Shop Tricks

bobgaggle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2007
Location
Philadelphia, PA
Its been kinda quiet on this forum lately, so in the interest of having some conversation, anyone have any shop tricks they want to share? I'm sure the old guys know everything and maybe you'll say something that'll make my life easier...

Things like:

Building a standard wood platform and your home depot 2x is too warped? Grab it with a pipe wrench and twist it back while you nail it.

Trying to skin that same platform and you cant get the ply flush with the 2x? drive a screw into the edge and use a hammer claw to push/pull everything into alignment.
 

StradivariusBone

Custom Title
Fight Leukemia
Joined
Aug 23, 2013
Location
Space Coast, FL
I'd be interested in any tricks people have to keep dust down in the shop. I am in the process of getting a dust collection system going, but I also wanted to play around with getting a standard box fan and gaffing a 20x20 air filter to it to pull airborne dust out as well. Just any tips on maintaining a clean (read: safe) shop.
 

bobgaggle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2007
Location
Philadelphia, PA
Ventilation is more effective than filtering imo. We keep the front window of the shop open with a fan pushing air in, and the garage door at the back open with a fan pushing air out. many fans in between haha. It's a long narrow shop so we keep the welders in the back and do wood up front. Only problem is that when we're sanding bondo up front all the welders complain about the fumes. So we hook up shop vacs to the sanders and it helps. We've got all our stationary tools hooked up to the dust collection system

I've been trying to get the elephant trunk style fume collector for the welders, but the landlord doesn't want anymore roof penetrations...
 

venuetech

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Departed Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2008
Location
AK,
Do you know ho to tell time with your tape measure?

Run the tape out to 116" bring the end back to line up with the 116"

Now look for the year of your birth, directly across will be your age.
 

StradivariusBone

Custom Title
Fight Leukemia
Joined
Aug 23, 2013
Location
Space Coast, FL
check out Mattias Wandel's projects for air cleaning...

http://woodgears.ca/dust/air_cleaner.html

Wood Gears is great! His pantorouter stuff is nothing short of magic. I actually got the fan/filter idea partially from him, but also from a tobacco shop I visited that had numerous el cheapo box fans with standard AC filters installed. Our shop isn't super conducive to his design since the ceiling is lower, but I'm thinking a box fan with an air filter plus some gaff tape would make for a cheap, quick reduction in airborne dust during cuts.
 

bobgaggle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2007
Location
Philadelphia, PA
We've been doing a lot of elliptical platforms lately. typically, if its a one-off that doesn't nestle into anything, we'll draw it with the nail/string method and free hand it with a jigsaw, rather then setting up the ellipse router jig. My lead carp recently started doing a cool trick that gives you a more accurate arc than the string method,

start with your rectangle blank of plywood, set your table saw depth to 1/16".
Score the bad side of the plywood on the major and minor axes of the ellipse.
Set up your trammel points (2 with points, 1 with pencil) and use the mini dado to guide the points on the bad side of the plywood.

I love this because you don't need to set up an ellipse jig or screw anything down, and the scored lines on your plywood are hidden on the framing side of the platform, so no filling required.
 
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Catherder

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Joined
Jun 2, 2019
Location
Portland OR
Wood Gears is great! His pantorouter stuff is nothing short of magic. I actually got the fan/filter idea partially from him, but also from a tobacco shop I visited that had numerous el cheapo box fans with standard AC filters installed. Our shop isn't super conducive to his design since the ceiling is lower, but I'm thinking a box fan with an air filter plus some gaff tape would make for a cheap, quick reduction in airborne dust during cuts.
The county public health department actually recommended doing this (box fan and filter) during the fires as a cheap but effective air filter for your house. If it works for fire particulate it should work for dust.
 

