Author Topic: Wood Working - Tips/Tricks/Ideas  (Read 3067 times)

Offline Joe

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Wood Working - Tips/Tricks/Ideas
« on: December 28, 2005, 11:01 AM »
I was thinking after Dean put out that amazing station amde out of wood it's inspired me to start using wood.I've also heard wood has better stabality and lasts longer.So I was wondering  what do most people use to glue walls and other things on the base.

 O and also it's cheap but would thins be a good jigsaw?

Black & Decker
4 Amp Variable-Speed Jigsaw Kit with Light

thanks ,
Joe

EDIT: This thread USE TO be "Is this a Good Idea"

« Last Edit: June 12, 2006, 04:34 PM by Jeff »
Cheers!

 - Joe

Offline CHEWIE

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Re: Would this be a good idea?
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2005, 11:53 AM »
Hmmmm.... I'm clueless on how to help you.  DeanPaul, any suggestions?

 :P

Offline Deanpaul

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Re: Would this be a good idea?
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2005, 03:00 PM »
Hey guys, I don't normally read a lot of the threads in here but stumbled into this one.

It really depends a lot on what you're trying to make. Right tool for the right job is an understatement when it comes to working in this scale.

I had access to a full workshop that fabricates the custom trade show displays and environments I design. I had almost every tool I needed there. I used a large industrial table saw, band saw, joiner, planer, edge sander, air disc sander, air brad nailer, cordless drills and a jig saw. I also used hand tools like a Japanese saw and chisels.

If I were starting from scratch the jig saw would be a must. Buy a good solid one without a lot of bells and whistles (like the light). Milwaukee and Bosch are two brands I like, and Dewalt has gotten better recently. You'll want a really fine blade to cut MDF, and one more coarse for plywood.

They have really small table saws that I've used to make bass wood models like this one:



I was working with smaller pieces of wood on the model above to begin with, so I didn't need to rip down a 4x8 sheet for something the size of the space station.

You could look into an inexpensive bench band saw, but you'll need to learn how to maintain it and will be limited by the width of the gate - the distance from the blade to the blade housing on the table edge.

Stay away from tools like circular saws, you won't get the precision you're looking for and will have a lot of work after the cut to get the edge looking good. Also avoid scroll saws - they're really difficult to work with in a variety of materials and the blade always seems to pop out or break.

Regarding materials, I have no idea how you all have the patience work with foam core. I've used it a lot in the past on study models for work related projects and it certainly has benefits, but also some serious deficits. It's fragile, it warps, it's not structural at scale and it can become expensive fast. Nothing I ever used it on had any shelf life at all, especially when I used hot glue to bond it together.

I chose 1/2" MDF for the station because it didn't have the layered edge that plywood would have. If I had used plywood I would have either used bondo to fill the edges or applied a vinyl tape to hide the irregular surface after painting. I did need to pre-drill to keep the material from splitting, and was careful to set in far enough from the edges when brad nailing to avoid a blow out.

The acrylic was easy to work with because I had the parts milled on a CNC machine. If I had used hand tools there would have been a ton of finish work on the edges.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2005, 03:47 PM by Deanpaul »
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Offline Smartypants1635

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Re: Would this be a good idea?
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2005, 03:10 PM »
how durable is mdf and what thicknesses does it come in Dp ?

im makeing something for chewies project like mercy joe, and its ..............................um kind of a big one, ;) and i need to know if mdf is sturdy at 1/8th inch thick or 1/4 inch thick, or even if they make it in that thickness. :-\

Offline Deanpaul

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Re: Would this be a good idea?
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2005, 03:27 PM »
I'm not sure about 1/8" in MDF - it would be fairly brittle. Ren Shape is a material you might consider, depending on what you're making. It's great for reductive sculpting and carving, and is a good substitute to some plastics for thinner walk ways and platforms or walls.

MDF is stable in that it won't move a ton once sealed with a primer and paint that locks moisture out. You don't want to create a lot of unsupported spans that carry loads, or you will get some warp over time. RTA bookcases usually use particle boadr vs. mdf, but for projects like the space station 1/2" is plenty to support Hasbro vehicles like the Falcon and Shuttle.

