Category Archives for "Reader’s Quest"

Winter is Coming: Prepare Your Essential Tools to Survive

Winter often creeps up on us and finds us working in our garage one weekend, and huddling indoors the next. There is nothing wrong with getting in your last bit of work done before winter truly sets in. We often forget to plan for essential tool storage when we are working right until our last bit of sunshine and warmth is gone for the season.

Making sure you clean and store your tools is essential. You have to prepare an environment in which they can be used properly to keep them working in good shape for years to come. Taking an afternoon to do this will help pay off in the long run.

Tool Location

Chances are your tools are stored where they are easily accessible. You’d want a large-enough space where you can easily obtain, use and store your items. Many people prefer working outdoors, in a garage or shop. As the temperature drops, this can become quite uncomfortable. Not only is it uncomfortable for you, but it also can be tough on your tools, leaving you one of two options: to either store your tools until warmer days, or provide some sort of heating.

If bringing your tools indoors for winter storage is not an option, then you will need to provide some sort of protection, and general maintenance before walking away. This is especially true for areas that get a deep, lingering freeze. If you want to have access to your tools through the winter, then you need to plan on the options that both allow you to work comfortably, and efficiently to avoid damage to your investment.

Staying Comfortable

If you regularly work within your garage or shed through the winter, then you need to do more than just bundle up. In fact, layering clothes and wearing gloves can be a hindrance to certain movements- and may cause safety issues depending on the type of tool you are working with.

Because of this, you want to address the actual climate within your workspace itself; using a heater of some type can be very beneficial to warming a space quickly and efficiently. This does more than making a comfortable atmosphere for you. It also allows your tools to warm and work as they are meant to without any adverse reactions to the cold. For some excellent reviews of garage heater choices, click here.

Tools and the Cold

Regular maintenance of your tools is a practice you should regularly attend to. This helps keep everything running as it should, and makes storage, lack of use, and use in a cold environment less stressful on the moving parts. But when it gets towards the freezing mark, simple maintenance may not be enough.

A couple of things can happen when working at or below freezing. Sometimes these are noticeable, and sometimes not, but all should be considered. The following observations are often related to one another, as one situation may cause the other to occur.

  • Lubricants may thicken, become too viscous or waxy which may affect tools performance
  • Popped circuits due to tool working harder
  • Blade tension that needs adjustment
  • Sweating and vapor condensation creating rust within tools, and on them
  • Overheating
  • Burning out a motor
  • Brittle plastics and metal, resulting in breakage

Bringing the ambient temperature of your workspace up prior to working can be very helpful in keeping your tools running smoothly and properly. Always pay attention to any condensation and use proper rust prevention methods.

Storing Essential Tools

If you do not use your tools often through the winter months and find that storing them is a better option, then you need to prepare your tools for proper winter storage. This is not a difficult task but should be completed to keep your tool dry and ready to use once you need it again.

  • Keep tools clean from dirt and dust that can collect moisture
  • Properly oil your metal to provide a moisture barrier
  • Make sure your tool is well greased
  • Wrap or secure cord in some manner without bending tightly
  • Store in a container or bag to keep dirt and dust from getting to the parts

And remember, if you do decide to use your tools, do so after allowing it to warm up to the temperature of the room and be sure to clean it thoroughly after use.


When the cold weather blows in, you want to make sure your tools properly stored or maintained. Simple maintenance and storage solutions do not take long at all to complete. This will also allow you peace of mind when you retrieve your tools once the weather warms up. If using your tools is common through the winter, then simply consider bringing your tool up to ambient temperature prior to use, and work in a warmed environment if possible.

Guide on How to Sharpen A Chainsaw

If your knife becomes dull it won't hurt you cause you can regain the sharpness in a minute. on the contrary, if it is your chainsaw it will hurt you most. Because you can't recover its sharpness easily if you don't have some knowledge of it. Let's check the details on how to sharpen a chainsaw. 

