Workshop operational tips.

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Blog series by LittleBlackDuck updated 09-19-2021 01:45 PM 32 parts 45477 reads 458 comments total

Part 1: Metal bolts in timber threads.

07-31-2017 01:41 PM by LittleBlackDuck | 29 comments »

Boys and Girls, if you are only interested in bargain basement solutions, please jump in the lift and press “G” for “Going Down to the bargain basement”, exit the lift and go home without reading further. I am here to readily assist you in parting with your hard earned shekels without remorse, and if you are interested in a better solution (at a cost), read on. No… I don’t have shares in the product and the retailer is not related to the ”waterfowl family Anatidae&...

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Part 2: 3D Printing in the Workshop

02-02-2017 08:46 AM by LittleBlackDuck | 28 comments »

While this topic doesn’t strictly fit into the guidelines of timber product, it does incorporate the processing of said prerequisite, however, to err on the side of veto wizards I decided to blog instead of projecting it. We need to set the mood! Once upon a time there was this aging geriatric, living in Churchill Australia that was getting paranoid about dust inhalation into his alcohol infested body. He chose to purchase a Shop-Vac and attached a few tools to with the...

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Part 3: Bottled sawdust

05-29-2018 10:02 AM by LittleBlackDuck | 6 comments »

Boys and girls, I just finished watching another one of those videos where the author advises the use of sawdust in the glue squeeze out to create that seamless join especially when you finish up using a zig saw instead of the zag saw… GREAT TIP! Now if you are like me, there is never enough time to finish clamping before the glue starts to set, let alone go foraging for enough sawdust to mix into the squeeze out/gaps… and sometimes I have craters. If you are a clean freak… OOPS, the s...

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Part 4: Sharing shop vacs between power tools.

05-30-2018 09:10 AM by LittleBlackDuck | 16 comments »

Boys and Girls, While this may be old hat to most, I’ve had enough friends (another one today/yesterday) saying that it’s a good idea, so I thought it might be worth a shout out. If you have a shop vac with an automatic outlet and share it amongst a number of tools during the one session, bridge the two with a power outlet plugged into the dusty. You can then plug each of the power tools into a spare outlet and give them all access to the dusty without dancing the power point shuffl...

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Part 5: Safety in the Shop #1: Go - No Go indicator for the Band Saw

05-30-2019 07:27 AM by LittleBlackDuck | 9 comments »

Boys and Girls, I got inspired by J’J’s handy hint in his blog Gauges in the Shop #1: Go - No Go gauge for Lathe Chuck and thought I might share this simplified indicator I use on my band saw. It consists of a hunk of red coloured MDF though you can paint it any colour if you are colour blind as long as it’s not invisible ink and manages to annoy the hell out of you when dangling in your sight, It is attached to the my tension handle of the BS, by twine throug...

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Part 6: Power Tools a_CORD_ing to LBD.

06-17-2019 12:41 PM by LittleBlackDuck | 24 comments »

Boys and Girls, With the popularity of cordless tools that boast the one battery runs millions of different skins phylosophy, the days of the recalcitrant power cord is becoming a relic of the past. As my collection of power tools are on the ever increasing decline (hmmm, as the missus would say “you oxymoron”) I thought I’d share this idea as I reckon that many Lumberjocks will refuse to sever their power umbilical. Now there are many classifications of tools, but I put them into one ...

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Part 7: Easy(er) way to use double sided tape.

06-18-2019 04:41 AM by LittleBlackDuck | 4 comments »

Boys and Girls, I normally poo-poo authors that say a few words and then direct their audience to a YouTube video or to a different forum/WEB, however, this is another one of those tips that make workshop practices so much easier that I thought I’d break my own rules (this time). OK, I folded, and had to make my voice be read. When using double sided tape, a lot of people (me inclusive) cut off strips of tape with scissors, apply it to the timber and then swear like a trooper w...

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Part 8: Easy(er) Way to Change Your Dust Collector Bag

06-18-2019 01:14 PM by LittleBlackDuck | 18 comments »

Boys and Girls, Another one of my plagiarised hints. One of the things I will criticise about LumberJocks is that there is a wealth of information out there that just doesn’t seem to get sufficient distribution onto the “ignorant”. Now no offence meant to members as many may consider everyone knows about “it”, whatever “it” may be, and there probably have been a number of past posts that the search engine did not reveal. Even if the subject h...

