Carpentry Tricks for Handyman

by Matthew Radodi
(New Jersey)


Drill Tip


Here's a tip for anyone who has a power drill that requires a chuck key. With this chuck key holder you'll never spend time looking for a misplaced chuck key, and its handle will give you added leverage for tightening. Drill a hole in one end of a short dowel. For a tight fit, the diameter should be slightly less than that of the chuck key handle. In the other end, thread a screw eye with an eyelet large enough so that it will fit over your tool cord. Consider whether you want it to slide easily or clamp tight. Tap the handle of the chuck key into the wood rod. Pry open the screw eye, place your cord inside, and close the eyelet.

Periodically, I paste-wax my machinery tops to protect them. But for regular maintenance, I just rub the tops with a piece of wax paper that I keep in my apron pocket. It keeps the tops slick and rust free.

A New Pattern Material

9x12-in. laminating plastic. from an office supply store (about $20 for 50 sheets) works great for pattern making! Best of all, you can feed the plastic through ordinary copiers, so your patterns will be identical every time. and enlarging or reducing is a snap. I just peel off the backing and apply the plastic to the wood I am going to saw. This also prevents the chipping that you would normally get with scroll saw work, especially when cutting fragile material like 1A-in. birch plywood. This pattern material is a lot easier to peel off than those applied with spray adhesive.


• Plumb Bob Line Mess
Tired of trying to untangle a plumb bob line? Burn or drill a hole through the bottom center of a film canister, and insert the end of your plumb bob line through from the inside. Knot it off outside. You can stow up to 20 feet of dry line by winding it on three fingers and stuffing it in the canister. Tie the bob on that end, and let the "snap of the cap" keep the plumb bob and the line tangle-free. Thanks for reading this page on carpentry tricks for handyman.

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