Workbench Weekly eTip
 

Archive for May, 2008

Quick & Easy Lumber Rack

Friday, May 30th, 2008

For lumber storage in my shop, I like to stand boards on end. That makes it easier to sort through the lumber to find the board I want. It also lets me separate boards by wood species.

To keep boards organized (and to prevent them from falling sideways), I made a simple lumber rack from some lengths of black-iron pipe and a few plumbing fittings (Photo, below).

I used 3/4″ pipe for this rack, which is available at most hardware stores. For a small price, you can have the pipe cut to whatever length you want (24″ in my case). You’ll also want to have threads cut on both ends of each pipe. One end threads into a pipe flange that’s screwed to the wall. The other end gets a cap.

Pipe and plumbing fittings make a simple lumber rack.

Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers
Online Editor
Workbench Magazine

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“Tape” Measure for Round Surfaces

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

Recently, a project required laying out four equidistant holes around a pipe. To get perfectly even spacing between the holes, I used a “tape” measure made of masking tape.

Start by wrapping a strip of masking tape around the pipe (or whatever round piece you’re working with). Make a mark where the tape overlaps (Fig. 1). Then peel off the tape, stick it on a flat surface, and measure the distance from the end of the tape to the mark. That’s the circumference of the pipe.

Now divide that measurement by the number of holes. The result is the distance between the holes. Mark lines on the tape that same distance apart (Fig. 2). Then put the tape back on the workpiece and drill a hole at each mark.

Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers
Online Editor
Workbench Magazine

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Quick & Easy Toggle Tip

Friday, May 16th, 2008

Installing a toggle-style wall anchor can be a pain. Sometimes it seems like the spring-loaded “wing” just spins endlessly instead of tightening against the back of the wall.

To speed things up, I use an old serrated bread knife. With the knife blade engaged in the screw threads and the handle wedged against the wall, it holds the wing snug against the drywall as you install the anchor.

Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers
Online Editor
Workbench Magazine

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Tight-Fitting Base Molding

Friday, May 9th, 2008

When installing base molding, the drywall is usually about 1″ above the floor. The molding covers the gap, but when you nail it in place, it tips in at the bottom, creating a gap at the top. This also prevents the coped end of the molding from fitting tight.

My solution is to fit short blocks of 1/2″ plywood into the gap wherever the molding will be nailed to the wall plate (Illustration, below). The blocks support the bottom of the molding, ensuring a tight fit at the top.

Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers
Online Editor
Workbench Magazine

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (13 votes, average: 4.31 out of 5)
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Hinge-Mortise Shortcut

Friday, May 2nd, 2008

When you need to cut a deep hinge mortise (such as on a door or another project), you might think “lots of work with a chisel.” But think again. You can save a lot of time by removing the bulk of the waste with a hand-held router and a 1/2″ straight bit.

Before you get started though, you’ll need to lay out the location of the mortise. This is just a matter of marking the ends of the mortise. As for the depth of the mortise, it’s determined by the hinge, so adjust the depth of cut accordingly (1/2″ for the mortises in the bench).

To provide plenty of support for the base of the router, I clamp a couple of scrap blocks to the workpiece, flush with the edge (Photo, below). These blocks keep the router from tipping. And as an added benefit, they prevent chipout where the bit exits the cut.

To cut the mortise, turn on the router, plow through one of the blocks, and begin routing up close to the layout lines (within 1/8″ or so). You’ll cut into the scrap blocks as you rout back and forth, but that’s okay. They’ve accomplished their sacrificial job.

Once you’ve removed most of the waste material, unclamp the blocks and square up the shoulders of the mortise with a chisel (Inset Photo).

Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers
Online Editor
Workbench Magazine

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