How to Properly Use a Bench-Top Planer at Home

Using bench-top planer efficiently is a little difficult if you don’t know the correct technique and procedure, there are a lot of things that could go wrong and make you lose a lot of wood. Well, this article will guide you in how to use your bench-top planer correctly and avoid various problems like tear-out, planer snipe, ridges, and so on.

A planer is the best way to smoothen your woodworking projects and bring them to the exact thickness, you can read some planer reviews here. There are  few things that you should take care of when using a bench-top planer:

Tip 1: Avoid any tear outs

One of the most common mistakes made by a woodworker is to feed the board to a planer with the wrong end forward which results into a tear out. The knives tend to catch the raised fiber and tears up the wood instead of just cutting it up. Make sure that you determine the end which doesn’t feel like grain and then feed it from that end to the planer.

Tip 2: Plane deck spindles

Gang feed your deck spindles as this will help in reducing the snipe from the end of your board and will really fasten up your work. So, you need to remove the saw marks from your ripped 2×2 with the help of a planer and rip your 2×2 into a 1 5/8 inch which will let you remove the saw marks while still providing you with enough surface area.

Tip 3: Restore your old wood

One of the most frequent made by woodworkers is to not clean up their old wood before reusing it. You need to be diligent about removing the nails and dirt, else you would end up damaging your planer knives. So, inspect your board for any nails or screws and carefully remove them all before reusing the wood.

Tip 4: Avoid getting ‘sniped’

A lot of boards get sniped when fed into the planer but there is a simple way to avoid this problem. You can either let an extra 5 inches length of your board go through the planer or you can put a sacrificial board both in front and at the end of the original board. This will keep your original board intact and will only snipe the sacrificial boards.

Tip 5: Clean the board edges and sand out the ridges

One of the best ways to even out the board edges is by stacking together a few pieces of board together and then sawing off their edges. This will not only make it easier to saw off the edges but will also help in providing you with equal width boards.

Another common problem faced when using a bench-top planer is that your planer knives suffer from a ridge after working for a while which results in getting it replaced with a newer version but there is another way to resolve this issue. You can sand your planer knives to remove the ridges and don’t worry, this just takes a few minutes to work effectively.

Automatic vs. Manual Ignition Pellet Smoker, Which One is Right for Your Home?

Are you confused between a manual ignition pellet smoker and an automatic pellet smoker? Having trouble in deciding which one is the better one for you? The ignition is responsible for starting the fire on your stove and choosing between the automatic and the manual ignition settings completely depends on your needs and your requirements. Let’s start with the basics first.

A manual ignition will require the user to first apply an approved gel or some solid starter material for the fire to the pellets and then light up the pellets. Then, the user would need to keep a constant check on the fire and make sure that it catches properly and the flames blaze. On the other hand, in an automatic ignition pellet smoker, the user will just need to push a button which will take care of feeding the pellets to the burn pot and will heat the self-ignited equipment. So, you require the least amount of effort in the case of an automatic ignition pellet smoker.

Amount of manual effort required

One thing that you need to decide on is the amount of effort that you willing to put forth in your pellet smoker. If you want to apply the least amount of effort, then you should go for an automatic ignition pellet smoker as it runs on electricity and either requires no assistance from your or just requires you to push one button to get it all started. If you are interested in working on your pellet stove, then you can go for the manual ignition pellet smoker which will require you to start the fire yourself and then maintain it too.


Another thing that you need to ask yourself is that how much you are willing to pay for your pellet smoker. If you don’t mind shelling a few extra bucks, then you could consider the automatic ignition pellet smoker which will be convenient and easy to use but a little on the expensive side. On the other hand, if you are searching for a budget pellet smoker, then you would need to stick with the manual ignition pellet smoker as it costs less and doesn’t require expensive repairs. Here is the list of affordable pellet smokers and grills available in market. If your automatic ignition pellet smoker were to break down anytime, then its repair would cost you a lot of money too.

Regular checks

Another thing you need to keep in mind is that in a manual ignition pellet smoker, you would need to maintain the temperature and keep a regular check on it to ensure the fire is properly flaming. If you ignore this, then your fire might die down and your food will remain uncooked. If you don’t want to go through so much hassle, then you can simply buy an automatic ignition pellet smoker for yourself which will do all the work and will maintain the right temperature for your food item too. An automatic pellet smoker eliminates the need for a constant check and handles all the tasks itself without needing any interference from you.

Pottery Barn and West Elm Inspired DIY Rope Chandelier



Okay so I haven’t done a DIY post in quite some time, so I’m reeeaaaallllyyyy excited to share this with you!

I’ve yet to post about Landon’s nursery because there are a few finishing touches I need to complete! But I thought I would share one of my favorite elements of his room. I decided to go with a nautical theme for the nursery, but not overly cheesy nautical because that’s just not my thing. Nautical like….little touches of it here and there. With my vintage flair. Cause that’s more my style ;)

I found this chandelier a while ago, and I can’t even remember where…probably on Pinterest or another blog. I fell in love with it and thought it would be perfect in his nautical-but-not-really-nautical nursery.

{via West Elm}

Then I came across this one…


 {via Pottery Barn}

Naturally, they were from West Elm and Pottery Barn with a price tag WAY too big for my DIY-self. Whomp won. But that was probably for the better and it inspired my latest project!

I had an old chandelier lying around that a friend picked up for me at our local Habitat for Humanity ReStore for a whopping $10. It needed a little makeover and was the perfect size to use in baby boy’s room. I have an abundance of twine from my Etsy shop and knew that I could get a pretty close replica of the West Elm and Pottery Barn version with some help from a little hot glue.

