Solo Plywood Transport
You can easily move 4 x 8-ft. sheets of plywood by your lonesome with this plywood carrier recommended by cabinetmaker Graham McCulloch. It’s a 30-in.-long x 12-in.-wide piece of 1/2-in. plywood with a carrying hook at the end. Make the hook by attaching a 2-in. and a 4-in. piece of 3/4-in. plywood with glue and screws. Cut a handle slot 2 in. down from the other end. This carrier is designed for people of average height. If you’re on the short side, nest your underarm over a sheet of plywood, mark your hand position on the sheet and lengthen the carrier accordingly. Avoid falling from a ladder when flying solo on DIY work and make working on your DIY ideas easier with ancient technology.
In-the-Bag Wood Filler
Mix up your own perfectly matching wood filler in a disposable sandwich bag dispenser. First, put a couple of squirts of two-part epoxy into a plastic bag and add some sanding dust from the project (to match the wood). Knead the dust and epoxy with your fingers. Add more dust or epoxy as needed to create the right color. Protect the surrounding wood with masking tape, then nip off one corner of the bag and squeeze out the filler like toothpaste. Smooth off excess filler with a putty knife and let it dry to form an unshrinkable, rock-hard patch. Even better, you’ll walk away without epoxy smeared all over your workpiece—or your fingers! Also, fix up rotted wood with epoxy to make it look new. Thanks to tech-ed instructor Bill Waite for this tip.
You can get good-looking joints on your boxes and drawers without taking a lifetime to cut them by hand. To cut these joints, you’ll need a router that accepts bits with a 1/2-in. dia. shank, a router table with a sturdy fence, and a lock miter router bit. (The bit shown and other lock miter bits cost $25 and up at specialty woodworking stores.)
When you’re routing, the bit remains at the same height setting for all the pieces. All you do is shift the fence when routing each part to expose more or less of the bit. To ensure perfectly ﬁtting joints, the height adjustment has to be just right, so make practice cuts on scrap boards from your workpieces.
These joints are easier to glue than a miter joint because they can’t slide out of alignment when you tighten the clamps. And because they have more glue surface, they’re stronger, too. Thanks to reader Fred Forquer for this tip. Check out our router basics.