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Michael Baker
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AGMagic (Tim Silver) posted this on another thread, but it is applicable for this section on Workshop Tips, and I thought it needed to be in an area that won't eventually find itself buried after time.

http://view.woodworking-hub.com/?j=fecb1......1532&r=0
~michael baker
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ringmaster
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Michael Baker
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Nice find. Thanks for sharing!
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Michael Baker
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Magnets...

I use a lot of them in my projects. I use them for hidden gimmicks, as well as door closures. The size range I use is as large as 1/2" diameter x 1/8" thick. But I also use them as small as 1/8" x 1/16".

I have been ordering for years from an Ebay seller, Emovendo. Recently, they did not show the size I needed, so I went online to find another source to fill the immediate need. I found Apex Magnets http://apexmagnets.com/ and much to my surprise, they are a division of Emovendo. They did have what I needed, so I figured the Ebay site omission was just an oversight. Anyway, same super service (obviously).

But the main reason for my post is to pass along a little discovery that I made. Typically, when I install magnets, they are done as a pair, although there are times when I'll install a magnet to attract to a steel shim or plate, or to some magic-associated gimmick.

But, this is about installing pairs... one magnet in each of two parts that will at times be connected.

With setting magnets in pairs, there is a polarity issue. Install them the wrong way, and you can't make them like each other at gunpoint. My usual method consisted of setting one magnet, and placing the counter magnet on it. Then, I would mark the exposed side of the magnet with a Sharpie, so I would know which side should be facing outward when this magnet was installed in the companion part.

This method works well enough with the larger sizes (3/8" or 1/2"). It is easy to see the mark (they don't show up great on shiny silver magnets, and it rubs off easily), and the larger sizes are much easier to manipulate when setting them into the small holes drilled to receive them.

I most often embed these magnets with CA glue. I fill the hole and push the magnet into the hole. Excess glue squeezes out, which I wipe away before giving everything a quick shot of Insta-set accelerator ( http://www.bsi-inc.com/ ) to quickly set everything. Works great!

OK... if you are trying to work with these real tiny magnets, things can get sloppy quickly, and in the fight to set the magnet, sometimes the mark gets rubbed off and then it's 50/50 as to which is the good side. Since you don't want to embed these things incorrectly, you decide it's better to re-check everything. Well, by this point you have a hole filled with glue that is quickly setting up, not to mention that you have probably glued a couple of your fingers together and probably glued a magnet to yourself, as well.

My first thought was to take a small piece of steel scrap, and stick the magnet to it first, then use it as a tool to guide the magnet into the hole with the correct orientation. This works great until you end up gluing the steel scrap to your project, along with the magnet. Dang... things are getting complicated here.

So here's the idea that I hit upon... tape.

After magnet #1 has been glued into place, I take a short length of painter's tape, and place it on top of that magnet, with the sticky side away from that magnet. Then, I drop the companion magnet on the tape and it will automatically orient itself for polarity, but it will also stay stuck to the tape when you lift it away from magnet #1.

Now, you put glue in the hole for magnet #2 and using the tape, push this magnet into the hole. The tape is on your side, sticky side away from you, the magnet goes in properly, and the tape keeps the glue squeeze out off your fingers! It is very easy to pull the tape away from the glue, wipe away any excess and hit everything with a shot of Insta-set accelerator.

There you have it... a lot of words to describe something very simple!
~michael baker
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Michael Baker
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Here's a tip from the "save yourself some time" department...

If you use drill or router bits that are 1/16" or smaller, buy more than one when you do. It saves you some time if you break one.

Off to the store... Duh... Smile
~michael baker
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Mark Ross
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Not if, but when.
Scotty Walsh
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Michael--

I don't know if you've already posted this elsewhere. If so, I'm sorry for asking again, but I am wondering how you do that amazing, detailed, oriental style design work on your props? Are those decals? Or painted by hand using a projector? Or something else?

I just looked at your Okito Tea Canister and was blown away? Do you fabricate the tubes as well? Are they metal?

Keep up the great work! I'd like to order something from you someday. Such an artist!

Scotty
Michael Baker
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Hi Scotty,

Glad you like the "stuff". The designs are a combination of paint and decals... and in rare occasions, stencils. I make my own decals. The images are generally taken from old artwork. It is rare though if I use something as is. I manipulate the images to suit my needs, by combining images from various paintings, eliminating things I don't want, enhancing color, etc. Whatever works to make them unique. Of course I save these and will sometimes use the same images for different projects, or alter them further to better suit the project. A lot of my techniques were learned over time, with a lot of experimenting.

