There are lots of clear finishes. But for a combination of usability and durability, you can’t beat polyurethane. Oil-based poly, which dries slower than water-based, is best for beginners because it allows more working time. The other important difference is clarity: Water-based poly is absolutely colorless, while oil-based has an amber tone, which can be good or bad depending on the look you want.

For starters, this DIY wood table is for my son to keep his Lego projects and erector set buildings on. Secretly, it’s for me because, in turn, it will keep the Legos from being scattered all over my house. We decided on measurements of 60″ long x 18″ deep for the table top. Now that I know how big I want our homemade table to be I reached out to Osborne Wood Products to find out what the next step is for building a table. They were super helpful and made it very easy to order the table base kit. We let them know the measurements for the table top as well as how much of an overhang. We then choose the traditional dining table legs in soft maple along with a 4″ wood skirt also in soft maple. The furniture kit came well packaged and rather quickly. 
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Most construction tasks consist of a series of straight lines, but occasionally you run into a situation that requires an arc or a circle. A trammel is usually the best tool for the job, but there’s only so much room in your toolbox. M. Power makes the Tri-Scribe, which hooks onto tools you already have, like the tongue of a square or a metal ruler, and transforms it into a flat-lying trammel. Strike a circle or an arc from 1 in. to 6 ft.—you’re limited only by the length of your rule. You can either make your mark with a pencil or insert the knife blade and score the surface. Best of all, they take up hardly any room in your toolbox.
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The deep grain lines in woods like oak or walnut will telegraph through the clear finish, no matter how many coats you apply. And that’s fine; it’s part of the character of coarse-grain woods. But if a perfectly smooth surface is the look you want, use a grain filler. You’ll find several products online or at woodworking stores. With most, you wipe on the filler, squeegee off the excess with a plastic putty knife and then sand after it’s dry for a smooth-as-glass surface.

We no longer have that problem because we picked up a set of Mag Shims from FastCap. Mag Shims are 1/8-in. magnetic spacers. If you need a blade height of 7/8 in., simply stack seven spacers, and raise the blade to match. They also work great for setting the depth on router bits and drill presses. We stick them right to the backside of the fence, so they’re always at hand and never get lost.


Be sure wood is dry. Material from a job site or floor joists that existed in a crawlspace may have high moisture content; material from a conditioned space should be dry. Wood can be dried in a kiln (ask your local lumber mill) or stored inside through the winter. If time does not permit, stack wood in a hot dry place with 1" spacers between layers. Allow to dry for a minimum of two weeks.


For starters, this DIY wood table is for my son to keep his Lego projects and erector set buildings on. Secretly, it’s for me because, in turn, it will keep the Legos from being scattered all over my house. We decided on measurements of 60″ long x 18″ deep for the table top. Now that I know how big I want our homemade table to be I reached out to Osborne Wood Products to find out what the next step is for building a table. They were super helpful and made it very easy to order the table base kit. We let them know the measurements for the table top as well as how much of an overhang. We then choose the traditional dining table legs in soft maple along with a 4″ wood skirt also in soft maple. The furniture kit came well packaged and rather quickly. 

