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My Favorite Tips

(Culled from woodworking sources everywhere)
1) Michael Dresdner's favorite clear finish for patio furniture is true spar varnish, available at marine and boat supply stores.
2) To rout a small item that can't be secured otherwise, attach it to a larger piece of wood with hot melt glue. Once you're finished, you can pry it off with a chisel.
3) Use a worn ROS sanding disc to protect surfaces when you're cutting off wood plugs and dowels. All but the largest plugs will slip through one of the holes in the disc, keeping the saw teeth from contacting the surface.
4) First vacuum the dust from your project, then wipe it down with naphtha or mineral spirits instead of using a tack cloth which might interfere with the finish. Plus, you'll see any scratches or glue spots that need to be addressed.
5) As a final step, finish sanding with a sanding block, with the grain, using the same grit as you just finished using with your ROS. It's the only way to entirely remove the minute swirl marks that are left behind by the ROS.
6) Mate a dust collector hose clamp with a spring clamp for the ideal hose clamp solution.
7) Put electrical tape on the cut line to get smooth cuts in aluminum.
8) Use Zinsser SealCoat as your first coat of clear finish, after whatever stain you use, as it will seal in any impurities, like silicon, ending up in fish eyes. You can then finish up with your clear finish of choice as they are all compatible with SealCoat.
9) To locate small items lost on the floor, simply turn the lights off and shine a light across the floor. The shadows of the lost items will give their location away.
10) To insulate your cement shop floor, provide cushion for dropped tools and reduce the vibration of stationary power tools, install stall mats available at a horse tack shop. These are rubber mats that are 1" thick. It's also cheaper and easier than installing a wooden floor over the concrete slab.
11) To tip a framed wall into place, rack the wall out of square temporarily as its top touches the ceiling. This will give you the height adjustment you'll need to be able to get in in place.
12) Make a quick release hook for your shop apron strings using a basic key ring and a carabiner. 
13) Plastic cling wrap (you can buy a roll and dispenser at U-Haul) is inexpensive yet an effective clamp for when bar clamps are ineffective, like when you need to clamp four chair legs or any other angled or odd-shaped parts.
14) Check with your local building inspector prior to installing composite decking in that new deck you are building. Some of these materials haven't been approved yet and you wouldn't want to have to remove it all when you're all done. Really.
15) To prevent your table saw's arbor nut from falling into that pile of sawdust when you change your blade, simply keep your fore finger touching the end of the arbor as you remove and replace the nut. It'll go onto your finger instead of being dropped below.

16) Buy a wireless doorbell at Radio Shack to enable your spouse to communicate to you while in your shop, whether it's to say that dinner is ready or your attention is needed.

17) If you rip a cupped board in three parts instead of two, along the straight-grained sides instead of in the flat-grained middle, the seams upon glue-up will be much less noticeable.
18) To keep dust from ruining your shop's calculator, simple enclose it in a zip-loc bag; still useable but protected.
19) Every tool's plug blades have small holes at the end of each blade. Put a luggage padlock through one of these holes if you don't want a child to pick up, plug in and use the tool.
20) A good use for that empty 5 gallon pail is to drill a quarter inch hole in the bottom, fill it with water, and put it next to a thirsty plant.
21) To hang objects with hidden T-slots on their back, simply photocopy or scan the back of the object, tape the paper to the wall and drill holes where necessary.
22) Color code air nailers with their respective boxes of nails using colored tape.
23) To get more leverage pulling nails, pull your claw hammer sideways instead of forward.
24) Use an 8-foot 20-gauge steel drywall stud as an 8-foot straight-edge. It's cheap and it won't deflect like the 25-gauge studs available in home centers (buy them at your local drywall supplier).
25) Use 1" fender washers and #6x3/8" pan head screws to mount pictures in picture frames, replacing staples or tacks. Drill the recess with a Forstner bit, one per side, put in the picture and backing, then snug it up with the screws & washers.
26) To hold all of your tools while up on a ladder, use an empty plant hanger. Just hang the hook over a rung and you're all set.
27) To help identify router bit sizes, mark their sizes with a Sharpie permanent marker in the relief area of the bit.
