Making some quick workshop aids

No detailed builds here. Just three quick aids that I made for my workshop this week. None of the designs is my own although I can’t recall where I saw one of them because it’s so darn simple.

  1. Bench Dog Extractor

  2. Hand Sanding Pad

  3. Bandsaw circle jig (update)

Bench Dog Extractor

I wrote a small section about Peter Parfitt’s Parf Guide System MkII in my July 8th 2019 post where I described putting a new top on my little workbench. I’m a big fan of this system, which is marketed under the UJK brand by Axminster Tools & Machinery. It produces an MFT bench top with close tolerances, which is accurate and makes the perfect tracksaw station.

One of the side effects of the close tolerances is that it can be very difficult to remove the bench dogs from their holes particularly the lowest ones such as the UJK Guide Pups.

In one of Peter’s own New Brit Workshop videos on YouTube he describes making a simple tool for extracting 20mm dogs more easily. I followed his approach relatively closely and made the little tool shown below.

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Bench Dog Extractor

You pop it over the top of a bench dog, clamp it with your hand and then just wiggle the dog upward. It works a treat. No more scrabbling under the bench with a dowel and mallet to knock out the dogs!

I recommend it for anyone with close fitting 20mm bench dogs - the dog holes don’t have to have been made by the Parf Guide System.

Hand Sanding Pad

Peter Millard’s (10 Minute Workshop) Hand Sanding Pad design is so simple that it’s all but self-explanatory. In Peter’s case he uses Festool sander heads with a handle directly mounted. In mine I have the head from a broken Aldi Workzone Random Orbit Sander. I fixed this to a disk of 9mm plywood using the three screw holes that are used to attach the head to the main body of the sander. I added a small wooden drawer pull as the handle fixed with some CA glue and a single screw . Peter’s video describes his approach clearly so there’s little else for me to say.

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Hand Sanding Pad

The boon of this approach is that you can use standard velcro sanding disks for the size of head that you use.

So useful!

Bandsaw circle jig (update)

Technically I made this jig back when I re-enforced the lid of a soft plastic bucket for my cheap alternative to an Onedia Dust Deputy, described in Buy another Oneida Dust Deputy Deluxe or go east?

As you can see from the original photo used in that article, it was simply a piece of plywood clamped to the table of my bandsaw after being passed about half way through with the blade.

This week’s update added a runner and a fence stop.

The runner was made in the same way as any runner for a mitre slot on a table saw, router table or any other piece of machinery.

I rip cut a piece of timber (hardwood if it’s for a high use jig such as a cross cut sled) to a little wider than the slot and then gradually reduce its width a fraction at a time until it just about moves in the slot with a little friction. The piece must be shallower than the depth of the slot, so I usually take care of that before addressing the width.

With those steps done, I placed the runner into the slot on top of a few washers to raise it just above the table surface. I added alternating drops of CA glue and PVA wood glue, then fitted my existing jig carefully over the bandsaw blade and brought it gently down into position on top of the table and the glue on the runner. When the CA cured (15 seconds or so), I slid the jig horizontally back towards me to release it from the table and then clamped the runner in place while the PVA cured, another 45 mins or so later. I didn’t even bother adding screws, and later verified that they weren’t necessary by dropping the whole damn thing on the floor!

With the saw running I ran the jig back into position horizontally, to clear up any minor catches in the blade slot. I turned off the saw and brought down the blade guard. Then I ensured that the blade teeth were lined up with my axis line on the jig (in place from when I originally made it) and clamped the unit to the table of the bandsaw. I measured up and then cut an “L” shaped block of softwood. I clamped this into position and then used screws to fix it beneath the jig as a fence stop.

These changes make the jig more accurate. When the circle jig is slid onto the table, it will always stop with the teeth in the right position relative to the axis of rotation. There’s also an additional measure of safety due to the runner and fence stop keeping the jig locked from two horizontal positions. A single clamp to the table and the jig is rock steady.

Lastly a generous rub of machine wax to the ugly underside of the jig meant that it is ready to use once more.

I’m honestly not sure where I first saw jigs of this type, it may even have been my Dad when he got his bandsaw many years back. At some point I’ll make a new jig which doesn’t require a pin in the workpiece but I’ll wait until I have a project needing that difference before doing so.