Welcome to the Darkside

Woodworking as a hobby is one great way to give shape and dimension to your creativity. You get to actually work with your hands and create beautiful things – that can be ornamental or utilitarian or both.

What’s more is that woodworking does not require any heavy weight, or very expensive tools – all you need are power tools which are all pretty affordable. And with these you can start giving shape to your woodworking plans – your furniture or home improvement projects.

Learn to do it yourself!

Save time and money! Learn life skills that you can apply everyday!

  • 14 Jan 2017

    How to Turn a Cylinder with a Router

    Woodturning can be a very fascinating way to shape wood into lovely cylindrical structures. But there are certain limitations to turning. The first and the most important one is the size of the wood you are turning. There is usually a limit – if the wood is bigger, then you will either need a very big lathe or the work becomes really difficult to manage.

    But what about when you want to make say a table – you need the legs of the table to be high. And for this you will need to turn a long piece of wood. And today we have brought you an easy and simple way to do that – what we are about to teach you is how to turn a cylinder with a router. That’s right. You can use your router, along with a set up that you have to custom make – the result is that you are able to turn a long piece of wood – very easily.

    So,

    How is it done?

    We could go into giving you a protracted explanation of the various steps and the setup to be made – but you’d have considerable trouble following it. And we’d run into pages explaining. Instead, we thought, how about getting it for you in the easiest-to-follow form. And to that end, we have brought you a video.

    Here you will learn how to set up the ‘device’ that you need to construct to be able to use this technique. You will also learn how to set up your router, so as to get the right results. In fact, you will also be able to watch the cylinder being turned, using the router. So you will know exactly how to manage the job.

    And in the process, you may as well pick up a few very good tips and tricks as well. But we will not go on any more about that now – and instead bring you the actual video:

    So you see – just how innovative and yet simple the whole set up is? If you have reasonable experience, you mustn’t have had any trouble in following it. But if you are new, then take some time to go through the video and you will probably have an eureka moment – when you will suddenly see the sheer simplicity of this procedure.

    And now that you know how to turn a cylinder with a router, or in other words to make a lathe of your own – you should give this a shot at the soonest!

     

  • 14 Jan 2017

    Woodworking Sander Explained For The Amateur Woodworker!

    When you are actively involved in woodworking and determined to finish your own projects yourself then it is you who will have to deliver the finishing touches. That’s right, your woodwork project won’t look quitefinished till you do away with the uneven surfaces and cuts and nicks on the wood surface. For this you will need a power tool that is capable of smoothening out the roughness – you will need a woodworking sander.

    A sander allows you to even out the rough edges, and the uneven cuts and splinters on the surface of the wood. If you are an avid woodcarver, you cannot think of finishing and staining your carving project till you use a sander.

    The sander uses sandpaper as an abrasive agent – the sandpaper moves rapidly to give the wood a finish and shine. Sanders are usually electrically powered and come with a dust holding bag which accumulates the wood-dust when you use the sander.

    Sanders can be of many types, depending on their specific purpose – you do get multi-purpose drill cum sanders – but as beginners you had best know about the following varieties –

    #1 Belt sanders

    # 2 Random Orbit Sanders

    # 3 Orbital Finishing Sanders

    What’s more, you might be confused – given that you are just a beginner at using a sander for woodworking – hence we also get you a recommendation for each of the sander types.

    # 1 Belt sanders
    You will use a belt sander when you’re working with a really large plank of wood that needs smoothening. Even the roughest and most uneven wood surface will bow to the brute strength of the belt sander – it uses two cylindrical drums, with the abrasive sloth fitted over these in loops. The front drum spins independent of the rear drum that is motor driven. The tension release motor lets you fit the abrasive cloth on the drums and you’re good to go.

    Here’re a few quick tips –

    When you’re sanding the narrow edges of wooden boards, clamp several boards together and sand – it saves time and power.
    Always sand parallel to the wood surface to avoid scratches.
    Never let the sander sit idle – you’ll create a depression in the wood.

    Belt sanders come in four standard sizes –

    3×18 inch
    3×21 inch
    3×24 inch
    4×24 inch

    And now for our recommendation –

    Grizzly H6070 Belt and 5-Inch Disc Sander, 1 x 30-Inch

    Here’s what’s on offer –

    1 inch wide by 30 inch long belt sander
    5inch disc sander

    This multipurpose sander packs in quite a punch and you can safely use it for sanding intricate patterns, as well as dry sharpening. It’s well balanced, and quiet but with a lot of power.

