Tip Trader: Shop-made Corner Cauls and More

Handyman Club members share their home and workshop hints.

Proper Hole Placement
When Club member Ken Plante of Castro Valley, California, was building a storage cabinet for his 100-plus router bits, he wanted a quick and accurate way to drill all of the holes that would be required to store them. So he created a hole-placement index. To use it, he measures and drills the first hole in the series; then he flips down the index so that its point rests in the hole he just drilled. The index’s spacer block is the same width as the required spacing between holes, so all Ken has to do is position his drill press bit against the block to achieve even hole spacing.

Shop-Made Corner Cauls
Club member James Floyd of Klamath Falls, Oregon, uses 1-in.-dia. sections of PVC pipe to create corner cauls for gluing up boxes. He removes a quarter of the pipe’s circumference; then he cuts the cauls to the lengths he needs for his specific project. James notes that the cauls also help to keep glue off of the band clamps during assembly.

Comfortable Gardening
To make his gardening tools easier and more comfortable to use, Club member Anthony Siegmann of Liberty Township, Ohio, uses 1-in.-dia. schedule-40 PVC pipe to extend their handles. Because the pipe’s inner diameter is just a bit smaller than that of the implement’s wooden handle, he first uses a heat gun to soften one end of the pipe. When the pipe is warm enough to stretch, he slips it over the wooden handle, allows it to cool and then cuts it off at a comfortable length. Finally, he uses a file to remove any sharp edges.