Ask Our Experts

 

 

This section is designed for hobbyist wooworkers in India who need guidance, tips, advice and so on. To ask a question please post your queries in the comments box below this page. We cannot promise to satisfactorily answer all your queries but we will give it our best shot. Thanks!


Reader's Questions:


Hello Indranil,
Greetings from Delhi!
My carpenter has just finished a small woodworking project at my home which includes:
In Rubberwood:
1. Two simplest study tables about 16 in x 30 in (including one with keyboard)
2. A 40 in x 40 in chest of drawers
3. A 8 ft x 2 ft 2 in bookshelf
4. A 19 in x 19 in hanging shelf (four mini shelves joined together to form a + sign in the middle)
In plyboard with teak veneer:
1. Almira with sliding doors
2. A sliding door.
After reading your blog which I found a couple of days ago and after looking at some of your finishes, I am inspired to polish/finish the above mentioned items myself (probably with some help from a semi-skilled worker). And while your blogs are extremely useful, I still have some queries related to this.
Can you please answer the following queries:
1. What sandpaper (grit strength) should I use to sand the rubberwood?
2. What sandpaper should I use to sand the teak veneer?
3. Should I use shellac instead of the conditioner on rubberwood like you suggested recently? If yes, can you suggest me which shellac to use and where to buy it?
4. When using shellac as a conditioner, how do we dilute it?
5. I want to colour the rubberwood a darker colour than its natural one as I find the natural colour a bit bland. What colour would you recommend?
6. Should I stain the rubber wood with a water based stain or an oil based stain?
7. Can you recommend a rubberwood stain brand?
8. For the teak veneer items, what stain would you recommend?
9. Can you point me to detailed guides on a. sanding b. conditioning c. staining and d. finishing?
It's become a long dhobi list of questions and I apologize for the same. My situation is urgent as I am not sure if the finisher/polisher recommended by the carpenter would do a good job of polishing and your guidance in this matter is highly appreciated.
Regards
Indranil Replies:  In view of your many questions, I think I should charge you consultancy fees!
As for your questions, my brief replies:
1. 240 should do
2. None or at best 320
3. Yes. Good Shellac (de-waxed blond) is available only in Calcutta.
4. Use spirit (rectified spirit, ethyl alcohol)
5. Colour is a very personal choice
6. Either
7. No - check your local store or Tilak bazar
8. None
9. Plenty iinfo on the web - try searching with google.co.in
best of luck


Dear Indranil
I may be wrong, but I have sometimes seen Indiamart.com advertise on your blog. I would like to tell you of 2 experiences I’ve had with buying from Indiamart, and I wonder if this is common to experiences anybody else has had. If so then what have they done about it else if not don’t think too badly about me whining. This is one of the few things I do well.
Sometime ago I bought a dinning table from a fantastic carpenter from Chennai. He has a website shaktiganapati.com, and I recommend all woodworkers to see this. As with all craftsmen, he is neither punctual, nor particularly sensitive to the inconvenience that he is causing you. He said I could have my table in September, but forgot to mention which year.
One of things he suggests, no demands, that I polish my table and chairs once every year or so, and do this using tung oil. Tung oil is imported and is generally difficult to find, so after a google search I found that indiamart had some listings of people who import this stuff. I contacted a guy in Mumbai, and he said he’d be happy to supply me a liter or so of the oil and would send me the stuff by courier to Goa. “Sure you deposit the money and I’ll do it the next day.” I asked him for his bank details to deposit the money for price of oil plus courier charges, and unlike me I deposited the money forthwith. So far so good. Now came the wait. Then came the refusal to answer my phones calls. Then “sorry I was out of town, I’ll do it just now.” Then “Actually my son handles this, and he is out of town.” After four weeks or so, when he finally answered my phone, he says “Aaray, I cannot send it by courier, can you pick it up from here?” I told him I live in Goa, and since he had me by the short and curlies, I asked if he would deliver it to my office in Mumbai. “Sure, I’ll do it just now.” Two weeks later the stuff arrived in my office.
My second bad experience with Indiamart is all your fault Indranil. After waxing eloquence about Timbermate, I just had to have it. Not being a fast learner, I went back to Indiamart and found that there was a supplier in Bangalore who said “of course” to when I asked for a kilo of Timbermate in natural shade. And “of course” to couriering it to me in Goa. “Just send me an email with your order and address, money for Timbermate and courier charges, and I’ll do it the next day.” Sound familiar. Thanking Tim Berners-lee for the magic that is email, I sent him an order for one kilo Timbermate, natural shade. Again uncharacteristically I sent him the money the very same day. Two days later he emails back saying he can supply me 5 kilos instead of one and while the courier cost will remain the same, the cost of Timbermate will be 5 times more. I said OK, and sent him another email with the change in order and sent him the money. Then came… you guessed it, the wait. Then came “sir last week was eid.” Then came “sorry I forgot.” Then “What colour you said you wanted again?” Then “How much did you say you wanted?” Then “yes…yes… I’m sending it. You’re not my only customer.” 6 weeks later no Timbermate. Being at my wit’s end, I finally got in touch with the receptionist at our office in Bangalore and told her of my woes. Now this lady is not one to take lightly. If she puts her mind to hounding somebody, they know they are being hounded, and people usually will very quickly do what she asks so as to become un-hounded. Even with her intervention, it took two more weeks. Can you imagine how resilient this supplier is? Quite admirable actually.
My point is, and I’m sorry this is taking so long, why should these simple requests of stuff the suppliers have in their shops take so long to come to the customer. Indiamart puts me in touch with these suppliers, what kind of vetting process do they do ensure that the BtoC connection is easier than this. I have tried to get in touch with people at Indiamart, but I only get as far as some call centre, which hangs up on me when I say the word ‘compliant.’
Is there anybody else in this boat?
Umaji
Indranil replies: I've had mixed results with Indian vendors; some have proved excellent and I stick with them ,particularly those based in Gujarat. They tend to be professional but almost all Indian vendors renege on timelines and are very poor at answering email. My experience with Chinese suppliers has been tremendous; they are just too good, get back in no time, willing to negotiate small orders and will adjust prices and quanitites to suit the small buyer. No wonder China is leagues ahead of us.