    But it can be a bit tricky to handle if you’re not used to sanding with such a powerful unit. So you might want to take a further look at the product details

    Next is the…

    # 2 Random Orbit Sanders

    Don’t confuse it with the orbital sander – the two power tools look similar and are of a similar design, their purpose is also somewhat same, but – the random orbit sander has a round sanding pad as opposed to the random orbital’s square sanding pad.

    The random orbit sander moves in circles and the sand pad makes small round variations within those circular movements. It is one of the most versatile sanding units made though it doesn’t quite smoothen out the wood with the same finesse and speed as the belt sander.

    This sander comes with –

    5 inch diameter pad
    6 inch diameter pad

    And now moving on to the recommendation –

     Sander with Cloth Dust Bag

    You might have heard that certain sanders have a tendency of slipping out of your grasp – the constant vibration making your hand numb doesn’t help – but with this unit you can rest easy. The textured anti-slip grip makes sure you can hold onto the sander firmly even when working with it for hours.

    The dust sealed switch ensures that dust particles don’t get in the way and reduce the lifespan of this unit.

     

    # 3 Orbital Finishing Sanders

    The safest bet when you are working on a fine piece of woodcarving that needs utmost care and precision. According to most expert users, you can almost NEVER damage the woodwork with this sander. You need this sander for –

    Ultra smooth sanding
    Sanding hard putty made of wood
    Rounding off sharp edges
    Taking off dry paint coats

    And here is a recommended orbital finishing sander –

    Makita BO4556K 2.0 Amp 4-1/2-Inch Finishing Sander with Case

    Smooth finish.
    Quiet but brilliant performance.
    Contoured palm grip, sweat proof because it is made of rubber.
    Efficient dust collection system so that there is no messy clean-up to deal with after you’re done.

     

    For starters, these woodworking sanders are a great way to set your hand – once you get the hang of using … Continue reading

  • 14 Jan 2017

    Easy Tips On Gluing And Clamping Your Woodwork Projects

    Gluing and clamping is the tricky part of woodworking and many a woodworker has ruined projects because they it didn’t do it correctly. The key to getting the gluing part right is to put in the same amount of meticulous care in gluing as you give to selecting and preparing your material. Don’t let the apparent simplicity of gluing wood fool you into thinking that gluing is just a matter of applying glue to join pieces of wood together…

    Using the glue and clamps on the wood that has already passed under the jointer is also about meticulous measurements. And thus when you select your wood and the rest of the ‘ingredients’ for your woodworking project you need to start by measuring and marking out the parts.

    Photo Credit: Phil and Pam via Compfightcc
    If you’re wondering why you need the clamps?

    Gluing pieces of wooden planks together is not a problem – but to have the planks aligned perfectly you will need them to be joined together till the glue dries. Since you cannot keep holding the pieces together for the entire duration, unless you use clamps, you will not have parts that align and shoulders that are spot-on…but then again, if you do not use the clamps correctly you might have twists in the wood.

    To give you a fair idea of how gluing and clamping is done accurately, you can take a look at the following video. The presenter is making a tabletop in parts…and yes he admits that it takes time, but he also claims that as a result the process is carried out with a greater degree of accuracy.

    Even if you are not taking up a tabletop project, you could still look up the tips on the correct way to glue and clamp wood.

    So, to do a quick recap of the video, points to keep in mind when using glue and clamps:

    Keeping the boards aligned during the glue up is important.
    Keeping the top overall flat is equally important or you might end up with a botched project.
    Start with flat straight and square boards for the maximum amount of flatness of the table surface.
    Check and recheck that the wood is planed and flat – use the square down each edge just as is shown in the video.
    Make sure the edges are straight too. If your board has a crown, it needs to go under the jointer again.
    Break it down – work on one or two boards at a time to maximize accuracy.
    Learn how using ‘biscuits’ along the edges helps the wood stay flush against each other. This helps aligning the joints seamlessly.
    Apply the glue with a roller – it’s faster.
    Depending on the wood, you can use clamps both above and below the wood to distribute the pressure evenly.

    Now that you have a fair idea on how to use gluing and clamping for your own pet projects, it’s time to try out the tips you just learnt. Good luck!

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