Easy Transfer of Patterns to Wood


IMG_1464This is an easy way to transfer cutting patterns to wood. Instead of using carbon paper, use something you may already have in your house, Glad Press’n Seal plastic wrap. I think this was a reader tip in Wood Magazine. I filed it away in my brain for future use. I used it when building a Funny Birdhouse.

Take a piece of Press’n Seal and smooth it down on to a dust free drawing or picture you want to transfer. Make sure the sticky side is down.  If the print on the film is readable you have it right. Really smooth it down using some pressure so it sticks. Now using a Sharpie, trace the pattern. When you are done peel it off.

Transfer it to the wood. Make sure the wood dust free so the film will stick. Smooth it downIMG_1463 using pressure. Work from the centre out. The film has a texture to it that acts like suction cups. When you have it down, cut off the excess with a razor knife.

Using a scroll saw or band saw cut out the pattern. I haven’t tried a jig saw. The film sticks well, but I don’t know if dragging the base of a jig saw across it would peel it off.

Don’t forget to peel of the film before gluing up. Like I almost did.



Oneida Dust Deputy Review

Ridgid WD1450 and Oneida Dust Deputy

Ridgid WD1450 and Dust Deputy

Oneida Dust Deputy Review. As mentioned in my previous post on the Home Depot  Ridgid 14 gallon shop vac, it is great except for the filter clogging rapidly. I needed a way to pre-filter the air. I decide upon hooking up an Oneida Dust Deputy to my Ridgid Wet/Dry Vacuum. This dust separator was the solution.

Their are quite a few dust separators on the market, including one that Rockler sells. Kits are also available to make your own. Fortunately, I saw a video by Marc Spagnuolo the   “Wood Whisperer” where he did a comparison of four brands. The Oneida looked like the one for me. I ordered one and it arrived on my doorstep. The Dust Deputy sold on Amazon is basically 2 heavy duty 5 gallon buckets with a cyclone separator on top. The bottom bucket is used if you want to put wheels on it and attach it to your shop vac like I show above. Then you

Oneida Dust Deputy Attached WD1450

Dust Deputy Attached WD1450

slide the top bucket into it. This is for easy removal when you need to empty the dust and chips. Oneida gives you the parts to physically attach it to your vacuum (bolts, foam spacer block, wheels) So it rolls along with your vac. I did not do this right away. Oneida also includes a good quality  hose to hook the cyclone up to the vacuum. If you want to attach it to your vac, cut the foam block to the vacuum’s profile and run the 2 bolts between the bucket and the vac. Yes you have to drill two holes in your vac.

How good does it work? It works great! I emptied my vacuum and attached the Dust Deputy. After vacuuming up a bunch of sawdust and chips, there was just the tiniest bit in the shop vac. Like a teaspoon full if that. Good news for me, I could then install filter bags since they would not fill up quickly. Now the suction remains constantly strong. I move the unit to the power tool I am using, but usually have it hooked up to my table saw. I also use it to clean up the shop.

The unit does build up a static charge. Oneida gives you some copper tabe to attach to the cyclone to dissipate it. You then attach a wire to a washer that drags on the ground to “ground out” the charge. I did get a good jolt one time, though not exactly sure how. Regardless, I am very happy with this product and would buy it again.

Oneida Dust Deputy Dust collection bucket

Dust Deputy Dust collection

Ridgid WD1450 Wet/Dry Vac Review

Ridgid WD1450











This is my review of the Ridgid WD1450 wet/dry vacuum. I was tired of the dust coming from all my power tools and flying all over the garage. I did not want to pay for a shop dust collection system, so I decided to get a good shop vac and see what it could do. I settled on one from Home Depot after reading many reviews. The Ridgid WD1450 is about $100 and gets you a well built, 14 gallon, relatively quite, powerful wet/dry vacuum. It comes with a hose, 2 wands, a surface cleaner attachment, and a bag that carries attachments on the vac. There are many additional attachments available at Home Depot. I like that it comes with a long power cord. I have been happy with all  the Ridgid products I have purchased.

This thing is powerful. Keep small children and pets away when using! OK that is a joke, but it is strong. I needed a lot of suction because I wanted to use it on shop tools like a table saw. It does the job with my table saw. It doesn’t get all the dust, because my saw isn’t designed for efficient dust collection, but it really helps keep the small stuff out of the air. I think it is a real bargain for the price.

