tools used in woodworking

Certain Hand Held Power Tools in Detail

The development of modern society owes its foundations to tools. Since the Neolithic era, tools have aided man in hunting and building. From simple bone to metal, tools have evolved, along with society’s own growth, aiding man in hunting and building.

They have somewhat become the unsung heroes of the hallmarks of construction, and in art.

In these modern times, power tools have come to take the place of what were known as hand operated woodworking tools. It is common nowadays to find an electric powered saw, or an electric powered drill, in a woodworker’s woodshop.

Tools have indeed gone far from being simple pieces of bone. Though they’ve become more complicated, as the result of an amalgam between technology and practical purpose, their functional existence remains the same.

In the realm of woodworking, hand held power tools are quite popular. They provide efficient work flow, as well as work no different from the hand powered tools they’ve come to replace.

  • Nail Gun

A nail gun is basically a hammer hitting a nail in one. Suffice to say, they are simply hand held power tools geared for fast nail driving. They usually successfully work by compressed air, electromagnetism or small explosive charges. They are also known as bradders, pin nailers, for smaller nail guns, and brad nailers.

They have somewhat replaced hammers, and have become the hand held power tool of choice among builders.

  • Hand Held Power Drill

As a drill is basically a tool for boring holes, a Hand held Power Drill is simply a drill which is powered by an electric, or gas, motor.

A rotating drill bit is pretty much the integral aspect of a hand powered or hand held power drill. As the rotating drill bit is pressed against a woodpiece, the tip of the drill bit shaves off bits and pieces of the wood, thus creating a hole. As hand held power tools, hand held power drills are quite popular.

  • Electric Sanders

Electric sanders are quite useful hand held power tools. Geared to make sanding procedures fast, they also assure a consistent sanding level, leaving woodpieces a smooth finish.

Being hand held devices, they can be used to sand curved areas of a woodpiece, as well as flat surfaces.

  • Electric Powered Jig Saws

Electric Powered Jig Saws are amazing hand held power tools. As a regular hand powered jig saw is used to cut woodpieces into various shapes, an electric powered jig saw yields the same result, only with lesser work for woodworkers.

They are quite popular, as they could be used to cut woodpieces in a straight, simple cut, or cut them into various shapes and sizes.

It is basically a jig saw, powered by a motor, making sawing fast, easy and accurate.

All in all, hand held power tools are not much different from regular hand driven tools. They still work the same way as their hand powered counterparts do, only faster.

Popular Woodworking Stationary Machines

Though portable or hand-held woodworking tools are available, the need for woodworking stationary machines is still up and about.

As woodworking entails the forming of individual pieces of wood, then building them together like building blocks, hand-held or portable woodworking tools come useful in the “putting together” process of a woodworking excursion.

Woodworking stationary machines play an integral role in the shaping of woodpieces, prior to building the construction together.

One can say that woodworking stationary machines are the block builders, aiding woodworkers in efficiently making the “pieces” that make the whole project.

Here are some woodworking stationary machines which can be commonly found in a woodworker’s woodshop:

  • Bench Grinder

Bench grinders are basically abrasive wheels, geared for various purposes. Picture a wheel positioned adjacent to a motor, and you would probably get a clear picture of how a bench grinder looks like, as well as how it operates.

Like most woodworking stationary machines, the workpiece is “fed” to a bench grinder for sanding, polishing, or buffing, letting the operator manipulate the material and not the device itself.

For example, a woodworker wishes to sand a chair armrest. The woodpiece itself is “fed” to the bench grinder, to the specifications of the woodworker’s design for a chair armrest.

Not only limited to wood, bench grinders, depending on the type of grinding wheel being used, can polish or sand various metals and certain plastics.

Bench grinders are among the most commonly found woodworking stationary machines because of their flexible and multipurpose nature.

  • Jointers

For the fast, accurate and easy making of wood joints, jointers come into play. Woodworkers have seen the beauty of jointers, as joints are integral in woodworking excursions.

Capable of making mortises and biscuit join setups, jointers come as essential to professional woodworkers, as project deadlines require them to work fast.

The use of jointers assure an accurate joint cut, giving them more time to focus on the other aspects of the woodworking project.

  • Drill Press

As a woodworking stationary machine, a drill press isn’t simply limited to drilling jobs. One could use a drill press in the same way a bench grinder can be used, fitting the drill press with grinding wheels instead of a drill bit.

A drill press is composed of various parts. It basically has a base, a table, a pillar/column, a spindle and a drill head.

The drill head goes down on a fixed path through the machine’s pillar/column, as the material in question is placed on the machine’s table. This gives the drill press’ operator an accurate drilling job.

