Tip: Three Great Shop Tips

The first one is easy, and it’s something I’ve been doing for years. To get the random orbit sander to stop faster, so I can set it down and carry on with my work, I use my hand:

Works great and it does nothing to my hand, other than giving it a fun little massage. My hands are work hardened, but I don’t think that makes much of a difference. Try it!

Next, using j-channel to treat the edge of cheap 1/2″ plywood:

This is available anywhere they sell drywall and can be cut to fit with metal working snips, then glued in place with construction adhesive. It’s great for covering and protecting the edge of this plywood, or other materials of the same thickness (melamine, for example).

Finally, the correct way to orient a nail gun when driving brads into the edge of a piece of stock. It could be any material – softwood, hardwood, plywood or particle board.
A sight that many have seen, no doubt – the nail curls out the side of the piece you drive it into.

The primary reason for this is the way the nails are made. They have a chisel point that may or may not be centred, and this can cause the nail to pull one way or the other, causing it to curl out the side of your work. This can be especially true if the nail hits uneven grain:

The best way to guard against this is to place the gun so that it is perpendicular to the edge:

And not parallel. That way, if the nail does curl, it will still be in the wood you are driving it into.

Here’s a short video showing these tips: