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.
Cannery Row Hardware Storage
Don’t recycle those steel or aluminum cans quite yet. Set aside a few months’ worth of fruit and coffee cans and put these cannery rows to work organizing all of the small hardware in your shop.
All you need are some homemade wood clips and a hunk of 3/4-in. plywood screwed to a wall. To make the clips, rip a 3/4-in.-thick board into 1-3/8-in.-wide strips. Saw or rout a 3/8-in. x 1/4-in. rabbet along one edge.
Drill 1/8-in. screw holes every 3/4 in. and then cut off 3/4-in.-wide clips. To mount the clips and cans on the plywood, screw on a clip, notch end down, then set a can on the clip and screw on a second clip overlapping the can’s rim about 1/4 in.
That’s it! Keep adding clips and cans until every screw, bolt, nail and nut has a can it can call home. Label the cans, and keep one loaded with surplus clips and screws for adding on. Thanks to Armand Bruggert for this tip.