In this episode I have 4 main sections, but within each section there are some mini hints and tips that some will find useful as well, but before I get into the details and the links, I want to thank all those who have submitted their ideas and encourage others, if you have an idea, email it to me, with pictures if possible, because that helps me a lot, and if I haven't already covered the topic, and it's feasible for me to do, I will put it on a future video.

Watch it on Youtube:

For some of you who have submitted ideas and I have not done a video on them .. they are likely still in the queue ... but for a few, that are still good ideas, they are just not something I can feasibly do, so what I hope to do with those is create an article, with your pictures and your great ideas so we can still share them with others who may be able to use them in their shops. 

Starting off a tip from Mike, who suggested making a 2x4 90-degree assembly brace I liked this idea, especially for anyone doing home repairs or upgrades, building fences, sheds, outdoor furniture .. you name it, where larger wood is in use. These frames help to hold material at 90 degrees, and of course the double as another set of hands because we can clamp wood securely. This brace was super simple to build, all I did was find a chunk of 3/4" plywood scrap about 12 inches square and make 2 cuts on my table saw, then finish up hand sawing the inside so the 2 sides were square, then counter drilled for screws, set the 2 pieces in my own assemble frame that I use for aligning picture frames, boxes and anything else that needs to be square, set the pre-drilled plywood brace on top and attach it with screws to some 2x4 cut-offs I had on hand. Simple, easy and effective. This is going to help when with the repairs to my carport that are coming up in the next week or so ... thanks, Mike ... good tip.

90-degree clamp

Paul suggested using magnets as a way to attach temporary wooden jaws to machinist vices, or any vice that has steel jaws and can damage wood that you are cutting or drilling. In my case, I have a number of 1/2" earth magnets, that fit almost perfectly into holes that I drill with my 1/2" Forstner bit which means I don't even have to glue the magnets into place because they friction hold so well. I also drill small through holes in the forstner bit pockets so that I can poke the earth magnets out with a thin piece of wire or small drill bit. 
And sometimes the Forstner bit holes are a tiny bit large, most of the time I can simply use a small square from an old plastic glove, that adds just enough size that the earth magnets slide in and hold quite securely ... I have also used double sided tape in the past as well ... there are lots of different options before resorting to glue unless you want something semi-permanent. 

Vice Soft Jaws

magnet soft jaws


I use my drill press a lot, so I'm always looking for tips and tricks to make it handier, and Scott came up with a couple that I am using now. His first suggestion was to use some sort of a bright wrap on the key to making it more visible. Every key I have seen for every drill is black, which often makes them blend in with surroundings and sometimes hard to spot. I don't like tethering mine, which means sometimes it tends to "wander" away from its magnetic place on the drill press column. 
I have this "grip tape" that sticks to it' self and works great for little jobs like this, in wrapping around the key, doesn't affect how the key works (actually it works better) and now, the key is much easier to spot.

chuck key

Scott's second idea was to use earth magnets as a way of holding a can of cutting oil on top of the drill press housing. Cutting oil is used for drilling into metal parts, it helps to keep the drill bit from heating up, which dulls them very quickly, and it also helps the drill bit to bite into the metal a bit easier. The problem is ... where do you store it? Sure, right on top of the drill press where it's easy to reach and always available. 

magnet can holder

Mike submitted a great idea too and even gave us an idea of how to implement it. Mike suggested that some power drills, corded or battery, do not have bubble levels on them. Now, these little bubble levers are not all that accurate, but they ARE better than nothing and at least give a close approximation of when the drill is level or at an angle. This is particularly nice when you are working in confined quarters, a dark area that is harder to see, or even on your workbench ... just to give a better idea of how vertical the drill bit is. If you need a very accurate, hole drilled the drill press is the answer, but very often a corded drill, with a bubble level will do a very good job. 
Just drill a hole in any wood large enough to support the drill after the hole is drilled. Remove the drill from the bit and use a small torpedo level to make sure the drill bit alone is vertical (a vice might work for doing this job) .. then re-attach the drill bit and use 2 part epoxy to glue a spirit level on to the back of the drill. 

Bubble Levels available through Amazon

cordless drill level

Some great ideas here, thanks to those who submitted, we all appreciate your ideas...

Copyright Colin Knecht


Subscriber Submitted Woodworking Tips and Tricks - Episode 4