I seldom buy things on the spur-of-the-moment, but I am not immune to it either ... a few weeks ago an email floated across my desk about an Amazon "Prime" day where there were some discounts or certain things one thing caught my eye, which of coarse made me review the whole email and I spotted a few things that looked interesting to me ...

Watch it on Youtube: https://youtu.be/9MIi6NYsGYY

They weren't very expensive items, and I don't even remember the prices but I decided to pick up a few of them and so here they are ...

I do a fair bit of hand sanding, I guess everyone does and normally I am purchasing square sheets of sandpaper and cut them into quarters to use with a couple of my hand sanding blocks, so the next item, which includes a hook and loop base AND uses the round sanding discs that are the same as my sanders, looked like something I have been thinking about trying out. 


I was quite pleasantly surprised by this hand sander. I immediately liked how it fit in my hand and the heel of the sander quietly nestles into the palm of my hand making it very comfortable to use.
These new 3M Xtract sanding discs seem to last a long time and even used, they still have a good bite and after I have machine sanded my wood, I very often will do a light hand sanding, with the grain, just to make sure the wood is the best I can get it before finishing. Good sanding is one of the keys to good finishing and I am a bit picky about my sanding.
You can see more or order this hand sander here from the Woodworkweb Amazon Store  


 If you have not had a chance to try the 3M Xtract sanding discs, you can get smaller quantities from Taylor Tools, through my affiliate link with them, and here are a few links ... (by the way, I am often starting off at 120 grit with this new sanding screen material)
3M Xtract 5" 120 Grit 20-Pack
3M Xtract 5" 150 Grit 20-Pack
3M Xtract 5" 220 Grit 20-Pack

This is the item that initially caught my eye. I have seen a couple of other woodworkers using these automatic pencils and I thought that for the price, it might be something to try. In the past I have used automatic pencils with very fine refills but one drop on the floor, broke and I finally gave up, they are just fragile for industrial kinds of use, but maybe these, with thicker leads are better, AND there are different colored leads you can get with them too.

I picked a package with 2 pencils and some spare leads with dark gray (graphite) and Red 
Here is the Amazon Link for these items if you want to read more, or even order a pack 

I have been using them, and even started off by dropping the first one on the floor in the first hour, yes the lead did break, but only in one spot where I lost about a half inch of lead, and then I could re-sharpen and continue using. I do not know if the lead broke further up, I guess I will see that as time goes on, but so far I am liking these and getting used to using a bit thinner grip as I hold them. I also see there is white lead available for them, when my other pencil is near the end of its lead-life, I will try the new white lead in these too. 


If you watched my video on these tools, you will know by now that my selection of this next tool was a failure ... well, maybe some of you may like the white gloves?? When I looked at the picture of the clamp, it looked like a good idea, and I was willing to give it a try, Sadly, the clamp itself was a dismal failure, hard to use, doesn't hold the wood well enough to use as a clamping tool, and being plastic, you can't even really use as a "third hand" when trying to assemble something like a box, and use the clamp as a temporary holding device.
I found this tool completely unsuitable for anything I tried it for ... maybe some people who already might have this got a better unit than mine, but I would never recommend this clamp based on my experience ... don't even have the link for it !!!  


This next tool was another tool I was a bit excited to receive. It's a compass, used for drawing circles (which I find myself doing more often than I would have thought) I have to look been looking for a decent compass and thought this item might finally fill the bill for this. To be honest, it took a bit more work to figure out the best way to use it than it should have. It does work fine but because the little pivoting point that fits into the hole, is a little bit loose, it is easy to tip the unit slightly as you are drawing the circle. I found the best way to use it was to keep my finger that is holding the pivot pin down and use the tip of my fingernail to help keep the unit flat on what you are drawing the circle on, and taking your time also helps. 
It's actually a pretty nifty little tool and even though it's not as perfect as it could be, it is still replacing all my other compasses. The company also makes a longer one, I may end up with that one in time as well.

Here is the Amazon link for more information or to purchase


And there you have it, a few little workbench accessories that purchased, and one that I don't (that horrid plastic corner clamp thing), not too bad, 3 out of 4 worked well enough to keep and to actually be using. 

Copyright Colin Knecht