Handy Tools You Can Make

By Captain James R. Watson

Often, our projects require specialized tools to get the job done—and nothing like what we need exists. The following are some tools I’ve inherited or have learned about from others and have used for years.

Photo 1. Here’s a great custom tool for sanding in hard-to-reach areas. It’s been around for years. Use a plane or belt sander to taper an old hammer handle and slit the ends with a band saw. Insert the end of the sandpaper into the slit and wrap it around the tapered portion.

Photo 2. To make a nice sanding block, salvage a split belt-sander belt. Slid the remnant of belt over a stick that has been cut to a length that forces a snug fit with rounded end.

Photo 3. To prevent marring wood, composite or metal parts when working on them in a bench vice, fabricate a plywood guard that slips over the slide.