Quick Tips – Terrific Tips 2

Spindle Sander Extras

MY OSCILLATINGSPINDLE SANDER’S auxiliary table makes quick work of edge sanding short boards and forming perfect circles. Make the table from melamine or a laminate-covered material and fasten it to your sander’s table. Make a fence the same length as the table and drill a hole through one end for a 3/8″ x 6″ dowel. Drill a series of 3/8″ holes in a strip of hardwood and attach it to the back edge of the table.

To edge sand, place the board next to the sanding drum and adjust the fence so that it contacts the opposite side of the board.

Remove the board and clamp the fence. Push the board along the fence, making sure you’re going against the drum’s rotation. If you need to remove more material, unclamp and pivot the fence. Always take light passes.

To sand circles, attach a 3/4″ x 1-1/2″ X 8″ board to the backside of the fence. Drill a hole in this board large enough to slip a nail through. The nail acts as a pivot point. Rough cut your circle on the bandsaw, then place the off cuts plus a few business cards under the fence for clearance. Tap the nail into the center of the workpiece, move the fence so that the circle’s edge just touches the sanding drum, and you’re ready to go.


I DEVISED A NEW WAY to fit a shelf into a dado. I use my router to make a tiny adjustment to the shelfs thickness instead of fine-tuning my dado set with shims to match the plywood’s thickness. This maybe standard practice for some woodworkers, but it’s new to me. For 1/4″deep dadoes, I use a 1/4″rabbeting bit with a bearing. I set the bit’s depth-of-cut to the absolute minimum, and experiment. Once I’ve got a perfect fit, I shave all of the shelves.

Pattern-Cut Finials

THETRADITIONAL WAYTO MAKE a square finial on a bandsaw is to mark and cut the pattern on one side of the blank, then tape the off cut back onto the blank in order to guide the cuts on the adjacent side.

This is difficult to do with an intricate pattern because it’s hard to keep the off cut in one piece. I use a sled with a handle for steering it. First, I screw the finial blank to the sled (Photo 1).Next, I screw a pattern to the top edge of the sled and follow the pattern to cut the first side of the finial (Photo 2).Then I unscrew the finial, rotate it 90°, screw it back on the sled, and cut the next side (Photo 3). The sled’s side supports are an important safety feature – they keep the finial from being pulled down by the saw’s blade during the second cut.

Staple Set

PNEUMATIC STAPLERS don’t always set 1/4″ crown staples flush. Driving them the rest of the way with a hammer causes the staples to kink, so I designed this easy-to-make tool, which I call a “staple set.” To make the set, cut a 5″ section of dowel at least 1″ in diameter and drill a 1/4″ hole down the center. You’ll have to drill the dowel from both ends to reach all the way through. Insert a 6-1/2″ length of 1/4″ steel rod into the hole. Place the staple set over the staple and tap the steel rod. This sets the staple without bending it.

Disposable Drill Press Table

INSTEAD OF MAKINGDISPOSABLE INSERTS for my drill press table, I found that it’s faster and cheaper to make disposable fence/table assemblies. I can use the entire surface of my disposable tables, so I get more life from them. First, make a 3/4″ x 16″ x 20″ base for your drill press table and bolt it in place. Epoxy a 3″ 1/4-20 bolt through one corner of the base.

Then cut a fence 3/4″ x 2″ x 18″. Drill 1/4″ holes 2″ apart along the 3/4″ surface of the fence’s length. Screw the fence to an MDF or plywood off-cut. Slip the fence/table assembly onto the bolt through the fence’s first hole, and secure it with a cam clamp or jig knob.

Pivot the other end to position the fence and clamp it in place. When the first area of the disposable table is full of holes, loosen the clamp and move the fence to the next hole. When you’ve moved the fence through all of the holes, unscrew the fence and screw it to the opposite edge of the disposable table and start over. When the whole board is used up, salvage the fence for the next disposable table.