Helping Hand

It seems that for some jobs, you need three hands to get it done. Your pliers can lend you that extra hand. Use the pliers to grip the wire or small piece you need to have held. Then wrap a rubber band around the handles to maintain the grip while you complete the work.
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Dowel Sizing

When using dowels, select a size half the thickness of the wood being joined. For example, for 3/4-in. stock, consider 3/8-in. dowels.; for 7/8-in. stock use 7/16-in. dowels. The length inserted should generally be three times its thickness. Thus, a 3/8-in. dowel should be about 2-1/2 in. long to penetrate into each member 1-1/4 in.
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Carpet Padding

When purchasing carpeting, you should buy the best-quality carpet you can afford, coupled with the highest quality padding. In fact, the padding that goes between the carpeting and the subflooring is as important as the choice of carpeting itself. Padding provides softness and support, cuts down on noise and insulates the floor. Often referred to as "underlay" or "cushion," padding thickness depends on the pile of the carpet above it. Padding should be no thicker than 7/16 inch, even for a very deep pile carpet. Too much cushion can actually void a manufacturer's warranty; so, take the time to find the padding that is right for your new carpet.
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Drawknife and Spokeshave

When rounding out your workshop tools, consider adding two of the handiest tools used in shops of old-timers: a drawknife and a spokeshave. For the occasional job a drawknife can be used instead of the router for beveling work. It's fast and it can make fine cuts without any chatter marks. A spokeshave is like a plane with handles, making it easy to control the depth of cut for a perfect surface.
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Blade Height

Before turning on your table saw, make sure that the height of the saw blade is no more than 1/2-in. and no less than 1/8-in. above the surface of the workpiece. When setting the height of your table saw, you want to balance the need for safety with effectiveness. The goal is to leave as little exposed blade as possible while still being able to cleanly saw through the wood. When too much of the blade is exposed above the workpiece, friction is increased and the chance of chipping is greater. Also, the higher the blade height, the greater the severity of injury.
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Assembly Photos

If you plan to refurbish a major shop tool or other equipment, take some photos before you start. They possibly can save you some head-scratching during the reassembly process. Take pictures from a number of angles, and take close-ups of areas where you think you might have some questions later. The more complex the machine, the more photos you should take.
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Workbench Height

When setting up workbenches, the height is generally figured at about hip pocket high. But before you buy or build a workbench, consider the height of your tablesaw. If the bench is the same height as the saw it can then be used for extra support when sawing over-size materials.
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Depth Stop

You can buy depth stops to attach to drill bits to make blind holes at a certain depth. But for occasional jobs you can gauge depth by using masking tape around the bit at the right depth. Or, as shown, drill through the center of a dowel section, using the bit you need for the hole. Cut the dowel so the exposed bit will be the depth needed for the hole.
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