Woodblocks using long grained planks or plywood which have been engraved with markings are used for relief printing. Long-grain is a term used to describe the type of cut that follows the grain of the tree, meaning it runs parallel to the trunk or branch it was cut from.
It is still vital to realize that woodcuts can be interpreted as having a deeper meaning than just the usual cuts. We have taken this into account. We will therefore be examining the various woodcuts present in the woodworking shop. This will also include machine-specific cuts as a bonus.
Woodcuts vs. Wood Engravings
Woodcuts can be differentiated from wood engravings by the type of wood used and the tools employed to carve it. Both are types of relief printing. Wood engravings are usually made in solid wood pieces that are sliced across the wood fibers, or even at right angles to the wood’s grain, with chisels and gouges. Wood blocks or plywood are carved using knives, gouges, and chisels in a manner that the grain of the material is running in the same direction as its natural growth.
Tools generally used for producing woodcuts include gouges for carving with different shapes and sizes, together with various blades and chisels. The type and craftsmanship of carving tools can vary a lot. The kind of tools you use is mostly up to individual taste and the style of carving you choose, however, it is important to make sure they are of excellent quality and properly maintained. It is better to have fewer but better quality tools than a lot of subpar ones. A beginner should consider purchasing a small and large u-shaped gouge, a smaller v-shaped gouge for intricate work, a knife for outlining, and a wide gouge for clearing areas.
Types of Cuts in Woodworking
Woodworking consists of multiple cutting strategies, each having its own particular intent and a selection of instruments. It is paramount for all woodworkers – from the rookie to the seasoned veteran – to be aware of the various kinds of cuts and the way to do them with precision to get the preferred result.
A cut that goes against the grain of the wood is called a crosscut. It is frequently employed to trim boards to size or width or to make a perpendicular corner on a part of timber. It is possible to cut across materials with a wide selection of gadgets, such as a circular saw, a miter saw, a jigsaw, or a handsaw.
A cut that goes along the grain of wood, often referred to as a longitudinal cut, is referred to as a rip cut. It can be employed to make a piece of wood narrower or generate a smooth line along its edge. Rip cuts can be created with a range of tools, including a table saw, circular saw, hand saw, or jigsaw.
An angle cut, usually 45 degrees, is referred to as a miter cut. It forms angles or connections between two portions of wood at a precise angle. Miter cuts are often employed in woodworking endeavors like constructing frames for photos, moulding for installations in the ceiling, and DIY trimming. Angles can be cut with a miter saw, a round saw, or a handsaw.
A bevel cut is a type of cut that is produced at an angle that does not equal 90 degrees. The purpose of a miter saw is to form angular corners on a piece of wood, or to connect two pieces at a slanted angle. A bevel saw, a circular saw, or a hand saw can all be used to create beveled cuts.
Making a dado cut involves cutting across the grain of wood to construct a groove or slot. It is commonly employed to join two sections of timber together or to form a hollow space for shelves or drawers. A dado cut is commonly produced using a dado blade installed on a table saw, but it can also be made with the use of a router or a chisel.
A groove cut resembles a dado cut, but instead of being cut across the grain of the wood, it is cut along the grain. It is utilized to make a pathway or hollow in a section of wood, usually to slot in another part of wood. Grooves can be formed with the help of a table saw, router, or hand saw.
Haunched Tenon Cut
A tenon joint with an arched shape is utilized to construct a reliable connection between two slabs of timber. This includes fashioning a protuberance, or projection, on one section of timber and a matching mortise, or cavity, on the other. The tenon is inserted and held in place within the mortise, to form a stable and dependable connection. Tenon cuts that are hunched can be created through a number of implements, like a table saw, router, or chisel.
Finally, it is evident that a variety of cuts and corresponding tools are necessary for the purpose of woodworking. Figuring out the various cuts and how to perform them correctly is critical for producing the expected outcome in every woodworking project.
Woodworking Basic Joints
Joinery is the process of combining two pieces of wood to form a stronger and more long-lasting structure. The selection of which joint to use in your joinery project will depend on the specific project you want to make. There are many diverse types of joints that can be used for this. You could recognize some of these joints – dovetail, dadoes, mortise and tenon joints are all samples. But there are other places you may not know of! In this article, we will investigate the following joints.
Saddle Miter Joint
A saddle miter joint consists of two pieces of wood angled in a way that creates a miter. The individual components are then attached to each other with an unyielding backing, and a tiny opening is created through the core to assist with the extraction of sawdust while cutting. This design has some outstanding benefits in comparison to different sorts of connections, rendering it favored among woodworkers.
Mortise and Tenon Joint
This joint is most frequently utilized when making frames for doors, windows, and other openings. Leave some clearance on all edges when cutting the mortise so that the tenon can slot into place firmly. This intersection commonly is created by manually carving with chisels or router bits, but can also be affixed with wood adhesive and secured until dry.
Through Tenon Joint
A type of mortise-and-tenon joint in which a hole is bored through one piece of wood is known as a through tenon joint. The two objects are connected using pegs, nails, or screws. Tenons are regularly employed in handrail assembly to facilitate the process of installation, since the rails do not need to be taken away from the posts in order to alter their depth afterwards.