The tea canister tubes are made from thin gauge steel, and the canister shell is made from aluminum. I do make those, as well. My metal work is limited though. I do have a simple brake, a small guillotine cutter and a slip roll(er).
~michael baker
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Scotty Walsh
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Thank you for the answer. Lovely stuff.
MikeHolbrook
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I have a Craftsman (Sears) rotary tool. Recently the chuck stopped turning even though the motor was running. The link between the motor and chuck is plastic. I ordered a replacement part and it's one of those cases of shipping is more than the part. The replacement part lasted 2 weeks. I looked around the shop and found some plastic tubing that looked like it would work. It did and it has lasted longer than the replacement part I ordered. I wish I could tell you the diameter of the tubing but the piece I used was a scrap with no printing on it. I'm sure Lowes or Home Depot has something that will work. Hope this saves someone saome money.

Mike
Michael Baker
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Quote:
On 2013-11-18 23:46, MikeHolbrook wrote:
I have a Craftsman (Sears) rotary tool. Recently the chuck stopped turning even though the motor was running. The link between the motor and chuck is plastic. I ordered a replacement part and it's one of those cases of shipping is more than the part. The replacement part lasted 2 weeks. I looked around the shop and found some plastic tubing that looked like it would work. It did and it has lasted longer than the replacement part I ordered. I wish I could tell you the diameter of the tubing but the piece I used was a scrap with no printing on it. I'm sure Lowes or Home Depot has something that will work. Hope this saves someone saome money.

Mike


Interesting to hear this. I also have the Craftsman rotary tool (I like them better than Dremel). Here's the sick part... the last one I bought, I had to get at K-Mart... Sears only carried Dremel. WTF???

I use mine constantly. I have also gone through a handful of them over the years. I had gone the route of replacement parts, servicing, etc. Not any more. I chuck 'em and buy a new one. Far less aggravation and far less down time. Not saying your tip isn't useful, because it is sure to save someone's tool from the trash can. Thanks!
~michael baker
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George Ledo
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This one is probably so obvious it's funny, but playing cards are fantastic for use as shims. They are very thin and hold up well.

For instance, when I made the Okito-Berg tipover chests for Joe Stevens, I wanted to make sure the inserts were perfectly centered in the outer boxes before I intalled the hinge. So I lined up the insert, then put an equal number of cards on each side between the insert and the box. Because the boxes were hand-made, there were very minor variations in size, but all I had to do was remove a card here and add it there until everything was balanced. The number of cards didn't make any difference as long as it was the same on each side.

Now I'm making another prop for Joe, wich involves blocks inside a box. So I lined up the blocks on a wood blank, put a few cards at the end to allow for clearance, and there was my inside dimension. No measuring, and it was totally re-settable.

I've also used them along the rip saw fence and on the cross-cut sled to add a bit of length to a cut. And I'm still finding uses for them. Of course, the cards go back inside the box after use, just like any other precision tool. When they get bent or damaged and can't be used as shims, they make great glue spreaders. And, in a pinch, they make good inside try squares.

Who woulda thunk?
That's Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine

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Michael Baker
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Great tip, George! Thanks! I have found many uses for playing cards, too. In addition to glue spreaders, they also work well to clean up squeeze-out from inside corners. Folded, they hold a nice crisp corner that works well... similar to the drinking straw idea mentioned here previously.

I will sometimes use playing cards as spacers when installing hinges on doors, etc. Just a bit of clearance between the two parts being joined usually insures that the parts don't bind, even if the screw snugs the parts a little too close together. It's better than trying to adjust the screws, and far better than springing the hinge a bit to get a door to close correctly.
~michael baker
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George Ledo
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And one of these days I'm going to realize that, while glue is drying or I need a quick break, I can use them to practice the ol' front-and-back palm. A very versatile tool indeed! Smile
That's Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine

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Michael Baker
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Stop work pieces from sliding around on your bench. Buy a roll of mesh shelf liner, such as sold at Wal Mart. Cut a suitable section and lay it on the bench as your work surface. This good when you are using a palm sander on harder to secure pieces. It will prevent them from slipping around. When it gets too dusty to grip well, it is easy to wash... too old, chunk it and cut a new piece. You'll find this stuff comes in handy in a number of ways.
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blamobox
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Quote:
On Feb 13, 2014, Michael Baker wrote:
Stop work pieces from sliding around on your bench. Buy a roll of mesh shelf liner, such as sold at Wal Mart. Cut a suitable section and lay it on the bench as your work surface. This good when you are using a palm sander on harder to secure pieces. It will prevent them from slipping around. When it gets too dusty to grip well, it is easy to wash... too old, chunk it and cut a new piece. You'll find this stuff comes in handy in a number of ways.