NJJerrySmith

Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2013
Location
Wherever my current contract has me
I'd be interested in any tricks people have to keep dust down in the shop. I am in the process of getting a dust collection system going, but I also wanted to play around with getting a standard box fan and gaffing a 20x20 air filter to it to pull airborne dust out as well. Just any tips on maintaining a clean (read: safe) shop.
I've seen people do 2 filters and make a triangle with the box fan, supposed to increase airflow through the fan. Plenty of examples on youtube, https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=box+fan+filter+triangle
 
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What Rigger?

I'm so fly....I Neverland.
Joined
Aug 24, 2006
Location
PPT.
Its been kinda quiet on this forum lately, so in the interest of having some conversation, anyone have any shop tricks they want to share? I'm sure the old guys know everything and maybe you'll say something that'll make my life easier...

Things like:

Building a standard wood platform and your home depot 2x is too warped? Grab it with a pipe wrench and twist it back while you nail it.

Trying to skin that same platform and you cant get the ply flush with the 2x? drive a screw into the edge and use a hammer claw to push/pull everything into alignment.
That's a pretty common thing I was shown in college. Now I'm starting to think it was more "curriculum" than "good thing to know".
But it was a State school, soooo.....

Best thing for me is knowing how to make Nico compressions without help. In fact, a second person going "let me hold the wire rope for you" is actually a sure way to make me blow it on compressions.
 
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jtweigandt

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Joined
Aug 2, 2013
Location
Moline Il
From my boatbuilding days.. You can cut some really nice curves with a circular saw in 1/4 inch and even thicker material if you set the depth of the blade just barely deeper than the material. I usually put large
pieces on the floor on some "sacrificial" 2x4s.. they end up with a very light kerf cut in, but are still usable for other stuff. That eliminates large unwieldy offcuts from torquing like they would on sawhorses.
Faster, and They end up with a whole lot less "wander" to clean up than a long jig saw line. Fiberglass cloth.. the only way to cut is with a dritz rotary cutter. (pizza wheel) wickedly sharp so be careful.

Did a lot of foam board cutting with score and break... but for more intricate work.. they make a jigsaw blade that is just a razor, no teeth. who knew.. a guy in our troupe did a whole london skyline in foam..

Roll out glue on a board.. crinkle up a sheet of tissue paper, and re flatten.. then apply to the glue... follow after dry with some minwax polyshades, and you will have the most convincing leather for whatever purpose you might need.

Making "wood" trim out of foam board.... if it's tongue and groove... off cut the tongue end with maybe 1/8 inch extra, and you have a very nice piece to glue on the top of a flat foam "baseboard" 1 or 2 rows to make some very nice fake millwork profiles or combine with angle cut or squared off pieces to make even more complex profiles. Cheap is good.

You cant put a true compound curve into ply or other sheet goods... Unless you're not wanting one...
 

Catherder

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Joined
Jun 2, 2019
Location
Portland OR
A piece of 1” polyiso foam board insulation - not the cheap stuff that turns into little pebbles - makes a great surface for making all sorts of cuts on plywood.
We’ve made tree bark by twisting craft paper - the thick brown stuff that comes in rolls - into long ropes. Bunch them together real tight and attach to the surface that needs barking. Looks great and it’s easy if you’re working with kids. Also makes decent vines.
 

Crisp image

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2017
Location
Eastern Victoria Australia
I have made palm trees out of 90mm poly pipe with rope rings taped on and then covered in brown paper then a twine over it. The leaves were cut out of 1mm packing foam painted green stiffened with a wire which then attaches the frond to the tree trunk. Not much cost and good effect for community theatre.
I have also done stumps covered in burlap over bird wire then painted. Great texture and not much weight.

There are so many things out there it is not possible to share all the tricks.
I really like the oval making one. Thanks for sharing it.
 
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What Rigger?

I'm so fly....I Neverland.
Joined
Aug 24, 2006
Location
PPT.
When building skate ramps, the technique we used was a piece of string and a paint can. As the string winds around it shortens the string and tightens the radius. Cut 1 and use it as a template.
I don't remember the paint can trick being in anything I ever looked at. That would have been helpful.
 
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