How to Get Great Results from Your Random-Orbit Sander

Random-orbit sander 101
This post is sponsored by Home Depot

Everyone likes a smooth, sanded surface on a project, but no one (and I mean absolutely no one) like the tedious process of getting it done. Motorized sanding machines speed up the process greatly, but many of them can be hard to control, or wind up leave swirl marks in the finished surface.

Not so with the random-orbit sander. As the name suggests, its pad follows an entirely random pattern, so you can control the amount of wood removed, and leave your surface free of spirals. Continue Reading

Roundup: 10 Unique Tools & Gadgets You Should Totally Try on Your Next Project

 

10 Unique Gadgets and Tools Primary Pic

These tools and gadgets are not those of the too-good-to-be-true variety. They’re totally legit and they just might make your next DIY project a snap. Because they might be flying under the radar for some, we decided to profile them here. In no order of spectacularness  they are:

 

 

Laser Measure
Photo: Amazon

A Compact Laser Measure. Powerlock tape measures are so last century when compared to a compact laser measuring tool. With a Bosch GLM 15 Compact Lasure Measure, 50-Feet model, you get great reviews on Amazon and a great brand to back them up.  Continue Reading

How To Keep Order in Your Workshop

Mr. Mod is right. It’s not getting organized that’s the problem, it’s maintaining it that’s the hard part.  I’ll go a step further and say that if you have a system that makes sense to you, it’s much easier to keep the mess in check. I’m always struggling with the challenge of keeping order in my shop, so this will be printed and posted on my over-cluttered inspiration board. According to DIY Life, there are six obvious categories that need to be  organized to eliminate frustration. Continue Reading

Ten, Well Really Eleven, Good Uses for Steel Wool

Fresh from The Upholstery Fair, tips from the pros are on my mind. Every single workshop I attended touted the mulitple uses for steel wool. Granted, none of the old timers suggested edging a robe with it, but they each did have their favorite uses for our old friend, steel wool. No tool box or shop should be without a variety of steel wool choices.  This Old House lists 10 uses:

 

1. Start a fire. Touching the terminals of a 9-volt battery to a wad of steel wool can spark a campfire. Continue Reading

How To: Cool Ways to Organize Your Drill Bits and Taps

Traditional twist bits usually come in a set, with a perfectly organized case or box with the dimensions clearly marked, so that you can find what you need easily. Most even close and stay stowed.

Then, there’s all those other bits you eventually amass: all sorts of driving bits, spade bits, countersink bits, combo bits, and bits, bits, bits, bits. Here’s a few options to keep them off your bench and shelves and out of trays and drawers. Continue Reading

Five Ways to Wall Mount Your Tools.

Those living and working in tight quarters will always agree… the trick to making your organization work? Vertical storage.

The same rings true in workshop, basement, craftroom, or garage. Getting your gear onto the walls leaves you more space to work, keeps your spot clean, and provides inspiration and a reminder of all the tools at your disposal. Those clever folks at Apartment Therapy are certainly hip to such a technique, and provide five options to mount your tools on the wall. Continue Reading

Turn a Cruddy Castoff into a Modern Workshop Stool

View this gallery at The Indianapolis Star: Do It Yourself: Refurbished bar stool
For the step by step description of the photos, check out the Star gallery. Why not re-do a stool for your workshop or for a meaningful Father’s Day gift?
Continue Reading

DIY:Ten Minute Snap Workshop

created on: 07/02/08

You thought the DIY: Ten Minute Grommet Workshop was easy, this makes that look like Rocket Science. Oftentimes you’ll come across something that needs a snap added or replaced.  Snaps are…well, a snap.  A snap tool and components are available at fabric stores and they are work fine. 

The only trick here is to remember which parts go where.  For simplicity sake, I will call the top of the snap Top A and its connecting piece Top B.  Continue Reading

DIY: Ten Minute Grommet Workshop

created on: 04/23/08

While helping a friend with her booth for a trade show, we learned how to install grommets simply and frustration-free.  If you need grommets installed for a craft, drapes, shower curtains, drawstring totebags, or your handsewn tent, DO NOT think that a grommet kit from a fabric store will be sufficient. Try to get a semi-industrial kit from the hardware store.  They are heavier duty and the pricing is more reasonable.  If you really want the jumbo grommets, take your project to a drapery workroom and see if they’ll install them for you using their very expensive, heavy duty equipment. Continue Reading