10 Classic Handy Tool Tips and Tricks

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After decades of collecting tool tips, our brains are so full that there isn’t room for much else. For this article, we sifted through those thousands of tips and selected a few that have been most useful on our own projects. Tuck them away in your memory and they’ll come in handy for you, too.

Hand Screws to the Rescue

Hand Screws to the Rescue

When I started woodworking, I thought hand screw clamps were old-fashioned school-shop tools, not something any modern woodworker would use. Boy, was I wrong. Sure, fast-action metal clamps are better for most jobs, but for anything out of the ordinary, reach for a couple of hand screws. Why? First, the jaws can clamp tapered parts or parts that aren’t parallel. And second, because they’re made from wood, you can cut them, drill them and screw stuff to them.

Here’s just one example: This oval stool seat would be tough to clamp with standard clamps. But with hanger screws driven into a hand screw clamp, it’s easy. Drill a couple of holes into the seat, insert the hanger screws and squeeze the split seat together.

Upright for Edge Work

Upright for Edge Work

A woodworker’s vise is the best way to hold boards on edge. But a pair of hand screws works almost as well. Depending on how you set it up, you may want to insert strips of cardboard under the board to protect it from the hand screws’ sharp threads.

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