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Q & A

Can A Miter Saw Cut A 4×4? (What You Must Know)

It looks like you’ll need to cut some 4x4s for your next job. This is a typical question that even I occasionally wonder when I plan and ponder my next employment. Is a 44 too big for a mitre saw?

A mitre saw has the strength and capacity to cut through a 44. If the blade is 12 inches in diameter, you can cut it in a single motion. A 10-inch blade does not have adequate depth capacity to cut through in one cut. To create a secondary cut, you will need to roll the 4×4 over.

How quickly and easily you are able to cut through the wood depends on two factors: the size of the mitre saw and the type of wood you are working with. If you need to make frequent cuts to 4-by-4s, a 12-inch mitre saw is your best bet; but, a 10-inch saw will enough for most other tasks.

Even though a smaller mitre saw might already be in your workshop, that doesn’t mean it’s the ideal tool for the job. In this article, I’ll address this subject and provide a detailed explanation of the many varieties of mitre saws available, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of each.

By the time you are done reading, you will have a firm grasp of whether or not you might need to invest in a larger saw.

Cutting 4×4’s With a Miter Saw

Although they can be used to create straight cuts, mitre saws are primarily employed for cutting precise angles. They work if you have only a few larger pieces of wood but may not be the perfect instrument if you have a project that is going to demand precision cuts through a huge number of 4×4’s or bigger pieces.

Why Use a Miter Saw?

To answer the question “can a mitre saw cut a 4×4”, the majority of people would say “yes.” want to find out because that’s all they have on hand right now. Reusing an already-installed machine is cost-effective and time-saving.

Nonetheless, not every mitre saw is created equal, and only few of them will function adequately while cutting 4x4s. There are a variety of blade sizes that can accomplish the process of cutting through anything that thick, so be sure to have one that is up to the challenge.

Does the blade of your saw turn in the correct direction? Check out my piece where I prove my point.

What Size of Saw Should You Use?

A 12-inch blade is best for cutting 4×4’s.

In the world of mitre saws, you can pick from a wide variety of blade sizes. The most popular are 8-inches, 10-inches, and 12-inches. Saw blades with a greater diameter have more power and can make more substantial cuts. An 8-inch would be inadequate for sawing through a 4×4, but it might be made do in an emergency.

Can a Miter Saw Cut a 4×4 in a Single Pass?

If the depth capability of your mitre saw is 12 inches, you can make quick work of chopping through a 44. A 44 can’t be sawed in half with a 10-inch saw. You can use smaller saws for cutting 4x4s, but you may need to rotate the wood and make a second cut.

To get a clean cut with an 8-inch mitre saw, you might need to make three separate cuts, rotating the saw between each. The work can be done with these smaller saws; it may simply take a little longer.

If you have a smaller mitre saw, you can still get the job

a four-wheel drive vehicle, albeit the trip could be longer and you might not be as comfortable.

The Final Product May Not Be As Silky

See the saws I favour and advocate for!

10-inch Vs. 12-inch Miter Saws

These are the only two sizes that can easily penetrate a 44, so you’ll need to have one of them. We will now discuss the benefits and drawbacks of both of these options.

10-inch Standard Miter Saw

Adjusting the blade guard or switching to a sliding mitre saw will be required to make a single pass through a 44 with a 10-inch mitre saw. If you already have a 10-inch saw, you might be tempted to use it instead of investing in a larger blade designed to slice through thicker lumber. A 10-inch blade is plenty if you are pressed for space or cash.


Less expensive if you typically work on smaller pieces of wood.
The 10-inch blade’s quicker rotation ensures cleaner cuts.
They won’t take up as much room, which is especially important if your store is on the smaller side.


It will be a slow process if you plan on cutting numerous 4x4s.
As a result, more time is needed to saw through the wood.
When employing all necessary safety measures, cutting through a 4×4 takes more than one attempt.

12-inch Standard Miter Saw

So, it’s clear that the 10-inch isn’t made for towing a heavy 4×4. When compared to a 6-inch blade, a 12-inch blade can slice through thicker, longer, and wider planks of wood with a single stroke.


Savings in time, effort, and resources spent maintaining a smaller saw and constantly purchasing replacement blades come from the increased power and efficiency with which it cuts wood.
A 12-inch saw offers greater flexibility.
The cutting capacity of this massive saw allows it to take on a wide variety of other, more substantial tasks.


Greater investment is required for blades with more teeth.
Because of the slower blade rotation, some cuts may not be as clean as usual.
Using a mitre saw to cut a 6×6 timber

The Different Types of Miter Saws

Some jobs call for lots of 44 cuts, and some mitre saws are better suited for that than others. The sort of saw you have will make a difference, but I’ve already covered how the blade diameter affects the saw’s ability to cut wood.

Compound mitre, sliding mitre, and dual-bevel compound sliding mitre are three of the most common. While each of these tools is capable of cutting angles at right angles to one another, for the sake of this discussion, we will focus on the basic compound mitre and the dual-bevel compound sliding mitre.

Compound Miter Saw

The blade of a regular mitre saw is attached to an arm, and the base is where the wood is held in place during the cutting process. You can tilt it and turn it to the left or right. Although these machines are most often used to make angled cuts, they can also be used to make crosscuts at right angles. If you want to cut through a 44, a typical 12-inch mitre saw has everything you need.

Dual-Bevel Compound Sliding Miter Saw

Like a compound saw, a sliding mitre saw may extend its reach and tilt in either direction to make longer cuts with a single pass. If your blade is on the shorter side, you can gain a few inches of cutting space by using a dual-bevel sliding mite.

If you have a 10-inch dual-bevel compound sliding mitre saw, you might be able to saw right through a 44 on the first try. Brand and available security features are major factors in this consideration. In my experience, most 10-inch saws need more than one pass to finish the job.

Keep Your Safety in Mind

Cutting a larger piece of wood than you’re used to working with will strain the capabilities of your saw. Take cautious not to sacrifice quality for speed. It’s possible that the time saved won’t be worthwhile.

Blade Guard

If you already have a 10-inch mitre saw, you might think twice about dropping more cash on a more expensive tool just to make a few simple cuts. If the blade guard isn’t adjusted, though, cutting through a 4×4 will need numerous passes. Not only is this not safe, but you should exercise extreme caution if you decide to relocate your blade guard to gain those extra inches of clearance.

Avoid Dull Blades

If you have to force the blade through the wood when sawing, it is likely that the blade is dull. Blades that are too dull or too worn may cause the cut to wander and may even burn the end grain of the wood.

Smoke may also be produced at the point of cut if the wood is particularly hard. Please change your blade right away; this is extremely risky.

What to Look for When Buying a Miter Saw

Is it possible to use a mitre saw on a 4×4? You undoubtedly read the lists of features and specifications that come with each product while you explored the different shapes, sizes, and other alternatives. Every make and model is specialised in some way. You can focus your search for a product that can readily cut through 4x4s by keeping the following in mind.

The following features are necessary for any mitre saw that will be used on 44 lumber.

Look at the amp ratings on the manufacturer’s website or the product page to see how much cutting power you may expect.
With an articulated blade guard, you can see what you’re cutting without obstruction.
Electric brakes are beneficial since the blade can be stopped much more quickly, which is safer and can aid in preventing mistakes.
When working with longer pieces of wood, having an extended table will help keep them stable for better cuts.
Accurate cuts can also be made with the help of a laser guide.

Can a Table Saw Cut a 4×4?

A 44 may be cut easily using a table saw. If the blade is at least 12 inches in diameter, it can also cut through it in a single motion.

A table saw, like a mitre saw, can be used to cut a 4×4, but the difference in size will affect how easily the two tools can interact. The job can be done using a 10-inch standard table saw, but it will require numerous passes to cut through, whereas a 12-inch saw only needs a single pass.

The mitre saw and the table saw are both capable of cutting 4x4s, but the table saw is more suited to the task. When working with thicker materials like plywood and wood, the machine’s weight will be to your favour.

The Differences Between Miter and Table Saws

Both of these saws have the capability of cutting 44 lumber, and they are standard equipment in most woodworking businesses. Below, I’ll compare and contrast the two saws’ best features and worst flaws.

Miter Saw:

Superior for beveling and angular cutting.
Simpler to relocate and transport, making it ideal for outdoor or off-site tasks.
Slightly Imprecise, yet Capable of Making Clean Slices
Less expensive than larger tools like table saws
Saving room is an advantage.

Table Saw:

Easyer to use while slicing through dense wood
Provides additional versatility in what materials it can cut
There are several accessories for this machine, making it capable of more intricate cuts
There is an option for acquiring portable table saws
An extended m

How To Cut a 4×4 With a Miter Saw

Cutting a 4×4 with a mitre saw is simple and only requires a few steps. If you are a visual learner, there are a tonne of video guides available online that will walk you through the steps.

Cutting a 4×4 With a 10-inch Blade

If you want to cut a 4×4, you should mark off the area you plan to cut it on all four sides.
Ensure the blade is set up for a 90-degree cut by checking it with a square.
First, make sure your saw is firmly fastened to the work surface.
Make sure the 4×4 is securely fastened to the bench and the cut lines are directly beneath the blade.
Use a gradual but forceful motion to lower the saw.
After you’ve made your initial cut, gradually speed it up to where it was before.
Follow steps 4-6 while rotating the wood.

Cutting a 4×4 With a 12-inch Blade

If you want to cut a 4×4, you should mark off the area you plan to cut it on all four sides.
Ensure the blade is set up for a 90-degree cut by checking it with a square.
First, make sure your saw is firmly fastened to the work surface.
Make sure the 4×4 is securely fastened to the bench and the cut lines are directly beneath the blade.
Bring the saw down slowly but with a strong grip until you have cut through the wood.
The saw can be stopped and the arm raised at your convenience.
You may also use the same technique demonstrated in the video to cut a 44 in half.

My Recommendation For Which Miter Saw To Use

If you need to cut 4x4s frequently, you should invest in a 12-inch mitre saw since it is the most efficient tool for the job, reduces the risk of injury, and extends the life of the saw’s blade. These industrial grade tools are made to handle solid timber. The longer blade will allow you to make one clean cut through the post or board. Cuts needing more accuracy should be made with a tool like a table saw, which allows for more precise manoeuvring and cleaner cuts.

You can get by with the 10-inch saw you already have if you only need to cut a few 4x4s for a single, quick project and otherwise work with smaller materials. Changing the position of the blade guard is not something you should do. A safer cut can be achieved by taking many passes.





Q & A

Can MDF Be Used Outside? My 25 Yrs Experience With MDF

Over the course of my 25-year career as a cabinetmaker, I encountered MDF on a daily basis. The amount of times I’ve been advised to “use MDF instead” in outside projects is more than I care to count. They had no idea that I have been working with MDF for over twenty years and have even used it outside.

Waterproofing MDF and providing some degree of indirect protection from the elements are prerequisites for its use in outdoor settings. Regular MDF can quickly decay when exposed to the weather. Standard MDF is not the same thing as the type of MDF designed for outdoor use.

