Several years ago Woodshop News had a Shop Tips department. Many magazines today also have such a department, and theyre one of my favorite features.
Id like to share a couple of my own tips that I came up with. When Im done, its your turn. You may have seen one of these before, as Ive run all of them in at least two magazines Ive edited. At least one of them recently popped up in another magazine; I came up with it about five or six years ago, but you know what they say, no new ideas.
Ready? Lets go.
My workbench has two accessories I wouldnt be without, and they take about five seconds to make. I take a PSA sanding disk for my 9 Delta disk sander, peel off the backing paper, and fold it in half so the sticky sides join to create a very rigid half circle with abrasive on each side. This is the perfect utility sander for edges, rough corners or any area you might use a sanding block for. Its stiff enough that you can reach into odd spots, and still bendable enough to shape around curved workpieces. Because theyre flat, you can slip them into a pocket if you want, something you wouldnt do with a sanding block. One of them is rough 60-grit, the other 120. If you want, cut one of each disk in half and stick it to the other to have a different grit on each side.
Speaking of sanding, have any emery boards? Theyre perfect for sanding inside mortises and between dovetails and box joints. Theyre dirt cheap from your local drugstore (and free if you steal them from your wife, like I do). Slip them into a shirt pocket. As a bonus, you can trim your fingernails with them should you desire to do so.
You know how when you open a magazine and about a dozen subscription cards fall out? Collect em all and keep them in your shop. Slip them into an envelope and hang the envelope on your pegboard with your other tools. They can be used as shims, spacers, to mix up small amounts of epoxy, to shield workpiece components while staining, clean pads around furniture feet when finishing, and a hundred other things. (If one of them is for Woodshop News, be sure to send that one in of course.)
Those thin Velcro strips that some grocery stores use to bundle fresh produce like celery make great cable and electric cord ties.
When youre stealing emery boards from your wife, steal some Q-Tips, too. Theyre great for staining touchups. Dip one end in the stain, dab it in the desired location, wait a moment then flip the Q-Tip around and use the dry end to wipe off the excess. I guess this is a Q-Tip tip.
OK, your turn. What are some of your tips?
Till next time,