The one complaint I have with it, is the suction is so strong, it lifts most of the collected dust into the pleated filter instead of leaving it on the bottom of the vac chamber. This clogs the filter quickly cutting down on the suction. I hate cleaning filters and I had to do it often. Home Depot does sell bags to use with this vac. They work well and the suction doesn’t fall as quickly with them. With as much saw dust that I collect, this can get expensive real quick. So I found a solution I will share in my next post. Dust Deputy

Ridgid WD1450 Filter Bags

Ridgid WD1450 Pleated Filter and Filter Bags

Bathtub Caulking the Best Way

I find this is the best way to caulk a bathtub. No one likes to re-caulk a bathtub, but it is a necessary evil. If it isn’t done- it looks terrible. Even worse, water will get behind the tile and damage the wood underneath. The best way is to remove the old, mildewed and loose caulk. By removing the old caulk and replacing with new, you will have a long lasting repair. If you just go over the old, the mildew will just transfer to the new and there will not be a good bond.

Caulk Removal Tools

Caulk Removal Tools

The goal is to have an elastic seal between the tub and the wall. When the tub is filled with water, it actually moves down slightly from the wall. Each gallon of water weighs eight pounds plus a person- it adds up. That is why the caulk has to flex or it will crack. As in painting, preparation is the key. You have to remove as much as possible of the old caulk. Here are the tools I use. Feel free to improvise. I use the razor blade to scrape and cut, the screwdriver and pick to get under and lift, the long nose pliers to pull strips of caulk off. It is great when you can work loose a section of old caulk and it comes off in a long strand. Unfortunately, that seldom happens for me.

Here is a tool I find useful. It is an oscillating multifunction tool. You can get them cheap at

Oscillating Multifunction Tool

Oscillating Multifunction Tool

Harbor Freight or Amazon. Genesis GMT15A Multi-Purpose Oscillating Tool
They sell them cheap, because they get you on the attachments. The saw blade I use comes with the tool. A simple steel saw. You don’t need carbide, because we are not removing hard grout. I use a thin steel sheet to protect the tubs porcelain if I slip. When using any of the tools, take care not to scratch the tub or wall. You have to be very careful if you have a fiberglass tub or wall.

After you have removed all the old caulk, use a vacuum to get all the loose bits. Here are Bathtub caulk removedthe two grouts that are most popular at Home Depot. I have been having a tough time with the Kwik Seal mildewing after a year (really annoying). I have started using the GE white silicone for better mildew resistance. You can also get it in a big tube to use with a caulking gun.

Bathtub Caulks


Before applying the caulk, have a bunch of paper towels handy and a small bowl with soapy water in it. Apply a bead of caulk. The thickness of the bead takes practice. Too little and you won’t fill the gap. Too much and you will have a lot to clean up. So do a little section first. Take your finger, dip it in the soapy water, and smooth the bead of caulk down so it blends into the wall and the tub with a dished look. Remove excess caulk with your finger. You want a nice seal. Wipe the excess off of your finger with the paper towels. Do another section. You can blend one section into another with your finger. Keep on going. Dipping your finger in the soapy water keeps the caulk from sticking to your finger, giving a smooth finish. Once you are done, stand back and look at the difference it makes! Follow the directions on the caulk for drying times.

Applying Caulk Bead

Caulk Bead (Click to Enlarge)

Smoothing Bathtub Caulk Bead

Smooth (Click to Enlarge)







Bathtub Caulking Finished

All Done!


Kreg Rip-Cut Review

Kreg Rip-Cut Circular saw Cutting GuideOver the years I have had trouble with handling full sheets of plywood. Cutting them down to size is necessary. They are too heavy and big for my table saw, as it may be tipped over. I needed a safe way to rip them down to size. I was glad to see a you tube video where the Kreg KMA2675 Kreg Rip-Cut
was being used. The Rip Cut looked like it would solve my problem. I ordered it from Amazon.

Using my plywood cutting table with a circular saw worked well. The table supports the plywood while using a cutting guide. You can use a straight edge (a straight board will work) to guide the saw while ripping. It works OK, but it takes awhile to set up for each cut. It has to be determined how far the blade is from the edge of the “shoe” that the straight edge will rub against. Add this to the dimension that has to be cut. If it is two inches from the blade to the edge of the saws shoe, and you want to cut a 24″ strip, the straight edge has to be clamped down at 26 inches. Don’t forget about the 1/8th inch the saw blade kerf takes up too.

Using the Rip-Cut, all this is done automatically. It can rip up to 24 inches. It clamps to your circular saw using two clamps. After it is assembled the first time, iSetting Kreg Rip Cutt can be removed and reattached quickly.  I would re-zero the pointer each time though. This is easily done by sliding the Rip Cut’s edge guide up against the saw blade and adjusting the measuring pointer to zero.  Be advised that you do have to assemble the Rip Cut and adjust it to your model of saw the first time. Just snug down the clamps. They have pointed tips to grab on to the saws plate. It can be adjusted for right or left handers.To adjust the cutting width, just pull up on the grey lever and slide to the desired measurement. Push the lever down to lock.