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Part 9: Dis_CORD in the workshop

06-20-2019 08:58 AM by LittleBlackDuck | 22 comments »

Boys and Girls, Dis cord or dat cord, no matter which cord, they both get in your way when trying to manoeuvre tools around in a small workshop. Let’s re-introduce capital punishment and all those guilty, should be hanged. Unfortunately, electrocution or lethal injection is reserved for the delinquent operators. The pinnacle of this suspension method are these snap hooks (surprisingly, made by Pinnacle), I used to make my own hanging noose, using rope eyes, and 6mm or 8mm shock...

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Part 10: Voice activated Workshop Automation.

06-22-2019 12:19 PM by LittleBlackDuck | 6 comments »

Boys and Girls, Anyone can make a fancy splined dovetail box, turn a segmented inside out vase, build fantastic workshop storage units/cabinets and even construct beautiful heirloom household furniture… but not everyone can disseminate useless information with then vigour that I can. This time I will attempt to help modernise the workshop. Some of you have been exposed to my gadgetry fetish and my latest foray into the ridiculous was through the introduction of smart devices driven b...

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Part 11: Susan is NOT so Lazy

06-30-2019 02:08 PM by LittleBlackDuck | 16 comments »

Boys and Girls, Got inspired by majuvla’s Lazy Susan wheel, to give an alternative use of these balerina imitators, that does not involve feeding my face. Their conversion from lazy to active doesn’t have to be pretty and can be very functional in both the household as well as the workshop. You do not have to frequent Chinese restaurants and master chop sticks to appreciate the use of these lethargic rotating marvels. To remove the languorous tag, I will henceforth refer to them with th...

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Part 12: Perspex (Acrylic) Repair/CA Clean-up.

10-09-2019 11:53 AM by LittleBlackDuck | 29 comments »

Boys and Girls, I opened my big mouth in one of my comments to a post and rather than live up to my reputation of being a liar, I thought I’d honor my pledge. I am currently making a display case for my 60 yo(ish) heirloom (post to follow soon).I was too chickenshit to use glass, other than for delivery of vino to mouth, and decided to use Perspex. The thought of silicon tickled my fancy but not being ticklish and freakish, I decided to use CA glue… Now CA in the hands of the compet...

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Part 13: Funnel Vision.

12-29-2019 02:57 AM by LittleBlackDuck | 18 comments »

Boys and Girls. A little gem from the annals of the black duck… just don’t get the number of “n”s mixed up. While I don’t go out of my way to save a few shekels, this little tip may save some, for those more frugal than me. For Christmas, I wanted to make up a batch of Black Russian and I needed a funnel to guide my shaking hands to direct the liquid back into the bottles (after mixing). As my diet doesn’t include paint encrusted funnels, I was in need of a clean one… on one o...

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Part 14: In the Eye of the Dowel!

12-30-2019 09:55 AM by LittleBlackDuck | 25 comments »

Boys and Girls, We all have our secrets in finding the centre of a dowel, however, unless you were on the quest of finding rc’s wallet (which is empty) in my workshop, you may have not come across my method. Most of us use standard sized dowels, whether fabricated, purchased or other unorthodox means.Nevertheless they tend to fit into holes made by traditional sized forstner bits.That same forstner bit makes the ideal centre finder. Grab a block of timber, in accordance with yo...

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Part 15: Safety in Numbers.

12-31-2019 11:43 PM by LittleBlackDuck | 10 comments »

Boys and girls, When it comes to security, my ample body is guarded by a whalebone girdle, however, the contents of my residence is guarded by a combination lock. I wanted to review my combination lock, however, I thought a blog on pros and cons of combination locks in general would be better suited. I have grouped it under Workshop Tips as it is just as applicable to the workshop as to the house. While a combination lock removes the need to carry keys around, it does infer some de...

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Part 16: Quick connect "Dusty" extraction.

01-08-2020 04:55 AM by LittleBlackDuck | 9 comments »

Boys and Girls, If you tend to share your 100mm diameter dust extraction between your machinery, you may find these 100mm DWV PVC Standard Pan Collar fitted at the action end of the hose handy. and just slip over the 100mm “machinery” outlet, You may need to “cheat”, When you start with a new one, You may need to use a bit of effort, but they will loosen up. Afterwards, even as they loosen up, the suction will keep them attaches as they ...

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Part 17: Cleaning a Cleaner.

