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post #1 of 55 (permalink) Old 11-12-2011, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
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Question Frugal Woodworking

I admit it, I'm cheap.
But, more than that, it's a long way to town and I might not find what I'm looking for anyway.
What use do you other frugal woodworkers make of everyday items. For instance. I use cut up pop cans for shims. If that isn't enough, I have a chain of old Formica samples that work.
My digital calipers have been retired...at least for gauging thickness out of the planer. Now I use open end wrenches. For odd height and spacing of router bits, I use drill bits. That's when my keyway stock isn't sufficient. Got a bunch of keyway shorts from a machinist's cutoff bin. $5.00 and sizes from 1/8 through 3/4 by 1/6ths. Sure beats those brass bars for price and utility.
Got tired of paying big bucks for ceramic band saw guides, so I made my own from oak. Soaked them in used motor oil and they work great.
A few sptrizes of 409 or Simple Green and my saw blades and router bits look like new.
Recently, I decided I'd had enough of cleaning up behind my SCMS so I built a dust catcher. Dollar store $4.00 large plastic storage container on it's side. 4" Toilet Flange through the side (now the bottom). Lockable sliding sleeve attached to the back (the orig. bottom). 2X3 post fits in the sleeve. 45* cutoffs for feet. Attach the DC hose to the toilet flange. Total cost.....about $10.00 and some scrap wood and all thread.
Works like a charm.
Now, don't get me wrong. When it comes to tools and safety, I don't scrimp.
I'm sure there are a lot of you guys and gals that resist opening your wallets or purses and have lots of frugal tips to share. So, how about it?

Gene Howe
Snowflake, AZ

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post #2 of 55 (permalink) Old 11-12-2011, 02:06 PM
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Hi Gene

I'm a cheap old SOB also.I use bop bottle caps for knobs,plastic mouse pad for a router base plate,old 5 gal.plastic paint bucket for the vac.system,etc. my boss calls me a hoarder all the time ,I keep tons of junk and I always find things I can use it for in the shop or on many projects..I'm just lazy I guess...but I'm getting better I have been watching the TV show called the Hoarders and it's working on me now.. LOL I don't keep as much junk anymore just the good stuff LOL I gave up all the old boxes for router(s) and tools, the BOSS said why are you keeping that stuff...

=====

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gene Howe View Post
I admit it, I'm cheap.
But, more than that, it's a long way to town and I might not find what I'm looking for anyway.
What use do you other frugal woodworkers make of everyday items. For instance. I use cut up pop cans for shims. If that isn't enough, I have a chain of old Formica samples that work.
My digital calipers have been retired...at least for gauging thickness out of the planer. Now I use open end wrenches. For odd height and spacing of router bits, I use drill bits. That's when my keyway stock isn't sufficient. Got a bunch of keyway shorts from a machinist's cutoff bin. $5.00 and sizes from 1/8 through 3/4 by 1/6ths. Sure beats those brass bars for price and utility.
Got tired of paying big bucks for ceramic band saw guides, so I made my own from oak. Soaked them in used motor oil and they work great.
A few sptrizes of 409 or Simple Green and my saw blades and router bits look like new.
Recently, I decided I'd had enough of cleaning up behind my SCMS so I built a dust catcher. Dollar store $4.00 large plastic storage container on it's side. 4" Toilet Flange through the side (now the bottom). Lockable sliding sleeve attached to the back (the orig. bottom). 2X3 post fits in the sleeve. 45* cutoffs for feet. Attach the DC hose to the toilet flange. Total cost.....about $10.00 and some scrap wood and all thread.
Works like a charm.
Now, don't get me wrong. When it comes to tools and safety, I don't scrimp.
I'm sure there are a lot of you guys and gals that resist opening your wallets or purses and have lots of frugal tips to share. So, how about it?



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post #3 of 55 (permalink) Old 11-12-2011, 09:48 PM
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Hi Gene & Bob,

I have this thing where I like to attach the screw on lids for jars to a board to fabricate parts/hardware storage units. Transparent containers are best because you can see what's in them. When I want the stuff, just rotate the jar until it is free from the lid.

I have a stash of sardine & tuna fish cans that I will cook up a frame unit for some day to hold a stack of them like little removable drawers.

During the last summer I was able to build up my first run of wood boxes that allowed me to burn up the cardboard boxes they replaced. Who knows, another couple years of playing woodshop and I might have all of the cardboard boxes traded out for either wood or plastic ones!

