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.
Stick-On Scroll Saw Patterns
Here’s the quickest way to lay out patterns on wood for scroll saw work, courtesy of Greg Schowalter. Invest in a pack of Rayven Repro Film Clear No. 400 (a box of 100 costs $61 at www.gsdirect.net). This adhesive film, which architects use for speedy design transfers, also works great for transferring scroll saw patterns to the wood you’re cutting. All you do is photocopy the plan or pattern from a book onto the adhesive-backed film, then peel off the film and stick it on the wood. The thin (1-mil) poly film adheres well and the pattern looks like it’s traced right onto the wood. The old method entailed spray-mounting paper patterns to the wood, then hassling with removing the spraymount adhesive before sanding or finishing. And the poly film also lubricates the saw blade with each stroke, so you won’t get any burn marks.
Paper Towel Dispenser Upgrade
Give your paper towels a brake! Cut a 6-in.-wide section from the rounded side of a 1-gallon bleach bottle, then attach it to your paper towel rack so one edge presses against the roll. The inward-flexing edge holds the towels for easy one-hand tearing and works as a brake to keep the towels from unraveling. We mounted our rack vertically so it’s even easier to tear off a towel. Our thanks to reader Ken Hanneman for this tight tip.