Vertical Drill Jig
If you’ve ever tried to drill a perfectly straight and centered deep hole in the end of a board, you know that it’s nearly impossible with a handheld drill. But add a drill press and a jig and the job becomes very doable. Make this jig from two 8-in. x 12-in. pieces of 3/4-in. plywood or medium-density fiberboard (MDF). Just screw the pieces together to form a “T” and reinforce the jig with a couple of triangles.
To use the jig, clamp it to the drill press table and the workpiece to the jig. Draw an “X” across the corners to find the exact center of the piece. You’ll have to adjust the height of the table and pivot it until you line everything up, but after that, drilling a straight, centered hole is a cinch. This trick will work for rectangular or square boards. Our thanks to Leon Stoker for this tip.
If your drill press table isn’t getting the job done, check out a drill table that will work for you.
Store router bits, drill bits, screwdrivers, awls, pencils, Allen wrenches and hole saws in a hunk of 1-1/2-in.-thick rigid foam insulation.
To make this pointy-tool pincushion, just glue the foam to 1/2-in. plywood sized an inch wider than the foam. Be sure to use foam-compatible adhesive (PL 500 is one). Then press the foam into place and let it dry for a few hours. Punch holes for the accessories by rotating a small-diameter Phillips screwdriver or an awl at a slight angle into the foam. The tools will widen the holes to fit as you push them in. Screw the plywood to a shop wall over your workbench and load it up!
Many thanks to Gary Weaver for this idea.
Mold attacks spots int he house that are poorly insulated, find out how to prevent mold.
Don’t let the hard metal jaws of a pipe clamp ding up your board edges when you glue your next masterpiece together. Buy a pack of adhesive-backed magnetic business cards ($6 for 25 at office supply stores) and stick them on scraps of 1/4-in. plywood. When you’re gluing, attach the magnetized blocks on the jaws to protect your workpieces. Thanks to reader Sam Gant for this soft touch of a tip.