1/4" MDF is available, the curve-top elevator supports on my project are three layers of it laminated together. That's what created the slot for the elevator sides to travel in. The 1/4" I found at Home Depot had a white laminate surface on one side, which didn't bother me. I did use a reddish glue the trade show company uses to bond it though. If you're bonding the raw surface, wood glue, gorilla glue or some epoxy glues work well. The laminate side needed the reddish apply to both sides like rubber cement stuff to bond.

Most of my project is 1/2" MDF and acrylic. The base could have been thicker, but 3/4" 3x5 would have been heavy and not all that structural. You might consider a rigid base like plywood that your other stuff attaches to - especially if you're planning on texturing the floor or applying a gloss reflective vinyl or something to it. You could seal and prime the wood grain out of the base top, but I feel you'll always see some striping in the edge unless it is covered.
"Regime change, like charity, begins at home." - Ira Glass, This American Life

Offline Joe

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Re: Would this be a good idea?
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2005, 04:11 PM »
thanks for the help.about how much would the wood , jigsaw,and tablesaw run me?
Cheers!

 - Joe

Offline Joe

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Re: Would this be a good idea?
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2005, 07:32 PM »
O.K. now I have one more question till' it's off the home depot tomorrow.How do yoy get walls on.Hot glue........right?
Cheers!

 - Joe

Offline Deanpaul

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Re: Would this be a good idea?
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2005, 07:43 PM »
Joe,

Cost is depending on what you can spend. The link I left above had the Bosch jig saw at less than $200. A table saw is reasonably between $200 and $400, and buy a good Freud carbide blade for better cuts. MDF, depending on thickness and where you pick it up should be between $15 and $30 for a 4x8 sheet. Home Depot and Lowes will cut it down for you on the panel saw so it will fit in your car, but don't expect a clean, 90 degree or accurate cut, just one to reduce size.

You could hot glue the walls, but I don't think it would hold well at all.

I suggest using an air nailer if one is available, or predrilling holes and using #6 wood screws. Either way, use wood glue on your joints and clamp flat surfaces for a few hours if possible. If you're using an air nailer, stay inside the edge at least 3/4" of an inch to prevent the brad from seperating the MDF. Again, screws need to be predrilled, nail/brads held in from the edge.

Good luck.
"Regime change, like charity, begins at home." - Ira Glass, This American Life

Offline Famine

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Re: Would this be a good idea?
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2005, 07:52 PM »
Home Depot and Lowes will cut it down for you on the panel saw so it will fit in your car, but don't expect a clean, 90 degree or accurate cut, just one to reduce size.

I wouldn't go that far. Some of the newer types of wood their not allowed to cut in stores, depending on the local codes. My grandfather is a member of the Pro-Desk here at the local Depot, and he was just explaining this to me.

Somthing you guys should look into is using Masonite for custom playsets. It's thin, durable, and comes in smaller sheets. Home Depot carries a 2' X 4' and 4' X 8'. They will cut down the 4' X 8' to fit in your car or Minivan.

Kevin
The picture kept, will remind me...

Offline Joe

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Re: Would this be a good idea?
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2005, 09:20 PM »
well now I know what to do with all that money I got for Christmas.....
Thanks guys,
Joe
Cheers!

 - Joe

Offline Joe

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Re: Would this be a good idea?
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2005, 09:27 PM »
o and air nail?Is that an electric nail gun?
Cheers!

 - Joe

Offline Famine

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Re: Would this be a good idea?
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2005, 09:39 PM »
o and air nail?Is that an electric nail gun?

I think he's refering to a nail gun, most likley run on a compressor, though I could be wrong.

Kevin
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Offline Joe

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Re: Would this be a good idea?
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2005, 09:46 PM »
thats what I thought I typed in "air nail" and a nailgun w/a builtin compressor came up.
Cheers!

 - Joe

Offline Famine

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Re: Would this be a good idea?
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2005, 10:01 PM »
Cool deal.

Where are you going to buy all of this? Home Depot?

Kevin
The picture kept, will remind me...

Offline Smartypants1635

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Re: Would this be a good idea?
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2005, 10:25 PM »
so how strong would wood glue be to atach teh mdf
and how much does it runn for about. i on ly got 50 bucks so just wondering if i need to save a crap loada money