Feb 9, 2012

Joinery tools for DIY joiners

Joinery is a key element of any woodworking project, blending art with engineering. Strong joints can enhance the craftsmanship and extend the longevity of any wood furniture, from functional desks to ornate cabinets.

While your joinery skills may be restricted to basic DIY odd jobs around the house, and do not compare to professional joiners or carpenters, equipping yourself with a proper toolkit should help you to effectively accomplish joinery and carpentry projects at home– whether it is creating simple shelves or cutting out complex wardrobe boxes. You do not need to clutter up with the latest tools available on the market, rather ensure that you have the basic tools to successfully tackle the odd joinery and carpentry job.

Portable workbench

A portable workbench is a versatile piece of joinery equipment that is useful in practically every woodworking project. Most workbenches are usually equipped with adjustable jaws or clamps that help secure the wood in place while you saw, drill or plane it. Workbenches are generally lightweight and foldable, offering a space-saving storage option.

Saws to suit the task

A wide variety of saws are used for different joinery and carpentry applications. Though several power tools have been introduced to cut wood, nothing replaces the sheer simplicity, control and accuracy of manual saws. The panel saw and the tenon saw are two saws that should form part of your basic toolkit. While the panel saw is used to cut standard wood to length, the tenon saw has stiff, fine teeth and is used to cut joints and thin sheets of wood such as plywood.

Hand plane

Once the wood is cut, you can apply sandpaper to give the wood a smooth finish, or give your joinery a professional feel by using a hand plane to shave off excess layers of wood, or thin out wood that is too thick. The hand plane comprises of an adjustable sharp blade located in the centre of the hand plane. It enables you to create perfectly flat edges flat on two pieces of wood prior to joining them together to form a single piece.

Bevel edge Chisels

Bevel edge chisels are very handy tools in creating joints for timber framing. Owing to their bevelled edge blades, these chisels are especially helpful when working in tight corners. While chisels are available in different sizes and sold as sets, most of your DIY joinery needs can be met with a 1/4-chisel and a 1/2-inch chisel. You must ensure that your chisel stays sharp to function effectively. Regularly maintain it by using a sharpening oilstone and a honing guide to hold the chisel at an appropriate angle while sharpening.

Drills and bits

Make sure that a drill forms part of your toolkit arsenal, and that you have wood drill bits of varying sizes. It is essential to use drill bits of the appropriate diameter, as smaller joinery holes must be drilled with twist drill bits, medium and deep ones with auger bits and large ones with spade bits. You can also use hole saw bits or a jigsaw to drill extremely large holes, in order to provide an outlet for a drainpipe behind a kitchen cabinet; or a countersink bit to drill shallow depressions for countersunk screws.

About the author: David Cannock specialises in fitted kitchens at competitive prices.

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