Easy-to-Read Nail Sizes
We’ve all stored nails in old coffee cans and used a piece of masking tape taped to the outside of the can to record the type and size of nail. Here’s a better and more permanent labeling method. Spray a stripe of white appliance paint across the outside face of each coffee can. When it dries, write the nail specs on the paint with a permanent marker. Appliance paint has a tough, gloss ﬁnish so it doesn’t chip easily.
Pencils at the Ready
Reader R.B. Himes sent several cool tips for keeping pencils handy. Insert pencils into holes drilled in the edges of shelves, or put small screw eyes into the erasers and hang ’em from nails. Reader Jerry Seaward has another: Glue a scrap of window screen to the bottom of a piece of 1-1/2 in. dia. PVC pipe and clamp or screw the pipe to your workbench for a dust-free pencil holder. Other pencil hangouts? Wrap a strip of self-stick hook and loop fastners around a pencil and put a corresponding strip wherever you need a pencil. To make a pencil stay put on metal surfaces, attach a piece of magnetic tape ($2 a roll at fabric stores) to it.
Need another? Buy plastic coaxial cable holders ($2 for a 20-pack), reverse the brad direction and tack ’em on the side of a work-table or tool rack. You can quick-draw the pencils out of the plastic jaws. Or try adding a piece of tape the end of a pencil to stop it from rolling around.
Use a couple of rubber sponge ﬂoats to hold down boards on your jointer. Typically used in stucco work, sponge ﬂoats are available at home centers for about $6. They grip boards tightly, keep your hands far from the cutter head, and put a stop to vibration! Thanks to reader Clarke Green for this very useful tip. Check out another type of sponge for sanding.