Snip ‘N’ Grip Wire Cutters
Here’s a time-saving tool modification from reader Clay Hickman. Fill the concave section of a wire cutter with silicone caulk, let it dry overnight, then slit the silicone with a razor blade to create a soft-jaw section on the wire cutter. Now when you cut off nails or pieces of wire, the cut pieces will stay in the cutter and not fly across the room. No more getting out the reading glasses and flashlight to hunt down cutoffs on your shop floor!
Project running you in circles? Trace perfect arcs or circles in an instant with a ballpoint pen, an awl or a nail, and a short length of plumber’s chain (60 cents a foot at home centers). The pen pokes through the chain’s smaller links just enough to create an exact radius when you keep the chain taut while tracing. As a bonus, each link provides a 1/2-in. increase or decrease in radius for quick adjustments without measuring. Thanks to reader Bill Waite for hooking us up to a well-rounded tip.
Ever scratched your head over how to position clamps on a project that requires clamping from all four sides? This gluing pedestal makes the job a breeze. Buy a 12-in. pipe nipple with pipe flanges on both ends and screw it to a couple of scraps of 3/4-in. plywood. Cut the pedestal top an inch or so bigger than the project to make clamping easier. Now, with the base of the pedestal clamped on your workbench, you can crank on the clamps from every angle; up, down and sideways. (Be sure to cover the top with plastic sheeting or wax paper, or the top will become a permanent part of the project.) Thanks to Travis Larson for this high-flying tip.