Here is a collection of workshop tips that I share from WoodworkersWorkshop®.
Homemade wood stain
I read so much about vinegar and steel wool, and finally caved in and decided to see what all the hubub was about. I used a mason jar with one wad of steel wool and filled it with white vinegar (5% acetic acid).
Record your tool list
Did you get a new tool? Be sure to engrave your name and/or phone number somewhere in case it is lost or stolen! You should also keep an inventory of all of your tools and what you paid for them in case of theft, explosion, fire or other event that destroys your shop. Pictures are especially helpful for any insurance claims! (The value of this tip was proven to me when someone told me a story of a carpenter whose radial arm saw was stolen from his truck, was later told by a friend that his missing saw was for sale at a local second-hand store. He was thinking of buying it and while inspecting it saw the neighbor’s name and phone number engraved under the table). You may also want to check to see if your homeowners insurance covers the cost of all your tools or if you have to add a rider to cover the actual amount. Some homeowner or apartment policies will cover $250 or $500 of tools (especially if you also use them for work) so you may want to add a bit more!
Paste wax your stationary power tool tables to prevent rust and keep the wood sliding smoothly. The only consideration is that wax may transfer to the wood surface. If you are finishing the wood surface with a stain or paint, you will have to carefully prepare the surface. In instances like that, I have a laminate panel I place over the tablesaw and some other stationary power tools to provide a smooth surface that is wax-free.
I also use it on some of my wooden projects to provide a smooth surface as a final finish on top of paint or stain. And I even use it on our cork laminate flooring annually.
Woodworking Tip for Fine Dust
A nylon stocking over the shop vac filter will make it easier to clean… just peel off the stocking and all the fine dust comes with it!
Woodworking Tip for Oily Smudges
Put some sawdust in your box of finish nails. It will absorb the oil that comes on the nails, preventing it from causing smudges on the unfinished wood of your projects.
Woodworking Tip for Strip Finishing
Old aluminum screening is excellent for scraping off finishes when stripping furniture.
Woodworking Tip for Vacuum Filters
What’s the best way to get caked sawdust out of a shop-vac filter? Drop the filter in a plastic trash bag, tie the top shut and shake the bag vigorously!
Woodworking Tip and Bright Ideas
Need more light in the shop? Take the base or clamp off an old adjustable desk lamp and drill a couple of holes in your workbench to accept the post or shaft. Most are 1/2″ diameter. It can be moved around and adjusted wherever you need the extra light.
Woodworking Tip for Sign Making
Trying to find alphabet templates for sign making? Don’t forget your computer. It’s loaded with fonts that can resized to fit your needs.
Woodworking Tip for Cleaner Hands
Have you ever tried WD-40 as a hand cleaner for grease, paint or stain? Works great!