Tips & Tricks: Issue 28

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This article is from Issue 28 of Woodcraft Magazine.

Rip-fence repeater

In a perfect world, you’d make all the cuts for same-width project parts at the same time. There are instances, however, when you need to set the rip fence for other cuts, and then must return to the original table saw setup. That’s when you need this jig. Its adjustable arms allow you to quickly reset your rip fence for two repeatable settings without fussy measuring and/or test-cutting. I mostly use the jig with my table saw, but it works just as well with a router table equipped with a miter gauge slot.

Build it as shown, making sure that the miter slot strip fits your saw. 

To use the jig, set your rip fence, then position the jig into the miter slot, loosen the wing nut, and slide one of the wood arms so that its end touches the fence. To use the second arm, rotate the jig end for end. For greater versatility, consider making one arm 12" long; the other, 18" long.

—Tim Rusch, Tampa, Florida

Dust brush sticks to dust maker

Frustrated at never having my brushes where (and when) I needed them, I drilled a ¼"-diameter hole and glued a 10mm-diameter rare-earth magnet into the bristle end of my dust brush. Now my brush stays out of the way, but is nearby when it’s time to clean up. 

—Bill Sands, Lubeck, West Virginia

Double-duty disc

Next time you’re at a ballgame or auto show, grab a promotional flying disc for your shop. The shallow plastic bowls are perfect for mixing epoxy or Bondo. The wide surface area prevents heat build-up that accelerates the curing process, giving you more time to use the batch. (And in most cases, the dried glue will pop out of the soft slick plastic.) 

—Travis Collier, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Final polish

Tinted wax-type shoe polish can be used for final polishing and as color-matching filler for fixing finish nail holes. Unlike lighter wax, leftover residue won’t leave a white haze. 

—Tristan Juday, Portsmouth, Maine

Let a kerf mark the cut

The problem with most etched-line saw-blade indicators is that it’s too easy to make an incorrect reading if you’re not looking through the acrylic at just the right angle. And for those times when you’re cutting a dado or groove, the single line doesn’t indicate the exact location or full width of the blade. Kerfing the gauge as shown (I replaced mine with a scrap of clear acrylic) solves both problems in one quick cut.

To make the gauge, affix the acrylic to the end of a scrap 2×4 with a few dabs of hot glue then notch it with your table saw for an exact blade-width kerf. Next, set the indicator by positioning the rip fence against the right side of the blade, and adjust the left-hand edge of the kerfed acrylic to your zero mark.

—Terry Dillon, Mineral Point, Wisconsin

Long-arm miter stop

I came up with this long-arm stop on a jobsite in order to cut deck balusters but found that it was just as useful in my small garage workshop. Held in place by the saw’s hold-down clamp, the jig provides a reliable stop (for accuracy) and support (the workpiece can’t tip and split at the end of the cut). The auxiliary fence also enables you to install a toggle clamp closer to the saw blade for better stock control.

The stopblock is glued to the end of the auxiliary fence. To adjust the cutting length, slide the jig fence along your saw and reclamp. Adjust the saw’s depth of cut so that the blade doesn’t slice through the fence, and you can use the stop quite awhile before it needs replacement.

—Patrick Breen, Providence, Rhode Island


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