However, MDF occupies a special position in that it is suitable for occasional outdoor use but is susceptible to damage over time. Learn how well MDF stands up to rain and whether or not it warps in this in-depth guide to using the material outdoors.

MDF and Exterior Use: A Brief Overview

Most woodworkers agree that MDF should not be used in outdoor applications. This viewpoint is supported, to some extent, by my personal experiences. Depending on the severity of the weather, MDF can withstand it, but it still needs heavy covering.

Let’s take a closer look at what can cause MDF to deteriorate in the outdoors, starting with water.

Check out my piece for more info on the durability of MDF. You might be surprised at how far it can go.

Can MDF Get Wet?

Simply said, unfinished MDF cannot tolerate contact with water. Because MDF seems so smooth and without any visible grain, it is easy for inexperienced woodworkers or homeowners to assume that it is impervious to water.

Moisture doesn’t have as big of an effect on MDF because of its resistance to airborne water. However, it is irresponsible to use ordinary MDF in constructions that will be subjected to prolonged contact with water.

This video demonstrates how even minimal exposure to water can negatively impact MDF:

Cabinets in the kitchen ruined by water? Composite Lumber (Plywood/MDF Ultra/MDF/Particleboard)
View a video of MDF being submerged in water.
Finally, MDF is not completely water-proof, so don’t count on it. However, because it contains materials other than wood, the board is more water-resistant than untreated wood.

In my opinion, MDF is not a good choice for usage in the outdoors. Much effort is needed for setup and upkeep.

Does MDF Swell When Wet?

Long-term water exposure causes MDF to swell, especially at the end grain, however the entire material is porous and will take up water. The areas that have been exposed to water will become thicker and the face will begin to sag.

Water is still not a safe environment for MDF. Although I frequently encounter water stains and mushiness in MDF, I have never witnessed the material expand immediately after being exposed to moisture. See a man making an analogous case in the video below:

I was wondering if MDF will expand just from contact with water.
See a video of what happens when MDF gets wet
In spite of the fact that the MDF shows essentially no outward signs of growth, it degrades rather rapidly. This occurs when regular MDF is placed outside and subjected to frequent, heavy rain.

Please weigh the benefits and drawbacks of working with MDF that I’ve discovered over the course of my 25 years of experience in the industry before reading on.

Uses and Abuses of Medium-Density Fiberboard

less complicated to paint on
needs to be painted before being used outside

Insects won’t be able to eat it!
Sunlight might cause it to fade.
In other words, mould cannot develop on it.
Exposure to water causes it to swell.
It’s not as sturdy as wood, but it’s far cheaper than the real thing.

The MDF panels are available in a variety of conventional sizes, making them ideal for use in custom cabinetry.
It’s nearly impossible to hammer nails or screw into it.
In most cases, it has a smooth surface and simply sawing it can release harmful particles.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Using MDF
Did you know that standard wood screws can be used to fasten MDF without fear of splitting? In this tutorial, I explain how to screw MDF without cracking it.

Is MDF Ruined If It Gets Wet?

The structural integrity of MDF is compromised by even a little amount of water. Due to fibre expansion, mending is a tedious task. MDF’s once smooth surface will eventually become bumpy and unrecoverable.

Therefore, before putting something outside, it should be treated to make it waterproof. The way that water deteriorates wood and the way that it deteriorates MDF are distinct. When unfinished wood absorbs water, it provides an ideal organic medium for the growth of mould and fungi.

Whenever MDF is exposed to water, it expands somewhat and develops water stains. Wet MDF need not be a problem if you dry it quickly enough.

I managed to get them all cut out…the MDF I used was fantastic for painting and was incredibly straight. Don’t get it wet, and it can be quite hefty.

Steps to Take When MDF Gets Wet

You can either take the MDF out of its watery surroundings or drain the area around it.
Dry the board with heat (a hair dryer works well) or other means (a heat gun or indirect sunlight are also options).
If you want to prevent this from happening again, you should waterproof the MDF by coating the board with a waterproof sealer.
To be clear, the foregoing is only feasible in extremely rare instances of MDF being exposed to water.

How Do You Dry Wet MDF?

You dry wet MDF with a heat gun or a hair dryer. This speeds up the natural evaporation of the water, soaking up the board. The adhesive holding the board together can be damaged if the heat gun is brought too close to the board.

The adhesive failing to hold is theoretically possible, but in over 25 years of on-and-off work with MDF, it has never happened to me. Naturally, I didn’t leave any boards out in the open for twenty years. On the other hand, I used to leave boards outside overnight, especially in my early experiences with the material.

Wherever the sunshine was strongest, I found that MDF would fade and warp. So my advise would be to utilise a short-exposure heat source to dry the MDF instead of putting the material in the sun.

Hosegood Heating.
Wet MDF! The ideal holder for a cylinder. I doubt they gave it much thought.

Why Is MDF Not Suitable for Outdoor Products?

Because of its susceptibility to weathering, MDF is not ideal for outdoor applications. MDF is susceptible to deterioration from the elements, especially rain and sunlight. Material that is both watertight and fade-resistant is ideal for outdoor use.

MDF is resistant to termites, but it’s not waterproof enough to be used outside. In addition, prolonged exposure to sunlight causes the colour to fade. Only regular MDF will work for this.

There is exterior grade MDF, which is resistant to water and heat and hence suitable for use outdoors. This type of MDF retains its colour well and doesn’t fade when exposed to sunlight.

Where does leftover MDF go? Will you be burning it? BEWARE! You might want to check out my blog post on whether or not MDF is flammable first.

Is MDF Exterior Grade?

Unfortunately, not all medium-density fibreboards (MDF) are designed for outdoor use, and the majority are not watertight. There is such a thing as exterior MDF, which is made from denser and sturdier components. Most significantly, it does not let water in.

The most crucial quality of external MDF is its ability to repel water. If it weren’t there, not even the most well fortified MDF block would be completely safe. The “MD” in MDF stands for “medium density,” and MDF can only be manufactured so dense before it ceases to be MDF. To use proper terminology, it is now a wooden board.

Trey Lipscomb
Thus, this is what occurs if you put MDF in a location where it might get wet periodically. What can I use instead of it?

Is MDF Waterproof?

In spite of the fact that waterproof MDF does exist, the vast majority of MDF is just moisture-resistant. In this way, the typical fibreboard is adequate for use in dry, indoor environments. A lot of people who work with wood consider this to be severely restrictive.

In such case, it is preferable to look for an alternate outside application.

Can You Make MDF Waterproof?

Using a waterproof coating, MDF may be made watertight in the comfort of your own home. Medium Density Fibreboard can be made waterproof with any sealant that can withstand water. As long as the seal is intact, the MDF it protects will be impervious to moisture.

Eco Advance Wood Siloxane Waterproofer, which is designed specifically to protect wood in the great outdoors, is the product of choice for waterproofing MDF. Even while MDF is somewhat impervious to water, a siloxane coating can make it practically indestructible.

It’s a touch more expensive because it’s made with an eco-friendly formula. Gorilla Waterproof Patch & Seal Liquid is a superior choice for individuals seeking a low-cost sealer for waterproofing MDF.

For example, the medicine cabinet in my bathroom is made of prefabricated MDF, as mentioned by @Evelyn Hewett and @Hannah illo. It has never actually gotten wet, but just being in a humid area is enough to start destroying it everywhere there is a crack or gap.

Can You Leave MDF Outside?

Unless coated with a watertight varnish, sealer, or paint, MDF should only be left outside for brief periods of time. Heat has a deteriorating effect on MDF since it dulls the board’s colour over time.

This raises the issue of whether or not MDF should be placed in direct sunlight. As far as I can see, leaving MDF outside in the shade has no ill effects. Everyone can do fine if they only pay attention to their surroundings.

Leaving plain MDF outside in a very humid area can impair its integrity. The MDF boards can be left outside once they have been properly sealed against water.

Can Moisture-Resistant MDF Be Used Outside?

Outside use of moisture-resistant MDF is done so at the user’s own risk. Resistance to moisture is not the same as resistance to water. Because it is just moisture resistant, MDF can be damaged by rain. However, if a waterproof coating is applied to the boards, they will be protected.

If you won’t be using the MDF outside, there’s no need to go to the trouble of waterproofing it. When compared to treating or finishing wood, the importance of treating MDF for durability is lower.

If you’re wondering if you can plane MDF, check out my advice.

With the exception of kitchen cabinets, I wouldn’t recommend spending the time or money to seal MDF for usage inside. Furthermore, MDF is not something I would suggest installing in a restroom. There is a risk of water damage in each of these indoor settings.

Frustrated by @HomeDepot’s poor service as I try to finish a work in #waxahachietx. Despite the website’s assurance that there are more than 50 pieces available, every single one of them has been damaged by water. Wet MDF boards are still on the shelves. Transported a pallet containing additional water-damaged planks.

Can I Paint MDF Outside?

If the MDF board is of average quality, you can paint it outdoors without a priming if it is an exterior grade or weatherproof. Once MDF board has been treated with a sufficient number of waterproofing coatings, it can be used in outdoor settings.

When utilising MDF, you can rest easy knowing it will last a lifetime as long as it is painted with a coating that is both watertight and resistant to ultraviolet light. After then, it’s as sturdy as the design of the board will allow it to be. When MDF isn’t watertight, you have to prime it. Moreover, that’s the case in the vast majority of situations.
Waterproof MDF is not something I’ve ever bought by accident. So, you should probably presume it is not waterproof if you didn’t go out of your way to find exterior-grade or waterproof MDF.

Outside use is not recommended for pocket holes made in MDF. The reveals MDF’s exposed interior.

Will MDF Dry Out?

If you store MDF in direct sunlight or use a heat gun or hair dryer to dry off small areas, the wood will dry out and crack. The MDF building material is not meant to soak up water for extended periods of time. However, if water is allowed to pool within the board for an extended period of time, it might cause warping.

So, it’s in your best interest to hasten your recovery. However, MDF cannot be scalded in an effort to speed up the drying process.

The following are the ways for drying MDF, from safest to riskiest:

We recommend placing the MDF outside, but in a shady area, to allow the water to evaporate.
Hover a blow dryer over the damp area very gently. Keep a distance of at least six inches for this.
You can heat the water with a heat gun, but you’ll need to adjust your distance from it.
Position it in direct sunshine; this may speed up the drying process but may also dull the colour of newly manufactured MDF. In most cases, you shouldn’t use that approach.
Outside storage of MDF is fine, and the material is not as delicate as some woodworkers claim. Its colour will fade in bright sunshine, and if you live in an area where it rains frequently, you should generally avoid using MDF altogether. If you insist on utilising MDF, though, you’ll have to either upgrade to exterior-grade MDF or treat it with a waterproof sealant.




Q & A

Does Linseed Oil Go Bad? The Facts

Even though I can’t recall purchasing it, there is linseed oil in my garage. I only finished one of the many bottles I bought at once. I planned to crack open a new one because I figured the last one I opened six months ago had expired. Really, I was shocked that it hadn’t!

Linseed oil spoils, but not if it is kept in its raw form and stored somewhere dark and out of the sun. After enough time has passed in the bottle, it should be cured. To “go bad” takes years, therefore it’s quite improbable that anyone would actually see it happen.