Lap joints involve several pieces of wood which join together at an angle, and are held together firmly with glue, so that they do not move or disassemble when someone sits on a piece of furniture held together with this type of connection.
This joint is used for connecting components of different sizes, or when one piece needs to be shorter than the rest, such as for chair rungs. You need a saw and jig or table saw blade to perform this kind of joinery since these specific blades can cut at an angle in any direction.
Doweling is the third type of woodworking joint and involves inserting “dowels” into holes that have been drilled into each board that needs to be joined. This helps to prevent any shifting due to the weight of the woodworking project, as well as temperature fluctuations.
A dovetail joint is a fourth necessity for woodworking, and is usually decorative. It’s often used in situations where a full-length drawer needs to be securely held in place, so that the items inside don’t come out while the drawer is opened.
The final classification of joints discussed in this article is Half-Lap joints. This joint is employed to link together two planks of the same breadth but different thicknesses. This permits the fashioning of a relatively stable bond between the two components without the use of any extra elements or fasteners.
This joint can be formed by either cutting one piece in half, then connecting it to a second piece that has the same shape, or by cutting two pieces into halves, then attaching the halves to one another.
A Half-Lap joint is employed for connecting timber with the same width but diverse thicknesses. The two methods for producing this item involve either cutting a single piece into two and joining them together with an analogous item OR taking two halves from each original board.
Sealing the Block
The surface of the wood can be treated with either an alcohol-based Shellac or Acrylic Varnish in order to enable better ink transference and safeguard against splintering of softwoods while they are being carved. Steer away from utilizing sealants or varnishes that contain oil as the inks and dissolvable fluids may make them fragile during printing or sanitation, to the point of being catastrophic.
You don’t have to seal the wood before printing on it, yet the ink will be absorbed rather than transferred onto the paper. The density of solids changes until the holes have been filled up, which can be discouraging. The wood will increase in size slightly and become softer. Making the surface impermeable stops this from happening and allows for more relaxed handling during printing.
Use a couple layers of Shellac or Acrylic Varnish, lightly sanding between each one or when you’re done applying. It is essential to be precise; any blots, brush marks, insects, or other blemishes will show up in the result. Only a sufficient amount of varnish should be used to prevent moisture from seeping into the wood and to make the wood more sturdy. Coat both sides of the material simultaneously and put it up to dry on thumbtacks to stop it from getting bent out of shape.
Using an acrylic varnish will cause the grain surface of the wood to increase significantly since the moisture in the solution will be rapidly absorbed by it. The effect is not as pronounced with Shellac.
Ensure that the surface is covered evenly, for a disproportionate application could potentially result in differing shades of ink due to preferential absorption.
Carving the Block
The following is an example of a technique commonly used to carve images onto Shina Plywood.
Prior to the beginning of labor, a tiny quantity of translucent printing ink is used to discolor the surface by rubbing it onto it. This will help in assessing the growth of the picture. When material is removed, the natural wood that hasn’t been stained will look different compared to the stained parts on the surface. Red or light blue are good choices. It is advised to refrain from using water-based ink because it causes swelling of the grain. Alcohol based markers may also be used.
1. One could craft a detailed image by using a v-gouge, slanted knife, or a sturdy utility blade. Allow for some extra space around the picture for further adjustments later. The incline constructed behind the elevated section should have a gradual curvature instead of a sharp, straight edge in order to ensure strength and stability. A metal piece, such as reglet, steel, or brass bullnose rule, can be placed at the rear of the cutting edge of the tool to protect the wood’s surface from damage caused by the backside of the tool.
2. Further refinement of the image.
3. Spaces that are pruned are done so with a relatively big u-shaped gouge. In a lot of instances, only a thickness of less than ? is required to allow printing to look perfect. A smooth surface is preferable over a uneven one, since it is less likely to catch cleaning cloths or obscure small printed portions.
4. The block should be checked over thoroughly and then improved as necessary.
The block after completion needs to be surveyed cautiously for any split-out, unsteady parts, or other material that could harm rollers. Gently prodding and carefully examining bumps and projections to make sure it is solid is also recommended.
Printing the Block
Be cautious when stamping the woodcut, gradually mounting the undercoat until the block stamps without fail and thoroughly. Most wood will be smashed under a strong force, except for certain hardwoods that are hard to work with. Begin with a gentle touch and gradually and cautiously layer the underlayment.
This block needs to be monitored carefully during printing, and its condition should be carefully evaluated. Wood is an organic substance and could surprise us with how it reacts or how it has been worn down during its use. It is wiser to snatch a minor part displaying signs of coming loose before it has the chance to fall into the inking rollers, rather than attempting to retrieve it from the rollers.
A strong cotton cloth should be used to gently clean the block using a dry wipe. A piece of cloth soaked in a bit of solvent is another option. Oils that do not cause the woodcut to dry out, miscible solvents that work with water and even mineral spirits can cause the woodcut to swell and make it softer, unlocking certain fine parts or changing its reaction when it comes in contact with ink. Whenever possible, use as little solvent as you can.
It is advised that blocks should be placed horizontally, with the area safeguarded, in a place of consistently maintained temperature and moisture content to stop them from bending or any other change in shape.
There you have it!
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions you have about different kinds of joints and advice related to woodworking. We’ll do our best to answer them!