Vishal Bhardwaj (13 April 2015)
My question is not about proper wood-working, but about wood whittling, which is something I really want to take up as a hobby, and I hope you can help. I'd like to start out with small fugurines, etc. and maybe later move on to bigger and more elaborate carving. At present, I intend to keep it fairly simple and use either one of my pocket knives (Victorinox SAK, Opinel No.8) or some dedicated, short, fixed-bladed carving knife. I made one attempt using the Opinel knife and a small block of scrap unknown wood that was lying around at home. But it was quite hard and extremely coarse-grained, which meant that it kept splitting/splintering, and also the surface is quite unevenly porous.
Please guide me as to which woods would be best to start out with. I have read on some American blogs that Basswood, Balsa and Pine are good softwoods, but I'm not sure how easily available they are in India, and whether they are known by any other names here. Since I am located in Mumbai (and occasionally in Pune), what might be the best way to procure small pieces (ie., should I buy the wood or can I just get scrap wood pieces from carpenters).
Also, do you have any advice about a decent carving/whittling knife that I should use?
Col Bala replies:
Vishal, Greetings! Whittling requires just a pocket knife. There are quite a few specialised whittling knife, out there. Start searching Junglee.com. Amazon might carry decent blades. Here is one link. http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&docId=1001758261 . For wood, Check out with a scrap wood dealer in Mumbai or Pune. If you contact the ammunition depot at Dehu road, they might have the packing cases, which usually is made of soft wood. It is occasionally auctioned over there. One odd box will keep you busy for some time. You can even check at the port. Being from Mumbai, there shouldn’t be any dearth of resources.  For knives, look for a street vendor. These days they stock pretty good variety and quality of knives. And all the best to you.
Zain replies:
Pine wood is widely available in india. Most large lumber dealers will have it. Though commonly available variety of pine may not be ideal for wittling as they tend to be splinter prone. Balsa wood can be sourced from model aircraft shops present in major metros. Look for online  forums to for more help. Poplar is grown in north india can be a decent wittling wood. Though almost all of it goes to paper pulp and ply industry. Hill stations in north can have deodar and walnut which is good for wittling. Some small pieces probably could be brought from there. Law does not allow transport of such wood out side the states like J&K and Himachal.



Umaji [2 January 2015]I am looking to buy a band saw, while I don't want to pay the earth for one, I'd like one that is sturdy and a good addition to a DIY workshop.

Col Bala replies: 
Your best bet is Metabo. There are many models available. I own a Metabo BAS-317 precision. Yeah it is an ok Bandsaw. You can check there website here http://www.metabo.com/Product-catalogue-halfstationary-and-stationary-tools.24047+M523d8328a73.0.html. Address to contact
Carborundum Universal Limited (Powertools Division)
77, Jigani-Bommasandra Link Road, Jigani Industrial Area
IND - 562106 BANGALORE
(+91) 80 30937300
(+91) 80 27839040
powertools@cumi.murugappa.com
www.cumi-murugappa.com

I do not know of any Indian Bandsaw manufactures for hobbyists. Most manufacturers here have professional band saws of huge sizes.



 Girish G Khapre11 October, 2014
Dear Sir,
I am trying to develop my wood working hobby by watching videos, blogs and creating household item from few years. Your blog is very informative and you are helping all for resolving their queries.
Recently I have made a simple shoe rack, a L shaped sitting in living room and a box type bed using mostly 18 mm plywood.
But while selecting plywood I am always confused which I should select. In Pune plywood are available from Rs 60 to 120 per sq ft , they are of softwood (saw-dust is of light brown color), Gurjen (saw dust is dark brown color), block-board. I have used gurjen for bed and sofa, and softwood from Shoe rack.
Please let me know I choose correct plywood or not.
Also I am planning to make wall hanging cabinet for kitchen. And thinking of using block-board because I heard that block board carry heavy load and do not sag. Also can I make dove tail joints in block-board?
Thank you for creating such a wonderful blog.
Girish Khapre,
Pune
Col Bala Replies:
Hi Girish,
Pleased to know, you are into woodworking and building things for yourself. Here are some answer to your query
1.      Go through this web site http://blog.positiveindians.in/ patiently. By the time you finish, I am sure you will have adequate knowledge of plywood, laminates etc.
2.      The costlier the plywood, the more even and fuller the sheets of ply.
3.      You would buy plywood depending upon your usage. If it is something that has to bear wait then better plywood would be required.
4.      When you buy ply, run your hand on the entire sheet and looks of bumps etc.
5.      Gurjen wood ply is a quiet a tough ply.
6.      For kitchen use a marine plywood/board, water proof. As Kitchen is considered to be wet area. You can use block board if it is marine type. I would recommend block board for shelving etc, because it is less likely to bend under weight. But make sure the edge are covered with hardwood and trimmed flush.
7.      You cannot make dovetail on blockboard. It will never hold. On plywood you can make box joints. Dovetails on plywood, I have never tried it, it will not be crisp I guess. Best is pocket hole joinery or butt joints with glue and nails on block board. 


Ray 12 August 2014:
1. I don't have a drill press but I have my eye on a Porter Cable forstner bit set on Amazon. Will I be able to use it with a regular (non-hammer) multi-speed drill running at its low speed?
I've read about drill guides (I'd like to avoid buying one because it'll serve a very limited purpose) and also about a trick where you drill a hole in a template board which you then use to guide a hand drill with forstner bits of the same size as the hole.
2. What kind of double sided tape (readily available in India) can one use to pin down a workpiece for routing? I searched eBay India and they mostly have thin rolls of foam tape
Zain Replies:Yes you can use forstner bit in a hand held drill.  . You can use 3/4" plywood with holes drilled at appropriate places and with a strip of 1-2 inch plywood at the edge/s to register distance if holes from edge of material. For instance if you use a hittech euro 35mm hinge for cabinet doors you need the edge if the 35mm hole 4mm from the edge of the door.  So your registration strip should be screwed over the plywood containing the guide hole such that the edge of hole is 4mm from the registration strip. You would of course need to clamp the guide board with the material being drilled, so the guide needs to be designed to accomodate clamps.
In most cases use carpet tape which looks like a cheese cloth and is quite thin. It has subsantial holding power(can be used while routing) and using too much of it can cause problems while removing it. Foam tape is quite thick and has much less holding power. It also will not old while routing.
Col Bala: You can use a Frostner Bit with a hand drill. All you have to do is mark the center point, wherever you are drilling, put the center spike of the drill bit into it. Steady the drill and use a square to set it at 90 deg. Run the drill at a low speed. You should be able to get a fairly good hole. Before you jump at buying the porter cable set, buy a 35mm hinge boring bit from the market and try it. Make yourself comfortable with it. You can watch this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J582q2BXJtY while you are at it and make yourself a hand drill drillpress.

Umaji: Col. Sir, I read your reply to the query posted by Pragayaal, and I am afraid I did not understand exactly what you did, is it possible to get (dare I say it) a better explanation. Perhaps even some pictures. I don't seem to be able to visualise what you have done. Second, a friend of mine, (I'm working on him to join this blog) has rescued some wood from the windows that he has changed in his house. He now wants to get this wood milled to size, and has asked me to help. I'm a little reluctant because I don't know if there are any nails embedded in the wood that will mess up the blades of my milling machine. I want to help him, but is there a way of finding out if there are any nasty metal objects hiding in his wood. Do you think the wand that is used at airport security will be able to help. If so then where can I get one, if not, then how do you think, I can resolve this issue.
Col. Bala:
I will post a video in a weeks time. At present I am out of town.I will tell you exactly how to go about it. As for as embedded nails are concerned, you are right you need a metal detector and the one used at security points would do very well. However checkout for deep metal dectectors in the market. There are some at amazon you may like to see. Just search for 'Lumber Metal detectors'. They all are quite expensive, but you might find them to be cheaper in the local hardware market.


Pragyaal Sharma 10 May 2014: I want to make dowel joints, unfortunately I am not able to find dowels in local market of pune. Could someone suggest some other alternative. I tried to make dowels as in some youtube videos but its not working out for me, looks bit complex. I even tried to make dowels of pencil bit they split on hitting with hammer. Can bamboo be used as dowels? (Hollow from inside)

Col. Bala Replies: Out here I make dowels from a dowel cutter. Take a piece of ¼” thick steel strip available at Loha Mandi / shops selling steel pipes etc. You can drill a hole about the size of dowel you want to make, say 3/8” or get it drill from a machinist shop.  Now cut a piece about 8” long from the wood you want to make dowel with and size it to 3/8” square. Taper one side with a knife, so that it  just fits into the hole in the steel strip. Chuck the other end into a hand held drill and drive it through the hole. You will have your dowel.  I have made plenty of dowels of all sizes like this. Bamboo dowels may be available in any wood shop where they make doors.


