Make your own table saw fence

Make your own table saw fence
FAMILY HANDYMAN

This self-clamping table saw fence takes only seconds to put on and lets you crank the blade into the fence to create both angled cuts along board edges and extremely thin rip or rabbet cuts. With a hand- or jigsaw, cut pieces from a 1×4, making the inside width of the “L” a hair under the thickness of your saw’s fence. Drill 8mm holes in the L-blocks and plywood fence and join them with two 6 x 76mm countersunk machine screws, washers and Wing-Nuts. As always, use extra caution when you’re sawing without a blade guard. Our thanks for this new sawing angle to professional furniture maker George Vondriska

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Brilliant mitre saw stop

Brilliant mitre saw stop
FAMILY HANDYMAN

I use binder clips for a lot of things around the shop, and here’s one that I thought I’d share. When I need to make multiple cuts all the same length, I just clamp my jumbo binder clip to my fence and use a 6mm-thick wood scrap pinched in the clip as a stop. Works like a charm! When it’s not in use, I clamp it to the cord so it’s always nearby. — John Muchow

Discover these 20 secret clamping tricks from woodworkers.

Shelf bracket to the rescue

Shelf bracket to the rescue
FAMILY HANDYMAN

Brace skinny material on edge with this slick system. Clamp a shelf bracket to a workbench, stand the material on edge and then clamp it to the bracket. The clamp will hold the material, keeping your hands free for other operations. — Azha Jensen

Hand plane hack

Hand plane hack
FAMILY HANDYMAN

Here’s a way to joint or shape work pieces that are too small to hold in a vise. Flip a hand plane upside down and clamp it in your bench vise. Now you can pass the wood over the plane to joint the edge. — Matt Boley

Learn about these 4 types of wood joints every woodworker should know.

Catch wood chips with PVC pipe

Catch wood chips with PVC pipe
FAMILY HANDYMAN

My planer blasts shavings all over the shop floor. I decided to make my own dust chute from 10cm PVC sewer pipe (which has thinner walls than regular pipe) and a couple caps. I cut a slit in the pipe and used a heat gun to soften the plastic. That allowed me to open the slit. (Heating PVC releases fumes; ventilation is critical.) I then drilled holes in the flap and screwed it to the planer housing. Finally, I cut a 60mm hole in one of the end caps to accept my shop vacuum hose. Works great! — Luis Arce

Here are 24 more handy hints for your workshop.

Socket sander

Socket sander
FAMILY HANDYMAN

Sanding concave moulding doesn’t have to be difficult. Find a deep socket that fits the contour of your moulding. Wrap a piece of sand- paper around the socket and hold it in place with your fingers. Your sanding will be uniform and the delicate edges of the moulding won’t round over. — Eric and Cheryl Weltlich

Stretchy clamps

Stretchy clamps
FAMILY HANDYMAN

Old bicycle inner tubes work great for clamping odd-shaped projects. I used them recently to hold the rungs secure in a set of chairs I glued up. Just knot the tube to the right size and then stretch it over. Set the chair on a flat surface as the glue dries. The tubes can handle jobs that conventional clamps just can’t. — Allen J. Muldoon

Make a mixing block

Make a mixing block
FAMILY HANDYMAN

I mix a lot of epoxy in small batches, but I’ve seldom had the right size container on hand. I solved this problem by drilling 5mm holes in 2×4 scraps with a Forstner bit. The resulting shallow “cups” allow easy mixing without the risk of spilling. When the holes are used up, I just make a new mixing board. — Bill Wells

Learn all about how to glue wood.

How to clean your mini drum sander

How to clean your mini drum sander
FAMILY HANDYMAN

When your rotary tool’s sanding drum gets clogged, refresh the surface with a rubber pencil eraser. Run the tool at low speed and press the eraser into the clogged drum to rub out the chips and gunk. Check out this pencil hack for perfectly flat boards.

Super-small parts sander

Super-small parts sander
FAMILY HANDYMAN

I’m 91 years old, but I still enjoy spending time in the wood shop. I like to make wooden toys and give them to my great-grandkids and charity groups. One trick I’ve learned over the years is to use emery boards – the kind for filing fingernails – to sand small parts. Emery boards come in different sizes, and some are more abrasive than others, so I keep an assortment on hand. — Joe Aboussleman