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October 20, 2017

Using Push Sticks for Safe Woodworking

Push Sticks –  Develop a Safe Habit

 

Push Sticks- Push Blocks - Work Safety - Health & SafetyPush sticks are essential woodworking accessories. If a woodworker is going to work with power tools like a table saw, band saw, jointer, or router table, it is an excellent idea to have a variety of push sticks on hand. (Under the general heading of “push sticks” are included push blocks and featherboards as well.) Push sticks are used to keep the woodworker’s hands away from moving saw blades, router bits, and jointer knives during woodworking operations. The wood material being cut or shaped is controlled and guided with the aid of one of more push sticks.

Push Sticks – A Woodworker’s Choice

The intent of this woodworking article and YouTube video is not to serve as a public service announce regarding safety. This article and video are also not intended as a safety guide for all woodworkers to follow. However, the individual woodworker can consider this article and video as a reminder to stop, take your time, and think about what he or she doing when working with power tools. Woodworking safety is an individual’s responsibility.

 

Why use a Push Stick? 

Push sticks and push blocks are woodworking accessories that are used to control material as it is being cut, jointed or shaped.  These safety devices allow for a safe distance between the woodworker’s hands and a spinning saw blade or router bit. Simply put, it’s better to have the accessory nicked that a woodworker’s fingers and hands.

Push Sticks & Hands on Training

Push sticks are part of any quality training course when the use of power tools are discussed. The woodworking instructor will demonstrate how and why the various push sticks are used before any of the stationary power tools are even turned on. If you are a beginning woodworker, it is a good idea to seek out a competent woodworking instructor so that you can learn the basic skills of the wood craft. A great instructor will show you how to work safe.  It’s just a very good idea to get some hands on experience and some safety training.

 

How to Get Push Sticks & Push Blocks

Push sticks are available from online stores like Woodcraft and Rockler. The are plenty of choices of push sticks and push blocks available for the woodworker. Also, it is quite easy to make these woodworking accessories in your own work shop. Be sure to have the push sticks close at hand for each of your stationary power tools. Remember, using push sticks and push blocks is a skill and a habit that we develop when we are new to woodworking. It is also a skill and a habit that we maintain throughout our entire woodworking career.

 

Push Sticks & Work Safety 

Many of us have different levels of woodworking experience. Decide for yourself what your work safety standards are for your skill level. It is your health and safety. Remember to stop, take your time, and think for yourself. Too often accidents happen when a woodworker gets in a hurry. If you aren’t already, consider using push sticks, push blocks, and featherboards.

 

Watch more YouTube woodworking how to videos online.

…Your comments are welcomed…

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University


Woodturning How to Video – Wood Turn a Segmented Knob on a Wood Lathe

Woodturning How To Video – Wood Turn a Segmented Knob

 

Woodturning how to video - segmented woodturning - turned knob with tenonThis woodturning how to video shows how to wood turn a segmented knob on a wood lathe using basic turning tools. In this woodturning project a parting tool, roughing gouge, and spindle gouge with a fingernail grind were used to wood turn the glue up. The woods used for the glue up were hard maple and African mahogany.

Woodturning how to video - segmented woodturning blockThe YouTube woodturning how to video shows a woodturner tightening the segmented glue up into the lathe chuck and then turning a tenon. The tenon is then reversed and tightened within the lathe chuck so that the woodturner can woodturn the main body. Notice how the designs in wood appear as the woodturning takes shape.

 

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Woodturning how to video - tenonA star pattern of maple emerges in the woodturning how to video as the woodturning project progresses. Watch how the  two laminated woods contrast one another as the woodturner rounds out the knob. Since the star pattern is solid throughout the wooden block, the white tips of the maple star appear as white lines between the arched African mahogany on the outside perimeter of the segmented woodturning.

 

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Woodturning how to video - Segmented woodturningVarious grits of sandpaper are used to sand and smooth the wooden project of the woodturning how to video. The woodturner starts with 120 grit and progresses to 320 grit wet & dry sandpaper. Afterwards, the woodturning project is nice and smooth to the touch.

 

 

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Woodturning how to video - Segmented woodturningFinally, the woodturning how to video shows how a wood finish of Tried and True varnish oil finish is applied. The lathe chuck still has a firm grip on the tenon, the wood lathe is turned on, and the finish is a applied using a paper towel. Only a small amount of the oil finish is necessary for a few reasons. The oil varnish simply goes a long way and the segmented woodturning is small. Also, the woodturner wants to avoid any splatter of oil as it is applied to the woodturning project. For this reason it is still a very good idea to work safe and always wear a faceshield during the application of the wood finish.

 

Watch more YouTube woodturning how to videos online.