Good one!
I have a roll of rubber carpet underlay I can roll out on the work surface.
Double backed carpet tape is also handy for 'hard to clamp' material.
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gimpy2
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I have found that those hotel door keys like a credit card are great little tools in the shop. They come in all different thicknesses that can be used for different needs. The thin ones are great for spreading glue I love the thick ones to put decals on with. to many uses to list them all.
Michael Baker
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Some time ago, I mentioned a great product called Timber Mate water-based wood filler. I find it at a local Rockler store, but it is also available at Woodcraft, and probably some other places, too.

I am in the process of a refinish project and after stripping and sanding to the bare wood, noticed that the wood is heavily grained with lots of deep pores. These needed to be filled in order to give a good substrate for the primer and paint.

Timber mate comes in a variety of wood tones, but for a painted project, it hardly matters what color you select.

As it comes from the container, it is about the consistency of most other wood fillers, something like thick peanut butter. I have found that I get the best results by thinning the product somewhat with water, so that it spreads much easier without "pulling" up.

The first photo shows the beginning process of spreading the filler over the wood. You don't need to be concerned with using too much. It actually helps insure that all voids are filled, and you cannot waste the product. Just spread it on like you are frosting a cake. I use a non-serrated butter knife for this. Don't worry... your wife won't kill you because this stuff is very easy to clean up.

Image


The next photo shows the surface completely covered.

Image


Finally, the excess has been drawn off using a wide blade putty knife. Mine is 4" wide. In order to do this, draw across the grain, not with the grain. In my project, the grain runs the length of the piece (left to right in the photos). When I scraped, I drew the blade from top to bottom, as the photo would show. If you draw with the grain, it tends to pull the filler out of the long channels of the grain. Drawing across the grain does not do this.

Be sure to scrape off the excess from the blade after each pull. Just scrape it back into the container.

Image


When the filler has dried completely (this won't take too long, but will depend on the depth of the fill), sand with a fine grade paper. I use 400 or 600 grit. Don't use a too heavy a grit as this can easily dig the filler back out.

Prime and paint as usual.

It shouldn't be necessary to mention this, but be sure to use paint and primer that is NOT water-based. Water-based products will dissolve the filler and it will wash right out. Enamel, lacquer, oil, etc. OK.

Clean up is a snap, and even if the product has dried completely or gotten too thick over time, just reconstitute it with a little water and it's good as new again.
~michael baker
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MentalistCreationLab
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Michael,

I have a couple of questions about the Timber Mate.

About how many of the props shown above would you say you could cover from a single can of the Timber Mate like the one your showing on the table?

After the prop is covered how well does the paint stick in the terms of coats and blemishes. What I would like to know is does the paint merly rest on the top layer of the surface or does it soak in to the Timber Mate? Also when appling paint to the Timber Mate have you had any issues with blemishes do to the Timber Mate as some wood fillers seem to cause more problems when painting than they are worth, while they did fill the gaps and big hole it seems some of these fillers cause the paint to absorb in a rather unusual way.
Michael Baker
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Hi Bill,

I could not really estimate how many items the product would cover because it would depend on the size of the object and the depth of the voids to be filled. The container itself is 2" diameter X 3" height, if that helps. 8 oz (250 gram) container.

If you paint directly on this, there is going to be a bit of absorption. You'll notice the patched area to be less glossy than surrounding areas. You can fix this with multiple coats, but... I prefer to correct the substrate and properly prep it for paint first. Using a primer is a must, but I do that with all painted items anyway. I typically apply more than one coat of primer to any project, and with this, you can tell when the patch has been sufficiently blocked and color coats can be applied. (It's not that bad anyway.)

Sanding sealer is also a must do, if you really want to get a primo paint finish. If you patch, then use sanding sealer before primer, you won't have any soak-in to speak of. BTW - the best sanding sealer I have found is Ace brand oil-based. Much better than water-based and fumes are not nearly as noxious as lacquer-based. If the stores don't have it in stock, they will order it.
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MentalistCreationLab
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Thanks Michael, that's what I wanted to know. I working on a project right now that may need a skim coat timder mate before painting as the woods grain is a bit more open than normal.
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