• Tools

    Autumnal equinox tools, edition 2022

    I’m a big fan of tools, I sell the tools that I don’t use anymore and buy new ones. Sometimes they stay in my collection for longer, even their lifetime, sometimes I sell them sooner. I don’t have too much storage space and I can’t keep them all, but maybe that’s OK, otherwise, I might have gone crazy. This time I’m going to review a couple of work lights, a cordless screwdriver and 2 sanders – tools for a workshop or to be used around the house. It is a good moment to share my experience with these tools and…

  • Tools,  Upcycling,  Wood

    Alternative way to install a twin slot shelving board

    This method of making shelves comes in handy when your shelves are thin and there is no way to drive a screw from below. If you’re using thick boards you can secure them to the brackets with screws, 2 different lengths, using pre-drilled mounting points. But what if your shelves are thin? Like mine – plywood-faced chipboards, stiff, sturdy and perfect for garage shelving – but too thin to take a screw? There are many advantages of using this method and I’ll mention them later on, but first I’ll show how I built my shelf. First I cut the chipboard…

  • Tools,  Upcycling,  Wood

    PVC storage bins

    Made from an old PVC downpipe and scraps of chipboard. I made a few small containers in one go, utilising the whole downpipe off-cut I had. There’s always a need to organise something in the workshop and improve workflow and these containers surely help. Of course, there is also an idea I can’t resist – upcycling things – probably that was the main reason to make them. Just a simple project, a little messy but you don’t always work with timber and using other materials makes the work more interesting, sometimes they just make more sense for the project. I…

  • Tools,  Upcycling,  Wood

    Sanding jig

    From time to time I need to sand small parts or flatten a workpiece – this jig comes in handy then! Additionally, it can make edge sanding a little easier when equipped with a temporary fence. It’s made of plywood, timber moulding, a few small bolts, washers and wing nuts. All the parts and materials I needed for building this jig were either reused or I had them in my toolbox, so it saved me a trip to my local shop. Furthermore, the scrap plywood I used, already had the right height, I only needed to cut it to width…

  • Featured,  Tools

    Professional mitre gauge with a 16 mm bar

    This is the 2nd attempt at improving the mitre gauge for my Bosch table saw. A much larger, heavier, more accurate and equipped with a box joint jig mitre gauge required a bar that would fit into a 16 mm slot. I tried to duplicate the one it came with, changing only the width. My table saw has non-standard 16 mm (5/8″) slots and it initially comes with a cheap mitre gauge. A few years ago I replaced the aluminium bar with a mild steel one, it’s worked absolutely fine being gentle for the slots, there are no signs of…

  • Featured,  Tools,  Wood

    Improved circular saw jig

    It’s based on the previous version, but the capacity and functionality are improved. The front and the back pairs of blocks are replaced by longer risers. This is specifically important for the front, where there is no big gap now, and I can cut shorter pieces. Both ends of the workpiece are always supported with the left and right side of the jig and that increases accuracy too. The capacity is also bigger, and it’s been increased from about 34 to 50 mm (about 1 1/2 to 2 inches). This is the maximum blade position at the same time if…

  • Tools,  Wood

    Snipe reducing and reversible thickness planer jig

    This jig helps to reduce the planer snipe significantly. Not completely – the real numbers are about 90% less snipe and I’m happy with that. Sniping occurs less frequently and if it does it’s very small. It’s not as deep as it used to be. To complete the test, I run 3 boards through the planer, one by one, planing both sides and not using any tricks. I’m very impressed with the results – if I used some tricks and did some sanding, the test pieces would look close to perfect. The melamine chipboard I used for the jig was…

  • Tools,  Upcycling,  Wood

    Long blade storage tote

    It’s made from an old PVC gutter and a scrap piece of timber. It can be put on the table upright or flat, but to make it more portable and versatile, I drilled a hole at the top for a carabiner hook. I use this tote for long jigsaw and reciprocating saw blades, they’re 250 – 300 mm long (10 – 12 inches), but it can be used for everything else. What I like the most about this project is the idea of upcycling scraps into something useful. There’s no need to throw away all the off-cuts from the shop…

  • Tools

    New Year tools, edition 2022

    Christmas presents bought last year have been tested and they can now be reviewed. They are both about drilling – the first one is used on concrete walls, the second one used only for metal, plastic and wood. Semi-professional tools, but they do the job, are easy to use and easy to store. A few years ago I would be happy with just a cordless drill and a dustpan with a brush. But with better tools, I can achieve better results. Specialised tools are better than universal tools. I like doing things in a professional manner, at least I try.…

  • Tools,  Upcycling

    Vertical-to-horizontal drill press jig

    This jig comes in handy when I have to process cut bottles. I stick sanding discs to the velcro pad and polish the glass. For any other tasks i.e. wood and metal, I use my disc/belt sander, but for glass, I like to sand through the grits, from coarse to very fine. That wouldn’t be easy with a bench sander as it uses self-adhesive discs and offers no control over the sanding speed. Glass is different and it likes to be sanded slowly – excessive heat can crack the glass and melt the velcro backing pad. That’s why I built…