…Your comments are welcomed…

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University


How to Make Designs in Wood Inlay

Designs in Wood Inlay

 

Designs in wood inlay - Small Star patternDesigns in wood inlay for this woodworking project are created using specialized band saw methods. As you can see when you watch the YouTube woodworking video, very small pieces of decorative wood are cut on the band saw. Initially, the band saw table is set to 30 degrees and a cross cut sled is added. The 1/4″ hardwood material to be cut is maple and mahogany. A stop block is set to control 1/4″ repetitive cuts on the cross cut sled. (Use a dial caliper to ensure the measurements are dead on.) At this point it is a simple matter of making the cross cuts which will produce elongated wooden diamond segments.

 

How to Work Safe when Making Designs of Wood Inlay on the Band Saw

Designs in wood inlay - Small Star pattern - Band Saw table set at 30 degreesWhile creating designs in wood inlay it is important to play attention to the band saw setup. Make sure that the band saw bearing guide assembly is kept low to limit the band saw blade exposure to your hands. To work safe, take your time and develop a comfortable pace. Simply focus on the quality and accuracy of each and every cut being made.

 

Sanding the Burrs

It is a good idea to place the wood segments in a container to keep them organized. When all the segments are cut it is time to rub them on a 120 grit sanding block to remove any burrs. When all the wooden segments have been sanded it is time to glue up the designs in wood inlay.

 

How to Glue Up Designs in Wood Inlay

Designs in wood inlay - Small Star pattern - Simple clamping systemA disposable glue brush, white glue, rubber bands, wire, and pliers is all that is needed for the glue up. At this point it is a simple matter of brushing glue on the segments and positioning them. (The designs in wood inlay that we are creating is a star pattern.) Our clamping system is pretty basic and we first wrap rubber bands around our glued up segments to allow the glue to set. After the glue sets it is then time to tighten wire around the ends of the each glue up. Then let the glue cure.

When the glue has set we take each of our star patterns to the sanding block to smooth it out and remove any leftover glue. We want a good, flat surface when we set the star patterns on the band saw cross cut sled.

 

Cutting Designs in Wood Inlay on the Band Saw

Designs in wood inlay - Small Star pattern - Band saw cross cut sledNow the fun begins as we  square off an end of each star pattern. Next we choose a scrap block and square off an end and apply double stick tape to that end. Now it is a simple matter of connecting a squared off end of a star pattern to the double stick tape of the stop block. The addition of the scrap block allows for a work safe condition when working with the band saw cross cut sled. In essence our hands will be plenty clear of the band saw blade when cutting our designs in wood inlay veneers.

For the first cut of each star pattern block we will make a trim cut. Then we will square up the end so that the block can be set against the clamped stop block. The stop block is set to make a cut of 3/32″. Now it is simply a matter of slicing small wood veneer sheets. Each of the wood veneer sheets contains star parquetry designs in wood inlay. The use of the wood veneers are open to the woodworker’s imagination. These designs in wood inlay can be used as either inlays or onlays. A woodworker can use these hardwood veneers to adorn many woodworking projects such as custom wood furniture, decorative picture frames, exquisite jewelry boxes, and much, much more.

…Your comments are welcomed…

 

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

 


Wooden Patterns for Parquetry

Creating Wooden Patterns for Parquetry

Small wooden patterns of geometric design can be safely cut on the band saw. This post shares with you a few woodworking ideas that will enable you to create some wonderful parquetry for your wood projects using a bandsaw crosscut sled. The wooden patterns shown are made from hardwoods leftover from various wood projects. It’s a great way to utilize scrap material!

Wooden Patterns for Parquetry - 60 Degree DiamondsThe  lozenges  are diamond segments that are cut using the 60 degree band saw sled. A stop block is set up and clamped to to the sled’s fence to ensure uniform segments. Keep in my that all four lengths of the lozenge must be of equal length. A few test cuts with scrap material measured with a dial caliper will guarantee the correct length. Check that the sides are equal to one another. Another way to check is to measure across the lozenge in both directions. These dimensions are to be equal to one another.

 

Wooden Patterns for Parquetry - 60 Degree Band Saw SledOnce you begin to cut the lozenges, you will start to experiment with various hardwoods. It’s only natural to rearrange the diamond shaped wood segments. You will mix in various wood tones to create a number of wooden patterns. Play with it. Before long you will see 3 dimensional wooden cubes appear.

 

 

Wooden patterns for parquetry - 60 Degree Band Saw SledThe star wooden pattern is a simple matter of having six lozenges. In this case three are of maple while the other three lozenges are walnut. To glue this wood design just brush on the glue with a disposable glue brush, check for alignment, and wrap a rubber band around it to serve as its clamp. Once the glue sets, it will be plenty strong.

 

 Hardwood veneers of these various wooden patterns can be sliced on the band saw using the techniques that are shown to you in the accompanying woodworking video. Just use a longer block of wood and attach double stick tape. Attach the wood pattern to the tape. Set up the Rockler thin rip jig to the desired thickness of the veneer that you want. (3/32″ is my preference.) Adjust the band saw fence and you are ready to slice veneers.

