Tips & Tricks: Finding the balance point
I make a lot of wall-mounted pieces designed to be hung via keyhole slots or sawtooth hangers. Many of these pieces aren’t symmetrical, however. So the hardware or slot must be located off-center to hang straight. Figuring out just how much off-center can be tricky.
Tips & Tricks: Shop-made grinder guards
Over the years, my bench grinder has proved to be a valuable addition to my shop. It still runs like a champ, but the original, clear plastic guards yellowed and cracked some time ago. Rather than spend the time and effort to find OEM replacements, I made my own from a pair of inexpensive safety glasses meant for short-term visitors.
Tips & Tricks: Vise-saving jaws
If you don’t have a metalworking vise in your shop, securing metal parts such as screws and rods can be troublesome. They may slip in the jaws of your workbench vise, or the hard material may damage the vise’s wooden faces.
Tips & Tricks: Segmented turning sled
I turn a lot of segmented bowls. To make cutting the segments for the blanks easier, I devised this runner-guided bandsaw sled which can be configured to cut nearly any number (N) of segments (as long as [N] divides evenly into 360).
Tips & Tricks: Taming edge-to-edge joints
Oftentimes it seems like edge gluing gives the boards a mind of their own. They slip and slide out of alignment leaving panels with ridges that are a nuisance to flatten out.
Tips & Tricks: Scribing to level
When I make stools, I always leave the legs about 1/2" overlong for leveling. Then, after the final glue up, I trim all of the legs to make sure the piece sits true.
Tips & Tricks: Precision reference line
Instead of sneaking up on layout lines as I make crosscuts on my table saw, I added a reference line to my saw’s table that corresponds precisely to the width of the saw blade.
Tips & Tricks: Shop-Made Dowels
I use a lot of 1/4" cherry, walnut, and oak dowels with my students both for joinery as well as decorative accents. Rather than purchase expensive pre-made dowels, I make my own in a two-step process.
Tips & Tricks: Through-the-table end boring
I recently upgraded my drill press to a “woodworkers” model with a larger table, offering extra support for bigger workpieces.
Tips & Tricks: "Free" finish supports
My local pizza place includes little, three-legged, plastic “tables” in their boxes to keep the lids from sticking to the top of the pies.