Elevate Your Work

This is a top for a contemporary table I’m working on for later this month. The inlay is not what you’d expect.

This is not about how to elevate your work by taking a class with 360 Woodworking, or learning new skills as you delve into a subscription to 360Woodworking.com – although I’d be happy if you did both or either. (C’mon. I have to do the plug, right?)

This is about a simple, inexpensive way to raise your work when finishing. And it’s done with pieces from the scrap bin and a few brads.

Grab two pieces of scrap – they can be whatever size you have, or whatever size you need to work with your project. (I’ve made these lifts using 4″-square blocks and 2″ x 14″ tiger maple strips.) Through each piece shoot your brads. You can pop as few as one, or as many as 100. (Brads into the hundreds, or even near that number, would be considered a bit of an overkill.) You can make the pieces going old school, too. Use a hammer and nails. You Neanderthal!

I sent five brads through each of these two long scraps to help hold my table top as I applied finish.

Use at least #18-gauge brads that are long enough to extend through your scrap. Too much through the scrap, however, is not good. If the brads are too long, it’s easier to bend them under excess weight or as you bear down as you work . Yes, that’s happened to me before. Also, it does help to straighten any errant brads toward vertical if they come in angled.

That’s it. Position the lifts under your work to elevate it off the work surface. That makes it easy brush on your finish, or wipe it off.

 — Glen D. Huey

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2 thoughts on “Elevate Your Work

  1. I made some of these after you showed this tip to our guild (CFWG.org) and I still have them, They work great and cost next to nothing. My favorite price.
    Thanks Glen.

  2. I have several tack strips for carpet that Ive (carefully) cut down. Works great, especially when I needed a bunch to support baseboards for spraying.

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