand, the circular saws such as the 8-inch or 10-inch saws can be used for industrial work.

You can also change the speed setting to make it more suitable for different types of your projects.

Other features you can have in a circular include a variable line of cut indicator, a depth adjuster, a dirt removal and safety switch.

Cutting Wood With a Miter Saw

This tool is very versatile. It could be used for all types of wood as well as different types of projects such as chopping skirting planks or architraves. It can also be used to cut curves with specific angles. If you want to have smooth and accurate cuts, this one is worth considering.

Here are the steps on cutting wood with a miter saw:

  • Place the miter saw on a flat and stable working surface. The ideal place should be a work table or a stable saw stand.
  • Then place the saw on the bench and then clamp the piece of wood down tightly. Make sure that there would be no movement occurring when you cut this piece of wood with a miter saw.
  • You should take the saw and push the blade of the saw down toward the point that you want to cut the wood into. The bigger the blade, the bigger the size of the cut.

Note: Just like other types of saw, you need to choose the blade diameter. The wider and thicker the pieces of wood you are going to work with, the larger the diameter of the saw’s blade.

There are 2 main types of miter saws which are chop saw and sliding miter saw. They are made for different types of cuts. For straight cuts, go for the chop saw. If you want to deal with more complicated cuts, go for the sliding miter saw.

Cutting Wood With a Chainsaw

This chainsaw is used to cut large pieces of wood. The cut of the chainsaw might not be as accurate as the cuts you can get from other types of saws. It works with the hardest types of wood as well.

The type of a project that you often do with a chainsaw includes trimming, bucking, felling and limbing.

Here are the steps on cutting wood with a chainsaw:

  • Do a quick check to make sure that the chainsaw is safe to use. Check for the tension to stay fixed as well as the faceplate and bar nuts.
  • Turn on saw and pill the starter rode strongly for 2 to 3 times for the engine to fire.
  • Then put the blade onto the piece of wood and place the tip of the blade onto the point of the wood where you want to cut.
  • Squeeze the throttle to make sure that it is open.
  • Don’t push the blade. Continue on guiding the blade towards the line that you want to cut the piece of wood into.
  • When you are about the reach the other side of the log, you can ease on squeezing the throttle.
  • After you finish cutting wood with the chainsaw, wait for it to cool down before covering it for next time use.

Note: When you fill in the gas tank, make sure that you fill in the correct type of fuel and oil. If the fuel that you fill in the gas tank is not suitable, it will burn up the energy quickly.

Since the chainsaw is quite complicated to use, consult the expert or even ask for help when it is the first time that you cut wood with a chainsaw.

Cutting Wood With a Recipocating Saw

This tool is used for demolishing task instead of building. Hence, you should expect rough cuts with this type of machinery. (If you want to have accurate cuts, you might consider using the miter saw). You can use this tool for cutting tree roots as well.

The steps of using a reciprocating saw are similar to the steps of using the chainsaw.

Here are the steps on cutting wood with a reciprocating saw:

  • Place the piece of wood on a stable saw table without anything underneath the point where you want to cut the piece of wood.
  • Hold the reciprocating saw in both of your hand. Make sure that you can hold the saw stably.
  • Place the tip of the blade toward the point you want to cut and start the machine.
  • Guide the blade of the saw along the line that you want to cut the piece of wood. Change the speed setting if necessary.

Note: You might want to lubricate the blade of the reciprocating saw to make sure it can run as smoothly as possible.

In addition, there are 2 options of reciprocating saw for you to choose from- the corded and cordless one. You can choose the cordless option if you want more portability.

If you can pick up the right tool for cutting wood, it would bring you a lot of benefits including time saving and efficient cutting process. As you can see, there are different tools for you to choose from including handsaws and other powered saws such as circular saw, jigsaw, miter saw, chainsaw and reciprocating saw- to name just a few. You need to think carefully about the woodworking project and the types of cuts you want to have for choosing the right tool.

Cutting wood is one of the most essential things that you need to master when you want to handle various woodworking projects. Before cutting, you need to make sure you know clearly about all parts of the machinery that you are working with as well as the safety precautions that you should follow.

I hope that with the guide above, you would be able to pick up the right tool and start cutting wood without encountering any difficulty at all.