Many of the tips and tricks I have been using for so long now, I forget that other people, especially new woodworkers haven't always seen them yet and are still learning the art of woodworking and all the tips and tricks that go along with it.
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And first up today is dealing with sticky lids. The real problem for me is that sometimes I have some sort of a finishing product that I purchase, but I only use it once every ?? many months, or sometimes it might even be years between uses. In the meantime, any residue that invariably gets onto either the lid and or the base of the container ...
.. is surely going to make the lid hard to get off. So hard that sometimes I need to use pliers or vice-grips to get the lid off, which often damages the treads and makes it even harder to get back on when the time comes. A friend of mine who was a Pip Fitter and an avid user of Teflon Tape gave me this tip, wrap anything that might turn sticky, with Teflon Tape and it will help seal the contents better and allow the lid to come off much easier next time ... and he was right and I have lids that have been on, in some cases for years, and yup ... they still come off easy, Sure I have to replace some from time to time, but it only takes a second and it's worth it to not have to fight to get stick lids off in the future ..
Many years ago when I was building our kitchen cabinets and when I was all done and needed to install hardware (door knobs) the first door I accurately measured off ... then the same on the other matching door, and then I thought there must be a better way, why don't I make a jig for this ... which I did but the first jig was not resealable and after drilling holes in the first door, I realized I could make it reversible or "mirrored" by making both sides of the jig "proud" of the base and that was how I discovered this jig ... then later I discovered I wasn't my great invention, other woodworkers had other versions of their own that worked the same way ...
I have always built "smalls" and "miniatures" like models, just something I enjoy doing. The problem is sometimes holding on to nails and screws is hard for me, but I started using some of the older earth magnets that I could attach to my tools, especially a hammer and not even have to hold things like nails ... then more recently when I picked up some of the newer extra strength earth magnets, I discovered they hold the smaller nails fine ... but they even hold much bigger and longer nails just as easily ... but remember, you only use them to "set" the nails, you don't drive the nails in with the magnets, sometimes if the nails are hard nailing, or even after many blows, the magnets will crack or break and probably the newer high strength ones will do the same.
And also with my model building, I discovered that even when I didn't have the correct tiny, tiny drill bit, a nail with the head cut off to make it more adaptable to the drill chuck, made a quick and easy drill bit. Just make sure you snip the head of the nail off first, even with finish nails as this makes the nail much straighter in the drill chuck and makes for better hole drilling.
Before I owned a belt sander ... and even today, I will often make my own sanding rasp. I find they often do a much better job on wood that one of my metal files and all it takes is a bit of scrap wood, some double sided carpet tape and a strip of sandpaper cut from a sheet and instantly you have wood rasp that does quick work of rounding, flattening shaping that otherwise can be tedious job.
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Copyright Colin Knecht