Tips & Tricks: Issue 35

Pegboard panel pullouts

When outfitting my new shop, I needed a way to store and organize my hand tools, so I stole this storage design from my friend Bob Della-Rovere in Mesa, Arizona. The setup consists of simple 3⁄4"-thick frames covered on both faces with pegboard and mounted vertically in a cabinet on full-extension drawer slides screwed to cleats. You could fix the cleats directly to a cabinet top and bottom, but I decided to mount them to a “case insert,” which I then slipped into the cabinet opening after assembling the entire unit. This system works great for storing lots of tools in a compact area.

—Bob Kellenberger, Fairview, Texas

Drilling out broken screws

When installing hinges or other hardware with brass screws, I first bore pilot holes and pre-thread them by driving in a steel screw of a similar size. I then lubricate the brass screws with wax for easier insertion. In spite of these precautions, I still manage to snap off the occasional screw head. To remove the imbedded screw body, I use the same self-centering drill bit (also called a “Vix bit”) that I used to drill the pilot holes. With the intended hinge or other hardware secured by screws in the remaining holes, I simply redrill with the self-centering bit, feeding it slowly with a low rpm to bore out the metal.

—Richard Libera, Newark, Delaware

Keyhole slot routing jig

Routed keyhole slots provide a great way to hang everything from picture frames and plaques to small cabinets. Plunging the bit into the work, and then moving it forward about 3⁄8" creates a keyhole-shaped slot that accepts the head of a screw. Here’s a simple jig to help with the job. It’s nothing more than a small panel of 1⁄4"-thick plywood or hardboard with a frame of fences attached to guide the router. The panel “wings” allow clamping the jig to a cabinet. For smaller workpieces, attach the panel with double-faced tape or hot-melt glue.

—Paul Anthony, senior editor

Zero-clearance laminate panel

When ripping narrow pieces from wide stock, I was having trouble because the opening on my tablesaw’s stock throat plate was too wide to offer good support for the resulting strips. I hadn’t yet made a zero-clearance replacement throat plate, and needed a quick fix. I ripped a piece of plastic laminate about a foot wide and crosscut it to match the front-to-back depth of my tablesaw. I used double-faced tape to affix the laminate to my tablesaw top, with its edge butted against my pre-set fence. I clamped a board to the fence to hold the laminate down as I raised the saw blade through it. After removing the hold-down, I was ready to go, with the laminate serving as a zero-clearance panel.

—Bill Wells, Olympia, Washington

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