Replacing the drill press’ drill head with a grinding wheel, or a polishing wheel, enables the tool to work as a grinder or polisher.

As “pre-assembly” making tools, woodworking stationary machines are really important. Faster construction, accurate measurements and the easy making of tools leave woodworkers to focus more on the aesthetic values of a woodworking project, which are oftentimes what make woodworkers superstars in the making.

Also Read:

Basic Woodworking Tools

Woodworking is a labor intensive but interesting hobby and profession. As the name implies, the activity involves measuring, cutting, modifying and altering pieces of wood to be made into furniture and other things.

Many professional woodworkers have a variety of complex tools. However, for the neophyte or average woodworker, only a few basic woodworking tools are needed.

  • The Workbench

The first important basic woodworking tool is a workbench. Commercially available workbenches are nice because they have tool trays under the work area. You can keep some of your smaller tools in these trays to avoid cluttering your workspace.

The workbench should be solid and sturdy because it will be subject to a lot of stress. Also, the workbench should have places wherein vises and clamps can be attached. The workbench itself should be placed in a well lighted place and should always be clean.

  • Measuring Equipment

The next set of woodworking tools that should be acquired are measuring equipment. The most important are a steel rule, a 25 foot tape measure, a square and friction point calipers.

  • Hand Tools

For basic woodworking, you would need some hand tools. For cutting wood, you would need a few kinds of saws. A crosscut saw is an absolute essential tool. It makes straight cuts perpendicular through the grain of almost any type of wood.

You would also need a coping saw. This kind of saw can cut curves and intricate through wood. To cut metal such as protruding nails, a hacksaw is needed.

  • Chisels

Chisels, which are used to carve through wood, are also essential woodworking tools. Buy a set that has 1/8, ¼, ½ and ¾ blades. All chisels should be driven with a rubber or wooden mallet. Hitting it with a normal hammer will damage the chisel handle.

One cannot even start woodworking without a hammer. Hammers are used to drive nails through the wood. Be sure to buy one with a claw, which is used to extract nails from the wood.

You will need some simple woodworking tools to shave and smooth wood. A block plane is perfect for this purpose. For general smoothing, sandpaper will do the trick. Be sure to buy various grains of sandpaper.

  • Drill

Another woodworking tool that is indispensable is a drill. This is used to make holes through wood. It is best to buy a portable, motorized drill. While it would be easier for you to drill holes through a motorized drill, this tool have a receptacle which enables you to change drill bits into screwdriver tips. When buying a drill, be sure to also buy an assortment of drill bits of varying sizes.

There are other woodworking tools that you might want to buy like vises, clamps, screwdrivers and other motorized equipment. For basic woodworking, the above tools are the only ones that are required.

The Plus Factor of a Drill Press

Anyone who has had experience with woodworking excursions know just how tedious not working with the right tools can be. The right kind of saw for the right kind of cut highly makes the job efficient, if not yield perfect results. The wrong nail could ruin the wood or the wrong kind of plane could utterly render the woodpiece useless for a particular project.

The wrong type of drill could mess up the woodpiece.

Drills are basically tools for accurately boring holes into a piece of wood.

The earliest breed of drills are believed to be bow drills. The first electrical drill came out in 1889, and is credited to have been the invention of Mr. Arthur James Arnot.

By 1895, the first portable electric drill came from Germany, through the efforts of Wilhelm Fein. Black & Decker, a standard bearer in the realm of power tools, patented the “trigger” switch in portable drills in 1917.

Various types of drills exist, catering to the various boring demands that come about when it comes to woodworking. The Drill Press is one such type of drill.

Contrary to portable drills, a drill press is a fixed type of drill, and often comes in mounted form, where it is fixed to the floor or a workbench. Also known as a pillar drill or bench drill or pedestal drill, a drill press is basically made of a base, a table, a column/pillar, spindle and a drill head.

A drill press is normally pushed by an induction motor, powering the drill itself. The drill head has three handles, which the operator uses in operating the power tool.

The handles are positioned from a core hub, and controls the drill in boring vertically, in a path side by side to the axis of the drill press’ pillar/column.

The drill press’ table is movable in the vertical position, depending on the size of the woodpiece in need of boring.

A drill press boasts advantages over hand held drills, less work effort is needed in operating a drill press.

Drill presses allow more accurate and secure drilling work, as a clamp is utilized in positioning the woodpiece, making way for a more secure work operation. For multi-boring procedures, because of the secure and accurate nature of drilling with a drill press, repetitively boring holes on a woodpiece is fast and easy.

When it comes to drilling woodpieces before they’ve been put together into form, drill presses truly shine. Where portable or hand held drills have their own weakness, drill presses come in and fill out those said weaknesses, making them an essential tool for professional woodworkers.

