Tips & Tricks: Issue 9

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This article is from Issue 9 of Woodcraft Magazine.

Angle Calculator

Here is a list of angles that can be easily formed with a straight board across a carpenter’s square. For the desired angle, set the board at the length and height marks listed and clamp into place. All the angles shown in the table are accurate within ¼ of a degree. For angles larger than 45°, just exchange the height and length.  For example, a 30° angle would be formed when setting your board at 19" long and 11" high, so 60° would be measured at 11" long and 19" high.

— Dave Van Ess, Arlington, Wash.

Tool Tips in Easy Reach 

Tired of paging through my books looking for tips or tricks about using a table saw or any other tool in my shop, I decided to organize myself. My friend and I share magazines. I photocopy every trick and put them in books according to which tool they apply to – table saw, router, etc. Each book is stored with its corresponding tool. So now if I’m looking for a tip or trick about routing, I open my router book, and there are all my tips (easy). I love it; it works wonderfully. 

— Fred Mandel, Dinsmore, Saskatchewan

Support While Planing 

unless your bench has a board jack, planing long boards requires some kind of makeshift support. Using a piece of scrap I had on hand and a little time, I created a neat alternative. 

The contraption is simply a tray arrangement with arms. These arms have pegs (round or square, depending on your bench) that slip into the dog holes along the front. I made my tray with a front lip, enabling me to shim boards for a tighter fit, but the lip may be omitted if you prefer.

— R.B. Himes, Vienna, Ohio

Sanding in Tight Spots

While building the candle lantern featured in Woodcraft Magazine (“Illuminating History,” March 2005), I needed a way to sand the inside of the hand-cut slot in the front of the top plate; it’s only ¼" wide.

To solve the problem, I used sandpaper attached to a putty knife. You simply cut the sandpaper slightly oversize for a 1½" x 3" blade and attach it with spray adhesive, then trim to fit. I keep two versions handy: one with with 80-grit on one side and 120-grit on the other side, and the second equipped with 150- and 180-grit.         

— John S. Wilson, Redwood City, Calif.

Corral That Bottle Cap

Do you spend a lot of time searching for the top to your glue bottle? Here’s my answer to this pesky problem.

Cut a piece of dental floss 6" long. Take the cap off the glue bottle and pierce a small hole in the top of the cap. Push the dental floss through from the top. Tie a bulky knot in one end, and pull it up into the cap to make sure the knot is big enough. Tie a noose in the other end and place it around the top portion of the glue bottle. Now you can rest assured you will always be able to find the cap after you use your glue. 

I tried other materials such as fishing line, but I found dental floss worked better because of its strength and flexibility for tying.   

— Frank LaRoque, The Dalles, Ore.


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