Restoration Tips

These expert tips and hands-on techniques from Restoration Realities can be used in many of your restoration projects.

Related To:

  1. Woodworking
  2. Restoring

Making Spindles

  • Wood turning is a craft that is refined over time.
  • Always wear safety glasses and a dust mask.
  • Make sure your tools are sharp.
  • Before starting the lathe, turn the wood in the lathe to make sure it is balanced and clears the tool rest. Readjust if necessary.
  • Practice makes perfect. Use old scrap wood to try different techniques.
  • When finishing, remove any tool marks by using sandpaper or sponge type sanding blocks.

Paint Removal

There are three ways you can remove old paint or varnish from wood:

Safety Alert: Always wear eye and skin protection, as well as respirators, when dealing with chemials. Also, in any stripping method, proper ventilation is a must.

  • A chemical paint or varnish remover is available in semi-paste and liquid form. Once applied, any remaining paint or varnish can then be scraped off or washed away. To wash away, use water or mineral spirits to neutralize the stripping material. This is usually the fastest and most effective way to remove old paint.
  • You can use sandpaper or an electric sander to remove paint. Special care must be administered if you're removing lead-based paint to avoid airborne and surface contamination.
  • The third way to remove paint is with heat. The heat will bubble up the paint without damaging the wood. Use the same safety precautions as with the other techniques when using this method.


Note: Collection and disposal of the material removed is critical. There are sites available that will accept the material for disposal.

Using a Miter Saw

  • Miter saws are designed to make very precise cuts. However, never try to cut wood wider or deeper than the saw permits.
  • Clear your work site, both at level and on the ground so your footing is never jeopardized.
  • Keeping your hand clear of the blade, hold the material tight to the fence and down against the table with one hand, then work the saw with the other.
  • After starting the saw, push the blade firmly down and into the wood. Never start the saw on the wood.
  • When using a sliding compound miter saw, never pull the blade through the wood. Start at the outside and push the blade into the wood.

Next Up

Tips on Using a Spokeshave

Spokeshaves can be used to shape chair spindles and round surfaces. Use these tips to make the most effective cuts.

Sanding Tips

These tips and tricks for using sandpaper will help keep any project running smoothly.

Tips for Restoring Furniture

Even furniture with water marks, vacuum-cleaner nicks, scratches or damaged veneer can look like new without too much trouble.

Tips on Using a Router Table

Router tables allow users to run wood over the router instead of running the tool over the wood. Here are a few tips on using a router table, ensuring safety and accuracy.

Stationary Power Tool Tips

There are three crucial pieces of equipment in a woodshop: the jointer, table saw and the band saw. Check out tips and advice on using and placing these core power tools.

Tips for Using Fasteners as Temporary Joints

Knock-down fasteners create temporary joints for furniture. They long have been used on projects ranging from store-bought bookcases to decks.

Tips on Using Cutting Guides

Cutting a long piece of wood can be difficult unless you have a great tool to assist you. Check out these guides that can make getting the perfect cut easy.

Tips on Choosing the Right Router

Follow these tips from DIY experts and it'll be easy to choose and use a router.

Sandpaper Storage Tips

Almost every project uses some sort of sandpaper or sanding device. Check out these tips for storing and organizing sandpaper.

Woodworking FAQ: Clear Finishes

Learn how to choose and use wood stains and clear protective finishes.

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