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Barbecue Steamer

Insulation makes this steamer even more effective than Mike Dunbar's (AW #43» page 68) and its also cheaper

Drill hole, then chisel out waste for hinge

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Profiling Spade Bits

Installing flush-fit brass pulls calls for holes of three different diameters, drilled co varying depths. By grinding and sharpening a standard 1 /2-in. spade bit to the profile shown in the drawing, I can drill this complex recess in one operation. I use the depth stop on my drill press to ensure a flush fit.

Peter Cabot

Boston, MA

Drill hole, then chisel out waste for hinge

Planer Depth Gauge

Thickness gauges on planers are notoriously unreliable, so I made my own, accurate to V&4 in. First I cut out a plywood dial, the same size as the inside diameter of the adjusting wheel. Then I POINTER—s. f^JJ

clamp from 3/4-in. plywood and glue one half to dial.

made two clamp brackets and glued one to the underside of the dial. You could use the wheel handle itself as a pointer or install one under the wheel nut as I did. Paint the dial flat white for easy reading.

To calibrate the dial, measure the distance between minimum and maximum depth of cut. (Suppose it comes to 51/4 in.) Divide by the number of complete turns of the handle. (Let's say 35.) The answer (^/32 in.) tells you how far one complete turn of the handle raises or lowers the knives. Use a compass to divide the dial's perimeter into 10 equal segments. Each one will represent /32 divided by 10, or 1/64 in.

Ernest Barta St. Petersburg, FL

Air It Out

Air left in a can of finish (or glue) can cause a skin to form on top of the liquid. To prevent this I replace the air with an inert gas before closing the lid. Suitable cans of pressurized gas (now ozone-safe) are available at computer supply stores. Just insert the tube into the can, spray the gas into the can for 10 to 15 seconds, then quickly recap.

Ron Alexander Ocala, FL

Hand-Friendly Knobs

My hand got tired of trying to tighten the small wing nut on my router, so I replaced the nut with a large plastic knob—one with a metal bushing and internal thread. If this arrangement is too cramped, you can replace the bolt with a longer one and add a bushing to take up the difference in length.

Ben Erickson Eutaw, AL

More on Push Sticks

I appreciate the advantages of Chip Coffin's push stick (AW #39) but find my style of handle works better. Not only can I push the stock over the jointer (or past the saw blade); I can also bear down on the stock when necessary. At no time are my fingers anywhere near a cutting edge.

Charles Cox Yukon, OK

3/4-in. plywood has hole to fit adaptor.

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