The Constant Thing with Mortisers

In the realm of woodworking, a mortiser comes into play when it comes to making square or rectangular holes in a piece of wood.

Introduced into the world of woodworking in 1874 by Robert and Ralph Greenlee, a mortiser, or morticer in commonwealth English, is a specialized woodworking tool geared in the creation of mortise and tenon joints.

  • The Hollow Chisel Mortiser

Upon its siring in 1874, the hollow chisel mortiser was somewhat as big as a table saw. The tool was a combination between a four sided chisel and a boring rotating bit, which produced the square edged holes in a piece of wood.

The hollow chisel mortiser was instantly seen as a tool of necessity for woodworkers, as it made making mortises and tenon joints fast, accurate and easy.

Today, a variety of mortisers can be found, each with their own specific boring capabilities.

  • The Square Chisel Mortiser

The square chisel mortiser is pretty much what was called the hollow chisel mortiser. It is practically similar to a drill press, as it is a combination of drill and chisel. As the drill bit clears out the material to be removed, the chisel keeps the edges straight and clean, making a square hole in the woodpiece.

A square chisel mortiser can be commonly found in a professional woodworker’s shop because if it’s specialized nature of woodwork output.

Though cheaper and smaller square chiel mortisers are available in the market, a lot of amateur woodworkers wouldn’t be able to justifiably make use of this tool, considering it’s high maintenance cost, as well as the space it’d take up in a woodshop.

A relatively recent innovation of the square chisel mortiser would be the horizontal mortiser. With a horizontal mortiser, floating tenons, or loose tenons, are easy to make.

  • Floating Tenon

A floating tenon is made when both pieces of wood in question have mortises cut into them, as another piece of wood is formed into a tenon and fitted into the square holes, thus completing the union of woodpieces. A horizontal mortiser makes the making of floating tenons less tedious, if not non-tedious.

  • Chain Mortiser

A chain mortiser is another type if mortiser. When it comes to cutting large mortises, a chain mortiser would be the right tool. The Makita 7104L is perhaps the most popular of chain mortisers, and is usually used in timber frame construction.

Large mortises indeed, a chain mortiser works with a chainsaw like cutter, rotating within an allowed area. As the cutters are rotating, the setup is plunged into the workpiece, mortising out the unwanted volume in the wood.

Indeed the hollow chisel mortiser has gone far since its birth. But even with it’s evolution from then to now, the purpose they serve hasn’t. As long as mortises are needed, there’ll always be a place for mortisers in a woodworker’s woodshop.

Techniques in Sharpening Chisels and Shop Knives

Some of the basic but most useful tools in woodworking are chisels and shop knives. Chisels are used to carve and gouge wood. Similarly, knives are used to cut or carve larger chunks of wood.

The accuracy and safety of chisels and shop knives rest on how sharp they are. Therefore it is important to keep their cutting edges sharp. This can be achieved using proper sharpening techniques.

For chisels and shop knives, the sharpest part lies on their angled side. The angled sides are usually shaped as half Vs for chisels and Vs for shop knives. Therefore, the first step in sharpening a chisel or a knife is to grind a whetstone or a steel grinder on their angled edges.

It is important to keep the angle consistent when you grind the cutting edges on both sides. Otherwise, the cutting edge would have minute but irregular bumps and burrs which would lessen its cutting power.

Also, it is important to change or regrind the grinder stone or the whetstone regularly. An old or worn bevel won’t sharpen chisels and shop knives effectively.

How do you know you are done grinding with a grinder or whetstone? You wound need to swipe a hone on the sharpened edge. If swiping produces a bead of steel over to the side of the tool, they you are finished with grinding.

The next part is a little bit laborious. You would need to polish the cutting edges of the chisels and shop knives with hones. For starters, you need to polish out the scratches left by the bevel with the coarsest hone available. Then, you would need to polish the blade with progressively finer hones until the desire level of sharpness is achieved.

  • To maintain the sharpness of your tools, here are some useful tips to follow

First, sharpen your chisels and shop knives often. In the end, you will spend less time sharpening them. Regular sharpening will help your tools cut better. Sharp tools are also safer because you don’t have to exert a lot of pressure when cutting something. Excessive pressure makes you lose control of the tool.

When sharpening the tools, use a lot of lubricant. The lubricant makes it easier for you to work and washes away the metal swarf. Also, the lubricant prevents clogging of the sharpening apparatus, especially if you are using an automatic grinder.

When cleaning your chisels and shop knives, do not use dishwasher detergent. Detergent can dull your tools quickly. Simply wash them with water. Then you can let them dry out.

Following these steps, you can cut, carve and gouge away safely and surely.

Categories: Woodworking