The Benefits of Edge Sanders

Edge sanders are the perfect electric woodworking power tool for smoothing and finishing. You can choose from the two basic types: handheld floor sanders and belt sanders. The type of tool you will use depends on a combination of your intended application and personal preferences. You see, handheld floor sanders are great for hard-to-reach areas. They are designed to make these spaces easier to access and modify. With a traditional floor sander, certain areas are not always possible to treat, such as spaces against baseboards, walls, and railings. Belt sanders are beneficial for carpentry projects that involve smoothing edges. The structural design allows for more precision with less effort.

Edge Floor Sanders

Edge floor sanders are a popular asset for wood floor refinishing projects because they effectively smooth and polish wood flooring, removing surface blemishes like dents, dings, and more. They are similar to drum sanders in terms of power since they both offer a great deal of it; however, the edge sander is portable, like an orbital sander, making it more convenient to transport and use. Some have complained that they are a little on the bulky side, but many have also mentioned that they are very easy to operate with just one person. With a removable sanding disc on the bottom and an easy-to-grip handle on the top, it is no surprise they are easy to work with. Simply pressing the handle on top initiates the discs to lower, press, and rotate against the floor.

Edge Belt Sanders

These popular woodworking power tools are also known as oscillating edge sanders. They are preferred by many since they rest on top of a table, counter, or cabinet, making them at work-surface level for users. This level of height makes it easier for many people to work with wood for smoothing and finishing purposes. It also gives users a great view of their piece while they work. They operate by a continuous rotating belt that is made of sandpaper. The belt can be any grade of sandpaper, from fine grot to course grit. It all depends on the specific application. This sandpaper belt is stretched across two metal drums, which spin as the belt rotates. It is very similar to a conveyor belt. Users simply touch the belt with their item, and apply different amounts of pressure and movement to smooth out imperfections or create curves in the wood.

Which One To Get?

The type of edge sander you choose will depend on a few factors. Your preference and project needs are the top factors to consider. It is helpful to know that floor sanders generally come with a dust bag to collect the debris produced from woodworking, and belt sanders do not come with this option. This sometimes has some weight to it for consumers. Both devices can be used with several different grades of sandpaper, and are priced similarly in stores. However, it is a challenge finding them in your average hardware store. To purchase a quality device, you would have to contact rental facilities or a commercial carpentry store. If you are wonder which sander to choose, the best option is to acquire both. That way, you are prepared for all kinds of woodworking and carpentry applications!

How to Improve the Performance of a Folding Workbench

I like creating with my hands. I especially enjoy creating useful items out of wood. Unfortunately, my self-designed and self-built garage 6 X 3 foot workbench has a tendency to become littered with miscellaneous “stuff”, and I find myself at my wit’s end attempting to build projects on a piece of plywood strung across two folding sawhorses. Not ideal, I will agree. I do appreciate the convenience of being able to take down and put away the components of my makeshift working surface. What I don’t like is that the working surface is not that stable and requires a separate set of clamps to hold the working top to the sawhorses.

Casting about for something more robust than a hunk of plywood and some adjustable clamps, I found there are a number of folding workbenches on the market from manufacturers like Worx, Black and Decker, and sold at places like Home Depot, Lowes, and Harbor Freight. Their prices are varied, but they all have similar features. I especially like benches that fold flat, are easily stored, have built-in adjustable “vises”, and can carry moderate loads.

After researching the various offerings, I settled on an inexpensive folding workbench from Harbor Freight.

After researching the various offerings, I settled on an inexpensive folding workbench from Harbor Freight. Price was a determining factor. You can see what I finally bought by following the link embedded below in the Resource section below.

The folding workbench comes as a kit. The critical elements are preassembled. I had to mount the two hand crank assemblies to the two fiberboard work surface, then mount the legs and their stiffening cross members that also double as tool stations. Assembly went quickly; I only needed to supply a Philips head screwdriver.

Unfortunately, the finished workbench doesn’t fold completely flat. But the workbench does function as I desired: it’s a sturdy, portable workbench that I can easily carry around the house or out into the back yard to exercise my woodworking prowess. Adding a few extra speed clamps and a portable carpenter’s 6″ vise, and I’m good to go (my first project was to make and attach two ¼” wooden facing pieces to that 6″ carpenter’s vise’s metal jaws).

Upon looking at the workbench’s construction, it came to me that with a few minor modifications, this workbench could be materially improved. And that’s what prompted me to write this “How To” article to document what I did to my workbench.

