Simple DIY shop made items for use in the shop. What have you made? Part II

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  • #46
    Power Strip Support

    This not much to brag about but it serves a function. A normal power strip flops around on the ground with a 1 in three chance of pointing upwards where you can plug into it and moving around so its hard to work with one hand. If left there in the shop it fill up with sawdust.

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    This one:
    • saves floor space
    • place next to saw, router table, workbench or on top of workbench for small hand tools like hot melt gun, electric drill, orbital sander, Dremel-type tool
    • has a step so you can put a foot on it and stabilize when you try and plug in or remove a plug
    • raises it up so that you don't strain your back (important as you get older)
    • keeps sawdust from falling into the openings
    • has enough weight so stiff cords don't move it all around and stays in place.
    • Portable, not attached to any piece of furniture

    Scrap wood as usual. piece of 2x6 for the base. Free HF outlet strip.

    One improvement I'd make is to make it 2" taller and drill a 1.25-1.5" finger hole in the top to serve as an easy carrying point. Or even a loop of zip tie may do the job.

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    oh, has a fingerlift hole now!
    Last edited by LCHIEN; 06-22-2022, 02:23 AM.
    Loring in Katy, TX USA
    If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
    BT3 FAQ -


    • #47
      Things to help changing Miter saw blades

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      Retracting the blade guard... It is spring loaded - you need a third hand or to disassemble it to get it out of the way. I now use a short Bungee cord to tie it back. On my saw the bungee cord presses the power trigger when I hook it through the handle so its also a good check to make sure you unplugged the saw before you started!

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      I also marked my arbor nut/bolt (on miter saws its usually a bolt) wrench to remind me that its a left handed thread, Unlike the table saw where I work from the side and use my right hand on the wrench, I work from the front of the miter saw and have to use my left hand which makes it a double-inversion in the brain and a physical direction reminder is always helpful.

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      Finally, At least on mine, there is an arbor lock button to keep the arbor from turning while wrenching on it. Here's where it is on mine:

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      Last edited by LCHIEN; 11-17-2021, 10:16 AM.
      Loring in Katy, TX USA
      If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
      BT3 FAQ -


      • #48
        That sticker marking the direction to go is a great idea.
        Somehow it seems to drain my energy when I end up tightening while trying to loosen!
        It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
        - Aristotle


        • #49
          Non-fail Drill depth stop that cannot shift and overdrill.

          I was drilling pilot holes for a table top from the bottom for mounting Z-clips and the table being 5/8" I wanted a no-fail depth stop that would not disastrously shift and drill through the top. No tape, none of those metal ring clamps that you tighten with a small allen wrench. They can all shift if you press too hard.

          Here is my solution:
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          I just drilled a hole in a short dowel; its tight enough it won't fall off and I set the exposed length with a scale and then insert the bit (you want about one-half to one inch of shank remaining) until it bottoms against the chuck jaws. It doesn't even need to be well centered in the dowel, Mine was crooked all to ****.

          If anything slips its the bit in the chuck and the hole gets shallower, not deeper.
          Loring in Katy, TX USA
          If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
          BT3 FAQ -


        • #50
          Not one of my builds, but a simple modification to an existing piece of shop equipment everyone has and struggles with. The latest issue Woodworkers Journal featured a shop vac floor cleaning tool that someone had submitted with a couple of wood wheels crudely attached via bolts inside the tool. It allows the tool to roll across the floor rather than getting sucked tight to the floor.


          • #51

            Made this set inexpensively after seeing commercial ones. Useful for putting rounded corners on pieces of wood and table tops and stuff quickly and accurately with a router.


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            My version top
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            Use with table mounted flush trim bit (with bottom bearing - bearing on top in table position)

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            Set the table mounted Flush trim router bit so the bearing will ride on the template curve and the cutter cutting the workpiece below.

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            Holder for set:

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            Construction hints:
            • 4" squares of plywood, carefully mark off radius and cut/sand to line for smooth curve. Any imperfections in this curve will be in every copy so do a very good job. I used a plastic drafting circle template.
            • Cut a long piece of angle wood with a rabbet that is 3/16" deeper than the plywood. This sets the minimum thickness of the material to be routed, Cut it into 2" long pieces. This will be the alignment piece, 2 per template.
            • Drill a finger hole. this will permit you to pull the template tight to the corner safely away from the bit when routing on the table.
            • Glue the alignment pieces to the plywood square as shown all the way to the end. If The diameter of the flush trim bit is 1/2" then the limit of the radius is 1.75" with a 4" square and 2" alignment. You can adjust with larger dimensions.
            • Make multiple templates for your favorite radii.
            • A 45 degree corner was also made. No limit to the shape you can make.
            • Label them so they are easy to select and use right side up.
            • The storage was an afterthought after observing how they stacked. Not necessary.
            Attached Files
            Last edited by LCHIEN; 06-24-2022, 08:32 AM.
            Loring in Katy, TX USA
            If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
            BT3 FAQ -


            • #52
              Probably stupidity simple, but the drawer arrangement for the miter saw cabinet.