Most spoiled linseed oil isn’t raw or wasn’t stored correctly. You’ll learn from this piece how to prevent your linseed oil from going bad and what to do if you think some of your oil may already be spoiled. Let’s begin by discussing the oil’s storage life so you know how your bottle is doing.

What Is The Shelf Life For Linseed Oil?

If linseed oil is stored in its original container, not reprocessed, and the depth of the container is sufficient, it can be kept for up to four years. It’s possible that a single layer of linseed oil, let to cure inside the container, may be ready to use in a few weeks. However, despite the “best by” date on the bottle, linseed oil can usually be used for several years after it has passed.

Consequently, there is little danger that your linseed oil has gone rancid if the container is less than four years old, unless…

Now that the bottle has been broken into, the oil has a strange odor.
We’ve boiled the linseed oil, and it’s already starting to solidify.
There is an artificial hue to the oil.
If the oil shows no signs of spoilage after its “best by” date has passed, then it is safe to use. Because manufacturers are required to establish a minimum shelf life for a specific category of items, the “best by” date is included.

Linseed oil, from what I’ve seen, has a long shelf life. This post is the oldest thing I’ve seen by 25 years!

There is no genuine ideal usage time limit for raw linseed oil, however manufacturers of the oil must comply with the regulation because it belongs within this federal class.

Observe the tweet down below. This linseed oil, which this guy claims to have used for more than 25 years, is clearly ancient. In other words, it’s quality material.

s=20&t=Zrk-Ci6M7rPvCPfbt 8h5A
This bottle of linseed oil must be at least 25 years old.
Fresh linseed oil and old oil in a bottle are virtually indistinguishable, at least in my opinion. Naturally, this is only the case with raw linseed oil. The oil’s shelf life may be shortened by the use of certain additives or processing methods.

Is linseed oil glue-proof? In order to understand my reasoning, please read on. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be astonished.

Does Boiled Linseed Oil Go bad?

Once boiled linseed oil begins to solidify, it loses its usefulness and must be discarded. This is due to the fact that during the process, drying chemicals are introduced, hastening the oil’s hardening to the point where it can no longer remain in liquid form.

I always wondered why the full bottle didn’t turn to solid overnight given that boiled linseed oil hardens in just 24 hours.

@davidfreegle1 OFFER: Bottle of linseed oil (Sunninghill SL5)
5:15 AM · Jun 29, 2018
Linseed Oil That Has Been Boiled
To answer your queries, I looked into what affects the curing time for linseed and found the following:

When linseed oil is stored in a container, whether it has been boiled or not, the molecules inside are protected from air and so have a decreased chance of getting rancid. When the oil is boiled, air and heat activate the drying agents in the oil.
Drying takes longer when there is more oil in the bottle because the drying agents have to spend more time out in the open air. Oil in bottles is too thick for the curing drying chemicals to obtain the exposure they need.
While the container solves the problems of depth and air exposure, there is still the issue of the oil overheating. A week is all it takes for boiled oil exposed to sunlight to go rancid.

To that end, if you have a jar of linseed oil, you should check to confirm that it is adequately stocked and securely sealed. The bottle is best stored in a cool, dark place. If not, the oil will solidify and have a foul odor.

Although linseed oil is fantastic, you may also want to consider Tru oil or Danish oil. Both of these coatings are excellent choices, and I will go through the differences between them in this piece.

What Can You Do With Old Linseed Oil?

Used linseed oil is best put to use as a surface coating for some artistic endeavors or as fire fuel in outdoor settings. When the oil is gone, the wood it was used to coat will no longer be scratch-resistant.

Based on the many interpretations of “bad,” this table describes the various applications for used oil.

Despite its unpleasant odor, linseed oil is a useful fuel for campfires and other open-air fires.
Raw oil is beginning to solidify; it can be combined with beeswax to create coating wax for use on relatively small areas.
Use the oil in situations where the slight change in color from the tint interference won’t be noticeable.
Summary table illustrating the range of unacceptable uses for linseed oil

How To Dispose Of Old Linseed Oil?

Do not throw out spoiled linseed oil in the trash since it can catch fire if not properly disposed of.

Here are some guidelines for properly discarding used linseed oil:

In the event that you have an above-ground P-trap (sink, toilet, or shower), you should not pour linseed oil down it because the U-turn in your sink’s plumbing is designed to capture solids. If there is any oil remaining in the catch, it can solidify.
Although it is not biodegradable, boiled linseed oil hardens quickly and can be disposed of as a solid. Pouring it in thick layers on a sturdy surface allows you to remove semi-solid portions the next day. These may be put in a trash can for easy disposal.
After being diluted, raw linseed oil can be flushed down the toilet. A 1:5 ratio of linseed oil to oil solvent makes it safe for disposal.
Instead of diluting or hardening linseed oil, you can just take the bottle to any petrol station and ask the workers to dispose of it in a hazardous wastebin. The majority of service stations include a designated trash can for flammable materials.

Can Boiled Linseed Oil Go Rancid?

In the extremely unlikely event that boiled linseed oil is exposed to air for an extended period of time but is not deep enough to dry, it will become rancid. Oil usually “cures” where it is used instead of growing rancid. Because of the drying agents, oil can sometimes go rancid after being produced.

Raw oil is less prone to go rancid than refined oil because it can’t be exposed to light like refined oil can. If you have reason to believe that a given container contains spoiled linseed oil, you can find alternative uses for it by consulting the table provided previously in this article.

Rare Discoveries by Paincorp: A True #Firestarter
Linseed oil bottle with vintage label:
2:57 PM · Jan 6, 2021
Linseed oil in a dusty old bottle

What Is Bad About Linseed Oil?

The fact that linseed oil, especially while liquid, might catch fire without provocation is just one of its many drawbacks. To properly dispose of linseed oil, even the rags used to apply the finish must be allowed to air dry.

Final Thoughts – Does Linseed Oil Go Bad?

Self-preservation is not a major concern when working with raw linseed oil. If properly stored, even linseed oil that has been heated will remain use long after its “best before” date.

However, linseed oil quality can be negatively impacted by exposure to sunlight and air. Oil that has lost its color, acquired an unpleasant odor, or changed in consistency can be recycled as a fuel for fires or safely disposed of after being diluted.




Q & A

Wood Putty Vs Wood Filler vs Caulk – Which Do I Use?

Filling nail holes and other imperfections before applying a finish is essential if you want a professional-looking result. If you’re not experienced with woodworking or have never had to use filler before to repair a defect, figuring out which type to use can be a bit of a challenge. So, let’s compare wood putty, wood filler, and caulk to see how they vary.

Caulk is a flexible sealer used to seal gaps between neighbouring surfaces, whereas wood filler is used for fixing major holes or flaws and wood putty is used for patching nail or screw holes.

All three are highly dissimilar and require distinct methods of application to achieve the desired result. This article will explain each type of filler in great detail so that you’ll always know what to reach for the next time a scratch, gouge, or other minor problem arises.

I’ll make sure you know all about the different kinds of filler material, their benefits and drawbacks, the best brands to use for certain purposes, and expert tricks for making your work look polished and professional. Whether you’re just starting out or have been making crafts for years, you’ll always be able to find the perfect filler for the job.

The Difference Between Wood Putty Vs Wood Filler Vs Caulk

Before purchasing a filler, you should ensure that it will work for your needs and complement your project’s aesthetic. Most notably when placing an online order. If you want a certain look or feel for your project, it’s crucial that you choose the right filler.

Say, for the sake of argument, you need to conceal wood screws for an outdoor bench. In that instance, wood putty is an excellent choice because it can be painted or stained to match its surroundings and has enough elasticity to withstand temperature and humidity swings without cracking or peeling.

Do you know the distinction between wood glue and wood filler? Just go to that link to learn more. Before delving deeper into the topic, I’ll give you a quick overview of the two primary types of wood fillers.

Wood Filler

Although most wood fillers are best left unfinished, some can be coloured after they have been filled. Big holes or spaces in wood can be filled with wood filler, which can then be sanded smooth as it dries.

Wood Fillers are manufactured using a wide variety of wood scraps, including sawdust and wood particles. Multiple solvents, including petroleum and aqueous solutions, can keep them in suspension.

It’s important to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each type of wood filler before making a final decision. Wood fillers made from petroleum are more durable and less likely to break over time.

But water-based fillers tend to crack or disintegrate under pressure. There’s also the fact that wood filler can be sanded because it’s made from real wood instead of synthetic material.

When to Use Wood Filler

Wood filler is something you’ll want to have on hand if you plan on doing any additional work on your project. This type of filler is great if you need to further treat the wood by staining, sanding, or applying a finish. We’ve already established that it’s ideal for making things like furniture, lining, shelving, and the like for usage indoors.

Test the wood filler’s ability to retain a screw.

Projects Using Wood Filler

Locate the damaged area, sand it down, then clean it before applying wood filler. Then, using the putty knife, carefully insert the filler into the hole.

After the filler has dried, it can be sanded and stained as needed. Wood filler shouldn’t be used for anything more than minor cosmetic touchups, so keep it in reserve for when the damage isn’t too severe.

It is not recommended to use filler to patch cracks that extend all the way through an object or massive holes because these flaws will eventually weaken the piece’s structural integrity.

Stained Wood And Wood Filler

Filler can be pre-mixed with the appropriate stain or other color enhancer to provide a seamless blend with the wood to which it will be applied.

You should produce a test batch because filler takes more stain than regular wood, so you’ll probably need to use deeper colors to achieve the same result.

Furthermore, you must ensure that the color of the stain and the filler are compatible with one another. It is recommended to use a solvent-based stain with petroleum-based fillers and a water-based stain with water-based fillers.

This will make sure the filler dries without any problems. Stains and fillers made of water are not recommended for use outside because they can be damaged by moisture and temperature changes.

Wood Filler Prices

Wood filler is less economical since it dries up and becomes unusable at a certain point, no matter how well you seal the container.

Since it is intended to cover larger flaws than putty, it is typically supplied in bulk. Some brands of wood filler are more expensive than others, but overall the cost is about the same as that of wood putty.

The standard range is from three ounces to one pint. You may expect to pay anywhere from $6 to $30 for one, depending on its size, its base material, and its brand name.

Top Brands Of Wood Filler

A few popular wood filler brands are listed below for your consideration. This is not meant to be an all-inclusive buyer’s guide, but rather a presentation of the various fillers that can be used for a wide range of projects.


Wood Filler That Won’t Stain
Price: $8.17
3.25 ounces in size.
Formula without the use of solvents
In addition, this product is ranked #13 in Wood Filler on Amazon’s list of best-sellers. Intended for usage in both enclosed spaces and the great outdoors.
Based on 854 customer ratings, this product receives a 4.3/5.


Timber Filler

Price: $15.61
Capacity, 16 oz.
a latex foundation
Details: This product is ranked #12 on Amazon’s Best Sellers list for Wood Filler. It’s prepped for stain, sanding, and painting.
Based on the opinions of 609 customers, this product receives 4.5 stars.


