Make an investment in future with this home renovation course.
to renovate homes and gardens. The beauty of the course is that you can
continue working while you learn. Earn while you learn. Develop skills
in masonry, construction, carpentry, landscaping and more. Work through
the course supported by our excellent and enthusiastic tutors. They are
there to help you every step of the way.
Study 18 core modules of 100 hours each, then choose two 100 hour elective modules.
If you are not sure which modules would suit you the best, our tutors are more than happy to help and advise.
Note that each module in the Qualification - Diploma in Home Renovation is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.
Finishing Touches Add Value
The bulk of your financial and time investment in any renovation can fail to realise the return you hoped for if you don't ffinish the work well.
The finishing touches to any job can be the differnce between it being judged mediochre or exceptionally high quality.
You will learn about many of these finishing techniques in this course.
Finishing timber for instance, is an extremely important consideration which should not be overlooked. Timber which is out of sight, for instance timber studs used inside walls or the inside of the carcass of a chest of drawers may require no finish other than perhaps preservative. Timber which is visible may require finishing to prepare it for use e.g. timber flooring, or for aesthetics e.g. quality furniture. Paints provide the most durable finish, but stains, waxes and varnishes are other options. In some cases a rustic or plain wood finish may be preferable where timber is simply sanded or planed smooth.
CREATING SMOOTH SURFACES
Whether you intend to leave your woodwork project with a natural wood finish or you intend to paint, stain or varnish it, you will need to ensure that the wood has as smooth a surface as possible.
Using a Plane
For rough sawn timbers you may have to start smoothing with a plane or jointer (planer) if you have access to one. This allows you to make timber to different thicknesses to those which are available pre-planned. Before you begin to plane:
- Secure the timber in a vice.
- Examine the plane and adjust the depth of the blade to avoid taking too much off.
- Rub a little candle wax onto the plane to help it move smoothly.
- Examine the wood grain so that you are sure to be planing with the grain, and by the same token avoid planing across the grain.
- To avoid blunting the blade, always life the plane rather than drag it back to where you started.
A typical planing sequence would be to start with a jack plane and finish with a smoothing or polishing plane.
- Jack plane - used to remove rough areas of timber and flatten surfaces.
- Fore plane (trying plane) - used for final flattening of a surface.
- Smoothing plane - used for finer smoothing of timber.
- Polishing plane - used to create an even smoother finish than the smoothing plane.
To rip down a rough-sawn board:
- Start with one side and look for any raised areas. Plane these down. Flip the board over and plane the other side flat.
- Stand the board on edge and plane the upper edge flat.
- Rip down the opposite edge to within ⅛ inch of the final desired width using a saw.
- Plane down the edge to the desired depth.
Some timber surfaces may be prone to tear out where holes appear during planing. This is usually due to grain anomalies such as cross-grain or curly grain. Try planing in the opposite direction and reduce the blade depth to overcome this. If that doesn't work you may need to sand out the imperfections.
Smoothing a Face Edge and Face Side
When planing a piece of timber you can choose a face edge and face side to smooth if you don't need the other faces to be so accurate.
You can check that the face edge is straight by resting a steel straight edge on it and noting any discrepancies. Plane these down.
Check the face side is flat and level by placing a square on the face and moving it all the way down observing whether any gaps or raised areas become apparent. If they do appear, plane them down as required.
Electric sanders can be very useful for large projects since they may considerably reduce the labour involved. In other cases sanding by hand may be more practical or preferable depending on the intricacy of the work. We covered different types of sanders and sandpapers earlier in the course. You may wish to re-read some of that information now. Some general sanding advice is as follows:
- Sand with the grain - you should sand with the grain in most cases since if you sand against the grain you risk making deep scratches which can be hard to get rid of. In some instances it may be necessary to sand against the grain but even in these cases the sanding must be finished by sanding with the grain otherwise there will be blemishes in the surface. An orbital sander can be used where two grains meet at right angles (but only apply light pressure).
- Hand sand curves and difficult to reach areas - don't be tempted to try and do this with an electric sander.
- Use a series of sandpapers with each being finer than the previous one - you will need to judge the timber with a feel test and visual inspection to decide how coarse a sandpaper you begin with. If there are rough edges, scratches and dents to the surface then you will need to start with a fairly course sandpaper. Scratches left by a coarser sandpaper will be smoothed out with progressively finer sandpapers.
- Take your time - often, having spent time making something there is a tendency to hurry through the sanding because it is quite a time-consuming task. However, a little more time spent now will reap dividends when your final project is free from surface imperfections.
If you follow these steps then your timber will have a perfect surface to receive any other finishes.
Start the home renovation course at any time to suit you.
Earn while you learn, studying in the comfort of your own home, supported by our friendly, enthusiastic and highly experienced tutors.