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Finishing Buster

On finishing jobs, I needed a way to mix precise amounts of finish to get just the right color.

So I bought an inexpensive turkey baster at the grocery store. Be sure to get one that has V4 oz.

graduations on the side, as you can see in the photo below.

This method is also less messy than trying to pour finish from a can.

Geoffrey Carlson Mancos, Colorado

Hole Saw Sander

On a recent project I needed to sand a curved workpiece, but I didn't have a drum sander in the right size. So I came up with an inexpensive solution. I wrapped a hole saw with some adhesive-backed sandpaper, as you can see in the photo to the right

Then to keep the teeth of the hole saw from marring the workpiece, I made an auxiliary table that clamps to my drill press table. It's simply a piece of plywood with a U-shaped cutout that wraps around the "hole saw sander," as shown in the drawing below.

Note: This technique only works on materials that are 1" thick or less.

Mark Jaramillo Helen, New Mexico

Zero-Clearance Cards

While cutting thin parts on my band saw, a piece fell through the insert. Not only was the piece ruined, it could dislodge the blade from the lower guides.

I found a simple solution to the problem in my wallet. I made a handy zero-clearance opening with some spare business cards. I taped two cards on the table of the saw on either side of the blade, as you can see in Fig. 1. Best of all, the cards are so thin they don't interfere with the operation of the fence.

Can Christensen Ankeny, Iowa

See-Through Finish Repair

Keeping an assortment of color samples on a sheet scratch remover pens on hand is a great way to make touchups during finishing or for repair work. However, picking the best match between my collection of pens and an existing finish has always been a trial and error process. Opening up the pens so many times risks having them dry out.

I've come up with a easier way to select the right pen. Make large-sized of acetate (the kind of plastic film used for overhead presentations). I grouped the colors by pen manufacturers. Next to each sample, write the name of the color, as you can see in the photo.

By holding the set of color patches next to a project, I can easily make the best repair choice without removing a cap.

Larry Morse Framingham, Massachusetts

Composite Fence

Having a good, straight fence is important for router work. While UHMW plastic is ideal, it's hard to find and expensive. I found a good substitute at the home center: composite decking (Trex).

What's so great about this material is that it doesn't warp — it stays flat and straight. And it cuts easily on the table saw with a carbide blade. You can even plane it just like real wood.

Once the surface texture is planed smooth, compos

Cut arid plane composite decking just like real wood.

ite decking works great for the sliding faces of a router table, as in Fig. 1.

Or you can make a simple fence that clamps to a router table, as shown in Fig. 2. To eliminate flexing, screw two pieces together in an L-shape. Then cut an opening in each fence piece for the router bit.

Stanley Krasovic Honesdale, Pennsylvania

Cut arid plane composite decking just like real wood.

/'iUse composite—y decking for adjustable -----fence faces /

Heirloom Project nr i JLn here's so much to like ¿bout this headboard — its arched rail and molding, the curved panels, and the sturdy posts—but what I really get excited about is how if s built. Even though the headboard looks traditional, it's not your typical case construction. No mortise and tenon joints to cut. No dovetails to rout. Just some rabbets, a few grooves and splines, and three solid-wood panels. Even the assembly of the frame and posts is done in small steps.

I bet you'll even find the curved rail and molding a lot less trouble than you might think. For one thing, you don't need any industrial-sized tools, and all that's required for the molding profile is a single router bit. Plus, the technique we came up with lets you do a lot of the work (the joinery and assembly) while the blanks still have three square edges, but you can read more about that on page 16.

There are even a couple of variations of the headboard you might want to take a look at. A king-size version is shown on page 14. (The plans here are for a standard queen-size bedframe.) And if you want to avoid the curves altogether, you can build the headboard with a straight rail— all the modifications for this are described on page 15. Finally youfcan complete the bedroom set by building two companion projects for this project (the blanket chest on page 26 and the bedside chest shown here from Woodsmith No. 139).

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Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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