In the cards

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I hate reply cards in magazines, the ones that come tumbling out the moment you start to read. Found a super use for them in the shop, though.

The first thing I do when opening a new magazine is to shake out all the loose reply cards. The second thing I do is tear out all the ones that are bound in. We get a lot of magazines, and so a lot of cards, making this an essential task. All that done, I can then enjoy my magazine.

I thought it would be funny once to drop all those cards behind the couch, just to see how many would accumulate back there before someone noticed. Hilarious! Did that for three, maybe four years. The person who found them didn’t see the humor. Then again, she doesn’t think the Three Stooges are funny.

But rather that throw them away, now I collect them. I have a small manila envelope taped to one of my shop cabinets that holds about a hundred or so of those reply cards, and I always keep it filled. Here are just a few reasons:

• They’ll hold a dab of glue for application with small glue brushes
• You can scrape excess glue off a project with them
• Great to mix epoxy on
• Set wet brushes down on them
• Coasters
• Put them under the corners of freshly stained projects
• They’re perfect for micro-thin shims
• You can use one as a quick-and-dirty feeler gauge
• Folded, you can clean things out of crevices with them
• Temporary “bumpers” for doors and drawers
• They make good scoopers to put screws back in containers

Of course, there are many more uses than I have space here to list. Since I first discovered their almost infinite shop utility, I never let that envelope run low, and constantly replenish it with fresh cards from new magazines. If the envelope starts bulging, unneeded cards just go into the trash.

Or behind the couch.

A.J.

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