More Things Contractors Make for Themselves
I cut these from scrap 20 mm plywood. The one here is 250 mm wide by 660 mm long. Its handholds are 50 mm wide by about 150 mm long, set 25 mm in from each outside edge. It easily holds a 15 m 12- gauge cord. Mark out the pattern and saw it to shape with a jigsaw. Use a belt sander to knock off any irregularities, then run counterclockwise around its perimeter with a rounding- over bit in a router. Do this on both faces to ensure nicely rounded surfaces that won’t damage the cord or give you a splinter. Some guys skip the handholds while others cut a slot to tuck in both ends of the cable. I don’t. If it doesn’t give me a splinter or damage the cord, I’m fine with it.
Cut these out of scrap 20 mm birch or AC plywood, using the factory 90 ˚ corner. They’re great for holding a sub- assembly at 90 ˚ as you drive screws into it. I make 150 mm and 200 mm models, but make them any size you like. Cut the opening for a clamp head using a holesaw, then use a jigsaw to make a flat surface parallel to the sides. I don’t get too attached to them. I saw into them, drill into them, or screw into them as needed. When they’re chewed up, I toss them and make another bunch.
Everybody has a different take on this thing. Contributing editor Richard Romanski built one with a fence and graduated settings marked on the board to suit different sanders in his shop – I think his next step is to roboticize the thing so it can rip while he sands. Mine I built from a scrap piece of 20 mm plywood to rip paper for an oldschool rubber 3M sanding block. I designed it so that I hold and rip the larger piece of paper rather than the smaller piece. You can make your ripper with the hacksaw teeth facing the opposite way and rip the smaller piece. That weighty decision is your call, but either way I’ve found that an 18-tpi hacksaw blade is about right for a clean, fast tear.