              It goes together pretty quick when cosmetics don't count...

              The current organization is, and will likely be changed up as I figure out what works and what doesn't...

              Top right, small drill bit sets, and the big set of router bits.
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              Bottom right, Forstner bit sets. TS accessories such as dado stack, throat plates, wrenches, box joint jig to to stored here I think...

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              Before I swing left, the view with the drawers closed. The pulls were salveaged off of an old Cherry Armoire that got flooded out and ruined by Hurricane Harvey floods in what was it now 2017?

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              Top left, pocket hole and dowelling jigs, hole saw sets, and the hammer drill. Small drilling bits and bobs as it were...

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              Drawer #4 is now done. And the stuff that I have been needing to stow in there is, well... Stowed. Except hte box joint jig. Not sure where I put that right now. WIll figure it out soon.
              Last edited by dbhost; 02-16-2022, 01:40 PM.
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              • LCHIEN
                LCHIEN commented
                Editing a comment
                Recessed drawer pulls. Great for the shop so you don't catch your clothes, pockets and power cords on them all the time. No knobs and cleat-looking pulls.

              • dbhost

                Editing a comment
                And the best part, they were FREE!

                Literally, my SIL has a house in Memorial. Her neighborhood was flooded in Harvey, one of the neighbors was throwing out a poor very soaked and warping / cracking old Armoire. I stopped and stripped the pulls when I saw it being thrown out... Helps to have screwdrivers in the car...

                All of my drill stuff is put up now. Not sure I will need the drill press stand now. Might just redo / reinforce the mobile base and call it good.

            • #53
              45 Miter sled for BT3000 SMT

              Inspired by this Rockler miter-slot based jig which uses a very accurate 90 degree fence to cut two complementary 45 degree angles that add up to a perfect 90. To make better picture and other rectangular frames.

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              I designed this version that mounts to the SMT.

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              Construction detailed here
              As I mentioned elsewhere I have decided to make a 45 degree miter jig for my BT3 somewhat along the principles of this Rockler miter slot sled Jig. Click image for larger version Name: 31593-01-1000.jpg Views: 0 Size: 35.7 KB ID: 848948 (filedata/fetch?id=848948&d=1646583173) The idea is that it is easier to make a
              Loring in Katy, TX USA
              If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
              BT3 FAQ -


              • #54
                VACUUM HOSE ADAPTER FEIN 1-3/8" to 2-1/4" OD Dust port

                I Wanted to hook my FEIN vac hose to a 2-1/4" Diameter dust port on my Router fence.

                The Fein vacuum has a 1-3/8" tapered hose end.

                I had a 2-1/2" diameter scrap disk I cut out of something once using a hole saw. Just a little oversized. It had a 3/16 hole in the center I used as a pivot and angled the table of my disc sander 5 or 10 degrees. Put the disk on a board with a small dowel and pushed it against the disk sander and rotated until I got this nice tapered plug that was just over 2" on the bottom.

                Drilled a 1-3/8" hole in it (clamping it was a bit of a chore but had to be done after tapering). The hole can be straight because the hose end is tapered.

                Labeled it so I won't lose it accidentally one day.

                And I have my adapter:

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                Last edited by LCHIEN; 04-27-2022, 11:48 AM.
                Loring in Katy, TX USA
                If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
                BT3 FAQ -


                • #55
                  BRAND STAND (for a branding iron)

                  Branding irons are getting popular with you guys.
                  They give you a little stamped sheet metal stand that assembles but is very flimsy and kind of narrow. I'm always worried that its gonna be knocked over and fall and burn something or worse set something on fire. Even the stiffness of the power cord is enough to twist the base into falling over. You have to leave the brand heating for 10-15 minutes before using and then wait another 15 minutes to cool off before putting away. Working around the flimsy stand seems like an accident waiting to happen.

                  I'm in the process of getting a new brand.

                  So I made this one brand stand that is not going anywhere. Rubber feet so it won't be sliding around. 15-20 minute project included using my wire bending jig whoo hoo!

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                  Attached Files
                  Last edited by LCHIEN; 04-30-2022, 06:10 PM.
                  Loring in Katy, TX USA
                  If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
                  BT3 FAQ -


                • #56
                  WIRE BENDING JIG

                  This is actually a purchased jig, it is useful for bending wires such as the one a couple of posts back for the Branding iron rest.

