Here's a topic I brought forward because of some new ideas I developed that I wanted to share with everyone. As you probably know, Oscillating Multi-Tools are not the most common thing in a woodworker's shop but will find most carpenters and home reno people who have found this little tool indispensable.

Watch it on Youtube:

Well, now you can use it for a variety of things in workshops too ... especially if you have or are thinking about a CNC machine ... 

There are a variety of cutting and sanding blades available for these tools and the cutting blade are essentially in 2 types but many different sizes and shapes. The 2 types are Hardened Steel blades for wood and for wood and metal, or you can purchase Carbide tipped blades which (cost more) are for metal and last MUCH longer than the steel blades. 
The good news is, you can sharpen the steel blades pretty easily with a small, fine-tooth 3-sided file. 
All you need to do is to clamp your blade in a solid vice with the teeth exposed and in a position where you can easily file down the teeth. 
Most files only work in ONE direction, that is cut in one direction. Any of you who have sharpened chainsaw teeth will know what I mean. When you use a file the cutting action is on the "push" (with many files if you try to sharpen on the pull, you can actually damage the teeth on the file so that they will not cut).

Depending on how dull your blade is, 1, 2, or 3 passes in each gullet (that is the depression between each tooth) or more if needed and you should easily sharpen any hardened steel blade. It will take a while, but it can be done and you don't have to be as precise as sharpening chainsaw teeth.

One of the accessories that often comes with an Oscillating tool is a 3-sided sanding foot. And of course, you can purchase hook and loop  3 sided sanding pads for these, but you can also cut your own. I recently tried some of the new 3M Xtract sanding screen material, cut my own, and attached it to my sanding pad it sands quickly and, as with almost no dust.  

One of the reasons I purchased my Oscillating tools was to repair some door trim that I wanted to keep, but that someone had driven railway spikes into to fasten them to the studs behind. I could not pry off the trim without damage and it was a special trim I did not how or where I could replace it. The Multitool made quick work of the screws and I learned quickly that a thin strip of veneer saved me from damaging the walls during the process. I have used this same method of a variety of woodwork shop items since then, it can be used in a variety of places and always without marring the finish. 

On a recent project I needed to do some inside sanding of some holes, I came up with this idea to make my own sander using hook and look material and wrap it around a partially cut dowel that was glued on using Starbond Medium Flex glue and it worked like a charm. 

Here is another job I use my Oscillating tool for. Making precise cuts is easy if you can ride the blade along a flat surface so that the blade cannot bounce up and down. This little trick works amazingly well and I use it on picture frames where I need to enlarge the rabbet where the glass needs to go but is the glass is slightly oversized.  

Whoever named these Oscillating tools as Multi-Tools, had the right idea .. amazing the number of things that can be done with them sometimes with attachments and sometimes with shop-made modifications ...

Copyright Colin Knecht