A vinyl tablecloth—any size—comes in handy for all kinds of woodworking jobs. (We bought our 4-ft.-square one at a discount store for $5.) Put it under boards you’re gluing together. Any glue drips will easily peel off the plastic surface after they dry. Or place the tablecloth as a thin cushion under workpieces you’re sanding and finishing, and use it as a protective barrier between the workbench and project parts when you’re tapping that next masterpiece together. Many thanks to reader Kate Gallivan for serving us this tip.
Storable, Portable Turntable
If you do a lot of spray painting and finishing but don’t have room for a permanent finishing bench, give this turntable a spin. It’s surprisingly sturdy, and because it rotates, you can get to all sides of your project while standing in one spot. It’s lightweight, so it can easily be taken outside. When you’re done, just unscrew the pipes from the flanges and store all the parts out of the way in the corner of your shop. The pipe parts are available at home centers, hardware stores and plumbing stores. Don’t try to use pipes with diameters other than 1 in. and 1-1/4 in. These are the only pipe diameters that telescope together well. The plywood top is 36 in. in diameter and the base is 24 in. in diameter. The total cost of the turntable, including the plywood, is about $40. Our thanks to Michael Dresdner for this tip.
On-the-Go Paint Shield
Thanks to reader Bill Chamberland’s great tip, we’ll be spending a lot less time applying masking tape and more time painting trim and baseboard molding. Firmly press a wide-blade drywall knife alongside the trim or molding and brush on the paint. Excess paint goes on the top side of the knife if you press it down firmly, but it’s smart to check the underside occasionally while you work and wipe the knife clean as needed with a solvent- or water-moistened rag.