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Woodworking Tips & Tricks General Bandsaws

The Duality of Woodworking Tools

By Willie Sandry on October, 5 2022
the benefits of having woodworking tools
The nice thing about having a well-equipped woodworking shop is the versatility of the tools at your disposal. In my shop, I like the way a good bandsaw cuts material so gracefully. Sometimes called the queen of power tools, a bandsaw's smooth directional cutting action makes it appropriate for several other tasks outside of woodworking. I continuously find myself cutting upholstery foam on the bandsaw because it makes extremely clean cuts that I can’t duplicate with scissors or other tools. The bandsaw simply produces great cuts on a wide variety of materials, which is why it's one of my favorite power tools in my shop, but there are a few others that also make the list.
cutting leather with a bandsaw
Cutting Circles Around Other Methods
Recently I needed to cut leather circles for a project I was working on, the leather was thick “veg-tanned” hide, which can be difficult to cut. During the process, I wondered how my Laguna Bandsaw would cut through this leather, so I gave it a try. Using my custom-made circle-cutting bandsaw jig, I mounted the piece of leather on the center point and advanced it into the blade. 
Screen Shot 2022-10-05 at 12.12.48 PM
Once the jig comes to rest in the working position, the leather piece can then be rotated into the blade. The results, the bandsaw cut through the leather like butter. For this interested in the circle cutting jig, click here to learn how to make one. 
general bandsaw blade cuts most materials
General Purpose Blade handles Most Tasks
Fortunately, there’s no need for a specialty blade when cutting thick leather. Almost any general-purpose blade will work just fine. I typically keep a ½” ProForce Blade on my bandsaw for general woodworking cuts, and this same blade worked fine with leather as well.  
different edge sander uses
Edge Sanders 
Leather can be sanded, buffed, or burnished with a variety of power tools. A medium grit sanding belt quickly removes the fuzz from the bandsaw cut.  
skiving leather for chairs on edge sander
Skiving Leather with Edge Sander
Occasionally I’ll need to thin out leather to make straps for chair cushions. The straps are folded 4 layers thick, which can get stiff and bulky if you leave the leather at full thickness. Specialty bell skivers are out there to solve this issue, but they are quite expensive, and they also only offer one sole use, unlike a sander. Everyone knows a edge sander has a vareity of uses not only in woodworking but also in other craft usages. I find using a coarse belt helps remove material quickly. Check Lagunas Edge Sander line up here
shop vac hack
Shop Vac 
While not as cool as Laguna's Dust Collector lineup, a simple shop vacuum has many uses. I have one attached to my router table for woodworking but have also discovered an interesting use for a shop vac for upholstery applications. I’ve found that the easiest way to stuff cushions, is to place the foam cushion into a garbage bag and then use the shop vac to draw out the air. This helps compress the cushion to a fraction of its original size, allowing you to handle it much easier. Once the cushion is inserted into the cover, remove the garbage bag and watch in amazement as your cushion puffs up to full size.  
hack saw woodworking
Hacksaw works for Wood and Metal 
Most would argue that a hacksaw isn’t a tool for fine woodworking, but I sometimes use one to crosscut dowels. A hacksaw also works great for cutting zinc and lead came for leaded glass projects.  
painters pyramid hacks
Painter’s Pyramids
If you do a lot of wood finishing, you might be familiar with these plastic pyramids. These little pyramids allow you to finish both sides of wood panels, without having to wait for one side to dry. They’re also great for supporting leaded glass panels when applying patina to the metal frame. You’ll be surpised at the amount of use these can help with in woodworking scenarios and other applications.
craft use for staple gun

A Staple in Many Crafts.  A staple gun is often thought of as a construction tool, and indeed wide crown staplers are used in home building.  Here, a specialty upholstery stapler attaches traditional jute webbing to a piece of furniture.  It shoots 23-gauge fine wire staples, which is standard fare in the upholstery trade.

best bandsaws
Willie Sandry is a Freelance Writer for several woodworking magazines, tool tester, blogger, and crafter in all things wood and leather. He specializes in Arts and Crafts style projects, including building and restoring antique rocking chairs and making custom upholstery too!

Check out Willie’s latest projects on his YouTube channel The Thoughtful Woodworker

Always make safety a priority in your shop. Wear safety glasses and personal protective equipment.  Safety equipment may have been removed for demonstration purposes. Always use all appropriate safety equipment.

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