01-28-2020 11:14 AM by LittleBlackDuck | 6 comments »

Boys and Girls, You may be wondering what this is all about, however, if you weren’t following the bouncing ball you may have arrived here before the drinks refreshment cart. For those that are now perplexed, may I suggest you peruse my blog about Stupid Ideas/Buys on Bricking up a house-vac. However, with this offering… You get to kill two birds with one stone... and by that I don’t mean a bloody big stone on two tiny little birds…You get, a Stupid Ideas/Buys instalment (elsewhere). ...

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Part 18: Scrollsaw Ease for Arthritic Knuckles...

02-15-2020 10:31 AM by LittleBlackDuck | 6 comments »

Boys and Girls, Another plagiarised idea expanded, though I cannot find the offering, I believe Steve Good had a hand in it somewhere. I was sick and tired of having arthur gnaw at my knuckles every time I tried to swing my Excalibur (scroll saw) in a deftly duel with a lance (piece of wood). I initially purchased a set of these round knobs for my Excalibur scroll saw, to facilitate my grip, only to find them not that much better than the original ones for the final tightening of ...

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Part 19: In a Tight Scrape.

05-14-2020 12:42 AM by LittleBlackDuck | 8 comments »

Boys and Girls, Just in case you find yourself in a tight spot, this little gizmo may get you out in a scrape. I needed a scraper small enough to scrape the inside of the windows of one of my model toys a while back, after finding that sandpaper was altering the general shape too much. I used the “normal” card scraper sharpening technique to prepare one of my paint scrapers.In operation on pine, walnut, hard maple,(actually that was a lie as I went and bought a new one to conve...

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Part 20: Having trouble drumming up tension?

05-31-2020 09:22 PM by LittleBlackDuck | 6 comments »

Boys and Girls, A lot of people seem to have trouble getting the roll of sandpaper holding on their drumsander and start contemplating turning to the dark side of hook and loop conversion. Before you bite the bullet, try the following first. Ensure the paper is wrapped tightly on the drum. The paper doesn’t have to abut between turns/wraps. To stop the end from slipping out, bend it over itself before you manouver it into the tensioning clip. The sandpaper face on both side...

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Part 21: Refresh the memory and Graffiti your tools.

06-01-2020 08:44 AM by LittleBlackDuck | 22 comments »

Boys and Girls, If you suffer a case of forgetfulness and remember how to read, continue, otherwise… hmmm… I forget… come back later… things might have changed. I am getting old quicker than birthdays seem to come around. While Uncle Alzhi hasn’t caught up to me (yet), I’m a guilty advocate of, Hate to RTFM. Loathe to play what-ifs with a chain of allen keys or wrenches/sockets. Continually skin knuckles or strip threads in trying to twist things the wrong way. Cause ...

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Part 22: Threaded MDF (POC).

10-13-2020 12:56 AM by LittleBlackDuck | 10 comments »

Boys and Girls, It’s hard to imagine the blog I wrote about RivNuts was over 2 years ago. I was surprised by some of the comments saying they have been around for years, so I have to fess up that I didn’t discover them.Whether they be called Rivnuts, Nutserts, pop-nuts or even beer nuts, it’s my blog so I’ll refer to these,as Rivnuts…. and as I remember my youth, they also come in rubbers,which I’ll refer to as rubber inserts, so we are all under the same blanket. If you couldn’t...

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Part 23: CA-Finish “layers counter” for Pen turners.

10-21-2020 02:28 PM by LittleBlackDuck | 27 comments »

Boys and Girls, If you’ve never turned a pen and I don’t mean on a lazy susan, or never intend to turn one, there’s nothing here for you and recommend you exit. If you do indulge in pens and never used or intend to use CA finish, pretend you never intend to turn one and go to the previous sentence. If you hate reading as much as I do, skip to the last two pictures, though you may never know what this crap is all about. For all you CA finishers… and I don’t mean automobile wi...

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Part 24: Does your chalk get "Un-Plastered"?

10-23-2020 01:44 AM by LittleBlackDuck | 4 comments »

Boys and Girls, Do you have a collection similar to this,scattered about the workshop that can never be found when needed? And if you happen to find it next to you,already interacting with your project… DOH!...or worse still, it gets under foot, If you answer No, then goodbye… otherwise, fret no more… salvation is at hand… just click on the picture above. At least if you step on it, you’ll know it… Keep safe.

