Yes you DO have to read all the way through WoodNet’s Cheap Useful Item for the Shop. Why? Because there are way more than 11 useful ideas there. There are probably more like 100 useful ideas there from at least 90 woodworkers. I picked out and organized the 11 ideas that I thought were the most original and useful.
1) 2 Dimes: Great for levelling cabinets – put the dimes on the top of the door, shim the bottom so that they do not fall off then mark where the hinges are to go – gives about a 1/16 clearance
2) Save the plastic credit card fakes you get in the mail to spread glue with. Also: Drill holes in one to fit your counter sink/counter bore bits, to prevent damage to the surface.
3) I keep a deck of cards in my shop. Useful for very slight shimming of things. (also suggested for this – business cards, index cards and free wood samples)
4) I keep the old Bic pens from the office. I thow out the inky thingy and keep the cartridge and cap. I duct tape it to the spray cans which take straws and keep the staws in the now empy cartridge. (this one almost scares me -G)
5) I use the old cutlery container from the dishwasher to hold the screwdrivers, pliers, etc. for whatever job I’m currently working on.
6) 1 oz. (2 Tbsp) stainless coffee measure. Great for dipping stain/poly out of the can instead of making a mess trying to pour.
7) Emory boards for fine tuning hand cut dovetails.
8) Plastic container lids like you find on p-nut cans, cream cheese containers and the like are perfect for shop coasters. They keep condensation from cold drink containers from getting on your bench, your work and your tools. Put ’em under your finish container to contain drips. They are great shallow containers to keep screws and small hardware from escaping during assembly.
9) an iron. steam out dings, you can veneer with them, iron-on edge banding
10) The coffee can lids make good spacers between TS & CMS blades when storing them. I have my blades in a drawer and stack them between the plastic lids.
11) I use empty Altoid mint containers (small metal boxes with lids that snap shut) to keep a small supply of saw dust of each of the woods I use in case I need to make some filler. (UPDATE: check out these amazing Altoid container mods by Evenfall Studios! You have to scroll down, but believe me your Altoid storage system will never be the same)
In case WoodNet’s not enough for ya, here’s a thread from rec.woodworking called “non-shop” stuff that’s useful in the shop.