Feb 07 , 2019
Extend the life of your shop vac filter with this trick
Now that I have started wood turning, my shop vacuum gets a lot of work. I stopped using filter bags since they quickly fill with the large volume of chips and other wood debris, and instead I use a pleated filter. However, the filter can get plugged, reducing efficiency of the vacuum. I solved this problem by placing a large sheet of window screen fabric between the tank and the top part, which includes the filter. Now, dust and chips enter below the screen and won’t clog the filter. — Bill Wells
Find the best ways to use your shop vacuum as a dust collector by checking out these tips.
Make a Wooden Chopping Board and Serving TraySlice, dice and serve in style on this easy, attractive board. We'll show you a simple way to dry-fit the parts, scribe the arc and then glue the whole thing together. We used a 4-ft. steel ruler to scribe the arcs, but a yardstick or any thin board would also work. Find complete how-to instructions on this woodworking crafts project here. Be sure to use water-resistant wood glue, and keep your board out of the dishwasher or it might fall apart. And one more thing: Keep the boards as even as possible during glue-up to minimize sanding later. For great tips on gluing wood, check out this collection.
Keep Organized With This Shoe Storage Booster StoolBuild this handy stool in one hour and park it in your closet. You can also use it as a step to reach the high shelf. To make the storage shelves, all you need is a 4 ft. x 4 ft. sheet of 3/4-in. plywood, wood glue and a handful of 8d finish nails. Cut the plywood pieces according to the illustration. Spread wood glue on the joints, then nail them together with 8d nails. First, nail through the sides into the back. Then nail through the top into the sides and back. Finally, mark the location of the two shelves and nail through the sides into the shelves. Don't have floor space to spare? Build these super simple wall-mounted shoe organizers instead!
Bonus! Watch this video to learn how to build another super-simple woodworking project yourself:
Keep Your Shoes Off the Floor With This Shoe OrganizerStore shoes up off the floor in clean, natural wood racks. This simple storage system can handle everything from winter boots to summer sandals, with no mud buildup or scuff marks on the wall. Build one to share or one for each member of the family! Find complete how-to instructions here. For wet shoes and boots, we recommend this attractive, simple-to-make tray.
Build a Wooden Bench for LessNeed extra seating in a hurry? This simple bench, based on author and ecologist Aldo Leopold's classic design, can be constructed in a couple of hours, even if you are a novice woodworker. All it takes is two boards and 18 screws, for a cost of less than $25. You'll find the simple how-to instructions here. Have you ever wondered if you can stain pressure-treated wood? The answer is, yes. Here's how!
Build This Portable Small BenchGive your back and knees a break with this portable, easy-to-build seat/step stool/tool box/work surface. It only takes a couple of hours to build and you'll find dozens of uses for it. Check out the easy-to-follow instructions here. If you're looking for a small bench/step stool that's a little more attractive than this one, here's one for you to consider.
Make Magazine Storage ContainersNeed a good way to archive magazines and other important papers? Build these simple wood storage bins and have all of your favorites at your fingertips instead of lost in a towering pile. You can build four bins from one 2 ft. x 4 ft. sheet of 1/4-in. plywood and two 6-ft. long 1x4s. And cutting the wood is easy with a jigsaw or band saw.
Create a Sleek and Simple Coat and Hat RackClear up entryway clutter with a simple coat and hat rack that you can build in about an hour from a 6 ft. 1x4 and coat hooks. Cut the boards to fit your space, paint them, outfit them with different kinds of hooks to suit your needs and then screw them to the wall. Check out the detailed how-to instructions here. You'll find hooks in a tremendous range of styles, colors and prices at hardware stores and online retailers. For inspiration, check out these clever and unusual coat hooks.
Build a Spice RackThis spice rack will keep your favorite 18 seasonings on ready alert. It's quick and fun to make and fits inside a standard kitchen cabinet. You'll need:
- An 11-1/2 in. and a 7-1/4 in. diameter wood discs
- 9-in. lazy Susan hardware
- Four 1-5/8 in. x 5/8 in. dowels for legs
- One 5-1/4 in. x 5/8 in. dowel handle
- A 1-7/8 in. Forstner drill bit
- A 5/8-in. spade or brad point drill bit
- A 1-1/2 in. wood ball or other knob.