Furnishing and decorating your patio is not an easy task – but then again, it has to be done! Your patio is obviously one of the most important rooms in your home, as you can easily turn it into your little piece of Heaven, your “safe spot” in your home where you can retreat whenever you want to ignore the world and just spend some time alone all by yourself.
If you’re looking for ways to rehab an old table, this charred wood table is a fairly simple project that requires just a few hours of work. I used the charred appearance boards to create a new tabletop for my porch table. The old table top needed to be painted or replaced, so I thought these boards would make for a gorgeous, fresh look for the table. The table base is actually an antique from Europe. I love rescuing old pieces. Using the charred wood for a new table top is the perfect way to update it and make it usable again.
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In an effort to replace the table, I started looking at garage sales and on craigslist for replacements. I was coming up empty handy {they all looked worse than ours!} or being totally priced out.  I started to think, why not just use the table that we have and slap a few boards on it.  My engineer husbands thinking is a little more refined than "slapping" boards on something, so he came up with an idea {and like a true engineer made an auto cad design}, we tweaked it a bit together and then took a little date to Home Depot. Because that my friends, is where adults go on dates.
Oh do I need this!! I have been trying to remove the damaged veneer from a great antique table, but after many hours I think I will have to give up and try a new top. I want to make sure I understand……If I have a good base on the table, I just cut the board lengths I need and glue to the origianl table top? Do I need to secure the new top with screws from the bottom? I think the boards will give this table a whole new life. I can’t wait to finish it. Thank you so much for being here TODAY!
Cedar Mini Decorative Planters/Boxes Using Interlocking Dovetail Joints Having a cedar mill within an hour of my shop allows me to work with some very nice wood. While cedar can be brittle, it is wonderful to work with and makes putting these decorative boxes together a breeze. When working with cedar I am always looking for pieces that have what is known as “heartwood”. This is the red portion of the wood. When first planed or sanded, this heartwood is almost pink in color but takes polyurethane or spar finish well giving a vibrant dark red when applied. If left untreated, cedar will turn gray in direct sunlight and a dull red color from normal household light. These boxes have been treated with a wiping polyurethane mix that allows me to apply it with a cotton rag instead of a brush. It’s faster to apply, doesn’t run and dries fast enough to apply two coats in a day. So applying 5-6 coats only takes 2-3 days to accomplish. I assembled the boxes using a dovetail joint which provides both strength and decorative at the same time. A fan shaped tenon that forms a tight interlocking joint when fitted into a corresponding mortise. The dovetails on these boxes are shown on the length of the box and not the end where the handles are located. I use a dovetail jig and a router to make these joints which is more efficient. Depending on how the client will use the box I may or may not drill two holes in the bottom of the box. If they are built to be used as outside planters then I drill 2, half inch holes in the bottom for water to drain. If they are to be used inside as a table center piece or fireplace mantle decorative box, then I do not drill the hole. In the end they are strong, durable and beautiful no matter how they are used.

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You won’t believe what you can create with a bunch of free scraps.  A stunning scrap wood table, by Instructables user Wholman for starters!  This DIY is a bit time intensive, as the process for laminating wood can take many hours depending on the dimensions of your project, but the end result is nothing short of breathtaking.  The natural wood grains, different colors and all the character from each piece of salvaged wood come together to make a show-stopping table. // Wholman on Instructables
Or if you are in the search for a protectant that is specifically for woodworking tools, then you should check out the Restore Blade and Bit Cleaner 500. Not only is this cleaner one of the best woodworking accessories, it’s also environmentally friendly and safe to breathe in while using. This cleaner is the perfect companion for circular saws, miter saws, router bits, drill bits, as well as a variety of woodworking tools. While protecting your tools from rust and corrosion, it’s liquid form will not damage any wood materials that you may be working on at the time.
If you already have a workshop and the skills for woodworking, you will need to make sure that you have some reliable woodworking plans at your disposal and the necessary woodworking tools to complete the projects you wish to make. There are some websites that offer free woodworking plans, but they are often incomplete or lack sufficient detail to understand properly and this will lead to frustration and loss of interest in woodworking. After spending many years building up your collection of fine woodworking tools and learning to use them, you will no doubt have some neat skills under your belt. Now to make full use of these skills, you will need to find a nice project to work on, one which will do you proud and show off your fancy woodworking skills. 

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Open rafters and trusses are an endless source of falling dust. So if you’re working under an open ceiling, hang plastic sheeting above. Keep the plastic at least 12 in. from light fixtures or remove the bulbs. Sometimes, adding plastic ‘walls’ is a lot easier than cleaning up the entire area. If you’re using oil-based finishes, hang the sheets about a foot from the floor to allow for ventilation.


A quality wood moisture meter is vital to the long-term success of any woodworking project you put together. Lumber mills try to dry their batches of lumber according to the intended end product destination. That is, if the wood is harvested in the wet Northeast, but is going to be shipped to the arid Southwest, it will be dried more than wood kept in the Northeast for use by woodworkers. The success of your woodworking project, from wood flooring to kitchen cabinets to fine furniture, depends on the correct moisture content levels of the woods you use for your area of the country.
Consider building your tabletop out of boards about 6" wide (1x6 or 2x6), or close in size (I use x4 and x8 boards on occasion). If you go smaller, you'll be adding more joints, which means more pocket holes and more sanding. If you go with a wider board, the board itself may cup over time, creating high and low points on your tabletop. I personally find x6 boards to be that happy medium.
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