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Thread: The Tips and Tricks Thread

  1. #1
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    The Tips and Tricks Thread

    OK, let's see if this gets legs. Some time ago I asked (in the Forum Tech Support forum which apparently almost no one reads) if we could have a separate forum dedicated to workshop tips and tricks. Well that didn't go anywhere, so why not just have a thread dedicated to your ideas around the shop that you would like to share? Ideas that help you do a better job of whatever you are trying to do. Ideas that help you do things faster when you are doing repetitive work. Ideas that help organize your shop. And put that thread in the most read forum, General Woodworking and Power Tools. And encourage lots of photos. If you post an idea, choose the "Go Advanced" tab at the bottom after hitting the "Reply to Thread" button and then title your idea at the top so others searching for something will have an easier time finding your idea. So I will start it off with three things I did in the last 2 days to help me organize my shop and make sanding easier.

    First, a place to store those pesky cabinet arch templates. Next a place to store my PC ROS near my sanding station and plugged in and ready to use. Lastly a lever clamp hold down to keep small parts stationary while I keep both hands on my ROS. Pictures ought to show adequately what I did:

    (Keith, it would be great if you made this a sticky)
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    Last edited by Ole Anderson; 12-29-2012 at 12:05 PM.

  2. #2
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    Belt sander dust collection and storage shelf

    I'll bump this with a couple of really simple things I just did while reorganizing some shop stuff yesterday. First I have been just using my shop vac to collect dust from my 6"x48" belt sander. But I keep needing my vac for other tasks. I have been meaning to build a hood to connect my 4" flex hose but it just seemed too complicated for now. So I just grabbed an extra piece of 2.5" hose I got for my router rear dust collector, and reused an old 2.5" to 4" adapter, just to see how it worked and viola, I can't believe how well this sucks, better than the shop vac. Problem solved. Notice how the long slinky hose sucks up with just the restriction of the 2.5" hose. Pic taken with DC running. Also the pic shows a platen I made long ago so I can use the machine like an edge sander turned on its side. Platen is at an angle so it uses most of the belt.

    Next in my cleanup, going from big blue shelves to my new tool storage unit, I really had no room to store the bulky TS tenoning sled. Then I saw I had the opportunity to add a shelf below my planer. So I took a piece of left over 1-1/8" particle board, cut it to fit and another problem solved.

    One more thing I did long ago. Those of you with the Delta lunchbox planer know how the dust collector hood sags and drags on the wood exiting the machine. If you look carefully you see that I used an extra micro v-belt (drill press) looped around the hood to hold it up. I just added a screw at the top of the planer to hook the other end of the belt around.
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    Last edited by Ole Anderson; 01-02-2013 at 9:22 AM.

  3. #3
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    Lefty-Righty and Flatback tape measures

    OK, so I guess this is going to be a one man show. Well, here is another thing I ran across which I really like. Fastcap makes a number of unconventional measuring tapes in their Pro Carpenter series. Some time ago I got their Lefty-Righty which reads from both sides of the tape. I like as it actually numbers the sixteenths, but for me it would work better if it read from the top of the tape instead of the bottom. So most of the time I hook on the left end of the board, and have to read the tape upside down when marking a cut on the top of the tape. But if you hook on the right end, you don't have to read upside down like you would with any other tape.

    Then last week I ran across their Old Standby Flatback. This one I really like as the tape is flat, so when doing cabinet work, it is easier to mark an exact length as the tape isn't an eighth inch above the board due to the curl in the tape. The hook is fixed, unlike most tapes that allow a measurement while pushing the hook against a wall. Of course, this tape won't give you any standout like you need when doing framing or rough measuring lumber.

    Other nice features include a momentary hold button on the bottom as well as the standard lock on the front, an easy to use belt clip feature as well as a built in PENCIL SHARPENER, and a pencil friendly, erasable white surface if you need to write down a measurement. Not bad for $6.99 at my local tool center. These guys did it right.
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    Last edited by Ole Anderson; 02-18-2013 at 2:57 PM.

  4. #4
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    Ole, it sounds like a good idea to have a "tips and tricks" thread. I have learned quite a bit from some of the threads that share ideas.
    David B

  5. #5
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    Router bit spacer

    Ah, one more quicky: When installing a router bit, you should not let it bottom out and then tighten the collet. To eliminate the problem drop a 1/4" rubber Rockler SpaceBall in your router collet to keep your bits from bottoming out. I have seen bit manufacturers recommend using an o-ring or a small rubber grommet as a spacer also.
    Last edited by Ole Anderson; 02-18-2013 at 2:58 PM.

  6. #6
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    Alternate to feather board

    I went to post one more tip I just ran across and couldn't find the thread. It had been made a sticky! Thanks Ken!

    OK one more quick one: running a ton of rails and stiles through the edge bit on the router table, it occurred to me that instead of fiddling with a feather board, just use the ball bearing end of the Rockler thin strip ripping jig. I tried and it worked great. Board width is even as I stack them on edge 4-6 at a time and take 2 passes through the planer, going from 2-1/2" rough to 2-7/16" final wide taking 1/32" off each edge.

