Here’s a great way to scribe lines when you’re fitting countertops, cabinets and built-in furniture against irregular walls. Tape a pencil to a clothespin with the tip pointing away from the clothespin’s jaws. Wedge the jaws open with a chunk of wood until the pencil matches the widest gap between the workpiece and the wall. As you scribe, the flat side of the clothespin spaces the pencil point to exactly match the wall contour. Sand to the line for a perfect fit. Thanks to master furniture maker Bruce Kieffer for sending this great tip.
Carpet Cushion for Project Sanding
Don’t scratch up the workpiece you just sanded by flipping it over on a dinged up workbench. Next time you sand a project, lay down a scrap piece of carpet to protect the wood, keep it stationary as you sand and dampen the sander vibrations on your hands. No scrap carpet around? A 2 x 6-ft. washable runner ($8 at a home center) works great—just shake it out between jobs and roll it up for storage. Thanks to Dan McGuinn for this neat tip.
You might not have to worry about cleaning up this piece of carpet but learn the one trick to keep carpet in the home lasting longer.
Homemade Miter Gauges
End frustration when you are trying to dial up that perfect angle on your disc sander’s miter gauge. With a table saw, cut frequently used angles on scraps of 3/4-in. plywood and screw them to wood “runner” strips to slide into the miter slot on the sander’s table. To get the angles just right, screw the plywood and runner strip together with one screw, then position the miter gauge on the table and set the disc-to-gauge angle with a drafting triangle.
Now gently slide the miter gauge out, clamp and drive in a second screw. Test the angle by sanding a scrap workpiece. If the angle’s a little off, unscrew the second screw, adjust it and drive another screw in a new hole. Thanks to reader Bernard Lewan for this helpful tip.