Wood Filler That Won’t Stain

Price: $10.97
Capacity, 16 oz.
For more info, know that this product is ranked #3 in Wood Filler on Amazon’s Best Sellers list. You can use it with water-based or oil-based stains.
There were 1,397 customers who gave this product a rating of 4.4 stars.
Timber Filler

Price: $8.99
Capacity: 8 ounces
Beginning Point: H2O
In addition, this product is ranked #8 in Wood Filler on Amazon’s list of best-sellers. This material doesn’t shrink and dries quite fast.
Based on the opinions of 757 customers, this product receives a 4.3/5.

Helpful Tips

To avoid any confusion, wood filler is not a replacement for wood glue or fasteners; its sole purpose is to improve the aesthetics of the finished product. It is not a replacement for primary support, although it does offer some backup.

Wood Putty

Because it is manufactured from a wide variety of synthetic materials, wood putty is often referred to as “plastic wood.” Putty comes in a wider range of colors and textures than wood filler does, and each variety is ideally suited to a different task.

In most cases, wood putty won’t dry firm enough to withstand sanding and should be avoided. There are some hybrid putties like DAP’s Plastic Wood that cure hard enough for sanding, but they are the exception and not the rule.

When to Use Wood Putty

Small cracks or holes in finished wood are perfect candidates for wood putty. Even if they have been stained already, that’s alright; most manufacturers offer putty in a range of colors that mimics that of stain, so you can easily match it. Most wood putties are oil-based. Materials like polyurethane and epoxy are used to construct them.

Projects Using Wood Putty

Wood putty, unlike wood filler, can endure the weather for longer, making it a superior choice for outdoor work when damage is minor.

Primarily, this is for repairing minor damage to outdoor wooden furniture like benches and tables, as well as siding and trim around the house.

The water-based putty is versatile, finding use in a variety of interior applications including cabinetry, moulding, paneling, and trim. In most cases, however, the more natural wood trim, which will be less obvious in terms of matching hue to the original wood, will perform just fine.

Stained Wood And Wood Putty

Putty’s integrity is compromised by the addition of a stain, thus manufacturers don’t provide it in any other hues, but they do sell it in every available stain shade to make up for it.

Since most putty is supplied in tiny tubes, it’s easy to stock up on a wide variety of your favorite stain colors for a wide variety of DIY endeavors, since it’s perfect for covering up little imperfections. If you’re going to use a water-based stain and a water-based putty like DAP’s Plastic Wood Latex, you should utilize the structure only indoors.

Before applying the mixture to the item you want to repair, you should always perform a test. It’s the most precise method for locating a suitable color match.

Wood Putty Prices

Since Wood Putty may be revitalized long after it dries out by properly mixing in a little acetone, it is more cost-effective than wood filler.

It has an extremely long shelf life and can be easily maintained, allowing you to get the most out of your investment. There are many varieties of wood putty available, so it’s important to do some research on the product you’re considering buying to make sure it will work for your woodworking project.

It is possible to purchase wood putty in larger quantities, up to 32 ounces, though most retail packaging is between 3 and 4 ounces. Size, color, and brand all play a role in the pricing, which can be anywhere from $4 to $15.

For around $10-$15, you may get a set of multicolored putty sticks or scratch-touch-up markers. This is the more cost-effective choice because to the permanence of a one-time purchase.

Top Brands Of Wood Putty

Here we list some of the most well-known wood putty manufacturers, along with the sizes of putty they produce, how much it typically costs, and what it is best used for. This is by no means a thorough buying guide, but more an overview of the many possibilities.


Fix-It Kit with Wooden Markers for Fixing Furniture

Price: $9.99
Components: 6 wax sticks and 6 markers
Waxes serve as the foundation.
More Info: This item is ranked #1 in Wood Scratch Covers & Removers on Amazon’s Best Sellers List. Different hues are available.
Based on 7,217 customer ratings, this product is rated 4.3 out of 5 stars.


Putty for Woodwork

Price: $3.68
3.75 ounces in size.
It’s worth noting that this product is now ranked #5 in Wood Filler on Amazon’s Best Sellers list. Only one color is available.
Based on 1,114 user ratings, this product receives a 4.1/5.

J-B Weld

A Stick of KwikWood Wood Repair Putty

Price: $5.78
Dimensions are 3.5 inches in diameter.
Epoxy for the foundation
Note: This product is now ranked #6 in Wood Filler on Amazon’s Best Sellers List.
Over 1,282 customers have given this product a 4.5/5 star rating.


Manufactured Lumber

Price: $8.26
Ounces: 8
a latex foundation
This product is the #28 best selling in the Wood Filler category on, which provides additional information. It may accept stains.
Based on the opinions of 202 customers, this product receives a 4.4/5.

Helpful Tips

Wait at least two or three days for the wood to cure before painting it with water-based paint; otherwise, the paint will not set properly over the area where the putty was applied.

Whenever feasible, it is better not to use water-based paint over putty. For minor dings and dents in furniture, you can use a “patching pencil” like the lacquer-based Minwax Blend-Fil Pencil.

You can get one in a shade that complements the wood finish or stain you’ve chosen for your furniture.


Caulk, unlike gap filler and silicone, cannot be sanded and is used primarily for sealing joints between surfaces.

For a seamless finish, use a damp cloth or finger to apply acrylic-based gap filler. Caulk can be used to fill gaps and then painted over.

Caulk of the silicone variety should also be applied with a damp cloth for best results. It can’t be sanded down once it’s been applied, so make sure it’s smooth before you put it down.

Although there are paintable silicones, most forms of general-purpose silicone cannot be painted.

Projects Using Caulk

Caulk is great for closing gaps along architraves and skirting. Acrylic caulk can be painted over to create a smooth surface.

Silicone caulk is the go-to for any waterproofing job, whether it’s around a window or a skylight, or even in a sink or a bathtub.

Pros and Cons For Using Wood Putty Vs Wood Filler Vs Caulk

Depending on your goals, wood putty, wood filler, or caulk each have their own set of benefits and drawbacks.

Here I’ve compiled the most common recommendations made by woodworkers and provided my own comparisons. For the sake of completeness, we will repeat certain information that has already been presented.

These fillers are sufficiently comparable that they can be used interchangeably for various tasks; nonetheless, before purchasing or using any filler, it is important to read the manufacturer’s instructions.

Wood Putty


Maintains its quality over time. Dried wood putty can be revitalized with some acetone.
Extremely cost-effective because only a tiny amount of putty filler is required to conceal flaws.
When compared to wood filler, putty is superior in strength due to its ability to form bonds with the wood.


The drying time is significantly longer.
As a result, it may not be a perfect match like wood filler would be if used before drying.
It’s not recommended for use on raw wood and may cause damage to unfinished surfaces.

Wood Filler


It dries in a flash.
Wood filler comes in a wider variety of textures and colors than wood putty does, so you might be able to choose a product that blends in better with your current finish.


You’ll need to seal it because it doesn’t adhere to the wood (e.g., adhesive, paint, etc.).
The natural expansion and contraction of wood when exposed to weather conditions renders most of them unsuitable for usage outside.



Architraves, walls, and other connection surfaces can be easily applied.
Extremely Modular
Paint can be applied quickly and readily to some varieties.
Watertightness is greatly improved when using silicone.


Cannot be sanded after application, therefore precision is essential.
Types of silicone are difficult to apply precisely.
Not fit for woodworking purposes.
Putties that don’t dry completely are ideal for cosmetic repairs in the great outdoors since they can stretch and contract with the wood as the seasons change.

Indoor projects benefit more from wood filler because it will dry completely with considerable shrinkage, making it easier to conceal larger, more noticeable visual defects.

Using Filler for Time-Sensitive Emergencies

When using filler, putty, or caulk, the drying period varies depending on the product.

If you need something to help in a hurry, but don’t have a day to wait for putty to dry, go with wood filler instead. Some of them dry in as little as 10 minutes.

Markers or sticks of putty may dry more quickly, but you should read the package directions first.

Caulk dries in a few hours, whereas silicone takes a full day, so it’s not the best choice for quick repairs.


Wood fillers, putty, and caulk are available in a wide range of options. Remember that putty is the better option because it bonds well with finished wood and lasts longer in different climates, and it is also less expensive.

Though it may cost more up front, filler is worth it for indoor, unfinished sculptures with greater flaws.

For a seamless finish when painting inside, caulk is important.

In light of your newfound filler knowledge, you should be well-equipped to deal with every gouge, scrape, scratch, or hole you encounter on your woodworking adventure.

A great strategy to select fillers is to consider the current state of the project (whether the wood is finished, stained, unstained, etc.) and the typical conditions in which the filler will be used (e.g., outdoor weather, significant wear stress, etc.).

Once you have that information, you can pick the best course of action from the ones I’ve provided.



Q & A

Do Titebond Wood Glues Dry Clear?

You’ve finally reached the point where you need to glue everything together, but you’ve heard conflicting things about whether or not Titebond wood glue dries transparent.

Wood glued using Titebond 1, 2, or 3 will not dry clear. In comparison to Titebond 2 and Titebond 3, the original Titebond dries a pale yellow tint. The water resistance is a contributing factor to the color variation.

Titebond 1, 2, and 3 are widely considered to be the best wood glues on the market, so I put them through a series of tests to determine if their claims of drying clear were true. None of the three findings surprised me, but that didn’t mean they weren’t a surprise.

The Titebond wood glues that do dry transparent will also be briefly discussed.

Will You Have A Visible Glue Line?

When planning your next glue up, this is a crucial consideration. The appearance of a piece of furniture can be ruined by the presence of heavy glue lines.

Titebond Original or even Titebond 2 will do the trick if you’re working with light-colored wood. Titebond 3 is recommended if a darker wood, such as Walnut, is to be used.

If you adhere to the above guidelines, your glue line, which will often be no more than 0.1mm thick, will be invisible.

Titebond wood glues do not accept stain, thus any extra glue must be removed before it cures.

Here’s a movie I made comparing the final colors of Titebond 1, 2, and 3.

What Is The Difference Between Titebond 1, 2 & 3?

Titebond 1, 2, and 3 vary in price, open time, strength, and water resistance from one another. Titebond Original is designed for dry environments, but Titebond II and III can be used outside depending on the conditions.

To help you decide which glue is best for your next project, I’ve compiled a table outlining the key distinctions between each.

Titebond Water Resistance Original Titebond II Titebond III None Resistant Water Proof*
Pressures 3,600, 3,750, and 4,000
Opening Duration: 4 to 6 Minutes
Approximately three to five minutes
In the range of 8-10 minutes
The Required Five Minutes for Assembly
Within the next 5 minutes
Time Frame: 10
Density (cps): 3,200 cps 4,000 cps 4,200 cps
Faded to a muddy shade of brown and yellow, the color is off-yello
Is it for use outside?
Price (16 ounce) (16 ounce)
$10.68 $12.00 $14.90
Risk-free Food
No Yes Yes \sFreeze De-Icing the Stability Yes Yes Yes \s* Above and beyond the water resistance of Titebond II.
Is it possible to glue tabletops with Titebond. Check out the entry I made about this.

