Workbench Weekly eTip
 

Archive for August, 2007

Space-saving Glue-up Station

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

My workbench is without a doubt the most useful “tool” in my shop. The surface of the bench, in particular, is far too valuable to tie up while waiting for a glued-up assembly to dry.

So when I have glue-ups that I need out of the way, I temporarily attach pipe clamps to the side of the bench (Clamp Station Assembly). This creates a large clamping area, while still leaving the top of my bench free for other work.

When they’re needed, the clamps are held in place with round pipe flanges that are fastened to the side of the bench with screws. (Pipe flanges are available in the plumbing department at home centers and hardware stores.)

To use the clamping station, simply thread the ends of the pipe clamps into the flanges, as shown in the Pipe Flange Detail. Then glue and clamp the boards as usual. As with any glue-up, be sure to clamp on top of the panel, as well, to avoid bowing.

Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers
Online Editor
Workbench Magazine

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Rust-Proof Your Tools

Friday, August 24th, 2007

If you ever get rust on the surfaces of your cast-iron tools in your garage, here’s the easiest way to remove it, and prevent it from coming back.

To get rid of rust, try Rust Free from Boeshield (Boeshield.com). Just spray it on the rusted surface, let it soak for a few moments, and then wipe the rust away with a rag or abrasive pad (Inset Photo). Repeat the process if necessary.

Now is also a good time to get rid of any scratches in the surface. You can do this easily with a random-orbit sander and 220-grit sandpaper.

Next, coat the bare cast iron with a rust inhibitor. My favorite is T-9 spray, also from Boeshield. To show how well it works, I sprayed a coat on half of a cast-iron wing from a table saw, set it outside, and misted the entire surface with water.

The unprotected half rusted in about three hours, while the coated side stayed clean (Photo, right).

Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers
Online Editor
Workbench Magazine

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (9 votes, average: 4.67 out of 5)
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Plywood Edging Tips

Thursday, August 16th, 2007

When applying solid-wood edging to a plywood panel, the goal is to get it perfectly flush with the plywood. To do that, I start with oversize panels and edging. If the solid wood gets glued to the edges of a panel, make the panel extra-long (about 1/2″). If the solid wood goes on the ends, make the panel extra-wide instead.

Now cut the edging long enough to fit these oversize panels, and 1/8″ thicker. After gluing the edging on, use a flush-trim bit to rout it flush with the faces of the panel (Fig. 1). A rabbeted scrap block helps steady the router and allows clearance for the extra-thick edging.
Once that’s done, crosscut or rip the panel — and the attached edging — to final size (Fig. 2).

Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers
Online Editor
Workbench Magazine

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (3 votes, average: 4.67 out of 5)
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Can Opener Plaster Aid

Thursday, August 9th, 2007

I found that an old can opener comes in handy when preparing cracked surfaces for plastering. Simply use the pointed end to scrape the crack. This removes crumbling plaster chips and opens up the crack to accept enough joint compound to form a good bond.

Have a nice weekend,
Wyatt Myers
Online Editor
Workbench Magazine

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (9 votes, average: 3.56 out of 5)
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Choose a “Vix” Bit for Hinges

Thursday, August 2nd, 2007
The tapered tip of a self-centering bit seats in the hinge mounting hole as you press it into the hinge. This ensures accurate screw positioning and hinge alignment.

The simplest “trick” I know for drilling perfectly centered hinge-screw holes is to use a self-centering drill bit.

This type of bit has a standard twist bit in a special housing. The housing contains a spring-loaded sleeve that’s tapered at the tip, so it seats automatically in the countersunk hole in the hinge. When you push down, the sleeve slips into the housing, allowing the bit to plunge into the wood.

You’ll find self-centering bits (also called Vix bits, the brand name of the
original) in home centers and hardware stores in sizes to match common screws.

Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers
Online Editor
Workbench Magazine

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (7 votes, average: 4.14 out of 5)
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