Category Archives: recycle/reuse

Table saw workbench using stuff I keep

Ever since my age was in the single digits, I’ve enjoyed taking things apart and putting them back together. I always end up with extra pieces (who doesn’t?) but rather than throw them away, I keep them. My ever-loving wife, “Patience” (not her real name), has made peace with my stock piling habits, although I’m pretty sure she rolls her eyes when she thinks I am not watching. The key is to find uses for those oddball parts–double credit if I’m making or fixing something for Patience.

Craftsman contractor saw nameplate

My Craftsman table saw excels at widely distributing sawdust. It is a contractor-style saw, which means it is a motor mounted on four legs and wide open to the world. I tried installing a bottom cobbled together from pieces of thin aluminum with a shop vac connected to a roof boot (PVC pipes go up through them) re-purposed as a dust port in the center. That helped contain the dust but most of it just piled up on the inside rather than being sucked out. What I needed was a cabinet table saw. Or at least a table saw in a cabinet. Continue reading Table saw workbench using stuff I keep

Get half-corked (and why grandma would approve)


I’m really not a hoarder like the people you see on TV, but whenever you buy something that says “some assembly required” it often includes a variety of parts for various situations. I save all of the leftover pieces. My ever-loving wife, “Rosé” (not her real name), rolls her eyes when I do this but those oddball parts have come in handy bunches of times. The trick is to remember what I’ve got and where I put them.

My grandmother always said, “Use it up. Wear it out. Make it do. Or do without.” She wouldn’t throw anything away. She even kept empty Kleenex boxes. “They might be useful someday, you know.”

So, genetically, I can’t throw things away and therefore I can’t be held responsible the accumulation of mystery parts. For example, I have accumulated quite a collection of wine bottle corks that needs to be put to good use. Real corks can be recycled but most corks are synthetic these days. The concrete floor in the workshop is a little hard on the knees so I decided to turn the corks into a floor mat.

Whole corks are too thick for a mat so I cut them in half the long way so the flat side could face the floor and the curved side would face up. I first tried using a handsaw to cut them but they are too hard to hold still because they are small and curvy. Taking a cue from Tim “The Toolman” Taylor, I needed more power and I happened to have a miter saw sitting right there. Continue reading Get half-corked (and why grandma would approve)