Friday, February 20, 2009

Six Steps to Thoughtful Wooden Handcrafted Gifts That Are Fun to Make and a Joy to Give

There is a no better time than during these strained economic times to consider handcrafting wooden games, toys or furniture for your family or as gifts. Recall a simpler time when we were young and created our own amusements by using our imaginations and hands to transform simple objects into playful implements or games. Gosh, I still have and use some of the things we made with our Dad in his basement workshop or garage back in Cape Breton - a periscope, wooden toolbox, marble board game. At 15 years I built that water wheel and the well replica for our garden. Mom and Dad loved it.

Consider the pleasure and sense of pride you will have when you create a gift from your own hands. And think of the pleasure you will bring to someone special. Someone for whom you took the time to craft a special wooden piece.

With a few simple hand tools and maybe a basic power tool, you can transform those ideas in your head to some very unique woodworking projects. With a little planing you could build these wooden creations right in your apartment, at your kitchen table or in your garage or basement. Covering your work area with some plastic drop-sheets or a tarpaulin and having a vacuum for cleanup opens up the possibilities of using your kitchen or dining room table for small woodworking projects.

Planning and measuring:

- On a piece of paper design your project (rough picture) and then measure it out on a rough piece of wood so you can get some kind of visual of how it will look


- buy a template plan that simply has you tape together the pieces of paper, lay it out on the board and simply mark then cut or drill as indicated. This is a simple way to ensure project accuracy and repeatability when you are making more than one of the same project.

Cutting the wood:

- Cut with handsaw, circular saw, table saw or miter saw


- Have them cut it to size at your building supply store. For a few extra dollars I have Home Depot cut my plywood to project size. Now I don't have to get out the table saw and deal with the sawdust clean-up that results.

Rounding corners and edges:

- Use a jigsaw and router


- With a straightedge or paper template, mark and trim the four corners with a handsaw or hand jigsaw and then, with a block and pieces of sand paper (coarse grit), round and shape the corners and edges

Drilling Holes:

- use a drill and wood bits (a drill is likely the first hand power tool you will buy)
No real alternative for a good drill and bits

Fastening the pieces together:

- No Nails Glue (This stuff seems to hold anything to anything!) - may require some clamps or weights to keep your project together during the 24 hour drying period

- Screws with wood glue (using the drill to pre-drill holes to avoid wood splitting and the screw bits to easily sink the screws)

- A small square will help ensure your corners remain square during assembly

Finishing the surface:

- poly fill or wood fill or wooden plugs will be need to cover the countersunk screws

- You will need coarse to fine sandpaper. Coarse sandpaper to deal with smoothing the edges and finer sandpaper to finish the surfaces in preparation for a wood finish to be applied.

- Go with natural wood finishes like polyurethane, lacquers and wood oils. Let the natural wood grains display all their splendor.

- Stain and paint first. Then finish with a polyurethane to make the surface more durable

You can be a talented woodworking carpenter with a few simple tools:

- measuring tape and pencil

- straightedge and/or square

- handsaw

- hand jigsaw

- power drill, drill bits and screw bits (this is the first power tool you should own) OR a versatile Dremel, which has a wide variety of attachments

- sand paper block (a piece of 2x2 or 2x3 wood) and sandpaper

- good quality paint brushes (clean and spin dry after each use and they will last for years)

Now, more than ever, is the time to unleash your woodworking talent and handcraft wooden treasures like toys, games and furniture. In the land of wooden handcrafts the recipients smile is the true gift of receiving.

Autor: Carl Chesal Carl Chesal
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Carl Chesal is a business and channel development consultant, trainer, internet marketer and professional photographer. He operates BizFare Enterprise Inc. About Bizfare Enterprise IncBizfare Enterprise ... ...

Carl Chesal is a business consultant, internet marketer and professional photographer. His hobbies include Gardening and Woodworking. He operates ( - Home And Body How To, providing Home and Garden DIY project plans, woodworking template plans, memorabilia, cooking recipes, and music gear. Something for the Do-It-Yourself Carpenter, Cook, Gardener, Decorator, Collector, and Musician.

Added: February 20, 2009