Woodworking Tips & Techniques

cutting decorative molding

While it's certainly true that practice makes perfect, it's equally true that knowing a shortcut will get the job done faster.

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Speed vs. Accuracy
Of course, when you're into a carpentry or trimwork project, you need to strike a balance between speed and accuracy. That's why this section of DIYadvice.com provides you with a solid foundation of knowledge for many of the skills you need. And you'll also discover what to do when things turn out less than perfect.

Abilities for many jobs
Accurately measuring and leveling are skills you'll utilize at every step of the construction process. Mastering the mitersaw is invaluable because this tool has so many applications. Whether you're chopping studs to length or mitering a delicate molding, your familiarity with the mitersaw will keep your project moving.

At first, you may think that cutting a cope joint is more baffling than understanding baseball's infield-fly rule. But when you follow the step-by-step technique, you'll catch on quickly.

Even more techniques
Following proper technique is essential to obtaining good results, whether you're wielding a tool as versatile as a biscuit joiner or as basic as a nail set. This chapter provides insights into producing better results with both.

Many beginners get frustrated trying to remember which way to position plywood for the smoothest cuts at the tablesaw (good face up) and with a handheld circular saw (good face down). But instead of merely committing this knowledge to rote memory, you'll also learn why tearout occurs. With that understanding, you'll get smoother cuts every time -- with a coping saw, jigsaw, or any other saw you own.

Tips and secrets
Until someone invents a molding stretcher, you'll need to know how to cut scarf joints and how to make them virtually invisible.

Working alone -- by choice or necessity -- can be a rewarding experience. For example, you'll learn how to easily make jigs that solidly support moldings when you're the entire crew.


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