Which Titebond Glues Drys Clear?

Translucent Titebond According to its name, wood glue truly dries transparent after it has been applied to wood. It works wonderfully on light-colored timbers and is ideal for any indoor project that requires a glue bond that is virtually invisible.
It’s easy to sand and finish, so it’s great for crafts and hobbies, too. An 8-ounce bottle of it may be purchased on Amazon for $8.50.

Titebond Quick & Thick is a 2 Pak glue that is best used on specific surfaces, although it also dries in a translucent finish. Quick & Thick is great, with one caveat: it sets up too quickly to be useful. It’s as thick as the name implies, too.
Try out your wood glue on a scrap first if you have any doubts.

Is it possible for Titebond to dry without clouding?
Please find the outcomes below. Left to right: Aquadhere PVA, Titebond1, Titebond2, and Titebond3.

How Long Does It Take Titebond Wood Glue To Dry?

Dry time for all three versions of Titebond wood glue is about 6 hours. If you want to get a good bond with Titebond, you need let it sit in the clamps for at least 45 minutes.

There’s no denying that the conditions in your workshop will have an impact on these findings. Always check the temperature and ventilation before beginning a glue-up. These are crucial considerations since they impact the glue’s drying time.

If your glue isn’t drying as quickly as usual, or if it’s taking too long to dry altogether, check out this post I wrote about the subject.

Which Titebond Glue Should You Use?

We’re all working on slightly different woodworking projects, so I get why it’s hard to choose which Titebond glue to buy.

To make your next job go more smoothly, I thought I’d quickly summarize which glue is best for particular uses.

Original Titebond is an Aliphatic Resin adhesive. When it comes to adhesive, this is the one I reach for most frequently. It works wonderfully for edge gluing and ordinary softwood and hardwood glue-ups.
Particleboard, MDF, plywood, and other porous materials benefit greatly from its use. Instrument makers also rely heavily on this adhesive. Although Titebond Original is washable, it should not be used in food preparation.

Titebond II is a cross-linking polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) adhesive. When glued edge to edge or face to face, it works well. It’s a little more durable than Titebond Original because of its cross-linking properties.
It’s versatile design allows for both high-frequency and hot/cold pressing applications. Titebond II has a fast cure time and is FDA-approved for use in the food industry. A dry joint can withstand some exposure to water over time because of its water resistance.

This glue is a Proprietary Polymer called Titebond III (Ultimate). Strong glue and a lengthy assembling time make this one among my top choices. Waterproof and suitable for use with food, it makes an excellent material for cutting boards.
Anyone in a colder environment can benefit from this glue. Titebond III combines the greatest features of previous versions of the product into a single convenient bottle.

Conclusion – Does Titebond Wood Glue Dry Clear?

As can be seen, none of the three tested Titebond glues dried transparent. Titebond I, which dries to a very pale yellow, is the one that comes closest to being completely transparent.

Titebond glues are the best I’ve found for woodworking, however they don’t dry clear. As long as you stick to this rule: Titebond I & II for lighter colored woods and Titebond III for darker woods, you should be fine.

I speak from experience, having used Titebond III on a light-colored wood cutting board. Since the glue connection is barely more than 0.1mm thick, no one will even notice it’s there.



Q & A

My Plywood Got Wet. Is It Ruined For Good?

Plywood is a staple in my workshop, where I construct many useful jigs and even some pieces of furniture. I was caught in a downpour when bringing some home from the store the other day. Water seeped through and drenched the top three layers of plywood.

With that in mind, I will explain what I did to save those sheets and how. In light of this, one would wonder if plywood is watertight.

Plywood can be submerged in water for brief periods of time, then dried out without losing its structural integrity or aesthetic finish. De-lamination of the softwood layers can occur after prolonged exposure to wet conditions. It is possible for the glue in some plywoods to degrade and come loose.

Keep reading to find out how I managed to keep my plywood sheets from being thrown away. Let’s start with a definition of plywood.

What Is Plywood?

Thin sheets of softwood are layered and glued together in stages, with the grain running in opposite directions between each layer to create plywood. Urea-formaldehyde or polyurethane are common types of glue. Plywood’s alternating layers make it a durable choice as a flooring or furniture top.

Plywood is made by adhering many of these thin sheets together to create panels of varying thicknesses. The most common thicknesses of plywood are 6, 9, 12, 17, 19, 25, and 33 mm.

If you want to know whether or not MDF may be used outdoors, read the rest of my detailed essay. It could catch you off guard.

Does Rain Ruin Plywood?

Plywood is not vulnerable to water damage from light rain. If the rain or storm merely lasts for an hour or so, the plywood shouldn’t be damaged.

But plywood should not be left out in the rain overnight. This will cause water to seep through the layers of wood, potentially weakening the structure.

Keep in mind that plywood is just layers of softwood cemented together. The wood fibers aren’t watertight, but the glue is.

Plywood that has been left out in the rain for a lengthy period of time may swell, warp, and possibly separate at the seams. The glue is water-resistant, however it can be compromised by heavy rain.

The official Twitter account for No Payne Roofing Inc.
After removing several shingles, we discovered some moist plywood; it wasn’t bad, but we decided to repair it anyhow. Craftsmanship in Building
3:42 PM · Jan 21, 2017

Does Plywood Absorb Water?

Since plywood is made from layers of softwood fibers that have been bonded together, it does absorb water. Like other types of wood, the cell walls of these softwood layers can absorb water.

Water will soak through the layers of wood, but it may take several hours for this to happen.

Plywood is typically sold in bundles, making it more cumbersome to move it in one go. Check out my write-up where I detail the plywood bundle count.

The rate of water absorption can also be affected by the type of plywood used. Instead of using an inexpensive piece of OSB, you should use A-grade plywood that has been carefully pressed. Hardwood layers add strength to some plywoods and make it more resistant to water damage since its cells are less porous.

Plywood is water-resistant to a certain extent.

Can Wet Plywood Be Saved?

Even if your plywood has been submerged in water or exposed to moisture for several hours, there is still hope for it. Where the water has begun to seep in, the edges may have turned a dark discoloration.

The key is to keep it dry by removing any extra water right immediately and keeping it covered. After that is complete, we may talk about how to dry it out.

Witness my techniques for repairing warped plywood and learn if perfectly flat sheets are even available.

How Do I Dry My Plywood?

In this article, I will explain how to thoroughly dry off your plywood. The plywood I made using this method turned out beautifully. Let’s get that water out and let it evaporate.

Put the plywood in an indoor, dry area to prevent it from getting wet. Keeping it outside (even under cover) is not ideal, particularly in humid climates. The wood fibers are constantly taking in and giving off moisture. It’s best if you can find the driest spot you can.
First, you should get rid of any extra moisture by any means necessary. The water can be soaked up by using a few dry cloths or a layer of dry sawdust.
Sheets should be stacked individually on packers or bearers of timber. The goal here is to provide equal air circulation on both sides of the sheets. If you want your sheet to stay flat and not droop, I recommend using a bearer or packer every 300mm or foot.
Make use of a fan by positioning a few strong fans so they blow over the sheets, which will cause the air to travel rapidly, removing any moisture. Those packers are useful because they allow air to circulate around the board.
Make use of heat, preferably in the form of a heater or a heater with a built-in fan if at all possible. To increase the temperature in the room. Plywood sheets may distort or cup if heat is applied directly to them.
I recommend leaving your linens like this for a few of days to ensure they dry completely. This could take a little longer if you’re in an area that typically sees a lot of rain and storms at this time of year.
After you’ve finished the above processes, your plywood should be dry and ready for use.

How Long Does Wet Plywood Take To Dry?

It takes about four to five days for wet plywood to dry out if it is placed on packers and the air can circulate freely around the entire sheet.

It could take a couple of weeks for plywood to dry out if you’re not using a fan or heater.

Listed below are some alternate techniques for slicing plywood.

Are Your Plywood Sheets Ruined?

Maybe you’ve dried your plywood as much as you can; if so, how can I tell whether it’s completely ruined?

Any wooden objects that have been exposed to too much water may end up with dark stains all over the sheets. It may just be a matter of discolouration, but this shouldn’t have any effect on the quality of your plywood.

Discoloration is a surface flaw that requires a lot of sanding to remove. It may not be possible to sand it out in some instances. This can be a hassle if you bought high-quality plywood and planned to stain and seal it.

It’s possible that your plywood will be ruined in this situation, forcing you to use it for less important repairs.

Next, check for warping or cupping. Plywood that has absorbed a lot of water will likely be severely warped or cupped. If you want to check if this is a problem, just look along the surface.

It’s possible that, if you plan to divide the sheet into smaller pieces, you’ll be able to remove much of this.

Plywood is difficult to inspect for damage until the edges begin to expand or de-laminate. Discoloration will be most noticeable around the edges.

De-lamination usually only affects the very edge, so you should be able to trim off that small portion before utilizing the sheet.

Plywood that feels spongy all the way through when pressed has de-laminated and should be thrown away.

What Kind Of Plywood Is Waterproof?

Unless you’re working on an outdoor project, you won’t ever need waterproof plywood indoors.

For the most watertight and durable plywood, go no farther than marine grade plywood, often known as marine ply. Hardwood layers replace softer wood ones in this plywood, making it more resistant to moisture.

Marine Ply is waterproof because it is bonded with waterproof glue, but its increased resistance to water comes from both the hardwood and the glue. Depending on the conditions of use and location, some types of Marine plywood come with a 15- to 25-year warranty.

But don’t assume it’s completely waterproof. It’s better able to withstand water. It’s held together with waterproof adhesive, but drowning it will eventually kill it.

Because it is not chemically treated, marine ply is susceptible to rot.

What Works Best For Plywood Finish
If you’re using plywood for an outside project, it’s important to protect it so it lasts for many more years. How I get a solid finish and airtight seal on plywood:

Sand – If the plywood you bought is of high quality, you can begin smoothing out the irregularities with 120 grit sandpaper. Get the edges as smooth as you can by paying great attention to them. Use sandpaper with a grit between 180 and 240 if you’re sealing plywood for an indoor piece of furniture.
Dust off the plywood by wiping it down with a lint-free cloth.
To paint or to seal in clear? – I think this essay would be of great help if you are just going to paint the plywood. Keep going for a neat conclusion.
Use a sanding sealer to protect the plywood and lay a solid base for your topcoats, which will help you get the best possible finish.
More Sanding – Always sand after using sanding sealer. You can get the plywood surface perfectly smooth and ready for a finish coat by using sandpaper with a 240 grit.
Top coat – Use whichever polyurethane finish you like now. For expansive areas, a roller is your best bet. Potentially more than one coat needs to be applied.

Can Plywood Get Wet During Construction?

Plywood is widely utilized in construction because it can serve as either wall bracing or flooring in multi-story homes.

Can plywood get wet during construction? This plywood will likely get rained on before the roof is on.

Plywood used for framing or structural purposes can get wet without weakening because of its A-grade glue bond. It can resist a good deal of dampness before showing any signs of wear.

