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Sanding with the Grain:
This is a woodwork tip that just about anyone with a little bit of woodworking experience should know and it is sanding with the timbers grain. By sanding with the grain and not against it you are able to create a smooth face while not leaving any scratches behind.

Going through the grades:
This next woodwork tip also involves the use of sandpaper and is called going through the grades. This is when you use multiple grades of sandpaper to create an extremely smooth surface.

You start with a small number such as 80 and work your way through each grade until you get to a number such as 200 and this will ensure that your piece of wood is incredibly smooth. These grade numbers are also located on the back of your pieces of sandpaper.

Loosening Sandpaper Fibres:
This woodwork tip is also a tip that many people who regularly hand sand should know and it is loosening up the sandpapers fibres or abrasives.

When you buy sandpaper it is fairly stiff and if you sand with it straight away with a sanding block the sandpaper will get large creases in it and will wear out in half the usage.

A method to prevent this is to find a straight edge such as on a piece of timber or furniture and buy grabbing two corners of the sandpaper and running it along the edge a few times the sandpapers abrasives will loosen and the sandpaper will curl slightly.

This is when you know it is ready for use and it will fit more easily around the sanding block.

Preventing Splintering:
This woodwork tip involves cutting timber either with a hand saw or drop saw although you are most likely to encounter this problem with a drop saw.

There are timbers that are more prone to splintering such as Meranti and cutting it with tools such as a drop saw may cause the edge to splinter.

An easy way to prevent this from happening is by putting masking tape along the area that will be cut and this will help to prevent the wood fibres from splintering.

Another way to prevent splintering is to cut along a marked out line first with a marking knife, this should slice the top fibres creating a straight cut.

Countersunk Holes:
Another woodwork tip for when you are constructing something such as a piece of furniture and you are using screws it is best to make a countersunk hole first to conceal the screw.

A counter sunk hole can be made for any screw but it is best to use countersunk screws. The best way to make the countersunk hole is with a mounted bench drill or pedestal drill but a cordless drill can be used although more precision is required.

It is best to start with the larger whole drilling down just enough to conceal the screw and then using the smaller drill bit as it should easily centre due to the already pre drilled large hole.

After the screw is put in you can cover it with some dowel to fully conceal the screw or make a feature out of the holes.

Removing Excess Dust:
It is essential that you remove all the excess dust and dirt from your assembled job before you apply a finish to it.

This is to ensure that your finish can be applied evenly and smoothly and if any dust is trapped it will be trapped for good and you will be able to see it.

The best way to remove excess dust is to use a slightly damp cloth and wiping your completed job but make sure it isn’t to damp or your timber could swell.

Glue Spots:
Sometimes you may find that after applying a finish to your completed woodwork job you are left with lighter coloured spots. This is caused from dried glue that has not been removed from the surface.

To locate these spots before you apply a finish you can wipe down your job with a denatured alcohol which will temporarily darken the timber revealing the spots and allowing you to sand them off.

Raising Timber:
This woodwork tip is a technique that is used to remove dents in your wood by raising the surface. This can be done in two main ways which is swelling with water or rising with a damp cloth and iron.

You can apply small amounts of water to the dent which will cause it to swell and rise and this will allow you to sand the surface flat. The other way to raise the timber is by applying a damp cloth to the surface where the dents are.

You then iron the cloth like you would your cloths and this should make the dents rise and allows you to sand them flat. Be careful not to iron the cloth for too long as you can burn the cloth and wood.

Sanding Blocks:
When you are going to sand large or long pieces of timber by hand with sandpaper the best way to do it is with a sanding block. A sanding block is a block of wood or cork that you wrap a small piece of sand paper around.

Sanding blocks make sanding by hand much easier, more comfortable and more consistent because you have the block to support your hand. They are very easy to make or a proper sanding bock can be bought from just about any hardware store.

Sawdust Putty:
Instead of using timber putty you can make your own from sawdust and PVA glue.
All you have to do is mix some PVA glue with some sawdust from the timber you are using and then apply it to any holes or cracks in the timber. It also completely matches your timber and you can't see the dry glue
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