Interesting Woodnet/Toolcrib post - Lumberjock thoughts

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Forum topic by USCJeff posted 03-28-2008 05:03 PM 1999 views 0 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View USCJeff's profile


1063 posts in 4068 days

03-28-2008 05:03 PM

Just got an interesting thread in an email from Toolcrib. I thought I’d carry it over to Lumberjocks as I don’t follow the other sites closely.

Anyways, it was about the best “recycled” items for the workshop. This is one of the things I like about woodworking. . . Having a problem and creating a solution. Many household items have found new life in my shop. I’ll list a few but am interested in everyone’s ideas.

~PB & J Plastic Jars – I store mostly paint in these so that I don’t have to deal with larger gallon buckets. Makes touchups faster as well. Good for blending as well. Wax paper or “Press and Seal” works well to keep paint of the threads.

~Baby food Jars – Much like above, but keep little amounts of mixed stains and diluted finishes.

~Baby Wipe Rectangular Boxes – Great for lidded part storage.

~Grocery and Newspaper Plastic Bags – “Free” Gloves for finishing.

~Mouse Pads – Dampens Vibrations under tools (glued to my scroll saw and grinder). Also is a decent sanding and routing pad.


-- Jeff, South Carolina

24 replies so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3988 days

#1 posted 03-28-2008 05:17 PM

Baby food jars are great for small things.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4299 days

#2 posted 03-28-2008 05:27 PM

I use small yogurt container lids, for mixing epoxy, the container for small amounts of paint.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Earle Wright's profile

Earle Wright

121 posts in 3720 days

#3 posted 03-28-2008 05:30 PM

one gallon size ziploc bag—- insert filthy 10” sawblade, hold plastic bag open while spraying liberal amout of cleaner of choice, place on flat surface, press all air out of bag and zip.

Blade then basically sits in a small bath of cleaner. Flip after five or ten minutes, push cleaner to blade edges and soak. Then, remove blade, rince under hot water using old toothbrush on pitch. Zip bag and discard.

Reinstall clean blade, once again dropping arbor nut into saw cabinet. Retrieve arbor nut and turn clockwise on arbor for three minutes until you remember it’s a left-hand thread. Reverse direction and drop the arbor nut again. Take long break, breathe deeply, find happy place.

-- Earle Wright, Lenoir City, Tennessee

View Mario's profile


902 posts in 4051 days

#4 posted 03-28-2008 05:42 PM

Earle, Good idea and have you been watching me change blaeds on my saw? That sounds too familiar.


-- Hope Never fails

View Dadoo's profile


1789 posts in 3990 days

#5 posted 03-28-2008 05:52 PM

Plastic Dixie cups for mixing glues, stains and paints.

I used to keep empty coffee cans, Planters plastic nut jars, Kool-Aid drink mix jars, but have given them all away for 4”x18” storage bins. I have like 15 of them on the shelf, all full of goodies, seperated with the dividers. (Used to have metal card file cabinets.) And if the need arises to take those 3” screws to a jobsite, then I use a plastic jar or bucket.

Also, save your thin cutoffs as they make great stir sticks.

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

View Bob Burrington's profile

Bob Burrington

9 posts in 3723 days

#6 posted 03-28-2008 05:56 PM

~Baby food jars for small nuts and bolts

~Coffee can are good for just about anything

~ cut up sponges and clothes pins work well for appling stain and touch up painting or finish…

-- SAWDUST...Source of Fiber......Bob

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3874 days

#7 posted 03-28-2008 06:23 PM

Any small containers with lids are useful. I am a little ahead right now, so they are going into the recycling for a while.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3822 days

#8 posted 03-28-2008 07:43 PM

I use mason jars for storing poly. This helps keep it from skimming over in the gallon cans.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View USCJeff's profile


1063 posts in 4068 days

#9 posted 03-29-2008 05:27 AM

Still Laughing Earle. I’ve glued a rare earth magnet to a dowel for that very scenario. Yeah, it’s happened enough to warrant it! Not to mention the LH thread. I go “righty-tighty” every time. That is the primary reason I end up fishing for the arbor nut.

I’ll add a couple more things I’ve used:

~After trimming wired shelving for closets, I like to cut off the individual plastic covered metal rods from the scrap. They make great mixers. Use it to blend epoxy mostly, but most are long enough to mix other materials.

~Baby Wipes – They make spreading caulk and putty into a corner very easy and neat.

~ALMOST FORGOT one of my favorites – Empty nail polish containers. I use a lot of the same finishing materials over and over. I keep a little of each in the tiny containers. The finish keeps the brush moist so that it doesn’t dry out and is always ready for a touch up. Easy to store with built in applicator, nuff said. I’m up to 4 bottles and have requested the females in my life to save them!

-- Jeff, South Carolina

View Suz's profile


51 posts in 3757 days

#10 posted 03-29-2008 03:17 PM

Don’t forget those fake plastic credit cards make good glue spreaders.
Use grocery bags to “sand” the final buffing on your poly or shellac finished projects. It works like a VERY fine sandpaper to knock off any “nibs” in your final coat.

-- Jim

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3768 days

#11 posted 03-29-2008 03:44 PM

-dixie cups for mixing and holding finishes on small projects
-baby food containers for holding random fasteners (my dad uses them mostly)
-paper towels for random cleanup or other things
-plastic knives for mixing and putting gel poly on a cloth
-fake credit cards and used gift cards for spreading glue

View Kevin Violette's profile

Kevin Violette

235 posts in 3863 days

#12 posted 03-29-2008 04:05 PM

-Plastic shot glasses-for small glue applications and mixing sawdust and glue for filler
-peanut butter jars-store fasteners, dowel pins, biscuits, buttons, plugs
-hockey pucks-deaden vibration under table saw
-coat hangers-cut and bend to make custom pegboard hooks
-old t-shirts-excellent for applying stains
-newspapers-to keep the benches clean when applying paint, stain, finish
-shower curtain-covers the table saw when spraying or during glue ups when I use the saw as a bench
-margarine or ice cream containers-for mixing stains in and for storing scres and pieces of furniture while you are refinishing/restoring(make sur you label it!)

-- Kevin

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1285 posts in 3737 days

#13 posted 03-30-2008 12:02 AM

-the large rolls of heavy duty freezer paper to put on the bench when gluing of finishing. Keeps things clean.
-those very small plastic dixie cups, sold by the thousand, for measuring and mixing epoxy and resin glues and small amounts of stains.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View Al Killian's profile

Al Killian

273 posts in 3753 days

#14 posted 03-30-2008 03:58 AM

old sheets and tees for stripping finsh

mud flaps off of trucks under the machines to absorbe to the harmonics.

coffee cans for storeing odd and ends

-- Owner of custom millwork shop

View Sawdust2's profile


1466 posts in 4088 days

#15 posted 03-30-2008 06:26 AM

Plastic Jello and pudding cups for small doses of anything.

Been many, many, many years since baby jars have been in this house. The youngest grandkid is 13. The oldest is 18. (Let’s hope we’re not to be great-grandparents too soon.)

Had a neighbor who turned lots of pens. He took 2 liter soda bottles, cut the top off and fastened the bottom to wooden squares. He then numbered the container and kept track of his pen blanks that way.


-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

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