There are five areas on that workbench that, with some minor rework, will materially improve its performance and probably extend its working life. None of these suggestions are critical, or even necessary for the casual user. None of these suggestions are complicated to implement, but I find that they will probably be worth the effort as time passes.

Area #1: The “fold-flat” feature.

When this workbench is assembled according to the directions, when folded, the handles lay pointing down the legs towards the floor. By reversing the way the legs are mounted (exactly reversed from the installation instructions), the handles now are on top of the folded bench, point away from the legs, and the legs do indeed completely fold flat! An easy fix.

Area #2: The hand-crank clamp lead screw adjustment.

I noticed that the board that’s mounted to the hand-cranked lead screw that makes the work surface boards function as a built-in vise, was loose, and flopped around as the handles were cranked. To remedy this, I used a wrench to tighten the crank shaft attachment on the moveable work surface so that there was less play as the unit is cranked. Don’t over tighten, or the board won’t move at all!

Area #3: The hand cranked lead screw sheet metal end clamp support.

Each of the hand crank lead screws goes through an end plate that’s bent from the leg support sheet metal. If you look closely, you’ll notice that the lead screw plate is secured to the sidewalls by two sheet metal “ears” and two small dimples in the sidewalls. That looks like a potential source of failure downstream: nothing prevents the sidewalls from separating and allowing the crank to become loose. My fix? Simple: I installed a clamping and securing bolt through the sidewalls just behind the end plate. To secure the sideplates and preventing them from spreading apart, about 1 inch from the end plate, I drilled a ¼” clearance hole through the two sideplates (that also mount the legs) and put a 1 ½ inch long, ¼ -20 bolt with a washer and a locknut. Tightening the locknut makes the endplate securely clamped to the sidewall plates; this will prevent any tendency for that endplate holding the leadscrew and cranking handles from coming loose over time.

Area #4: Reducing friction.

The assembly instructions had me using a bolt, two washers, and a locknut on each leg to hold it in place. Problem is, that means that the legs will wear on the sideplates. Not a good idea. I bought 8 more flat stainless steel washers and slipped those washers in between the legs and the sidepanels. Now the legs will wear on the washers instead of the sideplates. This makes the leg securing assembly consist of the bolt head, washer, sideplate, washer, leg, washer, other sideplate, washer, then the locknut. So each of the legs now has 4 washers: two washers on the outside of the side panels, and two washers to keep the leg from rubbing on the sidewall directly. Again, don’t overtighten, or the workbench won’t fold up.

Area #5: Making things run smoothly.

Be sure to lubricate all moving surfaces with oil, WD-40 or a dry film lubricant (You can use a light grease on the two lead screws, but if you grease the sliding rail, I think you’ll find that the grease will probably be a sawdust magnet!). Be sure to lubricate all sliding or rotating joints and connectors, especially those added washers on the legs where they mount to the sideplates.

Area #6: Replace the fiberboard work surfaces.

While this is a bench designed for light to moderate loads, you might consider replacing the worksurface’s fiberboards with lengths of 1½ X4 inch lumber, suitably drilled holes for the plastic dogging clamp inserts. If you are comfortable with a power planer or router, make a suitable undercut to clear the hand cranks and use 1 ½ X 6 inch planks for the work surfaces. That will give you a wider working surface when the two panels are cranked to the max.

As I said at the beginning of this article, none of these rework items are absolutely necessary; the workbench will function very well as is if you merely follow the included assembly instructions. But I think these minor mods and reworks will improve your enjoyment of this inexpensive folding workbench. I know I have.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Having Metal Furniture

Furniture is made of different materials such as wood, plastic and metal. This is all dependent on what the purpose of the furniture is and which area of the house it will be used in.

What are the Advantages of Metal Furniture?

  • Metal is easy to clean and doesn’t house any pests or mites because of the hard and cold surface. It’s also easy to replace parts that might go missing such as a bolt or nut.
  • Metal lasts a long time because of its unnatural component. The material is hard and tough so chips don’t occur easily. The closest you will come to a chip will be a scratch that can easily be painted over.
  • This type of furniture doesn’t take up as much space as wooden furniture would. It also assists with saving the environment. By using steel or something alike, you decrease the amount of trees that get cut down.
  • Metal furniture will never get destroyed by your pets. Many steel or metal objects in the household are either scratch resistant, can be polished easily to hide the scratch or have a protective coat which has been applied to protect it from rust and chipping.

