Friday, October 24, 2014

Woodworkers need to keep their cards close to their vests!

You probably think this is a joke because of the title, but I am actually sharing a tip I have found useful.  I always keep a deck of playing cards at hand in the shop for a variety of uses.  One recent one was when I was installing all of those pegs.  I drilled a hole in the center of a card and put it over the peg when I was sawing it off so I didn't make any marks on the workpiece.  Then I pared it flush.  Just that little bit of the peg sticking up above the surface let me get a nice clean job quickly and easily.

I am fitting the drawers into the desk gallery and, based on my previous post, I want to make sure that I have at least .04" of room for expansion and that the gap is uniform.  You can do this by eye but, on a whim, I measured the thickness of a playing card and guess what:  it's .01"!  How convenient.  So now, I can just test the fit by inserting four cards above each side with the drawer closed:

I can also slide two cards in on each side of the drawer to test for that gap as well.  Isn't that neat?  One nice feature of cards is that they slide easily.  Basically, they function as feeler gauges.  Not rocket science I admit, but it really worked well for me.

Here's another use for them.  I have 3 blades sharpened at different angles for my Lee Valley bevel-up smoother.  A card folded over and taped makes a nice cover for the sharp edges of the blades that aren't in use.

I'd like to read about similar things you've found useful.

1 comment:

  1. Oh yeah! I love this trick. I use card scrapers for my spacers.