Anonymous  18 March 2014: I have painted a chair (spray painted) and I now wish to give it an antique finish. Most people suggest using a faux glaze (which is not available in India). Would you be able to tell me an alternate to achieve the antique finish or if faux glaze is available in IndiaRs.  Here's a reference of the look I am aiming to get: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-8FQ-rk72SKE/Tfjzmq2TspI/AAAAAAAADZo/SVH7RuNq2uQ/s1600/glazing+furniture.jpg

Zain Replies: You can use stain to glaze a painted surface. Apply a couple of coats of laquer once the stain has dried. Another point to keep in mind is always use gloss or semigloss paints as base for glaze can use stain to glaze a painted surface. Apply a couple of coats of laquer once the stain has dried. 


Umaji, 12 March 2014: One of the issues that I've had is starting with woodworking is the the amount of time I need to spend in getting wood square, planed, and the right size, is so long that i forget what it is that I am doing. I noticed in your workshop Col. you had a Metabo thicknesser. Other than Gurgaon is there anywhere else, say of the west coast of India, that I can try and buy one. Any help on this will be appreciated.


Col. Bala Replies: I have given the details in Ask the expert section on Indranils Blog site. You can read that. If you still have question do revert back.


Beeru, 12 March 2014:  Can anybody tell me what kinds of drill bits are best used on wood? Do I really need to buy high-end, branded bits or will the local ones do? Thank.

Col. Bala replies:You can use both twist drill bits as well as bit specially for wood, It is called Brad Point  bit (See attached pic). It has a narrow point at the top which helps in gripping the wood.

Brad Point Bit
The other type of wood bit is the Forstner bit. This is used for drilling large holes and again has a center point for gripping the wood. There is yet another type called the spade bit.
Spade Bit

Usually this bit is used with a hand drill for making large holes. Then there are what is called a Auger bits. Again used with hand drill. This has a screw point to begin the hole. These are usually very long and you can drill long holes.
Coming to branded vs local. There are high quality twist drill bits made here in India especially from JK Industries. These are used in Industries and are very expensive but last very long.
Wood bits are also available from Bosch as well as Dewalt. Quality bits are made from hardened steel and last far longer. You find mostly Chinese stuff in the market. Use and throw them away.


Forstner Bit
Forstner bits are available from Stanley tools and also Chinese makes. You may not find good quality wood bit in the local market.

Zain Replies:  The Metro cash and carry store in Hyderabad carries a decent brad point drill bit set. Bosch drill bits are rated well all over the world. For wood it is better to have bradpoint drill bits. My experience with drill bits has been interesting: some of the cheapest unbranded bits that I purchased have turned out to be much better than ones costing many times more.
Bits do tend to dull after a period of time. You will find it difficult to make clean holes after a period of time. The solution is to sharpen them. It requires a wheel based sharpening. Only the top portion of the bit needs to be sharpened. I suspect that somebody who sharpens knives could sharpen bits as they just need to be held at a particular angle.
There are a number of videos on Youtube on sharpening bits.


Faizul, 7 March 2014: I am also a hobbyist woodworker. Could you help me in locating some good shops in Chawri Bazaar selling Router Bits? Need these bits for mortising on my Router.

Col. Bala replies: Unfortunately in Chawri Bazar you will mostly find chinese made router bit sets. They are good for a short while and you have to throw them out. I buy my router bits from Yash Tooling system. They make excellant bits and they will custom design the profile you want. It depends on the shank size and over all size of bits. If they have bearing etc. Anywhere from Rs. 280/- to Rs 1000/- plus per bit. Carbides are more expensive. They have an office in Nagloi. The address is Plot No-12, Assam Timber Market, Near Rajdhani Park Metro Station Mundka Nagoli, ND-110041. They are about 800 meter from the Metro station. You can contact Mr Jaysukh Patel-9312980623. Hope this helps.


Faizul, 10 March 2014: Thank you Sir for your valuable feedback.
Couldn't help asking about the thicknesser (metabo) in the picture. I wonder how much has it costed you. Are the blades resharpenable and available in india. The quick acting clamps that has been picture is no longer sold by stanley. Any help on getting these clamps around delhi would be highy appreciated.
Thank you once again.

Col. Bala Replies: Faizul, You are welcome.  The Metabo Planer/thicknesser in 2009 costed 93,900/-  Now a days Metabo is handled by Carborundum. You can contact Mr Suresh. His phone No. is 9845593993. He is based in Bangalore. I would not recommend this machine. Though it gives a very clean cut. Setting the blades is a real pain. Yes, the blades can be resharpened. In fact I have two set of Carbide blades. It lasts me for a couple years, since I don’t do any production work.  You can also check out Jai Industries CombiMax at http://www.jaiindustries.com/products/wudpro/product.php?cat=Combiplaners&subcat=Max%20Models&proid=Combimax&modelno=J-1018

You will have to find out from them as to who their dealer is in Delhi

For clamps, You can check with PT-Hitech  in Chawri Bazar. He has lot of different type of clamps. Also you can check Krishan lal Aggarwal store in the same lane, next to Bosch showroom. He is the dealer for Bessey K body clamps, quick release clamps etc though they are very expensive. Hope this helps


Comments

  1. Dear Experts, I am contemplating between Bosch 450 RE Carton Drill Kit and Bosch GSB 500 RE Power Tool Kit.

    I know Bosch GSB 500 RE Power Tool Kit comes with some extra accessories like hammer etc but please factor only the main drill machine for bench marking.

    What EXTRA features (other than the 500W vs 450W power) will Bosch GSB 500 RE Power Tool Kit provide me with?

    Thanks and regards
    mohan

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well, as I can see it, if you don't own any tools and you are the occasional DIY types helping around the house, you can go for any of these kits. If you see, the GS 500 RE also comes with an adjustable wrench,spirit level, hex sockets and probably a tape measure, I am not sure, where as the 450 RE doesn't. So more goodies are there and the price difference between the two is not much I guess.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for your response - looking just at the main drilling machine what can I do more with Bosch GSB 500 RE that I cannot do with Bosch GSB 450 RE.

    Also, what does RE mean ?
    thanks and regards
    mohan

    ReplyDelete
  4. Mohan,
    I do not see any major difference between the two. And I am not sure what the extra 50W is going to achieve, may be easier on the masonary. Your other question RE means it can run Reverse, has Electronic speed control that is variable speed. If you want to know more on this please read this FB link https://www.facebook.com/notes/estore-singapore/bosch-power-tool-insider-guide-decoding-bosch-power-tools-namesmodel/604791649531553. Hope this satisfies your query.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for all the help Bala, much appreciated.
    thanks and regards
    mohan

    ReplyDelete
  6. Col.Bala Sir,

    Your Workshop looks very inspiring, especially your Metabo thicknesser planar.Its an honour to have a person like you with such experience guiding us on this blog.

