I know I'm not the only one who finds lots of good value in shopping for woodworking accessories at dollar stores, but I don't just purchase items for disposal, as much as I can, things I purchase, even from dollar stores, I try to re-use as much as possible no only because of the value, but also to do my small part in keeping the planet freer from waste.
Watch it on Youtube: https://youtu.be/xBrJs63hZ9s
I also tend to look more for items that, even if they are a good value, are made of materials that are more readily reusable, like artificial materials like plastics and nylons, or even wooded items that can be recycled back into the environment safely. So here is a short list of some of the items I use ...
Clear Plastic Containers
These things are great because I can see instantly what is in them and they are more convenient for holding things especially smaller things like screws, nails and in my case different size and lengths of dowels. With these, I can put the whole container on my workbench, and now worry that some of the dowels will roll off on to the floor and they are always quick and easy access.
Plastic Wrap Wire
I have been using this stuff for years and a roll lasts me about a year. This material is like twist-tie material and the rolls I use are often used in gardening, but I use it everywhere and the little packages often come with a little snip-off tool attached so you can cut off just the amount you need every time.
Disposable Gloves (some)
I purchase 2 kinds of disposable glove, the better quality ones that are vinyl, and are a bit tougher to work in, I purchase from tool supply stores, but the more lightweight glove, the ones that I use for working with CA glues, I am now finding at dollar stores and these gloves are great because CA glue does not stick to them. They are bit lightweight for working gloves but are perfect for small jobs like painting or staining, and especially for working with CA glues.
Small Mixing Tubs
The smaller tubs that can be purchased from dollar stores almost always do not have to mark on them in the even you need to mix specific quantities ... too bad because often those small mixing tubs can be quite expensive and are often not reusable. So ... when I can, I use the dollar store versions for a fraction of the price.
Power Cord Wraps
These are often made of a hook and loop material and are perfect for keeping your power cords bundled up along with their machine like a corded drill, biscuit joiner, circular saw, etc. I know it takes a few moments to re-wrap the cords of each time but I have found this is the best practice because where you do not do this (at least if you are me) when you pull a corded tool off the shelf, if the cord is not wrapped it always seems to catch another tool on the way out ... and the other tool ends up on the floor and I have lost more than one tool as a result of this, so now ... I take the time to wrap cords back up after every use.
Disposable Paint Brushes (that I re-use instead of disposing)
Often the quality of paint brushes at dollar stores is ... well ... not so great for painting, but excellent for spreading glue if cut the bristles down by about half. These paint brushes make excellent glue spreaders and are easy to clean after your glue up is done and clamped. I keep a small jar of water handy and at the end of gluing, pop the glue brush into the water to finish my gluing and clamping, then come back to the glue brush when the clamping is done, and clean the brush up for re-use on the next project. I can get weeks and sometimes months out a single brush.
I use these for many things, but recently have been practicing making hand cut dovetails, which I haven't done much of in many years, so keeping all my dovetailing tools and accessories in one spot makes it much easier for me to grab the tray and all my tools are there, ready to go and I can start up where I left of days before. Very handy.
There are lots more dollar store items I left there, maybe there are some you use, let me know what things you use ... that I am missing.
Copyright Colin Knecht