Plywood that gets wet won’t be a huge problem because there are usually plenty of sunny days to dry it out. However, if the plywood edges begin to delaminate during prolonged periods of rain, you may have a problem.
Is finding a new method to rip your plywood sheets a priority for you? Additionally, these five methods are applicable.


The answer to the question “what is plywood?” has been found, and you can safely use your plywood with a moderate amount of water in most situations. But if your plywood has been sitting in the rain for a few days, its usefulness is highly unlikely.

If you wanted to learn more about what happens when plywood gets wet, I hope you found this information helpful.



Q & A

Which Shop Vac has the Most Suction? Tried and Tested

The truth is that every workshop makes use of some sort of dust suppression and cleaning equipment, and that equipment is usually a shop vacuum. Cleaning equipment such as shop vacuums are widely used. When I recently needed a replacement, I looked around for guidance but came up empty-handed. This is why I tested several options to provide you with more information to make an informed choice. However, which shop vacuum has the strongest suction?

One of the strongest shop vacuums is the Ridgid HD1600. With its 16-gallon capacity, the Craftsman CMXEVBE17595 Wet/Dry Vac also features powerful suction. A shop vacuum’s suction power reduces as it becomes clogged with dirt and debris, especially if a filter or bag is being utilized.

Now that you know the most powerful shop vac on the market, you might be curious about some other powerful shop vacs. Here are my thoughts on some of the most well-known shop vacs on the market today.

Which Shop Vacs Have a Lot of Suction Power?

The various shop vacs and their claimed CFM are listed in the table below. There’s more info down below that I hope will help.

Shop-Vac CFM Price
The Ridgid HD1600 161 costs $140.
$178.90 for a Ridgid WD1450 Wet/Dry Vac 150
Wet/Dry Vacuum, 150-Quart (Craftsman CMXEVBE17595), $131.49
$139 for the Craftsman Wet/Dry Vac XSP-148 Set
Wet/Dry Vacuum, 16-Gallon, Professional Series, Vacmaster Beast: $149.99
Price: $135.00 for the Bissell Multiclean Wet/Dry Vac 135.
Wet/Dry Vac, 16 Gallon, DeWalt DXV16PA, $139.00
List of commonly purchased shop vacuum cleaners and their respective pricing

Ridgid HD1600

The Ridgid HD1600 is the most powerful vacuum available. It has a large capacity (up to 16 gallons) so you won’t have to empty it out too often, even if you use it frequently. This shop vacuum can be used without a bag or filter, but having one installed makes it much easier to empty the unit without getting your hands dirty. At a price of $126-$141, this shop vacuum is on the higher end of the price spectrum. The price tag may seem steep, but this is the best rigid shop vac and more than justifies itself in terms of the amount of power it provides.

Ridgid WD1450 Wet Dry Vac

Also, another powerful shop vacuum is the Ridgid WD 1450 Wet Dry Vac. A maximum of 14 gallons of soil and trash can be stored inside. It’s excellent that it can get rid of wet messes, too, because accidents happen at the worst possible times. This shop vacuum can be used with or without a bag. It costs between $138 and $261 and has slightly less power than the Ridgid HD1600.

Craftsman CMXEVBE17595 16 Gallon Wet/Dry Vac

Suction power is not an issue with the Craftsman CMXEVBE17595 16 Gallon Wet/Dry Vac. It has a capacity of up to 16 gallons and can clean up both dry and damp stains. This workshop vacuum may be used without a bag, although one can be used if desired. Prices for this robust vacuum cleaner start at $110 and go up to $138.

Craftsman Wet/Dry Vac Set XSP

If you need a powerful shop vacuum, go no further than the Craftsman Wet/Dry Vac Set XSP. It has the capacity to contain up to 16 gallons of dirt and debris, and it is very effective at cleaning up damp spills. It is not necessary to use a bag or filter with this vacuum. While you may expect to pay around $139 for this shop vacuum, the actual price may differ depending on where you buy it.

Vacmaster – Beast Professional Series 16 Gallon Wet/Dry Vac

Shop vacuums with a lot of suction power may be found in the Vacmaster – Beast Professional Series 16 Gallon Wet/Dry Vac. Shop vacuums offer a lot of suction power and will clean up any messes you or others make. The exact amount of suction strength varies by model. They cost between $95 and $224, making them more expensive than the majority of the shop vacuums here. However, the superior construction of this series more than justifies the premium price. Since there is a wide variety of choices, you may find the shop vacuum that fits your needs and your budget. Learn where to find low-cost tools by reading my post.

Bissell MultiClean Wet Dry Vac

Powerful suction is one of the Bissell MultiClean Wet Dry Vac’s many strengths. The cost might be anywhere from $125 to $150. Over a hundred customers have given it 4.5 stars on various websites, indicating their satisfaction with the product. A shop vacuum like this one will serve you well for a good long while, even if you use it every day for a decade. This vacuum can be used for both dry and wet cleaning without the need for a bag or filter. This lightweight shop vacuum is a great option for on-the-go maintenance.

DeWalt DXV16PA 16-Gallon Wet/Dry Vac

The DeWalt DXV16PA 16-Gallon Wet/Dry Vac is another outstanding shop vacuum with a decent level of suction power. This shop vacuum is one of the more pricey options on this list, with a price tag of $187 to $342. When it was tested, this shop vacuum produced 116 CFM of suction and 73-inches of water lift, so it has the power to clean any wet or dry mess that is caused in your home or workspace. You can use this shop vacuum with or without a bag or a filter.

How is a Shop Vac Suction Measured?

A shop vacuum’s suction power is indicated by the height of water it can raise when the vacuum is sealed.

In the embedded video, you’ll learn how manufacturers evaluate the sucking capacity of a shop vacuum. Companies use this method because if a shop vacuum can lift inches of water, then it will be able to pick up any wet or dry messes that are produced in workspaces. Check out these tips for reducing dust in your garage.

It is also in cubic feet per minute that one can gauge the suction strength of a shop vac. How much air is drawn into the shop vacuum through its various ports (such as the hose and the vent next to the motor) is quantified in cubic feet per minute. You’ll need to invest in a powerful shop vac with a lot of cubic feet per minute (CFM) if you want to get a vacuum with a long hose. A shop vac’s suction power is proportional to the cubic feet per minute (CFM) rating.

Watch the video below to understand how shop vac manufacturers evaluate vacuum strength.

What Causes a Shop Vac to Lose Suction Power?

A shop vac may lose its suction power if it is full, the filter is dirty or obstructed or the hose is clogged. If all of these elements have been checked it may be a case that your shop vac is getting old and requires replacing.

Many causes can cause a shop vac to lose some or all of its suction force. If you notice that your shop vac is not vacuuming up items or debris that it typically has no issue taking up, then examine the areas listed below to determine if they are causing the shop vac to lose suction power.

Dirty Filter

If the filter in your shop vac is clogged with dirt and debris, the suction force of the engine will be reduced, and the vac will not perform as effectively as it typically would.

Shop Vac is Full

Shop vacs lose suction power when they are full or nearly full of dirt and debris because there is not as much room for air in the container. If the shop vac bag is full, the vacuum will be less effective.

Clogged Hose

Your shop vac’s suction power will diminish if the container is either completely or almost full of dirt and debris. This is because there won’t be as much room for air to move around in there. If the bag in your shop vac is full, you won’t get as much suction.

Clogged Hose

If your shop vac is not cleaning up any dirt or debris and looks to have no suction force, then the hose may be clogged.

Old Shop Vac

If your shop vac is old, especially if it is more than 8 years old, then the engine is likely worn out, and it will seem to have almost no suctioning ability.

How do I Fix a Shop Vac’s Suction?

Dirty Filter

Remove the filter from your shop vac and clean it with an air blower if the vacuum seems to have lost suctioning strength because of dust and debris. If that doesn’t fix the suction problem, try a different filter. You can get a replacement filter for your shop vac at any hardware store or online, but how you swap it out will vary by model and manufacturer.

Shop Vac is Full

If you haven’t emptied your shop vac in a while and it has lost suction power, it’s probably full. Emptying the shop vac’s base into a large trash can will restore its suctioning power. Your shop vac’s suctioning strength should return to normal once you’ve emptied the debris from the container’s base.

Shop vac bags should be removed when they become full, discarded, and then replaced.

Clogged Hose

If you think the hose of your shop vac is blocked, you can inspect the inside by disconnecting it from the machine itself. The hose’s obstruction should be plainly visible. If you can see through the hose without any obstructions, then it is not clogged and the hose is not the cause of the shop vac’s ineffective suction. It is important to clear any obstructions that may be present. A long object to poke the clog out to the end of the hose and a flashlight to locate it may be necessary.

Old Shop Vac

If nothing you’ve tried seems to be causing your shop vac’s loss of suctioning strength, it may simply be old and worn out. When used often, a shop vac will wear out in roughly 8 years. A new shop vac should be purchased if your existing one has lost suctioning power.

It’s best to consult an expert if your shop vac is not very old but has suddenly stopped sucking. What’s wrong with your shop vac, and how much it will cost to fix it, can be determined by speaking with them.

Should I Purchase a Shop Vac?

Shop vacs are incredibly helpful when you need to clean up enormous messes. They are also beneficial when you need to clean up various shavings that a professional vacuum would struggle to pick up. A commercial vacuum’s motor will wear down and eventually stop working if it is used to pick up wood dust or different types of shavings repeatedly, even if you believe that it should still work.

A shop vacuum has numerous potential applications. My family uses a shop vac to clean our automobiles, and it does a fantastic job. Cars might not get as clean if they tried to clean them with their household vacuum instead of the shop vac that we use.

The only real drawbacks to owning a shop vac are the fact that they collect a lot of dust and debris and are somewhat large. A shop vac usually has dust and other particles stuck to it when you first encounter it. The numerous tiny crevices in a shop vac make thorough cleaning next to impossible. Fortunately, a shop vac isn’t meant for domestic usage, so its filthiness isn’t usually a big deal.

Because of their bulky nature, shop vacuums are inconvenient to store in most homes. However, there are smaller shop vacs on the market, so they don’t have to take up a lot of space if you don’t think that you need a huge shop vac.

Even a huge shop vac can be stored in a closet or a tiny alcove, where it will be out of the way but yet convenient to use. If you have a closet or corner that you can place the shop vac in, then you will not really need to worry about how much space it takes up. Nonetheless, a large shop vac may be tough to keep in a cramped garage.

In a hurry? No problem with a shop vac! Using a shop vac to clear up a mess that would take 10 minutes by hand takes only seconds. A wide variety of shop vacs are equipped to handle both wet and dry debris, making them useful for a wide range of cleaning tasks.


If you have any reason to believe you will make use of it, a shop vac is an investment worth making. Even though they are pricey, they will endure a long time and effectively clean any mess.

When properly cared for, shop vacs normally only need to be serviced once every few years at most. Shop vacs, even when they suddenly stop functioning as well as they usually do, are usually simple to repair and restore to full power, which is especially useful when you don’t have much time to do so.



Q & A

Can A Circular Saw Cut Angles?

