Stop Block

Normally when I have to cut several pieces the same length, I use a stop block on my miter gauge, or I clamp a block of wood to the rip fence of my table saw to use as a stop.

But recently I was making a project that called for several short pieces. Because of their small size, I had to come up with a better (and safer) method for cutting these pieces.

So what I did was to make an altogether different kind of stop block. My stop block is adjustable and has a runner that fits in the miter gauge slot of my saw, see photo at right.

The block is made up of two pieces of W'-thick stock. A couple 5/i6M-thick spacers are glued between the two pieces to create a slot for a bolt, see Fig. 1.

Then I cut 30° bevels on one end of the block. This creates a blunt "point" to

wide slot Brad

Epoxy brad in slot to \ prevent screw from turning .

butt your workpiece up to when using the stop block.

The runner construction is similar to that of the block, except that it's sized to fit in the miter gauge slot of your table saw. And the spacers are only Va" thick.

Then a 5/i«"-dia. countersunk hole is drilled in the center of the runner for a machine screw.

A machine screw, a washer, and a plastic knob are all that's needed to secure the stop block. By tightening the knob, the machine screw spreads the runner apart slightly, locking it in the miter gauge slot.

To prevent the screw from spinning in the hole when tightening the knob, I epoxied a wire brad into the screw head. The brad fits in the slot of the runner and locks the screw in place, see Fig. la.

Allen W. Smith Hnlden, Massachusetts

Making Cut-out Hearts

I like to add small, heart-shaped cutouts to some of the projects I build. The trouble I've had in the past is getting all the hearts the same size and shape.

Recently however, I came up with a quick and easy method for making heart cutouts.

I start by laying out a line where I want the heart to be centered. Then using a Forstner bit I drill two overlapping holes — each one an equal distance from the centerline, see Fig. 1.

To finish the heart, I just cut out the V-shaped piece at the bottom, see Fig. 2.

John LeMire Italy

- Drill (wo holt equal distance from center line






waste with

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scroll saw


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The blast gates on my dust collector have a tendency to rattle closed.

So to hold the gates open, I just clamp on an ordinary clothespin. (I glued sandpaper to the jaws of the pin to give it a better grip.)

David Zeidler Shakopee, Minnesota


I have a hard time reading the stamped sizes on drill bits. So I dip the end of the bit in paint, then wipe off the excess. The paint fills in the recesses of the numbers, making them easier to read.

Thomas Piazza Virginia Beach, Virginia

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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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