Three Ways To Eliminate Finger Burns When Using Cabinet Scrapers
OUCH! If you've ever used a hand-held cabinet scraper for long, you know what this is about.
1:Cover the top edge of the scraper with a plastic binding slide like those used to hold papers in see-through vinyl report covers.
2:Wear protective rubber finger caps like those used for sorting papers and counting money. Any office supply store should have them.
3:Use rubberized, flexible strip magnets. Attach one to each side of the blade (up about 1/4" to 1/2" from the cutting edge) prior to use. The magnets will act as a "heat sink", absorbing the heat before it ever reaches your fingers.
Avoid Marring Workpiece Surfaces
Even in the most well-maintained shops, rough workbench surfaces (and metal filings or shavings) can often create dents, scratches and other blemishes on the underside of workpieces as they're being worked. To avoid this, it's always a good idea to cover your bench surface with sheets of newspaper or brown kraft or butcher's wrapping paper before getting started. You might even look for an antique paper dispenser/cutter at a flea market and mount it on the side of your bench end so you always have a supply of paper for the job.
Extending The Life Of Shop Vacuum Filters
The filters in many types of shop vacuums can be expensive. And if you use yours as an in-shop dust collector, they can load-up quickly with find dust and chips...reducing the flow and power of your vacuum substantially.
You can solve this problem (and save on filter replacement costs) by wrapping your filter canister with a pair of discarded nylon stockings or pantyhose. This will prevent a lot of the dust and chips from clogging the filter. Just remember to remove the wrapping occasionally and shake or blow it out before replacing it over your filter.
Cling-free metal object pick-up
Working in the shop often leaves metal objects (brads, nails, screws, etc.) or metal particles (filings or fibers from steel wool) on the shop floor and mixed-in with sawdust. The easy way to remove this mess is with a magnet. However, how do you then remove the metal objects and particles from a super-strong magnet? Easy. Place the magnet inside a heavy gauge, freezer-style plastic bag BEFORE you use it to pick-up the debris. When you've finished, turn the bag inside-out and pull the magnet away, leaving the objects inside the bag. VOILA !
Preventing glass "rattle" in picture frames & glass cabinet doors
Sometimes, no mater hard you try, you just can't keep panes of glass from rattling in picture frames and glass cabinet doors. Some of this is caused by the expansion & contraction of wood from season-to-season. A great way to prevent this is to put small, 1/16 to 1/8" dabs of plumber's putty (stainless putty) between the glass and the inside front of the frame or door. Keep your dabs as small and thin as possible so they're not visible.
Keeping rust off your tools.
Keep small amounts of solid (block-style) camphor in the drawers of your tool boxes and cabinets. Camphor gives off fumes that will form a rust preventative coating on all your tools. It's available from many woodworking catalogs, as well as your local pharmacy.
Keep the camphor in ordinary, small medicine bottles, like those used for prescription medications. Drill a series of small holes in the lid (or the bottom) to allow the camphor fumes to escape and permeate the drawer or cabinet:
CAUTION: Camphor fumes can be dangerous under certain conditions. Be sure to read and understand all of the instructions that come with the camphor prior to using it.
Instant Air Cleaner For Dusty Shops
Just use duct tape or large rubber bands to attach an ordinary furnace filter to the back (infeed) side of a small 20" box fan. Turn on the fan and watch the air in your shop clear out fast.
Lawnmower wheels provide mobility for heavyweight tools & cabinets
Adjustable lawnmower wheels are readily available at hardware stores and home centers. Often, they can be found with attachment brackets that are adjustable. Fitting these wheels to heavy, cumbersome machines like commercial shapers, or roll-around cabinets and benches can bring a lot of convenience to the shop.
Easy shop vac clean-up
Many dust collectors use throwaway plastic bags to collect and dispose of chips and dust. However, most shop vacuums have metal drums that must be dumped into something when full...usually making a mess. However, if you line your shop vac drum with a heavy gauge plastic bag prior to use, when the drum's full, you can just remove the bag and dispose of it without making a mess !