It’s a sight I’ve witnessed numerous times before. You’re working on a woodworking project, and you realise you need to make an angle cut. You reach for a circular saw because you believe it will do the job better than anything else you own. Is it possible to use a circular saw to make an angle cut?

Making angled cuts with a circular saw is simple; just adjust the saw’s base to any angle between 0 and 45 degrees. In the industry, these are known as bevelled cuts. These cuts can be produced with far greater precision if a straight edge is fastened to the workpiece to keep the saw from shifting.

This tutorial will go into greater detail on how to use a circular saw to cut angles in your woodworking project, as well as what you may anticipate from doing so. After finishing this article, you should feel more confident in your ability to cut angles in woodwork tasks.

Is a circular saw accurate when used at an angle?

The circular saw is the workhorse of the woodshop, but is it also the most accurate cutting tool? When the blade is angled like that, it is simple for the saw to wander while you cut, as I stated earlier.

A straight edge clamped to the workpiece is a great idea. With this straight edge in place, I can run the saw’s base plate along it for a cleaner, smoother cut.

Is it safe to use my circular saw to make angled cuts on thin planks of wood?

In this case, a circular saw might not be the most effective tool. It’s safe and effective for long angled cuts, especially on sheet material, but cutting an angle into a narrow piece of wood (say, roughly 2 inches wide) is risky and can lead to sloppy results.

This is because you can’t always see your pencil line, making it harder to balance the saw, and narrow stock is more difficult to cut. This is a risky form of cut, so I’ve included some alternatives to hacksaws below.

For slicing angles, what kind of saw should you use?

In the following sections, I’ll explain how to use a circular saw to make a variety of angled cuts. Do remember that this isn’t the saw’s intended use.

Sawing using a circular saw is so called because it spins on an arbour. To make such clean cuts, the blade or disc of this power saw likely has both abrasive materials and teeth. Circular saws are not just used in the woodworking industry, but also in the metal, plastic, and stone cutting industries.

As I mentioned in the introduction, a hand-held circular saw will do the trick when it comes to cutting angles into wood. In the next parts, I will elaborate on the how. For the time being, let’s address another inquiry. What sort of saw is best for cutting angles?

This is the mitre saw, often known as the compound saw or power mitre saw. With a mitre saw, you may set the angle of your crosscut and get to work cutting. A mitre saw is the ideal tool for cutting wood to the precise angles required for residential trim or moulding projects.

These saws are superior to others when it comes to cutting precise angles on wooden ends. This saw makes far cleaner slices than a circular saw.

This is not to imply that all mitre saws are the same. This is the assortment I use on a regular basis:

Standard/Power Miter Saws

The powered standard mitre saw can be used to cut wood at any angle, but it excels at making the 45-degree cuts that are especially useful for framing.

LED/Laser Miter Saws

The LED or laser mitre saw will become your best friend if you’re in need of a little extra help with precision and accuracy. A washer attached to the saw blade and the included laser guide will guarantee perfectly straight lines. In addition to being a practical feature, the LED lighting improves visibility.

Compound Miter Saws

A blade of a compound mitre saw can be adjusted to be tilted. A compound mitre saw’s ability to make bevel cuts is enhanced by the versatility of its saw head, which can be adjusted to a number of different angles. If you need to cut at an angle, these are the saws you should get.

Sliding Compound Miter Saws

The saw head on a sliding compound mitre saw can be moved along a rail. This saw has been upgraded so that it can now cut through lumber of greater width. For focusing on a specific corner or edge of the wood, the rails can be locked in place. If you want a precise cut while the saw is sliding, it’s best to invest in one of these more expensive saws.

Dual Compound Miter Saws

The dual compound mitre is a different kind of compound saw. A mitre saw with a swivelling and reversible head, also called a double mitre saw, allows you to make cuts at virtually any angle.

How Do I Use a Circular Saw to Cut a 45-Degree Angle?

You shouldn’t go to bed with a circular saw. It’s not the best saw for cutting angles, but it can do a lot of different jobs, so it’s a good investment to have around the shop.

Say, for example, you were working with wood and needed an angle of exactly 45 degrees. How to make that cut with a circular saw is outlined below.

To begin, adjust the depth of cut on your circular saw.
If you haven’t plugged in your circular saw yet, then don’t do it. If you already did plug it in, unplug it, as you need to select the depth of the cut.

Pull the blade guard back and adjust the depth the blade protudes from the base. The saw blade should always protrude through the wood until the gullets of the teeth are visable.

Before you move on, make sure the depth-adjusting lever is as tight as possible.

Step 2: Align Your Circular Saw Blade with Your Mark
Make a mark on the wood where you want to cut the 45-degree angle. You might have to keep your hand on the wood so it doesn’t shift, so make sure you’re wearing gloves when you work. Attaching a clamp to a square would be highly beneficial also as you can then ensure your cut is straight and square.

Check that the circular saw’s blade is aligned with the mark you make by nicking your wood board ever so slightly. To get items in the right place, just move them around a bit.

Third, use a template to make precise, straight cuts.
In order to make the clean, bevelled cuts you desire with your circular saw, it is recommended that you use a level or other suitable guide, as was mentioned earlier in this article. A handbook that can be modified to suit different tasks is preferable.

If you’re wondering how to cut an angle using a circular saw, consider this:

What Is the Proper Way to Cut a 2×4

Here we assume you need to make an angle cut in a 24 board. What steps would you take to achieve your goal? There isn’t much of a difference between the previous and these instructions, but I’ll go over everything nonetheless.

First, determine how deep you want the blade of your circular saw to be.
Determine the blade depth of your circular saw before beginning your 24 woodworking project so that you may get the desired cut depth. Cutting with a circular saw can be dangerous if the blade depth is not properly adjusted.

Turn off the power to the circular saw if it isn’t already unplugged, and then reposition the guard over the blade by drawing it into position. When using a circular saw, make sure the blade is a quarter of an inch to a half an inch below the base of the wood by pressing the blade guard against the 2×4.

Second, attach the hold-down clamp.
A hold-down clamp is necessary for using a circular saw safely and effectively. Only a single clamp is needed for this task. Having a hold-down clamp attached to both sides of the 24 increases the risk of one of the clamps slipping.

Your circular saw will encounter too much resistance from the 24 and will not be able to make the cut.

You risk serious injury or death if you lose control of your circular saw. Keep using the same clamp for holding things down. The 24 should be in the ideal position for cutting once the wood has been placed on the sawhorse.

The Third Step: Using a Marker, Cut the 24
Measure out where you want to make your angled cuts with a guide or a scale. Then, use a pencil to make a notation. Using a circular saw, get as close as possible to that mark so you can cut right angles in your 24.

Clamp a square or straight edge in place for step four.

A straight and square cut can be achieved with this method.

When Cutting Angles, Is There Anything Negative About Using a Circular Saw?

Based on what we’ve seen in the preceding two guides, a circular saw is an acceptable option for making angled cuts in wood. The size of the timber and the type of angle you wish to cut determine this.

If you want to be delighted with the end result of your woodworking job, it’s important to choose the right saw.

Cuts are generally rougher

As the saw is being guided by your hand, any slight variations in your grip will be reflected in the final cut. For this reason, a straight edge is crucial for producing a polished result.

In this regard, a compound mitre saw is always my first choice because it provides the most precise and clean cut. You should think about using these in your class.

Base Plate Tilting Can Cause Blade Catching

Keep an eye on the angle at which your base plate is tilted. The lower blade of your circular saw may become jammed at the edge of your wood if you move it too far in one direction. Instead of fixing the problem, applying more force with the saw will make it much worse.

Instead, you should cut with the blade guard up, press the release button, and then cut. Do not move the guard until the circular saw blade is at least an inch into the board.

Important safety tips

I hope you all have a great time in the shop, and I remind you that your safety is my top priority at all times.
My number one piece of advice for keeping yourself safe while using a circular saw is to avoid standing directly behind it at all times.

If the saw binds in the wood, it can kick back at you, which is why you should take precautions. If the saw does kick backward, you can protect yourself by standing to the side.

Maintain standard operating procedure by always protecting your eyes and ears.


For making quick work of mitre cuts in 2x4s and other lumber, a circular saw can stand in. If the angle exceeds 45 degrees, the cut will be rougher and less precise.

You’ll have a newfound respect for your circular saw now that you understand its many uses.



Q & A

What Size Pilot Hole For Any Screw – Pilot Hole Sizes

Over the years, I must have inserted hundreds of screws into wood, and one thing that has been constant is the importance of ensuring that the screws are inserted properly. It may sound simple, but the question of how large to make the pilot hole constantly arises.

The proper size of the pilot hole is the one that allows the screw threads to bite into the wood without the shank of the screw binding in the wood. Slight adjustments must be made to the pilot hole size when screwing into either softwoods or hardwoods.

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about what size pilot hole should I drill, including the optimal size for any purpose and the debunking of some common myths.

Why Do I Need A Pilot Hole?

What do you think is the optimal size of the pilot hole for this screw?
In order to fully grasp the practicality of this, let’s first examine why drilling a pilot hole before screwing into wood is necessary.

The threads of a screw around the screw’s shank or body. The threads of the screw are what actually penetrate the wood and tighten it into the hole.

A pilot hole is drilled before a screw is used to remove any excess wood from the wood’s surface and allow the screw’s threads to make contact with the wood. If you don’t do this, the wood, especially hardwoods or MDF, may crack.

To avoid the lumber cracking as it ages, drill a pilot hole first.

Watch this short video to learn how to choose the correct pilot hole size.

Are You Screwing Into Softwood Or Hardwood?

Finding the best size pilot for the job at hand will be much easier once you’ve answered this question.

In most cases, a larger pilot hole is not necessary when working with softwoods, and vice versa is not suggested. Most plywoods can be screwed directly into the face without the requirement for a pilot hole. When screwing into the end grain, you should always drill a pilot hole first.

The pilot hole size for hardwoods, on the other hand, should be somewhat increased. After drilling a standard pilot hole, the screw threads still had trouble biting into the extremely hard wood I used for my last project. I went with the next-biggest drill size to get the job done.

Best Pilot Holes Sizes

The following tables of drill bit sizes include the pilot hole sizes I’ve found most useful throughout the years of using pilot holes. Where I’ve indicated a “little bradawl,” it’s because the hole is too tiny to accommodate the screw.

Each screw type has a suggested hole diameter. These tables might be useful to have on hand in the workshop; please feel free to print them out. Check out the paragraph that follows these tables for an alternative method of determining the appropriate size of pilot hole to use.