…Your comments are welcomed…

 

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University


Wood Inlay Banding – How to Make the Square Pattern

Wood Inlay Banding

How to Make the Square Pattern

Wood inlay banding can be made in the woodworking shop. Woodworkers can create wonderful wooden inlays for projects such as fine furniture, custom picture frames, or personalized jewelry boxes. The written tutorial features woodworking tips and wood techniques for making the square banding inlay pattern.  Yet, the woodworking video clearly reveals the step by step process of creating hardwood inlays so that you can easily do it yourself in your own wood working shop. No matter if you are an experienced craftsman or a woodworking beginner, you can create exquisite wood inlay banding to adorn your fine woodworking projects.

“A warrior seeks to act rather than talk.”

Carlos Castaneda – (1925 – 1998)… Peruvian-American anthropologist & author.

To construct wood inlay banding for the square pattern, we begin by laminating three strips of wood together that are of equal dimensions. In this case we are assembling hardwood inlays of maple and walnut. Their contrasting wood tones will accentuate one another as the square pattern develops.

 

What woodworking tools are the best choice?

Square Wood Inlay Banding - Veneer strips of wood inlay bandingThe band saw is our power tool of choice when cutting segments for the wood inlay banding. You will also notice that we are employing two shop built bandsaw sleds. One sled is called the tilting bandsaw miter sled and the other sled is known as the bandsaw cross cut sled. A highly accurate technique for ripping thin strips of veneer is used by combining a thin rip band saw fence and a Rockler Thin Rip Jig. This thin rip idea for the band saw and the two bandsaw sleds are original wood techniques developed and shared by The Apprentice and The Journeyman. Try them out and see how they work for you when creating wooden inlays.

 

Square Wood Inlay Banding PatternTo produce the segments for our wood inlay banding we first set the table of the band saw to 45 degrees. The runner of the tilting band saw miter sled is then installed into the miter gauge track. (Bandsaw woodworking safety tip: Be sure to set the bearing guide assembly to a low position just above the fence of the sled. Doing so will limit the exposure of the band saw blade to your hands.) 

1.) Place the laminated strip along the tilting bandsaw miter sled fence and make a 45 degree cut at one end.

2.) Clamp a stop block along the fence and cut a 45 degree angle at the near end of the stop block .

3.) Measure the thickness of the laminated strip of maple and walnut with a dial caliper. This measurement is equal to the length of our segment to be cut. (long point to long point.)

4.) Position and clamp the stop block in place. Make test cuts on scrap material to ensure that the length of the segment is equal to the thickness of the laminated strip. Check for accuracy with a dial caliper.

5.) Cut the segments using the method shown in the video. Alternate the laminated material after each cut. (Take your time and focus on the accuracy of the cut. Make sure to keep the sled free of saw dust as this can alter the accuracy of the cut.)

 

How to Make the Squares

Square Wood Inlay Banding - Segment for wood inlay banding1.) The squares for the wood inlay banding are simply made by matching the walnut and maple wood patterns and then securing the four miter joints. Lightly sand any burrs if you need to at this time. When you are satified it is time to glue up the miter joints. Rubber bands or blue tape can be used to secure that the miter joints remain closed while the glue sets. (My preference is to use white glue. White glue allows for a longer time to work before it starts to set up and it dries clear.)

2.) When the glue has set, be sure to use sandpaper to remove any burrs from each side of the blocks as shown in the video.

 

How to make the Wood Inlay Banding sandwich

The wood inlay banding in this tutorial has two outer hardwood veneer strips of contrasting wood tones for each side. Each individual wood veneer is 1/16″ and in this case maple and african mahogany are used. The bandsaw cross cut sled is used to cut the interior cherry spacers to an exact length that is equal to the blocks.  The cross cut sled is also utilized to cut the outer veneers of maple and african mahogany to a rough length. This length is determined by the total  number of blocks along with all the cherry interior spacers which are 3/32″  thick. At this time add a little extra to the length.

1.) Before the gluing begins keep in mind your overall design. To accentuate the wood inlay banding, make sure to contrast the wood tones. This also means to keep in mind the wood choice for your finished wood project.

2.) Brush glue on the interior band. Glue the blocks of squares in place along with the interior spacers of cherry.

3.) Finish gluing the wood inlay banding sandwich and check for proper alignment.

4.) Use cauls and clamp the sandwich. Use plastic between the cauls and the sandwich. Make sure everything is still in alignment.

5.) Allow the wood inlay banding sandwich to cure overnight.

6.) Remove the clamps when the glue has set. Set the wood inlay banding sandwich in a woodworking bench vise and joint one edge with a block plane.

 

How to Make Thin Strips of Wood Veneer on the Band Saw

Square Wood Inlay Banding measured with a Dial Caliper1.) Watch the following woodworking video.

How to cut uniform thin strips.

 

…Your thoughts are welcomed…

 

More Wood Inlay Banding Videos: Learn how to inlay wood and to make other wood inlay banding patterns.

Wood Inlay Banding – How to Make Barber Pole Banding

Creating bandings for wood inlay

Learn How to Make Wood Inlay Bandings

Wood Inlay…the Bandings are ready

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University


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