If I ever get to where I am content with the woodshop set up, I would love to create a home foundry to let me get back into non-ferrous casting. I am the guy that doesn't toss a cheap screwdriver with a fouled/broken tip. I grind it down into an awl/scribe.
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post #4 of 55 (permalink) Old 11-12-2011, 10:29 PM
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Hi Bill

I Like it...
Here's just one more waste not want not thing,, it's a lazy Susan that I put 3M elec. tape boxes in to hold the small screws...just scrap some MDF with holes to hold the clear boxes ...it's a 4 layer cake thing..

===



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Last edited by bobj3; 11-12-2011 at 10:43 PM.
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post #5 of 55 (permalink) Old 11-13-2011, 12:51 AM
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I like the lazy susan. A great re-use for the tape containers. I have re-used a few of those tape containers through the years. Somewhere Up in the attic I have a big box of bulk CD media 'cake boxes' that would work great in a Lazy Susan style unit.

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post #6 of 55 (permalink) Old 11-13-2011, 10:07 AM
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Hi Bill

Yes the CD bulk box makes a great storage item I use the for my Off Set rings
keeps them clean and dry plus it's makes it easy to find the one I need at the time I need it....

==

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Originally Posted by wbh1963 View Post
I like the lazy susan. A great re-use for the tape containers. I have re-used a few of those tape containers through the years. Somewhere Up in the attic I have a big box of bulk CD media 'cake boxes' that would work great in a Lazy Susan style unit.


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Last edited by bobj3; 11-13-2011 at 11:27 AM.
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post #7 of 55 (permalink) Old 11-13-2011, 08:27 PM
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Plastic Folgers coffee cans. Lots of them stacked on shelves. Nuts, bolts, tire repair stuff, washers, locks, clothes pins, you name it. It's in those cans. Magic marker IDs what's in them.
If a can is upside down, it's empty. Not too many of those.

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post #8 of 55 (permalink) Old 11-13-2011, 09:05 PM
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I find myself wondering how 'frugal' other members might get when it comes to selecting project materials.

Some time ago my sister and her hubby picked up a 'loft bed' for my 5 yr old nephew. After seeing some of my examples of 'function over fashion' furniture, she asked whether I could cook up some sort of 'Lego play station' that would optimize space use under this bed. I was eager to embrace the challenge and the first attempt at a design phase began.

Somewhere along the line I recalled that kids that age love to climb on just about anything they can so I gave up some of the earlier ideas that would have added flexibility at the expense of sturdiness.

Prototype number 1 turned out to be more of an experiment in interior decking than furniture building.

The 'kid size' table was built using 4 2x4x96 'stud-grade' 2x4 boards keeping the wood cost down to 7.92. 20 2.5" coated deck screws were used to attach the top pieces to the side supports. 20 1.25" screws were used to assemble the sides and attach the back support. A dime each for the fancy coated 2.5 in screws and .02 a pop for the short ones put the fastener costs at $2.40. $10.32 is what we have into it so far, and we really haven't decided what we are going to do for finishing yet.

The plastic 15" x 15" plates that Legos fasten to when used arrived this week to. The next task will be to work out how we want to attach those to the surface, and then we can decide whether to veneer it up fancy or just 'clear coat it'.

I have also been having lots of fun with cedar fence pickets by pushing the envelope on what all they can be used to build. $1.19 for a 6" x 5.5" x 5/8" board works out to about .52 a square foot.
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post #9 of 55 (permalink) Old 11-13-2011, 09:32 PM
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Thanks for starting this thread Gene as I now have it book marked. I also use clear jars for screws and plastic coffee cans for storage.

I use 3 and 4 inch screws to hang cords and hoses on....

When needed will take scrap wood to make shop shelf brackets....

Wash out my small shop vac filter(s)

Use throw away material from work for shop tables, jigs, shelves, cabinets, drawers etc

1) 2"x4"x4' runners that seperate bundles of decking

2) OSB and plywood floor decking cut offs

3) Formica cut- offs

4) Formica pallets are usually made of Red Oak. I cut one up and brought it home Thursday..... still have some work to do with it on the table saw and router ski's but that was a lot of usable wood

5) Cover sheets on bundles....... lots of luan, occasionaly some birch plywood use to be the norm and a lot of it but since the economy nose dived those are few and far between. The OSB decking has an odd thickness thin cover sheet now but was thick enough to cover the shop walls
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post #10 of 55 (permalink) Old 11-14-2011, 01:22 PM
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Gene, this is a great column idea. I think many ideas will be relative to storage and here are two photos fairly self-explanatory. The wife and I take quite a few meds, so the bottles come-in-handy. Repackaged pills come in generic store containers and we see a lot of repeats. The wood was scrap. I tend to drill my holes a tiny bit oversize for convenience. OPG3
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