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Yep, totally sucks to have batteries compatible with the rest and not the new, so I get that argument completely.

I went with Worx for outdoor stuff.  Cheap, crappy products compared to Milwaukee, but Milwaukee doesn’t offer a cordless mower, cordless weed wacker/trimmer, etc, so I have two tool brands I’ll stick to just because of battery interchangeability.

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31 minutes ago, Outpost31 said:

Yep, totally sucks to have batteries compatible with the rest and not the new, so I get that argument completely.

I went with Worx for outdoor stuff.  Cheap, crappy products compared to Milwaukee, but Milwaukee doesn’t offer a cordless mower, cordless weed wacker/trimmer, etc, so I have two tool brands I’ll stick to just because of battery interchangeability.

My outdoor weed whacker and blower are also cordless. $50 for each and each came with a battery and charger. 3-4 batteries and 2-3 chargers... 🤤 

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29 minutes ago, Outpost31 said:

@MWil23, @theJ, what do I have to know about staining wood instead of painting?

Everything I've done so far I've painted. 

I have a couple projects in mind I'm going to get started on that I would rather have stained.

About all I’ve done is stain wood. I’d recommend 2-3 coats of stain (whatever you like best) and then a good 3-5 coats of polyurethane. Oil based is the way to go IMO. It gives it a nice finished rich look and texture. That’s what I did to my farmhouse kitchen table.

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2 minutes ago, MWil23 said:

About al I’ve done is stain wood. I’d recommend 2-3 coats of stain (whatever you like best) and then a good 3-5 coats of polyurethane. Oil based is the way to go IMO. It gives it a nice finished rich look and texture. That’s what I did to my farmhouse kitchen table.

@Outpost31 you can do a water based polyurethane and it won’t alter the color/hue, but it doesn’t weather quite as well. If you go oil based, it will give it a slight yellowish hue, which if you’re working with pine or fir is nice IMO. Check out some side by side Google pictures.

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Just now, MWil23 said:

@Outpost31 you can do a water based polyurethane and it won’t alter the color/hue, but it doesn’t weather quite as well. If you go oil based, it will give it a slight yellowish hue, which if you’re working with pine or fir is nice IMO. Check out some side by side Google pictures.

And then what about for outdoor projects? 

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9 minutes ago, Outpost31 said:

I... I want to build a picnic table for squirrels and bird houses for birds. 

Picnic table I’d do the exact same thing. As for the birdhouse, I am not sure, but I’d finish it before you attach the roof or it’ll get tricky and messy.

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Just make sure that your poly is an outdoor poly and not indoor. Outdoor can be used for both, but don’t use an indoor one outside. And don’t use water-based if it’s some thing like MDF. For lumber it’s fine. And obviously, doing your sanding before/between stains. Might also consider pre-stain to avoid any splotchiness. Really depends on how patient you want to be and what you are doing. If it was me on a little birdhouse ... yeah I’m not going through that many hoops. 

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@Outpost31 if you like a “distressed”/whitewashed look, you can apply stain after a base white coat as well. I personally don’t prefer that look for a table, but for a birdhouse it may look nice.

If you stain the birdhouse, stain the roof and base separate, then poly, then attach. Wood glue may be your best bet there. I’d do Kreg pocket screws for the picnic table.

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12 hours ago, Outpost31 said:

@MWil23, @theJ, what do I have to know about staining wood instead of painting?

Everything I've done so far I've painted. 

I have a couple projects in mind I'm going to get started on that I would rather have stained.

Some good recommendations already.  The only thing i can really add here is that for staining, it's important to thoroughly remove the wood dust after sanding and before staining.  Wood dust will clog up the fine pores and create the splotchiness that others talked about here.  To remove the wood dust, use a tack cloth (microfiber towels, or those blue shop towels work well).  I generally use a blue shop towel to get 95% of it on first pass, then a microfiber cloth to get the rest.  

Also, depending on the wood species, there are alternatives to stains that i think can create a better look.  For my last project, i used a wood dye concentrate, dissolved in distilled water.  Then went over that with a coat of shellac, followed by three coats of oil based poly.  This was on quartersawn white oak, and it made the medulla rays really pop.  

