Wood Square - Easy to Build

wood square, make, build, woodworking, tool

Youtube Video - How To


I have lots of tools in the workshop, but sometimes you don't know how much you need a tool until you use something new.  One case of that is a small 90 degree square.  Not a big framing square and not a metal speed square, but a small wood square to quickly check corners as you are working.

Speed Squares
tools, square, framing, cheap

Framing Square and Drywall 'T'
framing square, t square, drywall

So i decided to make one out of wood.  This time instead of using a cheap piece of pine, I used a nice piece of oak that i had since building my TV stand.
cheap oak, oak board, lumber

Rough Cut
wood square, make tools

Ripped the 3/4" oak in half to for the part extends out and left it full width at the handle.  I figured that the best way of securing it to the handle would be to use the table saw to cut a groove in the top of the handle.  For that i needed to use the small table saw sled that i made earlier in the year.

I plan on doing a write-up of the sled later on.
table saw sled, how to make, plans, size

Pieces Fit Together
how to make tools, wood, shop, workshop, dewalt

I also used a wood block as a brace to hold the board vertically.  With it clamped in, i used the table saw to remove the bulk of the groove in the handle.  The remainder i removed with a wood rasp.

Next i glued the extension board to the handle with wood glue.  As it was setting up i checked the 90 degree angle several times, then rubbed sawdust into the glue to fill the gaps.  And clamped it all together so that it wouldn't move.

I sanded everything down with sand paper and rounded over the sharp edges and rounded over some of the corners.  I used the big homemade disc sander to flatten out the handle and made everything flush with each other.
diy disc sander, disk, sander 10" 12" sander

I added cherry stain and then instead of polyurethane i decided to use wax.  After the wax dried i wiped it and added a second coat.

I wanted to make a simple tool that does 1 job and does that 1 job well.  It turned out to be a neat little project and a tool that i hope to have for a long time.


Tour of Shop - Basement Workshop Organization


For several years i had half of the basement as my workshop.
basement, workshop, woodshop, organize

We spent a good part of last year refinishing the basement to make a play area for our son and nieces and nephews.  I didn't really take a lot of pictures while we were building it, but i plan to make a quick blog post talking about what we did and why we did it.
basement remodel, house remodel, plans, designs, how to
Since the area that used to be my workshop is now carpet and a couch, that meant that i now have the only 1/4 of the basement near the furnace and sump pump.  It used to be filled with paint cans, boxes, stacked chairs and stuff we didn't know what to do with.  At first it was a little like fitting 2 pounds of junk into a 1 pound bag.  I moved my work benches, table and shelves over there, but everything else like wood and tools just got piled up and there was nowhere to walk.  But slowly i was able to organize everything, and make places for things to be hung up and out of the way.  It's constantly a work in progress but here's what the shop looks like now.
workshop organize, organize basement, house, basement, tools

Organized Chaos
home organization, sort, shelves, table

I'll go over some key points that have given me room and helped me stay organized:

Hang From Ceiling

This is where i feel like i'm really saving space.  I have been able to hang extension cords, air hoses, paint cans, clamps, lights, and saw horses from the ceiling.  It's all within arms reach but still out of the way.
hang from ceiling, rafter hook, make joist hanger

Air Hose
how to sort tools, keep parts out of the way

Extension Cord Reel
extension cord reel, make, diy, how to

hang clamps, wood clamps, irwin, store, sort, glue clamps


You need to have some shelves in a workshop to store all the stuff you don't know what to do with.  I like to use milk crates to sort of compartmentalize everything.  That way i can pull out the milk crate labeled "Electrical" and it has everything i need to do electrical in it.
basement tools, on wheels, storage, sort

Big Tools on Wheels

The table saw, big table, and compact miter saw stand are all on wheels.  This is essential because i am constantly moving things in order to make room.  The table saw and miter saw get tucked in next to the furnace so that they are as out of the way as possible until i need them.
compact miter saw, make miter saw, miter saw stand

Table Saw on Wheels
table saw on wheels, saw on wheels, table saw, craftsman 10"

Close Up view of Saw Stands
tools on wheels, basement tools

Organizer Cart

This is something i built a few years ago and it has been perfect for organizing small parts.  Being able to quickly get nuts, bolts, and all sorts of things has saved me hours.
organizer cart, organize parts, harbor freight

Tools on Pegboard
I'll write up a separate blog post for why i like to use pegboards.  I think it's the best way to go in terms of being able to quickly grab tools and to visually see what tool is the best for the job.
pegboard storage, tools

Other Pegboard
first order reliability, tools on wall

Storage Under the Workbench
tool storage, under table, shelves

Hanging Drivers from Bench
pvc shelves, drill, driver, battery, how to, make, workshop

Attic Storage

I've found that for some pieces of wood like baseboard, crown molding, chair railing, etc.  It's a good idea to store that in the garage attic.
attic storage