    I very much understand to start a work working project , planed wooden pieces are key, for which planar thickness er is a must. I have read your earlier comments where you have mentioned that you would not recommend metabo & and suggested
    Jai minimax. I have a query here, how safe are indian planar- thicknesers. Is there any easy way where we can purchase these key imported equipments at affordable price in India like in US & Europe.

    I have a Request for Mr.Faizul... if he has already purchased Jai mini max, kindly share your experience about using the machine.

    Cheers & happy Hobbying

    ReplyDelete
  7. Kalyan, the only sore point about the metabo planer/thicknesser is setting the blade to the correct height above the fixed table which happens to be 0.1mm above. A Planer like Hammer/Felder have a jig to set the blade to the correct height. Some have disposable blades and have fixed position for the blade hence no adjustment is required.

    Metabo give a tool which is nothing but two marks 3mm apart on a hollow aluminium block called the setting gauge. Now this is a trail and error method, takes lot of practice to get it right. You waste a lot of time in that.

    Coming to why you need to set the blade: In simple terms if the blade is lower than the table, it will start tapering the work piece which is good if you are making tapered legs for a table or chair, instead of preparing the stock.

    If it is too high it will start chipping the wood as the end piece passes through. I will make a complete write up on planers and thicknesser by mid june and post it right here.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Col.Bala Sir,

    I have yet to purchase the Jai Minimax, but I have given myself to a local carpenter as an apprentice, who happens to have this machine. I can say that it is fairly good machine as far as thicknessing goes. you need to adjust the machine table properly to get a goood result(There are lots of variables on these types of machines which needs to be fine tuned). The local carpenters uses the eyeball technique to do just about everything, which is not so accurate. but if you have proper guage like dial indicator, then you can get good reslut out of these indian machines (These machines are as safe as their american counterpart). I would also suggest anyone buying these machines to get themselves a pair of Jai Set Max Blade setting Jig. YOu will also find difficulty in thicknessing wood stock of less than 10 mm satisfactorily. I have found less problems with the machine than with the user.(The local carpenter even sharpen the long planer blades by Hand without any setups to ensure an accurate and uniform edge along the blade.) If anyone is an hobbyist and a weekend worker, then I would suggest to go for Makita Thicknesser which is available in India costing around 60000 Rs. It is small but highly accurate. Anyone spending this amount should be an avid woodworker who would continue this hobby for long.
    Kalyan :
    You can get your wood planed/thicknessed at a local lumber yard for a small price. If you are a newbie to woodworking,I would suggest that you get a good electric planer (Bosch GHO 26-82, with fixed single Carbide blade that needs no setting for parallelism, which is a huge pain, as rightly said by Col.Bala) This should get your Job done, as for any starter projects, you will hardly need lumber greater that 3". For The areas requiring flat surfaces, you can use a good quality Plywood, that needs no planing. Hope this helps.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Dear Experts! :)

    I am happy to read your blog... thank you for sharing your views..



    I enjoy working with wood, making small things like Photo frames, wall shelves, toys for kids .. etc. I do maintain a collection of basic hand tools, and have a passion for perfection.

    Currently I am looking for a good hand held circular saw with less noise and helps in precise cuts.


    Can you please suggest a saw that fits my requirement and available in India? ( I live in Bengaluru )


    Thanks , and have a nice day!.




    Praveen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Praveen: Most people are looking exactly the same atrributes in a circular saw. There are so many companies that make circular saws these days that it is difficult to recommend any one saw over the other. I have a Bosch circular saw which has served me well but it is an old model; Makita makes some good saws and so do a host of other local producers. Perhaps you could check out my list of power tool makers/sellers in India at http://indiandiy.blogspot.in/2013/02/power-tool-companies-in-india.html.

      Recently, I came across details of a small hand held circular saw by Bosch: Light & easy! Innovative 6” dual gear saw for 7” cutting

      Innovative dual gear system for 66mm max. cutting depth with 165mm saw blade

      Robust design for long-lasting operating in various kinds of applications

      Brake function for user-friendly

      Check it out here http://bosch-pt.co.in/in/en/professional/power-tools/c131487/p120979/hand-held-circular-saws/gks-66-x.html

      Its a small saw and I would prefer s small one compared to the heavy one I have.

      best wishes

      Delete
  10. Sir,xI have a Bosch gts 10j table saw. The problem is the dust that flies when I am working on it. Can u please recommend a good shop vacuum and dust extractor which is available here in india

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don: I have the same problem. Dust will fly, no matter what. I run a dust extractor which minimises the dust problem but does not eliminate it. Use any dust extractor - Bosch sells several makes, so does Karcher, Makita and many others. They are all the same.

      Delete
    2. Sir which one do u recommend. Something which is not too pricey but does the job. The ones I have seen online are all home vacuum cleaners.

      Delete
    3. Don: I have a couple of Bosch dust extractors and they serve me well. Try the GAS 15 or 20L models. They allow power tools to be plugged in for automatic off-on.

      Delete
  11. Dear Sirs

    I recently bought some router bits from Lohar Chawl. Now I understand that the routers comes in 2 standard sizes for the thingamajig under the cutting face. My router a Hitachi model, bought on line, came with 2 collets and I happily using the smaller one (I think .25 inch), however the new bits that I bought had bigger (0.5 inch or 12.7mm) thingamajigs now this does not fit the bigger collet that came with my router.

    Now my first question is am I doing something wrong. Second how do I get them to fit my router?

    Please help

    Umaji

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Umaji: You will have to get a collet that corresponds to the size of the router bit shank, which in this case is half inch or 12.7mm. Trouble is all routers have a maximum collet size they can accommodate. Check with your Hitachi dealer to see if your router can take a half inch collet and whether this size collet is indeed available for your router. If not you will either have to get a router with a half inch shank collet or junk the half inch shank bits you got.

      Delete
  12. Dear Sirs,

    My question is not about proper wood-working, but about wood whittling, which is something I really want to take up as a hobby, and I hope you can help. I'd like to start out with small fugurines, etc. and maybe later move on to bigger and more elaborate carving. At present, I intend to keep it fairly simple and use either one of my pocket knives (Victorinox SAK, Opinel No.8) or some dedicated, short, fixed-bladed carving knife. I made one attempt using the Opinel knife and a small block of scrap unknown wood that was lying around at home. But it was quite hard and extremely coarse-grained, which meant that it kept splitting/splintering, and also the surface is quite unevenly porous.
    Please guide me as to which woods would be best to start out with. I have read on some American blogs that Basswood, Balsa and Pine are good softwoods, but I'm not sure how easily available they are in India, and whether they are known by any other names here. Since I am located in Mumbai (and occasionally in Pune), what might be the best way to procure small pieces (ie., should I buy the wood or can I just get scrap wood pieces from carpenters).
    Also, do you have any advice about a decent carving/whittling knife that I should use?

    Thanks and regards,
    Vishal Bhardwaj

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vishal: I know very little about whittling and suitable woods but I will put your question to our experts and see what they have to say.

      Delete
  13. can anybody tell me that whether anygood wood turning /carving tools are available in india or not.specially those carbide tipped ones

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Akshay, tried to find out but nobody could tell me much. There are power tools available with some importers but you will have to find out for yourself.

