Assembling mitresThe slightest inaccuracy puts picture frames out of square so check before applying adhesive, positioning all the pieces and clamping them together.
Reinforcing a mitre joint Modern adhesives are often strong enough to secure a picture frame but if extra reinforcement is needed cut thin slots across the corner and insert veneer splines or thicker timber pieces called keys.
5 essential woodworking tools Gradually build up a toolbox and collect equipment as skills and budgets grow. Here are five woodworking essentials to start with.
How to make a square cut in timber When building a project using butt joints square cuts are essential for precise joining. When marking up, continue the cut line around all four sides of the timber, checking the saw blade doesn’t stray from the lines while making the cut.
Drilling to use screws Many modern screws have serrated tips to cut into the timber, reducing the need for a pilot hole. When butt joining two pieces with screws, drill a clearance hole through the first piece then drill a pilot hole into the second, making it easier to secure the screw into both pieces while reducing risk of splitting the edge.
Choosing a bit for screwsThe gauge of a screw is the diameter of the shaft. Choose a drill bit to suit the screw, because making the hole too big makes it loose, too small could result in split timber.
Drilling holes for dowels Dowels are a simple solution for strengthening a butt joint and aligning two components to prevent them from twisting. Screws aren’t required as the adhesive holds the joint together. Dowelled butt joints are used to attach the end of one piece of timber to the end or side of another or for laminating boards by joining them edge to edge. TIP - Perfect alignment is critical so use dowel centres to get it right.
Make a bench hook A homemade bench hook is a simple project made from a batten secured under a plywood offcut that can be clamped or hooked against a benchtop, with a second batten across the top to hold the timber.
Cutting plywood Plywood can be awkward to work with if it’s in large 2400 x 1200mm sheets, although hardware stores also sell it in smaller sizes. Cutting at home can be done with a handsaw, jigsaw or circular saw. The challenge is to cut the plywood without tearing the grain.