28) For handy storage hangers, cut 2" pieces of 3" PVC, then cut away a couple inches so that it looks like the letter 'C'. Screw this to stud, pegboard or whatever, and you have a handy place to hang all kinds of unwieldy items.
29) To keep your shop organized, put 5 things back where they belong every time you enter your shop. In no time you'll be organized once again.
30) Quarters make handy spacers when you need 1/16" spacing in your projects.
31) Hockey pucks attached to the bottom of your stationary tools prevents them from vibrating and moving around.
32) Copying your router's base on a copy machine provides a great template for drilling jigs and fixtures to be attached.
33) Store spring clamps on an old belt hanging from the ceiling. It's portable and will hold a good number of clamps.
34) To save cost, you can substitute ash for red oak. After a Zar Provincial #114 stain, one can barely tell the difference.
35) To help spackling compound last longer, cover the bucket with plastic wrap before putting the lid back on.
36) To mark electrical boxes, trace the outside with lipstick then press the drywall against it. It'll mark the location every time.
37) To protect floors from damage during renovations, put down the interlocking, foam rubber pads that are used in kids' play areas.
38) When spreading fertilizer on your lawn using a broadcast spreader, mix some flour in the mix so you can tell where you have been.
39) Use a magnetic tool holder as an easily-adjustable band saw fence.
40) When clamping up several boards into a panel, use aluminum angle iron between the clamp pads and the panel to apply even pressure and to protect the sides.
41) When routing small parts on the router table, use a hand screw to hold onto and maneuver the piece past the bit.
42) Seal caulk tubes with a fold of duct tape to prevent their drying out.
43) Screw a plastic bucket or tub to your stepladder's shelf to hold hardware, tools and supplies.
44) To accentuate wood's figure, use boiled linseed oil instead of tung oil and let it cure for 10 days before applying your topcoat.
45) For inexpensive drawer glides, short lengths of plastic wallpaper corner protector are effective.
46) In a pinch, you can use a hinge as a poor man's saddle square.
47) Use soapstone to mark measurements on metal surfaces.
48) To transfer a pattern onto wood, make a copy of it, then iron it face down with a hot iron.
49) I keep a box of small alcohol swabs nearby to easily remove pencil marks.
50) To ensure accurate measurements, use the same measuring tape for the duration of a project as tapes aren't always exactly alike.
51) To temporarily hold small parts, fold a piece of paper accordion-style to ensure nothing rolls onto the floor.
52) Screw size formula: 2 times the screw size in 16ths minus 2 = the numerical size of the screw.
53) Use a utility knife blade as a mini scraper to slowly remove runs and hair/particles dried in a finish.
54) Store a single-edged razor blade under the end of a roll of tape to make it easy to grab and to cut.
55) To clamp oddly-shaped parts together, like moldings, use bungee cords.
56) Cutting suckers from trees stimulates growth; better to break them off.
57) Create a pencil eraser brad holder by slitting a pencil's eraser down the middle, and start nailing with the brad held in the slot.
58) To cover a firewood pile or other oddly-shaped object, weight a tarp down with water or sand-filled milk jugs.
59) Next time you need to mark dark wood, try using a Pilot P-500 gel roller pen.
60) A starter set of hand planes would include a #4 smoothing plane, a #7 jointer plane, a low-angle block plane and a shoulder plane.
61) To extend glue set-up time with white & yellow glues, lightly moisten with a sponge the surface areas to receive the glue.
62) Use an old garden hose reel to store that long air hose in an orderly manner.
63) Label jigs with transparent labels printed with the magazine & article source of the jig.
64) Locate biscuits in a joint using a stud finder.
65) To determine the locations of picture frame key holes, insert dowel centers into the key hole slots then press against the wall.
66) Chamfer holes to enable screw hole buttons to sit flat.
67) Open-ended wrenches make quick calipers while turning to width.
68) Sand delicate moldings with strips of sandpaper backed by duct tape.
69) A stand for benchtop tools is a good use for an expired barbecue grill stand.
70) Placing masking tape on carpet is a great way to protect carpet while painting molding.
71) Cut a keyhole slot horizontally in a picture to enable side-to-side adjustment and leveling.
72) While on the lathe, you can sand the inside of a bowl easily by wrapping sanding paper around a tennis ball.
73) Use stair gauges to set miter stops on a miter saw.