      Delete
  14. Anonymous01 June, 2015

    Can acrylic be routed the same way as wood? I am particularly interested in edge routing acrylic, poly-carbonate, faux marble etc.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Yes, they can be but best done with specialised router bits as the plastic can melt or chip in some cases.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous23 June, 2015

    Hi, My query is nto about woodworking but you may be able to help. I have a galvanised steel trunk that i want to paint and use for storage as well as a table. I'm a total novice like most indians are! How do i go about it? Did some basic reading on the net and what i understood was that i need to sandpaper it, apply a primer and then paint. But these were all foreign products! What will be our indian equivalent of the brands? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All these products are available in India. Visit your local paint shop - all materials and advice will be available.

      Delete
  17. Hi Indranil,

    I am planning to build a simple work bench table using plywood. The problem is I don't how to choose the right plywood for my work. I inquired a bunch of local shops and found the price fluctuation between different brands to be very high.
    The following brands are available in the shops of my locality
    1. Magna Plywood
    2. Sambrone Plywood (ignore spelling)
    3. Ellora Plywood (ignore spelling)
    4. Mysore Gold
    5. Virat
    6. Tigar
    7. Centura
    8. GreenPly

    I couldn't know more on the company and quality except greenply (which is 2x costlier than other brands), google returned nothing. If possible could you comment on the quality of the above brands and suggest me a option if you have came across before?

    I am looking for a commercial grade (ordinary) plywood of 18mm thickness. I am new to wood working and I am unsure of my decisions. should I go for Boiling Waterproof ply for table top or will ordinary plywood with mica laminate do good?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ParokshaX: First of all, congratulations on deciding to build a workbench! You are halfway there already.
      As for particular plywood brands, it is impossible to tell because there literally are hundreds of them, some good, some tolerable and others extremely bad. Get a piece of GreenPly or Century (which are among the better brands) and check out the core for yourself, then compare them with others. The core should be of consistent layers, extremely compact, gap free and the wood used on the exterior should be hard. Usdually the inner layers are made of pretty low grade wood.
      I think ordinary grade plywood is good enought for most interior jobs.
      For a sturdy workbench top you might consider using two layers of 19 or 18mm board instead of plywood. Once glued together and laminated they will not flex and last you a long time. Also be prepared to put strusses below the boards to prevent slight sagging over time. best of luck.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for your quick reply. For bench top by 'board' do you mean particle board?
      Also what is a struss that you mentioned?
      I have designed the workbench in sketchup with 18mm plywood in my mind. It is a standing workbench of 1 meter high with an work area or 2.1 x 0.9 meter. It would be primarily for computer and electronics work with all the equipment on the bench and over the rack. I would like to hear your opinion on the design, shall I share the design with you?

      Delete
    3. Not particle board but ply board, which does not sag as much as plywood.
      Also, I assumed you want a woodworking workbench which generally require to be very flat, not sag and extremely sturdy. For computer and electronics work a much lighter duty bench would suffice. Do share your design by emailing me at indian.woodworker@gmail.com

      Delete
  18. Zain says: "Probably you tend to put more pressure in the beginning and a little less towards the end of the cut. Also if the edge of the table at the back of the blade is higher than the rest of the table you might get this problem.
    Check the top of the table for uneven surface using a long straight edge. Keep even pressure on material being cut throughout the cut.
    Also use a push block while nearing the end of cut.
    There could also be play in the gears which raise the blade. Ensure that the height of the blade is locked. Also check the height of blade before cutting and after cutting a test cut if you think the Arbor of the blade is dropping down after a while. "

    ReplyDelete
  19. Dear Expert(s),

    In the specs for a portable impact drill, I observe this - "Drilling capacity - 35mm (wood) ". Is reference being made to a 35mm Forstner bit ? If so, what would the shank diameter of such a bit be? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vinod, thought I had replied to you but evidently not. Apologies. My Made in China 35mm Forstner bit has a 9mm shank but I am told it could be anything between 8mm and 10mm.

      Delete
    2. Thanks Indranil. I gather the "35mm" would in fact refer to a Forstner bit.

      Delete
  20. Dear Expert(s),

    would you please suggest me , which circular saw blade i should use for cutting an acrylic sheet of 1mm thickness? or can i just use some knife for cutting it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chandu, you could useany blade with your circular saw to cut acrylic but multi-material cutting blade wtih 60 teeth might be better. You could also cut it with a hacksaw or by scoring and snapping.

      Delete
    2. Chandu ..... there is in fact a special hand tool to cut acrylic. The blade is slightly different. I had initially used a regular sharp knife but it did a bad job and left jagged edges. By sheer luck I found the actual knife needed in a small hardware shop and it did a very good job. The link below is to only show you the special blade needed.

      http://www.dickblick.com/products/logan-acrylic-plastic-cutter/

      Delete
  21. Hi Indranil,

    I am not into woodwork per say, but more of a wood carving and small artifacts making enthusiast. With the enthu to pick up this as a hobby, I am looking for some place near Noida (Sec-50) to be precise to get some small wood blocks to start out. Any suggestions for this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Try the Harola Market (Sector 9) - you should find something.

      Delete
  22. Hello Indranil,
    My name is Sivakumar, am from Chennai. Used to live in Hyderabad for about 8 years. First let me appreciate you on the woodworking passion and the blog. Both are great and am sure it has brought many like minded people together. Am in touch with Somu from Woodooz. Coming to the discussion, I had written to you about box hardware couple of days ago. I guess my post is lost or still finding its way through the approval cycle. Anyways, wanted to know where you buy your small hinges, hasps and box handles for smaller jewellery boxes? Finding it in local hardwares in Chennai and Hyderabad is next to impossible. Online stores like Aliexpres and etcy.com only sell in huge quantities or price is too high. Any place in India who sell online?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sivakumar, I had replied in detail to your query. Which section did you post your question? Anyway, to repeat, not too many shops keep such hardware but I have found two in Delhi who do and I source it from them. Most of this hardware is sourced from China big importers. I have used aliexpress and their price is not too high and you can get small quantities (20 pieces or so) at a go. I don't think there are any online stores in India that sell such stuff; or at least I haven't found any. I am sure that there are shops in Chennai that sell such stuff but you will have to find them. Best of luck.

      Delete
  23. Hello Indranil, Thank you for the speedy reply. Yeah that's a problem, I did post my earlier query in the boxes section, but did not find it there. So I reposted it today. Where in Delhi you get these, if you can give address/phone I have some friends who can pick it up for me. When you buy from Aliexpress, am afraid, the 20 pieces will be the same design/shape and size right? Once I did try to order from Aliexpress and I found that they don't deliver in my area. Post that I lost interest in that avenue. Have been trying my hand at carpentry for 2 years now. Slowly picking tools which are required for various tasks. Youtube has been my guru. Though not good at taking photographs of projects for explaining, am in the process of developing a blog. Will keep you posted. Thank you once again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sivakumar, you are welcome! I don't have the address or phone of the shop but I plan to visit Chawri Bazar sometime in mid-January. I'll get their contact details then and post it here. best wishes

      Delete
  24. Hi sir, i am a wood working hobbyist from Chennai. I started out making some scroll saw work and router based carving and slowly have just moved into making small boxes and cabinets for my home. Recently i managed to make my self a table saw from my Circular saw. Surprisingly that has come out accurate enough than expected. But unfortunately all my plywood projects even after having a coats of spray acrylic clear or touchwood coating done, seem to start building up some white powdery stuff on them. Not sure what or why. Can you help me on the same and how to avoid this.

