Quick Tips — Methods of Work 5

Swinging rack adds wall space to garage

The double-car garage door severely limits wall space in my garage/woodworking shop. So I created a 4-ft. by 5-ft. swinging tool rack for hanging hand tools, clamps, and accessories. Mounted in the corner of the front of my garage, it can stay against the garage door until I have to get in or out that way. The rack does not interfere with storage on the adjoining wall.

I made the rack out of 2×4 and 2×2 lumber. Two heavy-duty fence hinges are bolted to two 10-in.-wide stand-offs to hold the rack away from the wall. The stand-offs, which can be any length, are lag-screwed into a stud in the garage wall. The outside vertical member of the rack is a leg that ends in a locking, swiveling caster, which provides needed stability.

I could have built the rack out of 3⁄4-in.-thick plywood but decided to use it as an exercise in making haunched and pegged mortise-and-tenon joints. The joints are quite strong, without a nail or screw in sight.

I also built two 4-ft.-long caddies, one for each side of the rack. I used 3⁄4-in.-thick pine for the sides and 1⁄4-in.-thick Masonite for the bottom. One caddy holds gluing supplies, and the other holds my palm sander and other small sanders. To maximize storage space, I guess a guy could build a rack for each side of the garage, but that is for another time.

Dry-erase panels for cabinet doors

When I built new cabinets for my workshop, I used white dry-erase boards for the panels in the cabinet doors. Now I can jot down notes and measurements right on the doors. And if I need to see the notes from the other side of the shop, I just open a door so it points in the proper direction.

The dry-erase panels have a slick, white surface applied to a1⁄8-in.-thick Masonite backing. To make the door panels, I added a piece of 1⁄4-in. plywood to the back of the dry-erase board so the inside of the door looks decent.

Put your signature on your work

Here’s a method I developed to sign and date my woodworking. Place a wide strip of masking tape on the area to be signed and write on it with a felt-tip pen. Then, with a rotary tool mounted in a router base, use the tool to trace the writing. Remove the masking tape, and sand to remove any rough edges made by the bit. Seal with a finish. If additional contrast is needed, I simply apply some dark wax.


Sanding block for corners

I made this special sanding block to make it easier to clean up inside corners of a box or drawer. The shape was inspired by the profile of a chisel. I started with a scrap of 3⁄4-in.-thick plywood about 1 and 1⁄4 in. wide and 4 in. long. Then I cut a 30° bevel across one end of the plywood to make a pointed end. To use, I cut a strip of sandpaper the same width as the block and wrap it around the block lengthwise. The angle of the block also lets me grip securely on both sides.

Shopmade disposable foam brushes

Here’s a way to make simple disposable foam brushes for glue, paint, stain, or epoxy. Slice strips of foam, then cover one side of the foam with spray adhesive—Elmer’s Craft Bond works well. Press tongue depressors or other sticks onto one side of the foam at appropriate intervals. Now fold the foam over the sticks evenly, press, and cut the segments apart. I make dozens of different sizes at a time. Upholstery shops have foam scraps of all thicknesses, and it doesn’t take much to make a bunch of brushes—a few feet of 3⁄8-in.-thick material goes a long way.