Using Kreg Rip-Cut Plywood

Place the edge guide against the panel you wish to cut. Start the saw and cut keeping the edge guide firmly against the edge. I hold and push the saw with my right hand, while pushing the guided against the edge with my left. I have the plywood slightly over hanging the table so it doesn’t interfere with the edge guide. The guide is a little thicker than 1/2 inch.

 It works best for long rips. For shorter cuts it doesn’t work well, as the guide edge is not long enough. Kreg does sell a tool for crosscuts, but I do not have it. I use a cross-cut sled on my table saw. You can make a cross-cut guide easily. If I see a good plan I will post it.

I am quite happy with my purchase of the Rip-Cut. It allows me to quickly cut down plywood to a workable size. The only complaint I have- I wish the cutting guide was a bit longer. As you get to the end of a cut, the guide stops supporting the cut before the blade is all the way through. I have to learn to “follow through” with the cut. It hasn’t been a problem. I do my finish cuts on a table saw . If you don’t have a table saw, you could use this with a cross-cut guide to make shelves and simple cabinets.

If you are interested, please use my Amazon link to look at the Kreg KMA2675 Kreg Rip-Cut. It doesn’t cost you anything and helps pay for my web-hosting.

Cutting with Kreg Rip-Cut


Wooden Hat Stand

Straw Hat on Stand

DIY Wooden Hat StandDIY wooden hat stand? Yes you can! I was asked to make hat stands out of wood as a Christmas present. They were to be made different heights so they could be put on a closet shelf. Hats with brims could be put closer together as the brims would not touch each other, because they are at different heights.

Simply made out of 15mm (9/16″) baltic birch ply. 2 disks- 4″ top and 7″ bottom with a 3/4″ dowel center.

Start by cutting the disks. I have a bandsaw and made a circle cutting jig inspired by one I saw on youtube. You can use a jigsaw, if that is what you have. Easiest on a bandsaw to cut out square blanks to start. With a jigsaw, cut to the circle you have drawn. Mark the center of the circle to make it easier to drill the dowel hole.Circle Cutting Band SawCutting Disk on BandsawBandsaw circle cutting

Hopefully the edges are relatively smooth. Use sandpaper to get them smoother. Sand the dowel too.  To round over the edges I used a 1/4″ round over bit in a router mounted in a table. Rounding over both sides. Sand both faces.

Router TableIMG_1351IMG_1353

Measure the diameter of the dowel you have. Sometimes they vary. Drill a hole for a snug fit. I used a Forstner bit to make a smooth bottomed hole half way through. You can drill all the way through using a spade bit (cheaper).  I finished them using water based polyurethane taking care not to get it in the holes. Apply the finish to the dowel before cutting it up.

Bases and tops for hat standIMG_1354


Cut the dowel to the lengths you need. I found a friction fit worked fine. Put your hat on the stand. Smile, because the brim of your fedora is protected.

Hatstand done

Plywood Cutting Table

This is the DIY plywood or sheet goods cutting table I made. Makes cutting plywood easy. I made it some years back based on an article in Fine Woodworking Magazine. August 2000. It is made to support a sheet of plywood while it is being cut down to size with a circular saw. It is made of four 8 foot long 2×4 pieces of lumber and a pair of banquet table legs you can get at amazon.com 29″BLK FOLDING TABLE LEG (Ebco Tools APF-B)The folding legs make it easy to store when not in use.

This table is sacrificial. This means you actually cut through the plywood into the table. Not too deep! Clamp the sheet of plywood down to the table so it is supported on both sides of the cut. Then use an edge guide to run a circular saw along. The table is 7 feet long, 35″ wide and 31″ tall. You can also use it as a table by putting a piece of plywood on it. I use it as a painting table too. Works great with the Kreg KMA2675 Kreg Rip-Cut.  See my review here.

Plywood Cutting Table

Cutting Table

Plywood Cutting table folded

Cutting table folded

Cut seven- 31 7/8″ pieces for the cross members. By cutting this length, you can get 3 pieces out of each 8 foot length. For the seven foot sides, either use 2x2s or split one of the 2x4s lengthwise. Put cross members at each end and one in the center. Put a cross member 15″ in from each end. This will be the leg support. The remaining two cross members will be the leg lock supports. You will have to determine the position of this by experimenting. Temporarily screw or clamp it until you make sure the legs fold down all the way and lock vertically too. I messed up on this and had to reposition the board. The leg locks hinge towards the top. You pull down on them to lock them. Also make sure you off set the legs a little, so when they fold closed, they do not hit each other.

This table is not a full 4’x8′ like a sheet of plywood, because you only need to support where you are cutting. Use the cross members and sides to clamp to. By keeping the table smaller you can move and store it easier.