    You can check my work on https://web.facebook.com/Bezalal-Blessing-Works-856029764456361/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Daniel, great work! As for your white powdery problem, I am afraid I don't get it. Please explain in gerater detail and post some photos. best wishes

      Delete
    2. Thank you for the comment on my work Mr. Indranil. I will share it some pics soon. In the mean time I had recently bought a Bosch gmr1 professional buy unfortunately the collet which came along with the machine was 6.2mm. And Bosch does not seem to respond to my query. Can you or anyone else suggest where I can find a collect adaptor to fit 6mm collet in Chennai or online?

      Delete
    3. Sorry Daniel but I have no idea about the power tools market in Chennai. But you should get hold of Bosch as a 6.2mm collet is unusual.

      Delete
  25. Hi Sir, I have passion for wood working and looking for Kreg Pocket hoile jig set in india, pls guide me where I can get it in delhi?

    Regards,
    Santosh

    ReplyDelete
  26. Dear Mr.Banerjie,

    Thank you for such a wonderful source of knowledge, your blog is simply amazing.

    I am an amateur wood enthusiast, making my house in Noida. For the wood of my house, I went to one of the MP Forest Department auctions and bought CP Teak logs and I really like the grains of the wood.

    Now, I am unable to decide on the finish of the doors and windows, I would like to leave the grain as natural as possible but am not sure of PU would be the best way forward. Please help in this regard.

    Also, since you reside in greater noida, would it be possible for you to meet me some time and let me thank you for creating this blog in person.

    Thanks
    Abhinav Singh
    +91 9810027098

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hello,

    I am planning to open my workshop and i need training. I live in chennai. Please help me. Can anyone tell me whom I can train under. Please. Any experts in chennai whom i can learn under. I am a novice and a beginner.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Dear Wood Workers,

    I have recently picked up wood working and am looking to create some simple projects with light wood such as Pine. Could you suggest where I could purchase some good quality Pine wood planks in Delhi in small quantities. Thanks in Advance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rahoul, you should get good Pine in Kirti Nagar; perhaps also in Kotla and several other places.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the information Indranil I tried Kotla once and they all seemed to want to sell only in bulk. I'll try again and see if I can get a retailer.

      Delete
    3. I have bought in relatively small quantities and they have been happy to sell. You must find the right shop though.

      Delete
  29. Hi Indranil.
    I am getting a room partition made in rubber wood. people assigned to painting/polishing the wood have come up with basic 5 colours . I have my heart set on a light grey colour or a beach sand colour ( with grains intact). Have seen some pictures on Google( where else) . Unfortunately the workers offer the same - mahogany , teak , walnut cherry colours . Can you please suggest brands which have there colours or suggestions on how to mix it ourselves . If you share your email ID , I will fwd the colour shades I am looking for

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't come across wood stains of the colours you want; paints yes. Any decent paint shop would have a paint mixing machine capable of producing hundreds if not thousands of shades. Polish is another matter. To stain and have the grain show and then polish is difficult with the colour shades you want. I have seen it done but don't know how to do it. Perhaps a light wash of pigments, scrubbed off with burlap/jute and then polished perhaps. You will have to search the Internet for solutions.

      Delete
  30. I use sheenlac readymade shellac. Where can I get shellac granules? Do you know how the mix is made?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You will have to try the local shops in your city for Shellac. It is mixed with rectified alcohol.

      Delete
  31. Hi.. got some questions for you experts:
    - I need to prime my miniature projects. Currently using MDF (not my favourite) which is a good water based primer for wood. I am using acrylics. Most in my hobby group are from overseas and refer to Zinseer which I cannot get here.
    - Can i use Asian paints aquadur wood stain for my mdf project. If yes, is priming a must?
    - As a top coat I use 4-5 coats of a waterbased varnish. Can I finally top this all off with a polyurethane varnish. Would it cause a reaction with the layers below.
    Lyn (Mumbai)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lyn, flipkart.com sells Zinsser products; see this url: http://www.flipkart.com/tools-hardware/tools/paint-equipments-supplies/paint-primers/pr?sid=amz,qrp,cfz,djs
      Priming is generally required only if you are going to paint it.
      I haven't tried the Asian Paints wood stains so I cannot say how good it is. Any stain should work but preferably use an oil based stain if you are going to use a water based finish.
      Lastly, why mix varnish with polyurethane - PU after all is a varnish itself. Give one coat of PU sanding sealer, sand and follow up with 3/4 coats of poly. I like MRF's oil based PUs. You can get water based ones too from Dulux, Asain Paints and others.

      Delete
  32. Hi experts, I am getting my house renovated, and wanted to know what wood works best for flooring. The areas will be bedrooms. I have used small planks of eucalyptus earlier, but they were only 2'X3", fixed onto a sub-grid. Now I want to use larger planks, but don't want to pay the earth. Can I simply use rubber wood sheets (the 8'X4' ones) onto the RCC slab like parquet? or maybe lay a sub-grid and fix the full boards onto it? Is rubber wood even good for flooring? I can finish it with a PU finisher, maybe? Would appreciate an answer, even if the question seems weird..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A couple of people replied to your query:
      Zain: Norally solid wood is not advised for concrete floors. Instead engineered woodis used. In Noida wehere we have bouts of extreme humidity and cold, wood is not asdvised.
      Santhosh (Bangalore) : My friend has used finger jointed rubber wood flooring for his staircase. It has been ten years now and still looking good with an annual polish.

      Delete
  33. Dear sir, My name is suresh thapa and working in public sector in new delhi and usually free on weekend and aspire to learn the nitty gritty of woodworking. Pls suggest any trainers who could impart woodworking knowledge on sat and sunday in new delhi..thnks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You could get in touch with Abid Ali (maxtennis2000@gmail.com) for lessons.

      Delete
  34. Dear Indranil ji,
    I have finished making workbench with two layers of 19mm commercial plywood top. As per some advise from net, first filler, then sanding, applying Teak oil or Boiled Linseed oil and finally paste wax. This is the simplest I could find which is said to be appropriate for workbench as it anyway take some beating and can be re-applied whenever wanted, it seems. I am not able to find both the oils locally except imported teak oil on amazon which is very costly. Any alternative or any other finish advise sir.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Watco Teak, Danish or Tung oil would be a good choice but it is relatively expensive. Boiled Linseed Oil would be another alternative as this is available locally, at least in all the big cities though you will have to search for a local supplier. Alternative is plain Paraffin Oil sold at any chemist shop. This is more than enough for the job - I use it extensively, including on by chopping boards. Give it a try.

      Delete
  35. Thanks a lot Indranil ji. I have tried for Boiled Linseed oil in my locality only in chennai and did not get. I will give a try in main market also. Alternatively I will use Paraffin oil. Thanks once again.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Ankush Mehra.07 October, 2016

    Hi,
    Recently I noticed some bed bugs on my child's bed. I saw them in the holes that the ply usually has. The ply is polished, however the bugs were still in these holes. I need advise to fill these holes with a sealant or something. I am already taking care of the treatment for bed bugs. Thank you in advance.