The ability of a chainsaw to cut correctly will be affected if the chain is poorly sharpened or dull. Other than reduced cutting performance, a chain that is not sharpened properly can damage the bar, the engine, and the sprocket as well as increase the risk of kickback.

Chainsaws do not need to be sharpened by an expert but practice and knowledge is necessary. Herein is a comprehensive guide on how to sharpen a chainsaw.

If you'r going to buy a new chainsaw, you can look over our recent research on best chainsaw.

The Perfect Time on Sharpening a Chainsaw

As a general guideline, a chainsaw should be sharpened every time it is fueled and any time the chain strikes the ground or a hard object. You should also sharpen it when you observe that it is making fine sawdust instead of chips as you would expect with a reciprocating saw blade, miter saw blade or jig saw. Cutting in a curve is also an indicator of a dull.

Necessary tools for Sharpening a chainsaw

Proper sharpening requires the right tools for the job. The minimum tools you will need include:

  • Chain Saw Operator's manual.
  • Wrench, screwdriver or scrench.
  • Leather gloves.

Appropriate size chainsaw round files.

  • Chainsaw flat file.
  • Filing guide sized for the chain.
  • Depth gauge filing gauge.
  • Cleaning rags.

You might also like our enlisted top chainsaw chain sharpener.

The Process : How to Sharpen a Chainsaw

1. Inspect the cutting teeth to determine if there are teeth shorter than other. You should always start with the shortest tooth. The shortest tooth will determine the length of the rest of the teeth.

2. Secure the chainsaw to prevent movement while sharpening. You can do this with a pinch vise or other securing device.

3. Before you begin sharpening, set the chain brake. Release the brake and advance the chain until you return to the starting point. Mark the starting point in order to avoid resharpening.

4. Place the file in the chisel such that about 20 % of the file is above the tooth. It is advisable to use a file guide to maintain proper angle and depth.

5. Position the file such that it is at the proper top plate angle as outlined by the chain manufacturer. The best chainsaw manufacturers mark the top of the tooth as a guide for an appropriate top plate angle.

6. Position the file such that it is at the proper horizontal angle. This angle can vary from chain to chain but is often 10 degrees off horizontal from the bar or 90 degrees from the bar. The manufacturer's manual contains the proper horizontal angle of the file.

7. The filing motion should be steady and smooth moving from the inside of the tooth to the outside (towards the point of the saw tooth). Ensure that you hold the proper horizontal angle and top plate angle of the file during the entire process.

Applying heavy pressure as you sharpen is not necessary. Keep contact with the tooth only during the forward stroke and take the file off the tooth as you begin another stroke.

8. Unless you are correcting damage, always file each tooth the same number of times. Clean the file from time to time as files get clogged with filings thus reducing efficiency. A good cutter sharpness is indicated by a fine curl of metal dust on the top edge of the chisel.

Oh! you think that your chainsaw is unrecoverable. Okay, let's check the best chainsaw chain. I'm pretty sure much that it might help you to find the prettiest one.

Top Tips From Woodwork Experts

Bob Tacke, an expert affiliated with The Family Handyman offers great advice on the best chainsaw chain sharpening tools and technique. He recommends getting a round file and flat file for sharpening the cutters. He strongly advises against the use of rattail files as its coarse teeth and tapered diameter may damage the cutters.

Award-winning woodwork expert and "Canada's Handiest Man" Steve Maxwell emphasizes on the less obvious process of depth gauge adjustment. He also advises beginners to first practice on a new chain that needs it first sharpening as they have the best chainsaw chain to learn depth gauge adjustments.

It is worth noting that you can always use motorized chainsaw sharpeners if you find manual sharpening too laborious and ineffective. The current top rated chainsaw sharpener brands include Granberg, Oregon, Timberline, Buffalo tools, and Stihl.

How to cut a circle in wood with a jigsaw?

