Here’s a gripping, portable organizer for all those wrenches and sockets. To make your own, cut a 5-in. handle slot in a piece of 14-in. x 11-1/2-in. x 3/4- in. plywood and screw it to the middle of a piece of 14-in. x 8-in. x 3/4-in. plywood. Band the bottom with strips of 1-1/4-in. x 1/2-in. plywood to reinforce the tote and keep the sockets and accessories onboard. For wrench storage, fasten 13-in.-long magnetic tool bars ($10 each at leevalley.com; No. 99K45.01) halfway up on both sides of the handle board. Tack or glue divider strips to the floor as needed for better socket sectoring. That’s it—load and tote! Thanks to reader Stephen Balazs for this great idea.
Don’t want tote them around, use a tie hanger to store wrenches.
Tool Table Rejuvenation
Here’s a quick, two-step method for cleaning cast iron tables on power tools and protecting them from moisture and corrosion. And as a bonus, your workpieces will slide on the table like silk as you work. Apply automotive paste wax and buff the surface with a piece of felt stuck on 60- or 80-grit sandpaper on the bottom of a random orbital sander. (Felt adheres just like the Scotch-Brite pad to the hooks on the sander.) Our thanks to Serge Duclos for this tip. You could also buff the surface by hand with a soft cloth.
Copy Center Project Patterns
Enlarging scaled-down woodworking patterns to full scale is a lot of work, and the results are rarely accurate. But you don’t have to go through that exercise anymore. Just about any full-service copy center will do it for you in a couple of minutes for a couple of dollars.
Here’s how: Cut the pattern to the actual length of the drawing—our magazine pattern measured 3-13/16 in. Ask to have it enlarged to the size called for in the dimensions. The copy center magician will spin a circular gauge to determine the expansion percentage and punch that info into the copier. In less than a minute, the full-size pattern will roll out. Our 35-3/4- in. Adirondack leg pattern cost less than $2. Stick the pattern directly to the wood with spray adhesive, double-faced tape or masking tape and cut out the part—that’s it! Thanks to furniture designer/builder Bruce Kieffer for this miraculous, timesaving tip.
Check out the secret to getting perfectly placed leg holes on chairs. Hint, there’s a pattern here.