10 handy hacks when working with timber!

Working with timber is one of life’s great satisfactions. The smell of the freshly sawn timber, the feel of it in your hands and, of course, the satisfaction you get from the finished job. To make your projects that little bit easier, here are 10 simple woodworking hacks…

Have you ever found yourself short of the perfect sized drill bit?
Have you ever found yourself short of the perfect sized drill bit?

Makeshift Drill Bit

It’s often advisable to pre-drill a nail hole to stop your timber from splitting. But what if you don’t have an appropriately sized bit? Just use a nail! If you are predrilling just part A prior to nailing to part B, use the same size. If you need to pre-drill both pieces, go to a slightly smaller nail. Clip the head off and you’re ready to go.

You can sharpen your knife on your coffee mug!
You can sharpen your knife on your coffee mug!

Sharpen Blades With Your Coffee Mug

Nothing ruins a job faster than a dull knife (well, apart from a missed hammer blow). If you don’t have a sharpening stone handy, turn your coffee mug upside down. Yep, it really works.

Use toothpaste as a hole filler!
Use toothpaste as a hole filler!

Use Toothpaste To Fill Small Holes

Ever noticed how hard that toothpaste has become where the kids have dropped a lump on the vanity top? If you don’t have any plaster based filler handy, just reach for the toothpaste. Note that I haven’t tried this with gel type toothpaste or Stripe 🙂

Make A pencil marking guage
Make yourself a pencil marking guage

Make a Pencil Marking Gauge

Marking guages usually employ a metal pin to mark the timber where it needs to be cut. I much prefer to mark with a pencil and this hack is an easy way to convert any marker guage.

Make yourself a tiny woodworking knife
Make yourself a tiny woodworking knife

We All Need a Tiny Knife!

Sometimes you need to trim something that’s in a hard-to-reach spot. A tiny knife might be your answer. Easy to make and safer than trying to get ‘in there’ with a bigger knife.

A notched trisquare can help with your cut lines...
A notched trisquare can help with your cut lines…

A Notched Square Blade Will Help…

Here’s a simple way to mark out lines parallel to your boards edges. I’ve done this with three squares ranging in length from 150mm to 600mm. Works great!

Save your thumb from that hammer!
Save your thumb from that hammer!

Save Your Thumb By Using a Clothes Pin

If you’ve ever had to drive a nail into a tight spot – or been working with panel pins – you know what I’m talking about here. This clothes pin hack is so simple yet so effective!

Store your nails in a comb
Store your nails in a comb

Store Your Nails In Your Comb

If you don’t have a magnetic wrist band, it can be a real pain picking up that next nail or screw. This hack might just make it easier for you to get that job done.

Use a tennis ball to sand those curves!
Use a tennis ball to sand those curves!

Use a Tennis Ball To Sand Curves

Sanding curves is a tedious task when done by hand. Here’s a hack that makes it quick and easy. It’s also a lot easier on your arms!

Stop splitting the ends of your boards...
Stop splitting the ends of your boards…

Dull Nails To Avoid End Splits In Timber

Most projects require edge nailing or screwing. If you’re using screws, always pre-drill your holes. But if you’re nailing, this hack is much faster than pre-drilling. Just tap the tip of your nails to dull them before driving them. Simple but it works.

10 simple woodworking hacks that can make your projects easier to complete1 Thanks to Crowe Saw Mills Ireland for permission to use the images.

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