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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Steel Runners

If you are making up sliding jigs for the tablesaw or other tools, consider steel rather than wood for the guide runners. Steel runners won't swell like wood will during high humidity to cause sticking and binding. You can ask local steel suppliers for cold rolled steel to fit the grooves, or use runners from dismantled miter gauges. Steel takes a little more effort to mount, but will provide years of hassle-free service.
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Hand Filing

When using hand files, it is best to hold the stock firmly in a vise or clamp. For better results, try to keep the stock being filed at about elbow height. For heavier filing work, the stock should be lower; if the work is finer, try to keep it up closer to eye level.
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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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Surface Drag

If any of your woodworking tools seem to be losing their zip, make sure they aren't suffering from surface drag instead of a dull blade. Rubbing a thin coat of paste wax or paraffin on the top surfaces of tools like tablesaws, planers or jointers, or onto the sole plates of portable tools like circular saws, sabersaws or even hand planes, can make a big difference in how they perform.
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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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Miter Box Saver

If you just bought a manual miter box, a simple modification will extend its useful service life. Insert and fasten a piece of 1x stock to the inside bottom of the box. The saw blade will then cut into the false bottom, without damaging the miter box itself. Occasionally move the wood back and forth, or turn it over, to spread out the wear. When badly cut up, just replace the piece.
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Tape Check

If you are working on a project with a partner and using two different measuring tapes, take the time to check that both tapes are in synch. Sometimes if the hook end of an older tape happens to get bent, it may throw off the measurement as much as a sixteenth of an inch. That error can be enough to cause problems if you need to do precision work. To doublecheck two metal measuring tapes for accuracy, mark a line at a certain distance on a board, draw the tapes out and compare readings.
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Blade Breaks

If a bandsaw blade breaks, it can be brazed or welded. But check for the cause. The most common causes include: 1) misalignment or adjustment of the guides, 2) either forcing or twisting a wide blade around a curve, 3) feeding in the work too fast, 4) dull teeth or not enough tooth set, 5) excessive tightening of blade, 6) top guide set too high above work being cut, 7) using a blade with improperly finished braze or weld, and 8) continuously running the blade when it is not used for cutting.
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