How to Get Great Results from Your Random-Orbit Sander

Random-orbit sander 101
This post is sponsored by Home Depot

Everyone likes a smooth, sanded surface on a project, but no one (and I mean absolutely no one) like the tedious process of getting it done. Motorized sanding machines speed up the process greatly, but many of them can be hard to control, or wind up leave swirl marks in the finished surface.

Not so with the random-orbit sander. As the name suggests, its pad follows an entirely random pattern, so you can control the amount of wood removed, and leave your surface free of spirals. Continue Reading

How To Sharpen Scissors Yourself

Scissors get dull. Fast. Getting them professionally sharpened can cost a pretty penny, too. Rather than shelling out for a sharpening session or for a brand new pair of shears, I decided to learn exactly how to sharpen scissors on my own. I did a little research, and here's what I learned:      

How to sharpen scissors at home.

 

 As all of these processes involve handling sharp blades (and dull blades which can actually be more dangerous), exercise some caution. No pointing the blade at your self, wear your safety goggles, and absolutely no running with the scissorsContinue Reading

The Simple, (Not So) Secret Trick to Evenly Stained Woodworking Projects

created at: 09/27/2012

The process usually goes like this: you’re careful with your measurements, make dead-on accurate cuts, properly attach and glue everything together, sand it as smooth as glass, and then … you screw everything up on the finish.

If you’ve ever built or refinished something made of wood, you’ve probably experienced this headache: the end grain turns out much darker than the side grain.   Even if you’re not staining and only use an oil or clear finish, this sneaky little problem turns up in every project. Continue Reading

Power Tools 101: Power Sanders.

No matter how great the payoff, sanding is no fun…kinda like exercising, tweezing your eyebrows, or studying for final exams.

Electric sanders don’t make the process any more fun, but they will speed it up. And with prices under $100, they because a very useful tool for the homeowner and ambitious DIYster.

Sanding. Techinically, sanding doesn’t make wood smoother, it makes it uniformly rough: abrasives in sandpaper make tiny cuts in the wood. Sandpaper is categorized by “grits”, with the numbers corresponding to the average grit size: coarse (20-60 which are used for removing lots of wood or saw or burn marks, medium grit (80-100) which then remove the scratches made by the coarse grit paper, and then fine grit (120-1000).
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