As Easy As 1-2-3
Issue: Issue 131
Posted Date: 8/30/2005
from Women in Woodworking
Lists of other folks' shop favorites are always great reading. The initiator of this thread wisely suggested that each respondent name only her three favorite shop gadgets. In keeping with the "three" theme, I've chosen only the first three lists that were posted. - Editor
"1. Two 9" rubber floats with handles, used for surfacing grout in tiles, are the very best for jointer and router table holds. They grip exceptionally well, never wear out and are about 1/2" or more thick. They keep your hands well away from the blades. Be sure to get the textured rubber -- smooth rubber will slip.
2. Three standard Stanley hand plane blades for hand scraping surfaces, removing glue lines. Perfect if you have glue squeeze-out in an inside box corner: you can trap the glue between two blades for a no-mess cleanup.
3. Bungee cords. Great for holding vacuum hoses, lights, ceiling-mounted fans, etc. I used a series of bungee cords to suspend a heavy headboard for a bed from the rafters while I worked on attaching the legs. There are plenty of others, but I'll stick to these three!" - PurpleHeart
"1. Drafting triangles are my most favorite. They are deadly accurate, relatively inexpensive and great for machine setups. And don't forget a drafting T-square. This is great for marking shelf dadoes to be absolutely perpendicular to the front edges, and best use is mounting drawer slides. Those really have to be perpendicular with the front edges.
2. Second most useful thing I ever got was an inexpensive electric winch from Harbor Freight. I mounted it on the ceiling. I use it to lift sheets of ply, melamine or MDF and then lower them on to a saw rack for reducing to work-sized pieces with a circular saw. I also use it for picking up assemblies that have gotten too large and heavy to muscle around. Sometimes you need to turn the piece over or around to work on it. It even worked great when I needed to get to the bottom side of the lawnmower. It also holds things up in the air when you need another pair of hands for assembly. Love that thing!
3. I like the Get-a-Grip Velcro® ties for the cords on all my power tools. They wrap the tool cord neatly. No more dragging several tools off the shelf when only one was wanted. I secretly hoped that when all these cords entangled they were trying to "mate," and I'd get a new power tool. Never happened, though. I digress. Those ties are also great for extension cords. They come in different lengths and a rainbow of colors." - Carol
Setup blocks. I use differently dimensioned blocks of wood to measure with. I also have some with grooves to use as "go; no go" gauges. It is so much easier when dimensioning lumber and setting up the machinery. I paint these special blocks of wood with a fluorescent color so I don't throw them away or use them for a project. I can find them really quickly, too!
2. The second is a deck of cards, thanks to Carol, I might add. They are great for shimming drawers and the small gaps that are needed for adjustments.
3. The next one is the pocket-hole jig. That little gadget has made life much easier in the shop." - Weez