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Just now, MWil23 said:

@Outpost31 if you like a “distressed”/whitewashed look, you can apply stain after a base white coat as well. I personally don’t prefer that look for a table, but for a birdhouse it may look nice.

If you stain the birdhouse, stain the roof and base separate, then poly, then attach. Wood glue may be your best bet there. I’d do Kreg pocket screws for the picnic table.

Yeah, I was thinking about my options on both of those.  I really, really, REALLY want to get a Kreg set.  I also really want to get a dowel jig.  Really want to start joinery woodworking.  Really, really badly. 

At the same time, this is my first house and what I'm making now is basically staging furniture.  I don't need it to be real quality stuff just yet.  I just want to finish this house, sell it, get that monster profit and then buy a house I could see myself living in for the next ten years and start building furniture and projects I can be happy about.

Everything I've built so far I've used screws (except my very first woodworking project, which was a chair for my nephew and I used lap joints for that one).

I built a mini fridge cabinet with a sliding door that covers the shelves, then slides over to cover the fridge.  That one is my worst since I DIY'd the sliding door.

I built a TV dinner type stand that looks like it's one of those floating shelf things.  Used 2x4s for the legs and have a shelf in the middle screwed in at two spots for lateral movement.  It also has a bottle opener screwed into one of the 2x4s.  That's my second worst project.

A shelf for my blu rays
A shelf for my gaming systems

Then I built a little thing for both recycle and trash.  Hole cut out in the top to drop cans and other recyclables into, slot below for trash, both trash bins fit perfectly.

Also built a little closet thing with three shelves and two hanging rods (how I managed to get those rods to fit and to be level I'm still impressed with).

And on and on.  Basically everything I'm doing now is staging furniture for when I sell the house.  Just has to look okay at a quick glance.  I will probably break all of them down and salvage what I can from them once I sell this house except for the blu ray and gaming system shelves.

 

Anyway, for the squirrel picnic table and bird house etc,

I've got this spot in my back yard where there used to be concrete before a backyard fence was installed.  I put some rock over it and it's right up along my detached garage, so it looks a little bare and weird.  I wanted to spruce it up a bit with some stuff and I've got all these pallets for free, so I was thinking about just using those.  Cut out the planks and salvage what I can from them and see what I come up with.  It fits with the whole staging furniture plan.  It doesn't have to look great, and this is basically my learning phase of woodworking.  I figure if it's crap with pallet wood, that's a practice round before I make better ones with better wood.

I might actually not stain it at all come to think of it. 

In the future though, I absolutely will. 

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11 hours ago, MWil23 said:

About all I’ve done is stain wood. I’d recommend 2-3 coats of stain (whatever you like best) and then a good 3-5 coats of polyurethane. Oil based is the way to go IMO. It gives it a nice finished rich look and texture. That’s what I did to my farmhouse kitchen table.

Re: oil based vs. water based.  Both have their pros and cons.  I have and use both.  Two big advantages that water based poly have are drying time and ventilation requirements.  The oil based is nasty stuff, and you need to be in a big area or have windows open.  I will use the oil based stuff in the spring/summer/fall when i can have the garage doors open.  But i don't use it in the winter.  And i won't use it if i'm pressed for time.

Also sometimes i want the natural color of the wood to show, so i go with the water based.

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5 minutes ago, Outpost31 said:

Really want to start joinery woodworking.  Really, really badly. 

You don't need fancy jigs to do most of the basic ones.  It can all be done with hand tools, obviously some it slowly.  My favorite joint to make with just the table saw and set of chisels is a mortise and tenon.  Takes some practice to get the mortise looking nice, but if you keep the mortise blind (and not a through-mortise), the laps on the tenon will cover any rough work.  Some people use a mortising jig.  I don't have one, and will probably never buy one.  It makes fast work of it, but not everything needs to be done fast.

EDIT: also, i mentioned i do the tenons on the table saw.  Those can be done with a hand saw too with some practice.  I don't generally, bc i'm bad at it and it makes the fitment frustrating.  Usually i'll do one that way to practice, the rest on the table saw.  Unless i'm pressed for time.

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