Well, today we will know how to cut a circle in wood with a jigsaw. If we need to do it perfectly we need to use a lot of physics, common sense and keep it simple.

A little  brief about Jigsaw

A jigsaw is a powered and motorized saw where its blade works with the help of its motor with its saw working in a reciprocating manner. Its motor is either powered by batter or electricity.

Its speed depends on the strokes per minute depending on the power of its motor and quality being used in its build; thus it may vary up to maybe 3200 strokes per minute, which makes it very fast and one must be extremely careful while using.

Circular Cut through Jigsaw

There could be many ways to cut a circle with the jigsaw. One way could be to draw a circle on the wood and mark all the important points on it to assist while cutting with jigsaw.

You mark the center of the circle, you mark lines from the central of the circle to the circumferential line at a regular interval to assist while cutting circle. After you have done that you start cutting.

It’s strongly recommended that this would not be an absolutely clean way to do it rather it would create more hassle and would not be clean as well or rather say accurate circle.

More cleaner, effective, and fast way would be to create a kind of a compass and properly attach jigsaw to it and cut the circle. This way most importantly it would be correct in terms of physics, logic, cleanliness, accuracy, workability, etc. and would not be that much of a hassle.

For this one would need some prior preparation in terms of tool modification and that too would be workable for people who this type of work at home if they have proper tools. Next we will know how to cut this circle with jigsaw with the help of compass technique.

Step by Step Guideline of cutting circle in wood with jigsaw

Following are a few steps to cut circle while doing some improvisations with the jigsaw and doing it with the compass way.

Step 1.

First of all we need to make pivot dowel which would be supported at the middle of the circle and the rod that we are going to be using would be a threaded rod attached to pivot and the jigsaw.

Firstly take a piece of wood around 45 cm thick and cut a round of around 32 cm diameter with the help of bandsaw.

Now with the help of V-block make a hole through the center of the dowel for coupling nut to be installed and to push the stick for support while drilling is done.

Now fix the coupling nut to properly and tightly fit into the dowel and do test it before using it. One could even use screws and stud snaps straight into the wood to be cut.

Now a hole on the countersunk of the dowel for stud snap is to be put into for it to sit better on the workpiece. One may even use glue to fix it.

Step 2.

For making jigsaw base we need 0.25 inch Baltic birch.

Put the jigsaw on in and outline it and cut the base.

Cut it so that the jigsaw tightly fits in. remove the soleplate at the bottom of the jigsaw.

Now make hole through the both sides of the jigsaw base so it could fit a threaded rod directly perpendicular to it base.

Step 3.

Now while this threaded rod is fixed to the jigsaw attach it to the dowel as well and adjust it as per size needed of the circle for cutting. Now fix the dowel at the center of the circle with the help of stud snap and start cutting with circle with jigsaw and you’ve got a perfect one.

This is how you can cut a circle in wood with a jigsaw and hope you can share your idea if you like through comment. It is open for friends not for the spammers.

There are a lot of jigsaws available in the market these days depending on various brands, build quality, and features, etc. Before one selects a jigsaw one may look at questions in terms of Power, build quality, noisiness, precision in cuts, versatility, holding comforts, battery or power operated, battery life if it is battery operated, blade system, etc. and henceforth.

More than anything else one should know what kind of saw you need and it is a strong recommendation that one goes for the best, be it best miter saw, best cabinet table saw, best framing nailer, or any other saw that either professionals or DIY people are using as it may prove to be fatal if not the best.

How to Cut Crown Molding with a Miter Saw

The joints crown molding is referred as compound since the cut on every side usually has two angles. These include the bevel angle and the miter angle.

One of the advantages of using a compound miter saw is that you can tilt it to make a bevel angel while rotating the saw will enable you to make a miter cut.

This means that you can make the two cut without much of a hassle.

Another advantage of this compound saw is the fact that you can place molding on a flat table, which is crucial when dealing with wider molding.

