Everyone knows the old trick of wrapping tape around drill bits to gauge hole depths while drilling. But after you drill a couple of holes, the leading edge of the tape becomes tattered and less accurate. Here’s a simple variation on the theme from Madeleine Noland. Mark the depth on the drill with a bright-colored erasable marker. This tip works great with both twist drill bits and spade bits.
See what a drill can do for the dinner table, too.
Farewell, Planer Snipe
In a wood shop, a “snipe” isn’t an imaginary bird. It’s a long, shallow trough that gets carved into boards an inch or two from the trailing end just before a board exits a thickness planer. The smart way to deal with it is to plane boards before cutting them to length, then just cut off any snipes. But sometimes there’s not enough length to do that, especially when you buy small, expensive chunks of exotics. Here’s what to do then. Trace the last 4 in. of your “beauty board” on a wider scrap board of the same thickness. Saw out the notch, fit the two boards together and plane them as one. Any snipe or gouging will show up on the trailing board, not in your workpiece. Thanks to Wesley Ausdahl for this tip.
Bed-of-Nails Finishing Stand
Paint drips can’t collect on the bottom edges of your project if it floats a tad above the worktable while you spray it. To make this magic, push an army of pushpins into a piece of thin cardboard, then set your project on the pins and spray on the finish. Thanks to reader R. B. Himes for pointing out this sharp tip.
See how to keep pushpins sorted so no one steps on them.