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.
Putty-Good Finish Nailing
In seventh-grade shop class, we were famous for slathering our nail holes with oversized lumps of putty. Even after sanding, the huge glob of putty showed through the finish. Sound familiar?
Here’s the A-plus alternative: Before you nail, apply strips of lightly adhering masking tape, then drive the nails through the tape. After you set the nails, press putty in the holes and let it dry thoroughly. Remove the tape and sand off the putty nubbins. Our thanks to Mike Janney for this slick tip.