Woodworking Problem Solving Tips and Tricks

Woodworking sander
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In spite of what some people may believe, wood is not a static, perfect building material. Sure, some types of wood are more stable than others, but every type of wood has characteristics that can cause woodworking problems if the woodworker doesn't prepare for them. There are literally countless numbers of woodworking tips and tricks that could be listed, but here are a few of my favorites.

  • 01 of 10

    How to Close an Open Mitered Corner

    Mitered Corner

     Chris Baylor 

    Even the most meticulously-cut halves of a mitered corner don't always line up perfectly. Because wood is a material that is constantly adjusting to fluctuations in the humidity in the air or imperfections in the angle of the grain of the wood, the mitered corners of the two boards may not align exactly. Learn a woodworking technique for how to close an open mitered corner.

  • 02 of 10

    Glue Run-Out

    Panels of Board Glued Together

     Chris Baylor

    Applying too much glue to a joint can result in glue run-out. This can be a problem on projects that will receive a stained finish, because the pores of the exposed areas of wood onto which the glue runs out can become clogged, preventing the stain from seeping into the plugged pores. This can leave an uneven, splotchy look. along the joint. Fortunately, here is a simple technique you can use to prevent glue run-out on wood joinery (such as mortise and tenon joints).

  • 03 of 10

    Sticky Drawers

    open drawers of linen cupboard
    VvoeVale / Getty Images

    If you've ever experienced sticky drawers on furniture in the winter, you're aware that seasonal moisture changes can cause the wood in even an old piece of furniture to swell or shrink. If you have furniture that has wooden drawer slides, try this handy trick to keep the drawers sliding in and out, even during the driest winters or wettest of summers.

  • 04 of 10

    Stripped Screw Hole

    Skilled Moves With a Tool
    SrdjanPav / Getty Images

    If you have a piece of wooden furniture with a stripped screw hole, where the mounting screws simply won't hold in the wood anymore, you know that this can be a trying problem. However, there are a number of ways to fix a stripped screw hole. Learn some of these techniques and solve this difficult problem easily and inexpensively.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Ideas for Removing Odors from Wood

    Working on Wood
    Jason Hoover / EyeEm / Getty Images

    Because wood has similar characteristics to a sponge, wood can easily absorb odors from other objects, such as pungent items stored in a drawer. In extreme cases, the wood can become so saturated with the odor that one might be tempted to throw out the piece of furniture because of the smell. Instead, try some of these ideas for removing odors from the wood.

  • 06 of 10

    Eliminate Most Saw Blade Burns

    Table saw
    Spaces Images / Getty Images

    When working with fine hardwoods, a table saw blade burn on the cut edge of the wood can be an unsightly problem. Of course, you might be tempted to try and scrape or sand off the burn, but it is better to try and prevent the burns from the outset. With a few tweaks to your table saw, you can eliminate most saw blade burns, but if you do get a burn on your wood, here are some ideas for removing the burns quickly and effectively.

  • 07 of 10

    Methods for Squaring-up Stock

    Carpenter using table saw at workshop
    Vasily Pindyurin / Getty Images

    Unless a piece of wood in a project calls for a specific bevel, miter or curve, most woodworking cuts have square edges (meaning a right-angle cut on the edge). However, if your wood isn't square, what is the best tool and methods for squaring-up stock? Here are a number of methods for squaring stock, plus some thoughts on which method(s) are best for specific applications.

  • 08 of 10

    Avoiding Splinters When Routing

    Routed strips of trim wood
    Brett Taylor / Getty Images

    Run a router bit along an edge of some woods (such as oak), and you may find the wood tends to splinter, or come off in chunks instead of the nicely-formed contour of the router bit. There are a number of reasons why wood might splinter when routing. How can you prevent such an unsightly problem? Try some of these tips for avoiding splinters when routing.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Build Super-Strong Shelves

    Books on Kitchen Shelf
    Jennifer Tabb / Moment / Getty Images

    If you've ever built a bookshelf for some heavy items, and looked at the shelf months or years later and found a sag in the middle, you know the frustration of building a shelf that will accommodate a lot of weight. For instance, a single layer of 3/4-inch plywood with edge banding may look great and feel stout, but will it stay flat after many months of holding hundreds of pounds of books? Not likely. However, with some adjustments, you can build super-strong shelves that are as attractive as they are stout. Learn how in this woodworking article.

  • 10 of 10

    How to Drill Clean Holes

    A couple using a power drill

    Arno Images / Getty Images

    One of the major problems in using a spade bit or a hole saw for a fine woodworking project is that the bit tends to grab and "blow out" the wood around the hole on the back side of the cut. This can be an unsightly problem to fix, but by adjusting your drilling or cutting technique, you can eliminate the problem altogether when drilling large-diameter holes. Learn how in this woodworking tip for how to drill clean holes.