I like to try and keep an organized and tidy workshop because it helps to encourage me to keep it clean and uncluttered. That often means I have to invent ways of working a bit differently to make thing easier and safer. One of the things I work hard a doing is keeping as much as I can off the floor. I like to keep the shop clean which means keeping the floor as clutter-free as possible so that I can sweep frequently. 

Watch it on Youtube: https://youtu.be/Qyd4hupCA4E

I know I need to have a limited number of cords on the floor for machinery, but extension cords can often be routed differently to help keep things off the floor and easier to sweep and uum ... 

 A few weeks ago I discovered this great little magnet hooks that use earth magnets that I can now use instead of my home-made (and less effective) hooks for overhead cords. There are a number of sizes: 12 pounds,  and up to 40 pounds These are perfect for me as I can't just hammer in a hook or nail into my ceiling, I need something that will attach to the metal T-bar and these magnet hooks are perfect for that. 

Extension Cord Hanger

... which also conveniently leads us to extension cords, their storage, and unraveling. Someone showed me many years ago, at an event I was attending and wrapping up extension cords, that they don't need to be fully uncoiled if you coil them up in pairs or cable and leave the ends loose and coiled last. That way you only have to uncoil what you need.

Extension cord storage

I don't own a step drill bit ... the kind used for enlarging holes, and often what is available on the market is too small for me anyway. One of my Subscribers Don shared a way of making a simple step drill bit from a Spade Bit and it works just great ... Thanks, Don ... great tip.
Where this step bit applies is when you have an existing hole ... say a 1-inch hole, and you want to make it slightly larger. It's very difficult to try and re-drill a hole like this because most drill bits this size will flop around when you try to drill the hole out. You need a bit with a pilot hole, then a re-sized hole to make the final cut, and that is exactly what this kind of bit does. It uses one of the less expensive spade bits that can be easily cut away with a cutting tool on a Dremel rotary tool and the new extension even sharpened the same way. I tried my first set up bit using this method and it works just great ... thanks again Don ...

step drill bit

Everyone is familiar with . I don't see it used so much these days but it's still readily available in most hardware stores and many of us have a few pieces floating around. The first trick with pegboard is to use it to cut arcs or circles. I am often needing to cut circles out of wood for one thing or another and my compass is fine for small circles but larger ones need larger solutions. The great thing with pegboard is there are so many holes that there is a very good chance you can find a combination of holes that will give you a circle or an arc exactly the size you need.

Pegboard Circle Jig

... and more with pegboard. It is often used to help find the hole spacing for cupboard and book stand shelves.  The problem with using a spiral bit is that the fluting in the bit will, quite quickly, wear away the sides of the holes of the pegboard and when this happens you lose the accuracy of the hole spacing. One solution to this is to use Center Finding Drill Bits. These are drill bits with a shielded spiral bit that only comes out when the cover around it retracts. These bits will not even touch the sides of the pegboard so not only will it not wear out the holes, the pegboard will last a long long time and remain accurate throughout the build process.

Center Finding Drill Bits

If you have your own tips or tricks or hacks ... drop me an email, tell me what it is and if I haven't used it, I will add it one of the future videos. I always love to hear what others are doing ....

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Article and Photos - Copyright Colin Knecht

Workshop Life Hacks


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