There’s a corner of TikTok for every person and interest out there, including woodworking, but it can be tough to figure out what you can trust. Some purported TikTok woodworking “hacks” will leave you scratching your head, especially when the shortcut is more complicated than the original task at hand or the video is poorly produced to the point of being confusing, if not downright misleading.
To save you the effort, I’ve vetted the following seven TikTok woodworking tips, and I guarantee they actually work: These are useful, time-saving tricks that will help you improve your skills and finish your projects more quickly.
Use magnets to correctly place screws in a frame
When you’re assembling something with a frame and a top or a face, like shelving, lining up your screws within the frame as you’re attaching your pieces can be tricky. You have to take your time marking and measuring, and it’s easy to miss a few, and make holes where you don’t want them. This woodworker uses strong magnets — one on the frame side, and one on the face side — to easily find the right spot to insert the screw, no marking or measuring required. It’s a definite time saver.
Use masking tape to cut down on filling and sanding
Even when using a brad nailer, you end up with nail holes that need to be filled and sanded if you don’t want them to be visible. But use a strip of masking tape before you fire up your nail gun and you can quickly fill the holes left behind. Just push some wood filler into the holes and then once it’s dry, pull off the tape. No putty knives or sanding are required and the nail holes will practically disappear when you use the hack in this video.
Make cleaner cuts by using a binder clip to stead your wood
Use a binder clip to hold the ends of a board together when you’re cutting with a circular saw. You can place it after the cut is started; it gives you more stability as you go and helps keep the offcut close to the side you’re using. Using this hack will allow you to make nicer cuts in less time, so it’s definitely worth it, although it won’t work for thicker boards unless you’ve got some really massive binder clips.
Mark the angle on piece of moulding without resorting to maths
Anyone who does woodworking knows you’re going to have to use some maths eventually. However, when you have a piece of “cut to fit” moulding it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to resort to geometry and fractions. Most walls aren’t really completely square, so a joint that looks like a right angle might actually be a 46/44 joint, or some other really close combination. To mark your moulding correctly without the maths, the video demonstrates how to mark it in place on the wall — no more guessing or calculating.
Create a sandpaper dispenser
Anyone who has loaded an orbital sander a few times knows the struggle of lining up the paper with the dust collection holes. If you don’t line it up right, the paper will get clogged and wear out more quickly, slowing you down. This video demos a simple peg system dispenser for the sanding discs so the paper lines up perfectly every time.
Bend wood with a simple technique
If you’ve ever wondered how carpenters bend boards for furniture, check out this video that demonstrates a simple bending method known as curfing. The thicker the material is, the wider cut you’ll need to make to make it bend — but for thinner stuff, this hack is gold.
All the ways to use your combination square
You might have thought your combination square was only good for marking right angles and maybe levelling small things. But that little tool can do a lot more, including finding and marking depth. It’s definitely worth using the tricks in this video during your next project.
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