    ReplyDelete
  37. If they are bed bugs, it is not a problem getting rid of them. Spraying insecticide first to kill them and then sealing the holes will take care of the problem. However, if the insects are wood borers than you will have to treat the wood with borax or else the borers will continue to eat the wood from within even if the holes are sealed.

    ReplyDelete
  38. sir,am from chennai. recently i have plan to purchase wooden cots,sofa,dining table ext., within my budget engineering wood furniture available.recently i saw its danger to health.so am searching natural wood furniture are too costly.i saw some new article some sellers selling jackwood,mangowood furniture cost 8000 life 20 years comparing to teakwood its cheaper.and i finally dicided to go for neemwood avail locally 450qft.can i make furniture in neemwood? (think its termite free and cheap) what is your opinion.how can i calculate cubic feet for my furniture
    exp:cot single 6ft*3ft*4inches thick.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Neem is fine for furniture; Jack fruit tree wood is even better. For calculating volume of wood there are many sites (search Google); one is http://www.sliderules.info/a-to-z/timber.htm

      Delete
  39. Dear Indranil, could you please let me know which 5 inch orbital sander would be good buy within a reasonable price ? I see many review online but non are from India. So your help would be great

    Regards
    Subhrajit

    ReplyDelete
  40. I would go for a random orbital sander - I have a Bosch one which has been with me for years. Makita also makes a fine one. Try buying from a dealer - they offer good discounts, sometimes as much as 35 per cent on MRP.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Col Bala or Indranil , Anything similar to the Tormek 4 or 8 available in India.What about Japanese water stones 6000-8000 grit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think the Tormek sharpeners are available in India. As for Japanese water stones they are easily available online at toolsfromjapan.com (always choose the registered parcel option).

      Delete
  42. I need to partion one of my bedroom so that it can be shared by my two kids.
    Any ideas on the materials to use and possibly design.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Dear Indraniljee...

    Going to start woodwork in my 3 bhk flat...TV wall, wardrobes in 3 bed rooms, wash basin counter cum crockery cup board and of course the kitchen and all put together I planned it for three and a half lakh for about 350 sft and 150 cft. Fascinated by the paint and especially through your page, I would like to venture for paint on the plywood either commercial and waterproof in kitchen by avoiding laminates. How do you suggest the best paint work?

    ReplyDelete
  44. What exactly do you mean by "best paint work"? Email details to me at indian.woodworker@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  45. Hello Mr. Bannerjee,
    I appreciate your evaluation of local timber and alternatives of teak. I would request you to enlighten me on the properties of Sonajhuri or Akashmoni timber, it is frequently sold as teak by unscrupulous furniture makers in Bengal.
    As regards the mahogany mystry of bengal I would like to add that true Mahogany or Mahogany Swetania is sometimes available locally which were planted during the colonial times as shade trees. big leaf mahogany " Mahagony Macrophylla" is also available here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your comments would have been more appropriate under the "Wood" section. I have no idea about Sonajhuri or Akashmon - never heard of them. Please give us more information if you have any. Ask for Mahogany - yes, there used to be genuine Mahogany in Bengal and Bihar at one time but very little remains. I would be happy if you could provide details of any sources of genuine Mahogany in Kolkata. Thanks.

      Delete
  46. Shalini Roy28 March, 2017

    Hi Indranil,
    I have an old crockery cabinet that is laminated and I want to give it a makeover by painting over it. I have gone through online tutorials and diy videos. But every one of them is based outside of India and hence I have no clue about the types of primer/paint we get in India. Any specific primer and paint from an Indian brand that you can suggest? And what type of protective top coat should I apply? Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shalini Roy30 March, 2017

      It's just a plain decorative laminate on particle board. I have used the Asian Paints Wood Primer which is oil based. I am looking for a white satin/matte finish but I read that oil based paints will turn yellow over time. Should I go for a water based paint on top of the oil based primer? Any specific brand type?

      Delete
    2. There are some excellent oil based matt/satin paints these days made by a number of companies that wont yellow with age. You could even try a polyurethane (PU) paint for a harder and more durable finish. PU paint however is significantly more expensive than regular paint.

      Delete
    3. Shalini Roy30 March, 2017

      Is there any particular brand that you can recommend? I'm lost with so many options! For the finish I've bought the Asian Paints Woodtech PU acrylic clear finish.

      Delete
    4. Try Sirca, a locally available Italian brand, for PU paint. There is no need for a clear finish on top of the PU paint job.

      Delete
    5. Shalini Roy30 March, 2017

      Thank you so much! I will search for Sirca.

      Delete
  47. I have some power tools (saws, bench top planers, etc) and all of them works with 110V 60Hz. I know that in India the voltage is 220V with 50Hz.

    What is the best option to use my tools in there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Buy a voltage converter - many kinds are available that will step down voltage from 220 to 110 volts. Buy one that is compatible with the power consumption of your tools.

      Delete
  48. Hi,

    I'm making some pinewood shelves and I am looking for a clear finish to apply? What is available in India? Varnish turns the wood yellowish and what I thought was clear PU did the same. Is there a product you could reccomend?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your best option is water based PU which is made by almost every large paints manufacturer in India.

      Delete
  49. Hi, Indranil. It is so heartening to find woodworking tips and guides online, which help fellow Indian hobbyists. Kudos!

    I had a small query. I need to glue a mirror, 22" x 33", to a ply.

    Which adhesive would be most suitable? I am wondering which adhesive wouldn't ruin the mirror backing even if the ply warps.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Two methods: one which involves the use of mirror attaching nuts, clips, bolts, washers and so on. This method might involve drilling holes in the mirror. Second method involves the use of VHB tape (3M makes one and there are other manufacturers too). For a small mirror VHB tape would make more sense.

      Delete
    2. Thank you so much for the prompt reply Indranil. I am so grateful.

      Well I want to avoid drilling holes. Should try to procure the VHB.

      Asked a couple of local carpenters here, and they seem to use Fevicol. :(

      Thanks again!

      Delete
    3. Local carpenters are not in the habit of learning new things. Get VHB tape - widely available in all cities.

      Delete
  50. Dear Indranil

    This is yet one more attempt to pick your brain. At this rate you may have nothing left. Sorry about this.

    Some time ago you’d posted a piece where you’d insulated a room by first putting some wooden studs on a wall, and then because these studs warped, you converted to aluminium studs. I want to do the same thing in my wood workshop. This wall will basically be my tool storage wall, where I’ll put things on French cleats.

    Please can you tell me, and here’s the brain picking activity, the following.
    What gauge of aluminium studs did you use.
    You covered your wall with ply. I want to use some cheap 12mm sheets of wood or ply type wood that will be strong enough to hold all the tools.
    Were the results of what you did in line with what you expected. Are there any changes that you’d make following that experience?

    Better stop to let other’s have a share of your brain.

