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Best Practices Guide

Sanding and Finishing

What's the Best Finish for Outdoor Projects?

I often get asked, “What can I put on wood that will protect it outside?” My follow-up question is, “Do you want a finish that builds up to a film or just something that soaks in, like an oil?” If the answer is a film finish, I recommend Cetol Door & Window, from the Sikkens Proluxe line. Here's why.

AWFS Plastics Program

5 Steps to Rout a Clear Edge on Acrylic

I’m often asked for suggestions on how to get a clear routed edge finish when routing an acrylic workpiece. This is usually an application for displays, awards, and advertising specialties where the edge of the product is exposed. Here's how to do it.

Best Practices Guide

How to Put a Round Peg in a Round Hole? Plug Cutters

Filling a roundish hole in a plank is a not-uncommon requirement: covering screw holes, knot holes, or reclaimed wood accompanied by cuts for plumbing and heating, can present boards that need something beyond wood filler - they need a plug. Here are four tools we've run across, and a bit about a project involving hole plugging.

Sanding and Finishing

Four Signs Your Air-powered Sander Is Thirsty for Oil

When you feel you air-powered sander's rate of cut slow down, it could be telling you, 'I'm Thirsty.' After operating an air-powered woodworking tool repair service for 10 years - repairing and rebuilding thousands of sanders of various brands - I put together some of the most commonly asked questions, including lubrication. Attention to the care and maintenance of your air-powered sanders can yield twice the life on your purchase, just like rotating car tires or following recomended oil change intervals for your vehicle.

Ask a Woodworker

Fuming Wood to Darken It With Ammonia: How To Do It

Staining wood to give it a darker, richer color is an age-old practice; while methods have improved, staining still has drawbacks - since a stained surface can be damaged, and surfaces accept stain unevenly. Fuming with ammonia is an alternative, and Ottawa, Ontario-based Lee Valley Tools offers this advice on how to do it.


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