Saving time in the workshop means being better organized, and for me (who is usually unorganized) it means slowing me down so I can take more time to do a better job. I love woodworking and the pleasure I get from it, so anything that can slow me down so I can enjoy it more is a good thing. I love to think about what things I can do to make it even better ...

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Lugging sheets of plywood around, especially when they are 3/4 inch thick is not something I look forward to, so this little item is a huge help ...
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Cutting Bolts and Redi-Rod
I find I am cutting bolts and redi-rod quite a bit. I prefer to use a hacksaw for smaller parts even though it might take a bit longer, but there is less chance of sparks and I really hate having sparks in the woodwork shop ... 
The method I use most is to trap the redi-rod (or even the bolt) in a scrap piece of wood with a saw cut and hole drilled in it. This way the hacksaw blade can't jump from thread slot to thread slot and make an ugly cutting job. It's quick easy and works great.

Cutting ready Rod

My second option, which I rarely use is allowing a cordless drill to spin the redi-rod or the bolt and use the hacksaw blade more stationary to cut the bolt. This method works ok, but is not really faster than the first option and probably harder on the hacksaw blades too .. but it's another option you can try out.

Bolt Cutters

Sheet Goods or Plywood Carrier
These carriers have been around for at least a couple of decades and for anyone with shoulder, arm or joint pain, but who need to move heavy 4x8 sheets around, these carriers are super handy. I also have a fair distance to carry these sheets, I wish I could just back my truck up to a garage door, but now, I have to hike down a long hill to my shop, which makes these even more important, especially when there could be a few of them to bring in.

Plywood Carrier

Making them is easy and if you are of stander height ... the dimensions should work perfectly for you too.
Most of the sizes don't matter that much, but the size that does matter is the distance between the top of the bottom rack (the place where the plywood sits on) to the top of the hand-hold hole (the place where I have put the garden hose handle).

Bottom Rack - 2"x 2" x 20"
Main Body 11" wide at the bottom, 7" wide at the top and made from 3/8" plywood (1/2" plywood would also work fine) \

Drill 2 holes approx 1-1/2" in diameter about 2-1/2" from the top and about 3-1/2" apart. Next with a jigsaw, or even a hand saw, cut the wood out between the 2 holes to get an elongated hole.  I happened to have an old garden hose that I keep around for various things, that for this makes a perfect handhold adapter. Just cut the hose to about 4" in length, then one cut down one side and ease it into the handhold slot.

I attached my bottom bracket with 4 - #8 screws. You will also need to use a couple more screws on the top or the bottom rack and place them so that when you have sheet goods on the rack, the sheet goods can't slip off (see picture)

Sharpening Magnet
One of the bains of sharpening is that the tiny iron filings that come off and become embedded in the sharpening material, make that material less effective because it becomes clogged with iron filings. The reason we use water on wet-dry sanding or sharpening papers or on stones, is to help clear those iron filings. Now, pretty much the same effect can be done using magnets to draw the iron filings onto the sharpening blade where they can be easily cleaned off and sharpening can continue until done; 

Sharpening Magnet

Corded Wraps
Believe it or not, these cord wraps are very important to me. Every corded tool I own has one of these on it. I know it takes a tiny bit longer to wrap the cord up after use but the frustration is saved me every time I pull a corded tool out and I don't have to stop and untangle it from another corded tool or watch that it's not going to pull another tool out with it that could land on the concrete floor ... and the tools are much easier to store.
I always use the Red Wraps and when I see them, I often buy a pack or two because it's good to have a few extra on hand and for the minimal cost, they are a great asset in any workshop.

Electrical Cord Wraps


Magnetic Pads
These are among the handiest things I have come across. They are small pads about 6 inches by 8" that are a flexible magnetic material and you can even find them at the dollar store, so not expensive. I use them on top my workbench to hold nuts and bolts, screws and anything magnetic that might roll off the bench top and onto the floor. I also like the fact that they contrast to the top of my workbench so they are easy to spot and easy to grab small items like screws.

 Magnetic Pads for screw and bolts

Copyright Colin Knecht

 Workshop Tips & Tricks