Biscuit Joints

Using thin wood wafers called biscuits can strengthen wood joints by providing more glue bonding area. You can use a biscuit joiner (also called a plate joiner) to cut precision mating slots in boards for the biscuits, which are available in three sizes. Or, to save money you can buy a kit to convert either your router or right-angle grinder. The conversion kits will generally cost about half that of a dedicated biscuit joiner.
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Sawdust Collection

If you don't yet have a sawdust collection system set up in your workshop, an intermediate step is to use plastic trash bags under a tablesaw. Clip the bag below the tablesaw with snap clothespins. The sawdust that does not fall in can be scooped up and tossed into the bag. Also check out the options now available for using your wet/dry vac to collect sawdust from individual tools.
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Glue Split Wood

Hammering a nail close to the edge of a piece of a board may cause it to split. This problem can be solved by using the nail to open up the split, them filling the crack with glue. Wipe off any glue that runs over. Remove the nail, then clamp board as the glue dries. To avoid these splits in the future, use a drill to bore a pilot hold.
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Pilot Holes

When you are fastening two pieces of wood with screws, keep the pilot hole through the top piece slightly larger than the diameter of the shank of the screw. This will allow the wood screw to pull the two pieces of material tightly together. If the pilot hole is too small, the top piece can climb the threads of the screw and leave a gap between the two pieces.
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Removing a Banister

Here's how to disassemble a banister and balusters for refinishing. Using a block, gently separate the banister and newel post just enough to insert the blade of a reciprocating saw. Cut through the bolts and nails to detach the banister. Repeat this process on the opposite end. Then, carefully separate the pieces using the block. Be sure to number each piece for re-assembly later.
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Storing Sandpaper

To keep sanpaper discs from curling up, make a simple jig to keep them flat. Cut out two pieces of 1/4-in. plywood that are slightly larger than the discs. Drill a 1/4-in. hole through the center of each of the pieces. Insert a bolt through one piece, lay the discs on it, and follow up with the second piece. Fasten the stack with a 1/4-in. bolt and wingnut.
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Wide Clamping

Need to hold extra-wide work for gluing up or driving screws? You can hook one jaw of a pipe clamp over your work, then turn the opposite jaw 90 degrees so it lays flat on the work. Hook a second pipe clamp to this jaw, and at the other end turn that jaw 90 degrees and tighten. If two clamps won't reach, just add a third clamp between the first two.
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