However, when using a compound saw it is important to realize that you and tilt the saw on the left side, but you cannot tilt it on the right-hand side.

This means that if you would want to make a 90-degree angle cut, you need to turn around the molding position for you for you to make cuts on that side.

Is this all when to come to cutting a crown molding with a compound miter saw? Absolutely not. Today we are going to discuss some on how to use a compound miter saw to cut crown molding. The following are the best practices to assist you in cutting crown molding by yourself.

How to Cut Crown Molding with a Miter Saw-Method 1: The Non-compound method

This is also referred as the vertical method. One of the best things about using this technique is that it doesn’t require a bevel cut. For you to adjust the saw for out of a square corner you are only required to adjust only the miter system.

There is no need of adjusting both bevel and miter system provided the crown material is laying flat.


1. Lay the crown material in flat position making sure that the bottom (this is the decorative side) is against the fence of your compound saw

2. Ensure the top side of the molding is placed against the table

3. The angled flats that are on the back of the molding should always be resting squarely on the base and fence of the saw.

4. Use the following angles while making cuts inside the corner and outside the corner.

Inside corners

Left side

• Set the miter right exactly at 45 degrees
• Save right end of cut

Right side

• Set the miter left exactly at 45 degrees
• Save left end of cut

Outside corners

Left side

• Set the miter left exactly at 45 degrees
• Save right end of cut

Right side

• Set the miter left exactly at 45 degrees
• Save left end of cut

How to Cut Crown Molding with a Miter Saw-Method 2: Compound method

This method is also known as the flat method. When setting the miter and bevel angles for compound miter always remember that the angles available for the crown molding are very accurate, making it hard to set them exactly.

However, since the angles can shift slightly and most rooms do not have a perfectly square corners, you should start by testing all the settings on scrap molding before making the actual cut.

Here is the procedure-

1. Place the molding ensuring that the brad back surface is placed flat on the table

2. Ensure that you have flipped the cutting material around for you to cut both the ends of the outside and inside corners.

1. Place the molding ensuring that the brad back surface is placed flat
on the table
2. Ensure that you have flipped the cutting material around for you to cut both
the ends of the outside and inside corners. 

3. Follow the procedure to cut inside and outside corners.

Remember this procedure is to help you to cut an all US standard crown crowding molding. The standard measurements of this molding usually have 38- degrees and 52-degrees angles. This method also assumes that there is a 90 degrees angle between the walls.

Inside corner

Left side

• Ensure that the decorative (top) side lays on top of the fence
• Set the bevel at 33.85 degrees
• Set Miter right at 31.62 degrees.
• Save left end of the cut.

Right side

• Ensure that the molding bottom side lay against the fence.
• Set the bevel at 33.85 degrees.
• Set Miter left at 31.62 degrees.
• Save left end of cut 

Outside corner

Left side

• Ensure that the non-decorative side lies on top against the fence
• Set the bevel at 33.85 degrees
• Set Miter left at 31.62 degrees
• Save right end of the cut.

Right Side

• Ensure that the decorative (top) side lays on top of the fence
• Set the bevel at 33.85 degrees
• Set Miter at 31.62 degrees.
• Save right end of the cut. 

Last few words

There you have it. We hope now that you can cut crown molding on your own. The process is simple provided you will follow all the steps indicated in the above methods.

Make a Homemade portable miter saw table

Everyone has his opinion of how a portable miter saw table should look like. Here is my version of portable miter saw table with the features that I find helpful. You can set it permanently in your workshop or take it out to a job site. Although you can purchase saw stands, they are a bit expensive and honestly, most of them are not versatile as the following homemade version.

The following miter saw table does not only support long board but also features a divider fence fitted stops that allow you to make cuts that are identical. The table also holds the miter saw in place so that it does not move bulge or move back or forward. Additionally we are also going to add cubbyholes that enable you to store the tools and little parts you need when working on a project.

We know how hard it can be to work with a miter saw when outside your workshop. With this model you can simply toss it on a pickup truck whenever you want to work with the compound saw in the outdoor. 

