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7 Quick and Easy Shop Tips

1) Get a Grip

If you’ve ever changed your own oil, you know how stubborn the filter can sometimes be. Just stick a couple of pieces of rough-grit self-adhesive sandpaper to the filter to make it easier to get a grip.


2) Quick Disc Change

Anyone who has used a random-orbit sander can attest to what a great tool it is for sanding wood. But one thing it’s not so great at is helping you align the dust-collection holes between the sanding discs and the sander pad. By sticking a few 3/8"-diameter dowels into holes on opposite edges of the sanding pad, you can create an automatic alignment guide for putting on sanding discs. Just remember to store the dowels with your sanding discs so you’ll have them for the next switch!

3) Secure Storage

Propane torches are “tippy” and not very easy to store around the shop. Nothing a short length of 3" PVC and a cap can’t fix. To install it, just cut the PVC to length and drive a few holes in it for screws. Add the cap, and attach it to pegboard or the wall with short drywall screws.

4) Finishing Tack Trick

Tired of waiting for one side of a shelf panel to dry before you can apply varnish to the other side? Take a scrap panel, drill small holes in it, and insert four push pins near each corner. Then, after brushing finish on one side of your shelf panel, simply flip the panel over, rest it on the push pins, and finish the other side.



5) Make Your Own Metal Rulers

Accurate, flexible, and affordable. To make your own, simply run out a few feet or so of tape from an old tape measure, lock it (you’ll regret it if you don’t), and carefully cut the tape with heavy-duty scissors where each foot begins. Also, clip the corners to soften the sharp edges. Make sure to use a tape measure that has inch marks that reset for each foot at zero. That way, you can create as many 12" rulers as you need.


6) New Life for an Old Belt

If your old belts become outdated (or outgrown), they can still serve a useful purpose in the shop. One great solution is to use them as soft jaws to protect delicate wood in a machinist’s vise. Simply cut two belt pieces to the length you need and place them on both jaws of the vise before securing the workpiece.

7) Simple Saw Blade Storage

Table saw blades are awkward to store, and the sharp teeth can cut you if you try to grab one off a stack of blades. One quick solution is to store a strong magnet in the drawer right next to his blades. Then you can use the magnet to sort through the blades and find the one you’re looking for without touching the teeth.



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© 2011 August Home Publishing............................................................................ From Kreg and Woodsmith Magazine

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