    Your help would be gratefully accepted (as always)

    Umaji

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Umaji,
      Good to hear from after a long hiatus. I was wondering if everything was fine with you. As for my brains, I don't worry as I had little to begin with and with the pickings have become increasingly immune to all the problems associated with cogitation.
      As for the studs, no need to go for aluminium ones as they would be quite expensive. Several companies inculding St Gobain sell good quality galvanised steel studs made specifically for false ceilings and walls.
      For cladding, plywood is a relatively expensive and unecessary option. It also has the undesirable tendency to warp with rise in moisture levels. Several types of artificial boards are available these days, beginning with the cheap and easy to install drywall boards. Then there are products like eco-board and calcium silicate boards. Decide which one would be best for your conditions.
      Lastly, it is not advisable to hang anything but the lightest of tools, shelves etc on the sheets itself - be it plywood or on the fragile drywall so common in Western countries. Generally, studs are placed at a fixed distance from each other - typically 24 inches on centre or 18 inches. Whatever to be hung is fixed on the studs below the cladding.
      Good luck!

      Delete
    2. Dear Indranil

      Sorry I've neglected you and your blog. BTW I like the new design. My life has been both dull and hectic, the bottom line is however that I don't know where all the time has gone. I wish I had a do over for some of it. Cogitation… I don't know what that means, but it sounds good. I forget you're not only a carpenter, but a writer as well.

      Thank you for this feedback. If I may intrude on your time, could you look at the following youtube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYuoiefb2uk&t=357s I'm thinking of making something like this. I'm also looking for the wood cladding that she used. I think it's some sort of packing material or boards that are made of rough wood bits that are glued together and then shaped. I don't know what it's called, a name would be useful if I'm going to purchase this.

      As to why I want to put all my tools on walls; I've found that over the years, when I've put my tools in drawers, I forget what I actually have and either make do without, and invariably do a bad job, or go and get same tool again. Now I can't keep doing this, I have a son who's yet to finish college, so I thought of keeping everything where I can see it.

      What you have suggested is to copy the framing and cladding structure of a false ceiling. I don't think this'll work, so I'm looking for something more sturdy.

      Let me know what you think.

      Umaji

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    3. The cladding material used in the video is Oriented strand board (OSB) which is available in India these days and is stronger than particle board. OSB is cheaper than plywood. A framework of galvanised steel studs is extremely strong once they are locked together ina grid pattern and can take heavy load - I have used calcium silicate boards which are much heavier than plywood and the steel studs have had no problem bearing them. Its a good idea to keep tools on the wall if you aren't living in a dusty environment such as ours. Ms Wilkerson would have screwed the wall cleats onto the studs below as is the norm and not merely to the OSB surface.
      best of luck,

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  51. Dear Inrdranil

    Thank you for this input. OSB boards are available from dealers registered with Indiamart. I called a couple of them and two things happen. First they, and I don't know why they do this but every single one does, ask me what I need it for. This for some reason gets my goat. Now I've started giving them a long and rambling explanation which when you put it all together makes no sense whatsoever. It's fun being creative. The last guy was told that since the local coffin maker makes crappy coffins I'm thinking of making a nice colourful, comfortable (silk lined) one for myself. Internet connectivity of course is mandatory.

    The second thing that happens after all this is that they tell me that it's impossible to deliver to Goa. This after listening to my internet connected coffin story.

    Despite all these major dealers I found a guy in Bangalore, who's promised to deliver some sheets by tomorrow. Let's see what happens. I'm not holding my breath, I might need that coffin

    I'm sure you don't want to know all this. But thank you for this assistance. You're an officer and a gent

    Umaji

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    1. You are always welcome, Umaji. Always a pleasure to respond to your (often strange) queries. OSB would make a frightful coffin, by the way, and keep you from resting in eternal peace.

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    2. I doubt I'm going to rest in eternal peace, I have an ex-mother in law who is going to live forever, and she's going to ensure this.

      Umaji

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    3. Good grief! Have heard of ex-wives but never ex in-laws! My condolences.

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  52. Dear Indranil Sir,

    For my house I made two teak doors, each of size 3*7 with some carvings in them. My carpenter suggested that the painting team would do the polishing of these doors. When I checked with the painters, they quoted 15k for each door to be polished, and the material they seem to use is going to be 'Sheenlac' available in paint shops, Its sold for 90 rs per 700ml. I am sure these painting professionals would do a decent finish, but I am not convinced about the polishing material which they are planning to use. I may be totally wrong about the polishing material, but I would prefer not to spoil the expensive wood with some cheap finishing materials. May I know what is the best commercially available teak finishing material in India, and how best we can apply them. I am still in the process of making my workbench, had no chance before to experiment the wood staining process!!

    Thanks, Rajan.

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    Replies
    1. I have heard of Sheenlac but never seen or used it; it appears to be a popular brand in south India. It should be fine - its perhaps a solution of Shellac with some additives. Else try traditional lacdana or Seedlac.

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    2. Yes, its a Chennai based company and they seem to have an office in Bangalore too, that could be the reason why every hardware store is stocking this.

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  53. In defence of south India, I've never heard of Sheenlac nor used it.

    If I understand this issue correctly Rajarajan (now there's a proud South Indian name meaning King King), then in my opinion this needs a two step action (I hesitate to use the word solution, this would be way above my pay grade). first you need to protect the wood by using something that will soak into the wood and essentially "cure" the wood. For this you can you use anything like Linseed oil, Tung oil, Danish oil, Teak oil (all of these are available from Amazon.in). I would recommend trying out these oils, because each of them will leave behind a slightly different coloured result. I find linseed oil will darken the wood where as tung oil will give teak wood a very nice orangy (if this is a word) hue. Teak oil and Danish oils will give you a result that is somewhere in between these two.

    Once you've used this and let it completely dry, and I mean completely dry, you can put any coating on top that will protect your door from the elements. These days you can get coatings that are pretty well idiot proof, if you are patient and willing to follow instructions. It is of course better to let someone else do this, from a blame/contingency point of view. But trust me (not too many people do) it's very hard to mess this up completely.

    I have absolutely no idea why Indranil has sent me this post to comment on. Since he has, I have give you my 2 paisa bit. I really hope this helps, and a I really hope Indranil doesn't do this again.

    Umaji

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Umaji for the detailed reply. I have bought Sheenlac and have a piece of teak wood, will experiment two of these oils in them and see how it turns out.

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    2. Hey Indranil, is there some kind of indemnity for the experts, in the unusual event that somebody actually does what the experts say?

      Anyway Rajarajan good luck, if it works out well you should take all the credit, if it doesn't you should blame Indranil. Everyone does.

      It's downright expected

      Umaji

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  54. Hello Friends,

    My name is Piyush and I live in Gujarat. I want to start learning Carpentry from beginners level, can you please suggest me any Private or Government Institute which teaches wood working from the basic. I was always attracted to wood working but never get a chance, now I have some spare time which I can spend learning wood working and start it as a hobby and develop it to a professional level. So please help me and guide me.

    Thanks to all in advance for your precious advice.

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  55. Get in touch with your local (district) Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra (PMKK) centre. They would have an entry level carpentry course.

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  56. Sheenlac is some thing like 2 pound cut or 3 pound cut of natural lacquer flakes. It works well on teak. You have to apply it like French polish. Instead of preparing your own French polish this is a readymade mix. Buying flakes, alcohol: mixing storing is tough unless you are an expert. Better go with Sheenlac if you are a beginner or amateur like me. Sheenlac also have stains which work fine mixed with this French polish. You have very good tutorials on UTUBE on French polish. Polishing / finishing wood is a rather messy Job. Go for open ventilated space, gloves, masks - lots of sand paper, lint free rags, sunny & dre environment etc......

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