    I have no affiliation with anybody, maybe I should fuzz out the names on products. Nah, I hate when they do that on reality or home improvement shows.
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    Last edited by Ole Anderson; 02-18-2013 at 3:00 PM.

  7. #7
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    I have both of those tapes. I also have the yellow fraction/metric 16 ft. tape. I like the clip release lever. Fastcap makes other models, too.

    I like your sander holder. I need to make something like that for mine.

    John

  8. #8
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    Hi all,

    Apologies if this is a common solution...to a common problem!

    When I got my Grizzly 8" jointer, I needed to align the motor and cutter head pulleys. But there was a piece of the cabinet in the way, and I could not see the edges of the pulleys, or run a straight edge across them.

    I came up with this simple idea that worked really well. Used a Forstner bit to drill a hole larger in diameter than the obstruction, and the band saw to cut a slot the width of the diameter of the hole.

    Pulley alignment then became a simple task...

    Too much to do...Not enough time...life is too short!

  9. #9
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    Hi again,

    Here is another thing that worked well with the Grizzly G0490 jointer, but could likely work with other jointers out there as well.

    The problem was that the rear of the motor is not supported, when the mounting bolts are loosened to adjust the angle of the motor pulley. So adjustment of the pulley vertical angle was difficult for me as one man to do.

    Also, it was difficult to adjust belt tension, as doing so required pushing down on the motor and tightening a mounting bolt at the same time. I needed three hands...

    So I added some simple brackets, which on the back hold the motor up and allow downward (or upward) adjustment. And which on the front allow simple adjustment of belt tension, which sure beats the hit and miss push down and tighten method.

    When making adjustments to the motor position (angular and horizontal position, all four motor mounting rail bolts need to be loose. The belt holds the pulley end of the motor, but the fan end wants to fall unless supported by something. I used a bottle jack to do this initially, but found it cumbersome. I was not able to easily adjust the belt tension so I came up with this idea. Works really well!

    I hope the pictures will be clear enough. I did add some notes to them... if you click on them they should enlarge so the text is more readable.


    Bill
    Too much to do...Not enough time...life is too short!

  10. #10
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    I like Ole's use of the thin strip jig as a feather board. It reminds me of a setup I have planned, but not built yet. It would use two wheels, like the ones on some mortisers, mounted on an adjustable board, which would straddle the shaper/router bit or saw blade. It would be set up somewhat like the thin strip setup, but give support on both sides of the blade/bit.

    Sorry, the only picture is in my head.

    Rick Potter

  11. #11
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    A #5 Jack plane started to clog letting shavings in between the chip breaker and the blade. Seemed the blade wasn't flat and/or the chip breaker needed to have it's bevel refreshed. I use the Scary Sharp system of one sided sand paper stuck to float glass. Other systems could be used. But using your hands to move the blades and the chip breaker over the sand paper is a PITA. I had an epiphany... Brought out the Grip Tites and Whalllaaaa. You have to have these items, and I'm sure a lot of you don't, but for those of you who do, it's a little trick to help. Hope the photos are self explanatory. You can see areas where the blade wasn't flat. Best example was the shiny metal only in one spot of the heal of the blade. At the other end, there was a small dark spot where the chip breaker touched the blade and was accumulating shavings. That area obviously wasn't flat and allowed the shavings to jam in between the chip breaker and blade. I eliminated that spot pretty much and now the problem is solved. I don't use hand planes a lot, just enjoy using them when I do, and probably the reason my blades get dark because it may be many months between use.


    IMG_0814.jpgIMG_0815.jpgIMG_0816.jpg

  12. #12
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    Tall Jointer Fence

    Add a vetical fence to your short jointer fence to help keep wide boards at 90 degrees when edging them. Cover it with Formica and wax to to make even more slippery. Works like a charm.
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  13. #13
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    I know this isn't a scrolling forum, but angling your scroll saw so the rear of the table is higher than the front prevents fatigue. Adjust the angle to suit you. I bolted a 4X4 to the rear legs. I just spent 22 hours cutting a portrait and it sure helped.
    My woodworking theory: Measure with a micrometer, Mark with chalk, Cut with an ax.

  14. #14
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    Sanding large pieces and controlling dust can be a problem. I don't have a good woodworker's bench or a large dedicated down draft table so I use the top of my TS. It is at just the right height. I throw a piece of 1/4" Masonite on top which has some cleats to keep it in place. Then I lay down a sticky (or used to be) sanding rubber mat. Two small spring clamps at one end hold that side in place with the other end kept in place with my portable downdraft table, stood on edge. When cleaning up glue ups that don't fit in my 13" planer, I use a 60 grit belt in my sander. To keep the board from sliding toward me, I just stick a properly sized chunk of 3/4" scrap just tall enough to catch the bottom edge, in the groove between the table top and the rail. My palm sander and my belt sander do not have dust collection, but the side draft dust collector seems to do a good job of keeping the dust out of the air, although the coarse dust from the belt sander does get pretty thick on the table top. I do run my ambient air cleaner and wear a mask while sanding, even when the profiles of the raised panel doors get hand sanded.
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  15. #15
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    Great thread!

    Very simple shop made jig used to position sanding disks on a ROS.
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    My granddad always said, :As one door closes, another opens".
    Wonderful man, terrible cabinet maker...

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