Workbench Weekly eTip
 

Archive for August, 2010

Simple Saw Blade Guard

Friday, August 27th, 2010

An exposed saw blade in the garage or shop can be dangerous at worst or dull the blade at best. That’s why we like to cover up the blade with the spine from a plastic report cover. Readily available at office supply stores, these spines even come in bright colors, so they’re easy to find in a messy shop.

Blade Guard

Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers
Online Editor, Workbench

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (9 votes, average: 4.11 out of 5)
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Stir Stick Savvy

Friday, August 20th, 2010

Don’t throw the stick away after mixing up paint. Instead, write the room name and critical paint information on the stick after it dries. That way, you’ll always know what color the room is if you need more. You can even take the stick to the store when shopping for matching drapes, pillows, and other room accessories.

Paint Sticks

Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers
Online Editor, Workbench

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 4.20 out of 5)
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Why We Build with MDF

Friday, August 13th, 2010

For projects like built-ins and bookcases, we often use medium-density fiberboard (MDF), shown on top in the Photo, instead of plywood, shown on the bottom.

MDF and Plywood

MDF is smooth and consistent on the faces and edges, so it paints up nicely without showing grain lines or the telltale plies on the edges. And at a cost of $20 for a 4×8 sheet, MDF is very economical.

On the negative side, MDF isn’t as stiff as plywood. That means large horizontal surfaces (like long shelves) will need bracing or additional supports underneath to prevent them from sagging.

Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers
Online Editor, Workbench

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (7 votes, average: 4.14 out of 5)
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Do Detectors Get Old?

Friday, August 6th, 2010

Everyone knows you should replace your smoke detector battery every year. But it will probably come as a surprise to learn that you should replace the entire smoke detector every eight to 10 years. This applies, by the way, to both battery-operated and hard-wired models.

Smoke Alarm

To understand why this is necessary, consider that a smoke detector monitors the air constantly 24 hours a day. That means after 10 years a detector has been through, according to some estimates, three to four million duty cycles. So it’s no surprise that components can wear out. In addition, detectors can become clogged by dust and other contaminants in the air.

If you’re not sure how old your detector is, look on the label (located on the back) for a manufacturing date. To make replacement easy, write the replacement date on that detector or on the new one you install. Then you’ll be reminded of its age every year when you change the battery.

Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers
Online Editor, Workbench

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (7 votes, average: 4.57 out of 5)
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