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Part 25: Bessey KRE-VO... Completed upgrade.

10-28-2020 10:12 AM by LittleBlackDuck | 6 comments »

Boys and Girls, If you are an egg connoisseur, you’ve just landed a double-yolker… you get a tip and a review completion in one. Having just completed my review of the Bessey Vario Revo Clamp Jaw (and follow the bouncing ball for the real thing), where I addressed modification but not this full customisation.Not happy with loose ends, I thought I’d go full hog and remove the original fixed jaw. Closer inspection revealed the jaws were held in place by some sort of solid ...

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Part 26: Unconfuse the Leigh D4R configuration.

10-28-2020 11:16 AM by LittleBlackDuck | 7 comments »

Boys and Girls, While following a totally unrelated bouncing ball…, a search of ”Leigh D4R” revealed quite a few reviews, blogs and projects centered around the jig. This indicates to me that there may be a wider range of members that relish in the benefit of their outlaid expense… (it wasn’t cheap). If you hand cut your dovetails… bye.If you use a PC dovetailer… or not a D4R... bye. I’m not going to parrot past members contributions and little miss echo can go and have ...

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Part 27: Bessey Vario, picks me up

10-28-2020 12:08 PM by LittleBlackDuck | 14 comments »

Boys and Girls, While converting my Bessey clamp to the new Vario capabilities, I blundered upon this novel use of them. The clamps can be used as a variable height adjuster for outfeed support (or other type of variable quick adjustable supports), This is just a demo as it wouldn’t be practical to use on this circle cutter that has to be moved across the bandsaw tabletop. Nevertheless it demonstrates how the moving top jaw can be positioned at any height with the push o...

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Part 28: Bleed your bloody compressor

02-09-2021 09:03 AM by LittleBlackDuck | 26 comments »

Boys and Girls, With lockdown, isolation and limited movement outside due to C19, I’m sure we’ve all been too busy doing nothing to find time and drain our compressors. When did you last drain yours? While according to the puritans it should be performed after each use, I’m sure most repeat draining at the same regularity as I have days without vino… neva! Just did mine and spent about 2 hours mopping up the rusty water discharge off the concrete floor, walls and most tools ...

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Part 29: You’re gonna need bigga wheels... Wheely!

02-18-2021 11:17 AM by LittleBlackDuck | 14 comments »

Boys and Girls, If you remembered from the start that large wheels negotiate hazards in the workshop better than small wheels, you are already cruising in top gear. Nevertheless there are two many woodworkers that have compromised on small wheels and find that those bloody annoying small slivers of timber seems like a log when you try to wheel your mobile around the workshop. When I was still in Melbourne (Richmond), my shop floor was tongue and groove particle board sheets that was ...

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Part 30: Crank Up your Tracks

02-21-2021 09:18 AM by LittleBlackDuck | 4 comments »

Boys and Girls, I often think I should keep my mouth shut, but then I start thinking (yeah… occasionally) that there may be a few woodworkers out there just starting off and have not read through all the past tips here at LJ. While all the veterans yawn ho-hum, to others this may be so obvious it is overlooked. If you like to use t-tracks and like me, choose to crank them up to white knuckle torture levels, you may often find a t-track in one hand and a work bench / jig in the other....

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Part 31: Quick Eze (for threads) without antacid.

02-24-2021 03:04 AM by LittleBlackDuck | 4 comments »

Boys and Girls,When I need a quick ease I don’t mean antacid tablets... or even a booty call (hmm, better forgo the picture)… I’m referring to quick unthreading of lengthy threaded bolts using a quick release mechanism. I have two basic bits of equipment at my disposal, Rockler slip knobs (did a review on these). Push Button Nuts. Both can be viewed in this video.I use these predominantly on jigs, But can be used anywhere I need a quick one handed releas...

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Part 32: Fishnet stockings, not panty, for your hose…

09-19-2021 01:45 PM by LittleBlackDuck | 25 comments »

Boys and Girls, If you don’t suck in your workshop then you need not read any further, however, if you occasionally get that sucker snagged on a sharp corner, this little snippet may be of use. Unless you own a fancy Fe$tool vac with the expensive anti-static non-ribbed hose (top hose) or duct your hose overhead, you may find you often snag the ribbing of the hose on sharp edges. I feed the hoses I use on the end of dust generating tools through a 40mm flexible sleeve to creat...

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