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.
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.
Whenever you are glueing glass you must consider the visibility of the adhesive. If the glass is translucent, you will want a glue that dries as clear as possible. Before glueing any glass bond be sure that the glass is clean, free of any oil (even from your fingers) and dry.
When you buy a drill bit set, it most likely will come in a storage case. This case will help you figure out which size bit you need to use. When drilling holes for a pilot or lead hole for a nail, find which slot in the bit case the nail will fit in. The next size down is the bit you should choose. When drilling a pilot hole for a screw, you need to choose two bits. One for the starter hole and one for the pilot hole. Find which slot in your bit storage case the screw will fit in. That is the size of bit you should use for the pilot hole. For the starter hold, use the next smaller sized bit.
When it comes to buying tools, don't compromise on quality. Inexpensive tools may seem like a bargain at the store, but will almost always cost more in the long run.
Making perfect dovetail joints can involve some shop practice, so consider starting out with a less-expensive jig that is designed for making only one or two types of joint styles. Then you can later work your way on up to the more expensive and versatile jigs that will let you make up to four or more styles of dovetails. With any dovetail jig, try to avoid using a router that is very light; heavier routers will produce crisper and cleaner cuts.
There are several adhesive glue sticks to choose from for your hot glue gun. Here's a description of the most common to help you determine which is right for the project you're working on: 1) General purpose glue. Dries to a clear finish. Like its name, it's a good general purpose adhesive to have available. 2) Fast bonding glue. Will dry within 20 to 30 seconds after you apply it. 3) Wood glue. Specially formulated to bond with wood fibers. Dries to an opaque tan color. 4) Caulk/sealant. Formulated to resist heat, cold and moisture. Ideal for sealing windows, doors, and exterior surfaces. 5) Glass and ceramic adhesive. Dries almost instantly to a clear, almost invisible coat. 6) Decorative adhesive. Available in a variety of colors. Ideal for matching colors of your decorative craft project.
When going to buy lumber, eliminate the guesswork by taking along the right gear. Take a good flashlight to be able to see wood in dark lumber sheds, plus a pocket knife to scrape rough-sawn boards to check grain. Also take along a good measuring tape, small square, pencil, notebook, and a pocket calculator if you will need to do much figuring.
If you drop one of your favorite steel planes and dent the sole, metal displaced from the dent will likely leave a raised ring around it that can scratch wood. Simply rub the surface with a fine honing stone to remove the raised area. Once done, you can ignore the remaining dent, oil the unplated surface, and put the plane back to work.
Warm vinegar will generally soften the most stubborn old glue on old furniture. Dipping the parts to be reglued in warm water, and then letting them dry out completely, will help to open up the wood pores and allow the new glue to enter the wood more freely. Warming the parts on top of a heater or in the sun will also help open up the pores of the old wood before regluing.