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If woodworking is your favorite pastime, you are always looking for ways to improve the process or the results. As with many things in life, the key is to keep it simple. In terms of woodworking, this means becoming more efficient so you can focus on smaller details that bring a piece to life. Here are four tips that can help with your woodworking.

Use the Right Screws
Choosing the right screw for your woodworking projects may seem obvious, but many people use drywall screws. Wood screws are designed to keep the pieces together with a tight fit. If you use drywall screws, you will find a space between the two pieces of wood. Although small, these spaces affect the longevity and beauty of the piece.

Understand the Wood
The moisture content of wood for your projects is a crucial element to understand. If you choose wood with high moisture content, the piece will shrink as the moisture evaporates. A wood that has too little moisture content will split, crack, and break more easily. Meters are available to help you determine the moisture content of wood for your projects. There are also apps for your mobile devices that help you understand problems with the wood with recommendations for how to best complete your project.

Lighting, Shop Design, and Organization
Your shop design should be considered carefully. The lighting creates shadows and dark areas where you may not be able to see fine details or cut the proper line. The best setup is to have overhead lighting, smaller lights for the area where you are working, and lights on your tools. Organization ensures that your tools are easy to reach when needed. Keep your workspace clean at all times. Dust, filings, and wood debris can be a safety hazard and get trapped inside the connections of your pieces.

Maintain Your Blades
Saw blades are used regularly for woodworking, and these pieces of equipment need to be properly maintained for consistent and accurate cutting. Clean the blades after each use. And depending on how frequently you’re using them, you should have them sharpened periodically. Also, check the blades for any cracks or chips. Other blades to check are your chisels, sanders, and grinders.