While woodworking over the years I realized a couple of things. One, you do need good tools and know how to use them and two, tips and tricks will not only save you time but also give you accurate and beautifully finished pieces that you and your family will cherish for years to come. In this instructable I will share with you how I use 3 common, everyday items. 1) Magnets 2) Playing cards 3) old credit/point cards in the workshop. In no way are all of these my original ideas and I'm sure some of these, even though I think they were my ideas, spawned from something I saw on instructables or pinterest or something that inspired my thinking. Credit goes to all that have inspired me. If you like these, please vote for me in the WORKSHOP HACKS CHALLENGE. Thank you in advance
What you need are
- 50 pc rare earth magnets - Lee Valley Tools - $31 CAD
- Pack of old or unusable playing cards - FREE
- Old credit, loyalty cards, hotel room keys that you forgot to hand back - FREE
In some of the examples I have used
Step 1: Rare Earth Magnets
I use a lot of rear earth magnets around my workshop. Here are few ways I do to make life easier
1) I have magnets on my push sticks for the band saw. These are easily secured by the powerful rare earth magnets. I keep them handy on the table when I want to use them and the neat part is they don't fall off due to vibration or a nudge from your wood piece. When I'm not using them I put them on the neck of the bandsaw. I dip my push stick in plasti dip and are much comfortable to hold.
2) Magnetic pencil holder. I have pencils around the workshop and have a few of these half circle pencil holders that can be easily attached or removed from my larger tools.
3) You can see one of the cylindrical magnets that I use to secure my chuck key to the drill neck. It looks a bit questionable in the photo as the point of contact is minimal, but it is a strong magnet and I have never had it detach itself under normal vibrations or even a nudge
4) I use magnets to pickup small nails and screws... but I think you knew that already :-) I super glued a 1/2 inch dia x 1/4 inch thick magnet to a 1/2 inch dia and 3 ft long wooden dowel
Step 2: Playing Cards
Measure the thickness of your playing cards. The one I use is about .28mm, this may vary a bit from deck to deck
1) I use these to adjust my work pieces. If I feel I need accuracy shaving off a "little bit" I will not move my table saw fence, instead I'll place a playing card on the tablesaw fence to shave off that "little bit", in this case .25mm. The kerf making jig shown in the picture was made from hard maple and needed some adjustment. The accuracy on my tablesaw is excellent and when I built the kerf maker with the given measurements I got the rail and the track of the kerf maker to fit very snug, i.e. no play. This was no good as I needed them to slide smoothly. To make the rail to move smoothly I put a playing card against the fence and ran it through the saw one last time. So, shaving off 0.25mm made the pieces move much smoother. You can use this same trick on your router table for fine adjustments.
2) Sometimes I use cards for depth adjustments on my drill station as feeler gauges as well.
Step 3: Old Credit/loyalty Cards
The average thickness of a loyalty/credit card is 0.75mm. Most loyalty cards are not embossed with your name or other numbers like on your credit cards so they can be used for stacked applications where you need a consistent thickness of the card.
1) Spread glue over my work piece and prefer it to brushes. It allows me to put a very thin and even layer of glue. It easily cleans up as well as once the glue dries, you can just peel it off
2) I also sharpen the edge of a few cards to use as a plastic scraper. It comes handy to scrape off glue and even make small cuts in soft wood and other soft pieces
3) As stir sticks. I cut strips of the credit card , usually long ways (4 strips per credit card) and use it as stir strips for epoxy, mixing sanding dust and wood glue to make wood fillers, applying the wood filler in small cracks. Clean up is easy as once dried, the epoxy or wood filler does not stick to it and the strips can be reused.
4) Spread mono-coat finishes on wood. This is better way then using cloth to apply mono-coats as cloth soaks up the liquid and there is a lot of waste. Move the liquid across and with the grain to get the best results. In the video I use the stir stick to stir the mono-coat and use my MB loyalty card to spread it evenly over the board. I wipe off any remaining finish with a cotton cloth. I hardly had any waste.
5) Use as a rough feeler gauge. I use cards to measure the gaps in certain events. Here I show using multiple cards to measure the un-eveness (is that a word?) between two legs of a stool. I use the loyalty cards for thicker measurements and then the playing cards for minor measurements.
I would love to get your feedback and don't forget to vote