Drill Bit Size Chart

Imperial Chart

Gauge Inches
Screw Size Clearance Hole Pilot Hole
Pilot Hole
0 1/16 Small Bradawl 1/32
1 5/64 Small Bradawl 1/32
2 3/32 Small Bradawl 3/64
3 7/64 Small Bradawl 1/16
4 7/64 Small Bradawl 1/16
5 1/8 Small Bradawl 5/64
6 9/64 1/16 5/64
7 5/32 1/16 3/32
8 11/64 5/64 3/32
9 3/16 5/64 7/64
10 3/16 3/32 7/64
11 13/64 3/32 1/8
12 7/32 7/64 1/8
14 1/4 7/64 9/64
16 17/64 9/64 5/32
18 19/64 9/64 3/16
20 21/64 11/64 13/64
24 3/8 3/16 7/32
Table showing pilot hole size for screw sizes (imperial)

Metric Chart

Gauge Millimeters (mm)
Screw Size Clearance Hole Pilot Hole
Pilot Hole
0 1.6 Small Bradawl 0.8
1 2.0 Small Bradawl 0.8
2 2.4 Small Bradawl 1.2
3 2.8 Small Bradawl 1.6
4 2.8 Small Bradawl 1.6
5 3.2 Small Bradawl 2.0
6 3.6 1.6 2.0
7 4.0 1.6 2.4
8 4.5 2.0 2.4
9 5.0 2.0 2.8
10 5.0 2.4 2.8
11 5.5 2.4 3.2
12 5.5 2.8 3.2
14 6.5 2.8 3.6
16 7.0 3.6 4.0
18 7.5 3.6 5.0
20 8.5 4.5 5.5
24 9.0 5.0 5.5
Table showing pilot hole size for screw sizes (Metric)

How To Pick A Pilot Hole Drill Size On The Go

You’ll be able to grab a drill bit without always referring back to this table as you gain experience.

You can do this by placing the screw under the light and the drill bit in front of it. A proper drill bit can be identified by its ability to conceal the screw’s shank while revealing its threads.

Drive a screw in with this drill bit and see how it goes. As I indicated before, the hole size needs to be adjusted depending on the type of wood being used. Just a little bit of practise and you’ll be able to drill holes of the perfect size every time.

What Size Drill Bit Do You Use?

An appropriate size for a pilot hole is one that allows the shank or body of the screw to pass through while still allowing the threads to grip the wood fibres.

What Is The Difference Between A Pilot Hole And A Clearance Hole?

You may have noted that I included both pilot hole and clearance hole dimensions in the table above; but, what exactly is the distinction between these two?

Any time a screw is going into a second piece of wood, a pilot hole must be drilled first. As was previously established, it’s the dimension of the screw’s shank that allows the threads to penetrate the wood.

First, a clearance hole is bored into the first board. The diameter of the clearance hole should be only slightly bigger than the screw’s thread diameter. Read this article to learn more about the need of a clearance hole.

The red arrow in the following illustration indicates a clearing hole.

Cutout for screw clearance
What is a clearance hole and why do I need one?
The screw threads need to clear the timber otherwise they would bind and cause jacking. With the clearance hole, the two parts may be pulled together securely. I’ve written an article that goes into further detail.

Can I Screw Timber Without A Pilot Hole?

Without going into too much detail, yes, you can screw wood together without first drilling a pilot hole. Without first drilling a pilot hole, a screw will always go in the direction of least resistance when being driven into wood.

As a result, the screw may enter at an incline, and in extreme cases, it may even protrude through the surface. When putting a box together or screwing into end grain, this is almost always the case.

When a pilot hole is not drilled, the screwdriver tip frequently comes loose from the screw. Find out why here.

You can screw wood without first drilling a pilot hole, but that’s not a good idea. Your work will look more professional, and there will be less chance of wood splitting.

Does This Mean I Need 2 Holes For Every Screw?

Yes, I would recommend drilling 2 holes for every screw if you want your product to go together securely and neatly. You’ll be disappointed to hear this, but it won’t take long at all. BUT WAIT, there’s another option that won’t take as long as swapping the drills.

You should pick up some of these step drills, as shown below. I rely on them frequently.

Get some countersink pieces for your workshop.
Exercises in 5 Easy Steps
Exercises in a 5 Stage Format
I’ll demonstrate how to quickly and easily drill a pilot and clearance hole for your screws if you’d rather not invest in one of these step drills.

You’ll need two different drills to accomplish this. In the average workshop, you’ll find multiple drills. Not having one will make your life much more difficult, so I recommend getting another one. I rely on and advocate for the ones listed above.

Insert the smaller drill bit needed to create the clearance hole into one drill. Put your larger drill for the clearance hole into the second drill. After that, you can simply drill the pilot holes and clearance holes one after the other. It happens far more quickly than you’d expect.

The best part is that your finished product will look great.

How Do I Know If My Pilot Hole Is Too Big?

The screw should tighten as it is driven into the wood, biting into the material and eventually burying the screw head. When a screw is torn out of wood, it will spin in one place after reaching the head. This indicates that the pilot hole was oversized.

For this reason, you should always test your pilot hole on a scrap piece of material to ensure it is the right size before committing to the final hole. As I mentioned before, you’ll quickly learn with some practise if you’re using the right size drill.

Do I Need A Countersink Hole?

Using a countersink bit will result in a much cleaner and more precise finish. The screw head can then be concealed within the wood.

Hardwoods almost usually require a countersink, but softer woods may not. There are wood screws available with little protrusions beneath the screw head. These are what “chew” the wood, driving the screw head flush with the board’s surface.

A countersink bit may be necessary if the wood screws you are using have a flat underside to their heads. Just try one out on some scrap material first.

Drilling a hole that is both a pilot hole and a countersink at the same time is much simpler than drilling two separate holes. In the picture below, you can see the drills I keep in my workshop. They come in quite handy.

Conclusion – What Size Pilot Hole Should I Drill?

For the best results, use a pilot hole that’s the same diameter as the screw’s shank but narrower than the threads. When working with wood, a pilot hole is a must. The end product will be significantly better in terms of both joint strength and tidiness.

Also, the less time you spend trying to piece together the task at hand, the less stressed you’ll be. We should enjoy ourselves in the workshop as much as possible, as I always recommend.

A work well done is a job well done indeed.



Q & A

11 Best Sandpaper Alternatives for Wood and Metal

Whether you’re working with wood or metal, you can’t do a proper job of finishing without sandpaper. But what if you don’t have any sandpaper and the store is out? In this article, I list the top 11 alternatives to sandpaper that you probably already have lying around the house or in the garage.

Chopping blocks for sanding
A cloth embroidered with emeralds

Cutting-edge emery
Duo: sand and leather
Shells from walnuts
Stone scouring pads Steel wool
Wheels for grinding
Stone used for exfoliating calluses
Towels for cleaning surfaces
sponges used for scrubbing
In this post, we’ll look at the pros and cons of various materials and see why some are more suited for certain tasks than others.

Sandpaper alternatives for wood

Sanding blocks

When working with wood, sanding blocks are superior to traditional sandpaper. The abrasive texture is reminiscent of sandpaper, yet they are referred to as sponges because they are soft and malleable, rather than rigid and flat, like a kitchen sponge. Their adaptability makes them ideal for sanding non-flat surfaces, such the legs of a chair or table.

Emery cloth

As long as you’re careful, you may use this on wood as well. Emery cloth is commonly used with power tools and can be purchased in sheets or rolls. It is far more long-lasting than sandpaper because of the cloth covering that shields it from damage and prevents it from wearing away.

Emery boards

Nail emery boards are very similar to sandpaper. One side is often smooth and suited for finer sanding chores, while the other is typically much rougher and suited for harsher sanding tasks. When you don’t have anything better, they can help you get the job done of sanding wood.

Sand and leather

Flat surfaces that don’t require a lot of sanding work well with the sand and leather technique. If you want to sand something with sand and leather, you need first sprinkle dry sand on the item. Then, massage the item with the leather to smooth off any sharp corners.

Walnut shells

For the same purpose as sand, walnut shells are frequently employed in the abrasive blasting process. To smooth the surface, a piece of leather cloth is used in conjunction with a coarse powder made from ground walnut shells. Walnut shells are more expensive and harder to come by than sand.

Sandpaper alternatives for metal

Emery cloth

Emery cloth, which is backed with a protective cloth, functions like sandpaper but lasts considerably longer. It is commonly used in electric tools like belt sanders and is offered in rolls, sheets, or bands. The sanding surface on the front is typically used for metal rather than wood, and is comprised of corundum, magnetite, and hematite.

Steel wool

If you need to get rid of rust from a metal object, steel wool is the way to go. You may get it in a wide variety of grades, from fine to course, making it suitable for a wide variety of metal and woodworking tasks.

Stone sharpening tools

Stone is used in the creation of a variety of tools, some of which are used to hone the edges of metal tools and implements. Oil stones, whetstones, or water stones are commonly used for this purpose, and they require either water or oil to remove the splinters of metal that form when the tool is sharpened. Most whetstones require soaking in water for several minutes before usage.

Grinding wheels

Metals are shaped and smoothed with grinding wheels. They’re wheels that spin quickly while you hold the object being smoothed, and you can use them on a pedestal grinder or a workbench. Metal is the only acceptable material for use when sanding with a grinding wheel; never use it on plastic or wood.

Versatile sanders

Pumice stone

Volcanic pumice is used to smooth rough skin on the feet and hands. Pumice can be purchased in a powdered form that can be used to sand wood. When sanding wood, it is typically used in conjunction with a felt block. Other sorts of powders are used for sanding rocks and handmade jewellery, and these typically consist of flakes of mineral and metal.

Scrub pads and sponges

These can also be used like sandpaper would for tasks such as sanding down freshly painted wood or metal furniture or scraping away rust.

Can you make your own sandpaper?

Get some heavy paper and adhere some sand with glue to construct your own sandpaper. While emery powder and glue can be purchased for use in its place, sand is preferable due to its low or non-existent cost and easy accessibility.

How to make sandpaper (8 steps)

Depending on the scale of your undertaking, you’ll need to select sandpaper of several grit sizes (see the following subheading). Sandpaper sheets should be suitable for little jobs, whereas wooden blocks are better suited to major ones.

In order to rub vigorously against a rough surface, you’ll need to obtain paper that is highly stiff, coarse, and textured.
Arrange your paper in a flat surface, like a table. Put another piece of paper underneath it to collect any glue or sand that could fall through the cracks.
Use a thick liquid glue to coat the paper entirely.
Spread sand evenly over the paper (using a mesh gardening sieve will make this easier).
Glue should be allowed to dry until it can be touched without sticking.
Put a board over your sandpaper and press down on it with a hefty object.
Allow the sandpaper to set for 24 hours.
It’s likely that the sandpaper you laid down on top of the other paper has become adhered to it; to separate them, you should use a knife. Once unrestricted, sandpaper can be trimmed to the exact dimensions required for your work.
If you need a sandpaper block for a bigger job, you can always create one yourself. For this, you will need to adhere your sandpaper to a wooden block as described above until it has set, and then wrap your paper around the block using adhesive. Following steps 6 and 7, you need only press it down with weights and let it sit for 24 hours to fully set.

How to choose the right sandpaper for the job

It is vital to choose the proper quality of sandpaper for your project as different grades have varied functions.

Suitable for the first sanding straight after the wood or metal has been cut.

Best used for sanding before treatment with varnish or shine.

Very nice
Suitable for smoothing a surface between applications of paint, varnish, etc.

Mostly used for the finishing touches and polishing.

If you’re working with wood, then you would normally start with coarse sandpaper and progressively move up to finer sandpaper as the wood gets smoother.
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