What are the Disadvantages of Metal Furniture?

  • A well-known fact about metal or steel is that it is incredibly heavy. This could be helpful sometimes but when you need to move the piece, you will need help.
  • Many manufacturers don’t sand away chips and sharp points. This leaves the product having an unsightly and unsafe finish. If you do receive a product in this way then you should take a piece of sandpaper, preferably a course one, and gently scrape the edges and sharp points away.
  • This furniture could potentially damage your floors. If you have wooden floors or linoleum finished floors you may want to avoid this heavy set entering that room. However, a lightweight table set that has soft buffers under the feet of the furniture could be a way around this issue.

Overall, metal furniture is affordable, sleek and stylish. This popular furniture trend has taken over many modern homes. This look is also timeless and will not go out of style any time soon because of its practicality and minimalistic factor. Keep in mind that all types of furniture have advantages and disadvantages but don’t be put off by the disadvantages. There’s always a way around them especially if you love it.

Teak Indonesian Furniture

We live in a society where the things we own say a lot about us. It can be a reflection of our personality, our taste, our values, or our class. For this reason, personal items are purchased with great care. They are not merely objects that perform a task. Otherwise, there would be only one type of car, oven, clothing, etc. We attack emotions and values to them.

When it comes to personal objects, there isn’t anything more personal than a person’s home. The location, interior, and type of building give visitors an impression of the people who lives in that house.

Furniture plays perhaps the greatest role in this. The material and style of your furniture can be a status symbol that reflects on you.

If you want to give a great impression, or just only want the best of the best, then you should consider Indonesian teak furniture. Teak is not only a symbol of class and resistance, but it is also backed up by one of the most amazing natural quality that you can find in wooden materials.

This kind of furniture doesn’t necessarily have to come from Indonesia. The term originates from the fact that teak is a tree that comes from several countries from the south and southeast Asia. For some reason, the country Indonesia stood out, and the name caught and became the term for which the wood was referred. And therefore, the furniture made from it is commonly known as Indonesian teak furniture.

Although still one of the rarest wood available, teak was planted in several places. In fact, in some areas, local governments require Indonesian teak furniture to be manufactured only from sustainable plantations, to keep the species from disappearing from the area.

The quality that this kind of furniture is most known for is its high resistance to weather. You can leave Indonesian teak furniture outside all year and it won’t deteriorate or be affected by sun or rain. Also, it has a natural resistance to bugs. These two qualities make Indonesian teak furniture a valuable and lasting choice. It’s so lasting that there are families that have had Indonesian teak furniture passed on for several generations.

In addition to its resistance, Indonesian teak furniture is loved for its great looks. It has a natural beautiful honey color that gives it a traditional and classy look. Some techniques can darken it if that’s what you want.

So, if you’re looking for a great looking, durable option, you really can do no wrong with Indonesian teak furniture.

4 Tips When Buying Wicker Garden Furniture

Genuine or Synthetic?

Rattan is closely related to the palm tree and usually grows in South East Asia. As it’s considered to be one of the world’s strongest and most workable woods, it’s ideal for making wicker furniture; wicker being the ancient weaving technique, not the material itself.

Although genuine rattan is often favoured aesthetically, it’s susceptible to mould and simply doesn’t last as long as synthetic rattan when exposed to the elements. For this reason, it’s better suited to indoor use only, meaning it can be a bit of a one trick pony. Synthetic rattan, on the other hand, has a greater deal of durability and weather-resistance, meaning it’s equally suited to both indoor and outdoor use. If you have the space to bring your furniture inside when the weather is at its worst then this may not be something you need to consider. However, if you’d prefer your furniture to be left outdoors all year round, synthetic rattan may be the better option for you.

Craftsmanship

You’ll need to consider the quality of the materials and construction if you require truly hardwearing, solid furniture that will last you for decades to come. Raucord rattan is weatherproof, UV and temperature resistant, colourfast and scratch-free, meaning it’s the superior choice when considering synthetic rattan, although all synthetics should offer a good level of weather-resistance. UV protection is the key feature to look out for or your furniture will become brittle, crack, and/or fade after exposure to the sun.

You should also ensure that your rattan furniture is built over a sturdy, corrosion-free aluminium frame instead or a steel one which will rust if left outdoors.

You’ll also need to consider the weave. Loose weave wicker will likely unravel and look unsightly, so choose a tighter weave and ensure there are no protruding fibres or rough edges.

