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sure to the glue joint. Here are some additional tips: Place newspaper on the bench to catch the glue that will squeeze out, and dowel the edge joint to keep the pieces from shifting. It's best to raise the tabletop up with a few thin scraps of wood-this centers the clamping pressure and allows glue to drip out without smearing. I put weights on top of the work if necessary to keep it flat while the glue sets. And as with any glue-up, it's a good idea to make a dry run first.

Patching veneer

This veneer-patching technique is not only easier than the "cut and fit" approach, it also results in a virtually invisible repair if the color and grain of the patch is matched carefully to the original veneer. First feather the edges of the missing veneer defect so that they taper, as shown at right. Select a piece of veneer for the patch slightly larger than the defect area and glue it into the recess. Then just scrape and sand the raised edges of the patch flush with the surrounding surface.

—Rollie Johnson, Sauk Rapids, Minn.

Quick tip: To maintain cast-iron machine tables, clean the table, then apply ground talc (Johnson's baby powder) with a felt blackboard eraser. The talc will fill the pores in the cast iron, providing a moisture barrier and a lubricant. Apply the talc twice a week for a couple of months, then about once a month thereafter. —William D. Turner, Brookfield, Wis.

Center finder from a corn-chip can

This simple, handy tool for spindle turners pinpoints the head-stock and tailstock centers on round, square or octagonal blanks. To make the gauge, first tear off the circular aluminum top from a 15-oz. can of corn chips or other snack food. The thin aluminum disc is the right size and can be cut with scissors or, if backed up with a hardwood block, by a sharp wood chisel. Scribe, cut and bend the disc as shown in the sketch to produce an L-shaped lip and a diagonal marking opening. To ensure an accurate center, mark at least four diagonals on the end of the spindle and pick the point where the most lines cross. —Eliot Birnbaum, Syracuse, NY

To remove sanding discs applied with gummy adhesive, heat the back of the plate with a propane torch until it gets warm (but not hot), then simply ease the disc off with a dull chisel. —George Kasdorf, Ft. Wayne, Ind.

Sharpening skew chisels

Sharpening skew chisels

Some sharpening setups have a special tool rest to support the butt of the tool's handle, which keeps the cutting edge at the proper sharpening angle. The idea works great for straight plane irons and chisels, but presents problems for skewed tools. To put the skewed tool at the proper angle on the sharpening belt, the handle must be pulled to the side and held in midair, unsupported.

To solve the problem, I clamp a pair of Vise-Grips to the tool as shown in the sketch. I protect the chisel blade with a wrap of duct tape. If I have to disconnect the Vise-Grips during the grinding process, the imprint on the tape allows me to place the grips in the exact position again to complete the job.

—Norman Vandal, Roxbury, Vt.

Quick tip: When I'm driving wood screws, I put a drop of linseed oil in the pilot hole. It makes the screw go in with one-quarter the driving torque, allows easy assembly/disassembly during the course of the project, and offers some adhesiveness when it finally dries, unlike paraffin-covered screws. It also helps prevent rust (important in the humid Mississippi valley where I live). —Robert E. Schuster, Geneseo, Ill.

To prevent my chisels, knives and auger bits from damaging each other, I use the thumbs and fingers cut from old pairs of leather work gloves. I punch holes around the opening, and then add eyelets and a length of leather thong to tie the protector on the tool. I'm told that some leathers contain acids that encourage rust, so check your tools once in a while if you plan to try this method for long-term storage. With my everyday tools I've had no problems.

—Craig S. Walters, Forest Ranch, Calif.

I save my wife's old pantyhose for paint straining, and have found another use, too: I stretch a leg over the paper filter on my shop vacuum. This keeps a lot of the shavings and larger stuff from coating the paper. The filter cleans easier and lasts longer. —C.S. Manning, Port Townsend, Wash.

Smoothing turned goods with cloth

Years ago I watched craftsmen at a Virginia shop put the final finish on lathe turnings by holding a piece of cloth against the work after sanding. Later I read that textile companies have

Feather. ^^

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Wood Working 101

Wood Working 101

Have you ever wanted to begin woodworking at home? Woodworking can be a fun, yet dangerous experience if not performed properly. In The Art of Woodworking Beginners Guide, we will show you how to choose everything from saws to hand tools and how to use them properly to avoid ending up in the ER.

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