How to make a homemade portable miter saw table? Step by step Guideline

What you need

Here are the things you need to get you started

  • Circular saw [See the top listed cirular saw by sawreviewed ]

  • Cordless drill

  • Clamps

  • Framing square

  • Drill bit set

  • Miter saw [See the top listed Miter saw by sawreviewed ]

  • So​​​​cket/ratchet set

  • Safety glasses

  • Table saw [See the top listed Table saw by sawreviewed ]

  • Tape Measur

  • Hanger Bolts

  • Wing Nuts and Acorn Nuts

Materials to purchase

Before starting to build anything, you should begin by measuring the width of the mounting holes of your miter saw. The next thing is to purchase hanger bolts that match wing nuts that have the similar size to the holes. This will enable a secure fit. To get the right length of the bolt, measure the saw table height and add 2.5 inches.

Step 1: Cutting the parts

The first step is to determine the height of the divider. To do this, take the measurement from plywood scrap to the saw bed surface
Rip the plywood to get a 15.625 wide strip for the bottom and 16 inch for top part. Next is to cut 1x6s into 15.625( 6 pieces) long chunks. To do this you can make use of a table saw. However, if the table saw doesn't have the capability of ripping a piece that wide you can use a circular saw. Similar to using a Jigsaw you can make a straight line with a circular saw provided that you mark the lead lines and stabilize the piece.

These will be the dividers. Remember to put a 0.375-inch piece of plywood under the 1x6 piece as you mark. This will allow for the top thickness. After ripping one divider stand it adjacent to the saw and check its height using straightedge that rests on the saw table. 

Step 2: Assembling the table

Assembling the table is simple. You should begin by attaching the dividers and then screwing the runners to the table. The next step is to screw the back and top of the plywood. 

Lay the divider position. You will do this by starting from the right side of the saw where you will leave a space of 22 inches in length from the edge. The next step is to size the bay of the miter saw. You can do this by measuring the miter saw. To ensure that you have panned a bay that is broad enough to ensure that all the moving part of the saw do so freely, pivot the saw left and right.

After this, beginning from the left side make sure that the other dividers are spaced evenly. Ensure that the dividers are attached to the base by screwing them in place now you can flip the assembly over and attaché the bottom to the 2 by 4 runners. Take note of the tables final height without the top and then cut the plywood pieces that fit the length. Attach them on the top and back of the divider.

Step 3: Mounting the saw

Start by clamping the saw in place. Next, Drill small holes, this will mark where you will place the hanger bolts.

To do this, you need to clamp the saw at the bay. Make 0,125-inch drill holes to indicate where to place the hanger bolt. Take away the saw from the base, make lead holes and put the bolts in place. To drive in the bolts make use of arcon nuts at the machine thread top. Place the saw on the bolt and secure it with the wingnuts.

Step 4: Create and mount the fence

Now place the extension in the alignment of the fence of the miter saw with use of a straightedge. Attach the fence that acts as the extension on top of the dividers.
To do this simply cut 1x4s that has the identical length similar to the top left side. Then cut 4 triangle braces from the waste. While spacing the braces evenly, attach the 1x4s jointly and screw them to the braces. Use a straightedge that is aligned with the fence of the saw to make the alignment. After this attach the divider to the divider using screws. 
Although the fence will give you a useful railing for stop blocks especially when cutting pieces of equal length sometime you will find it better to have it removed since the boars are straight rarely. Additionally, when cutting longboard that leans towards you it prevents the board from fitting against the saw fence. This means that it will prevent you from making a perfect square cut. To avoid this do not use it for daily tasks and use it only when needed. 
Similar to a Sawzall table that enables you to use your reciprocating saw with ease, this miter saw table will make it easier to use the miter saw. Additionally, this homemade portable miter saw table will give you the convenience needed during outdoor activities. You can also use it in your workshop.