Low Maintenance

Both natural and synthetic rattan furniture require very little care other than a spot of cleaning every so often. However, as natural rattan offers less weather-resistance, synthetic rattan is much easier to maintain overall. To clean, you can use warm, soapy water or simply hose your furniture down.

You should also look for high-quality cushions that can be left outside for most of the year, even in rainfall. However, to keep them clean and lasting longer, cushions should be stored during inclement weather conditions and throughout the winter.

Your Space

Consider the style of your garden and any pre-existing furniture you may have. You’ll want your furniture to be in keeping with the overall look and feel of your space. You can find rattan furniture that’s traditional or contemporary in style so it can easily be incorporated into your space. Consider the function of your furniture – are you looking for a rattan dining set for fine al fresco dining, or a luxury lounger to soak up the sun’s rays? And, though this may seem obvious, be sure to measure your space to ensure your furniture will fit properly as you want to avoid overcrowding.

Tips for Restoring Bamboo Furniture

Bamboo is known for being strong and incredibly stylish. With all good aspects of certain materials comes the disadvantage. Bamboo Furniture needs to be maintained in order to retain its uniqueness and strength.

Bamboo can perish because of two reasons. The first one is that too much water or humidity breaks the wood down. The second reason is that the bamboo can crack from not having enough moisture.

Before washing or touching the bamboo with any water you have to make sure that you remove any particles or resins on the surface to avoid distasteful scratching and marks. You can get rid of this dust by vacuuming the surface or dusting it regularly. Sand down any splinters that are sticking out in order to make the furniture user-friendly. Rough and sharp edges can ruin the look of the furniture.

When you wash the surface make sure that you wring excess water from the sponge or cloth. The more water that comes in contact with the bamboo the softer it will become. More water applied to the furniture can cause it to warp or distort. The water you use during the cleaning process can have a few drops of dishwashing liquid added.

Allow the furniture to dry completely before using it. Although most of the water was removed from the sponge the bamboo can still be deformed if someone sits on it whilst it is still wet. To speed up the process you can use a fan or a hairdryer. To save energy and electricity just let the furniture sit outside in the sun for a few hours.

Once the bamboo is dry you can apply essential oil all over it to keep the wood moist but not wet. The essential oil or furniture oil also maintains the wood throughout the year and gives it a new look.

In a case where one of the legs is cracked, you can apply paste wax to create a seal. By creating the seal you are preventing the breakage from spreading throughout the furniture. When applying this special wax ensure that you have the correct colour so that the damage does not get noticed easily.

Bamboo furniture has been around for a long time and is a popular furniture type in many countries. Although it is highly popular and is quite cheap it still needs to be maintained regularly so that it can last you a long time.

Solid Wooden Tables and Table Lamps

The most common office and home furniture is the table and we have various types of tables that depend largely on the material used to make them. The common type, however, is the wooden tables that are in almost every home. Wood has this nature elegance touch, which it adds to a home whenever it is used in home furniture and therefore it has gained popularity worldwide.

Tips on how to make your home look magnificent with solid wooden tables.

· Ensure proper arrangement such that it allows free movements and accesses to the whole room by the occupants without looking congested.

· Have proper lighting of the room, no dark corners and there is a visual balance of the entire space.

· Have your wooden tables matching up with other furniture in the room, as well as the entire theme of the room.

· Remove any unnecessary furniture in the room, this creates room and space for new ones.

· Accentuate the table appearance by placing flower vessels or table lamps on them.

Different tables are designed for specific uses, for example, we have dining tables, reading tables, coffee tables, and general office tables. Each of this is tailored in a way that it offers comfort and accommodates the essentials of that exact use. The short coffee tables are commonly found in the office foyer and in the living rooms while the long legged tables make the dining tables and the office tables.

As discussed above, one way of adding elegance to your room is by having table lamps. The following are ideas to consider when buying table lamps to be placed on your home or office wooden tables.

· Have in mind the purpose of lighting if it is reading or just illumination down lighting is preferable over the rest. Bed side lamps, for example, should be in a way that when one is reading the light does get dispersed to the entire room.

· Go for those lamps that do not emit a lot of heat. Most wooden tables have a varnish finishing that can be damaged by a lot of heat and it is also flammable.

· For decoration purposes, the lamp stand color should harmonize with that of the table top surface color. For example, a white on a black surface.

To conclude, always ensure that the wooden furniture is well maintained with proper cleaning and avoiding placing very heavy objects on them. Stains should be removed using the right cleaning detergents that are mild and do not erode the top finishing.