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When I joined the forum there frequent posts regarding cost cutting or jig rigging. In todays lingo I think the kids are calling these "hacks". Anyhow bobj3 was full of hacks. His bottle cap knobs is one still mentioned. He also was the joke a day thread starter. Anyhow I think a thread for shop hacks would be useful for everyone. Especially to those of us on harbor freight budgets.
Got any good hacks to share?
 

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One tip I shared that made Bob laugh was that I used Bondo to repair templates that were damaged
If any of mine need repairing, I usually just cut a small section out, then glue a piece of wood in, and sand to shape. Works great. Cheap too.

And, sometimes when I'm making my routing masters, I just make on layer as usual, then instead of using a solid piece on it and routing to shape, I glue on small pieces, and rout them. Gives a nice solid master, saves wood, and uses up pieces I'd normally just have to toss.
 

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Rubbing alcohol removes pencil marks from wood. Just dampen a shop rag and apply it. A couple swipes is all it takes.
 

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I use toothpicks or slivers cut with a chisel or knife to repair screw holes. Put a dab of glue on them and jamb them in the hole. When the glue dries I shave them flush. It's also a good way to move to the screw over slightly to straighten up a hinge or anything like that that sometimes needs a small adjustment.
 

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I've used the method Charles described for years and have had great success with it and no known failures.
 

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Have a small dent to remove from a wood surface, try laying a damp cloth over it and running a hot iron (preferably not your wife's current one) over it to steam the wood a bit. Works better on softer wood of course but I have used the approach on oak. The key is to not get the wood totally soaked, just a tad damp.
 

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Instead of using drawer slides I've used strips of counter top laminate instead a few times. One strip in the carcass and one on the bottom of the drawer runners. If they get sticky just rub some parafin wax on the drawer runners. I've also used this to fix the drawers on an old antique sideboard where the runners had worn into the carcass (wood on wood) causing the drawer front to drag when closing. The strips of laminate lifted the drawer back into position and made it slide easier and stopped the wear from getting worse.
 

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Instead of using drawer slides I've used strips of counter top laminate instead a few times. One strip in the carcass and one on the bottom of the drawer runners. If they get sticky just rub some parafin wax on the drawer runners. I've also used this to fix the drawers on an old antique sideboard where the runners had worn into the carcass (wood on wood) causing the drawer front to drag when closing. The strips of laminate lifted the drawer back into position and made it slide easier and stopped the wear from getting worse.
Great idea, Charles. I put that in my memory chip (notebook). Thanks.
 

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A thin kerf 10 inch blade is not always the best choice. These tend to deflect if you apply too much angular pressure. It is hard, for example to get a really flat surface on a miter cut, so two ends join perfectly. Switch to a full kerf blade to all but eliminate the deflection. This is particularly important if you are cutting more than a couple of inch thick stock.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
i LUV CHUCK

Instead of using drawer slides I've used strips of counter top laminate instead a few times. One strip in the carcass and one on the bottom of the drawer runners. If they get sticky just rub some parafin wax on the drawer runners. I've also used this to fix the drawers on an old antique sideboard where the runners had worn into the carcass (wood on wood) causing the drawer front to drag when closing. The strips of laminate lifted the drawer back into position and made it slide easier and stopped the wear from getting worse.
I built a work table when time was abundant and money was tight. It was made from scraps and had rub drawer glides. As my shop grew these sticking drawers were almost abandoned until Chuck's post They slide now
Thank you
 

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Some great ideas, "hacks", tips and tricks.

Most, new to me...

A wonderful tribute to BJ and his immense contribution to the forum....
 

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Here's a couple of sanding aids. One photo is small pieces of counter top laminate with various grits of sandpaper glued on. These are unbelievably handy for sanding small or narrow detail such as the fillets of a profiled edge. I keep them at my workbench so they are always close. I like attaching them with Lee Valley's fish glue. It stays water soluble forever so when the paper wears out I just wet them and in a couple of minutes they peel off so I can put a new one on. Regular glue works too but they are throwaway when the paper wears out. I dress the edges up with a file before gluing the paper on.

The other is a sanding jig for sanding things like wood edge banding added onto something like the melamine piece shown. Quite often when you trim these to size the edges have tool marks that need to be sanded off. Tis jig allows you to sand them without worrying about scratching the melamine or veneer up. Cut the sandpaper the same width as the wood banding. The right angle stop prevents you from going any wider than the banding is.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I use drawer liner Husky 18 in. x 100 in. Premium Solid Drawer Liner, Black-DTC130001 - The Home Depot for several shop tasks. It comes 18 in wide X 96 in. I cut it 3 ft and use it as a work surface cushion when finishing. It comes in handy when using an RT or TS as a work surface When done roll it up and put it away. It is also useful for pads on push tools. Its 1/8" thick and can be easily sliced into strips for spacers in raised panel doors.
 

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I save the mailers that I get that are on the heavy cardstock. (get a lot of these right now from political candidates) I like to use them to make patterns with. The cardstock is heavy enough to make good, accurate patterns which I use to make heavier templates.
 

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Cut the legs off old track pants & slip your good handsaws in them,(held in place with rubber bands) before storing them away in the tool chest. Keeps rust off especially when living near the sea. Also,old bed sheets thrown over machinery when not in use helps with rust prevention.
 
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