Evolution of a Shop #24: A couple of shop helpers

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Blog entry by Cory posted 09-13-2011 03:28 PM 47683 reads 4 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 23: Clamp cart update Part 24 of Evolution of a Shop series Part 25: Tool cabinet update »

I thought I’d post these two little shop helpers I recently made up. The first is something most have seen, but maybe a newbie can get some use out of it: A sandpaper cutter. I’m lazy, so I find myself using sandpaper longer than I should because cutting it to fit my sanding blocks is a bit of a pain. I got fed up with my own laziness and made this super simple sandpaper cutting jig:

It’s simply a piece of plywood with a hacksaw blade. The blade is raised up off of the plywood by some washers so that the sandpaper will fit under it easily. I drew a line on the plywood for the two types of sanding blocks that I’ve got. Now I just slide the sandpaper under the blade and rip it off. No more measuring or cutting with a box cutter or scissors. I can’t believe how much easier this is and I’m kicking myself for not doing it sooner.

The other little shop helper is a modification of a Black and Decker Workmate. In my little garage shop, space is at a premium and everything needs to be on wheels. So I set out to put a mobile base on my workmate and still make it collapsible. The base is a simple plywood platform with locking casters. I wrapped the base with a couple of 2×4s for rigidity and some 1/4” plywood for looks. I also added a larger 3/4” MDF top to the workmate. The top is attached with dowels that are glued to the MDF and sized for the holes in the workmate top.

I wheel this little thing all over the shop to hold pieces I’m milling, to help with glue ups, and to provide a small light duty assembly bench.

Hope it helps someone out. Thanks for looking.


-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

5 comments so far

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

7140 posts in 4208 days

#1 posted 09-13-2011 06:01 PM

AAHH….shop projects…...nothing like them…..we all need them, just a question of what we need as to what we build… I made a sandpaper cutter like yours about 4 years ago (just a tad different), and never looked back…. These things are as handy as a pocket on a shirt. I like the cart for the W.M, also. I have one, but hardly ever use it. In the beginning, I added a wide top on mine too, and I had my planer bolted to it. But it was too low, and killed my back, so I put it aside. But it’s there if I ever need it…...

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

View flippedcracker's profile


91 posts in 3467 days

#2 posted 09-20-2011 01:58 AM

I just went through all your posts. They’ve really inspired me to organize my garageshop better. i love all the carts. Thanks for sharing everything.

View Cory's profile


760 posts in 4433 days

#3 posted 09-20-2011 09:59 PM

Thanks, Rick and flippedcracker. I appreciate the comments.

-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

View AJswoodshop's profile


1057 posts in 3290 days

#4 posted 08-10-2012 12:28 PM

Nice! Always handy to have a extra table.


View jott_1's profile


3 posts in 58 days

#5 posted 01-06-2021 10:31 PM

I like this one from Rockler. It’s a little more work but it has guides to keep things square. I also saw JustLikeJames added a 1/2×3/4 stock on the blade with double sided tape. That lets you pick up the blade to slide the sandpaper under. It also lets you press down as you rip it off.

Did you laminate the top?
What are the top dimensions?
Do you wish it was bigger?


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