74) A white backdrop while turning an object will enable you to clearly see the outline.
75) Store scrapers in an old wallet to keep their edges protected.
76) Fill milk jugs with water or sand and use them to weigh down and secure tarps over odd-shaped objects like a lumber pile.
77) To protect you and your project from the ends of pipe clamps, secure the ends with rubber cane tips.
78) To pull a particularly difficult nail, first fasten vice grips to the top of the nail then use the claw hammer or crow bar.
79) Smooth caulk with baby wipes instead of a moist finger for a smoother look.
80) Prevent a lathe's faceplate from sticking to the spindle by inserting a wax paper 'washer'.
81) Use Lay's Stax snack holders for temporary storage of paint rollers.
82) Fill nail holes after the first coat of finish to prevent the surrounding pores from being filled.
83) Temporarily protect your project's legs from splitting or splintering by putting chair leg buttons on the bottoms of the legs.
84) For a quick planing stop for your workbench, fasten a surface-mounted deadbolt to the side of the end of your bench. Simply 'lock' the deadbolt and you'll have a planing stop.
85) To remove broken handles from hammer & axe heads, heat them in an oven at 250 degrees for one hour to shrink the wood.
86) Put plastic tubing over the jaws of vice grips to prevent marring of the workpiece.
87) To ensure an undisturbed night's sleep for everyone, put a timer on your air compressor so that it doesn't go off in the wee hours of the morning.
88) Use a straw that's end is cut at an angle to remove glue squeeze-out.
89) To better see the scroll saw lines on a pattern, highlight them with a broad=tipped felt marker to reduce glare.
90) To sand curved surfaces, attach self-adhesive sandpaper to an old leather belt.
91) To prevent sink & toilet traps from evaporating, poor a small amount of cooking oil after a bucket of water.
92) To scribe a straight line down the length of a dowel, simply place the dowel in your table saw's miter slot and run a pencil down the length.
93) To minimize burning while scroll-sawing, simply place packing tape on the cut lines. It will act as a lubricant for the blade.
94) To clamp oddly shaped pieces, such as a chair's rungs, wrap it with the stretch film you buy on small hand-held rolls at the office supply store.
95) Measure the circumference of an item by circling it with masking tape, then laying out the tape to be measured or marked for transfer to the workpiece.
96) Cheaper and more sturdy than drop cloths, use cheap vinyl table cloths to catch the drips from your next painting project.
97) For a crisper chalk line, replace the cotton string in your chalk box with 36 lb. braided catfish line.
98) Use a foam sheet available at craft stores to seal the seal the blade angle adjustment slot for better table saw dust collection.
99) To achieve longer working time with glue, put the glue bottle in the refrigerator overnight and you'll get a longer working time before it starts to seize up.
100) Prevent sticker stain while drying wood by cutting a cove in the top and bottom surfaces of the stickers.
101) Use plumber's chain to easily make arcs or circles with a pen/pencil and an awl/nail.
102) Glue anti-fatigue mat material to the bottoms of your shop shoes, and you'll feel like you've got a mat underneath you wherever you go.
103) Though not a woodworking tip, a good idea for weedwackers like myself is to cut off the legs to a cheap pair of sweatpants and put them over your pants and sneakers with the elastic at the top above your knees. This will prevent your pants and shoes from being covered with grass and dirt while you weedwack.
104) For better glue adhesion when working with end grain joints, let the glue sit for a minute before clamping the joint together. This ensures the joint won't be starved of glue.
105) For dead-on table saw sled runners use T-tracks and bolts. The T-tracks perfectly fit the miter gauge slots once they are tightened up with the accompanying bolts.
106) To achieve smooth end grain cuts with a hand plane, moisten the end grain with alcohol prior to planing.
107) To prevent injury, always remove the sparkplug from a lawnmower prior to working with the blade.
108) To prevent drawers from falling out, install brass turnbuttons on the inside face frame. They can be easily swiveled to allow the drawer to be removed.
109) Us an angle iron as a caul at the ends of boards while gluing up panels. It won't leave marks like other metals and won't become glued to the panel like a wooden caul.
110) Adhere a rare earth magnet to a plane iron as it is sharpened on sandpaper to minimize the mess from metal filings.
 

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