Shop Tip Special

Better Handles

Here's a great tip that's so simple and makes such a huge difference, you've gotta give it a try. Sometimes it's the little things that drive you nuts, like those undersized knobs on the quill-feed levers of your drill press.Throw them out and replace them with 2-in. wooden balls. I guarantee you'll be more than pleasantly surprised at the comfortable feel. It's like going from a go-cart to a Cadillac. Cost: $1.50 each.

Better Base

Take note of your posture the next time you're drilling. Chances are you're slouched a bit and your head is tilted a little to one side to give yourself a decent line of sight. Here's a dirt simple tip that'll straighten things out for you; just cut a couple lengths of 4x4 and bolt them to the base. Not only will it bring things up closer to eye level, but it also gives those dinky little bases a larger, more stable footprint. Cost: $5.

Drill Press

A drill press is a common tool in most woodworking shops, but many have features that are designed primarily for metalworking. Here are a few tips that'll make your drill press more user-friendly and effective.

Reduce Vibration

Do you really need 15 speeds on a drill press? Perhaps for metalworking, but not for woodworking.The only difference between a 15-speed and a 5-speed drill press is an idler pulley and a second drive belt.The pulley and extra belt can create a lot of vibration in a drill press. Reduce vibration by removing the idler pulley (they just lift right out), then flip over the pulley on the motor and add a link belt. Cost: $6.50/ft.

Chuck Your Chuck

Inexpensive chucks can be a real headache. If you are experiencing slipping bits or excessive run-out, replace your stock chuck with a high-quality, aftermarket chuck. Generally a few taps with a wooden mallet on the side of the old chuck will release it. Wipe the mating surfaces of the new chuck and arbor clean with denatured alcohol. Slide the chuck onto the arbor and set it with a single mallet tap. Cost: $ 100.

Soup Up Your Shop

A contractor's tablesaw is


This is one of the best accessories you can buy for your tablesaw. Unlike stock splitters that are bolted to the saw, this one snaps in and out in seconds! It also comes with anti-kickback pawls that can protect you from a kickback. Combine it with an overarm cover for the best in both safety and convenience.We know it ain't cheap, but if it prevents just one accident, it's worth every penny. Cost: $ 120.


A contractor's tablesaw is the heart of many woodworking shops. It has the power and capacity to handle most projects and best of all, it's affordable. Here are some accessories that can turn a good contractor's saw into a great one.

A Better Fence

I remember the first time I used an accurate direct-read fence. What joy! No more checking each setting with a tape measure. A hairline cursor allows you to set the fence for precise cuts every time. If you're still struggling with the fence on an older model contractor's saw, you owe yourself this upgrade. (The old-style fence is best used as a boat anchor!) Cost: $265.

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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