Router magic

When I get new tools, the first thing I do is watch endless YouTube videos by guys like Adam at LazyGuyDIY and Zach over at Southern Ginger Workshop to figure out what sort of cool things I can do with them. One of the most recent adds to my tool collection is a Compact Router, which I like to use for making signs. So, why not share the fun and give you all some tips on using your shiny new compact Router. Go grab yourself a 1/8 inch by 3/8 inch Carbide Straight Router bit at Home Depot for about 18 bucks (plus tax) and let’s get carving!


1. Insert the bit so you have about 1/4 inch in depth for cut.

2. Print a sweet image on your everyday, handy-dandy printer.

3. Glue the image onto your surface using Titebond wood glue, let sit a few hours, preferably overnight. (leaving it sit will allow the glue to fully set, thus avoiding parts of your image from ripping off)

4. Using your compact router with your bit already set, trace the image with your router, counter clockwise to keep it nice and clean (as always, make sure to use your favorite goggles for protection).

5. After you have finished routing out your image, use 60 grit sand paper (I prefer Gator Finishing) to remove the remaining glue and paper.

6. Clean out the image using a small chisel.

7. Grab a handy can of black/dark colored spray paint and spray the image.

8. Once the paint is dry, remove the excess paint on the surface with 60 grit sand paper.

9. Once you have sanded the sign, stain, paint, or finish it to your desired preference!


*Bonus step: Tag @GingerWoodWorks in a post with your finished product so I can check out your efforts!

Sponges Aren’t Just For Dishes Anymore

Raise your hand if you are sick of cutting sandpaper to fit your sanding block, or a 2 x 4 that you’ve fashioned into a DIY sanding block. The struggle we all have is that the paper rips after about three seconds. Enter sanding sponges. I use the Gator Finishing line myself. Mostly because they hold up longer, offer a protective coating which stands up to the heat of sanding, and they don’t offer those silly honeycomb shapes that another nameless brand patented. Speaking of that honeycomb shape, I prefer my sanding to be even and seamless, which you get with Gator sponges. They have an angled edge which is helpful in reaching those tough spots deep in the corner. One of my favorite uses of the sponges are for smaller, more delicate projects that lend themselves to more careful sanding. I have been working on a custom display box that presented me with the need for Gator sponges. I didn’t think going at it with a beastly orbital sander was going to leave my piece happily smooth. If you have seen these sponges in any of my pictures or Instagram stories and are wondering where to pick them up, I will end the blog with some places you can find them. As always, if you are not certain about where you can find these products or wish they were available in your area, make sure to send Gator Finishing a message on Instagram!


Happy Sanding.


Gator Finishing products are available at:

Ace Hardware

No Tool Snobbery to see here……

Last summer, while my project list picked up, I quickly learned I was bringing a plastic spoon to a knife fight.  I know I am not the only one who started a project ill-prepared with quality tools. The tools I had gotten when I moved into my first house in 2007 were no longer relevant, and barely useful. Over the course of last summer I spent more time waiting for batteries to charge then I did building.

Why am I sharing this with you?  Because over this past year I have been blessed to add many tools to my shop, including many Ridgid tools.  I personally love how tough the Ridgid tool brand is, the Lifetime Service Agreement, and of course…..the color. That said, one thing you wont find here at Ginger Woodworks is Tool Snobbery.

We all started somewhere and there is a place for every tool. When I talk tools, I will find the positive. It may be the value, it could be the sale, and it could just be the quality. In every product you have ever used, there are good encounters and bad encounters. There will be more posts on specific tools that I like, ones that I recommend even, but you wont find me knocking brands here. Many of us are married to brands, sometimes its because we love them and sometimes because the battery cost is as much as a car payment.

My advice – you do you. Buy the best tools that you can afford and always get the one you need for the latest project before the one you want because it looks cool.  I’ve used a lot of brands in my shop, and I can say that they work for their intended purpose.  Not all tools are made for the pro job site and not all tools need to be.  Each of us is building, making, and creating something different.  Keep that in mind and be excited about your new tool purchase.