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Thread: What are the underappreciated shop tool/supplies in your shop?

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    During my first attempt to purchase one at an art supply store, the clerk was a bit taken aback wondering why someone would be too lazy to just use a pink pearl eraser. When it was explained that for drafting one often has to erase a lot of lines, he kind of got it, but it still took a visit to another store to purchase mine.

    If you can get one of the old metal ones they are likely a bit better than the modern plastic models. Even if it is only because they are easer to take apart. A wire to the switch broke on mine and it was a pain to take it apart to repair.

    jtk
    Makes sense Jim- older metal tools are certainly more durable than today’s plastics.
    “Pay no attention to what you cannot control..” Epictetus, 100 A.D.
    It costs nothing to be kind to others

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Carroll View Post
    I keep a stack of business cards handy, they are useful for a million things.

    They are great shims! mine are about 0.015-inches thick, so nearly 1/64th inch. I use them to even-up cabinet door reveals for setting hinges. I put one under a saw blade when flush cutting dowels or through tenons so I don't gall the finished surface, they make great clamping cauls. Of course I can write down measurements and do some quick ciphering on them and pick my teeth too! If a board I'm surfacing is rocking annoyingly they'll wedge it up nicely. There's probably a dozen other uses for them, that I've forgotten. Heck you can even hand them out to people so they remember who you are and how to get in touch with you!

    DC
    Great tip David but a little late for me. After about 10 years in a drawer I just threw out a box of unused cards. Today’s trash pickup showed up before I read this.
    “Pay no attention to what you cannot control..” Epictetus, 100 A.D.
    It costs nothing to be kind to others

  3. #63
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    Feb 2003
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    Hayes, Virginia
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    Incra Gage. Precision cast saw tooth rack locks the gauge in at exact 1/32" steps



  4. #64
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    Feb 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Günter VögelBerg View Post
    Paper plates for holding glue and a disposable glue brush

    Blue tape

    Chalk
    And speaking of blue tape, when building my shop I discovered this green masking tape:
    3M Scotch 2060 Masking Tape for Hard-to-Stick Surfaces, also listed as tape for Rough Surfaces
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MHNG47G

    This is not the green masking tape you find at Home Depot, painter's tape, Frog tape, etc. This stuff is advertised as sticking to concrete block, brick, concrete, wood. I use it in the shop everywhere I want a label on a rough-sawn block of wood, storage box, and more. I track air-drying by writing the weights/dates on a piece of this tape. At the lathe to hold things more securely as needed. To hold parts together while glue sets. We use it in the house to put labels on bags and packages that go in the freezer.

    The instructions mention removing it within 5 days but for things in the shop I've removed it after several years with no problem although I wouldn't use it on fine finished wood surfaces.

    Another favorite tape: Gaffers tape, the good stuff not the cheap imitation. Can be used on almost anything but will come off without hurting the surface or leaving a residue. Widely used in the film and video production industries to position cables and things.

    And a double-sided PSA tape: Fastcap Speedtape. This stuff is very thin and clear. I use it for temporary use on jigs and such but with a little pressure and time the glue cures and gets stronger.
    https://www.amazon.com/FastCap-T2003.../dp/B006SJIA0Y

    JKJ

  5. #65
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    the 500 count box of tongue depressors I bought 2 years ago - use them as stir sticks, glue spreaders, epoxy mixing, shims, spacers, etc
    If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Carey View Post
    the 500 count box of tongue depressors I bought 2 years ago - use them as stir sticks, glue spreaders, epoxy mixing, shims, spacers, etc
    My solution to this is to save the sticks from popsicles.

    My epoxy stirrers are small stainless steel spatulas that clean off easily.

    Something one of my managers taught me years ago when we were printing with epoxy inks was to save any left over to check on how it was hardening before tossing it in the trash.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul F Franklin View Post
    I'm going to say my veritas stop rule: https://www.leevalley.com/en-us/shop...607-stop-rules

    I find I use the stop rule more often than my rule or square. Anytime I need a precise mark within the range of the tool I use it, especially when making repetitive marks. The edge of the tool guides your marking knife or pencil so there is no issue with a slightly angled tick mark like you can get when you mark using a rule. Also ideal for taking a measurement and then duplicating it elsewhere, like a joint offset or the like, when having multiple things match is more imp...
    Oh no, I "need" one now too.

    Just wondering - I'm assuming the end is exactly 1" from the inch marks. From the picture it looks like the zero marks for the inch and metric scales may not be exactly aligned - is it such that the end is 25mm from the metric zero?

    Rats, they are out of stock at the moment!

    JKJ

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by John K Jordan View Post
    Oh no, I "need" one now too.

    Just wondering - I'm assuming the end is exactly 1" from the inch marks. From the picture it looks like the zero marks for the inch and metric scales may not be exactly aligned - is it such that the end is 25mm from the metric zero?

    Rats, they are out of stock at the moment!

    JKJ
    That also made me wonder. Looking back at the page it appears the vernier scale on the slide should take you back to the zero point for inch or metric on either side of the scale.

    For me, this replicates the most common use for an old Stanley Odd Jobs tool:

    Odd Jobs.jpg

    Simple tool for simple work.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  9. #69
    Just wondering - I'm assuming the end is exactly 1" from the inch marks. From the picture it looks like the zero marks for the inch and metric scales may not be exactly aligned - is it such that the end is 25mm from the metric zero?
    The first vernier mark (closest to the end) is the reference point. When the sliding bar is flush, the first vernier mark will line up with zero, for both metric and imperial sides. The two zeros do align, even though it doesn't look like in the photo. So you have to get used to reading at the vernier mark, not the end, but it's a short learning curve.
    --Certainty is the refuge of a small mind--

  10. #70
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    NW Indiana
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    Quote Originally Posted by John K Jordan View Post
    Oh no, I "need" one now too.

    Just wondering - I'm assuming the end is exactly 1" from the inch marks. From the picture it looks like the zero marks for the inch and metric scales may not be exactly aligned - is it such that the end is 25mm from the metric zero?

    Rats, they are out of stock at the moment!

    JKJ

    Ha - I must have bought the last one this morning!
    If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.

  11. #71
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    Feb 2014
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    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    My K&E electric eraser still works as good as when it was new in the '70's, as does the Vemco drafting machine. I did have to change the board cover a few years ago, as it was starting to get some old age sagging.

  12. #72
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    NW Indiana
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom M King View Post
    My K&E electric eraser still works as good as when it was new in the '70's, as does the Vemco drafting machine. I did have to change the board cover a few years ago, as it was starting to get some old age sagging.

    Me too. Oh, you mean the board cover. Never mind.
    If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.

  13. #73
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    Oct 2019
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    West Michigan
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    I jealously guard my stash of old 5 1/4" floppy disks (remember those?) for fine shimming purposes.

  14. #74
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    Feb 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Penniman View Post
    I jealously guard my stash of old 5 1/4" floppy disks (remember those?) for fine shimming purposes.
    You need more? I probably have some 8" floppy disks too. (I think I was the first on my block to have dual 8" drives on a homebuilt computer in the early '70s - cost a mere $2000 and $10 a disk. The 1.2meg storage was so incredible.)

  15. #75
    Something not mentioned yet that I find very useful is a cheap (Woods 32555WD) remote control used for the dust collector. Now I know you can buy the fancy expensive ones made just for the shop, but this one is only $12 at Amazon and has lasted four years so far without a problem. I just clip the remote to my shop apron so it's always handy, no matter what machine I'm currently at.

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