                  I got the jig for $7 from Duluth Trading. There's one near me.
                  and there are copies everywhere for about $10-20 bucks, including Amazon if you need free delivery.

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                  I made the mounting block to hold the spare pegs. The holes in the side are for clamping to a table top with a fence clamp.
                  Or sometimes I just put it in the vise to hold it.
                  The various slots are good for lining up wire, I especially use coat hanger steel wires which are free, and stiff enough for most mechanical stuff, but need a tool like this to bend it.
                  I make S-hooks and eye hooks and bent wire stands and other little gizmos out of coat hanger wires when I need them.

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                  Attached Files
                  Last edited by LCHIEN; 06-23-2022, 01:33 AM.
                  Loring in Katy, TX USA
                  If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
                  BT3 FAQ -


                  • LCHIEN
                    LCHIEN commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Shop is dusty. Used a trim router for doing roundovers and have not cleaned up yet. Rod K would faint if he saw this.

                • #57
                  "L" ("T?") Fence
                  Built this "L" fence - well it is more like a T. Saw the basic idea in some YT videos but did my own twists.
                  (Here is an example video to help understand how it is used -

                  What I have done is built it in such a way that it is reversible i.e. flipped over.

                  In one orientation the blade to fence height clearance is 1": This allows trimming/cutting stock up to 7/8" thick. That should take care of majority of situations with a typical 3/4" or 1/2" stock.
                  In the other orientation the blade height clearance is 1.75": This allows stock up to 1 5/8". That will help with any 2X material.

                  I will post some drawings if there is any interest.
                  Attached Files
                  Last edited by nicer20; 07-22-2022, 10:43 AM. Reason: Clarified that the clearances mentioned in my text are the height clearances.


                  • mpc
                    mpc commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I've seen similar "L" fence setups used for pattern work with a table saw. Basically clamp this to the table saw fence, then move the two until the "L" fence is flush with the blade tooth (directly above the blade) and a small gap between the blade and "L" fence. Now a pattern attached to the top of a workpiece can ride the "L" fence with the cutoff/waste material ending up underneath the "L" fence. The "L" fence also serves as a blade guard. It works well for tenons and rabbet cuts where you'd normally attach a sacrificial face to the table saw rip fence and bury part of the blade in the sacrificial fence. Do that a few times and eventually the sacrificial face has a large half-round section that a workpiece can tilt into, especially when cutting the end of a stick-shaped workpiece. The "L" fence instead never gets chewed up so it always provides a clean face to guide a workpiece and the cutoffs are not trapped between the rip fence and the blade. It works for skinny rips as well thanks to not trapping the cutoff.

                    See this link: Fine Woodworking table saw L fence and the video at the end that article.

                    The trick is to be able to set the height of the "L" fence horizontal portion (which becomes the actual fence) high enough to be above the blade but low enough that the workpiece makes positive contact with it... and setting it so it is pretty much parallel to the saw tabletop.


                  • nicer20
                    nicer20 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    @mpc: Yes exactly what you said. BTW thanks for that Fine Woodworking link - I will read it. Basically I built it because I need to trim and create straight edge for some random cutoffs I have lying around.
                    @Lchien: I have updated my post to include a link to the video I saw on Youtube. That one is adjustable though. I have built mine as a fixed one. I am hoping the heights I have chosen will serve me well for 99% of the time. Will find out if that is true or not. At least at the moment I avoided the complexity of building an adjustable one.
                    Last edited by nicer20; 07-22-2022, 01:45 AM.

                  • LCHIEN
                    LCHIEN commented
                    Editing a comment
                    OK, thanks for the links everyone. Got it!
                    Nicer20, I like your simplification, the one in the video is pretty complex.

                • #58
                  L fence update - Poor man's jointer

                  Yesterday I needed to get a straight face on a piece of 2x material for gluing. The piece I am using had a bit of convexity to it. The right tool would have been a jointer but I don't own one. So decided to give a shot to my newly built L fence with the Orientation "B". Just the 2x workpiece, another straight piece as reference and a piece of antiskid material between the two - and a single pass that cut a sliver off.

                  Here are the results - a joiner might have produced perfection but what I got is quite decent enough.

                  Attached Files


                  • #59
                    Push Block

                    A quick small shop accessory using scraps lying around to save my fingers. Old mouse pad serves as a very good Gripping Pad. Lets see how it handles the sawdust.

                    (Painted orange in the hope of finding it in the shop )
                    Attached Files