Quick Tips – Terrific Tips 3

Swingin’ Storage

I LIKE TO STORE hardware in its original package on a Peg-Board wall in my shop. I’ve devised some swinging panels for the wall that give me a lot more usable space. To make the panels , you’ll need 1/8″ Peg-Board, a 3/4″ dia. dowel rod and Peg-Board tool holders.

Make the panels by cutting 12″x 12″ pieces from the Peg-Board. For each panel, cut one dowel 2-1/2″ long and one 5″ long. Cut a 1/8″ wide groove in one end of both dowels and slide the dowels onto the panels . Fasten the dowels with screws (see insert, above).

To install a panel, insert the longer dowel in the top tool holder until the bottom dowel slips into the bottom tool holder. The long top dowel must extend through both rings of the tool holder to keep the panel from falling out. Each pair of tool holders holds up to six panels.

I also cut a 1/8″ wide slot in a 12″ length of 2×4 to use as a base for the panels so I can remove a panel from the tool rack and set it on my workbench.

Floor Sweep Dust Port

MY ROUTER TABLE is probably the most used tool in my shop. Its fence has a dust port, but it’s not very effective when routing with a bearing-guided bit. I went to my local woodworking store one day looking for a better dust port, but got inspired and purchased a floor sweep instead.
When I got home, I traced the floor sweep’s profile on a piece of particleboard and cut it out on the bandsaw.1 screwed the floor sweep to the particle board, and clamped the whole thing to my router table. The floor sweep’s gaping mouth gobbles up all the dust I can produce.

Marking Dark Wood

I OFTEN USE DARK, exotic wood for turning pens. It’s difficult to see center marks on these species, so I paint the ends of my pen blanks with liquid paper. After it dries in a few seconds, I can easily mark the center with a pencil.

Bowl Blank Guide Disc

HERE’S AN EASY WAY to cut bowl blanks from half log sections. Cut a round guide disc from 1/ 4″ thick material the size you want your blank to be, then countersink a hole in the center. Saw the log in half down its length on your bandsaw, then screw the guide disc to the flat side of the log, making sure the screw’s head does not stand proud of the surface.

Next, make a 1/4″ thick fence as long as your saw’s table. Clamp the fence so that it just touches the left side of the blade and is parallel to the table’s slot. Saw into the log using the disc as a guide against the fence.


Handy Handscrews

IT’S FAR EASIER TO edge band a panel if it’s standing up rather than lying flat. Since I don’t have a work-bench with a face vise, I clamp a handscrew on the end of the panel and use another handscrew to clamp the first one to a sturdy worktable.

Giant Caliper

HERE’S AN EASY WAY to measure the exact diameter of a large part. This method uses two framing squares and doesn’t require any math. Place the squares in opposite directions and slide them together, keeping their blades (wide part) flush, until the tongues (narrow part) are tight against the sides of the object. Read its diameter from the inside edge of a square’s blade.

Garden Variety Wrap

HOOK AND LOOP tie wrap is nothing new, but you may not be aware that it comes in two different varieties. The two-piece kind sells for about a dollar per foot. One piece has hooks; the other has loops. The one-piece “garden variety” kind, which has hooks on one side and loops on the other side, comes in a 1/2″ wide by 45′ roll that only costs about 3 bucks! It really is made for gardeners, but I’ve found dozens of uses for it around the shop, such as binding cords, securing box lids, and bundling wood scraps or dowels.

Launder Your Sanding Belts

W HEN I’M SAN DIN G wood with lots of pitch or removing old finish, my sand-paper gums up so much that I can’t get it clean with a rubber eraser-type cleaner. I used to throwaway the sandpaper and buy more.

Now, I pour some resin cleaner (for cleaning saw blades) in a glass jar and soak the sandpaper overnight. You can get a quart of Pitch and Resin Remover from Rockier for $10 (item #64956). Add water and it makes a gallon. After soaking the sandpaper, I clamp it to a board and rinse it off with a garden hose or, if needed, a pressure washer. After the belt dries, it’s ready to use again. I’ve washed about ten belts with the same jar of cleaner, and it’s got plenty of life left.

Pocket Joints Plus

KREG’S VISE CLAMPS are perfectly suited for clamping pocket hole joints because their large, flat faces hold the parts flush without marring the wood. I like to get extra mileage out of everything, so instead of storing my Kreg clamps in the case for use only when making pocket hole joints, I keep them with the rest of my clamps, ready for use at all times. They’re faster than C-clamps, and thanks to their large, round faces, they don’t leave their signature on my work.

Shop-Made Wing Nuts

WOODEN WING NUTS are easier on your hands than metal ones. Making them is a great way to use up shop scraps and leftover hex nuts. When you need a wing nut, you won’t have to go to the hardware store.

Start with a strip of wood that’s about 3/ 4″ thick, at least 1/4″ wider than the hex nuts, and long enough to work with safely. Using a Forstner bit, drill holes the exact depth of the hex nuts. Size the holes so that the nuts fit snug.

Drill a hole sized for a bolt the rest of the way through. Dab some petroleum jelly on the nuts’ threads with a Q-tip, then apply epoxy around the holes’ shoulders and insert the nuts. The petroleum jelly keeps the epoxy from sticking to the threads. To make sure each nut i s level, thread in a bolt. It should stand straight up. When the epoxy has cured, cut and shape the wing nuts for a comfortable grip.