I would give you step by step directions on how to do this, but it was actually way easier than I thought….I simply wrapped the twine around the chandelier, hot gluing where I felt it was needed as I went.





If you want to attempt to do this yourself, all you need is:

a roll of twine (I didn’t even use one full roll!)

hot glue

an old chandelier (mine was $10!)

Again…all I did was wrap the twine around and glue along the way! Seriously, easiest (yet, really time-consuming) DIY project ever. And the total cost of the project? Less than $20.

I had debated putting shades on each light but wasn’t crazy about how it looked when I tried it out. And I used a lower watt bulb, so the light isn’t as stark in the room as I thought it would be without the shades. It’s actually the perfect amount of brightness.

What do you think? Does it give the room a touch of nautical flair? I’m loving it!


Farmhouse Dining Room Table

I’ve been talking about getting rid of our dining room table for a while now. While it’s a great table, it’s simply too dark for my taste. Plus it shows every spec of dust no matter how much you clean it. I had been eyeing these farmhouse table plans from Ana White for months and finally convinced my husband that we just NEEDED to build it. And that we (he?) did.

We made some minor adjustments to the original plans. For instance, I do not need a dining table that’s 98″ long. So we measured our old table and adjusted the plans accordingly. Our table is 72″ long and roughly 42″ wide. (Hint: Home Depot cuts the wood for you!)

We also didn’t bother to use wood glue…we never do. I actually prefer the look of the wood screws in the wood. I feel it adds a rustic touch, plus it’s less time-consuming.

I painted the bottom of the table Simply White by Benjamin Moore, which is my new favorite white. I stained the top my all time favorite Minwax stain, Special Walnut #224. It’s the perfect stain to give a weathered look. I used polyacrylic on top and chose a flat finish because I felt that made the wood look even more natural.

I am SO thrilled with how it turned out! And the best part? It cost a total of $100! Now I just need some gorgeous dried hydrangeas for that galvanized bucket and some really fabulous chairs (which, as you know, I already have two of 🙂 ) More to come!

Maternity Fashion: Looking Cute While Pregnant

Can I just throw something out there really quick?

Why is it so hard to find fashionable maternity clothes? Why does everything look like a giant moo-moo? What happened to still looking cute and fashionable while you’re growing a human inside of you?!?!?!?

I’ve had a LOT of downtimes lately (see here), which has resulted in SOME online shopping. I started browsing for maternity clothes…just to SEE what was out there. Aaaaand that’s when I wished I hadn’t. Because quite frankly, most of the clothing is hideous. Have you seen the things they are selling? Yeah. No thanks.

That’s when I decided I needed to share some KEY points with maternity fashion. So pregnant ladies, listen up! Now I fully understand, all women have different body types…some may feel insecure about the way they look being pregnant while others don’t. But let’s be honest, NO ONE wants to look bigger than they actually are. Am I right? So here are some tips on how to feel amazing about yourself regardless of size while you’re growing that tiny miracle inside of you for 9 months, and the first few postpartum months after. :)

Wear solid colors.

Solid colors really help flaunt your bump! Patterns have way too much going on and tend to draw attention AWAY from your bump, and ultimately make you look larger than you really are (whomp). We want to show that bump off! Solid colored maxi dresses, maxi skirts, or a brightly colored solid pant with a neutral top can be easily accessorized with hats, scarves, belts, and jewelry..your options are limitless!

Invest in pieces of maternity clothing that will grow with you and fit you WELL.

I am loving the ruched maternity tanks from Old Navy. I have one in black, gray, and white. They are amazing and make you LOOK amazing. They hug in the right spots and really flatter your shape. Plus, they are easy to throw under a long cardigan that’s already in your closet or to wear with a maxi skirt. Maxi dresses in a neutral color are also a great investment. Don’t give up on jeans just because they don’t button! Purchase a belly band (less than $20!) that way you can wear your jeans for as long as possible. But when you’re further along, find a pair of maternity jeans that fit you well.

Avoid baggy clothing (that doesn’t look good with a properly positioned belt – see next tip).

No, no, no, no, no, no, no. Baggy shirts, sweaters, etc. are doing nothing for you when you have a giant bump. This is acceptable for the first trimester when you aren’t really showing, or if you’re trying to hide your pregnancy because you haven’t made the announcement yet. But wearing a large baggy sweater when you’re 7 months pregnant? It’s not flattering. You will most likely feel very large, and not good about yourself. And this is a time you should embrace because you’re GORGEOUS and therefore, you should feel amazing!

Accentuate your beautiful bump with belts.

My husband hates when women wear belts on the outside of clothing, aka not on belt loops. Then again, my husband spends maybe $20 a year on clothing and still wears a fleece from 1997. Belts are your friend! We want to show our bumps off because after all, they’re beautiful! So use a belt to accentuate your bump by placing it right at the top of the bump/right under your boobs (which are also probably large at this point) to really show it off. It gives you a “waist” back and really flatters your new/changing body shape. I do this all the time with non-maternity dresses, tanks, blouses, and tees!


Don’t hide your curves or that belly!!!

SHOW. OFF. YOUR. BELLY. Got it? There are some women out there dying to be in your shoes (I was one of them!). Stop complaining about it, and show it off. You are pregnant and beautiful. You are growing a blessing inside of you. Show your shape by wearing ruche and wrap styles that really enhance your curves and grow with your bump.

Hope that helps my soon-to-be mamas out there! I am super grateful it will be warm when I’m at my biggest…maxi dresses and skirts all day every day for me! :)

From Our Hiding Place